[Starsector Mods][0.95a] DIY Planets – Terraforming and more!

  • Post category:Mods
  • Post comments:0 Comments

v1.0.14, for Starsector 0.95a

Download (0.9.1a)

DIY Planets adds a variety of colony structures and special items which allow the player to manipulate planetary conditions. It is intended to make otherwise marginal colony sites viable, encourage exploration, and serve as a late-game credit sink. It also includes endgame methods for transforming asteroid fields into planets and gas giants into brown dwarf stars – or even constructing your own hypershunts!

How It Works

Once you’ve built a colony on a hazardous planet, a variety of new structures become available depending on its conditions. Most of these can reduce a condition’s hazard rating by half, but cannot permanently remove it. For a complete fix, you’ll need to find a specific Domain-era artifact and install it in the structure. These have been added to vanilla loot tables and can also be found in a special (repeatable) bar quest, where a “scarred spacer” points you to a derelict Eridani-Utopia terraforming rig. Each artifact is single-use.

Industries and their effects:

Spoiler: click to expand
Water Transport Infrastructure

Constructed on a water world, rocky-ice planet, frozen planet, or cryovolcanic planet, this structure transports water to another planet in the system. Does not require an artifact. Having it in place allows you to build:

Water Capture Infrastructure

Constructed on a desert world, this structure receives water and improves the planet to an arid, jungle, tundra, or terran world (depending on temperature). Does not require an artifact.

Cometary Capture Infrastructure

An alternative approach for desert worlds without a nearby water source, captures water-bearing asteroids to hydrate the planet. Does not require an artifact, but is slower and more expensive than standard water transport/capture infrastructure.

Environmental Agency

Removes pollution at a hefty credit cost. Does not require an artifact.

Integration Corps / Subjugation Corps

Two options for removing a decivilized population. The integration corps is costlier but greatly increases immigration while in effect; the subjugation corps is cheaper and faster but only slightly increases immigration. Neither requires an artifact.

Atmospheric Filter

Removes toxic or dense atmospheres. Requires an “atmospheric mineralizer” to complete.

Atmospheric Pump

Adds an atmosphere to a planet, removing the effects of null or thin atmosphere. Requires an “atmospheric sublimator” to complete.

Stellar Mirror

Removes cold or extreme cold. The latter is costlier and takes longer. Requires a “stellar reflector core” to complete.

Stellar Shade

Removes heat or extreme heat. The latter is costlier and takes longer. Requires a “stellar reflector core” to complete.

Stellar Distributor

Removes poor light. Requires a “stellar reflector core” to complete.

Tectonic Engine

Removes tectonic activity or extreme tectonic activity. The latter is costlier and takes longer. Requires a “tectonic attenuator” to complete.

Cyclonic Regulator

Removes extreme weather. Requires a “weather manipulation core” to complete.

Genepurge Project

Unleashes engineered viruses to remove a planet’s inimical biosphere. Does not require an artifact to complete.

N-Brane Oscillator

Adjusts the local gravitational field. Requires an “n-brane oscillator core” to have any effect.

Climate Sculpting Project

Can only be built on a terran or water world. Adds “mild climate,” further reducing hazard rating. Requires a “terraformer brainprint” to complete.

Lobster Breeding Program
Adds Volturnian lobster to a water world, but reduces relations with the Sindrian Diktat.

Terraforming can also gradually change a planet’s class, with visual updates as appropriate. Once a planet progresses past “desert,” it will generate farmland if none existed, and each step will improve that farmland.

Spoiler: click to expand
  • Volcanic planets become barren when their extreme heat is removed.
  • Cryovolcanic, rocky ice, and frozen planets become water worlds when their cold/extreme cold are removed.
  • Toxic planets become barren once their corrosive atmosphere is removed.
  • Barren planets become barren-desert once an atmosphere is added.
  • Barren-desert planets become desert – and gain the “habitable” condition – once all “extreme” conditions are removed.
  • Desert planets become arid, tundra, or jungle (depending on temperature) once water has been added.
  • Arid, tundra, and jungle planets become terran-eccentric once their temperatures are normalized.
  • Terran-eccentric planets become terran once all natural hazards are removed.

Creating Planets

Spoiler: click to expand

Once you reach level 12, a new bar quest becomes available. Completing it grants access to the Genesis-class hull, a very expensive and single-use starship which transforms an asteroid field into a new planet. Planets are guaranteed to contain ultrarich deposits of metals and rare metals, and will also contain various amounts of organics and volatiles. Simply interact with an asteroid to use the Genesis.

Creating Brown Dwarf Stars

Spoiler: click to expand

With an N-Brane Oscillator Core in your inventory, approaching a gas giant gives you a new option. Converting it into a brown dwarf star will increase the heat of all planets in the system by one step, and additionally will improve light levels. This can have an impact on faction relations if there are colonies in the system; colonists will appreciate having cold planets warmed but will hate receiving hazardous levels of heat.

Constructing Hypershunts

Spoiler: click to expand
Once you’ve defeated the defenders of an existing hypershunt, interacting with it will give you a new option to download the megastructure’s schematics. This unlocks a new hull schematic for your heavy industry to produce. With a hypershunt construction rig in your fleet, interact with a star to begin setting up the hypershunt. The process will consume one alpha core, 10,000 supplies, and 5,000 heavy machinery. Next, you will need to produce 11 units of metals and 9 units of transplutonics at a colony for a period of one year (you can track this via an intel popup). Finally, providing 20,000 fuel to the completed hypershunt will bring it online and allow it to be used just like a vanilla one!


This mod is compatible with existing saved games, and even if you’ve already looted the Sector, terraforming equipment can be obtained through a repeatable bar quest. It’s not a good idea to uninstall it if you have any active terraforming structures.


Spoiler: click to expand
  • 1.0.15: Added the ability to construct hypershunts. Irradicator core can be properly installed. Cometary capture infrastructure properly disassembles itself after use. Improved compatibility with other mods.
  • 1.0.14: Added Irradicator artifact, for removing the “irradiated” condition from planets. Also added methods for adding “low gravity” and “no atmosphere” to planets, as well as removing rare ore deposits from farming worlds. Climate sculpting can now be applied to any habitable world.
  • 1.0.13: Updated to 0.95a.
  • 1.0.12: Full compatibility with new planet types added by other mods. Improved re-evaluation function.
  • 1.0.10: Improved compatibility with Unknown Skies planet types. Existing planets can have their type re-evaluated; set “reEvaluateMode” to true in the config file and visit the planet to see the new option.
  • 1.0.9: Brown dwarves now improve light levels as well
  • 1.0.8: Added Genesis-class starship and quest to acquire it, allowing planets to be created from scratch. Added the ability to transform gas giants into brown dwarf stars, heating an entire system.
  • 1.0.7: Added lobster breeding program and cometary capture infrastructure. Water worlds can now receive Climate Sculpting project. Several bugfixes.
  • 1.0.6: Fixed planet classes unable to improve by multiple steps at once. Also prevented terraforming structures from “eating” AI cores upon completion.
  • 1.0.5: Melting a frozen planet now properly adds the Water-Covered Surface condition
  • 1.0.4: Fixed crash when adding industries to non-planet colonies. Also fixed an issue where some barren planets could skip directly to terran. Developer Mode now allows terraforming projects to complete without an artifact.
  • 1.0.3: Subjugation Corps properly removes itself when the project is complete
  • 1.0.2: Climate Sculpting Project can no longer be built if the planet already has a mild climate
  • 1.0.1: Climate Sculpting Project can finish successfully
  • 1.0.0: Initial release

In the unlikely event that Alex & crew want to implement any aspect of this mod into vanilla Starsector, they are free to do so.

This is a very high quality mod, and I think many players may prefer it over mine. A few suggestions based on things I encountered when developing my mod:

1. Many players have the Unknown Skies mod installed. I don’t believe your mod supports US planet types, which will make it partially incompatible with many saves in progress.

2. Some players want to be able to terraform any planet and any conditions, whereas others want more “balanced” and realistic options. You may want to have a settings file where certain buildings can be disabled (ex. the gravity adjustment ones) for players that want more realistic terraforming options.

As our mods are fairly similar and will largely be incompatible with each other and compete for players, I would be happy to collaborate with you on developing a single mod. If you’re interested, just let me know. Either way, congratulations on making a very nice mod!

It sounds like a great mod, but yeah I’ll be holding off from it until it supports Unknown Skies.

Good news – it’s already compatible with modded planet types! Only planetary conditions (ex: “Hot” or “Extreme Weather”) are directly affected by terraforming projects. A non-vanilla planet won’t change its type, but terraforming is still worthwhile, since it can alter the planet’s hazard rating by removing conditions.

I was playing around with this mod a bit yesterday and noticed there’s a small bug with the Climate Sculpting Project industry. Apparently, you can build this industry repeatedly on the same terraformed planet (or even on a non-terraformed planet that already has the Mild Climate condition). Doing so will cause that planet to have multiple Mild Climate conditions that stack for the purposes of calculating the hazard rating. (For the record, the UI will still only display one Mild Climate icon, but if you hover over the Hazard Rating it will list multiple copies of the Mild Climate bonus…) To prevent this I recommend not allowing the Climate Sculpting Project to be built if the planet already has the Mild Climate condition.

Otherwise, everything seemed to be working correctly and I quickly had an impressive empire of terran planets thanks to your mod. (And before anyone complains about balance issues, I should note that I was testing in DevMode and so construction/terraforming rates were greatly accelerated. It also probably didn’t hurt that I “discovered” dozens of artifacts via the Console Commands mod…)

D’oh! Thanks for the bug report Morathor, I just uploaded a fix.

D’oh for me as well – I was hoping to edit my post with another issue I found before you fixed that last one. You’re just too quick for me…

Anyway, I noticed that the Subjugation Corps industry doesn’t appear to be going away once it’s completed its task. While it successfully removes the decivilized population condition, the industry itself just hangs around stuck in the ‘subjugating’ state. From what I can tell, the timer gets reset when it reaches zero and then just starts counting down again. There’s a fairly easy workaround to the issue – just right-click and remove the industry – but I figured I should let you know anyway. For what it’s worth, the alternative Integration Corps industry removes itself just fine when its work is done. (Although I’m not sure why anyone would use the Integration Corps when the Subjugation Corps seems significantly better – but maybe I was missing something…)

On an unrelated note, I know I said I wasn’t looking at balance issues, but it seems like it’s sometimes too easy to make a terran world. For example, I transformed a barren world into a terran world with just the Atmospheric Pump industry and an atmospheric sublimator. I’m not sure if that was just a side-effect of running in DevMode, but it seems like I should have at least had to add water to it or something…

Fixed the Subjugation Corps – its code was incorrectly trying to remove an Integration Corps. Regarding balance, the advantage of the Integration Corps is that it provides twice the temporary growth bonus of its counterpart. Since it demands food rather than weaponry, it might also be a better option on certain planets, depending on local industry. (There’s also the roleplaying aspect, but that’s a more minor concern)

Regarding your terran world issue – that shouldn’t be happening. Barren worlds are intended to stop at desert until water is added. Which other mods are you running, if any? It’s possible a mod is adding additional barren planet classes and they aren’t being handled correctly.

I didn’t realize the two Corps used different commodities and I can see how that might be advantageous – farming is often the first industry I build on my initial colony. Also, I didn’t notice the growth bonus difference because I was focusing more on stability (I thought the Integration Corps might hurt that for those roleplaying aspects you mentioned) and hazard rating. Thanks for letting me know.

I’m not on the machine I was using for testing, so I can’t give you an exact list but it was a fairly small list for testing purposes. Basically, I was just using some utility mods (CombatChatter, Console Commands, StarshipLegends, etc.) plus LazyLib and Nexerelin. And I wasn’t running any faction mods or the Unknown Skies mod, so I don’t think anything was adding custom planet types. I’ll double-check that computer later to be sure though…

For what it’s worth, the planet in question was just a simple barren world with sparse ore and no atmosphere. It wasn’t hot/cold, it didn’t have low gravity/high gravity, or any other negative conditions – so once the Atmospheric Pump did its work, all the planet had left was a single condition (the ore). Perhaps the problem is related to the fact that I would have been unable to build any more terraforming industries at that point (since it didn’t need Solar Shades, Solar Mirrors, etc.). Either that or it’s just an odd side-effect of running in DevMode so that construction tasks that should take months or years finish in a day or two.

Edit: Just a quick follow-up, but here’s my exact mod list: Captain’s Log, Combat Chatter, Console Commands, DIYPlanets, LazyLib, Nexerelin, SkilledUp, Starship Legends, and ToggleWeaponGroup. It doesn’t look like any of those mods include a planet_gen_data.csv file, so they shouldn’t be adding any new planet types.

Downloaded this and gave it a try. I’m getting a crash when clicking on Add Industry or Structure for the Citadel Arcadia station. I’m guessing it’s related to the mod, and with the market being a station and not a planet? Regular planets seem to work fine.

Thanks for the bug reports, folks – just pushed a fix for both of your issues.

This mod looks great, I’ll be trying it tonight!

I built a stellar mirror on the Frozen world Nomios, successfully melting it into a water world. It was not given the Water-covered Surface modifier, which I’m guessing it should?

Working on removing it’s Thin Atmosphere to see if that adds Habitable now.

Just pushed a fix for your issue, Kanil. It’ll add the modifier the next time a terraforming project completes. (Yes, “Habitable” gets added once a planet has an atmosphere and non-extreme temperatures)

I just wanted to confirm that I tried v1.0.4 and it took care of my problems with the Subjugation Corps not going away and with Barren planets transforming directly into Terran worlds once they got an atmosphere. Thanks for the quick fixes.

Leave a Reply