Fallen Earth has a deep faction system. There are 6 major factions, each with 2 allies, 2 enemies, and 1 arch rival. The system is set up in a wheel shape.
The basic faction system functions as a wheel. Each faction has two allied factions, one archenemy faction, and two enemy factions. For example, the Enforcers are allied with the Techs and Lightbearers. Their archenemies are the CHOTA, and their enemies are the Vistas and Travelers.
The system does not inhibit trading between enemies. For example, Enforcers and Vistas may trade with Travelers in barter towns or in some of the neutral towns, but Travelers who are seen around Enforcer bases are often assumed to be CHOTA spies (or if seen near a Vista farm, Tech spies). They do occasionally deal, but they are certainly not friendly and do not trust each other at all.
To initially gain faction, you will need to complete a minor mission with one of the factions. Faction NPCs and merchants will not talk to you or buy/sell stuff to you unless you have a minimum of 1000 faction with them. The missions will specifically say that a reward item is a faction boost with them (usually +1500). Not all missions offered by the faction will give faction reward.
When you complete a mission that is a significant help to your faction, such as aiding in the capture of a conflict town or delivering important supplies, you gain reputation points with your faction. You lose twice that much from your rating with your archenemy. So if you gained 10 points with the Enforcers, you would lose 20 with the CHOTA. Thus, there is no way to manage a balancing act in the long term by helping everyone equally; in the end they'll all hate you for being a waffling turncoat.
These groups hate each other. No faction believes that help for them can balance help for their enemies. In the earlier stages of the game, changing factions is not hard, but the longer you are part of a faction, the harder it gets to change.
As you gain standing with a faction, new missions, merchants, and restricted faction knowledges become available. You can earn ranks and join in the capture of conflict towns.
Your faction allegiances will be affected when you kill other player characters as well as non-player characters. Faction point awards in these cases are based on the faction ratings of the victim, so if you kill someone with a lot of Lightbearer faction you'll lose some Lightbearer faction, and you'll lose more than if you killed a low-ranking member of the Lightbearers. So if you are neutral and you kill someone who is allied to a faction, you will gain negative faction points, which makes you non-neutral pretty quick.
Specialities and Favored Skills
Each faction has nine skills/tradeskills/mutation skills they excel at and ten skills/tradeskills/mutation skills they are average at. To learn skills besides these nineteen skills, faction members must seek out instructors from allied factions or neutral instructors. The better the faction's command of a skill, the earlier they can teach it. For example, Techs are good at Science. They may teach a knowledge at level 20, while the Enforcers who are average at Science teach it at level 30, and the CHOTA at level 40. This determines only when the knowledge becomes available to learn, not the prerequisites for it. This aforementioned Science knowledge will have a requirement of Science 60, but the Techs will begin teaching it in level 20 towns, while the CHOTA have to wait until their level 40 towns. Eventually you'll be able to learn almost everything from your faction, but some factions take longer than others. You will be able to pick up many things from allied factions as well, allowing you to branch out beyond the skills favored by your faction. 
- Primary Skills: Armor Use, Athletics, Dodge, Melee, Mutagenics, Patho-Transmission, Primal, Thermal Manipulation, Weaponry
- Secondary Skills: Animal Training, Armorcraft, Cooking, Empathic, Nature, Group Tactics, Pistol, Rifle, Stealth, Suppression
- Primary Skills: Armor Use, Armorcraft, Ballistics, Dodge, First Aid, Group Tactics, Pistols, Rifles, Suppression
- Secondary Skills: Animal Training, Athletics, Empathic, Geology, Medicine, Melee, Nano-Manipulation, Science, Stealth, Weaponry
- Primary Skills: Armorcraft, Ballistics, Enhancement, Mutagenics, Geology, Nano-Manipulation, Pistol, Science, Thermal Manipulation
- Secondary Skills: Armor Use, Dodge, First Aid, Medicine, Rifles, Sonic Manipulation, Suppression, Telekinesis, Telepathy, Weaponry
- Primary Skills: Cooking, Athletics, Dodge, Melee, Pistol, Science, Sonic Manipulation, Stealth, Telepathy
- Secondary Skills: Armor use, Armorcraft, Ballistics, Enhancement, Geology, First Aid, Nano-Manipulation, Nature, Rifle, Weaponry
- Primary Skills: Dodge, Empathic, First Aid, Mutagenics, Medicine, Melee, Stealth, Telekinesis, Telepathy
- Secondary Skills: Armorcraft, Athletics, Group Tactics, Nature, Primal, Science, Sonic Manipulation, Suppression, Thermal Manipulation, Weaponry
- Primary Skills: Animal Training, Athletics, Cooking, Dodge, Nature, Primal, Rifle, Sonic Manipulation, Stealth
- Secondary Skills: Ballistics, Armorcraft, Weaponry, First Aid, Geology, Group Tactics, Medicine, Melee, Pistol, Science
You’ll notice Scavenging isn’t on any of these lists; it has no instructions or special abilities associated with it. It only serves to meet requirements for scavenging nodes.
All factions have faction-specific gear. These items include beverages.
Importance and Influence
While characters will be introduced to the factions soon after starting the game, they won't actually join them for a good while, so they will have time to figure out which faction suits them (In other words, everyone starts as a neutral). So at the start of the game the factions are an important story element, but not an important mechanics element.
Characters will be able to get almost all knowledges and items through means other than the factions, such as independent instructors and merchants, but there will be a few things for each faction they will not be able to learn. Characters who do not choose a side will miss out on a sizable chunk of story content, since a lot of it focuses on the factions. That said, there is also a huge amount of story that does not focus on the six main factions, and they will be able to go to more places since none of the factions are trying to kill them. A character who chooses not to side with a faction will have a wide game experience since there are more choices available, but not as deep a game experience as someone who joins a faction, since the choices may not be as developed. Characters will be able to mitigate some aspects of the faction system through a high Charisma, mutations, and using the Stealth skill to masquerade as other factions.
Each faction makes a different set of knowledges available to their members, granting special abilities, recipes, and mutation powers. Both a Vista and a Tech can learn animal handling, but the Vista is going to be able to start learning at an earlier character level than the Tech.
There will be no forced mechanics to balance the number of members in each faction. It is hoped that the faction allegiances will make this unnecessary.
Each faction has a number of groups who have different takes on the ideology of the faction and how it should be applied in practice. Most subfactions embody a certain facet or element of a faction's overall philosophy, while others are born through dissension within a faction's ranks. While some of these sub-factions are known, many are secretive and will only reveal their existence to those they trust. Subfactions allow members to say "I'm a member of such-and-such faction, but the part of their philosophy I'm really into is represented by this subfaction I'm in." Each of the major six factions has at least two subfactions, though some have more.
Subfactions are joined by finding representatives of the subfactions and doing specific tasks for them. As members do more to help the subfactions they favor, they'll get access to special subfaction titles, equipment, and abilities. Some subfactions are mutually exclusive, but not all are. Generally speaking, the more special story and content elements a subfaction has, the more exclusive and harder to find it will be.
The Children of the Apocalypse (CHOTA) are a defiant heretical group who vehemently oppose order. They acknowledge that abuse of technology and human ignorance were responsible for the apocalypse, yet they embrace the collapse of civilization due to the absence of government and fight to prevent history from repeating itself.
The CHOTA are allied with the Vista and Travelers, are enemies with the Techs and Lightbearers, and rivals to the organized Enforcers. Player color is red.
The Enforcers are the militaristic body of Fallen Earth. They are based upon strict values of organization and control, and despise anything chaotic or un-organized. They try to restore the world through the use of rigid discipline and government.
Enforcers are also masters of proning, a once-secret mystical pvp tactic, and appearing in very large numbers.
Enforcers are allied with the Techs and Lightbearers, are enemies with the Vista and Travelers, and rivals to the chaotic Children of the Apocalypse. Player color is brown.
The Lightbearers are a group of spiritual sages who are dedicated to the practice of martial arts and enlightenment. They employ the use of advanced healing techniques and mutations to accomplish the task of restoring the old world through wisdom and understanding.
Lightbearers are allies with the Enforcers and Vista, enemies with Tech and CHOTA, and rivals with the greedy Travelers. Player color is yellow.
The Techs are a group of scientists and engineers who are primarily interested in restoring the world as it once was through technological knowledge. They enjoy inventing, fixing and tinkering with anything mechanical.
Techs are allied with the Enforcers and Travelers, are enemies with the Lightbearers and Children of the Apocalypse, and arch rivals to the technology-hating Vista. Player color is blue.
The Travelers are the gypsies of the new world. They travel from place to place, peddling their wares, trying to make as much money as possible. They believe the best way to restore the world is through financial gain.
Travelers are friendly with the Tech and CHOTA, enemies with the Enforcers and Vista, and rivals with the ritualistic Lightbearers. Player color is purple.
The Vistas are advocates of the natural ecosystem. They believe that this planet requires mankind's protection and that Earth and its resources are the most sacred elements of all living creatures.
Vista are allies with the CHOTA and Lightbearers, enemies with the Travelers and Enforcers, and rivals to the technology-oriented Tech. Player color is green.
There are a few unplayable neutral factions;
- ↑ Faction wheel graphic created by Phenix
- ↑ Fallen Earth Website: Factions: Overview. Fallen Earth Developers. Retrieved on 2009-08-09.
- ↑ Question of the Week: March 14, 2007 - Follow-Up Questions. Fallen Earth Developers. Retrieved on 2007-06-29.
- ↑ Question of the Week: Aug 7, 2008 - Naming, Skulls, Lovecraft, Charlieeeee, Kingman Prison, Inventory.... Fallen Earth.com. Retrieved on 2008-09-22.
- ↑ Question of the Week June 4, 2008 - Things that have changed over time.... Fallen Earth.com. Retrieved on 2008-06-06.
- ↑ Question of the Week: June 26 2008 - Crafter Inventory, Types of Guns, Drinks, Gun/Melee Stuns, Group Size. Fallen Earth.com. Retrieved on 2008-09-11.
- ↑ Question of the Week: May 14, 2008 - NPC Wars, Zone Loading, Faction Representation, Movement and Keys.... Fallen Earth.com. Retrieved on 2008-06-09.
- ↑ Fallen Earth Developers. Question of the Week: August 29, 2007 - FE QotW Omnibus. Retrieved on 2007-12-30.