Terraforming is a process in Spore, in the Space Stage. Terraforming is the process of making an uninhabitable planet habitable (or vice versa), as well as changing the overall geographic structure of a planet. Terraforming is required for a species to inhabit a planet with more than a barren city installed.
There are a variety of tools available for this process, which are separated into single-use and energy-consuming tools. When terraforming, there are four T-scores that represent the ability of the planet to sustain life. T0 planets cannot support regular life and must be converted to at least T1 to support life, and further abilities are available when upgrading the Terrascore past T1. The homeworld of each playable species is always T3. Upgrading a T1 planet to T2 and T3 will increase the number of cities available to build to two and three respectively. Note that terraforming the planet T3 does not take cities limit there to 10, this is only available to homeworlds.
There are the uses/motivations of using the terraforming tools:
Although not really terraforming, it is one of the motivations for terraforming. Almost all planets have a certain color of Spice. Place efficient cities to get the most Spice from the 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.
Terraforming a planet where the empire 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 homeworlds. Without the concern 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 and 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. When the planet is de-terraformed, the message will pop up to say "Something has died out" in the message box. This process can be also done to rid of tribes and civilizations in order to conquer more planets, meanwhile using this on an empire's colonized planet will decrease relationships.
Each planet has a Score of T0, T1, T2, or T3. This affects how many cities the player can build, and how many forms of life can reside here.
- T0 - This is a barren world with no life and often no atmosphere. Such a world is not suitable for the average species to inhabit.
- All cities have atmospheric shields
- Natural hazards, such as electric storms or fountains of lava
- 1 city, cannot build beyond City Hall
- The Grox can only survive on T-0 planets, and they can build up to 3 cities on one, with buildings, turrets, and vehicles similar to a regular species' T3 planet.
- T1 - A world with sub-par conditions for inhabiting, with:
- 1 species of the small, medium, and large plant each
- 2 species of herbivores
- 1 carnivore or omnivore species
- A balanced atmosphere
- A reasonable temperature
- 1 city, minimal civilian structures and turrets
- T2 - An inhabited world with good enough living conditions, with:
- 2 species of each size of the plant
- 4 species of herbivores
- 2 species of carnivores/omnivores
- A very nice temperature
- A well balanced atmosphere
- 2 cities, able to fill all build sites on each city, or all the turrets, or a smaller mix of anything in between
- T3 - A perfectly inhabitable world, with:
- 3 species of each size of the 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, including the ability to fill all build sites and turrets in the same city
T1 to T3 planets are often already inhabited (but not necessarily with a complete ecosystem). If a sentient 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 the Tribal or Civilization Stage will allow 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. When de-terraform a planet with cities in the Civilization Stage, the cities cannot survive without a shield.
Empires 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 reusable. 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 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 the temperature, Raise atmosphere
- Air Conditioning: Lower temperature, Raise the 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, the player 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.
There 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 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. The vertical movement represents a change in atmospheric density, while horizontal movement is a temperature change. It is also important to introduce plants and animals to stabilize the T-Score. To de-terraform a planet, tools must be used 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.
- If you increased the planet's terrascore to T1 T2 or T3 you can lock it by quitting to main menu and re-enter, and the dot will remain locked and the terrascore won't decrease no matter if there are plants or not.