Endless Space strategy guide
Endless Space strategy guide 1.0.9. is currently work in progress, and is constantly being extended with the latest games additions and changes.
IMPORTANT NOTE: For overall information, please first visit the Endless Space Wiki. This strategy guide is intended to provide answers for particular questions, offer strategies and tactics. The specific definitions may be added later, but until then, for general definitions for the game features, please refer to the official wiki.
Endless Space strategy guide sections:
Your reign must be “approved” by your population. Higher approval rate will result in faster growth of the colony and its over effectiveness in all areas will be equally increased. Taxes have direct influence on the approval rate. There are also system wide penalties and approval boosts in certain systems, and there are several buildings that will positively boost your approval rating (Infinite Markets, Colonial Rights et cetera…). One should offset the penalty for expanding and overpopulation with feel-good buildings, and at the very beginning it is advisable to lower the taxes to get an early expansion boost.
Colonization is one of the most important aspects of the entire game, make sure that you do not neglect it. In many occasions it will seem like a proverbial race for the best seats in the house; make sure you found your place(s) when the music stops! There are several good reasons why one should pursue expansion from the get-go, which will be mentioned here later, but no really valid reasons why one should hold back.
You will start the game with a single colony ship and a scout; make sure to send the scout ahead to check out systems for best suited planets. Considering that the pirates will start appearing relatively early, there is a good chance that your valuable colony ship might be destroyed by the pirates if you do not scout ahead of it. Also, at the very beginning, to save time, it is a sound strategy to build several cheap scouts with emphasis on travel range and scanning radius (they will also help you greatly preventing the pirates from spawning, check out the Pirates section for more info).
Each time you build a colony ship, one population from the system the ship is being built at will transfer to the said ship and leave off for – hopefully – greener pastures. It is preferable not to bleed your main systems dry with building too many colony ships; use sound judgment where and when to build them. When expanding at the beginning of the game, keep an eye open for suitable planets; the rule of thumb the bigger, the greener, the better! The planets with food bonuses will help your expansion significantly, especially at the early beginning of the game, where you need to focus on raising your population numbers as high as possible. This philosophy is necessary in the early stages of the game, where you fight for your future position among the stars. Later, you can pay attention to the various raw materials and other bonuses planets may have on them.
At the beginning, you will be limited to colonizing a single type of a planet. You will need to research the colonization technologies in lower/south section of the research tree to be able to cover different types of planets like arid, barren, arctic etc.
Colonizing new systems:
So you have found a new system that has suitable planets and you very much like it. What next? Colonize the planet with the best prospects and start exploiting it for food. Be aware, newly colonized systems have a status of an outpost. That means that they can be entered by other factions ships, friendly or hostile, without any penalty or the need to engage in war. Also, the planet can be attacked and conquered without engaging in war, and it will not spread influence around the system.
After 30 turns, the new system will become a fully fledged colony, and it will start emitting an area of influence around your systems. That will mean that no vessel that do not belong to your empire (except pirates, of course) will be able to travel through your influence without having either an “open border” treaty or have a war declared on you.
A good piece of strategic advice is to observe the galaxy for potential “choke points” and acquire those systems, preventing the enemy from colonizing the systems behind your main lines.
Colonizing planets within a system:
Unlike when colonizing new systems, you will not need colony ships. You will however need a single population unit, so it is advised to wait until the planet in question has enough population so you can colonize the planets in the system. Same as with the colonization of the new systems, it is required to have had specific planetary colonization technologies researched, which you can find in the lower/south tree of the research tree.
Also, when instructing a planet to be colonized, it will be treated as any other improvement in that system and will be queued in the production screen. If you want the colonization of a planet within a system to be a priority, pull the task to the top of the queue.
It is recommended to expand in the game as soon as possible; if your population happiness is in the green area and you have sufficient production, you need to expand. Expansion is the key to winning the game, and if you miss on the expansion spree in the first 50-70 turns of the game, or do not expand fast enough, you will inevitably fall behind and eventually be crushed by the AI.
At the current state, diplomacy can be a source of lot of headache for you. One of the issues is the situation in which your ally concludes a separate peace with your common enemy, the peace agreement will be binding for you as well. That is one of the “features” that should be corrected ASAP.
Very often the AI will ask for “free gifts” from you, which could be almost construed as attempt of threatening you. There is so far no observable penalty for refusing their requests.
Your diplomatic relationships will inevitably suffer when you find yourself in immediate and prolonged contact with your neighboring species if you do not attempt to negotiate different trades and other agreements with them. In one recorded case, I’ve held the same seven systems and haven’t colonized a new star system in over 150 turns, but I would regularly get notifications that my relationships with neighboring species were deteriorating because of my “expansionism”. Hence, this could mean only one of two thing; AI considers every tech improvement that increases your influence and scanning range as “expansion” or the AI is definitely bugged in this specific case. Eventually, perhaps the AI feels that colonizing planets in the system you already own is a form of expansion? There is no clarity on this issue yet.
Depending on both your researched technologies and faction traits, certain options may or may not be available to you. If you want to be able to conduct all sorts of negotiations and conclude peace treaties, trade technologies and open borders/establish alliances, you will need to research specific technologies for that. There are traits like Cravers’ “Eternal War” which will prevent you from being at peace with all other factions, which should be taken into consideration when choosing your race or creating a custom one.
There are several Endless Space diplomatic alignments for each specific species: Evil, neutral and good. Whereas an alignment does not compel the player to act in a certain way, it does however describe the design of the AI for the specific race.
Diplomacy alignment: Evil. This doesn’t mean nothing else but the fact that this faction will most often reach for military solutions to their perceived problems. Basically, shoot first, ask – if at all – questions later.
Diplomacy alignment: Neutral. These faction will balance between war and peace and will adapt to the situation in accordance to the balance of power. In other words, if they can get away, they’ll wage war on you, if not, they’ll negotiate.
Diplomacy alignment: Good. Space hippies, one might say. In essence, they will give their utmost to try and reach peaceful solutions, even when threatened with force.
Work in progress
At the beginning, pick food as exploitation, it greatly increases the rate of your population’s growth.
This stands for Food, Industry, Dust and Science.
If you have ships in a hangar of a star system (meaning they are built, but not launched), there will be a small “y” sign next to the planet. Click that in order to enter hangar without opening star system management UI. Make sure you retrofit your ships regularly as you obtain new technologies. This won’t cost you nothing except Dust, however ships must be in one of your systems in order to be retrofitted.
Ships are frequently damaged during the battle and can’t be fixed via means of a starbase (which, at least at this moment, do not exist in the game); only thing that remains is to wait it out in a friendly system while they “gradually heal”. There is however a hero ability of “Fast Reboot” which gives +10HP healing (or repairs, if you prefer it) per turn.
There are also modules that heal ships every turn (outside the combat), automatically repairing the ships for a certain amount of HP, depending on the technology grade of the module in question.
The best strategy to quickly repair ships is to engage in battles with much weaker fleets and simply use nano-repair card from the first moment on.
Endless Space ship upkeep costs: All ships cost 1 dust per turn per CP of upkeep. Refer to the individual ship CP requirement!
Game events are a way to bring more life to the universe of Endless Space; sometimes they are a direct result of your own actions, sometimes they are simply random occurrences. Some of them are permanent and some of them have a date of expiration.
Game events can be player induced or can happen randomly; they can have positive or negative consequences and they can be permanent or have a specific duration on them (usually 20 turns). Sometimes the events are nothing more than notifications to the player that you have either discovered a new propulsion technology or that your researchers and technicians have produced a new class of ship, which deserves a flashy pop-up, since a greater tonnage wins the war! Most random events can have a positive effect (increase in production, science or something else) or a negative effect (reduced fleet speed throughout your empire or a severe contagion that kills off some of your population).
The game events with duration have received a notification with the patch 1.0.8. on how long they will last, which is usually 20 turns.
Here are some of the game event examples:
Superbug Contagion One population loss on three random planets (with at least 2 pop)
Subterranean Endless Treasures Discovered +20 approval, and +10 FIDS on the system (will end in 20 turns)
Supernova disrupts navigation maps -30% Scan on systems and ships
Pick them wisely and make sure you scrap those you no longer need. Unlike some other 4x strategy games, you should not indiscriminately pick and build all available improvements, since that will increase the maintenance costs, which will make you raise your taxes, which in turn will lower the happiness of the population and in the end lower your FIDS. AI has, of the 1.0.5. build very serious problems with discerning what improvements it needs and which ones it doesn’t. The AI will basically build just about anything that it comes across.
Influence in Endless Space (also known as Why can’t I move my ships there!?!) is basically a concept that defines borders of your empire in space. Hold on, it ain’t that simple. In short, colonies in ES will spread influence around them, being represented by a faction color. There are many factors that will effect the influence and its spread, mostly of them being technologies you research. have in mind, once again, that a newly colonized system has a status of an outpost: it does not emit influence, can be crossed by other factions ships, attacked and conquered without a declaration of war. In Endless Space, an outpost will become a colony after thirty turns, and will only then start spreading influence.
There are two vital issues one needs to remember:
- Ships that belong to other factions cannot enter or cross into other factions’ sphere of influence, unless they either have an “open border” treaty or are at war. Other factions also can’t colonize uninhabited systems that are inside the sphere of influence of other factions.
- If your fleet happens to find itself inside another faction’s system when this one starts projecting influence, your fleet will be stuck in that system. Once again, to move it out, either conclude an “open border” treaty or declare war.
Heroes bring a little bit of RPG element in Endless Space. there are 60 random heroes that will appear at some point throughout the game, plus the rare and precious Endless Hero that the owners of Emperors Edition of the game may get from time to time (odds of the Endless hero, a descendant of the mysterious Endless race, appearing in your game is quite low, actually). They improve the efficiency of your star systems and fleets. Some heroes with administrative abilities are better left babysitting systems, while you should assign your pilot and commander heroes as fleet admirals. If a hero is injured in combat, he/she/it goes back to the academy, where you recruit your heroes from, and you will either ahve to wait that he heals up on his own or pay a certain amount of dust to heal him and put him right back into action.
Heroes will gain experience while administrating a system, but they will gain ranks much faster when involved in direct combat. Top level for a hero is level 20, and each level they will be able to gain a certain ability, depending on their affinities (administrator, pilot, commander, corporate) and it is entirely up to you for what kind of task you want to “cultivate” your hero. With each level, the effects of the hero will increase, but so will the upkeep as well as the “hospital cost” for healing an injured hero.
Player can control three heroes at the beginning of the game, but can also expand that number with proper research and faction bonuses.
Hero specialties are two attributes that a hero has and that make him more suitable for specific roles in your empire.
Administrator: great for faster construction and food production, should be used as a governor on a planet.
Adventurer: great for spying, killing, sneaking and stealing. Alas, as none of it is in the game yet, this hero specialty is fairly useless, next to increasing his detection range.
Commander: Experienced strategist and able fleet commander, should be – obviously – used as a fleet admiral.
Corporate: Great for science, dust, luxury and strategic resources, should be used as a governor on a planet.
Pilot: great for heroic fighting in space, should be used as a fleet admiral.
In Endless Space, there have been reports of pirates being ( up to version 1.0.5.) a very strong, downright overpowered AI faction that needed to be held in check or they would spawn and multiply in excess and very soon attack the player with overwhelming forces. Basically, they could become stronger than any faction if unsupervised. As of 1.0.8 version, the pirates, even if they are still a significant factor in the gameplay, seem to no longer be overpowered.
Pirates spawn in systems that are yet undiscovered and /or are concealed by the fog of war. In essence, the tactics against pirates should be exploration of all neighboring systems and research of technologies that can scan as far as possible. It would be recommendable to either have several scouts patrolling around or expand your detection grid from neighboring planets to such extent that it encompasses non-colonized systems, so that pirates can’t spawn from the digital darkness of space.
Note: To keep things very simple, one can turn off the pirates in advanced menu option. There are also two options for pirate presence and their strength, normal and insane.
Planetary invasions are a specific, rather abstract part of the game. There are no troop ships, ground vehicles or bases that fight each other, it is a war of offensive and defensive statistics of the attacking fleet and the beleaguered system. There are certain buildings that can be build to raise the defense value of a system. The higher the defense value is, the slower will that system be conquered; in essence, the planets in the star system (have in mind that all the planets in the system are being conquered simultaneously, and not individually) were not designed to resist an invasion fleet on their own, but to give the player enough time to assemble his own fleet to repel the invaders.
There is one curiosity as of the build 1.0.9. that existed so far; once a player conquered a star system, that system can be re-conquered by the faction that held it before within a single turn. It is irrelevant if the player has held the system for thirty turns and if he built all possible defense buildings, the time required to conquer back previously invaded planet is always one turn. It is uncertain if this was an oversight yet, because it seems that this is more of a bug than a feature.
Renaming systems. You can rename system to the name of your liking, but not if that name is already taken in the game. Go to system menu, system name, click and delete current name and enter new one…
Space combat in Endless Space is a specific issue. Instead of being conducted in a tactical manner like Sins of Solar Empire or in turn-based manner like Master of Orion 2, the combat in ES is played out in real-time, with the player picking cards that are corresponding to a certain strategy. Both players pick their cards at the same time, hoping that their card would counter their opponents card. There are thee combat phases, long range, mid-range and melee, and at each stage, the cards are being played. Basically, it is rock-paper-scissor analogy, where some cards will counter others, which is the best possible situation. One needs to pick cards according to their own ship setup, the enemy ship’s armaments and the possible tactics they might employ.
Ships target only one enemy ship per phase, so make sure that your missile ships are small. In case you got a dreadnought fitted with mostly missiles, you will overkill a single target and die at hands of a larger number of smaller vessels. Same works for the big ships with many canons, they all fire at the same target. Out of all weapons, one should concentrate on beams, since they got the greatest DPS.
The trade routes are a very important asset in the game (we are not talking trade agreements, but automated trade routes) which will provide you empire with both additional dust income as well as additional research points.
The most important part of the game is the very start, and that is where you will manage to gain an advantage or hopelessly fall behind. Make sure you go for a tier 1 planet (Terran, Jungle or Ocean class). If there is an uninhabited planet like that in your home system, use your colony ship on it. If unable to find such a planet, look for a planet with positive anomaly (food or population happiness). Your first hero should be an administrator and should be appointed to the home planet to boost productivity. Aim for Director 1 and Civil Engineering, lower the taxes on your home system to improve happiness and start expanding as soon as you stabilize your economy.
Expansion Victory: conquer 75% or more of the colonized universe.
Scientific Victory: the faction that manages to research the Pan-Galactic Society before other races achieves scientific victory.
Economic Victory: The first faction to reach a certain amount of Dust wins. It doesn’t matter how much that player spent, just how much he overall earned.
Diplomatic Victory: Survive long enough without engagin into warlike activities or spend the least amount at war and eventually you will achieve diplomatic victory.
Supremacy Victory: The first faction to conquers all the original races homeworlds will achieve supremacy win.
Score Victory: if no one managed to win with one of the previous victory conditions, the player with the highest score wins when the turn limit is reached.