The Kardashev Scale is a method of measuring a civilization's level of technological advancement, which is based on the amount of energy a civilization is able to utilize. Developed in 1964 by Russian astrophysicist Nikolai Kardashev, this system has been used to describe all the alien civilizations in the Local Universe. Since its formation, the Kardashev Scale has been expanded twice, giving way to Type-4 and Type-5 civilizations being theoretical.
Learning the basics
A civilization's level on the Kardashev Scale is decided by a scientifically backed equation. This equation is rather complicated, and it will be explained.
In this equation, the only variable you need to know is "P", which stands for a civilization's power usage. Power usage is usually found out by multiplying the number of stars in a nation by 10^26. The same can be said for galaxies, with 10^36. For a nation with 5,000 galaxies for example, its number would be 5.00^39. Simply reduce this number by a few percent, and you will have a reasonable number for energy usage. For the number above, the civilization type would be 3.470, among the highest in the wiki.
Then, just put this number in the "P" section in this website: https://www.fxsolver.com/browse/formulas/Kardashev%27s+civilization+rating
After this, you should be ready to embrace the Kardashev Scale in all of its complexity!
The first steps for any civilization...
A Type 0 Civilization typically represents very young and budding civilizations. These civilizations are very new, not even being able to harness their planet's worth of energy. This kind of civilization ranges widely, from the first users of fire to rudimentary spaceflight. Almost every Type 0 civilization begins with the manipulation of energy, which is referred to as a Genesis Moment. For example, Humanity's Genesis Moment was the discovery of fire, as it let them cook nutritious food to expand their brain capacity. Early Humans also used it as a weapon, light source, and warmth. The closest thing to interstellar travel by any Type 0 civilization would be lightweight and tiny probes, able to accelerate to speeds in which interstellar travel is plausible over decades. An example of this is Breakthrough Starshot and the Bullet Probe by Humanity.
Type 0 Civilizations range from Type 0.000 to Type 0.999, producing from 0 to 10^16 watts of power.
There are countless known Type 0 civilizations, and they are numerous to the point that they are not really noteworthy. However, a few examples of Type 0 Civilizations will be shown here regardless.
The civilization begins to grow and prosper... They will last for a long time.
A Type 1 civilization is represented by a society of post-scarcity and interplanetary travel. Though smaller Type 0 civilizations can become interplanetary, Type 1 civilizations can enforce claims and garner resources from other worlds effectively. In this kind of civilization, in-fighting between a species is extinct, giving way to prosperity. A Type 1 civilization can also harness the power of their home planet, being able to manipulate the environment and landscape easily. These civilizations usually last for many millennia after they achieved this level. Almost all mid Type 1 civilizations can reach FTL travel, such as Zythyns with their Tachyon Drive, or Humans with their cheap Warp Drive.
Type 1 Civilizations range from Type 1.000 to Type 1.999, producing from 10^16 to 10^26 watts of power.
There are many Type 1 civilizations, most of which are very new to the interstellar scene. Most civilizations have been noted to develop on their home systems before traveling to nearby star systems. The most notable Type 1 civilizations will be listed below:
They have now proven themselves... This civilization will expand endlessly to the cosmos, unafraid.
A Type 2 civilization is one which is able to harness the power of an average-sized star, making them orders of magnitude more powerful than a Type 1 civilization. These kinds of civilizations can effortlessly control planets, able to terraform them on a whim. and are able to make megastructures with some effort. A Type 2 civilization has usually explored many thousands of star systems, and has begun to enforce their interstellar claims. Usually, a Type 2 civilization will also stumble upon a smaller or larger civilization of similar capacity. The population of a Type 2 civilization has also grown massively, as interstellar colonies become more developed. The highest tier of Type 2 civilizations often have countless megastructures, and are on the cusp of claiming their entire galaxy.
Type 2 Civilizations range from Type 2.000 to Type 2.999, producing from 10^26 to 10^36 watts of power.
There are many Type 2 civilizations in a single galaxy alone, all of which have been able to keep interstellar territory. The most notable Type 2 civilizations will be listed below:
- The Commune Federation
- The Deciarchy Of The Overlord
- The Vanguard Republic
- Liberty Empire
- Terran Nationale
- Empire of the Royal Kingdom
- Zrelgerian Kraterocracy
- Xavier Co-Operative Protectorate
- Nakazawa Imperium
- The Sonoran Union
- Cosmic Commonwealth of the Magocracy
- Cooperative Imperium of Spheres
These ones are essntially gods in their own playground. If they touch anything, it is most definitely theirs. They are only a few steps away from true ascension.
A Type 3 Civilization is a very powerful class of civilization, controlling an entire galaxy, all the way up to a galactic supercluster. These are some of the most prominent and influential civilizations, being able to control countless star systems. Early Type 3 civilizations can make better versions of megastructures, and can utilize the power in their galactic center. These kinds of civilizations can also make star systems effortlessly, likely commissioning many of them as vanity projects. The sheer technology of these civilizations beats most others, as well. With early ones exploring deep into the flesh of their galaxy, they have likely contained thousands of stars in Dyson structures, or something more advanced.
Type 3 Civilizations range from Type 3.000 to Type 3.999, producing from 10^36 to 10^46 watts of power.
There are numerous Type 3 civilizations in the Local Universe. Many of these are well-respected and accepted greatly by the larger Type 3 nations. All Type 3 civilizations are also the most advanced type known so far, classifying all advanced nations which have influence. A list of major Type 3 civilizations are below:
- Commonwealth of United Economic Nations
- Confederacy of Borealis
- Federations of United Star Systems
- The Supreme
- The Lewis Nations
- Nisrine Collective Minds
- Quintet Puontari Federation
- Aprax Intergalactic Collective Systems
- Union of Ewahaia
This... THIS is the true apex of all nations... No other has strayed close to this prophetic level of power. Only the strongest, most powerful, and most influential nations will ever get to this level. Good luck trying to get any further...
A Type 4 Civilization is a theoretical civilization class, and a likely future for almost every Late Type 3 civilization. Type 4 Civilizations encompass intergalactic levels, with the largest ones being able to possess the better parts of the Observable Universe. These kind of civilizations are also the most feasible ones for the future. Type 4 Civilizations can also make gigastructures, and create completely massive theoretical works of technology.
Type 4 Civilizations would range from Type 4.000 to Type 4.999, producing from 10^46 to 10^56 watts of power.
There no Type 4 civilizations in existence, with the closest ones being the CUEN, CoB, and the Quintet Puontari Federation.
If any of these civilizations are out there, we would truly be doomed... or saved... Their enigmatic level mystifies even our top scientists, as the only way they could exist would be impossible... Right?
A Type 5 Civilization is the conceptual kind of civilization, which contains the power from a galactic supercluster up to the entire Universe. The true size of the Universe is still unknown, and Type 5 could be the end of everything. Any further civilizations are thought to be impossible, and this is likely the final frontier for any nation. A Type 5 civilization would probably have some kind of galaxy-harvesting technology, treating them as low as planets in the modern-day.
There are no confirmed Type-5 civilizations in the Local Universe. These nations would have the most advanced technology, and have the most potential of any nations. They would also dwarf even the most powerful civilizations in the Local Universe.
Type 5 Civilizations would range from 5.000 to Type 5.999, producing from 10^56 to 10^66 watts of power.
These are likely some of the most malicious or beneficial civilizations out there... Their sheer computing power allows them be be gods of their own created universes, leaving the material universe behind.
A Type S civilization is capable of simulating entire universes, with enough precision to simulate consciousness within simulated individuals. While a Type S civilization isn't on its own a class, a Type S possesses unimaginable power to those simulated by one. In their universe, they can be compared to a theorized Type-VI civilization or more.
It is unknown if our universe was fabricated by a Type S civilization. Any of these in our universe might be impossible to detect due to their tendency to remain outside our universe. Signs of a civ of this scale could be detected by looking for flaws or glitch-like apparitions within our own universe, such as breaks in causality and phenomena that don't follow our laws of physics, assuming they created the one we inhabit.
Type S Civilizations may produce from 10^40 to potentially endless watts of power.
Example of Type S civilizations are The Supreme, DELYATU, POLIKY, and the Collective. However, the Collective can not simulate nearly as much as the others.