Catalysts can be picked-up like items, and when collected, they're placed into an open slot within a Catalyst Grid. The player begins with 3 open slots, but can unlock and purchase additional slots as they increase their Crogenitor Level. The maximum number of grid slots is 9 (3x3).
Their potency is increased by completing a "link", which is achieved when three catalysts of the same color are in a row. Prismatic Type catalysts can also be paired with another color to complete a link. Linked catalysts have what is called a "Link Bonus", and you can eventually have multiple bonuses by creating overlapping links, up-to a Quadruple Link Bonus.
By clicking-and-dragging with the cursor, a player can relocate catalysts to another open slot inside the grid, or swap its placement with one of their other catalysts. This is helpful when trying to complete links.
Also, by dragging-and-dropping a catalyst out of the grid, the player can place it back on the ground for another player to pick-up. This creates a sort of 'Drop-Trade' system, and can help both players to complete catalyst links. (A word of caution, other players may not return the favor when dropping catalysts.)
Catalyst can be carried through each level during the campaign, and benefit your entire squad. However, after leaving the campaign, you lose whatever catalysts you then had. Also, catalysts do not occur during PvP.
Better catalysts occur more frequently in higher threat levels, and the number of catalysts dropped is increased during Co-op. The secondary stat +xx% Chance to Find Catalysts will also increase the likelihood of finding catalysts.
Catalyst Types & Colors
Like items, catalysts are divided into different types, with each adding a certain stat based on their type. Also like items, they occur as one of three rarities, and have different levels that reflect how powerful they are. But unlike items, they're each assigned a specific color according to their type.
This is a list of current catalyst types and their respective colors, as well as whatever stats those catalysts types may add.
(See Character Abilities & Stats for more information on these stats.)
Many catalysts did not make the final game. These were found in the game's .package files, and it is unknown which belonged to existing catalyst types, and which belonged to one of the unused catalyst colors.
- Damage Aura Catalyst - Increases damage by [x]% to all allies within [x]m.
- Power Cost Reduction Catalyst - Reduces the Power cost of the abilities of your heroes by [x]%.
- Knockback Catalyst - Chance for your heroes to knockback enemies increased by [x]%.
- Defense Catalyst - Reduces damage dealt to your heroes by [x]%.
- Increased Range Catalyst - Increases the range of attacks by your heroes by [x]%.
- Buff Duration Catalyst - Increases the duration of helpful statuses applied by your heroes by [x]%.
- Debuff Duration Catalyst - Increases the duration of harmful statuses inflicted by your heroes by [x]%.
- Immunity Catalyst of Stalwartness - Immunity to: Stun (common); Stun and Taunt (Rarefied); Stun, Taunt and Knockback (Purified).
- Immunity Catalyst of Fortitude - Immunity to: Poison and Disease (common); Poison, Disease and Burns (Rarefied); Poison, Disease, Burns and Curses (Purified).
- Immunity Catalyst of Vigilance - Immunity to: Sleep (common); Sleep and Terror (Rarefied); Sleep, Terror and Silence (Purified).
- Immunity Catalyst of Perseverance - Immunity to: Slow (common); Slow and Roots (Rarefied); Slow, Roots and Pulls (Purified).
- Pet Damage Catalyst - Increase the damage of pets summoned by your heroes by [x]%.
- Pet Health Catalyst - Increases the health of pets summoned by your heroes by [x]%.
- Spoffit Catalyst - Summons a friendly Spoffit to accompany you on your travels.
- Apparently, catalysts once had affixes like drop-loot items, such as 'of Proficiency' or 'of Carnage', reflecting which stat they added, but these were later removed in favor of their current names.
- At one point, rarer catalysts were simply called 'Rare' or 'Epic', but was later changed in Patch 184.108.40.206 to 'Rarefied' and 'Purified' to be more like items.
- Collected Catalysts once had a separate HUD that was brought-up by click the catalyst grid, as seen in the Producer Diary #2: Loot Collection. Here, the player could change the placement of catalysts within the grid, though it may not necessary to have use the HUD to do this.
- The 'Spoffit' summoned by the unused Spoffit Catalyst is a creature from Darkspore's predecessor game SPORE: Galactic Adventures, and has made frequent appearances in the "adventures" of that game. It's now a sort of Easter egg, and the .png of the Spoffit can still be found in Darkspore's .package files. (See article Spoffit on SporeWiki for more information.)