Does giving another empire resources (energy, materials or strategic resources) in exchange for nothing increase their opinion of you?

I am playing in Ironman mode and have tried it with small amounts, but there doesn't seem to be any effect.

[NOTE:] This question is very old - Sterllaris and the diplomacy engine has been updated multiple times since it was asked.

  • I'm not sure about one-time gifts, but if you set up a deal where you give them a small amount monthly, even just one mineral, then that counts as a trade deal, which improves their opinion. Multiple trade deals don't appear to have any more effect than just one, which is +5 to opinion.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 19:08

3 Answers 3


If you do a monthly trade instead of "instant" trade, you will get a small +5 "Trade" modifier for the duration of the agreement.

Beyond that, no, gifts do nothing. (And it's totally possible for empires to refuse trade deals where you ask for nothing from them at all)

  • 2
    This no longer the correct answer. The game has changed a lot in the meantime. See my answer for the update. Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 0:49

Gifting an AI empire (instant trade offer with nothing in return) can now (2.2.3+) increase its opinion of you and create an option modifier of up to +100 for 2 years ("favorably trade deal"). This works for all elements including resources and systems and is a very useful diplomatic tool. It allows you to "bribe" an AI empires can be "bribed" into agreeing to deals with you. At least temporary.

Here are some useful scenarios for this tactic:

  • Quickly increase the opinion of an AI to get a deal (e.g. commercial contract)
  • Gifting a new contact from the get go increases your chances to form a good relationship by starting out with a positive overall opinion
  • Fixing a relationships, e.g. after you declined a war request from a federation ally (which gives you -100 for reach decline)
  • Persuade an AI to open border for you (e.g. helpful if you are in a war and can't get to some of your enemies systems, because they are behind territory of another AI that has closed border to you)

Note that the "favorably trade deal" modifies will decay over time. So if the fundamentals are negative this will only work temporarily and you need to repeat the process after some months to keep its opinion positive. (or have established another relation that helps increase opinion, e.g. a research contract).

Also note that the total amount of opinion increase depends a lot on the value of the resource, the amount and the year of the game (e.g. 1000 minerals will give you almost 100 in the beginning, but may only yield 1 in the end game) and what kind of resources the AI currently needs. So its worth trying out different different resources. e.g. strategic resources will in my experience yield higher opinion then a normal resource for the same value.

Note that you can directly see how much the AI likes your offer in the trade acceptance indicator in the middle of the window.

Finally, if an AI does not like your offer at all you will get an trade acceptance of -1000. e.g. often if you try to buy a system that the AI owns or if you try to gift a colonized machine world to a fallen empire.

  • Have you ever seen an AI empire actually sell you a system? Even for subjects I've never been able to buy one. Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 8:30
  • No, I have not. But I guess if you can offer enough goods to compensate for the -1000 it may be possible. Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 16:11

Technically speaking, You can become a Tributary (option in diplomacy - "Offer Tribute"), which will continue to give the other empire 25% of your minerals and energy, greatly improving your relationship.

There are two problems with that:

  1. They can still refuse it.
  2. Once they allowed you (how nice of them!) you can't stop easily and you might have to fight for your full independence.
  • While technically correct, this does not appear to answer the original question. Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 17:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .