When starting a new world, you may choose to play using either biosphere or the much simpler biomass. New players are recommended to use biomass to get the hang of the rest of the game first before attempting biospheres.
Your planet turns greener as the 'support' number of terrestrial plant life increases. Aquatic life, microorganism support and animal support have no effect on your planet's appearance. Terrestrial plant support (or abbreviated as TPS) is also necessary for a planet's habitability for humans. Technically, you don't ever need to create aquatic biospheres, since they don't have any effect on habitability or your world's appearance. Species can however be used to generate revenue, depending on the genetic traits you give them.
When playing with the Biospheres feature, your population does not consume plants and is also not calculated into the 'support' metrics.
Starting a Biosphere
You can start creating biospheres for your planet after you reach PLANTLIFE habitability, and build buildings that support aquatic or terrestrial species.
You start a biosphere (either aquatic or terrestrial) by introducing a species of micro-organism. You decide this organism's phylum and genetic traits. Each phylum and trait has benefits and drawbacks. You can repeat the same traits in one single organism. For example, you can have an organism that has the beautiful trait three times, and it will have three times the benefits and three times the drawbacks of that trait. You cannot have two species with the exact same phylum and genetic traits on the same world.
After you introduce your first microorganisms, you wait for them to reproduce until they offer enough support for the next layer of your biosphere, algae (aquatic) or plants (terrestrial). Creating plant or alga species works similarly to creating micro-organism species, but the phyla you can choose are different, and you can choose some different traits. Your plants or algae will need sufficient amounts of micro-organisms to already be present in order to survive. The amount they need is represented by 'support.' Similarly, herbivores will need sufficient amounts of plants to be present, and carnivores need sufficient amounts of herbivores to eat.
- It's smart to make your first microorganisms/microbes of each phylum have the large trait three times, because that way it will offer a lot of support. Microorganisms/microbes themselves don't need any support, so there is no drawback to this.
- If your world is relatively stable, giving an organism the delicate trait a couple of times can generate a lot of revenue.
- If you're looking for long-term stability, a viable strategy is to avoid herbivore and carnivore species entirely, as their oxygen decreases will constantly be in flux with the plant increases. Since only plant support is needed for paradise, you can offset your plant oxygen with facilities and avoid the complexity that animals add and also cull or conserve some species to counter the effects.
- Another way to ensure long term stability is choosing the oxygen tolerances of your plants and animals wisely. The plants should have a drastically lower O2 tolerance compared to the animals. To ensure this you can put Low Oxygen Adapted genes on the plants and High Oxygen Adapted on the herbivores (Carnivores are unnecessary). In order to make sure said animals can combat the O2 of the plants, increase the conservation on them so they'll be able to do so. In doing this whenever the plants raise the oxygen to a high level, the animals will grow in health that outnumbers the plants and thus causes the O2 to fall back down. Resulting in a long cycle of increasing and decreasing oxygen.
- It is good to start with aquatic organisms first, and then you go terrestrial once the aquatic species are now enough.
- Increase the species of your plants and herbivores to increase terrestrial plant support.
Each species has a specific health value, which is calculated based on a couple of variables.
- The first such variable is how well the species is adapted to the environment. A species that you've made vulnerable to droughts will for example do less well on a planet with low water levels.
- The second variable is how much food (support) is available for it compared to how much it needs (this is irrelevant for microorganisms/microbes).
- The third variable is Conservation. You can choose to spend credits to either help a species gain or lose health, conserve it or cull (kill) it. This is the best way to stabilize oxygen on Biosphere worlds.
- The fourth variable is random biosphere events. Sometimes a Harsh Winter or a Favorable Summer will decrease or increase a species health temporarily. Poaching can even decrease a species' health permanently, while having the species become a Popular Pet increases health permanently. The game calls this type of reduction or increase a 'modifier.'
- The fifth variable is how many predators a species has. A species is not only affected by the species 'underneath' it (like a plant is 'underneath' a herbivore, and a herbivore is 'underneath' a carnivore), but also by the species above it. A particularly favorable summer for a carnivore species can mean they will eat all your herbivores and destroy your entire ecosystem if you don't monitor them closely and cull when necessary. (Only applies to expert mode).
When you first introduce a species, it has two health values, a low one, and a high one, with an arrow between them. The first one is your species' current health, and the one after the arrow is your species' projected health. Your species will move towards that health value over time. Species with increased or decreased birth rates move towards that value quicker or slower.
|Description||Species Health %|
|Threatened||34% - 67%|
|Healthy||68% - 133%|
It's okay if you have species that have overpopulated health stats. That just means they will provide a lot of support for their predators. Give them some predators.
If a species has more health, that means the effects that species has will also increase. For example if your species produces oxygen, then that species will produce more oxygen as it gains more health. An overpopulated species that produces revenue is not at all a bad thing. It just gets you more money.
When a species reaches 0% health, it goes extinct.
The last known [species] on [world] has died. Scientists are now classifying the entire [species] as extinct.
The remaining species are already adapting to its absence, but ecologists warn that now is the time to pay extra-close attention, to avoid any further damage to the biosphere.
A world that uses Biospheres is more difficult to perfectly balance than one that uses biomass, since plants, algae and microorganisms/microbes produce oxygen and some animal species use oxygen up, and a species' health score affects how much oxygen it produces or uses. Species' health can be very volatile. All plants and algae will do photosynthesis and produce oxygen, but some traits will make them produce more or less oxygen. Conserve or cull some species so not even a single increase of oxygen in the air is possible.
If anyone understands why some, but not all, animal species use up oxygen, please edit that info in here.
Some animal species not using oxygen may reflect the discovery of some multi-cellular organisms in the brine of the Mediterranean Sea in 2010 that utilize hydrogenosomes in place of mitochondria, which provide a similar function in anaerobic environments. Tardigrades and other microspecies that are still technically multicellular animals are also able to survive in oxygen-free environments. There is also a subset of multicellular life called facultative anaerobes who use oxygen when available, but switch to anaerobic respiration when oxygen is not available.
Another possibility is the concept of oxygen-neutral organisms, which draw oxygen from the environment, but not directly from the air. By the game's concepts, these creatures would effectively be 0 because they don't utilize atmospheric oxygen, which is what the game measures.
Sometimes a world already has species when you arrive (random worlds have that). Native species have a purple icon, while species you introduced have blue icons. Species introduced by the Mutation event will automatically be named [name]+[species name they mutated from]. In the past, mutant varieties of native species used to not be treated as native species, but that is no longer the case. However, mutant non-native species remain native in name only.
In the non-random worlds that have a biosphere, it's possible for traits that are usually not possible on an organism to be present. Example Phytoplankton on Rodinia having photosynthetic a trait that is normally exclusive to plants.
- All biosphere events can be found here:
Main article: Biosphere/Events
Phyla and Traits
All information, including effects and genes, on all Phyla and Traits can be found here:
- Main article: Phyla and Traits
|Aquatic Micro-Organisms||Archaea · Cyanobacteria · Diatom · Plankton|
|Algae||Stonewort · Green Algae · Kelp · Seaweed|
|Aquatic Animals||Coral · Crustacean · Fish · Mammal (Aquatic) · Reptile (Aquatic)|
|Terrestrial Micro-Organisms||Actinobacteria · Lichen · Fungus · Protozoa|
|Plants||Grass · Moss · Shrub · Tree|
|Terrestrial Animals||Amphibian · Bird · Insect · Mammal (Terrestrial) · Reptile (Terrestrial)|
|Climate Adapted||Heat Adapted · Cold Adapted · High Pressure Adapted · Low Pressure Adapted · High Oxygen Adapted · Low Oxygen Adapted · Humidity Adapted · Aridity Adapted|
|Basic||Large · Small · High Metabolism · Low Metabolism · Exothermic · Domesticated · Beautiful · Poisonous · Invasive · Nocturnal · Delicate · Extremophile|
|Micro-Organisms only||Infectious · Nitrogen-Fixing · Airborne|
|Plants & Algae only||Cash-Crop · Fruit-Bearing · Deciduous · Photosynthetic · Flowering|
|Animals only||Social Behavior · Flying · Pair Bonding · Scavenger|
|Tidal Enclave||+1 aquatic species||Automated Nursery||+ 1 terrestrial species|
|Deep-Sea Collective||+2 aquatic species||Ecosimulator||+ 2 terrestrial species|
|Reef Institute||+3 aquatic species||Zoological Society||+ 3 terrestrial species|
When you disable buildings that provide space for healthy species, the species don't lose any health, but you can't introduce new species.