Stellaris and SINs of a Solar Empire are both set in space, but they have very different approaches. As always, your personal tastes determine which game you will like the best, especially when it comes down to two games as good as these are. This article compares the two, pointing out both the similarities and differences and tries not take sides since I love both games, although I must admit that my “go to” game is always Stellaris.
Stellaris is deep in strategy while SINs pulls you into the action immediately. Stellaris focuses on empire management, like planetary development and exploration. SINs gets into combat almost immediately with local militias and Pirates fighting you every inch of the way.
Although they have drastically different approaches the games still have a lot of things in common. Stellaris and SINs of a Solar Empire both have diplomacy, exploration, combat, technological research, pirates, alliances, and pacts (agreements). SINs is much more combat focused than Stellaris.
Read More: If you want to know more about either one of these games I have a tips page for both Stellaris and SINs of a Solar Empire. You can also use the customized menu at the top of the page to find all the Stellaris articles on this site. If you’re curious you can also read my article about how Stellaris and Gal Civ 3 compare.
Stellaris vs SINs of a Solar Empire, Who Does What Better?
How Stellaris and SINs of a Solar Empire Compare In General
Sins has a lot less micromanagement than Stellaris except for combat. In SINs of a Solar Empire, you can exert control over each individual ship if you want to. In Stellaris you just get your fleet to the point of combat and then the AI takes over and does the rest.
SINs is a much faster game than Stellaris and by that I mean the action starts much sooner. As soon as you go to the closest system you’ll either be attacked by local militia or by Pirates, in Stellaris it usually takes a fair amount of time to run into someone. Stellaris is a slower paced game with much more emphasis on empire management. You also do more exploration and resource management at the start with Stellaris vs SINs of a Solar Empire. At the start of both games resources are sparse.
SINs is a smaller scaled game that has set victory conditions that when met end the game. Stellaris also has victory conditions but you can play on for as long as you’d like, even after the victory conditions are met. Stellaris has a grander scale with more focus on your economy.
Stellaris games can easily last two to three times longer than SINs of a Solar Empire. Stellaris has a lot of good events and side stories which SINs lacks.
Exploration is better in Stellaris since there is more to explore and there is much more detail in the exploration itself, like finding research anomalies or archaeological sites. Empire management is much more detailed in Stellaris too.
Both games use hyperlanes, meaning your ships must follow specific paths to planets, they can’t go anywhere they want. This allows for a better defensive strategy in both games since you can set up strongholds to create chokepoints to block enemy advances.
In SINs there is not too much planetary management. You simply improve the infrastructure which allows for more pops to live on the planets, which produce more taxes for your empire, plus there is some planetary exploration you can conduct.
Stellaris planetary management is much more detailed than in SINs. In Stellaris you can build specific buildings, districts specializing in certain types of production, and make decisions on a planet-by-planet basis, such as enforcing population controls or imposing Martial Law.
Sins only has 3 (6 for Rebellion) empires that can’t be customized, Stellaris has over 20 that can be. Stellaris allows for a lot of customization, from creating your own custom civilization to modifying your species, leader traits, ships, and virtually everything else. Any custom empires you create and save will be available too.
Diplomacy is decent in both games but with the addition of the Stellaris Nemesis DLC diplomacy has become better in Stellaris, much better than it originally was. In SINs of a Solar Empire there are a lot less diplomatic options and many of them are difficult to achieve. One perk in SINs is that you can take on quests for another empire and earn credits if successful.
Related Article: Is Stellaris or SINS the best space strategy game ever? Read my entirely subjective article about space strategy games and why I like the ones I like.
Combat and War in Stellaris and SINs of a Solar Empire
The only micromanagement in SINs is ship combat, which Stellaris lacks. Stellaris relies on you setting the target and then letting the fleets fight it out, in SINs you can control each individual ship if you want to. In SINs fleets will fight to extinction if you let them, Stellaris Admirals are a little less suicidal and will retreat their fleets automatically if losing a battle.
SINs has no ground combat, you simply blast the planet into oblivion if it’s owned by another faction and then colonize it to gain control. In Stellaris you have ground forces that invade the planet and if successful, you occupy and gain control of the planet. It could take several attempts to subdue a planet, in SINs it’s only a matter of time.
Warfare itself is simple in SINs. Just choose who you want to take that planet or system from and attack, if you win you get it, if you lose no harm, no foul. Empires are automatically at war with each other in SINs until some type of truce or alliance is made, but as the game comes to an ending in SINs even the closest alliance comes unraveled.
In Stellaris you are in a “cold war” state with everyone else you meet. You don’t go to war until you declare it, plus Stellaris has a war score system. Empires can close their borders to another empire and your ships can’t enter their territory unless you declare war on them or until they reopen their borders. In SINS you can enter anyone’s territory freely but be prepared to be fired upon.
With the Stellaris warscore system it does not matter how well or how badly you do in the war, the only gains or losses will be what was claimed as a war goal by either side, with the winner taking what their empire claimed and with the loser getting nothing. It’s a good system, if you’re defeated badly you will probably only lose a few systems, something that is not a game ending occurrence like it can be in other games, but it does extend the length of the game quite a bit.
SINs-has a smaller, more traditional tech tree and the tech tree for each race is unique. Stellaris has many more research options but they do appear in a random order due to a card system, and what was available one time may not be there the next time you choose an item to research.
If SINs of a Solar Empire Won’t Start
It had been a while since I played SINs and like a few other of my games lately it wouldn’t start. After looking around I discovered that the fix for other games worked for SINs as well. For SINs I had to go to the game install folder and right-click on the SINS of a Solar Empire Rebellion.exe file, select properties, click on the compatibility tab, and check the box for disabling full screen optimization, which worked.
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I had the same problem with Stellaris and have an entire article about getting Stellaris to work again if you’re having trouble based on research I did plus my own personal experience. I found the fix for SINs in post from the devs in the Steam forum, so rather than regurgitate what they said I’m providing a link to that post here. It has a lot of ways you can go about getting SINs to run again.