A new and exciting gameplay concept in Civilization: Beyond Earth comes in the form of Affinities. While this system is a bit hard to get a grasp on in the initial stages, players will begin to understand it much more as they gain experience.
Affinities control a variety of bonuses and have special units that can be unlocked once you gain a certain amount of experience in a specific affinity.
Civilization: Beyond Earth Affinities
There are three affinities in the game; namely Harmony, Purity, and Supremacy. Each one has a unique color of its own which allows you to identify their units. White means no affinity, blue-green units are Harmony-based.
Red and beige units follow the path of Purity, while yellow and black units are from Supremacy.
Gaining Affinity Experience
At the beginning of a campaign, every colony starts with no real affinity.
From there on, a nation can grow in anyone of the three affinities by gaining Affinity Experience. This is mostly gained through research in Technologies that would grant you bonus experience in one of the affinities.
Another method through which affinity experience is gained is through Quest systems. Certain quests will give you a specific type of affinity experience, which can be recognized by the color of their emblem.
There are some quests that will give you experience in all three affinities, and they should be prioritized over the rest.
The last method to gain experience in affinity is through Expeditions, which will randomly appear on the map and can give you a variety of different bonuses in additional to possible affinity experience.
Choosing a Path
As you accumulate more and more experience, one of the three paths will become more dominant than the other two. This will eventually become your main affinity, and you should further boost it by researching into Technology that would grant you more experience (and hence higher levels) in that affinity.
Each affinity has a specific Victory quest associated with it in addition to the Conquest and Domination victories. The more victory options you have, the higher chance there is to get one of them, and generally victory through affinities is the best method.
As you play more often, it will become evident which affinity suits your play-style the best. From there onwards, you should try to gain as much experience as possible in that specific affinity to get to a higher level as quickly as possible, and unlock the required units.
Each of the three affinities are explained in detail below.
- Level 1: Alien aggression levels return to neutral twice as quickly.
- Level 3: Units take 5 HP less damage from Miasma.
- Level 6: Units heal 5 HP in Miasma.
- Level 8: Four Xenomass resources for free.
- Level 11: Call Worm Strike Operation can be performed by Covert Agents.
- Level 13: Mind Flower can be constructed for Transcendence Victory Quest.
Harmony players take advantage of the world around them.
Instead of fighting against it, they embrace it, and look to use it to their best use. This makes a Harmony-oriented campaign a bit lengthy and one requiring patience, but those who prefer guerilla warfare tactics and want to have an easier time expanding should look towards this affinity.
One of the largest benefits of Harmony is that you actually start taking benefit from Miasma.
The stuff is normally extremely hazardous and can be a bit of a nuisance, but once you reach Level 6 Harmony, your units will actually heal in Miasma. This can be extremely useful as you can easily befriend aliens, and during wartime lure enemies into miasma-infested areas or spread them through your units.
Harmony based technology generally gives out less powerful units than those found when going towards Purity affinity, but they are more oriented towards survivability, and are likely to come out victorious during long battles and wars against powerful allies.
Style of Play
Players who are defensive are likely to enjoy Harmony the most. Their units have certain special abilities that greatly aid in defense and survivability, and guerilla warfare tactics are encouraged through the spreading of Miasma, and luring foes into miasma infested tiles.
In addition to military defenses, Harmony is best utilized by large cities, as the Biowell tile improvement give a great boost to Food and Health, both being essential to larger populations and growth.
- Level 1: Aliens will not attack tiles with Explorer Units.
- Level 3: +20% Strength and Ranged Strength when attacking or defending against aliens.
- Level 6: +2 Orbital Coverage in all Cities.
- Level 8: Four Floatstone resources for free.
- Level 11: Dirty Bomb Operation can be performed by Covert Agents.
- Level 13: Exodus Gate can be constructed for Promised Land Victory Quest.
If you believe in ruthlessness and are unwilling to compromise with alien life, then Purity is the affinity for you. Purity gives you powerful units with high Combat Strength, tailor-made to go on an all-out offense against aliens and rivals.
The units perform very well alone, and have the required firepower to overwhelm most opponents.
Purity demands an extremely aggressive approach to get the best out of its units. This does not mean you can’t befriend aliens though, but with the above listed bonuses it is evident that you benefit most when going out on the offensive.
This is probably the easiest of the three affinities to play with, as it grants you powerful defensive and offensive units that could accelerate you towards an offensive victory.
Style of Play
Aggressive players will love the Purity affinity, as their units are superior in one-on-one fights and their military prowess can overwhelm and colony that has not prepared its defensive against a ruthless onslaught.
You can set up aggressive scouts and spies that regularly analyze your rival’s borders, which will give you information about their defenses, allowing you to plan attacks.
In addition to offense, Purity also excels at military defenses with powerful ranged units that can take out threats from a distance.
Dome tile improvements work wonderfully well with Purity to give powerful defenses to your cities, and also generate Culture which can be well-spent on Virtues like Might.
- Level 1: Explorer units can build an additional Expedition.
- Level 3: Roads and Magrails do not cost any Energy to maintain.
- Level 6: Orbital Coverage on and next to any tile with Firaxite.
- Level 8: Four Firaxite resources for Free.
- Level 11: Sabotage Operation can be performed by Covert Agents.
- Level 13: Emancipation Gate can be constructed for Emancipation Victory Quest.
The Supremacy affinity is best utilized by master tacticians and strategists, who believe that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. While their individual units are not as powerful as those found when going towards the Purity affinity, Supremacy has units that work best together, and when applied in a tactically astute manner.
If you have plenty of Civilization experience and understand the importance of formations, exploration, scouting, spying, and the combined effect of all these, then Supremacy is the ideal choice for you.
The units excel when worked in numbers, and almost all of them gain bonuses for being near allies. The best way to utilize them for military offense is through cohesion and large numbers, overwhelming even the strongest colonies by their combined firepower instead of individual brilliance.
Style of Play
With Supremacy units, you want to build your military defense and offense from the start. A large military is the best way to go through when inclined towards this affinity.
More importantly, having a mix of units that work well together and have cohesion is the single most important thing for Supremacy players, as you will require persistent aggression and pressing on rivals to attain victory.
Because of this, Supremacy naturally demands high levels of Energy and Production. The Node tile improvement specifically tackles Energy, and will give it to you in abundance.
Once you have sufficient Energy and Production, you can start building a powerful army of large numbers, take it to a rival’s border and declare war.
The best method of conquering is by using your siege units to bring down defenses, and then have your remaining units work in tactical formations to overwhelm the opponents.