Enemies are creatures that want to harm the player. They normally come from spawners and begin on the enemy force. There are three types of enemies: Biters, Spitters and Worms. Each of these types comes in three stages of growth and thus strength.
- Main article: Achievements
Enemies are directly connected to the following achievements:
- It stinks and they don't like it
- Trigger an alien attack by pollution.
- Destroy 10 spawners by impact.
Biters are one of two main antagonists in the game. They are the native inhabitants of the extraterrestrial world and commonly live peacefully with worms and spitters. Biters are arthropods living in organic nests. They come in four sizes: small, medium, big and behemoth. In the beginning of each freeplay game there will only be the small ones, with increasing pollution they will become bigger, related to the enemy's evolution. Biters are attracted by and enraged by pollution and will attempt to destroy its sources. They prefer to attack the player character, turrets and radars and will stop searching for pollution if they can see and attack any of those. Biters deal physical damage.
The biter class enemy will likely be the most common threat to a player's factory. While any attack can catch an undefended factory off guard, most players will be able to handle attacks from small biters with relative ease. Medium biters often pose a much greater threat due to their heavy armor. Big biters are another step in this direction and can come as another nasty shock to any player not familiar with their world's evolution level. Behemoth biters are a big threat to any factory and serve as the Player's prime incentive to avoid excess pollution. However, Biters of any size can be managed by static defense, though some of the larger waves can be overwhelming.
Biters come fairly early to attack a factory that produces large amounts of pollution, as pollution will attract an attack. Once the pollution cloud reaches a nest, the player can expect biters to be showing up shortly. The attack group will be focused on destroying the source of the pollution, but will change targets as soon as one appears of higher priority, typically by level of pollution, though they target the player or static defense first and foremost. Biters also have the ability to find their way around a defense, to a degree. This can be used to partially control the movement of the biters allowing turrets to damage them for a longer time, but requires the "bait" of this trap be left open. Biters aren't always willing to fall for the bait. Some biters will choose the most direct route and will attack the walls of the trap regardless making them less predictable and more dangerous.
Spitters are much like Biters. The only difference, besides their appearance, is that they only have a ranged attack. They spit at any opponents (e.g. players) with an acid projectile that can neither be dodged nor deal damage to anything else than the original target. Commonly the acid resistance of buildings (like a turret) and armor is much lower than its physical resistance. Because of this Spitters deal more average damage than Biters. Their behavior and sizes are very similar to the Biters, except their health and resistances.
|Small Spitter|| Weakest of spitters. Easy to kill with any weapon, but attacks at range.
|Medium Spitter|| Stronger and slower than the smaller version. Can pose a problem for and even kill weaker players. Attacks at range, making it dangerous for turrets.
|Big Spitter|| An even bulkier spitter and so can take more damage. Attacks at range, making it dangerous for turrets and the player.
|Behemoth Spitter|| The bulkiest of the spitters and so can take even more damage. Attacks at range, making it dangerous for turrets and the player.
The Worms are natural allies of Biters and Spitters and will attack the player if they get close enough. They act like static turrets and will not follow you, they will instead use their much greater range, in comparison to other enemies, to inflict damage without leaving the nest. However, their static nature does render them more vulnerable to certain attacks.
Like any other enemy, worms come in 3 sizes, their power increasing with size. Unlike Biters and Spitters, Big and Medium Worms can be created directly after start of a new game, and will not always spawn near spawners. Their appearance is not dependent on time, however their appearance frequency can be modified by distance from the initial player spawn point, with greater distance yielding bigger/more worms.
The homes of biters and spitters. While spawners themselves are generally defenseless (Unless a worm is nearby), the enemies they release overtime effectively serve as a form of guards to distract the player and any nearby turrets. If a group of enemies of the same variety is given the opportunity, they will automatically combine into a new spawner, expanding enemy bases.
Spawners exposed to pollution will use it to evolve the enemies they spawn, which may also result in an attack.
Further away from the starting location the chances that stronger enemies spawn is higher. This is controlled by the
spawn_shift; the higher the value of it, the higher the probability that stronger enemies spawn.
Spawners are effectively 'bullet sponges' capable of absorbing a large amount of damage. Explosives, shotguns, flamethrowers, and tanks are effective weapons against spawners.
Spawners are the only place to acquire alien artifacts, which are needed to create alien science packs, which in turn are needed to research late-game technologies. As of 0.15, alien artifacts were removed, meaning it is only beneficial to destroy spawners to clear out space or prevent incoming attacks.
Every 4-60 minutes, a group of 5-20 biters will leave their base to create a new base. This group will search for a suitable spot that's at least 3 chunks and at most 7 chunks away from existing biter bases. Once they have found a suitable spot the group of biters dies and forms a new base. This new base will first be very small (about one spawner and a few worms) but will get some additional spawners within a small area as time passes.
The evolution factor is a global variable that determines what kind of biters will be spawned. You can check the variable in the dev console via the following command:
It goes from 0 (not evolved at all) to 1 (maximal evolution). At the moment the evolution factor can only increase. The evolution factor is increased by three kinds of events:
Methods of increasing
- The passage of time very slightly increases the evolution factor.
- The global pollution production increases the evolution factor.
- Destroying enemy spawners significantly increases the evolution factor.
All these values are set in
game.map_settings.enemy_evolution. From there they can be changed or modded.
The current (as of 0.14.22) default settings are:
|Source per||Variable in
|1000 Pollution Units||
|Destroyed enemy spawner||
Pollution production is the total pollution produced by buildings per tick, not the pollution spreading on the map, so it is not reduced by trees or other absorbers. e.g. : 15 burner mining drills produce 150 pollution per second, raising the evolution factor by 0,00000225 per tick.
The percentages are applied on the base of
1 - current_evolution_factor. So for instance destroying enemy spawners in the beginning of the game results in increase of evolution factor by 0.005 (half a percent) while doing this when the evolution factor is 0.5 the increase is only 0.0025 (quarter a percent).
Besides choosing what kind of biter will be spawned the evolution also influences the spawning interval. This interval (
spawning_cooldown in the
enemy-spawner definition) is interpolated between 360 (0 evolution) and 150 (1 evolution) ticks.
Spawn chances by evolution factor
|Factor||Small Biter||Medium Biter||Big Biter||Behemoth Biter|
|Factor||Small Biter||Small Spitter||Medium Spitter||Big Spitter||Behemoth Spitter|