There are many factions in the transcendence universe. Some of them are on the side of law and will welcome you - but only as long as you play by the rules. Others are hostile to you and will shoot on sight. Some are neutral, and will not attack unprovoked, but neither will they aid you.
The following is a list of the various factions you will encounter in the game. They are grouped on their default attitude towards you.
George now has an index of factions on the main site: Sovereigns
This faction does not use any ships; operating only from their stations.
The Abbasid are a reclusive group of scholars. It is thought that their colonies are hidden far from planets and stars, in the very outer reaches of a star system. Very little is known about them, except that they are hostile to all factions.
Click here for the ships flown by the Ares.
The Ares Orthodoxy is colonizing dozens of systems beyond Jiang's Star. They use clone banks and intensive training to create a utopian society without dissent. They claim to be guided by Domina, but almost no one believes that. They are at war with the Commonwealth.
Click here for the ships flown by the Xenophobes.
Xenophobes have a closed society which thrives in the depths of space. They do not tolerate other life forms.
Click here for the ships flown by the Centauri Raiders.
Armed warlords who prey on defenseless stations. Originally from the Centauri system (near Sol) but now spread-out to many parts of the Commonwealth.
Click here for the ships flown by the Charon.
A loosely organized group of pirates/privateers that prey on commercial vessels. Individual groups have a high degree of autonomy but they pay tribute to the larger organization.
Flies only the Meth Enforcer.
The cartel produces genetically tailored drugs needed for hyper-clonal therapy, a life prolongation technique. Because the manufacture of the drugs involves the growth and exploitation of an ancephalic clone, these techniques are banned in Commonwealth space. No one knows how long human life may be prolonged with these techniques, but many believe that the original founders of the cartel are still alive. If so, they would be over two-hundred years old.
Click here for the ships flown by the Dwarg Raiders.
The Dwarg are a mysterious hostile group of neo-humans. They use tracking EMP cannons as their weapons of choice. Members of the group have been known to defect if their leader is killed.
A fanatical group that opposes the Corporate Hierarchy and seeks to redistribute their profits.
Uses only the Gaian Processor.
The Gaians are hostile to nearly all factions, with the strange exception of the CSC Antarctica. After destroying a ship, they can be seen pulverising the wreck and absorbing the debris, presumably in order to gather materials for “terraforming”, although evidence of such activity has yet to be witnessed.
A quasi-religious organization founded on principles opposing entropy and energy-death. Heliotropes are generally hostile to other humans.
Flies the Himal Interceptor alone.
Flies only the Hurin-class destroyer.
The Huari Empire was much once larger, but after years of war with the Sung Slavers they have been beaten down to only a few systems. As a result of their persecution, they are extremely fearful of outsiders, and generally hostile to all factions. They will, however, begin to trust anyone who fights the Sung.
Flies three identically-named variations of the Kobol gunship. They differ in weapon loadout.
A vague hostile group; their motives are yet unknown.
Flies infinite variations of the Luminous Drone.
Luminous is an autonomous, distributed AI. Its goals and desires are completely unknown.
The only Luminous stations are Luminous Assemblers, massive construction yards that continually produce Drones. Drones have been seen using a wide variety of different weapons, shields and armour, perhaps an attempt by Luminous to adapt to the enemies it fights. Other than this, almost nothing is known about it.
Click here for the ships flown by the Marauders.
An off-shoot of Charon Pirates. They are usually found in and around the St. Katherine's Star system.
The Order of Penitence began as a voluntary campaign of voluntary extinction. Although it was never popular, its charter was twisted by extremists to promote forced human extinction. They are a feared cult of fanatics who seek to destroy as much life as possible before their alloted time expired. They worship Oracus.
The Outlaws fly the Sotho-class gunship, the Oromo-class gunship, the T51 and T55-class armed transports, and the Zulu and Zulu II-class gunships.
A loose criminal organization involved in smuggling, drugs, extortion, etc. They have close ties to the Black Market stations.
Non-Sentient Alien Life
The Pteravores do not use ships; they do not require them, as their biology allows them to survive without oxygen, pressure, or temperature conduction.
The Pteravores are aliens found in the very farthest areas in human space. They consume only Pteracnium, an ingredient in high-end starship fuels. Because of this, they are commonly seen attacking ships in order to drain the Pteracnium fuel inside.
Click here for the ships flown by the Ranx.
The Ranx Empire is a military dictatorship populating the Outer Realm near and around the Anhalt system. See the main site for more information.
Flies only the Centurion-class gunship.
Members of the Commonwealth Fleet that have defected, and now fight against them. It is possible they are related to the CSC Antarctica.
A small group relegated to the most inhospitable systems. They furiously oppose all forms of augmenting or enhancing humans, and are hostile to all other human factions. Sapiens use radiation and other biohazards as their weapon of choice against the “devolved”.
Click here for the ships flown by the Sung.
Sung Slavers form a powerful but mysterious civilization beyond St. Katharine's Star. They enslave humans of all races and use them for organ transplants, drug manufacture, and processing power. They are particularly skilled at cyber technology. [Are they connected to Luminous?]
A hostile faction, found beyond St. Katherines. Their backstory has not yet been revealed.
The Ventari are a powerful antagonistic group. They employ ionising weapons, which can interfere with your ship's devices.
Click here for the ships flown by the (civilians of the) Commonwealth.
The commonwealth is a large empire of humans and neo-humans, which controls the majority of human space. They are currently at war with the Ares. They are allied to the Corporate Hierarchy, and are freindly towards the Ringers, Teratons and Ferians. They are hostile to most others.
Flies various commonwealth ships.
The Commonwealth Militia is dedicated to defending Commonwealth space.
Click here for the ships flown by the Commonwealth Fleet.
The Commonwealth Fleet is the Commonwealth's army, fighting the Ares.
Click here for the ships flown by the Corporate Hierarchy.
Earth Industries is a large corporation, best known for their line of freighter starships (EIx). They also manufacture other items, such as shields and weapons, and run the corporate fuel depots found throughout human space.
Honoko-Tomashi Corporation is divided into three smaller companies:
Korolov cargo ships are the EI100, 200, 500, and 7000-class freighters, the Makayev-Energia Atares I, II, and V-class freighters and superfreighter, and the NAMI Scarab-class superfreighter. They are escorted by volunteers with various ships.
The Korolov Shipping Corporation is the largest (and oldest) shipping company in Human Space. They have some of the most experienced escort pilots and are trusted by all the Commonwealth to ship expensive goods anywhere.
Makayev-Energia is a weapons company, apparently specialising in kinetic or explosive weapons. They also have the Strelka series of missiles for their own Makayev Launcher.
NAMI is primarily a weapons company, known for their popular range of missiles, as well as for many other weapons. They also make shield generators, but these have not gained the same level of popularity.
Pacific Defence Corporation is the fairly unknown company behind the popular Ronin-class gunship and the Aquila Cruiser.
Lead by the respected scientist, Dvalin, Rasiermesser researches and manufactures both weapons and armour for the Commonwealth. They run their own manufacturing plants, where they offer repairs for goods bought from them.
Taikon Ventures manufactures high-end armour, shields, and weapons. Different from the other Corporate members, Taikon Ventures only accept rin as their main currency. They also conduct research operations on the outer edge of Human Space.
It is not known whether the Ringers fly any ships; the ships seen docked with their stations may just be traders.
Ringers began as a colony of miners around Saturn. They have adapted their biology to live in space. Today, their knowledge of science and technology (specially those related to space) is extensive. They refuse Commonwealth currency, and use their own (the Rin) instead. George has revealed that the original Saturnian Ringers have today grown independent from their space-faring brothers. There may even be tension between the two groups.
It is not known if the Sisters fly any ships of their own.
The Sisters are a group of women who worship Domina. They are the first sovereign The Pilgrim meets in the game. They accept offerings of money and goods. They will also repair or refuel your ship for free but only if you cannot do so anywhere else (due to lack of funds)
As with the Ringers, the Teraton might not have their own ships.
A genetic offshoot of the Ringers. Like the Ringers, they do not accept Commonwealth credits, but use the Rin system of currency.
The tinkers use various commonwealth civilian ships.
The Tinkers' Guild are a group of people that offer to repair or buy damaged items, or even use them to manufacture completely new ones.
Flies the Molotok Bounty Hunter, along with outlaw ships.
The Black Market is the group responsible for the trade of all illegal goods, from narcotics to weapons. Their trust must be earned before you can trade with them.
Uses Ferian Miners, and will deploy Ferian Warriors in times of need.
Almost nothing is known about Ferians since they avoid all human contact. They mine rare and exotic materials and trade with Ringers. Each individual Ferian ship is very weak and carries expensive metal ores, making them a common target for pirates. Individual Ferians will flee when attacked. However, they do not tolerate the killing of their comrades for very long, and will avenge them by swarming their enemies in groups of sometimes a thousand strong, posing a formidable threat to any pirate who gets too greedy.
The Salvagers only fly the huge Salvager Nomad.
Each salvager ship is a miniature community and most salvagers live and die without ever setting foot on a world larger than an asteroid. They wander about space, randomly looting any wrecked spaceships they find.
Spoilers! Flies two ships total. They are blue.
The Iocrym are a mysterious alien species, and the only sentient alien life humanity has had contact with. They were first sighted in the St. Katherine's Star system in the year 2363, and after a short exchange with the human research team, left the system promising to return one day for an unspecified reason. Since then no contact has been made with them, and they have remained reclusive. There are many rumours concerning them, ranging from them being a malevolent race preparing to invade, to representatives of Domina. There have also been rumours of Iocrym activity in outer human space, although the validity of these rumours is debatable.