Population (SEIV)

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Population is vital to your empire. Without people to work your facilities, your economy will crumble, and your spaceyards will grind to a halt. Population can be held on a planet, where it can work and grow for you, or it can be stored and transported in ship's cargo, where it doesn't do anything.

The amount of poplation a planet can hold is determined by the planet's size and whether or not it is domed.

Population Growth

Calculating Population Growth Rate

Each planet has its own population growth rate, which is subject to various different factors. Each planet's population growth rate is displayed in-game when you select the planet, but it should be noted that the rate shown is per game year, not per game turn. A game year is equal to 10 game turns.

The growth rate is calculated as follows:

  • Start with the default population growth rate as defined in settings.txt (10% by default).
  • Add or subtract the "Reproduction Rate" modifier chosen during game setup (for example, if you selected a -3% modifier, your growth rate drops to 7%).
  • Now the game factors in your race's "Environmental Resistance" characteristic. Every 5 points added or subtracted to this figure is equal to one percent on your population growth rate. For example, if you set environmental resistance to 95%, your growth rate will suffer 1%. Note also that you can set environmental resistance to 96% for no penalty whatsoever.
  • Now, the game looks at the planet's conditions and happiness, and adds the appropriate value from the table below. This gives the final figure.

The population growth rate for a world will be instantly set to 0% if the planet is rioting. The population growth rate cannot fall below 0%.

Applying the growth rate

Population increase is calculated as follows: Per turn growth rate (ie, 1/10th the displayed annual growth rate) * planetary population. It's that simple. However, it should be noted that as long as the population growth rate is greater than 0%, you will receive a minimum of 1m extra population per race present per turn.

This fact can be exploited to produce artificially high reproduction rates. This is barely noticable in the stock game, but in mods where population growth is greatly reduced (ie proportions mod ) it can make a big difference.

Populations cannot increase under any circumstances if the planet has already reached or exceeded its maximum population level.

Populaton Management

Larger planetary populations generally equate to greater output in terms of resource production and construction.

Note that ship and base-mounted shipyards and resource production are entirely unnaffected by population (including population stored in cargo). For this reason it is advisable to move population from your homeworld and other heavily-peopled worlds to less populous ones. Cargo ships with load population/move/drop population/move back/repeat orders are great for this. It's worth knowing that cargo ships with orders to load population will pick up non-breathing population for that world by preference.

Different breathers

When you gain control members of another Empire's population (by theft or purchase of a ship or planet), and that population breathes a different atmosphere (SEIV) than your own, you make it possible to undome planets of that atmosphere type. This could radically increase your available real estate, since planets can also hold larger populations (as well as more facilities and cargo) when they are undomed.

Be aware, however, that once a population becomes part of your empire, any other racial characteristics they may have had (for example enhanced mineral production or crystalline technology) are lost- they inherit all of your race's characteristics, with the exception of atmosphere breathed.

Nonetheless, acquisition of alien races is a priority for many players. Once you have different populations, spread them around your empire, so that you won't lose them all with the loss of a single planet. If you can't obtain any additional populations, undome your worlds with Atmospheric Modification Plants.

When you wish to figure out what planet to send those different breather-populations to, click on your cargo ship loaded with population and then press the 'M' quick key. Now open the colonies window 'F5' and in the general view click on the atmosphere column. (It is now sorted by atmosphere.) Then click on the Races View (menu on the right) Now each atmosphere type is sorted by atmosphere type and then population size. (so when you see the number increase you know your on a different atmosphere) as a bonus. Since you clicked on the ship you can see the current system highlighted on the galaxy map (if you're lucky, usually you have to remember which system it is) and the planet that needs the population transfer in the colonies map (this way you can determine which planet is closest) Works like a charm. (Tesco Samoa)

Destroying population

There are numerous ways in which population may be destroyed.

  • Population living on a planet's surface is vulnerable to orbital bombardment.
  • Plagues, whether naturally occuring or deliberately inflicted, can rapidly depopulate a planet.
  • When you successfully abandon a colony, any population on the planet's surface will vanish.
  • Population in a ship or base's cargo will be destroyed if the ship is destroyed, or if the cargo components containing them are damaged.
  • You can jettison population from a ship or base's cargo.
  • The food contamination intel project can kill 100 million people at a time.
  • There are various events that can kill population.
  • Obviously, population will be killed if the planet they reside on should be destroyed by stellar manipulation or natural events.

Preceded by:
Remote Mining
Manual (SEIV)
Section 4.7
Followed by:
Planet Defense