|Civilization: Beyond Earth created by Firaxis Games.|
Images used for educational purposes only.
Originally known in Civilization V as Happiness, Health plays a prominent role in series successor Civilization: Beyond Earth. Essentially a measure of your colony’s overall satisfaction, Happiness is absolutely key to the maintenance of a strong, successful colony. Ignore it at your peril.
Health is displayed as a one- or two-digit number on the top of the screen, accompanied by a coloured lifeline. It is a measurement of your colony’s current state of being, and will fluctuate often as your current situation changes. In all likelihood your colony will have times of good Health and bad Health, and you want to remain in good Health for as long as possible. Failing to do so has ramifications which worsen with time.
As hinted above, Health has multiple levels. The better your colony’s Health, the more bonuses it receives; by contrast, the lower its Health (denoted in this article as negative Health, though in the game it appears as a red lifeline). When you cross certain numerical thresholds your Health will change levels, and your colony will receive certain bonuses or penalties until you manage to change your Health. These levels are as follows:
- Utopian - 20 Health or higher. As good as things can get. Your colony receives +10% Culture, Science, and Production, +20% outpost growth, and -50% Intrigue in your cities.
- Prosperous - 10 to 19 Health. Not too shabby. Your colony receives +10% Production, +20% outpost growth, and -50% Intrigue in your cities.
- Stable - 0 to 9 Health. Toeing the line. Your colony receives +20% outpost growth.
- Shaky - -1 to -9 Health. Things are starting to go awry. Your colony receives -10% Culture and Science.
- Troubled - -10 to -19 Health. Uh oh. Your colony receives -10% to Culture, Science, and Production, and gains 100% Intrigue in your cities.
- Panicked - -20 or lower. Pray you don’t go so low. Your colony receives -10% to Culture, Science, and Production, gains 100% Intrigue in your cities, and city and outpost growth receives -50%.
|The Virtues menu. The Prosperity Virtue tree is particularly|
useful for players who want to improve their Health.
Health bops back and forth constantly, for good and ill. There are many factors that can push your colony one way or another. Ways to generate positive Health include:
- Choosing a lower difficulty level
- Choosing either Aristocrats or Artists as your Colonists upon game start
- Constructing certain buildings or improvements, namely Clinics, Pharmalabs, Cytonurseries, Gene Gardens, Bionics Labs, Biowells, Optical Surgeries, Gene Smelters, and Soma Distilleries
- Constructing certain Wonders, namely the Memetwork, the Precog Project, the Promethean, the Daedelus Ladder, and the Xenonova
- Choosing certain options in Quests - for example, some Quests will increase the Health output of your buildings
- Choosing certain Virtues, namely Public Security (Might); Mind Over Matter, Joy From Variety, and Eudaimonia (Prosperity); Foresight and Community Medicine (Knowledge); and Profiteering and Magnasanti (Industry)
- Building cities
- Not building too many cities
Ways to generate negative Health include:
- Gaining Citizens
- Establishing or obtaining too many cities too quickly
- Having too many cities period - note that outposts do not count towards negative Health until they change into cities
- Annexing cities while your Health is low - this leads to the Resistance level of Health
- Constructing Manufactories
Health will fluctuate often, sometimes jumping above or below the neutral line several times in a single turn. Generally speaking you want to keep your Health level in the green for most of the game, as this will allow you to maximize your overall productivity. How can this be done?
|A well-developed city. Cities with a lot of Citizens|
will contribute a large amount of negative Health.
Tips for Maintaining High Health
- First off, don’t worry too much about gaining Citizens. It’s going to happen, and each new Citizen will grow your city a little more. Focus instead on other methods of balancing your Health score.
- Focus first on constructing Health-based buildings whenever you establish new cities. It’s not a bad idea to bite the bullet and outright purchase Clinics, Pharmalabs, Gene Gardens, and the like.
- If you find Health to be a consistent issue (a common problem for newcomers to Civilization games), give Prosperity Virtues a run. They’ll force you to receive more Citizens, true, but the bonuses received to Health far outweigh any minor cons. With a bit of wiggling down the Virtue tree you can gain these Virtues rather quickly, even if they only start on Tier II.
- Don’t expand too quickly. More cities equals more unhappiness. As a rule of thumb, it’s best not to establish new cities unless you have a Health level of roughly five or higher. Failing to keep this in mind may see your Health dip precipitously. I find that establishing a new city every 75 turns or so (dependent on your Pace) will result in a happier colony overall. You can expand into a larger empire once you have a major surplus of Health points.
- If you plan on annexing cities, don’t take a whole bunch in a small number of turns. Not only will this increase the risk of Resistance status, your Health in general will drop precipitously. Wait a dozen or so turns (depending on your game’s Pace) before jumping to another city. If possible, surround the city and keep its health low while waiting for the effects of annexation to wear off, or simply delay the attack until later.