AI War:AI War
AI War: Fleet Command is the flagship video game of Arcen Games, first released in 2009. Up to eight players battle a pair of rampant artificial intelligences once used by warring human superpowers, in the aftermath of the AI's near complete victory over humanity. Human players must avoid the notice of AI powers while preparing for an attack against the AI homeworlds. The game takes place on a procedurally generated galaxy map with between 10 and 120 planets in a genre splicing mix of Real-Time Strategy, 4X, and Tower Defense.
AI War is known for its gameplay depth, the behavior of its AI opponents, and strong ties between fans and creators.
- 1 Game Setup
- 2 Objectives
- 3 Economy
- 4 Ship mechanisms
- 5 AI Mechanisms
- 6 Units
- 7 Races
- 8 Expansions
- 9 Strategy
- 10 Design Philosophy
- 11 Story
- 12 Settings
- 13 Player-Created Strategy Resources
- 14 Release History
- 15 Technical Support
- Explore and gather Intel with Scouts
- Capture some territory for Metal, Energy and Knowledge
- Gain more power by capturing ARS and Core Fabricators and by Hacking
- Reduce AIP by destroying Data Centers and Co-Processors
- Destroy the CSG networks
- Invade and destroy the two AI Homeworlds
Players can refer to in-game objective list (accessed through "Message Log") which is dynamically updated during play.
- Mark Level
- Ship Cap
- Hull Types
- Cloaking (and Tachyon)
- Intel (Scout and Blind)
- Special Forces
- Strategic Reserve
- Planet Mark
- AI Homeworld and AI Core World
- Planetary Subcommander
- Deepstrike Threatening
- Humanity: only playable race in AI War, mankind was nearly exterminated by the AI and is now seeking an opportunity to land a deadly strike at its opponent.
- The AI: seemingly created by Humans during their civil war, the AI now seems preoccupied in another galaxy with grander design than Human's remains extermination.
- Zenith: eons old alien race only represented by its technological remains and scattered beings.
- Neinzul: insectoid aliens of eternal children with extremely short life span.
- Spire: mineral alien specie whose empire sprawl many distant galaxies.
AI War has six expansions which variously include additional units, critical paths, AI types, lore, and music. The game is in ongoing development and receives regular bug fixes and balance adjustments based on community feedback. Major version updates typically coincide with new expansions and sometimes fold improvements from expansion development into the base game.
- The Zenith Remnant
- Children of the Neinzul
- Light of the Spire
- Ancient Shadows
- Vengeance of the Machine
- Destroyer of Worlds
The links below were part of the old version of this central page. They are very useful and interesting but may be outdated.
- Fast Facts: A Crash Course On AI War
- I'm Just Starting Out -- What Should I Do?
- How Do I Know What Difficulty Level To Play On?
- What Difference Does The Map Size Make? (Hint: Tiny Maps Are Harder)
- What are suggestions for a good first AI opponent?
- Steps Required To Win
- Video Tutorials (See An Expert Play)
- How Do I Get More Ships?
- What Do I Do With My Older Ships?
- What Technologies Should I Unlock If I'm New?
- How Do I Use The Priority Buttons In The Galaxy Map?
- Do Shots Miss Sometimes?
- Should I Micromanage Ships In Battle?
- Some Of My Ships Are Extra Slow, Or Won't Move At All. Why?
- Are There Cheats In The Game?
- What Maintenance Commands Available To Alter Existing Savegames?
- AI Wave Size Calculation
- When Should I Be Worried About The AI Progress Getting Too High?
- How Do I Minimize Micromanagement?
- Does The AI Progress Go Up When I Lose A Command Station?
- Like Chess, A Game Of AI War Has Three Abstract "Phases"
- What is Hacking?
- What are the differences between solo and multiplayer?
- How To Manage Player Drop-In and Drop-Out In Co-Op?
- Expansions Vs Free DLC -- What's The Difference?
- What exactly are the features in the base game of AI War?
- What exactly is added via The Zenith Remnant expansion?
- What exactly is added via the Children of Neinzul micro expansion?
- What exactly is added via the Light of the Spire expansion?
- What exactly is added via the Ancient Shadows expansion?
- What exactly is added via the Vengeance of the Machine expansion?
- What exactly is added via the Destroyer of Worlds expansion?
- Keyboard: Where Are The Keyboard Controls For The Game Documented?
- What Does Flashing On The Galaxy Map Indicate?
- How Do the Quick Buttons At The Bottom Of The Screen Work?
- About The Planetary Summary
- Is It Possible To Zoom All The Way Out?
- Why Is Clicking The Minimap Imprecise When I Am Zoomed In?
- Can I Queue Multiple Attack Orders And Movement Orders?
- What Are The Rules For Gifting Ships Between Players?
- Formation: How To Use Formation Move
- Formation: How To Use Arc Move Note: Not implemented in 3.7 and higher
- How Do I Minimize Micromanagement?
- How To Use Preferred Targets To Make Up For Deficiencies In Your Ship Mix
- New Counterattack Guard Posts: CounterAttack Guard Posts Can Launch A Wave Almost Anywhere
- How Do I Barricade A Wormhole?
- Gate Raids: How Do I Prevent Enemies From Sending Waves Against A Planet?
- Gate Raids: What Does Gate Raiding Really Accomplish?
- How Do I Defend My Ever-Expanding Fronts?
- Why Would I Unlock Turrets Instead Of Mobile Ships?
- How Do I Secure The Area Around My Planets?
- How Do I Prepare For Cross-Planet Attacks?
- What Is The Risk Of Not Destroying A High-Level AI Planet Next To My Home Planet?
- Why Is There An Exo-Galaxy Wormhole On My Home Planet?
- How Do I Defend Against Astro Trains?
- How Do I Protect Myself While Expanding In The Early Game? (Whipping Boys)
- How Do I Keep The Number Of Ingress Points Into My Territory Low?
- Defending Against Border Aggression
- How Does Supply Work?
- How Do I Establish A Beachhead?
- What's The Best Way To Handle Scouting?
- Why Does An Enemy Planet Get Reinforcements After Its Warp Gate Is Gone?
- Are The Capturable Enemy Ships Always Away From My Starting Position?
- What Is The Risk Of Taking A Planet Next To High-Level AI Planets?
- How Do I Take A High-Level AI Planet?
- How Fast Should I Be Taking Planets?
- How Do I Protect Myself While Expanding In The Early Game? (Whipping Boys)
- Neutering AI Planets
- Creating False Alarm Distractions On AI Planets
- Why Not To Use FRD Mode Offensively
- If I have something hard to kill like a Superfortress how can I find the best ships to kill it?
Ship-Specific Game Mechanics
- Cloaking: How Does Cloaking Work?
- Cloaking: How Do I Prevent My Cloaked Ships From Auto-Attacking Enemies?
- Cloaking: How Do Cloaking Boosters Work?
- Why Can't I Repair Some Ships (Such As Forts/Warheads)?
- Am I Ever Able To Build Core/Mark V Units?
- Why Do Some Ships (Such As The Fortress) Have Two Range Circles?
- Radar Dampening: How Does Radar Dampening Work?
- Rally Posts: How Do Rally Posts Work?(beta)
- Transports: Why Can't I Unload My Transports?
Ship Strategies & Errata
In an average game, the player's navy revolves around groups of fleet ships supplemented by starships and support vessels. A comprehensive ship compendium is being added, of which you can currently begin browsing by visiting the basic triangle ships: Fighters, Bombers, and Missile Frigates.
- Advanced Research Stations: Does Losing One Of These Matter After I've Held It Once?
- Astro Trains: What Do These Do?
- Astro Trains: How Do I Defend Against Astro Trains?
- Captive Human Settlements: Do I Gain Anything From Holding These?
- Command Posts: What Do These Do?
- Counter-Dark-Matter Turrets: What Are These Good For?
- Electric Shuttles: How Do I Effectively Attack Them?
- Engineers: How Can I Best Use These?
- Engineers: What Restrictions Are There On When An Engineer Can Repair Another Ship?
- Force Fields: How Do I Kill Them?
- Force Fields: How Much Of A Ship Needs To Be Covered By A Forcefield To Get Its Protection?
- Force Fields: What Uses Are There For The Mobile Nature Of Force Field Generators?
- Golems: What Are Golems?
- Golems: What Are The Benefits And Risks Of Capturing Golems?
- Golems: Why Is My Golem Out Of Supply?
- Golems: How Do I Kill A Mining Golem?
- Golems: How Do I Work With A Zenith Trader?
- Golems: How Do I Survive A Zenith Devourer?
- Golems: How Do I Interact With A Dyson Sphere?
- Guard Posts: What Do These Do?
- Guardians: What are Guardians?
- Guardians: How does Changing AI Difficulty Affect Guardians?
- Guardians: Types Of Guardians
- Ion Cannons: What Do I Do About Them?
- Lightning Turrets: How Do I Effectively Attack Them?
- Mines: Are Ships Supposed To Be Able To Slip Past Mines?
- Mines: How Do I Clear Enemy Mines?
- Mines: What Is The Best Way To Clear The Remains Of Enemy Mines?
- Mines: How To Kill PermaMines?
- Missile Frigates: Are These Overpowered?
- Orbital Mass Drivers: What Are Orbital Mass Drivers?
- Parasites: What's The Best Way To Use Them?
- Planetary Subcommanders: What are Planetary Subcommanders?
- Raid Engines: What Do These Do?
- Shields: What's This About Units Doing Less Damage When Protected By Forcefields?
- Special Forces Alarm Posts: What Do These Do?
- Special Forces Guard Posts: What Do These Do?
- Special Forces Guard Posts: How Do I Destroy Them?
- Spiders And Weak Ships: What Are These(And Other Weaker Ships) Good For?
- Starships: How Do I Best Use Them?
- Starships: What Are Scout Starships Good For?
- Starships: How Do I Use Riot Starships?
- SuperFortresses: What Do I Do About Them?
- Tachyon Beams: Why Do Yellow Beams Come Out Of Nowhere And Hit My Ships?
- The Eye: What does the AI Eye do?
- Warheads: How Do I Get EMPs, Nukes, And Other Warheads?
- Warheads: How Do I Use Nukes?
- Warheads: How Do I Use EMPs?
- Warheads: How Do I Use Lightning Warheads?
- Warheads: How Do I Use Armored Warheads?
- Warp Gates: How Does A Warp Gate Work?
- AI Story: How Does The AI Think?
- AI Story: What Does AI Progress Really Represent?
- AI Story: Why Does The AI Progress Go Up When The AI Destroys Key Structures Of Mine?
- AI Tech: At What AI Progress Does The AI Tech Level Increase?
- AI Tech: What Does The Roman Numeral In Parentheses Next To The AI Progress Mean?
- AI Tech: What Bonus Ship Types Does The AI Get?
- AI Ship Behaviors: What Are The General Behaviors That AI Ships Can Have?
- AI Reinforcements: How Do Basic AI Reinforcements Work?
- AI Reinforcements: What Causes An AI Planet To Go On Alert?
- AI Reinforcements: How Does The AI Alert Level Affect Where The AI Reinforces?
- AI Reinforcements: How Do AI Reinforcements Work At An Individual Planet?
- AI Reinforcements: How Do Reinforcements Work After All The Planets "Fill Up?"
- AI Waves: How Are Wave Sizes Calculated?
- AI Progress: What Happens If The AI Progress Is Lowered After Passing A Tech-Up Threshold?
- AI Progress: When Should I Be Worried About The AI Progress Getting Too High?
- AI Progress: What Causes AI Progress Changes?
- AI Progress: Does The AI Progress Go Up When I Lose A Command Station?
- Cross-Planet Attacks: How Do Cross-Planet Attacks Work?
- Border Aggression: How Does Border Aggression Work?
- AI Design: What Makes The Design Of This AI Unique From An Under-The-Hood Perspective?
- Exogalactic Strikeforces: How Do Exogalactic Strikeforces Work?
Higher Difficulties Only
- How Do I Defend Against The AI Destroying All My Resources?
- Why Are Waves Coming In Without Warning?
- How Do I Keep Astro Trains Off My Planets?
- Why Do The Enemy Waves Get So Large So Fast?
- Why The Complex Interrelation Of Ship Damage Mechanisms?
- Why Does The Game Force Variety On The Player?
- Why Doesn't The Game Automate Scouting or Reactor Management?
- Why The Emphasis On Taking Many Planets?
- Why Are Ships Not Upgradeable?
- What Makes The Design Of This AI Unique From An Under-The-Hood Perspective?
- How Does The Game Minimize Micromanagement?
- Why Does The Human Player Always Have The "Tempo?"
- The New System That Began In 4.0
Player-Created Strategy Resources
- Ships and Structures
- Admiral's General Strategy In AI War
- Factors Affecting The Strategic Value of Systems
- List of fleet tactics and overall strategies
- Can't even make it past the tutorial
- Tips for New Players
- AI War Strategy Discussion Forum
- User-friendly spreadsheet comparing caps of Mark I ships
- Kahuna's Guide To AI War:Find Your Inner Super Cat!
Please note that there are generally prerelease beta versions available at any given time of the year, and there have been literally hundreds of those in between all of the official releases noted below.
- Upcoming: Current Post-8.000 Beta
- August 18th, 2014: 8.000 (First Official Release Of Destroyer of Worlds)
- June 17th, 2013: 7.000 (First Official Release Of Vengeance Of The Machine)
- October 19th, 2012: 6.000 (First Official Release Of Ancient Shadows)
- January 27, 2011: 5.000 (First Official Release Of Light Of The Spire)
- October 28, 2010: 4.021
- October 26, 2010: 4.000 (First Official Release Of Children of Neinzul, First Unity Release)
- May 6, 2010: 3.120
- March 9, 2010: 3.060
- January 12, 2010: 3.000 (First Official Release Of The Zenith Remnant)
- October 20, 2009: 2.000 (First Release On Steam/Direct2Drive)
- September 18, 2009: 1.301
- September 1, 2009: 1.201
- August 6, 2009: 1.013
- August 1, 2009: 1.012
- July 31, 2009: 1.011
- July 16, 2009: 1.010
- July 8, 2009: 1.009
- June 29, 2009: 1.008 (First Release On GamersGate)
- June 24, 2009: 1.007
- June 17, 2009: 1.006
- June 10, 2009: 1.005
- June 1, 2009: 1.004
- May 23, 2009: 1.003 (First Release On Impulse)
- May 19, 2009: 1.002
- May 14, 2009: 1.001
- May 14, 2009: 1.000 (First Official Release)
- May 13, 2009: 0.940 (First Public Prerelease)