Xenofungus is the only native plant species found on Planet. It grows on land as well as sea. Formers can be used to remove it from tiles, as well as to plant it. Native lifeforms can move through it without problems, but anything else is slowed down considerably unless certain technology has been researched.
Native lifeforms can move through xenofungus at a cost of 1/3 of movement point (equivalent to that of a human unit through roads). A general human unit may take maximum 2 point to move, same as a forest/rocky area. This can change, however; the discovery of Centauri Psi will allow for some relaxation of that limitation, while possession of the Xenoempathy Dome will allow the faction's units to travel through them as if they were roads.
Under normal conditions, conventional units standing in xenofungus gain a defensive combat bonus in conventional combat equivalent that of being in a forest. However, a conventional unit standing in xenofungus will be at a severe disadvantage in psionic combat; psionic units attacking them will have a 50% bonus. Conventional units controlled by the faction that controls the Pholus Mutagen will gain the bonuses normally possessed by native lifeforms.
A faction that has discovered Centauri Psi can build some terraforming improvements even through xenofungus. However, no matter one's faction's technological advancement, bases cannot be built in xenofungus.
Unit move through fungus may excite native lifeforms to appear to attack. The chance depend on a series of factor, like road, sensor, etc... SMAX-specific lifeforms also appear in dense patch of fungus (at least 3x3).
All three animal lifeforms found in the game have seven states they can go through: Hatchling, Larval Mass, Pre-Boil, Boil, Mature Boil, Great Boil, Demon Boil. These designations, known as lifecycle, are analogous to the "morale" system applied to conventional units.
- Mind worms are the most common native lifeform on Planet. By moving through the Xenofungus you can agitate them and cause more to appear. They are a good source of energy credits. Areas near healing monoliths are the best place to hunt them, as each time you move to a monolith your unit will be instantly healed, and you can keep on hunting. This tactic allows you to level up your unit as well. You also have a chance of capturing a mind worm, which adds to your military strength, without requiring any minerals to support it. A mind worm only requires 1/3 of a turn to move through a tile of Xenofungus. The Gaians can use mind worms as a police unit.
- The Isle of The Deep is an aquatic subspecies of Mind worm, where waterborne Mind worms cluster together and secrete a glue-like substance that bonds them together to form one giant mass. They move easily through water tiles covered in fungus. If captured or bred in bases that have researched the proper technology, they can be used for transport. They can capture sea bases, but not land bases. Unlike conventional water units, they can both be used as transports and as combat ships.
- Locusts of Chiron are a far less seen species. Like needlejets, they are able to fly anywhere. But unlike needlejets or helicopters, they are able to safely end its turn anywhere, even over ocean tiles. Like conventional units with the "Air Superiority" capability, they can attack air units in flight. However, unlike such they do not suffer the 50% "Ground Strike" penalty when attacking ground units.
- All alien life forms heal - and may heal fully - when resting in fungus. Captive native lifeforms heal fully in a single turn if located in a base with a Biology Lab, assuming said base is not under artillery bombardment.
In the Alien Crossfire expansion pack, new species were added.
- Sealurks are a more powerful water predator; they possess abilities not unlike a conventional submarine unit.
- Spore Launchers are a mobile unit able to act as artillery. They often destroy mines, farms, and other things you have built.
- Fungal towers sometimes appear along with other units, usually large masses of mind worms. They possess no offensive capability of their own, but possess a 50% bonus against most attackers. Most likely appear in the center of 3x3 patch of fungus (minimum size).
Alpha Centauri lifeforms attack and defend with psi. Factors affecting psi strength are elite level/larval states, fungus patch (terrain) and Planet rating. Morale only affect production's result, and normal terrain factor won't be calculated in any equation.
They can not be altered like other units can.
Lifeforms receiving support from a base (because they were made there), that end their turn in fungus won't cost mineral support.
Native lifeforms can be captured by sending a combat unit to attack them. The chance to capture depend on Planet ratings, and the capturing unit must have a full move. Captured are always Independent, costing no minerals to support.
Lifeforms produced by factions are affected by lab, centaury reserve, and specifically mentioned facilities. They are not affected by Command Center, Airforce, or Naval Yard.