This article is considered accurate for the current version (2.5) of the game.
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.
Each tradition tree consists of the following:
- Adoption effect: This bonus is acquired when adopting the tradition tree.
- Tradition set: Each tradition tree contains a total of 5 traditions, that give new abilities or bonuses when adopted.
- Completion effect: This bonus is acquired upon adopting all of the traditions within a single tree.
Some empires have little use for certain tradition trees (those being Diplomacy, Domination or Harmony). For such empires, these three tradition trees are replaced (swapped) with special trees that better fit their playstyle. Any authorities and civics that cause tradition swapping can only be picked during the empire creation phase and after that, they are fixed on permanently and cannot be replaced.
Traditions swaps range from narrative-only changes to the names and flavor text of an existing tradition tree to the addition of an entirely new tradition tree with new bonuses and effects.
The cost of unlocking a tradition depends on the size of your empire beyond your administrative cap, as well as how many traditions you have already unlocked. Overall, small harmonious empires will unlock traditions more quickly than large, expansionist ones.
Tradition cost is formulated approximately as follows:
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.
- Adopting and completing a tree both increase the unlocked traditions factor (each by an additional 1).
Each adopted Tradition will unlock all Traditions directly underneath.
Expansion Traditions are themed around colonizing faster, growing the population faster, and generally expanding the empire.
Domination Traditions were originally focused around subject empires, but are now focused around strengtening the empire's governance through reducing crime, improving the performance of workers and slaves, and gaining better rulers and governors.
Prosperity Traditions are focused on improving the empire's economy by improving planets and improving the work performance of specialists.
Harmony Traditions are focused on improving the empire's population by increasing leader lifespan, reducing their food and amenity consumption, and improving stability.
Gestalt Consciousness empires have their Harmony tradition tree replaced by Synchronicity. Despite the change in traditions, Synchroniality is still based around improving the empire's population along with a bonues to defense.
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 and Hive Mind empires have their Diplomacy tradition tree replaced by Adaptability. In contrast to Diplomacy, Adaptability Traditions are themed around helping them 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.
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 with 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.
|Consecrated Worlds||0||Consecrate Worlds decision||Spiritualist||The galaxy is home to many holy places, some more obvious than others. As mortals, we still struggle to divine the true nature of the universe.|
|Eternal Vigilance||0||Star Fortress technology||To display weakness is to invite attack. The price of invading our space must be so high that as few as possible are prepared to meet it.|
|Executive Vigor||0||+50% Edict Duration||There will be no half-measures or compromises when implementing the edicts decided upon by our government. We go all the way, or not at all.|
|Imperial Prerogative||0||+30 Administrative Cap||As our civilization continues to grow, so its beating heart must also expand. More systems will be placed under our direct control.|
|Interstellar Dominion||0||Our place amongst the stars is assured and irrefutable, and the borders of our nation equally so.|
|Mastery of Nature||0||Although we mastered the nature of our homeworld long ago, the alien biomes we have since encountered present new challenges. They too shall be overcome.|
|Nihilistic Acquisition||0||Unlocks the Raiding bombardment stance||
||The notion of self-determination cannot be a moral absolute. Holistic goals clearly outweigh individual concerns.|
|One Vision||0||Machine Intelligence||True unity is achieved only when the ultimate goals of a nation and its people are one and the same. After all, a house divided against itself cannot stand.|
||As we reach for ever greater heights, we must not leave behind those who have loyally served us. The glorious future of our empire was always meant to be a shared destiny.|
|Technological Ascendancy||0||Technologies that would have been indistinguishable from magic mere generations ago are now within our reach. A new age of technology has begun.|
|Transcendent Learning||0||Our society must change its approach towards learning, and by doing so, our best and brightest will be able to reach a completely new level of achievements.|
|Universal Transactions||0||Corporate authority||We shall extend our brand and our business to every solar system in the galaxy. Greed is eternal!|
|Voidborne||0||Orbital Habitats technology||The void, once seen as a cold and insurmountable barrier, has become a second home to us. Permanent habitation in the depths of space is now eminently possible.|
|Xeno-Compatibility||0||The invention of universal sexual biology has revolutionized society. Even if it sometimes requires awkward rotations to make a connection.|
|Enigmatic Engineering||1||Technology is simply not a way to solve a problem, but it is a language by which we ascend beyond the mundane. Lesser minds simply fail to understand our advances.|
|Grasp the Void||1||The vast expense of the galaxy holds limitless riches for those empires that understand how to maintain their grasp on the void.|
|Engineered Evolution||1||To leave our genetic destiny in the hands of nature is an inefficient and excruciatingly slow process. Why not jump-start the future of our species?|
|Mind over Matter||1||Only a fraction of the potential contained within our minds has been unlocked. The latent psionic abilities of our species are only now beginning to manifest in certain individuals.|
|The Flesh is Weak||1||The limits and constraints imposed on us by our feeble organic bodies are simply unacceptable. To reach our full potential, we must turn to cybernetic implants.|
|World Shaper||1||To carefully shape and alter the ecosystem of an entire planet into something else is not so very different from an artist sculpting a statue out of clay.|
|Arcology Project||2||Arcology Project decision||Thus shall we make a world of the city, and a city of the world.|
|Galactic Force Projection||2||The fleet is the instrument by which the will of our empire is made manifest - we live or die depending on its strength.|
|Hive Worlds||2||Hive World terraforming option||We shall create living worlds that are every bit as much a part of the Hive as the drones that inhabit them.|
|Machine Worlds||2||Machine World terraforming option||We shall shape our worlds into a mirror image of ourselves, replacing the fraility of biology with the immutable perfection of metal.|
||Building a Megastructure requires an unprecedented amount of resources and planning. We are breaking new ground in the field of macro-engineering.|
|Synthetic Age||2||The age of organics has come and gone, the future of the galaxy belongs to the machines. This is the dawn of a synthetic age.|
|Evolutionary Mastery||2||Evolution is a single-minded beast that follows a single path to its inevitable conclusion. We cannot afford to limit ourselves thus - let us explore all paths simultaneously.|
Special Project to turn the empire synthetic
|It is time to abandon the flawed organic vessels that imprison our minds. By transferring our neural patterns into synthetic bodies, we will achieve a higher state of being.|
||We stand on the threshold of awakening the true psionic might of our species. Our minds are ready, and we have heard whispers of a psychic realm beyond our own...|
|Colossus Project||3||Titans Technology||The Colossus Project is where fevered dreams of terror and deterrence meet. A vision of the biggest ship, carrying a weapon capable of devastating entire worlds.|
|Defender of the Galaxy||3||As star nations vie with one another in petty disputes, sinister forces of unimaginable power are arraying themselves against all sapient life. Who will protect us?|
||Established communications with an awakened or fallen empire||The Fallen Empires cling to the ruins of their decrepit civilizations, ever fearful of the younger and more dynamic races that surround them. Their time has long since passed.|
|Galactic Wonders||3||Mega-Engineering technology||Megastructures are rightfully regarded as the wonders of our time. The scope of such a project would have been unimaginable mere generations ago.|
- The formula variables can be found at under tradition cost.