Stellaris is more than a grand strategy game: it’s game which, thanks to its customization options and massive scale, is absolutely unbelievable. If you add some roleplay to the mix as well, even when playing alone, you’ll get even more from it. But starting is always difficult and it’s easy to make some small, stupid mistakes, that will cost you in the long run. Therefore, I have decided to write this guide and share with you some Stellaris tips and tricks on how to start each game in order to prepare for interplanetary domination early on and in order to increase your chances of defeating all alien scum you’ll encounter.
There are tons of strategies that work and a ton that might make things difficult to you – and it all gets even more complicated based on the traits of the races you create and play as, so what suits my play style might not necessarily suit yours. However, I still think that this is worth reading, so do give it a chance if you want to get a head start early on and get the most out of Stellaris as soon as you start a new game. Read this and stay tuned with us as even more Stellaris content is coming! (UPDATE: Read our best tips & tricks article here – but make sure you do after reading this one, as these tips here are not covered again in the new article!)
1. Start surveying as fast as possible and explore as much as possible: send your first Science Ship to survey your solar system (this is the first thing that you should do), then make sure you keep it hopping from solar system to solar system surveying everything. Have in mind that if you meet anomalies that have a success rate lower than 30 percent, it’s best to leave it be for the time being as you run the risk of losing your Scientist.
A trick to make things faster and not risk losing your Science Ship to enemies waiting in a new solar system is to send your military ships explore the new galaxies as well. They can’t survey them, but they can explore them and see if there’s any threat waiting. Do so while your Science ship is surveying your starting system in order to win time and get an advantage in deciding what route to follow.
2. Activate Details Mapmode – even if you play on a Tiny map, things will start getting too complicated shortly. Activate this function by clicking the button at the bottom of the screen and you’ll have a detailed overview of resources in each galaxy and habitable planets. It will help you a lot in the long run so learn to play with this option on!
3. Go for energy and minerals first: these are the most important resources throughout the game, but especially early on: have your construction ship focus on Mineral and Energy-producing planets and build on your own planet buildings that improve one or the other (usually, it’ better to focus on energy since chances of finding resources in the galaxy are actually higher). Remember, though, that during early game stages, Minerals are vital and probably the most important type of resource. Don’t build any research-related buildings and even ignore research bonuses that you find on other planets and focus on getting all the minerals and energy first.
4. Colonize your first planet ASAP! As soon as you find a habitable planet, start the colonization process: the longer you wait, the further you’ll be left behind in the race to conquer the galaxy. Even if the energy will drop in the red for a while, you shouldn’t worry: it’s temporary and you shouldn’t be hoarding energy either way (I usually hit my maximum storage anyway in a few hours of play time – and you will do so most likely if you manage things properly). Then rush to get to five planets as fast as possible and build Starports everywhere in order to get the maximum fleet advantage. It’s also what most of the other species’ will do, so you have to keep up!
5. Start thinking about specialization: building awesome ships is exactly what you need in order to rule the galaxy. Always focus on researching better technology for your ships, and try to specialize them on just a couple of things as you won’t have the time to be an ace in every weapon type, for example. It would help if you knew what to prepare for (by analyzing what types of ships the other races have), but even if you don’t, just make your pick and stick to it. And it’s better to have 2-3 techs to focus on than playing all your cards on one in case you are extremely unlucky and you meet a race that is completely resistant to your tech advances.
6. Build Frontier Outposts only when needed
Frontier Outposts are extremely useful if you find a system that’s not within your borders, but you need the resources there. Ideally, you will place it in a solar system or nearby one that you will colonize later, in order to be able to bring that system within your race’s borders and get to decommission the outpost in order to use that energy elsewhere. However, make sure that the gains (in energy and minerals, mostly) are worth it because building the Frontier Outposts is extremely expensive and there’s also a maintenance fee.
(Note: In an early version of this guide, I claimed that you need to build FO’s to colonize planets – which is something I was certain you have to do until I received some comments here. It was either that this was changed by a later update – which is highly improbable – or I just got things wrong and therefore all my Stellaris games had an extra challenge as I only colonized planets after building an outpost. This might actually work nicely as a challenge for yourself if you need an extra one as it does make the game a lot more interesting.)
7. Declare rivals
Influence is extremely important in the game and there are not many ways to gain it. So it’s a good idea to declare rivals with other players or Fallen Empires if you meet them in order to get a boost in Influence which will come extremely handy later on (especially when your leaders start leaving this world)
These would by my tips and tricks for starting the game. There’s a lot depth to this game, but having these basic things in mind will ensure that you have a great start and a bright future ahead of you.
Other tips regarding what to do when starting a new Stellaris game? Let us know by commenting below and remember to check back soon for even more tips and tricks for this game!