Kardashev Scale Wiki

A Type 0 or K0 civilization extracts its energy, information and raw-materials initially from crude organic-based sources (i.e. food/wood/fossil fuel); pressures via natural disasters, resource exhaustion, and societal collapse create extreme (99.9%) risk of extinction. Goes through agricultural and industrial revolutions and is eventually capable of advanced computing and orbital spaceflight. 21st-century humans are a Type 0 civilization.


Energy usage 106 W to 1016 W
Population 10 billion people (1010)
Existence 3d (conceptualized 4d) and 1r (reality)
  • Local area
  • Continental
  • Close interplanetary
Quality of life (government)
  • Tribal
  • Theocracy
  • Despotism
  • Feudalism
  • Communism
  • Monarchy
  • Democracy
State of forms
  • single
  • biological
WMD scale
Longevity 35-100
Industrial revolutions
  • Agriculture
  • Industry
Computing: Kiloscale (103) in early computers, to zettascale (1021) in global weather prediction
Social issues
  • Colonization
  • Religion
  • Automation
  • Air pollution
  • Biotech and gene manipulation
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Class
  • Religion
Dominant proliferation Ordinary biological reproduction
Social weakening Famine and disease without proper mitigation capacity (solution: biotech agriculture and medicine)
Social dream Global cultural dominance
Class system Proliferated by current ruling class with heuristics (e.g. consent of governed) to allow coordination


Sub-type Age Characteristics
0 Birth The birth of a planet which has to be in a habitable zone to promote the origin of life and the evolution of multicellular organisms. Earth was born 4.5 billion years ago. Microbes formed about 4 billion years ago, multicellular organisms about 3.5 billion years ago, and multicellular animals about 600 million years ago.
Multicellular Age Multicellular organisms and animals made extinct by the Ordovician–Silurian event 450 million years ago. Sponges and trilobites emerge.
Sponge Age Sponges made extinct by the Late Devonian event 375 million years ago. Trilobites became dominant.
Trilobite Age Trilobites made extinct by the Permian–Triassic event 252 million years ago. Archosaurs became dominant.
Archosaur Age Archosaurs and amphibians made extinct by the Triassic–Jurassic event 201 million years ago. Dinosaurs became dominant.
Dinosaur Age Dinosaurs made extinct by the Cretaceous–Paleogene event 66 million years ago. Mammals and birds became dominant.
0.1 Ice Age
  • The Kardashev scale starts here.
  • Power consumption: 106 W to 107 W
  • Human evolution before and during the Ice Age.
  • The existence, survival, and spread of a sapient species that shows signs of basic intelligence, living in huts, using bone/stone tools to hunt, and gathering raw plant food.
  • The end of the Ice Age marked the rise of Homo Sapiens.
  • The weapons are primitive and spears, clubs, blowguns and stone tools are used.
0.2 Stone Age
  • Power consumption: 107 W to 108 W
  • Humans use stone tools to hunt land and sea creatures, and fire to cook.
  • Clothes are made from animal skins or woven from grass.
  • Roaming hunter-gatherers explore vast local areas.
  • Humans organize themselves into tribes and communities.
  • Formulation of languages allows communication and knowledge sharing.
  • Creativity is sparked with dye paintings, sculptures, beads and music with chanting, singing and rudimentary instruments.
  • Humans come to terms with their mortality, bury their dead ceremonially, and create religions that define cultures and morals.
  • Animal husbandry and domestication give an energy usage of 1 horsepower.
  • Egalitarian economy and barter systems emerge as tribes meet.
  • Wheel is invented.
  • The bow and arrow, together with stone tools, are used for hunting.
Neolithic Age

Agricultural Age

  • Farming and villages.
  • Agriculture with plows pulled by multiple animals (many horsepower). Chariots are used for mobility and warfare.
  • Pottery in kilns or ovens.
  • Hand-made clothes woven from plant by-products, creating fabric and cloth.
  • Mud bricks and thatch are used to build homes and community structures. Cities emerge.
  • The first conflicts between different peoples take place. The first defensive walls are created and the first army is formed.
0.3 Bronze Age
  • Power consumption: 108 W to 109 W
  • Copper smelting and bronze alloy technology. Metallurgy and mining.
  • Writing and hieroglyphics are etched in stone or painted on clay walls.
  • The start of mechanical engineering with gears, which combine interlocking wheels to improve mobility and machines.
  • The sundial is the earlier timekeeping device.
  • Political hierarchies emerge with economic inequalities and a division of labor.
  • Glass making leads to cups, windows and mirrors.
  • First major structures with ancient limestone and clay cement foundations and windows. Woodworking and carpentry emerge, and wooden trusses are used for bridge construction. Cities are fortified with walls, forts and castles. Arches are used for entrances and to support weight by the mutual counterpressure of its parts.
  • Lack of astronomical knowledge, such as the belief that the planet's parent star orbits it.
  • Early navigators made use of the compass.
  • Primitive metallic daggers, spears and swords are invented. The first military strategies such as the phalanx and the turtle are used. Siege engines such as the catapult and the ballista are used to breach stone walls and fortifications.
Iron Age
  • Power consumption: 109 W to 1010 W
  • Iron Age with iron smelting, pig iron. Gold and silver used as currency.
  • Formalized mathematics with arithmetic, algebra, geometry and the concept of zero.
  • Paper is used for writing. Alphabets are invented.
  • Coinage represents currency and are standardized country-wide or beyond for commerce.
  • Energy is from slave and animal labor, wind mills and water wheels.
  • Gunpowder is invented using sulfur, charcoal and saltpeter. Warfare is revolutionized. Cannonballs weaken fortifications.
  • Aqueducts are used in growing cities needing access to water. Plumbing systems emerge. Water sanitation is understood.
  • The oceans are discovered via wooden sailing ships.
  • The first empires are built with armies of mercenaries and the weapons are made of iron. The first iron armor and shields are created and are used by knights.
Dark Ages
  • Empires extend their control over peoples who are not culturally, ethnically or geographically within their normal jurisdiction, with a goal of economic dominance over rival empires. Feudalism is adopted in some areas, creating a clear division of nobility (land owners) and peasants (those who work the land). Religion is organized and becomes a dominant presence, stifling science.
  • The fall of empires led to economic, intellectual and cultural decline, and the Dark Ages.
  • Here the armaments remain almost unchanged after the collapse of the Roman Empire.
0.4 Middle Ages
  • Power consumption: 1010 W to 1011 W
  • The Dark Ages, Classical Age and Renaissance mark different eras of the Middle Ages. This is a transition from religious zealotry or tyranny towards science and democracy.
  • Governments such as monarchies and theocracies run communities, and formalized military is used to defend and attack. Religious zealotry opposes and stifles scientific effort.
  • Gunpowder is used in hand guns.
  • Mass production and storage of grain.
  • Improved navigation using sextants; steam ships and caravels allow sailors to explore the oceans and discover all continents. Galleons are used for cargo and naval warfare.
  • Pendulum clock invented and time is standardized.
  • Iron works advance to cast iron.
  • Mercantile economies lead to market economies and democracy.
  • In the Middle Ages, weapons became mechanical and powerful like the trebuchet. Heavy swords are created along with longbows, crossbows and halberds. Gunpowder and the first firearm prototypes are created. Galleons and caravels open the oceans and naval wars are born.
Scientific Age
  • The scientific method is established.
  • Macroscopic optics enhance distant objects that cannot be seen by the naked eye; telescopes enhance astronomy; heliocentrism and laws of planetary motion are adopted.
  • Microscopic optics enhance tiny objects that cannot be seen by the naked eye; microscopes revolutionize cellular biology and micro-organisms are seen.
  • Barometer
  • Mercury thermometer
  • Chemistry moves away from alchemy
  • Discovery that blood circulates and full assembly of a human skeleton.
  • Printing press and the movable typeset enables the age of publishing. Knowledge and ideas are spread faster than ever before. Manuscripts are illustrated. Universities arise. Paper money is printed.
  • Calculus and laws of motion, gravity and thermodynamics are discovered.
  • In the scientific era, firearms such as the arquebus and the musket are made. New monarchy battlefield strategies are formulated. Ancient artillery is replaced by the cannon and the bomb, and these make stone fortifications and castles obsolete.
First Industrial Revolution

Industrial Age

  • Steam engine (wooden railways) and water power enhance transport and mining.
  • Textile manufacturing, with the machine loom and the zipper.
  • Machine tools and factories.
  • Gas lighting allowed factories and stores to remain open longer than with candles or oil.
  • Improved agricultural productivity with iron machines freed up workers for other industry.
  • Large-scale production of chemicals like acids, bleach, dyes, cement.
  • Urbanization and development of the first vaccines lead to improved quality of life.
  • Newspapers are eventually the medium to spread ideas and news far and wide. Postage stamps regulate transport costs and global communications.
  • The turbine is used to generate energy.
  • Line warfare is the principal strategy; smoky powders and field guns are created. Ships are equipped with heavy cannons and the first TNT explosives are created.
0.5 Machine Age

Electric Age

  • Power consumption: 1011 W to 1012 W
  • Liberal democracies that give the vote to all citizens.
  • Capitalism and free markets emerge.
  • Coal, gas and oil are the primary non-renewable resources for energy.
  • Electricity and the light bulb; dynamos and generators. Eventually electromagnetism is understood to be a force, instead of electricity and magnetism as separate forces. The battery allows for portability.
  • Phonograph and telegraph
  • Combustion engines
  • Flight with propeller aircraft; radar; sonar
  • Mass produced land vehicles
  • National and international telephones
  • Photography and the camera.
  • Radio, film and television.
  • Rifles and machine guns are used for warfare.
  • Penicillin used to treat infection and improves life expectancies. Pasteurization used to keep food safe from bacterial infection.
  • Explosive artillery shells; prototypes of rockets; high explosives; iron ships are invented and new scientific discoveries expand the possibilities of warfare.
Second Industrial Revolution
  • Steel industries (and railways)
  • Mass production
  • Assembly lines
  • Electrical grid systems and large-scale manufacturing
  • Improvement of global socio-economy.
  • In addition, the first weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are invented; chemical weapons maim and kill civilians; aviation and aerial warfare are used with the first bombings; the first tanks and war machines along with submarines, battleships, aircraft carriers and destroyers.
0.6 Atomic Age
  • Power consumption: 1012 W to 1013 W
  • Atomic theory and the four fundamental forces enhance understanding of matter and energy. The mass spectrometer is used to measure the masses and relative concentrations of atoms and molecules.
  • Theory of relativity.
  • The composition of light and the photoelectric effect.
  • Nuclear power is developed.
  • Jet engines used for aircraft and vehicles.
  • Anesthetic and antibiotics improve the quality of life.
  • Lasers are used for science and medicine.
  • Created the atomic bomb, heavy tanks, mechanized infantry, paratroopers and strategic, tactical and logistic bombers.
Space Age
  • Space travel with early spacecraft with rocket engines and staged chemical propellent.
  • First animals and then humans in orbit.
  • Satellites.
  • Crewed landings on Earth's Moon.
  • Space shuttles and first space station.
  • Invented the first intercontinental and short-range ballistic missiles, missile artillery, advanced biological weapons. The first space weapons are developed including spy satellites.
Third Industrial Revolution

Information Age

  • Transistors, microprocessors and programmable computers.
  • SETI is initiated.
  • Transition from cash to banking accounts and the rise of corporate structures.
  • The rise of industrial mechanical, civil, chemical, electrical, and electronic engineering.
  • Computers are networked and mass produced due to transistor miniaturization and integrated circuit boards.
  • The internet is born.
  • Stealth vehicles and aircraft, super-precise guided missiles, experimental laser weapons and space planes are built.
0.7 Digital Age

Smart Technology Age

  • Power consumption: 1013 W to 1014 W (2022 average hourly power consumption is about 18 TW or 1.8x1013 W) making our current civilization to K-scale 0.72 in 2022.
  • Age of Scarcity is socio-economically primitive, where individuals devote most of their time to creating wealth for themselves and society. Money is an essential form of exchange, and holidays are time spent away from one's usual area of residence.
  • The internet is the first true global network. Computer software is used on billions of devices. Explosion of social media platforms and influencers. Smartphones apps are used for social media, messaging, business, productivity and entertainment. Tech corporates become trillion-dollar companies.
  • GPS enables devices and people to be located anywhere on the planet
  • Optical character recognition allows billions of paper books to be digitized. Speech recognition leads to efficiency of text capture. Pattern and face recognition software emerges.
  • The 3D printer emerges.
  • First particle accelerators.
  • First nuclear fusion experiments.
  • First genetic editing experiments.
  • High and low temperature superconducting and the race towards absolute zero.
  • First prototypes of quantum computers, optical computers and bio computers.
  • The transition from combustion engine petrol vehicles to first-generation autonomous electric vehicles. Move from traditional petroleum fuels (petrol or diesel) to alternative fuels (electric, hybrid, solar, biofuel, hydrogen, etc.).
  • Drones are widely used in entertainment and industry.
  • Early space race towards nearby planets and moons.
  • Renewable energy, arcologies, zero-energy and green buildings gain popularity due to global warming concerns and reduction of toxic emissions. Bioplastics and biodegradables gain ground over plastics.
  • In the modern era of military technology, intelligent weapons, war robots, autonomous projectiles, rail guns and secret weapons based on new physics principles.
  • New space age with early space tourism.
Fourth Industrial Revolution
0.8 Fifth Industrial Revolution

Emergent Age

  • Power consumption: 1014 W to 1015 W
  • Publicly-available genetic engineering. Controversial genome tweaking causes more damage than improvements.
  • Level 5 autonomous and electric vehicles become the norm. (Full automation without requiring any input)
  • Vertical farming and lab-grown meat becomes common.
  • First steps to building a space elevator and other launch-assist mechanisms for spacecraft.
  • Widespread quantum computers, optical computers and bio computers. Volumetric and holographic displays are commercialized. Stable 8K holograms can be projected from personal wearables like wrist-watches and smartphones, but they are not interactive yet.
  • 3D printers can also print organic compounds.
  • First understanding of dark matter and dark energy.
  • Advancements in (smart) materials and textiles with aerogel, fullerenes, graphenes, metal foam, metamaterials, nanomaterials, nanotubes, silicene, smart bricks, superalloys, translucent concrete, wearable technology. Nanostructured glass and other transparent devices are the first applications of programmable matter. 4D-printed materials are able to react to environmental factors over time and repair themselves.
  • Nuclear fusion advancements. Fossil and nuclear fuels and renewable resources are still the primary sources of energy.
  • Nanotechnology breakthroughs with disease reduction and sending miniature objects to nearby stars.
  • Early ground and orbital space infrastructure installed on Earth and its Moon.
  • Invented the first ethnic biological weapons, the first genetic weapons, complete military exoskeletons and advanced direct energy weapons that completely revolutionize warfare.
  • The Emergent Age is a time where new advances in technology lead us to question what it means to be human, and the boundaries between people and technology are blurred. This is the emergence of humans and machines working and "dancing" together in the workplace.
0.9 Expedition Age
  • Power consumption: 1015 W to 1016 W
  • Space-based solar power prototypes face hurdles of space debris, and a global clean-up is initiated with the backing of world governments. This initiative also has the goal of reduced carbon emissions and clean-up of non-biodegradables like plastics from landfill and oceans.
  • Accurate global weather prediction using zettascale computing (1021). Prototype weather manipulation, and weather-controlled dome cities.
  • Orbital and Lunar Internet
  • Interactive holograms compete with smartphones. Widely used for interacting with computers but traditional LED and nanostructured glass displays are common.
  • Planetary defense against Near Earth Objects.
  • Global scale engineering with the first megastructures and space habitats.
  • Universal translator prototypes.
  • 3D printer is now an early prototype for a replicator.
  • Hypersonic trains across the oceans.
  • Transition to global cryptocurrency with resistance from governments.
  • Possible transition to ecumenopolis.
  • Rapid advancements in spacecraft, taking the first steps to colonizing the solar system, with first bases on moons, asteroids and Mars. These are our first expeditions off planet, towards becoming an interplanetary species.
  • Climatic weapons, geophysical bombs and waves are used as energy weapons. Space weapons are highly developed as kinetic weapons and orbital lasers. Wars are mainly fought in large population centers.

Additional Technology

Advancement Examples
Advanced metallurgy fuel, armour
Optronic computer optoelectronics and advanced optics
Advanced neurology neural scanner, field modulation, scout lab, security, bioenhancement, neural amp
Advanced magnetism shields, cannon
Progenitor psyche aqua-farming, energy grid, thermocline transducer
Ethical calculus The application of mathematics to calculate issues in ethics
Pre-sentient algorithms espionage, counter espionage, encryption
Anthropic principle How statistically probable our observations of the universe are
Psyber dysgenesis Embryonic accelerated growth of organs

Civilizations that are considered Type 0

0.1 Human evolution
0.2 The emergence of Homo Sapiens
0.3 Bronze to Iron Age Humans
0.4 Humans in their First Industrial Revolution
0.4 Humans in Fable
0.5+ Humans in Avatar: The Last Airbender
0.6+ Races in Horizon: Zero Dawn
0.73 Current Homo Sapiens
0.8 Humans and Cyborgs from RoboCop
0.8 Humans in Crysis
0.9 Humans in Pacific Rim

Navigation to Kardashev Type

 Omniverse: Type 0 - Type I - Type II - Type III - Type IV - Type V - Type VI - Type VII
Hyperverse: Type VIII - Type IX
Outerverse: Type X - Type XI - Type XII - Type XIII
   Adverse: Type XIV - Type XV - Type XVI - Type XVII - Type XVIII - Type XIX
   Beyond-: Type XX - Type XXI - Type XXII - Type XXIII - Type XXIV - Type XXV
   Beyond+: Type XXVI - Type XXVII - Type XXVIII - Type XXIX - Type XXX - Type XXXI - Eye - Brain