“Grand strategy” is a genre of games where players control a nation/government/empire over hundreds of in-game years and influence its success (or failure) through military, economic, political, and diplomatic means. Stellaris is a grand strategy game set in a massive space sandbox. Sure, starting your own space empire can seem like a daunting task, so we’ve pulled together some quick tips and tricks to help you get started. Soon you’ll be up and running faster than light.
Start with familiar territory
Try out your first playthrough as the United Nations of Earth, which represents all humans on Earth and offers a slightly more diplomacy-oriented playstyle. Space is huge, and it’s dangerous to go alone, so make sure to build alliances! You’re always stronger with fellow empires to back you up.
Sleep with one eye open
While having alliances has all sorts of benefits, the galaxy is vast and full of wonders… but some of those wonders will try to kill you. Make sure your empire is not stretched so thin that you can’t defend it when the time comes.
Look before you leap
When exploring the galaxy, it’s important to know what exists outside your own system. Science ships will allow you to explore new systems before you expand there. We recommend building two so you can explore faster. Once you decide to expand, you’ll need Construction ships to build outposts. Should there be habitable planets, Colony ships can begin populating them with your citizens. Congratulations, you’re a space colonist now.
Mine, mine mine!
You build and expand your empire with base resources produced on your planetary districts such as Energy, Minerals, and Food. Ensure you’re utilising them effectively. However, for advanced resources such as Alloys, Consumer Goods, Research, and Amenities, you’ll need to construct buildings to produce them.
All your starbases are belong to you
Your empire travels by ship, so in order to extend your reach, you’ll need to construct shipyards that produce ships. As you grow, you can build more shipyards by upgrading your starbases. Building starbases and shipyards creates other advantages: starbase buildings and modules can also provide bonuses to your empire, so select what to build carefully.
Surpass your limits
The game shows you your empire’s capacity for Starbases, Navy, and Administration but these are not hard limits. If you deem it necessary, you are free to go over them. That said, going over your capacity will result in penalties to upkeep and income.
Stay resource rich
Keep an eye on your resources! Running out of resources will decrease your income by -25%. If you need to cover yourself while you’re using a lot of resources, you can buy more on the market to get rid of negative modifiers.
Position your defences carefully
Space is full of key travel lanes that allow ships to travel between systems, so position your outposts carefully. Place defensive starbases on choke points to maintain more territory with less firepower.
Size up your opponent
Before you open fire on another empire, it’s important to check your enemy’s fleet strength! The diplomacy screen is a good place to check – it shows your relative combat strength. Avoid engaging empires that are too powerful!