Planet Types Edit

List of Planet TypesEdit

Terran Worlds are lush green worlds with plenty of water and life. They support the largest populations of all planet types, so these are your primary source of tax income. The TEC favor these planets, having research that gives them +30% to their population.

Desert Worlds are dry and sandy, with little water. Although they support less population than Terran worlds, 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 population.

Ice Worlds are cold and desolate, with very little water. 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.

Volcanic Worlds are hellish places rife with volcanoes. Only the hardiest can survive this harsh climate. These planets tend to have more metal than other planet types. The Vasari favor these planets, having research that gives them +30% to their population, though it still comes nowhere near the population of Terran, Desert, and Ice worlds.

Asteroids are rich in resources, but can only support a small mining colony. Tax income is minimal. They have much fewer hit points than planets, and can be easily destroyed by hostile forces.

Dead Asteroids have no resources or logistics slots. They are only used for tactical purposes.

Uncolonizable Gravity Wells (UCGWs) usually have neutral resource extractors which can be captured by Advent and TEC colony ships or Vasari scouts. Their extractors are special: They have a base extraction rate of 0.53 units/second, which effectively gives them an allegiance of 133% (4/3 x 0.40), 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!

Wormholes grant instantaneous two-way travel between a specific pair of wormholes on the map, when Wormhole research is done. Once you have traversed a given wormhole, you can click on either of the connected holes to see where they go. Wormhole gravity wells never contain anything except their hole.

For the record, wormholes do not pass allegiance through their hole. This only matters in unusual maps that have planets on the other side of a wormhole connection, which are not connected to any star system. (One of the large stock maps has planets like this.) All planets on the other side of these connections will be at 25% allegiance, no matter how close the initial wormhole was to your homeworld.

Planet Type StatsEdit







Max Slots Extractors Max Research Increase (+Pop.)
Log. Tac. M C Advent TEC Vasari
Terran World280600024351*1 15% (+42) 30% (+84) 15% (+42)
Desert World190600036351*1* 30% (+57) 15% (+28) -
Ice World16060002035 - 3 - 15% (+24) 15% (+24)
Volcanic World70600020353 - - - 30% (+21)
Asteroid202500122511 - - -
Dead Asteroid02500025 - - - - -

*Starting homeworlds can be Terran or Desert. Terran homeworlds have 2 metal and 1 crystal extractor; Desert homeworlds have 2 metal and 2 crystal. All other Terran and Desert worlds have 1 metal and 1 crystal. On fixed maps, start positions that were not used (when there was less than the maximum players) will have start-world extractor counts and no bonuses (but can have artifacts). Random maps (including ones made with the in-game map designer) always have Terran homeworlds, and only the actual start worlds have 2 metal and 1 crystal (and no bonuses), regardless of whether the maximum number of players were in the game. Note that sometimes you can tell that a player lost their start world, based on the extractor count.

Most of the SoaSE stock maps have Terran start worlds. The ones with Desert starts are: small: Point Blank; medium: Devil's Cauldron, Pandemonium, and Voruk's Labyrinth; large: Grindstone.

Relative to population-increasing research, the TEC clearly benefit the most, and the Vasari benefit the least.

UCGW Extractors Effect
Asteroid Belt (or Field) 1 - Erratic Debris: All Weapons -20% Chance To Hit
Space Junk 1 - -
Gas Giant 1 - Unstable Gas Pockets: Applies 80 damage to 5 ships max

if close to planet (range 750); can happen up to two times

Magnetic Cloud - - Magnetic Cloud: Disables Abilities for ships with antimatter
Plasma Storm - 1 Plasma Storm: Disables squadron launch (seems to be broken)

Note: The number of extractors at planets and UCGWs decreased with version 1.03. To see 1.02 numbers, look at this old version of this page. Also remember, these numbers only apply to regular SoaSE maps. Mod maps might be entirely different.

Planet Bonuses Edit

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.

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.) More precisely, if you divide the total number of bonuses found by the total number of planets that could've had bonuses, it should average 40% across a large number of games. 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
On Scouting
Dense Molten CoreXX- X - -Gravity Well Radius +33%-
Porous CoreXXX-XXGravity Well Radius -33%-
Scouting or Colonizing
Caustic Atmosphere---X--Population -15Upgrade Build Cost +20%
Persistent Dust Storms-X----Population Growth -25%-
On Colonizing
Expert Agrarian SocietyX-----Trade Income +10%-
Ionic Storms---X--Population -20Trade Income +10%
Mega Fauna--X---Population -15Trade Income +25%
Natural Thermal Lift-X-X--Structure Build Rate +25%-
Plundered Booty------Tax Income +3.5-
Weapons Test Facility-X-X--Population -20Tactical Slots +8
Colonizing or first Explore Planet
Habitable Cavern System-XXX--Population +15Planet Health +500
High Security ProtocolXXXX--Tactical Slots +5Trade Income -20%
Massive Pure GlaciersX-X---Trade Income +30%-
Penal Colony---XXXStructure Build Cost -20%Structure Build Rate -30%
Space Ponies!------Space Ponies +99-
Tundra Farms--X---Population +25-
On first Explore Planet
Entertainment Hub-XX---Culture Spread +10%Tax Income +1.0
Expert Crystal Miners-X--X-Crystal Income +50%-
Expert Metal Miners---XX-Metal Income +50%-
Roiders Outpost----XXMetal Income +20%Constructors +1
Spice TradeXX----Culture Spread +5%Trade Income +10%
First Explore Planet or second Explore Planet
Kalanite Deposits---XX-Trade Income +20%-
Pharmaceutical FloraX-----Trade Income +20%Population Growth +20%
Odds of Getting a Particular Bonus, by Planet Type
Count of Bonusses71071063 for each planet type
Likelihood 5.71%4.00%5.71%4.00%6.67%13.3% of getting a particular bonus (1/Count * .4)

Bonuses, if present, are revealed at particular levels of exploration, from Scouting to the second Explore Planet. For example, you'll always see whether a planet has a Dense Molten Core (High Gravity) or Porous Core (Low Gravity) just by scouting a system. You'll always see Expert Agrarian, Ionic Storms, or Mega Fauna when you colonize. But you might see Caustic Atmosphere when you scout, or when you colonize (at the latest). Et cetera. The above table was tested across 6 games; 98 bonuses were found on 213 planets that could've had bonuses (98/213 = 46%; range of 32% to 71% across the 6 games). The types of bonuses were found to be fairly randomly distributed across what was available for a given type of planet, as expected. For example, the 6 types of Asteroid bonuses were found from 4 to 7 times.

Is it worth it?Edit

A simple rule of thumb is that you have a 5% chance (1 in 20) of finding any particular bonus. This is derived from the fact that there's a 40% chance of one of the bonuses being selected, and there are about 8 bonuses for each planet type. If you like, you can turn this around mentally versus the cost of Exploring, and multiply the Explore cost by 20. Is that cost worth the benefit of the bonus? Most bonuses don't seem worth it, except perhaps in extremely entrenched games.

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 (~5%) chance of getting what's only a 20% bonus. Conversely, Trade Ports are 800$ 100m 175c with a guaranteed 100% increase in trade income. So, you might do an Explore 2 to search for an Artifact - but it doesn't seem worth it for bonuses alone.

Although most bonuses are a plus, many are arguably marginal. (Remember that Trade bonuses only matter if you have Trading Ports there!) One stands out, though: Expert Metal Miners on a Volcano planet. Volcanic worlds will have 3 metal asteroids, so it's like getting 1.5 more metal extractors. Too bad there's no Expert Crystal Miner for Ice Worlds!

For a focus on trade-income bonuses, see Trade Ports.

Miscellaneous NotesEdit

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:

  • Bonuses are randomly chosen from the table above, for the applicable planet type. They are determined at the start of the game, and will be the same if you reload and try exploring again.
  • There can only be two bonuses on a planet at most, so don't Explore for more if you've got two.
  • There are never bonuses on starting homeworlds. This is true even if the start position was not used (if you don't have the max number of players). In version 1.03, you can tell Start worlds by their extractors (2 metal and 1 crystal).
  • Pirate Bases will only ever have the Plundered Booty bonus.
  • Dead Asteroids are pretty worthless for bonuses. Porous Core is seen by scouting, and there aren't any extractors for Roiders to affect. The only other bonus is a Penal Colony - but Dead Asteroids can't have any logistical structures for it to help.
  • 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, Explore 2 is extremely iffy (for bonuses, not Artifacts).
  • The description for Penal Colony might not be clear (does the red mean bad, or negative?): It reduces the cost of structures 20%, but increases the time to make them. For the record, it does not reduce the cost to 80% - it divides the cost by 1.2, which actually makes the cost 83% (5/6) of normal price.
  • 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.)
  • Re: Space Ponies, see this page's Discussion tab.

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