Difficulty

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There are 6 difficulty levels.

  • Citizen
  • Specialist
  • Talent
  • Librarian
  • Thinker
  • Transcend.

Though the AI does not overtly "cheat" at levels below Thinker, it is worth noting that it knows the location of all your units and bases to overcome limitations in the AI. See: Strategy#AI

Differences Between Difficulty Levels.


  • Citizen
    • 6 pop before encountering drones.
    • AI production cost is at 130%.
    • Random events don't occur until after turn 75.
    • Command Center Maintenance is 0.
    • No research points first 5 turns.
    • AI can't start secret project until the player has the prerequisite technology.
    • Building a colony pod at base size 1 doesn't eliminate the base.
    • No Power Overloads.
    • No Prototype Cost.
    • No Production Penalty.
    • Combat handicap.
    • No populations losses from attacks.
    • Incited Pact and Treaty Scripts do not trigger.
    • Mindcontrol and Unit Subversion Energy Credit Costs halved.
    • The AI does not automatically set various AI Personality traits.
  • Specialist
    • 5 pop before encountering drones.
    • AI production cost is at 120%.
    • Random events don't occur until after turn 65.
    • Command Center Maintenance is 1.
    • No research points first 5 turns.
    • AI can't start secret project until the player has the prerequisite technology.
    • Building a colony pod at base size 1 doesn't eliminate the base.
    • No Power Overloads.
    • No Prototype Cost.
    • No Production Penalty.
    • Combat handicap.
    • Mindcontrol and Unit Subversion Energy Credit Costs halved.
    • The AI does not automatically set various AI Personality traits.
  • Talent
    • 4 pop before encountering drones.
    • AI production cost is at 110%.
    • Random events don't occur until after turn 55.
    • Command Center Maintenance is 1.
    • AI can't start secret project until the player has the prerequisite technology.
    • Combat handicap with native life forms.
    • Mindcontrol and Unit Subversion Energy Credit Costs halved.
  • Librarian
    • 3 pop before encountering drones.
    • AI production cost is at 100%.
    • Random events don't occur until after turn 45.
    • Command Center Maintenance starts at 1, then it goes to 2 when you discover fusion power.
  • Thinker
    • 2 pop before encountering drones.
    • AI production cost is at 80%.
    • Random events don't occur until after turn 35.
    • Command Center Maintenance starts at 1. Then it goes to 2 when you discover fusion power. Then 3, when you discover Quantum Power.
    • Higher Ecological Damage.
  • Transcend.
    • 1 pop before encountering drones.
    • AI production cost is at 70%.
    • Random events don't occur until after turn 25.
    • Command Center Maintenance starts at 1. Then it goes to 2 when you discover fusion power. Then 3, when you discover Quantum Power.
    • Higher Ecological Damage.


Tech is more expensive at higher difficulty levels.

AI Computer-Player Effects: 1. Easier Diplomacy. Except Intense Rivalry. 2. Delayed Gang Tackles. 3. No Mind Control. Citizen, Specialist, Talent.

Cost to Change Society. The cost to change social engineering is CHANGE^3 x DIFF, where CHANGE = (the number of areas changed in a turn) + 1.