Take command of a vast interstellar empire and safeguard your species from total extinction in a procedurally generated 3D galaxy (with the option to flatten it) from 1 System to 10,000+! Prove your species' ingenuity through a deep and intricate combat system where anything (from individual components on ships to the stars themselves)...
User reviews:
Very Positive (222 reviews) - 83% of the 222 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 20, 2010

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Includes 2 items: Star Ruler, Star Ruler 2


About This Game

Take command of a vast interstellar empire and safeguard your species from total extinction in a procedurally generated 3D galaxy (with the option to flatten it) from 1 System to 10,000+! Prove your species' ingenuity through a deep and intricate combat system where anything (from individual components on ships to the stars themselves) is a target of opportunity.

Twist other Empires into submitting to your galaxy-class wit with diplomacy and wheel-and-deal your way to supremacy.

Research new kinds of weapons, engines, shields, and more, all of which retain their unique benefits as the game progresses, with a research web whose contents are shuffled every game at your option.

Exploit interstellar phenomena such as asteroid belts and stars and exploit them for yourself or destroy them to deny your foes. Create and destroy new worlds through advanced technological research.

Match your strategy against up to 10 other opponents (online or LAN-linked). Save the game when dawn breaks and boot it back up at dusk. It isn't over until you say it is! Drop in and drop out at any point; disconnecting players will not disrupt the game!

Your weapons, your ships, your rules: Almost the entire game can be modified through Notepad! Easily add new models and particle effects to the game with “out-of-the-box” developer tools. Create new weapons in seconds; create new AIs through scripts! The Galaxy is yours!

Key features:
  • Vast, Procedurally Generated Galaxies
  • Intricate Ship Design and Exciting Combat
  • Unique Research System
  • Race Creation
  • Easy to use interface, complex gameplay
  • Engaging AI opponents
  • Extensive modding support
  • Multiplayer
  • Original Soundtrack
  • Much more to come!

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz w/ SSE2 Support
    • Memory: 256 MB
    • Graphics: 1024x768 minimum resolution, 256 MB memory
    • OpenGL: 2.1
    • Hard Drive: 300MB
    • Sound: Any
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (222 reviews)
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193 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
134 of 147 people (91%) found this review helpful
68 people found this review funny
52.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 29, 2014
If you like Total Annihilation / Supreme Commander types of rolling economies - then this is the 4x for you.

Tired of the constant back and forth over a single star system on the edge of your territory? Simply destroy all the planets and the star they orbit and your problem is solved!

Don't like how looooong it takes to build those 1,000,000 kilometer long ships? Simply build a Ringworld around a super giant star! You can build fleets in the 1,000's in just seconds!

But wait! "Building that Ringworld is going to take too long!" Sure, while that might normally be true, all you need to do is build planetary thrusters on each of your planets and fly them all into a single system. Take that logistics!
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98 of 102 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
25.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 9, 2014
+/+ Unique take on the 4x genre.
+/+ Great technology tree.
+/+ Infrastructure and starships receive updates with tech.
+/+ Excellent starship construction options.
+/+ Lots of options for how you set up the game.
+/+ Well supported by developers (over 30 patches).

+/- Star Ruler is played in real time with pausing.
+/- Micromanagement is handled by the A.I. by default.
+/- Swarm style warfare.

-/- Weak diplomacy.
-/- Mediocre user interface.
-/- Little purpose to using fleets.
-/- Graphics and sound effects are weak (not that important for genre).
-/- Lacks steam features.

Verdict: 7.8/10. Star Ruler is a very unique and deep 4x strategy game. It’s a great game, but as of writing this review, the sequel is being developed and looks to expand upon the strengths while fixing most of the weaknesses (such as the UI, fleets, and diplomacy). If you’re not a huge fan of the genre or can’t get it cheap, I’d wait for the sequel. That being said, this is a worthy game in its own right.
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114 of 151 people (75%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
64.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2014
Before buying the game I ran across some reviews indicating that this is a 4X strategy game with a high level of complexity. Thats fine for me, after all that is what is intended to be for serious strategy 4X games.

But complexity needs the appropriate tools, interface and AI to work fine. Unfortunately this game lacks all of theme. Yes it is complex, but it turns out to become very chaotic in the end.

So you probably get fed up and let everything be managed by the AI. The AI governors will actually do a good job for you and the only thing left to do is designing ships (which is actually a cool part of the game), building theme into thousands with out any limitations and penalties and sending theme to massacres under a very aggressive AI which doesn't give you much choices than to go into meaningless chaotic wars.

Just curious, doesn't a ship have any maintenance expenses? And build by the thousands? It wouldn't be a problem managing such a large numbers of units, but you don't have the appropriate tools to do that or at least the ones provided are very poor.

Diplomacy is very poor, management of empire also poor and with out any perceptive, interface controllers and functions a bit strange and difficult to adjust even for experienced strategy gamers. The game also lacks a sense of personality, rather mediocre.

So finally in the end you have got this enormous in numbers ships and just send theme to battles, one after another, contentiously... ba ba doom booom... boring... still for some this might be enough and very entertaining.

On the other hand, graphs and layout are quite good, simple and minimal which in my aesthetic (and functionality) perspective is good. Music is also one of the best encountered in this genre of games, and the concept is fine but just stuck in the level of intentions.
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40 of 41 people (98%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1,176.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2013
One of my absolute favourite space games of all times. Very open-ended, with a complex technology system that really lets you experiment with countless combinations and strageties. There is a learning curve on how best to design your ships for various purposes, and the AI is extremely difficult I find, but once you have it all down, it is a really rewarding and challenging game. I don't believe the game was fully finished, so there is something a bit unfinished about it, but the shear power and scale of the game make up for it with a little imagination.
Considering the price, it's definitely worth picking up by any space 4X fans!
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44 of 54 people (81%) found this review helpful
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 13, 2014
Great game! BUT - it does seem like this game is getting robbed by a sequel - the game description claims that features are "currently" being expanded... but to all appearances its NOT, its just the old sales pitch, while the expanded feature development is implemented in a new game (sequel). Does "seem" a little dishonest... . If this changes, I'll change my review.
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29 of 31 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
110.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
Star Ruler is a very open-ended game. This supports modding very nicely and there are some wonderful mods out there for it, such as Galactic Armory. The blueprint design system lets you stop worrying about exactly how the ship is going to be put together and worry more about exactly what types of systems you want to install, and how much of them. There is almost no limit to how big a ship's scale can be, and everything is done on a beautifully simple relative ratio allowing you to take any ship design and rescale it easily. Research is well handled, while simple, it is also complicated with the possibility of randomizing links between different fields, resulting in completely unique paths to the future technologies per play. Unfortunately the game's multiplayer support is not up to snuff, so is difficult to play with others over the internet. LAN games appear to work fine however. One thing to note: Star ruler 2 is allready in development, so this game is pretty much solidly locked as it is. The original promises of expansion and update have come to fruit to a degree, and it's a wonderful game overall, but don't buy it for multiplayer unless you're going to game on a LAN.
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25 of 26 people (96%) found this review helpful
17.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 13, 2014
Star Ruler is an RTS 4X of theoretically limitless scale and great strategic depth. A game could include over a thousand star systems if it's running on high-end hardware.

Graphics: Unsurprisingly, nothing too amazing (though the planets actually look pretty nice), but then at the scale most games of Star Ruler run, it should be considered something of a small miracle that there are as many objects rendered as there are. The UI is mainly just functional, nothing too pretty; it's not as intuitive as it could be and it can be hard to figure out what's going on even if you read the necessary literature, but it's nothing that can't be gotten used to.

Sound: Pretty standard space game fare. The soundtrack is decent enough, though a little light on tracks. Some notification sounds can be easy to miss or sound too much like other notifications.

Gameplay: This game has as deep a ship design element as one could hope for (like the creation of ships the size of star systems that shoot planet-sized asteroids, if one so wishes and has the means) as well as an interesting approach to tech trees which adds an element of chance to breakthroughs and branching. Unfortunately, the gameplay is usually too fast-paced to take full advantage of the ship design features and the pace of the game also negatively impacts the management of planets as well (an element that seemed fairly well done at first). Additionally, there seems to be an unresolved bug regarding energy weapons never cooling down, so avoiding those is recommended. Overall, however, the gameplay of Star Ruler feels a bit like Supreme Commander or Planetary Annihilation on the scale of a galactic 4X, albeit with a good deal more of untapped depth.

This reviewer gives Star Ruler: 7/10

Additional Note: The Galactic Armoury mod adds a fair amount of content to the game and is highly recommended. If I recall correctly, the developers themselves helped with the mod, so it's sort of an "official" expansion.
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86 of 132 people (65%) found this review helpful
66 people found this review funny
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 12, 2014
I made it. It's probably good, and I like money.
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22 of 25 people (88%) found this review helpful
138.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 3, 2014
A brilliant game. I play with the Galactic Armoury mod and absolutely love the game. There is a steep learning curve and some of the aspects of the game can be a little obscure and difficult to follow but, with potentially infinite maps (depends on how good your computer is) and almost limitless customisation of ships and stations I would rank this as one of my favourite games. Of course the fact that you can make ships that are bigger than the entire galaxy is a plus!

One of the detracting points for Star Ruler is the Diplomacy system but for Star Ruler 2 this is being completely overhauled.

On the whole I would recommend Star Ruler to anyone who is willing to take the time and put in the effort to learn an excellent game.
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20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
154.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
How have I spent over 100 hours on this game!? I don't even....I should go design another ship.

I personally like this but I caution buyers as this game may not be for everyone. The Masters of Orion/Sins of a Solar Empire junkies will probably be dissapointed. If tempted, definitely pick this game up when it's on sale.
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Recently Posted
Gulag God
331.4 hrs
Posted: September 17
Honestly one of my most favorite games ever.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.7 hrs
Posted: September 5
If you love strategy games and space than I would recommend this for you in my opinion the only bad thing is the hour long tutorial and the fact that you might need to run through it twice to understand it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
59.7 hrs
Posted: August 15
Wish the developer would have stuck with this. Sequel sucks.

I would listen to The Tron: Legacy soundtrack while playing this. It was ♥♥♥♥in epic. And if your CPU can take it, you'll see some crazy stuff go down, in some HUGE galaxies. 100x better than Galactic Civ or Sins of a Solar Empire.

And if you get this, check out a mod called Galactic Armory
Helpful? Yes No Funny
bambozzled by the weatherman
3.7 hrs
Posted: July 1
This game seems good but I just did not got sucked into it, so I ended up not really playing it much.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
36.3 hrs
Posted: May 29
Such a fantastic, open-ended game. You can make a swarm of little ships, build space miners, build dry docks, put thrusters on your planets, etc.

Diplomacy is a bit wonky, and if you don't spam a bunch of ships as soon as you meet the other empires, they will declare war on you. But aside from that, it's pretty interesting to explore and populate new star systems.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The Legendary Khan
0.2 hrs
Posted: March 24
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.7 hrs
Posted: February 24
Unappealing: too many details where you don't need them, too few where you would need them in order to want to invest your time playing this game. Too bad.
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Evil Panda
1.8 hrs
Posted: February 12
Quite a boring and slow game, ships are far to small to really enjoy a good space battle but there is alot of customization, reasearch tree seemed lacking and quite simplified while other aspects seemed far to complicated, controls and camera movements were just annoying, definatly not as well made as its competitor games like Endless space. This is probably a cheaper version with less content, units, ships and custimizabillity but at a similar price to endless space. Long story short if you enjoy playing for hours and hours manging lots of little things then this game is for you. If you prefer the option of custmizabillity with a resonable match duration and cool combat scenes then play Endless space. In any case i wouldnt recommend this game when then a much better games out there at the same or even cheaper price. Definatly if they improved the combat and perhaps made solar systems etc more pleasing to the eye then it could be worth trying again.
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17.1 hrs
Posted: January 18
Woa this one is a bit hard to review. It's an old game from an old distant galaxy in the olden times...

Fast review: If it's 10$ or less, you can buy it, over that go buy starforce 2 instead! Much better in everyway!!!

Now for the detailed review:
- Space strategy 4x game realtime with pause and adjustable speed. Colonize planets, develop them, build ships, conquer
- There ain't much graphics in this game. An old windows xp can run this game fine. Ship battle are kinda 2D boring affair.
- There is far too much bass in the background music! I had to turn it off after a few minutes, i was THAT annoyed by it.
- The gui is unpolished. It's not buggy, but it's not intuitive. It takes quite a while to find out where everything is and how it works. Because it's not a big AAA game, there ain't much information either in forums or elsewhere. It's pretty sparse. But on the other hand, if you stick with it, the learning curve is not that bad. Nothing compared to Distant Universe for example.
- The ship design is unique compared to any game i've played. Designing a dreadnought or a cruiser is the same, only the amount of armor and the hull choice seems to decide what amount of HP the ship has, but they both will have the same amount of components. A bit dull if you ask me. Clunky too. But, god it's complicated at first with something like 20 stats that you can affect with the components you include. Example: Amount of ammo your ship has, the amount he will spend by second, the amount of fuel, amount of fuel spent by second, amount of energy generated and on and on. I think it's a bit too much detail, but you can design your ship to your heart content! Also, all ships pretty much looks the same, only difference is size (which you can also set. If you want a fighter bigger looking than your dreadnought, you can do that too!).
- The research graph is interesting and kinda fun. I like it. It's also one of the few part of the game that is intuitive and easy to understand and use.
- The zoom and map movement is pretty horrible. It made me think of the first 3D game i've ever played where they had not yet mastered how to move the camera in 3D. Haven't found a good way yet to move around my empire except by planet name. And the funny part is that the game may look like 3D, but you actually move only in 2D. HAHAHA!
- The amount of ships you are going to lose because of them reaching empty fuel is pretty crazy. You need tankers everywhere and in large numbers. Yeah if a ship or fighter reach zero fuel, they die and can't be 'revived' except maybe with boarding ships.
On the other hand, there are no cash and no ship maintenance in this game. So if you want a fleet with 1 million ships, you can go ahead and do it. You seem to only be limited by the amount of ore that is on planets and asteroids.
- You can automate each ship with pretty detailed orders, but you can also shoot yourself in the foot repeatedly with a bad automated order. It does not always act like you think it does. And there are no explaination anywhere about them. So go go experiment.
- Everything in the game will improve with the appropriate tek researched. Every building on planets, every component on a ship including armor and hull. There are a lot of research fields.
- You can retrofit ships as long as you kept the same design name. For example, 'Carrier' blueprint. If you changed the name, then it is not considered the same class of ship and no retrofit for you. So you keep the starting design from start to end game. Does not matter that you completely change a ship vocation and components, as long as the design name is the same you can retrofit it.
- You will make millions of ships. Eventually, you won't even bother and you will put your planets on repeat order so they crank out the same ships forever. And you send them attacking the frontier. You can have a biiiiiiiig empire. A bit hard to manage properly thought.
- They kept the physics in the game as newtoninan as possible with even ship mass and thruster power. Depending on mass, a ship can take awhile before changing speed or even direction! It sure is pretty realistic, but i don't think it makes for very fun battles. The amount of errors you will make in your designs before you get them just right is going to be huge.
- I've looked at the starforce 2 game and it seemed much better than this one. They kept the same concept, but graphics are loads better, the gui too is a lot more friendly with nice icons that do what they look like, spying and improved diplomacy to do dirty trics and the design of ships seems much more interesting and fun. Also, unlimited galaxy that you can generate! You decide the shape of the map and how many stars there is and they generate it for you! You are only limited by the speed of your computer! So you can 'in theory' generate a billion star map! It won't play well but you can do it!
- Diplomacy is pretty bare bone and pointless. Enemy ai don't seem too challenging either after you master the game. Everything looks a bit bland. Once you played one game to completion, you don't really want to play another one.
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48.3 hrs
Posted: January 17
It's a deceptively deep 4X RTS with changes in scale that have to be seen to be believed. The game is *not* best summed up by the part where you quit building ships and just start fitting your planets with guns and engines to go on the offensive. No, the game is best summed up by the part where that approach is obsolete and a single misclick can result in a planet - or a star! - being destroyed by an errant shot. It's possible to make starships larger than an entire solar system in this game.
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