This page is dedicated to the per-AI option. For a more general discussion of the difficulty of the game, see Choosing A Difficulty Level.
Each AI has a difficulty setting ranging from 1 to 10 affecting the quantity of ships it can add in the game, the behaviors it can use, and several other factors.
- 1: Sandbox
- 2: Very Trivial
- 3: Trivial
- 4: Very Easy
- 5: Easy
- 6: Less Easy
- 7: Normal
- 7.3: Normal
- 7.6: Moderate
- 8: Hard
- 8.3: Hard
- 8.6: Harder
- 9: Very Hard
- 9.3: Very Hard
- 9.6: Very Hard
- 9.8: Mini Doom
- 10: Doom
Difficulty is linear between 1 and 9, but not between 9 and 10. That means the difference between 9.3 and 9.6 is more significative than between 7.3 and 7.6, for example.
Impact on the Game
Between 5 and 8, the AI gets more and more available "tricks" and "smart behaviors". It is is almost complete at 7 and only edge case management is saved for difficulty 8. Above that, it's only a matter of economy and raw power.
Difficulty 10 is intended to be unwinnable. Developers consider a victory at 10 a bug. This is meant to give challenge to even the greatest AI War players.
The difficulty of an AI influence the Mark of its planets: at low difficulty, higher marks are less likely, and at high difficulty, high mark are nearly everywhere.
Difficulty and Player Level
New players might want to use a difficulty between 3 and 5 for their first game after the tutorial.
Difficulty 7 is intended for players already comfortable with the game. Most achievements are available at that level.
Difficulty 8 and 9 are intended for confirmed players in search for more challenge.
Difficulty 10 is the final test for the best AI War players.
As each AI can have a different Type and different Plots, the difficulty can be adjusted per AI. However, most players usually put the same difficulty for both AIs and refers to the difficulty of the whole game as "7/7", for instance, for two AIs with a difficulty of 7 each.
Several Minor Factions and some other details use the difficulty level of the first AI, which makes 1/7 and 7/1 quite different games.