Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

46 ratings
Rising Tide: Beginner's Guide
By Yami
A simple guide to playing Rising Tide the newest expansion for Civilization Beyond Earth, whether you've played base BE or not.
Greetings and welcome to my guide. In this guide I'll try to explain basic information about Civilization Beyond Earth's first expansion: Rising Tide and also some basic things to get you started with enjoying the game.

About myself- I'm a fan of the Civilization series from first picking up Civ III and getting hooked on the 4X genre as a result of this. I moreso enjoy Beyond Earth over the base Civilizations because I'm a huge sci-fi nut and this ticks all my boxes yet still has the base Civilization feel to it.

About Rising Tide- Rising Tide is the first expansion to Civilization Beyond Earth and introduced a few new Sponsors, a new diplomacy overhaul, new aquatic cities, marvels, artifacts and hybrid affinities, all these changes essentially make Beyond Earth feel deeper than the base game, giving more gameplay options and also opening up new ways to exploit the land.
The Basics
Ok, so welcome to Rising Tide, there's going to be a lot of terminology used both in game and in this guide so best to acquaint you with the basics.

Science- Science is what allows you to resource technologies from the tech web, the higher this is the faster you'll research tech.

Food- Food is what your cities require to grow in population, the more food you have the faster you gain population.

Population- These are your citizens, they'll work tiles for you and some will be specialists which are more effective then normal citizens, the higher your population gets though the more health you need to sustain it.

Health- This is basically happiness from other Civ games, the more people you have and the more 'industrial' improvements and buildings will generate negative health which must be counteracted with positive health, if you can keep health green you'll gain bonuses to production, science, culture, growth and decrease enemy intrigue on your cities, however the opposite happens when your cities are unhealthy resulting in penalties to those areas.

Culture- This accumulates over time to allow your borders to expand and grant you virtues.

Production- This is your raw production rate allowing you to build buildings and units in your cities faster and can also be converted to either science, culture, energy or food when nothing else is needed.

Energy- This is basically like gold, your currency, this is used to pay maintenance on everything and can also be used to purchase units and buildings from the city screen and purchase tiles to expand faster.

Tile Improvements- These are what your worker units build on each tile and grant differing effects and bonuses.

Miasma- This is nasty blue/green stuff that coats the alien world, unless you have technology or improvements to resist or negate it then all units ending their turn within it will take 10HP damage, 5HP if you have miasma resistance developed. There are technologies to resist and negate miasma damage and some affinity bonuses in the Harmony area to even heal in miasma.

Basic Resources- These are bonus resources that dot the map and grant you specific bonuses when improved, these include things such as Chitin, Basalt, Fruit, Resilin etc.

Strategic Resources- These are special resources that are used in advanced units, buildings and wonders, they come in the form of basic strategic resources such as Petroleum, Titanium and Geothermal to your affinity related resources such as Floatstone (Purity), Xenomass (Harmony) and Firaxite (Supremacy).

Intrigue- Intrigue is what is generated by agents performing covert operations in other cities, the higher this is the more dangerous the operations that can be performed such as calling down siege worms or taking complete control of the city.

Diplomatic Capital- New to Rising Tide is this secondary currency which is used to buy and improve personality traits, bargain through trade, activate agreements and to purchase buildings and units alongside energy

War Score- New to Rising Tide, when you're at war with somebody you will acrue a war score for each unit you kill, city you capture, attack you make etc. this is used to decide who's winning the war with the winner able to use the difference in their war score to negotiate the terms of surrender with high score allowing the complete surrender of cities.

Resource Pods- Scattered around the world are little drop pods full of goodies provided by sponsors, these can range from bonus energy, science, culture etc. to free units and artifacts.

Artifacts- New to Rising Tide, these are collectibles found from resource pods, expeditions and alien nests that grant bonuses when claimed, when 3 are claimed at once you will also have the chance of a bonus building, wonder or unit improvement which will be stated on screen, different artifact combinations can result in different rewards and the state of the artifact affects the amount of bonus culture, science etc. you receive.

Aliens- These are essentially the barbarians of Beyond Earth however unlike barbarians these alien creatures are neutral to begin with and won't generally attack you unless you attack first or are near their alien nests, aliens change colour depending on their state in relation to you, green being neutral, orange being aggravated, red being hostile and blue being friendly. To make aliens friendly you must simply encompass an alien nest within your borders without destroying it and over time the aliens will turn friendly.

Alien Nests- These are the bases of aliens, they will actively attack anything nearby them and destroying them will cause alien relations to turn sour but also grant you alien artifacts which grant unit improvements such as increased worker speed.

Stations- Stations are minor powers that are able to be traded with by all players, over time stations will grow larger as you trade with them granting more resources however just like cities stations can be attacked and destroyed permanently.

Trading- Trade involves building a Trade Depot and the new hover trade unit which can go over land and sea, setting up trade routes is easy but limited to your available trade routes in that city, trade routes can be changed at any time you desire, there are three main types of trading, station trading which grants flat bonuses depending on the station which increase over time, intercity trading which allows you to trade between your own cities and grant each other bonuses which increase depending on city size and international trade which is trading between sponsors granting both a boost depending on city size again.

Affinities- Affinities are essentially what religion is in the future, you can choose one or be hybrid now with Rising Tide, every few levels grants bonuses and unit upgrades specific to your affinity level. There are 3 affinities with each one having differing playstyles and even victory conditions. Harmony focuses on synergy with the alien world tending to grant bonuses when alone or in miasma. Supremacy focuses on technological advancement of the human body granting bonuses when together and more. Purity focuses on retaining humanity granting bonuses to killing aliens and more.

Orbital Layer- This is the upper layer where orbital units are deployed, the bright blue outline shows your orbital range to deploy orbital units, once a unit is deployed it will show it's effect radius which another orbital unit cannot cross.
Game Setup
Ok, so you're finally past the loading screens and ready to play, you setup a game and all this information is provided and you have no idea what it means, well fear not, let's go through the game setup step by step.

In Beyond Earth there is no such thing as Civilizations or rulers, instead you will be choosing a Sponsor, these sponsors are what fund your journey to this alien world and are backing you every step of the way. Each sponsor represents a country or a conglomeration of countries back on Earth.

American Reclamation Corporation (ARC)- The ARC represent America and their traits are spy orientated, if you enjoy spying on your enemies and stealing things from under their noses then this is the sponsor for you. Each level of their trait decreases the amount of time it takes to complete a mission while also reducing the intrigue needed to perform missions. What this basically means is the ARC can perform harder tasks earlier such as a Coup D'etat which normally requires 5 intrigue will instead only require 4.

Pan-Asian Cooperative (PAC)- The PAC represent most of mainland China and surrounding areas and their traits are orientated towards wonders rewarding expanding fast by allowing free wonders in each new city and bonus diplomatic capital from those wonders. Each level of their traits increases how much bonus diplomatic capital they gain from wonders.

People's African Union (PAU)- The PAU represent most of Africa and their traits are orientated towards strong city development with a bonus to food which increases your population as long as you stay healthy and also granting bonus yields from specialists. Each level of their traits increases the bonus food and yield of specialists while healthy.

Franco-Iberia- Franco-Iberia represent most of France and a few outlying European countries, their traits are orientated toward virtues, granting you a bonus free virtue when you earn enough virtues through culture. Each level of their traits decreases the amount of virtues needed to gain a free virtue.

Kavithan Protectorate- The Kavithan Protectorate represent India and the surrounding areas and their traits are orientated towards fast border growth, this allows you to expand your borders for less culture or require less energy to just purchase the tiles outright. Each level of their traits decreases the amount of culture or energy needed to expand.

Brasilia- Brasilia represents Brazil and most of South America and their traits are orientated towards fighting, this gives you bonus war score when you're at war with other sponsors allowing you to gain more spoils from your victory while also granting bonus diplomatic capital per kill. Each level of their traits increases you bonus war score and amount of diplomatic capital you gain per kill.

Polystralia- Polystralia represents Australia and most of the island nations of the Pacific Ocean, their traits are orientated towards trading, this gives you more trading routes overall but more at your capital allowing for some quick growth through trading with other sponsors or stations. Each level of their traits grants more trading routes to your capital or other cities.

Slavic Federation- The Slavic Federation represents Russia and most countries which form the area known as Eurasia, their traits are orientated towards orbital units and strategic resources, this gives them a nice chunk of free Titanium, Geothermal and Petroleum and causes their orbitals to cost less strategic resources to build. Each level of their traits grants more free resources and reduces the cost of orbitals further.

Al Falah- Al Falah represents the Middle East and most of Northern Africa and their traits are orientated towards city developments, this gives them a high conversion rate when converting production into energy/science/culture/food. Each level of their traits gives them a higher conversion rate.

Chungsu- Chungsu represents the Korean peninsula and surrounding areas and their traits are orientated towards science through espionage, this gives them bonus science per agent rank every time they complete a successful spy mission. Each level of their traits gives them more science per agent rank when successful. This sponsor is also one of two who can make planetfall at sea.

INTEGR- INTEGR represents Germany and the surrounding areas and their traits are orientated towards diplomatic capital, this allows them to make agreements for cheaper while also purchasing things with diplomatic capital cheaper essentially turning diplomatic capital into a second currency for them. Each level of their traits decreases the costs of agreements and purchasing units with diplomatic capital.

North Sea Alliance (NSA)- The NSA represent the British Isles and Scandinavia and their traits are orientated towards ocean cities, this gives their ocean cities more strength to resist attacks and also costs less to move about which can quickly expand their ocean borders. Each level of their traits increases their ocean city strength and decreases the cost to move. This sponsor is also one of two who can make planetfall at sea.

Next up we have the colonists you brought with you from Earth, each one grants a flat bonus to a particular area in every city you have and it's up to personal choice which you pick.

Scientists- Grant +2 science in every city, good for tech development

Refugees- Grant +2 food in every city, good for population growth

Aristocrats- Grant +4 energy in every city, good if you tend to have low income or are militaristic

Engineers- Grant +2 production in every city, good for quickly building things

Artists- Grant +2 culture in every city, good for quick virtues and border growth, note this doesn't work for ocean cities because they don't require culture to expand their borders

Pioneers- Allows you to build workers and colonists twice as fast, requires Sid Meier's Starships to unlock

Mercenaries- Grants you more hit points for your cities and all units have bonus strength and ranged strength in friendly territory, requires Sid Meier's Starships to unlock

Next up are the modifications you make to your spacecraft, this affects your initial planetfall and grants various bonuses.

Continental Surveyor- Reveals coasts on the minimap, this is useful for getting the lay of the land for exploring and also revealing any resource pods along those coast lines

Retrograde Thrusters- This allows you a larger area to make planetfall while also granting a large vision radius around that area to get your bearings, this is useful to avoid bad landing spots and also scout the nearby area for resource pods

Tectonic Scanner- This shows Petroleum, Geothermal and Titanium on the map without needing the technology to see them, this is good for picking a landing spot near them

Fusion Reactor- Grants 100 energy at the start, this is a good boost to either purchase units or buildings earlier or to synergize with some of the Industry virtues

Lifeform Sensor- Reveals all the alien nests on the map, useful to avoid stumbling headfirst into an alien nest and losing your precious units to angry aliens defending their home

Electromagnetic Sensor- Reveals artifacts on the map, this is very useful to get some of the nice artifact bonuses introduced in Rising Tide, requires Sid Meier's Starships to unlock

Supply Module- Begin the game with 2 resource pods near your city, this gives you a nice little boosted start with a potential free Solar Collector, requires Sid Meier's Starships to unlock
Game Setup (cont)
Next up is the cargo you're carrying, these grant you something to begin the game with to boost you in a certain area.

Hydroponics- Begin with extra population in your capital, this gives you a good start to working tiles early on

Laboratory- Begin with pioneering tech, this is a powerful cargo as it essentially allows you to build colonists and trade depots off the bat

Raw Materials- Begin with a clinic built, this building gives you a nice start to science and health to begin with

Weapon Arsenal- Begin with a soldier, this grants you a military unit for free allowing you to get to work killing aliens or just another explorer to grab resource pods with

Machinery- Begin with a worker, this grants you a worker to quickly start working your tiles and focus more on building other things

Cryotome- Begin with a free virtue, this grants you a free virtue to start off with which can be a good start to your food, science, production or experience gain depending on which tree you choose, requires Sid Meier's Starships to unlock

Xeno Management- Begin with an Ultrasonic Emitter unit, this unit hurts aliens within a 2 tile radius of it, good for warding off aliens early on, not so good for stopping siege worms, requires Sid Meier's Starships to unlock

Now that you've picked your sponsor, colonists, spaceship and cargo you can modify the advanced setup to create a world of your desire and also adjust things such as resources, AI and their sponsors, teams, victory conditions and bonus options.

A few things that might not be clear to some are resource options, in particular Strategic Balance and Legendary Start. Legendary Start grants you a huge amount of resources around your capital while Strategic Balance makes sure the strategic resources are available to all sponsors, so you won't be starved of Firaxite or Floatstone for instance.

Bonus options are another thing, each one describes what it does some remove elements of the game such as marvels or resource pods while others alter the gameplay with hostile aliens and different starts.
First Steps
Everything's picked, packed and blasted off to your alien world of choice, now we make planetfall.

Once you've made planetfall it's time to start building your alien empire, a few things to consider when starting out.

Explore- Get that explorer moving and find resource pods, maybe even excavate a ruin along the way (place priority on progenitor expeditions as they yield rare progenitor artifacts)

Exploit- Get your city producing stuff, focus on getting a worker out if you don't have one and improving the nearby tiles for food, basic resources and more, start building buildings and units too

Exterminate- Build some military units and take it the alien scum, put some points into the Might tree and watch all your fighting give you bonus science too, you can also grab some alien artifacts from alien nests you destroy

Expand- Start expanding your empire with trade routes and colonists, build some colonists and start settling new cities near resources, maybe even settle a new ocean city. Once you have access to a trade depot start establishing trade routes with stations or other sponsors to get that cash flowing in, consider also spending energy to expand your borders a bit quicker

Starting Tech- If you don't have Pioneering, get it ASAP, this unlocks colonists and trade depots which are vital. Next you'll want to consider researching Ecology to grant access to the ultrasonic fence, once this is built in a city you'll randomly get a quest I suggest choosing to protect your traders against aliens, it'll save you a lot of hassle. Other good tech options are technology which unlocks strategic resources on the map (unless you already chose that option in setup), Computing for access to spies or rushing some early techs for the wonders associated with them.

Early Wonders- Some good early wonders are: Faraday Gyre from Power Systems, practically a must if you plan on having an ocean city or more. Gene Vault from Genetic Mapping, good if you plan on expanding into multiple cities granting you a free worker to start working tiles quicker. Panopticon from Defense Grid, good for expanding military vision range to see aliens or enemies earlier and Markov Eclipse from Transcendental Math, might take a bit to get to but very good for a military focused game as your units will hit hard even when wounded.

Affinity- Choose an affinity to focus on at first, trying to cover all 3 will leave you weaker early but stronger in the long run whereas focusing on one gives you a boost early game but locking out other affinity upgrades unless you ignore them for a bit, choose wisely.

Personality Traits- The game will -constantly- remind you about these, upgrade and buy new ones when you have enough diplomatic capital and make yourself that much better, new traits will also unlock new agreements when trading with other sponsors.

Ocean City- A word on the new type of city in Rising Tide, when you deploy a colonist on coastal waters they will produce a floating ocean city, unlock land cities these do not expand their borders by accumulating culture, instead you must purchase tiles with energy or diplomatic capital, ocean cities have access to unique buildings and wonders and can also MOVE. Moving your city requires a production slot and a few turns, once you move you will destroy any tile improvement on that tile and expand your initial borders and the reach of tiles you can purchase. Ocean cities go by the same rules as land cities, you cannot move one within a few tiles of a station or another city.
There are multiple ways to win within Beyond Earth, there is one victory type for each affinity, a basic science/exploration victory, a victory for destroying every other sponsor and a time victory when max turns are reached.

When the game reaches turn 500, that's it, game over, whoever has the highest score at this point is considered the winner by default.

This is the militaristic victory option, your goal is just simply to eradicate the other sponsors however you please, through military might or covert subterfuge.

This is the science/exploration victory option, to achieve this you must do the following:

Step One- Achieve two of the following:
  • Find fragments of The Signal from expeditions at progenitor ruins
  • Launch a deep space telescope which is unlocked by researching Orbital Automation and requires 2 Petroleum and 1 Firaxite to build
  • Research Transcendental Math and build the Transcendental Equation project

Step Two- Decode the signal by building the Decode Signal project

Step Three- Perform the following:
  • Build the Beacon wonder
  • Activate the Beacon with 1000 energy
  • Maintain the Beacon for a period of turns while maintaining energy income

This is a Purity victory option, the goal is to build a portal to Earth and settle new colonists while protecting them from harm.

Step One- Research Orbital Networks and launch a lasercom satellite

Step Two- Achieve Purity level 15, research Nanotechnology and build the Exodus Gate wonder

Step Three- Click the Exodus Gate and summon Earthlings through it, settle these new colonists the same as normal colonists however you can settle them in your territory, each settlement they build can hold 6 Earthlings, you must settle 20 total to achieve this victory

This is a Harmony victory option, the goal is to build a Mind Flower and protect it until you've linked up with the planet.

Step One- Research Nanorobotics, Transgenics and Swarm Intelligence to develop the Cognitive Link

Step Two- Achieve Harmony level 15 and build the Mind Flower wonder

Step Three- Protect the Mind Flower until it achieves a link, you can speed it up by building Xeno Sanctuary and Mind Stem buildings

This is a Supremacy victory option, the goal is to build a portal back to Earth and conquer it with your superior military and technological might.

Step One- Research Orbital Networks and launch a lasercom satellite

Step Two- Achieve Supremacy level 15, research Hypercomputing and build the Emancipation Gate wonder

Step Three- Send units through the Emancipation Gate back to Earth, only one unit can enter the gate per turn and its unit strength adds to the total needed to conquer Earth, you must send units totalling 1000 strength through the gate to fully conquer Earth
Closing Statement
I don't see myself as an expert of this game, just want to create a guide to potentially help newcomers to either Civilization or just Civ vets playing Beyond Earth.

If I've missed anything out or you have any questions just post in the comments below.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and enjoy playing Rising Tide and all the awesome new stuff it added.
< >
universecreep Dec 6, 2020 @ 2:43pm 
I likes this guide goodly.

Geralt Of Rivia Jan 25, 2020 @ 7:06am 
Excellent guide
Wilfrid Wong Jul 7, 2016 @ 7:32pm 
As someone who is new to this franchise, this is a wonderfully written guide with concise info. Thanks for sharing.
Georgestephenson Jul 2, 2016 @ 4:48pm 
Excellent guide, very useful.:steamhappy:
dorf Apr 25, 2016 @ 5:44pm 
The part about moving the floating cities was really useful, i suggest highlighting it.
Snifs Mar 19, 2016 @ 2:23pm 
I'm totally new to this game and have no idea on how to play. Where is the guided experience that is suposed to be with the game? Is there a explanation of the screen? When I land on the planet what am I supposed to do?
Sqwurl Feb 13, 2016 @ 1:23pm 
Very helpful!
Wham Wally Dec 3, 2015 @ 7:03pm 
thanks, this helped