Buildings are permanent structures constructed in cities for a permanent effect of some kind. As in all Civilization games, buildings are one of the major sources of city stats and bonuses, and each type may only be built once in each city. Every non wonder building in CivBE comes with its own choice quest, which lets you choose between one of two bonuses.
Building construction and pre-requisites
Buildings may be acquired after certain technologies have been researched, and if the city meets the necessary pre-requisites. You can either use the normal city production process, and construct the building after several turns (depending on the Production output of the city for building construction and on the particular amount of Production points the respective building costs), or you can purchase the building instantly, by spending certain amount of Energy from your stockpile.
The pre-requisites of the buildings are divided into several categories:
- Terrain. This is the least important pre-requisite, since, differently from Civilization V, only coastal buildings depend on the terrain your city is built on, and coastal buildings in CivBE are few.
- Resources. Much more important pre-requisite; many buildings in CivBE can only be built if a particular improved Basic or Strategic resource is present within the workable territory of a city, or if your colony has an amount of a particular Strategic resource available to spend.
- Affinities. Civilization Beyond Earth introduces a new requirement for buildings - a particular level of a particular Affinity. Thus some lower-level buildings can only be built if a civilization has reached level 2 of a particular Affinity, while other high-level buildings require Affinity levels as high as 8 - 10. Their power is, of course, equally great and impressive. We could even say these are the National Wonders of a civilization.
At the same time, building chains requirements are absent from the game; this means you don't need anymore low-level buildings from certain type in order to build higher-level buildings.
Almost all buildings, after being constructed/purchased, require Energy for maintenance. The amount differs, but is usually 1. Some buildings, however, 'consume' additional stats, for example Health , which is deducted from the total of the particular city (but of course, also affects the colony total). Also, some special buildings consume Strategic resources.
You can sell buildings for a small amount of Energy.
Each building you construct in a city will provide some sort of benefit. This may be a city stat ( Food, Production, defensive capabilities, etc.), a colony stat ( Culture, Science, etc.), an additional stat from particular resource in the city area, or a utility function, such as increased Orbital coverage, Specialist slots, etc. Because of the great variety of buildings (much bigger variety than Civilization V), and the great freedom you have in developing the technologies unlocking them, you should take the time to study each individual building's benefit and develop a strategy concerning which buildings you want to use ASAP, and which one you may leave for later.
Building Quest decisions
All buildings except the Mind Stem have a quest associated with them. These quests represent branching paths of possibilities arising after a certain type of building is first introduced in the colony; they allow further customization of your colony and add to the fantasy of the game. For every building of a type that you control, there is a 5% chance per turn of the quest activating. This will give you a choice between two bonuses. Most apply a local bonus to each instance of the building itself, while others apply a global bonus to your colony regardless of how many of that type of building you have. Unless specified otherwise, the bonuses are local and permanent.
Wonders are Mega-Buildings in the world of Civilization, and are significantly more powerful than normal buildings. First, the Wonder can only be constructed once - not only in one city, but also in the entire world. So, when someone starts constructing a Wonder in a particular city, he won't be able to construct the same Wonder in another city (even while still building it); when the Wonder is completed, a global announcement is made for this achievement, and the Wonder disappears from the building lists of all other players in the game. Multiple civilization are allowed to construct the same Wonder simultaneously, but the civ which completes it first will get the building and benefit; all the others will have to be satisfied with a portion of their investment returned in the form of some Energy.
There are exceptions to the above rules, in the form of National Wonders and Planetary wonders. Those are limited to 1 per civilization instead of 1 per world.
Wonders consecutively have a much higher Production price than normal buildings, but they also yield a much stronger effect, which many times affects all cities or all units of some type, etc.
Compared to Civilization V, however, Wonders' effects are much less powerful overall. It is perfectly possible to win the game without constructing a single Wonder.
These are buildings built in the field, outside of cities. Their purpose is to improve the basic yield of land or water tiles; some special improvements also give your colony access to the Strategic resources found on that tile. All Improvements are built by the Worker, and some (but not all!!!) cost your colony Energy for maintenance. Similarly to Buildings, some Improvements may also cost other stats.
Like Buildings, all Improvements besides several basic ones (Farm, Mine, etc.) have to be unlocked by researching certain technologies. Still, a notable difference from Civilization V is that in the beginning of the game you are able to construct several improvements, not only the Farm, which makes an early Worker much more useful.
Many Improvements can only be constructed on certain Resources. Note also that many City Buildings can in turn be constructed only after a certain Resource in the city area has been upgraded with an Improvement. And, many City buildings will provide bonus yields on certain Improvements. Compared to Civilization V the variety of Tile Improvements is much bigger - we have improvements that boost practically every possible colony stat (including Health), besides providing additional beneficial gameplay effects such as increased unit healing or orbital coverage! Another novelty is the fact that some Improvements provide direct stat benefit to the city, even if their tiles aren't being worked.