Sufficiently Advanced contains descriptions of over a dozen civilizations, spread all across the universe. Each has specific Core Values that unite its people. The game's settings uses a subset of these civilizations to create a unique universe.
- The Association of Eternal Life (Replicants), who replicate themselves and frequently have three or four selves at once. Life and Safety.
- The Association of Stored Humans (Stored), human beings encoded and run in simulation on computer. Identity and Life.
- The Builders of the Great Beyond (Builders), who die and go to the infosphere where their eternal reward awaits them. Amaranth and Eternity.
- The Cognitive Union (Unionists), whose actions, beliefs, and attitudes are corrected and improved by their Meshes. Obedience and Order.
- The Daoine na Realta Foraois (Daoine), whose treeships and historical pride travel across the stars. Zest for Life and Courage.
- The Disciples of the Void (Disciples), who seek the voice of God in the darkest and quietest places in the universe. Worship and Privacy.
- The Eternal Masquerade (Masqueraders), who take on new identities from week to week, or from hour to hour. Identity and Anonymity.
- The Harmonious Nations of Gaia (Gaians), who seek peace and concordance with nature and with their fellow beings. Connection and Peace.
- The Illustrious Stardwelling Armada (Stardwellers), who stretch the boundaries of known space and of humanity. Freedom and Diversity.
- The League of Independent Worlds (Independents), an alliance of peers that seeks to be apart from outside influence. Self-reliance and Teamwork.
- The Nanori, who grow both nanotech and their society in flowering profusion. Emergence and Evolution.
- The Rationalist League (Logicians), who have cut emotion from their minds and deal only with pure logic. Logic and Efficiency.
- The Tao of History (Taoists), a historical recreationist society that spans multiple worlds. Authenticity and Tradition.
- The United Planets of Mechanica (Mechanicans), who replace their bodies but keep their brains whole. Humanity and Tolerance.
There are three groups that are not unified civilizations, but rather descriptions of an entire class of cultures.
- Old-Worlders, who intentionally chose a non-technological path. Tradition and Simplicity.
- Spacers, who ply slower-than-light ships between the worlds. Independence and Diligence.
- Cargo Cults, failed civilizations that cling to what little working technology remains. Ritual.
There are also many societies that span across the civilizations. Society members must believe in their ideals, but receive special benefits for it. The Hospitalers seek to preserve life while the Darwinians kill thousands in the name of forced evolution and the Hyperevolutes try to evolve themselves. The Artisans society alter their brains to improve artistic ability, but the Heterolinguists do it to avoid memetic assault. Group Minds form when people link their neural meshes together. These and more exist in many different civilizations, all trying to further their own causes.