Substrate Settings

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The following is an exhaustive list of every setting that can be found in the Substrate Tab, with a description of the function that it serves.

(for Genome Tab Settings see here)

Information Display

This section will show information about the state of the substrate in the current time. If the substrate is frozen, this information will be fixed while in Observe and Incubate the information will change accordingly.

Substrate age shows the time that has passed from the moment the substrate was sterilized. It's measured in hours [math][h][/math].

Number of cells counts the cells in the substrate. In some challenges there's a distinction between the cells inserted by the user and the ones already from the substrate or based on color.

Amount of food sets the amount of food in the form of nutrient chunks on the plate.


Clicking on this button will display a window with explanations on the more complex settings.

Texts from the window are quoted in this wiki page.

Contaminate with random cells

If checked, cells with random genomes will be constantly added to the plate.

Kill cells at edge

If checked, cells will slide off the plate when reaching its border thus killing them.

Only point mutations

"Checking this will limit the mutations to small changes to your genomes. The cell types or modes of children will for example not be changed whereas the continuous parameters like split mass can be changed."

Enabling this checkbox is useful to fine-tune an organism's properties for better thriving on a substrate, while avoiding stronger alterations such as cell type changes.

Cell aging

If checked, the cells on the substrate will age and die after 240h.

Radiation level

"Radiation will damage your cells and introduce random mutations. A small amount of radiation can help your cells evolve into a stronger species, a very high amount will quickly ruin the genome and might kill your cells."

Radiation level reflects the probability of an organism's genome being altered with time while on the plate. Changes are random; mutated organisms that have adapted to survive in the substrate might thrive and colonize the plate, while organisms with damaging mutations tend to perish before reproducing and disappear from the plate.

Substrate viscosity

"This sets the amount of stokes drag experienced by moving cells."

This sets the viscosity of the substrate that affects the movement of cells and food particles if Mobile Food is ticked.

Dynamic friction

"This is the friction coefficient cells experience while moving."

This sets the dryness of the substrate that will make the cell cannot move when set to max.

Static friction

"This is the friction coefficient cells experience while still."

Nutrient rate

This sets the amount of food particles available on the plate.

See also: Phagocyte

Nutrient chunk size

This sets the amount of energy in the food particles appearing on the plate. See also: Phagocyte

Nutrient lumpiness

This sets the amount of food particles that spawn together. See also: Phagocyte

Nutrient lump size

This sets the distance of the food particles that spawn together. See also: Phagocyte

Nutrient coating

"This gives the nutrients a lipid coating that has to be removed before they can be eaten"
This sets how thick the coating will be on the food. Coated food will be shown in red .

See also: Phagocyte


"A low salinity will make your cells spend a lot of energy keeping their salt-balance. A higher value will let them survive longer without any energy source."

This sets how long cells can survive in the substrate without energy. See also: Energy Usage Coefficient

Light amount

This sets the brightness of the light that is shining on the plate.

See also: Photocyte

Light range

A low setting will make the light shine in small amounts. A higher settings will gradually illuminate a broader region, until the plate is fully lit at maximum setting. See also: Photocyte

Light direction change

This sets the speed of the rotation of the light source around the plate (or vice-versa; we must wait for a Copernicus organism to evolve to find out). If set to zero, the light will shine from the place that stopped last time.(Sterilizing the plate will reset the light back to the top)


The pull force experienced by cells whose density does not match the local substrate density.


"A low substrate density will make your cell sink when gravity is turned on, a high substrate density will make your cells float when gravity is turned on. "

See also: Buoyocyte

Density gradient

"A density gradient will make the density higher at the substrate bottom and lower at the top."

See also: Buoyocyte


"This sets how fast cells absorb the nitrates from the environment. All cells consume nitrates when they split and secrocytes consume it continuously. Nitrocyte are necessary if this is set too low."
This represents how much nitrates is on the substrate.

Gene Pool

This indicates which cell types can be introduced in the genome, either by contamination with random cells, or by radiation if "only point mutations" is unchecked.

Plate setting

This setting consists of 3 settings that are: Save Plate, Reload Plate, and Sterilize Plate. The functions are :

  • Save plate

This will save the current state of the substrate, and all organisms currently living on it.

  • Reload plate

This will reload the substrate back into it's previous saved state.

  • Sterilize plate

This will reset the substrate's age to 0, kill all cells and remove all food particles on the plate.. Substrate settings will persist, as well as the Genome data.

In - microscope tool

This setting consists of 5 tools that can be used in the Petri Dish. The tools are :

  • Cell synthesizer

This tool is the first tool available in the game. This tool lets you place a cell on the Petri Dish with the genome in the Genome Tab. This tool also lets you track a cell and enables you to copy it's genome.

  • Optical tweezers

This tool lets you drag cells around with your finger.

  • Cell boost

This tool lets you inject energy to cells and put nutrient chunks on the substrate.

  • Cell removal

This tool lets you remove cells from the Petri Dish.

  • Cell diagnostic

This tool lets you track a cell to show the state of a cell and you can copy the genome of the cell that has been tracked.