Whilst still in orbit, the Unity seeded the surface of Planet with numerous landing pods.
Cartographer and sonar pods have mapped the surrounding area revealing all land or sea tiles within five squares.
Resupply pods contain manufacturing supplies worth between 25 and 200 energy credits with earlier finds tending to contain less supplies.
Materials pods enable the completion of the current item in production at the nearest base. If the production item is changed following the discovery of the pod, then the minerals bonus is lost. They are neither found when the nearest base is producing a secret project, nor when the nearest base is producing a colony pod while still at 1 population.
Data pods can contain downloads from the Unity’s Datalinks which, when combined with recent discoveries, can provide the key to unlock a new technology instantaneously or the commlink of the landing pod of another faction allowing contact.
There are a variety of automated pods which may have terraformed areas of Planet’s surface, often replacing fungus in the process:
- Hydrology Pods drill down to an aquifer and create a new river
- Hydroponics Pods plant forest that could have proliferated to cover up to five squares
- Sea Farming Pods plant kelp farms that could have proliferated to cover up to seven squares
- Robot Agricultural Pod cultivate one to seven farms
- Robot Mining Pod prepare one to three mines and roads
- Robot Power Pod setup one to five solar collectors
Not all pods have survived landing or are still functioning. Some pods have become infested with native life. Others, when triggered, cause earthquakes which raise the terrain 2000–3000 m, xenofungal blooms where fungus proliferates in surrounding squares and native life forms may also spawn, or tidal waves that will sweep a unit several squares across the ocean. Pods out to sea, away from bases, may be swallowed by surfacing Isles of the Deep filled with nesting spore launchers and mind worms.
Some objects may appear as unity pods to long-range scanners, including Monoliths, Alien Artifacts, and Battle Ogres. Battle Ogre MK1 at the start, Battle Ogre MK2 after any faction has learned Bioadaptive Resonance, and Battle Ogre MK3 after a faction has learned Sentient Resonance.
Also appearing to scanners as unity pods are dimensional gates that teleport the triggering unit to another square and reset their movement to full and dimensional rifts that clone the triggering unit. These localised affects are only manifested on first investigation.