Getting Started

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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.


AI War's difficulty is non linear. It's more like an exponential curve between 10 points, so difficulty 1-4 isn't to much of a change, difficulty 5-6 is when the AI starts getting notably more powerful, difficulty 7-8 is when the AI really starts kicking you in the shins, difficulty 9 is nigh impossible, difficulty 10 IS supposed to be impossible (if you somehow manage to beat difficulty 10 without cheating or heavily stacking the odds in your favor, please report it to mantis bug tracker).

When setting the difficulty for the AI, there are 3 main components, the base AI/AI sentinels, the AI wardens and the AI hunters.

  • Increasing AI sentinel difficulty affects the game the most. The default difficulty is set to 5, but the real fun/challenge begins at 7. at lower difficulties, the AI is... pretty much lobotomized and is nowhere near as intelligent as it could be. It's ships pick less than optimal targets, it will never retreat it's forces, and it tends to underestimate human defenses, but as you turn up the difficulty, the AI gets much more intelligent, and will actually start overestimating your defenses, causing it to send more forces than necessary to be sure, it's units will target other units it's strong against, and will even attempt to slip some attacking forces behind your planets when a big battle takes place. Many nasty things are locked behind difficulty 7.
  • Increasing AI warden difficulty will increase how many wardens will spawn at the start of the game, as well as increasing the maximum strength cap of the warden fleet. Increasing the AI warden difficulty also allows the warden fleet to get closer to your planets as well as how intelligent they are. At higher difficulties, the Warden Fleet gets access to more powerful units up to and including GOLEMS. At low difficulty levels, the Warden Fleet will attack more recklessly.
  • Increasing AI hunter difficulty will increase how many hunters spawn at the start of the game. Once the difficulty high enough, the hunter fleet starts getting bonus ships constantly throughout the game, rather than having to wait for threat ships to transition to hunters. Just like AI wardens, At high enough difficulties, the Hunter Fleet gets access to more powerful units up to and including Dire Guardians. At low difficulty levels, the Hunter Fleet will attack more recklessly.

How DOES The AI Work?

The AI has an "income" that it can "spend" on various "budgets". These budgets are Reinforcement, Wave, CPA, Warden, Hunter, Praetorian, Wormhole invasion, Reconquest and possibly more. As you increase the AIP and difficulty of the game, the AI gets a bigger income increase and thus more "buying" power. Let's look at this in a simplified way. Let's say that the AI wants to attack a human planet. It needs to build up that fleet using raw materials (income), but must also consider committing some of these soon to built ships to defense, lest the pesky humans perform a counterattack. After finishing building the ships it wants, the AI dedicates (spends) most of the newly created ships to attacking the human planet it wants, and the rest on reinforcing various key points (wave and reinforcement budget). The AI's behavior is also dependent on it's difficulty.

The AI's Attack Process The AI at lower difficulties will pretty much attack any planet you own with no clear objective in mind. It's attacks are also suicidally overconfident. The units that attack also tend to not retreat, and thus will not become a part of the threat or hunter fleet. As you increase the difficulty though, the AI begins to start At Difficult 7 and above, the AI gets the ability to use Wormhole invasions above a certain AIP. CURRENTLY WIP

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.
  • Cross Planet Attacks are best dealt with piecemeal. You don't want to have a sudden rush of AI units barge into your homeworld while you're dealing with something else on a different planet. Generally, the units from a cross planet attack will wait outside one of your planets, and once they have amassed enough units or feel confident enough to take on your planet they will charge all at once. While they are gathering, find the planet they are on and kill off as many as you can. While this will typically cause them to retreat and go to a different planet, it's better to deal with that threat a little bit at a time.
  • Find and hold (by default) both major data centers for a HUGE AIP reduction.
  • Reconquest waves happen once you cross a certain AIP threshold.


  • CPA: Cross Planet Attack
  • 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)


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)
  • Scout Strikecraft no longer exist. Scouting as a whole has been reworked.
    • Planets have 4 states, unscouted, explored, watched and permanently watched.
      • Unscouted planets cannot be travelled to at all. Explored planets can be moved to but you have no vision on that planet. Info on explored planets are on a "last seen" basis. Watched planets are planets that you can see in real time because you have a unit there or something providing vision. Permanently watched is the same as watched but no unit is required to be there in order to see what's going on.
  • 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.
    • Cloaking boosters have been removed, so a a sentry frigate can't cloak boost another one to be invisible to other detection sources.
  • AI strategic reserve has been reworked into the praetorian guard, so they are always "visible"
  • Engineers can no longer go through wormholes.
    • variants that CAN go through wormholes are called Combat Engineers.
  • Currently, no unit teleports
  • Science labs have been removed.
    • Command stations automatically collect science
  • Mercs have been removed so you can't just hire mk4 units right off the bat.
    • They have been reworked into Outguards, which work something like this. Hack an Outguard beacon to gain access to various Outguards. You can immediately call in 1 Outguard. for every 100 AIP you gain, you can summon another Outguard. Having 200 AIP and then hacking an Outguard beacon gives you 3 free calls.
  • Neinzul (currently) no longer exist
    • Cries in Neinzul

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.
  • Harvester exoshield has been removed
  • Decloakers no longer exist. Their role has been given to scout/sentry frigates.
  • There is no reclaimation. Parasites and the like now cause zombification.
  • By default, music playing is AI War 2 exclusive. If you wanna enable Classic music, check out the options menu.
  • ALL forcefields reduce damage output of units being protected by them. Even AI units are not spared from this penalty.
    • Hardened forcefields have been removed.