Master Of Orion 2 Beginners Guide

by -43 views

While you lot are starting a game you accept to accept some of import decisions. This folio describes the main ideas in the game, so that you will know the implications of the decisions yous make during kickoff-up.



Long earlier the time in which the game starts, two extremely powerful races, known every bit the Orions and the Antarans, fought a war that devastated most of the galaxy. The Orions were triumphant and, rather than exterminate the Antarans, imprisoned them in a “pocket dimension”. The Orions and so departed from the galaxy, but left backside a very powerful robotic warship, the Guardian, to guard their homeworld. Whoever beats the Guardian gets: some armed forces technologies which players cannot inquiry for themselves; the allegiance of the concluding remaining Orion, who commands a very powerful battleship; and the opportunity to colonize the Orions’ homeworld, which is as good equally a planet can e’er be.

Some time after the start of a game, the Antarans, breaking out of their dimension the Orions take banished them into, brainstorm sending small fleets against players’ colonies, simply to destroy rather than to invade.

Victory conditions


There are iii means to win – exterminate all opponents; go elected equally the supreme leader of the milky way; or lead a successful assail against the Antaran homeworld (via a Dimensional Portal). To get elected as the supreme leader, you demand two-thirds of the full votes (abstentions count as votes against both candidates), and each empire’s votes are based on its population. And then getting elected requires some combination of conquest and affairs (see beneath).

Despite the game’s name, conquering the Orion star system does not automatically win the game, although the benefits acquired from doing then makes it easier.

Stars and planets


This system has 1 colony (xanthous pointer), one empty planet which can be colonized, ii gas giants and i asteroid belt (the grayness dotted ring).

Nearly of the stars are “normal” and almost of these take planets. Black holes have no planets and fleets that travel too shut to them may go sucked in, unless they have a leader with the “navigator” skill.

“Normal” stars have at almost v colonizable planets, and a few have none. If you have a colony in a system which contains gas giants or asteroid belts, y’all can somewhen convert these to artificial planets and colonize them.

You tin can colonize all types of planets except gas giants or asteroid belts, but they vary in several ways, making some more desirable than others:

  • Population capacity, which on most planets can exist improved by terraforming. “Toxic” planets cannot be terraformed.
  • Ease of growing food – this is important for the reasons described below. At the beginning of the game most planets are incapable of supporting agronomics, but terraforming can remedy this, except on “toxic” planets.
  • Mineral resources, which determine how quickly the player tin build things there.
  • In a few cases, the presence of artifacts left past long-departed avant-garde races makes research more productive.
  • A few planets have natives, who can only abound food but exercise that more efficiently than any playable race.
  • Gravity outside a race’south preferred range tin reduce productivity in farming, manufacture and research.
  • A few planets have golden or gem deposits which increase the cash revenue from colonies there.
  • Very few planets comprise “splinter colonies”, which automatically join the empire which discovers them and learn its racial advantages and disadvantages.

The most desirable systems are usually guarded by infinite monsters, much less powerful than Orion’southward Guardian but notwithstanding a severe claiming in the early game, when fleets are small and low-tech.

How an empire’southward economy works


You can manage your empire’s economy nigh entirely from the Colony List.

Without food, a colony volition starve to expiry (unless its population are “Lithovores”; see “Playable races” below). If your empire as a whole has a nutrient surplus, you can save colonies from starvation past sending food in freighters, simply using these costs money. Just one tiny hostile warship can prevent this by blockading a whole system, which makes turtling a risky strategy.

You tin change a colony’s output by moving colonists between farming, manufacture and research, except that natives tin simply farm. You can inquiry and construct buildings which improve a colony’south productivity in one or more of farming, industry and research. These game elements came almost directly from an earlier Simtex game, Master of Magic.

If the gravity of a planet falls outside of the gravity range your race is accepted to, productivity is reduced, but you can enquiry and construct a building that remedies this.

Pollution is a serious constraint on industrial production in the early game (unless its population are “Tolerant”; see “Playable races” below), simply you can research technologies which reduce or eliminate information technology (all but one of these technologies require new buildings).

Maintaining buildings costs money and so does running an excessively large fleet. All colonists pay a standard tax to your treasury and in emergencies you can set a higher tax rate, but this reduces industrial product. Yous tin can also amend cashflow by researching and constructing sure buildings in larger colonies. You can utilize surplus money to advance product at selected colonies, but not to increase agricultural or inquiry output.

Ships of different sizes crave different numbers of “command points”, which are provided by orbital bases, which are major structure projects for pocket-size colonies. You can research technologies which increase the command points provided by orbital bases. An empire can be ruined financially if its armada requires more than command points than its orbital bases provide, because “ownership” extra command points is very expensive. This severely limits the size of empires’ fleets; before you lot research technologies which increase the command points provided by orbital bases, you can have merely one frigate (smallest type of send) per starbase
ane battleship (largest type of ship in the early game) per four starbases without having to “buy” control points.

The engineering tree


The enquiry bill of fare at the start of a game. The highlighted tech area is beingness researched.

There are 8 applied science areas:

Industrial buildings; planet-based defenses; larger types of orbital base and ships.
Armor; missiles; pollution control buildings; upgrades to the range of your ships.
Research buildings; buildings which increase all productivity past raising morale; targeting systems for warships.
Beam weapons; scanners; upgrades to command points provided by orbital bases.
Bombs; torpedoes (weapons which are similar to missiles); upgrades to the speed and firepower of your ships.
Relations with alien races; improving the operation of warships’ crews; buildings to improve cashflow; upgrading your government (run across below).
Biological science
Buildings to improve farming productivity; biological weapons; technologies to increase population growth rates and reduce the damage done by biological weapons; terraforming.
Forcefulness fields
Shields; ship weapons which resemble automobile-guns; ship components which improve maneuverability and make them harder to hit; cloaking.

Each technology expanse is divided into several levels, each of which contains 1 to 3 technologies. You can only inquiry one engineering science at a fourth dimension. To research a higher-level applied science, you must starting time have researched the previous level. In theory one could research all levels of one field of study area and neglect the rest, but this is ordinarily suicidal.

“Creative” races go all the technologies at a item level by completing one enquiry projection at that level; most races must choose only i engineering from each level; “uncreative” races get no option and the game software randomly selects a applied science for them at each level. The fashion in which technologies are spread around the tech tree reduces the risk that an uncreative race will be left in a completely hopeless position, simply looks rather odd.

Players can as well learn technologies by trading, spying, conquest, beingness the showtime to visit an artifacts planet or hiring a leader who can provide a technology.



For more details on diplomacy, see Primary of Orion II: Battle at Antares/Affairs and intelligence.

Chief of Orion II provides a wide range of diplomatic negotiations: gifts of money or technology or even all the colonies in a star arrangement; opportunities to demand such concessions from other players; one-time technology trades; merchandise, non-assailment and alliance treaties. Merely the most effective way to proceeds favor with an AI histrion is to attack another AI player with whom the first is at war.

“Repulsive” races have only 2 diplomatic options: “Surrender” (which loses the game) and “Declare war”.

The “Races” (affairs) screen also enables the player to allocate spies between defensive duties and spying or sabotage against other empires.

Spaceship blueprint


The design of colony ships, freighters and troop transports is stock-still, although they benefit from technology advances which increment the travel range, scanning range and speed of all your ships free of charge. These 3 send types volition be destroyed instantly if they travel without an escort and are attacked by anything, even the weakest gainsay transport.

Players can pattern warships, provided they choose the “tactical gainsay” choice in game ready-up. One can design a maximum of 5 classes at a fourth dimension, but can have an indefinite number of classes in performance.

One can refit ships to have advantage of technology improvements which do non provide gratuitous upgrades.

Combat and invasion


Master of Orion Two’s space combat screen. In this example the battleships on the left are attacking the colony on the right, which is defended by a starbase. The space combat screen shows part of a larger, scrollable map.

Ships tin can travel to any star system within their range, different games such as Infinite Empires or Clout where interstellar travel is possible only via “wormholes”. Hence in Master of Orion Ii you lot cannot create easily-defended choke points.

Space combat occurs in 2 types of location: in orbit over a planet you are attacking or defending; and on the outskirts of a system, if one side is driving away the other’s blockaders. Information technology is incommunicable to intercept enemy ships in deep space. Limitations on the size of empires’ fleets (control points, see above) mean that virtually battles involve merely a scattering of ships on each side. Ships exercise not stack, but move and fire individually.

At the outset of a game you cull whether space combat should exist “tactical” (controlled by the actor) or “strategic” (controlled by the software); but choosing strategic combat prevents you from designing your own ships. In tactical combat the screen has an “Auto” push which makes the software accept control of the player’s ships and stop the battle.

Y’all can only invade planets when all defending ships, orbital bases and planet-based defenses have been destroyed or forced to retreat. In order to invade, the attacking fleet must include some troop transports, which will exist lost if the invasion fails, and at least one volition be lost (deployed on the planet) if the invasion succeeds.

You cannot command footing gainsay: the result depends on numbers, ground gainsay technologies and racial ground combat bonus (some ship officers too give a bonus). Only y’all see a display which shows the progress of the combat and the footing combat technologies and bonuses used past each side.

Recently-invaded colonies are disaffected and have poor productivity, but slowly improve, and there are means to speed up the improvement. In that location is also a risk that recently-invaded colonies may insubordinate and rejoin the empire which founded them.

Instead of invading, you can destroy enemy colonies. This is cheaper in the curt run merely invading has longer-term advantages if successful: you may steal a engineering science; the newly acquired colony extends the range of your ships; the colony will contribute to your economy and inquiry.

Telepathic races (see “Playable races”) tin can mind-command enemy populations instead of invading with troop transports; only mind-control is thwarted if the defending colony belongs to a telepathic race or is governed by a telepathic leader. Telepathic races besides assimilate conquered populations instantly, without a period of disaffection or take chances of rebellion.



From time to time players go opportunities to hire leaders, for a hiring fee and almanac salary. Colony leaders improve the farming and/or industrial and/or enquiry and / or financial productivity of all colonies in the system to which they are assigned. Ship leaders meliorate the combat effectiveness of their ships and sometimes their travel speed. A few leaders of both types also meliorate the performance of basis troops under their command, or contribute directly to a player’s finances. And a few are “famous”, making other leaders more likely to offer their services, normally for a very pocket-size hiring fee and bacon.

Random events


From time to time at that place are lucky breaks, disasters or emergencies which are not caused past the player’s actions. These can be disabled in the game start-up menu.

Playable races


The Race design menu. Options that are highlighted accept been selected.

Master of Orion II provides 13 pre-defined playable races: the Alkari, Bulrathi, Darloks, Elerians, Gnolams, Humans, Klackons, Meklars, Mrrshan, Psilons, Sakkra, Silicoids, and Trilarians (the Elerians, Gnolams, and Trilarians are new since MoO I). In add-on to these, the game allows players to create custom races. As virtually players use custom races, information technology is more than helpful to draw the range of racial characteristics from which you can choose rather than to describe the pre-divers races.

Each actor starts with 10 “picks” (race design points). Choosing advantageous traits reduces the number of picks available, while choosing disadvantages increases them, but you cannot cull more than than 10 picks’ worth of disadvantages. So you get to choose at most twenty picks’ worth of advantages.

Most of the options are easy to understand: major or minor advantages and minor disadvantages in farming, industry, inquiry, population growth, money, space combat, espionage and ground combat.

Races from loftier-gravity homeworlds are fully productive on high-G and normal-Grand planets, and simply mildly handicapped on low-G worlds; low-M races are severely handicapped on normal-G planets and practically helpless on high-G worlds.

“Creative” races inquiry all the technologies at each level by completing one inquiry project; all other races must choose 1 technological awarding to develop out of a given inquiry project; “uncreative” races get no choice and the software randomly selects an awarding to be developed out of each research projection undertaken. “Creative” is the third nigh expensive option, and typically provides greater advantages the longer a game lasts, considering there are technologies to modify and raise almost all abilities and aptitudes – so a race which has researched every productivity-enhancing technology researched can generally outperform all other races in their own specializations.

“Subterranean” races accept a higher population limit on colonized planets, and have a small bonus in ground combat while defending.

“Tolerant” races have a college population limit on colonized planets than most other races, and their industrial productivity is not reduced by pollution. This is one of the 2 well-nigh expensive options.

“Aquatic” races have more productive farming and higher populations on “wet” planets (Tundra, Sea, Swamp, Terran) than other races. Annotation: although quite a lot of types of planet are “wet”, at the start of a game the great bulk of planets cannot support farming at all.

“Lithovores” feed on the natural minerals of a planet, and practise not demand to farm. This is i of the ii near expensive options.

“Cybernetic” races need half as much food as non-cybernetic races, simply each population unit likewise “eats” one-half a unit of industrial production. They can as well repair ships
combat from the get-go, while other races must research Automated Repair Units and install them in their ships (reducing the infinite available e.g. for weapons) if they desire their ships to repair themselves during combat.

“Transdimensional” races travel through space a niggling faster than other races at the same propulsion engineering science level. They can also travel through space (very slowly) without researching any ship drive technology, or when all interstellar travel is otherwise prevented by a hyperspace flux.

“Charismatic” races receive a big advantage in affairs, and more than opportunities to hire leaders and at lower cost. “Repulsive” races accept disadvantages in diplomacy and in choice and cost of leaders. Repulsive races cannot class alliances, sign treaties, or practise any diplomatic contracts aside from declaring war, surrendering, and suing for peace.

Telepathic races have advantages in diplomacy and espionage, and can as well conquer planets by mind control when they accept overcome the defenses, instead of having to use troop transports to invade. Mind-controlled populations are instantly assimilated into your empire. Annotation that listen control does not work against another telepathic race, nor in a arrangement where a telepathic leader is nowadays.

Omniscient races tin can run across all planets and ships (even those with cloaking devices).

“Fantastic traders” do ameliorate out of trade treaties than virtually, and become more than tax revenue.

Lucky races get more favorable random events than nearly and far fewer disasters or emergencies, and tend to be disregarded by marauding Antarans.

Warlord races accept an advantage in space gainsay
control points per orbital base of operations.

You lot tin can too choose your empire’south course of government, which has virtually every bit much influence on how it performs every bit the choices described higher up, but the “best” governments cost a lot of picks. Dictatorships are the most mutual governments for the pre-divers races, and cost no picks. Democracy provides major advantages in research and money, but is the almost vulnerable to spying and sabotage. Unification government provides advantages in farming, industrial production and security but none in research, and does not benefit from buildings that improve morale. Feudalism provides a large reduction in spaceship structure costs, just suffers from very tedious research; the race pattern menu treats it as a significant disadvantage. Each government can be upgraded once by research, but the upgrades mostly increase the advantages of each without decreasing the disadvantages.

As a result of the wide range of choices, quite a lot has been written about race design for Chief of Orion 2.[1]

User interface



The main screen: the pop-upward window displays information about a specific star organization, while the large window under it displays the galaxy equally a whole.

This is mainly mouse-driven, only some screens as well accept hotkeys for important functions.

The main screen consists mainly of a zoomable (not scrollable) map of the galaxy. Stars accept names which are color-coded to bear witness which empires have colonies round them. Clicking on a star that you take already visited produces a pop-up window which shows the planets round that star. Clicking a fleet allows you to give orders and displays a popular-up which shows each send in the fleet. Dotted lines show ship movements. The buttons forth the lesser give access to various menus. The icons on the right provide information about the status of the empire and access to additional menus.

Colony Listing, with sort buttons along the bottom. The cursor (paw) on the right is well-nigh to open up a colony’southward build bill of fare.

Players can manage their economies virtually entirely from the Colony List, which can exist sorted past any of one of: Proper name, Population, Food production, Industrial production, Inquiry production, the item currently being built, or Greenbacks (BC) generated. The Colony List allows the player to access any colony’s Build Menu, and to change a colony’s output by moving colonists betwixt Farmers, Workers and Scientists.

The Build Menu allows the player to queue up to 7 items (buildings, ships or spies) for construction at a colony, to refit ships in that colony’s system and to design ships which may and so be built at any colony.

At the stop of each plough Master of Orion Ii shows a study in which items link to the appropriate display, usually to a colony’s Build menu when a structure project has been completed.

The Information menu gives access to: a History Graph which shows how the histrion’s empire compares with rival empires; the racial characteristics of all empires with which the player is in contact; the technologies the player has researched; and descriptions of all technologies, including the exotic ones which the player cannot inquiry but may gain by chirapsia Orion’s Guardian.

Beginning a game


When the program loads


You can skip the splash screens and go straight to the commencement menu by hitting the ESC key. The start card’s options all accept hot keys:

C = Continue
MOO II automatically saves every 4 turns, and when y’all shut the game down. “Go along” loads the automatically saved game.
Fifty = Load game
Loads a saved game.
N = New game
Starts a new
game past displaying the New Game Carte.
M = Multiplayer
This displays the Multiplayer Setup Menu
H = Hall of Fame
Displays the 10 highest scores.
Q = Quit
Closes the game downwards.

Starting a new single-thespian game



All of the New Game Menu’due south options work past clicking until it cycles round to what y’all want – there are no drib-down lists or radio push button groups. Information technology asks you to specify:

  • Difficulty level – “Tutorial” is easiest, “Impossible” is hardest. On the harder levels the other empires are stronger
    more likely to exist hostile.
  • Galaxy size. Pocket-sized galaxies lead to very early on contact and probably combat and / or attempts to steal technologies from you.
  • Galaxy age. The manual say “old” galaxies accept more planets that let farming but fewer rich or ultra-rich planets; while “young” galaxies are the reverse. Merely in practice there seems to exist piddling divergence.
  • Number of players. The greater the number, the sooner y’all make contact.
  • Tech level. MOO II has iii starting tech levels:
    • “Pre-warp”, where y’all have no ships, and you have to enquiry everything.
    • Average, where you start with a small fleet and a few technologies. Note that if your race is non Artistic the game gives you a random selection of technologies and they might not be what you would want. On the other hand a Creative race gets all the technologies in the levels that have been “researched”.
    • Advanced, where y’all start with a slightly larger fleet and a few more technologies. Beingness Artistic is an even greater reward in Avant-garde starts.
  • Tactical or strategic combat. Always choose tactical gainsay, otherwise yous tin’t design your own ships and can but use those generated by the game software, which are ordinarily non very good. If you don’t want hands-on control of combat, just click the “Car” button at the offset of each battle.
  • Whether random events are allowed.
  • Where the Antarans are allowed to set on colonies. If they are not, you tin can’t conquer them, which is the highest-scoring type of victory.

Race Selection


The side by side screen is the Race Option Card, which invites yous select i of the pre-defined races or design your own. If you select a pre-defined race, no enemy empire volition be of the aforementioned race.

If you select “Custom Race”, you will encounter the “Select Race Picture” Screen. You take to choose ane of the pre-divers race pictures, and y’all will non meet another empire of that race in the game.

And so you become i of the most important screens in the game, the Race Blueprint Carte. Meet Race blueprint for more than details.

Naming your ruler and home system


These 2 screens are easy – you can simply click “accept” unless you want the Hall of Fame screen to contain a unique ruler proper noun for each entry. The Ruler Name and Habitation System Proper name screens take a small-scale issues – the maximum length of the name varies from 1 game to another and sometimes is equally brusque as 6 characters.

Then y’all see the game’s Chief Screen, which is described in Game controls.



  1. Master of Orion Ii Strategy Guide at

  2. Main of Orion Ii Custom Race Archive at