There are four basic resources in Lacuna. They are food, ore, water and energy.
Food () is produced by farms. Food is a basic resource that your empire needs to survive and thrive. Food can come in many different forms, from bread, to apples, to beans.
There are 22 different food types. Each planet will have the ability to grow different types of foods based on the orbit of the planet (and therefore heat from it's star), and also the mineral composition of the planet. Orbit 3 is the most Earth-like, and can also grow the most types of foods, however orbit 3 planets tend to be smaller, and everybody wants one, so you may be better off looking at other orbits. Orbits 2, 4, and 5 are also good for growing a variety of foods. Nothing grows naturally at orbit 8, so in order to grow food you'll need to terraform the planet.
Food is also important when it comes to happiness. When throwing parties at a Park, the more food types you have available the more happiness will be generated by the party. In addition, if you have fewer than 3 food types your citizens will revolt. And if you have more than 3 food types their happiness will constantly grow.
Different types of food can be generated by building different food factories. Each food type has an associated factory. The one thing to keep in mind with food factories is that food in does not equal food out. There is always some loss when food processing is done. You can increase your manufacturing affinity to stem that loss and even get more food out than you put in.
Ore () is produced by mines. There are 20 different ore types, each with its own special properties. If a planet you inhabit doesn't have enough of a particular type of ore, it may prevent you from building certain buildings there. The Bodies Composition table lists the ores for each type of planet.
Ore is needed to build everything in your empire. While having a variety of minerals is not necessary early in the game, it is increasingly more critical as the game moves on and your empire expands. It is therefore wise to collect as many types as possible. Some types of ore can only be found on asteroids and gas giants. Harvesting ore from these is very resource intensive, so it should only be attempted once your empire has established itself. Ore concentration values range from 0 to 10,000. The higher the value, the easier it is to mine.
Water () is produced by water purification plants. Your people need water to survive. Your plants need water to grow. Water is the key to your prosperity, but is also the least abundant resource in the Expanse. Most planets have at least some small amount of water, but there are artificial ways to produce water on those worlds that don't contain very high concentrations. The Bodies Composition table lists the water available for each type of planet.
Energy () is produced by power plants. Everything you do and every building you construct requires energy. It is probably the easiest resource to acquire, however most power plants require some specific type of ore, which could create some complications. There are several types of buildings that produce energy with some being more efficient than others. In order to produce the most efficient types of power your University building level will need to be very high.