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Unlike in other grand strategy games where you might simply pick which government type or philosophy you would like your empire to follow based on a simple list of advantages and disadvantages, SotSII keeps track of a large number of decisions you make economically, militarily, and diplomatically and uses them to eventually tell you what government type you have become. Some choices may move you toward the libertarian side of things, while making hard calls may lean you toward a plutocracy or even a junta-style government. The political spectrum of SotSII runs along a two-axis system and allows for eight possible government styles, in addition to the middle-of-the-road social democracy. Thus there is no arbitrary "forcing" of government types on you, Governments are based on your play style.

Your current government style is viewable via your Empire Management screen. In addition, during the game there will be a trending tail to the Government spectrum, which should translate into recorded graph data for endgame viewing as well.

Government Types

There are nine basic Government Types. These are not labels which are pasted on an empire without regard to the player's behavior: instead, Government Type is calculated by weighing the player's actions over time. Where a government chooses to commit its resources and time says a great deal about the values of its leadership and of the people who consent to be ruled.

For the most part, a player's actions in the game will represent not only the whims of a few elites, but the will of the people and the way of life which they believe is in their best interests. If the player completely loses control of Morale, however, the consent of the governed will eventually break down, and rebellion or even all-out Revolution is possible.

Government Type in Sword of the Stars 2 represents a player's position on a Political Spectrum graph:

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The X-axis of the graph in SotS 2 represents a continuum of Morale <--> Money. Investment of cash and resources in the comfort and well-being of your civilians typically moves your player position to the left. The state's investment of resources in Trade and profit-seeking ventures will move the player position to the right.

The Y-axis of the graph represents a continuum of Growth <--> Production, which doubles at times as a continuum of Liberty <--> Control. For the majority of sentient beings, "personal freedom" translates as growth and expansion which is not aggressively controlled by the state, and Player actions (or lack thereof) will move the government downward along this axis. Downward movement is also typical of societies which prefer peaceful or diplomatic solutions over violent ones, value tolerance, and have an egalitarian ethos toward sentients of other races.

Assertion of military control over territory, the state's direct investment and control of production and the state's investment in force as a solution to problems foreign and domestic all tend to move your player position upward along this axis.

By viewing Government Type as a reflection of movement along these axes, it is easier to see why certain Government Types are able to find common ground with governments which are not identical to themselves. Both Plutocracy and Mercantilism are Government Types which favor trade and profit-seeking ventures, for example. Anarchist and Liberationist governments both place a great deal of emphasis on tolerance and personal freedom. Cooperative and Socialist governments both concern themselves primarily with the well-being of the common people, etc..


The default Government Type in Sword of the Stars 2 is called Centrism. There are many other words which could describe this political position, including "Moderate" or "Balanced". A Centrist government, although it may be very active and energetic, has a balanced approach to its investments of time and resources. In general, government spending and player actions keep the Government Type in the center of the graph.

Diplomatically, a Centrist government tends to be leery of allying itself with any other government which is not Centrist. There is also a slight bias against alliance with a Faction which is dominated by a different race. Domestically, Centrist government has no special effects on Morale, production, tax base etc..


A Communalist government is characterized by significant and consistent state investment in three areas: production, military control over territory and population, and civilian well-being. Diplomatically, Communalist governments tend to be isolationist and do not respond as well to diplomatic overtures from any other government which is not also Communalist. They are also prone to racism, and will respond better to a faction dominated by their own race than to a faction dominated by some other species.

Domestically, Communalist governments can ask and receive a great deal of their citizens. Scientists and the labor force are fiercely dedicated and their people are resilient to the effects of Debt.


A Socialist government is primarily concerned with the Morale and well-being of civilians, and otherwise takes a balanced approach to matters of Production and Growth. Diplomatically, Socialist governments favor other governments which have an emphasis on Morale, but are diplomatically wary of alliances with Production/Control governments which favor Communalism, Junta or Plutocratic values.

Domestically, Socialist societies suffer some reduction of the tax base and production efficiency. Citizens gain Morale from signed peace treaties, but suffer Morale consequences from loss of civilian lives, as when Planets are lost or Bio-weapons are used. They enjoy a slight boost to Population growth and research efficiency. They also have a gift for bureaucracy, which allows them to add an additional Planet when organizing Provinces and Territories.


A Cooperative government has three priorities greater than all others: the Morale and well-being of civilians, the greatest personal freedom for the general population, and peaceful co-existence with other sentients and Factions. Diplomatically, Cooperative governments are friendly to other Cooperatives, as well as Anarchist and Socialist governments. They are repulsed by all governments which emphasize Production/Control.

Domestically, Cooperatives are immune to the Morale effects of Debt, but suffer enormous Morale losses when civilians are killed and some Morale losses from overharvesting. They enjoy high growth rates among the civilian population and increased research efficiency, as well as an increased chance to make breakthroughs in research.


An Anarchist government is primarily concerned with individual liberty, personal choice, and non-violent solutions to potential conflict, both foreign and domestic. Anarchist governments invest heavily in diplomacy and alien habitats, and favor research paths which yield better understanding of both self and others. Diplomatically, Anarchist governments have no biases based on race. They heavily favor partnerships with other Growth governments and with Independent races, but are also favorable toward Socialist and Mercantilist factions. They look less kindly on Production/Control governments.

Domestically, Anarchist societies suffer from inefficiency in production, reduction of tax base, and problems in the prototyping phase of ship building. They enjoy benefits to population growth and significant Morale benefits while at peace, however, and they have an increased chance of breakthroughs in research.


Liberationist governments have three primary concerns: freedom of choice, mutual tolerance, and pursuit of profit and financial gain. Although they invest in diplomatic solutions and research, they also invest significant time and resources in developing trade and profit ventures. Diplomatically, Liberationist governments are truly neutral, and have no biases for or against other Government Types and factions of any other Race.

Domestically, Liberationist societies suffer heavy Morale losses from Debt and increased Morale effects during war-time. There are also penalties to production and the tax base. They gain positive Morale from the formation of new colonies, however, and are more resilient during peace time. Due to rigorously defended free market economy, building costs are much reduced.


The primary concern of a Mercantilist government is Trade and financial gain, with an otherwise balanced approach to matters of production and growth. Diplomatically, Mercantilist governments are averse to Communalist governments, but otherwise have no special biases for or against other races or Government Types.

Domestically, Mercantilist societies are hard on the environment and are very vulnerable to Morale effects from all known causes. They have an increased income and reduced costs to develop Trade, however. There are also reduced time and costs for Prototyping, and some significant advantages in both Salvage operations and Spying.


A Plutocracy is a government primarily concerned with production, control and profit. Significant resources are expended to increase Trade and production. The government also tends to assert military control over territory and the civilian population. Diplomatically, Plutocratic governments are not concerned with race, but are averse to relationships with all Morale type governments. They are slightly more inclined to deal with governments which favor Money/Trade.

Domestically, Plutocratic societies suffer heavy Morale losses from Debt. They cause serious environmental degradation, and suffer greatly increased costs during prototyping and when pushing research or development. They have an increased tax base at all times, production bonuses at all times, and trade bonuses for all allies at war.


The single overriding concern of a Junta government is control, whether it be over territory, production, or its own population. Beyond this the government tends to take a balanced approach to issues of Morale and Money. Diplomatically, Juntas tend to be extremely racist and isolationist, disinclined to engage diplomatically with any race other than their own, and repulsed by any government which is not a Plutocracy or another Junta.

Domestically, the people of a Junta are hard-working, dedicated, and inured to violence as a way of life. The labor force has increased production at all times, but they will work even harder and pay more taxes during a declared war. The population is more insulated from Morale effects when a war has been declared as well, and enjoys a Morale boost when planets are captured. They have a tendency to degrade their environment, however, and suffer Morale losses from military defeat, in particular the loss of a symbolic vessel such as the Leviathan.


When Morale drops to 25% on a certain planet, things turn critical and a rebellion may take place, turning the planet Independent. Since different planets in the same System often have similar issues, whole Systems may go independent at once. If every System in a single Province goes into rebellion, it will spark a full-scale Revolution, which is a far more serious matter than any single Planet or System trying to throw off the Players rule.

A rebellion is a local event. It involves a single planet, but at the end of the day it is the result of Morale breaking down so completely that the people no longer consent to be governed by you and would prefer to be Independent, whatever the risks.


And, of course, it is possible to fall into full-on civil wars, should you fail to meet the expectations of your people given the path you have chosen.

A revolution throws the entire empire into chaos. An opposing faction will form to battle it out and seize power from you. All Admirals and Fleets will join one side or the other. Until one or the other is defeated, your empire will be at war...with itself.

Even in the case of invasion by a foreign Faction, a Revolution doesn't end until you have defeated all of the Fleets of the opposing Rebel Faction.

During a Revolution, the entire Empire is thrown into turmoil. Two opposing factions will form, Loyalists and Rebels. Every Fleet in your Empire will be assigned to one of these two factions, based on the home world of its Admiral; if the Admiral was born on a Rebel world, the Fleet will serve the Rebels. The Player will control the Loyalist faction, and the Rebel faction will be AI-controlled. The Rebel faction will function in every way as an Independent empire, and will build its own ships, research technology, and form diplomatic alliances like any other AI-controlled empire in the game.

War between the Loyalist and Rebel factions in a Revolution will continue until the last Fleet of the Rebel is destroyed or surrenders. Only the development of the OmbudSapiens technology can mitigate the bloodshed of Revolution, by giving the entire Rebel faction a percentage chance of surrender after each military defeat. A player who has developed the technology to Occupy, Annex and Eclipse enemy factions may also find it easier to end the Revolution by demanding the surrender of rebel worlds, provinces, or the rebel empire as a whole.

Government Impacts

Factor Command Economy Liberal Economy
(Authoritarian) (Free Market)
Freighters Build prototype

Build freighters

Build prototype

Remand to private sector

Morale Always lower

Police cutters: available

Always higher

Police cutters: not available

Production Always lower

Trade favors imperials

Always higher

Trade favors civilian population

Overharvest Neutral

Can be set and controlled

Always higher

Cannot be directly controlled

Population Growth Always higher

Can be set and controlled

Always lower

Cannot be directly controlled

Immigration Always lower

Can be set and controlled

Always higher

Cannot be directly controlled

Emigration Always higher

Can be prevented with police

Always lower

Cannot be prevented with police

Addiction Can be directed at aliens

Can be directed at own people Is always lower Improves productivity

Can be directed at aliens

Can be directed at own people Is always higher Decreases productivity

Research Always slower

Lowest odds of tech

Highest odds of Feasibility = Y

Less expensive to push

Destruction consequence higher

Always faster

Highest odds of tech

Lowest odds of Feasibility = Y

More expensive to push

Destruction consequence lower

War Declare at will

"Aggression" small drop morale

Fleet loss small drop morale

Planet loss small drop morale

Fleet Victory small increase morale

Planet victory large increase morale

Declare through diplomatic channels

"Aggression" large drop morale

Fleet loss large drop morale

Planet loss large drop morale

Fleet Victory large increase morale

Planet victory small increase morale

Diplomacy Always easier with Liberal

No effect on Command

Always more difficult with Liberal

Always easier with Command

Espionage Always more difficult to spy upon Always easier to spy upon

Government Action Modifiers


This is a listing of actions which impact government type. Actions are grouped by what direction they move you towards on the government screen. These are generally as they appear in the game. Parenthesis follow for additional details not generally shown to you in game. Items are listed first by how far they move and then alphabetically meaning that generally the higher up on the list the more it moves you along that direction.

Communalism Actions

Items in this group move you up and to the left on the government graph.

Socailism Actions

Items in this group move you to the left on the government graph.

Cooperative Actions

Items in this group move you down and to the left on the government graph.

Anarchism Actions

Items in this group move you down on the government graph.

Liberationism Actions

Items in this group move you down and to the right on the government graph.

Mercantilism Actions

Items in this group move you to the right on the government graph.

Plutocracy Actions

Items in this group move you up and to the right on the government graph.

Junta Actions

Items in this group move you up on the government graph.


  1. Rutee pointing out in Forum Post
  2. Mecron's confirmation in Forum Post in Forum Post