Sins of a Solar Empire 2 multiplayer has arrived in early access

A blend of 4X and RTS in deep space, Sins of a Solar Empire 2 is ready to start testing its multiplayer chops, with updates to ship models, UI, and more.

Sins of a Solar Empire 2 multiplayer: A large, dark-blue capital frigate fires a white-hot beam of energy at another ship, blowing it up in a massive explosion that is sending a blue energy ring out from the point of detonation

A new stage of the Sins of a Solar Empire 2 technical preview has arrived, and that means the sci-fi 4X game now has multiplayer. Players can now jump into existing multiplayer games and take over for an AI faction, or for a player who has to leave. The latest update makes additional changes too, such as updates to ship models and textures and a refresh for the research tree.

Developers Stardock and Ironclad say the introduction of multiplayer is an important step for Sins of a Solar Empire 2’s early access period. The studios are looking to collect as much player feedback as possible during this phase, and while what’s available in the technical preview is “merely the tip of the iceberg,” players should get a decent sense of the new game engine’s capabilities.

As mentioned above, multiplayer allows players to jump in and take over for another player’s AI factions, or swap in for another member of a multiplayer session who has to leave the game. It’s also possible to create private matches and invite friends using a unique game code. You’ll also be able to easily rejoin a game after losing your connection.

“Internally, we’ve had colleagues jump into ongoing matches and completely annihilate people who thought they had a sure victory,” says Stardock publishing director Brian Clair. “We can’t wait to see how our community takes to this feature and it’s only the beginning!”

The latest update also freshens up some ships with new models and textures. You’ll see visual upgrades on the TEC Ogrov Torpedo Cruiser, the Pirate Rogue, the Corsair, and Pillager ships.

Another nice new feature is pings for attack, defend, and attention commands – these will help coordinate efforts if you’re playing as part of a team or alliance.

You can see the full list of changes on the official site. Coming next is the Vasari Loyalist faction in the spring, followed by the Vasari Rebels faction this summer. In Autumn, expect the arrival of the Advent Loyalist faction.

For more great space games, just have a look at our handy list.