For a time, Rapid Breeders were a favorite starting species trait of mine (usually alongside a trait like Ingenious, Agrarian, or Industrious, and Quick Learners), as pop-growth is king in Stellaris.
However in more recent versions, pops grow more slowly (they get a malus to pop growth rate) on worlds they are less Habitable on- meaning that Adaptable acts like a hidden bonus to pop-growth of 5 or 10%, I think, on most worlds- as well as adding 5% to production (getting 5% LESS malus to production due to sub-100% Habitability) everywhere but your Homeworld, and reducing Food/Amenities upkeep (again, normally penalized by lower Habitability). It's also one of the very few traits that affects Specialist output in any way- as Habitability penalties apply to them too.
So, now that Adaptable also plays the pop-growth game on most worlds, my question is if it's become strictly better than Rapid Breeders?
Breeders gives only +10% to pop growth, and costs the same as Adaptable in trait points. It provides no direct bonuses to resource output or pop upkeep on any world. AND, it conflicts with Fertile (the same way Adaptable does with Robust)- meaning you have to remove it to add Fertile if you go Bio Ascension (I recently have come to prefer Synth Ascension for the extra pop-growth and early Cyborgs, though: so this isn't really relevant to me…)
The only real issue I can see with Adaptable is that it's not useful once you unlock Glandular Acclimation (allows you to change planet type preference) and then add on Cybernetic Implants to all your pops (either through the first step to Synth Ascension, or via letting Driven Assimilators assimilate one of your planets, and then copying the cybernetic implants to the rest of your population through genemod templates, once you've reclaimed the planet and have enough research output to apply the new template to all your other pops in a reasonable timeframe… Which I actually find realistic: no reason reverse engineering of cybernetic implants shouldn't be possible…) for the +20% Habitability the implants provide…
Once all your pops have the right climate preference, and are Cyborgs (even as a Synth Ascended empire you should always keep at least a few cyborgs around of each species, by the way: so you get the extra growth bar from organic pops and can potentially enslave them- something you can't do to more than 40% of your robotic population, and then only with Slaver Guilds or Indentured Assets…) Adaptable becomes pretty useless- as it does once you unlock Robust with the Bio Ascension path. But until then, it's super-useful: and I'm wondering if not strictly superior to Rapid Breeders for most playthroughs…
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