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Glycolysis is a form of oxygen-independent respiration primarily performed by the cytoplasm part, and is also performed less efficiently by all prokaryotic protein parts.


Glycolysis is the most basic and uncostly method of consuming glucose to produce ATP in Thrive. It is far less productive than the more advanced aerobic respiration but operates at full capacity regardless of present atmospheric gasses.

Use and Strategy

Glycolysis is performed by all prokaryotic protein parts which somewhat helps prokaryotes overcome the osmoregulation cost imposed by size, but it is most efficiently performed by the basic cytoplasm part. Glycolysis consumes incredibly small amounts of glucose, which enables simple cells such as players at the start of the game to travel for very long periods of time without the need for finding food. However the significant lack of ATP production makes glycolysis the worst choice for producing energy, should the player wish to become large or more complex.


Cytoplasm is a single hex part and the initial part that new cells start with. It has incredibly low ATP production but it's increased storage capacity makes it a great choice for players wanting to stock up on resources. Cytoplasm can also be a reasonable choice for players wanting to quickly increase the size of their cellwithin one generation for predation purposes, as the part is incredibly cheap to place and consumes very little glucose. Other parts can also be placed on top of cytoplasm, replacing the part without the cost of deleting it, making it easier for players to adapt their cell without needing to spend MP prior to new part placement.

Attempting to meet energy requirements by placing more and more cytoplasm will ultimately hinder the player as osmoregulation costs rapidly increase beyond the scope of glycolysis' ATP production.

Protein Glycolysis

The glycolysis performed by all non-cytoplasm parts is less efficient due to the proteins taking up the space that would normally be used for glycolysis, and thus less reliable as an energy source. Indeed even with the process present, most protein parts cannot produce enough ATP to fuel themselves alone. Aside from considering the amount of glucose that will be consumed, it is best to not be concerned with the glycolysis performed by these parts.

Function in Reality