The planet's terrain was mainly arid, red desert with many mountain ranges and volcanic craters covering the span of the planet. The planet exported droids and fungi. Over 800 types of medical or edible mushrooms grew on the world. The planet's natural water was fine for the native species, but contained microorganisms that were lethal to offworlders. Kista could help them deal with the organisms, however.
It was at one time an Ordnance/Regional Depot. Around 321 BBY, Cestus joined the Galactic Republic and was made a prison planet. The X'Ting referred to the pre-Republic time as Old Cestus.
In 319 BBY, twelve Cybot Galactica officials were imprisoned on the planet. The descendants of these prisoners and their guards went on to dominate the planet's economy in the next centuries, building up Cestus Cybernetics, a subsidiary of Baktoid Combat Automata.
Around one hundred fifty years before the Clone Wars, the X'Ting were saved from a disaster by Yoda. Fifty years later, they were hit by a Cestus Cybernetics-released plague. This led to the company being able to seize control of the planet.
In 26 BBY, a mining union strike was ended with the use of killer droids. Techno Union factories on the planet produced B1 battle droids until shortly before the onset of the Clone Wars, when such production seemingly stopped, continuing in secret on hidden factories such as those on Geonosis.
During the time of the Clone Wars, the X'ting's population had dwindled down to only a few thousand, and the Five Families of Cestus Cybernetics had taken over control of the planet. It was here that Kit Fisto and Obi-Wan Kenobi led raids to dismantle the Jedi Killer droid factories on the planet after negotiations and their ploys of deception to the Cestian Government failed. The Jedi prevented the planet from joining the Confederacy of Independent Systems by killing the Five Families. The planet was ruled by a Regent until the monarchy was restored with the help of Kenobi.
The Yuuzhan Vong occupied Ord Cestus during their invasion of the Outer Rim.