Massive scale 4X-RTS set in space. Control hundreds of planets, manipulate galactic politics, research numerous advanced technologies, and command thousands of units and hundreds of planets in your quest for galactic dominance.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (485 reviews) - 81% of the 485 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 27, 2015

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Recent updates View all (21)

April 22

Wake of the Heralds Release and v2.0.0 update!

Our first expansion, Star Ruler 2: Wake of the Heralds, is now officially out on steam! Purchase it for $9,99 from the steam store page.



Along with the release of the expansion, the base game has received an update to version 2.0.0 containing a number of fixes and improvements. You can read about some of the main changes to the game below:

Graphics

  • Added a number of new post processing graphics options, including Bloom, Godrays and Chromatic Aberration.
  • Many many more improvements to shaders and and lighting to improve graphics quality
  • The visual surface of planets is now actually rendered to match the biome tile grid from the planet overlay. City lights will automatically appear where buildings are!

AI
  • The AI has received numerous improvements to how it plays the game. Please report any bugs you find in its new behavior!
  • You can now determine whether an AI is aggressive, passive and biased against humans separately from difficulty.
  • You can now set the particular ways an AI cheats and how much it cheats at them.

UI
  • The open tabs, quickbars, and camera location are now saved and restored when you load a game.
  • Improved the planet requirement UI on the bottom left of the planet overlay.
  • Added a Replace tool to the ship designer that replaces the subsystem you click on the design with the type of subsystem you have selected while keeping the same size.

Races & FTLs
  • Mechanoid population above 1 now provides 2 labor, but population above the maximum no longer provides any.
  • Tweaked the income values of mechanoid planets over population so they don't jump up and down as much.
  • Fling Beacons now cost FTL energy to construct and have a small FTL upkeep.
  • Tweaked the cost and duration of opening slipstreams based on the size of the generator.

Notable Fixes
  • Fixed exploit for exporting labor more than once.
  • Fixed exploit with Frugal trait where planets could be Level 2 without any tier 1 resources.

Note to Modders
You will need to mark your mod as compatible with this version after you have update it to be so. To do this, either use the ingame Mod Editor to select a Compatibility value of 200, or add the following line to your modinfo.txt:
Compatibility: 200
Any mods that haven't added this line will be automatically disabled on game start. Users can forcibly re-enable these mods if they want to, but are warned that the mods are incompatible and may break their game.

16 comments Read more

April 21

Wake of the Heralds Feature Highlight: The First

Star Ruler 2: Wake of the Heralds releases tomorrow, Friday April 22nd! You can read our final feature higlight about the second new race, "The First", below.

The First


Although their once great empire is gone, reduced to nothing but remnants by the ravages of time, the minds of those who chose to live forever still carry on.
The planet Atrozal, hollowed out and brimming in circuitry; where a trillion souls discarded their bodies to be part of the final dream of the ancients.

The First care little for the physical world, yet the arrival of the Heralds spells a threat even their paradise does not escape. Send out massive orbital replicators to find raw materials and convert entire planets into automated refinery worlds and computation hubs. The entire weight of this galaxy must be unified if we hope to stand a chance of surviving.


Silicon Continent

Because the First are a fully virtual race, they do not have any population or civilian infrastructure or any of that messy stuff. Instead, their planets are covered from top to bottom in industry and circuitry, each part performing the valuable task it was programmed to do.



The First have an entirely different set of buildings to place, and placing buildings is the only way they can make use of resource pressures.

Having little use for food, luxuries or infrastructure, all planets are immediately at the level their resource requires, no lower and no higher.

Replicators

Rather than colony ships, the First take control of planets by using their Orbital Replicators. These giant orbitals filled with specialized manufacturing hardware and fitted with specialized thrusters can rapidly replicate and assemble entire factories for placement on the planet they are orbiting.



In order to control a planet, an Orbital Replicator must be moved to it. Only planets that have a replicator orbiting it can build any buildings.

Base Materials

One of the functions of the Orbital Replicator is placing enormous Transmuters on various planets. When the First deem a resource useless, such as food, they instead decide to convert the resource and the matter on the planet itself into Base Materials for further use in replication.



When a resource has been converted to base materials it can then be exported to a different planet. Various buildings require the continuous consumption of imported base materials to operate, so you will need to convert many different planets to fuel your industry.

Omake: AI Settings



The AI has received a number of improvements to how it plays the game, and you can now control parts of its behavior during game setup. You can also determine exactly in what way and how much an AI cheats, if you feel like teaming up for a comp stomp or just want a bigger challenge.

Note that the AI improvements and settings will be available to all players through an update to the base game, and will not require the expansion to be purchased.

Multiplayer

In order to allow people to play multiplayer with as many others as possible, the expansion content automatically gets unlocked in multiplayer depending only on if the host player has the expansion installed.

So even if you don't own the expansion, hop into a multiplayer game hosted by someone who does and you will be free to try out any of the new stuff!

12 comments Read more

Reviews

“Star Ruler 2 expertly balances complexity in gameplay with an intuitive, easy to pick up system for players.”
'Recommended' – eXplorminate

About This Game

Star Ruler 2 is a massive scale 4X/RTS set in space. Explore dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of systems in a galaxy of your choosing, expand across its planets, exploit the resources you find, and ultimately exterminate any who stand in your way. The fate of your empire depends on your ability to master the economy, field a military, influence galactic politics, and learn what you can about the universe.

Galactic Economy

Colonize planets, each with one of dozens of resources, working in unison to create bustling centers of production. The resources you choose matter, and will guide your empire and its conflicts throughout the entire game.

Custom Ships

Design ships that fit your needs, strategies, and tactics using our new 'blueprint painting' approach to ship design. Quickly and intuitively lay out the armor, weapons, engines, and internals of your vessels.

Politics with Power

Diplomacy and influence gathering are reinvented as a core mechanic of the game, giving meaningful alternative options to players and serving as a platform of interaction both between players and AIs as well as humans in multiplayer. Harness your influence to annex territory, spy on enemies, aid allies, and more! You truly have the opportunity to affect the political landscape.

Massive Scale

Running on our internally developed Starflare Engine, Star Ruler 2 is able to make full use of multi-core cpus, and runs on both 32 bit and 64 bit machines. The size of a galaxy is only limited by your hardware and ambitions!

Intricate Research

Expand your knowledge through a grid of numerous technologies, big and small. Improve nearly every aspect of your empire.

Complete Moddability

You can modify the gameplay, graphics, interface, and virtually every other facet of the game through scripts and data files, giving unprecedented freedom to the modding community to implement any feature they want. Use the in-game mod editor to add or change most content, and upload your mod to the Steam Workshop!

Full Multiplayer

Star Ruler 2 features complete multiplayer support with up to 28 players and AIs in the same game.

Games above 8 players or in galaxies of several hundred systems may exceed the capacity of a typical home connection. Consider playing very large games on LAN.

Cross-Platform Support

Star Ruler 2 supports both Windows and Linux, with all game features supported fully on and between both operating systems.

System Requirements

Windows
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista
    • Processor: SSE2 Capable processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD or Nvidia Graphics card w/ 512MB RAM, OpenGL 2.1 Support
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 600 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Broadband required for internet play. Scroll wheel or full access to two mouse buttons required.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 64-bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 or AMD Phenom II
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 460 w/ 1GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 600 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Linux
    • Processor: SSE2 Capable processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD or Nvidia Graphics card w/ 512MB RAM, OpenGL 2.1 Support
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 600 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Broadband required for internet play.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Linux
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 or AMD Phenom II
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 460 w/ 1GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 600 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (485 reviews)
Recently Posted
Adam_C4explO
( 15.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
Love this game!!

Finally a polished 4x with depth. As a new player to it, i knew it was worth it when i hit the learning curve of doom haha. Its hard to draw comparisons as a experienced 4x nut as it brings in decent concepts to the genre.


Optimisation holy jebus, this game performs superbly, it barely touches the gpu and cpu is laughing at 40c, and it looks amazing on my Acer x34 ultrawide. Other 4x take note!

Im looking forward to any expansion as the games further potential is huge in my opinion.

A big thank you!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
stonish.ogham
( 29.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 22
WOW! This game is amazing! If you want truly enjoyable 4X-RTS with real depth and gargantuan scale - this is it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sazlimn
( 63.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 12
I've played this for a day. Overall, it's good. Different in a refreshing way. Time flies when playing this. If you like space 4x, you should try this game. The learning curve is steep, but if you are playing 4x, learning about the game mechanics is part of the fun. There are a few things that could be improved to make the game more polished. Here are a few.

1. Need a way to gauge rival opinion on us. Since I'm learning, I'm not sure when hostilities are going to break out. Most of the time the rivals turn up on the doorstep with an armada ready.

2. More tooltips or hints on when to start expanding the military. Or a graph to tell relative military strength.

3. More shipsets would be nice.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dragoon_103
( 76.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 5
Not bad, needs some extra flair here and there, but otherwise a solid game. Get an improved population and empire system from Stellaris for the next game here and then you will ahve yourself a must have.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[EDT] Paranoidsr
( 67.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 3
Star Ruler 2's ship designer makes me squee.

Quite possibly the only game of this scale with a horde mode (asymmetrical warfare in spehz; limited to dlc though). Also the only game that can make my ax-crazy heart love diplomatic system.

Did I mention it supports modding and is optimised really well? Cause it does. It is a space strategy that runs well!

Stellaris is cute and all... But this game is one of my favorite strategies.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Zeke
( 3.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 2
I own this game...i forgot i preordered it. now im really happy. review incoming
Helpful? Yes No Funny
iorek
( 119.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
One of the better 4x games.
Its also one of the most unique, moving away from simply cloning MOO or Gal Giv.
It also has multiplayer and is reasonably ballanced and finished unlike other games in this genre.

Economy is run on a 3 min budget, Diplomacy is a full functional system that runs in 15 second intervals, not gluded on afterwards like in other 4x.

It has a ship builder that lets you build ships from the ground up if you want to, along with a simulator to see how effective your design is against others.
The ship builder and simulator alone is better than "Gratuitous Space Battles" which is a full game.

Its nice that after you learn the base game, you can still play 3 other races that play almost like a different game, each race has its own unique way of travel, FTL, Slipstream, Gates, Jumpdrives, Giant catapults(mass effect)

My only real complaints are the massive simplification from Star Ruler 1 (arguably a good thing), the lack of automation on some of the tasks (AAA rts groupings etc) and the lack of information on tooltops etc.
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Astral Mist
( 46.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
There was hope...

As someone whose first purchase on Steam five and a half years ago was Star Ruler 1, I feel uniquely capable of passing judgement on Star Ruler 2, a game I had high hopes for from the very moment it was released. That hope has dwindled and died over the development, and I can safely say that Star Ruler 2 is far less complex, interesting, and capable of holding attention than the first.

Pros
Multiplayer has better netcode
Visuals are somewhat improved
Steam workshop

Cons
The race creation is far less in-depth and interesting
Gameplay feels stagnant and more like a series of checkboxes
Less punishment for failures
Ship creation feels far more dead
Combat is more RNG focused and less interesting
And many, many more

Continued...
Where do I start? The first Star Ruler was extremely complex, and it could take hours to figure out just how everything worked, even with the tutorial attempting to help. It had immense depth, and mistakes in that game were punished quite hard. Didn't set up your economy well? You'd better untangle the mess quickly. Your ship design missing some critical component? Better learn fast.

Now, the shipbuilding options have been incredibly narrowed down, and it feels as though there are only a few viable designs while anything interesting or outlandish other than bland boxes with guns and armor is impossible.

The research feels far less interesting and organic, having been spun out into a web that feels incredibly drawn-out. Varied resources have been replaced by an incredibly boring and arbitrary 'budget' system, along with planets that have thrown out the interesting conditions that SR1 had and replaced them with resourses that give fixed stat bonuses and are absolutely vital. Whereas in the first game, expansion carried risks and making a compressed, smaller empire was a perfectly viable option, in this the only 'option' is EXPANDEXPANDEXPAND, along with a supply mechanic that actively discourages you from making far-flung outposts in favor of grabbing every single planet in an arbitrary line between systems.

None of the zany stuff that I recall from SR1 is relevent. Planetary thrusters that can turn any planet into a mobile fortress /factory? That's right out, especially the factory part. Extensive asteroid mining that actually makes an impact? Nope, tossed right out in favor of a system that is barely worth it. Wierd frankenstien ships that reproduce and store more of themselves inside? Nopenopenope, replaced by a fleet and mantinence system that discourages innovation and interesting tactics in favor of 'make big ship with lots of little ships'. The FTL mechanic could have been nice in concept, but a lot of it just feels... Mechanical, boring. FTL travel is no longer something you have to work towards and that has consequences, like the Jump Drives of SR1. It's now bog-standard.

The battles are similarly boring. Long-gone are the massive conflicts with thousands of individually-moving ships, among them fighters, bombers, capital ships of all classifications, carriers, and so on. Now lots of little ships surrounded a big ship and trade fire with a big ship surrounded by little ships, with little-to-no manuvering or... Really, anything interesting. There are no superweapons, no purpose in anything interesting. Just bland, generic combat.

Also, there's no Galactic Armory. Gotta remember the important things, as well as the thing that made SR1 great.

Diplomacy is slightly improved, although any change at all would be better than SR1's Diplomacy. Now it's all about spamming cards in useless actions to influence things in a tiny way. Horray!

I could mention thousands of things, from destroying stars no longer being a valid options or an option, period, to the dull endgame where you can no longer make a ship the size of three solar systems and send it running towards the enemy. The music is bland compared to the previous game's epic score, and overall, I'd rate this game...

3/10 - It made an attempt

You tried, publishers, but you tried to innovate too much.
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Jaswolf
( 29.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 17
A very dynamic scifi 4X full of fresh and innovative ideas.

The colonization system is so cool and fast thanks to the well designed UI.
The ship designer is great and gives you the possibility to do crazy things !
You can make huge fleets making the 3D realtime space battles truely epic.
The diplomacy is fun (so rare in the 4X genre)

Overall a true gem that deserves to be played.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Horus
( 148.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 13
Backstory: this game was released not two weeks before the much-anticipated Stellaris. It looked promising, and was on special, so I said, why not, I have a good 10 days to kill waiting for Stellaris. That is why and how I purchased this game. So I got to play 32 hours before Stellaris hit. For comparison, I have 36 hours in the Paradox space strategy game. So yeah, I'll do some comparions but first, let's talk about Star Ruler 2,

The first thing that hit me is that it was intriguing from the start. It has its own flavor, its own style. The graphics are actually very nice, and you can zoom in to see the details of a ship, or zoom out until the whole galaxy takes up a third of your screen. You can make the galaxy humongous, over two thousand systems. You can design your own ships, it's easy, fun, AND effective.

And this game is complex. If you want a challenge to wrap your brain around, then this is it, because it has empire-building, resource exploitation, warfare, piracy, technology, and last but not least, galactic politics, where grievances such as "he took a system in my arm of the galaxy, make him give it back!" can be put forth and voted on by the various empires.

Of course, there is no voice acting. The menus and interface look somewhat primitive. Obviously the game is from a small studio and they didn't have a million bucks to throw at these very secondary considerations. If you prefer a very glitzy production, you'll be disappointed in this title. However, if you are looking for a space 4X with infinite replay value, then this is probably your ticket.

So while Stellaris is basically Europa Universalis IV dressed up as a space 4X with some glitz on top, this is a unique, engaging, intriguing, and yes, complex space game that can have you coming back for more and more.

Many a time during my 36 hours of Stellaris my thoughts went to this game instead... A year from now, I believe I will have many more hours playing Star Ruler 2.

TL;DR:

This game gets a 9/10 from me. Looks good, runs great, fun to play, game style is fairly unique, discovery and mystery abound, the replay value is infinite, the only thing missing is some more refinement on the UI.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
539 of 561 people (96%) found this review helpful
16 people found this review funny
Recommended
139.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 8, 2015
There are two types of people who play Star Ruler 2.

The first type are the kind of people who will not like this game. These people generally will lodge complaints including but not limited to:

- Not as complicated as the first game
- Art style differs from my preference
- I dislike the economy system
- Combat is too hands-off
- There is no "soul"
- The menus don't look like the first game
- Research sucks
- Diplomacy is confusing/useless

These people also often do not have more than a few hours in game time. I'll tell you right now, at 5 hours in I had exactly the same complaints. The problem is that SR2 doesn't have a very good tutorial and that a lot of the complexity is somewhat hidden. Some of those complaints are also purely subjective and therefore cannot be addressed beyond "Yep, ok". For the rest of them, see below.

To a person who hasn't played more than one or two games against some regular AIs, the combat would most certainly appear to be blob vs. blob. However once you realize how damage works and how to effectively utilize the support AI patterns it becomes obvious that, while not micro intensive, the combat is far from hands-off. It's just that the hands-on part happens in the preparation. Armor type makes a HUGE difference. Taking a torpedo on reactive armor will produce very different results that taking it on ablative. Neutronium may seem like an uber-armor but since it's so heavy and expensive it's rarely cost-effective. Weapon types are very important, the difference in effectiveness between a railgun and a laser depending on the situation can be vast. Ship speed is vital to not only engaging in time but fleeing as well, especially if you have no hyperdrive. Speaking of FTL, the type you have plays a big role in how you approach combat. Pinpoint Hyperdrive strikes are certainly effective, but fling beacons are far superior for offense (due to their speed and usually lower cost vs distance) though they lack easy-retreat capability. Gates are usually only used for turtling, but a gate in deep space can attack an opponent at points and from directions they don't expect. Slipstream can be used the same way except with less setup and more risk (since the enemy can also use your slipstream tears). There is a ton of depth, but again most (though not all) of it is in the setup.

The economy would certainly seem strange and stupid, after all you can't stockpile resources and have to expand. Except that the cycle system discourages inactive play and actually results in the player actually making MORE ships and improvements than they would otherwise. Dry Docks can help you build ships that you couldn't otherwise afford. The forced expansion eliminates AI abuse strategies and also makes empire defense more of a priority. Even the smallest world can be a critical component in the supply chain for your L5 forge world. Losing a link in the chain doesn't have immediate crippling effects but it's certainly not something to ignore. The pressure system eliminates the need to micromanage planets beyond choosing good supplies and letting the system do its work. The level 0 resources (they don't contribute to planetary development) provide a variety of useful effects and if used correctly can provide a significant advantage. Terraforming can help provide more L1 resources for extra income and Artifacts/building/diplomacy can provide food and water if there is a shortage.

Research would seem like a step back from the first game until you realize that SR1's research system, while unique, was inherently broken. Ships were outdated before they were even finished being built and the effectiveness of subsystems grew to such absurdities that tech advantages were instant-win conditions. The new tree applies passives automatically without the need for retrofit except if new systems are to be applied, and while not infinitely scalable is not the silver bullet in engagements that it was in SR1. Good tactics and planning can easily defeat fleets of twice the strength of what you're throwing at them. However it's fairly obvious why a lot of people would fail at this, since if you believe the combat to be DeathBlob Fights 2015 you wouldn't think of using any flanking or varied fleet makeups.

Very few people complain about the diplomacy beyond "I don't like it" but the solution is simple. Add "Influence Peddling" to the main screen by clicking the "...". Keep track of who votes where and USE THE SYSTEM. It's incredibly effective if you put some time into it. Save some cards in case you need them. If you ignore it you're inevitably going to get screwed by it at some point. Oh and for god's sake read the Zeitgeist cards. Zealotry can be game changing and so can Co-operation.

Well that was longer than I expected.

The second kind of person is the type that will buy this game and enjoy it because they aren't looking for MOO2 Remake #232432 and are willing to put some time in to truly appreciate its uniqueness. If you read this far without downvoting this review you're probably in the latter category. Bear in mind that this is by no means a perfect game, but it is certainly worth the money. I paid full price for this game, and that is not something I do very often.
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96 of 101 people (95%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Recommended
47.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 26, 2015
I do not even know where to begin. There are some amazing ideas in this game, and it seems a lot of polish even during early access. The diplomacy is unique and very complex, with influence and interactions that feel very very real. The planetary resource systems are fascinating to me, as is the resulting trade networks that grow organically. The ship builder is actually better than the first Star Ruler, which had an amazing ship builder. FTL was weak in Star Ruler 1, here there are 5 different methods each unique and tactical. Combat seems solid, manageable, and interesting. The flagship system means that you are ordering around fleets, not ships, but you still have a nice amount of control and the ship numbers are amazing. Everything is . . . perfect.

I'm a highly critical gamer with jaded tastes. I've been disappointed by one 4x game after another. MoO3, Endless Space, Sword of the Stars 2, all sad memories. Even Galciv and Distant Worlds weren't quite good enough for me. I have never been so completely blown away just playing a tutorial, realizing the depth of the systems I'm seeing laid out in front of me. Assuming there is nothing horribly wrong with this game that is hidden from me currently . . . well damn, I'll say it, this might be the game that surpasses Master of Orion 2.

It's an overused cliche, but it fits with this game. Things could go wrong, the AI may turn out to be useless, or some other chronic mistake, but I don't think so. Star Ruler 1 was visionary and flawed, fascinating but clunky. It seems they learned a lot from that game. Seeing this come from a small studio . . . I hope it gains the accolades it deserves. I also suspect modding will be amazing, since Star Ruler 1 had a wonderful modding scope, and I suspect they did the same here.

Buy this game. No seriously, if you like 4x gaming at all, buy Star Ruler 2. This isn't a game you buy just to support the ideas of the devs, though those ideas are amazing. This is the game I wish I had paid more for, because I think I cheated the devs and got way more than I paid for.

:::Post-release:::

The game remains very strong, with several major improvements over the beta. The ship design remains the high point of the game, and sadly the AI remains a little weak. The AI is competent, certainly. It does know how to play the game properly, but it lacks aggression. On the other hand, it is smart enough to know when it has lost.

I won a game recently without actually taking a single enemy planet. I out-expanded them slightly, and while they fought wars against each other, I offered surrender to whichever side was near to losing. Most of them accepted subjugation, since I was a friendly power that was roughly 10 times their strength. After I did this three times, I turned on the one remaining AI. I declared war, sent my massive ships. Three of my ships arrived in their systems and I received an offer of surrender before they could reach the planet. I think they just saw the ships blotting out the sun and said "Nope, this is not winnable." That is smart design and saved me a long slog to a certain victory.

Recent improvements to the tech tree have made it far more understandable and elegant. Technology in general seems far more unique and useful as compared to the beta tech tree, which was somewhat repetitive. Performance remains very good, I've yet to see a bug or crash in any of my games. The races and various FTL methods have vastly improved from the beta, and the AI knows how to play every combination without error.

The modding community is rapidly expanding, as predicted, and has already furnished several very solid mods. The devs have already incorporated some of the best additions as core gameplay, which does not surprise me. I still recommend this game highly, it remains a very original and solid 4x game. I have high hopes for the future, and I do feel they have delivered a solid game as it currently stands. Of course, I always yearn for more.
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89 of 94 people (95%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
156.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 27, 2015
Having played for over 40+ hrs so far, my conclusion is that this is a solid 4x space game. Space 4x is my favorite genre and I've plaved many of them, and this game comes off as a very original and innovative game to me (have not played Star Ruler 1).

First off, the game is an RTS, but its really meant to be paused...a lot (early on at least), and thats ok. It takes quite some time to get the hang of how colonizing works, what to build, what orbitals do, how pressue works, etc. There is a wiki to help you with most things, and some things you have to figure out by trial and error. I've restarted quite a lot of games because I'd always realize something new I wasn't doing. Main thing is if it seems too complex, just hang in there, read the wiki, experiment and you will figure it out, and its well worth it, trust me!

-Research is nice, but the research screen could of been better. Easy to get lost, but it works.

-Ship design is daunting(for me). Others I'm sure will enjoy it. Thankfully you can have the AI design any size ship you want, or you can see what other players have designed and just use their ship!

-Diplomacy is unique, but good. Has a system where you can vote on certain propositions using cards and influence points. Has your standared treaties as well (don't need cards), like Alliance, Trade Treaty, Mutual Defense, etc.

-Exploration is nicely done as well. When you start exploring you can run into multiple things, like Debris Fields, which you can scan to bring up events in which you choose what you want to do. You can find Pirate ships guarding special items which will give you certain bonuses. There is also Artifacts to find in which you can spend energy to activate whatever bonuses they hold.

-Colonization is uniqe in this game as well, in which you constantly need to colonize planets for their resources in order to export them to planets you want to grow. It can get confusing, but pretty much how it goes is, growing a planet needs resoucres, and those resources need resources, and those resources need resources. Just pause the game, look at your surroundings, look at the planet you want to upgrade and it will tell you exactally what you need.

-Buildings can be constructed on each planet by the AI and user. The user can build things like Research complexes, Labor Factories, Megafarms, and more, the AI builds smaller buildings helpling the planet as it grows. You can also build Orbital structures that go in space, like shipyards, supply stations, outposts, etc. Careful on what you build though, they come at a hefty maintaince cost.

-Economy is done well in this game. You get income from population and "Income Pressue" and you have maintaince costs from buildings and ships. Every 3 minutes you will get cash based on the difference in your income and maintaince. So you can spend all your money and once the 3 minutes is up you will get another sum of money to spend in that time, based off the difference in Income and Maintanice. Seems confusing but it works nicely.

-Combat consists of having a flagship with multiple support ships under its wing. Those support ships can specialize in missles, rail guns, lasers, rockets, etc. The flagship has a certain amount of support capacity, which means you can only carry so many support ships. Your ships move in which your flagship is in the middle and the support ships make a big circle around it, so its like a circle of death. Combat is real time and you can zoom in to see the action, but its pretty much just a bunch of balls of death shooting at one another, but it works for me. Although ship building and making your fleets can be confusing.

-UI is only ok in this game for there are many things I wish they would of done. Can easily lose track of what you have building.

-Graphics and Sound are just average, if not below par. Graphics never mean much to me in these types of games, and the soundtrack didnt do anything for me. Effect sounds are ok at best.

-Scale can be whatever you want to be. You can choose from multiple types of universes and even ones with multiple universes, so you can make a game however big or small you want.

Overall this is a solid game that id give an 7.5/10. It might take a bit of getting used to, but its really fun once you get the hang of it. One of the better space RTS games to come along since Sins of a Solar Empire.
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85 of 91 people (93%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
21.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 22, 2015
Star Ruler 2 is a hybrid space 4X/RTS set in a fictional galaxy.

What is Great about this game:

- Intuitive and enjoyable fleet design, mechanics, and combat
- Nicely paced 4X/RTS that does not require twitch reflexes or ADHD to have fun
- High level of easy modification available and Steam Workshop support

What is Good about this game:

- Detailed ship builder allows for different ship designs as the game progresses
- Significant options such as diplomacy and trade to play the game as you would want to
- Good use of Steam features such as Workshop, trading cards, etc

What is Bad about this game:

- Frustrating initial difficulty that requires mods to become more reasonable
- Some systems such as the economy, resource dependency, and planetary development are too obtuse even after hours of play

Conclusion:

If you can modify the game to relax its difficulty to a more manageable degree, Star Ruler 2 has a lot of good ideas to bring to the space 4X/RTS genre.

8.0 / 10.0
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82 of 96 people (85%) found this review helpful
Recommended
100.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 19, 2014
This game has the single best diplomacy system I've ever seen in a strategy game. The diplomacy revolves around influence and influence cards. Influence ticks up depending on the resources and research your empire has aquired, and can be spent on cards such as "negotiate", "annex planet", "protect system". These cards appear in a queue, and every empire has the option of spending influence to snag the card for themself, or to keep it away from someone else. Cards refresh quickly, so keep an eye on the queue if you're playing the diplomacy game. Some cards can be played for immediate effects, such a "protect system" protecting a system from hostile takover for some number of minutes. Other cards, such as "annex planet" require a vote in the galactic senate before they can take effect. Each empire can then play cards for or against the proposition. "negotiate" simply provides direct support or opposition, while cards like "rhetoric" have a greater magniture of support or opposition, but provide benefits to anyone who takes your side. This can lead to interesting situations where two empires you really don't care about are duking it out in the galactic senate, but you want to get in on the action to get the benefit of a "rhetoric" or "bribe" card. Overall, the system is fun, and gives diplomacy some real teeth, without it being overpowered.

Another system that is done very well is the economy. Every planet has a core resource that it can export to other planets, and every planet needs resources to grow and level up. Some resources need a certain level planet to be utilized. So the economy game revolves around creating chains of trade to funnel the right resources to the right planets. It's very steamlined, and provides tangible effects without much micromanagement. Additionally, most resources have secondary effects that can interact without other resources. So while it's easy to just get a planet up to a high level by giving it whatever it needs, you may want to save that grain for your homeworld, and find some fish for your asteroid mining planet. On the downside, the game currently lacks any kind of filter mechanic, so it can be difficult to find that one resource you're looking for in the late game. This being an alpha/beta game, I expect the issue to be resolved before launch.

The two systems that are still farily lackluster are research and ship design. While the core mechanics of ship design are great, the game currently lacks enough variety in ship parts to make it really interesting. This ties in with the very small number of research options. Interviews from before early access seemed to indicate that the research system is still in a very early stage. However, the devs are very genuine in their desire to make a great game, and I have no concern that these features will be fleshed out significantly before release.
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58 of 63 people (92%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
76.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 27, 2015
Just really good. The UI is intuitive and beginners can easily get into this game. Multiplayer is enjoyable and it supports over 20 players, which is mad to think about. Galaxies can have as many systems as you want and you can even build more than one galaxy. You can even blow up a blackhole!

These are my favourite features of the game.

  • The race and FTL you choose can drastically change how you play the game.
  • Ship design can be fully customized with gun, armour and engine placement and much more. Having no armour in the back will leave your ships vulnerable in the back when retreating, for example.
  • Ship AI can be customised, ships can be made to attack in the rear or to shoot from afar, very impressive.
  • Buildings on planets can be placed but civilian buildings will automatically be generated based on the pressure of the planet (a resource to determine how much the population build)
  • You can build moon bases, halo-esk ring worlds, ship yards, customisable orbital stations and customisable gateways. Content like this just makes it more enjoyable.
  • The resource, democracy and research mechanic is much better than it was in Star Ruler 1 and is really enjoyable.

Some criticisms:

  • The AI is hard, even on easy, so I would recommend playing with passive AI first. You need to expand or you will be out-expanded by the AI, I wish you could create a more quality over quantity empire but an AI is a computer and the larger they get, the more they can do.
  • It needs to feature more modules for the ships, there were tons in Star Ruler 1 but not as many here.
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54 of 58 people (93%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Recommended
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 31, 2015
Star Date: Wrote this on Patch 1.0.0
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Captain's Log: Have been playing 4x Space Games since I was in elementary school starting with MOO, SE, Gal Civ, Stars!, etc. If there's been a good 4x game, I've probably at least tried it.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Combat Systems Ready:

(+) Diplomacy - Faction on Faction diplomacy is simple enough. All of the basic functions are there. What really stands the game out is the innovative card system. Use influence to purchase cards to suggest new universal regulations such as annexing a rival's system or declaring your own homeworld as the home of the Galactic Senate. Buy other cards to support your own proposals while rejecting those of your rivals. Manipulate other empires to join your crusade against your enemies lest they remember your wrath in their future proposals. The possibilities are extremely deep and I'd place this as the #1 innovation for SR2.

(+) Ship Building / Planet Building - Ships you build tile by tile. The larger you build a gun and it's subsystem, the stronger it'll be. Place armor around vulnerable areas such as the front but don't forget to neglect the rear lest the enemy sends in a pincer fleet. Planets have building room dependent on size. Each planet also has unique terrain features that seperate from other worlds. Depending on the terrain, buildings such as research labs and farms cost less so you'll have to plan accordingly to maximize your credits.

(+) Fleets - Most games you'll command 20 ships in the late game. Some give you a hundred. Here the basic unit of combat is the fleet. You build a capital ship and then attach up to hundreds of smaller support ships to that capital ship to fight. What results is hundreds of laser beams, missiles, cannons firing off at each other. Each ship is rendered and simply put, that's just awesome.

(+) Economy - I'm hesitant to label this as purely a strength. I find the economy a bit simple but more on a positive note than a negative note. For those who are used to the complexity of games such as Distant Worlds, SR2 will be a big downgrade. Each planet usually produces 1 resource. You then connect those resources to other planets that produce more complex resources to level them up and then you ship those complex resources to a major population center to level them up so they grow more and are more productive. What results is many resource worlds and a few concentrated centers in each empire. Now this does provide interesting opportunities such as allowing an apt leader to focus their attention on those major centers to deal the biggest damage. On the other hand, perhaps the regional capital is too difficult to assault and knocking out all of the food suppliers might be a more effective way to neutralize the population.... Overall, I'll label this a positve because for new players, it's simple enough to get into and only the most diehard captains of industry will feel bored with the economy of SR2.

(+) Tutorial - There's a lot of games that do the tutorial wrong or make it super confusing. SR2 did it right. It explains all you need to know to get started and does so in a UI-friendly manner.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Out of Supplies

(-) Empire Customization: Yes you can customize by assigning your empire a unique government / space travel method and a few other features. You can also give your empire a portrait and which set of ships to use but that's about it. I'd have liked to be able to pick more bonuses for each empire such as maybe I'll take +10% budget but my ships do -10% damage or some trades like that. These are usually basics and for the game not to have them available was a bit of a let down.

(-) Tech Tree: The tech tree is a bit convoluted to look at. There's simply too many options being thrown onto a beehive grid that just disorients the eyes. Oh I need more budget, let me find how I can get to more business techs. Scan, scan, scan, oh there it is. Now I need more budget, oh the next tech and it's prerequisites for more budget is up here. It's just a bit too disorganized, especially for new players.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Overall I'd give this game 8 fleets blowing up out of 10. You'll find some new features that are unique to this game such as fleet design and diplomacy done right. I didn't touch on this but moddability will surely fix some of the weaknesses such as the lack of empire customization so that's why I didn't weigh too heavily on that part.

Anyways, fleet battles are epic and hopefully we can see thousands of thousands of ships fighting one day over some backwater planet that was only made important because multiple fleets decided to clash over it. That's my dream and the dream of many 4x space lovers!

------------------------------------------------------------------

I recorded the tutorial for those who want to see some gameplay of all the features:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWXO4cpcMoc

https://www.youtube.com/user/xBr0wnBear
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50 of 52 people (96%) found this review helpful
Recommended
131.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 11, 2015
This is an utterly stellar game (pun... partially intended). It's hard to express in a brief review what this game does and how well it does it, but suffice to say, it delivers on every promise it makes in the store page breakdown. It takes the basic 4X formula, then does so many innovative little things with it that I never once had another 4X game in my mind. As bold as it is in this regard, everything it changes WORKS, and oh so well.

I'm really at a loss for how to properly lay out this review, so I'll refer you to some other users' reviews and instead touch on some of the highlights for me personally. It'll get long-winded, so if you want a summary, here it is: Star Ruler 2 is a spectacular game, both for 4X fans and sci-fi fans in general. Even RTS fans are like to find appeal. If you're on the fence, thinking, "Well it looks good, but I dunnooooo...", my advice is get it. I was, I did, and I'm not sorry.

Now, to the point-by-point breakdown:

- The hex-based ship design is way more fun than I'd have imagined. It really makes every ship "count". It attaches you to your creations. Furthermore, the design MATTERS. It's more than just racking up numbers and min/maxing; the combat in Star Ruler 2 actually simulates physical interactions between ships, meaning you have to take care to lay out your ship in a way that protects vital subsystems without sacrificing too much in the way of firepower and maneuvering.

- The fleet system is just so great. Where most games force you to tediously build every single ship by hand and then group 4 to 12 of them to call it a "fleet", Star Ruler 2 centers fleets around one (often expensive) flagship, and has hundreds of smaller support craft attached to it. Each individual ship acts on its own in battle, but as a part of the whole the is the fleet. it's awe-inspiring to watch, and it somehow doesn't break my system, either!

- One of my favorite features regarding ships is the ability to set a size. You input a size when designing ships, and that size scales everything from the health offered by each hex to the amount of damage your weapons inflict and your armor soaks.

Even more impressive is that the ships ACTUALLY scale, physically, with the number you input. I was shocked when I made a copy of a size 500 battleship and set it to 5,000 as a test, to find it turned out to be bigger than the SUN. Given that you can make orbital battle stations and the like, you can literally build a Death Star; a hulking behemoth with over 8 million HP. (I am not exaggerating one bit; of course, this is if your empire can afford such a thing.)

- For those who fancy ship creation and simply watching battles, there's a ship designer sandbox that allows you to create anything your heart desires, ignoring cost and all else, and spawn it in open space as an ally or enemy. If you just feel like watching ten massive fleets of your creation duke it out without all the 4X fluff, you can do that.

- Empire management is meaningful. Where other 4X games just have you taking a planet and letting it get bloated with population to become a big producer of the major resources, Star Ruler 2 forces you to think. Planets require certain resources to grow, and these are supplied as exports from other planets. But a planet can only export a resource to one place. This means you have to really pour resources from several planets into one key planet, rather than just sitting idle while everything grows to insane proportions.

- The 4X resources - in this case, things like wealth, influence, FTL charge, energy and research - aren't automatically produced based on abstract values attached to a planet. In general, they require pressure. Each planet can handle so much pressure, and pressure tells the planet what to produce. It's hard to explain... Here's an example. Electronics generate wealth pressure, because if electronics are being imported to a planet, this means they're being sold as a consumer product. That leads to sales tax revenue. In other words, the types of luxury resources a planet has, either natively or by export, drive the production of the major resources in your empire. It's a novel and very fun mechanic to play with.

- Diplomacy matters! Influence is a resource you can generate, and you use it to pick up diplomacy cards or to play cards you possess. You can play these cards for a variety of effects, from spying on other empires to giving your flagship a name, but one key way you spend many of the cards is in diplomatic events. These are events that pop up, either organically or when played by another empire, and affect every empire equally. However, there are boons both for the empire who placed the most votes in favor of the motion and to the one who placed the most opposed votes, depending on whether the motion ends up passing or failing.

These are often significant bonuses, and thus it can be worth going after them, plus there's the matter of the actual policy being voted upon and the outcome you desire for it. It becomes a tug of war for votes one way or the other before time expires on the vote, and you can either spend Influence to cast votes with certain cards, or you can offer gifts to empires who supply at least a given number of votes for or against the motion, according to your request. It's fascinating little minigame that makes the political side of the game fun and engaging.

- The creation of races is pretty fun as well, and not extremely time consuming even if you want to bring in custom portraits and flags. The latter is simply a matter of dropping PNG images in the appropriate folders. The rest is a matter of choosing options for your civilization using a point-buy system. Similar to customization in the Endless 4X games. What makes it feel cooler, however, is the fact that you get two very specific types of options that feel like they have a pretty big impact as opposed to the options in similar systems: government and FTL method. Your choice of government dictates several starting bonuses for your empire, and certain choices will even affect your play style for the rest of the game. FTL method is something I'd never have thought of myself; you pick how your race achieves faster than light travel. You can build gates that allow fleets to jump between them, similar to the FTL in Mass Effect lore, you can have your race build standard old jump drives, tear holes in time and space to achieve instantaneous travel... Or, for a huge increase in points to spend on other aspects of your civilization, you can say you haven't even achieved FTL travel.

There are several more things, and I could rant all day, but this review has already gone on far longer than I'd have liked. The summary: Star Ruler 2 innovates the genre in an astounding way, and is proving to be the most fun I've had with a 4X game since Civilization was a new series to me. It's a breath of fresh air that I feel is precisely what this genre needed. I've owned the game for around 20 hours and have been playing for nearly half of those; I can easily see myself playing for 150 more.
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63 of 72 people (88%) found this review helpful
43 people found this review funny
Recommended
64.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 13, 2015
Alright, here's what happened-
I mined all of the asteroids in my home system, even tractoring some from other systems
I built and artficial planetoid and upgraded it to a level 5 and built a gate and outpost in orbit
I added additional layers to it for more space
I then filled it with production facilities and REALLY BIG GUNS
I then slapped a massive planetary thruster onto it
I then used a rename card to call it the Death Star


TL;DR- I built the Death Star

I also made a massive size 10,000 ship that can destroy a planet in 6-8 seconds(But it has a cooldown of 30 seconds).

Or another awesome thing-
I use a Star Forge to eat multiple star systems to build a massive ringworld around my capital
Unfortunately, it uses the health of the nearest star, so I left it there too long and the star went supernova and blew the Star Forge and the new fleet I'd been building to Hell!

TL;DR- Don't leave your Star Forge unattended or bad things will happen


1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000/10 - I built a Death Star and accidentally caused a supernova (and then later caused a couple on purpose)
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49 of 51 people (96%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
52.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: December 29, 2014
A hidden gem in the space RTS genre

I haven't had much time to put into this game as of yet but so far I am loving how everything fits together. This is a complex game that doesn't have a big learning curve and is extremly addictive. Below i will describe the elements I like and some improvements that could be made.

Empire Management:
In most space rts games your star systems are pretty much self reliant and doesnt require reasources to travel from one system to another. Here, if you want to have a powerful industrial/economic/science system you will need that primary stystem to have trade connections to other systems. Each planet can level up, increasing the population and amount of structures that can be built on them but to level up the planet must meet certain reasource requirements (example to get to level 1, a planet must import food and water from both a food and water planet). What this does is allows the player to have multiple home worlds that have a specific purpose (industrial,economic,science) thus opening up a wide range of tactics an enemy can use to damage an empire. It's difficult to explain but once you see it for yourself it makes perfect sense.

Fleet Management
the combat in this game is all about building fleets and the start of every fleet begins with a flagship. Once you have a flagship built you can link multiple support ships, the only limit being the number of support points a flagship has and that number gets bigger the larger the flagship is so a size 100 flagship may only support a size 300 support fleet whereas a size 500 flagship can support 3000 using the right modules. Which brings us to....

Ship Design
Like other space RTS games you can design the internal specs of your falgships and support ships (weapons, armor, shields, command and control modules ect) which allows you to change your tactics when approaching an enemy. Maybe you want a flagship designed around amassing a huge fleet, or a flagship that is a WMD, its all whatever you make of it.

Combat
Support ships will always stay in formation with the flagship so managing which supportships go with which flagship is not an issue as they are linked. This makes it easy to coordinate offensives and defenses with multiple flagships. in combat your flagship targets an enemy flagship (or whatever target you specify) and the fleet engages. It's very simple with the fleet management that is implemented here and it looks epic when you have massive fleets duking it out.

Diplomacy
This is the crown jewel imo. In most space rts's diplomacy takes a backseat with very limited options. Here it's a card game.... Not kidding, it's all about using influence (a reasource you aquire from specific planets) to buy cards that pop up from time to time. Certain cards are very desirable and your enemy may buy them before you do if you aren't quick enough. For example certain cards allow you to capure an entire solar system without ever firing a shot. Such cards when you use them bring up a galactic vote where you can use negotiation cards to win favor and it turns into a game of who has the more votes wins! It's pure genius and much like how politics works in real life. (it's all about political capital)

There are some things that could use some improvement but i expect some of these things could be handled with mods. For example there could be more ship designs and different ship formations. The graphics are also not stellar (no pun intended) but that also allows for bigger fleets and smoother gameplay (I haven't run into any latency at all). A storyline would also help not only get new people into the game and learn the mechanics but also immerse people into the lore of the game.

I think that's enough from me, this is a must buy for any fan of the space RTS genre that crushes others like it. I'm suprised I only heard of this after scrolling through page 10 of steam's top sellers in the strategy section.
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