Getting Started

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Newcomers

Welcome to AI War 2!

AI War 2 is a combination of RTS, 4X, and Tower Defense. You'll be continuously commanding units in battle, explore the galaxy, and defend your planets all at once.

It's recommended to start with the tutorials.

Once those are done (or for the impatient), look in the Quick Start section of single player and check out one of the beginner situations. This should help you familiarize yourself with the game's mechanics and quirks. There is also a lot of "How to Play" documentation available from the in-game main menu.

In general, AI War 2 isn't about going guns blazing and capturing everything in sight. That'll just get you killed. It's about taking only what you need and being as quiet as possible so you don't draw the attention of the AI. The AI doesn't play by the rules, or rather, it plays by a different set of rules. The AI can afford to throw countless ships at you. You (in general) can't do the same. Pick your targets strategically, methodically and carefully. Don't be afraid to cut and run if you start loosing a battle.

At the top of the UI, you'll see a big red number with the accompanying letters AIP. This is AI Progress, AKA how pissed off the AI is against you. The higher this number rises, the more attention the AI directs to you. At the start of the game, the AI is busy attending to business outside the galaxy (it's probably trying to fight the Spire in the Andromeda Galaxy), but as you start taking planets from the AI and destroying its infrastructure, it'll start turning its attention towards you.

Remember! There are many different ways to play this game. The game is fluid, and what may work against one AI type may not work against another, so adapt and revise how you play constantly. Variety is the spice of life after all.

The AI can be divided into 6 components, AI Sentinels, AI Threat, AI Warden Fleet, AI Hunter Fleet, AI Instigators and AI Praetorian Guard.

  • The AI Sentinels are the main AI faction you'll be fighting. AI Sentinels are usually dormant, found inside Guardposts, or sent as attack waves towards your planets. Most AI units start out as Sentinels but can become AI Threat under certain circumstances, usually after a certain amount of time after you aggro them.
  • The AI Threat are AI forces actively waiting to strike. These units are ready to come at any time they sense a weakness. Threat is provoked typically by AI defenders who escape a planet after you attack it, or the remainder of defeated waves
  • The AI Warden Fleet are used by the AI to defend only. They will never be committed to an attack on your planets.
  • The AI Hunter Fleet will constantly probe your planets for weaknesses and will attack whenever they feel like they can win.
  • The AI Instigators are not immediately apparent until later into the game. Every hour or so, an Instigator base will spawn somewhere in the galaxy. Instigators spawn close to your homeworld and on low level planets initially, but the higher AIP goes, thew will spawn farther away and on higher mark planets. Instigator bases have a variety of nasty effects, ranging from increasing the amount of strength the AI will put into its waves, to spawning units every now and then to attack you. Instigators are usually not immediately threatening, but do not take your time dealing with them. The longer they remain active, the deadlier they get!
  • The AI Praetorian Guard behaves like the AI Warden Fleet, except they will only appear near and on AI home worlds and WILL attack any nearby human planets.


General Tips

  • Don't attempt to conquer everything, only capture planets that have something important/you need, or have strategic value. A planet that has a Zenith Power Generator or a fleet, or worlds directly adjacent to your home world are good for example.
  • At certain AIP points, the AI "techs up" its units, so that the Warden Fleet, Hunter Fleet, and waves will be one level higher. This is a major buff to the AI's strength, so be careful about increasing the AIP too much too quickly.
  • There is a cap to how strong the Warden Fleet can get. Once it reaches that cap, any resources devoted to the Warden Fleet instead adds to wave budget. IF you see waves suddenly spike up in strength and no/very little AIP has increased, it's probably because the Warden Fleet is at its maximum capacity. Start grinding down the Warden Fleet to return waves to normal strength.
  • Neutering planets refers to killing everything on an AI planet except for the Warpgate and Command Station. This makes the planet almost harmless to travel through. Don't just leave it. Note: The AI can rebuild turrets if they were originally around the Command Station on the planet. Be aware.

Abbreviations

  • ZPG: Zenith Power Generator
  • ZMC: Zenith Matter Converter
  • ARS: Advanced Research Station
  • IGC: Intra-Galactic Coordinator
  • ZT: Zenith Trader
  • AIP: AI progress
  • ST: Super Terminal
  • SA: Spire Archive
  • DSVG/VG: Dark Spire Vengeance Generator/Vengeance Generator
  • DS: Dyson Sphere (Note: Dyson Sphere and Dark Spire both have the same abbreviation, DS, so read the surrounding text to see what which faction someone is talking about)

Veterans

Welcome back to AI War. The AI has taken over the galaxy (again), but lots of things have changed.

Major Mechanic Changes

  • In general, AI War 2 is not as micro intensive as classic, and many things have been removed due to redundancy, clutter, or making things easier to understand.
  • Fleetships are renamed to Strikecraft and Starships are renamed to Frigates.
  • Instead of producing Strikecraft and Frigates immediately, they are bound to a Flagship. You can't just, say for example, immediately build 150 Fighters, Bombers, missile frigates and a bonus ship. Instead, you must have a Flagship that has those units attached to it. Once built however, there is no limit to how far a Strikecraft or frigate can go across the galaxy, like AI War Classic.
    • Flagships are captured much like Golems from Classic and they are what lets you expand your military power. Flagships come in 3 varieties, strike (generic transport Flagship, but many Strikecraft and Frigates), officer (Flagship has a gimmick or is very powerful on it's own) and Lone Wolf fleets (no supporting Strikecraft or frigates, but the Flagship is INSANELY powerful).
    • Flagships cannot die. Instead, when they reach 10% health, they become crippled. While crippled, a Flagship cannot have Strikecraft or Frigates assigned to it built and if it has a weapon, can't shoot. The Flagship can still move however and be repaired back to full strength. While this means that you can't lose your Golems anymore, the AI still gets LOTS of salvage for reprisal.
  • Units now have shields, which is basically a second health bar. However, anything with a fusion attack such as Raider Frigates and Bombers will ignore a certain % of shields. (For example, a Raider Frigate has 90% fusion damage, so an attack that deals 1000 damage will decrease the target's health by 900 and shields by 100)
  • ARS no longer give their contents via capturing their planets, but by hacking them.
  • Hull and ammo types are gone.
  • You no longer spend knowledge on individual unit upgrades, but instead on categories divided into weapon types and hull types.
    • While you spend more knowledge short term, with multiple units upgraded at once, you save knowledge long term.
    • All ships are no longer built as individual marks. Instead they are upgraded all at once (For example: if you have MK2 V-Wings somewhere in the galaxy, and you upgrade the Generalist tech category, ALL V-Wings currently alive and built after this upgrade will become MK3.)
  • Hacking points are now earned per planet, rather per AIP.
    • Each planet has 30 Hacking points and you can only earn them by building a Command Station on that planet.
  • Colony ships no longer exist.
    • In order to build Command Stations on planets, you must have a Flagship on that planet as well as no AI Command station.
  • Energy collectors do not exist anymore. Instead, Economic Command Stations produce 2 energy collectors' worth of energy, Logistical Command Stations produce 1 energy collector's worth of energy and Military Command Stations produce no energy at all.
  • Salvage no longer exists, so it's pointless to build a world designed specifically to collect it, but you can make a point of farming EXP to increase that Command station's Level to make it harder for the AI to remove.
  • Cloaking is no longer an "on/off" state, but rather each ship that has cloaking has a certain amount of cloaking points, and every time it shoots or gets detected, it loses cloak points by a set amount or certain rate respectively. Once cloak points reach 0, THEN, the ship is no longer cloaked. A ship cannot recharge cloak points until all its cloak points reach 0 and is not being detected or firing for 5 seconds.


Minor Changes

  • Wormhole guardposts no longer exist.
    • Yay! No more annoying 2 damage attacks
  • The Devourer Golem is killable (Fun fact: In Classic, the Devourer Golem used to be killable, but had insane vampirism. But then the Fallen Spire ships got added, which allowed players to cheese and destroy it rather easily. It was quickly made truly invincible after that.)
    • He respawns though. For some reason he also likes to eat the Zenith Trader too.
  • Translocation isn't an instant teleport, but rather a burst knockback, which is essentially the same thing.