I wanted to share my Stellaris strategy with all you fine ladies and gentlemen before I retire it with 2.2. I love Stellaris because unlike most other 4x games that pigeonhole you into a story and gameplay type, Stellaris gives you the freedom to completely create your own.
I’ve spent hours and hours fine tuning this one strategy, and wanted to give it a proper burial before I swap to Megachurch/Crime Syndicate in 2.2. So, here it is!
There are a lot of RP elements to my strategy, but it’s also very good for aspiring new players, since it works for me consistently on Grand Admiral difficulty with all advanced AI starts and Endgame Crisis at 1.5 (Highest I’ve completed a game with maybe it could go higher). It’s only two weaknesses are that if you start next to a Fanatical Purifier (or anything like them) you’re toast. Also, I doubt it would work well on multiplayer as it was weaknesses the AI doesn’t know how to exploit but a player would.
But, this is a great strategy for anyone who’s lazy (like me) and hates micromanaging, but also feels like a cheater if they play on a difficulty too low. With this strat, I just hold the game on Very Fast for almost the entire game. Yay!
I always name my leader after my wife. And, I’ve become aware that in 200-something years, a threat will engulf the universe. I must do everything I can to preserve her, and the world she lives in.
So, my main goal is to make her immortal and have enough power to defeat the End Game Crisis. Yay love!
The Nuts and Bolts
Ethics: Xenophobe, Pacifist, Spiritualist
Civics: Inward Perfection, Life Seeded
Traits: Venerable, Natural Engineers, Non-Adaptive, Repugnant
Traditions: Discovery, Harmony, Prosperity, Expansion, Supremacy, Domination
Ascension: Technological Ascendancy, Mind over Matter, Voidborne, Transcendence, Master Builders, Galactic Wonders, Defender of the Galaxy
I need Xenophobe and Pacifist to qualify for Inward Perfection. It allows for me to fill out that first gaia world, and get a lot more unity.
Spiritualist is taken because I need the psionic ascension to turn our queen into a chosen immortal.
Life-Seeded because I’m lazy and don’t want to manage too many planets. Plus, it actually works pretty well for what I’m after.
Venerable because I need my queen to survive long enough for the Shroud RNG to make her immortal.
Natural Engineers because the only tech that matters is engineering for the first 50 years.
Non-Adaptive because I’m life seeded. Why not, right?
And Repugnant because I only care about my queen, the aliens can all perish for all it matters to me. Plus, I’ll get that trait anyway from the Worm, who plays a big role in all this.
Dictatorship because if you choose Imperial, the shroud will always try to make your heir immortal for some reason instead of the queen. Can’t have that.
The First Half
- Delete your fleet. You only need it in 10ish years when pirates show up, and the extra 3 or 4 minerals really help in those first couple years.
- Build a temple and work it asap. We need unity and lots of it.
- Scout your area with Map the Stars Edict. If you can get a second gaia world, you win at life. It’s not needed, but makes things a lot easier. I tend to get it about 50% of the time. The Discovery opener gives an additional 20% chance of finding an anomaly (Sadly that’s changing with 2.2 to 20% anomaly speed)
- Create Choke Points. You want to expand to 13 to 20 systems. No more. You ideally want 1 or 2 choke points. 3 is doable, but 4 is difficult.
- Secure your area. Build ships when bandits rise up. You might have to deal with pirates once or twice before you can seal yourself in.
Step 1: Turtle.
Once you’re sealed in. Delete your fleet. You don’t need it anymore. You’ll barely have mineral gains, so you don’t want to sink any of them into a fleet. You won’t build your first fleet until you’re 100-120 years in with battleships, energy torpedoes, and tachyon lances.
Step 2: Engineering Focus
Everything you need for the first 50 years comes from Engineering. Keep the two farms and two mines and two power plants you start with, and also build the special buildings like the Energy Nexus, Paradise Dome, Psi Corps, ect when you get it. But, for everything else on your planet, spam Engineering Facilities.
Step 3: Keep your Fortresses at Max
The reason you can delete your fleet is because with high engineering focus, you can keep very high-level fortresses blocking your choke points. You can ignore this a bit in the first 10-20 years of the game before you’ve met your first neighbor, but once you and your neighbor are touching borders, then make sure your fortress stations have max defense platforms, all gun batteries, target uplink computer, communications jammer, disruption field generator, and defense grid super computer (when you can).
This discourages most AI from declaring war on you. The ones that do will often times smash their fleet into your defenses, allowing you to research the tech from the debris. If you’re neighbors with a purifier though, you’re doomed.
Step 4: Money Stations over your planet(s)
You want full economy stations over your planets. Early game, I use the Hydroponics Bay instead of the Offworld Trading Company just so I don’t need to use an extra farm planet side. Your Fortress Stations can also use Hydroponic Farms early game if there’s no immediate threat to increase pop growth.
Step 5: Unity
You have temples which grant extra unity. Prioritize any unity granting techs in the society tree. And, the sooner you learn psionics, the sooner you can make the Psi Corps building, granting lots of unity. Find the artisan troupe asap to get their art monument on your planet, granting a lot of extra unity.
You also have the Fear Campaign edict from xenophobe (10% unity) and the Declare Saint edict from Spiritualist (15% unity). Use them as much as you can.
Step 6: The Worm
This is one of the most important parts. Get one of your science ships to go in and out of a blackhole system. Everything we get from the Worm is amazing for this strategy.
One note: The Messenger section of the Worm questline will spawn the first time a ship moves into a new system after you discover the hidden temple on your home planet. I usually stop all my ships from moving, and get a single ship to move within the home borders. You want to save the Messenger event for 100-120 years in, and don’t want it to be far away inside future enemy territory.
Step 7: Before you turn your planet into a tomb world…
Genetically modify your people to get the 20% growth trait. You should have the gene mod tech around then anyway, and the 20% growth will help a lot when we start spamming habitats and want to fill them out.
Step 8: Let the Worm embrace your planet
It turns your home planet into a tomb world, but also grants you many new tomb world planets in your home system. Also, your people gained the Natural Physicist trait, and can now colonize any planet. Turn all your people into this form of humanity. Now you have 15% Physics and 15% Engineering research on your people.
Step 9: Droids
Once you get droids, colonize one or two planets with them, turning them into mineral planets. You only need one or two.
Step 10: Habitats
Once you get habitats (should be around 40-60 years in depending on rng), make one anytime you have 10k minerals. Make your habitats Science Habitats or Energy Habitats.
On the science Habitats, I build Paradise Dome, Leisure District, Loop Institute, and the rest Lab Complexes.
On the energy Habitats, I build Paradise Dome, Leisure District, Spiral Feed Power Hub, and the rest Solar Power.
Ultimately, these become the backbone of your power. Late game, every Science Hab nets you 40-50 in each science and every Energy Hab nets you 200-250 in Energy.
This is because: 10% Science Governor, 15% Natural Physicist/Engineer, 10% Intelligent, 10% Void Loop (Event), 20% Happiness, 10% Psionic.
Step 11: Resource Replicators
With your habitats pumping out tons of research and energy, you should be able to start swapping your mines on your two mining planets to Resource Replicators. Balance it all out, but this is how you’ll support your future war machine.
Step 12: The Messenger
This is the most important step and the one you take when you’re just about done turtling. Activate the messenger event from the Worm, and all your pops will gain Intelligent (10% to all research) and they’ll all become militaristic. Embrace the new militarist faction that pops up and your new Ethics will be Militarist, Xenophobe, and Spiritualist. Inward Perfection won’t work anymore, but you should be able to gear up for war.
The Second Half
From here, about 100-120 years into the game, you should be technologically superior to your neighbors, and be pumping out loads of minerals and energy since you haven’t owned a warship in the past 100 years. Here’s a few things I do:
I always turn my neighbors into tributaries. Why? Because I’m lazy. I’ve been playing for a couple hours now, and don’t want to micromanage more territory. To do this though, my enemies need to be inferior to me. You can do this pretty well with your greater technology and superior warships, but the real crutch is naval capacity. The AI just loves to spam that. Thankfully, we can too. Since we’re so tall, we have tons of pops, but are likely only using 2-3 stations for fortresses and 2-4 stations for economy. So the rest, we spam out for naval capacity.
Our technology translates into power late game because we can advance our ships so high. I spend my late game Physics research exclusively for improving Energy Weapon attack speed and damage. I spend my Engineering research exclusively on improving Armor and Minerals. My Society research can do whatever it pleases.
I use 1 Titan and 26 Battleships. They’re all equipped with a Tachyon Lance and Neutron Launchers and Regenerative Hull Tissue (For laziness, so I don’t have to return my ships for repairs mid battle).
I do this so I can focus my late game research on Physics, and not need to improve both kinetic and energy weapons via research.
I use the No Retreat war doctrine from Supremacy. It doesn’t seem to be very popular on the forums, but I tried the Trickster Admirals with Hit and Run and it just didn’t save enough lives to make it worth it. Instead, I use No Retreat with Unyielding Admirals. It gives 33% fire rate, plus the Militarist 10% fire rate, plus 5% Unyielding weapon damage, plus the Psionic 10% weapon damage.
With all that plus all the research, I find it better to just blow the enemy away with superior firepower than try to save and retreat my ships.
I’ve used my energy weapon ship design against the Unbidden (Who’re all shields) and with the 50% damage boost from Defender of the Galaxy plus everything else I still blow them out of the water.
In my early variations of this strategy, I tried to really gun for these, but playing as tall as I do, focusing on them is just too time consuming. I just build these whenever I can. I focus on building only the Science Nexus first and then the Dyson Sphere after that. I don’t build ring worlds. Yes, technically they’re better than Habitats, but that late into the game I’m not paying enough attention anymore to my homeland to remember to upgrade everything. It’s better than I just keep spamming habitats. Once they’re made, I get a notification, build all the buildings at once, and never think about the thing again.
I turn everyone into tributaries because again, I don’t want to micromanage everything. A tributary isn’t a burden to you like a vassal (dragging you into wars and such) and sends their support to my super army, which late game is 4-6 fleets of my super battleships which seem to do all the work I need. They also count towards your Domination war goal, which is fine by me.
Anyway, this is my neat little laziness empire. I can make my queen immortal, play sim city for the first half of the game and total war for the second half with a large advantage. As a side note, if you make your first queen immortal, she doesn’t turn into a weird blue tentacle person like everyone else who embraced the worm. Beauty yay!
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