It is the process of making an uninhabitable planet habitable, as well as changing the overall geographic structure of a planet. There are a variety of tools available for this, which are separated into single-use and energy using tools. When terraforming, there are four T-scores which represent the ability of the planet to sustain life. T0 planets cannot support life until at least T1 is reached, thereon more abilities are available when upgrading the TerraScore of each planet. The homeworld of each playable species is always T3. Note however, making the planet T3 does not take your city limit there to 10, this is only available homeworlds.
Here are the uses/motivations of using the terraforming tools:
Although not really terraforming, it is one of the motivations for terraforming.
Most planets put out a certain color of spice. Place efficient cities to get the most spice from a world.
Note that one can purchase single-use tools that can be placed on a planet to reduce the occurrence of biological disasters, as well as to protect abducted species. See Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Relation Bonus
Terraforming a planet where a space age creature already is living will give the player a Relation bonus with the notable exception that the Grox consider this an act of war, as they can only live on T0 planets. This bonus can be positive or negative, depending on whether the T-score is being improved or degraded. The exact figure is dependent on the empire's archetype. Ecologists, for example, are more affected by terraforming than Warriors.
- As a Weapon
The multi-use tools such as the heat ray can be effective weapons against enemy home-worlds. If you are not particularly concerned about capturing the planet, simply flying around and avoiding fire whilst aiming the heat ray (or any other multi-use tool) at the planet will quickly lower the T-score to 0 an thus eliminate all but one of the settlements, allowing for an easy victory. It is far less costly than a planet buster and comes with none of the relationship consequences of the WMDs. Any of the multi-use tools work, although melting a planet does carry a satisfying shock-and-awe value. When you know that the planet is de-terraformed then it will say "Something has died out" in the message box, this is also great at getting rid of tribes and civilizations in order to conquer more planets , watch out however, using this on a space inhabited planet will probably turn the race against you, if it doesn't, taking over their planet probably will. however it is also possible to use terraforming tools as a physical weapon such as calling a meteor on top of a hostile city will not only affect the terra-score but also damage the city itself
Each planet has a Score of T0, T1, T2 or T3. This affects how many cities you can build, and how many forms of life can reside here.
- T0 - This is a barren world with no life and often no atmosphere.
- All cities have atmospheric shields
- Natural hazards, such as electric storms or fountains of lava
- 1 city, cannot build beyond City Hall
Note: The Grox can only survive on T-0 planets, and they can build up to 3 cities on one, with buildings, turrets and vehicles.
- T1 - Basically inhabited planet with:
- 1 Species small, medium, and large plant
- 2 Herbivores
- 1 Carnivore/Omnivore
- A balanced atmosphere
- A reasonable Temperature
- 1 city, minimal civilian structures and turrets.
- T2 - A moderately inhabited world
- 2 species of each plant
- 4 Species of herbivores
- 2 species of carnivores/omnivores
- A very nice temperature
- A good balanced atmosphere
- 2 cities, able to fill all build sites on each city, or all the turrets and anything in between.
- T3 - A perfect world.
- 3 species of each size of plant
- 6 species of herbivores
- 3 species of carnivores/omnivores
- Perfect atmosphere density
- Perfect temperature
- 3 cities (or up to 10 in the case of a home-system), with full building capabilities
T1 to T3 planets are often already inhabited (but not necessarily with a complete ecosystem). If a sapient lifeform inhabits any planet in a system, then no planets in that system can be colonized by a different species.
Any creature at or above tribal stage blocks colonization of a system. Destroying every city or village of a planet in tribal or civilization stage makes it possible to colonize, but every single city must be destroyed, which is time-consuming in the Tribal stage where many villages dot the map, making the Gravitation Wave Superpower very useful. It's possible to "de-terraform" a planet to T0 and then re-terraform it, but this takes significantly more money and/or energy than just destroying cities.If you de-terraform a planet with cities in civilization stage,the cities cannot survive without a shield.
Races in the Space stage will fight back if they are attacked as usual, and cities in the Civilization stage can fire at the player with their turrets (if they have them) and do some damage.
There are 2 main kinds of tools, single-use and re-usable. Re-usable tools consume energy and typically have a longer cast time. Further these tools can be divided into 3 more groups:
- Life Affecting: Change atmosphere and heat for life to exist. These tools can be used as weapons, destroying the atmosphere to kill off an enemy.
- Terrain Forming: Change land by adding mountains, lakes, craters etc. They can be used to help planetary land or sea vehicles reach a spice geyser. Using these tools on an inhabited npc planet will anger the local empires and sometimes cause them to open fire the the player's ship.
- Coloring: Change the color of the oceans, land, and the sky. These will also anger local empires.
- Atmosphere Generator: Place on a planet to raise its atmosphere level.
- Ice Storm: Place on the planet to lower its temperature.
- Meteor Shower: Use to hurl meteors at a planet to raise its temperature.
- Drought Generator: Place on a planet to lower the atmosphere level.
- Asteroid Call Button: Raise temperature, Lower Atmosphere.
- Atmosphere Freezer: Lower temperature, Lower Atmosphere.
- Volcano: Raise temperature, Raise atmosphere.
- Ice Comet: Lower temperature, Raise atmosphere.
- Refrigeration Ray: Cools planet
- Cloud Accumulator: Use on a planet to raise its atmosphere level.
- Cloud Vacuum: Use on a planet to lower it atmosphere level.
- Heat Ray: Use on a planet to raise the temperature.
- Hot Cloud Vacuum: Raise temperature, Lower atmosphere.
- Cold Cloud Vacuum: Lower temperature, Lower atmosphere.
- Hot Cloud Seeder: Raise temperature, Raise atmosphere
- Air Conditioning: Lower temperature, Raise atmosphere
In addition, there is the Staff of Life, which rapidly turns a planet’s T0 score to T3 and even fills the ecosystem. However it is limited to 42 uses and is not easy to obtain.
The quickest way to obtain all terraforming tools is to collect the Empire 5 badge. However you can also collect the Missionista 4 badge to earn access to all single use tools. The multiuse tools can then be obtained by earning the Terra-Wrangler 5 badge.
Changing T-ScoreEditThere are 2 factors that determine the T-Score of a planet. Atmospheric Density and Temperature. The levels of each can be found in the Terraforming/Minimap section on the bottom left of the screen while on a planet. The goal is to use your terraforming tools to bring the red dot to the center of the "bullseye." The T-Scores are represented by concentric rings, with the outer grey ring being T0, then T1, then T2, and at the center is T3. Vertical movement represents a change in atmospheric density, while horizontal movement is temperature change. It is also important to introduce plants and animals stabilize the T-Score. To de-terraform a planet, use your tools to bring the red dot away from the center of the bullseye.
- There is a prototyped set of tools designed to create planets and similar objects that did not make it into the final game. For more information, see Galactic editor. The Spore Galactic Adventures expansion pack includes a planet creator with the Adventure creator, to edit the terrain where the adventure will take place. However, there's no planet creation for normal planets nor a planetary editor.
- If you so happen to find an unused "Saved Game" T3 planet and terraform it to T2 or below, the saved game will disappear off the main menu, as it is now uninhabitable.