Stellaris Guide: What is the Control Center and What Does it Do?
Stellaris’ Synthetic Dawn expansion adds brand new machine civilizations to the game, all of which feature distinct playstyles when compared to the empires already present.
While a lot of that has to do with their unique civics, Synthetic Dawn also introduces some machine-only buildings that are actually lost if a non-machine empire conquers the planet. One of those buildings is the Control Center.
The Control Center has a base cost of 250 Minerals and a base Building Time of 360. The Control Center is not available to Assimilator or Servitor empires, and your empire must have unlocked both Organic Intermediaries and Processing Hub from the Synchronicity tradition tree in order to construct it.
The Control Center produces 2 Energy Credits, which may not seem like a lot given its steep cost. But it also produces 4 Unity, and most importantly, it provides a planet-wide production output boost of 5% for your Robotic pops.
Control Center vs Power Plant IV
You’re probably going to want to take full advantage of the Control Center's multiplicative production boost, which means you'll want to build it on every planet -- since multiplicative bonuses are usually awesome. But first, you need to make sure that your Control Center breaks even with a Power Plant IV (which produces 5 energy) in terms of energy output.
Because Control Centers only produce 2 energy, the 5% production bonus is going to need to generate at least 3 energy to make up for the deficit.
Using some simple math, we can figure out that 5% of 60 is exactly 3, meaning the rest of the planet’s tiles need to produce a total of at least 60 energy for the Control Center to break even.
With each Power Plant IV producing 5 energy, you need 12 tiles on the planet, plus another for your Control Center. Any more tiles than that, and your Control Center will be more productive than a Power Plant IV (which isn’t even accounting for the Control Center's Unity production or the planet's natural resources).
The Control Center has the potential to be a powerhouse for your machine empire -- just be sure you know where you're building it! That's all the advice we have for now, but you can check out the rest of our Stellaris guides for more tips and tricks to help you in your galactic adventures.