Terraforming is a early to mid-game technology. By leveraging terraforming technologies it is possible to change the world class of a habitable celestial body, while also removing all tile blockers from its surface. While terraforming is a wonderful technology, it does have drawbacks; it is expensive and time consuming. With 1.3 this System has been drastically simplified and cheapened, but in turn one can no longer terraform already colonised planets.
Terraforming requires the following:
- 2000 Energy credits or more.
- The Terrestrial Sculpting technology. For accessing the menu and changing within the Hydrosphere category only
- The Atmospheric Manipulation technology. To also change the temperature range.
- Terraforming gases and/or Terraforming liquids, to reduce the energy credit cost of terraforming by -25% each (stacks for -50%).
- Climate Restoration if the source climate is a Tomb World.
- Gaia Creation if the target climate is a gaia class world.
- The target planet must be uninhabited, but within your empires borders.
Terraforming is started via a button on the Planet Detail view. Cost and duration depends on how severe the change is.
Terraforming less hospitable worlds
Terraforming is a long and costly process. Depending on the severity of the change, both cost and time varry:
- within the same hydrosphere category, it costs 2.000 Energy credits and takes 1800 days (60 months or 5 years).
- terraforming across hydrosphere category costs 5.000 Energy credits and takes 3600 days (120 months or 10 years).
- terraforming a tomb world into the non-Gaia class types costs 10.000 Energy credits and takes 7300 days (243.3 months or 20.3 years).
- changing any world to Gaia class world costs 20.000 Energy credits and takes 14600 days (486.7 months or 40.6 years).
Terraforming gases and liquids decrease terraforming cost by 25% each, with a cumulative discount of 50% for empires with access to both resources. Leader trait World Shaper decreases terraforming cost by a further 15%. Having both terraforming resources is a necessary condition to terraform a planet into a Gaia class world, since the highest possible energy credit stockpile cap is 10000.
With the habitability and terraforming rework of 1.3, Terraforming has become significantly more viable.
Note that there are other ways of improving habitability:
- A total of 20% can be gained from technology. The Tomb World Adoption technology also raises Tomb World habitability by 40%, placing tomb worlds halfway between planets in the same in the same climate category and planets in a different climate category.
- 5%/10% can be gained from building a Frontier Clinic and Frontier Hospital, respectively. Another 5% each can be gained by building a Paradise Dome (pacifist ethos building) or a Visitor Center (xenophile ethos building).
- The Adaptive or Extremely Adaptive traits improve a species' habitability in all planets by another 10% or 20% respectively.
- Robotic pops have 200% habitability and immunity to radiation. Uplifted pre-sentient species may have starborn trait which increases habitability by 25%. These traits are never available for primary species, but the empire may get pops with these traits in games.
- Acquiring other species via conquest or diplomacy with better fitting habitability.
- Both Engos Vapor and Xuragel can improve habitability by 5%. Owning both of them gives a 10% boost.
- Genetically altering colonists effectively creates a subspecies with fitting habitability, as well as allowing adding proper Adaptable Traits.
Using 80% from best fit combined with 10% from the technology for a total of 90% is usually more than enough. Buildings can be used to counterbalance any worlds with decreased habitability, and the traits are generally not worth the points. While happiness does offer scaling bonuses, actually getting to the cap is hard. Instead the bonus to population growth and the ability to colonise poor fitting planets without terraforming should be considered the more important factor.
Planets that are already inhabited (by a empire or a primitive species beyond the Stone Age Phase) can not be terraformed.