Race Design

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Stars! race design concepts
PRTs HE · SS · WM · CA · IS · SD · PP · IT · AR · JOAT
LRTs IFE · TT · ARM · ISB · GR · UR · MA · NRSE · CE · OBRM · NAS · LSP · BET · RS
Other HG · HP · -f · QS · 1WW / OWW · Immunities · Habitability · Economics · Technology · Abbreviations

This page was originally based on Basic Race Design by Art Lathrop - Revised: 1st Aug 1999.

Arguably the most vital component of any Stars! game, race design can be a complex and potentially fustrating process.

Design styles

Just as important (if not more important) than your primary racial trait (PRT) is your design philosophy. Here are the major ones. You need to have one of these ideas in mind when you play.

Hyper-growth races

Hyper-growth races try to grow as fast as possible. These are the races that achieve 25k by 2450. They usually have wider habitat ranges (1 in 4 to 1 in 6), only basic remote mining, high growth rates (18% or 19%), and more moderate factory settings.

Hyper-production races

Hyper-production races try to maximize their growth over the long term. They often have narrow habitat ranges (1 in 6 to 1 in 10), total terraforming, a slower growth rate (16% or 17%), advanced remote mining, and high factory settings. The danger of playing an HP race is that you need to survive with most of your planets until the late stages of the game.

Factory-less races

Factory-less(-f) races are a type of hyper-growth race. The idea is to set the factory settings to the worst possible and use those points to improve other fields. They have the advantage that they do not need to worry about spending resources (mineral and production) on building more factories - instead they can sink it into more mines, more ships, and technology. Likewise building ships early on does not hurt this race's overall growth. The disadvantage is that these races are "low density," that is they needs a lot more planets than other races to get the same amount of production. -F races should be very fast growers (some advise using 20% growth rates) and have wide habitats. Also, they should have OBRM since they do not need as many mines and because they will want to settle everything, if possible.

Quick-start races

Quick start races are a special type of HG race, best used in small and tiny universe. They take very inexpensive factory settings of seven or less. QS races typically have poorer maximum growth potential than a normal HG.

One world wonder races

OWW or 1WW races use the narrowest possible habitability settings, ususally shift as far to the right as possible. The RW points gained are typically used for cheap effective factories and mine and cheap techs.


One-immune races

One-immune races are quite common, arguably more so than non-immune races. While an immunity costs a lot, the gain is that every planet is of higher value. All green planets are at least 25%. Most players pay for the immunity with a reduced hab - less, better planets.

Bi-immune races

The prohibitive cost of a second immunity makes Bi-immune races rare and difficult to design effectively but they have be shown to be competitive.

Tri-immune races

By taking all three immunities you guaruntee that all planets will be 100%. The only PRTs that have found to be even remotely effective tri-immune races are AR and HE. Both trade growth rate to pay for the immunities. AR is extremely vulnerable, but if it survives has the potential for a truly awesome powerbase. HE can use a lower growth rate (4% or 5%) and the best factory and mine settings, and all cheap technologies.

Race Wizard

Primary racial traits

The primary racial traits are: Hyper Expansion, Super Stealth, War Monger, Claim Adjuster, Inner Strength, Space Demolition, Packet Physics, Interstellar Traveller, Alternate Reality, Jack Of All Trades

Lesser racial traits

The lesser racial traits are: Improved Fuel Efficiency, Total Terraforming, Advanced Remote Mining, Improved Starbases, Generalized Research, Ultimate Recycling, Mineral Alchemy, No Ram Scoop Engines, Cheap Engines, Only Basic Remote Mining, No Advanced Scanners, Low Starting Population, Bleeding Edge Technology, Regenerating Shields

Habitability settings

Depending on your design idea, the growth rate should generally be between 16% and 19%. -F races can consider 20% while HE should definitely pick much lower growth rates. Many AR races have lower growth settings than other races - sometimes as low as 13% to 14%.

HG races should pick habitats that are around 1 in 4 to 1 in 6. HP should look at 1 in 6 to 1 in 10. Races with TT of course should have the narrower habitats. Races with narrow habitats will usually need to also have a single immunity. A single immunity is expensive, but can help a lot. One immunity and having a 1 in 5 or a 1 in 6 habitat is probably every bit as good as having 1 in 4 and no immunity. Monsters with immunities are much easier to play than those without. Most people like taking gravity immunity since if you have IFE, then you do not need to research propulsion in the beginning stages of the game.

When you set up your habitat, remember that radiation is randomly determined. Because of that, you can slide the radiation habitat around and gain points without statistically costing yourself anything. Remember to keep it at least 15 clicks (30 if you have TT) from the edge, if possible. This will guarantee your use of the maximum number of planets. Sliding temperature and gravity is not as good of deal since gravity and temperature distributions are weighted towards the center.

Economic settings

If you are using an HP or hybrid, you can set the colonists/resource to 2500 or so. Otherwise, the general opinion from players seems to be you should probably leave this alone.

If you are using a -F race, set the factory settings to the worst possible level. You might consider slightly improving colonists per resource; however, that can be expensive.

Most races should automatically set factory cost at 9 or even 8 (this is more expensive though). In general increase the total number of factories more than the output of each factory. The germanium box should be checked in most cases (though obviously not for -F).

Typical factory settings for an HP are 13-15/7-9/18-25, while a typical HG will have something around 11-13/8-9/14-17.

Mines should cost three in almost all designs. This is critical to getting faster growth. Most players recommend this also for -F races. Personally, I lean towards a cost of 4 for -F since this will not slow down your economic growth; however, most people feel that 3 is a better choice (though perhaps only marginally). A common mistake beginners make is to reduce the quality of their mines. It is very important that you do not reduce the output per mine nor reduce the total number of mines. Efficient mines are very important for your early growth and late in the game, mineral production is actually more important than total factory output

Technology settings

Traditionally, weapons and often construction are selected cheap. A third cheap tech is often selected based on PRT or playstyle eg AR would normally have cheap energy, SS or JOAT are more likely to have cheap electronics. Some players advocate "3.5 cheap techs" which essentially means for every tech you make cheap, make a different one expensive(thus offsetting the cost). Most players will have bio tech expensive and if they have gravity immune will often take propulsion expensive as the propulsion research is no longer needed for terraforming, and if you take IFE+NRSE, you can arguably go the whole game with just propulsion 2.

The start at 3(4 for JOAT) option always costs 60rw points, regardless of your other rw settings, making it unique in that respect (afaik - Gible).

Starting (2400) technology levels
Ener Weap Prop Cons Elec Bio
From PRTs
HE - nil -
SS 5
WM 1 6 1
CA 1 1 1 2 6
IS - nil -
SD 2 2
PP 4
IT 5 5
AR 1
JOAT 3 3 3 3 3 3
LRT bonuses
IFE +1
CE +1
other - nil -
Ener Weap Prop Cons Elec Bio

Predefined races

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