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: Very Positive (324 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 27, 2015
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Recommended By Curators

"One of the most in-depth 4X Space RTS games out there with Single/Multiplayer modes. Could possibly become one of the best all-time with a few tweaks. "
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (16)

May 12

Star Ruler 2: v1.0.2 Update - May 12th

We just released our first minor content update for Star Ruler 2 since release. As always, read about some of the highlights here, or scroll down for a full changelog.

Research Web Overhaul



The research grid and associated graphics have been completely redone, making research paths and unlocks clearer and easier to use.

Quantum Batteries

The new quantum battery modifier can be used to partially satisfy a subsystem's power needs, but needs to be charged with your empire's Energy when constructed.



Additional Race Traits

A number of new race traits have been added, based on a point buy system. Every race starts with 1 free trait point to spend, and all of the default races have been given an additional default trait choice to make use of it.



Full Changelog
Added
  • Overhauled the research grid to be more readable and easier to use.
  • Added a number of positive and negative traits that can be selected in race customization. Races can pick one free positive trait, and all of the default races have been given an extra bonus trait.
  • Added Quantum Battery modifier.
  • Added Shield Hardener subsystem.
Changed
  • Larger weapons now have comparatively longer reload times.
  • Rebalanced various values on weapon types.
  • Terraforming now gets more expensive the further away from the labor source you queue it.
  • Control Computers now give a scaling effectiveness bonus for the first 30 seconds of any combat.
Fixed
  • Fixed being able to construct motherships that make money.
  • Fixed being able to construct singularity labs in nebulas.

13 comments Read more

April 9

Star Ruler 2: v1.0.1 Update - April 9th

We released another small patch with various bugfixes, bumping the version to v1.0.1 this time.

Fixed

  • Self Destruct subsystem can no longer erroneously use weapon modifiers like the payload amplifier.
  • Fix allondium level 5 effect not affecting the proper values.
  • Fix auto-import when playing Mono queueing up food and water.
  • Fix Mono UI showing extra population needed for level 1 for tier 0 resources that cannot be upgraded.
  • Fix built Planetary Thrusters breaking when loading a saved game.
  • Dragging resources to export should now be easier, holding the left mouse on an object no longer creates a tooltip. (Old behavior can be restored with a setting)
Changed
  • Asteroid mining bases that you no longer have trade access to are lost and revert to their unmined state.
  • Bulkheads and Targeting Sensors can now be used on support ships.
  • Ablative Armor can now be used on support ships.
  • Ablative Armor now has a massively increased damage resistance against lasers/energy weapons.
  • Laser/Energy damage is now more vulnerable to being blocked by armor. (DR can reduce laser damage down to 1% of its original damage, rather than the minimum of 20% for other damage types)
  • Increase the health of all weapon turret hexes.
  • Self Destruct subsystem now requires power to put on the ship.
  • The rotation/spinning of planets and other objects on the UI can now be turned off via a game option.
  • Added new models used for various orbital stations.
AI
  • Fix the AI not always using its starting ships and scouts.
  • Fix a bug that broke the Mono AI.
  • Improve savage AI logic to build stronger fleets.

9 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
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Hardware requirements not final. Broadband required for internet play.
    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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Hardware requirements not final. 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
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
218 of 224 people (97%) found this review helpful
62.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 8
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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91 of 95 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
37.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 26
Early Access Review
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 facinating 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, managable, 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 dissappointed 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, facinating 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.
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73 of 76 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
87.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
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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50 of 53 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
55.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
Early Access Review
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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41 of 43 people (95%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 31
Star Date: Wrote this on Patch 1.0.0
------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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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