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Trade is one of the ways to generate income for your empire. Trade occurs by creating trade routes between two planets.

Creating a trade route[edit | edit source]

To create a trade route, you must have a cargo ship and an available trade license. The cargo ship must travel to a planet controlled by another major or minor race. Once the trade route is established between the two planets, both planets are granted trade income each turn.

Cargo modules can be built once Xeno Commerce has been researched. This allows you to build trade ships. You can also obtain a free trade ship (and one free trade license) from the Pragmatic Ideology tree.

Trade income[edit | edit source]

The trade income from each individual trade route can be viewed by going to the Govern Civilization screen and viewing the Trade tab. Trade routes that you have established will be listed on the top half of this screen, and trade routes initially created by another race will be listed on the bottom half of this screen.

Calculating the value of a trade route[edit | edit source]

The amount of income generated by a trade route varies based on multiple factors.

First the base value of the trade route is determined utilizing:

  • A = Value of the planets which have the trade route (including luxury trade routes from pragmatic ideology) which is calculated as the sum of the population of the 2 planets that are trading, given +0.1 per 1 billion population.
  • B = Distance between the two trading planets
  • C = Age of the trade route. Age increases with time, starts with 1.0 and adds +0.1 per turn So C can get to 10 or higher.

Base value = A + B + C

After that several multipliers are applied

  • D = overall trade bonus of your empire (race traits, technology, ideology - pragmatic 3rd row, trade ressorces)
  • E = Buildings on your trade planet like Trade Capital (100% boost) or Trade Outpost. Since Trade Capital provides such a large boost to a trade route, it makes sense to have all of your trade routes that you create originate from one planet to maximize income of trades routes that you establish. You might still build Trade Outposts on other planets when another civ establishes a lucrative trade route with another planet you control in order to increase the value of that trade route as well.
  • F = boosts from starbases which affects planets that are in the zone of control with trade routes

Final value = base value * sum of multipliers = (A + B + C) *( D + E + F)


  • A = 4.9 (Don't really get how that is computed however)
  • B = 3.2 (For large Mapsize, from one end to an other)
  • C = 3.7 (Age increases with time)
  • D = 0.15 ( I don't have any empire wide trade bonus, but initiated the trade + 15%)
  • E = 2.55 ( + 1 from Trade capital, +0.5 from Custom Office, +0.05 from Trade station)
  • F = 0.45 considering 3 fully build economic starbases with trade modules = Trade Hub

Final value = (4.9 + 3.2 + 3.7) * ( 0.15 + 2.55 + 0.45) = 11.8 * 3.15 = 37.17 ~ 37.2 Income per Turn

That's for 1 Trade route only. If you have like 9 of these routes ~ 250 Income / Turn from Trading.