Alignment tendency is determined throughout the course of the game by the player's actions - good, evil, or neutral. Once the player has researched or obtained Xeno Ethics the player can choose an alignment. The alignment closest to their alignment tendency will be free and the remaining alignments are priced according to how close to the alignment tendency they are.
Once an alignment is picked, all colonization events will cease, as the alignment has been determined and the alignment tendency is no longer needed.
Depending on their alignment, the player gains bonuses or penalties, such as unique technologies or diplomatic bonuses.
NOTE: The separation of alignment tendency and alignment is a departure from Galactic Civilizations 1, which had the alignment tendency and referred to it as alignment.