Understanding the AI

Alright, so I am trying to figure out some of the aspects of the AI after a player has either been kicked for inactivity, or been taken over by the AI. Does the first mean that the player can no longer join the game? Does that mean that the process is, after 42 hours in the first round you get placed under AI control, then after 72 hours you get permanently banned from the game? If that’s the case is there any logic to placing your empire under AI control if you can’t check in the game during the work day but do at the beginning and end of it? Also, do AI then attack at night when you cannot respond because of pesky human needs?

Thanks for the answers.

Once the AI takes over (because the player went AFK or quit), the player can’t ever come back. Also the AI is bad so you wouldn’t want them to, especially as they destroy all gates when they turn AI.

They can attack whenever, but it is generally more a reactive attacker than proactive.

You can also buy off AI relatively easy and then they won’t ever attack you: trade them techs or cash until they are in a positive relation to you. They’ll trade back techs if you are positive. When positive, they’ll never attack.


I really appreciate your response! That answers most of my questions!

Also remember that “night” is relative. Players may be from different countries so may have different timezones.

I played 3 games against all AI in the last 3 years…

Bribing the AI gets much harder when you reach #1 on the leaderboard. I tried again by staying at #2, but the #1 AI got attacked by 2 other AI, losing a few stars, putting me back on top of the leaderboard again. I remember it took me forever, maybe over 2700 ticks to win that galaxy against such aggressive AI tech trading.

Another game vs 9 AI:
I coasted at about #4 -5, about 8 stars behind the AI leader for a few hundred ticks. Built up a lot of Econ while hardly building any Industry. Lagging in techs again. around tick 792, 2 warring AI’s were finishing a 300+ tick conflict. The losing AI got worn down to just 4 stars and very few econ (easy to bribe). I took advantage of all my econ to trade up about 28 techs on that payday via cheap $5 econ bribes. The AI died soon after. The next payday, I was about level tech with another weak AI, and kept trading for a few hundred ticks. The winning AI soon took the top of the leaderboard with 33 stars, but stopped growing star count at that point. The extra scan and HR tech bribed/traded allowed me to explore the outer periphery of the galaxy.

Around tick 824,
A peaceful era phase settled in. We have the new AI leader w 33 stars EIS 264/342/162, 4 other heavy tech trading AI’s from 30-25 stars EIS each around 330/296/139, myself at 21 star, EIS 577/77/96, and 3 lesser AI’s with no more than 12 star, 66 Sci. I traded to some extent with the AI laggards and the leader for a long long long time.

Fast forward tick 1440
I have built up, taken a few empty and occupied stars from the smallest neighbor. Trading with the 3 laggard along with the star count leader, who researches W tech non stop. My research mostly focuses on Terraform to keep my EIS prices manageable.
AI leader 33 stars EIS 1036/863/423 leads W tech lvl 46 (six way tie)
4 AI tech trading giants 25-30 stars ~EIS around 990/780/385 They lead S, R, X, B, Mfg techs.
myself 31 stars EIS 2429/848/444 I lead TF tech level 43 vs lvl 35 for the giants.
2 laggards 12 stars max 182 science. I still trade techs with them.
I took 4 stars from the smallest laggard. 4 stars left. 74 science back at peacetime, but no need to bribe since the W tech level is so low.
tick 1440 technology wise, I am caught up enough to occasionally trade with the 4 powerful tech trading AI empires.
Most of the AI have over 100 carriers while I still have 10.

Fast forward tick 1760 … grind , grind, grind, trade, baby trade.
I start raids against the smallest of the 4 way powerful AI tech trading alliance.
Me 31 stars EIS 3819/1453/641 vs AI 25 stars EIS 1291/1044/515
Me 984816 fighters 12 carriers 3027 new ships vs AI 987199 fighters 151 carriers 2349 new ships
I hold tech leads in TF (59 vs 47) and W(63 vs 58)
AI leads scan (46 vs 33), HR(47 vs 34), Exp (47 vs 42), Bank (48 vs 47), Mfg (49 vs 45)
This should eventually slow down the 4 way alliance to a 3 way.
My trading with the AI laggards has fallen off, but still getting a lot of W tech from the 33 star count leader.
I abandon rear area stars to keep my star count at 30-31 behind the leader of 33 stars.

Fast forward tick 2280 … grind , grind, grind, trade, baby trade. take front stars, abandon rear stars. Trade pattern shifts toward the 3 powerful AI tech traders.
AI leader 33 stars EIS 2451/1957/969 leads W tech lvl 89 lagging all other techs due to lack of trades.
3 AI tech trading giants 29-30 stars ~EIS around 2600/2060/1020 They lead S, R, X, B, Mfg techs.
myself 31 stars EIS 6848/2978/1194 I lead TF tech level 87 vs lvl 67 for the giants.
former AI tech trade giant 16 stars EIS 921/909/452 still has many tech levels ahead of the other laggards.
tick 1896 - 1960 raids
tick 1984-2016 raids
ticks 2200-2240 expansion phase
I have over 2 million fighters, which is below 2.7 million by the leader, and a combined 10+ million by the tech trading giant AI empires.
Not yet strong enough to lead star count.

Fast forward tick 2352 … I take the top of leaderboard with 50 stars.
Now I need to pay bribes to at least a pair of big fleet neighbors.,
ticks 2264 - 2336

Fast forward tick 2432
Enemy AI down to just 2 stars, 77 econ, relatively easy to bribe for about 40 techs where it was still ahead of me.

Fast forward tick 2448
Myself 75 stars EIS 12365 / 6175 / 2591 3.5 million fighters 20326 new ships. leading TF tech (95 vs 73) , Exp tech (73 vs 70) tied W tech level 98, tied Mfg tech level 74
3 trading giant leaders 29-30 stars each EIS about 3080/2430/1210 4.3-4.7 million fighters each, about 8k new ships each.
former star count leader. 33 stars EIS 2594/2088/1035 3.6 million fighters 6873 new ships, still catching up on tech via trade with the 3 leaders. 12 more levels to go in Scan, TF, Exp, Bk.
4 laggards: 12, 6, 4, 1 stars
The former tech trade power that I combatted is down to just 1 star now.

I had enough payday revenues to bribe, divide, and conquer from that point on…

Achieved victory by tick 2728.
122 stars W130 tech, 5.9 million fighters
vs 5 remaining AI: 33, 29, 17, 12, 8 stars. W117 tech, combined over 24 million fighters.
4 AI’s KO.

manage the regard, growth, tech levels (TF very important for such a long term galaxy against all AI)

Out of curiosity, how big were those games in terms of players/stars? Those are some wild tick counts and stats for the numbers of stars you mentioned. It’s weird to see several AI achieve that kind of equilibrium and longevity, normally they crash and burn due to sheer ineptitude. Though I guess if a game is mostly AIs they may balance each other out?

If you are up for the challenge @eplazaguest, here’s my forum thread on

The 122 star victory / 10 players indicate 24 stars per player galaxy.
dark galaxy, lvl 3 scan, with common and expensive Warp gates.
Far distance, starting 3 stars. $1000, 3 Sci.
Turn based 8 tick jump, 24 hr wait.

I won by avoiding unneeded combat.
#1 Stay off of the top of the leaderboard until I could achieve near decisive EIS supremacy.
#1a Set up an abandon stars area along an edge of the map.
#1b When attacking a specific AI, grow very slowly. Abandon a star before attacking the next AI star to conquer.
#1c Set at least 1 raid/payday against that AI Econ infrastructure. This will slow down the funding they get for EIS builds and tech trading. Make sure they can take the stars back from you before the next payday tick. Else you suddenly top the leaderboard, and suffer attacks by all other neighboring AI that you cannot afford yet to bribe.
#1d avoided Ind purchases to allow more Econ / Science purchases, bribes, trade. No need for fighters if I was not planning any attack for over 500 ticks. Besides, TF tech is ever building, allowing me to buy Ind much later at further discounted $ prices.

  1. Continually trading W tech with the 33 star AI at the top of the leaderboard was very important. That AI leader was denied tech trades from all other AI. ~1500 ticks of trading with only me, put that star count leader about 150 tech levels behind the major AI trade partners by the time I vaulted past him on the star count.
  2. I searched for trades among the AI just about every payday tick. That is the best time to trade tech, since every AI is flush with credits. Trading on follow up turn jumps may need a bribe follow up since they may reach insufficient credits to send over tech for your trade (more expensive).
  3. With the star count capped by whichever AI was at the top. I wanted to get at least 2x econ of the large AI empires I would have to face. That was why I concentrated on TF research - so allow further concentrations of EIS buys on my limited front of stars…

N1 The frequently trading AI’s build EIS on pattern of about 2.56 / 2.04 / 1.00 .
Tick 824: EIS 330/296/139
tick 1440 EIS 990 / 780 / 385
tick 1769 EIS 1291 / 1044 / 515
tick 2280 EIS 2600 / 2060 / 1020

N2 An AI who suddenly gets to the top of the leaderboard will tend to stop growing star count. The lead traded frequently in the initial 824 ticks. The one who took over at tick 824 did so by KO of another AI from a long war.

N3 Hostile AI tend to attack live players from within 15 ticks plain travel distance. This left them vulnerable to deeper WG-WG raids.

N4 Top 5 AI’s on the leaderboard will tend to buy at least 1 carrier / payday. I think it allows live players to incrementally catch up to giant AI’s trading techs.

N5 After a certain point before tick 1000, AI will not war against other AI. They seemed to be reserving combat capacity for live players at top the leaderboard. They are also very content to trade with each other. The trade partnerships appear segregated by tiers based on empire and infrastructure size.

Much appreciated Hulk,
I will have to find a spare 2 months for it.

Thanks for the breakdowns, very interesting!

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I also tracked research in detail up until I got the star count lead.

202 self developed research
239 trades.
56 bribes for (mostly for tech , a few for border peace)
168192 useful XP research payday bonuses.
~ 29k wasted research points from tech trades / bribes.