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This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. It was last updated for 1.5.

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.png society research, Energy Credits.png 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 requirements[edit]

Terraforming is started via a button on the World Detail view. The world must be surveyed and within your borders. Only habitable-type worlds, Tomb Worlds, and special Barren Worlds that have the rare "Terraforming Candidate" modifier can be terraformed. 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.

Change Technology required Cost Time
Same climate Tech terrestrial sculpting.png Terrestrial Sculpting 2000 Energy Credits.png Energy credits 5 years
Different climate Tech atmospheric manipulation.png Atmospheric Manipulation 5000 Energy Credits.png Energy credits 10 years
From tomb or barren Tech climate restoration.png Climate Restoration 10000 Energy Credits.png Energy credits 20.3 years
To gaia Tech gaia creation.png Gaia Creation 20000 Energy Credits.png Energy credits 40.6 years

It is possible to terraform inhabited planets if you have the technology Tech ecological adaptation.png Ecological Adaptation. Doing so gives a -20% happiness penalty to the planet.

Cost reduction[edit]

The World Shaper Ascension Perk doubles the terraforming Speed. Terraform Gases.png Terraforming gases and Terraform Liquids.png Terraforming liquids both reduce the energy credit cost of terraforming by -25% each, stacking for a -50% cost reduction. Ruler trait World shaper 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[edit]

See also: Colonization#Colonization_through_diversity

Other methods of improving habitability may be available depending on your governing ethics, tech draws, and galactic situation.

  • Improve habitability empire-wide:
    • Research Tech colonization 2.png Atmospheric Filtering, Tech colonization 3.png Hostile Environment Adaption, Tech colonization 4.png Foreign Soil Enrichment and Tech colonization 5.png Hostile Climate Adaption. (+5% each, for a total of +20%)
    • Research Tech tomb world adaption.png Tomb World Adaption for +20% on Tomb Worlds.
    • Research Tech engos vapor.png Engos Vapor Refining and find the Engos.png Engos Vapor strategic resource, for a 5% habitability boost.
    • Trade with Enclaves to obtain Xuran.png 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.png Adaptive and Extremely Adaptive.png Extremely Adaptive traits give +10% and +20% habitability, respectively.
      • With the biological ascension path: upgrade to Robust.png Robust for +30% habitability.
    • With the mind-uploading ascension path: first gaining the Trait cybernetic.png Cybernetic trait with +20% Habitability and finally becoming Trait robotic 3.png Synthetic with 200% habitability everywhere
  • Colonize using robots:
    • Robotic pops have 200% habitability everywhere.
    • Starting at tier 2 (droids), they can colonize new worlds.
    • However, relying heavily on robots may tempt you into further actions that risk an AI rebellion...
  • 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 Trait primitive.png Starborn (with +25% habitability), Irradiated Irradiated (with +100% tomb world habitability), and Trait pc nuked preference.png 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.


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