Traditions represent the socio-cultural evolution of an empire as it expands and develops and represent abilities or bonuses unlocked with the unity resource. 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.
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.
Traditions are grouped into tradition trees with 5 traditions each, as well as a bonus for adopting the tradition tree and one for finishing it. Each empire can select up to 7 tradition trees.
The Discovery tradition tree focuses on exploration and research and is available to all empires.
|+10% Research speed|
The Domination tradition tree focuses on better managing planets and is available to all empires.
|+20% Administrative Capacity|
The Expansion tradition tree focuses on the expansion of territory and colonies and is available to all empires.
| +1 Max Districts for all non-artificial planets if not Void Dwellers |
−20% Habitat Build Cost if Void Dwellers
The Prosperity tradition tree focuses on various empire-wide bonuses and is available to all empires.
| +5% Resources from Jobs|
+5 Stability on all planets
The Supremacy tradition tree focuses on fleets and armies and is available to all empires.
| Unlocks War Doctrine policies |
Unlocks the Supremacist diplomatic stance
| +10% Diplomatic Weight |
+1 Available Envoys
| Unlocks Planetary Prospecting Decision if not Void Dwellers |
Unlocks Orbital Surveying Decision if Void Dwellers
|−10% Empire Sprawl from Pops|
|+10% Trade Value|
|Available only with the Utopia DLC or the Synthetic Dawn DLC enabled.|
| −10% Empire Sprawl from Pops |
Unlocks the Industrial Maintenance edict if Machine Intelligence
|Available only with the Apocalypse DLC enabled.|
The Unyielding tradition tree focuses on defense and is available to all empires.
| +50% Defense Platform Cap|
−20% Starbase Upkeep
|Available only with the Nemesis DLC enabled.|
The Subterfuge tradition tree focuses on espionage and counterespionage and is available to all empires.
|50% Infiltration Level refund for successful Operations|
|Available only with the Synthetic Dawn DLC enabled.|
|50% Refund per demolished building or district|
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.