Buildings Overview

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Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Official Digital Strategy Guide
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Buildings Overview

Constructing Buildings

Cities will not get very far without a wide assortment of Buildings to upgrade resources, yields, and general conditions. There are several ways this can be accomplished. The easiest way is to open the City Manager (by clicking on a city's name), use the Choose Production menu, and select a building to produce. The city's Production is then devoted toward creating that Building, with the amount of Production accumulating each turn until the Building is done.

Alternately, when a city finishes a construction project, a Production icon pops up on the lower-right side of the screen in the User Interface of the World View. Clicking on this icon immediately opens the Choose Production menu for that city, so another Building can be selected for construction.

With some planning for a city's usage and intended purpose, a queue can be generated to produce multiple Buildings, Units, or combinations of Buildings and Units. Open the City Manager by clicking on the city's name, and then click in the Activate box located on the Production Queue Action Bar to make the check mark appear. This will activate a queue at the bottom of the screen.

Next, choose a Building or Unit to be produced first for the city. The second Building or Unit chosen will be the next item to be produced for the city when the first Building/Unit chosen has been completed. Notice that the Choose Production menu will now read Add To Queue. Each additional Building or Unit chosen will add to the list in the same fashion, being constructed or trained in the order selected. This allows a queue to be created that will allow any combination of available Buildings and Units.

Buildings and Units can also be constructed when purchased. This requires a fair amount of stockpiled Energy, so purchasing Buildings is not always feasible. To Purchase a Building or unit, open the City Manager by clicking on the city's name in the World View. The Production Management menu, located in the upper right corner in the City Manager user interface, contains two tabs: Change Production and Purchase. By clicking on the Purchase tab, the Buildings and Units that can be purchased will appear on the list.

Some of the items may be unavailable, appearing grayed out which means more Energy, Affinity, Resources, and/or other requirements have not been met before the Building or Unit can be purchased. Scan the list of available items, choose a Building to purchase, and click on it. Once a Building or Unit has been selected for Purchase, the proper amounts of Energy and Resources, if applicable, are subtracted from the Global Totals, located at the top of the World View.

To view the Building that was purchased, open the City Manager by clicking on the city's name in the World View, and then click in the Show box located on the City Buildings and Wonders Action Bar in the lower left corner of the City Manager to make the check mark appear. This will show all the Buildings and Wonders for the city. Scroll through the list until the Building that was purchased it seen. All Buildings will appear here whether purchased, produced, or gifted.

Purchasing Buildings grants their associated bonuses instantly. This is often best when starting a new city because it takes many turns of construction; cities with high Production usually finish Buildings so quickly that it is not as efficient to use stored Energy in this manner.

Some buildings can be acquired automatically. Some Wonders can "gift" a Building to the city in which the Wonder is built. This is covered in the Next Chapter, but the important piece to remember is that some Buildings can be acquired for free. Do not Produce or Purchase a Building that can cost valuable Turns, Energy, and Production if that Building is not absolutely necessary!

Assigning Specialists

Open the City Manager by clicking on a city's name in the World View, and activate the City Buildings and Wonders option at the bottom of the screen by clicking in the Show box, making the check mark appear. This opens a panel above it that shows the Buildings and Wonders that have been built inside the city. Look over all of the Buildings, Wonders, and associated perks that city has to acquired. Notice that some of the Buildings have open circles next to them.

These open circles are actually Specialist Slots. There are several types of Specialists that are all valuable to the progress of the city. Click on the slots to fill them with Citizens so that bonuses can be gained. To view the bonuses, hover the mouse pointer over the Specialist Slots, and tool tips will appear for each slot.

It is also important to know how many Citizens there are in a city so that they can be assigned out appropriately. To see the Population information of the city, look at the upper left corner above Citizen Management in the City Manager or to the left of the City's name in the World view.

Citizens cannot be Specialists and Laborers at the same time. So, having a ton of Specialists means that there will not be as many people to work the tiles around the city. This is usually a rough trade-off in the early days of a city, when the city needs the resources from the tiles to grow. Later on when the Population is larger, usually there are Citizens that can be spared for Specialist Slots because not every single tile will have to be worked. Once Citizens are working the city's best tiles, go ahead and start assigning Citizens to Specialists Slots to focus the city on whichever resources are needed the most.

Types of Specialists

  • Artists: Raise the Culture output of a city.
  • Engineers: Improve the city's Production.
  • Growers: Add Food to your city.
  • Scientists: Increase Science yields.
  • Traders: Bring in those Energy credits!
  • Unemployed: Citizens who are not working a tile or a Specialist Slot are unemployed, only providing a single point of Production.

City/Building Specialization

City development is a combination of time, Tile Resource management, Population management, and Building construction. Use every turn wisely, and create a city that fills whatever niche the Colony needs. There is not a "one size fits all" solution. Without question, build orders have an important place; as Polystralia, it might be more beneficial to start off with buildings like a Trade Depot and a Recycler building, followed by an Ultrasonic Fence building for the Quest perk(s) before moving on to other buildings, depending on the circumstances. Having a single list of buildings to construct in each city is dangerous! This is a potential blunder because there is not any specializing of cities and because circumstances and need are constantly changing.

In earlier Civilization games, generic build orders could be a real problem. People who used them did not realize the tremendous advantages that can be gained by stacking buildings with similar bonuses on top of each other. It was possible to create a military focused city that popped out units with multiple upgrades. Then, another city could be focused on massive scientific bonuses, utilizing Wonders with Science buffs to compound high Science yields. Generic cities with the same buildings could not reach equivalent power as quickly.

In Civilization: Beyond Earth, there are not as many buildings that help to specialize, but this style of play is still relevant. Create a city with stronger defenses along the Colony's border. Make sure that it has bonuses that increase City Hit Points and City Strength. Use safer interior cities to focus more on producing units and orbitals as well as to increase yields and general resources.

Avoid wasting time creating massive defenses in safe areas until there is nothing better to do (which doesn't happen often). Instead, take the slight risk in leaving those cities weaker, investing in Science, Production, and other yields that are going to help the Colony grow.

Tiers of Buildings

This discussion is more of a conceptual one because the game does not require its Buildings to be built in tiers. There is no requirement to construct a Vivarium building to get a Cloning Plant building, or a Recycler building to get a Borehole building. However, it is still necessary to learn about tiers because they are a quick way to represent the necessity of a particular Building for each city owned.

The understanding of Buildings can be improved by placing them into tiers. The construction costs for Buildings that are researched later in the Technology Web are much higher than the ones researched early on. If more advanced Buildings are queued early in a city's history, the results can be disastrous. The delay in completion is more than a missed opportunity for the city and Colony. Even if the advanced Building has better stats than a "lower tier" Building of the same resource type, many turns are still wasted that the weaker Building could be turning out increased yields for while the advanced Building is still waiting for completion.

In discussing Buildings and their values, Buildings can essentially be broken down into tiers. Within these tiers, produce Buildings with regards to cost, yield increase(s), and prohibitors as circumstances dictate. For example, it may be more beneficial to give precedence to constructing a Building that increases Health over constructing a Building that increases Energy among Buildings within the same tier.

First-tier Buildings are the inexpensive ones that are usually gained in the first ring of Technology. These take little time to complete, still have very solid bonuses, and do not require much from a city in terms of access to Strategic Resources. First-tier Buildings are so efficient that every type of these Buildings should be built in every city that is founded.

Examples of first-tier Buildings are the Old Earth Relic, the Thorium Reactor, the Clinic, the Laboratory, and the Vivarium.

Second-tier Buildings are going to be researched on the next circle farther out in the Technology Web. The cost is over double what the early buildings cost, and the bonuses are not always that much more powerful. Second-tier Buildings may or may not always be necessary in each city. This is where focused intent in the planning of the city becomes increasingly important.

Examples of second-tier Buildings are the Autoplant, Biofuel plant, Feedsite Hub, and Gene Garden.

Third-tier Buildings are near or along the edges of the Tech Web. Often at least (4) first-tier buildings can be created in the time that it takes to construct (1) third-tier building. While these Buildings do take longer to construct, the perks are also increased making these buildings highly desirable and of greater importance when focusing a city's Production.

Examples of third-tier Buildings are the Microbial Mine, Hypercore, Terra Vault, and Progenitor Garden.

It is best for cities to get all of their first-tier Buildings completed before starting to focus heavily on other areas of specialization (though if necessity dictates, higher tier Buildings can be started at any time they become available).

Get the first tier of buildings done, and go in the order of needs that the city requires the most. For example, start with a Vivarium building if the city is in a low-Food, high-Production area. Similarly, start with a Trade Depot building if the city or the Colony is heavily in need of Culture, Production, Science, and/or Energy; internal trade routes can also be used to heavily boost more than one city at a time.