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The Sophon Strategy Guide (Endless Space) – Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of The Sophon Strategy Guide for Endless Space by Zootgamer, if you haven’t read the first part yet you can find it here.

Now that you have a border to defend, it’s time to build a solid military force. Unlike the other three technology trees, you will probably not reach the end of the upper military tree this game. For the average Sophon research is much more important than conflict, but we can take advantage of a few technologies in the Applied Science tech tree that will increase the amount of tonnage your ships can hold, improving the MP of every possible ship provided you don’t forget to upgrade them. As soon as we have something to defend the borders with, the Sophons will have the space and security necessary to really crank the Science production through the roof!

A Few Things To Remember From Phase One :

The empire management screen is incredibly useful and should be checked as often as possible for maximum empire efficiency :
  • The systems’ populations must not be forgotten, when a system is full the next colonizable planet should be immediately populated, if no such planet exists the resource exploitation for the systems’ planets should be changed to whichever one provides a bonus for the planet type. eg Arid planets should be exploited for Dust 1004moneySmall, Tundra for Industry 1002industrySmall, etc
  • Keep an eye on the approval rating for individual system’s and add improvements into any unhappy system’s queue ASAP.
  • *Important…* Take note of the number of trade routes you own vs how many systems/colonies you have discovered. As soon as a colonized system is discovered it is added to the list of potential trade routes you can own. The actual number of trade routes at any one time is limited by the number of Trade Routes your systems can hold, by default the home system can hold 3 routes and all other systems none. If you want the ability to own more routes you have to build the necessary improvements. However, if you have decided to use the custom Sophon race suggested in part one of this guide your non-home systems will start with one empty trade route instead of none! For this reason scouting is important and economical, as long as you keep track of the potential trade routes versus your empire’s limit, Dust 1004moneySmall income should increase throughout the game as you explore and build Trade Route improvements as needed.

Phase Two : Stronger Military Military power and Smarter Science 

While military ships are being pumped out research to increase empire’s output of FIDS  will begin, and additional star system improvements will be unlocked and built, some for specific star system situations.


Add To Research Queue :

Shift Click the technologies in the order below to add them to the end of your research queue


  • Relativistic Economics (Economy)(Opens up diplomatic options, starting with the basic ‘Cease Fire’ and ‘Offer Peace’)
  • Relativisic Markets (Economy)(Opens up even more important diplomacy options, including Open Borders, Trade Dust (Flat), Trade Dust (Per Turn), Trade Technology, Trade Star Systems and Trade Resources )
  • Flawless Machining (Military)(Better laser beam)
  • Graviton Manipulation (Exploration)(unlocks planet transformation to lava, and a nice system improvement)
  • Extreme Metallurgy (Military)(Increases available ship tonnage by 10%)
  • Planetary Landscaping and Optimized Logistics (Economic)(Provides a bunch of Star System improvements and upgrades planetary food 1001foodSmall exploitation)
  • Rudimentary Telepathics (Science)(Unlocks better science  planetary exploitation)
  • Atmospheric Filtration (Exploration)(Unlocks gas giant colonization as well as travel without connection strings or wormholes)
  • Applied Atmospherics (Exploration)(Decreases over-expansion disapproval empire wide)
  • Interspecies HR (Economy)(Unlocks a bunch of useful diplomatic options)
  • Tectonic Engineering (Science)Increases available ship tonnage by 15%)
  • Vocation Oriented Society (Economic)(Upgrades planetary Dust 1004moneySmall exploitation)
  • Adoptive Society (Science)(Tech exclusive to Sophons, unlocks Redundant Infrastructures star system improvement)
  • Solar Mining (Science)(unlocks a useful battle card that provides 20% extra damage to laser beams during battle)
  • Pervasive Etching (Science)unlocks another science  building for star systems)
  • High Consumption Society (Economic)(unlocks Approval boosting Star System upgrade)


Turn By Turn Strategy :

*Important…* Once Relativistic Economics and Relativistic Markets  are finished researching, most of the useful diplomacy options have been unlocked. From this point on it’s a good idea to try and make peace with other AIs, and then get them for all the Dust 1004moneySmall they got by trading one of your useless strategic resource for Dust (per turn) once peace has been established long enough. As soon as you are successful in doing this the game will lean much stronger in your favor, as you will be able to buy out system improvements and units that much faster. The increased Dust 1004moneySmall income is essential for the ideal Ecstatic approval rating on all systems for the most efficient Science possible.

After Flawless Machining is complete go into the Military Fleet screen and upgrade all ships with the new laser beam.

When Graviton Manipulation is finished researching immediately incorporate the new Planetary Institute improvement into your general Star System build, it is a cheap building that adds +6 of all FIDS  to a Star System. Buy these out starting with the most Industry 1002industrySmall hungry systems if you have lots of excess Dust 1004moneySmall. Your general build order should now look like this:

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

After Extreme Metallurgy is complete edit your ship designs and auto upgrade all ships to take advantage of the automatically increased ship tonnage.

Researching Planetary Landscaping adds a food 1001foodSmall boosting star system improvement that is not necessary or recommended (unless of course you have a system of asteroids, lava, and gas), but the planetary Food 1001foodSmall exploitation upgrade is a nice passive bonus.

Successfully researching Optimized Logistics unlocks a new Star System improvement that should be immediately added to the queue of any Star System that has an Approval of at least Happy as it adds 10% to all FIDS  on top of +30 Approval if the System is at least Ecstatic.

After Rudimentary Telepathics has finished researching the Global Tech Park planetary exploitation will be available.

*Important…* Switch to Science  exploitation on ALL Star Systems with no or few empty population slots for the following big bonus to science  on the planet types below:


Planet Type Science Bonus
Arctic +2  per 
Barren +3  per 
Ocean +2  per 
Gas Helium +1  per 
All Planets +3  per 

After Atmospheric Filtration is finished researching you can now colonize gas giants, you may want to colonize any gas giants in Star Systems (that are not unhappy and) that have run out of population space now.

Applied Atmospherics automatically decreases disapproval empire wide so after it is completed it would be a good idea to check the Empire Management screen and re-adjust your tax rate.

After Interspecies HR is complete check the Diplomatic Relations screen and try making Cooperation Agreements with any of the AIs that you can, the eventual boost to science research  it brings is helpful.

After Tectonic Engineering is finished researching upgrade your ships once again to further increase their MP with the added tonnage.

Vocational Oriented Society will automatically upgrade the Dust 1004moneySmall obtained from planetary exploitation so the tax management should be checked and adjusted if necessary.

Adoptive Society adds the Redundant Infrastructures improvement, which provides +20% star system  on Ecstatic, +5%  on Happy, and an additional +2%  on the Empire if it has Fervent Approval. Check the Empire Management screen after the technology is finished and find any system with Ecstatic Approval and add the improvement to it’s build queue. When the the empire is at Fervent Approval building/buying this improvement as much as possible will add a noticeable boost to Science .

Solar Mining will add a valuable tool to your battle card collection, successfully playing the card during battle adds major 20% damage to the already powerful laser beam weapon with no negative consequences.

When Pervasive Etching is complete add the Graviton-Shielded Laboratory to your standard build order since it adds +20% more research on your Star System. BUY THESE OUT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE FOR MAX SCIENCE. This is what your standard build order should now look like :

Planetary Exploitation (Food) => Heavy Isotope Refinery => Planetary Institute => Interplanetary Transport Network => Military Ship (only for systems with the highest Industry 1002industrySmall) => Magnetic Field Generator => Graviton-Shield Laboratory => Industry 1002industrySmall to Dust 1004moneySmall ConversionWhen High Energy Consumption Society is finished researching, check the Empire Management screen for unhappy Star Systems and add the newly unlocked improvement to the end of their queues (or beginning, if overall Empire Approval is not fervent or they are not being used to produce anything important and need the approval immediately)

What We’ve Done So Far…

Without spending lots of time and energy in researching upgraded ship modules, we have drastically increased the Military Power of our fleets by using the Applied Science tech tree to our advantage and researching techs that increase ship tonnage. Solar Mining added a battle card that can be used to add substantial damage to our already powerful laser weapons. This method allows us to move higher up in the science tree quickly while still improving the MP of literally every single ship design available. Moving higher and higher up the Applied Science tree has unlocked some nifty Science  boosting improvements, we’re going to show those other aliens what being a Sophon is all about!

It is important to keep track of approval ratings of your systems in the Empire Management screen. Make it a priority to keep a star system AT LEAST happy, and as the approval bar becomes greener make sure to build the appropriate improvements that provide bonuses to happy systems. Keep in mind that Redundant Infrastructures gets a huge bonus to science  at Ecstatic. 

Stay on top of the build order, approval ratings, trade routes, and make deals with your neighbors. Lots of Dust 1004moneySmall is especially important to have as your system’s are probably becoming quite expensive right about now. The next steps will involve researching technologies to reduce the turn cost of a Scientific Victory, and then start heading for our final tech :  Pan Galactic Society

Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Sophon Strategy Guide coming soon from Zootgamer

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.

  • Blondie

    Thanks for the strategy guide. I hope I can get it all balanced and moving forward now.
    Thank you