Sword of the Stars Complete Collection

Sword of the Stars Complete Collection

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Useful tips, facts, data, and "hidden" features
By Valerian
This guide is intended both for new players and veterans, and contains many interesting things I wish I had learned earlier.
Mostly compiled from forum posts, wiki, and personal discoveries.
 
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Introduction
There are many things that are not explained in Sword of the Stars tutorial, and that you might not discover even by looking for help in the wiki or playing through the game, and I wish to list many of them here.

Most information on the game is found either on the official wiki http://wiki.swordofthestars.com/sots1/Main_Page or the official forum http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=1

In this guide I compiled many bits found in them.

Please feel free to suggest new additions or to correct issues with this guide.
UI and controls
It his highly recommended to take a look at the key bindings menu in the game after playing a bit, you might discover very useful things that are not possible to do at all using the mouse only.

Here is a list of key bindings I find very useful

Tactical Combat
  • Focus on ship/object: F or MIDDLE MOUSE BUTTON
  • Pause/unpause the combat: PAUSE (the button usually on the top right of your keyboard)
  • Speed up time x2 (up to x8): CTRL + PAGE UP
  • Slow down time /2 (down to x1): CTRL + PAGE DOWN
  • Clear targets (stop focussing on a single enemy): DELETE
  • Rotate fleet formation: SHIFT + keep left click pressed, then move the mouse to rotate, release it when you are ready
  • Make ships roll: Left and Right Brackets, [ and ]

Strategic View
  • Focus on system/planet: DOUBLE CLICK or MIDDLE MOUSE BUTTON
  • Measure distance between two systems/planets: select the first system, keep left click pressed and drag over another system/planet.
  • Tell a fleet to move through waypoints: keep CTRL pressed while selecting destinations.
  • Show detailed information about a travelling enemy fleet: RIGHT CLICK on it, a popup should appear showing the number of ships, and maybe more details depending on your sensors.
  • Toggle political map: SPACE
  • Toggle trade view: CTRL+SPACE
  • Toggle sensor network: CTRL+SHIFT+SPACE
  • In political map, show alliances (to know that you are screwed): CTRL+1 or the corresponding button on the right of the screen
  • In political map, show military (to know that you have no hope of winning anymore): CTRL+2 or the corresponding button on the right of the screen

(I just discovered alliance and military political maps while writing this guide, this game is full of surprises!)
Research and technologies
Some important technologies to focus on
(Credit to imonfire's post)

Waldo Units -> Orbital Foundries -> Cruiser Construction -> Salvage Technology (to get Repair and Salvage ships)

FTL Communications -> Battle Computers (to get CnC ships - gives you ability to create fleet formations and command more ships at once)

FTL Communications -> FTL Broadband -> FTL Economics (to enable trading)

Gauss Cannon -> VRF Technology -> Point Defense Tracking (turrets that destroy incoming torpedoes, missiles mines and asteroids)

Gene Modification -> Suspended Animation -> Biological Transfer (to get CR Biome Colonizers)

Cybernetic Interface -> Expert Systems -> Artificial Intelligence (increases researching efficiency by 50% and gives you the option to research AI Factories and AI Adiministration - which increase your industrial output and income in all worlds by 50%)

Fission Drive -> Fusion (many researches will become available once you get it)


Colonization technologies
  • Suspended Animation gives you x4 more colonizers.
  • Depending on the race (see wiki for details), Biome Colonizer gives you from 50x to 200x more colonizers.


Various game facts
Copy/pasted straight from this forum post: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=49937
+ A few tips from the comment section

Game setup
  • Random event set to 0% will also disable VN and Grand Menace
  • To play as some other player, at game load screen drag icon of your race over race you want play.

Technology
  • Add Recombinant Fissionables or Plasma Focusing to Tanker and Refinery ship to add 30% fuel.
  • VRF tech decrease reload time also for all torpedo and missile.
  • Zero-G Deconstruction do not give "Triples effectiveness of scuttling".
  • Modular Construction give only Q-Freighter, but not 5% increase in civilian income generation.
  • Xenotech research bonus from Morrigi languages doesn't apply.

Race
  • Hiver have population growth bonus on planet with gate in orbit.
  • Liir have additional 50% bonus to research.
  • Player of human race can move his ship to any planet he own, if ship start from trade sector (no need for node line)

Combat
  • Computer player is not programmed to avoid minefield
  • Planet of friendly race (NAP or ally) can in combat not be damaged by your weapon (no "accident" remove of population).
  • Direct fire torpedo (Photonic, Disruptor, Gluonic...) do not lead target. To hit with them, torpedo ship must be close or target not moving.
  • Bio Missile and Assault Shuttle must be launched manually (click shuttle/missile, then click planet)
  • Liir ship can not be pushed back/away by any ballistic weapon
  • It is possible to salvage armor tech from Asteroid Monitor. This is only tech that can be salvaged from any random event.
  • Corrosive and Nanite Missile have area effect larger than it is visible in battle.
  • Auto resolve with derelicts is...funky, they're dangerous in practice but a few destroyers can usually auto resolve straight through one.

Random events
  • Silicoid queens travel as if they have flicker drives, quickly in open space but very slowly when passing near planets, they also don't care about distance when setting out towards a planet.
  • If you kill a Von Neumann probe a Berserker will come a few turns later, be ready for an insane fight.

"Not working"
  • Detonating torpedo do not have area-damage effect
  • Computer player is not programmed to build CR freighter, Devourers, gravboat, Ramscoops or Asteroid Monitor
  • Commerce Raiding has VERY low chance to happen, but computer player do not "know" that and send LOT of ship to raid
Exact weapon damage
Copy/pasted straight from this forum post: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2860

Recharge time is in seconds
To compare weapon damage with:
A Liirian destroyer armored mission section has 600 health
Their Armored cruiser section has 3100 health
And a Liir Dreadnought armor section has 10000 health

Hiver DE 700
Hiver CR 3600
Hiver DN 11000

Tarka DE 550
Tarka CR 3050
Tarka DN 11000

Huu-maan DE 600
Human CR 3300
Human DN 12000

Only including relevant weapon data in this list.



Balistics

VRF Tech decreases recharge time by 20%
Neutronium round tech increases damage and mass by 50%

Gauss Driver (small)

Recharge time: 5
Range: 460
Damage: 35
Mass: 80

Mass Driver (medium)

Recharge time: 5
Range: 600
Damage: 150
Mass: 450

Heavy Driver (large)

Recharge time: 5
Range: 760
Damage: 350
Mass: 1000

Burster (large)

Recharge time: 5
Range: 1000
Damage: 25
Mass: 500

Thumper (large)

Recharge time: 6
Range: 800
Damage: 200
Mass: 1980

Siege Driver (large, siege)

Recharge time: 25
Range: ?
Damage: 150000000 on planet population
Mass: 10000
Health of "Siege driver round": 2000



Lasers

Red laser (small)

Recharge time: 3
Range: 475
Damage: 10
Damage on max range: 8

Green laser (small)

Recharge time: 3
Range: 525
Damage: 15
Damage on max range: 13

UV Laser (small)

Recharge time: 3
Range: 525
Damage: 20
Damage on max range: 15

X-ray Laser (small)

Recharge time: 3
Range: 675
Damage: 30
Damage on max range: 30

Pulsed Phaser (small)

Recharge time: 8
Burst volleys: 3
Range: 550
Damage: 30
Damage on max range: 20



Cannons

Plasma Cannon (medium)

Recharge time: 6
Range: 480
Damage on 150 range (point blank): 90
Damage on 400 range (effective range): 150
Damage on 480 range (max range): 75

Fusion Cannon (medium)

Recharge time: 6
Range: 650
Damage on 150 range (point blank): 150
Damage on 550 range (effective range): 250
Damage on 650 range (max range): 120

Anti matter cannon (medium)

Recharge time: 6
Range: 750
Damage on 200 range (point blank): 250
Damage on 650 range (effective range): 350
Damage on 750 range (max range): 200



Emiters

Light Emiter (aka lighting gun) (small)

Recharge time: 10
Range: 250
Damage: 70
Branches: 1

Emiter (medium)

Recharge time: 10
Range: 350
Damage: 140
Branches: 4

Heavy Emiter (large)

Recharge time: 10
Range: 450
Damage: 275
Branches: 8



Beams

Partical Beam (large)

Recharge time: 10
Range: 600
Damage 200
Beam duration 2 seconds

Neutronbeam (large)

Recharge time: 10
Range: 700
Damage 250
Beam duration 2 seconds

Positronbeam (large)

Recharge time: 10
Range: 800
Damage 350
Beam duration 2 seconds

Mesonbeam (large)

Recharge time: 10
Range: 900
Damage 550
Beam duration 2 seconds

Phaser (medium)

Recharge time: 11
Range: 400
Damage 200
Beam duration 1 seconds

Gravitron beam (large)

Recharge time: 10
Range: 800
Damage 350
Beam duration 3 seconds

Heavy Beams
Heavy Laser (large, beam)

Recharge time: 22
Range: 650
Damage 200 per second
Beam duration 3 seconds

Lancer (large, beam)

Recharge time: 22
Range: 750
Damage 400 per second
Beam duration 3 seconds

Cutting laser (large, beam)

Recharge time: 22
Range: 950
Damage 600 per second
Beam duration 3 seconds



Missiles

Nukewarhead tech increases missile damage with 50%
Gammawarhead tech increases missile damage with 100%
Fusionwarhead tech increases missile damage with 250%
Anti-matterwarhead tech increases missile damage with 400%

Basic ship missile (medium)

Recharge time: 25
Range: 3300
Health: 5
Damage: 40

Planet Missile

Recharge time: 28
Range: No limit
Health: 20
Damage: 150

Dreadnought defense platform missile

Recharge time: 28
Range: No limit
Health: 10
Damage: 100



Mines

-Nuke mine

Recharge time: 4 (2 mines a cycle)
Time to live: 180
Health: 30
Damage 150
Tracking: 20

-Fusion mine

Recharge time: 4 (2 mines a cycle)
Time to live: 180
Health: 30
Damage 300
Tracking: 20 (Meters a mine can "look")

-Antimatter mine

Recharge time: 4 (2 mines a cycle)
Time to live: 180
Health: 45
Damage 700
Tracking: 20

Gravity mine

Recharge time: 4 (2 mines a cycle)
Time to live: 8
Health: 30
Damage 0
Tracking: 15

Implosion mine

Recharge time: 4 (2 mines a cycle)
Time to live: 20
Health: 30
Damage 80
Tracking: 15

Leap mine

Recharge time: 4 (2 mines a cycle)
Time to live: 200
Health: 20
Damage 80
Tracking: 15
Can 'leap'



Torpedo's

Plasma Torpedo

Recharge time: 30
Range: 1400
Health: 600
Damage on 200 range (point blank): 75
Damage on 800 range (effective range): 400
Damage on 1400 range (max range): 600

Fusion Torpedo

Recharge time: 30
Range: 2000
Health: 850
Damage on 200 range (point blank): 100
Damage on 1000 range (effective range): 600
Damage on 2000 range (max range): 850

Anti Matter Torpedo

Recharge time: 30
Range: 3500
Health: 1300
Damage on 250 range (point blank): 175
Damage on 1000 range (effective range): 900
Damage on 3500 range (max range): 1300

Detonating Fusion Torpedo

Recharge time: 35
Range: 2000
Health: 750
Damage on 300 range (point blank): 75
Damage on 700 range (effective range): 500
Damage on 2000 range (max range): 750

Detonating Anti Matter Torpedo

Recharge time: 35
Range: 3500
Health: 1000
Damage on 300 range (point blank): 125
Damage on 900 range (effective range): 800
Damage on 3500 range (max range): 1100

-Photonic Torpedo

Recharge time: 13
Range: 180
Health: 10
Damage on 750 range (point blank): 120
Damage on 1300 range (effective range): 100
Damage on 1800 range (max range): 60
Burst volleys: 3



EMP Weapons

Disruptor

Recharge time: 9
Range: 925
Damage on 300 range (point blank): 150
Damage on 600 range (effective range): 150
Damage on 900 range (max range): 100

EmpPulsar (?)

Recharge time: 18
Range: 1200
Damage: 50
Emptime: 3
Empradius: 200

Pulsar

Recharge time: 25
Range: 1700
Damage: 75
Emptime 3



Point defense

Laser PD

Recharge time: 1.8
Range: 525
Damage: 5
Burst volleys: 3
Tracking Speed: 360

Gauss PD

Recharge time: 2.5
Range: 450
Damage: 15
Burst volleys: 5
Tracking Speed: 90

Phaser PD

Recharge time: 3
Range: 275
Damage: 100
Burst volleys: 1
Game mechanics
I won't copy paste everything here because it's huge, you can look into this thread which has A LOT of details, but also contains some summaries: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=20507

However I intend to put a summary here later for useful "rule of thumb" formulas such as for colonization.
< >
18 Comments
Mordachai May 25 @ 10:43am 
Mordachai May 25 @ 8:13am 
Well written with good info.
Linking to the wiki might be useful as well: http://wiki.swordofthestars.com/sots1/Main_Page
PPW68 Jan 28 @ 1:58pm 
The VNs are building their own version of the system killer grand menace, if the game goes long enough, they will launch it. The collected resources might well affect that process. It happens around turn 350 or so, as they collect resources from computer players too, what they get from you is not very significant in an 8 player game.

The berserker is a scripted response to a planet which destroyed the collector mothership. It might take a lot more than a few turns to appear, but it only hits planets which destroyed a collector mothership.

The safest way to handle VNs is to just shoot down the small collectors which try to eat ships/resources from the planet. If the collector mothership survives, there will be no berserker, and if the small collectors are destroyed, the VNs will not get resources.
Jetman123 Oct 14, 2016 @ 7:44pm 
The Von Neumann Berserkers don't come when you kill a Von Neumann probe. Killing the probe prevents the VNs from getting resources. When they get enough resources they make a wave of VN Berserkers. Kill the probes as often as possible.

Of course, the Berserker targeting might be influenced by how many probes you've killed. That I don't know. But the manual strongly hints that it is the resources that provide the VN Berserker.
Piisamirotta Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:59am 
And you missed all armor piercing gauss weapons as well.
Piisamirotta Apr 12, 2016 @ 8:13am 
Also it should be mentioned that researching AI has a chance of an AI revolt.
Piisamirotta Apr 12, 2016 @ 8:10am 
Hiver DN health is actually 13000 according to the wiki.
Valerian  [author] Feb 15, 2016 @ 3:15am 
Thanks all for your feedback, @Surge and @Nictator I added your advices to the guide
Surge Jan 7, 2016 @ 9:03pm 
Some notes about random encounters:
silicoid queens travel as if they have flicker drives, quickly in open space but very slowly when passing near planets, they also don't care about distance when setting out towards a planet.
If you kill a VN probe a berserker will come a few turns later, be ready for an insane fight.
auto resolve with derelicts is...funky, they're dangerous in practice but a few destroyers can usually auto resolve straight through one.
Washeek Nov 22, 2015 @ 9:37am 
Although I play the ACM mod