Your next colony happiness requirement is the same empire-wide. Concentrating you efforts in one colony saves a lot of time and energy, as well as a lot of E and Halls.
Happiness is simply another resource your colony produces, although it is an important one. Think of it as an overall measurement of the health of your colony. On the positive side of the ledger, happiness enables you to build new colonies. On the negative side, low or negative happiness can increase your colony's susceptibility to revolution and insurrection. After a certain time period negative happiness will attract the Cult of the Fissure; this is usually a one-way downward spiral leading to the destruction of the planet.
A number of different factors can affect the happiness of a planet. Some buildings produce happiness, and some can decrease it. Too much waste or too little waste can negatively impact your happiness. If an attack or accident damages Terraforming Platforms or Gas Giant Platforms, you will have negative plots on that planet. This can send your happiness into the negative zone quite quickly.
Assuming you have none of these problems, the main thing that will affect happiness are 6 particular buildings, what I call the Happiness Buildings. This is where you need to concentrate your efforts.
NOTE: For the purposes of this article I am ignoring the happiness output of standard buildings. They have only a marginal effect on creating happiness, compared to the Kalavian Ruins and various junk buildings.
Your political affinity affects your happiness output as well. Raising this affinity can be done using the Genetics Lab. Your growth affinity has an indirect role to play as well, since it enables you to start new colonies with less happiness.
The main happiness building is a glyph resource building called Kalavian Ruins. The other five are the Junk Buildings: Pyramid Junk Sculpture, Space Junk Park, Metal Junk Arch, Great Ball of Junk, and Junk Henge Sculpture. These Junk Buildings are hybrids that have qualities of both glyph and standard buildings.
When you found a colony, one of the first things you should do is purchase a so-called 'starter pack' over at the the TM or SST. A starter pack is simply a number of glyph resource building plans, bundled into a single package. Not all starter packs are the same, however. Make sure yours has a Kalavian Ruins plan included.
A Kalavian Ruins building should be built at the start-up of your new colony, along with the other glyph resource buildings.
Remember a critical point: The happiness output of these buildings only becomes really significant at high levels (above 20). Don't waste your Halls building up a lot of happiness buildings at one time.
Build your Happiness Buildings one at a time, and upgrade each one all the way to 30 before starting another one!
Limit your Hall and E expenditure by building up the so-called Junk planets on one planet only (after you have a dozen or more colonies, you might consider building a second happiness planet). A Kalavian Ruins should be built to intermediate levels on all of your colonies (as a kind of happiness buffer), but you should skip the Junk Bldgs except on your happiness planet.
In order to get the most efficient use of Halls and E, your happiness buildings should always be built in this order:
1) Kalavian Ruins
2) Junk Pyramid
3) Space Junk Park
4) Metal Arch
5) Great Ball of Junk
6) Junk Henge
The order of 2 – 6 reflects the relative level of happiness they produce, with Junk Pyramid being the highest and Junk Henge the lowest. The junk buildings require both Halls and E to upgrade (see below).
The Junk Buildings (listed 2-6 above) are a hybrid of Glyph and Standard buildings. They require Halls to upgrade, but do not upgrade in 15 seconds like other Glyph Buildings. Instead, they have a building timer that increases in duration for each level.
The catch here is that the build times can stretch into months for each succeeding level.
For all practical purposes you must subsidize the build for each upgrade of a Junk Building.
Thus it is a good practice, to build them up on one planet only...unless you happen to have a lot of E.
The main object of high level happiness is to be able to launch new colonies and Space Station Hulls. Thus you can delay upgrading Junk Bldgs until you start getting into excessively long delays to meet your next colony cost.
Your happiness planet must also be your launch point for new colonies. It is a good idea for the happiness planet to have an operable BHG in order to move it close to the new planet you want to colonize. Long transit times for Colony Ships or Space Station Hulls can be avoided in this way.
This depends on how many colonies you have. There is a rapidly escalating happiness cost for each new colony. I was able to colonize 21 planets with a KR and the first 3 Junk Bldgs. Your results may vary depending on your affinities.
By the time you have an empire with 25 or so colonies, happiness will become a much less important factor. The lead times for acquiring the necessary happiness will simply be too long. After this occurs you will likely transition to 'flipping' planets via insurrection to increase your empire size.
Once you reach a certain level of development, you will find it more difficult and slower to add additional colonies. Listed below are some of the more advanced techniques of boosting empire happiness levels.
At some point in your empire development, you will need to max out your Kalavian Ruins and all five Junk Buildings to Level 30 (on one planet, as we have noted before). It's not a bad idea to do this on your Capital Planet, and max the Embassy to Level 30 as well.
You may add to your happiness output by using spies to execute the Political Propaganda mission. On positive happiness planets, it can boost production by up to 50% depending on skill and numbers of agents assigned this task. The number of spies needed to reach this 50% cap can be determined by using the Propaganda Cap Calculator. Since these agents are in the propaganda office, burning them while they are on duty is a very poor idea. Also, consider that spies get a defensive mission count of +1 every four hours, so you are advancing them more quickly towards eventual retirement.
For 5E you may purchase a temporary 25% happiness boost that lasts 7 days.
NOTE: You may be able to purchase a level 31 Pyramid plan. They are relatively rare and are fetching high prices, if you are able to find someone who wants to sell them.
The old transfer station technique has been eliminated by the new code. The only differences in next station cost from player to player in an alliance will depend on their affinity profile. Next Station Cost will cap out at 300T.
Depending on your circumstances, it might be advisable to have more than one Happiness Farm, so that they can be rotated. One Happiness Farm can launch a new hull (which will knock its happiness back down), and then the second Happiness Farm can be scheduled for the next launch (allowing the first one to regenerate its happiness).
A Happiness Farm consists of the following elements: