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Empires and Intrigues Update - Sins of a Solar Empire II

Article posted on 3/21/2024

Sins of a Solar Empire II: Empires and Intrigues Update

In a significant update that promises to reshape the strategic landscape of Sins of a Solar Empire II, developers have introduced a slew of enhancements and new features aimed at enriching the player experience. The March update focuses on expanding gameplay dynamics through the introduction of a new Minor Faction and Influence system, an updated Research system, and much more, including support for up to 10 players and addition of translations into multiple languages.

New Minor Faction and Influence System

At the heart of the update is the overhaul of the Minor Faction system, now intricately tied to a new game resource: Influence. This resource becomes a pivotal strategic asset, allowing players to unlock new capabilities, engage with Minor Factions in unique ways, and even influence the outcome of auctions. From acquiring intelligence to boosting reputation levels with Minor Factions, Influence opens up a myriad of strategic possibilities.

The update introduces the "Aluxian Resurgence," a Minor Faction with ambitions of reestablishing its dynastic rule, showcasing the depth of lore integration and the dynamic new behaviors of these factions. Players must navigate these interactions carefully, balancing their Influence expenditure across various opportunities and challenges.

Enhanced Research System

Addressing community feedback, the Research system has been revamped to separate military and civilian research tracks, introducing a more nuanced approach to technological advancement. This change forces players to make tough decisions on resource allocation, balancing immediate military needs against long-term civilian development.

Orbital research stations now play a crucial role in accelerating research progress, adding another layer of strategic depth to the game. This update ensures that research-focused strategies have their place, rewarding players who invest in their empire's intellectual capital.

Expanded Player Support and Additional Content

The update also broadens the game's appeal by adding support for up to 10 players, accompanied by two new maps designed to accommodate the increased player count. This expansion allows for more complex and engaging multiplayer sessions, pushing the boundaries of strategy and diplomacy in the vastness of space.

Localization support has been added, making the game more accessible to a global audience and ensuring a more immersive experience for players worldwide.

With these updates, Sins of a Solar Empire II continues to evolve, offering players deeper strategic gameplay, richer lore integration, and more dynamic interactions. The March update not only addresses community feedback but also pushes the envelope in space strategy gaming, promising hours of engaging gameplay for both new players and seasoned veterans. As the game moves forward, the developers have hinted at more unique Minor Factions and gameplay enhancements, ensuring that the universe of Sins of a Solar Empire II remains a vibrant and challenging battlefield for all who venture into it.


Release Status: *** NOW AVAILABLE ***

In the March update for Sins of a Solar Empire 2, several significant changes have been made to enhance gameplay, particularly focusing on Minor Factions and Influence, research, and balancing adjustments. Minor Factions and the new Influence mechanic now play an integral role by providing access to new capabilities such as the Pirate's “Looting Crew” and the Viturak's “Construct Phase Gate” and introducing new behaviors such the “Aluxian Resurgence” attempting to reestablish their dynastic rights by conquering neighboring planets.

Research is now split into military and civilian tracks; and balance changes range from light frigate effectiveness to the range of the Novalith cannon. Additional content includes optimizations, new player portraits, new modding capabilities, bug fixes, and more. Players can expect a more polished and immersive gaming experience in this month’s update.

New Minor Faction System

The interaction between players and Minor Factions is now controlled by a new resource called Influence. Influence is spent in various ways to gain advantages from each Minor Faction. Your ability to project your Influence is limited so you have to be strategic in its application.

Your empire begins the game with 0 Influence, a nominal rate of Influence growth, and a maximum amount of Influence you can project. Various actions in the game can modify these attributes and we will be adding more in the future. For example the TEC's “Media Conglomerate” and the Vasari Alliance's “Xeno Settlement” planet items can both increase maximum Influence through propaganda and social integration respectively. All races can increase their Influence growth rate by gaining dominant culture on planets.

Once you've acquired Influence, there are many ways to project it. Here are some examples:

  • At the beginning of the game all Minor Factions are hidden (except for Vasari Alliance players). As an alternative to scouting, players can use Influence to acquire intelligence from various sources in order 'reveal' the location of a Minor Faction. This becomes progressively more expensive.

  • After you've discovered a Minor Faction, you can choose to use Influence to increase your Reputation with that Minor Faction. Each Minor Faction has 4 levels of Reputation but each Reputation level you purchase from any Minor Faction increases the Influence cost of the next. Players must decide if they want to invest heavily in a few, or lightly with multiple, Minor Factions.

  • Each Reputation level unlocks a benefit which is relative its Reputation level. These benefits may take various forms such as a global ability or a consumable item. You can spend your Influence to receive that benefit after which time it goes on cooldown. Here are three examples:

    1. Viturak Transport Cabal: At Reputation Level 3 you can spend 4 Influence on "Construct Phase Gate" at a target planet (even as TEC or Advent).

    2. Jiskun Expeditionary Force: At Reputation Level 2 you can spend 2 Influence to use "Remote Tachyon Boost" which boosts the speed of all friendly ships in the target gravity well.

    3. Pirates: At Reputation Level 2 you can spend 2 Influence to acquire the ship component "Looting Crew" that generates credits on damage dealt.

  • Influence is also now the only way to bid on Minor Faction auctions - you can’t use credits, metal, crystal, or exotics. The player who spent the most Influence receives the reward. As there are now a number of different sinks for Influence, it's important to manage how its spent in the present and how much is kept in reserve to react to future needs and events. You don't want to be left without Influence to bid on a key auction reward.

Moving on from Influence, Minor Factions are also changing in other ways. Most prominently are their underlying behaviors. For example, in this update we are introducing the "Aluxian Resurgence" minor faction which has deep ties to the core Sins lore and their Reputation rewards reflect this. However, they are also a hostile faction that seeks to reestablish their multi-world dynasty by building up forces, conquering adjacent planets, and establishing defenses to protect them. They differ from full AI players in a number of ways but the most prominent is they won't expand their fiefdom past one jump from their home planet (although they may end up further from their home planet due to planet orbits).

In the future we'll introduce additional unique Minor Factions.

New Research System

The community has rightfully pointed out that there are some problems with the existing research design which we are now starting to address. The key changes are as follows:

  1. Research point investment is now split between military and civilian. Investing in research will no longer improve both domains simultaneously.

  2. There are now two new planet tracks: military research and civilian research. This is now the primary way to acquire research points.

  3. Orbital research stations no longer provide research points but are now the primary way to increase the rate of research progress.

Of course, there will be various exceptions to these rules as we flush out the race and sub-faction content.

It's worth pointing out a few more details:

  1. It is possible to max out both military and civilian points on a planet. At first glance it would appear there is no tough choice between the two. However, as there are now two new tracks and the costs per track upgrade have changed, the order in which you spend your resources to upgrade that planet is much more important. In this sense they are competing in time and resources between military and civilian research and every other track that planet offers. For example, the time and resource cost to fully max out a Terran planet is now very significant. So, if you decide early on to specialize in military research it will be relatively cheap and fast to acquire. If you then decide to upgrade logistics, mining, commerce or whatever and then decide to come back later and do some civilian research it will be quite prohibitive.

  2. The time it takes to unlock specific research subjects is now very significant, especially as you move up tiers. While you have a default nominal rate, it will quickly become very obvious that orbital research stations are needed to accelerate your progress. This rewards a research focused strategy while also maintaining slot competition with other civilian orbit structures.

Version Changelog

Minor Factions:

  • Added new Minor Faction system.

  • Added Pranast United Minor Faction.

  • Added Aluxian Resurgence Minor Faction.

  • Added more Minor Faction rewards.

  • Converted Minor Faction reputation levels to use Influence points to increase.

  • Added Minor Faction reward type for temporary global player modifiers.

  • Removed Minor Faction reward inventory and culture rewards. Refactored Minor Faction rewards to now be both auction rewards and shop items that are used/purchased from Minor Factions with Influence.

  • Added reveal Minor Faction with Influence.

  • Added gravity well fixture target filter to spawn units Minor Faction reward.

  • Added various Minor Faction reward types.

  • Removed envoy requirement on using Minor Faction reputation abilities.

  • Added infrastructure necessary to spawn structures from a global ability.

  • Added user interface for using Minor Faction reputation rewards at arbitrary positions.

  • Added targeting circle for Minor Faction abilities if they have radius. (e.g., deploy Gauss defense structure).

  • Added infrastructure for Minor Factions to use player AI to colonize nearby planets.

  • Added Minor Faction AI attacking.

  • Added forced Minor Faction alliances. Allows hostile Minor Factions to be made allied to one another (but not other Minor Factions).

  • Added finite item panel to Minor Faction window.

  • Added use Minor Faction reputation reward buttons to Minor Faction window.

  • Closed Minor Faction window after successfully using targeted reward.

  • Changed Minor Faction reputation buttons to be aligned vertically instead of horizontally.

  • Added full grid of Minor Faction reputation buttons to bottom planet window. When Minor Faction planet is selected can now do all possible 8 actions instead of just the first 2.

  • Added max column count to Minor Faction reputation reward buttons.

  • Added optional target alerts to Minor Faction spawn unit rewards.

  • Removed auction interface from Minor Faction window.

  • Added Minor Faction auction cooldown table.

  • Removed vestigial Minor Faction inventory slot container.

  • Changed Minor Factions window to use reputation players instead of players with auctions.

  • Removed remaining Pirate auctions including Smugglers Den.

  • Hid excavation buttons for Minor Faction planets. Overlaps space needed for reputation reward buttons.

  • Added guards to Minor Faction markets to prevent infinite money loops due to modifiers on market buy/sell prices.

  • Added Phase Gate to Viturak Cabal starting structures.

  • Added max health to new research planet track tooltips.

  • Suppressed fleet under attack notifications when damage comes from yourself.

  • Added notification for breaking minor faction alliance.

  • Added Pirate Raid vision sharing.

  • Added Pirate Wager minor faction reward. Roll the dice and see what you’ve won!

  • Added Pirate Boarding Crew minor faction reward. Yar, that ship be ours!


  • Added core Influence system (rate and capacity).

  • Added Influence rate increase from dominant culture.

  • Changed auctions to use Influence points for bidding.

  • Converted Minor Faction reputation levels to use Influence points to increase.

  • Added Influence purchasing of Minor Faction benefits.

  • Added UI for showing Influence.

  • Added Influence point progress bar.

  • Improved top bar toggle Minor Faction window button. Flashes for every Influence point gained and shows when at max Influence points by changing text color.


  • Added player rankings. Hover over your portrait in the diplomacy window or over your player icon on the bottom bar.

  • Added support for multiple exclusive market players.

  • Fixed ships flying back to fleet leader instead of going to new move destination.

  • Improved formation speed throttling behavior.

  • Preserved hull/armor/shield point percentage when max changes.

  • Removed bounties.

  • Removed pirate dominant culture reward.

  • Removed pirate raid event.

  • Switched The Maw's targeting to be a unit targeted arc rather than a fixed-forward arc.

  • Added planet development price cost offsets for abilities that give free upgrades, so costs on the first upgrade the player manually does on tracks isn't inflated.

  • Changed structure health to start uncrippled when building. This was most obvious with starbases.

  • Added Phase Resonance bonuses to Vasari strikecraft.

  • Removed research pre-reqs for self-building units.

  • Added new post-game statistics: max influence points, build counts for ships/starbases.

  • Enabled game summary stats after watching replay.

  • Added planet tracks for research points.

  • Removed research points from orbital stations. They are now used to increase the rate of research progress.

  • Fixed starbase building before research is complete.

  • Disabled Shield Burst for units not fully built.

  • Disabled unit health regen due to self-building if under attack.

  • Fixed Media Conglomerate putting buff on all orbital structures, not just Culture Center.

  • Added player AI spreading culture.

  • AI will now participate in auctions, reveal, increase level and use most rewards.

  • Added player AI usage of new research planet tracks.

  • Fixed insurgent unit behavior when phase jump inhibitor exists in gravity well.

  • Improved units moving around blocking units.

  • Fixed unit orders flickering when blocked trying to return to gravity well.

  • Improved auto-cast picking behavior (e.g., distributing repair cruisers healing better).

  • Removed XP gained from killing special operation units (summons, trade escorts, garrison forces, etc.).

  • Fixed AI building starbases that can be instantly killed giving extra exotics and XP to attacker for "free."

  • Disabled Vorastra micro phase jump auto-cast by default.

  • Changed attack stack behavior to spread out DPS. Will no longer always focus fire a single target causing massive overkill. Right clicking a stack will now spread-out targets amongst the attackers based on distances.

  • Added research unlock for orbital research stations.

  • TEC Envoy, Overseer Envoy and culture functionality temporarily removed.

  • Improved Vasari carrier capital nano repair cloud autocast conditions.

  • Removed TEC Archaeology Center pending rework.

  • Changed enemy dominant culture modifiers being applied to players with cease fire.


  • Fixed trader loyalist weapon angles.

  • Rebalanced advanced tracking tech to improve starbase weapon range, tracking and damage.

  • Rebalanced Civic University; can now be built on ice worlds.

  • Rebalanced Gauss weapon research to affect all Gauss weapons.

  • Rebalanced Influence based on test data.

  • Rebalanced Military Lab; can be built on ferrous worlds and grants small max planet health.

  • Rebalanced Novalith and Ragnarov Novalith range from 4 to 15 AU.

  • Rebalanced starbase build time from 120s to 200s.

  • Rebalanced titan build time from 600s to 300s.

  • Rebalanced trader Flak Burst duration from 5s to 3s.

  • Rebalanced trader Gauss defense to remove research requirement.

  • Rebalanced Vasari Marauder Phase Out Hull antimatter cost and cooldown time.

  • Rebalanced Vasari planet items.

  • Rebalanced Vasari Vorastra titan Desperation damage reduction.

  • Rebalanced asteroid counts: Asteroid, Desert, Ferrous, and Gas Giant planet types will now have more potential extractor slots. Oceanic planets can no longer have asteroids.

  • Rebalanced cost of numerous Vasari and trader ships and structures.

  • Rebalanced light frigates: Light Frigate supply costs, resource costs, and build time have all been reduced, while medium autocannon and medium pulse guns have been improved to 150 pierce. This makes light frigates slightly more versatile and considerably more cost-efficient. Light Frigates have had their turn rate nerfed slightly, while their speed and acceleration were buffed, which will allow them to get close to carriers and LRM units faster. The Ravastra Skirmisher has also received a Durability increase to make it less susceptible to early AoE damage and PD weapons.

  • Rebalanced planets to variation four to incorporate new research planet tracks.

  • Rebalanced starbase shield armor and hull. Starbase shield points have been increased for both types of starbase, while the hull and armor points gained from components have been doubled.

  • Rebalanced trader items.

  • Rebalanced trader torpedo cruiser. The Ogrov has received an increased supply cost and an improvement to all of its survivability and weapon stats.

  • Rebalanced Vasari bomber phase missile to fire two additional missiles for a total of four.

  • Rebalanced Vasari Influence items.

  • Rebalanced Vasari titan speed from 360 to 420.

  • Changed Vasari Exodus titan's Desperation ability to be a scaling bonus proportional to missing hull rather than a stacking bonus.

  • Planet Track unlock techs adjusted to increase value and provide more faction uniqueness.

  • Planet Items locked to one copy per planet.

  • Planet items adjusted to provide more interesting stacking potential between different item types.

  • Passive armor restore roughly halved.

  • Rebalanced metal and crystal markets.

  • Fixed asteroid counts.

  • Fixed gauss cooldown research.

  • Rebalanced minor faction ability progression and scaling.

  • Rebalanced remote fabrication to require line of sight.

  • Rebalanced repair ability autocasts.

  • Rebalanced robotics cruiser autocast fix.

  • Rebalanced Vasari Exodus research items.

  • Rebalance minor factoin items.

  • Rebalance stacking limits for items that should have them.


  • Added new 10 player random map.

  • Added new 8 player map “Ashred.”

  • Removed pirates from smallest maps.

  • Updated various Minor Faction counts.

  • Updated Annulus:

    • Moved pirate base closer to the star.

    • Guaranteed pirate base is retrograde.

    • Added Aluxian Resurgence Minor Faction.

HUD and User Interface

  • Added new Trader player portraits.

  • Added new Vasari player portraits.

  • Added bindable input for enable mouse rotation and panning.

  • Added mute button to players.

  • Added planet component groupings.

  • Added preview of buildable ships to construction bays starbase item.

  • Added stateful jump in formation to ships.

  • Added structure preview mesh to abilities that will build structures.

  • Added tooltip for reputation reward to use.

  • Changed auction notification to allow changing bid in place.

  • Changed targeting lines to red if ability can't be used on target/at position.

  • Removed status icon on abilities with cooldown.

  • Simplified auction tooltip.

  • Added auction time remaining to tooltip.

  • Added explicit error for abilities not usable while crippled instead of generic "unit is not operational."

  • Added flashing to notifications so auction is more noticeable.

  • Added research planet track buttons to colonized planets window.

  • Fixed planet component label headers overlapping buttons.

  • Improved Stripped to the Core notifications. Instead of getting both an exotics gained and planet lost notification, will now get a new notification customized to show the planet has been stripped instead of lost with assets/exotics in the notification.

  • Made alliance offer notifications flash.

  • Changed scuttle to only scuttle the first unit in selection unless shift is held.

  • Improved ability binding in units.

  • Added research tooltip picture hookups for all valid research.

  • Added research time remaining instead of progress percentage in tooltip.

  • Moved notification flashing to top card instead of bottom.

  • Added derelict capture time and experience bonuses to tooltip.

  • Added pips to planet components that are upgradable by research.

  • Added starting planet components to research upgrade tooltip.

  • Improved research tooltip when unlocking/improving unit items.

  • Improved research text filter.

  • Added trade capacity to research tooltips that unlock unit items.

  • Added tooltips for building 5 and 10 ships in batches holding SHIFT/CTRL+SHIFT.

  • Improved structure plate spin rendering.

  • Forced add bookmark (fleet) button to be visible until player has at least one fleet.

  • Updated various UI colors.

  • Added ability AU range from build button and when cursor is loaded even if owner unit is not being rendered (ex. dark fleet summon from planet, rebel titan orbital cannon.).

  • Added randomness to minor faction player portrait layout. Pirates will no longer always be at the top left every time.

  • Updated initial main menu backdrop scene.

  • Changed starbase list name to be of starbase and editable instead of the planet.

  • Fixed planet icon not showing up next to starbase in starbase list window.

  • Improved camera focus behavior when zooming in from far. Will no longer attach to small fast moving targets (missiles/strikecraft) when zooming in from planet icon mode for a short duration. This way the camera isn't always drifting right away when zooming into a large battle.

  • Fixed tooltip value columns not aligning properly when mixing font sizes.

  • Improved research tooltips.

  • Add focus on minor faction home planet button in minor faction screen.

  • Fix culture resistance showing up as 0.0 in tooltips.

  • Adjusted spacing between research subjects.


  • Added Vasari siege platform.


  • Concussion Charge color update.

  • Vorastra phase tunnel effect update.

  • Added titan factory effect and disrupt matrix.

  • Updated Phase Jump Inhibitor and Vasari Titan Effects.

  • Fixed missing dynamic light from various effects (e.g. autocannons, projectiles).


  • Added new Finest Hour ability sound FX to Kol battleship.

  • Added new planet bomb impact sound FX to Kol battleship.

  • Added TEC Sova Mass Production ambient loop.

  • Added Vasari Factory construction ambient loop.

  • Added Vasari Gravity Warhead muzzle and detonate SFX.

  • Added TEC light factory construction ambient loop.

  • Added TEC heavy factory construction ambient loop.

  • Added new Vasari Factory on_selection SFX.

  • Added new Radiation Bomb Impact SFX.

  • Added new Marza Raze Planet Impact SFX.

  • Added new Flak Burst SFX.

  • Added new Sova Rapid Manufacturing SFX.

  • Updated TEC Factory on_selection SFX.

  • Updated TEC Capital Ship Factory on_selection SFX.

  • Updated TEC Frigate Factory on_selection SFX.

  • Updated TEC Titan Factory on_selection SFX.

  • Added ambient SFX to Trader Extractors.

  • Added new Akkan Inspiring Broadcast SFX.

  • Added TEC construction frigate 'building' SFX loop.

  • Pirate Sound Update: Updated TEC weapon sound FX and attenuations. Updated TEC weapon impact sound FX and attenuations. Hooked up new sound FX to Pirate ships.

  • TEC Audio Update:

    • Removed deprecated files.

    • Redid TEC weapon variants.

    • Adjusted attenuation on TEC PBC impact.

    • Redid Generic Heavy Hit Shields variants.

    • Redid Physical Heavy Hit Hull variants.

    • Redid Physical Light Hit Hull variants.

    • Updated Trader Battleship to use new sound fx.

  • Added new Explosive Shot, Snipe and Piercing Shot muzzles/impact SFX to Ragnarov titan.

  • Added new Heavy Wave charge and muzzle SFX to Vasari Exodus titan.

  • Added new Heavy Beam travel SFX to Vasari Exodus titan.

  • Added new Phase Missile muzzle SFX to Vasari Exodus titan.

  • Added new Phase Cannon muzzle SFX to Vasari Exodus titan.

  • Added new Micro Phase Jump SFX to Vasari Exodus titan.

  • Added new Drain Planet charge and active SFX to Vasari colony cap.

  • Added new Subspace Rupture detonate SFX to Vasari colony cap.

  • Added new TEC Salvage Kit Item sound.

  • Updated Trader Construction Ship on_selection SFX.

  • Added ambient loop for TEC culture center.

  • Updated on selection sound FX for TEC culture center.

  • Added smooth fading out of buff effect sounds.

  • Added sound groups to constrain max concurrent sounds of same type.

  • Rebalanced default sound volumes.

  • Fixed buff effect looping sounds being constantly reset. This made the Vasari’s drain planet ability constantly clip out and sound horrible while it was running.


  • Fixed assert sending ping to fleet, will now redirect ping to fleet leader as fleets are unknown to other players.

  • Fixed "can use ability" query always failing for abilities creating structures without gravity well targeting constraints.

  • Fixed chance of duplicate Minor Faction players on large maps.

  • Fixed derelict guardians not being leashed to derelict properly.

  • Fixed exotic factory build time modifiers for nearby planet only working for structures.

  • Fixed host saved games on server being broken.

  • Fixed market monopolization auction notification showing up when auction has no winners (no monopolization).

  • Fixed move commands sometimes being overridden by unit AI auto attacks.

  • Fixed newly built strikecraft not always launching when arriving at hyperspace destination.

  • Fixed Novalith cannon not working if fired in the same gravity well as target planet.

  • Improved behavior of hull points when crippled hull points are modified.

  • Fixed units following enemy units through hyperspace when attacking.

  • Fixed ship loot dropping off the gravity well plane and being impossible to capture.

  • Fixed game server list filtering out servers with older versions of state.

  • Fixed gravity warhead non-looping impact sound on targets.

  • Fixed looping flair effect sounds not stopping.

  • Fixed looping sounds on buffs being restarted after buff is killed.

  • Fixed ships in transit between phase gates going invisible if phase gate is destroyed.

  • Fixed sound-only detached effects from immediately expiring.

  • Fixed units not always attacking.

  • Fixed bad specular artifacts.

  • Fixed bug where planet components would not always be upgraded with research.

  • Fixed ship unable to capture wreckage.

  • Fixed missiles appearing to travel right through targets.

  • Fixed dark fleet units being able to move away from leashed planet by following other units out that can hyperspace.

  • Fixed special operation units still being controllable when over/retreating.

  • Fixed starbases not being created with names.

  • Fixed team games with Vasari Alliance not giving initial detection of friendly minor factions.

  • Fixed selection window assert.

  • Fixed broken random maps.

  • Fixed Minor Faction detection being broken.

  • Fix flickering light on planets.

  • Fix crash in hud selection window.

  • Fix incorrect missile hits.


  • Added support for sound-only flair effects.

  • Changed special operation units to be data-driven.

  • Improved ability binding in units.

  • Added support to disable player AI from colonizing.

  • Additional modding capabilities from Minor Faction changes.

  • Added support for buffs owned by player to be put on NPC raids.


  • Optimized selection window performance. No longer rebuild the entire selection window for every unit created in gravity well. Indirectly this fixes much of the slowdown due to missiles as every missile created was causing this window to rebuild.

  • Optimized missile fire.


  • Added AI translations for the following languages:

    • German

    • Spanish (Latam)

    • French

    • Indonesian

    • Italian

    • Japanese

    • Korean

    • Polish

    • Portuguese-Brazil

    • Russian

    • Thai

    • Vietnamese

    • Simplified Chinese

  • The game will automatically match language based on that set in the Epic Game Launcher (assuming we support it per the above list).

  • Updated font files to support additional character glyphs.