Traditions are abilities or bonuses unlocked with the unity resource. Traditions can be seen as a representation of the socio-cultural evolution of the empire as it expands and develops. Traditions help define an empire by allowing the adoption of traditions trees that suit its particular play-style. Completing a tree allows the empire to pick an ascension perk to further enhance themselves.
Traditions are grouped into 7 Tradition Trees.
- Each tree must be adopted before the individual traditions can be adopted. Adopting the Tradition Tree grants the Adoption Effect.
- Adopting a Tradition grants its abilities and bonuses and unlocks the Traditions it linked to.
- Adopting all 5 Traditions in a tree grants the Finisher Effect, as well as an Ascension Perk slot.
Some empires have some traditions, or even entire tradition trees, that don't fit the empire by flavor and/or playstyle, swapped into other traditions. Authorities and Civics that can cause tradition swapping can normally only be picked during the empire creation phase and cannot be removed or replaced after the game starts by usual means.
For example, the A New Life tradition grants +10% Pop growth speed, but Machine Intelligence empires makes little or no use for this effect and will have it swapped into +10% Pop Assembly Speed that better fit their playstyle.
This page does not show tradition swaps that involve only narrative changes to the names and flavor texts.
The cost of unlocking a tradition depends on how many traditions the empire has already unlocked as well as whether the Empire Sprawl is larger than Administrative Capacity. Adopting and completing a tree both increase the unlocked traditions factor by 1. The tradition cost formula is the following:
An empire has completed one tradition tree and opened another, for a total of 8 unlocks (5 + 2 opens + one extra for finisher) and 2 open trees. Their empire size is 3 over their limit.
There are 7 Tradition trees and each of them has a theme.
Expansion traditions are themed around colonizing faster, growing the population faster, and generally expanding the empire.
|Adoption effect: +25% Colony development speed|
−10% Starbase influence cost
+1 Pop on new colonies
−25% Empire Sprawl from Systems and Planets
−20% Starbase upkeep
+10% Pop growth speed
|Finisher effect: +1 Max District for all non-artificial planets|
Domination traditions were originally focused around subject empires, but are now focused around strengthening the empire's governance through reducing crime, improving the performance of workers and slaves, and gaining better rulers and governors.
|Adoption effect: −33.3% Clear Blocker cost|
+2 Governor level cap
+1 Housing from upgraded planetary capitals, all habitat capitals, and all residence buildings excluding slave huts and overseer residences
+5 Crime reduction from jobs
Unlocks Enhanced Surveillance edict
+2 Ruler Level Cap
+5% Worker and Slave Output
Slaves benefit twice from this
Unlocks Extended Shifts edict
|Finisher effect: +1 Monthly influence|
Prosperity traditions are focused on improving the empire's economy by improving planets and improving the work performance of specialists.
|Adoption effect: +20% Mining Station output|
−10% Building and District upkeep
−10% Building and District Cost
+25% Planet Build Speed
+5% Specialist and Complex Drone Output
City Districts: Get an extra +1 Clerk
Trade Districts: Get an extra +1 Clerk
Residential Arcologies: Get an extra +3 Clerks
City Segments: Get an extra +5 Clerks
City/Hive/Nexus Districts: Get an extra +1 Housing
Residential Arcologies: Get an extra +3 Housing
City/Hive/Nexus Segments: Get an extra +5 Housing
|Finisher effect: +1 Merchant Job per 50 Pops|
Harmony traditions are focused on improving the empire's population by increasing leader lifespan, reducing their food consumption and sprawl, and improving stability.
Gestalt Consciousness empires have their Harmony tradition tree replaced by Synchronicity. Despite the change in name, Synchronicity is still based around improving the empire's population along with a bonus to defense.
|Adoption effect: −10% Organic Pop Food Upkeep|
+20 Years leader lifespan
−20% Leader upkeep
+15% Fire Rate within the empire's borders
+33% Ship Build Speed while in a defensive war
+5 Stability on all planets
|Finisher effect: −10% Empire Sprawl from Pops|
Supremacy traditions are focused on improving the empire's military capabilities, through the ability to field larger fleets, improvements in ship construction and maintenance, better admirals, as well as building stronger and more starbases.
Inward Perfection, Barbaric Despoilers, Fanatic Purifiers, Hive Mind, and Necrophage empires have their Diplomacy tradition tree replaced by Adaptability. In contrast to Diplomacy, Adaptability traditions are themed around helping their empire achieve self-sufficiency, which is accomplished through improvements to pops, increased habitability and improvements to planetside construction, resettlement and reduction of hostile orbital bombardment damage.
Machine Intelligence empires have their Diplomacy tradition tree replaced by Versatility. Versatility is themed around improving the flexibility of the Machine populations and diplomacy performance with other Machine empires.
Discovery traditions are focused around research and space exploration. It grants bonuses to research and improves the performance of scientists and science ships.
Finishing an entire tradition tree or acquiring the Ascension Theory technology unlocks an ascension perk slot. Ascension perks can be viewed as defining characteristics that emerge as a product of the socio-cultural evolution represented by the Traditions intertwining with the empire's identity (its Ethics, Civics, Government and Population). Ascension perks represent the empire's greater-scope ambition(s) and, in the case of the three Ascension paths, its ultimate final fate.
Ascension perks often favor either a tall or wide gameplay, with some that allow access to gameplay mechanics not available through Traditions alone. This includes the three ascension paths, the ability to build deep-space megastructures, the ability to use terraforming to create special planets and other powerful abilities. An empire can have up to 8 Ascension perks.
Due to the difficulty of unlocking an ascension perk slot, it is prudent to delay making a choice, especially if the desired perk cannot be selected if any required technologies have not been researched yet. In addition, once chosen, the Ascension perk is permanent and cannot be changed.
Tier 0 ascension perks can be taken from the start. Tier 1 ones require 1 previous ascension perk, tier 2 ones require 2 previous ascension perks and tier 3 ones require 3 previous ascension perks.
|Ascension perk||Tier||Effects||Prerequisites||AI weight||DLC|
|Consecrated Worlds||0||Consecrate World decision||Spiritualist||10|
|Eternal Vigilance||0||Star Fortress technology||10|
|Executive Vigor||0||+2 Edict Capacity||10|
|Imperial Prerogative||0||+20% Administrative Capacity||10|
|Mastery of Nature||0||
|Nihilistic Acquisition||0||Unlocks the Raiding bombardment stance||10 if not Genocidal|
|One Vision||0||Machine Intelligence||10|
|Shared Destiny||0||5 if has any Vassal|
|Voidborne||0||Orbital Habitats technology||10|
|Grasp the Void||1||10|
|Engineered Evolution||1||10 if at least 10 worlds|
|Mind over Matter||1||2 if at least 10 worlds|
|The Flesh is Weak||1||2 if at least 10 worlds and not Necrophage|
|Arcology Project||2||Arcology Project decision||10|
|Galactic Force Projection||2||10|
|Hive Worlds||2||Hive World terraforming option||10|
|Machine Worlds||2||Machine World terraforming option||10|
Special Project to turn the empire synthetic
|Become the Crisis||2||Unlocks Menace and the Crisis tab||
||7.5 if Militarist, Xenophobe or Gestalt Consciousness|
|Colossus Project||3||Titans technology||10|
|Defender of the Galaxy||3||20 if any crisis happened (Includes Gray Goo L-gate Outcome)|
|Galactic Contender||3||Communications with a fallen or awakened empire||10
- The formula variables can be found at under tradition cost, although the formula listed there is depreciated.
- Leader malfunction events are triggered on a decade pulse. With this tradition, each bad event has a 50% lower weight. Since the weight for no event is unchanged, the probability of a bad event is actually reduced to 53.17% of normal.