The cell stage is the first part of your spore journey and plays a lot like Pac-Man. The goals are simple: "eat or be eaten" and find parts to upgrade your cell, with the eventual goal of evolving onto land.
 Start of life
A meteor crashes into the ocean of a small planet. The rocks are displaced everywhere and out of one comes your cell. The first choice is to pick a carnivore or a herbivore mouth then you are ready to start eating and amassing DNA points.
- Use . , , and (or , , and ) to move your cell, or simply click/drag where you want to go with
- Use and to zoom in and out, respectively.
 Cell editing
- For more details on cell editing, see Spore/Cell Creator.
You can edit your cell at any time you want once you've collected your first body part — as long as you have enough DNA Points. To edit a cell, click on the "Call Mate" button on your screen and then follow the sound of another cell. Swim up to your mate and you will automatically enter the Cell Creator.
 Collecting body parts
As you swim around the tidepool, you will be able to collect body parts to add to your cell. There are 12 in all, and you start with 6, so there are 6 to collect.
Some can be collected by ramming meteor fragments, but most can only be collected by killing other cells which have that body part. For this, you need offensive body parts.
 Food and DNA Points
There are many types of food in the cell stage and you'll need to eat the type that corresponds to your cell's diet. Eat a piece of food by swimming into it, mouth-first.
- Plants: There are two main types of plants. Small green bits floating around and large seaweed. Unsurprisingly, these larger plants attract herbivores. If you're a carnivore, it may be worth taking a look.
- Meat: Meat is eaten by carnivores. Defeat a cell and eat the juicy bits inside.
- Eggs: All cells can eat eggs. Eggs only begin to appear later in the cell stage. Eggs will eventually hatch so eat them before they grow into a predator and eat you.
- Cells: If you have a proboscis, you can become parasitic and suck the nutrients out of living cells. Also as your cell grows larger, you may encounter smaller cells from a previous stage. If your cell has a carnivorous mouth, you can eat these cells.
Every item of food you eat heals you, and adds to your DNA points, which you can redeem on body parts in the Cell Creator. DNA points also count towards evolution.
There are several objects you can encounter in the cell stage as you swim in the water:
- Debris and Shells: These objects are unbreakable and only serve as barriers.
- Air Bubbles: Air bubbles will be found all around the area in which you're playing.
- Current: Swim with the flow of these streams to go faster. Don't swim against the flow, or you'll be slower, and a better target for predators.
- Poison Cloud: Any cell armed with a poison sac will leave a trail. Don't swim in these because they will harm you.
- Meteor Block: Ram these open to get new body parts.
There are four types of cells in the cell stage:
- Prey: Cells smaller than you are easy prey and aren't a threat at all.
- Peer: Peer cells are the same size as you.
- Predator: Beware of predators, which can kill you in two strikes. You can still defeat them if you discover their weaknesses.
- Epic: Epic cells are the ones of whom you should be scared. They can kill you in one strike and can only be defeated by the cleverest of cells.
There are five main stages in the cell stage, each divided into two sub-stages. Each sub-stage is marked by an increase in size. An increase in size obviously means your cell will be slightly bigger. It also means that any cell that was around the same size as you is now smaller and easy prey if you're a carnivore or an omnivore. When you can see the floor under the sea, it means you're almost ready to evolve to the creature stage.
Carnivores are meat eaters; therefore they cannot eat plant chunks (green). The advantage is that, unlike herbivores, their mouths can be used as a crude weapon against other cells. Carnivores can either eat up meat chunks; or kill other cells, which then split into several meat chunks. It is possible to complete this stage without killing another cell (by simply eating floating meat), but it is much harder to do so.
If the cell remains a carnivore until the end of the cell stage then it will carry this characteristic, and the consequent abilities it gives, into subsequent stages.
 Diet benefits
If your cell is carnivorous at the end of the stage, they are granted the following benefits for later in the game:
- Creature Stage: Raging Roar
- Use this ability to make all surrounding creatures run in fear.
- Tribal Stage: Traps
- This ability allows the chieftain to lay traps to ensnare wild animals.
- Civilization Stage: Invulnerability
- This ability makes your vehicles impervious to damage for a limited time.
- Space Stage: Power Monger
- This ability increases the amount of energy your spaceship has.
Herbivores are plant eaters; therefore they can only eat the floating green pieces, or feed off of one of the arms off one of the larger green 'plants'.
Because herbivores are more inclined towards a passive nature their mouths cannot be adequately used for defence. However, herbivores, like all cells, can make use of spikes as an attack/defence mechanism.
If the cell remains a herbivore until the end of the cell stage then it will carry this characteristic, and the consequence abilities it gives, into subsequent stages.
 Diet benefits
If your cell is herbivorous at the end of the stage, they are granted the following benefits for later in the game:
- Creature Stage: Siren Song
- Use this ability to temporarily enthrall all creatures in your vicinity. This makes it easier for you to socialize with them.
- Tribal Stage: Refreshing Storm
- This ability allows the chieftain to summon a storm causing fruit to be replenished and fall from trees.
- Civilization Stage: Healing Aura
- This ability repairs all of your vehicles and buildings.
- Space Stage: Social Suave
- This ability gives you an immediate negotiation discount on all social tools.
Spore doesn't provide you with the option to be an omnivore from the beginning, but by adding a herbivore and carnivore mouth to your creature it allows you to eat both types of food.
Later on in the stage you may discover the proboscis, which allows you to 'suck' nutrients out of anything you happen to bump into. The main difficulty with this option is that you need to play a careful balancing act for your cell to finish the stage as an omnivore.
If the cell remains a omnivore until the end of the cell stage then it will carry this characteristic, and the consequence abilities it gives, into subsequent stages.
 Diet benefits
If your cell is omnivorous at the end of the stage, they are granted the following benefits for later in the game:
- Creature Stage: Summon Flock
- Use this ability to summon a flock of minions to help you socialize or fight.
- Tribal Stage: Flying Fish
- This ability allows the chieftain to summon a serpent to scare fish from the sea.
- Civilization Stage: Static Bomb
- This ability temporarily immobilizes vehicles, turrets and buildings.
- Space Stage: Gentle Generalist
- This ability gives you a discount on all standard equipment.
When you complete the stage, you will be presented with a timeline of your cell's actions throughout the stage. Depending on these actions, your cell will evolve as a herbivore, omnivore or carnivore; each diet gives different special abilities further on in the game.
Having started in the middle of the timeline as an omnivore, killing cells or eating meat moves your cell towards being a carnivore, while eating plants moves your cell towards being a herbivore. It's hard to keep a balanced diet and end up being an omnivore. Actions later on in the cell stage have less of an effect on your final diet than ones earlier in the stage.