Stellaris Guides Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Stellaris Guides RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Stellaris Best Perks Guide Through All Tiers Fri, 20 Mar 2020 13:54:37 -0400 Sergey_3847

Once you've finished an entire Tradition tree or unlocked the Ascension Theory technology in Stellaris, you can start using perks of four different tiers. Naturally some perks are better than others.

In the early game players gain access to Tier 0 perks, then Tier 1 that requires one previously owned perk, Tier 2 that requires two previously owned perks, and so on.

The tier list below will set you on the path to the best parks in Stellaris according to your strategic builds.

Best Tier 0 Perks

Interstellar Dominion
  • −20% Claim Influence Cost
  • −20% Starbase Influence Cost

This could easily be your best early perk, if you're planning to go wide. Since you need a lot of Influence early on, this is exactly the type of perks that saves your Influence costs.

From then on you can expand as further as you wish in your conquest gameplan. Interstellar Dominion will truly help you build a real empire in space.

Of course, if wide expansion is not your plan, then skip this one, and opt for other perks that fit your gameplan better.

Technological Ascendancy
  • +10% Research Speed
  • Rare technologies are now 50% more common

Research speed that this perk provides may not be much, but in the early game it will give you a huge boost. You will find better ways to increase your research speed, but that comes much later.

For now, you can use this in your technological build to a great effect. If you can pair it with Enigmatic Engineering (Tier 1) perk, you can start a real tech dominance in space.

Imperial Prerogative
  • +20% Administrative Cap

If you don't have any plan yet, then this would be the best general strategy Tier 0 perk. The admin cap automatically increases your research speed, although not by as much as Technological Ascendancy.

But this perk has other advantages unless you're headed right in for technological dominion. It not only reduces your Tradition costs, but also Leader and upkeep costs, which is very useful in the early stages of the game.

Either of these perks will do a great job early on, so pick one up and see where it takes you.

Best Tier 1 Perks

Mastery of Nature
  • −33% Clear Blocker Cost
  • Mastery of Nature decision

Previously this was a Tier 0 perk, but it was moved to Tier 1 due to its slow effect in the early game. However, the more you progress through the game, the bigger of an impact it has.

One of its advantages is that it saves your energy, but its main point is to increase the number of max districts on your planets. Since these can get very expensive very quickly, Mastery of Nature will reduce the cost of their administration.

Grasp the Void
  • +5 Starbase Capacity

Starbases start playing an especially important role in the mid-game, when the number of them will get increasingly larger.

The increase in the capacity nets you overall better trade value, which plays an especially big role for upgraded starbases. Then, with the help of it you get trading posts, anchorages, bastions, and a shipyard to work with as well.

Best Tier 2 Perks

Arcology Project
  • Ecumenopolis perk

Once you've built up a pretty significant number of planets, you want to make them work for you at this point in the game.

Arcology Project enables Ecumenopolises on your planets that save your Alloy, which you can use on your starfleet instead.

It also creates jobs and hibatable districts, which is is of utmost importance when you try to really make your planets worthwhile.

Master Builders
  • +50% Megastructures build speed
  • +1 Megastructures build capacity

If you're doing well without Arcology, then you have the capacity to build megastructures already.

This comes in handy with Galactic Wonders perk that allows you to build mega structures, while Master Builders will build them much faster and also will be able to repair them.

Best Tier 3 Perks

Colossus Project
  • Colossus ship type

This late game perk allows you to build a Colossus type ship that can destroy entire planets.

Of course, it requires Apocalypse DLC and Titan technology research. If you really want one, then it's definitely worth the price and the time.

Galactic Wonders
  • Ring World research
  • Dyson Sphere research
  • Matter Decompressor research

This perk focuses on three mega structures, the best of which is the Dyson Sphere. This one sphere can generate enough power to sustain half of your empire.

If you're in the late game and want to start building mega structures, you simply ought to have Galactic Wonders and Master Builders perks.


These were the best perks in Stellaris. For more Stellaris guides, check out the list below:

Stellaris MegaCorp DLC: A User's Guide to the New Features in 2.2 Mon, 17 Dec 2018 15:26:24 -0500 Fox Doucette

Stellaris recently underwent some huge mechanical changes, and even if you haven't bought the new MegaCorp DLC, they are going to completely alter the way you play vanilla.

Whether you're just coming back to Stellaris after a long hiatus, you're a new player, or you've just purchased MegaCorp and want to be prepared for what's to come, there's a ton of stuff to go over.

From new civics and new planetary development types to new forms of diplomacy and non-military conquest, getting to the real meat of this DLC takes getting to the late-game. Just loading it up and starting a new game won't do it justice.

If you're going to invest that kind of time, you'd better be prepared to make the most of that new stuff when it becomes relevant in the game, right? Luckily, we've got you covered. Here's your guide to everything that's new in the latest release of Paradox's space oddity.

Free Patch Features

First and foremost, Unity Ambitions are no longer locked behind the Utopia DLC. They're free for all.

If you own Utopia, that's not going to be a big deal; it's the same mechanic you know and love. But for those of you who are new to the system, the gist is this: you can generate Unity through certain jobs for your pops, and those points can either be spent on diplomatic matters or a series of perks that improve certain elements of your faction.

Next, Democratic civilizations get all kinds of new Mandates and other perks that further offset the disadvantages of resource expenditure, as well as its leader-ousting effects. Again, that stuff's all beautifully explained by the game's extremely thorough tooltips.

But the real meat of the free patch? It's the new Planetary System.

Gone are the days of tile-based jobs. Now, tiles have Districts, which are further divided into:

  • City Districts (housing and clerk jobs)
  • Generator Districts (energy credits)
  • Mining Districts (minerals)
  • Agricultural Districts (food)

This also makes it much more important to choose wisely when considering planets and colonies. The size of the planets, which previously determined how many tiles the planets would contain, now determines the maximum number of available districts.

You have a guns-or-butter choice here. You could convert every available district to city tiles, usable for housing or amenities to keep your pops happy, for example. The only limit on how many city districts you can have is the size of the planet itself. Just remember that every city district you build is one less district you can use to mine resources.

The other three districts all have caps, represented by little squares in the planet view. Not all planets are equally resource-rich, so you'll want to plan strategically around that.

Meanwhile, there are buildings that can be built, as they were before, that affect overall planetary production.

Instead of these tiles being worked directly like they used to, you now get one building per 5 pops, and your maximum population is governed by food production and the number of city districts you build to provide housing.

It leads to a lot more specialization, especially since there are more resources; producing alloys from minerals, trade value for use with the game's new economic systems, and Unity for those Ascension perks described earlier is a matter of building the right advanced buildings.

And on top of all of the above, it's now easier for “tall” empires to make up for the lack of territorial expanse, which was previously necessary for mining rare resources by producing those rare materials planetside.

Speaking of Trade Value, not only is there the trade value that your planets produce, but there's also now Trade Value produced the same way other resources have been in remote star systems.

To exploit that resource, however, takes a lot more work. You'll have to build and upgrade Starbases to get at that trade potential, and you'll then have to establish trade routes back to your capital.

And the further away from the capital the resources are, the more you'll have to devote your fleets to protecting those trade routes, because otherwise you'll fall victim to piracy (don't worry, the game will tell you, to the last energy credit, how much you're losing to piracy and how much fleet cap you'll have to put out to stop all of it.)

When that happens, everything that the pirates get is lost to your empire.

Piracy suppression isn't just a matter of spaceship deployment; starbases can be packed to the gills with gun batteries that have not just an anti-piracy suppression value but also come in handy when more organized enemies show up. Fight defensively with a well-upgraded starbase present and it will be suicide for the enemy to try and crack that strongpoint.

This adds a strategic dimension, especially if you're playing with Hyperlane FTL rules; you now have easily defensible border chokepoints.

There's a new policy, known simply as "Trade Policy", now available under the usual empire policies tab that will determine what that trade value is used for. You can use it for "Wealth Creation" (a 1:1 conversion of trade value to energy credits), "Consumer Benefits" (0.5 EC and 0.25 consumer goods per unit of TV) or "Marketplace of Ideas" (0.5 EC, 0.15 points of Unity per unit of TV.) As always, the tooltip is there to remind you what you're getting.

Taken together, not only is this a whole new way to play the base-game, but for those who can make the best use of the available new resources, it's a massively profitable one, something that, if you've got Utopia, will come in real handy when it's time to build those late-game Megastructures.

MegaCorp Features

Branches and Subsidiaries

Let's start with the DLC's namesake, the Megacorporations that are a whole new empire type in the game.

Unlike Machine Empires and Hive Minds, Megacorps allow you to use any combination of basegame societal ethics. And choosing between Materialist and Spiritualist now gives you two completely different ways to play the DLC; each comes with its own pros and cons on top of the previous dichotomy between science and happiness.

This is all made available by the new Corporate form of authority, which is a special form of government similar to the machine and hive forms from the other two DLC for the game.

When you take that, you get a whole new set of civics to choose from, and your planetary ruling class now produces trade value in addition to their other effects.

The biggest advantage that Megacorps offer is a higher administrative cap. “Tall” empires can now develop those highly populated planets to their fullest.

The trade-off is that the penalty for going over the cap is now huge. This is not a playstyle for “wide” empires. But don't fret; there's still a way to expand. This time, it's by building Branch Offices on friendly planets with whom you're able to conclude a Commercial Pact.

Once you've got the pact, the branch office provides energy credits both to you and to the target faction. And when the branch office gets powerful enough, you can turn it into a full Subsidiary, which is vassalage by another name.

The difference is that the “vassal” still retains its sovereignty; it can grow and expand and wage wars and otherwise behave as an independent nation. The hitch is that you get a one-way Defensive Pact; they have to support you in your wars. And they have to pay 25% of their energy credits as “tribute”.

All told, it's very profitable and mutually beneficial.

Criminal Syndicates

But maybe you don't want a mutually beneficial relationship. Maybe you want to be the Space Mafia, exploiting your victim rather than playing nice.

For you, there's the Criminal Heritage civic.

When you take that trait, you get a permanent, irrevocable change to your diplomatic relations with other factions. Nobody will enter into a Commercial Pact with you.

On the other hand, though, you don't have to ask permission to build a Branch Office. You can put one down wherever you like, whether the owning faction of the planet likes it or not. These branch offices grow stronger the higher the crime rate is on the target planet. As the Space Mafia, you have a vested interest in keeping things unstable and lawless.

But when some other faction tries the same thing on you, this gives you your counter-strike. Put simply, the more resources you spend on law enforcement, the more you strangle the enemy's income, turning their would-be takeover of your space into a lot of jailed aliens. No crime, no profit. So if you see a Criminal Heritage empire anywhere near your borders, make plans to stay on top of that crime rate.

Gospel of the Masses

With “Gospel of the Masses”, you get a MegaChurch instead of a MegaCorp. The bulk of your income now comes from tithing, and while you can still trade, your Branch Offices now become Temples of Prosperity, spreading religion.

A lot of it is “same game, different name” and it plays fundamentally the same.

Keep in mind, you can combine Gospel of the Masses and Criminal Heritage, so they're not mutually exclusive!

Coruscant Simulator

Next, there's the Ecumenopolis, which is a “city planet”. Think Coruscant from Star Wars.

Before we get into the details of how to use them, here's how to build one:

Step 1: Unlock the Arcology Ascension Perk. This is a big reason why they unhooked Ascension Perks and the Unity system from Utopia; MegaCorp wouldn't work without it.

Step 2: Replace every resource district on the planet with City Districts.

Step 3: Go to the planet's Decisions menu. Once the first two requirements are met, you'll get a Decision to construct the Arcology Project.

Once this is done, you get the Residential Arcology, Foundry Arcology, Industrial Arcology, and Leisure Arcology, which make use of all those pops to produce even more resources than you'd get on a regular resource-rich planet.

On top of this, you get new Megastructures to even further enhance your late-game experience.

The Matter Decompressor is basically like a Dyson Sphere but extracts a ton of minerals rather than harnessing a star to make energy.

Mega Art Installations produce Unity and Amenities, which means lower crime rate, faster gaining of the rest of the Ascension Perks, and less planetary buildings devoted to keeping the peace, so instead you can generate economic value with their slots.

Strategic Command Centers let your corporation have sharper teeth; building one raises your fleet cap dramatically, adds to the number of starbases you can build, beefs up the defensive weaponry you can use to protect your trade routes and territory in general, and improves the sublight speed of your warships.

Finally, Interstellar Assemblies massively increase immigration pull and turn all but the meanest AI factions into friends with huge diplomatic relation bonuses.

Miscellaneous New Stuff

There are two other additions to MegaCorp: the Caravaneers and the Slave Market.

The Caravaneers are random wanderers who come floating through your empire, and they offer deals on goods you can't find anywhere else. They also bring with them a slot machine game. They deal in "Caravan Coinz", which are a special currency that you buy with your hard-earned energy credits. They're used for that slot machine game where you try and win more "Coinz", which you can use to buy loot boxes.

And finally, there's the Slave Market.

This does exactly what you expect it to. Anti-slavery empires can buy slaves' freedom (and deny other empires the chance to own the resources the slaves provide.) Pro-slavery empires can buy what essentially amount to pops that are either better or worse laborers than your native pops, but you don't have to wait for natural growth, just plug the slave into the job slot.

Of course, which of those you do depends entirely on what kind of empire you are.

All told, there is a massive amount of content to be enjoyed here, and now you have the complete overview. Happy trading!

Stellaris Guide: How to Make and Use Vassals in Your Empire Fri, 06 Oct 2017 11:06:43 -0400 Kieran Desmond

Stellaris is a sci-fi grand strategy game from genre veterans, Paradox. Set in the vastness of space, you are tasked with raising an Empire to rule the galaxy. But you won't be able to do it alone -- to accomplish your ultimate goal you're going need some allies, whether they like it or not.

While there are few different types of allies available in Stellaris, but this guide will focus on Vassals. Whether you want to conquer a species' homeworld and force them into servitude or liberate a species from the tyranny of another empire, there's a method for every play style when it comes to creating Vassals. 

What Are Vassals and What Are They Used For in Stellaris?

Vassals are one of the types of Subject Empires that can serve you, and they're the Subjects that you can exert the most control over. The subservient Vassals can be used to bolster your military ranks, as they will automatically join your wars -- this applies regardless of whether you're attacking or defending, which can be very helpful when a larger Empire attempts to overwhelm you or you need few extra ships to take out an annoying fleet.

Vassals also cannot colonize new worlds outside of their border range, and have no autonomy in relation to foreign policy or diplomatic relations. Depending on your relationship with them, Vassals will either be loyal or disloyal to your Empire. Be wary of disloyal Vassals, as they may join an opposing Empire or attack you when on opportune moment arises (such as during catastrophic event or an invasion).

How To Make Vassals in Stellaris

There are a few ways of acquiring Vassals, which are listed below. If I missed anything, make sure to call me out in the comments!

Method 1: War

Open up the "Empires" tab, select the Empire you want to Vassalize, and click on the "Communicate" button. Select "Declare War" on the right side of the menu, which will bring up the "War Demands" screen. 

Here you can choose from a list of demands, each requiring a certain Warscore Cost to achieve. You can get more Warscore by raiding planets and destroying fleets belonging to this Empire. Drag the Vassalize option over from the available demands on the left to the selected demands on the right, and then hit Confirm.

Once you've caused enough damage to this Empire, they will eventually contact you with details of surrender, in which case you can accept and they will become your Vassals. 

Method 2: Demanding Vassalization

To do this method, whoever you're trying to make your Vassal must be at peace.

Open up the "Empires" tab, select the Empire you want to Vassalize, and click on the "Communicate" button. Next to the "Demand Vassalization" button will either be a green tick or a red cross. If it's a tick, you're good to go -- hit the button and they'll agree to be your Vassal.

If it's a cross, however, hover over it to see the details of why they won't accept. If there's a lot of factors in the red, then you'll have to work on those specific areas until they're green and the target is more aligned with your Empire. The most important factors are ethics, the strength of your Empire, and their opinion of you.

Having similar ethics provides boosts all around, but cannot be influenced or manipulated. Some ethical alignments, such as fanatical xenophobes, will completely prevent any form of peaceful Vassalization.

Having a strong Empire can be achieved by having a large fleet and extensive territory. The stronger your Empire, the more likely other Empires are to accept peaceful Vassalization.

Method 3: Make a Sector a Vassal

Select a planet within a Sector you control and navigate to the "Governor" screen.

There should be a "Create Vassal" button in the bottom left corner. This button may be bugged however, as many players have reported it to be missing.

Method 4: Liberation

When at war, instead of simply conquering planets, you can choose to liberate them. The liberated population will create a new empire with ethics similar to that of your own government, and they will have a high opinion of you because you liberated them. 

After doing this, use the "Demand Vassalization" option we discussed in method 2 of this guide. You may want to pause the game after liberating a species, as they may choose to ally with someone else before you get a chance to induct them into your ranks.


That's it for this Stellaris guide on how to make and use Vassals! If there's anything more you want to know, let me know in the comments below and I'll get back to you! For more on this galactic domination sim, check out our other Stellaris guides for tips and tricks that are out of this world.

Stellaris Guide: What is the Control Center and What Does it Do? Tue, 03 Oct 2017 17:35:34 -0400 Kengaskhan

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. 

Stellaris Guide: Bio-Trophies and How To Use Them Tue, 03 Oct 2017 15:47:16 -0400 Kengaskhan

Stellaris’ Synthetic Dawn expansion introduces machines species and empires to the game -- and you’ll find that these AI civilizations will play very differently compared to their organic counterparts. In fact, one of the more notable features is the way in which your synthetics interact with organic populations.

The three default machine empires are the Exterminators, the Assimilators, and the Rogue Servitors. While it should be pretty easy to guess how the first two empires deal with organics (Exterminators may only exterminate organics pops and Assimilators may only assimilate organics pops), the Rogue Servitors are a bit more novel in their approach to synthetic-organic relations.

The Rogue Servitor prime directive makes them the ultimate servants, deriving both satisfaction and purpose from the comfort of their masters -- their “Bio-Trophies”.

What Are Bio-Trophies in Stellaris?

Rogue Servitors venerate organics, and they begin the game with two Bio-Trophy populations representing the entirety of their organic creator race.

It’s not just their creators either -- any organic pops within your Rogue Servitor empire can be assigned the unique Bio-Trophy citizenship status and have the “Mandatory Pampering” living standard forced upon them (whether they like it or not).

Each Bio-Trophy produces Influence and Servitor Morale, but at a very steep cost -- Mandatory Pampering is a very expensive standard of living, and each Bio-Trophy will put a pretty heavy strain on your stockpiles, consuming 3.00 Consumer Goods per month.

How does Servitor Morale Work?

Your Rogue Servitors get Servitor Morale for every 10% of your empire’s population with Bio-Trophy citizenship -- which translates to a 10% production boost and 0.5 Influence per month. So, if your population is composed of 80% synthetics and 20% Bio-Trophies, you’ll get a 20% production boost and 1 Influence per month.

There are, however, two things to note about Servitor Morale:

  • Servitor Morale’s bonuses caps at a Bio-Trophy population of 40%. So, having a population composition of 50% synthetics and 50% Bio-Trophies will still only result in a 40% production boost and 2 Influence per month.

  • Servitor Morale does not run parallel to your Bio-Trophy population. Instead, there are Bio-Trophy population thresholds at every 10%. So, a Bio-Trophy population of 39% wouldn’t give you a 39% production boost, it’d give you 30%.


If you're looking to create a robotic empire without annihilating, assimilating, or subjugating (okay, maybe you could argue this one) every organic you come across,  you should try giving the Rogue Servitors a shot and see why they care so much about their Bio-Trophies!

That's all for this guide, but be sure to check out the rest of our Stellaris guides if you need more help with this epic space game!

Stellaris Guide: Contingency Bug Blocking Ghost Signal Tue, 26 Sep 2017 10:30:21 -0400 Sergey_3847

The second story pack for Stellaris, Synthetic Dawn, introduces various robotic races within an intergalactic AI empire. Each droid race has its own unique personalities, dialogue sets and interactions with entities -- such as the Contingency and Fallen Machine Empires.

During the Contingency crisis, you will be given a special project to block the Ghost Signal, but there is a bug associated with this action when you're playing synth species, such as exterminator bots. The game crashes right after you begin blocking the ghost signal research. It may also happen when you complete the ghost signal block. 

Either way, this Stellaris bug is entirely technical, so it is safe to assume that a fix will be released soon by the developers. For now, you can use the method described below as a temporary solution.

How to Fix the Contingency Bug in Stellaris

The problem occurs right after the Ghost Signal window pops up on your screen (when you try to hover your mouse cursor over the popup notification) -- and as a result, the game crashes.

So in order to evade this fatal interaction, you need to disable the event notifications in the game settings. Here's how you do it:

  1. In the main menu, go to "Settings"
  2. Choose the "Gameplay" option
  3. Disable the "Event Popup/Auto-pause" option

You won't see the popups anymore in Synthetic Dawn, but this will allow you to mitigate the game crash after the Ghost Signal is blocked. When you're done with the project, you can re-enable the event popups and continue to play the game as normal.

Alternative Method to Fixing the Contingency Bug in Stellaris

Some players have successfully evaded this game-crashing bug by controlling the game with only their keyboard -- leaving the mouse untouched. When the ghost signal window pops up, just press the "Enter" button on your keyboard, and you should be able to keep playing Stellaris.

In any case, don't forget to save and load the game before starting the event, so you can try different methods without wasting your time. And hopefully, that official patch will come sooner rather than later.


Did you find any other way of mitigating the Contingency bug in Stellaris? Let us know in the comments section below.

In the meantime, if you're looking for more Stellaris guides at GameSkinny, then you can find them right here:

15 Best Stellaris Mods to Maximize Your Gameplay Fri, 19 May 2017 16:10:39 -0400 Sergey_3847


Planetary Computer


Download mod


This is not exactly the Death Star, but it is a sentient planet that is controlled by an AI. It is highly advisable to get yourself one of those, as it adds tons of bonuses to your empire:

  • Growth Time +100%
  • \n
  • Building Cost -25%
  • \n
  • Food -100%
  • \n
  • Minerals -100%
  • \n
  • Energy Credits +200%
  • \n
  • Physics Output +250%
  • \n
  • Society Output +250%
  • \n
  • Engineering Output +250%
  • \n
  • Monthly Influence +1
  • \n

Planetary Computer will take care of the galaxy’s biggest computational problems -- provided that you take care of it just as well.




Would you like to see more Stellaris mod lists at GameSkinny? Leave your feedback in the comments below.


Stellar Warpaints


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Ever thought about repainting your old rusty starship? Check out the Warpaints mod, which offers 21 different paintjobs for all types of ships -- except the other modded ships and the ones used by the AI.


As the developer of the mod said, this was done in order to prevent excessive RAM consumption, which could destabilize not only this mod, but also any other ones you might have installed previously.


Elves of Stellaris


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If you enjoy mixing sci-fi and fantasy, then welcome to Elves of Stellaris -- a huge fan-made mod that incorporates all of the attributes of Elven civilization, such as outfits, hairstyles, ships, worlds, traits, etc.


But don’t get too excited. Not all Elves are equally civilized and sometimes the mod spawns a random primitive world. However, if you like to have crazy fun, then go ahead and meet those savages.


Legend of Galactic Heroes


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If you’ve been watching one of the most popular Japanese space operas -- Legend of Galactic Heroes -- then you should know that ships in the anime were incredibly large and powerful. This mod brings all those ships to Stellaris!


Now, you can engage in massive laser battles that involve hundreds and thousands of ships at the same time, just like the ones in the original anime.


Systems Alliance Ships


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The Mass Effect ships have been available in Stellaris since the very launch of the game, but then they had to be taken down due to copyright infringement. But now they're returning in full force in this new Systems Alliance mod.


It replaces all the vanilla ships in the game with the ME ships, except the HQ Station, Power Station, Mining Base, Sensor Station, and Drydock from NSC.


The Asari Civilization


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The Asari race from Mass Effect universe finally finds its place in Stellaris. This unusual alien species is highly intelligent and inventive. The mod fully reflects their abilities to build new technologies, such as Biotics, Field Manipulation, and Psionics.


You also will have to take care of the Asari population through the process of Gynogenetics, and manage their lifespan with the help of Ageless ability.


Sins of the Prophets


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The Halo fans will know this one, as this is the port of the original Halo mod with the same name but for Stellaris. The mod has been developed in co-operation with the Halo modders that permitted the use of all of their assets in Stellaris.


The only thing that’s missing from this pack is the Flood, which is a shame. Hopefully, when the copyright situation around Stellaris stabilizes, it will be included after all.


Doomsday Weapons & Ships


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Have you ever wanted to possess a weapon so powerful that it could destroy an entire planet? Here’s a mod that offers not one but eleven doomsday weapons. Some of them are so potent that they could pulverize entire star systems.


And, if you need to deal with an enemy star fleet, then there is nothing better that having a doomsday ship on your side -- such as Ragnarok, which is also available in this ISBS mod.


Beautiful Universe v2.0


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This mod overhauls all the backgrounds and visually enhances the game. The textures used in this mod come from NASA and EVE Online archives. It doesn’t change any game mechanics, so it’s a purely graphical mod.


However, using it will make your gameplay more pleasurable, as the outer space of Stellaris will look incredibly real and detailed.


Star Trek: New Horizons


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What if you’d rather play in a Star Trek universe? No problem! Here’s another total conversion mod, but this time it’s based on the Star Trek franchise. The events of the mod carefully replicate the most popular moments from the original TV series and feature films.


On top of that, the developers of the mod included a few completely original ship classes, types of technologies, and environments.


Star Wars: A Galaxy Divided


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Now, here’s a total conversion mod that actually makes everything in the game look like it came straight from the Star Wars universe. If you are well acquainted with the SW lore, then you will find many familiar names of the galaxies and planets.


These systems are not empty but are inhabited by the corresponding races and lifeforms. This is something you won’t find in any other game… well, except for the original SW games.


Star Wars Rebel Ships


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Easily one of the most exciting mods for Stellaris is the Star Wars expansion that adds over 50 Rebel Alliance ships -- including Fighters, Cruisers, Carriers, Dreadnoughts, and many others.


If you ever wanted to roleplay as a Star Wars rebel in the Stellaris universe, now you have the chance. Remember, it may not perfectly reflect the setting of the Star Wars, but you can get a glimpse of what’s it like to be a true space rebel.


LEX - Leviathan Events Xtended


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This is a content expansion that includes several late game events which should give players seeking challenge some satisfaction. LEX includes the following additions:

  • Throne Watchers: An abandoned ringworld, guarded by the creations of its former owners.
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  • The Gravekeeper: A derelict spacestation in the midst of an ancient battlefield.
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  • The Garden: A beautiful shielded garden world surrounded by relics of a bygone age.
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  • The Threshold: A system shrouded in fog, where the boundaries between realities blur.
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  • Crossing the Rubicon: Endgame Crisis.
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Planetary Diversity


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If you care more about new planets than new ships, then check out the Planetary Diversity mod. It adds 17 new planet types to the game, each with their own unique alien biomes, climates, and lifeforms.


You can get involved in the terraforming and genetic engineering processes of the planets, with the exception of methane and ammonia-based planets. But the author of the mod has already stated that he is working on the solution to that as well.


New Ship Classes & More v5.0


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This mod’s title refers to the new ships only, but it actually includes so much more -- like stations, races, technologies, planets. And all this is supported by a new AI. The overall number of features is striking, and there is a whole website dedicated to explaining how everything works in the NSC mod.


One thing that you should definitely consider in this mod is to build yourself an Empire Flagship. It takes three in-game years to build, but the rewards and bonuses you will get are simply mind-blowing.


The vanilla version of Stellaris, the 4X grand strategy from Paradox Interactive, is a massive space simulator on its own. But there is so much room in it for other cool things that it is impossible to play the game without checking out all the great mods that are available on Steam for free.


You can download a few of them and take this game to completely new heights. Everything from new races and improved AI to balanced combat and simple warpaints will make you want to spend another hundred hours on the outskirts of the galaxy far, far away.


You got it right! There are Star Wars-themed mods included in this list, as well as a few other theme-packs from popular media franchises. So hop on this train of 15 best Stellaris mods!

Stellaris Guide: How to Beat the Unbidden Fri, 19 May 2017 09:49:02 -0400 tofuslayer

If you have Jump Drive technology in Stellaris, there's a good chance you'll run into the Unbidden at some point. A lot of people have had trouble defeating these invaders because of their sheer power. Once they drop their anchors, it can feel almost impossible to overcome them.

But luckily for you, we're here to help you defeat them. This guide will assist you in creating a plan of attack for your wars against these extra-dimensional creatures.

How to Defeat the Unbidden in Stellaris

Destroy the Portal as soon as possible

This is a given. If you can catch them soon enough, you can destroy the Portal before too many Unbidden invade your system. In a perfect world, you'll be able to hit the portal immediately, but don't expect to be so lucky.

Image from YouTube

If you can't destroy the Portal, gear up quick

The Unbidden use the highest tear generators and shield, but have no armor. Their weapon is the Matter Disintegrator, which deals 50% armor penetration and 50% percent shield penetration. To combat this, you'll need to beef up your fleets as much as possible.

Ideally you'll want to have around 150k or more in your fleet, and your main ships here will probably be Battleships and possibly a few Corvettes (but not too many). If you don't have Torpedoes, you'll also want some Destroyers in your fleet as well.

Another thing to consider is that the Unbidden are medium-range attackers, so if you can stay out of their way until you can attack, you'll be able to preserve your fleets.

Image from PCGamesN

Decide how you want to take on the Unbidden

There are a few different battle plans that have proven reliable against the Unbidden. The main idea is to try to break up the Unbidden fleets and take on each stack one at a time. We'll go over a few basic strategies to help you figure out what works for you.

Option 1:

  • Use a few Corvettes to get the Unbidden's attention and break up the fleets and draw them towards the edges of the System.
  • As you're doing that, send in your Battleships to destroy the Anchors until there are none left.
  • Once the Anchors are clear, go in for the Portal.

Option 2:

  • Skip the Corvettes and load up your Cruisers, Destroyers, and Battleships with heavy-hitting, artillery-like torpedoes.
  • Consider using Kinetic weapons like the Giga Cannon or Tachyon Lance as well.
  • Try to locate any smaller, isolated stacks and tackle those first.
  • Chip away until you've destroyed all the anchors and can reach the Portal.

Image from Reddit

A few more things to consider

No matter what your approach to defeating the Unbidden, here are a few other things you'll want to think about and test out as you encounter them.

  • Try out different builds for your fleets, play with the ratios of each type of ship in your stacks.
  • The Unbidden will spawn in different locations every time, so you might want to have different strategies depending on where the Portal opens.
  • A war with the Unbidden can take a really long time. But if you start to get overwhelmed, try and retreat and re-strategize for the next time.


Good luck in your battles and in all your encounters against the Unbidden! What fleet builds do you use against them? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out our other Stellaris guides: 

Stellaris Influence Guide Mon, 23 May 2016 12:15:27 -0400 Robert Guthrie

Stellaris is less fiddly than some of Paradox's other games (here's looking at you, Crusader Kings 2), but there are still a lot of moving parts. One of the trickier resources to manage is influence -- unlike minerals and energy credits, you can't just build more mines or power plants to boost your generation. There's a limited number of sources that you can gain influence from, and you need it to build frontier outposts, integrate vassals, run advanced policies, and enact edicts. It's easy to run short if you don't manage it carefully, but if you know what you're doing, you can easily stay ahead of the curve. Here's some tips to managing your purple mana: 

Tech up

There are three technologies that offer a flat +1 monthly influence, and if you're not throwing down a ton of Frontier Outposts or constantly integrating vassals, that might be enough for you. Either way, these are technologies that you want, and they come fairly early in the tech tree -- none of them are rare, so you probably won't miss them, but you should prioritize picking them up to get the most of their effect. The technologies are Colonial Centralization, Planetary Unification, and Galactic Administration. Galactic Administration also allows you to build the Empire-Capital Complex, which is the only building that gives bonus influence, so that's definitely a tech you want. With just these techs and the Empire-Capital Complex, your influence generation shoots from 3/month to 7/month. Big difference!

Stellar rivalry

The other key way to gain influence is to declare rivals -- you can get up to 2 influence a month for a single rival this way. Don't go around declaring rivals willy-nilly though -- that's a good way to end up on the wrong end of a galactic federation, and the influence gain isn't always better than a potential trading partner or ally. The key to getting the most out of your rival is based on two main things -- proximity and size. If you rival someone close who is as powerful as you are then you are likely to generate a lot of influence. If your empire is militaristic you will get even more, but if you're pacifistic, you'll get less.

What you should NOT do is rival someone bigger than you or someone you don't think you can beat in a war -- they will absolutely declare on you because of the relations penalty. Pick someone equal in size and enjoy the benefits.

The prime directive

Stellaris rewards you for playing a benevolent overlord race in a couple of different ways. For each protectorate you have, you gain an additional 1 influence a month -- this can add up pretty quickly! The only problem is that it can sometimes be hard to find smaller nations to turn into protectorates. If you're looking to min-max your influence, a great way to find nations to bring under your wing is to win them in a war -- if your enemy has a protectorate it's usually only 30 warscore to make them yours, so declaring war for a protectorate can be pretty profitable.

There is also a one-time influence boost every time you Uplift a species, so it can be a good idea to spend down your influence before you bring a new species into the fold.

Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you stay ahead of the influence game in your quest to control the galaxy. Did we forget anything? Have any thoughts or additions? Let us know in the comment section!

Stellaris Sector Guide Mon, 23 May 2016 12:05:31 -0400 Robert Guthrie

The sector system is one of the more controversial elements of the new Paradox game, but it's in there for a good reason -- micromanaging dozens of planets is fiddly, unnecessary, and limits the game to only the hardest core players. Being able to dump new colonies into a sector and let your governors take care of it is a good system, but the AI still needs work, so in the meantime, here's what you need to know to make the most out of your sectors:

Don't forget to feed your sectors

The number one mistake that players make when creating new sectors or managing their existing ones is forgetting to "feed" them or seed them with resources. By the time you are managing large numbers of planets you should have a substantial mineral surplus -- so give some to your sector governors! Making sure that they have an ample mineral supply to build buildings with and make upgrades from will ensure that your sector governors make good decisions and continue to improve your colonies. It's not as important to put energy credits in, but make sure they have some -- without them your sectors can't clear blockers, which will slow development. 

Sectors can also act as a "bank" for extra resources, so feel free to max out their contribution. You can always put more resources in, but you can't take stores out.

Fine-tune your settings

You don't have a lot of options when it comes to micromanaging your sectors (this is by design), but knowing when to allow redevelopment and when to respect tile resources is important. If you don't need anything specific out of your sectors, leave them at default -- on the other hand, if you're trying to really maximize their output, you might want to consider allowing redevelopment and not respecting tile resources. Depending on the planet, forcing your sector governors to respect what's on the tile could end up forcing a food glut or an inefficient colony, and redeveloping will allow them to make adjustments on the fly.

You DON'T want to allow redevelopment if you happen to have a planet with unique resources, like the alien toy factory or the unique buildings found on ringworlds -- unfortunately it's often better to just manage these planets yourself if possible, because the sector AI doesn't always follow the rules.

Resource management

One of the trickier elements of managing your sectors is making sure that they have the resources that they need. Strategic resources are shared across your empire, but your sector only has access to the ones inside its borders -- if you have a colony that relies on Beltharian Stone, you need to make sure there's some in a nearby system (this can be a real bear, so consider keeping your Beltharian Power Plants on core planets to avoid any complications). 

It can also be tempting to leave systems with valuable resources out of your sectors, but consider letting them have some mining stations that provide energy and minerals -- it will prevent shortfalls and make things easier for the sector AI. 

Slaves and robots and sectors, oh my!

Two things that the sector AI doesn't manage terribly well are robots and slaves, unfortunately. Depending on how lucky you are and how complicated the planet is, you may find your slaves working science and your robots working energy, causing great inefficiency. Fortunately, there are a couple things you can do to minimize the negative impacts of faulty AI.

The main strategy you can follow is to wait to hand off your planets to the sector AI until you've built the right buildings and assigned your slaves and robots where they need to go. Make sure that "Allow Redevelopment" isn't checked, and you should be able to avoid having the wrong workers assigned to the wrong tiles.

Another good strategy is to compartmentalize your sectors -- if you rely heavily on slaves, just focus your sectors on mineral production and leave energy and science to either your core sector or sectors worked by your core population. In the long run this will require less micromanagement and will probably work better.

Follow these tips and you should have your sectors running smoothly in no time! Have a tip of your own? Just want to add your two cents? Let us know in the comments!

Stellaris Guide: Simple Console Commands That Are Pretty Much Cheats Fri, 13 May 2016 03:52:04 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Stellaris is making enough waves among both the grand strategy and 4X communities to have even casual strategy gamers take notice, and that's really saying something considering the complexity of the game.

Those who haven't tinkered with Stellaris may be unaware of its hefty console command function, which gives players the ability to tinker with most aspects of the game somewhat freely. Visual and gameplay adjustments are both very possible, but delving into the vast majority of what you can do with the console command function is not a task for the unsavvy. It gets complicated, and fast.

While a good portion of the game's commands are either complex or still being figured out by the game's community, there is still a sizable list of gameplay-affecting commands any Stellaris player can easily make use of. These easy-to-use commands function much like cheats and can make your time with the game easier if that's what you're looking for.

To access the command console, press the tilda (~) key while in a campaign.

The commands below are the game's most simple and primarily function as cheats. Commands with their examples listed as "N/A" in the "Example" column are simply the command itself with no other inputs but the trusty Enter key.

Stellaris Console Commands

Command Function Example
 ai Toggles the game's AI on or off. Useful if you're having trouble and want to go the cheating route or simply just don't want the AI to do anything. N/A
 cash Gives you the amount of energy credits specified. If no number amount is specified, the command will give you 5,000. cash 1,500
 contact Enables or disables contact with all other empires. N/A
 damage Selected ship will take the amount of specified damage. You must select a ship before you can use this command. damage 35
 democratic_election Immediately start a democratic election. N/A
 deposits Toggles deposit stat visibility.  deposits
 engineering Gives you the amount of engineering research specified. If no number amount is specified, the command will give you 5,000. engineering 300
finish_research Completes all of your active research. N/A
 free_government Toggles the ability to change your government without having to wait for the change to take effect.  N/A
 free_policies Toggles the ability to change your policies without having to wait for the change to take effect.  N/A
 ftl Toggles unlimited faster-than-light travel.  N/A
 human_ai Toggles AI for human empires. N/A
 influence Gives you the amount of influence specified. If no number amount is specified, the command will give you 5,000. influence 1,000
 instant_build Toggle for buildings, upgrades, and ships to be completed immediately.  N/A
 instant_colony Toggle for colony ships to settle immediately.  N/A
instant_move Toggle for ships to teleport to their click destinations instead of manually travel.  N/A
invincible Makes your ships invincible. N/A
 minerals Gives you the amount of minerals specified. If no number amount is specified, the command will give you 5,000.  minerals 2,000
 nogui Toggle to remove and bring back the game's GUI.  N/A
physics Gives you the amount of physics research specified. If no number amount is specified, the command will give you 5,000.  physics 450
 planet_happiness Applies a happiness buff to the selected planet. The amount the buff increases that planet's happiness must be specified. You must select a planet before using this command. planet_happiness 70
planet_resource Adds the specified resource (and amount) to random tiles of a planet. You must select a planet before using this command and specify the resource. See below for specific resource codes to use with this command. planet_resource sr_teldar 50
planet_size Increases a planet's size in both function and visually. The default maximum is 25. The game can crash at higher sizes. You must select a planet before using this command.  planet_size 15
populate Populates all of a planet's free population slots. You must select a planet before using this command.  N/A
 research_technologies Immediately researches all in-progress technologies. N/A
resource Gives you the amount of resource you specify. If no number amount is specified, the command will give you 5,000. Works the same as the individual resource commands. resource cash 2,000
 society Gives you the amount of society specified. If no number amount is specified, the command will give you 5,000.  society 1,700
 survey Surveys all planets. N/A


Resource codes to be used with planet_resource

  • Alien Pets - sr_alien_pets
  • Betharian Stone - sr_betharian
  • Dark Matter - sr_dark_matter
  • Energy - energy
  • Engineering Research - engineering_research
  • Engos Vapor - sr_engos
  • Food - food
  • Garanthium Ore - sr_garanthium
  • Influence - influence
  • Living Metal - sr_living_metal
  • Lythuric Gas - sr_lythuric
  • Minerals - minerals
  • Neutronium Ore - sr_neutronium
  • Orillium Ore - sr_orillium
  • Physics Research - physics_research
  • Pitharan Dust - sr_pitharan
  • Satramene Gas - sr_satramene
  • Society Research - society_research
  • Teldar Crystals - sr_teldar
  • Terraforming Gases - sr_terraform_gases
  • Terraforming Liquids - sr_terraform_liquids
  • Zro Distillation - sr_zro


That wraps it up for this guide to Stellaris console commands. Are there any Stellaris tips or cheats you'd like to share? Let us know about them in the comments, and be sure to stick with GameSkinny for more Stellaris guides and information!