Sins of a Solar Empire
Planetary Bonus and Artifact Guide
version .87

Table of Contents
0.0 Introduction and Greetings [ntr]
1.0 Copyright and legal info [cpyrght]
2.0 Version History [vrsn]
3.0 Planetary Bonuses [plntry]
4.0 Artifacts [rtfcts]
5.0 Planet Analysis [nlyss]
6.0 Frequently-Asked Question [fqs]
7.0 Contact [cntct]
8.0 Thanks [thnks]

0.0 Introduction and Greetings [ntr]

Welcome to my brieft guide to planetary bonuses and artifacts in Sins of a
Solar Empire. This guide is for anyone curious about the different planetary
bonuses or wondering exactly what all those artifacts are. Aside from providing
a list, I've tried to add some useful commentary with an analysis of the
usefulness of the bonus/artifact as well as how to best take advantage of it.
If you have any questions about planetary bonuses not answered in the guide or
information that I have either erronously cited or simply do not have, please
check out my contact info and send me a message. Thanks for reading, I hope
you find the guide helpful. 

1.0 Copyright and legal info [cpyrght]

Copyright 2008 Luke Schut
This guide may not be reproduced under and circumstances except for personal,
private, use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
without advance written permission. If you email me and don't hear back from
me, this is NOT permission. Use of this guide on any other website or as part
of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.
Failure to ask for and recieve permission will result in repercussions.

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders.

Currently, GameFAQs is the only site I am allowing this guide to be posted on.
If you have come across it on another site, please inform me.

2.0 Version History [vrsn]
-version .50
 13 April 2008- initial, incomplete version. More to be added as discovered or
-version .55
 14 April 2008- added Massive Pure Glaciers and Tundra Farms, added missing Tax
 increase to Entertainment Hub, added notes to each artifact and bonus to give
 a short analysis and possible suggestions for utilization, added Intro section
-version .60
 15 April 2008- added Expert Crystal Miners, Expert Metal Miners, and Penal
 Colony to Planetary Bonuses, added Phase Accelerator to Artifacts
-version .80
 16 April 2008- added Manifest Dominion and Jump Field Generator to Artifacts,
 Artifacts section now complete, added Mega Fauna to Planetary Bonuses
-version .85
 19 April 2008- added Ionic Storms to Planetary Bonuses, expanded FAQ section
-version .87
 24 April 2008- added Planet Analysis section to provide information about the
 different types of planets
-version .89
 26 April 2008- added Weapons Test Facility to Planentary Bonus section,
 corrected erroneous information about Terran planets and bonuses, removed Ice
 Only from Massive Pure Glaciers
-version .90
 5 May 2008- added Natural Thermal Lifts and Persistent Dust Storms to
 Planetary Bonus section
-version .91
 6 May 2008- removed Asteroid Only from Penal Colony information, added
 Kalanite Deposits and Expert Agrarian Society to Planetary Bonus section
-version 1.00
 8 May 2008- divided uncolonizable planets up into seperate entries and added
 their respective properties, made changes to copyright section

3.0 Planetary Bonuses [plntry]
-note: These are the various bonuses you can find on planets. Some of them will
simply be revealed by colonizing the planet, others will require exploration.
This isn't a comprehensive list; I will continue to add to it as I find more
bonuses or as people send me info.

-Dense Molten Core
 Gravity Well Radius +33%
  -notes: You'll see this bonus when you officially discover the plant; no
   colonization necessary. It has little effect on your gameplay.

-Entertainment Hub
 Cultural Spread Rate +10%
 Tax Income +1.0
  -notes: Build a broadcast station on this planet to fully utilize its
   benefit. This bonus is great for increasing planet allegiance, waging
   culture war, or just getting a little extra cash. It also seems to appear
   fairly regularly, so you'll probably be able to utilize it often.

-Expert Agrarian Society
 Trade Income +10%
 -notes: Not much, but better than nothing. You'll get a slight trade income
  boost, so be sure to save some logistics slots for a trade port on this

-Expert Crystal Miners
 Crystal Extraction Rate +50%
 -notes: Excellent bonus, especially if the planet has two or more crystal
  asteroids. This can seriously boost your resource intake for that planet.

-Expert Metal Miners
 Metal Extraction Rate +50%
 -notes: Exactly like Expert Crystal Miners except for metal. Enjoy the bonus
  income and be sure to use it well.

-Habitable Cavern System
 Max Population +15
 Planet Health +500
 -notes: This is a great bonus, and it requires no work on your part. Just
  enjoy the increased tax income and planetary health.

-High Security Protocol
 Tactical Slots +5
 Trade Income -20%
 -notes: Nice if this is one of your front-line planets, otherwise it's kind of
  a pain to lose out on the trade income. Still, 20% won't take a huge chunk
  out of your trade, so don't be too discouraged from building a trade port
  on this planet if you need credits.

-Ionic Storms (Volcano Only)
 Max Population -20
 Trade Income +10%
 -notes: This bonus is similar to Mega Fauna, but less useful. The -20 to
  population will bring your max population down to around 10 without any
  techs like the Vasari volcanic adaptions. You also don't get a significant
  increase to trade, meaning you're probably losing more money on taxes than
  you're gaining through the increased trade. Be sure to build a trade port
  here and to fully upgrade the population limit to minimize the effects.

-Kalanite Deposits
 Trade Income +20%
 -notes: Another useful bonus. Just build a trade port here to take advantage
  of the increased income.

-Massive Pure Glaciers
 Trade Income +30%
 -notes: Build a trade port here! 30% is a huge boost, take full advantage of

-Mega Fauna (Ice Only)
 Max Population -15
 Trade Income +25%
 -notes: This bonus can be a pain because it initially drops your ice planet's
  population to 0, but a few planet upgrades will fix that. On the up side, you
  get a good increase to your trade income; be sure to take advantage of it to
  make up for the lack of population and taxes.

-Natural Thermal Lifts (Desert Only)
 Structure Build Rate +25%
 -notes: You can't argue with this one. The benefit isn't much, but it
  increases your build rate and lets you get your orbital structures built
  quite a bit faster.

-Penal Colony
 Structure Build Cost -20%
 Structure Build Rate -30%
 -notes: This bonus is a blessing and a curse. On the up side, your structures
  around this planet are cheaper. The downside is that they take longer to
  build. Still, this bonus can be useful if you're short on resources but can
  spare 5-10 seconds.

-Persistent Dust Storms
 Population Growth -25%
 -notes: Kind of annoying, but not too big of a deal. You population will
  increase more slowly, so you'll want to protect this planet from bombardment
  in order to keep your taxes up.

-Plundered Booty (Pirate Base Only)
 Tax Income +3.5
 -This may seem like a great bonus, but you have to take into account that a
  pirate base doesn't support any population, so it has no other income. This
  bonus is the only thing that makes a pirate base really worth capturing.

-Porous Core
 Gravity Well Radius -33%
 -notes: Like Dense Molten Core, you'll know about this bonus once one of your
  ships jumps into the planet's gravity well. It's not a big deal, just ignore
  this bonus. It won't seriously affect the game.

-Roiders Outpost (Asteroid Only)
 Metal Extraction Rate +20%
 Extra Constructors +1
 -notes: This bonus is extremely useful. You can quickly build all your 
  defensive structures with an extra constructor ship, and the increased metal
  extraction can really boost your income if the planet has a few metal

-Spice Trade (Desert Only)
 Cultural Spread Rate +5%
 Trade Income +10%
 -notes: This is a slightly different version of the Entertainment Hub. Be sure
  to take advantage of both bonuses by building a trade port and a broadcast

-Tundra Farms (Ice Only)
 Max Population +25
 -notes: This is a nice bonus that doesn't require any work on your part. Once
  you find it, sit back and enjoy the extra taxes.

-Weapons Test Facility
 Max Population -20
 Tactical Slots +8
 notes: Losing the populatin can be annoying, especially on low population
 planets like Volcanic worlds. However, if this planet happens to be in an area
 where lots of enemy attack and pirate raids happen, the extra tactical slots
 can be really useful.

4.0 Artifacts [rtfcts]
notes: Artifacts are rare items with strong bonuses. You'll have to explore
your planets in orde to find them. Once found, they give off an energy 
signature that alerts all empires to their presence. They're rare and powerful;
be sure to defend their planets well since loss of that planet will result in
losing the artifact's benefit.

-Data Archive
 Research Cost Decrease -25%
 -notes: This artifact can really help you get ahead early on and keep down the
  cost of those expensive technologies later on. Consider yourself lucky if you
  happen to be its owner.

-Jump Drive Relic
 Between Star Phase Jump Speed +50%
 -notes: Great for large maps, worthless for many 1v1 maps since they generally
  have only one star anyway.

-Jump Field Generator
 Phase Jump Anitmatter Cost -30%
 -Possibly the most useful artifact for someone trying to attack enemy planets
  or defend his own distant holdings. This artifact decreases the ammount of
  antimatter lost in phase jumps, so you can begin unleashing abilities faster
  upon arrival or use more of them. Also nice for the expanding empire since
  you won't have to wait as long for your colony ships to replenish their
  antimatter to colonize.

-Kinetic Intensifier
 Damage Increase +12%
 -notes: Decent damage increase. This artifact will give you a nice edge in
  combat throughout the game, especially as you start to increase your damage
  via techs.

-Manifest Dominion
 Culture Spread Rate +25%
 Culture Resistance +10%
 -notes: This artifact is great once the broadcast stations start going up.
  You'll be able to spread your culture more quickly and resist enemy cultures.
  If you don't have any broadcast towers when you find this, build some right

-Phase Accelerator
 In-system Phase Jump Speed +50%
 -notes: This is an excellent bonus no matter what race you are or where you're
  playing. The increased jump speed lets you mobolize your fleet more quickly,
  letting you get to your planets to defend them before your enemy can do much
  damage. Anyone whose empire is spread out across a star system should really
  enjoy the benefits of this artifact.

-Power Core Relic
 Antimatter Regeneration +10%
 -notes: Especially useful when you have capital ships and colony frigates
  jumping between planets constantly. You'll enjoy the benefits of this the
  entire game as it lets you get off more special attacks with your capital

-Relatavistic Factories
 Ship Build Rate +25%
 -notes: Great when you're trying to build up your army, but you won't find it
  as consistently useful as some of the other artifacts.

-Resilient Metaloids
 Hull Repair Rate +15%
 -notes: Again, a very useful artifact. Your ships will survive a little longer
  and will be ready to re-enter combat more quickly.

5.0 Planet Analysis [nlyss]
notes: This section has some basic information on the various planets including
a short analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each planet. Planets are
listed in alphabetical order. Some planets are actually uncolonizable spacial
phenomena. These are marked with an "uncolonizable" after the planet name.
These special "planets" cannot be colonized but often have high-income
indestructable resource extractors that you can take over. Try to take these
over if at all possible; they have a much higher extraction rate than normal
extractors and can quickly boost your economy early in the game.

 notes: These rocks are the most basic planetoid that can support population.
 They support the least number of people and have few logistics slots, but they
 do tend to have a few resource asteroids and enough tactical slots to act as
 a buffer between enemies and your more important planets. They also tend to
 have decent bonuses and occassionally artifacts.

-Asteroid Belt-uncolonizable
 Ability:Erratic Debris
 Effect: Chance to hit -20%
 notes: Asteroid belts seem to be fairly common. The lowered hit percentage
 isn't a big deal, but you should try to avoid fighting in these if you can. 

-Dead Asteroid
 notes: This variation on the asteroid serves as little more than a buffer. It
 supports no population, has no logistics slots, and lacks resource asteroids.
 They do, however, have a high tactical capacity, making them excellent
 buffers. Dead asteroids may have bonuses or artifacts, but the bonuses are
 generally worthless due to the lack of population and logistics structures.

 notes: Desert worlds very useful. They don't require any special research to
 colonize, have many logistic and tatical slots, and support large populations
 second in size only to terran worlds. Desert worlds can also have useful
 bonuses and tend to have both crystal and metal asteroids. They can also be
 home to artifacts.

-Gas Giant-uncolonizable
 Ability: Unstable Gas Pockets
 Effect: Damage 80
         Range 750
 notes: The gas giant ability doesn't translate well into simple numbers or
 descriptions. The unstable gas pockets ignite when ships explode and deal
 moderate damage to other ships within a short distance. This area damage can
 make battles in gas giant gravity wells rather interesting and fairly
 dangerous; avoid being caught in a large group around these planets.

 notes: Ice worlds require research to colonize. They have good tactical and
 logistics capacity and support more population than volcanic worlds but less
 than desert worlds. They only have crystal asteroids, but may have as many as
 four, making them useful in the end-game when crystal becomes necessary for
 expensive ships and techs. They also have a variety of bonuses and can have

-Magnetic Cloud-uncolonizable
 Ability: Magnetic Cloud
 Effect: Abilities Disabled
 notes: Never fight in a magnetic cloud. Any ships within the cloud have their
 antimatter-using abilities disabled, meaning you capital ships are going to be
 a lot less effective. Also, magnetic clouds never contain extractors due to
 the obvious problem of capturing an extractor with abilities disabled.

-Plasma Storm-uncolonizable
 Ability: Plasma Storm
 Effect: Strike Craft Launch Disabled
 notes: Fighting in a plasma storm is your choice. Having strike craft disabled
 can be a boon or detriment depending on your playing style. If you're relying
 heavily on strike craft to do your damage, be sure not to get caught in a 
 plasma storm.

 Ability: Solar Radiation
 Effect: Antimatter Regeneration +2.5/sec
         Jump Detection decreased
 notes: Stars are a unique uncolonizable planet. They are automatically
 revealed at the start of the game, and multiple stars may exist in one map.
 They also do not ever have neutral extractors, and their large gravity wells
 make traveling by them very slow. Stars also have another unique property.
 Each race can research a technology that lets it jump between stars, granting
 access to distant solar systems. Stars are a great place to stop to refill
 antimatter for colonization, and the decreased chance of your fleet being
 detected when jumping toward an enemy planet means you may be lucky and get a
 sneak attack.
 notes: These worlds are similar to earth, containing large oceans and
 landmasses easily capable of supporting human life. As such, they have the
 highest population limit of any planet type. They also have plentiful logistic
 and tactical slots. Terran worlds contain a mix of metal and crystal
 asteroids, up to two of each. Terran worlds can have artifacts, but seldom
 have bonuses, probably to balance the high taxes from the large population.

 notes: These worlds are somewhat more rare than the other types. Like ice
 planets, volcanic worlds require special research to colonize. Volcanic worlds
 also have very low population, more than asteroids but less than ice planets.
 They are very rich in metal asteroids, generally two to four per planets, and
 can have useful bonuses or artifacts.

 notes: Wormholes act as a shortcut across the galaxy once you've researched
 the proper technology. Each wormhole links to another, entering the one will
 instantly transport your ships to the other, allowing for quick travel over
 very long distances.

6.0 Frequently-Asked Question [fqs]
Currently, there isn't much to put here since I haven't recieved any emails
yet, but I'll take a guess at a couple that will probably come up.

Q. How do I find Planetary Bonuses?
A. You can sometimes find bonuses simply by colonizing the planet. Otherwise,
   you'll have to pay for the planet's exploration upgrades in order to find
   any bonuses.

Q. How do I find Artifacts?
A. Unlike Planetary Bonuses, Artifacts won't simply appear when you colonize a
   planet. You're going to have to explore it in order to find any artifacts.

Q. Do all planets have bonuses or artifacts?
A. No. Bonuses are relatively common, but you still won't find them on every
   planet. Artifacts are rare; you won't find them often.

Q. My planet has a yellow triangle underneath when I zoom out. What is that?
A. That yellow triangle is an artifact indicator. Everyone in the game can see
   it. That triangle means "artifact here," so be ready to defend that planet
   when your opponents come to take it for the artifact.

Q. What is Space Ponies and what does it do?
A. Space ponies is just a planetary bonus that unlocks the space ponies

Q.How do I get Space Ponies?
A. Just keep colonzing and exploring planets. It'll come up eventually.

7.0 Contact [cntct]

First and foremost, this isn't a strategy guide. I can't tell you the best way
to do ______. If you have a question about planetary bonuses or artifacts,
I'll try to answer it although I would suggest trying the GameFAQs/Gamespot
forums first; you'll probably get a faster response. If you have any further
information or notice any flaws, contact me. I'm more than happy to give credit
to anyone who has useful information or corrections.

You can either PM Baruch_S on Gamespot or email me at
If you email, be sure the topic line has something like "Planetary Bonus" in
the topic line. Don't send me spam, and don't waste my time. I also won't add
you on MSN Messenger or anything like that. If you need help or want to help
me, that's great, but I frankly don't know you and don't want you stalking me
or mucking up my already-messy inbox.

8.0 Thanks [thnks]
Thanks to Ironclad and Stardock for making this awesome game
Thanks to for making my copy impossible to get open
Thanks to anyone who reads this and finds it helpful
Thanks to anyone who helps me finish it