Sins of a Solar Empire is often described as a 4XRTS game, or a game that tried to merge the action and tactics packed gameplay of a Real time strategy game with the deep, complex, empire wide strategy of a 4X turn based game. It's up to debate whether Sins succeeded in this goal, but I think all can agree that of the 4Xs of "explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate", Sins is much more focused on the exterminate than on the others. This mod seeks to give more depth to the other 3Xs of the game by adding additional game elements or refining the existing ones to reward players who give more strategic thought to the non-combat side of the game. Combat will still be the center point of the game, but players will find that the non-combat options available will be much more rewarding. Spying, exploring, sabotage, diplomacy, culture, and economic development have all been added or changed in innovative new ways. Regardless of what you think Sins is, this is the 4XRTS it should have been.

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Enhanced 4X Mod Beginners Guide (Mods : Enhanced 4X Mod : Forum : Advice : Enhanced 4X Mod Beginners Guide) Post Reply
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GoaFan77 Master Modder
Jul 18 2012 Anchor

A quick list of things for new players to Enhanced 4X should know before playing the mod.

Renamed Factions

This mod takes place a few years after Vanilla Rebellion, and by now it is clear the rebellions are permanent. As the Rebel and Loyalists designations have become meaningless, all the factions have been renamed to reflect the new states or sects.

TEC Loyalists - Trader Emergency Cololition (TEC)
TEC Rebels - Human Trader State (HTS)
Advent Loyalists - Orthodox Advent
Advent Rebels - Ascended Advent
Vasari Loyalists - Vasari Central Command (VCC)
Vasari Rebels - Vasari Independent Republic (VIR)

Racial and Faction Abilities

Before the game even starts, you'll make one of your most important decisions of the game, which race to play. This is much more important in Enhanced 4X than in unmodded (AKA Vanilla) Sins, for your selection will not just determine your research tree and ship choices. Each will also give you a specific set a bonuses, and your starting forces position and even your home world will be different for each race. To see which bonuses your race and subfaction have, check the two new tier 1 techs in the Diplomacy tree that are already researched (you can also see their explanation techs from the Faction Selection Menu).

Hero Units

In addition to possibly starting out with some different units and buildings depending on your subfaction, you'll also notice a special "Command Center" building, such as the Trader Defense Navy HQ, no matter who you play as. These invincible structures are used to summon your race's hero units, and its recommended you turn them off autocast and click on each to get to see their research prerequisites. More on Hero Units can be found here.

New Planets

Enhanced 4X adds more than 10 new colonizeable planets, and is based on the Infinite Space mod with a few textures from Sins plus, and many of the planet bonuses from both. However I've rebalanced (and in some cases renamed) all the planets to my own specifications. Planets are grouped into tiers of habitability and classes of environment. Low tier planets tend to have low population but high levels or resource incomes, while high tier planets have high population but little or no mining potential. Environmental classes group planets by similar environment types for which planet related research focuses on.

Tiers and Planet special abilities

Tier 0 - Asteroid and Dwarfs (unchanged)
Tier 1 - Barren (Mixed, high resource income), Colonizeable Gas Giants (High planet income), Volcanic (Metal), Cryo (Crystal), Inhospitable (Mixed)
Tier 2 - Hydrocarbon (High Trade Income, Ice (Crystal), Swamp/Forest (Metal), Desolate (Mixed), Agricultural (Gives Population bonus to other planets via trade ships)
Tier 3 - Desert (Metal), Oceanic (Crystal), Terran (Mixed), Industrial (Faster Ship Construction)

Environmental Classes

Habitable class - Terran, Industrial and Agricultural
Arid Class - Desert and Hydrocarbon
Arctic Class - Ice and Cryo
Thermal Class - Volcanic and Inhospitable
Aquatic Class - Oceanic and Swamp/Forest
Pressurized Class - Greenhouse (DLC only) and Colonizeable Gas Giants
Void Class - Barren and Desolate
Mineral Class - Ferrous (DLC only), Asteroid and Dwarf Planets

Random Encounters, Artifacts and Ancient Structures

As your scouts explore the galaxy, they may run into several new things. Random Encounters are probably the most noticeable; you and your other players are no longer entirely alone in the Galaxy. You may run into other groups, from militia owned mining colonies to Vasari pirate patrols, that will hinder your progress, but may provide their own rewards once defeated. You may also notice special invincible, captureable structures in other gravity wells besides neutral resource extractors. These structures can also be captured with colony frigates, and range from relatively mundane trade stations to mysterious Ancient Structures, technology left behind by an extinct advanced race. They'll start out useless to you, but if you explore your planets you may find the ancient artifacts needed to power these structures (including 8 new artifacts and a bunch of new planet bonuses). Planet artifacts and bonuses are now much more common as well, making it more rewarding to explore.

Diplomacy and Espionage

When the time comes to start dealing with other factions, you'll find many new options available to you. The most important is embassies. You no longer have to build multiple envoy cruisers to get your relationship up with other players to get pacts. Instead, you can build one, and this one envoy is capable of building embassies at planets once you have a cease fire. These embassies do the job of the old envoy cruisers and do not take up fleet supply, so build embassies at all your allies' planets to help his war effort. Once you are done establishing embassies, you may then choose to give your envoys more dangerous espionage work, from deploying special spy probes to sabotaging enemy planets directly.

Ship Upgrades

You can upgrade your titans and capitalships with special modifications from their factories after researching the "Starship Modification" tech, located right after your last titan research. There is one free upgrade available for each ship type so it is always worthwhile to research this, but you will also have the option to spend resource to purchase additional upgrades. Upgrade bonuses are permanent for that ship, and they can range from improved antistrikecraft weapons on titans to Vasari capitalships being able to regenerate some shields after phase jumping. When getting an upgrade, both the factory and the ship getting the upgrade will be disabled for a little while, so it is recommended you only upgrade in safe gravity wells. Each ship can only have 1 of each upgrade, and the abilities won't autocast if a ship already as the upgrade, so just turn the autocast on if you don't remember which upgrades a ship has received.

While frigates cannot receive upgrades, frigate factories have another use in that they can be used as emergency repair platforms, though they will be unable to build ships while they are repairing.

Mines and Defenses

Mines have been totally reworked to make things easier for players and your CPU. Rather than having lots of mine that cover a small area and detonate, there are now fewer mines that represent "mine fields". These mines do not detonate, but rather damage and debuff the enemy over time, and cover a fairly large area, meaning only 10-20 mines are needed to do what 150 did before. And as mines don't detonate, you don't have to constantly replace them, while attackers won't find half their fleet gone if one of their ships accidentally wonders into range for a few seconds. In addition to directly revealing mines, scouts can also destroy them via ability, allowing them to clear gravity wells themselves without human guidance.

In other changes, bombers are no longer as good against structures and starbases. To make up for this, antistructure cruisers have been buffed with additional stacking debuffs, allowing them to both damage and weaken starbases. No starbase can now damage antistructure cruisers at max range, even with abilities. The Vasari have now been given a new antistructure unit, deployed from Minelayers after research. It is totally invulnerable to normal attacks, but if the minelayer leaves the gravity well or is destroyed it will be killed. Mines will also instantly kill it.

Edited by: GoaFan77

Jul 21 2012 Anchor


GoaFan77 Master Modder
Sep 16 2012 Anchor

Updated with a few new things added in 1.45.

Updated for 1.5.

Edited by: GoaFan77


Enhanced 4X Mod

Oct 10 2014 Anchor


Jun 2 2015 Anchor

Question about the the two tab's in the Diplomacy, that don't seem to do anything, (but give information on your Faction. I've built 15ech of Lab's, and still nothing

seem's to change. Thank, ColSaid

GoaFan77 Master Modder
Jun 2 2015 Anchor
ColSaid wrote:

Question about the the two tab's in the Diplomacy, that don't seem to do anything, (but give information on your Faction. I've built 15ech of Lab's, and still nothing

seem's to change. Thank, ColSaid

Hello ColSaid,

The two new techs in the Diplomacy tree (for race and subfaction bonuses) are actually already researched. They exist to give you the benefits you see from the start of the game. You do not need to do anything to benefit from them.

You'll also never need more than 8 labs to research anything in this mod. :-)


Enhanced 4X Mod

Jun 26 2015 Anchor

Don't forget, The VCC only needs 8 Imperial Labs. Then the Cap ships act as military labs :D

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