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Celestial body


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This article has been verified for the current PC version (2.8) of the game.

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, blockers (if any), special features, and the habitability percentage for each species in the player's empire. Additionally, surveying worlds has a chance to reveal anomalies.


Planet size

The 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:

Type Min size Max size
Planet 12 25
Moon 10 15

Habitable worlds

A habitable world is any celestial body that can harbor advanced organic life. These are the only worlds that can be colonized and terraformed, besides some notable exceptions. Their suitability ranges in accordance to a given species' homeworld, which affects the rate of population growth.

A planet's habitability (and subsequent future terraforming costs) is determined by its climate system. The nine habitable worlds are divided equally into three climate categories: dry, frozen and wet.

Type Climate Description
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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 worlds can only be spawned in certain systems but any empire that meets the requirements can terraform a regular habitable world into a special one. Some of them can become the empire homeworld if a certain origin is picked for the empire. All of them have either very high or zero Habitability and most of them feature fixed Habitability, meaning that Habitability cannot be reduced by effects such as traits.

Type Homeworld origin Terraforming methods Pop effects Notes
  Gaia   Life-Seeded   World Shaper ascension perk
  Nu-Baol Life-Seeding decision
  100% Fixed Habitability
  +10% Organic Pop Happiness
  +10% Lithoid Pop Happiness
  +10% Resources from Jobs
  • 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 Wenkwart will always spawn in the galaxy. It contains size 19 Gaia world called Wankward Artem with a unique planet modifier.
  • A size 25 Gaia world called Zannam 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 Holy World modifier and colonizing them will incur their ire. Destroying them will even awaken the Fallen Empire.
  Tomb   Post-Apocalyptic   Armageddon bombardment
  Javorian Pox bombardment
  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   Determined Exterminator civic start on a Tomb World if they don't have the   Resource Consolidation Origin.
  • Colonizing a Tomb World will displease the   Traditionalist faction, unless the empire has the   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.
  Ecumenopolis   Arcology Project decision
  Restore Ecumenopolis decision
Cannot be terraformed again
  •   100% Fixed Habitability
  •   +20% Resources from Jobs
  •   +50% Pop Growth speed
  • The only pre-existing ecumenopolis is the homeworld of the Keepers of Knowledge Fallen Empire
  • All normal planetary features are removed. Planetary Prospecting decision disabled.
  • These city planets have their own set of districts that focus on providing massive amounts of   Housing and refining basic resources.
  • The city lights of an Ecumenopolis World are determined by the ship appearance of the terraforming empire.
  • Empires that are   Gestalt Consciousnesses or have the   Agrarian Idyll civic cannot take the ascension perk but can still use conquered Ecumenopolis Worlds.
  Relic   Remnants     80% Base Habitability
  • Relic Worlds can be found in the First League precursors home system or in various systems added in the   Ancient Relics DLC.
  • Relic Worlds contain unique Planetary Features that grant bonuses to   Research output. However most of the surface is covered by Blockers that are expensive to remove.
  • Relic Worlds have a   Restore Ecumenopolis decision available. It terraforms the planet into an Ecumenopolis, but loses its Planetary Features and any unfinished Archeological Site excavations. The Arcology Project ascension perk is not required.
  Hive   Hive Worlds ascension perk   100% Fixed Habitability if species is   Hive-Minded
  0% Fixed Habitability if otherwise
  +10% Resources from Jobs
  • All normal planetary features are removed. Number of resource districts no longer limited by features. 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.
  • Hive District effects are doubled on Hive Worlds.
  Machine   Resource Consolidation   Machine Worlds ascension perk   0% Base Habitability
  0% Fixed Habitability, unless:
  •   Mechanical species
  •   Machine Unit species
  •   Cybernetic species, and owner is   Driven Assimilator

  +10% Resources from Jobs
  -10% Pop Housing Usage

  • All normal planetary features are removed. Number of resource districts no longer limited by features. Planetary Prospecting decision disabled.
  • Cannot support Agriculture Districts.
  • 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 when terraformed the planet contains organic Pops that don't have the   Cybernetic trait they are killed and the machine world gains an   Organic Slurry planetary feature.

Uninhabitable celestial bodies

All non-star celestial bodies that cannot harbor advanced organic life are classified as uninhabitable. These worlds can't be colonized or terraformed (unless it has the Terraforming Candidate modifier), but they can have various resource deposits.

Type Deposits
  Minerals   Energy   Alloys   Trade Value   Engineering Research   Society Research   Exotic Gases   Rare Crystals   Volatile Motes   Zro
  Ice Asteroid                    
  Crystalline Asteroid                    
  Barren World                    
  Barren World
  Frozen World                    
  Gas Giant                    
  Molten World                    
  Toxic World                    

Special uninhabitable planets

Special uninhabitable planets can only be created in unique systems or as a result of events.

Type Notes Description
  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.
  Cracked Created by the hatching of the Voidspawn, destroying the existing colony. Has a deposit of 20   Society. The cracked shards of an enormous planet-sized egg.
  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.
  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.
  Shattered All worlds will have a deposit of 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.
  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.
  Shrouded Created by the End of the Cycle or when the Eater of Worlds is ravenous. 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.

Habitable Megastructures

Habitable Megastructures are entirely artificial and can be constructed after researching the required technology. They feature the same   habitability for every species, have unique Districts and Designations and have no colonization cost.

Type Required technology Habitability Notes Description
  Habitat   Orbital Habitats 70% without   Voidborne
90% with   Voidborne
  • Has 3 types of Districts, with a fourth one being available if build over a planet with a resource deposit
  • Colonization is 3 times as fast as a planet
  • Starts at size 4 and can be increased up to size 8 with the required technologies
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.
  Ring World   Ring World 100%
  •   +20 Base Housing
  • Intact Ring Worlds are found only in the the Sanctuary system and the Ancient Caretakers home system
  • The   Shattered Ring origin homeworld contains a partially damaged Ring World
  • Can be repaired from broken segments with the   Mega-Engineering technology
  • Can be built in uninhabited systems
  • Segments destroyed by a crisis or World Cracker cannot be repaired
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.


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.

Most systems have only one star but a few have two or three stars, either orbiting each other with the planets around them or far enough from each other that a few planets orbit each star. The effects and chances for habitable planets stack in binary and trinary systems.

Type Potential resources Habitable planets chance Description
  Class B
  •   Energy
  •   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.
  Class A
  •   Energy
  •   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.
  Class F
  •   Energy
  •   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.
  Class G
  •   Energy
  •   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.
  Class K
  •   Energy
  •   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.
  Class M
  •   Energy
  •   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.
  Class M Red Giant
  •   Energy
  •   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.
  Class T Brown Dwarf
  •   Energy
  •   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.
  •   Engineering
  •   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.
  •   +100% Shield Nullification
  Black Hole
  •   Engineering
  •   Physics
  •   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.
  •   +50% Disengagement Chance Reduction
  •   +50% Emergency FTL Jump Cooldown
  •   Allows starbases to construct the Black Hole Observatory building.
  Neutron Star
  •   Engineering
  •   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.
  •   +50% Sublight Speed Reduction