The Spore Galaxy, most commonly referred to as The Galaxy, is the spiral galaxy in which the Spore games are set. Presumably, it contains many billions of stars as all galaxies do, but only around 100,000 can be visited in the game.
The galaxy is seen through the Galaxy View, which can zoom out to see progressively larger portions of it. Eventually as an Empire advances, it gains prizes called badges. Interstellar travel is achieved by "Interstellar Drives" which allow the spaceship with it to hop from star to star. It is only possible to achieve interstellar travel in the Space Stage.
The Spore Galaxy is an unbarred spiral galaxy with five arms extending out from the Galactic Core, a supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy. The galaxy contains many other black holes, along with other galactic formations such as nebulae and Proto-Planetary Disks.
The most common features, and the ones that make up most of the structure of the galaxy, are regular stars. Most stars are within the galactic arms or close to the Core, but some can also be found away from the main disc of the galaxy, far beyond the reach of even Interstellar Drive 5. There are three main types of stars - red dwarfs, yellow stars, and blue giants. Stars are also occasionally found in binary systems, in which they can be paired either with another star of the same type or with a star of a different type.
When the player's spaceship leaves its planet, and then its star system, the player will find themself in the very large void of space, however the player is not all alone. Using the SETI tool, it is possible to find other inhabited star systems with planets at various stages of evolution. The player can travel to these star systems and planets to make contact with the inhabitants. All the planets an empire has discovered are available in the Sporepedia, a database that consists of all known planets, empires, and species.The 100,000 or so visitable stars in the galaxy all have their own star systems. A star system is a star and all satellites that orbit it or are within a reasonable distance. However, since the gap between each star is so huge, features are simply grouped with the closest star, so there is no set distance. The most noticable features in star systems are planets. Many of the visitable planets are inhabited, although most planets are barren with no life before terraforming. Some planets also have moons orbiting them. Moons are most commonly found orbiting gas giants, but the player's homeworld will also always have a moon. Comets and asteroid rings also appear in many star systems.
There does not appear to be a galactic governing body that has control over the Spore Galaxy, nor is there a central seat of power in the galaxy. Further evidence against the existance of a galactic government is that each empire seems to be free to follow its own path and enforce its own laws (as shown by different archetypes, ruled by local governments varying from Empresses to Grand Councils), and the fact that wars between empires are commonplace. Some empires mention a "Galactic Security Force" after Grox attacks, but it is unknown what this is, and the phrase may even refer to the empire's own armed force rather than a galactic one. At the very least, though, there does seem to be a closely-connected intragalactic community, as there is a common currency (the Sporebuck) and universally-accepted laws (the Galactic Code).
The galaxy functions as an open sandbox for interacting with NPC's. Nearly every star system in the Spore Galaxy is capable of being colonised (except the few stars which are inaccessible), and empires do not appear to be limited by how much they can grow. While most are determined randomly by the computer or downloaded by the player, the Grox are the only fixed empire that has been built into the game and control 2,400 star systems in the center of the galaxy. All Maxis creations will pollinate in the galaxy.
Some empires featured in previous versions of Spore, which are mentioned in artifacts:
- The sheer size of the Galaxy in Spore makes it difficult (but not impossible) to explore it all, let alone claim even an arm of the galaxy for your empire. Will Wright explained this as being the reason for the number of visitable stars in-game:
"Oh, well, there will be probably well over a hundred thousand. I mean, far more than a player could ever visit. Which is why there is no point to having another galaxy. If there are going to be thousands of stars in a galaxy there is no way that one person in their lifetime could ever visit them all."
- - Will Wright
- There are two easter eggs relating directly to the Spore Galaxy. The one is in the main menus of Spore and the Creature Creator. you spin the galaxy in the main menu of Spore very fast, a cluster of pictures of the producers will appear. If you press CTRL+SHIFT when you see the pictures, you see more of them. In the Creature Creator, doing the same thing causes Will Wright's head to appear.
There are however other files if you scroll hard enough, on OTHER galaxies. If one is made, it will fuse with the planet which is displayed as background.
- The second easter egg is that the player can find the Sol system with Earth and the other planets, excluding minor objects. This means that there is a possibly that the Spore Galaxy is actually the Milky Way, but on the other hand, the structure of the two galaxies is noticably different (for example, the Spore Galaxy is a spiral galaxy with five distinct arms, while the Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy with more closely-wound arms and spurs).
- There exists an Extremely rare glitch in the Main Menu of the game where it shows the galaxy, but the background is a planet rather than space. The save files are also invisible, leaving finding them to luck. This is a minor glitch and has no effect on gameplay except it is incapable of loading save files. Simply restarting the game will turn it back to normal.
- It is possible that the shape of this galaxy was inspiration for the symbol of the Space Aspect in the popular webcomic Homestuck, which the creator has admitted to using Spore as inspiration in the past.