How to Terraform Planets in Stellaris

In order to have a thriving population in Stellaris, they will have to live on planets that meet their needs! A race from a desert planet wouldn’t be able to live very well on a tropical planet, would it? This is where Terraforming comes in.


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Terraforming is the process of using gases to give a planet a whole new environment. In Stellaris, it can be used to increase the habitability of a world. This article will cover everything you need to know about it, including how to unlock the mechanism, how to use it once you’ve done it, which planets can be terraformed, and more.


There are several social technologies you will need to research terraforming planets. One of them unlocks the base ability and the others expand your options. If you want to Terraform as quickly as possible, focus on producing social research rather than engineering and physics research. There are also bonus tools you can unlock to allow you to Terraform unique planets.

GAME VIDEO OF THE DAY
Source Type What he does Cost Preconditions
Earth sculpture Technology Level 2 Earth sculpture is the core technology what you need invest to start Terraforming. With this, you will be able to terraform base planets into other base planet types. 6,000 Company Research
  • Have studied at least six technologies at level 1
Climate restoration Technology Level 4 Climate restoration lets you terraform tomb worlds (planets that are basically dead). 16,000 Society Research
  • Earth sculpture has been researched
  • Have researched at least six technologies in levels 1, 2 and 3
Ecological adaptation Technology Level 3 Ecological adaptation allows you to terraform planets that already have inhabitants. 10,000 Company Research
  • Have researched at least six technologies in levels 1 and 2
Terraforming Candidate Modifier Terraforming Candidate is a modifier applied to planets that could be terraformed, but needed to be researched first. Most planets you encounter are safe to live on, but barren worlds, barren (cold) worlds, and frozen worlds may have an anomaly to investigate first. Once done, the planet will acquire this modifier and you can terraform it. Varied
  • Planet Research Anomaly
world shaper Ascension Advantage Level 1 World Shaper’s Ascension Advantage lets you turn planets into Gaia Worlds, which are special planets that rarely appear naturally in the galaxy. They have 100% habitability for all species. Varied
  • Climate restoration technology has been researched
  • Must have taken at least 1 other Ascension Advantage
Hive Worlds Ascension Advantage Level 2 The Hive Worlds Ascension perk allows you to Terraform planets into hive worlds. Varied
  • Synthetic Dawn Story Pack DLC
  • Must have taken at least 2 other Ascension Perks
  • Climate restoration technology has been researched
  • Your government’s authority is a hive mind
machine worlds Ascension Advantage Level 2 The machine worlds ascension perk lets you terraform planets into machine worlds. Varied
  • Utopia DLC
  • Must have taken at least 2 other Ascension Perks
  • Climate restoration technology has been researched
  • The authority of your government is an artificial intelligence

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how to terraform


Once you’ve unlocked, at the very least, Earth Sculpting Tech, you can start terraforming your first planets!

Click on a planet that is…

  • Investigation
  • Within the borders of your empire


…and look for the option marked “Terraform”. From there, you’ll choose the type of world you’d like to have, and the game will tell you how much the process will cost and how long it will take. The percentage shown is the habitability of the planet for the race that makes up your empire. If there are multiple races in your empire, the percentage will indicate the habitability of the race most suited to that environment.

Terraforming events

The first time you terraform a planet, there is a small chance that the planet will be affected by a terraforming event. These are particular conditions that can change your planet, for better or for worse. For example, some terraforming events add additional districts to the planet, while a terraforming event may prevent all people living on a Gaia world from living off a Gaia world. You may also have a choice to make that will affect the outcome of the terraforming event.

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All planet types and costs in Terraform


The table below details each type of planet and the possibilities of terraforming, as well as the requirements, cost and duration of terraforming.

original climate new climate Cost in energy credits The time it will take in years Preconditions
Alpine, arctic or tundra world Alpine, arctic or tundra world 2,000 5
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
Arid, desert or savanna world 5,000 ten
Continental, oceanic or tropical world
Gaia World 7,500 ten
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Worldshaper Ascension Perk
Beehive World 10,000 20
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Hive Worlds Ascension Perk
  • Synthetic Dawn Story Pack DLC
machine world
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Machine Worlds Ascension Perk
  • Utopia DLC
Arid, desert or savanna world Arid, desert or savanna world 2,000 5
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
Alpine, arctic or tundra world 5,000 ten
Continental, oceanic or tropical world
Gaia World 7,500 ten
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Worldshaper Ascension Perk
Beehive World 10,000 20
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Hive Worlds Ascension Perk
  • Synthetic Dawn Story Pack DLC
machine world
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Machine Worlds Ascension Perk
  • Utopia DLC
Continental, oceanic or tropical world Continental, oceanic or tropical world 2,000 5
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
Arid, desert or savanna world 5,000 ten
Alpine, arctic or tundra world
Gaia World 7,500 ten
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Worldshaper Ascension Perk
Beehive World 10,000 20
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Hive Worlds Ascension Perk
  • Synthetic Dawn Story Pack DLC
machine world
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Machine Worlds Ascension Perk
  • Utopia DLC
barren world Continental, oceanic or tropical world 10,000 15
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Climate Restoration Technology Research
  • Terraforming Candidate Modifier
Arid, desert or savanna world 5,000 ten
Alpine, arctic or tundra world 15,000 20
Gaia World 12,500 25
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Worldshaper Ascension Perk
  • Terraforming Candidate Modifier
Beehive World 10,000 20
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Hive Worlds Ascension Perk
  • Synthetic Dawn Story Pack DLC
  • Terraforming Candidate Modifier
machine world
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Machine Worlds Ascension Perk
  • Utopia DLC
  • Terraforming Candidate Modifier
Barren world (cold) Arid, desert or savanna world 15,000 20
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Climate Restoration Technology Research
  • Terraforming Candidate Modifier
Alpine, arctic or tundra world 5,000 ten
Continental, oceanic or tropical world 10,000 15
Gaia World 12,500 25
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Worldshaper Ascension Perk
  • Terraforming Candidate Modifier
Beehive World 10,000 20
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Hive Worlds Ascension Perk
  • Synthetic Dawn Story Pack DLC
  • Terraforming Candidate Modifier
machine world
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Machine Worlds Ascension Perk
  • Utopia DLC
  • Terraforming Candidate Modifier
frozen world ocean world 12,500 25
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Climate Restoration Technology Research
  • Terraforming Candidate Modifier
tomb world Continental, oceanic or tropical world 10,000 20
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Climate Restoration Technology Research
Alpine, arctic or tundra world
Arid, desert or savanna world
Gaia 12,500 25
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Worldshaper Ascension Perk
Nanite World Continental, oceanic or tropical world 1,000 1
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Climate Restoration Technology Research
  • Terraforming Candidate Modifier
  • Distant Stars Possessed DLC
Alpine, arctic or tundra world
Arid, desert or savanna world
Beehive World Continental, oceanic or tropical world 1,000 1
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Climate Restoration Technology Research
  • Synthetic Dawn Story Pack DLC
Alpine, arctic or tundra world
Arid, desert or savanna world
machine world Continental, oceanic or tropical world 1,000 1
  • Wanted Earth Sculpture
  • Climate Restoration Technology Research
  • Utopia DLC
Alpine, arctic or tundra world
Arid, desert or savanna world

Terraform Cost and/or Time Changes

There are a few small exceptions to the exact cost required and time taken to terraform a planet as we detailed above. Refer to the table below to see if any of the situations apply to you; if so, it will change the cost or duration.

Source Type Terraforming Cost Change Terraforming the time change Downloadable content required
world shaper Ascension Advantage Cost decreases by 25% None None
Terraforming gas Decree None The time required decreases by 50% None
Exotic Gas Shortages Situation None Time increases by 20% per stage of the situation None
world shaper Ruler Stroke None Time required decreases by 25% None
Transformation Mask Empire modifier Cost decreases by 10% Time required decreases by 10% None
Hydrocentric Tradition Cost decreases by 25% if you create an ocean world None Aquatic
Secrets of the Baol Empire modifier Cost decreases by 15% None ancient relics
Knowledge of Shallarian terraforming Empire modifier Cost decreases by 10% Time required decreases by 20% Federations
Ecological protection Resolution 4 Galactic Resolution Costs increase by 25% None Federations
Ecological protection Resolution 5 Galactic Resolution Costs increase by 100% None Federations

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