Endless Space 2 Umbral Choir Guides

How do we go about playing Umbral Choir faction in Endless Space 2

Endless space 2 is a Turn-Based Strategy game, a sequel to the 2012 release of Endless space. Become a leader and start guiding a civilization towards many achievements and success throughout the game with different heroes.

Now, one such faction are the Umbral Choir. For the players who wish to understand this faction and a basic guideline on playing it, continue to read on, as we will give you a brief idea here.

What are the Umbral Choir Factions?

The Umbral Choir, popularly known as the UC, have a unique play style. They are a pacifist faction with a strong bias towards staying out of fights.

The core goals of the UC are:

  • Stealth
  • Hacking
  • Expansion of Sanctuaries (as Wide and High as possible)

If you Gear up properly, the UC are the only faction that can win the game without ever being discovered by another major faction.

Endless Space 2 Umbral Choir Guides: FAQ

This will be a brief QNA section for the generally asked questions.


  • Where is my manpower? Why is it at 0?
  • Short answer: your Sanctuaries have 200 defensive manpower cap each planet they’re on. UC doesn’t make a ton of manpower naturally. There’s a whole section dedicated to manpower later just jump to that.

Strategic/Luxury Resources

  • By putting a Sanctuary on a planet it automatically acquires the resource for you if you’re capable of exploiting it. No building required.


  • You create a Sanctuary by hacking a neutral (un-colonized) system. You then get to choose which planet to put a Sanctuary on. If you do it again, you can put another Sanctuary on another Planet. You cannot hack a system from itself. The hack must originate from outside the system.


  • Do buildings affect Sanctuaries?
  • YES and no. It will say specifically that it does on the building. These can be quite powerful the wider your empire is.
    Food: Cyber Farm(T1), Digital Aquaponics(T5), Shadow Garden(T5), Wraith Orchard(T4 S&E tree)
    Industry: Industrial Refrains(T1), Logic-assisted Industry(T3)
    Dust: None
    Science: Interstital Sciences(T1)
    Military: None, but you can make your ships spawn from your sanctuaries, I don’t see why they wouldn’t benefit from the xp since your home system is the one who actually made them.


  • How do I Increase My Bandwidth?
  • There are certain ways to do it:
  1. Increase your pop count(Original UC only)
  2. Increase your sleeper agents
  3. Research tech that gives you a new hacking program (I’ve found each tech that rewards any # of hacking programs increases your max Bandwidth by +5).
  4. Abduct sleepers into Umbral Shadows(see Umbral Shadow)

Umbral Shadow(US)

  • The unique super pop of the UC. The US has increased yield.
    While a UC pop has :+1 sci, +1 Bandwidth,
    a US pop has: +2 Bandwidth from ex-sleeper, +2 sci, +2 Bandwidth, x2 planet FIDSI exploited.
    There are however a few drawbacks:
  1. US cannot grow. You MUST abduct a sleeper from another faction. This can be noticed and they might retaliate.
  2. When you abduct, the sleeper disappears(obviously) however the new US replaces one of the current UC pops on your home system. So the abduct costs a sleeper and replaces a pop. Don’t expect 16 pop to be come 17.
  3. US also consume more food. Idk how much more, it just says more. The food consumption algorithm isn’t public afaik so how they’re factored in is unknown to me.

The US is a different pop type than the UC. So they have a different Collection Status, and a different boost resource.
(5) +Pacifist
(15) +5 FIDS per US on Home System
(30) +2 FIDS per Allocated Bandwidth on Home System
We think this means the Bandwidth must be allocated on the Home System, but it could just mean the FIDS is only on the Home System regardless of where the Bandwidth is allocated. We haven’t gotten to 30 US yet. Same for the 15 US, We don’t think you can put US into Sanctuaries so We assume it means per in Home System.

Home System Population

  • Help my Crescents in my home system suck. They only hold 3 pop! Well on the Science and Exploration Tree one of the tier benefits is a Terraformation upgrade. This lets you upgrade solo Crescents to duo, to trio, to hyper trio. Each of the upgrades adds 1 pop slot and also boosts the FIDSI capabilities of the Crescent by +1 in a couple categories depending on which level you’re upgrading to.

Food & Population

  • The UC are the ONLY faction capable of growing more than a single population per turn in a single system (Riftborn can build more than 1 per turn but that’s not growing). This is essential because only the home system generated population growth. Sanctuaries do not grow on their own. They need to be the target of your Sanctuary Link (see below).

Sanctuary Link

  • Unique Feature of the UC, there are 2 links. You access them from your home system where the spaceport would normally be. The top one lets you chose where your ships will be constructed. The next one lets you choose where your population growth goes.


  • So you might be worried the enemy is going to find you. Well there’s ways to prevent that. There is a Cloaking level. By default you will be level 1. In Military Tier 3 there is a tech (Titanium Electroplating) that upgrades your fleet cloaking to level 2 on ships. This is an effect not a module. Next to this tech is Survival Suits which gives the Anti-Cloak 1 module. Above these two on tier 4 are two more tech same setup. Cloaking 3, Anti-Cloak 2 module. Anti-Cloak 2 is a titanium module which actually has Anti-Cloaking Probes as well. We assume these are for discovering Sanctuaries. On tier 5 however, there is only Elite Anti-Cloaking Probe. Anti-Cloak 3. It just upgrades the probes from the Anti-Cloak module 2 to have level 3 detection. Your ships cannot go to level 4 Cloaking. However your Home System should be able to.
  • Home System Cloak level is equal to it’s System Development Level. Thus at System Development level 4, you should be undetectable by probes. You can still be detected by a trace if a hack originates from your home system and you get traced.
  • Sanctuaries level up their cloaking by having another Sanctuary in the same system. 1 Sanctuary? level 1. 3 Sanctuaries? level 3. 4 Sanctuaries? level 3. They appear to cap out at level 3. So eventually your Sanctuaries could be at risk of discovery. However that would require a tier 5 military tech with a probe module to find you. All you need is a tier 4 military tech.


Endless Space 2 Umbral Choir Guides: Manpower


  • Manpower is tricky because if you plan to go military you can prep for it and not have this problem. But if you’re playing UC and you get discovered, suddenly you might not be able to crew enough ships to defend yourself. You probably won’t have the military defense buildings on your home system or even a fleet. They’ll roll in and take you. The simple solution is to relocate to another node and try not to get discovered (which then allocated 50% of your max Bandwidth for a # of turns making the problem even worse!). However if you enjoy attacking from the shadows using your awesome Sanctuary Link capabilities, this may prove to be an issue.
  • Manpower can be a huge issue for the UC because Sanctuaries send food back to the Home System but this food doesn’t count towards manpower growth. It also doesn’t get converted into manpower on the Sanctuary itself. Standard UC actually convert 75% less food into manpower via Immaterial Population (-5) so their main source is from Dark Matter Manipulators (10). DMM gives 0.5 Manpower per unused Bandwidth.
  • Now you may be wondering “The UC is a pacifist faction whose goals are to hide and hack enemies. Win without fighting. Why do I need manpower?” Well here’s the thing. You do and don’t. If you never have to build ships to fight then it’s not really a concern. However that is kind of unlikely. Being discovered by an opponent who traced you or tech’d faster than you and acquired the stealth detection modules is bad. You’ll need to build military. At some point or another, a warmongering Craver or Riftborn is going to want you gone. They don’t like your sleepers and they don’t like you. So you might need your manpower for ships. Here’s the problem: Sanctuaries each have a 200 defensive Manpower reserve. This drains your manpower to 0 constantly unless you are making enough for every sanctuary. Chances are, if you’re expanding quickly like UC should, you’re NOT. Because now you need to not reserve Bandwidth on anything, just to have enough manpower to fill your ships.
  • So here’s the problem: 10% food to manpower is normal. However, the UC only get 1 system. A large majority of the food produced empire wide won’t be able to contribute to manpower. Especially because of Immaterial Population. So UC actually have 2.5% food to manpower.
    Here’s some example math:
    +217 from Planet
    +77.6 from Sanctuary
    +50 from Intensive Cultivation
    +40 from Cyber Farm
    +35 from Colony Base
    +10 from Drone Networks
    -8.8 from F to M
    -188.9 from F consumption Total Food: 429.6
    Total w/o Sanctuary: 352


 w/ Sanctw/o Sanct
w/o Imm Pop42.9635.2
w/ Imm Pop 10.748.8


  • The left column is not achievable. However the right column is. By default the UC will be the bottom right column. This is counteracted by Dark Matter Manipulators giving you Manpower based on unused Bandwidth. Without DMM, the UC would NEVER make enough manpower to fill their Sanctuaries.
There are a few solutions to the manpower problem if you want to be warlike.
  • First We would like to point out that a custom UC faction can remove Immaterial Population and Dark Matter Manipulators so they can generate manpower like regular factions (thus getting the 35.2 in the above table). If you make a custom UC faction We highly recommend you do this since you won’t get the +1 Bandwidth per pop bonus that UC inherently has and theres no way to put it on a custom faction and its 2 traits, reducing your flexibility of traits down to 6.
  • You can negotiate for Manpower in diplomatic trades. AI usually have lots sitting around. Players might be sitting on capped manpower and wouldn’t mind trading it to get something else in return.

Chain Gang Program: Tier 1 Military tree from N-Way Fusion tech.
converts 1 pop into 300 Manpower
Exotic Rations: Tier 3 Empire Development tree from Extreme Composites tech.
+200 Defense Manpower cap
+10% F to M
Patriot Pills Plant: Tier 3 Empire Development tree from Agri Drugs tech.
+20% F to M

Exotic Rations and Patriot Pills Plant are good for per turn manpower. It requires no management and just works.
Chain Gang Program on the other hand is awesome. Remember how food from Sanctuaries isn’t factored in when used to convert F to M? Well it is used when generating a population. Which costs 300 food. Chain Gang makes 1 pop into the 300 food it was worth. Thus allowing Sanctuary food income to contribute.


Endless Space 2 Umbral Choir Guides: Faction Details

  • These are the details of a Basic Umbral Choir:

Gameplay Affinity: In the Shadows

  • This locks your home system into 1 possibility. It will have 5 ‘Crescents’ which are a special planet type for the UC. It will be located on some kind of non planetary node. (Asteroid, Nebular Cloud, Black hole, etc… excluding Rejuvenation Field (afaik)). More details on this under Home Planet section.
  • You can also no longer colonize planets. Instead, by hacking a neutral system, you can place a Sanctuary. A Sanctuary is an invisible colony which isn’t really a colony. All it does is provide 100% of its resources to your home system. You can grow pop into it using your home system’s ‘Sanctuary Link’. More on Sanctuaries later. (You can hack from turn 1, other factions have to wait until a Neutral Hackers event happens)
  • You are immune to influence conversion and can abduct sleeper agents created through hacking, back to your home system. These ‘Umbral Shadows’ appear to have a 100% increased value from their pop traits (+1 sci +1 bandwidth, becomes +2 sci +2 bandwidth) plus their sleeper bonus of +2 bandwidth (called ‘ex sleeper agent’) for a total of +2 sci +4 bandwidth.

Visual Affinity: Umbral Choir

  • Funny enough, this affinity does have a colony class ship that you won’t be able to use unless you change the Gameplay Affinity. Cantata Class.

Home Planet: Nexus

  • This home planet has no features. Its just a renamed Crescent. If you custom make a UC faction, your home planet does nothing except take up Trait Points. So pick Arid or Snow b/c they only cost 5 points.

Government: Democracy

Politics: Pacifists, Anti-Militarists, Curious (pacifist supports science)

Bonuses: Analysts (+1 sci), None, Infiltration Collec (Pacifist, influence and bandwidth focused.)
UC also gets a +1 bandwidth on its population. No idea where it comes from. If you custom make a UC it goes away.

Dark Matter Manipulators (10)
0.5 Manpower per Bandwidth not reserved.
Expensive Tastes (-10)
100% increased cost of System Development
Exploited Sleepers (10)
+1 Bandwidth on sleeper agents.
Fledgling Traders (-10)
-50% star system trade value.
Ghosts (10)
Lets ships cloak. Even Behemoths (Maybe not Obliterator or Juggernaut though).
Hyperium Source (10)
Hyperium Mine on Home Crescent.
Immaterial Population (-5)
-75% Food to Manpower. Your Manpower grows slower from Food.
Organic Network (5)
+1 max Hacking Ops (you get to start with 2)
Planetary Landscaping (10)
Food Tech
Stay-at-Home (-20)
+100% over colonization penalty. -5% max Bandwidth per system over cap.
Titanium Mine (10)
Titanium Mine on Home Crescent.
Twitch Infiltrators (10)
+10% hack speed.
Xenobiology (10)
Science Tech

Total Stats
Population: 45/60 Traits: 65/100 Count: 13/8

Post credits: D Dog


And that will end this Endless Space 2 Umbral Choir Guide and how to play basics. This will sort your much needed pathway for this particular faction and set you on your gaming ways!

Also check out other Endless Space 2 Guide:

thanks for reading!

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