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You need to understand quite a lot of basic material before going on to the more advanced aspects of race design, and this page presents the basics:

  • How the race design screens work.
  • The meanings of the race design options.
  • Which are worth using.
  • Which go well with which.

The screens[edit]

The "Select Race" screen is the first in the Race Design dialog, and invites you to select a pre-defined race or design a custom race.

Race design starts with the "Select Race" screen. Since this page is about custom race design it assumes you choose the "custom" option.

Then you see a screen which is identical to the "Select Race" screen except that its title is "Select Race Picture". MOO II has only a fixed set of race pictures, which are used in various other screens, and you must choose one of these for your custom race. This has an important side-effect in single-player games: whichever picture you choose, the corresponding pre-defined race will not appear as one of your opponents in the game.

Below is a display of the Race Design screen at a much larger scale than usual because there are so many features to understand.

Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares's Race Design screen is one of the most important and complex in the game - a bad race design is likely to lose the game, and a good one gives you at least as good a chance of winning as any other player.

Edit the box at the top to show the name of your empire ("SciFi Fan" in this example).

In the standard game you start race design with a budget of 10 "Picks" (race design points). Advantageous traits cost points; disadvantageous traits increase your budget, but you can't choose more than 10 Picks' worth of disadvantages. Some mods increase your race design budget and / or the maximum negative Picks (disadvantages) and / or the costs of specific traits.

The number to the right of each trait's name represents the number of Picks deducted from your budget if you select that option (or added to your budget if the number is negative). This number is shown in in square brackets in the trait descriptions below.

Highlighted traits are the ones you've already chosen - you can unselect them by clicking the buttons beside them. Grayed-out (or greened-out) traits are unavailable because you have insufficient Picks left or because they'd take you over the limit on negative Picks or because they're incompatible with traits you've chosen. Traits that are neither highlighted nor grayed-out are available for you to select.

The "Picks" box shows how many Picks are left in your budget. The score box shows by how much the game will multiply your score at the end of the game if you use the current design - the fewer picks you use, the bigger the multiplier.

The "Clear" button (bottom left) resets all selections.

Traits[edit]

This section describes the costs and benefits of all traits as defined in the standard game - mods may have different values.

Genetic and empire-based traits[edit]

Some of the traits are part of the genetics of a race, and are retained even if another empire (hopefully yours) acquires a colony of another race by conquest, diplomacy or the surrender of another empire. Other traits depend on the empire, as if they are attributes of the government rather than the population; if a colony changes owner, the new owners' empire-based traits are applied.

Choosing some traits eliminates others[edit]

In addition to the budget limitations described above, choosing some traits makes others unavailable. The most obvious example is Lithovore (no food required), which makes all the Farming traits unavailable.

Population (genetic)[edit]

It's often said that in MOO II population is power (there's more about this later).

-50% Growth [-4][edit]

Makes the populations of all your colonies grow at half speed. Biological research (Cloning Center, Microbiotics or Evolutionary Mutation) can nullify this trait in time, but in the beginning, the more people you have in a colony, the better as it improves every aspect of your colony - farming, production, research and money.

You absolutely must use the Pop 1 farming colony technique if you take this pick and want to remain competitive.

+50% Growth [3][edit]

Makes the populations of all your colonies grow at 150% of normal speed. Whether this is a good choice depends on your other picks and your overall economic strategy; for example there are 3 technologies and 1 management technique that can increase you population growth quite nicely, so you may prefer to spend your Picks budget on other advantages. It's largely wasted if you don't also choose at least one trait that increases the maximum populations of your colonies (Subterranean, Tolerant, Aquatic).

There are usually better choices.

+100% Growth [6][edit]

Makes the populations of all your colonies grow twice as fast as normal.

This one costs too many Picks to be worthwhile because the 3 point difference between +50% and +100% could get you another positive trait elsewhere. Also, there are 3 technologies and 1 management technique that can increase your population growth.

Farming (genetic)[edit]

-1/2 Food [-3][edit]

Decreases the production of all farmers by half a unit, i.e. from 2 to 1.5 per farmer, but it cannot make a farmer produce a negative amount of food. If you choose this, you probably need to research Soil Enrichment early, otherwise too much of your population is tied up in farming and not available for research or industrial production. This trait works best with Cybernetic, as Cybernetic races require 50% less food than normal; but Cybernetic is a dubious choice, and that makes -1/2 Food a poor choice unless you counter it with unification's farming bonus and quickly rush to get soil enrichment.

+1 Food [4][edit]

This trait increases the production of all farmers by one unit each. Extra food allows you to move colonists from farming into other areas of production or science, which can be quite advantageous in the early stages when your home planet is the central pillar of your economy. Also it will help early-game expansion by allowing your homeworld to support larger populations on more Barren/Radiated planets until you can research Terraforming. Thus in many ways food bonuses enable more versatile options than banking everything on a pure production- or science-oriented approach.

Soil Enrichment can be researched early and gives the same benefit; Unification government (+1 food; +1 production; better security against spies / saboteurs; only [6] Picks) and/or aquatic (+1 Food, increased population on 'wet' worlds; only [5] Picks) are much better value.

Most advantageous for early-game rushers, or in high-mineral/low-organic galaxies. By mid-game after widespread terraforming has been completed, the benefits will become negligible.

+2 Food [7][edit]

This trait increases the production of all farmers by two units each. It is a very poor choice. You can generally get better value for the 7 Picks elsewhere, especially as there are many (midgame) research options that increase food production. However, this pick does allow even Desert or Swamp planets to support large populations without being further terraformed. So for early expansion strategies in Organic-rich galaxies, it is not totally beyond consideration.

Production (genetic)[edit]

-1 Production [-3][edit]

Decreases industrial production by 1 unit per worker. As usual: a worker cannot produce a negative amount; some technologies can negate this disadvantage. But in pre-warp starts you have to research even the most basic production-boosting technology (Automated Factories), and running at reduced production while you do this is a significant disadvantage. The main exception is if you have 1 or more traits that boost your money income (Democracy government, or +n Money). Avoid unless you have a money-boosting trait.

+1 Production [3][edit]

Increases industrial production by 1 unit per worker. Its value very much depends on the other traits you choose; for example in at least the early game pollution limits your industrial production quite severely, so Tolerant (no pollution penalty) fits very well with increased production. Cybernetic also tends to benefit from this pick, since they consume part of their production. If you're considering the +1 production trait, you should consider whether Unification government (+50% production, +50% food, improved security against spies / saboteurs) should be used either an alternative or as a further booster. If you take Unification and the +1 production trait, you potentially have +2 production per worker but you really need Tolerant to avoid wasting it all on pollution; but Unification with Tolerant and +1 production is 19 picks, so you'd have to choose 9 or 10 Picks worth of disadvantages. Think carefully about this one.

+2 Production [6][edit]

Increases industrial production by 2 unit per worker. The high Picks cost, increased pollution and the array of production-boosting technologies you can research mean this choice is really only worth it when paired with Tolerant for early blitz strategies. Try out the vanilla Meklar race to learn the effects of high production vs pollution.

Research (genetic)[edit]

-1 Research [-3][edit]

Decreases research by 1 unit per scientist. Technology is crucial in MOO II because a high-tech warship slaughters whole fleets of low-tech ships and high-tech colonies can out-perform in every way those of lower-tech empires with specific racial advantages in production / farming / research. That said, this pick hits hardest in the early game: once you have Research Labs the overall effect will only be a -33% research reduction for each scientist (with Planetary Supercomputer this gets reduced further to a net -15% less than the normal research rate). Arguably not as bad as having a Feudalistic government (where the 50% research penalty applies against all research-improvement bonuses as well), your strategy will however need to be similar: expand fast, depend on labs early on and quickly rush-assimilate another culture to do your research for you. Thus this trait might work for early rushers or races with a spying bonus.

Choose this only if you find the highest difficulty too easy; never choose this against a human opponent (unless you've agreed some unusual start-up conditions for the sheer fun of it). Research -1 WITH Feudalistic is for masochists only, but a viable example for SP could be a high-pop oriented race such as FeudSubTolLrgRes-1.

+1 Research [3][edit]

Increases research by 1 unit per scientist. As with the other "+1" traits, you need to consider the alternative and complementary traits. Artifacts world [3] increases research by 2 per scientist, but only on your home world; it can be very powerful if you use it to get key technologies early, for example if you get Planetary Supercomputer (a significant research booster) 10 turns before the opposition you probably have a permanent lead in technology. Democracy government (+ 1 research, + 1 money; [7 Picks]) provides fast research and the money to buy things quickly after you discover how to make them.

+2 Research [6][edit]

Increases research by 2 units per scientist. Despite its high cost, this may be better than +2 farming and +2 production because it enables you to research quickly the technologies to counter the disadvantages you will have to choose in order to balance your Picks budget. Even so, think carefully about this one; in particular, Artifacts world ([3] Picks) is a powerful and cheaper alternative.

Choosing the Subteranean trait instead will in the long run generate more research.

Example: With the +2 Research racial pick, each scientist generates 5 RP. Using a Research Lab boosts this to 6 RP/scientist plus 5 for the building itself. Adding a Planetary Supercomputer boosts this to 8 RP/scientist plus 10 for the building. Thus 10 scientists will generate 8x10 + 5 + 10 = 95 RP each turn. With the Subteranean racial pick, each scientist generates only 3 RP boosted to 4 RP (Lab) or 6 RP (Supercomputer), but your planet can support twice as many scientists. So 20 scientists generate 6x20 + 5 + 10 = 135 RP each turn.

Money (empire-based)[edit]

-0.5 BC [-4][edit]

Decreases every 1 BC your empire receives through taxes by 0.5 BC (i.e. it halves your taxable income from population for the whole game). Unfortunately, this penalty is fully multiplicative with morale/Spaceports/Democracy thus guaranteeing long-term penury. It should be noted that Trade Goods won't be affected by this trait, and can be used to supplement your income that way. Even so, you probably won't have much cash to hire good Leaders or rush-complete your production queue very often.

Nonetheless, this disadvantage might still be considered to boost your Picks budget, since spending income beyond what's needed to balance your budget is less efficient than direct farming/production/research. It is generally only a reasonable pick if you can rely on subsidiary income (i.e. trade treaties for a Charismatic race), have reduced expenses (i.e. Warlord), or have increased population (Subterranean).

+0.5 BC [5][edit]

Increases every 1 BC your empire receives through taxes by 0.5 BC, i.e. boosts your income by 50% for the whole game. This bonus is fully multiplicative with morale/Spaceports/Democracy (in contrast, the morale/Spaceports/Democracy bonuses are merely additive with each other). Usually too expensive - Democracy government (+1 research; +0.5 money; no morale penalty at new-born colonies; defensive spy penalty [7 Picks]) gives you a better shot at surviving the crucial early game. However, a DictSci1Cash0.5 (8 picks) will generate the same research but more money than a Democracy, without the defensive spy penalty.

Another time to pick extra cash is for creatives: they generally need more buildings than other races so as to gain the benefits from all their bonus techs, and hence they need more money for maintenance.

+1 BC [8][edit]

Increases every 1 BC your empire receives through taxes by 1 BC, i.e. boosts your income by 100% for the whole game. Would seem far too expensive until you consider that building maintenance costs remain fixed while your adjusted income doubles (multiplied by benefits from Starport/Stock Exchange/Galactic Currency Exchange). So what this effectively means is that your actual cash flow per turn (ie. pocket money after expenses) will triple or quadruple from what you normally expect to see. More money means hiring better Leaders, buying improvements and starships sooner, supporting more spies, etc. Thus this trait can offer an interesting variation on a production-oriented strategy, and really pays off (mind the pun) when combined with high population races: DictSubCash1 (14 picks) or DictAquaCash1 (13 picks) being two possibilities.

Ship Defense (empire-based)[edit]

-20 Ship Defense [-2][edit]

Reduces by 20% your warships' ability to avoid being hit by "beam" weapons (including the "machine-gun" weapons Mass Driver and Gauss Cannon). A very common negative pick to balance the Picks budget since research can quickly provide means to: improve your ship defence; shoot with greater power and accuracy (if you destroy enemy ships fast, a defensive weakness becomes much less important). Early warship tech like augmented engines and internal stabilizer can easily compensate.

Higher crew experience basically negates this penalty, thus you can use this trait to help pay for Warlord so as to get Warlord's other benefits for "free".

+25 Ship Defense [+3][edit]

Increases by 25% your warships' ability to avoid being hit by "beam" weapons. Poor value because of the technologies described above. For the 3 Picks you could have +1 Science or Artifacts Homeworld, both of which get you these military techs faster. Most likely to be useful in small or crowded galaxies where early, low-tech combat is probable.

+50 Ship Defense [+7][edit]

Increases by 50% your warships' ability to avoid being hit by "beam" weapons. Very poor value - it costs as many Picks as Democracy government, which gives you advantages in both civilian and military areas and that last much longer (+50% research and income) - even in small or crowded galaxies where early, low-tech combat is probable.

Ship Attack (empire-based)[edit]

-20 Ship Attack [-2][edit]

Reduces by 20% your warships' ability to hit enemy ships with "beam" weapons (including the "machine-gun" weapons Mass Driver and Gauss Cannon). Avoid if at all possible - in MOO II research makes the power of warships' attacks increase faster than the strength of their defenses, so you need to kill enemy ships as fast as possible; and if you get into a low-tech fight in a small or crowded galaxy, your ships' inaccurate firing may be fatal.

That said, if you rush the Chemistry tech tree, using missiles-only is a viable military strategy till mid game. By then having a decent targeting computer, Battle Scanner or Tractor Beams can easily offset this trait for beams, or you can switch to torpedoes. In the late game, Mauler Device and most Special Weapons makes targeting accuracy irrelevant.

Higher crew experience basically negates this penalty, thus you can use this trait to pay for Warlord so as to get Warlord's other benefits for "free".

+20 Ship Attack [+2][edit]

Increases by 20% your warships' ability to hit with "beam" weapons. Can be good value if a blitz strategy is viable, in other words if your other race design choices support attacking as early as possible and the galaxy is small and / or crowded - otherwise your opponents probably use other traits to pull ahead in production and technology and you're losing.

+50 Ship Attack [+4][edit]

Increases by 50% your warships' ability to hit with "beam" weapons. Poor value unless you're very confident about winning by a blitz - and probably fatal if the the blitz fails or if it is never started because there's no-one you can attack quickly - your opponents probably will be pulling ahead in production and technology.

Do note, however, that the Computers tech tree is FULL of painful choices at each tech level involving targeting computers: Research Labs vs Optronic Computer, Planetary SuperComputer or Holo Simulator vs Positronic Computer, Autolab or Structural Analyzer vs Cybertronic Computer. Often you can trade, capture or steal a decent targeting computer from the aliens. But taking this trait will make those tech choices easier and ensure non-creative repulsive races have access to decent beam accuracy up through the late-game (using Continuous and PD-modified beams) without ever needing to research a targeting computer.

Ground Combat (empire-based)[edit]

-10 Ground Combat [-2][edit]

Decreases your ground troops' effectiveness by 10%. A very common negative choice to balance your Picks budget since: ground combat skill is useless if you lose space battles; it's easily compensated for by research.

+10 Ground Combat [+2][edit]

Increases your ground troops' effectiveness by 10%. Usually poor value since ground combat skill is easily countered by research, especially by creatives. It's best used if you aim to capture rather than destroy enemy ships to win space battles. Captured ships cannot be upgraded but if you scrap them there's chance of gaining space combat technologies from them. The best freebie techs you can get this way are from scrapping captured Antaran ships, but it's incredibly difficult to capture Antaran ships without pursuing a dedicated tech strategy to do so (Tractor Beam + all the ground combat/armor upgrades). Many multi-player games are played with the "Antarans attack" game option off, so you never get the opportunity.

One of the problems of using commando raids/capture as a space combat strategy is that you will have to make painful tech choices to keep your advantage: Powered Armor (vs Robo Miners), Personal Shields (vs Stealth Field/Suit) or Anti-Grav Harness (vs Inertial Stabilizer), and you really need Tractor Beams (vs Graviton Beam/ Gravity Generator) or Transporters to pull it off, not to mention Fusion/Phasor/Plasma Rifle. Troop Pods also help, but will make your ships woefully under-armed until you can capture/steal/exchange for Battle Pods. So in many ways, Creatives will really be able to build up a distinct advantage in this area.

Another advantage for concentrating on high Ground Combat is so suppressing rebels on not-yet-fully-assimilated planets is much more likely to be successful. It might not seem much of an advantage, but knowing a captured planet stays captured without needing a watchdog garrison can be useful.

+20 Ground Combat [+4][edit]

Increases your ground troops' effectiveness by 20%. Poor value for the reasons stated above. There are many better ways to spend 4 Picks. Will probably only pay off if you combine it with Heavy Gravity to use for a blitz invasion strategy early in the game.

Spying (empire-based)[edit]

-10 Spying [-3][edit]

Decreases by 10% your spies' effectiveness both in espionage / sabotage missions against opponents and in defending your empire against opponents' attempts at espionage / sabotage. A fairly common negative choice to balance your Picks budget but must be used carefully. Not a severe disadvantage if you research espionage technologies quickly and/or use government that have advantages in defensive espionage. Do not use if you choose Democracy government, as Democracy has a built-in -10 disadvantage in defensive spy operations; Democracy with the -10 Spying trait is at a 20% disadvantage and its opponents can steal its technologies as fast as it discovers them.

+10 Spying [3][edit]

Increases by 10% your spies' effectiveness both in espionage / sabotage missions against opponents and in defending your empire against opponents' attempts at espionage / sabotage. Seldom a good choice: technologies that boost spies' effectiveness (especially in defense) appear at several levels of the tech tree; espionage and sabotage make enemies quickly, and those enemies probably have advantages in production and / or research, so when they come knocking at your door, you're in real danger. To look at it another way, several 3 Pick choices boost research so you can quickly get technologies that boost spies' effectiveness, and these other traits have other civilian and / or military benefits.

+20 Spying [6][edit]

Increases by 20% your spies' effectiveness both in espionage / sabotage missions against opponents and in defending your empire against opponents' attempts at espionage / sabotage. A really bad choice, for the reasons stated above but more strongly.

Government (empire-based)[edit]

This is the most important group of traits, as each government type is a package of advantages and disadvantages. Each government type also has an advanced version that can be researched. Although the advanced versions cannot be chosen in the Race Design screen, this page describes them because you should understand the advanced version (your medium- to long-term future) before choosing your initial government type.

Feudal [-4][edit]

Advantages: spaceship production costs are ⅔ (67%) of normal.
Disadvantages: 50% less research per scientist; colonies without a Marine Barracks or Armor Barracks suffer a 20% morale penalty, in other words colonies don't get going properly until they have a Barracks and the actual building of the Barracks is slowed by the poor productivity(this can be circumvented by placing an outpost ship on the planet, and then colonizing the planet; this will convert the outpost to a barracks); if the empire's capital is captured or destroyed, the whole empire suffers a 50% morale penalty, until a new Capitol is built.
Notes: the manual says that populations captured from a Feudal empire assimilate instantly, but the base version of MOO II does not behave this way and no patch (official or user-developed) has fixed this. This bug is fixed in the version distributed electronically through Atari's website (Windows, version 1.31).

Advanced version: Confederation. Advantages: spaceship production costs are reduced to ⅓ (33%) of normal; populations captured from a Confederation empire do not assimilate instantly (not an advantage, since Feudal populations actually do not assimilate instantly); assimilates populations captured from other empires at twice the normal rate.
Remaining disadvantages: It is not reflected in the manual, but the research penalty is lowered to 25% reduction per scientist; the penalties for lack of a Barracks or a Capitol remain the same.

Note: Although not discussed in the manual, experience shows that the Feudal and Confederation governments also obtain a 50% and 25% penalty to their research treaty amounts respectively.

Feudal's 50% reduction in research per scientist is usually crippling. Feudal only stands a chance as a blitz race in a small galaxy - in a large galaxy, however crowded with juicy targets, some race on the far side will build up an insuperable technological advantage before the Feudal empire's ships get there. Outpost ships are often a vital part of Feudal fleets; they can extend a Feudal empire's range by landing on uninhabitable gas giants and asteroid belts; and they can overcome the "no Barracks" penalty for young colonies because they convert to Marine Barracks when a planet on which they've already landed is colonized (but not by landing on a colonized planet which has no Barracks). These techniques are rather expensive in production cost for non-Feudal empires in the early game, but they exploit Feudalism's one strength, which is cheap ships.

Dictatorship [0][edit]

Advantages: spies get a 10% advantage in defensive operations.
Disadvantages: colonies without a Marine Barracks or Armor Barracks suffer a 20% morale penalty, in other words colonies don't get going properly until they have a Barracks and the actual building of the Barracks is slowed by the poor productivity(this can be circumvented by placing an outpost ship on the planet, and then colonizing the planet; this will convert the outpost to a barracks); if the empire's capital is captured or destroyed, the whole empire suffers a 35% morale penalty, until a new Capitol is built.

Advanced version: Imperium. Advantages: no morale penalty for lack of a Barracks, 20% morale bonus when there is a Barracks; assimilates conquered populations twice as fast as normal; defensive spying bonus increased to 20%; increases command points by 50%(this includes everything - starting command points, command points from bases, leader bonuses, communication tech bonuses and even the warlord bonus is increased).

Much better than Feudal, but most players prefer Democracy or Unification. This is because although Dictatorships have the option of getting very significant morale bonuses and extra CP that can match the bonuses of Democracy and Unification, Democracy and Unification have a much stronger headstart, which can be fatal to Dictatorships in multiplayer, unless you get lucky and get Tanus the Revolutionary early game.

Democracy [7][edit]

Advantages: 50% more research per scientist; 50% more income per taxpayer; assimilates conquered populations twice as fast as normal.
Disadvantages: spies get a 10% disadvantage in defensive operations; if the empires' capital is captured or destroyed, the whole empire suffers a 20% morale penalty, until a new Capitol is built.

Advanced version: Federation (do not confuse with Confederation, which is the advanced version of Feudalism). Advantages: 75% more research per scientist; 75% more income per taxpayer; assimilates conquered populations 4 times as fast as normal.
Remaining disadvantages: spies get a 10% disadvantage in defensive operations; if the empire's capital is captured or destroyed, the whole empire suffers a 20% morale penalty, until a new Capitol is built.

Note: Although not discussed in the manual, experience shows that the Democracy and Federation governments also obtain a +50% bonus (or 75% with Federation) to their research and trade treaty amounts.

Democracy's assimilation advantage is minor, since other governments can reduce their assimilation times by building on each conquered planet a Alien Management Center, which is fairly easy to research.

Most good research-oriented races are Democracies: the effect is increased if they are also Lithovores and therefore use no population on farming; the income advantages enable them to more often buy buildings, when they are at 50%. Democracies can also be the most dangerous blitzers: they get going slower than Feudalism because their ship production costs are normal; but Democracies' ships are more advanced, their faster researching of range and speed technologies gets their ships to distant targets faster, their money advantages allow them to run fleets in excess of their command points and their rapid assimilation of conquered populations (even without Alien Management Center) turns conquests into strong points very quickly.

Unification [6][edit]

Advantages: +50% production per worker; +50% food per farmer; spies get a 15% advantage in defensive operations; not affected by morale penalties; there is no capital and therefore there's no penalty for the loss of the capital.

Disadvantages: not affected by morale bonuses; assimilation of conquered populations takes 250% of the normal time (20 turns per head rather than 8). The lack of morale bonuses is not a terribly huge loss, since most non-creative races usually forgo on morale tech in favor of more essential tech (esp. Plantary Supercomputers). Altough dictatorships can get signifcant morale bonuses by Imperium and psionics, these techs come in mid-game.

Advanced version: Galactic Unification. Advantages: +100% production per worker; +100% food per farmer; assimilation of conquered populations reduced to 188% of the normal time (15 turns per head).

Remaining disadvantage: not affected by morale bonuses.

Note that Unification's assimilation disadvantage is reduced by the Alien Management Center technology.

Most good production-oriented races are Unification, and many players think it's the strongest government; its effects are increased if the race is also Tolerant and therefore "wastes" no production on pollution. Despite the high Picks cost (6 + 10 =16), the "UniTol" combination (Unification + Tolerant) is so strong that it is sometimes banned in online tournaments, and some mods aim to reduce the advantage of Unification and especially the UniTol combination. The great strength of this type of race is its ability to build an economy fast, especially to colonize fast. Its greatest weakness is rather slow early research (although it's still much better than Feudalism's); it can be vulnerable to early blitzes, usually by Democracies rather than Feudalisms; Unification, especially UniTol, can build ships as fast as a Feudalism but a Democracy can soon build much better ships and can usually buy them when half built if it's in hurry. Later in the game this type of production-oriented race can often out-research a research-oriented race, because it will have more colonies and therefore more research buildings.

Special abilities[edit]

Some of these are "genetic" and some are "empire-based"; and 4 are traits of the home planet rather than of the species or empire.

Low-G World [-5] (genetic/homeworld)[edit]

Advantages: Removes the 25% penalty to farming/production/research on Low-G worlds. Disadvantages: 25% penalty on Normal-G planets(the penalty on High-G worlds remains at 50%); troops suffer a 10% penalty during ground combat.
The fundamental problem is that Low-G planets are rarer than Normal-G planets and are smaller in size or mineral richness, so your colonies will be less productive. A Gravity Generator can eliminate the productivity penalty on Normal-G planets, but it will take a while to research.
However, since the penalty for placing colonies on High-G worlds is the same regardless of whether your race is a Normal-G or Low-G race, and because it gains you an additional 5 points to spend on your race, it might be worth the cost if you need the extra racial points and spend them wisely, especially since you can research Gravity Generator later in the game to eliminate the penalties.

High-G World [6] (genetic/homeworld)[edit]

Advantages: the 50% penalty on High-G planets is removed; troops take 1 hit more than normal before being slain in ground combat. Disadvantages: none (the penalty on Low-G planets remains at 25% despite the planets menu showing it to be 50%).
Seldom worth the cost. Although the largest and the richest planets are High-G worlds(except those guarded by space monsters), all races can research Gravity Generator to eliminate the penalty, so you will have an advantage only if you have High-G planets close by in order to outproduce them, before everyone has the research and is able to colonize those planets without suffering a penalty.

Can be useful for boarding strategies and ground invasions, especially if combined with Ground Combat +10/+20 thereby making your troops nigh invincible. Suppressing rebels on non-assimilated conquered planets will have very high success rates.

Aquatic [5] (genetic/homeworld)[edit]

A complex package whose benefits apply only on "wet" planets: Tundra is as good for an Aquatic race as Terran is for other races (+1 increase in farming, habitable area increases from 25% to 80%, so maximum population is increased by more than 3 times); Swamp becomes effectively Terran (no increase in farming; habitable area increases from 40% to 80% doubling maximum population); Ocean becomes effectively Gaia (+1 increase in farming, habitable area increases from 25% to 100% increasing the maximum population 4 times); Terran becomes effectively Gaia (+1 increase in farming, habitable area from 80% to 100%, a 25% increase in maximum population).
Aquatic is a gamble, but experienced players often take it. If you find a few medium or larger "wet" planets in or near your home system, you get an excellent start: you can build up a large population fast; most of that increase goes into research as you need fewer farmers; you research industrial and pollution-control technologies and develop a monster economy. If the area round your home planet contains only "dry" planets (Desert or Arid) or no-farming planets (Toxic, Radiated, Barren) in or near your home system, you get very little advantage over a non-Aquatic race (+1 farming and +25% maximum population on your homeworld, which is an Ocean, instead of Terran and performs as Gaia); and in standard MOO II most planets are no-farming at the start of the game.

Subterranean [6] (genetic)[edit]

This gives the greatest increase in the maximum population capacity of your colonies(from 2 on Tiny planets to 10 on Huge planets) and, unlike Aquatic, applies to all planet types inhabited by your race. Subterranean also provides a 10% ground combat bonus when defending a colony.
Less of a gamble than Aquatic, but you have to play carefully to turn the extra population into an asset, since Subterranean provides no farming advantage and is a relatively expensive pick. Soil Enrichment (+1 food per farmer) and later Weather Controllers are key technologies for Subterranean races.

Large Home World [1][edit]

Increases the size of your homeworld from medium to large, and subsequently it's maximum population capacity by one third.
A good way to spend that last Pick remaining in your budget but don't choose it at the expense of other ways to increase maximum population capacities.

Rich Home World [2][edit]

Increases the mineral richness of your homeworld from Abundant to Rich, increasing industrial production from 3 to 5 per worker.
A good use for your last 2 Picks but don't choose it at the expense of other ways to increase production (e.g. the Unitol combination).

Poor Home World [-1][edit]

Avoid this if you can, as it significantly slows down your early colonization - production per worker is reduced from 3 to 2, all construction projects will need 50% more time to be completed.

Artifacts World [3][edit]

Increases research on your homeworld from 3 to 5 per scientist; that's a 67% increase.
Possibly better than +1 Science; but Democracy is better if you can afford it. Artifacts World is often better than +1 Science (also 3 Picks) because in the early game most of your scientists are on your homeworld, except perhaps for Unitol and other extreme production-oriented races. Don't choose either at the expense of Democracy, which benefits all colonies with scientists and allows you to move people from industry to research because its higher tax revenue enables you to buy things when half-built.

Cybernetic [4] (genetic)[edit]

Each population unit consumes 0.5 food and 0.5 production; ships are completely repaired after combat; ships' structural and armor are repaired at 10% per turn during combat; ships' systems (engines, weapons, targetting devices, etc.) are repaired by 5% per turn during combat. You can't be both Cybernetic and a Lithovore.
Not worth 4 Picks in most cases. Unless you're also tolerant or have a production bonus in the early game the 0.5 production consumed by each population unit can't be replaced easily by moving people from farming to industry, because 50% of your increased production will be "eaten" by pollution, so your early colonization will be slowed down almost as much as by Poor Homeworld. The combat advantages are also minor: you could have used the 4 Picks to increase your fleet strength by other means.
Using Cybernetic. Cybernetic can be a useful choice when paired with Tolerant and Unification. What you get with this combination is a way to hedge your early colonization strategy. The 50% bonus to farming and production from Unification paired with Tolerant, and an early pick of Hydroponic Farm gives you a way to rapidly colonize all nearby planets at the start of the game regardless of their traits. For warfare, prioritize better armor (zortium and up).

Lithovore [10] (genetic)[edit]

Lithovores eat rocks instead of food, so don't need to farm to support themselves (but can farm to generate income or to support non-Lithovore captured colonists). You can't be both Cybernetic and a Lithovore. You also can't research technologies that boost food production (with one fairly late-game exception), which means you have to be careful how you manage non-Lithovore captured colonists.
Good for research-oriented races, almost useless for production-oriented races. Despite the high cost of 10 Picks, this gives early research a major boost because you don't need to use 25-50% of your homeworld's population for farming; and nothing researches as fast as a Demolith race (Democracy + Lithovore). A production race will generally have Unification government, which provides a farming advantage that would be wasted if you choose Lithovore as well.

Repulsive [-6] (empire-based)[edit]

AI races are more likely to be hostile. You get a poorer choice of Colony Leaders and Ship Leaders, usually at higher cost, and fewer opportunities to hire leaders. The only Diplomatic options you have are "Declare War" and "Surrender" (no trade or research treaties; no opportunities for extortion / blackmail). It takes 50% longer to assimilate captured colonists. You can't be both Charismatic and Repulsive.

But this can be the best negative trait! At the higher difficulty levels AI players are hostile anyway; and diplomacy is usually forbidden in death-matches involving more than 2 human players, to prevent collusion. Repulsive's assimilation disadvantage is eliminated by the Alien Management Center technology. For a few minor sacrifices you get an extra 6 Picks to spend on becoming a great power. Oderint dum metuant (an ancient Roman saying: let them hate us provided they fear us).

On the other hand, while it is true that you get many points to spend on making your race better, in multi-player games with other humans Repulsive can be devastating. Assuming treaties are not forbidden, your opponents gain wealth and research from other empires, while you cannot. Furthermore, with this trait selected they have no reason to be friends with you, thus potentially forcing them to ally with another against you. Additionally, it is easy to convince any computer players to declare war on you since they have no prior relations, which can result in a 5 front war. A multiple front war, no matter how great your species is, can often destroy the most powerful empire.

Charismatic [3] (empire-based)[edit]

The opposite of Repulsive.
Seldom worth 3 Picks for the same reasons that make Repulsive good value. Although again, if playing multi-player with computer opponents, a Charismatic species can open up additional fronts against their enemies, buying you at the least, time, and at the most, a total victory. In single player games being charismatic can lead to a swift victory through galactic vote.

In general, being charismatic is also very useful for getting better leaders and techs through leaders: Having an autolab and terraforming early on can turn many games around.

Uncreative [-4] (empire-based)[edit]

Non-creative races have to choose 1 technology but Uncreative races don't get to choose; the game software makes random selections for them. Incompatible with Creative.
Avoid this like the plague except in single-player games where you want a real challenge. Human opponents will quickly work out the technologies you're missing and exploit these weaknesses ruthlessly - if the lack of critical technologies doesn't cripple you anyway. Against AI's, uncreative is quite easy in combination with charismatic but most challenging in combination with repulsive, as tech-trading is an essential key to success.

Creative [8] (empire-based)[edit]

When you research 1 tech at a given level, you get all the techs at that level - usually 2 or 3 for the price of one (there are about 6 levels where this does not apply, out of about 80). Incompatible with Uncreative.
The most controversial and 2-edged option in all of MOO II race design. Beginners may use this for a few games to learn the effects of all the technologies. Very difficult to use against good human opponents. Because the cost in Picks is so high, a Creative race has to forgo many early-game advantages in both research and production; so its early colonization and research are slow. But a Creative race that reaches the mid-game unscathed can be deadly. As the mid-game progresses Creative can rival Unitol in production per worker and Demolith in research per head of population; the secret is that Creative races get the "morale" technologies that Unification can't use and Demolith often forgoes in order to get research boosters or better space combat gear, which Creative also gets at no extra cost; and Creative gets (at no extra cost) some production boosters that both UniTol and DemoLith often forgo and pollution-control techs that Demolith seldom chooses.

Yet some players regard Creative as "primarily a war pick", because ships designed by a good Creative player can often beat 2-3 times as many non-Creative ships that have 1 or 2 grades better armor and weapons; once again the secret sauce is techs that non-Creatives usually have to forgo, in this case special systems that give a huge boost to the combat effectiveness of Creatives' ships (in good Creative ship designs the whole is much more than the sum of the parts). Not surprisingly in online games experienced players gang up on any Creatives without needing any diplomatic collusion.

The downside is revealed by the words "rival UniTol in production per worker and DemoLith in research per head of population": Creatives usually have small populations at the transition from early to middle game and must very quickly chop down their opponents or expand by conquest once they have just a handful of decent warships; otherwise the larger economies of their opponents will grind them down in a war of attrition.

Tolerant [10] (genetic)[edit]

No pollution penalty. A significant increase in the maximum population of all colonies (25% of maximum possible on that planet's size class; less than the gain for Subterranean, but Tolerant's freedom from pollution penalties outweighs that). Maintenance cost penalties on Toxic, Radiated and Desert planets are removed. Note: Tolerant races' empires cannot research pollution control techs; this can be a problem for conquered colonies with non-Tolerant populations, and for colonies with Natives (who are sensitive to pollution).
Very important for production-oriented races, despite the high cost in Picks; of little use to other races. Research-oriented races can discover pollution control techs quickly enough; blitz races need to get a decisive advantage before production-oriented or research-oriented races get up to speed.

Fantastic Traders [4] (empire based)[edit]

25% extra money income from trade treaties. Double the usual income from surplus food production (1 BC instead of 0.5 per unit of food). Double income from producing "trade goods" (1 BC per unit of trade goods produced instead of 0.5 BC).

Generally not worth 4 picks if you aren't flagrantly abusing the "credit cheat". The benefits look good in percentage terms, but less impressive in actual BCs (cash) generated. Looking at it the other way, you should usually minimize surplus food production (transfer your least productive farmers to research), and having to produce trade goods is usually a sign that you've mis-managed your economy. Democracy (7 Picks) quickly becomes a better way to generate cash, because: it has a permanent cash bonus, without needing trade treaties, surplus food or trade goods; its research advantage gets you both direct income boosters and population-boosting techs earlier. Furthermore if it is treaties you want, Charismatic is usually better since can make treaties even with Xenophobes.

Telepathic [6] (empire based)[edit]

25% bonus in diplomacy (aliens will like you and be more inclined to accept your proposals); you can mind control enemy colonies after winning space battles (unless they're also telepathic or have a telepathic leader), which saves you the cost and hassle of building Troop Transports and also the long wait for the population to be assimilated; 10% bonus in both offensive and defensive spying; can immediately use ships captured in combat, instead of having to wait for the end of the battle.

Telepathic is a very strong 6 pick, especially if you are going for an aggressive strategy. Mind control (ie. assimilating enemy planets without the need of troops) enables a player to gain a solid foothold in enemy territory if they can win the space battle (which may prove difficult against opponents with superior research and/or production). Not needing transports saves TIME and RESOURCES, since it speeds up down-time between conquests (don't need to keep building/sending newly-built transports on long journeys to the front lines), and increases effective RANGE since transports never get extended fuel tanks (When combined with Stealthy Ships, being Telepathic additionally brings SURPRISE, since transports can never cloak). Additionally there is a strong chain effect with any victory, as 100% auto-assimilation dramatically strengthens your current position and local production resources.

All the other benefits can be gained by research, so 6 Picks' worth of research and/or production advantages is better in a long game, especially if packaged with other benefits as in Unification([6]) or Democracy ([7]). BUT if the blitz succeeds, you may be able to quickly annex a fully-populated enemy empire into your own AND turn the assimilated alien's research/production skills on captured planets to your own advantage, thereby covering your own weaknesses. QED.

Lucky [3] (empire based)[edit]

Gets random events more often, almost always good ones. Antarans usually do not attack a Lucky empire.
Inexpensive but worthless. A Lucky empire gets lucky about once per 50 turns, usually in not very spectacular ways. And even on the highest difficulty level the Antarans don't appear until about turn 120, by which time you should have the military tech to kill their small raiding fleets (1 frigate initially!) with ease. And multi-player games are often set up with "Antarans attack" switched off so no-one can win by attacking Antares.

Omniscient [3] (empire-based)[edit]

Can see all systems, planets and colonies (including actual and maximum populations, stationary defenses and space monsters). Can see all ships and where they are going, even if the ships are cloaked or their owners have the Stealthy Ships trait.
Most useful in the early game. Omniscient races get to see everything everywhere all the time (total strategic awareness). Plus they get to examine the Racial picks of "no-contact" alien races on turn 1, and they know where those races are/what they are doing. And they know where the best planets and trading partners are from the get go, so can tailor their colonizing/diplomacy strategy to grab them sooner. However, as the game develops satisfactory monitoring of nearby systems, planets and colonies can also be achieved by sending small scout ships from time to time and having decent scanner tech.

Being able to see cloaked ships is a significant benefit, and one which cannot be achieved by research or scouting (exception: late-game Evolutionary Mutation grants 4 more picks). Stealth Field is a fairly low level tech. But your opponents may never use stealth tech (or more likely, if you are omniscient they most certainly won't bother)! For 3 Picks you could have +1 Science or Artifacts Homeworld, so the long-term research boost might prove more useful than guarding against a potentially non-existent stealth threat. In any case Stealth only works for warships, not for Troop/Colony/Outpost ships (ie. it's surprise effect works best for raids rather than invasions, unless combined with Telepathic!). SO if you have well-defended worlds outside enemy range, stealth fleets might pose less of a nuisance anyways.

Stealthy Ships [4][edit]

Warships (but not Troop Transports, Colony Ships or Outpost Ships) are invisible on the main map) - non-Omniscient opponents only see them when they arrive in colonised systems.

Omniscient fully negates this (and costs less picks). Also Stealth Field is a fairly low-level researchable tech that grants the same benefits (though takes up hull space). Can be effective for early-game raiding, but best used when combined with Telepathic so your stealthy attack fleets can surprise and mind-control enemy planets without needing any tell-tale troop transports.

Trans-Dimensional [5][edit]

Ships move 2 parsecs per turn faster between systems. Can build ships before researching any FTL (faster-than-light) drives; +4 increase in combat speed (increases a ship's defensive capabilities as well as giving tactical flexibility). Not affected by "Hyperspace Flux" random events.

The beam defense bonus is arguably rather insignificant compared to other uses of 5 picks. There is only about a 50% chance of a Hyperspace Flux in the first 100 turns (but if one DOES happen, you might be able to exploit it to easily conquer an otherwise tough enemy). If you research Fighter Bays, can be used for a super fast rush in a small crowded galaxy, because it allows you to build ships earlier and travel between star systems quicker. In early space battles, the extra speed can be quite useful for a blitzer, since it is effectively the equivalent of starting out with Ion Drives from the get-go.

Warlord [4][edit]

All warship crews are one experience level higher than normal, they begin as Regular Crews and max out at Ultra Elite, while normal crews begin as Green Crew and max out at Elite. Defensive troops at colonies (Marines, Armor) are produced at double the normal rate and have double the normal maximum. Ship Leaders usually perform as if they are one experience level higher. Every colony (no matter if it has a starbase or not) provides 2 extra Command Points. Every settled Outpost provides 1 extra CP.

Good choice for early blitzers as the extra CP bonus allows you to build a strong fleet far earlier than you could ever hope without it. Blitzing works best in small galaxies where there are vulnerable colonies nearby and there's no-one totally out of range building up a economic and technological lead. The improved skill of ship crews is slightly weaker than the +25 Ship Defense and +20 Ship Attack together, and that combination costs 5 Picks. The increase in command points is VERY significant in the early game, when empires don't have enough starbases, command point techs or the finances to support a significant fleet. Lots of small ships are cheaper to produce and provide more firepower than a few large ships at the same tech level, but they consume more command points compared to a few large ships, so only warlords can afford to use the early firepower advantage that lots of small ships can quickly provide. On the other hand if an early blitz fails or there are no vulnerable colonies within range (unlikely: out-of-range when using Deuterium Fuel Cells + Extended Fuel Tanks is pretty dang far), the 4 Picks would have been better spent elsewhere.

Another possibility is to take Warlord along with Defense -20% and Attack -20% to pay for it. The extra experience level gained from Warlord basically negates the two negative traits, and you essentially get all the other benefits of Warlord for "free".

Warlord is also a good pick after the Evolutionary Mutation research, since it requires exactly 4 picks and the extra command points and experience bonuses would allow a bigger and more powerful fleet, while research or production bonuses would not make as much of a difference, as in the early game, because of the research/production boosting tech you already have(i.e. +1 research when a scientist normally makes 3 is 33% more, +1 research when a scientist makes 10 is just 10% more).

Races[edit]

Alkari[edit]

  • Race Traits: +50 Ship Defense, Artifacts Homeworld
  • Government: Dictatorship

In the very beginning, the Alkari have the easiest time because their homeworld puts them on a research level greater than all the other races except the Psilons, and they should be able to hold on to this advantage to some degree. The best strategy for them is to put everything you can into research in the beginning, then start producing ships en masse; the quicker you can get into combat with a race, the better. The Alkari are one of the easiest races to use because their traits are nice and simple, presenting clear strengths.

Meklars[edit]

  • Race Traits: Cybernetic, +2 Industry
  • Government: Dictatorship

Cybernetic allows a reduction of the amount of food needed and combination with industry bonus makes an interesting mix. A tricky race to play in the early game, the Meklars have a deceptively slow expansion as their Production bonus tends to get eaten by the many scientists on their Homeworld. Pollution is a real problem that also slows down leveraging their main strengths in the early game. Meklars should look to acquire both Pollution Processor and Atmospheric Renewers asap, after which they can finally realize their full industrial potential. Key technologies : Hydroponic Farm to free up workers in the early game, pollution control technologies to release productivity, Reinforced Hull and advanced Armor techs to leverage their damage-regenerating ability. This means they will likely be weak in missile technology unless they can trade/steal for it. Look to hire an Environmentalist leader as early as possible. Nice to play with for all kinds of players.

Bulrathi[edit]

Race Traits - High-Gravity World, +10 Ground Combat, Ship Attack +20
Government - Dictatorship

Good at ground combat, and entering other ships. High Gravity World is not a bad bonus since it allows to colonize high gravity world which often are rich or ultra-rich. If such a world is present in the home system, it can represent a huge advantage. Key technologies : troops pod to take full advantage of ground combat bonus, all gun and bonus troop technologies, later on tractor beam is terrific to immobilize enemy ships for capture. Other races rarely take tractor beam because they need to take gravity generators which isn't essential for Bulrathis.

Mrrshans[edit]

  • Race Traits: Ship Attack +50, Rich Planet, Warlord
  • Government: Dictatorship

These ferocious tigers gain a substantial advantage in space battles due to their uncanny skill. Combat bonuses combined with the warlord trait and rich home planet allow you to quickly build a large and strong space fleet. Key technologies are laser beam improvements which magnify your combat bonus. A ship built in a colony having a space academy automatically gains veteran status! A strategy can consist of using groups of Destroyers to mob isolated enemy Cruisers and Battleships. Each additional planetary conquest allows you to immediately increase the size of your fleet thanks to the Warlord command bonus. Thus the Mrrshan's fleet becomes stronger and stronger as it dominates their enemies.

Darloks[edit]

  • Race Traits: Spying +2, Stealth Ships
  • Government: Dictatorship

Requires a specific strategy to play. The lack of economical bonus requires to focus on natural Spying ability. No the easiest race to begin, more adapted for experienced players. Neural scanner should be developed as soon as possible in order to run spying operations efficiently. At least three spies should be sent operation. Spying operation ruins the diplomacy towards the target so better to spy on repulsive races without spying advances. Humans and Sakkras are also good targets because of democracy and -10 penalty. Inversely it is very risky to spy on Elerians with telepathic ability or Klackons due to unification agent bonus. Once you have stolen a technology you can exchange it with other races (new tech + better reputation). Once good technologies have been stolen, proceed with sabotage operations on your enemies to destroy starbases, missile bases and other defenses. It is relatively difficult to play with Darloks but also it is a challenge which provides a lot of satisfaction.

Psilons[edit]

  • Race abilities: Research +2, Creative, Large Homeworld, Low Gravity
  • Government: Dictatorship

Good scientists, but physically weak. However, since they will have the best armor and weapons, this seldom matters. A good choice for beginners to discover all game features. Bonus research together with creativity allows Psilons to research every possible development fast while other races have to make choices. The strategy consists in developing lab research as early as possible to increase science advantage. Then, a defensive strategy is required to avoid deadly blitz from Elerians, Klackons, Sillicoïds or Mecklars. If Psilons resist till the middle game, they will become hard to beat.

Elerians[edit]

  • Race abilities: Telepathic, Omniscient, Ship Attack +20, Ship Defense +25
  • Government: Feudalism

Beware of the charming aspect of the Elerians, they can control your mind! First, Omniscience gives you complete overview of the entire galaxy. One subtle advantage of this is to examine alien Racial Statistics on turn one and identify any unexpected racial traits to avoid or weaknesses to exploit. Second, a feudalistic government reduces the production cost of spaceships. Thus you can take advantage of this modest bonus and your Omniscient knowledge to efficiently stake outpost claims and make early contact with many other alien races (most significant in the early game). But feudalism also means all scientists in your empire (even captured aliens) only generate 50% research. However, buildings and treaties are not subject to this penalty. The extra few RPs from Research Treaties can still be significant, and the Elerians absolutely NEED Research Labs and lots of colonies to build them on to get their research off the ground. Telepathic grants advantages for trading/stealing/capturing alien tech, which will also prove vital to stay on par with your enemies. Telepathic also grants you the ability to immediately use captured enemy vessels and starbases in combat, making the various ship-capture technologies even more useful.

All of this of course means that a Blitz strategy can also seem very attractive to the Elerians. Minimal research, luck, and a couple of quickly built Cruisers and destroyers packed with fighters may prove enough to overcome enemy defenses. The telepathic ability can then occupy the planet peacefully using mind control, which later on also suppresses any revolt! Absorbing an enemy empire into your own in this way early enough may provide a huge advantage. A Blitz strategy can work but it's a two edged sword: if the blitz fails, you might find yourself locked in a war with a severe tech disadvantage. Key technologies are those required to build spaceships including fuel tanks and fighter bays. Look to hire a Spymaster or Researcher in the early game.

Sakkras[edit]

  • Race abilities: Population growth +100%, Agriculture +1, Subterranean, Large Homeworld, Spying -1
  • Government: Feudalism

These lizard reproduce very fast, combined with farming bonus and subterranean, this race is perfectly adapted for fast expansion. Housing should be used in the one planet in home system to fill quickly all the first planets. Then, Feudalism helps to obtain cheaper colony ships. At the beginning homeworld may be used to crank out colony ships and battle ships alternatively. The difficulty remains in keeping all planets well defended. A good balance has to be found between expansion and planet protection. Colonized planets have to build progressively their own starbase to defend and maintain command points for battleships. Once expansion has reached the other races, prepare to fight hostile races which will attack you to capture your planets with your precious farmers. Population is power, Sakkra's superiority in this domain represents a huge advantage to win the galactic election.

Gnolams[edit]

  • Race abilities: Taxes +1, Lucky, Fantastic Traders, Low Gravity
  • Government: Dictatorship

These little creatures are obsessed by gold and focus all their efforts in accumulating gold. Initial strategy consists in investing in outpost ships to explore the galaxy to find commercial partners. Increasing income can be invested to accelerate colonization, building construction and battleship. Key technologies : deuterium fuel cells to explore a larger portion of the galaxy, starport and stock exchange to multiply the financial bonus and gravity generators to cancel low gravity penalty. Maintain peace as long as you can at any cost to buy enough time to build your fleet.

Sillicoids[edit]

  • Race abilities: Lithovore, Tolerant, Pop. Growth -50%, Repulsive
  • Government: Dictatorship

These living rocks have the ability to move and to reproduce. They can grow on any planet and produce no pollution. On the other hand they grow very slowly and cannot communicate with other races. Potentially the strongest race of the galaxy. No need to produce food the starting position is amazing. Start focusing on science to obtain the first buildings (research lab and auto factories), then move to industry to build very fast. Later on you have the choice to expand (sending outposts everywhere you can in order to "book" your future planets) or attack other races. Be sure you can destroy your enemies before attacking otherwise they will be able to form alliances against you. In the long run prepare to be attacked, so beware not to leave undefended planets. Psilons (superior technology) and Trilarians (fastest space ships) may be your hardest enemies to defeat. In particular because others races do exchange a lot of their discoveries. You can try to steal some by spying relying on your superior industry to build an army of spies.

Humans[edit]

  • Race traits: Charismatic
  • Government: Democracy

Average everywhere, good diplomats. What do the Humans want for this galaxy ? War ? Destruction or conquest of the alien planets ? No ! We want peace, democracy, diplomacy, freedom and interstellar exchanges. Democracy government is good for research and charismatic ability is helpful to trade technologies and recruit the best heroes who can increase your productivity, your reputation, provide new technologies and help to recruit other heroes. Explore the galaxy using outposts and deuterium fuel tanks to make trade and alliances. Beware of the repulsive races which are less sensitive to your charismatic ability. Eventually your charisma will also help to convince the other races to support you for the election in the galactic senate.

Trilarians[edit]

  • Race traits: Aquatic and Trans-dimentional
  • Government: Dictatorship

These creatures coming from an oceanic planet have a natural ability to detect shortcuts to locally fold the interstellar space. The homeland oceanic planet is full of resources and allow to grow more food and provide a huge habitat. Exploration is essential to find other wet planets such as tundra, swamps or oceanic to expand. When tensions with other races start to increase, the Trilarians will be able to launch fast attacks on isolated planet, blockade undefended systems or retreat if enemy fleet is too strong due to the speed bonus. Survival pods may be of primary importance to protect leaders with navigation ability. With appropriate spatial scanners to detect enemy fleets you will be able to defend yourself in case of being attacked, to intercept or destroy enemy isolated spaceships.

Klackons[edit]

  • Race traits: Agriculture +1, Industry +1, Large Homeworld and Uncreative
  • Government: Unification

Klackons resemble giant hard-working intelligent insects able to produce huge amounts of food and to build things very fast. Their unification government significantly amplifies those bonuses. The large homeworld serves to feed numerous new colonies. Klackons need to expand quickly and find a friendly alien culture to trade with, to offset their likely lack of key technologies and maintain a numerical edge. Diplomacy and spying are extremely important to share or steal important technologies since the uncreative Klackon cannot choose which scientific developments are open to them. Once a solid inter-planetary presence has been settled, production bonus helps also to build starbases everywhere to support a large galactic fleet and quickly build powerful spaceships. It's likely the Klackon will have to rely on massive missile salvos to win early space battles till they can fill gaps in their technology with viable alternatives. Once conquered, enemy populations can be enslaved (unification bonus) or eliminated if they rebel too much or provide no significant advantage.

Playing as Klackons is quite fun and often requires widely varying strategy, since the odds are you will lack key starting technologies. Playing on "Post Warp" or "Advanced" settings can mitigate this somewhat. Beginning without Research labs or Automated Factories (or both) can be extremely challenging (remember that Scout Lab and Research Treaties can also provide early research boosts). If Fighter Bays is available, a Blitz strategy could be viable. Look to expand quickly to choice planets guarded by space monsters, and hope to get at least a few lucky breaks in tech/event/leader choices. If not, researching deep into one tree might provide tech to exchange for the ones you lack. Look to hire a Diplomat, Spymaster, Environmentalist or leaders with free Tech upgrades (to exchange) in the early game.