|Civilization: Beyond Earth created by Firaxis Games.|
Images used for educational purposes only.
Though every colony in Civilization: Beyond Earth arrives with a similar mindset and overall purpose, it’s inevitable that they’ll all branch off and take different paths. These paths are, in many ways, dictated by your choice of Affinity. Will you be a mutant? A robot? A true-blue human? Or perhaps a fusion of the lot? Time to find out.
What are Affinities?
Affinities dictate, at least loosely, the direction of your colony. Each offers a specific set of features that can greatly change how your game develops, as well as determine what Victory you’ll pursue throughout the match. Choosing the right Affinity for your play style is very important to surviving a game of Beyond Earth - though note that you are well within your rights to develop multiple Affinities at once. One will eventually win out over the others as your ‘dominant’ Affinity, however, ultimately dictating how your colony will appear and which unique units / buildings it can access.
Levelling and Experience
In order to improve your Affinity, you need to gain experience. Affinity experience is gained in one of three ways:
- By completing certain techs. If you look at the Technology Web you’ll see a number of technologies with Affinity symbols in their descriptions. Successfully researching one of these technologies will give you experience in the associated Affinity.
- By completing certain Quests. Any Quests that have a symbol denoting the three Affinities will give you Affinity experience when completed. You may also randomly receive Quest decisions that will push your Affinity experience in one direction or another.
- And, in a bit of a stretch, by gaining Free Affinities. This typically happens as a result of completing something else. For example, you’ll gain a Free Affinity via the third Synergy Bonus in the Might category, which basically means completing the entire Might category.
Whenever you achieve a new Affinity level you’ll (potentially) gain two things:
- An upgrade to one or more of your units. In this way your troops will become stronger alongside your Affinity. Though there are other ways to improve the combat ability of your troops, Affinity upgrades are by far the best way of doing so. You can gain up to eighteen levels in your Affinity for upgrades.
- A bonus or new feature for your colony as a whole. These bonuses are typically quite powerful, and can make play substantially easier. More on these below. Additional abilities max out at level thirteen.
You are one with the planet. Players who elect to go the Harmony route essentially hybridize themselves with the local Alien population, and their advanced units reflect this strange new outlook on life. In general Harmony players will have fewer problems coping with the planet’s geography, as well, and won’t get into battles with Aliens near so often. Harmony fits best with the Transcendence Victory.
Harmony players will receive the following benefits when levelling up their Affinity:
- Level 1: Alien aggression returns to neutral twice as quickly. In short, attacking Aliens is less likely to result in problems for your civilization, and full-blown attacks on your cities should be less common.
- Level 3: Units take five less damage from Miasma. Not quite full protection, but you’re getting there.
- Level 6: Units heal five health in Miasma. Now your dudes can stand anywhere they like without fear of taking damage. Very useful, both for tactical and casual situations.
- Level 8: Gain four Xenomass resources for free. Xenomass is important to some advanced Harmony units and buildings, and you’ll want every bit of the stuff that you can get.
- Level 11: Covert Agents can perform the Call Worm Strike operation. Call Worm Strike allows your Covert Agents to turn their target city into a target for nearby Siege Worms, and is a fantastic way to wipe out enemy holdings without having to invade their territory personally. At the very least it makes a fantastic distraction during wartime.
- Level 13: The colony can construct the Mind Flower. The Mind Flower is an integral factor in achieving a Transcendence Victory.
You stand with the origins of humanity. Players who travel the path of Purity take on a sleeker look with their units than, say, Supremacy, and better reflect their Earthling roots. Purity players are good at fighting off Alien incursions, and are a little better than the other Affinities at utilizing Orbital Units. Purity fits best with The Promised Land Victory.
Purity players will receive the following benefits when levelling up their Affinity:
- Level 1: Aliens will not attack Explorers. This is incredibly handy early in the game when Explorers have the most freedom to move around.
- Level 3: +20% Strength and Ranged Strength when attacking or defending against Aliens. Aliens quickly lose ground to more advanced units, but early on this bonus is very helpful.
- Level 6: +2 orbital coverage in all cities. Great for your Orbital Units.
- Level 8: Gain four Floatstone resources for free. Floatstones figure into a fair number of advanced Purity units and buildings.
- Level 11: Covert Agents can perform the Dirty Bomb operation. Dirty Bombs cut the population of the target city in half, and can devastate the productivity of your opponent. Very handy.
- Level 13: The colony can construct the Exodus Gate. The Gate is a necessary component of The Promised Land Victory.
You want to take stuff over. Period. Players who go for Supremacy will adopt a form of humanity that’s heavily tempered by powerful robotics, with lots of strong, battle-ready units to match. Supremacy players are adept at waging offensive wars, and can connect their cities at a lesser cost to themselves. Supremacy fits best with the Emancipation Victory.
Supremacy players will receive the following benefits when levelling up their Affinity:
- Level 1: Explorers can build an additional expedition. Very useful when your Explorers are roaming abroad.
- Level 3: Roads and magrails do not cost any Energy to maintain. If you go for a Domination Victory and have a lot of cities, this is utterly invaluable.
- Level 6: Gain orbital coverage on and next to any tile containing Firaxite. This allows you to set up Orbital Units far abroad from your normal territory. Very useful.
- Level 8: Gain four Firaxite resources for free. Firaxite is used in a number of advanced Supremacy units and buildings, and should be hoarded by Supremacy players whenever possible.
- Level 11: Covert Agents can perform the Sabotage operation, which effectively Pillages every improvement within three tiles of the city. This is not a good thing to use during a war, as Pillaging is a great way to restore damaged units while you’re on the warpath, but at peace… not so bad.
- Level 13: The colony can construct the Emancipation Gate. The Gate is needed to complete an Emancipation Victory.