Microbe Editor

The Microbe Editor is the editor used in the Microbe Stage and early Multicellular Stage (before the transition to 3D) to edit your cell or colony. It is also the first editor in the game and the introduction of the player to editing.


The Microbe Editor represents the evolution of cells and microbes between the generations. The player enters the Microbe Editor by reproducing. The cell will be locked in place facing upwards, and the player will be able to zoom and rotate. An arrow will point towards the front facing side of the cell. In the editor, the player can build the structure of their microbe, change its appearance, edit the AI that controls other members of their species, create agents, and test possible microbe designs.

All edits cost a certain number of Mutation Points. Each editor session is allotted a maximum amount of Mutations Points that can be spent (based on difficulty). This cap represents the realistic degree of evolution between generations. Infinite in Free Edit mode. Loading a creation can only be done if the MP difference is 100 or less. Creations can be used as templates. Adding or removing a part has the same cost. Moving costs but less. Undo is free (limited to that editor session). Redo is opposite of undo.

Entering the Microbe Editor

To enter the editor, the player must double its size and replicate all of its internal parts, called organelles. The player does this by collecting ammonia, phosphate, and glucose, which the cell will then passively use to grow and begin replicating the organelles one by one. Once the process has been completed, the Reproduce button on the HUD highlights and the player can now reproduce to enter the editor.

The player starts as a simple cell playing through the first generation of their species. Since they are so simple it will be very easy to enter the editor. Adding more parts and complexity to your cell over the generations will increase the "cost" of ammonia, phosphate, and glucose that need to be collected before you can reproduce.

Alternate Ways to Enter the Editor

A free edit version of the Microbe Editor and any other editor can be accessed via Main Menu —> Tools. The Microbe Editor may also be accessed later in the game if your civilization discovers a certain technology.

  • UI Elements:
    • Symmetry - 2 way, four way, and six way available (displays a graphic with lines) Cost is scaled to match.
    • Save
    • Load- Load a creation
    • Statistics - Metrics of the cell and species (Surface area, volume, maximum speed, required compounds for next reproduction, processes with equations, etc.)
    • Help - Gives tips
    • Finish/Evolve - Completes


  • The player can edit the membrane and internal and external organelles
  • Everything appears in the hex-based appearance
  • Cytoplasm cannot be placed in a way that blocks an external organelle (the latter must be removed first)
  • A cell wall prevents any external organelles except an agent secretor
  • Clicking an organelle opens its info panel, which contains a section for upgrades
  • The player can select secretors and assign them agents and hotkeys. Agents are created in the behavior tab.


When the player enters the Microbe Editor, they are able to place, alter, or remove mutations from their microbe, improving the cell and giving it new abilities. A mutation is a part or a change to an existing part.


Mutations are added in the Microbe Editor. Mutations can be specific parts that you add to your cell, called Organelles, or they can be changes to existing parts like a change to the fluidity of the membrane.

Mutations are purchased in the editor using Mutation Points (MP). Every editor session grants only 100MP.

are Organelles can be gained through mutation, i.e. by purchasing them in the editor, or by endocytosis, which means engulfing cells that will grant one to you. The currency used in the editor to limit mutations is called Mutation Points.

Components of a Microbe

  • Cytoplasm. The fluid inside the cell.
  • Cell membrane. The surface of the microbe.
  • Internal organelles. Functional parts inside the cell.
    • Nucleic core, mitochondria, vacuoles, bioluminescent organelle, chloroplasts, thermoplasts
  • External organelles. Functional parts outside the cell.
    • Agent secretors
  • Periphery organelles. Functional parts that cover the membrane. You can only have one periphery organelle at a time.
    • Cell wall, cilia, flagella

Current Organelles


Rules and functions

  • Organelles grant functions or upgrades to a microbe. The possible functions are:
      • Convert compounds to other compounds
      • Convert compounds to ATP
      • Store compounds for later consumption by other organelles
      • Produce agents, releasing them into the environment
      • Grant agent resistance
      • Change the microbe's visuals, e.g. bioluminescence
  • Most organelles will consume a certain amount of ATP/s. Some organelles though produce ATP instead of consuming it, but require enough compounds to do so.
  • Some organelles use compounds to perform their function.
  • If there's insufficient compounds to "feed" an organelle, it automatically shuts down and becomes inactive
  • If an organelle is inactive due to compound starvation, it is automatically reactivated as soon as there's enough compounds again
  • Inactive organelles use a significantly lower amount of ATP and no compounds, but don't grant any benefit.
  • Organelles in the player's microbe can be manually toggled on or off
  • Organelles are placed on a hexagonal grid in the microbe editor (see the respective section for details)
  • Each organelle has a pre-defined shape, i.e. a contiguous arrangement of hexagons it occupies
  • Organelles can be upgraded during mutation. Organelles can be upgraded multiple times with cumulative effects
  • Each upgrade gets progressively more expensive in terms of mutation points, while the relative improvement gained decreases with each upgrade (diminishing returns)


This list also includes the processes available. The words in bold are processes and are basically the ability of the cell and also the organelle.


  • Toxin vacuoles can be found in the environment, which can release OxyToxy.

Cost: 40 MP



  • Currently, the only organelles in the game are vacuoles, mitochondria, flagellum, chloroplasts and toxin vacuoles.


  • Can edit periphery organelles and colouration.
  • Can choose textures and colours for the membrane.
    • Custom image files can be placed in /Thrive/Microbe/Textures to use in-game.
    • Textures are all tileable and gray-scale and based on natural imagery or fractals
  • Only one periphery organelle can be on a cell at a time. To add a new one the old one must first be removed.


  • Can edit the behavior of NPCs of their species.
  • Can place inputs (stimulus), outputs (response), and logic gates (condition).
    • Inputs are things a cell can detect or sense. (E.g. Cell with plus within distance x).
      • An input can only have one connection (aka wire) leaving it.
    • Outputs are actions the cell can take. (E.g. Move in direction y (towards/away from) relative to input trigger)
      • Outputs can have infinite connections leading to them.
      • Adding new organelles can enable new outputs
    • Logic gates connect inputs and outputs. (E.g. Or, and, if… than)
    • Each connection between two nodes is called a wire. Wires increase the passive ATP consumption of a cell.

Agent Synthesis

  • When the player adds an agent secretor they get a randomly assigned low efficacy agent.


  • Environment to test the microbe. Can load any saved microbes into the area (free editor created or fossilized).
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