The Sporepedia is essentially a heads-up-display, cataloging all stars/star systems, planets, creatures, buildings, vehicles and flora you have discovered. It has the look and feel of a pack of cards, with the name of the content in the top, an image and general stats for the represented content, and the name of the creator in the bottom. The player is also able to ban any content that they deem unsuitable (such as Sporn).
In all stages except space you can obtain cards by simply clicking on the content. In the Space Stage, a technology called Scan must be used to gain the Sporepedia information on all content except planets. In the space stage, the card for a creature or plant can also be uploaded when you abduct it with your spaceship's Abduction Beam. Another way to add new things to the Sporepedia is to save resources from the Sporepedia then drag and drop them into the creature editor. The game will also automatically download brand new content occasionally.
There are several types of cards, each representing a different kind of content.
- Sporepedia card
This is the top card, which does not hold any information by itself, but provides access to all the content currently in your database. For example, it is possible to list all planets you have encountered, or all the creatures in the database.
- Planet card
This card represents a planet. Clicking on the three dotted button (the classic Maxis options button) below the planet's image reveals a 3-D rotating image of the planet next to a star. There is a button in the corner that looks like a compass. Pressing this button will put a tracking marker on the planet and its star. In the place on the card where the creator's name usually is, the name of the star can be seen. If the planet is inhabited by a tribe, civilization or space empire, the correct buildings show up on accordingly on the image, as well as any changes the player has made to the planet using Planet Sculpting or terraforming.
- Creature card
Shows information about a creature. The information shown are icons to represent the stats being imaged and numbers next to the icon to show the level of the abilities. There is an image for its diet, whether carnivore (Piece of half-eaten chicken), herbivore (An apple with a bite out of it) or omnivore. (Both images together). There are also stats for attack abilities, social abilities, general abilities such as sight and gliding, along with speed and and health levels.
Once you have a creature in the Sporepedia, you can duplicate/edit it in the creature editor.
- Flora card
Shows the image of a plant. Plants can only be downloaded into the in-game database through scanning, which is a technology that can only be obtained during the space stage. Or if you, the player, have found out about the flora editor, you can make your flora and it will appear in the Sporepedia!
- Vehicle card
Shows information about a vehicle, such as health, strength and speed in a percentage bar in the upper corner of the card.
- Building card
A tag is a descriptor added to a creature to help differentiate it in searches on the Sporepedia. The word can also be used as a verb, as to tag one's creature. Thoughtful tagging makes searches more productive for the entire community. In addition, tags are expected to play a major role in the full Spore game's filtering process.
When a creature is created, it can be given a name, a description, and tags which should be separated by a comma. Only the name is mandatory for the creature to be saved.
Prior to the release of the full Spore game, tagging only affects Sporepedia searches. However, it is expected users will be able to set their game to filter imported creatures by checking for specific tags. As such, it is important to include relevant tags so that creatures can be properly identified.
Note when tagging that currently the Sporepedia search function cannot search for phrases (i.e. "under the bed"); rather, it searches individual words (the query "under the bed" would return all creatures with "under," "the," and "bed" in the tags, name, and description).
In an effort to make searches easier, the Spore community is currently in the process of standardizing useful tags to include on a creature. Although only followed by a small percentage of the community, it is considered good etiquette to tag a creature at a minimum according to the following attributes:
- carnivore-Eats Meat
- herbivore-Eats Plants
- omnivore-Eats Meat/Plants
- 1. uniped/monopod-1 Legged
- 2. biped/dipod-2 Legs
- 3. triped/tripod-3 Legs
- 4. quadruped/tetrapod-4 Legs
- 5. quintuped/pentapod-5 Legs
- 6. sexaped/hexapod-6 Legs
- 7. septuaped/heptapod-7 Legs
- 8. octoped/octopod-8 Legs
- level of realism
- real/realistic (suggests that the creature is based off an actual Earth animal)
- plausible/possible (suggests that the creature is plausible in anatomy, though it is not based off any real creature)
- unrealistic (for creatures which have no basis in reality - many "fun" or many-legged creatures fall into this category)
In addition, it is helpful to other users to include the following tags if they apply:
- fan art/tribute
There are also special tags that can be put on your creature, such as the "Gaprop" tag, and the archetypes listed on this page: http://www.spore.com/comm/tutorials/archetypes
By inserting the tags on the Spore Archetypes page, you could set your creatures (for Tribal and Creature game) to spawn as something more specific as long as they follow the criteria of those archetypes.
- The Target Creatures are Red and usually resemble Target animals featured in ads. (e.g. Moose)