The Galaxy setup screen allows the user to configure the type of galaxy the game will take place in.
Setting the galaxy size determines how many sectors there will be in the galaxy (or in other words, how big the map will be). The number of stars, planets, etc. that populate the galaxy can be configured lower and are independent of the size. If you wish to use a custom map, it can be specified here.
|Galaxy Size||Sectors||Total Sectors|
Note that some graphics cards like the more recent NVIDIA 8000 series may have issues with the really large map settings, such as crashing randomly when there are too many ships (can be resolved by downloading the latest NVIDIA patch, according to the official forums). In order to play the largest maps, one needs a considerable amount of memory or the game will crash.
A normal setting here will set the default victory conditions. Other scenarios may be selected, which may have some text that explains the different rules and victory conditions that apply. Some of the other settings may be disabled based on the selected scenario.
You can specifically toggle Research, Alliance, and Influence victories off and on. If all of these are toggled off, the conquest victory is the only way to win.
Disable Tech Trading - As the name suggests, this disables the trading of technology through diplomacy. You can still obtain technology from other races via conquest or espionage.
Blind Exploration - Unchecked, you can see the territory of other races as a coloured blob on the mini-map (if you turn on the Ownership filter) meaning you will know exactly where they have started in relation to you. Checked, you need to explore the map first in order to see territory on the mini-map.
Disable Minor Races - Allows you to turn off those minor races that start with you in the galaxy, and those that settle later on.
Habitable Planets, Number of Planets, Number of Stars, and Anomalies can be adjusted to determine how frequently they occur within the galaxy. The frequency can be set to (in increasing order of frequency) Rare, Uncommon, Occasional, Common, or Abundant.
Star Density determines the distribution of the stars within the galaxy. Obviously in a galaxy with Tight Clusters, each race is likely to find habitable worlds very close to their home world, and have to travel some way to meet other races. With Loose Clusters and Scattered as the stellar distribution setting, it becomes more likely that you will have to send your colony ships further and meet your rivals sooner. Galaxies with Tight Clusters also have less stars than the galaxies with Loose Clusters, which in turn have less stars than the Scattered one.
Technology Rate can be set to modify the base price of all technology. The settings (in order of decreasing price) are Very Slow, Slow, Normal, Fast, or Very Fast. Tech rate also varies with the size of the galaxy - the bigger the galaxy, the more tech points the player needs to research certain item.
There is also a Random setting for each of the above which chooses a condition randomly.