Ethics

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Version

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This article has been verified for the current PC version (3.0) of the game.
Ethics types interface

Ethics are the guiding principles of an empire and its people and determine an empire or pop's favored courses of action and responses to situations. Empires and individual populations don't always align ethically which can cause internal strife in large nations. AI species follow the same ethics rules and their behavior is heavily dependent on the ethics they follow. Naturally, a Militarist Xenophobe alien empire will react very differently to the player than a Pacifist Xenophile. AI empires will, however, compromise on their ethics if circumstances are dire enough, for instance, if threatened with imminent conquest.

Every empire except Fallen Empires can have either three moderate ethics or one fanatic and one moderate ethic. Fallen Empires have only one fanatic ethic. Pops have only one moderate ethic each.

Empire ethics[edit]

Each empire has 3 ethic points which can be spent on ethics. Each moderate ethic costs 1 point and each fanatic ethic costs 2 points. Gestalt Consciousness is the "true neutral" ethic for collective societies without individual agency; it costs 3 ethic points and requires either the Utopia.png Utopia DLC or the Synthetic Dawn.png Synthetic Dawn DLC.

Empire ethics have a profound effect on options available during the game. For instance, diplomatic options with alien species are affected by ethics, as are some options for dealing with anomalies. As a result, ethics choices have a greater impact on game experience than the bonuses and maluses listed on this page.

There are 4 ethic axes present:

  • The Authoritarian-Egalitarian axis looks at whether the empire's political power belongs in the hands of the few or the many.
  • The Materialist-Spiritualist axis looks at whether the unknowns of the universe can be explained by science or the existence of something greater.
  • The Militarist-Pacifist axis looks at whether the empire's military should be used offensively or strictly defensively.
  • The Xenophile-Xenophobe axis looks at whether alien species and cultures should be embraced or distrusted.
Fanatic Spiritualist.png Fanatic Spiritualist
  • Unity.png +20% Monthly unity
  • Mod country edict influence cost.png −10% Edict cost
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Can use the Veneration of Saints edict
Menu icon policies.png Principles
  • Can build Temple buildings
  • Cannot use Full AI Rights policy
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • Our science has proved that Consciousness begets reality. We regard with patience the childlike efforts of those who delude themselves it is the other way around, as they play with their blocks of 'hard matter'.
Fanatic Militarist.png Fanatic Militarist
  • Influence.png −20% Claim influence cost
  • Mod ship fire rate mult.png +20% Ship fire rate
Menu icon policies.png Principles
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • The ability to project force is of paramount importance. The only way to preserve our way of life is to make sure everyone shares it; willingly or not...
Fanatic Xenophobe.png Fanatic Xenophobe
  • Mod country starbase influence cost mult.png −40% Starbase influence cost
  • Mod pop growth req.png +20% Pop growth speed
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Can use the Fear Campaign edict
Menu icon policies.png Principles
  • Can Purge and Displace aliens
  • Can enslave aliens
  • Decreased Opinion with alien empires
  • Cannot give aliens Full Citizenship
  • Cannot allow aliens Full Military Service
  • Cannot use Refugees Welcome species policy
  • Cannot use Proactive first contact stance
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • Any alien influence must be ruthlessly quashed. Only by staying pure, and true to ourselves and the planet that gave us life can we guard against insidious Xeno plots. Even mastery over the Alien might not be enough to guarantee our own safety...
Spiritualist.png Spiritualist
  • Unity.png +10% Monthly unity
  • Mod country edict influence cost.png −5% Edict cost
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Can use the Veneration of Saints edict
Menu icon policies.png Principles
  • Can build Temple buildings
  • Cannot use Full AI Rights policy
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • There are those think it behooves us to remember how tiny we are, how pointless our lives in this vast uncaring universe... What nonsense! The only truth we can ever know is that of our own existence. The universe - in all its apparent glory - is but a dream we all happen to share.
Militarist.png Militarist
  • Influence.png −10% Claim influence cost
  • Mod ship fire rate mult.png +10% Ship fire rate
Menu icon policies.png Principles
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • The only true virtues are courage and discipline, and channeled properly they can overcome any obstacle. Therein lies true strength; force withheld, a promise made.
Xenophobe.png Xenophobe
  • Mod country starbase influence cost mult.png −20% Starbase influence cost
  • Mod pop growth req.png +10% Pop growth speed
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Can use the Fear Campaign edict
Menu icon policies.png Principles
  • Can Purge and Displace aliens
  • Can enslave aliens
  • Decreased Opinion with alien empires
  • Cannot give aliens Full Citizenship
  • Cannot allow aliens Full Military Service
  • Cannot use Refugees Welcome species policy
  • Cannot use Proactive first contact stance
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • The stakes could not be higher as we reach into the vast uncharted expanses of the galaxy, for we are gambling with the very survival of our species! Never trust the alien; its false smile hides an unknowable mind...
Fanatic Authoritarian.png Fanatic Authoritarian
  • Influence.png +1 Monthly influence
  • Mod pop resource output.png +10% Worker output
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Can use the Information Quarantine edict
Menu icon policies.png Principles
  • Allows Stratified Economy Living Standards
  • Can enslave aliens
  • Must use ImperialAuth dictatorial.png Autocratic authority
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • A single voice, a single throne, a single state. It is the solemn duty of the masses to obey those enlightened few who have been charged with the great responsibility of leadership.
Authoritarian.png Authoritarian
  • Influence.png +0.5 Monthly influence
  • Mod pop resource output.png +5% Worker output
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Can use the Information Quarantine edict
Menu icon policies.png Principles
  • Allows Stratified Economy Living Standards
  • Can enslave aliens
  • Cannot reform into or start with Auth democratic.png Democratic authority
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • A strong, guiding hand is essential to the success of any civilization - the alternative would be anarchy and chaos. It is the duty of the state to steer its citizens towards the paths that are the most productive
Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness
  • Mod country war exhaustion.png −20% War exhaustion gain
  • Influence.png +1 Monthly influence
  • Mod found encryption key.png +2 Encryption
  • No.png Cannot change ethics
Menu icon policies.png Principles
  • Cannot reform into or start with any Auth democratic.pngAuth oligarchic.pngAuth dictatorial.pngImperial default or Auth corporate.png corporate authority
  • Can use the Indiscriminate Orbital Bombardment policy
  • Factions cannot form
  • Native Pops are not affected by happiness
  • Native Pops cannot survive in empires with a different authority
  • Non-native Pops hold regular jobs in Gestalt Consciousness empires
  • Can use the No Retreat War Doctrine
  • Pops use Menial Drone and Complex Drone strata
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • We reach into the void.

The vast expanse becomes us.

Egalitarian.png Egalitarian
  • Mod pop happiness.png +25% Faction influence gain
  • Mod pop resource output.png +5% Specialist output
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Can use the Encourage Political Thought edict
Menu icon policies.png Principles
  • Allows Utopian Living Standards
  • Cannot reform into or start with ImperialAuth dictatorial.png Autocratic authority
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • Any society that does not embrace equality between its members - where an individual can rise to any position with enough hard work - is not only deeply unfair, but ultimately counterproductive.
Fanatic Egalitarian.png Fanatic Egalitarian
  • Mod pop happiness.png +50% Faction influence gain
  • Mod pop resource output.png +10% Specialist output
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Can use the Encourage Political Thought edict
Menu icon policies.png Principles
  • Allows Utopian Living Standards
  • Must use Auth democratic.png Democratic authority
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • Beware always those who would be despots, under the false presumption that their desires and agendas are somehow more imperative than those of their fellows. A society that does not see to the needs and rights of all of its members is not a society - it is a crime.
Xenophile.png Xenophile
  • Trade value.png +10% Trade value
  • Envoy.png +1 Available envoys
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Can use the Land of Opportunity edict
Menu icon policies.png Principles
  • Increased Opinion with alien empires
  • Cannot use No Refugees species policy
  • Cannot Displace aliens
  • Cannot use Aggressive first contact stance
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • There exists, in all of us, a deep-seated fascination for the unknown. An adventurous spirit that rejects the familiar and glories in the unfamiliar, whatever - or whomever - it may be.
Pacifist.png Pacifist
  • Empire sprawl.png −15% Empire sprawl from pops
  • Stability.png +5 Stability
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Can use the Peace Festivals edict
Menu icon policies.png Principles
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • Conflict as a means to an end is a ridiculous concept. It is by nature destructive, destroying what was to be obtained or giving room to grow that which was to be destroyed.
Materialist.png Materialist
  • Mod pop robot upkeep mult.png −10% Robot upkeep
  • Mod country all tech research speed.png +5% Research speed
Menu icon policies.png Principles
  • Allows Academic Privilege living standards
  • Cannot use AI Outlawed policy
  • Cannot use Robotic Workers Outlawed policy
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • As we reach for the stars, we must put away childish things; gods, spirits and other phantasms of the brain. Reality is cruel and unforgiving, yet we must steel ourselves and secure the survival of our race through the unflinching pursuit of science and technology.
Fanatic Xenophile.png Fanatic Xenophile
  • Trade value.png +20% Trade value
  • Envoy.png +2 Available envoys
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Can use the Land of Opportunity edict
Menu icon policies.png Principles
  • Increased Opinion with alien empires
  • Cannot use No Refugees species policy
  • Cannot Displace aliens
  • Cannot use Aggressive first contact stance
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • If there ever was such a thing as an absolute moral imperative, it would be to explore the cosmos and embrace all within it. We were never meant to journey alone.
Fanatic Pacifist.png Fanatic Pacifist
  • Empire sprawl.png −30% Empire sprawl from pops
  • Stability.png +10 Stability
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Can use the Peace Festivals edict
Menu icon policies.png Principles
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • As civilized beings, the end of all armed conflict should be our primary concern. War is an evolutionary dead end, as futile as it is wasteful.
Fanatic Materialist.png Fanatic Materialist
  • Mod pop robot upkeep mult.png −20% Robot upkeep
  • Mod country all tech research speed.png +10% Research speed
Menu icon policies.png Principles
  • Allows Academic Privilege living standards
  • Cannot use AI Outlawed policy
  • Cannot use Robotic Workers Outlawed policy
Menu icon policies.png Description
  • Although it hurts, we must grow up and put aside our outdated notions of morality. There is no 'divine spark' granting special value to a living mind. No object has any intrinsic value apart from what we choose to grant it. Let us embrace the freedom of certitude, and achieve maximum efficiency in all things!

Pop ethics[edit]

Each pop in an empire will embrace a single, moderate ethic, which determines the Faction a pop will eventually join. At the start of the game the population's ethics will match the empire ethics but as an empire grows its population will become more diverse in its views and wants. Each ethic has an attraction value for each pop in an empire depending on both the empire's situation and their own situation.

Over time, the ethics of the pops will drift in such a way that it roughly matches the overall attraction of that value. For example, if the materialist attraction sits at 10% for decades, it's likely that after that time, around 10% of all pops will be materialist. There is some random factor so it's likely never going to match up perfectly, but the system is built to try and go towards the mean, so the more over-represented an ethic is compared to its attraction, the more likely pops are to drift away from it and vice versa.

The following attraction factors are valid for each ethic:

  • +2 if the empire has the ethic in moderate form
  • +3 if the empire has the ethic in fanatic form
  • +2 if the empire does not have the ethic and the Faction representing it has formed
  • +0.5 if the leader of the Faction representing the ethic is the empire ruler

Each ethic has its own multitude of factors that will increase or lower its attraction.

Ethic Attraction Requirement Attraction Ethic
Authoritarian.png
Authoritarian
1.50 Member of a Hegemony Hegemony 1 Egalitarian.png
Egalitarian
1.50 A pop of this species is enslaved. Ignores robot Pops. 1
1.25 Pop is Decadent.png Decadent 0.50
1.25 Authority is Imperial Imperial 0.75
1.25 A pop from another biological species is enslaved. Unless a pop of this species is also enslaved. 1.50
1 Pop does not have Full Citizenship 1.25
1 Is in Defense Pact, Commercial Pact or Federation with a Egalitarian.png Egalitarian or Fanatic Egalitarian.png Fanatic Egalitarian empire 1.50
1 Any non-subject Egalitarian.png Egalitarian or Fanatic Egalitarian.png Fanatic Egalitarian empire has migration access 2.00
0.75 Authority is Auth democratic.png Democratic 1.25
0.75 Pop has social welfare, utopian or shared burden living standards 1.25
Materialist.png
Materialist
2.00 Pop is a robot 0.25 Spiritualist.png
Spiritualist
1.50 Member of a Federation research.png Research Cooperative 1
1.50 Pop is Trait cybernetic.png Cybernetic 1
1.33 Research Agreement with a Fanatic Materialist.png Fanatic Materialist or Materialist.png Materialist 1
1.25 Citizen Rights Artificial Intelligence policy 0.75
1.25 Origin is Origins mechanist.png Mechanist 1
1.25 Pop is not a robot but Robot pops live on the planet 1
1.25 Pop has trait Natural Engineers.png Natural Engineers 1
1.25 Pop has trait Natural Sociologists.png Natural Sociologists 1
1.25 Pop has trait Natural Physicists.png Natural Physicists 1
1 Has Tech psionic theory.png Psionic Theory technology 1.25
1 Has Ap mind over matter.png Mind Over Matter ascension perk 1.50
1 Has Ap transcendence.png Transcendence ascension perk 1.50
1 Has defense pact, commercial pact or Federation with a Fanatic Spiritualist.png Fanatic Spiritualist or Spiritualist.png Spiritualist 1.50
1 Is Subject of a Spiritualist.png Spiritualist or Fanatic Spiritualist.png Fanatic Spiritualist empire 2.00
1 Non-Subject Fanatic Spiritualist.png Fanatic Spiritualist or Spiritualist.png Spiritualist empire has migration access 2.00
0.00 Pop has Job priest.png Priest or Job priest.png High Priest job 1
Militarist.png
Militarist
3.00 Planet is occupied 1 Pacifist.png
Pacifist
2.00 Pop has citizen rights or can be military leader and is in a war 1
2.00 Pop has citizen rights or can be military leader and has recently lost a war 1
1.50 Pop has citizen rights or can be military leader and a neighbor is hostile, domineering or a rival 0.50
1.50 Member of a Federation military.png Martial Alliance 1
1.25 Another empire controls a planet you were the original owner of 1
1.20 Pop is Very Strong.png Very Strong 1
1.10 Pop is Strong.png Strong 1
1 Has Civic fanatic purifiers.png Fanatic Purifiers civic 0.50
0.75 Has been at peace for over 20 years (After year 2250) 1.33
0.75 Has been at peace for over 40 years (After year 2250) 1.33
0.75 Has been at peace for over 60 years 1.33
0.75 Has been at peace for over 80 years 1.33
0.75 Has been at peace for over 100 years 1.33
0.75 Pop is Weak.png Weak 1.10
0.33 Has Civic inwards perfection.png Inward Perfection civic 1.50
Xenophile.png
Xenophile
2.00 Pop is not enslaved and a sapient free alien pop is on the world 0.50 Xenophobe.png
Xenophobe
2.00 Pop is an alien, does not have full citizenship and is not enslaved 1
1.50 Allows alien leaders 0.75
1.50 Non-subject alien empire has migration access 0.75
1.50 A Charismatic.png charismatic alien pop is on the world 1
1.33 In a defensive pact, commercial pact or Federation with an alien empire 1
1 A Repugnant.png Repugnant alien pop is on the world 1.50
1 Pop is not enslaved but an alien is enslaved on the world 2.00
1 In a defensive war against an alien empire 3.00
0.50 Pop is Trait necrophage.png Necrophage 1
0.50 Has Civic inwards perfection.png Inward Perfection civic 1.50
0.50 An alien empire has enslaved a pop of the empires primary species 2.00
0.33 Has Civic fanatic purifiers.png Fanatic Purifiers civic 1.50
0.25 An alien empire has committed genocide on the empire's primary species 4.00

Governing Ethics Attraction[edit]

Governing Ethics Attraction is a modifier that attracts Pops towards the primary ethics of an empire rather than unrelated ethics. As the Factions corresponding to the governing ethics tend to have more Faction Approval having Pops match those ethics to join those Factions is desirable. The main factor that determines Governing Ethics Attraction is the Mod pop happiness.png Happiness of Pops. In addition an empire's Governing Ethics Attraction can be affected by the following:

Source Effect
Empire capital.png Empire Capital +100%
Menu icon policies and edicts.png Hearts and Minds ambition edict +100%
Ap one vision.png One Vision ascension perk +50%
Menu icon policies and edicts.png Information Quarantine edict +50%
Conformists.png Conformists species trait +30%
Diplomatic stance isolationist.png Isolationist diplomatic stance +25%
Tradition harmony the greater good.png The Greater Good harmony tradition +25%
Sb deep space black site.png Deep Space Black Site starbase building +25%
Trait primitive.png Conservative species trait +25%
Leader trait psionic chosen one.png Chosen One ruler trait +20%
Federations Full Circle empire modifier +20%
Leader trait psionic leader.png Psychic ruler trait +10%
Federations Spurred by the Past empire modifier +10%
Deviants.png Deviants species trait −15%
Civic criminal heritage.png Criminal Heritage: Disinformation Center Auth corporate.png Corporate Building −25%

Ethics change[edit]

Empire ethics can be changed once every 20 years by embracing a faction. You will also receive a notification if another empire does so. Embracing a faction causes an ethic shift to the faction's ethic, having it added or promoted into fanatic if you have it. Other ethics gets demoted or removed to keep the total ethic points the same as before, using the following rule:

Situation Example
Ethics Shifts to Result
Shifting to a new ethic Fanatic Militarist.pngMaterialist.png Authoritarian.png Militarist.pngMaterialist.pngAuthoritarian.png
Militarist.pngMaterialist.pngUnknown.png
Shifting to an existing ethic Militarist.pngFanatic Materialist.png Militarist.png Fanatic Militarist.pngMaterialist.png
Militarist.pngMaterialist.pngUnknown.png
Shifting to an opposite ethic Fanatic Militarist.pngMaterialist.png Pacifist.png Pacifist.pngFanatic Materialist.png
Militarist.pngFanatic Materialist.png
Militarist.pngMaterialist.pngUnknown.png Pacifist.pngMaterialist.pngUnknown.png
Unknown.png means the ethic with the lowest attraction

One way to ensure an ethic has the lowest attraction and will be removed is to suppress it and promote other factions with the game paused, shift ethics and then undo the suppression and promotions before unpausing.

References[edit]


Game concepts
Governance EmpireEthicsGovernmentCivicsPoliciesEdictsLeaderFactionsPopulationSpecies rightsEconomyTechnologyTraditionsCrime
Exploration ExplorationMapSpeciesAnomalyEventsFTLFallen empirePre-FTL speciesPrecursorsSpaceborne aliens
Colonization ColonizationCelestial bodyPlanetary featuresPlanetary managementDistrictsBuildingsShipStarbaseMegastructures
Diplomacy DiplomacyTradeSubject empireFederationsGalactic communityAI personalities
Warfare WarfareSpace warfareLand warfareShip designer
Others TraitsTerraformingPop modificationSlaveryCrisisPreset empiresAI playersEaster eggs