Farming produces food, a critical resource, allowing you to sustain your population levels on the planets you control. The first Master of Orion uses planetary production to reflect the total production of a planet.
Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares
In order to produce food, you require a planet with at least a minimal support for life. Toxic, barren, or radiated planets do not support any farming at all, unless terraformed or provided with hydroponic farms.
The basic size of farming operations is determined by the planet. Aforementioned dead environments preclude natural farming. However, from desert worlds up, it becomes more viable:
- Desert, arid, and tundra planets limit production to 1 unit of food per farmer.
- Ocean, swamp, and terran planets have the baseline level of production: 2 units per farmer.
- Gaia planets produce the maximum basic amount of food per farmer: 3 units.
Farming production modifiers increase or decrease the amount of food each unit of population assigned to agriculture can grow. Like those for population growth, the farming modifiers affect the base that the effects of a planet's terrain and pollution are applied to. A farming bonus represents long familiarity with agriculture, resulting in effective techniques, while a penalty represents a simple lack of farming aptitude.
Master of Orion 3
Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars
Farming is determined by planet size and biome. A planet can have as many farmers as half its planet size's "max cells" value multiplied by its "farmable cells factor". Radiated, toxic, volcanic and inferno worlds have a farmable factor of 0%, making farming impossible on them. However, barren planets have a farmable factor of 32%, allowing farming on them, contrarily to Master of Orion II. Wet worlds (tundra and swamp) are better for farming than dry worlds (desert and arid), ocean planets are better than swamp planets, terran worlds are better than ocean worlds, the uber planets tropical, grassland, and cavernous are better than terran planets, and gaia are the best of all.
Aquatic races such as the Trilarians have a bonus on wet worlds: swamp planets are for them as farmable as terran planets are for others, while terran and ocean planets are for them as farmable as gaia worlds. However, the base food per farmed cell is not affected.
Other colony structures allow food production without dedicating citizens to farming duty, such as the biospheres, the fungal farms, subterranean farms, hydroponic farms, as well as the capitol or colony base. The presence of resources such as seagrass and red fungus can also provide some amount of food. Finally, colonies built in the Degon, Tetchys and Zarkonia systems can receive free food shipments from a friendly independent civilization. For sterile worlds where farming is impossible, these are the only possible source of food in a colony.