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

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

Recent updates View all (15)

April 9

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

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

Fixed

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

9 comments Read more

March 23

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

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

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

Megaconstruction

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



More Shipsets!

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



Support Behaviors

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



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

14 comments Read more

Reviews

“Star Ruler 2 expertly balances complexity in gameplay with an intuitive, easy to pick up system for players.”
'Recommended' – eXplorminate

About This Game

Star Ruler 2 is a massive scale 4X/RTS set in space. Explore dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of systems in a galaxy of your choosing, expand across its planets, exploit the resources you find, and ultimately exterminate any who stand in your way. The fate of your empire depends on your ability to master the economy, field a military, influence galactic politics, and learn what you can about the universe.

Galactic Economy

Colonize planets, each with one of dozens of resources, working in unison to create bustling centers of production. The resources you choose matter, and will guide your empire and its conflicts throughout the entire game.

Custom Ships

Design ships that fit your needs, strategies, and tactics using our new 'blueprint painting' approach to ship design. Quickly and intuitively lay out the armor, weapons, engines, and internals of your vessels.

Politics with Power

Diplomacy and influence gathering are reinvented as a core mechanic of the game, giving meaningful alternative options to players and serving as a platform of interaction both between players and AIs as well as humans in multiplayer. Harness your influence to annex territory, spy on enemies, aid allies, and more! You truly have the opportunity to affect the political landscape.

Massive Scale

Running on our internally developed Starflare Engine, Star Ruler 2 is able to make full use of multi-core cpus, and runs on both 32 bit and 64 bit machines. The size of a galaxy is only limited by your hardware and ambitions!

Intricate Research

Expand your knowledge through a grid of numerous technologies, big and small. Improve nearly every aspect of your empire.

Complete Moddability

You can modify the gameplay, graphics, interface, and virtually every other facet of the game through scripts and data files, giving unprecedented freedom to the modding community to implement any feature they want. Use the in-game mod editor to add or change most content, and upload your mod to the Steam Workshop!

Full Multiplayer

Star Ruler 2 features complete multiplayer support with up to 28 players and AIs in the same game.

Games above 8 players or in galaxies of several hundred systems may exceed the capacity of a typical home connection. Consider playing very large games on LAN.

Cross-Platform Support

Star Ruler 2 supports both Windows and Linux, with all game features supported fully on and between both operating systems.

System Requirements

Windows
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista
    • Processor: SSE2 Capable processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD or Nvidia Graphics card w/ 512MB RAM, OpenGL 2.1 Support
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Hardware requirements not final. Broadband required for internet play.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 64-bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 or AMD Phenom II
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 460 w/ 1GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Linux
    • Processor: SSE2 Capable processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD or Nvidia Graphics card w/ 512MB RAM, OpenGL 2.1 Support
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Hardware requirements not final. Broadband required for internet play.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Linux
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 or AMD Phenom II
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 460 w/ 1GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
69 of 71 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
66.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
Having played for over 40+ hrs so far, my conclusion is that this is a solid 4x space game. Space 4x is my favorite genre and I've plaved many of them, and this game comes off as a very original and innovative game to me (have not played Star Ruler 1).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall this is a solid game that id give an 7.5/10. It might take a bit of getting used to, but its really fun once you get the hang of it. One of the better space RTS games to come along since Sins of a Solar Empire.
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43 of 44 people (98%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
34.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
Star Ruler 2 Full Game Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
40 of 41 people (98%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 31
Star Date: Wrote this on Patch 1.0.0
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Captain's Log: Have been playing 4x Space Games since I was in elementary school starting with MOO, SE, Gal Civ, Stars!, etc. If there's been a good 4x game, I've probably at least tried it.

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Combat Systems Ready:

(+) Diplomacy - Faction on Faction diplomacy is simple enough. All of the basic functions are there. What really stands the game out is the innovative card system. Use influence to purchase cards to suggest new universal regulations such as annexing a rival's system or declaring your own homeworld as the home of the Galactic Senate. Buy other cards to support your own proposals while rejecting those of your rivals. Manipulate other empires to join your crusade against your enemies lest they remember your wrath in their future proposals. The possibilities are extremely deep and I'd place this as the #1 innovation for SR2.

(+) Ship Building / Planet Building - Ships you build tile by tile. The larger you build a gun and it's subsystem, the stronger it'll be. Place armor around vulnerable areas such as the front but don't forget to neglect the rear lest the enemy sends in a pincer fleet. Planets have building room dependent on size. Each planet also has unique terrain features that seperate from other worlds. Depending on the terrain, buildings such as research labs and farms cost less so you'll have to plan accordingly to maximize your credits.

(+) Fleets - Most games you'll command 20 ships in the late game. Some give you a hundred. Here the basic unit of combat is the fleet. You build a capital ship and then attach up to hundreds of smaller support ships to that capital ship to fight. What results is hundreds of laser beams, missiles, cannons firing off at each other. Each ship is rendered and simply put, that's just awesome.

(+) Economy - I'm hesitant to label this as purely a strength. I find the economy a bit simple but more on a positive note than a negative note. For those who are used to the complexity of games such as Distant Worlds, SR2 will be a big downgrade. Each planet usually produces 1 resource. You then connect those resources to other planets that produce more complex resources to level them up and then you ship those complex resources to a major population center to level them up so they grow more and are more productive. What results is many resource worlds and a few concentrated centers in each empire. Now this does provide interesting opportunities such as allowing an apt leader to focus their attention on those major centers to deal the biggest damage. On the other hand, perhaps the regional capital is too difficult to assault and knocking out all of the food suppliers might be a more effective way to neutralize the population.... Overall, I'll label this a positve because for new players, it's simple enough to get into and only the most diehard captains of industry will feel bored with the economy of SR2.

(+) Tutorial - There's a lot of games that do the tutorial wrong or make it super confusing. SR2 did it right. It explains all you need to know to get started and does so in a UI-friendly manner.

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Out of Supplies

(-) Empire Customization: Yes you can customize by assigning your empire a unique government / space travel method and a few other features. You can also give your empire a portrait and which set of ships to use but that's about it. I'd have liked to be able to pick more bonuses for each empire such as maybe I'll take +10% budget but my ships do -10% damage or some trades like that. These are usually basics and for the game not to have them available was a bit of a let down.

(-) Tech Tree: The tech tree is a bit convoluted to look at. There's simply too many options being thrown onto a beehive grid that just disorients the eyes. Oh I need more budget, let me find how I can get to more business techs. Scan, scan, scan, oh there it is. Now I need more budget, oh the next tech and it's prerequisites for more budget is up here. It's just a bit too disorganized, especially for new players.

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Overall I'd give this game 8 fleets blowing up out of 10. You'll find some new features that are unique to this game such as fleet design and diplomacy done right. I didn't touch on this but moddability will surely fix some of the weaknesses such as the lack of empire customization so that's why I didn't weigh too heavily on that part.

Anyways, fleet battles are epic and hopefully we can see thousands of thousands of ships fighting one day over some backwater planet that was only made important because multiple fleets decided to clash over it. That's my dream and the dream of many 4x space lovers!

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I recorded the tutorial for those who want to see some gameplay of all the features:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWXO4cpcMoc

https://www.youtube.com/user/xBr0wnBear
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 16 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
First of all, I'm a fan of 4x games. Now, I've somewhat strayed away from them over time; I've found a differing love for grand strat in the vein of Paradox games, specifically the economical and political ones such as Victoria 2. I ended up having a distaste for civ 5 and certain other new games (the endless bunch, etc) because they were just.. well, either too easy, or too messy. Several decent ideas wrapped in a gross tortilla, or something like that. I started to dislike how board-gamey they got to cater to the people who couldn't stand micro. I hadn't even really heard of Star Ruler 2(SR2) until earlier today, when I saw Scott Manley blow up a black hole. I pretty much bought it on the spot.

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

I've not played SR1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

--- Core Mechanics ---

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

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

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

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

Steam reviews has a limit on characters, so please go here to continue reading:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/282590/discussions/1/611703999978496608/
Thanks if you got this far already!
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14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 9
It's hard to bring something new to the game in the 4X genre, but I think Star Ruler 2 does it. I did not play the original, but I have played most of the big name 4X games since M.U.L.E. (if you consider that 4X). The main concepts I like:

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

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

Overall, I think it's fun and definitely worth the price.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
32.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 3
First, if you liked the first Star Ruler, understand this is different. They are almost two different games entirely, of which both have merits. Personally I favor this one.

To me, this is good. It reminds me of a refurbished Space Empires, but toned down in a rather unique, yet rewarding way.

The empire structure and development leads to an impressive way to build and manage your empire, leaving many questions to how to balance your Diplomacy, Research and finaces for Fleets and Defense well. All and all, I think it is a good way to limit and balance the game to which its not easy to be overpowered without paying for it - and it rewards you well once you are. It also alows basic levels of Terraforming from worlds that produce Labor, letting you determine a sizeable portion of that empire's structure, but the biggest and key parts still get left to fall under RNG and planet generation to actually make those particular worlds so you can use them. Sometimes the RNG doesn't let a game have many of certain higher level world resource types be around, making the game slant some in its gameplay, but that's really a minor gripe in smaller matches with less systems and worlds. The more planets availible, the more options so its kind of a moot point - but it does bring up performance issues in the game if oyu have TOO much around.

Diplomacy here is also done with a bit of a unique twist, using cards to determine actions and votes in a galactic senate that follow a simple yes-no flip. The Diplomatic actions are determined by a resource earned that needs to be spent to use it. That resource is determined by your empire's worlds and you can help determine how well it is. Its part of that determining faction to your empire if you focus on it being more influential, warlike or economic. But you need to find a balance so its not overwhelmed if you break out in war with another empire that outseps you on another front.

The ship/station design mechanic has been heavily refurbished since the first SR, and I would argue also in a much better way. Ship classes are either Support or Flagships leading the supports in default fleets. Each ship has limited Internal Component totals you need to balance how you build it. Do you make it a massive, slow-moving single weapon, split up for variety of damage types or build it to speed across the galaxy at will? You need to balance that as it limits how much room you have left for other parts. Armor is largely left out, so long as its external, letting you make really tough vessels, but that weight has its own costs. Flagships also need to manage supplies for themselves and the fleet, as well as control to keep and maange support ships for additional firepower. Stations are much like that, but can also have their own defese forces and fleets. Each ship aslo comes with their own patterns for attack strategys and behaviors, letting you mix and manage how your fleets are built and operate. Close quarters brawling with alot of firepower? Or do you skirmish as a whole, just out of the enemy main weapons range? I just love the whole list of options here.

Even with its restrictions, it is balanced remarkably well. But you need to udnerstand that there are limits. You can't go all out, you have to play by the game's rules and learn them well. But it does reward you well for getting it.

I think its a good game, well done and crafted to its own well-balanced rules and gameplay. One I can enjoy and regard well for doing it so. A definite reccomendation from me.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
112.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 31
I would recommend this game to anyone whom enjoys large scale rts gameplay.

Ship customization from the first game is vastly improved with the ability to design module by module, piece by piece, and modding has been expanded as well giving it great customization ship wise, and datawise. Races are alright, and provide decent variety, but I suspect mods will greatly expand on the 'life style' system they developed.

Before release they removed both the bonuses from food/water, and faction customization, but this is worth it for all the other features they added. I feel the game was rushed abit out of the beta stage (with very huge updates back to back then release) but it's quite polished, and plays well so while it isn't as fleshed out as it could be it's quite enjoyable.

The political system ensures that even a tiny empire can have a serious impact on politics/gameplay, and allows for cunning/sneaky moves, as well as interesting meta developments like system names and the like.

Artifacts are interesting, worth fighting over, and game changing, and due to the way tractor beams work can be stolen/moved allowing for yet more cunning ploys.

Overall I'd say this is the Space RTS with the most overall features in terms of both variety, and impact in that politics, artifact hunting, research, ship design etc. all come together and blend seamlessly.

Edits will be made from this point forward to account for mods n such.

The ABEM mod or alternative balance mod adds more research options, and improves the game experience in general so it's highly recommended, and easy to download on the steamworkshop.
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
137.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
This game brings back old memories of what MO3 should have been. With the official release out and the time I spent on it before its release, I feel that SR2 brings a lot of playability to the masses. Player vs. Player or simply PvE, galaxy sizes, types of galaxies, mix and match. The Tech tree is an interesting glob of techs in all direction which makes you think where you really want to focus during the early / mid game.

One special note for players that want to experience the race (or custom race) that uses mother ships / pods... Make sure any ore ships you create are set to drop off their ore to the mother ship. I say this because in the the games current state, there is no way to take any resources such as ore off a planet, which can ruin said race if you don't ensure the mining ships are set to the mothership for drop off point.

Definitely looking forward to the continued progress of the game as well as community mods. A definite must have for the space genre gamers.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
37.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 10
The best 4x space game I have played in ages. Unlike all the others, of which there are now many, it's not copying some other game and just doing a facelift or fiddling with a couple things. There is so much here which is truly innovative and progressing the genre that it's truly a new entry which stands all by itself. Also, the key part is it does those things WELL.

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

Here is a quick look video (not mine) which covers a lot of it really well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a49-b3DEKDE
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
39.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
TL;DR: This is a great game and a breath of much-needed fresh air in the 4X genre. Unlike most other 4X games, it has its own DNA and doesn't rely on the Civilization tropes that have come to define the genre. While it's a RTS game, this is much more of a strategy game (think a Paradox title like EU4) as opposed to something like Starcraft or Company of Heroes. It has variable speed settings and can be paused. This game has a very unique take on several mechanics such as diplomacy, expansion/economy, and ship design.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This review is already way too lengthy so I'll wrap it up here. Suffice it to say that this is a unique and compellling 4X game. There's really nothing out there that plays like it, from my experience. Because it has it's own unique DNA there is a bit of a learning curve involved, but the game does ship with a helpful and easy to follow tutorial. It won't make you a master of the game, but it'll teach you all the basics that you need to dive in and get geting.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 28

+epic space battles
+good ship design
+epic music
+ descent ai
+good diplomacy
+planet crackers
+/-a learning curve
+descent graphics
+ have as many systems as you want

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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
102.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 4
Well what can I say about this one?

I'm sure we've all been burned plenty of times here on steam and most of us are completely cynical regarding our gaming purchases. However, this particular game I got on day 1, it had zero bugs, was polished and had pretty good gameplay.

The engine itself even is great.

Do you remember playing games like Sins of a Solar Empire ? Where you'd tell the computer "Hey make me like 1000 planets to fight over." And the game would completely crap itself once you colonised them because nothing was properly threaded ? The interface would lock up and god help you if you went carriers and had 1000 fighters on screen at the same time.

Well this has none of that.

Gameplay wise the design of the game I might've changed here or there, however as a whole the game is great. It's interesting and fun, you can design your own ships down to where to put each piece of armor (I hope there'll be more skins for the ships in future).

The only really serious problem the game has in my opinion is the strategy map and attacking worlds. It's so generic and abstract that it gets boring fast.

I'd have to give this game a good 6/10 for gameplay and a 10/10 for delivery.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 11
This game is actually a ton of fun, a huge improvement over it's predecessor. It also introduces a lot of interesting ideas to the standard 4x Space genre such as planet leveling through resources, bargaining with other players for Civilization bonuses and everything is wrapped up in a nice simplistic UI. Still can't out colonize that damn AI though... it's like they breed like rabbits or something.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmyuJZXOUCs
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
47.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 31
My one regret about Star Ruler 2 is the lack of publicity it has gotten so far.

Star Ruler 2 is a very well made and polished game with several unique features that all come together quite convincingly. I'd say much more so than Star Ruler 1 ever accomplished.

The game focuses on the macro side of empire maangement but you can still build key facilities on planets and plan out your empire in some detail. The best new feature of the game is definitely the empire growth side of things. In essence, you are trying to advance a few key planets by supporting them with many less developed ones. It creates a very intricate chain of supply and demand that is also nicely automated enough that it doesn't get tedious.

Diplomacy is very well done and actually a big part of the game. This is the first diplomacy system in a long time that I wanted to dig into. There are diplomatic actions not only by competing empires, but by the general galactic community as a whole. And each faction gets to vote, and attempt to sway votes from other factions as well.

The combat and ship building have been redone and are now very much more coherent. Combat hinges on massive flagships supported by multiple smaller ships which can play differing roles and tactics in combat.

There is a lot more to the game, but I'll just stop here and say that this is a title very much worth checking out if you like 4x RTS games or just space empire games in general. Give Star Ruler 2 a try. You won't regret it.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
31.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 7
An enigmatic gem of a space 4X. If you loved Master of Orion, Sins of a Solar Empire or (particularly) Stardrive - you will love this unique take on RTS space sandbox!

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

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

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

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

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

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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
Hard to take myself away from playing this game to write this review, but I feel compelled to recommend it since it really is a gem. If you like Endless Space, Sins of a Solar Empire or Distant Worlds, this game is definitely for you. Many of the game mechanics are quite original - ship design and diplomacy are really well designed and add a remarkable amount of depth. I admit that I was on the fence on this one because the overall positive review percentage was sitting around 80%. Honestly I'm rather astonished that it isn't in the 90-95% range. Definitely recommend this - I am very happy I got it.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
127.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
An excelent 4xish game. I dropped a few hours on the game and there was not a single moment of boredom, having followed this game from very early not only showed me the dedication of its developers but also the greatness of its community.

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

bottom line is buy the game, you will not regret it
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
32.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
At last a 4x game that let's you create thousands of ships! Take your pop corn and watch the fireworks.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
304.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
This is what we were all hoping for when the idea of Early Access was first floated. Keeping in mind the limitations of a small (in this case 3 person) dev group, which is usually going to show up in the graphics and limited development time, this is an excellent effort.
There is some real creativity here. They find new ways to structure the game that actually work and are fun to play. New ideas and new mechanics are fresh and interesting.
Of the 4 early access games I took a chance on, this is the only one that I go back to at all and enjoy. These fellows did a quality, professional job and it shows.
If you want a new take on 4x that's well done pick this up immediately. If you're one of those people who will ask 'will I like it?' the answer is yes. get it.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
24.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
Star Ruler 2 has the best diplomacy system I have seen in any game; hands down. It is not a tacked on afterthought.
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