Colonization is a principle game mechanic of the Space Stage of Spore. In order for the player to produce spice to sell for money, expand their territory, gain strength and health bonuses, defend themselves more easily and generally succeed and progress with the stage, then they must colonize other planets and star systems. Colonies share the same function as cities in the Civilization stage and the cities on a homeplanet. The player can place Houses, Entertainment buildings and Factories down in the colony in order for it to contribute to the growth of their empire. All colonies have a City Hall. The only difference between colonies and cities is cosmetic: colonies have high metal rings around them whilst cities have simpler walls, and also have different turrets.
In order for a player to colonize a planet, there are several factors that depend on whether the planet can be colonized or whether it is worth the money or time.
- Planets claimed by another Empire (Not permanent, may be colonized after original empire has been removed)
- Planets that have a Civilization stage species residing on them (Again not permanent, may be colonized after original civilizations have been removed)
- Planets that have a Tribal stage species residing on them (Same as above only require more time to destroy every tribe on the planet)
- Planets housed by other game saves
- Gas Giants
- Planets that do not have any Spice Geysers.
Planets Unsuitable for Colonization
- Category 0 Planets (T-0 Planets, colonies may be placed here, but you cannot put buildings on them. However, they are useful for refueling/repairing and selling goods)
- Planets with a blue or red orbit, rather than a green one. These planets are either too close or far away from the star, and thus more difficult to terraform.
Planets Suitable for Colonization
- Planets with a green orbit, leaving a green trail, inside 'The Goldilocks Zone'
- Category 1 Planets (T-1 Planets)
- Category 2 Planets (T-2 Planets)
Planets Ideal for Colonization
- Category 3 Planets (T-3 Planets)
- Homeworlds (Homeworlds will be occupied 100% of the time, therefore they must be captured or purchased. However, if an empire is destroyed off a homeworld, they become ideal choices for colonies)
- Planets with Blue, Green, Pink or Purple Spice Geysers (These are high Value Spice colours)
Planets can be colonized with the Colony Incredi-Pak tool, which is an 'ammunition' tool- it is used in numbers and individual packs must be purchased from a space-faring species. Incredi-Paks can only be placed on land and relatively near a spice geyser, although they cannot be placed to close to a spice geyser or another colony either. They are not restricted by terrain roughness or height as they flatten the terrain they are placed on. The state of the colony will be determined by the terrascore of the planet, as well as its terra state. A T0 planet will have an atmospheric shield bubble over it that protects inhabitants from a lack of atmosphere, an excess of atmosphere, a very low temperature or a very high temperature. A bubble shield will cover the colony if the dot on the Terraforming HUD (in the bottom left of the screen when on planet- switches between itself and the minimap) is outside any of the rings that make up the circle in the center. Once a planet has been colonized, the player can enter the City Planner like in the Civilization Stage and edit the colony. Here buildings, vehicles, decorations, national anthems and the colonist outfit can all be changed. Buildings can also be placed down to increase the happiness of the colony and/or increase spice production.