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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 2 (04/30/22)

Author Topic: I don't understand how incomes work at all  (Read 2973 times)


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I don't understand how incomes work at all
« on: August 06, 2019, 01:36:30 PM »

If this has already been answered before, then please direct to me to the thread if you know of it. :P

I've been playing a constantly over the past week, and yet consistently the only way I know how to find out which industries to build is through trial and error - build it, see if it makes decent money, and if it doesn't then uninstall and install the next one. Surely there's something I'm missing. In addition to that, an industry on one planet sometimes is a one-hit wonder and makes me loads of money, and yet the same industry on a different planet may only result in a loss from the upkeep with no exports.

Knowledgeable people of Starsector, elighten me.

Edit: Alright I've been staring at the screen trying to crack the code and solve the rubix cube this game is throwing at me and I now understand that the demand, the amount I can sell, is directly determined by how much my colony needs. If my colony needs 5 fuel, I can sell 5 fuel to it. Now, with that said, why am I making 3k from my light industry and a different colony is making fat bank with the same amount of demand and little change in accessibility and populations?

Edit 2: I can conclude Starsector is out to get me and doesn't care about demand and income, or the logistics of it, only driven by it's thirst for my blood and to make my wallets suffer and my head hurt.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 02:03:34 PM by Kayo »


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Re: I don't understand how incomes work at all
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2019, 02:10:58 PM »

Industries need resources, planets have different resources. Some have no minerals, some are extremely extremely rich.

Each richness tier above normal adds +1 to industry output, each richness below normal decreases output by one.


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Re: I don't understand how incomes work at all
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2019, 02:29:38 PM »

So, there are several factors.

The universally important four factors are:
Planet hazard rating - this doesn't modify gross income, but it does multiply maintenance costs; an industry that turns a decent profit on a 75% terran world might be a net loss on a 300% hazard gas giant.
In-faction production - again, doesn't modify gross income, but the more of your demand can be satisfied by other planets you control, the lower your maintenance costs.
  Edit: Note that this bonus applies to the colony as a whole, not on a per-industry basis.  Mouse over the income in the planet management screen to get the tooltip telling you what the value is for a given colony.
Stability - high stability is (currently) a multiplier on profit generated.  Get it to 10.
Accessibility - caps how much of a thing you can sell; also impacts market share (which determines how much you get from selling it).

After that, you get to the per-industry variables.

Mining: Depends a lot on what resources are available.  It's theoretically possible to find planets with minerals and rare minerals and organics and volatiles, but more often you'll need to construct mining on multiple planets to cover all the resources.  High tier deposits of rare minerals and volatiles are generally the most profitable, but it's good to have all four for the in-faction production bonus - assuming that the deposits are good enough; a poor deposit won't really help.
To get the really good deposits, you will probably have to build mining on a high-hazard world.

Refining: Tends to be highly profitable, especially if you can actually keep it fed with in-faction mineral production.

Farming: If you can build it, it'll be decently profitable.  Not awesomely so, but decent, in large part because the maintenance cost is low.

Fuel production: If you don't have a synchrotron, don't bother.  If you do, build this on a low-hazard world and make bank.

Heavy Industry: Profits tend towards 'meh', but it can still make a decent amount if you put it on a low hazard world and install a pristine nanoforge.  Then again, profit isn't really the point of heavy industry; this is what lets you make use of all those blueprints.

Light Industry: Low profitability, unless you build it somewhere that has free port turned on - at which point it will make drugs, which are high value, but (as a free port) will also attract punitive expeditions from the Luddic Church and the Hegemony.  May still be worth having one of even if you aren't using free port anywhere, just to get that in-faction production bonus on the rest of your colonies.

Commerce: In 0.9.1, does not generate any profit.  Do not build.

Military Base: Does not generate any profit.  Still worth having at least one per system, just for the added resilience against hostile expeditions.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 02:36:22 PM by Wyvern »
Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.


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Re: I don't understand how incomes work at all
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2019, 03:31:55 PM »

Income = tariff income - upkeep

Upkeep = base upkeep x planet hazard rating x domestic supply modifier

Base upkeep is fixed for the industry. Planet hazard rating is fixed for the planet. Domestic supply modifier is variable based on the “percentage” of supply you import without having to use non-faction sources. As this perfentage goes up the domestic supply modifier is reduced from 1 to .5

Tariff income = base product market size x market share

Tariff income is acquired for any good your produce. Note that when mining you must at least have a base amount of the resource on the planet in order to acquire it

Market share depends on total production and accessability. The more accessable and the more total production the higher your market share will be. Total production is increased by the planet being larger, modifiers from administration, and installed AI cores/production assets.

Optimizing this is not too hard once you understand what is going on. Your low hazard planets should have as much of the high upkeep options as possible. You should have some mining of all types if at all possible (even if that means putting it on a high hazard planet). High hazard planets can be offset as your empire becomes more self sufficient.

Lower hazard planets (anything under like 125%) can generally make a profit even when just running a spaceport. So you can always grow without having to worry about losing money.