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This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.

Traditions are abilities or bonuses unlocked with the Unity.png unity resource. Traditions help define an empire by allowing the adoption of traditions trees that suit their particular play-style. Completing a tree allows the empire to pick an ascension perk to further enhance themselves, with certain ascension perks even paving their way into one of three available ascension paths.


Each tradition tree consists of the following:

  • Starter bonus: This bonus is acquired simply for adopting the tradition tree.
  • Traditions set: Each tree contains 5 traditions unlocking new abilities or bonuses.
  • Finisher bonus: This bonus is acquired upon unlocking all of the traditions within a single tree.

Tradition Trees

Tree Starter bonus Finisher bonus Description
File:Trad diplo.JPG -50% Influence.png Diplomatic Influence Cost Trust Growth increased by 33%. The surest way to destroy your enemies is to make them your friends.
File:Trad disco.JPG -33% Mod planet building cost mult.png Building Cost for Research Station Research Speed increased by 10%. For the first time in the history of our civilization, we live in an age where our reach extends beyond the confines of our homeworld. Our insatiable curiosity about the universe is what got us this far, and there is still so much left to discover.
File:Trad domination.JPG -25% Mod war economy offensive.png War demand cost to subjugate other empires A Research agreement-like effect applies between the empire completing Domination and its subjects: +30% research speed bonus towards technologies that one party has but the other doesn't. If we do not impose our will on others, they will inevitably impose theirs on us.
File:Trad expansion.JPG +1 Pop.png Pop for new colonies Increases core sector systems by 2. We must spread our civilization to new systems and planets if we are to survive. As other empires emerge on the galactic scene, competition will be fierce. The faster we can establish new colonies, the better.
File:Trad harmony.JPG +10% Mod pop happiness.png Happiness for all pops in the empire. -15% Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods used by all pops Few things can match the strength of a content populace working towards a common goal.
File:Trad prosperity.JPG -33% Mod planet building cost mult.png Building Cost for Mining Station Terraforming Cost reduced by 33%. There is no better indicator of the success or failure of a star nation than the strength of its economy.
File:Trad suprem.JPG +20% Planet border extrusion.png Border Range +15% Mod ship fire rate mult.png Fire Rate The future of this galaxy belongs to those who are strong enough to seize it.

Tradition Details

Tradition Tree Effects Prerequisites Description
Tradition diplomacy alien tourism.png Alien tourism Diplomacy Unlocks the Visitor Center building. Dynamic Ecomorphism It is easy to take our rich culture for granted. We should make it easier for visitors from other civilizations to share in its beauty.
Tradition diplomacy dynamic ecomorphism.png Dynamic Ecomorphism Diplomacy Habitability increased by 10%. Adopting Diplomacy Diplomacy opens many doors through which information flows. Simply by studying the methods of others, we have learned new ways of adapting to alien environments.
Tradition diplomacy entente coordination.png Entente Coordination Diplomacy The amount that contributes towards the Federation Naval Capacity counts for twice as much. The Federation Perhaps the most important purpose of any successful interstellar federation is the mutual defense of its members. We have an obligation to contribute as much as we can.
Tradition diplomacy federal unity.png Federal Unity Diplomacy Unity output is increased by 5% per federation member. The Federation Diversity is an incredible asset, and the insights and perspectives that every member state contributes to our federation will only make our society stronger.
Tradition diplomacy the federation.png The Federation Diplomacy Unlocks the ability to form a Federation. Adopting Diplomacy We must build stable and lasting partnerships with our neighbors, based on trust and mutual respect. Together we are far stronger than we could ever hope to be alone.
Tradition discovery faith in science.png Faith in Science Discovery Assist Research increases Happiness by 10%. Polytechnic Education The public has come to regard science as something almost akin to a religion - their faith in it is absolute. There is no question in this universe so big that it cannot be answered by science.
Tradition discovery planetary survey corps.png Planetary Survey Corps Discovery Gain Research Points equal to a third of monthly gain when surveying planets. To Boldly Go Our methods of surveying uncharted planetary bodies has continued to improve, and our scans now yield a significant amount of research data that is useful to our scientists.
Tradition discovery polytechnic education.png Polytechnic Education Discovery Leader Skills Levels increased by 1. Science Division In this age of increasingly advanced technology, a basic education in polytechnics and applied science will benefit all of our citizens. This will inevitably lead to more qualified leaders.
Tradition discovery science division.png Science Division Discovery Scientist Recruitment Cost reduced by 33%. Adopting Discovery The number of science and medical officers has been increased throughout the fleet, organized into a special Science Division. To support this corps of officers, new training programs have greatly accelerated the rate at which we commission new science officers.
Tradition discovery to boldly go.png To Boldly Go Discovery Anomaly Fail Risk reduced by 10% and Anomaly Discovery Chance increased by 15%. Adopting Discovery A new age of exploration is upon us. As we once mapped the surface of our homeworld, we must now brave new terrain - space. There is a galaxy full of wonder waiting to be discovered.
Tradition domination colonial viceroys.png Colonial Viceroys Domination +2 Governor Skills. +2 Empire Leader Capacity. Adopting Domination Our control over the colonies is dependent upon us finding capable and loyal individuals that can be trusted to enforce the will of the government.
Tradition domination fleet levies.png Fleet Levies Domination Every Vassal increases the host empire's Naval Capacity by 20% of the Vassal's capacity. Colonial Viceroys and Star Lords It is a vassal's sworn duty to provide military support to their overlords. We will fill up the lower ranks of our fleet with recruits from those nations that have pledged to serve us.
Tradition domination protection racket.png Protection Racket Domination Tributaries give an additional 10% of their income.
Slave Unrest reduced by 25%.
Colonial Viceroys Our obligation to protect our vassals from the dangers of the universe is one that we take very seriously. Alas, seeing to the defense of their worlds doesn't come cheap...
Tradition domination star lords.png Star Lords Domination Subject Integration Cooldown reduced by 50%. +20 Subject Opinion towards empire. Adopting Domination It is our destiny to lord over those who are weaker. Obedient nations that swear fealty to our great empire may be permitted to exist... at our discretion.
Tradition domination vassal acculturation.png Vassal Acculturation Domination Subject Integration Influence Cost reduced by 30%. Star Lords We will add the biological and technological distinctiveness of our vassals to our own. Their cultures will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.
Tradition expansion a new life.png A New Life Expansion Population growth time reduced by 10%. Colony development speed increased by 50%. Colonization Fever A new life awaits our citizens in the off-world colonies. A chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure! With the help of an aggressive marketing campaign, the less fortunate elements of our society will be flocking to our colony ships.
Tradition expansion colonization fever.png Colonization Fever Expansion Capitol buildings produce +1 Unity. Adopting Expansion Colonization fever seems to have gripped the populace. Their enthusiasm and patriotic fervor grows for every new world claimed by our colonists.
Tradition expansion courier network.png Courier Network Expansion The effect on increased Tradition cost caused by additional colonies is reduced by 33%. Colonization Fever A network of small courier vessels is a reliable alternative for transporting VIPs or delivering messages that can't be trusted to FTL communications. This will tie our far-flung colonies more closely together.
Tradition expansion galactic ambition.png Galactic Ambition Expansion Frontier Outpost Upkeep is reduced by 50%. Reach for the Stars The banner of our great empire will one day be as common as hydrogen throughout the galaxy.
Tradition expansion reach for the stars.png Reach for the Stars Expansion When calculating costs for colonisation and building Frontier Outposts, the effective distance from your empire is halved. Adopting Expansion The frontiers of our star nation are being pushed ever forwards. Soon, nothing in this galaxy will lie beyond our grasp...
Tradition harmony bulwark of harmony.png Bulwark of Harmony Harmony While in a defensive war, Ship Build Speed is increased by 33% and Fire Rate is increased by 15% for one's own ships within the empire's borders. Mind and Body and Kinship All organisms, no matter how perfect, must rely on an immune system to ward off the threat of outside disease. Our society is no different.
Tradition harmony kinship.png Kinship Harmony The negative impact on Governing Ethics Attraction caused by distance-from-Capital is reduced by 20%. Adopting Harmony A true sense of kinship has developed between all the citizens of our great star nation, regardless of whether they make their home within the heart of our space or out on the wild frontier.
Tradition harmony mind and body.png Mind and Body Harmony Leader Lifespan increased by 20 years. Adopting Harmony By embracing a combination of new meditation techniques and healthier eating habits, a large segment of our population enjoys a greater life expectancy than ever before.
Tradition harmony the greater good.png The Greater Good Harmony Unrest is reduced by 20 on all planets. Adopting Harmony Our entire population takes comfort in the knowledge that they are working together for the greater good, each one a small but important part of a vastly larger whole.
Tradition harmony utopian dream.png Utopian Dream Harmony Unlocks the Paradise Dome building. (Paradise Dome provides 5 food and 2 unity as a base.) The Greater Good Long the promise of a better world has driven our progress. With the invention of the $building_paradise_dome$ we are able to create environments that are blissful beyond imagination, bringing us one step closer to utopia.
Tradition prosperity administrative operations.png Administrative Operations Prosperity Building Upkeep reduced by 10%. Standard Construction Templates As our empire continues to grow, eliminating corruption and inefficiency is of critical importance. These credit drains must be plugged!
Tradition prosperity fleet logistical corps.png Fleet Logistics Corps Prosperity Ship Upkeep reduced by 10%. Standard Construction Templates With ships often deployed across vast interstellar distances, a dedicated Logistics Corps is needed to make things run smoothly.
Tradition prosperity sct.png Standard Construction Templates Prosperity Ship Cost and Building Cost reduced by 15%. Adopting Prosperity As technology advances and becomes ever more complex, new demands are placed on our workforce. By using standardized construction templates, our workers can build things without necessarily having to understand the finer points.
Tradition prosperity pursuit of profit.png The Pursuit of Profit Prosperity Energy Grid and Energy Nexus now also produce +2 Unity. Trans-Stellar Corporations The pursuit of profit has become a central tenet of our society. Those who are successful at any kind of enterprise are deeply admired, and the accumulation of energy credits is seen as an extremely worthwhile goal.
Tradition prosperity trans stellar corporations.png Trans-Stellar Corporations Prosperity Private Colony Ship unlocked. Adopting Prosperity There are powerful corporate entities willing to carry a large part of the cost of our colonization efforts, provided that we leave the vetting process of potential colonists to them.
Tradition supremacy master shipwrights.png Master Shipwrights Supremacy Ship Build Speed increased by 15% and Naval Capacity increased by 10%. Adopting Supremacy The ever-increasing scope of our ship-building programs has led to the creation of highly-skilled and efficient labor forces at our shipyards. Methods have continually been refined, and the time it takes to go from hull plating to a completed starship is now shorter than ever before.
Tradition supremacy right of conquest.png Right of Conquest Supremacy Cede Planet War Demand cost reduced by 25%. Adopting Supremacy The ancient right of conquest is a universal truth that is no less relevant now than it was when our civilization established dominion over our homeworld. Woe to the vanquished!
Tradition supremacy great game.png The Great Game Supremacy Unity output increased by 10% per neighboring Rival. Right of Conquest and Warrior Mindset As we continue to expand, other empires will inevitably challenge our claims, as we would theirs. We are locked in a great game of resources and territory. It is nothing less than our duty to come out on top.
Tradition supremacy war games.png War Games Supremacy Admiral Skills increased by 2. Master Shipwrights and Right of Conquest A strong war game tradition has taken root among the senior officers of our fleets, whether the games be computer simulations or actual exercises in space. This has encouraged our admirals to think outside the box, resulting in numerous tactical innovations and new strategies.
Tradition supremacy overwhelming force.png Warrior Mindset Supremacy Army Damage increased by 25%. Adopting Supremacy Discipline is at the core of any successful army. With selective breeding, rigorous drills and extensive combat conditioning we have created a force of ruthless warriors, working in absolute coherence with each other. They are the iron fist with which we will rule the galaxy.


The cost of unlocking a Tradition depends on the size of your empire, as well as how internally stable it is. Unhappy factions, minority species and slaves all increase the cost of adoption Traditions further, though these effects can be offset or even cancelled out entirely by adopting the right Traditions for the empire you intend to build. Overall, small harmonious empires will unlock Traditions more quickly than large, expansionistic ones. Which Traditions you unlock also has a significant impact on the ethics of your population, and so can be a useful tool to either strengthen your existing empire ethics or further a planned empire-wide shift towards a different set of ethics altogether.

Tradition cost is formulated as follows:

where population factor is further broken down as the amount of each pop type (with applied multiplier):

Note: Adopting and completing a tree increases the unlocked traditions factor (each by an additional 1).


Finishing a tradition tree unlocks an ascension perk slot. 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 3 "Ascension paths", the ability to build Megastructures in space and similarly powerful effects. Each ascension path is comprised of two perks: one 'entrance' perk that becomes available with the relevant technology plus at least one other ascension perk unlocked, then a 'completion' perk that requires at least three other perks be unlocks and usually the associated rare technology.

The three ascension paths are mutually exclusive, which implies that empires cannot eventually acquire psionic mutant cyborgs. On the other hand each ascension path can still acquire the ability to build megastructures - this can only be achieved in the end-game due to the sheer amount of unity acquired to complete at least 5 tradition tree, or 4 plus Tech ascension theory.png Ascension Theory. The rare tech requirement may also be difficult to find if players do not utilise additional research alternatives. For example, with careful planning of research and traditions players can potentially unlock Voidborne -> Ascension Path 1 -> Master Builders -> Ascension Path 2 -> Circle of life to efficiently create Ring-worlds without delaying their transcendence significantly.

Ascension Perks

Note: With Utopia enabled several technologies requiring picking certain ascension perks in order to research them - these are the ones associated with one of the ascension paths.

Perk Effects Prerequisites Description
Ap interstellar dominion.png Interstellar Dominion Border Range: +25% Our place amongst the stars is assured and irrefutable, and the borders of our nation equally so.
Ap technological ascendancy.png Technological Ascendancy Research Speed: +10% Technologies that would have been indistinguishable from magic mere generations ago are now within our reach. A new age of technology has begun.
Ap one vision.png One Vision
  • Governing Ethics Attraction: +30%
  • Unity Output: +10%
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.
Ap consecrated worlds.png Consecrated Worlds Unlocks Edict: Consecrated Worlds, which lasts for 100 years and increases Pop Happiness, Unity and reduces growth time. Requires spiritual or fanatic spiritual governing ethics. 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.
Ap mastery of nature.png Mastery of Nature
  • Clear Blocker Cost: -100%
  • Gives all Tile Block Removal removal Techs.
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.
Ap imperial prerogative.png Imperial Prerogative Core Sector Systems: +5 As our civilization continues to grow, so its beating heart must also expand. More systems will be placed under our direct control.
Ap engineered evolution.png Engineered Evolution
  • Trait Points: +2
  • Modify Species Special Project Cost: -50%
  • Tech research option gained: Gene Seed Purification
  • Requires one other Ascension Perk to be selected first.
  • Tech gene tailoring.png Gene Tailoring technology.
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?
Ap evolutionary mastery.png Evolutionary Mastery
  • Trait Points: +3
  • Modify Species Special Project Cost: -25%
  • Tech research option gained: Genetic Resequencing
  • Requires three other Ascension Perks to be selected first.
  • Tech gene expressions.png Targeted Gene Expressions technology.
  • Engineered Evolution Ascension Perk.
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.
Ap the flesh is weak.png The Flesh is Weak
  • Robot Maintenance Cost: -15%
  • We will prepare a special project to enhance our citizens with cybernetic implants.
  • Requires one other Ascension Perk to be selected first.
  • Tech droid workers.png Droids technology.
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.
Ap synthetic evolution.png Synthetic Evolution
  • Robot Maintenance Cost: -25%
  • We will prepare a special project to transfer the minds of our citizens into synthetic bodies.
  • Requires three other Ascension Perks to be selected first.
  • Tech synthetic workers.png Synthetics technology.
  • Synthetic Personality Matrix technology.
  • Flesh is Weak Ascension Perk.
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.
Ap mind over matter.png Mind over Matter
  • The latent psionic abilities of our species will be awakened in some individuals.
  • Tech research option gained: Telepathy
  • Requires one other Ascension Perk to be selected first.
  • Tech psionic theory.png Psionic Theory technology.
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.
Ap transcendence.png Transcendence All members of our species will unlock their full psionic potential.
  • Requires three other Ascension Perks to be selected first.
  • Mind over Matter Ascension Perk.
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...
Ap world shaper.png World Shaper Terraforming Speed: +100% Requires the Tech terrestrial sculpting.png Terrestrial Sculpting technology. 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.
Ap galactic force projection.png Galactic Force Projection Naval Capacity: +200 Requires two other Ascensions Perks to be selected first. The fleet is the instrument by which the will of our empire is made manifest - we live or die depending on its strength.
Ap defender of the galaxy.png Defender of the Galaxy +50% Damage to:

Everyone's Opinion increased by +20

Requires two other Ascension Perks to be selected first. As star nations vie with one another in petty disputes, sinister forces of unimaginable power are arraying themselves against all sentient life. Who will protect us?
Ap master builders.png Master Builders
  • Requires one other Ascension Perk to be selected first.
  • Voidborne OR Galactic Wonders Ascension Perk.
Building a Megastructure requires an unprecedented amount of resources and planning. We are breaking new ground in the field of macro-engineering.
Ap galactic contender.png Galactic Contender Requires two other Ascension Perks to be selected first. 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.
Ap voidborn.png Voidborne Unlocks Station: Habitat
  • Tech space defense station 3.png Deep Space Installations technology.
  • Tech battleships.png Battleships technology.
Space, once seen as a cold and insurmountable barrier, has become a second home to us. More and more of our young reach adulthood without ever setting foot on a planet.
Ap the circle of life.png The Circle of Life Unlocks Megastructure: Ring World
  • Requires three other Ascension Perks to be selected first.
  • Voidborne Ascension Perk.
  • Tech mega engineering.png Mega-Engineering technology.
A massive ring-shaped megastructure with artificial habitats built around the orbital circumference of a star. In theory, it could be done...
Ap galactic wonders.png Galactic Wonders
  • Requires three other Ascension Perks to be selected first.
  • Tech mega engineering.png 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.

Ascension Paths


The Biological Ascension Path focuses on mastery of DNA and evolution. The first step, Engineered Evolution, requires the Gene Tailoring technology and grants a major reduction to the cost and time required to genetically modify species, gives you +2 trait points, and also unlocks the ability to research the Gene Seed Purification technology which is otherwise unavailable (it can still be researched as normal for those who do not have the Utopia expansion), allowing recruitment of Gene Warriors.

The next step, Evolutionary Mastery requires the Targeted Gene Expressions technology. It grants an additional +3 trait points, a further reduction in time and cost of genemodding, and unlocks the ability to research the Genetic Resequencing technology, which once researched unlocks Advanced Genemodding. With Advanced Genemodding you will be able to add negative traits and remove positive traits, allowing you to completely reshape species at your whim. Points are refunded when positive traits are removed, allowing for a full reworking of any species from the ground up, even if they've already been modified before. It also unlocks five new traits that are exclusively available to the Biological Ascension Path:

  • Robust: Upgrades from Extremely Adaptable, adds +30% habitability and an extra +30 years of lifespan.
  • Fertile: Upgrades from Rapid Breeders, gives -30% growth time and +5% happiness
  • Erudite: Upgrades from Intelligent, gives +20% science production and +1 leader skill levels.
  • Delicious: Makes the species delicious and nutritious, granting +100% food yield from Processing and Livestock.
  • Nerve Stapled: Removes the ability of the species to feel happiness or sadness. Happiness is disabled and Food/Mineral production increased, but adds major penalties to other resource production.

Additionally, Advanced Genemodding allows for the ability for non-Hive Mind empires to remove the Hive-Minded trait from Pops and for Hive Minds to add it to Pops.

This is particularly useful for Empires that wish to maximize slavery-focused, or pseudo-slavery focused Empire Builds. Allowing you to fundamentally alter a species (or sub-species; i.e. your main species on a different world as Egalitarians where slavery is banned) without the massive consequences that might otherwise come as a result. A good example might include modifying a species on a planet to grow faster, and be nomadic, creating a migration-hub world for future expansion. Alternatively, large amounts of dissatisfied pops can be quickly 'dealt with' via Genemodding (move your angry pops to a world, modify each group so that they are nerve stapled, move them back to the resources they can produce on without consequence).


The Shroud is a dimension in the Stellaris universe composed of pure psionic power. Only spiritualists who have picked the Transcendence Ascension Perk may access it. It appears as a surrealistic realm, which contains many mysterious beings, including ethereal beings, a mysterious coven, and other strange manifestations.

There are several requirements that must be fulfilled to achieve Psionic Ascension, you must research Psionic Theory, which is a rare Society Research tech, and then you must choose 'Mind over Matter' and 'Transcendence' to fully awaken the dormant Psychic power of your species. Upon reaching the pinnacle of Psionic Ascension, fellow species in your Empire may also become Latent Psionics or fully Awakened Psionics, depending on which Event choices are made.

To access the Shroud, a spiritualistic empire must first obtain the Transcendence Ascension Perk, after which the entire Empire will psionically awaken, granting a variety of minor-to-medium buffs to each leader and pop. When that happens, a special project will appear in which your strongest psionics will commit themselves to a séance, accessing the Shroud. It costs 5000 Society research points, comparable to the Synthetic Ascension's cost, soon after selecting the Transcendence Perk. After that, you may only access the Shroud once every approximately 60 months, at a cost of 1200 energy, which is reduced per each zro dust resource owned, up to a maximum of 4.

The benefits for Psionically Awakening can vary depending on Shroud events, which also include new tech options that can be gained directly through the Shroud events, including new Shields, Psi Jump Drives, and other miscellaneous benefits, including optional Pacts with the Demon-like inhabitants that dwell within the Shroud. There are noticeable combat bonuses, including an increased evasion chance for Admirals and a increase to Morale and Invasion on Generals. There is a flat research bonus granted for Scientists, and an Unrest modifier for Governors, along with a minimal Ruler buff. Minor events, known as Boons, gained through the Shroud have a relatively short time for use, and can also backfire for a similar magnitude. Be careful when using the Shroud before combat, depending on the options chosen armor could be significant reduced on your ships, among other things. Some examples are below.

The Shroud can grant boons or curses to those who delve in it. Boons range as moderate buffs, including:

  • Ship speed
  • Research
  • Hull Regeneration
  • Summoning of a Psionic Avatar, a 14k fleet power 'starbase' with a psi jump drive
  • A powerful land army of the same name.

Curses do the opposite at the same magnitude. There are also more unique interactions, such as communicating with a coven for massive boons at the consequence of impending doom, or allowing someone to become a 'Chosen One', which grants them immortality.

End of the Cycle

The End Of The Cycle is a late-game crisis event that may only be summoned willingly by an Empire that has fully transcended. It has a chance to appear when entering the Shroud. Upon contact, it will offer the player massive boons in exchange for an undetermined cost. After 50 years have passed, the crisis event will go in full effect. All of your planets will turn into uninhabitable shroud planets, almost all of your population will die, and everyone will receive a 1000 opinion malus for dooming them all. Each planet previously owned will spawn a Shroud Avatar, while your previous homeworld will summon The End, which has a massive scaling bonus based on how much population your Empire had. There is a chance that your empire will survive, but everything except technology will be reset, akin to a newly-formed Empire. This may be regarded as the most difficult crisis event to date, with the player empire having to survive both the Shroud Menace and the hostile remaining empires.


The third ascension path focuses upon the union between biological and synthetic lifeforms, available chiefly to non-Spiritualists who adopt some form of robotic technology.

The synthetics ascension pathway involves a two-step conversion of populations in the empire, first from baseline to cyborgs, and then from cyborgs to full synthetics. The unlocking of each perk will spawn its respective engineering special project - upon completion, all populations currently in the empire will acquire the Cybernetic/Cyborgs trait or the Synthetic trait. After each of these steps, it is possible to use gene-modification to add the relevant traits to populations who have arrived or been otherwise 'acquired' after the main populace has been converted.

The cyborg step is of interest to empires who wish to remain as hybrids, as cyborg populations retain all their biological traits and can be further modified to utilise unspent trait points. On the other hand, the full conversion to synthetics will result in the loss of biological traits and all populations sharing identical traits with their artificial brethren. Thus, empires with particularly powerful biological trait combinations from sources such as uplifted species (e.g. Trait primitive.pngProles + Industrious.pngIndustrious or Trait primitive.pngEarthbound + Industrious.pngThrifty,) may wish to remain as hybrids while also benefiting from having synthetics for specific tasks.