Distant World 2 is a one-of-a-kind strategy game with base building and resource management elements on a galactic scale. Your goal is to build a massively powerful space empire to dominate the entire galaxy, an empire spanning across moons, planets, and asteroids fields. There are several small nuances, such as resource management, trading, but we’ll be discussing the economy for the time being. And if you’re curious, check out our other Distant Worlds 2 guides to better understand the game.
Even by strategy game standards, DW2 is a difficult game with a steep learning curve. The economic system in the game is one of the most complex, and mastering it is the first step toward establishing a powerful empire. Put on your spacesuits, because you’re about to embark on an adventure into the vast unknown.
Understanding the State and Private Economy
- Understand that you do not have complete control over the economy, but only influence it.
- In Distant World 2, you play as the State, aka the Government, and your income comes from taxing inhabited worlds once they have grown to generate enough income to exceed the support expenses.
- You also profit when the Private Economy constructs ships or uses your shipyard. Diplomacy, trade, raids, tourism, and exploration are all ways for your empire to generate income.
- The research stations, military, spaceports, construction, and exploration ships are all under your (State) control.
- The Private Economy controls Freighters, Mining, and Passenger ships. You can grant them licenses for building Mining stations for your preferred resources.
Control your economy with cashflow and bonus income
- Cashflow – Tax income minus expenses (fuel costs, ship maintenance, trade tariffs, tributes, etc.).
- Bonus Income – Less predictable income such as Private Ship construction, Fuel sales, Tourism, Salvaging, Exploration, and Trading tariffs.
- You can boost cash flow by increasing the colony population and reducing support costs and corruption.
- Bonus spending (such as researching new technology) is only possible once you have a positive cashflow.
- Avoid overbuilding because the maintenance cost could very well cripple your economy. The same goes for conquering new worlds. Avoid expansion if you lack the resources to support a bigger population.
- Gain Bonus Income by researching new Ship technologies. Stick to those that your Private Economy would want to use in their ship designs.
- There is also the option to venture out in search of new worlds containing tons of mineable resources.
Focus on Hyperdives at the very beginning
- Escaping the starter system is the first step to building your economy and creating a grand empire, and you’ll need Hyperspace Drives to do it.
- Unlock the Skip Drive (initial Hyperdrive) as early as possible to explore more of the starting system. Because traveling between planets without a Hyperdrive takes a lot of time.
- The second Hyperdrive you unlock is the Warp Bubble Generator, which allows you to travel between stars but not all of them due to its slowness and limited range. More powerful hyperdrives exist, and the Bubble is only a stepping stone to them.
Start focusing on resources once you can move around
- Everything you do requires resources, which are in short supply in the beginning. So get a few construction ships as soon as possible to assist in the construction of mining stations to ensure a steady supply of resources.
- Build at least one structure of every construction resource. Some resources may not be available in your system, so be prepared to venture out when required.
- The Warp Bubble Generator can easily take you to the nearby systems where you can farm enough items to achieve a stable resource economy.
- Once you have achieved enough construction resources, focus on obtaining luxury resources to help improve your homeworld.
How to deal with pirates?
You can either take the peaceful route or the offensive route when it comes to dealing with pirates.
- Accepting their protection treaties or offering one of your own is the best way to end the conflict peacefully. The strategy wrecks havoc on your early-game economy, but it gives you plenty of room to explore and expand your empire.
- The next step involves moving onto Non-Aggression Treaties and Military Refueling. You can do so by giving them free gifts. Constantly maintaining the protection treaties reduces your threat level in the Pirates’ eyes. Moreover, you won’t have to pay them every month, thanks to your newfound relationship.
- Pirates have information on other worlds & empires which are valuable to you during the early stages of your empire. Remember that a bit of money can get you tons of free roam opportunities.
- Start refusing Protection Treaties and concentrate your efforts on building your empire, especially military ships.
- Although the escorts and the basic weaponry are usually enough to fend off early threats, it will get more difficult, with subsequent encounters.
- The basics of the anti-pirate fighting squad consist of Frigate ships, shields, armor, and a few upgraded weapons that are powerful compared to your starting setup.
- Having more ground troops means you are less likely to be raided.
- After you have gathered enough ships, the automation starts constructing a defense fleet to protect you against threats in a more organized manner.
- Search and destroy pirate bases throughout the system once you have creed a powerful enough fleet. Frigates are quite efficient at wiping out pirate bases. However, you will have an easier time if you throw a few upgraded Destroyers (better Crew Systems, Engines, and targeting and countermeasures) into the mix.
- In some situations, the surviving pirate population might even join your fleet, bolstering your army. You could even salvage valuable technology from the wreck after the battle to boost your economy and upgrade settlements.
How to deal with Independents?
Independents are weaker planetary civilizations that offer many benefits should you choose to integrate them into your empire. You can interact with the Independents in the same way that you can with pirates:
Diplomacy followed by Colonization
- Offer diplomatic gifts to strengthen your relationship with them and change the status from Restricted Trade to either Limited or Free Trade.
- The new mining stations, grant you access to precious resources early on in the game, which is crucial to your empire’s growth.
- Independents are likely to join your empire when your relationship with them reaches +25. However, you’ll have to send a colony ship first.
- Colonization is not guaranteed, and you will be penalized with a short delay if you fail.
- If you want to go the colonist route, you’ll need to invest in colonization technologies and better civilization ships.
Assimilation by Conquest
- Construct an Invasion Fleet filled with troops ad launch it towards an Independent civilization. Most worlds won’t be a challenge as long as you have decent troop strength.
- Conquest is akin to whacking your economy with a hammer. Because most conquered populations start with 0% Assimilation, and improving it puts a significant drain on your empire’s resources. You’d also have to focus on the garrison to prevent rebellions in your colonies.
DW2 is a lot to wrap your head around but mastering the game is rewarding. Most strategy gamers are always on the lookout for a fleshed-out system that’s challenging and entertaining at the same time. DW2 has achieved perfection and offers the best of both worlds, and understanding the economy is the key to enjoying the game in all its glory.
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