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Population modification


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This article has been verified for the current PC version (2.7) of the game.
Every species can be radically changed through genetic or cybernetic modification
See also: Traits

Population modification refers to the process of altering a population's traits either to change its habitability, create subspecies suited for different tasks or improving it after unlocking more trait points through research. Both organic and robotic pops can be modified and each has its own set of traits. In addition, a small number of events can modify the population of a colony.


Species archetypes

Species classes are further grouped by species archetypes. Each of them can have different mechanics and even available traits.

Species archetype Trait Upkeep resource Multiplication Modification Additional mechanics Available on start
Biological   Food   Growth Genetic Can create hybrid species with all biological groups  
Lithoid   Lithoid   Minerals   Growth Genetic
  • Can use some natural resource traits
  • Can use the   Calamitous Birth origin
Machine   Machine Unit   Energy   Assembly Cybernetic
  • Must use   Machine Intelligence authority
Robotic   Mechanical   Energy   Assembly Cybernetic
  • Unlocked through   Robotic Workers technology
Pre-Sapient   Any pre-sapient trait   None   Cannot multiply Uplifting Does not wear clothes  

When it refers to Robotic, it's usually refering to both   Mechanical species and   Machine Unit species, not just the former.

When it refers to Biological, it's usually refering to only Biological species, except for Bio-Trophy and Biological Ascension Path being shared between Biological and Lithoid species.

When it refers to Organic, it's usually refering to both Biological species and   Lithoid species.

Trait points and Picks

The two primary limiters to how many traits in what combination one can have are the Trait Points and Trait Picks. The first contact with both is on the species creation screen. Various technologies add additional Trait Points but Trait Picks are always capped at 5, except for hybrid species which have 6. In Utopia traits given by ascension paths do not count towards either limit.

Species templates

The genetic modification menu.

Population modification is done via templates. Templates can be applied to pops residing on a planet or to the entire species, previously modified or not. Modified pops are considered part of the same species as the original even if the name and portraits have been changed. However, it is possible to set different rights for templates and its parent species.

Templates with zero current pops can be freely modified or deleted however the ones with at least one pop cannot be changed and the template modification window presents only the option to create a new one.

After a template has been applied a special project to start modifying the selected pops will appear in the situation log. The project will timeout in 30 days if not started. Depending on the kind of modification, how severe the modification (total amount of trait point differences) and how many pops were picked, this special project can be very expensive in science. The system is currently designed towards favoring bulk modification of many traits over specific via a high base cost.

Type Genetic Cybernetic
Unlocked by   Glandular Acclimation for climate preference
  Gene Tailoring for adding positive and removing negative traits
  Genetic Resequencing for removing positive and adding negative traits
  Machine Template System
  • 3000   Society Research
  • +5 per affected Pop
  • +20 per affected Pop per Trait Point Difference between the old and new Templates
  • +60 per affected Pop if climate preference is changed
  • -25% for   Engineered Evolution ascension perk
  • -25% for   Evolutionary Mastery ascension perk
  • 1500   Engineering Research
  • +20 per affected Pop
  • +40 per affected Pop per Trait Point Difference between the old and new Templates
  • -33% for   Synthetic Age ascension perk
  • -50% for   Synthetic Evolution ascension perk
Trait Points
  •   Gene Tailoring technology grants +1
  •   Targeted Gene Expressions technology grants +1
  •   Engineered Evolution ascension perk grants +3
  •   Evolutionary Mastery ascension perk grants +3
  •   The Omnicodex relic grants +1
  •   Hybrid species have one additional trait point and one additional trait pick
  •   Machine Template System technology grants +2 (+1 for machine empires)
  •   Cross-Model Standardization / Binary Motivators technology grants +1
  •   Fungible Circuitry / Nanite Assemblers technology grants +1
  •   Synthetic Evolution ascension perk grants +1
  •   Synthetic Age ascension perk grants +2


For pre-sapient species the option to create templates is replaced with the option to uplift and bring them to sapience. It requires the   Epigenetic Triggers technology and costs 3000   Society research. Upon completion the empire will instantly integrate the uplifted species and gain 500   Influence. In addition the uplifted species will gain +10%   Happiness when living within the borders of the empire that uplifted it. The initial ethics of the uplifted species will be determined by a series of initial events although afterwards the species fully susceptible to Ethics divergence.


This special Citizenship with associated Living Standards allows the conversion of pops to better fit the existing empire, without the hassle of regular modification. Each year 3, 6 or 12 pops will be assimilated, chosen from among all assimilating pops. The type of assimilation depends on the empire and the pop in question.

  Fanatic Purifiers,   Devouring Swarms and   Terravores can't perform any kind of assimilation.   Hive-Minded pops can't be assimilated into an empire that isn't a   Hive Mind, except with Hive Dissociation.

Assimilation type Empire requirements Species requirements Traits gained Traits removed
  Identity Sublimation   Driven Assimilator
  • Organic species
  •    Cybernetic
  •   Hive-Minded
  •   Self-Modified
  Identity Sublimation
  •   Evolutionary Mastery
  •   Hive Mind
  • Organic species
  •    Hive-Minded
  Hive-Minded   Self-Modified
  Transubstantiation Synthesis   The Flesh is Weak
  • Organic species
  •    Cybernetic
  •   Hive-Minded
  •   Self-Modified
  Transubstantiation Synthesis   Synthetic Evolution Organic species   Mechanical All
  Hive Dissociation
  •   Evolutionary Mastery
  •    Gestalt Consciousness
  Hive-Minded species   Hive-Minded
  Transcendent Awakening   Transcendence
  • Organic species
  •    Cybernetic
  Psionic   Latent Psionic

Assimilating a pop from an invaded primitive species into a   Gestalt Consciousness will additionally remove culture shock modifiers.

Ascension paths

Genetic modification can be used in conjunction with some of the ascension perks.

  • The biological ascension path focuses entirely on genetic modification. Each of the two ascension perks grants 3 additional trait points and reduces the cost of genetic modification projects by 25% as well as unlocking early the   Gene Seed Purification and   Genetic Resequencing technologies respectively.
  • The psionic ascension path adds the   Psionic trait that cannot be acquired or removed through genetic modification. At first, only the founding species will get it, but other species living in the empire can get it through the aforementioned assimilation.
  • Choosing the synthetic ascension path will first enhance the empire's every species with the   Cybernetic trait. Cybernetic species are still organic enough to be genetically modified. Finishing the synthetic ascension path will upload all   Cybernetic pops into Robotic bodies, replacing genetic modification with cybernetic.

Hybrid species

   Xenophile empires can pick the   Xeno-Compatibility Ascension Perk to allow the reproduction of two organic species into hybrid species. Hybrid species take a portrait from one of the parent species and a mix of traits from both parent species, with at least one trait being inherited from each. They also get 1 additional trait point and trait pick. Two species are three times more likely to create a hybrid species if they are part of the same species group.

A Caravan event unique to    Xenophile empires also has a 33% chance of creating a hybrid species.

  Lithoid species can only create hybrid species with other Lithoid species.