The “Choose Civilization” screen begins your choice-making process. Each race has its own unique traits and abilities and can affect how you build your civilizations and interact with other races. To create your own custom race, select the button and head to the Customize Civilization screen.
To customize your own race, you will have to create a Leader. You can choose from a gallery of available images for your race or upload graphics of your own. The Race Overview section allows you to enter your race’s name, ship call signs, Homeworld name, beginning star system, a racial description, and logo.
In the “traits and abilities” section, you can choose how to continue to specialize your race. You begin with five available points to spend on traits. If you spend points on lessening traits, you will be able to reserve additional points to add to other traits available to you. For racial abilities, you will have your choice of any two from a large list. These abilities don’t really have a built-in “downside” and can be very powerful.
The “Appearance” section offers an assortment of options to customize the “look” of your race; things like ship styles, colors and textures, and race colors and themes for the interface can all be changed in this section.
Lastly, the “Personality” section allows you to select your tech tree and modify how your race will behave when controlled by the game’s AI. This includes ideology, character traits, goals, and priorities.
When you start a new game, you will have several options for customizing your galaxy. There are options for size, victory conditions, and allies/enemies. Depending on how long you want your game to last, you may want to start with some of the smaller galaxy sizes before moving onto the bigger ones.
The Galaxy Options section allows you to fully customize the contents of your galaxy. Star Systems determine how frequently stars and planets will be generated on the map. When determining your Star Systems, you have several different options to consider.
Resources include the various types of bonuses and advancements that can be discovered. Each of these include their own drop-down menus that will set how often they appear.
There are some interactions between these settings to be aware of. Reducing black hole frequency will reduce the number of available antimatter resources, reducing nebula frequency will reduce elerium availability, reducing asteroid frequency will reduce durantium, and reducing planet frequency will reduce promethion and thulium.
In this section, you have several options to select so that you can create the kind of map that you’d most enjoy. The menu options here are:
You can choose a pre-set race or a custom saved race to play against. You may also choose as many opponents as you want and set the difficulty levels for each enemy individually. Please note that if you are playing on a smaller map, you may not want to fill it to the brim with a bunch of hostile opponents! They’ll be all up in your neighborhood before you know it.
Playing a Game
Now that your galaxy is set up the way you like it, you can begin your game. At first glance, if you’re unfamiliar with these types of games, it seems very intimidating and overwhelming. The next section will cover some of the other basic things you need to know as you start your adventure across the Galaxy.
Game Menu Bar
A handy repository of information, this button contains several tabs on different aspects of your empire.
This button is dedicated to all things Research; your available technology projects, descriptions of what benefits and unlocks they provide, what you're currently researching, and the complete tech tree for your perusal.
Through the course of the game, random events will present you with choices to shape the ideology of your civilization. Based on your choices, you will be awarded points in one of three categories: Benevolent, Pragmatic, or Malevolent. These points can be spent on Ideological Traits in this tab.
Keep track of alliances, relationships and wars between races. Establish treaties with your allies or participate in galactic politics through the governing body of the United Planets.
There is a lot to learning this game and others like it, but I find the best method is just to explore! Below are some tips and some frequently asked questions from beginners (including myself!) to help get you started.
How do I know what to research first?
What do I build first?
What kind of ships do I start with?
What is Ideology?
How do I mine?
What else can a Starbase do?
What is an anomaly and why do I care?
What does a planet’s class mean?
What is raw production?
Things to Watch Out For
Where are my resources going?
Why is my defeated opponent still there?
Why are my Steam factions not showing up?
Is production wasted?
The situation with research is not the same. Research points not used researching the current technology are carried over to the next tech, but if you know how (and you are generating enough research points) you can research multiple technologies per turn. First, if you have enough research points to completely research a technology, the game will immediately complete it and prompt you for a new one. Second, if you don't have enough points, but you are generating so many that you will have enough for your current and next technology on the same turn, you can go into the technology tree window and select a tech further down the tree. If you have enough research you can complete a whole line in the tech tree this way. Be aware, though, that if any of the techs in that line are specialization techs, the game will research the top choice unless you manually select it.