Food appears in the Cell, Creature and Tribal stages and plays a different role in each as a resource that needs to be constantly collected. Food is not a resource in the Civilization or Space stages, instead being replaced by Sporebucks.
In Cell Stage, food is required to acquire DNA Points to purchase new parts and fill the progress bar. Eating food will also restore some health (1/4 on easy difficulty, 1/8 on medium/hard). There are 5 sources of food:
- Meat chunks, which are found lying around or appearing after a cell dies and is broken apart. Meat Chunks can only be eaten by cells with a Jaw mouth.
- Green plant matter can be found in single chunks or as part of a larger plant. It can be consumed by a Filter Mouth or Proboscis.
- A live cell's innards can be fed on by a Proboscis up to 3 times before killing the cell, which is an alternative to attacking the cell until it breaks down into meat chunks.
- Smaller "prey" cells can be eaten whole with either a Jaw or fed on with the Proboscis mouth and are equivalent to a meat chunk. However, eating prey-sized Juniors will never grant DNA points.
- Eggs, which are obtained by either waiting for a Maa to lay them naturally or by killing one, which will always lay eggs afterwards. These eggs can be consumed by any cell mouth. These eggs will hatch into Juniors after a short while which then try to attack you.
Food is found in two varieties in the Creature Stage, meat and fruit. Food must be constantly eaten to keep the hunger bar full and prevent dying from starvation. Herbivores can only eat the fruit on bushes or small trees and carnivores can only eat meat from corpses or eggs, while omnivores can eat both. Fruit on small trees cannot be reached unless the creature is tall enough and has arms, or by throwing something to knock the fruit down. Eating eggs will anger the creatures they belong to and immediately make the species hostile to you, and all eggs from a species will crack open and disappear if said species is made extinct.
If the player creature's hunger bar completely depletes, they will begin to starve and slowly lose health until they die. A newly hatched player creature will always have a full hunger bar. Eating the wrong kind of food will cause a player creature to become sick and vomit the food back out, resulting in no hunger replenished.
In Tribal Stage, food is used as currency to purchase new tools (through tool huts), create new tribe members, domesticate wild creatures and give gifts to other tribes to increase relations. The type of food available to a tribe is dependent on their diet: herbivores can only acquire and eat fruit or seaweed, carnivores can only eat meat, fish and eggs; while omnivores can eat and harvest any type of food.
Food is divided into 4 main groups:
- Fruit can be picked from shrubs or small trees that bear it. If player uses a member with a gathering stick or chieftain, it will hit the plant and will drop its fruit down. This causes more food to be gained from that tree.
- Meat is harvested from the corpses of creatures. Apart from hunting regular creatures, epic creatures can be killed for a sizable food reward of 100-300 food.
- Eggs are occasionally laid by domesticated animals, and will appear in the 'egg box' on the edge of the pet pen, or can be stolen from wild creatures' nests.
- Fish or Seaweed is acquired by fishing at a designated fishing spot along the coast, shown by rippling waves at a coastal body or water, or by a small fish icon on the minimap. Herbivores will harvest seaweed, while Omnivores and Carnivores will catch fish.
There are several tools which make the acquisition of food easier:
- The Chieftain's Staff provides a universal bonus to collecting food of any type, acting as a combined stone axe, gathering cane and fishing spear, but is limited to the chieftain only.
- Stone Axes and Throwing Spears assist in the collection of meat from corpses or fishing. Axemen or spearmen will make use of their tools when butchering corpses or fishing (respectively).
- Gathering Canes greatly improve the yield from gathering fruit, which the tribe member uses to smash fruit off of a plant, allowing them to pick up larger amounts of fruit in each handful, by picking them up off of the ground.
- Fishing Spears allow tribe members to catch more fish or seaweed in one go. This spear works in a similar way to the Gathering Cane in that it allows food to be gathered in larger quantities over a period of time, as opposed to making the animation faster.
Certain clothing parts in the Tribal Outfitter can increase a tribe member's yield by 1 point per level in gathering, up to a maximum of 10 units per harvest (from 5 units without any gathering level).
Food can be stolen from non-allied, neighboring tribes. To do this, change the tribe members into the 'attack' setting, and then click on the target tribe's food pile when a 'bandit-mask' mouse icon appears. Tribe members will then take food from the other tribe's stockpile and bring it back. Stolen food appears in a swag bag style object when held or on the ground. Stealing has a negative impact on tribal relations and will provoke an attack from any members of the target tribe who witness the thief in the act of stealing. Tribe members with the Sneak creature ability will have a greater chance of success.
Hostile neighboring tribes or scavenging creatures will attempt to steal food from an abundant player's stockpile when no adult tribe members are present. If this happens, a message will appear on-screen ahead of time to warn the player. If a tribe member is near the food stockpile when a thief appears, they will attack the thief in retaliation. If the thief is killed, a tribe member will attempt to reclaim the stolen food. Additionally, babies near the stockpile may also get attacked by the thief and will be panicked. Scavenging creatures will become a source of meat if killed.
Food can be looted from pillaged villages after the main hut has been destroyed as an alternative to stealing the food. It is functionally identical to harvesting the food from any other resource, but can be harvested regardless of the tribe's diet.
Food can also be occasionally acquired through gifts of 10 units from allied tribes. When an allied tribe is coming to offer a gift, a message will appear notifying the player of the occasion, and if a tribe member is present when the gift giver arrives, they will accept the gift and add it to the stockpile. If no-one is there, the gift giver will leave the gift there until it is picked up, although this leaves it vulnerable to thieves and scavenging creatures. A gift-giving tribe member will emit flowers while music plays in the background.
There are numerous variety of foods in Spore Creatures and much deeper than any other Spore game in the series and the original. It contains fruits such as Grapes, Melons, Bananas, etc, meat sizes from the killed specific creature, and flowers that replenishes energy exponentially. Generally, foods will replenish Health and Energy when consumed, and the higher metabolism stat from mouths will replenish Food and Energy more drastically. However, if the creature eats the food that doesn't reflect their diet, they are temporarily forced to vomit on the ground still, become sick and lose each health point by 1 per second, and, simultaneously, the sign of crossed food of the food type will appear at the left side corner of the screen.
The player can also pick up the food and throw anywhere, especially near the creatures that distract them and let them consume the thrown food. This can be useful for creatures who want to build a relationship between one of the creatures, especially with the hostile species, though it can be often clunky with them.
Spore Hero Arena
In Spore Hero Arena, there are two different ways to get food on Spore Hero Arena: attacking bugs or punching flora. Food is used to heal the creature's half of health. Sources of food are limited to Spore creatures with certain mouths (which denotes a specific diet) unless the player's creature is an omnivore, which allows the player's creature to eat any type of food (though creature won't gain as much health from it).
- In Spore Hero Arena, it is recommended that herbivores punch fruit flora to obtain food; likewise, carnivores should attack bugs as a food source. Otherwise, one runs the potential of spitting out what they consume.
- In Tribal Stage, instead of hunting an epic creature traditionally, a good idea might be to become opportunistic and wait until an epic creature attacks another tribe, and the tribe manages to nearly kill it. Then all the tribe members should be sent to forage food from its corpse. Yet another way to kill an epic, which is considered a cheat by some, is to use the Traps consequence trait. A trap will 1-hit-KO any creature, including an epic.
- It is theoretically possible to complete the Creature Stage without eating any food (ignoring the initial tutorial meal), as the player can simply refill their hunger by mating and hatching as a new member of the species.