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How advanced are you?

"Your race hasn't even reached Type 1 on the Kardashev scale. It doesn't control the resources of this one planet, let alone a solar system or a galaxy. The Time Lords were the Type 4 civilization. We had no equals. We controlled the fundamental forces of the entire universe. Nothing could communicate with us on our level. Most races pray to lesser beings than the Time Lords."
Time Lord Marnal, Doctor Who: The Gallifrey Chronicles

The idea of Technology Levels has some actual reference in the real world in the form of the Kardashev Scale, which indicates how much power a civilization uses. This was originally used in the context of astronomy, speculating about what advanced alien civilizations might look like from afar, particularly the implications of enormous energy demands. It has since been used to compare the Power Levels of fictional civilizations and, sometimes, individuals.

Note that the Kardashev number of a civilization indicates only its power use; it is at best just a proxy for the scale of technological capabilities at play, and it can become less proximate the softer the Sci-Fi gets, which also makes it harder to evaluate where a civilization rates on the Kardashev scale if no hard numbers are given. As an example, consider the human civilizations of Avatar and Ender's Game. Both use relativistic craft and travel between fairly local systems. Though there are world-destroying weapons and much larger-scale space travel in Ender's Game and its sequels, the phlebotinum involved is specifically said to use enormously less energy than normal physics would suggest for accomplishing those tasks. In Avatar, the necessity of brute-forcing relativistic travel may put that civilization higher on the Kardashev scale, despite the largely inferior technology and scale of development. Keep this in mind when placing examples, and try to include some explanation. After all, a hallmark of improving technology is increased efficiency, which would actually lower a civilization's Kardashev rating, all else equal.


The problem of pinning down these various entities to a nice level could imply a nice subtrope. Most Soft Sci-Fi is powered by a Large Convenient Energy Source (LCES), which in theory provides as much energy as the plot requires without refueling ("Scotty, I need more power"). Meanwhile, since they are using magic, anti-matter, dark matter, white holes, or black holes, the theoretical power that these devices provide to our protagonists does not result in the expected megascale Dyson Spheres, ring orbitals, or space elevators. Unfortunately (or fortunately for the sake of comprehensible story telling) we relate "better" to this soft Sci-Fi even though it does little to represent the actual technology needed to power replicators, transporters, shields, and artificial gravity on grand scales.


A bit on numbering. Kardashev himself only outlined discrete numbers for levels I, II, and III, with power values corresponding to 1964 humanity, the Sun, and the Milky Way respectively. Later discussions of the topic have generally fixed the value of a Type I power level as that of the Earth's insolation. Carl Sagan proposed a revised scale based on a logarithmic formula rather than the specific values of celestial objects. It might be less intuitive, but it allows easy interpolation and extrapolation, with a .1 difference representing a 10x difference in power. Extensions to the scale above Type III are not universally agreed upon, so Sagan's formula is used for the purposes of categorizing things in this article, with various real phenomena listed for scale in the appropriate subcategories. Don't expect references to the Kardashev Scale in fiction to necessarily correspond to this formulation, as the page quote implies.

A serious Real Life study has been done to look for Type IIIs in the local Universe using the WISE infrared telescope, as they're expected to produce large amounts of infrared emissions. Its results show that those civilizations are very rare or non-existent in our cosmic neighborhood.note  There is another study, suggesting that finding Yotta-eV (1024 electron Volt) neutrinos could be proof of at least a type 3 civilization, as that would require using a quasar (a VERY energetic galaxy) as a particle accelerator. For comparison, nuclear bomb reactions release a measly 106 eV per reaction.

Unmarked Spoilers Abound From This Point Onward


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     Type 0: Less than Type I. Clear cases go here. If it looks like a large fraction of a planet's power, it's borderline.  
  • The human civilization on Earth is currently hovering around a 0.72, with a power level of about 1.6 x 1013 W, the vast majority extracted from high-density chemically stored solar energy (fossil fuels), with some nuclear fission on the side and other direct and indirect solar energy harvesting methods contributing a small fraction.
  • A very, very powerful car note  could achieve about 1 MW at its peak, yielding a personal 0.00. As the scale is logarithmic, anything lower would generate a negative rating.
  • A human being could be considered a "civilization" of individual cells. Given the basal metabolic rate of a person is around 100 W, that would make them Type -0.4, while a person working vigorously might manage to make to 500 W, or Type -0.33. From this, it is also easy to calculate that the metabolic output of all the humans currently alive on the planet is a little over 7x1011W, making our species (not counting any of our tech, remember) type 0.58.
  • The Sandia National Lab in the US spikes to 0.85 for about 95 nanoseconds on the scale (3.5 x 1014 W) each time it activates the Z-Machine, a thermonuclear bomb simulator.note  Said lab intends to eventually increase the power of the machine to 1 x 1015W for 100-nanosecond pulses to operate as an experimental pulsed power fusion reactor (1 petawatt being the input for one very short Z-pinch pulse — not the output), which would hit a rating of 0.9 on the scale.
  • The National Ignition Facility at the US Lawrence-Livermore National Lab is another pulsed inertial fusion experiment, with its massive laser system capable of generating nanosecond-scale flashes of 5 x 1014 W on the fusion target, making a spike up to about 0.87 for a very, very short time.
  • Japan in Neon Genesis Evangelion diverts its national electrical output of 180GW into a Wave Motion Gun.
  • The civilization in EYES of Mars appears to have tried to go for Type 1, and destroyed their primary planet in the process. This also made their secondary planet uninhabitable, except for a small biosphere. They eventually migrated to a third planet.
  • Earth in Power Rangers has some nifty technology, but it is in the hands of the government or can only be afforded by the very wealthy, and overall development seems to take up a pretty small fraction of the planet's energy budget. Other civilizations might be a bit higher.
  • The Ark and Mount Weather from The 100 possess slightly more advanced technology than modern humanity, but have very limited resources, and can only support a population equivalent to a small town.

     Borderline Type I: Power use roughly equivalent to a terrestrial planet's insolation. 1 E 16 W  
  • Earth receives about 1.74 x 1017W from the Sun.
  • Ender's Saga: As the typical interstellar travel time is tens of years at close to light speed, we can assume humanity still inhabits a relatively small patch of Galaxy after thousands of years. The shown planets have smaller civilizations than our current one, but they are numerous. It is hinted that nearly all of them were conquered in the Third Invasion, and that means no more than a few a day during a few years. Some of the more impressive technology, like interstellar travel, is noted to take relatively little power. So probably less than 1.5 x 10 17W.
  • Transmetropolitan explicitly references the scale — or an older version of it, anyway. Type I is described not only as harnessing all the power, but having eliminated internal conflicts. The other two types are largely the same. Spider notes that they can perform miracles with engines too small to be seen and have turned all of Mercury into a solar battery enough to power the entirety of Earth continuously... but they are still divided. Approximately 1017W if 60% or so of Mercury's light is harnessed.
  • Cowboy Bebop displays a multi-planetary civilization that has gotten banged up quite a bit. Populations are small by today's standards, but interplanetary travel is fairly common. Probably somewhere around this level.
  • Triplanetary, the prequel(-ish) Lensman novel, covers humanity going from a Type 0 to a Type 1. At the end, relatively easy interstellar travel has been achieved, and power is generated through (almost) completely efficient matter-to-energy conversion.
  • Farscape seems to have dozens of civilizations at around this level, depending on just how much power the phlebotinum uses.
  • Firefly might just be Type I, depending on its population. Serenity (considered old in-universe) takes minutes (say, 1000 s) to get out of an Earth-like gravity well (Earth's gravity well has a depth of 6 x 107J/kg), and is capable of carrying herds of cows (say, 50 cows weighing 700 kg each); putting all that together, Serenity herself has a power output of at least 2 x 109Wnote . So, if Serenity's engine represents one part in 108 of that civilization's power output, the total civilization's output is at least 2 x 1017W. (For comparison, note that 10-8 is roughly the ratio of a car engine's power output to the power output of our entire civilization.)
  • In A Miracle of Science, most of the people live on incompletely utilized planets. However, Mars is completely harnessed and the Martians are doing some interesting things with all that power, though Mars gets quite a bit less sunlight than Earth. All told, probably about Type I.
  • The major races in Mass Effect (the turians, the asari, the salarians, and arguably mankind) are probably meager Type Is, with highly developed homeworlds and numerous yet sparsely populated colonies. The remaining races inhabiting Citadel Space are somewhat less, maybe high-Type 0. That said, all of them are dependent on the Mass Relay network, which was built by a previous advanced civilization namely, the Reapers, with very limited if any attempts to reverse engineer it. Even the Protheans only got as far as building a single pair of relays in miniature. You could argue that without the Relay network, all of the current civilizations are high Type 0s at best.
  • The 12 Colonies of Kobol in Battlestar Galactica (prior to the Cylon nuclear bombardment) used a fraction of the power available on 12 planets, and have a decent fleet in a setting where nukes are plentiful and considered powerful.
  • The sub-Vorlon/Shadow civilizations of Babylon 5 seem to be in this neighborhood.
  • Gunnm is probably around here, considering the power of individuals at the Zenith of Things Tournament. Jupiter seems to have a Dyson sphere variant, and a laser that can cut a shield that can block nuclear blasts. Zekka has an internalized anti-matter reactor of sorts, and Don Fua has a black hole generating technique.
  • Some Fanon holds that the Na'vi in Avatar are a civilization that has passed the Technological Singularity after building Eywa as a planetary scale bio-computer. Considering that Eywa makes up the entire biosphere of Pandora, the energy use would put it at about full planetary power.

     Solid Type I: Clearly more than a single planet's power, but less than a star's.  
  • The Tsar Bomba, the most powerful device ever built by humanity, achieved about 5.3 x 1024W, near the top of this category.
  • The human civilization in Freelancer, a system-spanning bunch of colonies with lots of stars and planets at their disposal. They also have Jump Gates that interconnect their systems by carving holes through spacetime. Space travel is fairly cheap and common.
  • Star Trek:
    • The United Federation of Planets is composed of a whole group of Type I-ish civilizations banded together for truth, justice, and the American Way interesting plotlines.
      • In one episode, the power output of the Enterprise-D is given at "12.75 billion gigawatts", which is the same power output of an entire Type 1.3 civilization. So either the Enterprise-D alone uses an appreciable fraction of the Federation's resources, the Federation is well into Type 2 territory, or the writers just picked a really big number that sounded impressive.
      • The above figure is backed up in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Good Shepherd", where Janeway casually orders an extra five terawatts to boost the sensors, which is approximately one third of all the power currently generated by the human race. It does this without a single hiccup in the main power of the rest of the ship or effort from the crew besides a couple of buttons being pushed. And bear in mind that Voyager is a very little ship in comparison to the Enterprise-D.
      • For comparison, a Nimitz-class carrier's output is about .001% the total global output, and a Saturn V's was about 3%. So, assuming a similar ratio between the Galaxy-class and the Federation, the whole civilization would be between 4 x 1020 and 1 x 1024W, solidly in Type I territory. This seems to be in line with the widespread use of fusion and bulk antimatter for power.
    • The Borg Collective probably weighs in as a pretty hefty Type I, with galaxy spanning communications networks, massive fleets, extensive space installations, hundreds of civilizations assimilated, and a fairly decent ability to beat up other Type Is.
  • The Zentradi of Macross are the slowly decaying remnants of an ancient (perhaps Type II) civilization. At the time the series takes place, they are probably mid- to high-Type I. In the course of the various series and movies they become progressively assimilated by humanity, which is itself an upwardly mobile Type I.
  • Stargate SG-1: Asgard and their enemies the Replicators are tough to call. They are among the most powerful active civilizations (if the Replicators can really be called that) in the setting, but they don't do a whole lot of big, Kardashev-Scale-bumping stuff on screen, and the actual power use of their tech is largely not shown. Still, they're active on a scale that would suggest something in this category.note note 
  • Delphons were an alien race in The History of the Galaxy series of novels by the Russian science fiction writer Andrey Livadny. They had a civilization spanning several star systems, and were likely here.
  • The Krell, the (extinct) inhabitants of the Forbidden Planet are clearly able to harness at least planetary power. They left behind a facility of enormous power (described as 9,600 thermonuclear generators occupying 33,000 cubic kilometers), and "harnessing the power of an exploding star"note  though the purpose was initially unknown. It doesn't display a whole lot of power in the movie, but the device is put into self-destruct mode at the end of the film (when the not quite Mad Scientist realizes that the thing is far to dangerous to allow it to continue to exist) and blows up the entire planet.
  • The Consu, the most advanced race in the Old Man's War series, are explicitly described as "having a white dwarf yoked to the wheel" (a Dyson sphere). While Dyson Spheres are normally the territory of Type II and up, white dwarves typically radiate much less power than the Sun, putting the Consu here unless they possess an unusually bright dwarf.
  • The Tau, Orks, and non-Imperium human factions of Warhammer 40,000 are probably here. Compare with the Imperium, probably a borderline Type II, the Eldar, a clear Type II, and the Tyranids and Necrons in Other.
    • The Tau have probably the smallest civilization of the playable factions, but fairly dense development.
    • The Orks are extremely widespread, but they don't care much for the large industry needed to climb the Kardashev Scale. Hence, their most populous worlds don't remotely approach a Type I level of development, and they only make it here due to occupying so many. On rare occasion they do, however, take over an existing industrial world and happen to be lead by a Mekboy or just a particularly cunning warboss who realizes the potential value of a planet that makes dakka, and browbeats the horde into leaving the new toys intact. For the brief periods that they manage to survive occupation, these worlds can burgeon on Type II status as Mekboys push the WAAAGH! to its limits; factories and power plants are given a red paintjob, and the planet and its infrastructure are strip-mined to produce More Dakka than lesser orks ever dreamed of.
    • The non-Imperium human factions have somewhat similar technology and infrastructure, but typically operate on smaller scales than the Imperium. Among these factions are the Rogue Traders. Not all of the Rogue Traders: each of the Rogue Traders. A single Trader dynasty will at least have one immense warship to its name, and often many more; the largest and longest-established have Imperial permission to operate battleships, fleets of cruisers, and smaller vessels as well, giving them the firepower to perform Exterminatus. Despite their relatively meager showing, they earn some bonus points by literally abusing the scale for fun and profit, using their ships and Warrant of Trade to travel to lost human colonies and minor xenos species and exploit the crap out of them.
  • The Terrans of StarCraft have Fairly rapid travel within their pocket of the galaxy and have colonized a significant portion of it, although the bulk of their tech seems to be borderline Type I at best. Mind you, the game only deals with one millionth of the humanitynote , the rest is quite open to WMG.
  • The Inner Sphere in BattleTech is at least a solid Type I, with several thousand inhabited planets in a 1000 light year radius from Earth. Although some are barely colonies of a few thousand, there are enough multi-billion inhabitant planets (several hundred) to reach a type I just by numbers alone! Depending on the energy requirements of hyperspace jumps (deliberately left vague) it could be pushing up to a Type II.
  • The races of the Alliance of Free Stars and Ur-Quan Hierarchy top out in this category, with the Chenjesu able to make use of the entire energy output of a star but unable to produce it themselves and the Mycon capable of high-speed planetary engineering.
  • The Eron Corporation (which is also the government in any meaningful sense of the word) in Star Bridge taps power from Canopus. Exactly how much of its output they're using is unspecified, but there are hundreds of inhabited worlds and Eron itself is a planet-wide city over a hundred levels deep.
  • The humans of Red Dwarf are tough to call as most of the action takes place on the titular mining ship far away from Earth, however all indications point towards them being incredibly advanced. Teleporters the size of your arm than can cross the galaxy, time and interdimensional travel in the palm of your hand, devices the size of a briefcase that can bend reality, FTL travel. All would require vast amounts of power. And in addition, despite being a run down old mining ship, Red Dwarf made it three million years into deep space without seemingly much hardship - and given how many human Space Corp derelicts and colonies they keep running into this far out, we have long since left our own galaxy.

     Borderline Type II: Power use roughly equivalent to a G type star's luminosity. 1 E 26 W  
  • The Sun puts out about 3.86 x 1026W, as a largish G type star using mostly proton-proton chain fusion, converting slightly over 4 million metric tons of mass into energy every second.
  • The various human groups in the Hyperion Cantos are very much capable of building living Dyson Spheres/rings around stars, but seem to generally stick to single planets. By way of comparison the AIs are considerably more advanced (they can teleport planets) and are considered God-like by most people, and probably use rather more power. Likely scenario is a decent number of partially utilized stars for the humans, maybe somewhat more for the AIs.
  • The Dom Ka'vosh from Freelancer, who built an almost galaxy-wide empire long before Humanity colonized the Sirius sector. You must enter a Dyson Sphere in the last mission, and nothing contradicts the possibility that there may be more of them.
  • The unidentified builders of the Dyson Sphere in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Relics". By the time of the episode they had abandoned it long ago and no further details are given.
  • The Ascent to Transcendance victory text of Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri indicates that building a structure intended to mimic the theoretical effects of the Dyson sphere is a project currently being undertaken and which will be completed relatively soon.
  • Vorlons of Babylon 5 are possibly this high based on some demonstrated planetary bombardment, but they're rather mysterious, so it's hard to say for sure. This is even more pronounced for their rivals the Shadows, which, though their superweapons seem to be considerably less powerful, are apparently in a stalemate with the Vorlons. It should be noted that the war between the Shadows and Vorlons was one of ideology rather than extermination. The fact that they could destroy each other but don't is pointed out in-universe.
  • The Imperium of Man in Warhammer 40,000 possesses myriad hive worlds, each probably rating about Type I, and countless Type 0 worlds across much of the galaxy. Their more powerful weapons can blow up planets, indicating transitory mid-Type II scale power use, though that happens fairly rarely. Compare with the Tau, Orks, and non-Imperium human factions (all solid Type 1), the Eldar (a clear Type II), and the Tyranids and Necrons in Other.
  • The elusive Geth of Mass Effect may be in this territory. The small amount of their space shown features low- to mid-Type I scale development per system, with tens to hundreds of thousands of ships and orbital platforms, especially around gas giants. If they control a good part of a galactic arm, which they may, they'd be around here. By Mass Effect 3 they definitely fit here. The have either completed or nearly completed a Dyson sphere around their home star in which to house all Geth, before the Quarians declare war and start destroying it.
  • For most of the webcomic The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob's run, the Nemesites appear to be a Type I at most, but the "Cone" story reveals that they actually wield far more powerful technologies than we'd seen, and just have cultural mores against using the high-end stuff casually. A Nemesite Butterfly of Iron can cause a star to go nova on a whim, if it likes.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda has the Jardaan, who created a vast and ludicrously powerful terraforming network controlled from a moon-sized mobile dyson sphere, and at least one fully sentient race, with the implication they've created more. SAM even name-drops the Kardashev Scale when talking about them, noting they're at least at level 1. Presumably, the enemies who drove them off with a Negative Space Wedgie are in there as well, given they managed to cook up a NSW as a weapon.

     Solid Type II: Clearly more power than a single star, but less than a galaxy.  
  • The unseen aliens in The Space Odyssey Series have the ability to make stars. This might indicate mid-level Type II power use, depending on just how they go about it.
  • In Schlock Mercenary, the F'sherl-Ganni Gatekeepers were a Class II Civilization, utilizing Dyson Spheres (or 'Buuthandi' as they call them) widely. One of them was blown up in the early stages of the Teraport Wars, with (relatively) low loss of life and the Gatekeepers were apparently building a replacement by the time of their attempt at converting the Milky Way's core into a zero-point energy reactor. They're currently subservient to the local superpower — the Fleetmind, a gigantic gestalt of unfettered AIs of all the major races led by the ex-Ob'Enn warship AI 'Petey', who took control of their reactor. The Fleetmind appear to be using its output to move the entire galaxy around, and the scraps left over to keep every other civilization in the galaxy in check.
  • The Instrumentality of Mankind controlled a significant region of the Milky Way, including several Type I worlds, had effective immortality (though they limited lifespans to 400 years for most its history), and could intimidate other interstellar empires with balloons starships an AU in diameter. It's explicitly stated more than once in-universe that creating a tachyon bubble (the faster-than-light travel method of the Lords) "consumes" a star. Whatever that means, precisely, it's almost certainly a lot more energy than simply using its entire power output.
  • At the maximum tech level in the Space Empires games, you are capable of creating and destroying stars, nebulae, black holes, Ringworlds and Sphereworlds.
  • In Known Space, Puppeteers are pretty solidly Type II. They (claim to have) disassembled at least one entire solar system to build their Fleet of Worlds and accelerated it to a reasonable fraction of the speed of light. They bought the technology to do so from Outsiders, but they were still able to implement it on their own. The Fleet of Worlds itself uses at a bare minimum 5x Type I on a continuous basis, since there are five habitable planets and no energy input other than what the Puppeteers themselves generate. The fact that they bought the technology from the Outsiders also means two other things: There could be other species anywhere who also bought it, and somewhere there is the species the Outsiders bought it from.
  • In StarCraft:
    • The Protoss have Warp Gates, shields, the ability to distort localized space, and no small amount of Frickin' Laser Beams. Even individuals and their robots can create local spacetime distortions. However, it is mentioned they are not a prolific race, so that may play with their measurements somewhat. Legacy of the Void reveals that the ancient Protoss could build miniature stars. Yes, really. One of these is what powers their Cool Starship, the Spear of Adun.
    • The Xel'naga created both the protoss and the zerg, giving them a good claim to this category. Like the protoss, they were much less prolific than humanity, and appeared to have spent most of their time at higher pursuits, otherwise they might have hit Type III. Amon, who might or might not be a Xel'naga, intends to wipe out all life in the galaxy although it's probably not something he could do more than once.
  • The Combine in Half-Life 2 has most of their technology operate on exotic matter. Their Citadels are powered by dark energy reactors that screw around with physics to power themselves and generate infinite amounts of dark energy plasma. Said plasma is used for a number of purposes including portable power sources  and ammunition  as well as being fed into a dark fusion reactor that can literally tear a hole in the fabric of spacetime and tunnel into other universes. While this already makes them Type II, the Combine has already conquered an unknown number of worlds which makes them a solid candidate for Type III.
  • The Eldar in Warhammer 40,000 were, at their height, capable of birthing and destroying stars. Much of their technology was lost with the Fall (such as the ability to maintain and expand the Webway, a pocket dimension used for safe interstellar travel), they are still able to "capture" stars to use as power sources. Compare with the Tau, Orks, and non-Imperium human factions (Type 1 civilizations), the Imperium (borderline Type II), and the Tyranids and Necrons in Other.
  • In his most outrageous Silver Age incarnation, the titular character of Superman could blow out stars with his super-breath, and reignite them with his heat vision. He was thus personally a Type II on the Kardashev scale.
  • The Exalted Shard (Alternate Universe) of Heaven's Reach had humanity peak as this during the golden age; Dyson spheres, casual terraforming, and the conversion of nebulas into sentient supercomputers.
  • Humanity in the Honor Harrington series sits on this level pretty comfortably. But one of their warships routinely goes at about five Terawatts just to propel itself, and the very same ship is entirely able to destroy a planet rather casually simply by relativistic kinetic strikes (though they generally regard that as an atrocity). They also control much of the Milky Way, has completely harnessed gravity to the point that it is economical to ship perishables across thousands of light-years, and generally don't seem to have any problem with the energy availability.
  • The Precursors of Star Control fall near the upper end of this category, as they are able to engineer devices that can generate a star's level of power in a single massive burst and planeteering devices that can be used to trigger supernovae.
  • The Empire of the Star, from the Eldraeverse, has two Dyson spheres - one bubble-type, one swarm. Only the bubble's for energy generation, but it alone puts them into Type II.
  • Samus's weapons in the Metroid series are slightly ridiculous. She can at least give output many times larger than humanity itself since the Volt Driver shoots "multi-terawatt bursts of electricity". She can also shoot blasts of absolute zero, miniature nukes, matter/antimatter annihilation weapons and neutrinos dense enough to kill things and weapons that can defeat ghosts. These weapons are all hand held and all of them are configurable to the same device. Although Samus is supposedly the exception, most of the more ridiculous examples come from Metroid Prime Hunters and originally belong to various other organizations. Combined with their warp drive technology an output larger than several stars is quite likely. No wonder the Metroid's ability to drain energy is considered so apocalyptic, everyone's technology uses massive quantities of energy!

     Borderline Type III: power use roughly equivalent to a galaxy's luminosity. 1 E 36 W  
  • The Milky Way shines with about 4 x 1037W.
  • Human civilization in the Xenosaga series and to its extent, Xenogears by proxy, have come VERY close to this level thanks in part to the Zohar Engine, which in and of itself is a relic of a type IV or above civilization. Or, as some have suggested, just a well placed deus ex machina. The ships seemed to be powered by zero point energy units called "Logic Drives". In addition, the device shown at the end of the series, Zarathustra, is an extreme example of something that would be a type IV...being able to "reset" heat death.
  • The Pa'anuri of Schlock Mercenary designed a gadget that overwrote the Milky Way galaxy with a pocket universe (ok, so they didn't build it themselves, but they provided the plans and 'observers' to the F'sherl-Ganni), and use entire star systems as projectiles, so they might be here, though that's highly dependent on the efficiency of their phlebotinum. Given that they're fighting over a single galaxy, they're probably not higher or much lower than this. They've also turned the core of Andromeda (the galaxy) into a zero-point generator. One that is thirty-five times larger than that of The Fleetmind.
  • The Galactic Republic/Empire of Star Wars, a galaxy-spanning society with very fast FTL and (depending on the source) at least a million heavily developed planets, is a very high Type II, and in the process of achieving Type III.
    • Star Destroyers, given their very impressive planetary-bombardment capabilities, may generate as much power as stars, and almost certainly generate more power than the Earth has generated to date — and they're big for a starship in the setting, but not ridiculous.
    • The Executor-class Star Dreadnought has a power core that puts out the same energy as a class G star. Regular old Star Destroyers are said to exceed the total energy consumption of some planetary civilizations over their entire history (potentially hundreds of thousands of years in Star Wars) when they jump to hyperspace.
    • See for details on the Death Star's power output, possibly as high as 1038W. The first Death Star charged up for a planet-buster in about a day, which would give its power core a sustained output of around 3 million of our Suns. And the second one charged in a couple hours - granted, it only charges up enough to blow up a few capital ships.
    • Starkiller Base actually consumes stars in order to power its main weapon, which is capable of destroying multiple planets with a single shot from across the galaxy! According to supplementary materials, the stellar mass it utilizes is nothing more than a catalyst for an esoteric reaction that allows it to concentrate Dark Energy and produce something called "Phantom Energy" which can be tunneled through "sub-hyperspace". As awesome as it is, it is still only a single installation belonging to the First Order!
  • The Culture is an interstellar civilization that draws most of its power from the "hyperspace Grid" rather than from the visible universe, and its demilitarized diplomatic ships are capable of destroying whole planets. Their theoretical power level might be even higher; they are stated to be a "post scarcity" society and could have the capability to harness energy that might possibly qualify them as a Type IV, but if so they deliberately choose not to.
  • The Galactic Union of E. E. Smith's Lensman series has starship engines (combined total-conversion nuclear power and Zero Point Energy devices) generating hundreds of exawatts (roughly 5x10^20 W) at peak power. A starship can have anything from one or two to hundreds of these engines. And most fleet battles engage thousands or millions of these ships, if not more. On top of that, those warships carry around antimatter bombs of Earth-like mass. Oh, and they throw those around by the thousands,.
  • Speaking of E. E. Smith, by the end of the Skylark Series, the protagonist Seaton is using entire galaxies as weapons.
  • Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon. The stellar energy output of the whole galaxy is utilized by the Galactic Community of Worlds. — about 1036W
  • A rare single being example, Nuklear Man from Brian Clevinger's Nuklear Age is capable of using half the power of every star in the Milky Way to kill Nihilus.
  • The aliens in Contact engage in galactiforming. It's implied they're pushing the limits of their capabilities by doing this, though the extent of their works isn't very clear.
  • Species 8472 could probably bring themselves up to this; it only takes eight of their ships (around 50-100m long) a few seconds to destroy a planet, not to mention the fact that one of these ships takes only seconds to destroy a Borg Cube. What's most interesting about this is that all of 8472's technology is biological.
  • The Eternal Ones must regularly harvest all the "sentience energy" from an entire galaxy of sapient species (slaughtering every thinking being in that galaxy in the process) simply to survive, although by the end of the third game they've effectively 'trained' a galaxy to be 'milked' for energy without having to be butchered.
  • Eclipse Phase: the ETI. Its exact nature and disposition is left up to the GM, but it is stated to be the dominant species in the Milky Way galaxy, regarding less advanced species as insignificant - unless they are headed for a singularity event, in which case they might become actual threats to its dominion. For that reason, the ETI has seeded the galaxy with self-replicating Bracewell probe traps, which lure in nascent seed AIs and then destroy them.
  • The Therians from AT-43 can, at the very least, count as this. They are mentioned as having Dyson Shell'd the entire Milky Way galaxy. However, the army book also mentions that they had spread across the whole universe. Assuming this to be true, then it could be possible that the Therians are actually Type IV.
  • The Hama of Heroines of the Last Age regularly manipulate entire solar systems, and have redesigned a sizable chunk of the galaxy to their specifications. They are not the most powerful beings in the setting.

     Solid Type III: More power than a single galaxy, but probably less than a galactic supercluster.  
  • Quasars vary, but 1 x 1040W is a ballpark.
  • The Human Federation in the Golden Ages of Technology in Warhammer 40,000 are at least on this level. One of the few men alive to recount it recalls devices called Sun Snuffers (guess what they do) and serpentine robots the size of Saturn's rings. They created whole species, merged flesh and metal, created devices that can perfectly replicate technologies, crossed the Galaxy with ease, and modified their own genomes. The Emperor has a small collection of man-portable weapons called Adrathic Destructors from the Dark Age that can erase matter at a molecular level, instantly. The Golden Throne allows the person within it to open up the roads to the Webway, which can allow people to cross dimensions, invisibly, or walk across the galaxy in hours (admittedly, they didn't build the Webway).
  • Manifold: Time by Stephen Baxter. In the distant future, where the universe has almost ended due to entropy, descendants of humanity maintain vast Dyson nets around the supermassive black hole remnants of galaxies until they evaporate via Hawking radiation, accessing the last bit of power remaining from multiple galaxies.
  • Though the details are a bit sketchy, some remarks in H. P. Lovecraft's The Whisperer in Darkness suggest that the Mi-go could be here, since they've mastered interdimensional travel and apparently rule entire galaxies in their native dimensions.
  • An offshoot of the Caeliar species in the Star Trek: Destiny series. They had been shunted back in time nearly fourteen billion years into another galaxy. In the intervening years, they constructed a Dyson Sphere around every star in their new galaxy, knowing that such overt technology would attract the attention of their past selves living in the present, which would let them destroy them for investigating and send a few meager remnants into the past, completing a Stable Time Loop. They fact that the Caeliar as a whole are borderline Reality Warpers who have ridiculously advanced technology that makes them functionally immortal and can teleport away entire planets and civilizations that come bothering them probably pushes them close to a Type IV.
  • The Danannians from LE Modesitt Jr's The Eternity Artifact were at least Type III, but it's entirely possible they were a borderline type IV+.
  • Although limited to just a portion of a single galaxy the major powers in Orion's Arm easily place themselves here thanks widespread use of mass/energy conversion technology. For example wormholes called grazers are used to devour entire stars over a period of decades and simultaneously convert most of their mass directly to energy. That implies about 1038W for each such device.note . Deep well industrial zones, operating at the edges of black holes, produce and use similar amounts of power.

     Borderline Type IV: Power use approximately that of one galactic supercluster. 1 E 42 W  
  • The Virgo Supercluster (where we are) emits about 1 x 1042W.
  • A gamma ray burst is around here, 1 x 1045W.
  • The Ancients of the X-Universe series are probably borderline Type IV, and are actively trying for Type V (energy of a universe) or VI (multiple universes) so they can prevent the heat death of the universe.
  • The aliens seen in the final scene of Men in Black play with galaxies as marbles. The body weight of one of these aliens should be that of several ten-thousand galaxies (10^4) (and they are possibly just children). Now imagine a population of those aliens the size of the human population (several times 10^9), and a similar power consumption proportional to weight.

     Solid Type IV+: Power use approximately that of the observable universe. 1 E 49 W 
  • The observable universe glows with about 2 x 1049W.
  • The highest possible transient power output for a point source is about 9 x 1051W based on Relativity predicting the formation of an event horizon around anything more. The final word on this will probably have to wait for a working theory of quantum gravity, however.
  • Doctor Who civilizations:
    • The Doctor made claim in one episode that Time Lords were the only Type V Kardashev civilization, capable of making use of the energy from the entire time-space of the universe:
      • Even a single Time Lord can rank well above galactic energy levels. The Doctor uses supernovae when needed, which produce 1045W (100 foes over 10 seconds) during stellar collapse. The Master has a weapon called the 100,000 Black Hole Converters, which probably harness the same energy conversion of the gravitational potential energy to neutrinos. The "Eye of Harmony" (shown in "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS") is a link between all TARDIS and the throne room on Gallifrey where a second link exists to a star, frozen in time at the moment it collapses into a black hole ("The Deadly Assassin"). This stellar event was created in the past by the Time Lords Rassilon and Omega and powers time travel for their whole civilisation with the time lords able to regulate the flow of energy sending more where its needed ("The Three Doctors").
      • Their ultimate weapon (in the old series) is so powerful that only the Time Lord president can wield it and requires a hidden key only the president knows about in order to operate. The weapon in question is the Demat Gun. It doesn't just destroy a target, it erases the target from time and space so that the target never existed in the first place, with nobody even remembering what the target was.
      • In the new series, we are introduced to the final work of the ancient Gallifreyans, "The Moment." Described as a "galaxy-eater", it was so advanced and powerful, it actually became sentient and according to the legends (shown to be true), it developed a conscience, producing an interface and taking the shape of someone its wielder would know (past, present or future) in order to communicate with them. The Time Lord General fully points out, how does one use a weapon of ultimate destruction, when it can stand in judgment of you? The Moment doesn't want to be used, and anyone intending to do so must face its judgement. It can also move people around through time (and even through time-locked events) with ease. It's even neatly portable, being roughly the size of a shoebox (although seeing as it's Time Lord technology it may very well be much Bigger on the Inside).
    • The People, from The Also People, are described as being roughly on par with the Time Lords (to the extent that they actually have a non-aggression pact with them). The technology we see is at the "magic" level, but there's not enough specific information to pinpoint it. They seem to use it only for personal sensual gratification, however. The People are collectively a massive "Captain Ersatz" of Iain M. Banks's "The Culture".
    • The Daleks were able to fight the Time Lords to a draw in the Last Great Time War before the Doctor consigned both of them to seeming oblivion, so one would conclude they are at least within an order of magnitude of the Time Lords. It is also worth noting that Davros individually and the Daleks generally (the Doctor once referred to them as "scavengers") have a strong desire to acquire Time Lord technology, and possibly the necessary intellect to at least marginally understand it. That they may have stolen most of what they had is reinforced by the fact that in most instances the Doctor seems to understand how their technology works.
      • Possibly adding weight to the assertion of how powerful the Daleks were, the renewed Dalek Empire under Davros in the finale of Season 4 is definitely within striking distance of the Time Lords: capable of moving entire planets through time and space in the blink of an eye and keep them intact, putting them one second out of phase with the rest of the universe, operating a base that would give the Death Star inadequacy issues, and being fully capable of wiping out the entire multiverse.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, the aliens seen at the end of the "GOFOTRON Champion of the Universe" arc are able to contain hundreds of exploding stars within a sphere the size of a soccer ball. And this device was created by a waffle company.
  • The Culture: The Overarch Bedeckants, the civilization that built the probe in Excession travel between universes so as to avoid extinction by being trapped in one when it undergoes heat death. Their lone probe brushed off the most powerful weapon the Culture wielded without any apparent effort. However, most of the information about the Excession comes from Intelligence report suppositions and a single largely incoherent rambling rant from the Excession itself.
  • Traditional view of a God creating the universe ex-nihilo means you need to take the current mass-energy content of the universe (4 x 1069J) and have expelled it in the time before time existed (one unit of Planck time, or 5.39124 x 10-44 seconds), coming up with 7 x 10112W. This would put God, at a bare minimum, as a Type X.
  • A bizarre example in the Family Guy episode "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven" — the Earth and all the galaxies in the universe are shown to be part of Adam West's bedside table lamp.
  • In The Simpsons, Sufficiently Advanced Aliens Kang and Kodos are apparently in possession of a ray gun capable of not only destroying all of reality, but eliminating God from totality to boot.
  • For the denizens of the Futurama universe, traveling to the edge of the universe and back is a trivially easy task. As is killing everything everywhere. They also posses the ability to alter universal constants and other physics across the whole universe (scientists changed the speed of light in 2208), which can also be used to power technology (changing the properties of dark matter, 200% efficient engines note ). Planet exploding weapons are operated by single person demolition companies, the use of which is considered mundane. Multiple universes can be created by a lone inventor on the budget of a small delivery company (said delivery company having made only 100 deliveries in 10 years, as of 'The Mutants are Revolting'). In said delivery company, interstellar/intergalactic spaceships are as mundane as small pieces of wire. And consider that in the Futurama universe, Earth/humanity is a pathetic third-rate wannabe power, only able to bully the very smallest and weakest other cultures- comparable to fascist 1930's-era Italy.
  • The Xeelee from the novels of Stephen Baxter's Xeelee Sequence have absolute mastery over the entirety of all baryonic matter in universe. Entire galactic clusters are just bricks to these guys. Future humans make it to Type III and try to attack them by shooting a whole neutron star at near light speed at them like a bullet, and they all but ignore it as insignificant. In the same universe are the Photino Birds, creatures of dark matter against whom the Xeelee fight a multi-billion year existential war and lose, because the photino birds have absolute mastery over all the dark matter in the universe, and dark matter outmasses baryonic matter by about 9 to 1.
  • The Downstreamers from Stephen Baxter's Manifold: Time. They are the descendants of humanity that exist at the end of the universe, immortal and all powerful and all knowing. Several billion years into the future they were farming the entire Universe (mind you, said universe was infinitely larger then ours in their time) and this was at an earlier stage in their civilization. The Downstreamers create Multiverses much as a writer would in a novel. Basically the downstreamers are farming reality itself.
  • Humanity in the Dancers at the End of Time series: they abused the universe so much that the heat death of the universe is on the verge of happening merely one million years in the future, instead of several trillions. The worst part is that they could fix it, and the only thing preventing them is... intellectual laziness.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, this is presented as a danger and is the core motivation of the Anti-Spirals: flagrant abuse of Spiral Energy will create a universe-devouring black hole. However in actual application seen in the series:
    • The somewhat hazy physics make judging tech levels somewhat difficult, but the Anti-Spirals are easily a Type IV, if not above that: they can manipulate probability to ensure their weapons always hit, they can dodge attacks by casual time travel, and they can create a galaxy-sized Humongous Mecha that can use the Big Bang as a Wave Motion Gun. And it's suggested that that's nowhere near the limit of their abilities: in Lagann-hen, they one-up their galaxy-sized mecha with a universe-sized one. The heroes of the story use Spiral energy to achieve similar abilities (it's likely that the titular Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the good counterpart to the aforementioned galaxy-sized mecha, is a Type IV on its own), but their civilization is never shown above Type I, enhanced with some Lost Technology that itself is no higher than Type II.
    • Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann is powered by pretty much nothing more than a moon-sized mecha and the willpower of ten people. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann stands on galaxies, is powered by mostly one man's spirit, and moves at the speed of billions of light years per second. When Lordgenome dies, he turns the energy of a big bang into a drill, which is then consumed by Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (or Tengen Toppa Lagann). In Lagann-Hen's case, then proceed to make an even bigger "mecha" made entirely of energy, and then that energy being makes an energy drill the size of the universe.
    • The final battles of the series took place in a weird pocket universe where laws of physics and size work differently. There is a "hole" to the real universe (from which you can see Earth) during the fight. This means that Tengen Toppa and the Anti-Spiral equivalent are "only" about the size of the Earth/Moon. This realistically puts the humans and the Anti-Spirals somewhere around Type II. The ridiculous universe-busting powers were never used in real space, only in the pocket universe.
    • The above is little more than fan speculation and theory. The official data book has stated that the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is 10 million light years tall, thus making it one hundered times the size of the Milky Way, and an official interview with the writers has stated that it could exist in regular space due to creating the Super Spiral Space that sustains it on its own. Furthermore, the Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is 52.8 billion light years tall, and its Giga Drill is 180 times larger, putting it into Multiversal scale. This would mean that the Anti-Spiral pocket universe would have to be bigger than our own to contain it, making the destruction of this same universe all the more impressive and solidly placing both Anti-Spirals and humans well into Type IV, if not beyond.
  • The Outsiders, a species of extrauniversal invaders billions of years ago in the backstory of the X-Universe, are speculated to be somewhere above Type V (total available energy of an entire universe). They made themselves known to the Ancients by small alterations in the some physical constants such as the speed of light. The Ancients tried to communicate with them for ten million years but failed. When the Outsiders finally appeared as a probe the size of a solar system, the Ancients fought them for two million years, finally destroying one of the probes. The changes to physical constants ceased, but the Ancients remain vigilant. The Ancients themselves are aiming to become Type VI (though they are nowhere near that level currently, being roughly Type III).
  • The Green Sun in Homestuck is a power source with roughly the mass and energy of two universes (since that's exactly what it was made out of). Beings known as First Guardians, living in every significant universe so far in paradox space, can manipulate this energy to some degree in order to teleport themselves and other items within their current universe, move at roughly the speed of light outside it, transport things through themselves to the Green Sun, upgrade any powers they might have from other sources to potentially multiverse-killing levels, etc. Over the course of the game so far, three (former) mortals have gained the powers of a First Guardian. And then Lord English, the enigmatic primary antagonist of the series so far, has power significantly above that and a habit of entering universes at the moment of their death, time travelling to their beginning, and reshaping/feeding on them as he sees fit. Collateral damage from his attacks has killed Horrorterrors and cracked the meta-space within which all universes reside.
  • The Incubators of Puella Magi Madoka Magica are this, though they don't usually look it - their technology is capable of reversing the process of entropic decay on a universal scale, breaking the Second Law of Thermodynamics in half in the process. One fairly conservative estimate placed the needed output of the average Grief Seed at 3.3 x 1052 J. They collect these regularly. As of The Movie, they can even ensnare Madoka, herself a Type-V entity capable of universal-scale revision. They aren't as lucky against Homura, though.
  • The beings called "Them" from the Star Trek novel Q & A have created and destroyed multiple universes out of sheer boredom.
  • 'They' of Interstellar are capable of harnessing the fantastic energies needed to create the wormhole that allows the protagonists to travel billions of light-years in seconds to minutes (at least from their reference point). It is heavily implied that 'They' are a post-human civilization that lives completely within the fifth dimension and can freely observe and influence any given point of our four dimensional space-time via gravity waves and brane fields. 'They' can also fabricate a medium that allow us primitives to experience the fifth dimension's properties within our limited three-dimensional perspective.
  • Becomes an in-joke in Fine Structure, where a spaceship designed to travel through Alternate Universes at the rate of several hundred thousand dimensions per second is called the Kardashev V.
  • The earliest entities revealed to have engineered the universe in Strata probably belong here, considering that they built it in the first place, whole and in its current form, complete with a fake "prehistory" to disguise that fact.

     Other: Unconventional or hard to quantify in watts.  
  • The Tar-Aiym and Hur'rikku from the Humanx Commonwealth series developed superweapons that, respectively, could annihilate an entire star system by broadcasting gravity waves through subspace, and could punch a hole into Another Dimension to release an anticollapsar (or "white hole") as massive as an entire galaxy. While that sounds awfully impressive, there isn't enough real physics there to get them into a ballpark. The Xunca have them beat hands-down, however, at one point in their existence being capable of transporting an entire galactic civilization to an alternate dimension and turning a galactic supercluster into a superweapon.
  • Known Space:
    • It's hard to put a protector - or group of protectors - into any category, given the time, resources and incentive to cooperate instead of trying to kill each other. In the original Protector story, Brennan and his childless protectors converted the entire colony planet of 'Home' into a Trojan Horse deathtrap for an incoming fleet of protectors. (Although it's never explicitly outlined what they did to it. The fact it was later colonized implies that it wouldn't have been substantially deterraformed. The fact that Known Space is not later populated entirely by Pak implies that whatever they did allowed Brennan to win.) Protectors also built the Ringworld, which was theorized to require some kind of energy/matter conversion, and the atomic-level engineering technology needed to create a Ringworld-sized amount of building material. Not to mention the shadow square system and the energy to spin the whole thing up to the required 770km/s to create the artificial gravity. In Ringworld's Children, we see a single protector develop technology to almost entirely redesign and rebuild the Ringworld "from the ground up" with captured nanotech — and turn the entire thing into a Bussard ramjet powered spaceship.
    • It is not clear where Outsiders fit. They seem to have a nearly unlimited range of technology at their disposal, at least up to inertialess spacecraft engines, which would imply being able to manipulate the (known) laws of physics. However, even asking questions about the kind of technology they may have access to is prohibitively expensive, much less getting access to any of it. Despite the availability of super-advanced technology, they enjoy taking their time, travelling from the core to the rim of the galaxy at sublight speed. For reasons too expensive to find out, Outsiders follow Starseeds. In fact, Outsiders follow Starseeds so reliably that if you want to get Outsiders to come calling, the best way to do it is to simply attract a Starseed. The Puppeteers refer to a Starseed Lure as a 'simple device'.
  • Stargate SG-1
    • The Ancients were all over this. Their earliest shown creations were ships capable of diving into and siphoning stellar material from stars, while their later ships were powered by mass produced Zero Point Energy modules, drawing their power from artificially created regions of subspace. They later expanded this line of research and figured a way to draw power from the universe itself, but abandoned the project after realizing that one of the by-products was exotic matter, which threatened to tear the universe in twain. It was also them who created the titular stargates, ring-shaped warp portals just big enough to allow humans (on foot or in a small ship) to dial to a different gate, then travel there in mere seconds, even if the other gate was literally at the other side of the universe (a device for instantenous communication of thought with the same reach also exists). Their last and final project was Ascension, where they learnt to shed their physical forms to become all-powerful creatures of pure energy, roughly 10,000 years ago. Due to their self-imposed non-interference rule, they haven't done much since.
    • The Ori are probably comparable, though since they actually do stuff in the physical universe, they probably could be rated if more information were available. One indicator on their power are "Supergates", which work like a Stargate except scaled up to allow an entire space ship to travel around. The power demands of one of those are only met via syphoning energy from a black hole.
    • Humanity has briefly skirted this, when Rodney McKay attempted to replicate the Ancient's experiments with unlimited power generation, by substituting our universe with a parallel one, linked via a matter bridge. Unfortunately, it not only turned out to be inhabited by alternate reality counterparts of the Atlantis team, but also threatened to tear both universes apart if it wasn't shut down.
  • The Arquillians from the first Men in Black movie possess "the galaxy" which is stated to be a power source. The creatures playing marbles with galaxies at the end don't really fit on the scale, at least from our reference point.
  • The Precursors in Contact are anyone's guess, since even the (Type III-ish) aliens don't have the foggiest idea when or how (or if) the Portal Network was made. It's strongly implied they can even leave messages by manipulating the value of pi.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Pre-Mending Planeswalkers tended to have enormous reality-warping power, frequently creating entire planes of existence by themselves. Without Planeswalker powers, Yawgmoth was powerful enough to overlay multiple realities over one another for the purpose of invasions, and apparently survived the detonation of his personal plane of existence, caused by the essence of several god-level beings being fired at him. This would probably indicate Type IV+ if anything like real physics applied.
    • Post-Mending 'walkers are still powerful, but much less so. Still, they probably would easily exceed Type III.
    • To put the sheer power of the typical MtG player Planeswalker, a crossover with Dungeons and Dragons would be nearly impossible, or at least hard to make sense of, since even achieving epic level (level 20 or above in 4e) is still only a fraction of the power MtG planeswalkers are capable (probably level 25 and above, in D&D terms).
  • The holder of the Infinity Gauntlet in the Marvel Universe possesses pretty high order omnipotence, capable of moving multiple universes and effortlessly deposing the living incarnation of all matter, energy, and time in the universe.
  • In Star Trek, the Q Continuum are hard to judge based on technology, since by all accounts they appear to be, in their natural forms, transcendent beings with no fixed shape who exist in another dimension called The Continuum. They may have outgrown the need for technology, as they can reshape reality around themselves, reverse time and entropy, teleport to any point in space and time, shapechange themselves and others, tweak natural laws (Q: "Simple. Just change the gravitational constant of the universe, thereby altering the mass of the asteroid.") so their powers can pretty much be described as "magic". When we see them operating in the continuum, through a metaphorical framing, they do seem to use technology of a kind. They just only create it for specific purposes, and usually don't bother. For example, a war between Q required weapons. These manifested in the continuum as civil war era weapons, and in ordinary reality as a sudden outbreak of supernovas.
  • The 4-D beings from Star Ocean: Till the End of Time could be considered an example, if a very strange one. Sure, our entire universe is just an MMORPG that they created, but by our standards, the energy output needed to manage our universe as well as all their own affairs would be absolutely incredible.
  • The Markovians from Chalker's Well World series are here, given that they built planet-sized megacomputers that could freely revise physical laws, edit the course of history, and indeed kept the universe stable. Specific estimates of energy usage are probably a moot point, as they were the ones deciding how much energy there is in the universe.
  • The Beyonder from Secret Wars (1984) is probably unmeasurable. In his first appearance, he effortlessly destroyed a galaxy to provide an empty corner of the universe for the various metabeings to battle each other. That was more or less retconned away later, only to be unretconned in Secret Wars (2015), where the Beyonders destroy the Marvel Universe and almost every parallel version of it as well (i.e. Ultimate Marvel and Marvel Zombies universes as well.)
  • The Tyranids and Necrons of Warhammer 40,000 are probably here. Compare with the Tau, Orks, and non-Imperium human factions (all Type I civilizations), the Imperium (a borderline Type II), and the Eldar, a clear Type II.
    • If the statement that the Tyranids have consumed multiple entire galaxies is true, they might be an unconventional Type III, though that depends greatly on the dormant metabolism of Tyranids drifting through space, as even if they have that much mass available note , actual power use is what counts. Their typical MO of removing a good chunk of terrestrial planets' mass and draining the heat from what's left operates fairly slowly, so probably represents a mid-Type I power expenditure per planet being consumed. They may consume up to few planets at any given time, though hive fleets take a while to travel between systems, so this output probably isn't sustained. A full hemisphere-darkening invasion force probably represents about a Type I expenditure for each planet under attack.
    • The Necrons, and their masters the C'tan, are also hard to pin down. The C'tan feed off stars, so might individually approach Type II, though they're not usually very active. The Necrons have the goal of separating the Warp from physical reality, a universe scale goal, though they seem to confine their efforts to one galaxy for now. They have the most advanced technology in the setting, and have fought on galactic scales in the distant past, but virtually all now lie dormant in buried tombs. Though their technology is very potent, they may be low on the Kardashev scale of the major factions of WH40K in the present setting due to their extremely small active numbers. Like the Tyranids, all bets are off if they become active en masse, particularly since they are known to possess at least one Dyson Sphere.
    • The Old Ones are equally difficult to pin down. As the Precursors to several species (notably the Orks and Eldar), they once inhabited large portions of the galaxy and had advanced technology allowing them, among other things, to create the webway to instantly travel pretty much anywhere. However, they are noted as being rather placid and patient, with their overall numbers maybe not being all that great and focussing on peaceful exploration rather than colonising a large empire like the Imperium. In addition, their achievements were in large part due to their psychic powers rather than technology, with their enemies the Necrons actually being more advanced in many ways despite being much younger. Despite having been godlike precursors in many ways, they may never have reached the same level of power usage as the Imperium or even their primary successors the Eldar.
  • Magratheans from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. They constructed entire planets in hyperspace, as well as the biggest and most advanced computer in all existence. The blueprints were given to them by a hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional race, i.e. those whose "protrusions" in our dimension are mice. The blueprints were in turn the output of the second most advanced computer in all existence: Deep Thought. As for the construction zone, the Guide says it's a spherical/spheroidal "fold" in space-time with a radius of around 13 light seconds. Assuming hyperspace construction zones in a folded space-time and that planetary engineering was a fun hobby, you get a really powerful civilization, albeit one that's hard to classify.
  • The Forerunners of Halo at the height of their power were more or less masters of the galaxy, though it's hard to put a number to their power use. Here are a few examples of their energy use:
    • They built rather large structures around the galaxy, which might indicate low- to mid-Type I depending on how fast they did it.
    • They successfully built an actual Dyson Sphere (and contained it within another dimension to be only a couple meters wide in normal space), which is at least Type II.
    • Their higher-end stuff, like the "kill everything sapient in the galaxy" function of the halos could potentially get them into Type III, though its actual workings are pretty sketchy on the power needed, especially since it doesn't appear to be a brute-force effect, and the halos would appear to not have nearly the mass-energy available to fuel Type III power use.
    • While they never colonized other galaxies, Halo: Silentium indicates that the Forerunners siphon energy from alternate realities to power their civilization. If this is indeed canon, then the Forerunners are a solid Type IV civilization, as far as energy consumption is concerned.
  • The Reapers of Mass Effect are the most militarily powerful faction in the galaxy. They "farm" the galaxy for intelligent life, letting civilizations develop and periodically culling them. However, they are not so much more powerful than the Citadel civilizations as even a few tenths of a Kardashev point would suggest, and when not actually reaping, they seem to float around their own territory doing pretty much nothing. Here are a few guesses to their power level:
    • If their standby systems are pretty efficient, they might even rate Type 0, but there isn't much to indicate what they do when fully active.
    • Their technology, the Mass Relays, house vast amounts of energy. When one is damaged it easily destroys a whole solar system, placing it at Type II level power.
    • The Leviathan DLC adds more information. The Leviathans, as they're called, indoctrinated and controlled another race which evolved on their homeworld and the two races are the primary source of the technological base for the series. This was a borderline Type-III civilization before they built the Reapers to fight a war against synthetic life forms which was built by the race they originally controlled.
  • The villains in the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon video game create and operate entire universes as scientific experiments, including ours.
  • Human civilization in Implied Spaces is at a similar level, and indeed features pocket universes full of antimatter being used as weapons.
  • In the Neon Genesis Evangelion verse, it's never revealed specifically if there's an upper limit to just how much power an S2 organ can generate. As shown in End of Evangelion, at least ten of themnote  put together has the power to terraform Earth. In fact, Fuyutsuki's monologue about the Fruit of Knowledge (a human mind) plus the Fruit of Life (an S2 organ) equalling what is essentially God sounds like a borderline type I.
  • The neutron star dwelling cheela from the hard sci-fi novel Dragon's Egg are difficult to classify as they have accelerated development. When humans first make actual contact with them, they are roughly equivalent to the late Middle-Ages or early Renaissance. After we give them the basics of science they begin developing on their own at approximately a million times the speed our civilization did. By the end of the novel (a matter of days our time) the cheela have mastered anti-gravity, faster-than-light travel, the creation of stable singularities, the manipulation of natural singularities (as a favor to their former teachers they remove several small black holes from our sun that were shortening our star's life), and manipulation of matter at the subatomic level. It is uncertain to what extent they have developed as they stop giving us knowledge once it becomes clear they are beyond our achievements (technically they give us the information, but they encrypt it so it cannot be read; the encryption key is always something related to the information itself, so that humanity will have to make the discovery on its own, but will be able to "check their answers" once they get them). Additionally, every 29 of our seconds is another year of advancement for them. If they are not a Class III by the end of the book, they will be shortly thereafter. Or at least they would have been if not for the titular event of the sequel Starquake. They're probably there by the end of that, though.
  • The Sliders verse has multi-earth civilizations. While the Kromags are revealed to span hundreds of planets, it is unknown whether they possess space travel. In sheer watt consumption, they're probably at least type 2.
  • Green Lantern civilization "Guardians of the Universe" could be type four if not for their personal Prime Directive. When all of their power was bound within a single being, he was able to unravel the entire universe from the beginning of time to the end and restart the big bang.
  • Half-Life 2: The Combine have successfully conquered entire universes, potentially making them Type IV on the scale, but their actions on Earth are only Type I at best. The greatest demonstration of their control over the environment is draining the oceans, and cut content includes their efforts to terraform the planet. Their civilization is powered by some form of dark energy, but the power output is unknown.
  • Vitiate, the Sith Emperor of Star Wars: The Old Republic, is a wonky case. As a disembodied spirit (presumably one similar to, yet distinct from, a "typical" Force ghost) he gains Force power from deaths, and can do nifty things like take over people's minds. Throughout the Ziost arc, the heroes operate from the assumption that he has a limited amount of power, but at the end, he launches a World-Wrecking Wave that kills every living thing on the planet in a matter of seconds. What limits — if any — Vitiate has on his power (or what that power even is, since most sources have been his own minions and former minions) are unclear, but it's probable that if it were put into a more measurable form like a planet-killing beam, it would rank fairly high on the scale. Now consider that this is one person...

     Multiple: For the upwardly/downwardly mobile.  
  • In the Master of Orion games you can arguably build a civilization from a borderline Type I to a well developed Type II civilization. In Master of Orion 2 the weapon Stellar Converter is capable of destroying planets in matter of seconds (debatable as it takes a turn to do so), meaning their energy output has to be in order of 1030J - give or take few magnitudes - in order to overcome the gravitational binding energy of a planet sized object. Also, you can also construct Earth-like planets from asteroid belts and gas giants. This would suggest mid- to high-Type II power use.
  • Civilization in the Lensman novels progresses from what's probably a low Type II (a significant portion of the Milky Way colonized, FTL travel, 'super-atomic' and energy weapons) at the beginning of Galactic Patrol to a probable Type III (two galaxies colonized, travel between parallel universes, faster-than-light planets used as weapons powerful enough to cause supernovas) by the end of Children of the Lens. The Children of the Lens themselves are near-godlike beings.
  • Isaac Asimov:
    • Each portion of "The Last Question" takes place in a human civilization at a different point on the scale—each time the Last Question is asked, man is so much more advanced yet still powerless to answer it. It finishes by outlining a possible Type V scenario: reversing entropy even after the apparent heat death of the universe.
  • The Foundation, The Empire Novels, and Robot Series, after being merged together, begin with mankind as type 0 civilization using robots to make use of the planet's resources more efficiently. Later, they establish Spacer colonies, invent faster-than-light travel and eventually colonize almost an entire galaxy, having reached a Solid II level.
  • The Millennial Project is a Speculative Documentary / Faux-To Guide to reaching Type I, Type II, and Type III.
  • There's another scale as well, though of course it's rather less scientific... that found in D20 Future. In it, there are Progress Levels, at least eight or nine.
    • Level 1 is stone age, prehistoric... Basic stone tools, agriculture, and so forth.
    • Level 2 is Bronze/Iron age
    • Level 3 is the 'Age of Reason'. The Renaissance, though basic slugthrower weapons are available, if rare.
    • Level 4 is the Industrial Age. Around the level of technology of the 1960's.
    • Level 5 is the Information Age. Pretty much current earth technology level... the 'Modern Age'.
    • Level 6 is the Fusion Age, energy weapons becoming more likely, especially on larger vehicles, cybernetics are starting to appear as more than just inferior replacement parts. Invention of an efficient, nonexpendable energy source.
    • Level 7 is the Gravity age. Gravity has become the civilization's plaything, interstellar travel becomes viable, energy weapons are becoming small enough to be man-portable, true powered armor appears.
    • Level 8 is the Energy Age. This is the level that we see in many Science Fiction shows attributed to many of the 'elder' races... zero-point energy, powerful personal energy weapons, force fields, intergalactic travel, starbases the size of moons, true starfighters have finally become viable, and may or may not include functional immortality.
    • Level 9 is essentially, the Q Continuum. If they aren't Omnipotent and Omniscient, they're close to it, and can fairly safely be considered living gods.
    • Still, one funny thing. Functional immortality is probably enormously easier to achieve scientifically than FTL travel, as it likely hinges on a mixture of nano, cyber and/or biotechnology already theoretical by our science (just tricky to achieve) as opposed to nudging the laws of physics in ways that we don't even have any idea how for FTL travel.
    • The PL scale being lifted wholesale from TSR's defunct RPG Alternity which Wizards of the Coast inherited and then let die.
  • GURPS also has its own Tech Level scale, and may have been one of the first games to quantify progress thus. This list is from the Third Edition, but later editions don't change it much, other than the addition of "superscience" for things that blatantly break the laws of physics. Earth was TL7 on first publish, but in 2000, Steve Jackson Games officially announced that we had reached TL8 and that they were forced to rewrite the old Tech Level scale from the 1985 rulebook because science had progressed faster in some fields (like biotech) than expected and slower in others, which affects the Tech Level descriptions in the current 4th Edition rulebook. This article from March 2006 lists another example that modern bio-science is close to breaking through to TL9. Interestingly, even a TL 12 civilization doesn't have much in the way of technology above Type II. This is likely a problem of game balance (when handguns can take out a planet it doesn't really matter what Advantages characters have). The current GURPS tech level scale:
    • TL 0 — Stone Age: Clubs and loincloths.
    • TL 1 — Bronze Age: Alphabet and the wheel.
    • TL 2 — Iron Age: Waterwheel and iron working.
    • TL 3 — Medieval: High Fantasy is set here. Steel invented. Sailboats.
    • TL 4 — Age of Exploration: Guns invented. "High-Tech" begins.
    • TL 5 — Industrial Revolution: Steam engine.
    • TL 6 — Mechanized Age: (c. 1900-1950) Very first TVs and mechanical calculators.
    • TL 7 — Nuclear Age (c1951-2000): Computer invented. Lasers, miniaturization, mature fission technology.
    • TL 8 — Microscience (c2001-2050?): Gengineering, longevity, micromachines, early fusion technology. Beginnings of AI.
    • TL 9 — Nanoscience: Environmental engineering, nanomachines, intelligent AI, mature fusion technology. "Ultra-Tech" begins.
    • TL 10 — Robotic Age. "True" AI. Hand held lasers, particle beam weapons. Gravity control.
    • TL 11 — Exotic Matter. Altering atoms. FTL technology (with superscience). Space Opera.
    • TL 12 — Age of Miracles. Near total control of time and space. People can buy pocket universes.
    • GURPS is also notable among RPGs because it gives rules for mismatched tech levels. An enlightened and peaceful civilization might have figured out bodily immortality (TL 11) yet have no weapons more advanced than "mere" 20th-century nukes (TL 7). It also allows fantasy/alternative technology forms, For example, a Steampunk world like Girl Genius would be TL 5+4 (Steam engine/Victorian with flight, death rays, and mechanical AI), while The Flintstones would be TL 0+6 (Stone Age with TV and cars! ), or, by the end of the original series, TL 0+7 (still Stone Age, but now with very early computers and space travel).
  • This page has a list of Sci-Fi civilizations ranked by tech level. You could disagree with at least a few placements, but it's there.
  • Human civilization in Warhammer 40,000 merits mention here. Humanity's technology level is ridiculously schizophrenic thanks to tens of millennia of war and upheaval. At its height, humanity had true AI, rapid interstellar travel, controlled the vast majority of the galaxy, is implied to have mastered matter-energy conversion, and bent the laws of the universe to its whim. Twenty thousand years of devastating galactic war later, scraps of technology from that era are worth destroying star systems over. Though the Imperium of Man and Adeptus Mechanicus don't understand how much of their most advanced technology works anymore, they still show hallmarks of a borderline Type III civilization, notably whenever the technologies of war come into question. Meanwhile, any given Imperial planet can range from the Stone Age to high type II. Schizo Tech at its finest, folks.
  • Star Ruler: You start at star-faring. Galaxy-sized ships are possible, if ridiculously lategame.
  • The characters in the anime Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann start out as Type 0 but progress to at least Borderline Type IV, literally hurtling entire galaxies at each other in battle.
  • A classification used in A Geek's Guide: DeathWorld Earth, with humans being a Type I, Type II's being standard in the Galaxy and 16 Type III races.
  • Stellaris:
    • Most conventional civs start off as a high Type 0, having just discovered FTL. Throughout the game, a civilization will eventually reach to a low-to-moderate Type II, able to construct Dyson Spheres and Ringworlds (albeit at great expense and difficulty).
    • The Fallen Empires are harder to categorize; they were once Type IIs, minimum, some of them having multiple ringworlds (now mostly in ruin), but have forgotten how to use much of their own technology. They return to being a very solid Type II if they should awaken, though.
    • Even contacting the beings of the Shroud requires the energies and science of a Type II civilization, and the mightiest of them are powerful enough to awe said civilizations. The End of the Cycle in particular can swallow one such civilization, likely on its way to being a Type III after reaping its rewards, in seconds.

     Schizo Tech: For cases that appear contradictory.  
  • Supreme Commander, considering that you field forces that seem representative of much less than a Type I resource base to fight over tiny areas of individual planets in a conflict between empires that supposedly extend across sizable chunks of the galaxy, powered by nanomachine assemblers that ought to be capable of more impressive mobilization.
  • Similarly, Ashes of the Singularity supposedly involves a post-singularity humanity able to harness power on at least a type II scale in the process of turning entire planets into computers. It fights using small numbers of not particularly advanced tanks on battlefields no more than a couple of kilometres across.
  • Where the Transformers fit on the scale depends on the continuity. But in the Movie-verse, they have devices that can suck the energy from stars, destroying them in the process. Though that would suggest Type III-IV, their on-screen activities look far below Type I. Though other continuities aren't necessarily entirely consistent, they do better than an apparent forty orders of magnitude mismatch.
    • They also have FTL, warp gates, personal subspace storage and gravity control, portable weapons which interdimensionally draw power from black holes, force fields, invisibility, time travel, and can fall from Earth orbit to the surface without burning up or being killed by the impact. And they fight by punching each other, and can be demobilized by a flat tire. Apparently their Mileage Varies.
    • Some features of the Movie-verse (such as the apparent condition of what we see of Cybertron) strongly suggest that the Transformers have destroyed their technology base through the course of their civil war. This means that while they may have individual pieces of tech that are appropriate for Type II+ cultures, they may well be limited to Type I or lower simply because the hardware for better no longer exists.
  • The UNSC and Covenant from Halo. From the scale of the fleets and other combat forces, the development of planets and industry, they look borderline Type I or so. From the usual figures cited for MAC cannons and the efficacy of Covenant ship weapons, they look like maybe a solid Type I. However, the claimed power of the "Super MAC" cannons and the Covenant's ability to "glass" the surface of planets is several orders of magnitude larger than anything else either side does, getting into borderline Type II territory.
    • As revealed in the Data Pads of Halo: Reach, the ability of the Covenant to 'glass' planets is propaganda devised by a group of human-created artificial intelligences. True, the Covenant COULD turn an entire planet into a hunk of glass... provided they had millennia to do so. However, the thought of an alien empire 'glassing' entire colonies certainly galvanized humanity to fight back.
      • On the other hand, according to Lord Hood in Halo 3 the Elite assault carrier Shadow of Intent glassed half the continent of Africa in about an hour... while he watched it happen with his own eyes (though later canon clarified this to be an exaggeration). It's also worth noting that the specific data pad claiming that the Covenant can't fully glass planets was written in-universe only one year into the war, when data on the Covenant's capabilities were limited; another data pad written only a few years later gives a conservative estimate of 110 to over 300 years to properly re-terraform merely four colony worlds.
      • It’s important to note that glassing Africa was also done by the flagship of the Sangheili fleet and specifically to prevent the Flood from overrunning Earth, so it’s quite likely that they were working much harder on this task than usual, and it’s possible that more than the Shadow of Intent was doing the work. So while it wasn’t half of Africa, the importance of hitting every inch was much higher than usual.
    • However, for the Covenant, it should be noted that much of their tech is taken from Forerunner ruins, and is mostly set up by the Engineers, possibly explaining the gaps.
    • The Forerunner Saga and Halo 4 reveal that prehistoric Humanity was fighting both the Forerunners and the Flood at the same time, or at least fighting the Forerunners and running from the Flood. Forerunner technology was capable of sterilizing an entire galaxy, which would put Forerunners and ancient humans at a high Type II.
    • The same books make it clear that the Precursors were easily beyond the Forerunners in all ways, however, including creating sentient species with minimal effort, limited future-predicting, galaxy-spanning bioweapons, and wholly indestructible materials (of some sort of organic nature, as they were wiped out by the Halo Array). They also had the ability to cross between galaxies, with little - if any - passage of time, instant gene sequencing, if the newer games are any indication, an ability to predict when an AI will go rampant, and what can best be described as a galactic psychic Internet. Maybe. They're still enigmatic for now.
  • Humanity in GunBuster is generally a low to mid-level Type I society, but their ultimate weapon, which destroys the core of the Milky Way galaxy, is far, far beyond that level.
  • The civilizations in Galaxy Angel all operate on a different level.
    • The "current" Transbaal Empire operates on Scale 1, or at most, 1.5. They have an Empire spanning multiple star systems, but it isn't elaborated on how large. Also, they are in operation of reverse-engineered Lost Technology.
    • EDEN civilization, which is the source of aforementioned Lost Technology, was not elaborated upon, but their chief technology, the Chrono String Engine, uses the energy left over from the very creation of universe itself. That, and they are capable of creating moon-sized spaceship/factory complete with requisite FTL travel; the Black Moon and White Moon. This puts them at Scale 2 at least.
    • Finally, the Val-Fasq, the race of conquerors. While the extent of their conquest is, again, undetermined, their ultimate weapon, Chrono Quake Bomb, is powerful enough to cause a universe-wide "freeze" of FTL travel, isolating inter-solar system travel, trade, and communication. It is hinted that they regularly use these weapons, and such weapons are the opening move for a war; freeze every FTL travel, conquer universes. Rinse and repeat. This puts them as at least Scale 3.
    • But the best example is actually the Emblem Frames; space fighters piloted by a single person. It apparently contains a Chrono String Engine, regulated by the emotion-sensing HALO System, that is powerful enough to create an entire pocket universe ex nihilo to divert the massive energy released by the Chrono Quake Bomb above. The technology alone must have consumed an energy far above Scale 3 at least, which raises question to the true Kardashev Scale rating of the creator of such technology...
  • Greg Egan's short story "Border Guards" is set in a future where human beings are able to create pocket universes, to which they can then travel and permanently settle, which implies a very high Type III if not Type IV, but it is also mentioned that Faster-Than-Light Travel is still impossible, meaning that humans only colonized a few of the stars closest to the Solar System before space travel became a dead end, suggesting a low Type II at the absolute highest (and more likely just in the solid Type I range) so it boggles the mind where they are getting the required amount of energy to create the first pocket universe from.
  • This is clearly where the Marvel Universe and DC Universe sits when looked at as a whole because it is very dependent on the writer as to how advanced these universes are. You have contemporary present day tech, science and ideas (depending on when the comic/film/show was written) that barely approaches a type 1 alongside FTL spaceships, doomsday weapons, time travel, teleportation etc. There is also a reason why tropes such as Cut Lex Luthor a Check and Reed Richards Is Useless carry the names of characters from these franchises as we have individuals with insanely high levels of tech in comparison to what they logically should have.


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