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 (377 reviews) - 81% of the 377 user reviews for this game are positive.
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.


“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
    • Storage: 600 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: 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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 600 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: 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
    • Storage: 600 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
461 of 478 people (96%) found this review helpful
14 people found this review funny
84.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 8
There are two types of people who play Star Ruler 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well that was longer than I expected.

The second kind of person is the type that will buy this game and enjoy it because they aren't looking for MOO2 Remake #232432 and are willing to put some time in to truly appreciate its uniqueness. If you read this far without downvoting this review you're probably in the latter category. Bear in mind that this is by no means a perfect game, but it is certainly worth the money. I paid full price for this game, and that is not something I do very often.
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35 of 36 people (97%) found this review helpful
108.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 11
This is an utterly stellar game (pun... partially intended). It's hard to express in a brief review what this game does and how well it does it, but suffice to say, it delivers on every promise it makes in the store page breakdown. It takes the basic 4X formula, then does so many innovative little things with it that I never once had another 4X game in my mind. As bold as it is in this regard, everything it changes WORKS, and oh so well.

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

Now, to the point-by-point breakdown:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are several more things, and I could rant all day, but this review has already gone on far longer than I'd have liked. The summary: Star Ruler 2 innovates the genre in an astounding way, and is proving to be the most fun I've had with a 4X game since Civilization was a new series to me. It's a breath of fresh air that I feel is precisely what this genre needed. I've owned the game for around 20 hours and have been playing for nearly half of those; I can easily see myself playing for 150 more.
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27 of 27 people (100%) found this review helpful
143.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 7
There are a few key elements which makes this game special:
  • 1) You cannot stockpile money. If you didn't spend your budget then the excess will be transfered to either diplomacy, science, labor, energy or defense. You can also spend all your money for each budget but it means that you won't boost one of the resource listed above.

  • 2) Diplomacy is played through cards. Each card is an action, a vote or a proposition. All these cards are purchased with the diplomacy resource from a global pool showing who purchased what. The cards are sold in a kind of auction system so if you have a strategy and you really need to purchase a specific card then you will have to pay early and pay more for it. You can also purchase the leftovers and try a more defensive diplomatic approach while you beat your enemy with military.

  • 3) You cannot just colonize each planet as soon as you discover them.. This is how the game limits the "rush to expansion". If you just rush and colonize every planet you will find that your planets won't produce any money and will in fact cost you money. Planets have level, ranging from 0 (colony) to 5 (huge metropol). For a planet to produce money you have to upgrade it (starting from a L0 colony) by providing it with resources from other planets. In the end your empire will look like a pyramid of planets, a lot of small planets providing food, water and material to bigger and bigger planets. This works well, you can choose to auto-upgrade your planets and the game will make the import/export of resources for you. Some people prefer to optimize it and do everything by themselves.
If you are a min-maxer you will find plenty of mechanism to keep you busy. For example the game let you unlock new systems for your ships through the research tree and then it's up to you to come with a new design including what you just discovered. (You can also download new designs from the workshop if you are uninspired). Nearly each planet comes with a specific resource which will boost something in your empire (production,research,diplomacy,etc) of unique features so if you enjoy fine tuning things you will be fine.

On the downside, the research tree is a mess, it's difficult to find which technology you are currently researching but it makes the job. The main map can also be a mess when many races have overlapping systems, the frontiers become nearly impossible to read. But all of this is cosmetic and the core of the game is really good. The AI also tends to surrender too easily to another AI, which makes the endgame snowballing against you if you are too cautious.

The game needs more polish but this is a very solid, features filled RTS game.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
21.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
Star Ruler 2 is a hybrid space 4X/RTS set in a fictional galaxy.

What is Great about this game:

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

What is Good about this game:

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

What is Bad about this game:

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


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

8.0 / 10.0
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
74.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 1
I whole-heartedly recommend Star Ruler 2. My full 2900-word review can be found here:


What I appreciate about SR2 is what I loved about Endless Space, SoSE, Star Drive: it's the sci-fi 4x that we love, but the mechanics are different at a fundamental level. I'm not sure I've played a game before SR2 in which the varied win-conditions are so integrated. The "currencies" of the game are effective at all stages of play: some technologies can be researched using energy, cash, or influence; artifacts and some ship components require excess energy to activate/build; cash can be used on the diplomacy screen, energy during some diplomatic actions; some combat modules require energy to activate; diplomatic actions allow access to some resources (not currencies; see below), or enable actions that affect currencies; currency, resources, and diplomacy can all facilitate system defense.


-Explore: You have the option to either have all stars' locations revealed, or the opportunity to discover connections one system makes with another. Personally, I prefer the latter. All ships in the game have the option to travel in normal space between star systems or galaxies. The alternate forms of FTL travel make it faster, at the expense of a currency (FTL points), requiring a station, or the use of energy.

-Expand: You can't just expand willy-nilly; it costs money to provide the colony ships, then it costs money to maintain low-level worlds. The higher level worlds more than make up this difference, and clever management can minimize the time between having your colonies work against your budget and having them work for it. Most structures require some sort of upkeep, so when you're not using those buildings anymore, feel free to scuttle them. However, your populace will slowly "develop" their planets, one tile at a time; structures built upon developed land have lower costs and upkeep. Some planets have moons that can be developed for a high, one-time cost to expand their developed land; some artifacts can perform a similar function.

-Exploit: Most planets have an exportable resource, which can be used to create "pressure" on the planet to which it is traded. My strongest negative criticism of this game is the use of the term "pressure". :P Think of it as "capability": 1 X "pressure" allows a planet the capability to build a one-tile-sized structure that produces some resource/currency related to that pressure--economic pressure creates markets which provide money; energy pressure creates power plants which provide energy, etc. "Pressure" capacity is capability capacity: a planet with 6 pressure cap can build up to six of these small buildings.

Something pretty cool: your empire only starts with a single planet, labor and cash on that planet, but that's it; all other currencies/resources require you to get out there and find them, or build them on your planets.

Each planet begins at level 0 when first colonized, and can hold just 1 billion people--the smallest useful population level. Planets can, via the importation of resources, level up to level 5. Because the amount of resources increase at each level, your empire of 100 planets may be entirely focused on leveling up enough level 1's and 2's in order to level all of your level 3 resources to level 3, and a select handful of planets up to levels 4/5. Leveling a planet to level 1 requires food and water, so early in the game you're on the lookout for these resources, and eventually your empire becomes, in-part, a balance between which planets get the water/food resources, and which planets have the land upon which to build expensive hydrogenerators and mega-farms--which provide an innate water/food resource, respectively.

-Exterminate: I love the fleet system: it's yet another small mechanistic change that provides SR2 its unique playstyle. Each fleet is headed by a Flagship--the only kind of ship that can keep care of itself. Your flagships are then provided Support ships--much smaller ships which you may not directly command, but which can share the propulsion (e.g. FTL) of their flagship. Once a flagship goes down, any remaining support ships effectively become automated: they will join your local support fleets if automated in one of your systems, or will simply float in space until destroyed.

I'm still getting a handle on custom ship creation, which basically goes like this: Hull Size ~= internal space. Want a more effective subsystem: literally devote more internal space to it. The ship design screen is abstract, so the "shape" of your design has little effect on the visual representation of a ship on the map, though it strongly affects the order in which subsystem hexes are destroyed, and if the "core" of a subsystem is destroyed, the subsystem fails until repaired. Some players don't particularly care for support fleets, though, but it's an easy fix: just don't include any support command in your ship designs. Also, look out for the "create random blueprint for this ship" button; when I first dared to create ships, I pressed this button a lot.
-Diplomacy: why isn't this an "X" in "4x"? As stated above, this might be the first game in which diplomacy feels like a legitimate win-condition, primarily because part of it is mechanized to annex planets/star systems. That's right: if your influence is too low, you may not be able to prevent an opponent from just claiming one of your systems in a vote! But you can do the same, and *this* is why you've been sinking energy into intelligence drone artifacts, claiming leverage action cards, building influence pressure structures, etc. Diplomacy is a fundamental mechanic of the game: you can use influence to purchase certain upgrades in the research tree; some diplomatic actions will allow you to provide food resources to planets; influence can be used to "name" ships, planets, and systems, increasing their effectiveness. Some people feel that the diplomacy system isn't "diplomatic" enough; personally, the SR2 devs have given diplomacy a new kind of mechanistic weight such that it *feels* weird, but performs like it actually matters in all stages of the game.

My first couple of games were on 50-60 star maps, because I was afraid my Dell gaming laptop would lag; it did with Star Drive 1, though it's my understanding the new Star Drive is better optimized. Haven't had any lag issues with SR2 thus far. My fourth game, currently on-going, has nearly 200 star systems (~800 planets) in three galaxies with five AI--no lag, no bugs. It's a well-optimized game.

The tutorial tells you *how* to play the game: you move the screen like so, order around units and manage resources like so, etc. But it doesn't explain much of the kinds of strategies you can use to win, perhaps because the strategy is simple: "master all of the mechanics, micromanage for efficiency." In that sense, it is a "medium to learn, difficult to master" game; I'm still learning how to maximize the efficiency of my empire. The game doesn't penalize you for low the lower AI difficulties.

It's a phenomenal game, with layers. At first, it was an intimidating process, but that wanes quickly, helped along by the intuitive user-interface. The lower AI difficulties will challenge you while you learn, and the advanced difficulties will challenge you when you feel like you've "mastered" the game. It's your fault for being so presumptuous. SR2 is a highly stream-lined, optimized, and mechanically inter-dependent system that will test your micromanagement skills without taxing them for the sake of "challenging" you simply by giving you too much to consider. As far as an indie game/developer goes, SR2 places as highly as any you care to name.
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