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For information on map generation and spawn rates, see Map Generation.

Every tile on the map belongs to one of several terrain types. The primary terrain types are field, forest, mountain, water, and ocean. A tile's terrain type determines the types of resources that can spawn and the types of buildings that can be built on it. In addition, certain terrain types hinder movement. They may require unlocking a certain technology to move on them, or they may totally hinder movement for some or all units.

List of Terrain Types[]

Image Name Notes Resources Buildings
Clouds.png
Cloud
  • Covers all unexplored tiles. Players cannot see the terrain of a tile covered by a cloud, although ∑∫ỹriȱŋ can see ruins through clouds.
  • A unit cannot move onto a cloud tile until it has been explored.
N/A N/A
Grass.png
Field with Fruit.png
Field with crop.png
Field
  • The default terrain. Most buildings can only be built on this terrain.
  • The Grow Forest ability can be used on this terrain.
  • Crop is hidden until Organization or Farming has been researched.
Fruit

Crop

  • Almost any building can be built on a field tile.
  • Requires crop: Farm
Imperius ground with forest.png
Imperius ground with forest with wild animal.png
Forest
  • Blocks movement. Units without the creep or fly skills cannot move through this terrain without stopping unless roads are built.
  • The Clear Forest and Burn Forest abilities can be used on this terrain.
  • Provides a defence bonus once Archery has been researched.
Wild animal
Imperius ground with mountain.png
Imperius ground with mountain and metal.png
Mountain
  • Blocks movement. Units cannot move on this terrain until Climbing has been researched, and units without the creep or fly skills can never move through this terrain without stopping.
  • Units on this terrain have a sight radius of two tiles.
  • Provides a defence bonus once Meditation has been researched.
Metal
Shallow water-1.png
Shallow water with fish-0.png
Water
  • Also known as "shallow water."
  • Shares one or more edges with land tiles.
  • Blocks movement. Only units with the float skill can move in this terrain.
  • Provides a defence bonus once Aquatism has been researched.
  • Can be frozen (turned into ice).
Fish
Ocean.png
Ocean with whale.png
Ocean
  • Does not share any edges with land tiles.
  • Blocks movement. Only units with the float skill can move in this terrain. In addition, a unit must have the navigate skill or Navigation or Free Diving must be unlocked to move in this terrain.
  • Provides a defence bonus once Aquatism has been researched.
  • Can be frozen.
Whale
Ice-0.png
Ice
  • Unique because it is an alternative form of another type of terrain (water or ocean). Tiles retain any resources, buildings, or structures present when they are frozen or unfrozen.
  • Movement cost is halved for units with the skate skill. If Polarism has been researched, all units without that skill gain an extra move when entering ice for the first time in any given turn.
Fish

Whale

Algae.png
Algae
  • Unique because it is also a building. Can be built at a cost of five stars; also, is created when a poisoned unit dies or a unit explodes over water. Like other buildings, it does not remove any resources present underneath it when it is created.
  • Affects movement. Any unit can move on Algae. However, units without the creep or fly skills can never move through Algae without stopping, even if the Algae is frozen.
  • Can be frozen, but Algae remains present as a building.
N/A N/A

Trivia[]

  • When tapped on, a cloud tile plays one of four notes: G, B♭, C♯, or D. These four notes make up the melody of Polytopia's main theme.[1]

References[]

  1. musicgolf on Reddit.
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