A celestial body is a named object (such as a planet or large asteroid) occurring within a star system. Celestial bodies may have resources which can be harvested by orbital stations. Planets may also be habitable and capable to be colonized by empires with the right suitability or technology.
When any owned ship enters a system or passes within its sensor range, any habitable planets in the system will be revealed along with their world type. To see further details about the celestial bodies in a system, it is necessary to survey them with a science ship. This will reveal all of the orbital resources associated with each planet or asteroid. For habitable worlds this will also reveal more detailed world information including: size, surface tiles and their resources, and the habitability percentage for each species in the player's empire. Additionally, surveying worlds has a chance to reveal anomalies.
- 1 Summary of celestial body types
- 2 Planetary details
- 3 Tiles
- 4 Construction
- 5 Habitability
- 6 Barren Terraforming Candidates
- 7 References
Summary of celestial body types
A habitable world is any celestial body that can harbor advanced organic life. These are the only worlds that can be colonized and terraformed, besides some notable exceptions. Their suitability ranges in accordance to a given species' homeworld, which affects the rate of population growth.
A planet's habitability (and subsequent future terraforming costs) is determined by its climate system. The 10 habitable worlds are divided equally into 3 climate categories: dry, frozen and wet, with Gaia worlds being notable exceptions.
A Gaia world will always feature 100% habitability for any species and contain various special resources and generally only beneficial modifiers, making it the best habitable world available. However the Holy Guardians consider some of these worlds holy (easily identifiable from their special names) and colonizing them will incur their ire.
An uninhabitable world is any celestial body that cannot harbor advanced organic life, that are not stars. These worlds can't be colonized or terraformed, but can still be lucrative sources of common and strategic resources.
A special world is any celestial body that does not follow the standard rules of procedural generation and are, in many cases, only created by events.
|AI|| Rocky world covered with artificial structures. The thin atmosphere consists mostly of industrial pollutants. There are strong energy emissions coming from across the entire surface, but no organic life signs.
This planet is created by the AI Rebellion.
|Infested|| The surface of this world is covered by some kind of biological contaminant.
Created when habitable worlds are infested by the Prethoryn Swarm. Successful bombardment turns the planet into a barren world that can be terraformed.
|Shielded|| This entire world is encased in some kind of impenetrable energy barrier. It blocks all scans of the surface.
Found inside Militant Isolationists Fallen Empire territory. The shield can be brought down through a special project, with different possible outcomes (mothballed fallen empire ships, a captive admiral or a group of Void Clouds).
|Tomb|| A rocky world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. It is currently experiencing a nuclear winter, with dense layers of sooty aerosols in the atmosphere. High levels of surface radiation. Minimal signs of life.
Tomb worlds are spawned at the start of the game, but a habitable world can be turned into a tomb world by random events, such as a pre-FTL species starting a nuclear war during the Atomic Age. These worlds are habitable but feature the poorest base habitability rating.
|Crystalline Asteroid|| A large asteroid covered in some kind of crystalline outcroppings.
Multiple such asteroids are present in a unique Guardian system that can appear with the Leviathans DLC. They have a very large amount of minerals per asteroid, but attempting to mine them will awaken the hives.
|Shrouded|| Our sensors are unable to penetrate the thick fog surrounding the planet. Ships that enter it do not return.
Created after the 50-year Covenant with the End of the Cycle finishes. All shroud-marked worlds are turned into this type of world. Afterwards, an inhabited world can be turned into a shrouded world by the Warped Consciousness Reckoning, though worlds that do not have intelligent life on them are spared. Cannot be recovered.
|Ring World||Living Metal||25|| An immense band encircling the system's sun. Built to allow for numerous artificial habitation zones along its inner span, freed from the restrictions and mundanity of planet-bound, spherical existence.
Intact Ring Worlds are found only in the systems of the Keepers of Knowledge Fallen Empire and the Sanctuary system. Can also be built after taking the The Circle of life Ascension perk (requires Utopia). Other Ring Worlds are damaged beyond repair, though damaged segments are usually sources of Living Metal.
|Habitat||12|| A self sustaining station built for permanent habitation.
A megastructure that can be built with the Voidborn Ascension perk (requires Utopia). Habitats have their own, unique set of buildings distinct from the normal planetary buildings. These buildings are 'single-stage': they have a fairly large upfront cost and high immediate research production, but cannot be upgraded. Overall, Habitats are efficient when it comes to research and energy general, but do poorly when it comes to food and mineral production.
A star is a celestial body that usually composes the center of a star system. They are classified based on their spectral types B,A,F,G,K,M. Some star systems can however be more special, like a black hole, pulsar, or a neutron star. The star type influences the generation of the solar system.
While basic resources (energy, minerals, research points) are randomly and evenly distributed across the galaxy, strategic resources only appear on certain types of celestial bodies. If allowed, basic resource deposit can exist both in orbit and on surface of a habitable world, although each planet may have only one orbital deposit. Food deposits and mixed deposits with food will only appear on surface of habitable planets. Strategic resources spawned with energy or minerals require mining stations, while collecting those accompanied with research points needs research stations. Garanthium, Lythuric Gas, Engos Vapor, Teldar Crystals, Pitharan Dust and Orillium will spawn in clusters, which mean they are rich in some sectors but rarely found in rest part of the galaxy. Betharian stone and alien pet are no longer collectible, but they will serve as prerequisite to construct certain planetary buildings.Habitats will not contain except for one tile containing the orbital resources.
In the table, if not specified, habitable worlds means it can be any of the followings: 9 types of primary habitable worlds, gaia world, ring world and tomb world. Strategic resources have a higher chance of spawning in nebulas
- See also: Traits#Habitability traits
Every species has a preference for one of the primary habitable world types. A planet's habitability (and terraforming costs) is determined by its climate system. The 9 habitable worlds are divided equally into 3 climate categories: dry, frozen and wet. A species' homeworld will always have 100% habitability while other planets of that type will have 80% habitability. The other two planet types in the same climate category will have a base rating of 60% habitability. Planets of other climate categories will have a rating of 20% habitability.
Gaia worlds have a thriving biosphere with many climatic zones, and are 100% habitable for all species. Tomb worlds contain toxic waste and ruins from an earlier civilization and have very low habitability for all species. If they must be colonized for strategic reasons, it is often best to use robots or an uplifted irradiated species until technology for tomb world adaptation in researched.
Worlds of any type may have features which either increase or decrease their habitability. If present, these features will be identified when the world is surveyed by a science ship.
Colonization of habitable worlds is the most common way for a player to expand their control of the galaxy. Therefore, it is critically important to have a solid understanding of the role of colonization in expanding an empire and developing it into a powerful military, economic, and social engine. There are five primary tools for increasing the number of habitable planets available to the player:
An empire can choose to use one or all of these tools when seeking to expand the number of habitable planets available.
Not all planets are equally habitable by all species. Each species has a trait which gives it the highest habitability rating on its home planet type, then reduced (but still acceptable) levels on other world types. A population's happiness is capped at the habitability of the planet for their species. Habitability cannot exceed 100%.
Habitability is spread out on five tiers, with the homeworld of a species always starting at 100%. Furthermore, certain planetary modifiers can modify habitability. There are also traits and various other sources that can improve habitability for certain pops (such as 'Adaptive', described further below on the page).
|Gaia or Homeworld||100%|
Systems containing surveyed or non-surveyed habitable worlds will have a planet icon that is either green, yellow or red, depending on the habitability percentage of the most suitable world that the system contains.
- Green: At least one world in the system is >70% habitable for at least one species in the player's empire.
- Yellow: The best world in the system is 40-69% habitable for at least one species in the player's empire.
- Red: All of the worlds in this system are less than 40% habitable for all species in the player's empire.
Sometimes other factors can prevent colonization of a world. Some common reasons for not being able to colonize an otherwise habitable world are:
- The world has not yet been surveyed
- There is an anomaly on the world which has not yet been researched
- The system is within another empire's borders
- The world is colonized by a pre-spaceflight civilization (excluding pre-sentients)
Note: a species can only colonize a certain planet if its habitability there is more than 40%.
Zooming in to the system and mouseing-over the planet icon may reveal useful information about what is preventing the player's empire from colonizing the world. e.g. If the tool tip says the world is 'controlled by Unidentified Empire' or 'belongs to someone else', another empire is in control of the system. In this case, surveying the world will reveal the empire that controls it. This action can cause the player's science ship to be missing in action for up to a year, so it may be preferable to avoid surveying the world.
Since different species can have different world type preferences, it can be better for an empire to populate its worlds with other alien species, genetically-engineered subspecies, or even robots/synthetics.
It is also possible to terraform habitable worlds, though this is a costly and time consuming process. Only planets of the main types (continental and such) can be terraformed, in addition to tomb and barren worlds with the "Terraforming Candidate" modifier.
A habitable world may have between 10 and 25 tiles. Each tile can hold up to one population and one building.
Each tile has a chance to have base resources. These can be gathered by a population even without a building. If a building is built on the tile, any resource type that is produced by or associated with the building stacks with the base tile resource, but all other resource types are suppressed. Betharian stone and Alien pets will also spawn on the surface of a few planets. They will be generated randomly on energy and society research tiles, but cannot be collected as other resources. Instead, Betharian Power Plant and Xeno Zoo are limited to be built on these tiles. The basic resources (energy, minerals, food, research) spawn in amounts varying from 1 to 3. Not all tiles will have resources on them.
Tile blockers are obstacles that block tiles. The player cannot move populations onto or create buildings on top of tiles that have blockers, and thus cannot exploit the resources of blocked tiles. Blockers can be cleared for a modest cost in minerals, energy, and time, if the player has researched the required technology. There are 9 such technologies, one for every normal blocker type, and they are all relatively easy to research. All normal blockers cost the same amount of resources to remove.
Two special blocker types, sprawling slums and industrial wastelands, are automatically generated on every player's homeworld in a new game. They don't require technology to be removed, but initial resources may be better spent on other things. The remaining tile blockers appear much more rarely across the galaxy - some are result of particular actions (bombardment craters), other are tied to events. Event-related tile blockers aren't posted here to not spoil the dramatic events surrounding them.
In general almost all blockers provide no benefits and are merely obstacles, only a few blockers may be useful for adjacency or unique effects. Other than that, the player is free to remove regular tile blockers without any risk or downside (other than resources spent on clearing them).
- Main article: Buildings
Each world has a size which indicates how many tiles are on its surface. A typical homeworld might have 16 tiles (4x4) while the maximum is 25, 5x5).
Each tile may produce resources if worked by a population. The resources available depend on the tile characteristics and any building present. Many tiles have native resources that are available with no building but some do not. A building can enhance or replace the existing native resource of a tile. For instance, building a hydroponic farm on a tile which yields food means the farm output is added to the native resource, giving high food output. Placing the same farm on a research resource would mean the tile now only produced the building output, and the research was lost. However, a building that produces both food and research would supplement both the food and research resources in that tile rather than replacing them.
Some buildings such as colony capitals give bonuses to adjacent tiles, just as some unremovable tile blockers.
If the world isn't inhabited then all its minerals, energy and research tiles available for exploitation from orbit, but not at the same time. This resource is visible on the system map. A construction ship can build an orbital station to exploit the resources, which does not require population.
Building cost is a percentage modifier that affects the cost of constructing buildings on planets. The modifier stacks, and has the following sources:
Building Build Speed is a modifier that lowers the building time for all buildings. This modifier can be very useful, as it also affects building upgrades, and higher level buildings can take very long to build.
Habitability is the measure of the conformance of a celestial body to potential colonists. The maximum happiness a world's populations can have is the habitability of the celestial body they are inhabiting. Colonists on less habitable worlds will be extremely unhappy.
Colonizing inhospitable worlds
- See also: Colonization
The easiest way is to use another species that is already acclimated to the climate (or droids / synthetics). Excepting that, genetic modification can modify any species to a different climate (this can be done after colonizing), costing 0 trait points. This will make an entirely new species, which can be especially problematic for xenophobic empires. If the genetic modification research is unlocked, a player's populations on differing world types also have a small chance of self-modification. These new species will have spent all of their trait points, and will have randomized traits (potentially undesirable). Terraforming can also be used to change the type of a celestial body, at the cost of huge quantities of energy and time. The most convoluted method is to alter your own species to either gain the Adaptive traits or become entirely synthetic, the latter granting 100% habitability on all planet types.
Maximising habitability of a species
In v1.5 Banks, the sources of habitability increases have been shifted slightly. For most species on a planet with no special modifiers and ignoring rare strategic resources, the maximum increase is currently 35% with about 25~30% attainable by the mid-game. With all reliably obtainable conditions fulfilled, this can be increased to 85% with both the Leviathan DLC and the Utopia expansion (while preserving the biological nature of the species). Further increases must come from planetary modifiers, events, and rare coincidences such as obtaining an uplifted Starborn species who has been first modified with Robust by a biologically-ascended empire, then also Cybernetic by a semi-Synthetic empire (is this even possible?). Of course, by this point it is both meaningless and also faster to terraform the planets in question, but it remains a valid hobby quest.
- The species trait Adaptive or Extremely Adaptive increase their habitability on all words by 10% or 20%, respectively. With Utopia, the traits Robust or Cybernetic becomes available with their respective asendancies.
- The Tradition Dynamic Ecomorphism from the Diplomacy tree will provide 10% habitability on all worlds in your empire, for all species. The next tradition below, Alien Tourism grants Visitor Centers that provide a further 5%
- A total of 20% is available from four technological advances at 5% each: Atmospheric Filtering, Hostile Environment Adaption, Foreign Soil Enrichment and Hostile Climate Adaption. In addition, Tomb World Adaption provides 20% specifically for that world type.
- The strategic resource Engos vapor increases habitability by 5%, although usually very few spawn in a given galaxy. With Leviathan, Xuragel can be purchased from XuraCorp trader enclaves for a 5% increase as well.
- See also: Genetic modification
Celestial body modifiers
There is a small chance that a celestial body will have modifier(s). Modifiers can provide various bonuses and also maluses, such as to habitability. They will be found when surveyed or through anomalies and (accompanying) events.
Barren Terraforming Candidates
Despite being a barren world, Mars can be terraformed due to having had a biosphere in the past and still having frozen water. Upon being surveyed an anomaly with a 0% failure risk will be discovered, namely signs of the planet having supported a biosphere once in the past. Researching the anomaly will reveal that the planet has the conditions necessary for terraforming, once the human empire researches such technology. The planet will gain the Terraforming Candidate modifier, allowing it to be terraformed like any other planet.
Infested Prethoryn planets that have been glassed into barren worlds are also terraforming candidates.