Civilization: Beyond Earth Crash Course

Are you a veteran of Civilization games and want to jump into Beyond Earth as fast as possible?

This is a Guide meant for players that have played Civilization V and wish for a quick guide into the new game. It is not meant for brand new players to the game.

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In a lot of ways, Beyond Earth is much like it’s predeccesor. If you’re looking to get into Beyond Earth quickly, you just need to know a few things and getting on your feet should be pretty simple.

First Turn

Instead of having a settler at the start of the game, you have a hex grid that allows you to choose one of seven spaces to start your city. If that hex grid has a canyon, mountain, or water in it, you just lose the option to take that space. When deciding on what to bring with your colony ship, there is an option to see and extra ring worth of hexes to start your first city. This could potentially add up to 12 more tile options to where you can start your first city. It could be the difference between being a civilization based on the ocean or land.

Energy = Gold

Instead of stockpiling gold, your civilization will be hoarding big piles of energy. Functionally, it works the same as gold. You can buy land, purchase units or buildings, and trade it with other colonies.

Health = Happiness

Instead of keeping your people happy, you must keep them healthy in this potentially hostile alien environment. The negative effects of bad health are similar to low happiness. Your colony will slow or increase it’s growth based on current health levels. It will be harder to manage health than happiness because there is no equivalent to luxury resources. Mid-game, there are a few costly tile improvements that can increase health.

Cities

Cities grow and expand using the same basic mechanics. Food behaves the same as Civilization V in nearly every way. The only difference is that you found an outpost first and wait for it to grow from zero population to 1. Once it reaches 1 population, it becomes a city.

Technology

Technology is still researched the same way. Biggest differences are tech WEB and leaf (dead end) techs. Technology is still the primary way to get access to units, buildings and wonders. Unless you are playing an incredibly easy difficulty, don’t expect to research all techs in the game. You won’t likely need them all anyway.

Aliens = Barbarians

The alien nests, that behave the same as barbarian encampments, only spawn on Xenomass tiles. If you cover up the tile with a unit of your own, new nests can not spawn. Most of the alien units can be pushovers in small numbers. They are incredibly dangerous in swarms without the right units to combat them. Siege Worms and Krakens are a completely different sort. They usually require focused attacks with several units just for a chance at taking them out.

Units and Combat

Unit experience upgrades are not as critical as they were in Civ V. Instead, the upgrades that matter are results of moving up on the three major affinities. As you develop through those affinities, you will have the option of giving your units the more significant upgrades that apply to all units of the same name. Instead you have the option to heal 50HP or take a +10% combat bonus.

It is possible to hold on to early units in the game. As you upgrade, they will automatically get the upgrades and perform better. There is no avenue for paying to improve your troop to the next best unit.

Buildings

Buildings will have quests that improve their abilities beyond the face value shown. Once the upgrade has been picked, it will show on all future versions of that building. These quests show up some time after you build the first of each building. There doesn’t seem to be a specific time window for the quests to show up.

Miasma

Miasma is a new terrain element that makes exploring and sometimes combat more difficult. It is a gas cloud that sits on random tiles. If your unit remains in that tile for a turn, it will take damage. Trade convoys won’t travel through the clouds. Sometimes you will need to remove them in order to open a trade route. As you proceed in the game, you can eliminate the miasma or research to gain benefits from it instead. The clouds can heal some alien units as well.

A resource pod sits just south of several clouds of miasma (light green fog).

Resource pods = Village huts

The resource pods are randomly placed around the terrain waiting on you to find them. They can have satellites, culture, energy, or science. Thankfully, their are no enemies hidden in these pods. They will also be part of a quest that requires you to find and open at least 2 pods.

No such thing as Work Boats

Workers can hop into the water and start on improving water tiles as soon as you research Planetary Survey. No work boats needed and the unit is not expended after building a water improvement.

Covert Operations are improved

Spying and covert operations work similarly. Any agents not currently on assignment will work on a “homeland project.” Agents can choose from several missions while at an opposing city including stealing tech or siphoning resources from that city to your reserves. Cities have an intrigue level. As the level is increased, riskier, more profitable missions become available.

Culture gets a new chart

Culture still expands territory and earns cultural advancements. There are now four trees to choose from. You can gain benefits from nearly any path based on the number of options you choose in a tier.

 Keep checking back

I’ll be working on a few more guides to help you through your first steps on your new world. Victory conditions and hwo you gain access to buildings change the way you have to think about Beyond Earth.


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Author
Landon Sommer
While I do play some of the greats like Civilization and X-com, consider me your Tabletop guru here at gameskinny. Want to know about a tabletop game? Just ask!