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The Sophon Strategy Guide (Endless Space) – Part 1

This is the first part of a series that will be focusing on the Sophon affinity in Endless Space. In this strategy guide we will be planning a Scientific Victory for the Sophon empire so flawless the game will end with their intellect rivaling that of the Endless. We have included our recommendations for the custom traits to add to the Sophon affinity before starting the game, technologies, build orders, and step by step strategy with tips for many situations in between. This first part of the series will lead you to a high Science output, strong economy, and formidable military from the first turn on.

Find the next parts of the guides here : 
Sophon Strategy Guide Part 2
Sophon Strategy Guide Part 3 (Coming Soon!)

The Plan To Sophon Scientific Victory

Science 1003scienceSmall and Dust 1004moneySmall are the keys to a healthy Sophon empire, a healthy Trade Route economy will provide you with an abundance of both. A solid foundation of Industry 1002industrySmall will be converted to either Science or Dust, and near end game even Food 1001foodSmall will be converted to Industry 1002industrySmall to help feed this system.

The very last tech on the Applied Science tree is the ultimate goal for the Sophons, it unlocks the scientific victory but costs an incredible 1 212 000 .. So to help make that goal more attainable, in between our trek through the right tech tree we will make our way through the Exploration and Economic technology trees until we reach both of their last technologies there as well, since each one efficiently lowers the cost of Scientific Victory by 33% (Each of them cost 60 000  and decrease the Pan-Galactic Society’s cost by 363 600 ).

Custom Traits

Creating your own custom race is recommended. The number of traits available to add or remove from your race may seem overwhelming at first, but reading the tool tips and looking at the amount of points the trait is worth will give you an idea of how useful it may be. The traits below are extremely helpful in a custom race with the Sophon Affinity :

Trait Name Upgrade LvL Description Point Cost Notes
Blockade Breakers 1/1 Trade Routes also work in Cold War. Blockades on your Systems won’t break Trade Routes. -15 Military isn’t a Sophon’s strong point, this ensures trade routes keep going until the system is ripped from your hands
Dust Archaeology 1/1 +20 Dust at Start -2 This Dust will be used to fund a Hero on our home system from turn 1, an early advantage.
Merchants 1/2 +1 Trade Routes Cap on System -8 As you explore, trade routes will be added automatically for as many systems as you own until more buildings are needed.
Mineral Rich 1/2 +3 Industry on the Home Planet. -5 Industry bonus for the home system for an early advantage.
Micromanagers 2/2 +4 Upkeep on Heroes, -40% XP Bonus when Assigned/Battle/Construction/Opponent Injured +10 Heroes will be somewhat sacrificed, as having many of them are not a game breaker for Sophons, but more like a nice bonus.
Sloppy Sawbones 2/2 +100% Healing Cost on Hero +4 A Hero falling can be easily avoided with a solid Fleet.
Dust Impaired 2/2 +100% Abilities Dust Cost on Hero +4 Heroes abilities will be hardly if ever used by the Sophons, in addition this extra Dust cost should be no prob for a strong economy.

After adding the custom traits to the Sophon affinity, you should have 65/65 points used a screen that looks like this :

These are the traits intended to be used with this guide, although it has been tested with the default Sophon race on Endless difficulty as well. It is recommended that you try it with the custom race outlined above and then add/remove traits as needed for your individual play style.

Phase One : First Build Order and FIDS 1025fidsSmall Set-Up


Expand as far and fast as possible. This means making Food 1001foodSmall a high priority, and getting those procreators out as fast as possible until you own a good amount of your surrounding territory.

What To Do On Turn One :

We will be adding a few things to the star system production and research queues early on to maximize efficiency and save time during future turns.


1. Build the food 1001foodSmall planetary exploitation, set a colonizing ship to build next in the star system queue. 


2. Click the Fleet military screen and modify the design for Protector and Investigator, adding in the Repair support module and any weapons/armor you can fit. 



3. Go back to your home system and add a Protecter ship next in the queue after the Procreator. 

4. Click the Empire Management Screen and set your tax rate to the lowest possible amount while keeping a positive income.

5. If you added the custom traits recommended in the beginning of this guide than you will have just enough Dust to add a new hero.

  • Choose one prioritizing first ‘labor’ (bonus Industry 1002industrySmall and food 1001foodSmall) , and then ‘wit’ (bonus science  and dust 1004moneySmall).
  • Assign the newly hired hero to your home system.
*Important…* It is crucial early game to colonize systems as strategically as possible towards what will be the boundary of your empire for most of the game. In spiral maps this area should be towards the wormhole system(s) at center of the map where the spiral ‘arms’ meet, in other maps (disks, etc) going towards any and all wormholes will leave you the least vulnerable while you build up your empire. Explore with your first scout, looking for strategic wormholes to colonize towards, and exploration bonuses.


6. Move your scout to the closest system and check it out before you send your colony ship, you may get lucky and see a yellow star.

  • If there is a system in the direction you plan on colonizing, check that planet first.
  • If you get to the system on the first turn, and see there is no colonizable planets, but tundra or arid, open the Technology research screen and set the appropriate technology in the bottom tree to colonize that planet type.
  • If there are no colonizable planets and no arid or tundra you must decide whether it is worth it to send your colony ship on the path your scout ship is heading. On one hand you will be able to populate the next colonizable system much faster than if the colony ship waited at the home system for the “green light”, of course this could also leave your colony ship vulnerable to attack if you can’t get out fast enough if a pirate ship appears, or they may not be a colonizable system that way.

7. Set up the next few technologies.

  • If you have the appropriate resources on any colonized planets, prioritize Xenology
  • Next on the queue will be N-Way Fusion Plants in the right technology tree. The system improvement it unlocks will be an essential part of our build order, and the Titanium strategic resource that provides Industry 1002industrySmall to any planet lucky enough to contain some, is also required to build the first missiles
  • Food 1001foodSmall boosting Soil Xenobiology in the left technology tree should be placed next.
  • Check the types of the uncolonizable planets in the Star Systems that connect in the direction you will be colonizing, choose either Xenobotany (unlocks tundra) or Arid Epigenetics (unlocks arid) to unlock the best Star Systems for your empire to inhabit for now.
  • Add the Compact Fusion Reactors tech to the end of the queue to unlock arctic planet colonization, increase fleet speed, and bring you one tech closer to unlocking wormholes.

8. If the first system you encountered has a colonizable planet, send your colony ship over and populate ASAP.

  • Your general build order for colonized systems at this point in the game will be as follows:

Planetary Exploit (Food) => Heavy Isotope Refineries (Once N-Way Fusion Plants is researched) => Military Ship (Industry 1002industrySmall heavy systems like the home system only) => Industry 1002industrySmall to Dust Conversion

9. Immediately send you scout ship towards the next system, keep looking out for colonizable planets.

  • Keep exploring and colonizing towards wormholes and around your home system until your scout ship reaches the wormhole system that will be the boundary of your empire for now (until you unlock wormhole travel with the Applied Cashmir Effect technology.
  • Add enough colony ships to your home system’s production queue (preferably after Heavy Isotope Refineries is built once it is finished researching) to colonize your future boundary/wormhole systems, and all the systems in between them and your home system.


Your next priority will be to secure that system…

Colonizing Priority :


Early game place first priority on colonizing systems that will connect from your home system towards the first wormhole you find. Star Systems with large population planets, few to none negative anomalies, and lots of Food 1001foodSmall and Industry 1002industrySmall are always a good thing. Important factors for loosely judging the value of a system to a Sophon at this point in the game are listed below :

  • Connecting Towards Wormhole
  • Resource Needed To Make Abundant (4+) (Luxury>Strategic)
  • Resource You Don’t Have Access To (Strategic>Luxury)
  • Wonders >= Positive Anomalies
  • Resource You Already Have

Exploration Bonuses :

The most beneficial exploration bonus for the Sophons very early game is the one that gives you the most advanced technology available. This should be Nonbaryonic Particles and the +40 research star system building it unlocks will be a helpful science  boost even if your home system is the only one with enough Industry 1002industrySmall to build it.


Strategy :

Use your scout ship to continue searching for Star Systems that will be your future borders, most wormholes and the systems connecting to any players colonized very close to you. Once the Protector ship is complete send it towards the wormhole system and set it to blockade, this will prevent any ships from colonizing the system and snooping around your territory.

*Important…* As soon as you can, set aside one colony ship for each border wormhole system and station on the system ASAP after your blockading fleet has reached the system. 

Build more Protector ships with the colony ships to add to the fleets blockading the wormhole system, and if more wormholes are found build ships to block as many as you can from enemy colonizing ships.

When your home system’s population is full and no other planet in the system can be colonized with the current technology, switch the exploit on the planets from Food 1001foodSmall to the exploitation that will grant a bonus based on the planet’s type. Terran, ocean,

Once you have at least one Protector (and hopefully a colony ship too!)  on all the wormhole systems that you have access to then you’re ready to prepare to leave the nest.


Add To Research Queue :

Shift Click and add the following technologies to the end your research queue in this order :

  • Applied Cashmir Effect (Exploration)(to unlock wormholes)
  • If you didn’t need it before add Xenology now. (Economic)
  • Isotope Fabrication and Advanced Machining (Military)(these early military technologies cost will add a little power to your ships and only cost about 1 turn each anyway)
  • Core Mining (Science)(to unlock Hyperium necessary to build a ship equipped with the powerful laser weapons)
  • Alternative Armor and Unstable Isotope Manipulation (Military)(to unlock the actual lasers, if no Hyperium is discovered Shift Click these techs to remove them from their place in the queue and the Shift Click it again to add them to the end of this queue.)
  • Efficient Shielding (Exploration) is next and will unlock a new ship design with plenty of space for weaponry
  • Particle Scanning and Botanical Scanning (Economic)(Star System improvements for influences size and happiness, and upgrades planetary exploits for Dust 1004moneySmall)
  • High Energy Magnetics and Nonbaryonic Particles (Science)(unlocks an important Industry 1002industrySmall system improvement and an Science 1003scienceSmall boosting system improvement, respectively)
  • Baryonic Shielding (Exploration)(Unlocks lava colonization and a new ship design)

Turn By Turn Strategy :


First Military Tensions Are Imminent :
After researching your first military upgrades, when the first non-pirate unit is spotted, immediately upgrade your current blockading fleets as soon as your finances will allow.

After Applied Cashmir Effect is finished researching send scouts through any wormholes, if unoccupied immediately send a fleet and reserved colony ship over and take total control of the wormhole. The new system, or systems, that you have colonized will obviously be the new borders of your empire. Send new military ships to these systems as they are produced.

If the other side of the wormhole is populated, don’t worry, it’s not a game breaker, but you may end up stealing the system(s) for yourself before this game is finished. If another player or A.I is this close to you early on, it’s especially important to not neglect military production, follow all the special situational military tips in this guide and if necessary never hesitate to temporarily turn your home star system into a military ship factory.

After Xenology is complete build the unlocked Xenotourism Agencies improvement in your home system, and any other system that has at least 3 population (to at least cancel out the -2 improvement maintenance cost) on the arid, terran, tundra, ocean, or jungle planet types for increased Dust 1004moneySmall per population point (the more the better!).

After Isotope Fabrication and Advanced Machining are finished researching, go into the Military Fleet screen  and edit ships using the auto upgrade tool, or by manually upgrading the modules yourself to more advanced kinetics weapon and defense.

After Core Mining is finished researching, make it a priority to get your hands on some Hyperium. If no colonized Star Systems contained any find one that does and populate it quick.

Researching Alternative Armor unlocks the first military Star System improvements. Stealth Construction should be added into the queue of every Star System along the border from here on. If a Star System is being captured this improvement should obviously be prioritized for construction or bought out with Dust 1004moneySmall if possible. Add the Hardened Framing improvement to the queue of your home system and any Star System that is or may become a star ship factory. (For now it would be best to conserve Dust and build sparingly.)

After Unstable Isotope Manipulation is complete and you are lucky enough to have found Hyperium on a colonized planet then immediately switch most of the weapons in your military ships’ designs for lasers. Laser beams are so powerful for their tonnage that unless someone else’s fleet happens to specializes in anti-laser shields it’s almost always worth it to use them as your primary type of weaponry with the Sophon affinity.

After research for Efficient Shielding is complete build a new ship with the unlock Kilo design. The repair support module with as much laser beams stuffed in as possible is a simple but powerful plan for this ship design. With upgrades to both modules and ship tonnage, this kind of ship can end up being the bulk of your military well into the game.

Particle Scanning unlocks a useful improvement is there is another empire colonizing near you. Building the Cis-oort Satellites will add +3 Influence area to a Star System, this means more territory. Add this improvement to the queue of any system that is close to becoming a colony.

Botanical Scanning allows the cheapest Approval boosting improvement in the game, Infinite Supermarkets will probably be needed immediately in the home system queue, and possibly bought out. The original home system is always the first system to feel the rage of over-expansion.

When Baryonic Shielding finished researching it would be a good idea to do a quick check for lava planets in the Star Systems of your empire that are running out of population space, as they are now colonizable. Don’t forget to go into your Military Fleet design as well and add the new ‘Giga’ ship design with advantages to Invasion, Armor, and Power. (Perfect for taking back stolen Star Systems and stealing yourself new ones.)

After High Energy Magnetics is finished researching, an Interplanetary Transport Network should be built on your home system as well as any other colonized systems that have finished building the Heavy Isotope Refinery.

Planetary Exploitation (Food) => Heavy Isotope Refinery => Interplanetary Transport Network => Military Ship (only for systems with the highest Industry 1002industrySmall)  => Industry 1002industrySmall to Dust 1004moneySmall Conversion

After Nonbaryonic Particles is finished researching the Magnetic Field Generators improvement will be added to your queue as well and will add +40  on Star Systems it is built on. By the time Nonbaryonic Particles is finished, the basic build order for your Star Systems should be as follows :

Planetary Exploitation (Food) => Heavy Isotope Refinery => Interplanetary Transport Network => Military Ship (only for systems with the highest Industry 1002industrySmall) => Magnetic Field Generator => Industry 1002industrySmall to Dust 1004moneySmall Conversion


Focus on applying the build order above to all of your colonized systems. A solid chunk of space now belongs to you, a research queue is set up, and your Star Systems are running efficiently with a build order guideline to maximize Industry 1002industrySmall before converting it to Dust 1004moneySmall. This Dust 1004moneySmall will pay for all the expensive improvements you are generously bestowing on your citizens to help them work faster.

Written by Puff, aka Jean

A gamer, writer, artist, coder, cook and/or waifu pillow, depending on the day. Also Zootgamer’s editor, owner, and a PC gamer for life. Follow her on Instagram, or on Twitter.

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