Here are my top 10 tips for new players in Stellaris. By new players I mean people with less than 20 hours of game time, or anyone who is struggling to getting well into the mid-game. I would love to hear what you guys think about the tips and strategies here, so please leave a comment below.
1. Survey as much as possible.
It is really important with the date you from doing surveys in Stellaris. You need to explore your galaxy to find new resource nodes, new planets to colonize, get in touch with other civilisations and explore the anomalies. From the start of the game you should use all your science ships to travel around looking for new star systems.
There is no reason to keep your science ships at home as they can not defend you anyways. All the use you have for these ships is to survey the rest of the galaxy and scan planets that it finds. I also suggest that you keep these ships in evasive mode so they won’t get killed by hostile troops.
2. Keep your influence high.
It is really important to keep your influence high so that you stay in control of your empire. Depending on your government type this might be fairy easy or really hard to do. I like to have at least +3 influence at all times if possible. Two big drains on your influence would be frontier outposts and joining alliances. I think it is usually better to stay away from alliances early in the game.
A nice way to get influence is to elect new leaders as they will start their position with a mandate like building a building or similar things. If you help them accomplish their campaign promise you will usually get a nice influence reward, as high as 200 sometimes. This is huge early in the game.
Also make sure you always have enough influence stored up for unforeseen events. Hiring new leaders cost influence, even if they often will gain it back from rewards afterwards. Therefore you should always have influence left to hire new leaders as needed. Leaders do die after a while.
3. Take advantage of frontier outposts.
These are great for taking control of valuable star systems before you are able to expand to them. There are lots of requirements needed for being able to build colony ships, so make sure someone else isn’t taking the valuable star systems during this time.
Having frontier outposts will negatively impact your influence income, but they are definitely worth it if you see a valuable star system you really want to settle in the future.
4. Focus on growth starting out.
I suggest starting with growing your first planet for a while before you start with sciences. Getting your science production started early is not that necessary. You will regain this science production in no time if you are able to expand quickly and take control of several planets.
Also, whenever you settle a new planet I suggest you start building resource production buildings first. Get the planet growing and up and running well before you start putting down your science laboratories.
5. Plan your research.
There are tons and tons of different technologies you can research in Stellaris. Due to the random way research works in Stellaris, you can’t decide which exact technology you want to research next, but you are able to chose the technologies that are most in line with what the goal of your empire is.
If you have a militaristic empire that goes to war a lot, you should definitely focus on technologies that compliments this. Then you would go for technologies like weapons, shields, engines and army size. Doing this you will be able to keep ahead of your rivals in the galaxy. The AI usually researches technologies spread over many different types of areas, so take advantage of this and don’t do the same things yourself.
Every now and done you will be able to select rare research opportunities. These will often take much longer to research than the other options, but that is for a reason. The technologies that are rare are often really good and will have huge effects on your empire. You can notice them by seeing the purple border around their title.
6. Avoid fighting multiple opponents.
Dealing with multiple opponents at the same time can be really tricky. Even if you have a large army being attacked on two fronts means that you have to divide your army up. If your empire is large the travel time from one end to the other will be very challenging to deal with.
You can avoid these multiple opponent wars by keeping a strong army yourself and at the same time keeping your neighbours happy. If they are both happy and aware that you have a strong army, they have no good reasons for attacking you.
Sometimes it might be needed to make some empires your rivals to gain extra influence. When you decide to do this, definitely try to go for the empires that are the furthest away from you. Chances are that they won’t attack you the. Also, once you get further into the game making some empires into your vassals might be a good idea. Their ships will then come and help out if you are attacked.
7. Don’t expand too quickly.
Starting out it can be tempting to just colonise as many planets as possible in the shortest amount of time as possible. This is not a good idea for a number of reasons. First you need to be able to defend the outposts and colonies you build. If you start in an area with either aggressive neighbours or a lot of pirates, you need to have a fleet to defend each colony or outpost you build.
If you don’t have many pirates in your area, and neighbouring empires are friendly, you can expand faster. You also don’t need a fleet to defend each colony our outpost then. With friendly neighbours leaving holes in your influence is usually ok as well, as they will most likely not settle there. Empires view it as an insult to settle too near another empire, and cause of that they will usually not settle close to you if you are allies or friends.
8. Learn sector management.
Managing sectors well is a really important part of Stellaris. Sectors are basically areas of your empire that you drop the micromanagement of, and you let a sector governor manage this part of your empire. You can yourself decide the sector capital and name them, and you can also decide what they will focus on. You are not however able to control the sectors directly.
Many players might want to control all their planets themselves, but in Stellaris this is not possible once your empire grows big. This is a good thing though, micromanaging lots and lots of planets would get very tedious after a while.
9. Get to know the UI well.
Bottom right of your screen there is a button you can click that will show you all the resource and habitable worlds that you have discovered so far. This will make it so much easier for you knowing where to build. Especially pay attention to the green icons which means you can settle those worlds right now.
10. Don’t mess with fallen empires.
Fallen empires are ancient civilisations that are really powerful but not interesting in expanding or conquering other empires. If you piss them off however, they will blast you to pieces with their massive fleets. Because of that you have to make sure you stay friends with them.
There are four types of different fallen empires you might get in touch with, the enigmatic observers, the militant isolationists, the holy guardians and the keepers of knowledge.
The enigmatic observes will leave you alone as long as you don’t enslave other empires. The militant isolationists demand a permanent buffer zone of uncolonised star systems surrounding them. The holy guardians get pisssed of if you try to colonise their holy worlds. The keepers of knowledge will try to stop you from researching dangerous technologies.
Please let me know what you think about these tips by leaving a comment. Maybe you have questions or more tips I can add to the list?