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.
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.

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

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.

Megaconstruction

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
  • 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'!
Changed
  • 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.
Fixed
  • Mono can't transfer population while being annexed.
AI
  • 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

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
13 of 13 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.

Steam reviews has a limit on characters, so please go here to continue reading:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/282590/discussions/1/611703999978496608/
Thanks if you got this far already!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
32.0 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
304.7 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
59.4 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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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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88 of 91 people (97%) found this review helpful
2 people 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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69 of 70 people (99%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
66.7 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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47 of 47 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
25.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
Early Access Review
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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49 of 51 people (96%) 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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46 of 48 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
378.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2014
Early Access Review
This will be my longest review of a game ever for me , I am over 40 gamer and all those years, I thought they forgot how to make an indepth game. Now enters StarRuler 2 this game is great from top to bottom it keeps giving and giving.

RTS customize and make your maps and systems in space till it fit you and your friends.
so many options.
Design and test ships before you ever go into battle !
The economy and way you look at your planets linked together is just wow good to say the least
Game Play smooth as glass , never lagged once and this game is in beta !
Huge Huge Huge battles and Ships design vs ship design is a challenge!
I love that a friend logs on to spectate a game we have been playing for hours and can just hop right in and play or watch!
How many games have diplomacy that is a joke? alot This one I still dont know all the things you can do but the things you can do are sweet. Boost stystem output , increase cap ship stats ect.
I felt i owed the Star Ruler 2 Team a thank you for a game with some depth and fun! Hours of FUN so
Thank You! been long long while sence my friends and I had a great RTS! IN SPACE thats it for now
If you like space RTS multi player this is the game for you!
Did i mention you can generate a star or planet that is just to cool!
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43 of 44 people (98%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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40 of 41 people (98%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
6.8 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.

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

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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25 of 26 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
31.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
Early Access Review
Being a long term fan of Star Ruler, I picked up Star Ruler 2 out of sheer devotion to the developers. Thankfully, after playing the game, I can say that the loyalty was well deserved. Where Star Ruler was a game of potential, but lacking little polish, Star Ruler 2 is a game that has ample servings of both. Wether you are looking to build a massive empire, or just see glorious battles of sheer carnage, Star Ruler 2 will sate your cravings.

Still in Beta, the game already has most of the groundwork that will enable it to be played for hours on end. Be it the designing of ships from the bottom up, the beatiful beams of light sending ships to their oblivion, or the much more accessible UI, the game is a testament to developers who have a vision, and though they have made mistakes along the way, aren't above learning from their mistakes to create a better game. They have taken what works from the original game and worked it into a much higher quality version.

The accessibility of the developers is also a huge plus to this game. Whereas many titles on early access have a hit or miss relationship with the developers, often times devolving into sporadic comments on a monthly basis, the Star Ruler 2 team has taken the initiative to integrate an IRC into the game, allowing instantaneous, or near to depending on work/sleep schedules, interaction with the developers.

If you are interested in playing an Early Access game done right, and want to see your own ships, or the enemies, blowing up in the process, Star Ruler 2 is the game for you.
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95 of 147 people (65%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
61.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
Early Access Review
Don’t get me wrong its a good game but If you have been playing Star Ruler 1 and think this is an improvement to that stop right here.

Lets first go over the things missing in Star Ruler 2.

Economy: You no longer have a galactic bank with credits, food, metal, electronics, advance parts and luxury items. Nope your planets basically run themselves without the need for these in fact what they need are items you have to import from others in a glorified connect the dots experiment.

Your income doesn't pool up instead your on a budget that resets after every cycle.

Research is capped in that you cannot level a type of research over and over instead there are x amount of research options with x amount cost involved in unlocking them.

Some changes in shipbuilding schematics:

Firstly now most support ships don’t have a power requirement unless you research shields and give them those.

Schematics now called designs abandon the old way of doing it and now use hexes that you place on a hex grid. While this sounds good at first you will quickly be asking yourself, why can I specify size of my ship then still have to scale things on the hex-grid compared to adding different size components in like in Star Ruler 1.

Additionally this system is a bit strange in my opinion. If you create a probe using 3 hexes it will cost more than a fully fledged out scout ship?

Mining asteroids is your fancy? Well give up here you wont be making civilian ships anyway... yip no more miners, traders, colonizers, repair ships, scanning ships, heck military vessels don’t even have boarding parties.

All this aside the game gets you in combat quickly and fleets are controlled by flag ships that replenish their support ships which make the game allot easier to micromanage so you can get straight to the combat.

Overall I understand many gamers are put off by StarRuler 1 however Star Ruler 1 is the most unique game in its genre and the most complicated. Its a jewel that this game is not even close to.

As for this game I personally think Sins of the solar empire is more fun. Want space combat? That game has awesome graphics too!

Now only if Star Ruler 1 was on linux like this game is I'd play so much more. 1 up to the developors for supporting another OS in this build!
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20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 17
Early Access Review
What I REALLY like:

+++++ The battles... awsome.. just awsome. 5 stars there.
+++++ The whole idea about building a fleet around a flagship and just adding support ships is genius, fits perfectly in a RTS where you do not want to start rallying your ships and form your fleets and so on. Really easy to manage without getting lost.
+++++ The fact that you have a budget that you can spend and not treasury. It's indeed so in the real life macro economics.
+++++ Planetary buildings and the fact that you have developed and non developed areas. very cool! Not so many choices for buildings, but that is ok it brings the complexity down.
+++ You don't get lost in micromanaging your colonies, it's fairly easy and straightforward, you do not lose time with it.
+++ Ship designer is pretty cool, not as cool as SD1 though, but still
+++ The fact that you have resources, but not how you use them. Will get back to that.
+++ Galactic senate and the voting and influencing principles. Extremely cool, Could be more developed, so that there are more economic decisions and things that affect your gameplay more directly, but the idea is perfect.
+++ Artefacts, and anomalies. Niiice.
+++ Multiple galaxies
+++ Asteroids which you can mine

What wasn't quite like what I would have liked:

----- AI is not really challenging. I had 5 races in the game, one was hard. At some point I had like 25.000 points (diplomacy screen), and the hard computer had like 50.000. He started to subjugate other factions so I declared war to press the break for him. He had 0 ... none, zilch attack fleets. I conquered him in a matter of 20 minutes, bombed the planets did not want to occupy and good bye number 1...Everything he got in terms of military was stationed in orbit (only support ships) which I sniped from the distance with reaaaaally long range muon cannons. Which brings me to the next point:
--- You can lineary increase your weapon range wihout limit by just putting more of the same weapon module next to each other. Does that mean that if the weapon is bigger will shoot farther? didn't really feel ok, you should have a limitation somewhere. I built a Titan with ONE Muon cannon that can fire across the solar system
--- How the colonies evolve... completely dependent on one another. I think you should be able to upgrade your colonies somehow to get to level 5 on their own. Perhaps go into a direction (farming level 5, city planet level 5... and so on).
--- How resources are used: I would imagine that for building a ship you need resources like steel, iron whatever the ship is made of. This is what I was expecting.
I like for instance the idea in Sins of the Solar empire, where you accumulate resources and you need them to research build or as maintainance. This is something that I find realistic. Sending Explosives and Chemicals to a planet to increase it's level and still be a farming planet... well not really what I had in mind :-)
--- Import/export : Economics and trade does not work that way. A government does not impose which resource goes where (well maybe perhaps in communism it does). However, trading should be based on demand/supply and not on what you want when you want it.
- Diplomacy with other factions still needs work (I suppose it's beta this is why). No real espionage, and no real treaties actually. Completely non transparent on why they decline something when they do. Guess it's not ready


So from my point of view, on a 1 to 5 scale (1 is crap, 5 is excellent)

eXplore: 4.5
eXpand: 5
eXterminate: 4
eXploit: 4

From my opinion, it's worth the 20 bucks already, really good potential, wating for the final release, I think it will be one of the big 4X Games in 2015.
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18 of 18 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
25.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Early Access Review
Its a fun game, and I cannot wait for the future additions.

Additions I would like to see:

Expanded ship designer
- Ability to create the hull design
- Weapons and exterior subsystems visible on the ship in-game
- Hull deformation and subsytem destruction visuals

Fighters
-Hangars to carry fighters/bombers

Planetary Assault
-Troop carriers to assault planets
- Ground assaults could add many different strategic options
- Either bomb planet from orbit(destroys facilities and population) or ground assault (facilities intact, population intact for the most part, longer to capture than orbital bombardment, chance the defenders could hold off attack)
- Addition facilities (bunkers, air bases, fortresses) locations could increase defense value, ie. fortress in mountains vs on a plain.

These probably wont be implemented but I could hope, since these would, for me at least, make the game even better.
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
119.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 20
Early Access Review
I would give SR2 a 8.5/10.
Game is very much playable at this time already. Some features are still missing, as to be expected from Early Access, but given that I already enjoyed 100+ hours into this game, I'd say it already has more depth than many other games at release time.

Diplomacy is done exceptionally well, by utilising a card system constrained with influence points. It is very satisfying to conquer galaxy without firing a single shot, or forcing AI into perpetual servitude after blowing up his fleet.

Ship design is probably most OP fun right now, that will need to be fixed in the future. It is too easy to make a doom-mobile that clears whole star system at a time; hint - race to titan and antimater tech, then make an antimater beam titan of 2500 size, with only engines, beams and antimatter to power said beams (no supply or support modules). IT'll cost ~6M to make, and only 500k to maintain, use next to no supply, and beams will have range spaning full star system. Make 2 or 3, park them at the edge of the systems, and watch them wiping floor with any fleet that tries to engage. The game is basically won, as AI notices your military power and surrenders.

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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
29.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 15
Early Access Review
Blind Mind Studios followed up their first game, Star Ruler 1, by daring to be different and by trying some truly unique and fun things. The game, and perhaps the genre, is better for it. While at its core Star Ruler 2 is a game about building an economy through linking resources and exporting/importing them, the game is fun at every level of its mechanics.

The alien races are all varied and play very differently. From a race that focuses on its mothership to a race that requires network nodes to be close by to be at top strength, they are all different enough to provide very different gameplay and that offers significant replayability.

The diplomacy offers something new, and at times very exciting, with its card system, with which you buy cards and subsequently play them with accumluated influence points. The combat is fun and strategically engaging as you must determine proper balances/roles of your support ships and balance fighting enemy fleets with using your ships to invade and takeover enemy planets.

There's much more to like here and I could go on and on about how each of its facets are well balanced and fun, but at the end of the day if you like 4X games that offer strategic depth and unique gameplay styles with their various races and like/don't mind pausable real-time gameplay, then you shouldn't be reading this review anymore. Just buy it.

If you're a 4X turn-based gameplay grognard, you should still give it a lot of consideration. This game has more depth - yet accessibility - than most games, turn-based or not and the pausability of Star Ruler 2 allows me to never feel overwhelmed.

At $20, it's a steal.


www.eXplorminate.com - 4X News from 4X Fans
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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 on...you 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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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
44.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 26
Early Access Review
Star Ruler 2 expertly balances complexity in gameplay with an intuitive, easy to pick up system for players. Grandiosity is the order of the day for most aspects of the title, but players won’t get bogged down with micro-management, thanks to the game’s smart automation.

Despite having some drawbacks, in the form of a largely hands-off approach to planetary management and an overemphasis on exploitation of resources, Star Ruler 2 is nonetheless an extremely worthy entry into the 4X genre whose fast paced, detail-oriented management systems, and epic space battles are sure to please almost any strategy fan.

At this price point, the game is truly an absolute steal and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

You can read my full review at eXplorminate.com
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