In this tutorial I explain how to play Imagine Earth in campaign and competition game mods, applicable to endless sandbox mode as well. I talk about producing energy, food, goods, how to trade, sell stocks for more money, charge and use alien structures and powers, take over other corporation’s colonies and more.
Video version if you would rather watch the gameplay:
My name is Peter and I am going to explain to you step by step how to develop your colonies in Imagine Earth by producing power, food and goods to grow and satisfy your population. I am also going to explain the ways of generating profits and what to spend them on to improve your chances of winning in the campaign missions or a competition game scenario.
There is also an endless sandbox mode but it has a different rule set so there is no winning par say there, just building to your heart’s content.
The main points I am going to cover during this tutorial:
- How to choose which technologies to use and building to construct depending on your choice of corporation to play with and the type and conditions of the planet,
- How to maximize building production rates and use building efficiency bonuses
- How to find extra monetary funds when starting a new game and also how to earn more later on through trade
- How to charge up special alien powers and how best to use them in your game
- And lastly how to win a game in Imagine Earth
The planet settings I played on was a balanced game with everything at about average except starting funds, research and technology licenses because I didn’t want to let the AI build up and expand too fast.
There is also another important reason for this, which I will explain in one of the main points.
So let us start at the beginning: Landing on a new planet. As soon as the game begins use the P key and pause the game.
You want to be able to take your time and look over the entire planet to see where are the alien structures, what abandoned buildings can be rebuilt and taken over, what natives are on the planet, where are the places where you can produce food and mine rare resources.
To properly analyze the planet for the best landing zone you have to know the specifics of the corporation you have chosen to play with. I am going to use Imagine Earth limited as this is the corporation from the campaign and it will be the easiest for you to follow in this tutorial.
The important specifics for it are the organic farm food production and recycling plant for goods production. What this means is that you need a landing zone rich in fertile ground so that the organic farm has high production efficiency and lots of room for population districts because the recycling plant has high production efficiency if it is surrounded by population districts.
This corporation has no power producing buildings or technology unblocked so we can choose what kind of power plant to use once we land.
Planet Analysis continued:
Besides fertile ground and lots of open space we need to land next to at last one alien structure. There are multiple ones on the planet and many kinds which produce different powers and buffs. I will explain them in more detail later in this tutorial.
Another important consideration is the temperature of triangles around our chosen landing zone. This is because organic farms have a specific optimal operating temperature. If it’s too cold or too warm they produce less food.
So desert triangles and polar zones with lot’s of permafrost are not going to work for us. Also, try to avoid active volcanoes, because they can be set off by rival corporations to rain fire down on your colony.
When all these elements are combined we are left with only a few remaining landing zones. The one I am going to choose has one alien structure which generates twisters and turns rocks into gold and an extra alien temple, with lot’s of open desert triangles for utility buildings, close by rocks for future mining and a lot of fertile land.
Now let the time flow a bit by using the V and B keys to control it, and let the colony land. Once it’s set up, pause once more. This particular alien building charges up the more population lives around it. So we need to plan to place lot’s of population districts next to it.
The first resource your colony needs to operate is power. Since we will be building many organic farms here on this fertile ground, a great combination of technologies is unlocking and using the biomass power plants.
These get a bonus to efficiency from each neighboring triangle of forests or certain food production buildings like the organic farms we have by default with this corporation. To get the maximum out of this power plant we need to use our starting research licenses to instantly unlock it’s two upgrades. As a bonus we get to the tech for warehouse level two which means two instead of one resource collection drone per each warehouse.
This is an extremely important and useful upgrade. It’s also a direct path to the rocket terminal tech, which is crucial for generating high export profits. A topic I will explain at the end of this tutorial. Also, don’t forget to set one new tech for regular slow research.
This first biomass power plant will receive major bonuses from forested triangles. These will be cut down soon to add organic farms which will supply that bonus instead, and produce the first food type our colonists will have available. You should take note that colonists need multiple types of food and goods to be happy.
But to actually cut down those trees you will need collection drones from the mentioned warehouse. This building is unlocked by default and we will build it on triangles with no resources at least no resources we plan to use. Then we add the first population districts.
The triangles right next to the colony lander are reserved for these, no other building can be constructed there. The park district will increase population happiness all around it but it has a lower capacity for colonists. The recycling plant is best placed right next to population districts for production bonuses.
Once the warehouse is constructed upgrade it and click on the forest triangle next to the biomass power plant and cut down the forest. You could also just bulldoze it to remove it faster but you would waste goods gained by cutting it down. Next you can cut down more of it to clear extra fertile land for organic farms.
The future layout is simple, one farm, one power plant, the bonuses add up and you will get a tremendous amount of extra power.
You can use your starting devices, from your inventory to for example boost the fertility of a single triangle or grow a forest in another to help the biomass power plant gain another bonus.
The organic farm upgrades are already researched so you can boost their production and lower their pollution and power usage. It’s the same with the biomass power plant and the recycling plant upgrades. Most of these buildings have two possible upgrades.
They cost more to keep running but are much more efficient and pollute less. Pollution is a very important mechanic as in this game you can ruin the planet you’re on and that is game over. Take note to use pollution reducing upgrades for buildings whenever you can.
You should follow this pattern of building power, food and goods production to satisfy the needs of new colonists. You get them by adding new population districts or upgrading the old ones. To upgrade them to higher levels you have to have additional population district next to them. Again, proximity bonuses are key.
To use the abandoned buildings found on the map you have to have them inside your borders and pay to rebuild them. Once rebuilt they can be moved into your existing layouts.
If you have any rare ore like gold or titanium for example in your borders send warehouse drones to collect it by using the mine option. To collect more types of food and goods from the environment add more warehouses with additional drones.
You should unlock more specialized population districts by using your tech licenses so you can place a research district or a health or even a financial district. Each has special bonuses to add to your colony and can be leveled up and upgrades like the regular ones.
You can gain more tech licences by developing your colony and by buying it off of traders who visit the planet and land on spaceports. More on that soon.
Once you spend most of your starting budget you need to get more money so you can expand faster. Since you can’t trade yet and export goods the only way to gain a lot of funds is to sell your corporations shares.
By spending a lot and developing the colony you have increased it’s value. This lets you get more for each 5% of shares you sell on the open market. Don’t sell more than 10% at one time because the value drops. This is the reason why I play with minimal starting funds. So the economy doesn’t run off at the start and company shares don’t skyrocket.
Invest this new capital into more buildings, more population and more resource collection. If there isn’t anything more to collect in your area unlock the frontier towers which will let you expand your borders. You can buy the extra land one triangle at a time but that is very expensive.
If you run into regular rocks with a large supply you can use one of the alien’s structures powers to transform that rock pile into a rare resource.
First triangles cost less to buy but father ones cost a lot more. So use those frontier towers instead. Later you can upgrade them to claim more territory and add lasers to defend against asteroids and pirates.
Keep selling shares and keep on expanding and building. The other alien structure has different powers for you to charge up. Fires, local climate change and even volcanic eruptions, while the first one had twisters. Do note other corporations will know who attacked them with these and will stop trading with you.
To speed up the charging of an alien structure you can sacrifice food for example. Each structure has its own applicable goods. This will let you use their powers more often.
Having more population districts next to them will also charged them up faster as I previously mentioned. Some powers are benevolent and beneficial like growing and new forest or healing a plague while others produce natural disasters where you want them.
To use a power click on the alien structure who’s powers you want to use, or click on the icon just below your inventory icon on the left hand UI. More info about when and why to use these powers in the next sections.
Trade & Profits
Once you have accumulated over 300 rare resources, where 100 is the minimum cargo size, you need to use a tech license, unlock and build a spaceport.
On it’s landing pad you can place a prebuilt rocket from your inventory, fill it up with 300 rare resources and sell them at the highest price.
Occasionally merchants will land at these spaceports, as I advise constructing more than one, bringing goods, devices and much more but they pay less for your inventory and charge more for theirs. So rocket ships are most profitable.
To build more of these rocket ships you have to have machinery created by a machine factory and nitro–pumpkins which are gathered from a triangle where they grow. These are combined in a workshop which is also unlocked with a tech license.
Once you unpack your first rocket ship on the spaceport landing pad click on it and fill it’s cargo hold with the most valuable but also the least necessary resource. Once launched it will deliver money to your account.
Gold is plentiful and even with its use in crafting devices you can export lots of it. Once you finish the research on the spaceport rocket ship upgrade you will be able to build new rockets on the launchpads cheaper than in the workshop.
At 800,000 population you gain access to a new landing permit. This lets you drop a new colony center down from orbit at any point on the map you chose. I would advise again looking for the best place possible while keeping the game paused.
An ideal spot would be somewhere where you can charge up another alien structure and it’s powers, where there are more specialized buildings to rebuild and move to where you can use them and where there are a lot more rocks with potential rare resources to harvest for later sale.
You don’t really have to add more population at the new colony center. You can use that new spot just for resource production if you want and keep upgrading and spreading your original colony center. The choice will depend on your current needs and the resources you have available at the first colony.
Now that you have learned how to satisfy your population needs, how to make more money and how to charge alien powers let’s win this game. But before that I need to tell you how to deal with other corporations if they grow bold and land a new colony right at your doorstep.
Each new colony carries a certain worth for the corporation owning it. But the entire corporation’s worth are it’s shares. So each colony is worth a certain percentage of those shares. What that means is that if you buy enough share of the corporation which owns what colony you can take over it. And since the AI sold all of its shares to the world open market you can easily buy that many shares, if you have the capital for it.
This is where alien powers come in handy. You can attack the enemy corporations colonies with these natural disasters, lower their share value and buy it off the market. Then simply click on the colony you want to take over and the corresponding takeover option.
How to win
The objective in Image Earth is to gain more victory points then the other corporations. There is a window which shows which requirements you have to fulfill to win these points and the breakdown of current victory points of all corporations. Just hover your mouse over each icon to see the tool-tips.
For example one point is for every 500,000 population, 5000 rare resources mined, a colony capture from a rival corporation, having the highest production efficiency or lowest carbon footprint, and so on. Depending on how many points you set the victory to require you will need to play longer or shorter games.
As I mentioned before this game has many elements, some of which I didn’t even have time to talk about in this tutorial. Thank you for reading and happy gaming.
I hope you enjoy the Guide we share about Imagine Earth – How to play Tutorial – Energy – Food – Goods – Trade – Money – Shares & more explained; if you think we forget to add or we should add more information, please let us know via commenting below! See you soon!
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