Terraforming is the act of changing the planet classification of a celestial body in order to make it more habitable for the empire's citizens. Terraforming also removes all tile blockers from the surface. This requires significant society research, energy credits, and time. Leaders in New Worlds science believe that, with enough research, we might re-sculpt inhospitable Tomb Worlds or candidate Barren Worlds, and even create paradise Gaia Worlds for our citizens to live on.
Terraforming is started via a button on the World Detail view. The world must be surveyed, uninhabited, and within your borders. Only habitable-type worlds, Tomb Worlds, and special Barren Worlds that have the rare "Terraforming Candidate" modifier can be terraformed.
Also note that barren worlds are split into cold and standard types, and only the latter have the terraform button that make it possible to terraform with the modifier. So, cold barren worlds can actually have the candidate modifier but nevertheless not be terraformable (this is actually a bug). Since these rare candidates cannot be searched directly, it is important to note them down manually when the player comes across one or encounters the anomaly that uncovers the modifier. Until a suitable terraforming management screen is implemented in some future patch, it is simpler for players to make a copy of the save file, renaming the copy to .zip, uncompress it, and then search the game state file for planets with the "terraforming_candidate" entry.
The requirements for terraforming a world depend on the magnitude of the change. A change within the same climate (wet, cold, dry) is faster and cheaper than a change between climates.
|Same climate||Terrestrial Sculpting||2000 Energy credits||5 years|
|Different climate||Atmospheric Manipulation||5000 Energy credits||10 years|
|From tomb or barren||Climate Restoration||10000 Energy credits||20.3 years|
|To gaia||Gaia Creation||20000 Energy credits||40.6 years|
The World Shaper Ascension Perk doubles the terraforming Speed. Terraforming gases and Terraforming liquids both reduce the energy credit cost of terraforming by -25% each, stacking for a -50% cost reduction. Ruler trait World Shaper decreases terraforming cost by a further -15%. Finishing the Prosperity Tradition cuts the cost by another -33%, for a total possible cost reduction of up to 98%.
Alternatives to terraforming
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.5.
Other methods of improving habitability may be available depending on your governing ethics, tech draws, and galactic situation.
- Improve habitability empire-wide:
- Research Atmospheric Filtering, Hostile Environment Adaption, Foreign Soil Enrichment and Hostile Climate Adaption. (+5% each, for a total of +20%)
- Research Tomb World Adaption for +20% on Tomb Worlds.
- Research Engos Vapor Refining and find the Engos Vapor strategic resource, for a 5% habitability boost.
- Trade with Enclaves to obtain Xuragel for another 5% boost.
- Select the Diplomacy Tradition, for +10% from a Perk and another +5% from the Visitor Center.
- Improve the adaptability of your species:
- Through genetic modification, you can create subspecies with different planet-type preferences.
- The Adaptive and Extremely Adaptive traits give +10% and +20% habitability, respectively.
- With the mind-uploading ascension path: first gaining the Cybernetic trait with +20% Habitability and finally becoming Synthetic with 200% habitability everywhere
- Colonize using robots:
- Incorporate xenos from other empires:
- Incorporate pre-FTL species:
- Conquer primitive civilizations. (2-23 years for newly grown pops to be able to colonize)
- Enlighten primitive civilizations. (3-83 years to enlighten, 10 years as a protectorate, 1-3 years to integrate)
- Uplift pre-sentient species. Upliftable species can have special traits such as Starborn (with +25% habitability), Irradiated (with +100% tomb world habitability), and Tomb World Preference (80% tomb and 60% almost everywhere else).
Using 80% from best fit combined with the up to 20% from the technology for a total of 100% is usually more than enough. Even 60% worlds can be turned into 80% with the same amount of effort. Diplomacy Tradition and Habitability trait can be valuable, as they allow colonisation of otherwise impossible worlds early and make 60% operate like 80% ones. While happiness does offer scaling bonuses, actually getting to the cap requires a dedicated build. Instead the bonus to population growth and the ability to colonise poor fitting worlds without terraforming should be considered the more important factors.