Resources are obtained by having a POP on its tile in a colony or by building a specific type of station in space. They can also be produced on a planet by constructing buildings and these stack with already existing resources of the same type. Gathered resources can benefit a planet, a sector or an empire as a whole.
In that way, resources are very important and ought to be quickly scouted, exploited, and developed.
There are two kinds of resources: basic and strategic.
Basic resources are the most important type as they provide the means to expand both geographically, developmentally and technologically. They are gathered and stockpiled on a monthly basis, but not necessarily on the same day. While they all have a stockpile, how that stockpile and the excess is used varies fundamentally between each resource.
Energy credits are the game's currency, backed by an empire's ability to produce energy. Their focus is mostly on Production for Maintenance, rather than storing large amounts. They are mainly used for recurring expenses such as maintenance of buildings, ships, spaceport modules, stations and food replacement for Robots. There is a significant maintenance cost for colony ships and colonies that are being established. Energy credits are also expended as lump-sum payments for other various tasks, such as clearing tile blockers, initiating terraforming (a significant investment, with the cheapest process costing 2000 energy), and building robots.
Finally, they can also act as bargaining chip in trade deals with early empires. However, as empires grow more established, producing and storing larger amounts of energy credits, they can become worthless for trade. However that can make it really cheap to acquire them via trade deals, especially for Minerals.
They can be acquired by building mining stations around celestial bodies, building solar panel networks spaceports and by constructing and upgrading power plants on colonized worlds. They are produced and stored on a sector-by-sector basis as well as empire basis so it is advisable to keep an eye out on a players' energy balance before handing systems away.
It is very important to keep a positive balance as not having enough energy credits will cause a critical resource shortage that reduces the output of minerals, all research, ship and army build speeds, ship shields and weapons damage by half. Additionally, colonies in the process of establishing themselves on new worlds will halt their progress and the output of robotic pops will be reduced by half.
Generally, consistency of energy output is more important than amount, unless active expansion is in process.
Empires can stockpile 5000 energy credits at the start of the game. This cap can be increased by technology (1000 for each ship power source technology, 2000 for each Power Plant technology except the first and last, and 2500 for each Power Hub technology) for a maximum cap of 20000 energy credits.
Minerals is a collective term for all physical, material resources that are used for constructing and upgrading stations and buildings on planets. Minerals are also required for the upkeep of ships and upkeep for population in the form of consumer goods.
They, like energy credits, can be obtained by building mining stations, and by constructing and upgrading mines on the surface of planets and moons. They are also produced and accumulated on a sector-by-sector basis.
Empires can stockpile up to 5000 minerals by default, with mining-related technologies and the Mineral Silo building increasing the limit. Sectors have their own separate stockpiles.
The primary purposes of Minerals is as the raw material for Space and Planetary Construction. Significant lump sum expenses are applied to these projects upon queing them up, wich will then take some time to complete. Here it acts as the primary limiter on expansion and planet development.
Secondly, Minerals also act as a valuable commodity for trade deals, as they are consumed by a significantly wider range of projects than energy credits; there are few times where an otherwise somewhat unattractive trade deal cannot be made attractive to another empire by offering them a modest sum of minerals.
Finally, minerals are used to manufacture consumer goods and maintain ships. Both act as a small but persistent drain especially for large empires. See [Consumer Goods] and [Ship Designer] for details.
It is often important to have a sizable storage, especially so in times of war, in order to better deal with urgent situations and be able to survive production sites being lost or cut off. Not having enough minerals will cause a critical resource shortage that reduces ship armor, army damage, weapons damage and research speed by half. A careful player should decide how many months or years worth of minerals should be kept in storage as a reserve. Minerals production should be pretty much maximized at all times, unless there is energy shortage or the empire has passed the point of saturation and cannot put minerals to use faster.
Each planet grows its own food and can export or import food. Surplus food increases population growth. Likewise, an empire-wide food shortage leads to starvation, which decreases happiness and halts or even regresses pop growth. Existing pops will not die but otherwise should carry on living. Empire food storage can be managed via the empire policies, with the storage limits being 200, 1000 or 5000.
Food can be produced by constructing orbital hydroponic farms on spaceports or by building and upgrading hydroponic farms on the surface. Development of each planet should start with evaluation of potential population growth and planning for enough food production to grow the population to that level and sustain them. Rushing food production in new colonies is a decent initial strategy, once colony reaches its maximum population and production potential in shorter time excessive farms could be replaced with more useful buildings.
Starvation penalties apply once the deficit reaches at least 2; a deficit causes a "starvation" malus of -5% happiness per missing food, stacking. Whilst happiness penalties do not affect food production (to avoid runaway scenarios where unhappy farmers produce less food, and then become even more upset because they aren't farming enough to feed themselves), the happiness penalties can cause significant reductions to all other resource outputs and causes unrest to spike. As such, starvation should be avoided at all costs.
Influence represents political and diplomatic clout. It is used for colonizing planets, enacting or maintaining edicts, conquering primitive civilizations, incorporating vassals, changing government types, recruiting leaders, building (and maintaining) frontier outposts and empire-unique buildings, maintaining defensive pacts and federations, revoking planets from sectors and taking their resources, and dealing with factions. Depending on a players' governing ethos and government type, it is also possible to use it to resettle POPs and influence elections.
It can be gained by declaring rivalries, researching technologies that increase influence output, keeping factions happy, by finishing events or anomalies, having protectorates, adopting the galactic ambitions tradition in the expansion tradition tree (cuts the frontier outpost upkeep by half), building an Empire capital-complex, winning wars using the "Humiliate" and "Stop Atrocity" war goals, and in the case of democratic governments by fulfilling rulers' mandates. It is produced on an empire basis so it doesn't matter if a given system is managed by a sector.
The base cost of colonizing a planet, building a frontier outpost, or attacking a primitive civilization is 30 influence, which is increased the further away the system is from one's existing borders. The "Reach for the Stars" expansion traditions halves the effect of distance on cost.
While not as important as energy credits or minerals in the day-to-day economy, it is nonetheless critical in the long-term strategic sense -- correct application of influence in critical moments may give an empire much needed edge. It is quite vital in the early/mid stages, when building frontier outposts is highly recommended in order to increase an empires' reach and secure additional, potential resources and habitable worlds.
The following table may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.9.
Every empire has a base gain of +1 Unity. Additional unity is generated by buildings, in particular the Planetary Capital building. Research and traditions can add a number of unity generation buildings. Civics and ethics can also affect the unity gain rather drastically.
Stored research works totally differently from other stored resources. Storage can only be acquired from any time spent not working on either an active research topic or by finishing a special projects, including salvage operations. The moment active research does take place, stored research is used to speed up the progress. For every point of research income, an additional point from the storage is used to effectively double the speed. As such research tends towards 0 storage eventually, while still allowing lump sums to be gained and stored.
Research points gained from anomaly investigation and from salvaging debris are added to the stored research pool; research points are not added to the stored research pool when conducting special projects such as debris salvage or genetic modification.
Strategic resources are rare resources that provide an empire-wide modifier boost. To exploit them, they must first be revealed by researching technologies. Usually one location can hold only one strategic resource. The resources do not stack and require only a single item of the resource to get the boost.
They can also be traded with other empires and are valued far more than the common basic resources. Due to their rarity and potency, strategic resources may lead to tensions with envious rival empires, sometimes leading to war in an attempt to acquire them by force.
|Dark matter||Dark Matter Drawing||+20% Physics research||This exotic substance has many properties that seemingly defy the laws of physics. Harvestable concentrations can only be found near Black Holes or in certain nebulas.|
|Engos vapor||Engos Vapor Refining||+5% Habitability||A naturally occurring stimulant that helps all forms of life adapt and evolve.|
|Garanthium ore||Garanthium Mining||+10% Ship hull points||
||This ore can be refined into a metal that is both very malleable and durable. It is an excellent material used for the construction of ships.|
|Living metal||Living Metal Tech||This inorganic metal shows characteristics usually seen only in biological life forms. It will always attempt to regenerate back into the shape it was stabilized into.|
|Lythuric gas||Lythuric Gas Refining||+20% Shield hit points||
||Small concentrations of this gas has been shown to significantly strengthen the integrity of energy force fields. It also has a dulling effect on the minds of creatures exposed to the gas.|
|Muutagan crystals||Trader enclave||+10% Governing ethics attraction||The $guardian.104.name$ are the only group that posses the knowledge of crafting these crystals. If struck, these 'singing' crystals start to vibrate while emitting a unique humming sound. They are often used as musical instruments, and have a calming effect on most beings.|
|Neutronium ore||Neutronium Extraction||+20% Armor||
||Neutronium is a super-dense substance composed of neutrons that can be forged into extremely resistant and durable armor.|
|Orillium ore||Orillium Extraction||+15% Explosive weapon damage||Orillium is a very dense and unstable element that can be used for powerful explosives.|
|Pitharan dust||Pitharan Dust Refining||+10% Food output||This energy-dense fine dust serves as an excellent fertilizer.|
|Riggan spice||Trader enclave||+5% Happiness||The secret methods of extracting and mixing this spice is something that is not known outside the $guardian.103.name$. The spice has a unique flavor and is a popular food ingredient.|
|Satramene gas||Satramene Refining||+10% Government ethics attraction||This gas is a naturally occurring stimulant found on some worlds. It has a calming effect on most beings, and can be used as a non-violent way of pacifying hostile individuals. Its addictive nature is a well-documented side-effect.|
|Teldar crystals||Teldar Crystal Mining||+15% Kinetic weapon damage||
||Extremely durable crystals that enhance the armor-piercing capabilities and destructive potential of projectile weapons.|
|Terraforming gases||Terrestrial Sculpting||−25% Terraforming cost||
||Mined from Gas Giants, Terraforming Gases represents an assortment of gases such as Hydrogen, Helium and Methane. Access to Terraforming Gases will make it easier for us to terraform planets.|
|Terraforming liquids||Terrestrial Sculpting||−25% Terraforming cost||
||Mined from Frozen planets, Terraforming Fluids represents different types of fluids such as dihydrogen monoxide. Access to Terraforming Fluids will make it easier for us to terraform planets.|
|XuraGel||Trader enclave||+5% Habitability||Produced by $guardian.100.name$, this gel claims various positive medicinal effects for creatures living in inhospitable environments.|
|Yurantic crystals||Yurantic Crystal Mining||+15% Energy weapon damage||
||These crystals have rare reflective properties that enhance the power output of energy weapons.|
||An extremely rare aerosol of exotic particles. It has been deposited on a number of worlds through meteor impacts, but its true origin is a mystery. If ingested by psionically-gifted individuals, zro acts as a very potent (and addictive) drug that enhances PSI abilities.|
In addition to the global-modifier resources there are also some local resources which provide a certain boost only to the planet they are on. These resources require the construction of a special building on the resource tile to exploit them.
|Alien Pets||Xeno Zoo building|| +10% Happiness
||These docile non-sentient creatures can easily be domesticated, and their friendly demeanor and appealing looks would make them popular as pets and companions. Xenophiles value them highly and proudly present them in their zoos.|
|Betharian stone||Betharian Power Plant building||+10 Energy credits||These rare stones have been deposited on many worlds through meteor strikes. They burn very slowly and are very efficient energy sources.|