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 (288 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 27, 2015
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Recommended By Curators

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

Recent updates View all (16)

May 12

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

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

Research Web Overhaul

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

Quantum Batteries

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

Additional Race Traits

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

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

8 comments Read more

April 9

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

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


  • 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


“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
19 of 21 people (90%) found this review helpful
422.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 5
Well, this is long overdue, and I still feel I'm going to do it wrong, but... better do it now and try to help out, I guess.

So, I'm going to start this review off with a bit of background information to explain just why I think this game, despite some shortcomings, might be the best thing that has happened to the 4X genre since its equivalent of sliced bread:

Its predecessor, Star Ruler, was characterized by the devs as 'a mod for its engine', with SR2 being said to be even more so. Indeed, if you stripped away all the stuff that could be read in a human-comprehensible form by something as simple as Notepad, the only thing left aside from the core engine's binaries (which presumably handle files, graphics, sounds and all that backend stuff no sane or insane modder would need to tamper with) would be textures, models, sounds and particle systems. (And you can change those, too - you just need proper tools to handle all of those except the particles, which are handled by a built-in particle editor.)

All of the game's logic and mechanics are exposed to anyone with an understanding of AngelScript - starship movement, AI, the Senate, even the code responsible for displaying the main menu instead of an empty black screen, for crying out loud! If Space Empires 4 and 5, Star Wars: Empire at War (not a 4X, but it gets some pretty significant mods anyway, and some of the teams there moved on to SOASE) or Sins of a Solar Empire could have been considered 'very moddable', SR2 probably goes off the scale.

Modding enthusiast's ranting aside, the base game is nice:

Customization: While it lacks the ability to write up your own lore for custom races (something that I admit I never took advantage of in Space Empires), racial customization is fairly meaningful, with 7 (more with mods) lifestyles which change the way the race plays in large or small ways, depending on the lifestyle. Governments have more of an early-game impact, while your choice of FTL method, like your choice of lifestyle, necessarily affects the way you run your empire. Another more subtle way of making your race stand out has yet to be released, and will (if the devs' plans don't deviate from my current observations) be arriving with the free DLC or whatever they called it, somewhere during this summer.

Customizing ships is much more detailed. With a number of subsystems to choose from, you literally paint the layout of your ship (not entirely unlike Space Empires 5, though more free-form), which is then reflected on the ship's icon on the galactic map. Needless to say, the design of your ship also affects its combat performance in ways both subtle and overt alike.

Diplomacy: The diplomatic system is simultaneously fairly underdeveloped (treaties and stuff) and quite well-developed. You only have a handful of treaty clauses with which to sign treaties, and you can go to war, make peace, surrender (doesn't remove you from the game, you now become a vassal and help your master win), and give various gifts. The main part of the game's diplomacy, however, revolves around obtaining various cards representing political actions - negotiation, abusing leverage, annexing planets... Doing all this stuff costs Influence, a resource which is generated in a fixed quantity and spread out amongst the empires based on their 'Influence Stake'. The more stake an empire has, the more influential it is, meaning one could hypothetically win a game through sheer power of influence. Bit of a long-term goal, though.

Economy: Past the initial stage of setting up your trade network, the micromanagement involved in running a star system is fairly minimal. Pressure from resources automatically instructs populations what 'civilian' buildings to use, and 'imperial' buildings are not something you simply spam whenever you can. There's a bunch of different planetary resources which contribute in different ways to leveling up your planets or producing global resources such as money, energy or influence.

Research: The somewhat chaotic, buff-driven (as opposed to giving new toys to play with) nature of the research grid has been criticized by some reviewers. I don't particularly have any feelings in either direction, and there are mods out there that attempt to change this, with Alarcarr's work on the grid in the 'Alternate Balance Expansion Mod' even being praised by at least one player.

Moddability: See the top of the review.

Scalability: With anywhere between 4 (or was it 5?) to over 1000+ star systems, and 2-28 (don't quote me on the upper limit, I just think I heard it somewhere) empires, the scale of the game depends solely on the desired duration and pace of the game, and the strength of your hardware. (I'm not from the fuuuuuture, and more than 8 empires in a game is not recommended except on a LAN.)

The game is not without its drawbacks, though, as is always the case:

Combat: Yes, you can control your fleets in combat. (Which already tops all the Galactic Civilizations games! :P) You don't really get much out of it in most cases, though, as 'fleets' consist of an independent flagship and its armada of support ships, chained to the flagship. This is one of the things I dislike most about the game, really - it tends to just wind up as one supersized blob of ships flying in and fighting another supersized blob of ships until the bigger (or occasionally significantly better-designed) blob wins.

Unfortunately, it's too late to make it a turn-based game with real-time tactical combat, so there's (relatively) little that can be done to improve it, but I think making the combat closer to SOASE would already have been an improvement.

Ship customization: Well, one thing that people might complain about is that the layout of your ship doesn't entirely matter when determining the ship's physical appearance. This isn't Galactic Civilizations 2 with its 3D ship designer. :P (Such a thing was considered, if I'm not mistaken, but was scrapped in favor of optimization, multiplying the maximum ship count by a factor of 1000. I kind of have mixed feelings about that, as there are already more than enough ships to go around, but I must confess that a full 3D designer would make shipsets much harder to create.)

The vanilla game only has 4 shipsets, one of which is older and lower in quality than the others. (Also, it's the smallest one there is, with only a handful of hulls.) Some have said that there aren't enough shipsets/hulls to go around. This, for one, has already been corrected by various modders and their shipsets, and yet more shipsets seem inevitable.

Diplomacy: Like I said, the treaty side of SR2's diplomacy system is shallow compared to games like Space Empires 5. This, in my opinion, is still compensated for by the card side, but I felt I'd mention it anyway. (My pet peeve with it, though, is that you can only rename an object once. I have to find a way to make that work better. <.<)
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
101.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 21
Star Ruler 2 is a really good game. Although it is real time the speed can be slowed down so as to handle things nicely. Colonies level up real well, just connect food + water and maybe some resources and good to go. It is a nice looking game with decent graphics for the small size of the game (600 MB). The technology tree is varied and fun to explore - every tech makes a nice difference. Diplomacy is great! There are cards to play and votes to influence. Ship design is fun and highly recommended to get the best ships built. Watching the battles is a blast!

Global resources include Influence for diplomacy, Energy for artifacts, Money for buying things, and Research for new technologies. There are all slightly different in how they work and are handled very well. There is not a lot of micromanagement in the game, just enough to keep a player busy just right. This is a good game design. The AI is fun to fight.

I have played many space 4x games in the past 30 years and Star Ruler 2 is one of the very best!
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
11.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 11
A game that dares to be different that is actually good

Please note: My play time recorded by Steam is not representative; I have been testing and playing this game for at least several hundred hours on a non-Steam version of the game.

Star Ruler 2 is a real-time 4X space strategy game. For those who do not know, the 4X stands for Explore, Expand, Exploit and Exterminate, though it wouldn't be fair to reduce the game to just these; there is much more to this game, and I would like to highlight the most important aspects:

First off, ship design. SR1 veterans may take a bit of getting used to since it is now based on individual hexes, which definitely improves the depth and variety of the whole thing. To go a bit more into detail, ships are divided into flagships and support ships. Flagships are the big ones you give commands to and set out to explore (and conquer!) the galaxy (or multiple!) with. Support ships can then be 'attached' to these flagships (or planets / stations), depending on how much or if they have command capability to do so. Moreover, support ships are also considered sort of a 'resource' that can not just be constructed, but is also generated over time through use of the 'defense' resource; as a consequence, empires with high defense income may find it easier to replace lost support ships, though losing and replacing flagships will still put a strain on your economy and industry.

As for the blueprint design, flagship designs can be pretty complex - though not overly so - with subsystems that provide power, control, protection, firepower and various abilities. Support ships are designed in the same way, the difference being that they are not quite as complex. It is perfectly possible to play and win the game without ever changing existing designs or adding new ones however, though in that case you would limit your own fun as well as the chance to get more bang for your buck. Oh, and your ships and stations can be as numerous and big as your economy and industry can afford to build - can you say "Death Star"?

Another rather unique design feature of the game is the way that your economy is handled. Instead of continuously generating a steady stream of income that piles up until used, you get budget cycles. Each budget cycle lasts for several minutes, at the end of which the next one becomes active. Your budget does have an upper limit (depending on your economical power as well as research), so it makes sense to spend at least some of your budget before the next cycle begins; inversely, you may also watch your spending lest you accumulate debt - debt will reduce your growth in many aspects and is to be avoided.
However, unspent budget is not simply lost but can be assigned to the generation of your other primary resources (influence, energy, defense, research), and you can actually go over your budget restriction through various means (i.e. the 'Profiteering' diplomacy card).

Ah, diplomacy... One of the most neglected and seldom well-done aspects of many, many 4X games. This is where Star Ruler 2 really dares to be different - and actually succeeds in making it a fun and important aspect of the game! Diplomacy plays out similar to a card game. The most basic things like treaties, alliances and war declarations aside, diplomatic actions are performed through the use of cards, which players can buy from a shared pool using influence or gain through other means. These cards can range from 'Name Flagship' (which grants a bonus to a flagship and its fleet) to other actions such as spying on other players for a limited amount of time or even annexing planets and whole systems!
Activating these cards also costs influence points, and many of these proposals, like the annexation of star systems, are put before the galactic senate (of which all players are part of) and voted for or against, which also costs cards and influence points. This can make for some really interesting diplomatic power struggles, with favors swinging back and forth, backstabbing, bribing other players and more!

Another core part of the game is the way planets and infrastructure are handled. Planets usually have one resource, which can which can be used by said planet or exported somewhere else. Planets need a certain number of food, water and level 1 and 2 resources in order to increase their level. Increasing the level unlocks more of that planets potential, i.e. increasing the maximum population as well as the maximum economic 'pressure'. Simply put, pressure tells people what stuff to build (i.e. markets or research labs), and is gained through the import of resources. This means that in order to get the most out of your (inter)galactic empire, you will need to build a trade network numbering many planets, most of which will be exporting their resources in order to strengthen a few high-level ones. All planets are important, though, since losing even that puny little level 1 world can have devastating effects on your empire!

The scale of the game also deserves to be mentioned. In theory, the amount of planets, galaxies and other things in a game is unlimited. The only real limitation is your hardware. Playing a multi-galaxy game with hundreds of star systems per galaxy will surely put a strain on your CPU and RAM!

The massive scale of the game also holds true when it comes to battles. The game can easily handle ridiculous amounts of ships and effects both on- and off-screen. Whereas other games limit battles to a few dozen ships duking it out - at most - it is perfectly possible in Star Ruler 2 to have large-scale engagements with hundreds or even thousands of ships at the same time (without your computer exploding!). Epic space battles ahoy!

While expanding your (inter)galactic empire, you will discover that space is not just an empty place; it is filled with mysterious anomalies, powerful artifacts and dangerous secrets worth protecting and fighting over. Seed ships will even spawn new artifacts in ongoing games, and the mighty Dread Pirate will swoop in, attack civilian merchants and claim his booty from undefended planets!

As for the races/factions in this game you get several distinctly different ones out of the box to play with. These range from hyperdrive-using Humans to plant-creatures that grow everything from a "mother stalk" to Borg-like hivemind people as well as space nomads. Even better yet, you get to customize your own race by combining a range of different traits and properties. And if that's not enough to satisfy your needs, there is always the option to mod new races and traits into the game!

SR2, much like the first game, is extremely moddable and very accessible on top of that. Various mods are already available, and the number, quality and extent of mods is bound to grow over time. The possibilities modding this game are near limitless!

Bottom Line:

If you like 4X games, real-time strategy or just watching epic battles in space you should definitely give Star Ruler 2 a chance. While it is a game that does a number of things very differently compared to genre standards, it never does so without a good reason. Play a few games, learn the ropes of the game and you'll be well-rewarded by one of the most interesting, fun and deep games out there - not to mention the HUGE potential when it comes to mods (and the developers have actively been supporting the modding community ever since SR1 came out)!

Oh, and if you are going to buy this game, please buy it at full price; it may seem counterintuitive to buy non-discounted games these days - with a sale or two around every corner - but small indie developers like Blind Mind Studios depend on this to survive; these guys are as indie as it gets, and discounted sales just won't pay the bills. Please support them if you believe in what they are doing and want to see them make more games in the future; I know I do.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
153.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 15
Hello there!

So, Star ruler 2... You know, when i saw this game on steam the first time i got really excited, for good reasons.
I loved the first game and this game was a nice face-lift for sure by the looks of things (and it is) when i looked it up.

So the moment i was able to i bought it and joined the game in EA. And at first I was actually a little disapointed,
it was kinda different from the first game. If you as me played star ruler 1,
I really liked commanding large fleets or big and small ships induvidually.
And the fact that you can't do that in the same manner in this game is what caused that disapointment.
It scared me, because i felt it could potentially make the game "to easy" to control.

In time however, I honestly can say i changed my opinion rather quickly,
by the simple fact and realization that playing a game of star ruler 2. Especially multiplayer against/with
the devs, aka devastation fridays & of course normal multiplayer.
Things can quickly get not only complex but a bit hectic lol (in a good and satisfying way!!).

What you will get is this;
- From management of planets on a macro level, import/export of wares from planet to planet
(To gain more resources, population buy leveling up planets and their population cap etc)

- Planet managing on the micro level, Building planet structures, ships, stations etc.
(To improve everything from construction capacity, research gain, resource control etc)

- The new (and awesome) diplomacy card integration. There is a lot to this in the game.
Basically this is a card mini game where you aquire all kinds of diplomatic cards/powers
by spending diplomatic points your empire generates. Cards varies from influence cards that gives you more
of a say "say" or power in voting. For excample - if you want to annex a planet (or a whole system!),
from another player "legaly" without an actual war declared. You can do that!
But only if you have the stronger diplomatic strength than the other guy.
So if player A wants player B's planet and A has the diplomatic advantage. He or she would get the planet.
However everyone in the game can vote. So if player C, D, E etc. decides to mess up players A's plan,
they could vote in Favor of player B - and thus denying player A's campaign to capture player B's planet.
There are also other things like adding food production to a planet, renaming planets (gaining bonuses doing so) etc etc.

- Ship designing, as before you can design ships but this time around its more fleshed out. And beyond the fact
they are using a hexagonic design system. whatever you design and built - the icons for the ships will look exactly
like the designs you make from above. Though the ship graphical models themselves are "preset" to whatever
You chose when the game starts, which is fine in my opinion.
Do note there is a random ship generator for certain ship types too!

!! Keep in mind, you can design ships "out of game" with the design editor, you can find this in the main menu.
You can even test your designs there as well!.

- And back to my innitial dislike of the ship management... lol Im honestly greatful the way it is. It would have been
just be to much (for me) to handle if you had the ability to control every single ship manually.
The way it is now. you have Flagships, support ships and stations. Flagships and stations controls the support ships.
To a point as they are limited to support command point limits and ammo storage (if you dont have enough ammo
you'll find yourself with a fleet that cant shoot rather quickly xD). Flagships are basically the only controllable and
movable ship you have. That's the core of your fleets, when you add support ships (smaller ships typically),
they simply follow the flagship around until it's destroyed (where any surviving support ships either flies to the
nearest planet or sits still in space till they are killed (or another friendly flagship arrives).
Similar setup for stations, but yea, they are stations so you don't move them around exactly.

- And lastly the economics and research. There are 5 types of economical resources. First of which i mentioned,
the diplomatic power. We also have money, energy, research and FTL.

Starting with the money system. Although the game is in real time. The money is gained on a turn kind of basis.
The economics of money cycles around via a timer. Every time the timer runs out,
the current state of your coffers updates with it.
So if you are supposed to gain more money then you will by the end of "it's turn".
But if you lets say start to colonize planets, your income will also take a downward turn as you basically take population
from established planets (and thus resource generation). And place it somewhere else.
At which point the old things needs to recover slowly and regain the population back up again.
Or maybe you built a new ship with high maintainence (or station etc)

The other 4 resources are realtime generated.
* FTL is used by your FTL method of travling. If you use a hyperdrive - the hyperdrive will take its power from your FTL storage.
If you build a stargate it will cost FTL to activate/build it (but not using it).
* Energy is used by various ship modules and world artifacts to activate.
Some artifacts for excample will require 900 energy for you to convert one artifact planetoid to a random resource.
But is also used in various research techs and diplomatic actions as an alternative to the "normal" methods.
* Research ... Enough said
* Influence ... With small addition: can be used in some research techs as well


All in all, I cant think of much else to say. My innitial fears about this game being "to simple", haha boy was i wrong.
I just love how it turned out! It's deep, detailed and the costumization power you end up having is really great and
fun to play around with for sure! No game ends up the same really if you start playing around with the different
factions, make your own races, set up different world gen parameters. etc etc.

haha I've lost a few games (and won) now due to the fact i just could not keep up with the other players in some areas.
Once I had a vast economic strenght, that i was able to build large and many fleets with. But in the end i lost because my
enemies had a strong diplomatic power (that i greatly lacked), they basically took my economy away and thus my feets.

It is sooo easy to make mistakes and that's honestly what i also think is a bonus in a game like this.
The cold war aspect is amazing. And sometimes where you start out in the game can ditermen the entire game
and how you yourself end up playing. It makes things more interesting and fun and this really has been a blast playing so far!
And i would love to see this franchise grow even further in the future!

I have played a lot of games, been in several betas, alphas and EA games now (as you can see in my library)
And this has definitly been one of the best EA games ive had the pleassures of playing along side its development.
And now when its released, I can full-heartedly say i love the end product! :)

This 4x space empire game I highly recomend!

Do note, there is a lot of fun to be had with other players!
So dont be afraid to talk with others on the IRC chat.
People have been really friendly there so far and there is always someone willing to play.

Have fun and fly safe o7 !

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7 of 9 people (78%) 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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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 17
Intergalactic empires in Star Ruler 2 follow a very chaotic rule of syphoning mass resources away from scores of planets in order to nurture several stronger worlds that all ideally work towards bolstering your core planet. Solar systems feeding planets several solar systems away in order to bulk them up to a point where they’re able to plough gold reserves into your homeworld. Sometimes, you can mine asteroids for valuable substances and bypass that whole colonisation nonsense. Sometimes, if you have more power than love for the planets, you can destroy an entire system and, in the splintered rubbles of worlds that once were, construct a shiny ringworld and insist that people start recognising you as a God.

I could not have been further away from this point when, upon exploring my second cluster in the hopes of finding more food planets to feed my starving empire, I stumbled across a scout ship belonging to the Hoonan, a race of Borg-like computer people who didn’t seem to be doing much harm; just trying to expand their network of planets, much like myself. We both received slight economic bonuses for making contact, and then got on with building up our territory.

Soon, I would burn their worlds to the core.

Full review //
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
60.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 17
In general I am not a big RTS 4x gamer, I like my 4x games slow and tactical. Well that changed with this game.

What I like about this game is that there is always something going on, always something to do:

1) Combats: You have to keep on eye on your fleets, as setting up flanks and double teams can take out lesser foes.

2) Infrastructure. The infrastructure in the game is just enough to keep things interesting. This is probably the area I'd like to see more in, but its still good.

3) Influence: The influence game is the most revolutionary aspect, and is very well done. You can conquer entire systems right from the Senate floor, and it pays to switch attention to this from time to time.

4) Artifacts: There are some great artifacts in the game you can activate from time to time, that do everything from give your ships a boost to generate an entire new star!!! This is where a lot of those legendary things you always wanted to do in a space game (create a new star, immediately terraform a planet, build a machine that will destroy a planet!) can be found.

5) Ship Design: I generally ignore custom ship designing, its just not for me. However, this system provides a good blend of form and function. Its fast to make new models, and the lack of artist in me can still feel like I made something neat, that also has function in combat.

Overall this game has got me sucked in, and really given me that "one more minute" feeling that I like in a 4xer. Also not too expensive, worth getting.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
23.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 24
And here we have a really awesome 4X. It gives you everything you expect from a 4X:

EXploring stuff is not only easy, but also interesting, as there's always a chance of finding that one particular resource that's not absolutely necessary, but is very useful, and also gives you a reason to...

EXpand, as you need to connect your systems with each other either with a FTL method, or with a line of already colonized systems. It gives you a reason to study what resources you could use, what benefits they give and stuff like that, as, at the first glance, you don't really notice stuff that might make the game, and so you have a lot of stuff to...

EXploit planets. No, really, there's a ton of ways to exploit planets, stars and even black holes. You can, for example, built a megastructure that produces stuff by consuming matter from a star/black hole, and then let it devour all the planets in a system, which then could either be used to create an artificial planet anywhere you want, a ringworld anywhere you want, or make something that would give you a way to build stuff that lets you...

EXterminate your enemies. You not only can build your spaceships in a hex module format, but you ALSO can configure their size anywhere from 1 to infinity. i.e. if you're crazy enough, you can build a spaceship that's the size of a galaxy.

Some more stuff. You can set up any amount of galaxies you want, any amount of systems you want and configure the size of both of them.

Overall, this game here is my favorite 4X RTS so far. I recommend it to everyone who likes that genre.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
47.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 25
30+ hours in and every time i think i have the game all figured out, i find out something new about it. There are a few things i miss from the first Star Ruler game, like fuel and tankers, but overall this is a much more polished game and is way easier to get into. My favorite thing in this game so far is designing my own ships, it's extremely addictive to test out new designs in the sandbox!
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 13
I'm pretty neutral about this game. It's very different from most other space-based 4x games. That doesn't make it bad, but many things are unfamiliar. There are no colony ships, for example - colonization is handled differently. It's not turn-based, it's realtime, though relatively slow by default. You do not have a "bank balance" where you save up cash, it's kind of a time-based budgeting system that I did not completely understand. Combat is fairly hands-off. Ship design is a little wonky but I could see it having potential. The tech tree is nice, and the diplomacy is excel;lent - this is the best part of the game. Other 4x games should use the same system.

So I don't ding it for being different, but even so, I only endorse it for 4x veterans who want to try something a little different. Me personally, the changes didn't appeal to me that much - except diplomacy - so I'm going to play one of the others. But it's an...interesting effort and I bet there are people who will love it.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
55.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 17
Overall, I'd give this about a 7.5/10, and feel that I can recommend this game.

Positive: The game has pretty good gameplay and UI. The mod support / workshop integration and ship design sharing are nice. Engine performance is good too, so playing a game on a quite big map is realistic.

Negative: A big war is pretty hard to control and at some point, there is a lot of mop-up with little to no chance of recovery for the loosing empire, and no real automation to handle it. That you can surrender while continuing to play is a nice touch, but it doesn't completely fix the issue of the contest not quite being brutal and quick enough. [I actually generally wished the game had a little more automation and streamlining on all the repetitive clicking.]

It also has fairly typical 4x issues, for example the races / traits are really quite unbalanced, and there are a bit too few strategic & tactical options on how to win the game or turn a bad situation around.
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90 of 94 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
37.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 26
Early Access Review
I do not even know where to begin. There are some amazing ideas in this game, and it seems a lot of polish even during early access. The diplomacy is unique and very complex, with influence and interactions that feel very very real. The planetary resource systems are facinating to me, as is the resulting trade networks that grow organically. The ship builder is actually better than the first Star Ruler, which had an amazing ship builder. FTL was weak in Star Ruler 1, here there are 5 different methods each unique and tactical. Combat seems solid, managable, and interesting. The flagship system means that you are ordering around fleets, not ships, but you still have a nice amount of control and the ship numbers are amazing. Everything is . . . perfect.

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

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

Buy this game. No seriously, if you like 4x gaming at all, buy Star Ruler 2. This isn't a game you buy just to support the ideas of the devs, though those ideas are amazing. This is the game I wish I had paid more for, because I think I cheated the devs and got way more than I paid for.
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70 of 73 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
87.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
Having played for over 40+ hrs so far, my conclusion is that this is a solid 4x space game. Space 4x is my favorite genre and I've plaved many of them, and this game comes off as a very original and innovative game to me (have not played Star Ruler 1).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall this is a solid game that id give an 7.5/10. It might take a bit of getting used to, but its really fun once you get the hang of it. One of the better space RTS games to come along since Sins of a Solar Empire.
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59 of 64 people (92%) 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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47 of 48 people (98%) 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.

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.

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 52 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
55.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
Early Access Review
Just really good. The UI is intuitive and beginners can easily get into this game. Multiplayer is enjoyable and it supports over 20 players, which is mad to think about. Galaxies can have as many systems as you want and you can even build more than one galaxy. You can even blow up a blackhole!

These are my favourite features of the game.

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

Some criticisms:

  • The AI is hard, even on easy, so I would recommend playing with passive AI first. You need to expand or you will be out-expanded by the AI, I wish you could create a more quality over quantity empire but an AI is a computer and the larger they get, the more they can do.
  • It needs to feature more modules for the ships, there were tons in Star Ruler 1 but not as many here.
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46 of 49 people (94%) 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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41 of 42 people (98%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 31
Star Date: Wrote this on Patch 1.0.0

Captain's Log: Have been playing 4x Space Games since I was in elementary school starting with MOO, SE, Gal Civ, Stars!, etc. If there's been a good 4x game, I've probably at least tried it.


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:
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23 of 23 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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99 of 153 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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