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To begin trading, a player needs to research the FTL Economics technology. Once this technology is acquired, a new view option will appear on the main strategic turn screen. In this Trade View you will be able to see the trading capabilities of your systems. In order to participate in trade, a system needs:
1) a Civilian Station with at least a Dock Module (docks are symbolized by empty triangles)
2) at least one Freighter (filled triangle)
3) at least one produced trade good (a filled circle)
4) at least one other system within trade range to trade with
5) the trade-construction slider for the system increased to a nonzero trade value

Any system within range can import and civilian stations are only required for export. Systems will automatically trade to the most profitable colony in range though currently there is no within system trade.

The amount of trade goods the player can produce and import depends on the amount of population in the system, with both imperials and civilians counting towards the total. When exporting, one trade good is produced per 200 million population when the trade slider is set to max.

A system gets one import ring per colonized planet plus one per 200 million population on each of those planets, again with both imperials and civilians counting towards the total. However population is counted per planet so having 100 million on 2 different planets will not give you an extra import ring.

Each trade good (filed circle) needs a dock (open triangle) and a freighter (filed out inner triangle) in order to be exported. There also needs to be one or more systems within the trade range in order to export anything, and those systems needs to have enough import circles for all your trade goods otherwise some won’t be exported even if you have the necessary docks and freighters. Unlike the old trade view we can’t easily see if some of the trade goods are not exported because of lack of import circles.

The colour of some of the trade icons provide more information:
1)Exports out of a province have darker green dots.
2)Red circles with red dots in them either indicate that your system doesn’t have any other systems within range to export to. Or that it can export more than the other system(s) within range can import, which is often the case with your home system.


The player will need at least 1 light freighter for each dock at the civilian station. Fewer freighters will leave docks empty, while additional freighters will sit idle. Freighters can only export from the system they are built in and there is no way to see if you have more freighters than docks (except that if you have more freighters than docks, new docks will be filled as soon as they are built).

Trade income is based on the trade good moving about and not the ship transporting the good. Normal freighters take 1 good at a time, mega freighters take 2. More goods moved for less dock space provides a more efficient economy. Eventually, if allowed, civilians will begin to build their own freighters, as long as the player has designed, prototyped and built at least one. Civilian build freighters do not cost the player maintenance, but civilian freighters will abandon a system if not supported with trade goods or if morale falls too low.

Providing more trade stimulus via the slider slider in the empire management screen will encourage civilians to build their own freighters more readily.

Faction Specific Trade Info

Morrigi have a racial bonus that increases trade range which helps to make them great traders, especially since they can now export to planets over provincial borders most of the time and such get 25000 credit for almost all their trade goods.

Hivers can use their gate network for trading so they may be even better traders than Morrigi, although they need to place a Gate in systems of other races in order to trade with them.

Zuul get internal trade routes only (no trade with other races). They do not appear to need to research FTL economics to get access to this. Their 'Civilian Stations' are called 'Breeding Stations' but function largely in the same way that Civilian stations do. A construction voice over when completing a breeding station indicates that they trade 'Wives, slaves, and thoughts of course'. Zuul are immune to pirates and cause additional piracy for their neighbors.

Loa cannot build police cutters and therefore have particularly vulnerable trade routes. Loa can only trade with other Loa, not with other Factions as their trade goods differ.

Trade Techs

A Trade Module will increase revenue for a Civilian Station as a whole, and increase the Tax Base and Morale of the host system. The Trade Enclaves research allows the player to colonize worlds in another Empire for purposes of Trade.

Trading within the player's Empire

For each trade good that is exported within the player's empire, the player receives either 15000 trade units/credits, if they are exported to a system in the same province, or 25000 trade units/credits, if they are exported to a system that is outside the province of the exporting system. This is the income before any modifications such as station modules. The provincial trade rate is used if the export has to cross a provincial boundary to trade with another system, even if the importing system does not belong to any province. [1] Note however that the piracy rate for trade in systems outside a province is much higher than normal. [2]

The trade units/credits the player receives will be increased by 1% for each Habitat Module in the exporting province. It is not currently known if habitats affect how much a player receives for imported goods, though the current thought is that they do not.

Trading with other Factions

For each trade good that is exported to another Faction, the player's empire generates 35000 trade units/credits. It's unknown if the player gains anything if other Factions export goods to the player's systems.

Note: There could be a differences between how many credits each race obtains per trade good, but this has not yet been tested.


With Trade comes the chance of Piracy. Each pirate raid has between 1 and 5 pirate ships. Piracy chances are calculated per system with the chance of a Pirate attack being modified by several factors: [3]

Modifier Chance
Pirate Base
Police Cutter
(per ship)
Naval Base -2%
No Naval Base +2%
Zuul faction
within 10 LY

A Open System is supposed to have a increased chance of piracy, while a closed system will double the effectiveness of Police Cutters.

A System in a province is also supposed to have a lower piracy rate than a system not in any province. The Convoy Systems tech is also supposed to reduce Piracy by -50%, though at the cost of 5% of trade route profits, the technology also improves the chance that any escorts have a higher chance of spawning near the freighters under attack, improving the chance of successfully repelling the pirates without the loss of the freighters involved.

All freighter placement during a pirate attack is random. If an admiral has the "Vigilant" trait, the admirals fleet will spawn next to the freighter that is being targeted by the pirates. If the Convoy Systems tech is researched, the players freighters will spawn closer to the players planet with a naval station (to be protected by planet missiles) and giving the player a easily identifiable place to spawn their fleet. If Police cutters are placed in the system via the battle manager, they will spread out and spawn next to the freighters during a pirate attack. Any Q Ships (more heavily armed freighters) that are built will spawn next to a targeted freighter and will defend it, though the Q ships can also be targeted. [4]

For each pirate ship and freighter that is destroyed (or captured in the case of freighters), the responsible player receives a bounty:

Ship Bounty
Pirate ship


  1. rimbimbambo in Forum Post
  2. Mecron in Forum Post
  3. ddub in Forum Post
  4. ddub in Forum Post