In Endless Space the player chooses one of ten unique civilizations, or can choose to create their own, to expand their interstellar empire and conquer the galaxy. To win, the player must be the first to meet the requirements for certain victory conditions, such as Economic, Diplomatic, Expansionary, and Supremacy victories.
The game plays out on a randomly generated galaxy map with room for up to eight players/AI per game. Players colonize different star systems, which in turn contain up to six planets. Star systems are connected via a series of cosmic strings which allow ships to travel rapidly between neighbouring systems. In addition, hero units can be recruited to act as system administrators or fleet admirals, which provide bonuses depending on their traits that can further be leveled up. Battles take place in a quasi-real-time environment, similar to rock-paper-scissors.