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It was time for me to publish a new update of my Powerplay Guide! With this one, you should find all there is to know about the PP mechanics (err… it means Powerplay!) of the game, as well as game tips and my opinion on this feature that awaits its new version for a long time now… maybe in the future, and I will obviously update this guide!
- Introduction to Powerplay
- The three Powerplay main gameplay & Merits
- Rewards, Modules & Weapons
- Tips & Tricks
The Powerplay feature launched in June 2015.
This is a feature that allows players to pledge allegiance to one of the Powers of the galaxy, to support their political efforts. Lead campaigns, prepare systems, then launch expansion phases and control your systems to protect your Power’s interests.
If you want to join in, you will have to choose your allegiance to one of the eleven Powers in-game.
These Powers control and exploit many systems in order to benefit from their workforce, commodities, ships and other services that they propose.
These added values are called Command Capital, or CC.
Every Thursday, the Powerplay Tick takes place at 7am GMT and takes into account all the players actions from the last week.
This week is called a Cycle.
The more systems your Power owns, the more powerful it will be! But beware, these systems have maintenance costs (Upkeep), and having high Upkeeps could put your Power at risk if you don’t have enough Command Capital to manage it properly.
Managing a Power effectively requires the most advanced management possible from the community in order to:
- Prepare systems with low CC Upkeep & high CC production values (Subversion);
- Run Expansions into new systems that have been prepared, in competition with other interested Powers (Expansion);
- Control the systems you own to repel enemies and assist with the general administration (Control);
- Monitor the other Powers to counter their plans and turn them to your advantage;
- Be strategic in Diplomacy to create alliances with other players, factions and powers.
You got it: Powerplay is based on the management of the Power’s Commands Capital and its systems.
The feature, although quite complete and well thought out on paper, has a lot of gameplay and mechanics issues that require updates. Frontier had made plans to gather the community’s feedback, but no fresh information have been released for the past two years.
The Powers are established political & economic groups big enough to be noticed in the galaxy of 3305.
In our time, the different types of Powers could be represented by Microsoft, the European Union or even Guinness for example.
- The Major Powers, are the four major factions of the game: The Federation, the Empire, the Alliance of Independent Systems and more recently Colonia. The latter is only rarely represented in-game because it is only three years old with only 750 inhabitants in 3302 up to 450,000 now in 3305.
- The Powers are represented by Tier 1 NPCs. They are very important characters with whom we can not interact directly. They belong to a big organization, for example Felicia Winters of the Federation, Denton Patreus of the Empire, Edmund Mahon of the Alliance or the Independent Pranav Antal. Independents do not belong to a Major Power, they follow their own goals.
- Minor Powers are the minor factions of the game that are important enough to be represented on one or more systems. For example, Remlok Industries is an economic corporation and has its own minor faction.
The Powers are more or less useful to counter governments they want to expand into, thanks to their Finance, Social, Combat and Secret skills.
They have strengths and weaknesses against the different types of governments found in the systems of the galaxy:
- Finance: Industrial || Communise, cooperative, feodal, patronage
- Social: Communism, cooperative, confederation || Feodal, prison, theocracy
- Combat: Feodal, patronage || Dictature
- Secret: Feodal, dictature, communism, cooperative || Democracy
The systems operated have a government in place, the main government being the minor faction’s, controlling the system.
It will be more or less easy to acquire a system if our strategy is weak against this system.
Check out the Powers on Reddit, take part in the strategies and help your Power reach #1!
Now that you understand the different Powers, you surely want to learn how to play Powerplay!
In-game, open the right-hand panel “Galactic Powers”. Here, open the page of the desired Power then Pledge Allegiance via the option at the bottom of the screen. Congratulations!
You will be able to change Power later/ Mind that depending on your Rank, ships from the power you defected will try and hunt you down. A part of your Merits will join the new chosen Power.
From now on, we will use a lot of vocabulary and precise mechanics. Hang in there!
As I explained earlier, the most important resources of Powerplay are the Command Capital, or CCs, produced and consumed by the Power’s Systems. It is with these CCs that you and your allies will manage the Power and decide what actions to take.
You have one week to perform your actions and change the statistics before the next Cycle, every Thursday at 7am GMT (8am BST currently).
Note that we play with the Controlled Systems.
These systems have a radius zone that extends in a bubble to 15LY around them, absorbing all the values from the Exploited systems, to a the given Controlled system.
Systems must be chosen carefully to produce a maximum of CC, and to consume a minimum.
You thus get a budget for each system. By adding them all together, you get the Command Capital of a Power.
The Budget comes in three values, giving the final Radius Profit:
- Radius Income
According to the three main gameplay of Powerplay, different values are used but in the end they all relate to each others in order to understand the production and consumption of CC from a system. Here is how it works.
◘ For the Preparations:
- Potential Value in CC
◘ For the Expansions, leading to Potential Loss:
- Radius Income
- Expansion Cost
◘ For the Control:
- Upkeep from last cycle
- Default Upkeep cost
- Cost if Fortified
- Cost if Undermined
- Base Income
The sum of all its exploited systems’ (within 15 light years) “System Income”.
It gets slightly trickier than that, as overlapping control spheres allows a system to be exploited by more than one system. However, since it can only give its income to one control system, the newest one “loses” in terms of income. If a system is exploited by competing powers, it becomes contested and no one gets any income from it.
The upkeep for a system is dependent on only one thing – distance from headquarters.
If a system is successfully fortified (not cancelled), then you don’t pay the upkeep for a system. If it is undermined it effectively loses its income for the cycle, but that’s not how it’s shown. The game calculates it as if you get the income and then it increases the upkeep. This is effectively the same, which is why I said that it only depends on one thing – distance from headquarters.
→ Example: Boreas. Upkeep = 21 CC. Coût Undermined = 96 CC. It would be a loss of 117 CC if Boreas is undermined successfully.
Overheads are calculated with this formula: min((11.5 * controlsystems/42)3 , 5.4 * 11.5 * controlsystems).
For our current situation with Edmund Mahon (133 controlled systems) just know that every single control system has an overhead cost of 62.1 CC.
The Potential Value of systems:
Radius Income – Upkeep – Overhead
Let’s take Boreas as example:
Radius Income: 91 CC
Upkeep: 21 CC
91 CC – 21 CC – 62,1 CC = 7.9 CC → Low profit
162 CC – 31 CC – 62,1 CC + 31 CC (Fortified!) = 99.9 CC → High profit!
Or even LHS 2936:
58 CC – 21 CC – 62.1 CC = -25.1 CC → Poor system adding weight to your power. You better try and cut it out by leaving a Power steal it or create a Turmoil to remove the system with a Revolt. Beware though, it will increase a lot the Upkeep and might be quite an issue to your Power.
A system being Opposed/Undermined will be very expensive for your Power, so remember to Fortify them, and prioritize the tasks.
- If you Fortify a system to 100% or more, you cancel the Upkeep costs on the next cycle.
- If you Fortify a system to 100% or more and an enemy power Undermine it, the highest %percentage will win.
- If a system is Undermined at 100% or more, you will have additional costs on the next cycle.
- If neither Undermining and Fortification have reached 100%, then no change operates on the next cycle.
By losing Command Capital, a Power may end up with a negative amount of CC in a Cycle.
When it happens, the Power will fall in a Turmoil.
At that time, the Controlled system with the highest Upkeep cost falls into Turmoil and its Upkeep costs are no longer counted.
If despite this Turmoil, the Power still has a negative amount of CC, then another Controlled system falls in Turmoil and so on until it has a positive amount of CC.
The Power has thus a week to try and Fortify its systems and produce/save as much CC as possible for the next Cycle to manage its Controlled systems.
Unfortunately, if the CCs aren’t high enough for the next Cycle, one or more systems will enter Revolt and leave the Power; This until the Power has a positive amount of CC.
Using these mechanics, there are three main gameplay to participate in Powerplay. Preparation, Expansion, Control of your Power’s systems.
You can also Undermine/Oppose your foes’ systems.
These Powerplay gameplay generate a currency when you play its activities: the Merits.
Note that for Powerplay, you must only interact with Powerplay ships and then hack/destroy them to carry out your actions:
- (POWER) SECURITY, COURIER
- (Zachary Hudson) Federal Agent, Federal Logistics
- (Felicia Winters) Federal Aid, Federal Courier
- (Aisling Duval) Aisling Guardian, Campaign Ship
- (A. Lavigny Duval) Shield of Justice, Imperial Supply
- (Denton Patreus) Patreus Sentinel, Imperial Support
- (Zemina Torval) Torval’s Shield, Private Security
- (Edmund Mahon) Alliance Enforcer, Alliance Diplomat
- (Li Yong Rui) Sirius Security, Sirius Transport
- (Pranav Antal) Utopian Overseer, Reform Ships
- (Archon Delaine) Kumo Crew Watch, Kumo Crew Transport
If you have pledged allegiance to a Power, then you will be able to prepare systems for future Expansions.
For this, all Powers have different ways of acting as noted in the Powers details earlier in this article. Some will carry legislative agreements while others will destroy targets in the system. You will earn Merits for performing these actions.
You can only prepare systems if they are inhabited and no other Powers control or exploit the systems targeted.
In addition, only 10 systems can be prepared and sent to Expansion attempts. When you Rank up with your Power, you will gain Nomination votes to select the most interesting systems.
Via the Powerplay galactic map, four levels of systems will be represented, highlighting their CC contributions and their efficiencies:
- Green represents a high-profit system
- Orange represents a medium-profit system
- Red represents a low-profit system
- Grey represents a system with a negative profit, uninteresting because it generates a loss of CC.
The systems 15LY around our Controlled systems can not be prepared since you are already Exploiting them.
Edmund Mahon has Finance as Preparation activities, so his supporters have to haul Trade Agreements from a Controlled system to the designated system.
- Zachary – Collect Hudson’s Consignments in your controlled systems and bring them to the targeted system.
- Felicia – Collect Liberal Propaganda in your controlled systems and bring them to the targeted system.
- Edmund – Collect the Alliance Trade Agreements in your controlled systems and bring them to the targeted system.
- Arissa – Collect the Lavigny Corruption Reports in your controlled systems and bring them to the targeted system.
- Aisling – Collect Aisling Medical Devices in your controlled systems and bring them to the Targeted system.
- Denton – Collect Marked Military Weapons in your controlled systems and bring them to the targeted system.
- Zemina – Collect Torval Trade Agreements in your controlled systems and bring them to the targeted system.
- Li – Collect Franchise Programs of Sirius in your controlled systems and bring them to the targeted system.
- Pranav – Collect Utopians Ads in your controlled systems and bring them to the targeted system.
- Archon – Collect Kumo’s Smuggling Programs in your controlled systems and bring them to the targeted system.
- Yuri – ?
A power can deny Preparations by voting massively Consolidation for the next Cycle.
By doing this, the Power will increase the Undermining/Opposition threshold. It will be more difficult to oppose you.
A successfully prepared system will therefore be sent as an Expansion attempt. New activities will have to be carried out, and they will be different depending on the Powers.
You will gain Merits for carrying out these activites.
If you take a look at the image on the right, LP 275-83 could be interesting, even if it indicates a loss of -3 CC. Its Upkeep costs will drop once Controlled, making it a good system to produce CCs in the future.
Note that several Powers can make an Expansion attempt to the same system at the same time. Powers with the highest value of Subversion will have the right to attempt an Expansion and the other Powers will not have the right to do so. They will be able to try to counter the next cycle during your Expansion attempt, so keep your eyes peeled!
Once again, two tresholds will be available and you will have to reach 100% to succeed. This will be more or less difficult depending on the government of the targeted system. If the opposition value also reaches 100% while you reached 100% as well: the Expansion is a success.
Mahon’s supporters have to buy Legislative Agreements from one of our Controlled systems and haul them to the targeted system we want to expand in.
Hudson’s supporters, for example, will have to find Military Strikes to destroy the PP ships in it.
Talking about Hudson, he’s right now in an Expansion state, 1466% on NLTT 46403!
He has been opposed for 187%. As the Expansion AND the Opposition have reached the treshold, the highest %percentage will win: the Expansion should be a success.
- Zachary – No information. Feel free to provide them if you are from Zachary!
- Felicia – No information. Feel free to provide them if you are from Felicia!
- Edmund – Collect Alliance Contracts from your controlled systems and bring them to the targeted system.
- Arissa – No information. Feel free to provide them if you are from Arissa!
- Aisling – Collect Aisling Sealed Contracts from your controlled systems and bring them to the targeted system.
- Denton – Destroy System Resistance at military attack points.
- Zemina – Collect the Torval Acts from your controlled systems and bring them to the targeted system.
- Li – Collect Sirius Industrial Contracts from your controlled systems and bring them to the targeted system.
- Pranav – Destroy the Resistance of the System at points of protests Violence.
- Archon – Destroy the Resistance of the System at the pockets of resistance pockets.
- Yuri – ?
If you wish to oppose a Power that is part of your Major Power (eg Hudson vs. Winters), then you will not need to destroy the PP ships but instead slow them down to hack them and collect their Powerplay commodities. Then, return these goods to one of your Controlled systems to turn them into Merits via the Contact Powerplay button.
Fortify Controlled Systems is an extremely important thing to do in order to save your Command Capital and develop your Power.
Again, each of the Powers have different actions between transport, missions to run or destruction of targets for example.
Mahon’s supporters, for example, have to buy Legislative Records from the targeted Controlled System and haul them to the headquarters system to Fortify them. Yup, again Mahon is asking for hauling because he only has Finance, Finance and Finance as actions. This is not the case for all Powers so check what actions you have to perform to support your Power.
You can also undermine the other Powers’ systems by destroying the Powerplay ships.
- Zachary – Collect Military Supplies from Nanomam (HQ) and bring them to the targeted system.
- Felicia – No information. Feel free to provide them if you are from Felicia!
- Edmund – Collect Alliance Legislative Records from the targeted system and bring them to Gateway (HQ).
- Arissa – No information. Feel free to provide them if you are from Arissa!
- Aisling – Collect Aisling Programs from Cubeo (HQ) and bring them to the targeted system.
- Denton – Collect Supplies from Denton Garrison of Eotienses (HQ) and bring them to the targeted system.
- Zemina – Collect Torval Political Prisoners on your controlled systems and bring them to Synteini (HQ).
- Li – Collect Sirius Industrial Equipment from Lembava (HQ) and bring them to the targeted system.
- Pranav – Collect Utopian Dissenters from your controlled systems and bring them to Polevnic (HQ).
- Archon – Collect Tagged Slaves from your controlled systems and bring them to Harma (HQ).
- Yuri – ?
All of your Powerplay actions (Preparation, Expansion, Control/Fortification, Undermining) will grant you with Merits.
The more Merits you will own, the higher your Rank with your Power will be.
And the higher your Rank is, the more rewards you will unlock!
- Rank I – Standard, 1 000 Credits et 10 PP commodities / 30 minutes
- Rank II – 100 Merits, 50 000 Credits, 15 PP commodities / 30 minutes, 1st unique PP bonus, 1 Consolidation vote
- Rank III – 750 Merits, 500 000 Credits, 20 PP commodities / 30 minutes, special module after 4 weeks allegiance, 1 Consolidation vote
- Rank IV – 1 500 Merits, 5 000 000 Credits, 25 PP commodities / 30 minutes, 1 Consolidation vote
- Rank V – 10 000 Merits, 50 000 000 Credits, 50 PP commodities / 30 minutes, 2nd unique PP bonus, 1 Consolidation vote
You can find what your rewards will be in the Powers chapter.
Note that these Merits are all collected for a single Cycle. Then, you will loose 50% of your Merits for the next Cycle.
Cycle 1, Wednesday evening = 10 000 Merits
Cycle 2, Thursday morning = 5 000 Merits!
1. No need to have a huge ship to carry Powerplay commodities, a Type 6 with 100 units of cargo is perfectly suited.
You only have access to x Powerplay commodities every 30 minutes, unlockable by paying a substantial sum to recover x units of that commodity again. This feature works for all Powers requesting the fast track.
You can still use a Cutter or Type 9 and fill your hold to the maximum by paying fast track…, but it will cost you a lot of credits!
2. When you start playing Powerplay, you are Rank I and have access to 10 units of Powerplay commodities to be hauled every 30 minutes. It’s easy to reach Rank II with 100 Merits the next Cycle, with 1 Merit per unit!
For example, Zachary Hudson will ask you to retrieve PP commodities in the form of Intelligence from the systems your power is preparing, and bring them back to a Controlled system to earn Merits.
Aisling Duval will ask you to take PP commodities as Propaganda from Controlled systems and deposit them in the systems in which it is expanding, in order to sell them for Merit.
Pranav Antal will ask you to recover the PP commodities in the form of political dissidents from the control systems and transport them to his HQ in order to Fortify the system to earn Merits.
3. Political Battle Zones have different names depending on the Powers. Military Strikes for Hudson or Crime Sweep for Arissa for example.
You will earn 10 Merits per target destroyed, so with only 10 kills, here you are with a Rank II! It is easy to reach even higher.
4. Undermining the Controlled system of an enemy Power is more dangerous but yields 30 Merits per target destroyed. I’d advise you to use a ship with energy weapons so you can stay in combat for longer.
5. Yes, it is possible to reach Rank V only in Combat while undermining 30 Merits per targets. It will take you about 15 to 25 hours per week depending on your skill. I did this in a Python back in the time with 2h per day (1h morning & 1h evening) every day 7/7 for 50M Credits… but hey now we can earn much more in much less time 🙂
6. If you are active in Powerplay, you have no reason not to stabilize your pilot at Rank II. It is very easy to achieve this and in addition you will unlock 15 units of PP commodities, 1 Consolidation vote and especially the 1st bonus from your Power, not to be missed! Dedicate some time to reach Rank III and unlock your gear at least once.
7. For the most dedicated players, you can spend x Credits to earn your Rank V by hauling and fast tracking the commodities to win 10 000 Merits. You will earn 50M Cr reward the week after and lose 50% of your Merits… and you will need 50M Credits to win your 5,000 lost Merits again! You will lose no more Cr by supporting your Power… but it’s several hours of gameplay each week 😉
- My Powerplay knowledge after many experimentations
- Players Groups: Alliance of Statistics (Boebly, Vectron, Trinity), Remlok Industries (Ptitdoux, Pontier, Cylon Shadows)
- ToCoSo and Mat Maddison for their creations. All of the images here aren’t mine, if it’s the case, they are listed as source in the image’s name.
A little gift, the first ever Powerplay map, back in the time! Look how we’ve all grown 🙂