Celestial body

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This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.

A celestial body is a star, planet, moon or asteroid present in a star system. Celestial bodies may have resources which can be harvested by orbital stations. Each start system can have between 2 and 15 celestial bodies.

When any owned ship enters a system or passes within its sensor range, any habitable planets in the system will be revealed along with their world type. To see further details about the celestial bodies in a system, it is necessary to survey them with a science ship. This will reveal all of the orbital resources associated with each planet or asteroid. For habitable worlds, this will also reveal more detailed world information including: size, available districts, planetary features and blockers (if any), and the habitability for each species in the player's empire. Additionally, surveying worlds has a chance to reveal anomalies.

Planet size

The Planet Size.png planet size determines the visual size of a planet and the maximum number of districts the planet can support if it's habitable. Planets can have various sizes, but habitable ones will always be within the following margins:

  • Planets have a size between 12 and 25
  • Moons have a size between 10 and 15
  • Homeworlds have a size between 18 and 21, unless otherwise determined by the empire's origin.

Planet capacity

World Type Mod planet carry cap add.png Planet capacity
Planet nuked.png Tomb World
  • Planet ai.png Machine World
  • Planet habitat.png Habitat
Planet nuked.png Relic World
  • All regular habitable planets
Planet gaia.png Gaia World
  • Planet city.png Ecumenopolis
  • Planet infested.png Hive World
  • Planet ringworld.png Ringworld

Each colony has a Mod planet carry cap add.png Planet capacity, which determines the logistic pop growth bonus or malus from Pop.png pops. There are three sources of planet capacity:

  1. Housing.png Housing: Each unit of unused Housing.png housing provides Mod planet carry cap add.png +1 planet capacity.
  2. District.png Districts: Free district slots will grant planet capacity depending on the world type (see table). Clearing Tile Blocker.png tile blockers increases planet capacity. Building districts can alter planet capacity, depending on whether the housing bonus is higher or lower than the capacity bonus of the undeveloped district.
  3. Pop.png Pops: Every pop provides Mod planet carry cap add.png +1 planet capacity, but also uses housing. Therfore, only pops with Pop housing usage pop housing usage modifiers affect planet capacity, e.g. every pop with the Communal.png communal trait (and no other modifiers) provides Mod planet carry cap add.png +0.1 planet capacity in total.

A more static perspective would be from the point of view of total housing:

Mod planet carry cap add.png Planet capacity is capped at 500.

Habitable planets

Habitable planets are the only natural celestial bodies that can be colonized and terraformed, without the Pm planet from space.pngPm frame 1.png Terraforming Candidate planet modifier. There are nine types of regular habitable planets, divided equally into three climate categories: Dry, Frozen and Wet. Each type's Mod habitability.png base habitability for a given species depends on how closely it matches a species' homeworld: in general, a species will have 80% habitability for planets of the same type, 60% habitability for planets of the same climate category, and 20% habitability for every other climate category and type. Finally, these habitability values can be both increased and decreased species-wide by certain traits and for a given planet by certain planetary features and planetary modifiers.

A planet's type also affects the set of possible planetary features and blockers it may have. Each of the three climate categories has a slight bias towards different resources when it comes to planetary features; Dry worlds (Desert, Arid and Savanna) are somewhat more weighted towards Energy.png Energy deposits, Frozen worlds (Arctic, Tundra and Alpine) are somewhat more weighted towards Minerals.png Minerals deposits and Wet worlds (Tropical, Ocean and Continental) are somewhat more weighted towards Food.png Food deposits. Continental worlds in particular stand out, as they have a much stronger bias in favour of their preferred resource than the other types.

Type Climate Description
Planet arid.png Arid Dry Dry, rocky world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. The dust-covered terrain consists largely of mesas and canyons. Forests can be found in the more temperate polar regions, but vegetation is otherwise scarce.
Planet desert.png Desert Dry Dry, rocky world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. Precipitation and major bodies of surface water are relatively rare. Significant temperature variations between day and night cycles. Vegetation is scarce, but even moderate precipitation can make the desert bloom.
Planet savannah.png Savanna Dry Rocky world dominated by dry, arid plains covered by a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. The small hydrosphere allows for brief wet seasons, but aside from a few ubiquitous grasses vegetation is largely concentrated around shallow oases.
Planet alpine.png Alpine Frozen Mountainous world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. Snow covers the mountaintops and frozen-over lakes dot the valleys. While the planet experiences the minimal seasonal variations, the still-liquid water beneath the frozen surface of the lakes is enough to sustain some hardy vegetation.
Planet arctic.png Arctic Frozen Frigid, rocky world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. The poles are big, and significant water deposits can be found permanently frozen as glacial ice. However, the planet experiences seasonal variations and the equatorial band is covered by vegetation.
Planet tundra.png Tundra Frozen Cold and rocky world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. Permafrost covers most of the surface except for the more temperate equatorial regions. A stable biosphere exists but vegetation is mostly limited to mosses and lichens.
Planet continental.png Continental Wet Rocky world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. Active and stable hydrosphere. Great landmasses are separated by oceans, with large climate variations depending on latitude and precipitation.
Planet ocean.png Ocean Wet Rocky world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere and a significant hydrosphere. Oceans cover more than 90% of the surface, with scattered islands making up the remaining percentage.
Planet tropical.png Tropical Wet Humid, rocky world with a thick nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. Seasons with significant precipitation are interchanged with drier periods. Most landmasses are covered in dense vegetation.

Special habitable planets

Special habitable planets are only spawned in certain systems, but any empire that meets the requirements can terraform a regular habitable world into a special one. Certain origins use one of these as the empire's homeworld. All of them have either very high or zero habitability, and most of them feature fixed habitability, meaning that habitability cannot be increased or decreased by effects such as traits. These planets feature their own set of rules regarding planetary features which are distinct from the regular habitable planets; Gaia worlds are biased towards spawning the highest-tier resource deposits, Relic worlds have their own set of unique planetary features and the other three (Ecumenopolis worlds, Hive worlds and Machine worlds) will remove all planetary features upon creation.

In addition to regular Terraform planet 2.png terraforming, some worlds can be terraformed by decisions such as Restore Ecumenopolis or Repair the Shattered Ring.

Type Origin Homeworld Terraform planet 2.png Terraforming methods Effects Notes
Planet gaia.png Gaia Origins life seeded.png Life-Seeded
  • Mod habitability.png 100% Habitability
  • Mod pop happiness.png +10% Biological pop happiness
  • Mod pop happiness.png +10% Lithoid pop happiness
  • Mod pop resource output.png +10% Resources from jobs
  • Mod planet immigration pull mult.png +50% Automatic Resettlement Destination Chance
  • Gaia Worlds tend to have positive modifiers and no negative ones. Most DLCs add at least one system with a Gaia world, but a few can be found in all versions:
  • A system called Wenkwort will always spawn in the galaxy. It contains a size 19 Gaia world called Wenkwort Artem with the unique Wenkwort Gardens modifier.
  • A size 25 Gaia world called Zanaam will occasionally spawn in a galaxy. It is defended by the Guardians of Zanaam.
  • Four Gaia worlds with special names - Prophets Retreat, Walled Garden, Emerald Mausoleum, Pristine Jewel - border the systems of the Holy Guardians. They have the Pm consecrated worlds.pngPm frame 3.png Holy World modifier and colonizing them will incur their ire. Destroying them will even awaken the Fallen Empire.
Planet nuked.png Tomb Origins post apocalyptic.png Post-Apocalyptic
  • Bombardment armageddon.png Armageddon bombardment
  • Bombardment full.png Javorian Pox bombardment
  • Relentless Industrialists Relentless Industrialists buildings after the first Environmental Deterioration situation reach 100
Mod habitability.png 0% Base habitability
  • Pre-FTL civilizations in the Atomic or Early Space Age have a small chance of starting a nuclear war and turning the planet into a Tomb World.
  • Empires with the Civic machine terminator.png Determined Exterminator civic start on a Tomb World if they don't have the Origins resource consolidation.png Resource Consolidation origin.
  • Colonizing a Tomb World will displease the Faction icons traditionalists.png Traditionalist faction unless the empire has the Origins post apocalyptic.png Post-Apocalyptic origin.
  • Each Tomb World has a high chance of triggering one of 8 unique events 2 or 3 years after the planet is colonized.
Planet city.png Ecumenopolis
  • Mod habitability.png 100% Habitability
  • Mod pop resource output.png +20% Resources from jobs
  • Mod pop growth speed.png +15% Pop growth speed
  • Mod pop assembly speed.png +15% Pop assembly speed
  • Mod planet immigration pull mult.png +50% Automatic Resettlement Destination Chance
  • Mod planet max buildings add.png All building slots are unlocked
  • District.png Unique districts
  • Ecumenopolises have special districts. All normal planetary features are removed.
  • Tradition icon adaptability.png Planetary Prospecting decision disabled.
  • The only pre-existing Ecumenopolis is the homeworld of the Keepers of Knowledge Fallen Empire.
  • The city lights of an Ecumenopolis are determined by the ship appearance of the terraforming empire.
  • Empires that are Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness (except Civic machine servitor.png Rogue Servitor) or have the Civic agrarian idyll.png Agrarian Idyll civic cannot take the ascension perk, but can still use conquered Ecumenopolises.
Planet nuked.png Relic Origins remnant.png Remnants No.png
  • Mod habitability.png 80% Base habitability
  • Decision arcology project.png Allows the Restore Ecumenopolis decision
  • Relic Worlds can be found in the First League Precursors' home system or in various systems added in the Ancient Relics.png Ancient Relics DLC.
  • Relic Worlds contain unique planetary features that grant bonuses to Research.png research output. However, most of the surface is covered by blockers that are expensive to remove.
Planet infested.png Hive Hive Worlds Hive Worlds ascension perk
  • Mod habitability.png 100% Habitability if authority is Hive-minded.png Hive-Minded
  • Mod habitability.png 0% Habitability otherwise
  • Mod pop resource output.png +10% Resources from jobs
  • Job spawning drone.png +1 Spawning Drone job
  • Mod planet housing add.png +6 Housing from Hive Districts
  • Mod planet immigration pull mult.png +50% Automatic Resettlement Destination Chance
  • Mod planet max buildings add.png All building slots are unlocked
  • All normal planetary features are removed.
  • Resource districts are not limited by features.
  • Tradition icon adaptability.png Planetary Prospecting decision disabled.
  • The following planetary modifiers will also be removed: Atmospheric Aphrodisiac, Atmospheric Hallucinogen, Bleak, Hazardous Weather, Hostile Fauna, Irradiated, Lush, Natural Beauty, and Wild Storms.
Planet ai.png Machine Origins resource consolidation.png Resource Consolidation Machine Worlds Machine Worlds ascension perk
  • Mod habitability.png 0% Habitability, unless:
    • Trait mechanical.png Mechanical species
    • Machine unit.png Machine Unit species
    • Trait cybernetic.png Cybernetic species, and owner is Civic machine assimilator.png Driven Assimilator
  • Mod pop resource output.png +10% Resources from jobs
  • Job replicator.png +1 Replicator job
  • Pop housing usage −10% Pop housing usage
  • Mod planet immigration pull mult.png +50% Automatic Resettlement Destination Chance
  • Mod planet max buildings add.png All building slots are unlocked
  • No.png Agriculture districts
  • All normal planetary features are removed.
  • Resource districts are not limited by features.
  • Tradition icon adaptability.png Planetary Prospecting decision disabled.
  • The following planetary modifiers will also be removed: Atmospheric Aphrodisiac, Atmospheric Hallucinogen, Bleak, Hazardous Weather, Hostile Fauna, Irradiated, Lush, Natural Beauty, and Wild Storms.
  • If the planet contains organic pops that don't have the Trait cybernetic.png Cybernetic trait when terraformed, they are killed and the Machine World gains an D bubbling swamp.png Organic Slurry planetary feature (Food.png +15 Food).

Habitable megastructures

Habitable megastructures are artificial celestial bodies and can be constructed using resources after researching the required technology. They feature a fixed Mod habitability.png Habitability value that is the same for every species and have different districts and designations. They do not normally have any planetary features on them but may contain blockers.

Type Source Mod habitability.png Habitability Planet Size.png Size Mod planet max buildings add.png Building slots Notes Description
Planet habitat.png Habitat
  • Origin void dwellers.png Void Dwellers origin
  • Origins toxic knights.png Knights of the Toxic God origin
  • Utopia.png Megastructure construction
  • 70% without Ap voidborn.png Voidborne
  • 90% with Ap voidborn.png Voidborne
4-8 Limited
  • A 5th district type is available only if built over a planet with a resource deposit
  • Starts at Planet Size.png size 4 and can be increased two times with the required technology
  • Mod planet colony development speed.png +200% Colony development speed
An artificial deep-space arcology offering planet-like, if decidedly urban, living conditions. Hydroponics and advanced filtering technologies make it near-self-sustaining, and station-borne facilities can mine the station's host planet for raw materials.
Planet ringworld.png Ring World
  • Tech mega engineering.png Repaired from broken segments
  • Unknown.png Sanctuary system
  • Decision arcology project.png Repair the Shattered Ring decision
  • Synthetic Dawn.png Ancient Caretakers home system
  • Utopia.png Megastructure construction
100% 10 All unlocked
  • Segments destroyed during the game cannot be repaired
  • Mod planet immigration pull mult.png +50% Automatic resettlement destination chance
An immense band encircling the system's sun. Built to allow for numerous artificial habitation zones along its inner span, freed from the restrictions and mundanity of planet-bound, spherical existence.
Planet ringworld.png Shattered Ring World Origins shattered ring.png Shattered Ring origin 100% 25 Regular
  • Decision arcology project.png Enables the Repair the Shattered Ring decision
An immense band encircling the system's sun. This section of the megastructure has sustained damage - especially to some of its more advanced districts - but it does not appear irreparable.

Uninhabitable celestial bodies

All non-star celestial bodies that cannot harbor advanced organic life are classified as uninhabitable. These worlds cannot be colonized or terraformed (unless it has the Pm planet from space.pngPm frame 1.png Terraforming Candidate modifier), but they can have various resource deposits. Toxic worlds can be terraformed only if the empire has the Detox Detox Ascension perk. These celestial bodies do not spawn any planetary features on them, but they can sometimes have certain planetary modifiers applied to them.

Type Deposits
Minerals.png Minerals Energy.png Energy Alloys.png Alloys Trade value.png Trade Value Engineering research Engineering Research Society research Society Research Exotic gases.png Exotic Gases Rare crystals.png Rare Crystals Volatile motes.png Volatile Motes Zro.png Zro
Planet asteroid.png Asteroid Yes.png Yes.png Yes.png Yes.png
Planet asteroid.png Ice Asteroid Yes.png Yes.png Yes.png
Planet asteroid.png Crystalline Asteroid Yes.png Yes.png
Planet barren.png Barren World Yes.png
Planet barren cold.png Barren World
Planet barren.png Broken Yes.png
Planet frozen.png Frozen World Yes.png Yes.png Yes.png
Planet gas giant.png Gas Giant Yes.png Yes.png Yes.png Yes.png Yes.png
Planet molten.png Molten World Yes.png Yes.png Yes.png Yes.png Yes.png
Planet toxic.png Toxic World Yes.png Yes.png Yes.png Yes.png Yes.png

Special uninhabitable planets

Special uninhabitable planets can only be created in unique systems or as a result of events. Once again, planetary features do not spawn on these worlds.

Type Notes Description
Planet ai.png AI These planets are created by the Contingency. They are similar in appearance to Machine Worlds, but are not habitable at all. Successful bombardment turns the planet into a broken world. Rocky world covered with artificial structures. The thin atmosphere consists mostly of industrial pollutants. There are strong energy emissions coming from across the entire surface, but no organic life signs.
Planet barren.png Cracked Created by the hatching of the Voidspawn, destroying the existing colony. Has a deposit of Society research 20 Society. The cracked shards of an enormous planet-sized egg.
Planet infested.png Infested Created when habitable worlds are infested by the Prethoryn Swarm. Successful bombardment turns the planet into a barren world that can be terraformed. The surface of this world is covered by some kind of biological contaminant.
Planet toxic.png Nanite Found in the L-Cluster, with half of the outcomes giving them the Terraforming Candidate modifier once the nanite factory is destroyed. A chaotic and inhospitable world, disfigured according to some mad design.
Planet barren.png Shattered Can be created by using a World Cracker Colossus weapon on a planet.
All worlds will have a deposit of Minerals.png 4–16 Minerals.
The charred, broken remnants of what was once a planet. A massive energy surge has detonated this world's core, leaving only slabs of rock.
Planet arid.png Shielded Found through exploration, where the shield can be brought down through a special project with different possible outcomes. They can also be created using the Global Pacifier Colossus weapon but these worlds cannot then be un-shielded. This entire world is encased in some kind of impenetrable energy barrier. It blocks all scans of the surface.
Planet shroud.png Shrouded Created by the Origins teachers of the shroud.png Teachers of the Shroud origin as well as the End of the Cycle and Eater of Worlds. Cannot be recovered. A few Shrouded Worlds can be found in some special systems. Our sensors are unable to penetrate the thick fog surrounding the planet. Ships that enter it do not return.


A star is a celestial body that composes the center of a star system and influences the generation of the solar system. They are classified based on their spectral characteristics. Less common stars also have a negative effect on all ships in the system, making certain tactics less effective in battle. Different stars have different likelihoods for habitable planets to appear in the system, with F-type, G-type and K-type stars having the highest likelihood for habitable planets to appear around them and every other type having a lower likelihood of having habitable planets in orbit around them.

Most solar systems are unary systems with only one star, but they can also exist as binary systems with two stars or trinary systems with three stars, either orbiting each other in the center with all planets around them or spread out further apart from each with a few planets orbiting each star. The effects and chances for habitable planets stack in binary and trinary systems.

Type Potential resources Habitable planets chance Description
B Star.png Class B
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
−40% The large class B main-sequence stars are very bright and blue. Although somewhat rare, the luminosity of these stars make them among the most visible to the naked eye.
A Star.png Class A
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
−40% These relatively young white or bluish-white main-sequence stars are typically among the most visible to the naked eye. They are large and rotate very quickly, but will eventually evolve into slower and cooler red giants.
F Star.png Class F
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
F-type stars are fairly large and often referred to as yellow-white dwarves. Although they often emit significant amounts of UV radiation, their wide habitable zones have a good chance of supporting life-bearing worlds.
G Star.png Class G
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
Often referred to as yellow dwarves, G-type stars actually range in color from white to slightly yellow. Main-sequence stars fuse hydrogen for roughly 10 billion years before they expand and become red giants. Although their lifespans are shorter than K-type stars, worlds inside the habitable zone of a G star often enjoy optimal conditions for the development of life.
K Star.png Class K
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
These main-sequence stars, sometimes referred to as orange dwarves, are a fairly common sight. They are stable on the main-sequence for up to 30 billion years, meaning that worlds orbiting a K-type star have a longer than average window to evolve life.
M Star.png Class M
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
−60% The most common stars in the universe, often referred to as red dwarves. Their low luminosity means they are difficult to observe with the naked eye from afar. Although they typically have an extremely long lifespan, red dwarves emit almost no UV light resulting in unfavorable conditions for most forms of life.
M Red Giant Star.png Class M Red Giant
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
−90% With a large radius and comparatively low surface temperature, red giants are stars of moderate mass in a late stage of stellar evolution. Their expanded stellar atmosphere and high luminosity make for distant habitable zone orbits.
T Star.png Class T Brown Dwarf
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
−60% Brown dwarfs are substellar objects that lack the mass to sustain hydrogen fusion. Roughly the size of large gas giants, they have a much greater density. Their low luminosity and comparatively small heat generation means that planets orbiting them are unlikely to support life.
Pulsar.png Pulsar
  • Engineering research Engineering
  • Physics Research Physics
−100% Pulsars are highly magnetized neutron stars that emit beams of electromagnetic radiation. As the star rotates, the radiation beam is only visible when it is pointing directly at the observer. This results in a very precise interval of pulses, which sometimes is so exact that it can be used to measure the passage of time with extreme accuracy. The radiation emitted by pulsars interferes with deflector technology, rendering ship and station shields inoperable.
Black Hole.png Black Hole
  • Engineering research Engineering
  • Physics Research Physics
  • Dark Matter.png Dark Matter
−100% Typically formed as a result of the collapse of a very massive star at the end of its life cycle, black holes have extremely strong gravity fields that prevent anything - including light - from escaping once the event horizon has been crossed. The gravitational waves emitted by black holes interfere with FTL drives, making it harder for ships to escape from combat.
  • Mod ship disengagement.png 50% Disengagement Chance Reduction
  • Mod ship speed mult.png +50% Emergency FTL Jump Cooldown
  • Observatory.png Allows starbases to construct the Black Hole Observatory building.
  • MegaCorp.png Allows construction of a Matter Decompressor
Neutron Star.png Neutron Star
  • Engineering research Engineering
  • Physics Research Physics
−100% These incredibly dense stellar remnants are sometimes created when a massive star suffers a rapid collapse and explodes in a supernova. Although their diameter is typically as little as ten kilometers, their mass is many times greater than an average G-type star. The gravitational waves and radiation emitted by Neutron Stars must be carefully navigated around, slowing the sublight speed of ships.
X star.png Viridescent Lightbringer
  • Volatile motes.png Volatile Motes
  • Exotic gases.png Exotic Gases
−100% Millennia of exposure to the Toxic Entity have caused alterations in the makeup of this star. Though once it was a fairly standard G-type star, now it emits an eerie green haze unlike anything seen elsewhere in the galaxy.
  • Mod ship armor mult.png 100% Armor Nullification
  • This star type only appears in the system created at the completion of the Origins toxic knights.png Quest for the Toxic God situation.
  • This system has two Planet toxic.png Toxic Worlds (size 30 and 20) with the Toxic Terraforming Candidates planet modifiers.


Game concepts
Exploration ExplorationFTLAnomalyArchaeological siteRelicsPre-FTL speciesFallen empireEventsSpaceborne aliensGuardiansMaraudersCaravaneers
Celestial bodies Celestial bodyColonizationTerraformingPlanetary featuresPlanet modifiers
Species SpeciesTraitsPopulationPop modificationSpecies rightsEthics
Governance EmpireGovernmentCivicsPoliciesEdictsLeaderFactionsTechnologyTraditionsSituations
Economy EconomyPlanetary managementDistrictsBuildingsHoldingsJobsDesignationTradeMegastructures
Diplomacy DiplomacyRelationsGalactic communityFederationsSubject empiresIntelligenceAI personalities
Warfare WarfareSpace warfareLand warfareStarbaseShipShip designerCrisis
Others The ShroudL-ClusterUnique systemsPreset empiresAI playersEaster eggs