Low oxygen civilizations

On low oxygen worlds, civilizations will run into the same problem water civilizations do. With less than 16% oxygen, fire can’t burn, metallurgy can’t be made, and you can’t advance past the stone age. It seems that a lot of things can just block metallurgy and further advancement. Would it be possible to make some alternative ages that would lead a civilization to space without fire?

Not unless you want to turn this into another thread that gets locked. Like this:


Yes, low oxygen would definitely prevent an issue. Probably should be noted on the planet creation stage.

Now that I think about it though, plants would create oxygen, so it might not be possible to notify the player.


I dont see how low oxygen worlds could form sapient life, the only options for complex multicellular organisms with enough energy production (without normal Oxygen + sugar = ATP stuff) or sufficiently slowed down aging/nervous systems (to handle taking years to find food) are non-LAWK and thrive prolly will not be getting non-LAWK support any time soon.
edit: plus C3 and C4 and all other photosynthesis i know of makes oxygen and i think we all assume that life would need productive primary producers.

Also in the same edit: theoretically Florine or Chlorine based life could get you too civ stage and have really tough naturally occurring plastics to do stuff with but not enough oxygen for fire, and you cant mine anyways cause the clorine would settle in deep mines and kill miners.

1 Like

Sulphur respiration and flourine or chlorine in high enough concentrations for fire to exist as flourine and chorine can replace oxygen in fire and sulphur can replace oxygen in life
edit: sorry for the necropost


That’s not true. Naked mole rats can survive without oxygen by using fructose instead of glucose, though they need to sleep so that they don’t use too much energy. If an organism was more optimized specifically for using fructose instead of glucose it could probably survive.

1 Like