Astro Selection Guide
Guide: TUMs Astro Guide
In AstroEmpires, like most games of this nature the first instinct is to take all the Astros (Planets / Moons) next to you. I know how you feel, I was once there myself. The feeling of owning the whole system you started in is a powerful draw, but don't. Why? Well, there are several reasons, but most importantly: many Astros are crap, simple as that, while others are effective in different ways. Here's a handy wee look at what's good, what's not so good and what you shouldn't touch with a 6-foot barge pole.
Section 1: What to avoid like the plague.
The following Astros should never be colonised under any circumstances.
Why? Simply because these Astros have 1 metal. Metal is the lifeblood of your base; it will determine your rate of production and construction down the line and with a low metal, you will be looking at a great drop in these values, not to mention a doubling, if not tripling, of the time it takes to build the base up. I could go into a lot more detail on why and how this is, but it's best just to keep it simple: NEVER COLONISE THESE ASTROS. EVER.
Section 2: Taking my word for it - What to aim for.
Like in most things there are certain combinations that work well together and others that don't. In this section, I will head through some of the combinations that work well for certain types of bases.
For economy bases (bases that focus on economy) you will need to get yourself Crystals. Crystals make a serious difference to your economy. Get Crystalline if you can; if not, asteroids. Asteroids have greater limits to their area but a good asteroid is not as rare as a Crystalline Astro.
Aim for no less than 4 solar, don't worry about gas. The higher the fertility the better, however with the asteroid you will need to make a trade off if you want higher fertility with solar. This is not worth it. Aim for a orbital 1 in any respects. If you find a Crystalline with solar 1 or 2 it really isn't worth taking as the advantage of the crystals will be outweighed by the vastly increased power costs and wasted space / population.
TL;DR – Aim for orbital 1 Asteroids, orbital 1 or 2 Crystalline if you can get them.
Craters, Metallics and Rockies make the best production facilities. Each have 3 metal which makes a serous difference both in development time and in your final production. Aim for Orbital 1 where you can, orbital 2 is not terrible. Anything beyond is a waste of time. The goal is to get the best bang for your buck in the long run, and securing a steady power source is important if you want to achieve this. When you are starting out with any of these planets feel free to build a handful, and I mean only a handful of Crystal Mines to help your early economy. These however will need to be disbanded as you start to build Terraforms to increase your area. Remember a building with only +1 economy is a waste of time in the long run.
Asteroids can also be used as production facilities and used well however will never offer the same overall production levels as any of the above due to the much lower area. However this is balanced out with the 75% discount on the two most powerful defensive buildings down the line. Construction of crystal mines is advised on Asteroids, even if they are being used for production. However it is good to limit them to 10, 15 at the most.
The best production and probably best overall Astro you can get would be a Rocky Planet in orbital 1. 3 metal, 5 fertility and 4 solar making the most successful combination for long term production and construction.
TL;DR – Craters, Metallics and Asteroids make good production bases in orbital 1, sometime 2. However Rockies in orbital 1 are the way to go!
For bases specially for research you will need to focus on two things. Fertility and Area. Of course this does NOT include letting the high area and fertility Glacials into the mix. These two attributes must be backed up with at least 2 metal or you will find that the base will build slower than a London tube train. We effectively have two winners for research bases. First is the Gaia; its high fertility and area makes it an excellent choice in either Orbital 1 or 2. Best 1 if you can. The second is the Earthly. It has slightly lower area than a Gaia but not by much.
If you are unable to secure either a Gaia or an Earthly, an Arid or a Tundra could do the job as well. Arids and Tundras have the highest area of any planets in AE and this nicely compensates for the drop in fertility you get by choosing it. Of course Orbital 1 is preferred, 2 is acceptable.
TL;DR – Get a Gaia or Earthly, orbital 1 if you can. Arid and Tundra are OK too.
Most astros can make all right bases. It all depends on what type of game you are going to play, simmer or warrior. All bases offer economy and production, even when your bases are specialised you are still improving these both. To choose your own well-rounded astros, have a look through the next section and decide for yourself!
TL;DR – Do whatever you want, read on for more details.#
Section 3: Not taking my word for it - What to aim for.
There are several values on each Astro which determine how good it is. These are: metal, solar, gas, crystal, fertility and area. Basically the higher these values are, the better. Here's a basic run down of what to aim for.
Minimum – 2 Maximum – 3
Most Astros have 2 metal. This is all right but not great. Astros like Asteroids, Metallics, Craters and Rockies all have 3 metal. Metal is important and improves construction and production as well as speeding up early base development. 3 metal is what you should aim for for most bases when you can. However remember, even 3 metal is crap without good solar and fertility.
Minimum – 3 Maximum – 4
Solar is determined by the Astro's place in the solar system. The Astros at the far left will have 4, then next to them 3, 2 and so on. 3 solar is the minimum you should ever take, unless you have a high gas level which is unusual. Solar is the most common power source so aim for 4 when you can and it will make your life much earlier and profitable down the line.
Minimum – 0 Maximum – 5
Gas is not as important as Solar as only certain planets have a large supply of Gas. If you can get a planet with 3 or more Gas, excellent, however it isn't the end of the world if you never build Gas plants. Gas is determined by two things. One, the type of Astro you take. Two, the orbital. Planets in the forth and fifth orbital get a +1 to gas. This said if you do get that +1 to gas you will be wiping out solar completely so only aim for it if you can get 5 gas.
Refer to the Astro base value reference guide at the end of the guide to know which Astros have what gas.
Minimum – 4 Maximum – 7
Fertility is determined by two things: One, the Astro type. Two, the orbital of the Astro. Fertility determines how much your 'population' will raise with each level of 'Urban structures' so clearly the larger it is the more you will save in the long run. Every single structure in AE costs 1 population. No more. No less.
Astros in the second and third orbital’s get +1 fertility. Refer to the Astro base value reference guide at the end of the guide to know which Astro's have high fertility.
Depends on the Astro type and whether it is a moon or planet. Moons are obviously smaller but have discounts of 50% on the largest defences down the line. This can definitely help in the long run. Asteroids are the only Astro that there is only the one area for, no planets or moons.
Larger area means you can build more on the Astro before having to use structures to artificially enlarge it, while Astro’s with smaller area typically have special advantages like higher metal, crystals or gas. Its up to you to balance them out.
Refer to the Astro base value reference guide at the end of the guide to know which Astro's have what area.
Crystals only appear on certain planets and allow you to build crystal mines. For each crystal mine on your planet you get +1 to your economy per level of crystal. 1 crystal on a planet should really be ignored except when starting out, this is because +1 economy per level is not worth the area and population cost down the line.
Regardless 2 and 3 crystals are worth getting when you can but of course there are trade off's on metal and area. Only Crystalline and Asteroids have greater than 1 crystals. It's also worth noting Crystalline planets are extremely rare.