Game Settings are the various changes that the player can make before starting a single player or multiplayer game. These settings can be used to make game sessions shorter or longer, simpler or more complex, as well as to increase the difficulty if desired.
When starting a new game, the player may choose which type of galaxy they are to play in. An empire's expansion is limited to the galactic plane, so the shape of the galaxy will affect play. Which galaxy types are accessible at the start of the game is determined by how many stars the galaxy is to have.
There are 3 different types of galaxies available, with 2 variants of the spiral galaxy for a total of 4 possible galaxy shape options.
|Type||Min Galaxy Size||Description|
|Elliptical||Tiny||Elliptical galaxies have the stars placed in a ellipsoidal pattern , resulting in an evenly distributed geography. Expansion is mostly unhindered. It is also the Default map.|
|Spiral (2 arms)||Small||Spiral galaxies have the stars placed in arms that extend out in a spiral pattern. A spiral galaxy provides an interesting geography as the galactic arms are sparsely connected to each other.|
|Spiral (4 arms)||Medium|
|Ring||Tiny||Ring galaxies have the stars placed in a ring shape around the galactic core, making it easier to cut other empires off from the rest of the galaxy than it is with any other shape. Expansion is limited to a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. An inner ring surrounds the galactic core|
In addition to the galaxy shape, the size of the galaxy can also be chosen at the beginning of the game, ranging from 200 to 1000 stars. The size of the galaxy affects the number of stars, as well as how many AI Empires, Fallen Empires and Marauder Empires can be generated at the start of the game.
|Size||Number of Stars||Maximum AI Empires||Maximum Fallen Empires||Maximum Marauder Empires|
- AI empires - Determines the number of AI empires that spawn at the same time as human players. Number ranges are dependent on galaxy size; minimum can be set at zero.
- Advanced AI starts - Can range from 0 to all of the AI empires. Determines the number of Advanced Empires.
- Fallen Empires - The max number of Fallen Empires that can spawn. There can be no more than 5 Fallen Empires, one of each kind. (Ancient Caretakers is only available with Synthetic Dawn DLC)
- Tech/ Tradition cost - Determines the costs of technology, traditions and ambitions for regular empires. Ranges from 0.25X to 5X.
- Habitable Worlds - Increases or decreases the chance of planets being habitable. Ranges from 0.25X to 5X.
- Primitive Civilizations - Increases or decreases the chance of Primitive Civilizations spawning. Ranges from 0X (no primitives) to 1X (3% chance per system) to 5X (15% chance per system).
- Crisis Strength - Determines the fleet power of endgame crises. Ranges from 0X (no crises) to 5X.
- Mid-Game Start Year - Determines earliest year whereby mid-game events can occur.
- End-Game Start Year - Determines earliest year whereby end-game events can occur.
- Victory Year - Determines when the empire with the highest Score is declared winner.
- AI Aggressiveness - The overall AI aggressiveness can be increased or decreased and determines how likely the AI is to declare war on empires if they have negative attitudes.
- Empire Placement - Determines whether empires will be placed in clusters to increase the likelihood that you'll have some neighbors or placed at random.
- Advanced Neighbors - Determines whether Advanced AI empires can spawn next to human players or not.
- Hyperlane Density - Determines number of hyperlanes in the galaxy. Ranges from 0.5X to 2.75X to Full. Full density removes clusters and choke points.
- Abandoned Gateways - Determines number of abandoned gateways in the galaxy. Ranges from 0X (no gateways) to 5X.
- Wormhole Pairs - Determines number of wormhole pairs in the galaxy. Ranges from 0X (no wormholes except the one leading to the Sealed System) to 5X.
- Guaranteed Habitable Worlds - Creates up to 2 habitable planets of the same class as the homeworld close to every empire's starting system.
- Marauder Empires - The max number of Marauder Empires that can spawn.
- Caravaneers - Determines whether the Caravaneers will spawn.
Advanced empires are AI empires that start with an advantage over human players. The get the following benefits to have a head start:
- 1000 Energy Credits
- 1000 Minerals
- 200 Influence
- 500 Alloys
- Planetary Unification technology
- 3-7 extra warships
- 2-5 extra systems with stations built
- 75% of habitable planets in their systems colonized and developed
The following events take place after Mid-Game:
- Fleet Maneuvers event
- Fallen Empires offer better gifts
- Spectral Wraith can emerge from the germinating pulsar
- Machine Uprisings can take place
- Marauder mercenary fleets become available
- Marauder empires can become The Horde
- Ancient Tomb Archaeology Site can appear
The following events take place after End-Game
- Endgame Crises can trigger
- Fallen Empires can awaken
- Marauder empires can no longer become The Horde
Increases the difficulty of the game for a greater challenge, with higher difficulties granting bonuses to AI empires. Higher difficulty also increases the strength of the endgame crisis. Vassals of human players do not gain difficulty bonuses.
Scaling Difficulty causes the AI (or human) empires and spaceborne aliens difficulty bonuses to start at zero and scale up over the course of the game, reaching the bonus defined by difficulty level at the End-Game year.
|Difficulty||AI bonuses||Spaceborne Aliens bonuses|
- Main article: Ironman
Determines whether or not Ironman Mode is turned on or off.
- Ironman Mode- Saving manually is disabled. Every time the game is saved, the previous save file is overwritten. Console cheats are also disabled. In order to earn Steam achievements, Ironman mode MUST be enabled.