When you play Spaceward Ho! you can play against lots of people, lots of computers, or some mixture. We recommend putting a couple of computer players in each game just to keep everyone guessing. The computer players will each adopt a unique strategy, just as each person will. Some will be happy to sit on their home planets, building satellites and researching new technologies. Some will be aggressive, trying to expand rapidly. Some will go for a high weapon and shield technology, and then come out after the rest of the Galaxy. All will do their best to avoid defeat.
The more intelligent computer players will adapt to your actions during a game, and will adapt their strategy to current situations. They think on a more long-term scale than the less intelligent computer players, and will generally explore the galaxy faster and more efficiently. They will accumulate larger fleets, and will be more difficult to defeat in a major battle. They will increase their Tech spending if they feel they are falling behind in the arms race.
You'll notice as you play that the computer players learn a bit about how you play. They'll start naming their ships the same way you name yours, and they'll even start naming themselves after friends who've come over for a multi-player game. See Preferences for more information.
Spaceward Ho! has over the years evolved one of the smartest artificial intelligences ever to play a computer game. New changes in Ho! 5 include the ability for computers to use tankers and biological ships, as well as better use of allies' resources, and much-improved endgame play.