ENDLESS™ Space – Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide

ENDLESS™ Space – Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide 1 - steamsplay.com
ENDLESS™ Space – Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide 1 - steamsplay.com

This guide will teach you how to be more efficient while playing Endless Space. It matters not if today is your first day or if you have hundreds of hours of playtime. You are going to need all the help you can get because there are 7 levels of cheating AI. Be aware that even on the lowest difficulty the AI still has cheat advantages. Keep reading if you want to learn how to easily defeat friends who know how to play this game. So let’s get started…
 
 
Note: This guide assumes you are playing with the Disharmony expansion enabled.
 
 

Race Creation

Race Creation is the most important aspect of Endless Space. Why? Because the default races are mostly pretty terrible compared to what you can do with a custom race. If you read my guide and play against me you could probably beat me in a 1:1 game playing a custom race while I have to play a default race. It matters that much.
 
 
In short you want to stack really good bonuses while adding penalties that have little to no effect on your empire.
 
 
Please take note that Optimal Structure is the most powerful trait in the entire game. It is interesting to note that no AI default factions have it but at least one has the penalty version of this bonus to reduce max ship tonnage.
 
 
For Endless Space (not the sequel) appearance has no effect on your faction. But racial affinity determines both the tech tree (special racial techs) and racial bonuses/penalties.
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Race Creation - 48912F4
 
There are only 3 factions I consider optimal for playing against an Endless AI. They are : The Cravers, The Harmony and The Sheredyn. This is a combination of tech as well as racial bonuses.
 
 
Consider for a moment that each faction gets different bonuses for the 6 different ship hulls. The Sheredyn for example get a -20% weapon tonnage discount on their first ship. This advantage can be stacked with the Optimal Structure trait. Compare this to the Amoeba getting -30% shield tonnage (which is one of three types of defenses : long story short we play paper rock scissors in space), The pilgrims get -30% engine tonnage, and the United Empire/Vaulters get a -25% support tonnage discount.
 
 
Remember how we talked about stacking bonuses that we want while stacking penalties that won’t affect us? Say everything else being equal you stack 30 guns on your basic ship hull and so does your opponent. You get 30% more tonnage on your ship and the total weight of all those guns is reduced by 20% which means you have a massively better fighting ship. If you have an engine tonnage bonus you can only put on one engine; you can’t throw on +20 and make your ship fly at ludicrous speed.
 
 
The Harmony have -75% tonnage reduction for fighters and bombers on their second ship. The first fighter/bomber weighs 30/20 respectively. You can see how this can be abused. The Harmony largest ship also has -25% weapon tonnage reduction.
 
 
One of the reasons I do not like the Sophons is because their highest tier ship gives you a -20% science penalty to the system during ship construction. But I’m getting ahead of myself; I will return to this shortly.
 
 
What makes the top three affinities so good? Each is able to stack advantages that can be extremely difficult to overcome.
 
 
The Harmony for example don’t use dust. You can make fleets and throw them at the enemy until they blow up. In a medium or larger galaxy you can eventually escalate until you are making hundreds of ships per turn. *IF* you both have an equal understanding of ship design you will win as a function of superior economy – because you have transcended past the need for money (dust). More importantly as the harmony you can “infect” planets by making them never create dust ever again. This cannot be undone. The downside of the Harmony is that you cannot buyout any improvements and your early game is one of the worst starts in the entire game.
 
 
The Sheredyn prevent anyone from retreating. Nothing else in the game can do that. You can hold an infinite number of fleets “hostage”. Otherwise the AI will just start combat and retreat all the fleets away. They have very good economic special tech bonuses and we already mentioned they have a nice ship bonus. Your home planet is Terran which means you will have a good early game.
 
 
The Cravers might seem like a controversial pick but they have an insane boost to their early game economy. This lets them get more planets, build more ships and have solid early research. Later on they will start to get penalties – unless you don’t. What do I mean? You just keep expanding until there is nothing left to conquer. The only thing that can really get in their way is if they find a Craver AI to “eat” as the planets will likely already be almost used up or a Harmony AI that has started dust elimination.
 

 
 
The fourth best race in my opinion are the Vaulters. They *can* compete with a player because they can teleport fleets instantly from one system to another system that has built a specific improvement. Once the tech is unlocked you can buy this instantly for a colony. This can be super powerful in the early game but becomes less and less useful as the galaxy gets flooded by space armadas.
 
 
The Sophons are an honorable mention with their science bonuses. But as the difficulty level increases their bonus becomes harder to use and therefore diminishes in power. Got a friend who wants to PVP as Sophons? Play on Endless Difficulty and watch his bonus be greatly diminished (UE has the same problem).
 
 

 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Race Creation - 9346642
 
Here is an example of what your custom faction will resemble. Why did I choose these advantages?
 
 
Your goal in endless space is to expand as rapidly as possible to the best planets and safely hold them with a fleet in orbit. If your fleet is in orbit of the planet (make sure it is set to guard) and can’t be beaten then that planet will eventually become yours after a delay (this varies according to game settings). This explains why my custom faction has the feeble warrior trait; ground combat only becomes an issue if there is no fleet guarding your planet. One single fleet set to defense can prevent 100 enemy fleets from invading (for some reason this game has fleet combat always be 1 on 1 action). How do we take over the galaxy then?
 
 
1. Science
 
2. Military
 
3. Economics
 
 
I. Science bonuses are extremely important because it gets you tech faster. Better tech means you can fight against opponents who have a superiority bonus over you. Maybe they have more ships, a hero when your fleet lacks one or it is an endless AI with a 100% damage bonus and 65% defense bonus. Higher tier tech is just better than the tier below it when it comes to fighting. Being better at researching than your opponent in turn gives you more : FIDS (Food, Industry, Dust, Science – the 4 core resources) as you unlock better technologies that give a flat bonus or let you make new buildings. Better combat maneuvers are also unlocked via research.
 
 
II . Having a strong military is important because it lets you deny AI expansion while defending your new system expansions. The basic idea is that if you own 10 sectors and the enemy has 5 sectors then you are likely at a big advantage. Note that unless war is declared you cannot move to enemy sectors unless you dont know they own the sector (area unexplored). Be aware you can fight in unclaimed space; this includes areas where the AI has used a colony ship but the area is not yet under their control.
 
 
Depending on map layout it can be enough to have one large fleet that can defend the “space” around a cluster of systems. You might for example have two fleets with 6/8 ships defending 4 planets. This can work if the planets are close to each other in a ring or sphere galaxy or in the case of a spiral galaxy you can just guard the wormhole entrances that lead to the middle.
 
 
III. Having good science and powerful ships is not enough. You need the economy to pay for their upkeep (unless you are cheating like the endless AI). One of the reasons that Optimal tonnage is better than “Big Fleets” is that each ship has a maintenance fee based on hull size alone. If your max fleet size is 8 then that is theoretically better than a faction with fleet size 5 – as long as you both have the max number of ships. In the early portions of the game as a player it can be harder to field multiple large fleets.
 
 
 

Race Design Ideas

Don’t be discouraged if your favorite race is not on my “best list”. Take the Amoebae for example; they have a fantastic bonus at the start of the game that eventually everyone gains. Over time their racial advantage to start with the map revealed goes away (as everyone scouts the entire map). I prefer bonuses of the type that give an advantage that have long lasting effects. As the Cravers you can expand faster than any other race due to your early game economy bonus. Once you understand that the goal is to eventually take all systems you can worry less about taking the best ones first. On that note… given the choice you should take the best systems first.
 
 
What traits give the most points that have little effect on my custom race?
 
 

  • Eternal War (-10)
  • Sloppy Sawbones (-4)
  • Dust Starved (-1)
  • Feeble Warriors (-5)

 
 
Eternal War is worth 10 points! Against the Endless AI I usually end up fighting them all anyway so I may as well get 10 design points for it.
 
 
Sloppy Sawbones : for 4 points you can take a penalty that will ever come into effect if you lose a battle with a hero. You should never lose a battle with a hero. In other words – this is 4 free points unless you are careless and do what the AI does (put a hero on a solo scout ship and go explore).
 
 
Dust starved is worth 1 point and makes it so you don’t have any dust. Be aware this only has the effect that you can’t hire your first hero on your first turn.
 
 
Feeble warriors is worth 5 points for another penalty that should never affect you. What does it matter if you take more damage from invasion troops if your planets will always be defended by a fleet that prevents invasion?
 
 
These 4 traits together give you : -20 points!
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Race Design Ideas - DDC4712
 
Without even using Eternal War this is a very simple build you can try for every non harmony race. You get more science, food and industry. All three of those things will in turn give you more of those things faster than races without those bonuses.
 
 
More food means faster growth. More growth means more science in less time. More science means more technology researched. More tehnology means more system upgrades that give bonuses based on population to FIDS.
 
 
I need more in my build! What else can I take as a penalty?
 
 
Please be aware these penalties can be crippling if you don’t know how to handle them and only limit you slightly if you do know how to handle them. If you take all of these traits you can gain another -20 points. I would advise you not to use these often – but only when you really think you might need a few more points. As an example you could take the previous section’s disadvantages and add to that : Dust Impaired/Hellgourds for an extra -6 points.
 
 

  • Dust Impaired (-4)
  • Slow Travelers (-6)
  • Hellgourds (-2)
  • Deep roots (-1)
  • Asceticism (-7)

 
Dust Impaired should probably be in the other list in terms of how little it affects you. When you use a hero power that costs dust it costs more dust. So in 95% of the games I played this would have cost me an extra 0 dust. This trait is worth 4 points.
 
 
Slow Travelers can be rough in the early game but late game you will not notice at all. For that reason it can definitely be worth a 6 point racial design bonus. You might be tempted to think “who cares if it takes an extra few turns for my ships to get there”. It often matters a lot because you are expanding rapidly and trying to defend 3-5 colony worlds. And to make things worse this can be compounded if you have to take deep roots.
 
 
Hellgourds are worth 2 points and can be both a boon and a curse. You will get a lot of extra food on your starting planet (+3 food per population). But you will have -30 happiness so that means you will need to drop your taxes until you can make some improvements that increase happiness. You will also need to race down to the “scissors” tech. It will remove the penalty and let you keep the food bonus. In short this will slow you down and speed you up at the same time. Note it also prevents RNG from giving you an amazing anomaly for free.
 
 
Deep roots is worth 1 point. It’s an annoying negative but it lets you get a second set of -20 racial design points. You can take -19 points but then you’re wasting points and you gotta take something to roll over to -20 so it may as well be this trait. What does this do? It’s a -40% ownership penalty. What will that mean for me? Generally speaking when you take a system from an enemy it will be very unhappy for a longer period of time before it flips into being under your control. This trait will be more bothersome if you are aggressively taking lots of worlds from the enemy. If happiness is not an issue though you can ignore it.
 
 
Asceticism can vary widely from game to game. You might get really amazing bonuses (extra damage) or things that wont really help you at all like hero healing speed. It is worth -7 points for a reason. I would advise you not to use this penalty very often but only when you really really need the points. This falls under the category of : if you don’t know what it does then don’t use it.
 
 
 

Harmony Racial Design

Some races are more tricky to design than others. The Harmony dont get heroes so you can’t use sloppy sawbones (which should always be part of your build otherwise). I would encourage you to play all the races so that you understand what makes them work as well as their weaknesses. I will start this section with an in depth look at a possible Harmony build (they are the most difficult faction to design because you cannot use dust and hero traits)
 
 
What you need to realize is that in the end you want to select penalties that you can overcome so that you can select advantages that will help you when you need it most (in order to provide as large of an advantage as possible). In the following example I am selecting an accuracy penalty so that I can get a food bonus for the Harmony. This bonus to my economy will allow me to grow faster so I have more FIDS sooner. And while my fleet would technically be “better” with more accuracy I can make a stronger empire overall if I am willing to accept a few penalties. With those penalties I am able to grow faster and have a much higher overall income sooner. That means I can begin flooding the galaxy with zero upkeep ships at a faster rate.
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Harmony Racial Design - 26F4F99
 
In this picture you can see I was just about to select Pray and Spray III to finalize the build. If you are playing against the AI I would encourage you to also select Endless War. If you are supremely confident you can take this against a player but doing so prevents you from trading technologies (except on a cease fire).
 
 
Isn’t an Accuracy penalty terrible? Some very clever people figured out and tested that due to how ship combat works accuracy is a somewhat limited penalty. You might expect it to mean you deal 15% less damage in space combat but that is not what happens. Briefly what happens is that when you miss in combat your weapons become more accurate next time. Think about a WWII battleship that is shooting at a static practice target : if you miss enough you will eventually know right where to shoot. Be aware that missiles are likely a bad idea if you are using an accuracy penalty due to their extremely low rate of fire.
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Harmony Racial Design - A1BA607
 
There are a few caveats when selecting an accuracy penalty. First be aware that the penalty is mitigated when you have more weapons on your ship. For this reason when playing the Harmony you should use an Ork design philosophy : more guns > fewer guns. People did some very complicated math and figured out that the best design for Harmony ships is basically ” a chair strapped to as many guns as possible”. Weapons that fire more often work better if you choose to take an accuracy penalty (this means missiles may be problematic). It can also make the “long range kinetics” be not as good either – more on that later.
 
 
Remember that second ship hull bonus? We skip missiles and use fighters/bombers instead. The only real defense against fighters/bombers is having them yourself. All you have to do with a fleet like this is survive into the second combat phase (fighters/bombers dont attack before then). For the Harmony mutually assured destruction is a win for you most of the time. Because you cannot modulate your ships you can use them in a disposable fashion but there is another option.
 
 
The Harmony were given a buff sometime after their release. This changed the faction to gain : +2 Food/Industry/Science for each ship orbiting a Harmony world, up to 2x max CP. In other words if you can have 10 ships in a fleet then you can have up to 20 ships orbiting that planet and each will give +2 Food/Industry/Science per colonized system. Note that it says per world but it means per system. So the math would be : 2*10*2 for a total of +40 food/industry/Science. You do not get the bonus an extra time per planet colonized. I make fleets of ships called “orbitals” which are the cheapest possible design with one long range kinetic weapon and station them over new planets. The bonus is more important for newly growing worlds rather than established ones.
 
 
For that reason you might consider using Big Fleets with the Harmony (it also synergizes well with their large game economic advantage).
 
 
For other races Asceticism is only a penalty (but a minor one that can give you better bonuses) but it can actually help you as the Harmony. You can’t turn off the bonuses you get on certain planets (such as luxuries that give you a dust bonus). In this sense Asceticism can help mitigate a penalty for owning certain materials until you remove all dust creation. You could in theory trade them away but that would require you not having the Endless War trait (which basically ends up being 10 free design points).
 
 
What traits give the most points that have little effect on my custom race?
 
 

  • Eternal War
  • Sloppy Sawbones
  • Dust Starved
  • Feeble Warriors

 
 
Eternal War is worth 10 points! Against the Endless AI I usually end up fighting them all anyway so I may as well get 10 design points for it.
 
 
Sloppy Sawbones : for 4 points you can take a penalty that will ever come into effect if you lose a battle with a hero. You should never lose a battle with a hero. In other words – this is 4 free points unless you are careless and do what the AI does (put a hero on a solo scout ship and go explore).
 
 
Dust starved is worth 1 point and makes it so you don’t have any dust. Be aware this only has the effect that you can’t hire your first hero on your first turn.
 
 
Feeble warriors is worth 5 points for another penalty that should never affect you. What does it matter if you take more damage from invasion troops if your planets will always be defended by a fleet that prevents invasion?
 
 
These 4 traits together give you : -20 points!
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Harmony Racial Design - DDC4712
 
Without even using Eternal War this is a very simple build you can try for every non harmony race. You get more science, food and industry. All three of those things will in turn give you more of those things faster than races without those bonuses.
 
 
More food means faster growth. More growth means more science in less time. More science means more technology researched. More tehnology means more system upgrades that give bonuses based on population to FIDS.
 
 
I need more in my build! What else can I take as a penalty?
 
 
Please be aware these penalties can be crippling if you don’t know how to handle them and only limit you slightly if you do know how to handle them. If you take all of these traits you can gain another -20 points.
 
 

  • Dust Impaired
  • Slow Travelers
  • Hellgourds
  • Deep roots

 
Dust Impaired should probably be in the other list in terms of how little it affects you. When you use a hero power that costs dust it costs more dust. So in 95% of the games I played this would have cost me an extra 0 dust. This trait is worth 4 points.
 
 
Slow Travelers can be rough in the early game but late game you will not notice at all. You might be tempted to think “who cares if it takes an extra few turns for my ships to get there”. It often matters a lot
 
 
 

Cravers? You must be mad!

You’re probably thinking I’m completely insane suggesting that the Cravers are one of the top three races in the game. Like the Harmony they can eventually transcend Happiness. Like the Harmony they can also infect whatever portion of the galaxy they once inhabited. Combined with their unique military technologies this gives them a huge advantage over other factions. They are also my favorite race aesthetically; I just love all those little tiny ships buzzing around my armada when I go into manual battle.
 
 
At first I overlooked the Cravers as one of the better races because their ship hull bonuses are worse than both the Harmony and Sheredyn. The Destroyer’s weight bonus for fighter reduction can be very useful. This bonus is still very powerful when compared to the other 9 races (the Sophons do have a nice bonus for their destroyer : -25% weapon ). The only other useful hull bonus is the Corvette as you can make some very powerful invasion ships.
 
 

  • Corvette : -50% invasion
  • Destroyer : -25% fighter
  • Cruiser : -30% troop
  • Battleship : -30% bomber
  • Dreadnought : construction: +15 Approval on system

 
 
Although not relevant for AI games the Cravers can be an effective deterrent for discouraging invasion by a non Craver player. If you are unfamiliar with the Cravers they get a FIDS bonus for X number of turns (function of game speed), then they have normal income and then their planets become depleted and gain an income penalty. There is no way to “fix” depleted planets; they will produce fewer resources for the entire game. In other words depleted planets only give full value to fellow Cravers (see the last picture below).
 
 
Here are some sceenshots of some of their game breaking technology that you won’t find anywhere else.
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Cravers? You must be mad! - 8D54046
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Cravers? You must be mad! - ACDDF27
 
 
On the left you can see a very early game tech (something you can have in the first 20 turns) that reduces your fleet upkeep by 25%! On the right we have the technology that gives the Cravers the possibility to have the largest size fleet in the game. When combined with Big Fleets 2 you will have 28 ships in your fleet. This means that you can have 7 of the largest size ship in one fleet without needing to use any smaller hulls.
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Cravers? You must be mad! - 3393548
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Cravers? You must be mad! - 1C96345
 
 
Featured left is a technology that once again breaks the game. As you make more military ships you get a happiness bonus on your entire empire. On the right you can see my taxes resting at 100% with every system being at max enthusiasm. If you have all the system improvements you get about +200 happiness. Every system in my empire has nearly a 1500 bonus from having about 42 ships of the largest hull (full tech tree).
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Cravers? You must be mad! - C96EE30
 
 
All of the previous techs were on the left side of the research tree but you will find this technology on the bottom portion (colonial research). This technology gives you a damage bonus for having depleted planets. With this technology unlocked that translates into a massive damage bonus. To those unfamiliar with the Craver tech tree you are likely to think that they “suck” because they eventually get an income penalty. When played correctly you are always colonizing/conquering new areas to keep your economy rolling.
 
 
You can modulate how quickly your planets get depleted by researching a unique technology on the left side of the tree (looks like an orange tractor). And while you could choose to make your planets get depleted faster by skipping that technology I would highly advise against it.
 
 
When you compare the Hissho to the Cravers at first glance the Hissho might appear to be the better option. They have a similar race strategy to conquer the enemy and take over their territory. Both races can get military damage bonuses and happiness bonuses related to combat. As far as the weight of those bonuses is concerned – If you fight against many AI fleets you might be able to stack more damage than you would get from depleted planets. Then again you might be stuck in a cease fire and not have any rolling damage bonuses. You might think the Hissho would have the better economy because of the eventual -25% FIDS penalty but being able to have your taxes at 100% instead of 20-30% is an incredible advantage. The Hissho have the better hull bonus but the Cravers get an extra size 4 ship (meaning overall more tonnage). The Hissho game center unique tech is very nice; if only I could have that on my cravers!
 
 
In the most recent game I played with the Cravers I think I had so many depleted planets that the Endless AI stopped making ships. I actually gave them two planets through a ceasefire from an enemy faction (that I built most of the orbitals for first). Then I gave them massive amounts of dust to fund a war against me. The AI refused to build fleets – I almost can’t believe it because the AI loves to just magically generate fleets out of thin air. I have never seen anything like this with any other faction.
 
 
 

Map Control

If you want to rule the galaxy then you should take over as much of it as possible as quickly as possible. The game begins with an early exploration phase where you see scout ships flying around trying to discover the contents of systems (all things being equal always kill enemy scouts). The next phase is a sort of territory rush where everyone tries to take control of as many systems as they can. This is followed by a skirmish phase where factions can fight over expansions without declaring war. If you can’t defend your expansions the AI will gladly take them from you.
 
 
This ends the early portion of the game and what follows is a an alliance and war phase. Factions may try to crush small neighbors and create an alliance to strengthen their position. Remember that any alliance is likely temporary because there can be only one winner. Winning factions often split up later or change sides – and in the mean time swap technologies. This can be a problem if you are playing with the Endless War trait. You cant trade technologies but you can force a cease fire and demand technology you don’t have from the enemy.
 
 
When you colonize a planet it takes a number of turns for it to become an outpost. Until such time anyone can attack your colony without delclaring war – unless the colony is inside your empire’s sphere of influence (your colored circle). If you build inside your sphere of influence the colony will be less unhappy. But of course doing so is not as advantageous as grabbing new territory. It is a very wise idea to make sure you get some ships to guard your colony to prevent a siege. If you look at the picture below you can see that Galtur is not colonized but inside my territory. No one can colonize that planet without declaring war so I have moved to take over the middle since that planet is effectively “reserved”.
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Map Control - 61E78C0
 
This is an example of aggressive expansion of a game as the Harmony (Sowers appearance) vs an AI Hissho. The priority for me in this game was to take both of the systems that lead to the wormhole on my side (spiral 2 galaxy). I also made sure to create a max group of “orbitals” which is what I call ships with a single gun (in this case one long range ballistic kinetic weapon). If you skipped the other section these give a bonus to the planets they orbit (FIS – no dust : harmony dont like dust). Making a bunch of orbital ships can trick the AI for a while by making the size of your fleet be something it should not engage – until it sends a scout.
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Map Control - E1633A8
 
This is the same game on fast speed about 40 turns later. I own every other system in the galazy and all my planets are colonized. The White highlight around the systems name means the planet has been purged (forever) of dust. You might notice that my systems have pushed past the AI’s influence. If we were not already at war this means I could attack ships guarding the Systems NISS & HIR. Normally I would never take this trait as the Harmony but I took it to demonstrate what happens if you use the Stellar Guardians Trait (the Horatio have it by default).
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Map Control - C295189
 
Unless you have wormholes turned off or are playing in an unusual galaxy shape you should always focus on trying to get to the technology that allows you to pass through wormholes called Applied Casmir Effect (pictured left). This technology also helps you expand rapidly by decreasing expansion disapproval by 22%; there are three tech upgrades in total you can acquire to reduce expansion penalties. Be aware that getting a technology that gives you more food on the left side of the tree can speed that up more than if you just went straight for the wormhole tech.
 
 
Why does that happen? More food means more population growth. Remember that construction and research are a function of population. Usually I suggest getting the first tech that gives me a new planetary structure for food, science and construction before going for wormhole tech. Then again I also normally play with very heavy science bonuses to compete with Endless AI.
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Map Control - 9610E64
 
As you rapidly expand you will need other technology to keep your population happy. On the left side of the tech tree there are numerous system upgrades you can build to increase happiness. These must be built in each system in order to reap the benefits (unlike tech with a star which is instantly applied to your empire). The pink triangle indicates an system upgrade that will provide happiness when built. Yellow indicates an economic structure, Orange means construction, Blue means science. The red star is an increase to fleet size and the green star is an empire effect.
 
 
ENDLESS™ Space - Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide - Map Control - C3D0E1F
 
It might not look like it but this is an empire on the verge of collapse from rapid expansion. You can see my tax rate has been turned down to 10% and my in a few turns I will be bankrupt (and then my ships/orbitals will be sold off). At this point I needed five turns to complete the next research for -22% expansion disapproval but I can’t hold out that many turns before going broke. In order to prevent that I just changed two of my systems to credit production. You might notice that that still has not stopped me from making another colony ship to take another system.
 
 
Being at the edge of collapse is perfect for how we want to play this game! It means you are growing your empire just right. This allows you to race ahead for the midgame where you will have very nice holdings in some of the map’s best areas. When those colonies turn into outposts however this will usually make the AI declare war on you – this is fine. Let’s be honest because peace was never an option.
 
 
There are numerous “ground defense” buildings you can make in Endless Space but they are usually a waste of money. If you have ships orbiting your planets guarding the system then no one can land an invasion force with troops or siege the system. This is why we take the feeble warrior trait. Note that if an AI fleet begins seiging your system you make have to blow up multiple fleets to end the siege.
 
 
Be aware that controlling the best planets or the most systems will encourage the AI to declare war on you. Every so often you have an opportunity where you can make a peaceful (and lasting) alliance with an AI player but it seems like the expectation is that any alliance is a limited time engagement that will eventually be broken. One exception here is that if you are killing the hell out of faction B and faction C hates their guts then sometimes you can make a lifelong ally by waging a war with faction B. The only problem here is that if you ally with faction C and they are more or less space terrorists then you will likely have no other options for alliances for a very long time. Actually you will likely be adding a few friends to have new wars with.
 
 
 

Basic Ship Design & Space Combat

When building fleets it is important to make the most out of the limited space available for each ship. Therefore we will always play with Optimal Structure unless we are going for an achievement where you must play with a default race. In case you skipped directly to this section it is important to note that fleets fight one at a time. As a result it is possible to kill 100 fleets in a row with a single fleet of yours without losing any ships.
 
 
How many ships you can have in an individual fleet depends if you took the “Big Fleets” trait. Some factions also have a modifier to how many ships they can have total (the Cravers for example get a research tech that increases maximum fleet size). Each size hull is worth 1, 2 or 4 command points (CP). As hull size increases you get more tonnage overall as well as more health. Ships start with one special module slot (can be used for troops/fighters/bombers) but the final hull has four special slots. Generally speaking I prefer to only use the size 1 or size 4 ships for my fleets.
 
 
Combat in Endless Space is a complicated game of paper / rock / scissors. There are three basic weapons : kinetics, beams and missiles. A corresponding defensive system protects against each; respectively they are deflectors, shields and flak. It is important to note that if you only have shields on your fleet then you will have no protection from kinetic weapons. The basic strategy is to make your enemy waste tonnage when trying to defend against your attacks while making sure your damage gets through.
 
 
There are three more weapon options you can find in the special tab : Fighters, Bombers and Point Defense. I’ve never seen anyone make the Point Defense option be useful so let’s pretend it doesn’t exist. Therefore fighters/bombers are the 4th weapon group. The attack module is the bomber while the defense module is the fighter.
 
 
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Earlier in this guide I mentioned that the Harmony’s second ship had a -75% tonnage reduction for fighters and bombers. Here we see a tier 2 fighter and bomber being placed into this hull for only 17 tons. Without the reduction those two mods will cost you 65 tonnage.
 
 
This creates a scenario that can be abused because you can have “pocket carriers” for one command point each. It becomes impossible for any other faction to defend against this hull with an equal weight ship.
 
 
Each weapon has an optimal range but this can be changed when designing a ship. Kinetics are meant to be a close range weapon but you can install them as a long range weapon for a slightly increased tonnage cost. This can be abused to the Nth degree against the AI who absolutely loves the efficiency of kinetic weapons set for close range (melee). The only problem is that it becomes very easy to make sure all battles will be over long before the close range fighting phase begins.
 
 
Until the largest size ship hull enters play you can slaughter the AI with a build that focus mostly on Long range Kinetics and Medium range Beams.
 
 
Why does this work? Disharmony changed weapons to allow you to choose the optimal range but doing so not change the rate of fire. Kinetics fire four times per segment, beams fire twice and missiles fire once. Melee Kinetics miss most of their shots at long range but Long Range kinetics deal massive damage in the first phase. Exact values are as follows :
 
 

  • The accuracy of long range weapons is divided by 4 in all phases except the long range phase.
  • The accuracy of medium range weapons is divided by 3 in all phases except the medium range phase.
  • The accuracy of melee weapons is divided by 10 in all phases except the melee phase.

 
When set to long range the first kinetic weapon will shoot 25 projectiles at 3 damage each 4 times during the long range phase. If battle continues it will fire again during the medium and melee phases but will only have 25% accuracy (before penalties from enemy heroes). A tier 1 long range kinetic weapon weighs 8 tons.
 
 
When set to melee range the first kinetic weapon shoots 60 projectiles at 1 damage and shoots 4 times per phase. During the long and medium range phases this weapon will only have 10% accuracy before penalties. A tier 1 melee kinetic weapon weighs 4 tons.
 
 
Note that changing a weapon to long range increases the weight and changing a weapon to short range reduces the weight. Missiles weigh the most and kinetics are the lightest weapon. Meanwhile kinetic defenses weigh the most while flak weighs the least. This means that Kinetics are the hardest weapon to defend against because the deflector module requires more weight. This makes missiles the most inefficient weapon as the defense is much lighter than the weapon system. Overall this means missiles are a waste of space – unless you know your enemy is not defending against them.
 
 
When resources are not a limiting factor it is always better to use a higher tier weapon when available. Consider kinetic weapons set to close range; Tier 1 kinetics set to melee range weigh 4 tons and fire 60 projectiles. Tier 2 kinetics weigh 6 tons and fire 180 projectiles. Tier 3 kinetics weigh 8 tons and fire 360 projectiles. When tier 3 kinetics arrive you might want to stop using them at long range and switch to Melee for large hulls. Why? When set to long range tier 3 kinetics weigh 12 tons each which is more than the weight of the corresponding defense. You may wish to consider using long range kinetics for small ships that may not survive to reach the melee phase.
 
 
All weapons follow this pattern except fighters/bombers. The first two tiers of fighters and bombers use up one special slot each. Unlike conventional weapons fighters/bombers have four weapon tiers instead of only three. The final two tiers for fighters/bombers require two special slots each.
 
 
You can do what you want with your fleets but I make two separate fleets for fighting and invasion. About 10 or fewer ships built with only invasion modules can quickly siege most planets. If you are making troop ships I would suggest adding the repair module (helps the troops regenerate faster). Once available I usually give these ships bombers because I occasionally take them into battle by mistake.
 
 
Be aware that a lower hull weakness is better. Ships that cost one command point have a 3x weakness. Ships that cost 2 cp have a 2x weakness and ships that cost 4x cp have a 1x weakness. The basic message here is that lower command point ships are better suited to be glass cannons.
 
 
One final thing to consider for now is that due to a nerf with disharmony you should never use armor. It works out to always be an unfortunate waste of space. In short this is a function of game mechanics as it is easier to stack offensive damage than it is to defend against it. An “all in” missile fleet of 1 cp hulls is a perfect example that shows how wasteful armor can be. I can make a cheap missile fleet that can be extremely deadly and not care if I lose it. Armor just takes up too much weight to be worth it.
 
 
If you want to look at the different ship hull bonuses you can find them here.
 
 
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If you want you can read more about weapons on the Endless Space forum. Here is a link to the intended balance effect for disharmony : https://www.games2gether.com/amplitude-studios/endless-space/forums/28-game-design/threads/11570-beta-patch-1-1-15-balance-update?page=1 – [games2gether.com] 
 
 
 

Fleet Modulation

If you have not noticed the AI will change its weapons over time to try and beat your defenses. If you maintain a science advantage this can become irrelevant because higher tier weapons are so much more effective (see previous section).
 
 
During the early game 1 CP ships with long range kinetics are quite strong; but once the 4 cp command point ships arrive it is possible to build fleets that will survive to the melee battle phase. When you get to the final tier of ship and ballistic weapons you might want to consider trying kinetic weapons set to Melee range for large ships.
 
 
If you are having trouble getting a science advantage over the AI then you can always try and trick the AI into building the wrong defenses. If you have 5 fleets you might make one as an “all in” missile fleet (you can use an all in beam or kinetic – but only after the AI has started building all defenses on his ships). If your other fleets are beams/kinetics only then the AI will remember that it lost everything against that one missile fleet you have so it will start using more missile defenses.
 
 
You can make cheap scouts for the sole purpose of investigating an enemy fleet’s loadout. If you find a fleet on the top of the stack with no missile defenses then bring out the missile squad!
 
 
Another way to trick the AI is to make ships with 2/3 of the main weapon types and then mix them randomly into a fleet. After 4-5 engagements where you win you can “reshuffle” the mix to confuse the AI even more.
 
 
If you are abusing long range kinetics supported by medium beams you might never need to change your setup at all until fighters/bombers arrive.
 
 
Overall I would suggest you eventually move to a fleet setup where you use few or no missiles. Focus on kinetics/beams with fighter support unless you have a really good reason to do something else. Every now and then you might make an entire fleet devoted to just missiles with cheap 1cp hulls. It is a very annoying tactic that can prove to be very successful.
 
 
Why do I advocate for skipping missiles? They are the heaviest weapon and their defense mechanism weighs the least. This means it is very easy to add some flak to your fleet and be protected against most missile threats.
 
 
 

Basic Space Combat Tactics

When you initiate combat you will need to pick 3 tactics (one for each battle phase – Long, Medium, Melee). You can choose a formation to put ships at the top or bottom of a list. Normally the formation does not matter as the default firing option is to spread fire among all the enemy ships. The fleet formation cannot be changed once selected. If you chose manual combat you can change firing orders every round and adjust your strategy as the battle unfolds (with automatic you choose tactics ahead of time)
 
 
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Here is a picture of the firing options you can choose for your fleet. Spread fire is the default option – which spreads damage evenly among the enemy. You can choose to target the first three ships or the first ship in the formation.
 
 
Why would those be useful? In some cases where your enemy has made very defensive ships you can blow up at least one of his ships instead of shooting all the ships equally and doing no damage in a worst case scenario. This is usually only relevant when you are massively behind on tech or ship production. If the enemy has one large ship (4cp) and a bunch of 1 CP ships you might consider using nosebreaker in the first round and switch to spread fire afterwards.
 
 
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Here are the formation options. Generally I would advise completely ignoring this as an option until you get more familiar for a game. Just leave your ships on defensive formation so that the ships with the most HP are on the top of the list. Most of the time it won’t matter because the AI will use spread fire unless it is no hope of killing any of your ships without focus firing. If you know the AI will use a nosebreaker or guillotine tactic to blow up your more defensive ships you can sacrifice a lower hp ship. Note that Formations can only be changed at the start of the battle and targeting can be changed before every phase (with manual combat).
 
 
Options for space combat are locked behind research on the right side of the technology tree. Some of the more useful options you can find there are Offensive Retreat and Melee camouflage. Leveling up your Heroes can also unlock some combat abilities but you shouldn’t ever need to bother with those against the AI unless you are achievement hunting.
 
 
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Here is a picture of what the base tactics look like before any are unlocked by heroes or research. You can see that the choices counter one another. Notice that the retreat option is “unblockable”. If you are playing as the Sheredyn that option cannot be selected by your enemy. After some research your enemy might unlock the Offensive retreat option; until you have it unlocked you are locked in combat with a Sheredyn enemy unless they retreat from you. Note that unlike a standard retreat this tactic can be countered. When playing as the Sheredyn you can prevent an Offensive retreat from your enemy by playing its counter (Offense).
 
 
When combat begins your and your enemy’s tactics are revealed. There are four possible outcomes:
 

  • You counter your opponent’s tactic (you get a bonus and he doesn’t)
  • Your opponent counters your tactic (he gets a bonus and you don’t)
  • Neither of you counter the other’s tactic (both get the bonus)
  • Both of you counter each other (nobody gets a bonus)

 
When you first start playing you will likely choose the bonus you want relative to the combat phase. You might pick a tactic to help your long range weapons in the first phase, a medium range tactic in the second and a melee range tactic for the third.
 
 
Sometimes it is more important to deny an enemy tactic than to get a bonus for your own fleet. As an example – when the game starts the AI almost always has his 1.0 ship design with all kinetic weapons (set to melee range). What tactic do you think the AI will pick for phase three? He will select Weapon Overclock. Selecting this tactic will allow him to deal maximum damage in the melee phase assuming any of his ships are still alive. So then what tactic should you choose to counter his pick?
 
 
In the same way that you teach the AI how to defend against your ship design you are also teaching the AI what tactics you prefer to use. Sometimes it selects a tactic based on what it wants to do and sometimes he is more afraid of allowing your preferred tactic to give you a bonus. To this end you can also trick the AI. As an example say you always pick barrier in the middle phase (when the battles are not close and it does not matter). Eventually you will get into a close battle where it does matter so you pick a better tactic that you actually need for once. If you have been tricking the AI with the same barrier choice in phase II for 50 combats in a row it will likely try to counter barrier (or try to use a tactic of its own).
 
 
 

Combat Example / Hero Selection

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Here is an example of combat with the AI. I probably should have used weapon overlock in the first phase but I was worried the AI would counter my selection so I went for a safe option.
 
 
The AI used a guillotine option to focus fire on three of my ships. I lost more ships in the first battle when he attaked but when I attacked him I was left with 3 damaged ships and all of his were destroyed. Note that each fleet can initiate battle once per turn. I got the better end of the deal because his hero now has to be healed and will be out of action for some time.
 
 
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This picture illustrates the best hero bonus you can have for your fleet unless playing against the Harmony. That hero passive ability gives your fleet a 25% boost to offense and defense. This trait is only available for an adventurer hero. Therefore the best hero for a fleet is a pilot/adventurer.
 
 
I suppose I should mention that heroes get 2 paths. The options are : Administrator/Corporate and Pilot/Adventurer/Commander. The game does not divide the heroes like this but it would be a much better game if it did!
 
 
Corporate/Administrator heroes are suited for putting on a planet and increasing its FIDS. Pilot/Adventurer/Commander heroes are suited for putting in charge of a fleet. When you get planet buffing traits and fleet buffing traits on a hero you are losing effectiveness. If you have a choice hire someone who can perform a specialized role – but that is not always an option.
 
 
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In the screenshots above you can see all the juicy bonuses for the corporate and administrator trees. Note that these bonuses will only apply to a single system. Heroes on a system level up by building improvements on that system (or get a very small xp boost per turn passively). Each point in wit or labor will increase output for the system by 2% per point. Points in labor will increase food and industry while points in wit increase dust and science. If you expand into the veteran ability it will increase all your stats by 1 point (the 4th veteran skill will increase all stats by 2 points). Do not be afraid to move around your C/A hero to planets that are building lots of things to level him up very quickly.
 
 
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These two screenshots show the abilities of the Adventurer and Pilot Trees. When given a choice I do not like to use Commanders as they get what I consider to be inferior bonuses. Movement speed for the fleet can be nice but I would almost always rather have combat bonuses. Adventurer is the best choice for fleet buffs followed by Pilots and Commanders offer the least bonuses but are still better than say an administrator.
 
 
Generally I prefer passive bonuses rather than active abilities because you can’t use more than one combat tactic at a time. That being said – you will take different skills for your heroes when playing against people than you do when playing against AI. Passive bonuses stack up and cannot be “countered” by an enemy who plays a certain card.
 
 
Hero generation is completely random. There are racial traits you can buy to influence say : pilot/adventurer but it doesn’t allow you to select for both of those traits. So all you end up doing is being likely to select adventurer & pilot as one of the hero’s professions. This means you are more likely to get corporate adventurer, administrator adventurers, pilot corporate, etc.
 
 
Every so many turns (game speed and research determine exactly how long) you will get a new hero available. You start with 3 slots for heroes but can increase this later. If I have the choice I would always hire a corporate administrator to place in charge of construction on my home planet. Make sure if you are not using all your hero slots that you fire heroes you don’t want when you are about to get a new hero – otherwise you won’t get a new one! Your “academy” represents active heroes and this will grow with research. But you only get 3 slots to select to hire new heroes. Make sure at least one is empty.
 
 
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This might look like a great power from the commander tree but you have to realize that your opponent can counter that battle card. Note: This battle tactic could be combined with an all in missile fleet. The other good options you get in the commander tree are science leech (which has a very small effect and only helps if you are orbiting enemy planets) and speed increase bonuses for your fleet. All things being equal your best bet is adventurer, followed by pilot and then commander. Neither the corporate or administrator trees will give you much help in battle.
 
 
 

Research

The research for Endless space can be confusing as there are 4 directions. You won’t really have a feel for things until you have played many games.
 
 
As you expand away from the center of the circle things cost more. This creates an interesting balance where you always seem to be alternating between getting the cheap research and diving deep ahead in one part of the tree to get a very specific technology.
 
 
Most games your best bet is to go left (get the first food tech), go right (get some tech to make a +production building) then go down for colony research. Among colony research you will find the wormhole tech. If you “jump ahead” for the wormhole tech and get there before the AI then you will likely have a big advantage.
 
 
Note: always have multiple research projects in the queue. If I finish research that costs 8 turns and then queue up 4x research projects that are under one turn each I might finish 10-12 techs on the 9th turn. Or I could spend 12 turns unlocking all that stuff. Hold shift when selecting techs to queue them up in order.
 
 
Left
 
 
Important tech on the left side of the tree includes system upgrades for more food/money/happiness. Be wary of going down the upper left technology path for trade structures. You do not get trade route bonuses while at war with factions (and trade routes are blocked by blockade- unless you take the overpriced trait to make them work anyway). If you take the endless war trait then they are not even an option to research- and I like that a lot.
 
 
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One of the more curious techs you will find here includes moon surveys. Once unlocked you survey every moon (takes production time) and then build the structure that gives you +dust for having a moon survey completed. Take note that a single moon with 2 population points more than pays for the cost of the upgrade per turn.
 
 

 
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You do not need to click each system individually to queue all the individual planets in your empire for moon surveys. Click this highlighted button to do it for you!
 
 
Right
 
 
Right side tech gives you : fleet battle commands, science/production buildings, more fleet tonnage and resource unlocking (the materials needed to make tier 1-3 weapons for example). This side is not something you want to ignore because three steps away can give you the second tier research building. Five steps out gives you the tier three research building.
 
 
Up
 
 
Here you will find fleet size upgrades, new tiers of weapons + invasion modules and some miscellaneous structure improvements such as the building that gives fleets more experience when created. Note the Harmony need a key research upgrade in this section to begin dust removal. You really should not rush to it immediately because it is very deep in the tree.
 
 
Down
 
 
The colony section of research is a mixed bag of everything else. You can find luxury resource unlocks, planet colonization unlocks, new ship hull unlocks, planet negative anomaly removal (scissors), colony + population upgrades and expansion disapproval upgrades.
 
 
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This is an interesting tech that is 6 steps deep in the colonial tree. It improves every aspect of your colony. While you shouldn’t necessarily rush to this tech it might be something to consider as you are ‘spiraling’ through the research tree. Be aware though that the tier three research building is only five steps on the science tree.
 
 
The important thing is to remember that it is there and might be worth getting ahead of other techs depending on where you have been researching.
 
 
Unlock Strategy
 
 
So what order do I unlock everything? That is something you will have to learn for yourself. Every game can be different depending on your race and what traits you pick. As I mentioned before – you should be aware that sometimes going directly for one specific tech deep in the research tree is not the best idea.
 
 
Example : say you picked hellgourds for some extra race creation points. Obviously you want to get scissors as quickly as possible right? Count how many techs down you need to go to get scissors. Count how many techs left you need to go to get the first happiness improvement.
 
 
Long term you will have a stronger economy if you get the early food/credit tech then go for the wormhole tech and then go for the first happiness improvement. Getting the economic building upgrade will allow you to turn your taxes down a bit and hopefully not go broke. Getting more food will get you more growth which gets you everything else (FIDS).
 
 
But of course before you can do either you need to get wormhole tech because that is always priority one unless wormholes are turned off.
 
 
As a general rule sneak in military tech when you can for a quick 1-2 turns of research. Every five or six techs you need to be averaging at least one military tech. This will of course depend on what difficulty you are playing , your race as well as whatever traits you picked – not to mention who you are playing against. You can delay military tech a long time against a faction like the Pilgrims who have a tonnage penalty on their ships. Upgrading your fleet size means you can have more ships in a fleet. If you have a huge fleet size advantage then it can be possible to win or prevent fights even with old technology on your ships.
 
 
Notes on tech trading : you can only trade orange tech (race specific) with another faction of the same affinity. You will not be able to trade certain technologies with another race until the other faction has researched a pre-requisite of that technology. This means you can give someone a tier 2 tech if they have a tier 1 tech but you can’t give them a tier 4 tech unless they have tiers 1-3 first. You can give them tiers 1-3 over the course of three different turns.
 
 
Finally be aware the AI will often trade equal tier research without really paying attention to the finer details. You could for example trade the tech for tier 2-3 weapons without trading the unlock for the materials needed to make those weapons. Just be aware that if you give the pink AI any technology it will likely immediately trade that tech with another faction on friendly terms (if possible).It might trade that tech to the blue player who trades that to the yellow player who trades that to the red player (who is already at war with you).
 
 
If you are willing to give a cease fire (stop killing the enemy only when it suits you) sometimes the AI will give you technology or entire planets.
 
 
 

Achievement Hunting

Some of the achievements for this game are incredibly annoying to get so I’ll give you a few pointers.
 
 
As an example I suspect you probably do not have : That took how many parsecds? This is a hidden achievement so you can’t see how much more you need to unlock it but requires you to move a total distance of 1,000,000.
 
 
In short if you move a fleet with 50 movement then you get 50 points toward this achievement (so make sure you are moving fleets that contain only a single ship). Note that wormholes only give you one point of movement. So how do you get this without going mad?
 
 
1. Find about 3-4 paths that is near your max ship range.
 
2. Que up 99 ships in each system you intend to use.
 
3. Hold control then click on the system and then click on the target system*
 
4. Do the same for both ship paths.
 
5. Save the game.
 
6. Hit end turn.
 
7. Wait for all the ships to move.
 
8. Hit end turn.
 
9. Load the save game.
 
10. Repeat until achievement is unlocked.
 
 
* – this creates an automatic movement queue for the ship to move to the target point on the turn it is created.
 
 
I messed around with trying to get somewhere between 200-700 ships per turn and ended up having occasional crashes on turns that lasted longer than 5 minutes. This method worked without a single crash once I started using it. I ended up using three systems and about 330 ships that were giving mostly 56 movement per turn.
 
 
Be aware you can use this same technique for other achievements.
 
 
Need the achievement for killing fighters/bombers? Get a working turn where you can engage 3-4 fleets where the enemy is using fighters/bombers. Kill the fighters, end the turn then reload the working turn. This may sound slow and terrible but it works. If you kill all the ships you will get zero progress.
 
 
I played a game out to 230 or so turns before I really had a chance to farm multiple turns of fighters and bombers. I only had about 10 good turns of farming before the AI changed its mind about using fighters and bombers. Do you want to play another 230 turns to get to that point again? Just keep playing those 10 working turns over and over. Always remember to hit end turn.
 
 
For the Endless Day achievement : set your computer date to January 22nd. Start the game and you should see a different than normal splash screen. Start a game on endless (with your favorite AI deck that you gave almost every possible penalty) and win.
 
 
 

File Editing/”Modding”

One of the achievements for this game requires you to hire a specific hero and then win the game. This can be a problem because there are around 80+ heroes. You can find guides on that specific achievement or you can make the chance of that happening be 100% if you are impatient. The short version is that if you know how to use notepad ++ you can edit the files of the game. If you are so inclined the file path is :
 
 
Steam\steamapps\common\Endless Space\Public_xp1\Simulation\
 
 
From there you could do something like open up the FactionTrait.xml or Hero.xml file. The second is the file that moderates how much each disadvantage is worth; you could for example find a trait the AI never uses and assign it a different value. Some of the traits are broken and abusive – so you could try and balance them or you could cheat. The choice is yours.
 
 
The second file has a list of all the heroes. If there isn’t already a mod for it I might consider making a mod that edits this file and removes all heroes that offer fleet buffs with planet buffs (no more pilot/administrators for example. That would actually make the Horatio trait that helps select heroes actually be worth something if you took one.
 
 
Note that you are free to edit whatever files you wish and still get achievements. You will not get any achievements if you use mods.
 
 
Here is the listing for the “sloppy sawbones” trait. Note that this trait is not actually named but the one before it, Heroic Medicine, has a subheader that identifies it in the list. You can search for items in notepad ++ with “control+ f”.
 
 
<Trait Name=”TraitHero02Alt1″ Root=”TraitHero02Alt” Family=”TraitHero” Level=”1″ Cost=”-2″>
 
<Descriptors>TraitHero02Alt1</Descriptors>
 
<Prerequisites>!TraitHero02Norm1,!TraitHero02Norm2,!AffinityHarmony</Prerequisites>
 
<Gui>
 
<Title>%TraitHero02AltTitle</Title>
 
<Description>%TraitHero02AltDescription</Description>
 
<Icon />
 
</Gui>
 
</Trait>
 
<Trait Name=”TraitHero02Alt2″ Root=”TraitHero02Alt” Family=”TraitHero” Level=”2″ Cost=”-4″>
 
<Descriptors>TraitHero02Alt2</Descriptors>
 
<Prerequisites>!TraitHero02Norm1,!TraitHero02Norm2,!AffinityHarmony</Prerequisites>
 
<Gui>
 
<Title>%TraitHero02AltTitle</Title>
 
<Description>%TraitHero02AltDescription</Description>
 
<Icon />
 
</Gui>
 
</Trait>
 
 
You need to be careful what you edit because sometimes monkeying around can cause a crash. As with any file editing make sure you make a backup. If you break something or lose your backup you can always delete the file and then have steam perform a file integrity check. It will download the missing file(s). You might for example be able to remove the “,!AffinityHarmony” from both entries and this would allow you to take a hero penalty perk for the Harmony.
 
 
It would be much safer to change the “-2” and “-4” values to : -200 and -400. This would make these negative traits be worth suddenly a lot more.
 
 
If you were so inclined you could rebalance all the base factions to have the same points when all their traits are removed. You might never have noticed for example but the Horatio are built on 84/65 points. You could make all the factions affinities to be actually be able to make a “legitimate version”.
 
 
The AI in this game cheats at every level of play; why shouldn’t you? Then again if you were saavy you could probably remove most of the AI’s cheats (+ FIDS, happiness, etc).
 
 
 

AI Advantages

Let’s be super honest and clear about what cheating AI means for Endless Space. You can go to this link and read the tables for yourself.
 
 
https://endlessspace.fandom.com/wiki/Game_settings – [fandom.com] 
 
 
Endless Space features no difficulty mode where you are on complete and equal footing with your AI opponents. But the AI must follow all the other game rules as you do. I consider this cheating as the AI always has an “unfair advantage”.
 
 
On the lowest difficulty setting the AI gets bonuses. Most games give the player an advantage – until you get to “normal”. Endless space has 7 levels of cheating AI – I don’t think it’s really fair to call it difficulty. The Newbie setting is the lowest difficulty setting (#1) and gives the AI: 3x Expansion Disapproval (ED) & +15 Happiness. As a player you normally start with 4x ED.
 
 
The Normal difficulty (#3) gives the player an extra penalty to Overpopulation Disapproval (too many people in one system) as well as Expansion Disapproval. These values are 1.2x OD & 5x ED.
 
 
Meanwhile the AI on normal has 0.8 OD and 2.2 ED. The happiness bonus by this point has changed to become +25 (which is an incredible advantage all on its own but the OD and ED values multiply this and dramatically increase the effect on empire happiness). I could go down the list and explain every bonus but that would take a while. Just know that “normal” should really be called level 3 cheating. On this difficulty the AI has a 10% science/food/industry and defense bonus (as well as a 20% offense bonus). The AI at this point is getting a 20% cost reduction for industry as well.
 
 
Be aware these cheats are worth hundreds of build points!
 
 
By the time you get to level 7 cheating the bonuses are almost unbelievable. The AI gets a 90% reduction to buyout system improvements or ships (on normal it had 30%). The happiness bonus is now +50 (be aware the metric for this bar is 0 to 100). The AI now has a 100% damage boost (as well as a 65% defense boost). The AI also gets a 25% reduction in cost for science projects as well as a 30% science boost (the food and industry bonuses are now 50%).
 
 
The good news is that the AI is dumb.
 
 

  • It does not unlock technology in an efficient manner.
  • It has trouble designing balanced ships
  • It will sometimes attack one of your fleet with 10 fleets in a row (while you lose nothing)
  • It will make treaties of desperation (gifting planets/tech) that will put it further behind.
  • It will almost always colonize territory away from a wormhole before trying to colonize the “center of the map”. A good player will generally do the opposite because nobody can reach that deep into his territory.

 
 

By glythe

 
 
Hope you enjoy the post for ENDLESS™ Space – Definitive Edition Basic Ship Design & Space Combat Tactics + Achievements Guide, If you think we should update the post or something is wrong please let us know via comment and we will fix it how fast as possible! Thank you and have a great day!
 


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