COST is a code that is needed in all items.

  • The COST code has 3 parts:
    • The word "COST" itself
    • A numeric value
    • A word corresponding to score category

As an example, here's the COST line from the Hydrogen Fusion Drive:

COST 126 technology

  • The numerical value on the line sets the base value of the item. This determines how many coins the item is worth, as well as how much it contributes to your score at the end of the game.
    • The mission.ini file modifies both the score and the coin value of the item based on what type of mission you're on.
    • The map size also supplies a modifier to the point value at the end of the game, but not to the cost when trading at homeworlds.
    • Assuming no modifiers from the mission.ini file, the break points for COST numeric values are as follows:
      • COST 0 to 100 = 1 coin
      • COST 101 to 250 = 2 coins
      • COST 251 to 450 = 3 coins
      • COST 451 to 700 = 4 coins
      • COST 701 or higher = 5 coins
    • In the main game, no single item has a COST value above 1000,1 and no Lifeform has a value above 250.

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