I thought I would compare Endless Space 2 and Stellaris and see which game was easier to learn. This is a spoiler alert so if you want to skip this you can but I’m going to give my opinion right now. I think Endless Space 2 is the easiest game to learn. I’ll go into my reasoning later.
I have the most recent updates for both games (ES2 is V1.5.48 S5 Gold – Public, Stellaris is Pyxis V3 10.0). I also have all the content for both games, guess I’m a little bit of a game junkie when it comes to space strategy games.
I wanted to find empires that were easy to play and still taught the fundamentals of the game. Both games have pop-up dialog boxes and tips that help you learn the game, but I’ll be focusing heavily on the tutorial systems for both games, since that’s their purpose, to make learning the game easier.
Endless Space 2 Empire
I did research and looked at what the game said were the easiest empires to play and settled on three candidates, the Sophons, the Lumeris and the United Empire.
I hadn’t played the Sophons or Lumeris yet, so I played each empire for at least four hours. The Sophons focus mainly on scientific knowledge and technological advancement. I had a lot of fun playing this faction.
Same for the Lumeris, they were a blast to play too. They focus mostly on trade, economic deals, growth and doing business.
My third candidate, and the one I decided to use, was the United Empire. The United Empire is a central monarchy. They like to expand and tend to be militaristic, which suits my game style. They also matched up well with the empire I chose to represent Stellaris.
I have over 1,000 hours of play time in Stellaris and most of that has been with my two favorite empires, the United Nations of Earth and the Commonwealth of Man.
The United Nations of Earth seems to be a little more diplomatic, a little more “laid back” and they take a more scientific approach to the game. The Commonwealth of Man is a little more militaristic and a little more aggressive, which once again suits my play style. They match up well to the United Empire in Endless Space 2, so I selected them to represent Stellaris.
Endless Space 2 Tutorial
The Endless Space 2 tutorial is typically located in the upper right portion of the screen, although it does move around depending on what it’s focused on. It doesn’t have any audio, but it does have multiple cards you can page through when learning about a topic in the game.
The first thing it talks about is technology (research) and how to select something to research. It also highlights the icon (or button) you need to click, making it easier to go to the screen you need to open. Once at the technology screen it tells you to select something to research and makes suggestions for you, easy to start researching something. This faction also has the option to buy out technologies and construction projects. This seems to be unique to this empire although I can’t say that for sure since I haven’t played every empire in the game.
Clicking on your home system brings up details about it. The tutorial also shows you how to begin a construction project simply by clicking on it. Once again, it is easy to start construction on something.
Alerts appear along the right edge of the screen and during this playthrough a hero was available. Clicking on the alert brought up the Heroes list and from that screen I could inspect the hero or assign them to a system or fleet.
The tutorial shows you how to handle first contact with a minor civilization when you encounter them. The “Start Negotiations” icon is highlighted for you to use, plus the tutorial explains a little about what a minor civilization is and gives a general explanation about each one having a unique personality. The next screen brings more details about the minor civilization, actions you can take and what special trait you’ll get if you manage to assimilate them into your empire.
The tutorial will also instruct you on what to do with all your computational power and that’s hacking another system. First you select the system you are hacking from and then drag the cursor to the system you want to hack. If successful you can install a backdoor in their system, allowing you to take more actions later, like falsifying logs so they will think more highly of you, resulting in better relations.
The game is full of scientific curiosities and it’s easy to explore those with the tutorials’ guidance. Select your fleet, click on the probe button, then click on the curiosity you want to explore.
The game has a ruling Senate that passes laws. If you’re playing as the United Empire the tutorial will alert you to pass a law when you have enough Influence. The Senate lists details about your government and shows how many representatives each faction has. It will also allow you to pass a new law, like New Colony, which gives 20% more food on Outposts and a +25-approval rating in your systems after you establish a new colony.
The Stellaris Tutorial is also located in the upper right portion of the screen. Unlike the tutorial in Endless Space 2, it does not move around, plus it has audio. At the start of the game, it gives you the option of using the full tutorial, provide tips only or turn it off. You can also scale the amount of tutorial help you want in Endless Space 2, but you have to exit the game to change it.
The tutorial system relies heavily on the Situation Log, and you’ll find yourself checking it often. It starts out with one of the most basic options in the game and that is switching form the system view to the galaxy view.
The next thing the tutorial taught me was how to explore a system with my Science Ship. Click on it, right click on the destination and select Survey System from the pop-up menu.
In Stellaris one of the keys to learning the game is addressing the icons a tthe top of the screen. Clicking on one of the research icons will take you to the research screen where you can select the thing you want to research for each branch of science, Physics, Society and Engineering. The tutorial also informs you that you can appoint a Head of Research, which provides research bonuses.
Constructions ships are another basic and important component in the game. The tutorial teaches you how to build research and mining stations, and outposts that need to be built before you can exploit resources in a system and colonize it.
Another thing the tutorial will alert you to is that your military might is too weak, making you an easy target for your neighbors. You will be assigned a task in the situation log to strengthen your fleet, like building 5 Corvettes and adding them to your fleet, plus assigning an admiral to it as well.
This tutorial will also give you helpful advice, like suggesting you should build a second science ship so you can explore the galaxy twice as fast.
Why I chose Endless Space 2 As The Easiest To Learn
Both games are a lot of fun! Both games have excellent tutorials!
The advantage Stellaris has when learning the game is that the tutorial also has audio, making it a little easier to understand and learn the game.
Stellaris is also a very complex game with more systems to master, making it more difficult to comprehend. This can be a plus or a minus, depending on what you want from a game. Stellaris also throws a lot at you to learn early in the game, sometimes it’s like drinking from a firehouse.
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When I took these factors into consideration, I decided that Endless Space 2 was easier to learn, but you won’t regret playing and learning either game.