The Microbe Stage is the name given to Thrive's first stage. Currently (page updated with version 0.5.0 as a reference), it is the only stage implemented, although unfinished, and under development. The stage's only editor is the Microbe Editor.


The player starts off as a prokaryotic cell made of a hex of cytoplasm in the patch Pangonian Vents. The player cell is the first and only organism in the game, to survive, the microbe has to collect Glucose (or another compounds if the cell have certain organelles) to create ATP. Osmoregulation, movement and engulfing costs ATP.

Every time the player exit the editor its species (and the NPC species) splits into a new one, which also evolves each generation.

Cells can engulf any microbe, iron or organelle pressing G to activate or deactivate the engulfing mode. If the organism have an Oxytoxisome or a Toxin Vacuole it can shoot toxins pressing E. The microbe can puncture other cells using the Pilus.

The cell can die by losing all of their ATP or losing too much HP to predators. When this happens, the player takes control of another microbe of their species with default compound reserves. If the population go to zero the species is extincted and the player lose the game.

If the species have at least 300 population and survive for 20 generations the game shows a pop up saying that the player has won the build.


Main article: Compound

Compounds are substances your cell needs to survive or perform a process, they are usually found:

  • In compound clouds. They're colored by the type of compound, you can absorb them by swimming through them.
  • Within another cell. When a cell dies it eject some compounds as clouds and as part of the organelles.
  • As global variables. Some compounds are present as variables varying by patch.

Compound list

  • ATP ATP: Is equivalent to energy, it's not found on the environment, but created by processes performed by organelles, if the cell runs out of the compound, it dies.
  • GlucoseIcon Glucose: Can be found in white compound clouds.
  • AmmoniaIcon Ammonia: Can be found in orange compound clouds, it's used to reproduce.
  • HydrogenSulfide Hydrogen Sulfide: Can be found in yellow compound clouds.
  • Phosphates Phosphate: Can be found in purple compound clouds, it's used to reproduce.
  • OxyToxy OxyToxy NT: Produce toxins, it's not found on the environment, but created by the process OxyToxy Synthesis performed by the organelles Toxin Vacuole and Oxytoxisome.
  • Iron Iron: Can be found in brown compound clouds or in Iron Chunks.

  • Light Light: Is a global variable used to perform photosynthesis, the deeper a patch is less light will be found.
  • CO2 CO2: Is a global variable used to perform various processes.
  • OxygenIcon O2: Is a global variable used to perform various processes.
  • Nitrogen Nitrogen: Is a global variable used to perform anaerobic nitrogen fixation.
  • Temperature Temperature: Is a global variable, it has no use.
  • Pressure Pressure: Is a global variable, it has no use.



Microbe Editor

The reproduction is available when the player collects enough Ammonia and Phosphates and split every organelle into two, the amount of collected compounds is shown in the reproduction progress bar in the lower right corner.

Clicking the Reproduction button in the lower right corner the player goes to the Microbe Editor. The editor is divided into three tabs: Report, where it reports the events occurred in the game like the variation of the population of the species in the patch. Patch Map, where you can move to another patches and the Cell Editor, where it's possible to edit the cell and it's divided in Structure, Appearance and Behavior. Currently, only the Structure and Appearance tabs are implemented.


The player and AI cells can damage and kill other organisms for mostly acquire its compounds, there are three ways of combat in the game:

  • Engulfment: The cell can engulf every cell smaller than them, iron chunks or organelles pressing the G key. The microbe that is engulfing will flash blue when is in engulfing mode.
  • Pili: Pilus is an organelle used for puncture other cells and rupture their membrane.
  • Agents: Agents are substances released by an organism to damage other microbes. The only agent implemented on the game, OxyToxy, is represented by particles and can be used pressing E if you have the Oxytoxisome or the Toxin Vacuole.

Some types of membranes can increase or decrease the resistance to Pili and Agents.

Gameplay Stages & Editors
Thrive's gameplay stages Current Microbe Stage
Future Multicellular Stage · Aware Stage · Awakening Stage · Society Stage · Industrial Stage · Space Stage
Stage editors Microbe Editor · Organism Editor · Nation Editor · Tech Editor · Planet Editor
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