Fallen empires are vestigial remnants of millennia old, extremely powerful empires that have become chronically stagnant and decadent over the ages. Unlike normal empires, a Fallen Empire is fully developed at the start of the game, and due to their extremely large and powerful fleets they should not be provoked until your fleet strength and technology is comparable. They always start with two fleets of around 40k-150k Fleet Power and can obtain additional fleets through events. Fallen Empires use a unique ship and station art style which is exclusive to them; there are visual variants of this style and different weapon and component selections for each type of Fallen Empire, but the general number of slots is about equal.
It is impossible to vassalize a Fallen Empire in any way. When engaging in a conflict with them, it is essential that an empire be fully prepared to deal with the consequences and be prepared to follow through on any demands made. Any empire can make claims on a Fallen Empire system regardless of Ethics or their War Philosophy policy.
There are 4 types of Fallen Empires, 5 with Synthetic Dawn, and only one of each type can exist in a game. The max number of Fallen Empires within the game depends on the galaxy size. However, if a galaxy is too populated (both regular empires and fallen empires sliders have been set to max) then some Fallen Empires might not be created. This does not happen every time and depends entirely on empire placement.
A Fallen Empire's species is randomly generated, but there is a 5% chance for them to be picked from any of the pre-made species if the species in question have not already spawned on the map and have the Fallen's Empire required ethic, fanatic or not. For example, it is possible for a human Fallen Empire to be generated as Enigmatic Observers or Militant Isolationists.
In the Contact list, they are listed under their own section ("Fallen Empires").
Empires cannot conduct any form of espionage on fallen empires.
|Available only with the Federations DLC enabled.|
All Fallen Empires begin the game in Sleeping status. Despite their complete development and immense power, the Fallen Empires will remain passive, staying in their borders and will not do anything unless provoked. They have the Lethargic Leadership and Empire In Decline civics, which prevents them from colonizing and conquering worlds or building new ships. However they will get new fleets yearly through an event if their Fleet Power is low and they are at peace (8 Battlecruisers and 10 Escorts). Unlike other AI empires - which require the completion of a special research project before communication is established - Fallen Empires will instantly contact empires who unwittingly enter their space, seemingly having been aware of the empire before it left its home system.
Once revealed, organic Fallen Empires are typically Dismissive towards normal empires, and will not accept trades or Envoys. They always start with their borders closed, but some Fallen Empires will open them and accept trade if relations improve sufficiently to become patronizing.
Sleeping Fallen Empires have a modifier that reduces their ship upkeep and build cost by 50%. This modifier is retained when they awaken.
|Fallen Empire||Ethic||Traits||Armies||Colossus weapon||Requests & Tasks||Guardians||Border access||Angered by (-200 Opinion)||Demands & Wargoals|
||Fanatic Xenophile||+2 Extra Trait Points||Gene Warrior Army||Global Pacifier||
||Only Insults and Rivalry||Outlaw Purges|
||Fanatic Spiritualist||Psionic||Psionic Army||Neutron Sweep||Force a rival to outlaw AI||Colonizing Holy Worlds||
|Keepers of Knowledge
||Fanatic Materialist||Cybernetic||Robotic Army||Global Pacifier||Give one of your Level 5+ scientists||Only Insults and Rivalry||Humiliate|
||Fanatic Xenophobe||Xenomorph Army||World Cracker||Owning a neighbor system||Abandon neighbor systems|
Sleeping Empires Interactions
Requests are one time events that have a drawback in exchange for greatly increasing a Fallen Empire's Opinion and an increased chance of receiving gifts. Accepting a request grants a decaying +100 opinion while refusing gives a decaying -50 opinion. Requests are not available if at war or the empire is genocidal.
Tasks are missions to go to war against another empire within 20 years to fulfill the goals of a Fallen Empire in exchange for greatly increased Opinion and an increased chance of receiving gifts. Fortunately only your rivals can be picked as targets. Tasks can only be given to player Empires. Fulfilling a task grants a decaying +100 opinion while refusing gives a minor -25 opinion. However failing the task by not completing it in time gives greater Opinion penalties. If the target empire is destroyed or changes policy on its own the task is canceled without any effect on Opinion. Tasks are not available if at war or if the empire is genocidal.
Demands are ultimatums from Fallen Empires if their opinion drops below -100. Submitting improves opinion by +25 but rejecting the demands will grant the Fallen Empire the Punishment Casus Belli which they will always use to start a war. If accepted the effects are usually identical to losing the war about these goals, except without war the empire's leaders are not executed and there is no danger to lose ships in a possibly futile battle. If the Fallen Empire was rivaled by the offending empire they will not make any demands at all and will just declare war immediately to impose their will from the start. AI empires always accept demands unless their Fleet Power is above 50k, in which case the demand will be accepted only 10% of the time. If a Fallen Empire has lost any of its original owned planets in a war they will stop making demands regardless of Opinion. Fallen empires will never declare on war on an empire if their power is pathetic compared to it.
Gifts are sent by some Fallen Empires to empires that accepted a request, completed a task, or the Fallen Empire is Patronizing towards. Gifts are always positive and have no drawbacks. Accepting a gift also grants a decaying +50 opinion while refusing it for any reason gives a decaying -50 opinion. To be tagged as a gift recipient the empire must have less than 100k Fleet Power and not be at war.
The gift MTTH is 100 years
- x2 if not Patronizing Relations nor Enigmatic Relations, and either accepted or fulfilled a task
- x0.25 if Enigmatic Relations and accepted a Task
- x0.1 if Enigmatic Relations and completed a Task
- x0.5 if Patronizing Relations and accepted a Task
- x0.25 if Patronizing Relations and completed a Task
- x0.75 if Opinion 75
- x0.75 if Opinion 100
- x0.75 if Opinion 150
- x0.75 if Opinion 200
If sufficiently provoked, a Fallen Empire might awaken and turn into an Awakened Empire. Awakened Empires stop being passive and make a bid to dominate the galaxy or defend it from a Crisis (based on the form of Awakening). Awakened Empires have considerable technological and starting resource advantages even compared to mid- or late-game empires, and thus their awakening can have drastic consequences for a game in progress but can also make them one of the best guardian forces in the galaxy.
Effects on the Fallen Empire and Galaxy:
- Their Government Type is changed to Awakened Ascendancy.
- Their Civics are replaced with Revanchist Fervor and Ancient Caches of Technology, allowing them to expand and build ships without restrictions.
- Their Energy, Minerals, Food and Influence storages are filled.
- They instantly receive an additional fleet.
- If a default empire has more than 50k Fleet Power, the event will trigger again.
- The reinforcement event available for Sleepers can no longer trigger.
Upon awakening, a Fallen Empire's entry in the Contacts list is updated with a new name and is placed in the "Others" section instead of "Fallen Empires".
Decadence is a mechanic affecting Awakened Empires to prevent them from establishing a permanent hegemony over weaker empires. 20 years after a Fallen Empire has awakened it will start to accumulate Decadence. Decadence increases in increments of 2 and has a 0.5% chance to increase each month for each planet the Awakened Empire or its subjects possesses. Once Decadence reaches 100 it imparts the following penalties:
- -66% Job Resource Production
- -25% Ship Weapon Damage, Ship HP and Shield HP (stacks with any penalties caused by resource shortages, if present)
- +100% Vassal opinion penalty for having less fleet power than all of them combined
Guardians of the Galaxy
When an endgame Crisis occurs a Fallen Empire can awaken after 5 years with the declared goal of ending said Crisis. If one of them has already awakened before the Crisis, they will stop their vassalization plans and attempt to rally the galaxy as well. Guardians of the Galaxy will always agree to form or join a Federation no matter what opinion they held before the awakening. Once the Crisis has been defeated the Guardian empire will leave the current Federation and become a regular empire. The chances for a Guardian Awakening are the following:
- 60% chance either the Enigmatic Observers or the Keepers of Knowledge awaken.
- 15% chance both Fallen Empires awaken. If only one of them is present it will awaken alone.
- 25% chance neither Fallen Empire awakens.
Once awakened, the Guardian empire goes through the full awakening effects, and all empires will be notified. All AI empires will get one of the following Opinion bonuses towards the Awakened Empire (equal chances):
Only the Enigmatic Observers, Keepers of Knowledge, and Ancient Caretakers can become Guardians. The Holy Guardians or the Militant Isolationists will never awaken as guardians and should they have awakened before the crisis, they will continue with their domination plan instead.
|Available only with the Leviathans DLC enabled.|
Guardian awakenings do not roll for Ancient Rival. In addition, if a crisis occurs during a War in Heaven neither Awakened Empire will become Guardians.
|Available only with the Synthetic Dawn DLC enabled.|
The Ancient Caretakers will not awaken as Guardians if the Prethoryn Scourge or Extradimensional Invaders crisis occurs. However they are guaranteed to awaken if the Contingency crisis occurs and will in that case activate right after the sterilization hubs come online. This happens independently from the Guardian awakening mechanics, making it possible for up to three Fallen Empires to awaken.
The default type of awakening, an upstart awakening, usually happens if a standard player or AI empire becomes too strong in Fleet Power or has managed to conquer Fallen Empire worlds. In this case, the Fallen Empire decides that the young empires are becoming too powerful and thus set out to impose their primacy on them.
The requirements are as following:
- The game reaches end game year, they are not at war, and their total combined Fleet Power is above 60k.
- A default empire is getting too strong (above 70k Fleet Power with all fleets combined, or above 60k Fleet Power and above 90k Federation Fleet Power with all fleets combined if in Federation) or has conquered a Fallen Empire world.
- No other Fallen Empire has already awakened
- The event has a MTTH of 50 years modified as following:
- x0.5 if a default empire has more the 120k Fleet Power with all fleets combined.
- x0.1 if a default empire owns a formerly Fallen Empire-controlled world.
- If there is more than one Fallen Empire in the game, the time is multiplied by the number of Fallen Empires (it is unclear if that includes no longer existing ones). This offsets the increased chance for one of them to awaken due to higher total numbers.
The Awakened Empire will have the Imperious attitude towards any nearby empire and send a request for the empire to become their unique Subject type. Refusing the request will add -200 Opinion towards the Awakened Empire and cause them to declare war shortly afterwards.
|Available only with the Ancient Relics DLC enabled.|
If an empire owns the Head of Zarqlan Relic they will have enough Opinion to refuse becoming a Dominion without risking war. Likewise, they can colonize Holy Worlds without angering the Holy Guardians.
War in Heaven
|Available only with the Leviathans DLC enabled.|
The War in Heaven is a special event where a second Fallen Empires awakens as well and the two Awakened Empires eventually launch a great war against one another, with the normal empires acting as satellite states in their game. Once the first Fallen Empire awakens an ancient rival may be chosen with the following chances:
- 40% A Fallen Empire with the opposite Ethic is picked as rival, if existing.
- 20% A Fallen Empire with a random Ethic is picked as Rival. This can hit the opposing Ethic by chance.
- 40% No Rival is picked, and thus no War in Heaven can happen.
For the second Fallen Empire to awaken it must also meet the same requirements as the first one (not at war, fleet power above 60k, they haven't been awakened some other way). If the requirements are met there is a 50% chance for the second Fallen Empire to awaken every 5 years. Afterwards, neither Awakened Empire will engage each other for 2 years.
The odds of a War in Heaven depend on the number of fallen empires in the galaxy:
2 Fallen Empires
- 18%: War against the other Fallen Empire.
- 82%: No war.
3 Fallen Empires
- 26%: War against the Fallen Empire of the opposing Ethic.
- 5%: War against a random Fallen Empire.
- 69%: No war.
4 Fallen Empires
- 40%: War against the Fallen Empire of the opposing Ethic.
- 5%: War against a random Fallen Empire.
- 55%: No war.
Start of the War in Heaven
Once the War in Heaven starts, both Awakened Empires have the mutual Wargoal of War in Heaven, which causes a Total War. They will each spawn one additional fleet, two if any default empire has above 50k Fleet Power. The War in Heaven can end with a status quo, leaving the galaxy with two Awakened Empires. If the Galactic Community was founded a Resolution to ban joining one or both sides will become available.
Each regular Empire that is not involved in a war is presented with the choice to join either side or stay neutral. There are 4 options:
- Join the First Awakened Empire
- Join the Second Awakened Empire
- Pick neither side
- Subject empires of both regular and Awakened empires will always follow their Overlord
Choices and AI Weighting:
- AI empires with less than 20k Fleet Power and no federation will side with an Awakened Empire based on their ethics
- AI empires with more than 20k Fleet Power or that are part of a federation with a human player will stay neutral
- AI empires with less than 20k Fleet Power that are part of an AI federation will pick at random
- Genocidal empires will never pick a side
Empires that side with one of the Awakened Empires will receive a free Guarantee of Independence from their patron lasting 10 years, become its subjects and join the war on the patron's side.
Once one of the Awakened Empires is defeated vassals of the winning side that contributed to the warscore will receive planets from the losing side's members unless they are too far from the borders. The League of Non-Aligned Powers will still have to fight the remaining Awakened Empire and the War in Heaven is still considered ongoing.
League of Non-Aligned Powers
Shortly after the War in Heaven starts the president of the most powerful federation will be offered the chance to rename their federation into the League of Non-Aligned Powers. If the empire refuses the president of the next most powerful federation will be offered the option.
If all federation presidents refuse then each month the independent, Non-Genocidal empire that has the most Fleet Power and is at peace with the Awakened Empires will be offered the chance to form a League of Non-Aligned Powers federation. If the empire refuses the next most powerful empire will be offered the option. If the empire accepts a level 3 federation will be created.
If an AI empire is offered to form the League of Non-Aligned Powers federation there is a 99% chance it will accept.
After the leader has been picked all independent Empires, including those that declined leadership before, are offered one chance to join the federation. Afterwards, joining requires the usual federation diplomacy approaches. Empires that are Rivals of the federation president are not offered to join.
|Available only with the Nemesis DLC enabled.|
If a Custodian exists it will be asked to lead the League of Non-Aligned Powers before other empires are offered the option. If the Galactic Imperium exists the awakened empires will also declare war against the galactic emperor.
|Available only with the Apocalypse DLC enabled.|
If an empire seals or destroys a Holy World with a Colossus the Holy Guardians will always awaken and declare a war of subjugation. This type of awakening occurs completely independently of other circumstances, and can therefore take place at any time under any circumstances (such as during a War in Heaven). Aside from the war against the defiler the Awakened Holy Guardians will act like normally awakened Doctrinal Enforcers and try to dominate the galaxy.
|Available only with the Synthetic Dawn DLC enabled.|
A Machine Intelligence Fallen Empire that is the truly enigmatic Fallen Empire, the Ancient Caretakers are the remnant of a great conflict in the galactic history. They have been part of something called the 'Custodian Project', an initiative to construct and maintain a number of ringworlds as a refuge for biological sapients fleeing some unknown menace.
The Ancient Caretakers do not hold a personal opinion of any empire (their opinion is simply listed as "?") and unlike any other Fallen Empire they are totally unpredictable. They may offer gifts for no reason or request assistance with tasks that can give a permanent bonus or a temporary but serious penalty. Ancient Caretakers do not declare wars but can be declared war upon. They understand neither insults nor rivalries.
Ancient Caretakers have a grey and orange motif for their ships, stations and cities, as well as a different texture featuring integrated circuit patterns.
The previous great conflict the Ancient Caretakers refer to was a former Contingency cycle. As such, as soon as the Contingency activates, it will attempt to corrupt the Ancient Caretakers. They have a 66% chance of severing the connection and activating their Final Defense Protocols (Guardians of the Galaxy awakening) and a 33% chance to be corrupted by it and start attacking everything (Berserkers). Each Awakening has a unique civic to differentiate them. The chance to awaken a Custodian or Berserker is decided at the start of the game so reloading a previous save will not alter the result.
Ancient Caretakers cannot awaken in any other way nor can they be the Ancient Rival and thus be part of a War in Heaven. Unlike other Guardian empires they will not try to form or join a Federation.
- Allow inoculations: Sent to organic empires. MTTH is 100 years. A negative happiness modifier is applied, until the results show themselves. 10 years later the results will appear and can be either positive or negative. MTTH is shortened to 66% if they awakened in the meantime.
- Allow code changes: The machine empire variant of Inoculations. Same rules for Good/Bad results apply.
- Provide Worker Units: With a MTTH of 50 Years, a Machine Intelligence with at least 11 Pops will be requested to give two pops to the Ancient Caretakers.
- Attack Empire: With a MTTH of 100 years, an Empire will be asked to attack a fellow empire. Unlike other tasks this one can target empires that refused requests or tasks from the Ancient Caretakers. The time for the attack is 20 years, with up to 1 year overtime.
- Colonize a planet: With a MTTH of 200 years, the Custodians request the colonization of a Planet. The planet will be near or inside the player borders and eligible for colonization, when the request is given. Within 20 years at least 5 grown pops must be on the colonized planet. Care should be taken if the habitable worlds setting was raised because this task does not add a point of interest on the galaxy map.
- Stop Waging War: With a MTTH of 100 years the empire is tasked to outlaw war. Empires that already do are excluded. If accepted, the Policy must be changed to No Wars within 20 years.
- Stop Colonizing: With a MTTH identical to Stop Waging war, the empire is tasked with not colonizing anymore. This task can no longer appear after 100 years have passed. Empires with planets under colonization are excluded. If accepted, the empire must refrain from any Colonization for the next 10 years.
Fallen Empires start with all standard, rare and dangerous technology options already researched, including all technologies limited by ethics, as well as with ten levels in most repeatable technology and five levels in the rest. They also possess a unique Dark Matter Reactor and Deflector which can be reverse engineered and are the second-best deflectors and best reactor available in the game. They do not, however, have any of the special technologies that are only available through reverse engineering, from Leviathans or from special events. Also they are usually explicitly exempt for any and all of the Crisis Faction Spawn checks.
Fallen Empires have no labs on any of their planets and do not research further repeatable techs. After becoming Awakened Empires, they may build labs, and will research new technologies but do so very slowly, often taking upwards of 1000 months for even a single additional repeatable.
Fallen Empires own highly valuable systems. The planets of their capital systems in particular are fully developed, filled with enough City Districts to unlock all build slots, and contain various special buildings built using ancient technology that have exceptionally high output and are otherwise unavailable - even an Awakened Empire cannot build more of these special buildings. All systems connected to the capital system by a hyperlane will be claimed with a Starbase and those containing habitable planets will be colonized and developed with an Ancient Palace and a Sky Dome. All Fallen Empire home planets are fortified with unique defense buildings, making invasions difficult.
Fallen Empires do not use the standard ship types that are used by normal empires. Instead, they have Escorts, Battlecruisers and Titans. None of the values of those ship fully conform to any player buildable ships. They may also construct Colossi.
- Escorts behave like destroyers, but their firepower and defense is closer to that of a cruiser. Escorts generally carry 4 Small weapons and 4 Point Defense, and a Large weapon to fight bigger ships. They use picket behavior and have 1500 Hull, 140 base speed, and base 35 evasion with thruster modules equivalent to a destroyer.
- Battlecruisers behave like battleships, but have far better firepower and durability. Battlecruisers generally carry 1 XL weapon, 2 Large weapons, 2 Hangars and 4 Medium weapons. They use line behavior and have 3500 hull, 100 base speed, and 10 base evasion with thruster modules equivalent to a battleship.
- Titans are the largest ships in the Fallen Empire's navy, rivaling several battleships and even surpassing Titans built by normal empires in power. Titans carry 1 Titanic weapon, 8 Large weapons, 4 Hangars and 4 Medium weapons. They use artillery behavior and have 10000 hull, 100 base speed, and 2 base evasion with thruster modules equivalent to a titan.
- Outpost is their defense platform. They occupy 2 platform capacity, but are much more powerful than regular platforms. Outposts carry 2 Large weapons, 5 Medium weapons and 2 Point Defense.
The exact military power, hull points, armor and shields may vary somewhat due to different weapon systems and access to Strategic Resources. Difficulty and admiral will also affect their combat strength.
Fallen Empires' ships and starbases use a powerful and unsalvageable weapon, the terrifying Titan Lance, comparable to the Perdition Beam which can destroy most warships with a single shot. They also possess several highly advanced ship components which can be salvaged from debris: Dark Matter Reactor (Reactor T6), Dark Matter Deflector (Shield T6) and Dark Matter Thrusters (Thruster T5). Their ships also possess a built-in self-repair which regenerates 2% of their maximum armor and hull per day.
While their ships are very powerful, sleeping Fallen Empires do not build new ones even to replace ones that have been destroyed. Instead, they will receive reinforcements (2 Battlecruisers and 8 Escorts each time) from events if they're at peace. However, if a Fallen Empire awakens, they will replenish their fleets normally. Escorts have a build time of 200 days while their counterparts the Destroyers take 120 days to build. A Battlecruiser's build time is 600 days compared to the 480 days it takes to build a Battleship. Titans take 1800 days to build, like ordinary Titans.
Fallen Empires, Awakened or otherwise, never re-design their ships, so player may tailor their ship designs to hard-counter them.
- Each empire prefers a specific set of weapons that might be tied to the ethics they have. Ships should be tailored to an empire's specific loadout, to maximize effectiveness. While an awakened Fallen Empire can build new ships, it will not redesign them.
- They start with 10 levels of every repeatable technology, but do not seem to research more - when awakened they will, but often taking upwards of 1000 months for a single extra repeatable. Do not try to out-tech them unless you are really far ahead.
- Their planets are heavily fortified and require massive invasions to occupy. Orbital bombardment is essentially mandatory to conquer the worlds without an army strength of 2k+. An empire with access to the Colossus can use the Neutron Sweep to clear out the inhabitants and then recolonize the planet, although since this will cost you the unique buildings it is likely not the best idea.
- Fallen Empire fleets are far more powerful than the diplomacy menu or fleet power counter might suggest. Their fleets can easily destroy enemies twice more powerful. Before declaring war on Fallen Empires, consider the possibility of losing most, or even all, of your assault fleets. Because of that, other players in multiplayer or powerful AIs will most likely declare war on you during your war with a Fallen Empire, so either leave some of your fleets behind or build up significant starbase defenses.
- Unless you have a massive fleet power advantage, it is not advisable to fight in a star system in which a Fallen Empire has a Citadel unless you have already defeated and weakened their fleets. Fallen empires fight very aggressively, providing plenty of opportunities to fight them in your territory and in star systems of your preference.
- If you have access to War Doctrines, it is generally not advised to select the Hit and Run policy, as high technology discrepancies mean that the Fallen Empire can destroy most ships nearly instantaneously, without giving them any time to disengage. For this same reason, if you have access to the No Retreat policy, selecting it provides a very good bonus ( +33% Fire Rate) for relatively inconsequential disadvantages (your ships are likely to end up being destroyed anyway if they try to flee so the inability to do so is of no concern).
A still-sleeping Fallen Empire does not build ships, which makes them vulnerable to a war of attrition or multiple declarations of war in succession. If you have Defensive Pacts with another civilization, it is recommended to provoke the fallen empire into declaring war on you so that you have allies and (hopefully) improve your chances of winning. Corvette swarms equipped with Anti-shield and Anti-Armor weaponry and maxed out evasion should prove quite effective against them and their medium to extra-large guns, but do not fare that well against the Fighter Strike Craft or the Spiritualist Arc Emitters. Their fleets will be at least two 40k blobs, possibly more depending on difficulty. The main goal in the first war should be to acquire their technology via salvage, as this can drastically improve the chances in a second war. Their troop transports should be defeated while in space as they can capture even a fully fortified planet with a normal stack.
Be warned that taking any Fallen Empire planets increases the chance of one FE awakening massively (to a near certainty), if that did not already happen. This applies to all Fallen Empires, which means that even if you manage to completely annex a Fallen Empire, you might end up waking up another.
There are several ways of fighting an Awakened Empire, depending on your position when they awaken.
The strongest empires can actually stand a chance of facing an awakened Fallen Empire head-on and defeating them in one go. Your long-term goal has to be to acquire as much territory as possible, in particular that of the still sleeping Fallen Empires to acquire their massive resource income and their technology before moving on to open war against the Awakened Empire. Be advised that any system they capture means an additional starbase they might build to reinforce their fleets more quickly and allow large fleets.
Also keep in mind that you can use Containment casus belli (which will lead to a Total War) against an Awakened Empire regardless of what ethics you have. Use it if you feel confident.
The second strategy is temporarily submitting to the Awakened Empire. Once they awaken, Fallen Empires will acquire Decadence. Decadence reduces their income and fleet power while also increasing the rebelliousness of their subjects. Just be patient, build up your forces and wait for the right moment to rebel and overthrow them.
If an Endgame Crisis occurs, the Benevolent Interventionists or the Watchful Regulators may become Guardians of the galaxy. They will stop trying to reduce empires to Signatories or Satellites and form a Federation instead, so it's unnecessary to fight them if they awake late enough.
War in Heaven
|Available only with the Leviathans DLC enabled.|
War in Heaven will dramatically change the power balance of entire galaxy in a short time, since it can quickly become a three-way battle royale that lasts until two of the warring factions are eliminated.
Regardless of which side you choose, remember that War in Heaven is a Total War casus belli, which means that any occupied systems will immediately change ownership. Choose your side wisely and keep in mind that the most important thing is always to survive while trying to either outlast or destroy your opponents. A careless choice may mean the end of your empire.
- If you're too close to one of the awakened empires, joining their side may become the best choice unless you're strong enough to stop their fleets.
- If you're in a powerful federation, or you're far away enough from them, joining a non-aligned league may end up with better results. The league will join the fight shortly after the War in Heaven starts, so be prepared for war.
- Remaining entirely independent is advisable for the most powerful empires, as they will still be asked by the Awakened Empire to become its subject. Refusing will turn them Belligerent and likely to declare a war of subjugation later. If your empire is the leader of a Federation with multiple powerful members or you have several powerful vassals, you stand a good chance of being able to stay neutral, survive and perhaps even profit from it.
- If you find your empire is in a weird position (e.g. just between two awakened empires or relatively isolated from all other empires), choosing to stay independent might become the best choice.
- If the Galactic Imperium has been formed, both Fallen Empires will automatically declare war on the emperor in addition to each other, and all members of the imperium will automatically join the Emperor as a war ally. Note that you cannot claim systems that have already been claimed by a war ally once the war has started. You will not be given the option to side with a fallen empire or stay neutral in this case.
Fallen and Awakened Empires typically use empire names different than that of regular empires, usually ones hinting that they once were much more powerful and widespread than they currently are.