Sins of a Solar Empire

Colonizable Gravity Wells (CGWs)[]

Terran Planet[]

Main article: Terran Planet

Terran Planet

Terran planets sport similar conditions to Earth, and that they have much water and visible photosynthetic flora. The readily habitable conditions, vast amount of available water, land masses, and natural resources means these planets have a large local population for you to exploit. The TEC favor these worlds, as they have research that adds +30% to the population. These planets tend to be the most heavily defended by militia.

Desert Planet[]

Main article: Desert Planet

Desert Planet

Dry and sandy, with little water, a Desert planet supports a fairly small population. Although they support less population than Terran planets, they have far more logistics slots than other worlds, making them good candidates for shipyards or research stations. The Advent favor these planets, having research that gives them +30% to their populations. Like the Terran worlds, they have two sub-types, a 'Home' and a generic version. Seemingly, the only difference is their appearances. They come second in amount of militia defending them after Terran planets.

Volcanic Planet[]

Main article: Volcanic Planet

Volcanic Planet

Very hot worlds with plenty of volcanic activity. Only the hardiest can survive this unbearable climate after the requisite research. Volcanic planets tend to have more Metal than other planet types. The Vasari favor these planets, having research that gives them +60% to their population, though it still comes nowhere near the population of Terran, Desert, and Ice worlds.

Ice Planet[]

Main article: Ice Planet

Ice Planet

Cold desolate worlds dotted with small thawed oases with liquid water, Ice planets can support a population with the appropriate research. Only a limited population can bear the climate. But it can be worth it, these planets tend to have more Crystal than other planet types.

Barren Planet[]

Main article: Barren Planet

Barren Planet

Barren planets support low populations, and have the most logistics slots of all planet types.

Ferrous Planet[]

Main article: Ferrous Planet

Ferrous Planet

A type of barren world that features a large number of metal asteroids, even more than volcanic planets. They need corresponding research to be colonized. Often they are defended by as much militia as terran or desert planets.

Greenhouse Planet[]

Main article: Greenhouse Planet

Greenhouse Planet

Greenhouse planets are blanketed in thick, dense atmospheres, causing the surface to overheat, but complicating bombardment as well.

Oceanic Planet[]

Main article: Oceanic Planet

Oceanic Planet

Humid worlds primarily covered in oceans dotted by just a few islands, these planets can house a far greater population than even Terran worlds. 


Main article: Asteroid


Asteroids have plenty of resources nearby to be profitable and can support multiple defensive systems. It can also support minimal mining settlements. They are very commonly connected to a homeworld of the sentient races.

Dwarf Planet[]

Main article: Dwarf Planet

Dwarf Planet

Dwarf Planets are objects of little value except for mining purposes. However, their size allows it to support a much higher planet population than a mere asteroid. They are very commonly connected to a homeworld of the sentient races.

Dead Asteroid[]

Main article: Dead Asteroid

Dead Asteroid

Dead Asteroids are asteroids that cannot be mine or support settlements and can only support orbital military installations. They are virtually useless and ignored by most races unless it is in a very strategic location.

Pirate Base[]

Main article: Pirate Base

Pirate Base

Pirate Bases are the logistical headquarters of the Pirate faction. From here they launch their raids against the Star System. They are heavily fortified and protected by a pirate force. They also provide a small amount of income to whoever has the Pirate Base under their control.

Ship Graveyard[]

Ship Graveyard 2.png

Main article: Ship Graveyard

Ship Graveyards act in the same way as Dead Asteroids: they have no population when colonized, have no logistic slots but can house some tactical structures. They are also prefered targets for open rebellions. 

Uncolonizable Gravity Wells (UCGWs)[]

Usually have neutral resource extractors which can be captured by Advent and TEC colony frigates, the Missionary Vessel and Protev Colony Frigate, or Vasari scout frigates, the Jikara Navigator, using Capture Extractor.

Their extractors are special: They have a base extraction rate of 0.53 units/second, which effectively gives them an allegiance of 133%, higher than is otherwise ever possible, no matter how far they are from your homeworld. They will reflect any mining research bonuses, once captured.

They also have 4 refinery slots versus the 3 for colonizable planets' extractors, and these slots have a refinery extraction rate of 0.08 versus the 0.06 rate for extractors at colonizable grav wells (again with the "fixed allegiance" of 133%). The extra refinery slot and the higher rate cause them to output 0.32 units/second if fully utilized, regardless of distance from homeworld, versus 0.18 units/second for a planet at 100% allegiance - or versus 0.06/second for a planet at 35% allegiance!

Space Junk[]

Space Junk

Main article: Space Junk
  • Well Size: small
  • Neutral Extractors: 0-3
  • Pirates: none
  • Special Effect: none

Gas Giant[]

Gas Giant

Main article: Gas Giant
  • Well Size: large
  • Neutral Extractors: 0-3
  • Pirates: 2
  • Special Effect: chance of explosive gas causing area of effect damage in battle.

Asteroid Belt[]

Asteroid Belt

Main article: Asteroid Belt
  • Well size: small
  • Neutral Extractors: 0-3
  • Pirates: none
  • Special Effect: Erratic Debris: decreased accuracy for all units in the gravity well.

Plasma Storm[]

Plasma Storm

Main article: Plasma Storm
  • Well size: small
  • Neutral Extractors: 0-3
  • Pirates: 2
  • Special Effect: strike craft are disabled.

Magnetic Cloud[]

Magnetic Cloud

Main article: Magnetic Cloud
  • Well size: small
  • Neutral Extractors: 0
  • Pirates: none
  • Special Effect: all special abilities are disabled; starbases cannot be deployed here.

Antimatter Fountain[]

Antimatter Fountain

  • Well size: small
  • Neutral Extractors 0
  • Pirates: 4
  • Special Effect: antimatter regenerates at a much higher rate; antimatter is received from damage



  • Well size: small
  • Neutral Extractors: 0-3
  • Pirates: ?
  • Special Effect: maximum speed, acceleration, turn rate are reduced by 30%

Ice Field[]

Ice Field.png

  • Well size: small
  • Neutral Extractors: 0-3
  • Pirates: ?
  • Special Effect: damage propagation is increased.

Radiation Storm[]

Radiation Storm.png

  • Well Size: small
  • Neutral Extractors: 0-3
  • Pirates: 2
  • Special Effect: Antimatter removed (200); Antimatter, Shield, Hull restore rates lowered drastically; Strike Craft disabled.

Shattered Moon[]

  • Shattered Moon.png
    Well Size: small
  • Neutral Extractors: 0-3
  • Pirates: 3
  • Special Effect: Armor removed (3); Damage reduced by 15%




Stars are the common center of all Star Systems that emit larges amounts of Solar Radiation that can be absorbed by Starships to increase their antimatter regeneration. However many different stars have different effects and they may generate a Coronal Mass Ejection if random events are on.

  • Special Effect: All stars grant an additional 2.5 anti matter regeneration per second.

- Yellow stars emit solar flares which increase shield regeneration by 20%.
- Blue stars possess solar storms around the star which causes all ships to suffer 50% loss on their Hull and Shield regeneration rates.
- Red stars have Solar Interference which interrupts weapon cooldown rates by 15% and decreases weapons range by 10%.
- Green stars cause ships to suffer from gamma exposure, reducing shield mitigation by 10%.

Neutron Star[]

Neutron Star.png

The Neutron Star is a small Stellar Remnant that contains great mass for its small size. The high gravity impairs some ships abilities and destabilizes phase space around the star.

  • Special Effect: Removes 30% of ships hull and 100% of ships antimatter reserves (Without Destabilization protection). Removes 15% of ships hull and 50% of ships antimatter reserves (With Destabilization Protection).



A pulsar is the rapidly spinning core of a dead star which unleashes crippling waves of radiation. Ships around the star suffer increased damage and jammed weapon sensors.

  • Special Effects: Ships take 50% more damage when in the gravity well of the pulsar. Ships also have their accuracy reduced by 50%.

Black Hole[]

Black Hole.png

Somehow Black Holes have formed in systems without destroying planets. The intense gravity from the black hole makes phase jumps more difficult and the stress from singularity damages nearby ships.

  • Special Effect: Causes 50 damage every few seconds to nearby ships. Slows phase jump speeds by 50% while traveling through phase space. And slows ships Phase Jump Acceleration by 350%.


Main article: Wormhole

Grant instantaneous two-way travel between a specific pair of wormholes on the map, when Wormhole research is done or if you attain the wormhole travel artifact. To use the wormhole initially, you need to send your ships to it, not order them to the connecting wormhole. Once you have traversed a given wormhole, you can then order them to the connecting wormhole directly. Wormhole gravity wells never contain anything except their hole, but you can place a star base there.

Planet Type Stats[]


PlanetType MaxPop. MaxHealth Max Slots Extractors Max Research Increase (+Pop.)
Log. Tac. M C Advent TEC Vasari
Terran 280 6000 24 35 1-2 1-2 15% (+42) 30% (+84) 15% (+42)
Desert 190 6000 36 35 1-2 1-2 30% (+57) 15% (+28) -
Ice 160 6000 20 35 - 2-4 - 15% (+24) 15% (+24)
Volcanic 70 6000 20 35 2-4 - - - 60% (+42)
Dwarf Planet 50 2500 12 25 1-2 1-2 - - -
Asteroid 20 2500 12 25 1-2 1-2 - - -
Dead Asteroid 0 2500 0 25 - - - - -
Pirate Base 0 6000 0 25 - - - - -


UCGV Asteroids Effect
Antimatter Fountain - - Antimatter regenerates at a much higher rate; Antimatter is received from damage
Asteroid Belt 0-2 0-1 Erratic Debris: All Weapons -20% Chance To Hit
Comet - 0-2 Maximum speed, acceleration, turn rate are reduced by 30%
Gas Giant 0-3 0-1 Unstable Gas Pockets: Applies 80 damage to 5 ships max;

can happen twice if close to planet (range 750)

Ice Field - 2-3 Damage propagation is increased
Magnetic Cloud - - Magnetic Cloud: Disables Abilities for all ships
Plasma Storm 0-1 0-3 Plasma Storm: Disables squadron launch
Radiation Storm 1-3 0-2

Antimatter removed (200);

Antimatter, Shield, Hull restore rates lowered drastically; Strike Craft disabled

Shattered Moon 1 0-1 Armor removed (3); Damage reduced by 15%
Space Junk 0-2 0-1 -
Wormhole - - Enables to travel a great distances to another wormhole instantly
Star - - Solar Radiation: Regenerates 2.5 Antimatter/sec for ships with antimatter

Forbidden Worlds DLC[]

PlanetType MaxPop. MaxHealth Max Slots Extractors Max Research Increase (+Pop.)
Log. Tac. M C Advent TEC Vasari
Oceanic 312 6000 32 25 1-3 1-3 - 30% (+94) -
Ferrous 175 9000 24 39 1-8 - - - 60% (+105)
Barren 112 6000 52 35 1-3 1-3 48% (+43) - -
Greenhouse 88 7250 28 42 1-3 1-3 - - -

Planet Bonuses[]

The likelihood of finding a planet bonus is determined by a percentage likelihood value in the scenario map file. This one value applies to all the planets in the map, unless they are homeworlds or particular planets are assigned specific values (like the Pirate Base). See below for more.

As of v. 1.2, the percent value applied to all stock maps is 40% - 4 out of 10 planets should have a bonus. (This is not the same as finding a bonus 40% of the time that you Explore Planet.) The only exceptions are the small Derelict and Gaean Crescent maps and the tutorials; these don't have any bonuses. There are 23 planet bonuses in total:

Planet Bonus Name Ter Des Ice Vol Ast D.A. Bonus 1 Bonus 2
On Scouting
Dense Molten Core X X - X - - Gravity Well Radius +33%
Porous Core X X X - X X Gravity Well Radius -33%
Scouting or Colonizing
Caustic Atmosphere - - - X - - Population -15 Upgrade Build Cost +20%
Persistent Dust Storms - X - - - - Population Growth -25%
On Colonizing
Expert Agrarian Society X - - - - - Trade Income +10%
Ionic Storms - - - X - - Population -20
Mega Fauna - - X - - - Population -15 Trade Income +25%
Natural Thermal Lift - X - X - - Structure Build Rate +25%
Plundered Booty - - - - - - Tax Income +3.5
Weapons Test Facility - X - X - - Population -20 Tactical Slots +8
Colonizing or first Explore Planet
Habitable Cavern System - X X X - - Population +15 Planet Health +500
High Security Protocol X X X X - - Tactical Slots +5 Trade Income -20%
Massive Pure Glaciers X - X - - - Trade Income +30%
Penal Colony - - - X X X Structure Build Cost -20% Structure Build Rate -30%
Space Ponies! - - - - - - Space Ponies +99
Tundra Farms - - X - - - Population +25
Helium Rich Atmosphere - - X - - - Trade Income +25%
On first Explore Planet
Entertainment Hub - X X - - - Culture Spread +10% Tax Income +1.0
Expert Crystal Miners - X - - X - Crystal Income +50%
Expert Metal Miners - - - X X - Metal Income +50%
Raiders Outpost - - - - X X Metal Income +20% Constructors +1
Spice Trade X X - - - - Culture Spread +5% Trade Income +10%
First Explore Planet or second Explore Planet
Kalanite Deposits - - - X X - Trade Income +20%
Pharmaceutical Flora X - - - - - Trade Income +20% Population Growth +20%

Note: see Entrenchment for Planet Bonuses added in the expansion


Bonuses, if present, are revealed at particular levels of exploration, from Scouting to the second Explore Planet. For example, you always see whether a planet has a Dense Molten Core (High Gravity) or Porous Core (Low Gravity) just by scouting a system. You always see Expert Agrarian, Ionic Storms, Mega Fauna when you colonize. But you might see Caustic Atmosphere when you scout, or when you colonize (at the latest). Et cetera.

As you can see, there are only two bonuses that might be seen at Explore 2 - if you haven't already seen them at Explore 1. These are Kalanite Deposits (for Volcanic and Asteroid planets) and Pharmaceutical Flora (for Terran planets). Both of these bonuses convey 20% extra trade. But consider that Explore Planet 2 costs 550$ 175m 125c, and you only have a small chance of getting what's only a 20% bonus. Conversely, Trade Ports cost 800$ 100m 175c and give a guaranteed 100% increase in trade income. So, you might do an Explore 2 to search for an Artifact - but it's clearly not worth it for bonuses alone.

Although most bonuses are a plus, many are arguably marginal. (Remember that Trade increases only matter if you have Trading Ports there!) One stands out, though: Expert Metal/Crystal Miners on a Volcanic/Ice planet. These worlds will have 2-4 metal/crystal asteroids, so it's like getting 1-2 more extractors on that planet.

A few other points can be made re: planet bonuses, but remember that these only apply to bonuses. You still have to use Explore to find Artifacts:

  • Pirate Bases will only have the Plundered Booty bonus; they don't allow any other bonus.
NOTE: This does NOT mean, however, they can't have artifacts (rare, though it is possible).
  • Weapons Test Facilities and High Security Protocols may impact your trade, but the trade-off is that a planet with either of these can house 2 of their faction's Superweapons there. If it's near a choke-point (only one way in to the planet), give them the most defensive systems possible, as it makes it incredibly difficult for your enemies to get past.
It is highly, HIGHLY unlikely to find a volcanic or desert planet that is both a Weapons Test Facility with High Security Protocol, but if it happens, these make for a prime location for your Superweapons - not only can you blast your enemies to dust, you can keep them adequately defended at the same time.
  • It appears that there are never bonuses on homeworlds (more precisely, start worlds). This seems to be true even if the start position was not used (i.e., if you don't have the max number of players).
  • As you can see from the listing above, Dead Asteroids are pretty worthless as far as bonuses go. Porous Core is "pfft", Penal Colony is ok ... but there aren't even any mines on Dead Asteroids for the Raiders bonus to affect!
  • The description for the Penal Colony bonus might not be clear to everyone (does the red mean bad, or negative?): It reduces the cost of structures 20%, but increases the time to make them. And for the record, it does not reduce the cost to 80%, as you might have thought - it divides the cost by 1.2, which actually makes the cost be 83% (5/6) of normal price.
  • It looks like there can only be 2 bonuses max on a given planet. So it's probably useless to explore more if you already see two.
  • If you consider that you'll see any "Colonizing or Explore 1" bonuses half the time simply by colonizing, you can also say that you've already seen over half of all possible bonuses (11/21, not counting Booty or Ponies) simply by colonizing, as a general statement. And, of course, there's practically no bonuses left to find, after the first Explore.
  • The table and all the statements made here only apply to the stock maps that come with the game. Players can mess with planets and bonuses under the hood and do anything they want, for mod maps. (But it's also entirely possible that they didn't mess with the planet bonus system.)
  • Bonuses are not randomly assigned as of the time you scout, colonize, or explore; they are determined at the start of the game, and will be the same if you reload and try exploring again.