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Races or Empires refers to the various sentient species that reach for the stars. These forces from across the entire galaxy are vying for dominance across its vast interstellar distances. Races are divided in two groups: player races and computer-controlled races (often called NPR, Non-Player Race). Each race can have several sub-species, genetically modified to adapt to different planetary environments.

Player Races

The player assumes the role of the leader of a spacefaring nation. During new game setup, you'll be able to choose your Racial Characteristics, and your Empire's starting conditions. For role-playing purposes you might invent a brief history of your civilization and its home planet, or base it on some piece of fiction that inspired you.

By default, the player race starts on Earth, in our good old Solar System. Selecting a Conventional Start means your race has not discovered Trans-Newtonian physics yet. You can also choose to use a custom start (for advanced players) or create a multiple-player-races game (be warned, this is time-consuming). Or maybe you want competing Earth power blocks, or several factions in the solar system, or maybe remnants of some defunct interstellar empire.

Empire Settings

During the creation process the player will select Empire basic parameters. Each Empire has Title, founding Species, Homeworld Name (default:'Terran Federation', 'Human' and 'Earth') and Empire and Commander Theme these adds flavor to your race. Additional Each Empire is defined by its racial traits which are affected by government type; and species tolerance, which define which planets will be most hospitable to your race.

Later on you can view and change Race details from the Races window Ctrl+F2, set during game createion and more like: Training level, which affects the quality of your Academy ship crews. Increasing quality of training will improve your navy proficiency at the expenses of the quantity of recruits produced each year.

Racial Characteristics

Each Race has six racial traits. There are a number of differences between racial traits. These can be affected by the Empires government type, and overall effect the race starting conditions and NPR playstyle.

  • Xenophobia (1-100): Represent your race fear of others not of your race or government. Xenophobia is an annual penalty to your diplomatic relations with all other races.
  • Diplomacy (1-100): Represent your Race ability to persuade other races. This is used to offset the Xenophobia of another race.
  • Militancy (1-100): Represent the likelihood this race will choose military force to achieve its goals.
  • Expansionism (1-100): Represent the desire of this race to increase its territory.
  • Determination (1-100): showing the determination of this race to proceed with a chosen course of action despite setbacks.
  • Trade (1-100): A rating from 1-100 showing the willingness to trade with other races and to establish/allow trading posts
  • Translation Skill (-25 to +25): A modifier to attempt to establish communications with another race.

Non-Player Races

Non-player races (or "NPR" for short) are your computer controlled Empires. NPRs are randomly-generated races that can be discovered while exploring the galaxy. They are setup and have the same tools available to them as the player Empires.

Research strategies and ship design also procedural (i.e. random), meaning that no two NPRs will be the same.

NPRs will respect a zone of ten million kilometers around the capital planets of alien races who are non-hostile when they decide whether to investigate new non-hostile sensor contacts. Sometimes two NPRs will fight or do actions where you can not see them. This leads to turns getting cut short, possibly down to 5 seconds. Typically, these periods of shortened turns will only last a short while. See Game Slowdown.

Diplomacy allows you to establish contact with newly-discovered races and try to eventually gain their trust, which can be highly beneficial to trade and research. Communication is not always possible, though; some aliens are just too alien.


Because NPRs don't manage their resources as well as a human player, they use different rules in regard to research, fuel and maintenance.

They start with the same research points as any player-race of the same population, plus a bonus based on time since game start. The formula for Players and NPRs is :

Tech Years = Game Years + 20
Research Points = Research Labs x TechYears x 300
  • They don't use fuel
  • They don't suffer maintenance failures
  • They don't have to retool shipyards.
  • Minerals from their mining colonies get magically transported home
  • NPRs also do not use troop transports. (This point requires verification)

Their mining colonies are created like human Civilian Mining Complexes, i.e. they can just appear instantly and without the need of freighters.


If you have the Generate New Empires as NPRs option set, any system can potentially contain alien life, based on the NPR generation rate you set during the game setup. These randomly-generated races require roughly earth-like conditions to arise, though their racial tolerances can stray into relative extremes of gravity, temperature and including oxygen or methane breathers.

Additionally, you can always generate a new NPR later in the game, when you feel strong enough, using an option in the SpaceMaster menu. It will generate one NPR of TN Tech in a new system just like the NPRs you can generate at the beginning.