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 (265 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 (15)

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.


  • 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)
  • 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.
  • 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

March 23

Star Ruler 2: v1.0.0 Update - March 23rd

As we ramp up for Star Ruler 2 leaving Early Access with the release of our v1.0.0 build, we'd like to thank everyone who participated in making SR2's beta phase a success. Your feedback and suggestions have been crucial in helping us shape this 4X RTS strategy game into something we're very proud of!

As always with our updates, you can read about some of the highlights here, or scroll down for a full detailed changelog.


A number of new technologies have been added containing new megaconstructions to build. Megaconstructions require the mining of ore from asteroids, and culminate in the construction of your very own Ringworlds:

More Shipsets!

In addition to new enhancements to the Volkur shipset, two new shipsets each with many new ship models have been added.

Support Behaviors

Support ships can now be designed to follow one of several preset behaviors. When equipped with ammo stores, certain behaviors also let your support ships temporarily detach from the fleet and perform independent raids on the enemy fleet!

Full Changelog
  • Added support ship behaviors
  • Mono and Nylli can use "Colonize this" automation.
  • Mono can build FTL breeder reactor building.
  • Add Mining Laser, Cargo Storage, Ore Processor, Construction Bay and Liquid Armor subsystems.
  • Add Space Elevator building.
  • The AI now tells you how it feels about you on the diplomacy screen. Hover over the mask showing its mood to get a more detailed breakdown.
  • Add a keybind to tell a fleet to cancel all orders and stop moving.
  • Added various new models for different types of objects.
  • Add Coolant System, Payload Amplifier and Smoothed Mechanism weapon modifiers.
  • Add Artificial Planetoid, Star Forge and Vacuum Telescope megaconstructions.
  • Feyh ships must now contain Shrines for the crew to pray at. Praying shields the ship from harm. (Thanks Darloth!)
  • Updated Volkur shipset with new PBR shaders and a bunch more models!
  • Added Ringworlds!
  • Pressing 'z' will zoom to the currently selected object and follow it with the camera until you pan.
  • Added two new Shipsets, 'Mechanica' and 'Moirai'!
  • Gates are now designable stations.
  • Mono FTL cost for population transfer takes into account gates, tears and wormholes.
  • Cyllium now rotates a variable number of artifacts that expire.
  • FTL Crystals level 4 and 5 abilities are swapped.
  • Planet support capacity now depends on and increases with planet level.
  • Some asteroids now contain Ore that needs to be mined with mining lasers.
  • Destroying a Black Hole now causes much more widespread destruction.
  • Tractor beams now work when passing through wormholes, slipstream tears or gates.
  • Engine types and size now affect ship turn rate. If only using graviton engines, the ship does not need to turn to move.
  • Updates some music tracks.
  • Mono can't transfer population while being annexed.
  • Various improvements to the designs the AI creates.
  • AI now builds asteroid mining bases.
  • AI can use all FTL types.
  • AI can use all races.
  • The AI's diplomatic actions will be influenced by how you interact with it and its allies and enemies.

14 comments Read more


“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

SteamOS + Linux
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
45 of 46 people (98%) found this review helpful
34.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
Star Ruler 2 Full Game Review

Star Ruler 2, a sequel to Blind Mind Studios' original Star Ruler game, is an ambitious endeavor that offers players a true 4X Space RTS experience on an enormous scale. For all of you Fleet Admirals, Squadron Commanders, X-Wing Aces, and Space Pirates who are thinking you've already been there and done that...guess again. Star Ruler 2 brings new dimensions to the sci-fi arena that will offer up exciting new challenges for even the most veteran strategy gamers.

In Star Ruler 2, players will choose a race and set out to conquer the galaxy by supreme domination. There are 7 basic races with their own unique bonuses and methods of space travel. Each race can be customized and since the game is extremely mod-friendly, its fair to say more races will likely be added by the community. Customization options range from choosing empire colors and logos to method of hyperspace travel and ship architectural style. Race bonuses can also be customized, basic ship styles can be modified, and even more can be added. In fact, most everything in this game can be changed. I did say this game is extremely mod-friendly.

After selecting your race, there are a number of additional options offered for generating your game before you begin and this is where Star Ruler 2 should start to really impress strategy veterans. There are a number of gaming options available to allow players to set victory conditions, resource scarcity, etc and even the size of your galaxy (referenced in system size and planetary frequency). Galaxies are then randomly generated and can range from a few dozen to a seemingly infinite number of planets based on the settings you select. But there's more. A ton of opponents can be added to your game both in single-player mode versus computer-controlled AI players and in multiplayer mode. According to Blind Mind, their custom designed Starflare Engine (built specifically to run this game) fully utilizes even multi-core cpu's so galaxies can be as big as you want up to your system's capabilities. After some experimentation of my own, I have no reason to think any different.

Another cool feature that makes Star Ruler 2 unique is how the galactic structure and planetary system works. The galaxy, regardless of size, is divided into a multitude of star systems and each system contains a number of planets and asteroids that revolve around the central star similar to how our own solar system works. The planets are random and some have added features or bonuses. All planets produce a type of resource and can be colonized, or populated, and planets can be upgraded to a maximum of five levels. Each planetary level will add more infrastructure and population. However, every level will require additional resources to be imported from other colonized planets forming a supportive network. Therefore, players must strategically choose which planets they want to further develop and decide what direction of development (also referred to as pressure) you want this planet to follow. Labor, income, or research pressures are primary examples and your planet's civilians will automatically construct production buildings to support the pressure type.

And that's just the beginning. There are many other cool features in Star Ruler 2. The space battles will be epic - thousands of ships involved in a single fight! Asteroids can be mined for precious minerals by building a mining base on them or deploying mining ships to harvest the resources. Planets can construct entire fleets of ships, an assortment of buildings for infrastructure, and a number of space structures such as defensive platforms, outposts or even an orbital ring around a planet that can be populated. Ships are assigned to groups for simpler control. They can all be customized and upgraded in numerous ways. Players can even design their own custom ships and add them to the game or share with the community. Through space exploration, players might discover artifacts that provide powerful benefits. The unique Diplomatic System of Star Ruler 2 is an extremely powerful tool that players will want to check out. The way the budget runs in three minute cycles before resetting as opposed to trickling into a gigantic resource pool is another dimension that makes the game different from all the others on a strategic level. And naturally, there is a wide assortment of research technologies to be learned and utilized. Don't forget the multiplayer cross-platform features and remember that the game is hot-wired for modding. Players can even access the community workshop mods through the game's easy-to-use interface.

Starting to get the idea? Star Ruler 2 is truly a grand strategy sci-fi adventure and offers numerous hours of gameplay with high replay value. The graphics will not blow you away, but they are solid and very well done. Zooming in using the fully rotating camera will reveal rich detailed graphics and everyone should enjoy the hyperspace jump sequence. The audio and soundtrack are quality and the overall user interface is very simple and easy to navigate. Time can be sped up or paused at will. There is a tutorial included so that players can quickly learn the basic game mechanics without being overwhelmed. Unfortunately there is no single-player campaign included though and don't expect any cut-scenes or voice-overs to provide any type of back story. The Star Ruler universe just simply is...

The Good:
+ Variety of races and abilities
+ Custom ship-building
+ Unique Diplomatic System that integrates into gameplay well
+ Large assortment of Researches
+ Tons of customization options
+ Quality Graphics & Sound
+ Single Player & Multiplayer modes
+ Simple controls and easy-to-use UI
+ Steam Trading Cards & Achievements
+ Extremely mod-friendly
+ High Replay Value
+ In-game access to Help, Wiki, & Workshop

+ Tutorial included
+ Auto-save w/ options[/i]

The Bad:
+ Lack of a single-player campaign or storyline
+ Research honeycomb is a cluttered mess/confusing
+ Mouseovers for many options and settings do not display info

Final Thoughts:
Star Ruler 2 is one of the best 4X Space RTS games out there. With a few additional tweaks and components it could possibly become one of the best all-time. It offers numerous features and a unique style compared to similar games. From a strategic perspective, it offers players a multitude of options and will challenge players on most any difficulty setting. The graphics could probably be better but I feel that it was a conscious choice to scale them down a bit in order to allow for more players to be able to enjoy the game, particularly in multiplayer which is really what this game is built for, although it can still be a lot of fun in single-player mode. Whatever your preference, I strongly recommend this game to all space strategy fans!

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Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 16 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
First of all, I'm a fan of 4x games. Now, I've somewhat strayed away from them over time; I've found a differing love for grand strat in the vein of Paradox games, specifically the economical and political ones such as Victoria 2. I ended up having a distaste for civ 5 and certain other new games (the endless bunch, etc) because they were just.. well, either too easy, or too messy. Several decent ideas wrapped in a gross tortilla, or something like that. I started to dislike how board-gamey they got to cater to the people who couldn't stand micro. I hadn't even really heard of Star Ruler 2(SR2) until earlier today, when I saw Scott Manley blow up a black hole. I pretty much bought it on the spot.

The game is pretty fresh out of early access.. good? Perhaps. It's certainly playable, and complete. It's not a wasted purchase.

I've not played SR1.

Steam says I've played almost 8 hours of this game. An hour of that was in the tutorial and a 'practice' game I played, and the other seven hours were in a full game I did. The full game took place in two galaxies of 40 and 30 planets respectively, with myself and 4 AIs. I used a custom race.

I will go through each of what I feel are the main elements of a 4x game, rate them, compare them, and write criticisms.

--- The UI ---
Positives: One of the biggest dinks that most 4x games get- the user-friendliness of the UI. It is understandable, as pushing enough information to the user that's required can sometimes leave the UI cluttered, with too many buttons, too many numbers, etc.. SR2 does both extremely well and somewhat poorly in this regard, neutralizing out to it having a decent UI. The big pluses are fantastic- the game operates in a tabbed format with different types of windows, so if you want to have four tabs for your best planets, you can. You can customize your different views of the galaxy, zoom to them at will, etc- keep a tab open for research, keep a tab open for whatever you want, really. The quick-ui that shows fast info on the side of the screen is also fairly informative, and makes it easy to do things at a glance.

It also doesn't restrict much of what you can do, as you can affect the game using the UI (tethering planets for trade is one of the most important game mechanics as I will explain later, and you can tether a planet from its notice on the ui, for example). For what it does, the UI is extremely functional, and superior to its competitors. The built-in wiki that runs very well and the IRC to get quick help/talk to other players is also very nice, as while I may not want to play multiplayer at this time, I do still like talking to other players.

Negatives: On even a medium sized map, the UI gets extremely cluttered near the end of the game. You get lost in a sea of information that takes quite a while to discern exactly what you want to do. A lot of the 'resource icons' on planets are fairly small, so when I'm looking at 20 unused resources I seriously have to mouse over to see what each one is, unless it's something very easy to remember and see like water. There are quite a few resources, so I can't imagine how to fix this without shafting users with a lower resolution.

The technology grid is a chore. It's somewhat difficult at a glance to tell what is researched and what isn't, what is available and what is. It took me much longer than it should have to even find the starting point of the grid. In most other 4x games, even Distant Worlds, the research grid/chart is extremely easy to understand, though the actual contents of it may not be. Greying out techs you can't even possibly buy yet(but you can still mouse over for info) would be a huge step in the right direction. It's also sometimes hard to tell where the tech grid is going.. it will end up in weird places that aren't really logically conducive to itself. Overall, the grid isn't very nice to look at. I'm sure familiarization with it would help, but compared to something like Endless Legend which has a pretty good tech grid system, this is just a bit too ambiguous.

--- Core Mechanics ---

Just like every other 4x game, the core mechanics are to build your empire, strengthen your military, create a massive economy, protect your borders or crush your enemies, and be the dominant empire on the map. SR2 uses some traditional 4x systems (such as the building construction), some things of its own design, and things from other genres. The game, first of all, runs in real time. You can slow down, speed up, and pause the game. It is not the pseudo-realtime of Paradox games- it is true real time. Thankfully, everything happens slow enough at 1x speed that it is not much of an issue. The most imporatant part of the game is managing your resources, colonizing useful planets, leveling up your core worlds, and making economic powerhouses. The game REQUIRES expansion; you cannot support a huge economy by trade alone, and there is no way to turtle. I think it is one of the few games where I got to the end of my expansion and truly started eyeing my neighbors for what they have, rather than being content with my borders while being able to endlessly improve on itself. You 'tether' trade from worlds to other worlds, leveling them up by tethering a certain amount of resources to a specific world. For example, it takes merely food and water to level a planet up to level 1. After that, it requires more food to sustain the higher population, plus raw materials of some kind to create planetary 'production' which is reflected in a higher population, level, labour (production), and more things.

Each colonized planet has a single resource, and rarely two (typically one that it supplies to itself for free). Some resources have extra special effects, such as increasing research, influence (to be explained), or your 'energy'(also to be explained).

This leads to feeding all your expansion planets into one of your core worlds to make a few very powerful economic powerhouses; managing all your resources to efficiently make as many strong planets as possible to support a larger military and production base. No longer can one create a Venice and protect it only; you MUST keep your logisitical supply lanes protected, as one lost system can break your whole economic structure down and require a full restructuring. This is the core, and the essence of the game. It reminds me very dsitinctly of the Anno series, though you do not specifically need certain resources to enhance planets.

Although you may find yourself strained for resources, there are ways to increase your number of planets without conquest. There are a few 'relic' type things scattered around the map which let you do things like create new stars, new planets, etc etc. There are lots of cool things. Using one of these requires energy, which is gained via research and resources. Energy is simply a 'mana' type substance which is used to activate these abilities and certain extra special abilities ships have that can be equipped later via technology, such as blink. These types of abilities are very cool, and you definitely start to feel like an interstellar god as your empire grows bigger.
Construction is based on the civilian sector. Much like Distant Worlds, you, as a federal government, have little control over your civilian sector. It automatically constructs cities and improvements on your planets as long as you supply them correctly. There are buildings you can put on planets which are expensive and cost upkeep, but for the most part, civilians and the AI take care of everything on the surface. Orbital space stations are player-built, at least.

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14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 9
It's hard to bring something new to the game in the 4X genre, but I think Star Ruler 2 does it. I did not play the original, but I have played most of the big name 4X games since M.U.L.E. (if you consider that 4X). The main concepts I like:

- Planet development is both hands off and hands can spend dollars to accelerate your empire growth, but growing it by developing a good trade network is more efficient and effective.
- Research is a tool for refining your empire and improving efficiency, but does not provide a huge competitive edge over other empires on the battlefield
- Fleet based combat provides ample room for tactical depth but without overcomplicating the game
- Diplomacy is fun against the AI. When is the last time you said that? You can actually brow beat the enemy just with diplomacy alone. This would be a blast against others but haven't tried it yet.
- Variation in start-up settings would seem to provide a lot of replayability.
- FTL is a cacheable resource, meaning that you don't have infinite tactical flexibility. You may have to make a decision to either warp a new fleet in as reinforcement OR retreat your languishing fleet...but not both.

Things I think could be better:
- With a spread out empire, combat can be swift and fierce and there is no warning that your fleet is getting destroyed while you aren't watching. There could be a warning so you could FTL out.
- The AI doesn't put up an awesome fight when you are eating up his worlds.
- The AI doesn't protect critical parts of his trade network very well.

Overall, I think it's fun and definitely worth the price.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
39.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
TL;DR: This is a great game and a breath of much-needed fresh air in the 4X genre. Unlike most other 4X games, it has its own DNA and doesn't rely on the Civilization tropes that have come to define the genre. While it's a RTS game, this is much more of a strategy game (think a Paradox title like EU4) as opposed to something like Starcraft or Company of Heroes. It has variable speed settings and can be paused. This game has a very unique take on several mechanics such as diplomacy, expansion/economy, and ship design.

Expansion: Typically in 4X games, you colonize a planet/city/whatever and acquire Food (population growth), Hammers (production capacity), and Science (research), then build structures that provide multipliers to those values (libraries for science, for example). Things are different in this game. It reminds me a bit of the Anno series, where you need access to resources in order for your city (or in this game, planet) to grow.

A planet's population is determined by planet level, which ranges from 0 to 5. In order to level up a planet, one must acquire sufficient resources. For a planet to reach Level 1, it only needs food and water. In order to reach Level 2, it not only needs additional food but also needs access to Tier 1 resources. Later levels require additional Tier 1 resources as well as Tier 2 resources. What this means is colonizing isn't just about spamming settles and running through the same build order for each planet. Instead, you are looking to acquire particular resources in order to create a trade network which can support high-level worlds.

I should talk a bit more about resources, since they also relate to another mechanic of the game: Pressure. Unlike the Civ games, you typically don't build things like Libraries or Factories directly. Instead, your civilian population does. That's not to say that you don't have any control over this, it's just a little more direct. The mechanism used to push your citizens into building certain kinds of economies is Pressure, and Pressure comes from Resources. For example, Textiles are a Tier 1 resource, so this will be important in order for you to level up your planet past a certain point. Beyond fulfilling that requirement, _what_ resources you get also matters. Textiles produce Money pressure. What this means is if you import this T1 resource to your planet, your civilians will be more likely to build things like Markets that will generate money for your empire. If instead you import Chemicals, a T1 resource that provides Research pressure, they'd build more Universities that provide you with research.

This game also has the hands-down best Diplomacy system I've seen. It functions almost like a card game and uses it's own resource (Influence). Influence, like Money or Research, is produced by your civilian economy, and there are several resources that provide Influence pressure. You use these Influence points to both purchase and play diplomatic Cards. Diplomacy here isn't limited to War/Peace/Trade Agreement, you can do all sorts of things such as hosting the Galactic Senate on your homeworld (providing diplomatic advantages), annexing other players' planets or star systems, provide bonuses to planets and fleets, etc.

When you first play a diplomatic card, you need to have enough Influence to get it to pass. You and your opponents then play various cards in order to pass (or stop) the diplomatic faction. You can also offer bribes to other factions to throw their lot in with you. For example, you could offer a large sum of money, some of your diplomatic cards, or even one of your fleets or planets in order to enlish their diplomatic support for your proposition. This ends up being a fascinating and deep system to play with. It's much more involved and interesting than your typical War/Peace/Ally toggle that most other 4X games have.

Lastly, another area this game excels at is ship design. There are a host of interesting weapons, modules, and augmentations you can make to ships perform exactly how you want them to. Even better, the game ships with a Design Sandbox which lets you create and test your designs outside of a regular game. You can save these designs and they will be immediately available in every game you play. The game is also integrated with Steam Workshop, which means you can browse and import other players' designs with a click of a button. It's really slick and is a great option for those that might want to use additional ship designs but don't feel like creating them themselves.

This review is already way too lengthy so I'll wrap it up here. Suffice it to say that this is a unique and compellling 4X game. There's really nothing out there that plays like it, from my experience. Because it has it's own unique DNA there is a bit of a learning curve involved, but the game does ship with a helpful and easy to follow tutorial. It won't make you a master of the game, but it'll teach you all the basics that you need to dive in and get geting.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
62.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 10
The best 4x space game I have played in ages. Unlike all the others, of which there are now many, it's not copying some other game and just doing a facelift or fiddling with a couple things. There is so much here which is truly innovative and progressing the genre that it's truly a new entry which stands all by itself. Also, the key part is it does those things WELL.

The diplomatic, ship building and empire expanding systems on their own could be (simple) games and make for a great feeling as it all comes together.

Here is a quick look video (not mine) which covers a lot of it really well:
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 11
This game is actually a ton of fun, a huge improvement over it's predecessor. It also introduces a lot of interesting ideas to the standard 4x Space genre such as planet leveling through resources, bargaining with other players for Civilization bonuses and everything is wrapped up in a nice simplistic UI. Still can't out colonize that damn AI though... it's like they breed like rabbits or something.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
31.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 7
An enigmatic gem of a space 4X. If you loved Master of Orion, Sins of a Solar Empire or (particularly) Stardrive - you will love this unique take on RTS space sandbox!

This game manages to let you delve as far into the complexity as you want - customized ships, micro-managing every level 1+ planet, fleet management, etc. without forcing you to do really any of it that doesn't interest you. Some elements will be familiar - research, ship design and combat - but others are innovative and strangely rewarding - particularly the somewhat simplified planet level / pressure system.

This totally unprecedented approach avoids the common pitfall of having dozens of mediocre planets with long build queues to manage by linking multiple systems together to develop regional powerhouse worlds (a la Trantor from the Federation books). You could manage an empire of 25 - 50 systems that all feed into just 2-4 strategically critical commerce, research and production meccas. It takes a while to understand how to properly connect your web of worlds, but nothing matches the feeling of finally getting that level 5 capital pumping out the cash, research and *most importantly* giant behemoth led fleets.

Speaking of fleets - the ship design is both deep and rewarding - balancing many different combat roles in a somewhat simplified flagship + supports system. If you don't want to design your own ships, you can download interesting and unique creations built by the community. And the size and scale of the ships and systems is only limited by the size of your empire - with an infinitely scalable (and ingeniuosly "economies of scale" based) size system. Combat is aesthetically beautiful, if tactically thin - but certainly rewards players for careful combination of forces and flanking / disabling manuevres (nothing like hitting a flagship with a disabling ion cannon blast while your backup warps in behind them for the kill!).

My only gripe is that the AI is unpredictable at best, and downright "unfair" at higher difficulties - and the diplomacy system is only ok. It throws out the Civilization style trading and (most) agreements for an influence based card game where you can bid for and against certain empire and universe wide perks/debuffs. It's pretty easy to ignore - at least in single player. Victory conditions are also lacking, but I could see more paths to victory added in the future (activating the revenant is pretty much a sure thing as I discovered in my last playthrough - how much is 1.6G in supplies anyways...)

Overall this is a huge imrpovement on the original (which I tossed out pretty quickly due to its unapproachable complexity) and really a new game that stands well on its own. Worth the price of entry for any 4X or space buff that wants a fresh take on ruling a massive intergalactic empire!

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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
Hard to take myself away from playing this game to write this review, but I feel compelled to recommend it since it really is a gem. If you like Endless Space, Sins of a Solar Empire or Distant Worlds, this game is definitely for you. Many of the game mechanics are quite original - ship design and diplomacy are really well designed and add a remarkable amount of depth. I admit that I was on the fence on this one because the overall positive review percentage was sitting around 80%. Honestly I'm rather astonished that it isn't in the 90-95% range. Definitely recommend this - I am very happy I got it.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
27.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 1
For my full review, please go here. My review was too big for steam, apparently.

Highly, highly recommended.

For s***ts and giggles, read some of the reviews bad mouthing this game.
My favorite so far is the one "Too much going on for me I did not like having to upgrade my own ships".

I LOL'ed.

If you want my other epic work, try this, this is what I am (in)famous for
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
127.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
An excelent 4xish game. I dropped a few hours on the game and there was not a single moment of boredom, having followed this game from very early not only showed me the dedication of its developers but also the greatness of its community.

First game wise it stands out from the other 4x titles in pretty much every aspect. The economy is simple to understand but not to master, the ship editor lets you make meanigful choices when designing for example: should you put more engines to respond faster or more guns to punch harder? The diplomacy system is quite exhiliriting when used (specially against humans) the cards are so natural now i was kind of spoilt.

bottom line is buy the game, you will not regret it
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
40.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
At last a 4x game that let's you create thousands of ships! Take your pop corn and watch the fireworks.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
327.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
This is what we were all hoping for when the idea of Early Access was first floated. Keeping in mind the limitations of a small (in this case 3 person) dev group, which is usually going to show up in the graphics and limited development time, this is an excellent effort.
There is some real creativity here. They find new ways to structure the game that actually work and are fun to play. New ideas and new mechanics are fresh and interesting.
Of the 4 early access games I took a chance on, this is the only one that I go back to at all and enjoy. These fellows did a quality, professional job and it shows.
If you want a new take on 4x that's well done pick this up immediately. If you're one of those people who will ask 'will I like it?' the answer is yes. get it.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
64.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 18
If you like 4X games, you owe it to yourself to try this one out. Many games claim to be "easy to learn, hard to master" - this game actually fulfills that more than any other game I've ever played.

As for giving an idea of what this game brings to the 4x genre:
1. Economy - in most 4x games you just build basically everything you can on every planet you can to maximize production across the board and then spam fleets from everywhere. Star Ruler couldn't be further from that - instead you funnel resources to planets so that you end up with only a couple advanced planets, with most others either providing the resources or supporting your empire in other ways.

Is it difficult to do this? No. You simply right click on your planet and tell it to level up if you wish to develop it further than it is. The game will automatically find available resources and route them. There is a simple to understand chart showing which resources you have excess of, which you need, which you are currently acquiring, and which planets are having problems.

2. Diplomacy. Most 4x games you talk to each of the other empires individually and try to set up trade agreements or other political standings. In this game... Diplomacy is a minigame which every government plays. Over time, Governments acquire influence points and then use those influence points for Politics cards which are used in this minigame. This model for Diplomacy completely blows away any other Diplomacy model I've seen in a 4x game before.

3. Customizing ships. Most 4x Games have some means for customizing their units based upon the technology they acquire through the game. This one is no different - except where most 4x games simply allow you to swap modules, this one lets you completely design every aspect of the ship. for a first time player, this may seem overwhelming when faced with the prospect of having to continuously redesign ships every time they get new technology or become richer... Never fear - there is a scaling mechanism where you can simply modify a single value for your design, and the ship becomes more powerful and costs more - that way you can focus upon simply making tweaks to a ship design that you are fond of.

Not only can you custom build your own ships - but Star Ruler allows you to share those designs with other people in the community by uploading and downloading the designs within the game interface.

4. Combat - THIS is what fleet battles in a 4x game should be like. You quickly end up with fights where there are hundreds of individual ships duking it out - and taking down capital ships, is pretty satisfying. Sure it'd be great if you could take control of one of the fighters and go into flight sim mode - but a game can't have everything.

Seriously though, if you are a fan of the 4x Genre - you should feel compelled to at least give this game a try.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
39.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
Amazing strategy game, having lot's of fun with it, playing with my friend in the same game for a few days now. The depth of the game is just incredible. This hidden little gem definitely deserves more support than it currently has! I would hate to see the small dev team run out of funds.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
43.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 26
Innovative? Check
Mod support? Check
Deep ship designer? Check
5000 ships vs 5000 ships? Check
Zoom in and see said ships blow up in realtime? Check
Deeply varied races? Check
Customizable races? Check
Ships the size of planets? Check
Blowing up entire galaxies with superweapons? Check
Unlimited galaxy size? Check
Challenging AI? Check
XCom-styled ground battles? Of course not

I could go on. Will this game keep me occupied for a while? Check!
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 26
Well, this was a waste of money. This game isn't complex in any way, it's just really repetitive. I'd rather spend my time building a pyramid of empy coca-cola cans than building a pyramid with worlds.
It doesn't even give the possibility to go for different strategies, just the same old pyramid structure.

The graphics of the game is totally satisfying, I have nothing to complain about the soundtrack or sound effects. Even the story and the setting is somewhat nice. What I really have to complain about is just simply the question of complexity.
In basicly all other 4x games you have the option to go for different strategies, like trade, influence, technology, warfare etc. Thus making it possible to opt for a somewhat slower territorial expansion while researching or getting you economy going.
In this game you simply cannot achieve much research or economy without expanding, thus making the colonization of new planets manditory. This is because a planet cannot progress without having new planets to support it, which leads back to the pyramid concept. You need tier 1 planet to support tier 2 planets, tier 1 and 2 planets to support tier 3 planets, and so on.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 6
A simple, mechanically sound 4x Space game sums up Star Ruler 2 well. After playing the tutorial, most of everything is already out-lined and after that, its just a matter of a few minor things to learn.

I am closing in on my first victory (game is about 6 hours long so far). I find it fairly easy so far. The computer seems to not use diplomacy that great or multiple wars. Annex System with a strong diplomatic power is OP and can help speed up things fast. My only wish is that the "system under attack" warnings wouldn't pop when enemy civilian ships pass through(Happens a LOT).
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
Deep scifi 4x game that takes on some of the biggest construction projects imagined by man, Megaconstructs - Give me more please!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 25
Star Ruler 2 is a unique spin on the whole 4X RTS genre that uses some new mechanics that I havn't seen before. Essentially, The game is a 4X RTS game with a whole new spin in the mechanical design. When you think 4X, you think of games such as Master Of Orion 2, Galactic Civilization, etc. These games all seem to be completely similar to each other (Mainly because most are based off of Master Of Orion, which was the most sucessful of it's genre in it's time). They all use turn based gameplay with turnbased combat, research was done by a turn by turn basis, ship movement was also turn based and so on and so on.

Star Ruler 2 does a unique spin on the original concept by making research based off how much of a certain resource you have, Planets need to import and export in order to be sucessful and lucrative, using a mechanic called pressure. Pressure is a varying counter that the higher it is, the more the planet produces and the more money you get. By importing certain resources, you can change pressure and the benefits it provides (For example, a resource might provide research pressure, which will increase your research resource on the planet in question).

There is also a very unique diplomacy system that uses "Influence". Influence allows you to buy and activate what is essentially cards. You can use these cards in votes, diplomatic agreeements with alien civilizations, or to benefit your civilization itself. You gain influence by the system above, with the use of pressure.

There is quite a large research tree, but a lot of the research just seems to be passive bonus' (Things like 20% more weapon damage, 20% more energy, etc) that doesn't have a whole lot of new things you can unlock, like new weapon systems, ship systems, buildings, and so on.

The game has a energy system that is, once again, affected by pressure that is producing energy. You can use this energy to purchase certain research projects, activate artifacts which give large bonus', and to use for certain diplomacy cards.

Star Ruler 2 has a system that is quite similar to normal 4X games with the idea of labor. Labor is essentially a planet's production that affects how fast something is built at said planet.

The game has a interesting ship design mechanic that allows you to make things like star sized ships and the like.

There is many many more things that can be said about this game, but now I will list a few negatives I find about it.

- Not a whole lot of variablity in how a ship looks, Sadly, unlike Galactic Civilization, this game doesn't allow you to customize the look of a ship

-Sometimes I found the enemy AI to be a little weird, as in, they declare war but I never seen them attack me. They essentially declared war on me just to lose. I only saw a fleet of theres maybe once, before it just jumped out of the star system.

-Why does a planet only produce 1 resource on average? How can a planet only just produce grain and meat, while another planet can only produce coal?

- Not a whole lot of race variety, and I havn't seen much of a story for the game, asside from a little bit of fluff on the race selection screen.

Thats about it. Overall, I sincerely recommend this game for a unique spin on the whole 4X genre.
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9 of 18 people (50%) found this review helpful
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 7
If you liked star ruler 1 you will probably not like this game.

I wrote some Pro and cons however from my point of view the cons significantly outweight the pros.
*edit removed incorrect comment about ship upgrades

-Very very limited ship Design: compared to Star ruler 1 (advanced armor is only available for flagships and this armor can NOT be placed in front of weapons) . Besides Flagships are usually not the significant fighting force.
-"one budget cycle" economy makes it impossible to save money for later uses for example when the enemy breaks your complicated supply chain (see new economy system).
-Combat: no more boarding possible, not possible to resupply ships aside from the automatic resupply. (You can not send additional supply ships when your fleet is low on supplies).
-overall graphical style with very bright colors

-Diplomacy system
-aside from the budget economy the ressource system allows to make some decisions whether to focus on research or money ressources
-some random debris to research while being in the expansion phase.
-Easier system of settling planets
-stonger differences in races
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