Colonizable Gravity Wells (CGWs)
Main article: Terran Planet
|Terran planets sport similar conditions to Earth, and that they have much water and visible photosynthetic flora. The readily habitable conditions, vast amount of available water, land masses, and natural resources means these planets have a large local population for you to exploit. The TEC favor these worlds, as they have research that adds +30% to the population. These planets tend to be the most heavily defended by militia.|
Main article: Desert Planet
|Dry and sandy, with little water, a Desert planet supports a fairly small population. Although they support less population than Terran planets, they have far more logistics slots than other worlds, making them good candidates for shipyards or research stations. The Advent favor these planets, having research that gives them +30% to their populations. Like the Terran worlds, they have two sub-types, a 'Home' and a generic version. Seemingly, the only difference is their appearances. They come second in amount of militia defending them after Terran planets.|
Main article: Volcanic Planet
|Very hot worlds with plenty of volcanic activity. Only the hardiest can survive this unbearable climate after the requisite research. Volcanic planets tend to have more Metal than other planet types. The Vasari favor these planets, having research that gives them +60% to their population, though it still comes nowhere near the population of Terran, Desert, and Ice worlds.|
Main article: Ice Planet
|Cold desolate worlds dotted with small thawed oases with liquid water, Ice planets can support a population with the appropriate research. Only a limited population can bear the climate. But it can be worth it, these planets tend to have more Crystal than other planet types.|
Main article: Barren Planet
|Barren planets support low populations, and have the most logistics slots of all planet types.|
Main article: Ferrous Planet
|A type of barren world that features a large number of metal asteroids, even more than volcanic planets. They need corresponding research to be colonized. Often they are defended by as much militia as terran or desert planets.|
Main article: Greenhouse Planet
|Greenhouse planets are blanketed in thick, dense atmospheres, causing the surface to overheat, but complicating bombardment as well.|
Main article: Oceanic Planet
|Humid worlds primarily covered in oceans dotted by just a few islands, these planets can house a far greater population than even Terran worlds.|
Main article: Asteroid
|Asteroids have plenty of resources nearby to be profitable and can support multiple defensive systems. It can also support minimal mining settlements. They are very commonly connected to a homeworld of the sentient races.|
Main article: Dwarf Planet
|Dwarf Planets are objects of little value except for mining purposes. However, their size allows it to support a much higher planet population than a mere asteroid. They are very commonly connected to a homeworld of the sentient races.|
Main article: Dead Asteroid
|Dead Asteroids are asteroids that cannot be mined or support settlements and can only support orbital military installations. They are virtually useless and ignored by most races unless it is in a very strategic location.|
Main article: Pirate Base
Main article: Ship Graveyard
|Ship Graveyards act in the same way as Dead Asteroids: they have no population when colonized, have no logistic slots but can house some tactical structures. They are also prefered targets for open rebellions.|
Uncolonizable Gravity Wells (UCGWs)
Usually have neutral resource extractors which can be captured by Advent and TEC colony frigates, the Missionary Vessel and Protev Colony Frigate, or Vasari scout frigates, the Jikara Navigator, using Capture Extractor.
Their extractors are special: They have a base extraction rate of 0.53 units/second, which effectively gives them an allegiance of 133%, higher than is otherwise ever possible, no matter how far they are from your homeworld. They will reflect any mining research bonuses, once captured.
They also have 4 refinery slots versus the 3 for colonizable planets' extractors, and these slots have a refinery extraction rate of 0.08 versus the 0.06 rate for extractors at colonizable grav wells (again with the "fixed allegiance" of 133%). The extra refinery slot and the higher rate cause them to output 0.32 units/second if fully utilized, regardless of distance from homeworld, versus 0.18 units/second for a planet at 100% allegiance - or versus 0.06/second for a planet at 35% allegiance!
Main article: Space Junk
Main article: Gas Giant
Main article: Asteroid Belt
Main article: Plasma Storm
Main article: Magnetic Cloud
Planet Type Stats
|PlanetType||MaxPop.||MaxHealth||Max Slots||Extractors||Max Research Increase (+Pop.)|
|Terran||280||6000||24||35||1-2||1-2||15% (+42)||30% (+84)||15% (+42)|
|Desert||190||6000||36||35||1-2||1-2||30% (+57)||15% (+28)||-|
|Ice||160||6000||20||35||-||2-4||-||15% (+24)||15% (+24)|
|Asteroid Belt||0-2||0-1||Erratic Debris: All Weapons -20% Chance To Hit|
|Asteroid Space Junk||0-2||0-1||-|
|Gas Giant||0-3||0-1||Unstable Gas Pockets: Applies 80 damage to 5 ships max;|
can happen twice if close to planet (range 750)
|Plasma Storm||0-1||0-3||Plasma Storm: Disables squadron launch|
|Magnetic Cloud||-||-||Magnetic Cloud: Disables Abilities for all ships|
|Wormhole||-||-||Enables to travel a great distances to another wormhole instantly|
|Star||-||-||Solar Radiation: Regenerates 2.5 Antimatter/sec for ships with antimatter|
Forbidden Worlds DLC
|PlanetType||MaxPop.||MaxHealth||Max Slots||Extractors||Max Research Increase (+Pop.)|
The likelihood of finding a planet bonus is determined by a percentage likelihood value in the scenario map file. This one value applies to all the planets in the map, unless they are homeworlds or particular planets are assigned specific values (like the Pirate Base). See below for more.
As of v. 1.2, the percent value applied to all stock maps is 40% - 4 out of 10 planets should have a bonus. (This is not the same as finding a bonus 40% of the time that you Explore Planet.) The only exceptions are the small Derelict and Gaean Crescent maps and the tutorials; these don't have any bonuses. There are 23 planet bonuses in total:
|Planet Bonus Name||Ter||Des||Ice||Vol||Ast||D.A.||Bonus 1||Bonus 2|
|Dense Molten Core||X||X||-||X||-||-||Gravity Well Radius +33%|
|Porous Core||X||X||X||-||X||X||Gravity Well Radius -33%|
|Scouting or Colonizing|
|Caustic Atmosphere||-||-||-||X||-||-||Population -15||Upgrade Build Cost +20%|
|Persistent Dust Storms||-||X||-||-||-||-||Population Growth -25%|
|Expert Agrarian Society||X||-||-||-||-||-||Trade Income +10%|
|Ionic Storms||-||-||-||X||-||-||Population -20|
|Mega Fauna||-||-||X||-||-||-||Population -15||Trade Income +25%|
|Natural Thermal Lift||-||X||-||X||-||-||Structure Build Rate +25%|
|Plundered Booty||-||-||-||-||-||-||Tax Income +3.5|
|Weapons Test Facility||-||X||-||X||-||-||Population -20||Tactical Slots +8|
|Colonizing or first Explore Planet|
|Habitable Cavern System||-||X||X||X||-||-||Population +15||Planet Health +500|
|High Security Protocol||X||X||X||X||-||-||Tactical Slots +5||Trade Income -20%|
|Massive Pure Glaciers||X||-||X||-||-||-||Trade Income +30%|
|Penal Colony||-||-||-||X||X||X||Structure Build Cost -20%||Structure Build Rate -30%|
|Space Ponies!||-||-||-||-||-||-||Space Ponies +99|
|Tundra Farms||-||-||X||-||-||-||Population +25|
|Helium Rich Atmosphere||-||-||X||-||-||-||Trade Income +25%|
|On first Explore Planet|
|Entertainment Hub||-||X||X||-||-||-||Culture Spread +10%||Tax Income +1.0|
|Expert Crystal Miners||-||X||-||-||X||-||Crystal Income +50%|
|Expert Metal Miners||-||-||-||X||X||-||Metal Income +50%|
|Raiders Outpost||-||-||-||-||X||X||Metal Income +20%||Constructors +1|
|Spice Trade||X||X||-||-||-||-||Culture Spread +5%||Trade Income +10%|
|First Explore Planet or second Explore Planet|
|Kalanite Deposits||-||-||-||X||X||-||Trade Income +20%|
|Pharmaceutical Flora||X||-||-||-||-||-||Trade Income +20%||Population Growth +20%|
Bonuses, if present, are revealed at particular levels of exploration, from Scouting to the second Explore Planet. For example, you always see whether a planet has a Dense Molten Core (High Gravity) or Porous Core (Low Gravity) just by scouting a system. You always see Expert Agrarian, Ionic Storms, Mega Fauna when you colonize. But you might see Caustic Atmosphere when you scout, or when you colonize (at the latest). Et cetera.
As you can see, there are only two bonuses that might be seen at Explore 2 - if you haven't already seen them at Explore 1. These are Kalanite Deposits (for Volcanic and Asteroid planets) and Pharmaceutical Flora (for Terran planets). Both of these bonuses convey 20% extra trade. But consider that Explore Planet 2 costs 550$ 175m 125c, and you only have a small chance of getting what's only a 20% bonus. Conversely, Trade Ports cost 800$ 100m 175c and give a guaranteed 100% increase in trade income. So, you might do an Explore 2 to search for an Artifact - but it's clearly not worth it for bonuses alone.
Although most bonuses are a plus, many are arguably marginal. (Remember that Trade increases only matter if you have Trading Ports there!) One stands out, though: Expert Metal/Crystal Miners on a Volcanic/Ice planet. These worlds will have 2-4 metal/crystal asteroids, so it's like getting 1-2 more extractors on that planet.
A few other points can be made re: planet bonuses, but remember that these only apply to bonuses. You still have to use Explore to find Artifacts:
- Pirate Bases will only have the Plundered Booty bonus; they don't allow any other bonus.
NOTE: This does NOT mean, however, they can't have artifacts (rare, though it is possible).
- Weapons Test Facilities and High Security Protocols may impact your trade, but the trade-off is that a planet with either of these can house 2 of their faction's Superweapons there. If it's near a choke-point (only one way in to the planet), give them the most defensive systems possible, as it makes it incredibly difficult for your enemies to get past.
It is highly, HIGHLY unlikely to find a volcanic or desert planet that is both a Weapons Test Facility with High Security Protocol, but if it happens, these make for a prime location for your Superweapons - not only can you blast your enemies to dust, you can keep them adequately defended at the same time.
- It appears that there are never bonuses on homeworlds (more precisely, start worlds). This seems to be true even if the start position was not used (i.e., if you don't have the max number of players).
- As you can see from the listing above, Dead Asteroids are pretty worthless as far as bonuses go. Porous Core is "pfft", Penal Colony is ok ... but there aren't even any mines on Dead Asteroids for the Raiders bonus to affect!
- The description for the Penal Colony bonus might not be clear to everyone (does the red mean bad, or negative?): It reduces the cost of structures 20%, but increases the time to make them. And for the record, it does not reduce the cost to 80%, as you might have thought - it divides the cost by 1.2, which actually makes the cost be 83% (5/6) of normal price.
- It looks like there can only be 2 bonuses max on a given planet. So it's probably useless to explore more if you already see two.
- If you consider that you'll see any "Colonizing or Explore 1" bonuses half the time simply by colonizing, you can also say that you've already seen over half of all possible bonuses (11/21, not counting Booty or Ponies) simply by colonizing, as a general statement. And, of course, there's practically no bonuses left to find, after the first Explore.
- The table and all the statements made here only apply to the stock maps that come with the game. Players can mess with planets and bonuses under the hood and do anything they want, for mod maps. (But it's also entirely possible that they didn't mess with the planet bonus system.)
- Bonuses are not randomly assigned as of the time you scout, colonize, or explore; they are determined at the start of the game, and will be the same if you reload and try exploring again.