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This article has been verified for the current PC version (3.2) of the game.
Fleet task colonize 2.png

Colonization is the process of moving Pop.png Pops via a Colony Ship to a previously uninhabited but habitable planet.

The first time an empire colonizes another world it will gain between 60 and 150 Engineering research Engineering Research.

Humanoid empire colonizing a new world

Habitability[edit | edit source]

Mod habitability.png

Habitability is the measure of how comfortably a species can live on a planet. Most species have a climate preference for one of the primary habitable planet types, although more exotic preferences are possible. A planet's habitability (and Terraforming cost) is determined by its climate. The 9 regular habitable world types are divided into 3 climate categories: dry, frozen and wet. Planet ringworld.png Ring World, Planet gaia.png Gaia World, and Planet city.png Ecumenopolis worlds have maximum habitability for all species while Planet nuked.png Tomb Worlds, Planet ai.png Machine Worlds, and Planet infested.png Hive Worlds (without the Hive-minded.png Hive-Minded species trait) are normally uninhabitable by biological species.

Tier Base
Gaia World, Ecumenopolis, and Ring World 100%
Exact match 80%
Habitat 70%
Climate category match 60%
Climate mismatch 20%
Tomb World, Machine World, and Hive World 0%
  • Every 1% reduction of Habitability below 100% increases the Pop Upkeep and Amenities.png Amenity Usage by 1% and reduces their job output and species growth by 0.5%. It floors at 0% Habitability, giving +100% Pop Upkeep and Amenity Usage, and -50% Job Output and Pop Growth.
  • Homeworlds have +30% Habitability for the species originating from them.
  • Robot pops have 200% Habitability for each planet type, but empires that aren't Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligences require the Droids Droids technology to build Colony Ships using robots.
  • Low Habitability can trigger events.

Visual cues[edit | edit source]

Systems containing surveyed or non-surveyed habitable worlds will have one or more planet icons that are either green, yellow, orange, red, or blue, depending on the habitability percentage and/or status of the planet(s) in question. Planets with the Pm planet from space.pngPm frame 1.png Terraforming Candidate modifier don't create planet icons unless they're being Terraform planet 2.png Terraformed.

Icon color Mod habitability.png Habitability
Colonizability green.png Green The world is ≥ 70% habitable for at least one species in the player's empire.
Colonizability yellow.png Yellow The world is 40–69% habitable for at least one species in the player's empire.
Colonizability red.png Red The world is < 40% habitable for all species in the player's empire.
Colonizability orange.png Orange The world is habitable but not surveyed.
Colonizability blue.png Blue The world is currently being terraformed.

Planets cannot be colonized if they house an anomaly or a pre-FTL species.

Since different species can have different world type preferences, it can be better for an empire to populate its worlds with other alien species, genetically-engineered subspecies, or even robots/synthetics.

It is also possible to Terraform planet 2.png Terraform habitable worlds, though this is a costly and time-consuming process. Only habitable planets and barren worlds with the Pm planet from space.pngPm frame 1.png Terraforming Candidate modifier can be terraformed.

Habitability strategies[edit | edit source]

Genetic Modification[edit | edit source]

Using genetic modification, one can create a subspecies of the empire's primary species that is suitable for the Climate in question. However, this needs either the first-in approach (so they can be changed on the new Planet) or a staging area with increased Habitability regardless of current Climate Preference (Ringworld, Habitat, Homeworld, rare modifiers).

Changing a habitability trait costs the equivalent of adding a trait worth 3 trait-points and requires the Tech glandular acclimation.png Glandular Acclimation technology.

Xenos[edit | edit source]

With all the possible habitability types, there are bound to be some aliens that can live comfortably on planets which are unsuitable to your primary species. The main disadvantage is that xeno pops have increased Unity cost per pop and might not have favorable traits. There may also be unwanted Xenophile attraction/Faction interactions from this path.

Xeno pops can be added to an Empire to use as colonists via Diplomacy war.png Conquest and Diplomacy migration pact.png Migration Treaties. If a species has migration access to your empire you can use them in colony ships even if you don't yet have any pops of that species.

Tech epigenetic triggers.png Uplifting, Fleet task technological enlightenment action.png Enlightening, or Fleet task covert infiltration action.png Infiltrating a pre-sapient or pre-FTL species is another way to acquire xeno pops. With the first, it's possible to get a rare Habitability trait like Trait pc nuked preference.png Tomb World Preference. Very rare species native to Planet nuked.png Tomb Worlds are extremely adaptive and can thrive on any planet - they have 60% habitability on every normal planet class. The usual way to obtain pops of these species is finding them as upliftable pre-sapients on Tomb Worlds and uplifting. The Horizon Signal event chain can also create a subspecies of your main species with this trait. Alternatively, pops of your main species on Tomb Worlds may Trait cybernetic.png Self-Modify via the A New Species event and develop into their own species native to Tomb Worlds.

It is also possible to purchase pops with the Trait pc nuked preference.png Tomb World Preference trait from Flag caravaneer 03.png Racket Industrial Enterprise caravaneers.

Improving habitability[edit | edit source]

Aside from the aforementioned methods, there are also various other methods for improving Habitability:

Habitability bonuses
Mod habitability.png Source DLC
+5% Bioadaptability.png Bioadaptability (from the Orbital Speed Demon event)
+10% Trait primitive.png Starborn (pre-sapient trait)
+10% Adaptive.png Adaptive
+20% Extremely Adaptive.png Extremely Adaptive
+20% Trait cybernetic.png Cybernetic Utopia.pngSynthetic Dawn.png
+20% Trait clone soldier ascendant.png Clone Soldier Ascendant (from the Clone Army Clone Army origin) DLC humanoids species pack.png
+30% Robust.png Robust (from the Evolutionary Mastery Evolutionary Mastery ascension perk) Utopia.png
+50% Trait lithoid.png Lithoid Lithoids.png
+5% Civic ascetic.png Ascetic civic Federations
+10% Tradition icon adaptability.png Adaptability tradition Environmental Diversification / Dynamic Ecomorphism
Linear habitability bonuses
Category Mod habitability.png Source DLC
Job healthcare.png Medical Worker jobs
(+2.5% each)
+5% Building clinic.png Gene Clinic
+10% Building clinic.png Cyto-Revitalization Center
New Worlds.png New Worlds technologies
(+20% total)
+5% Tech colonization 2.png Atmospheric Filtering technology
+5% Tech colonization 3.png Hostile Environment Adaptation technology
+5% Tech colonization 4.png Foreign Soil Enrichment technology
+5% Tech colonization 5.png Eco-Integration Studies technology
Resolution ecological protection.png Ecological Protection
(+15% total)
+5% Resolution 3: Integrated Gardens
+5% Resolution 4: Environmental Control Board Federations
+5% Resolution 5: Paradise Initiative Federations
Building gaiaseeders 4.png Gaia Seeder phases 2 and 3
(+10% each)
+10% Building gaiaseeders 2.png Gaia Seeder phase 2 DLC plantoids species pack.png
+20% Building gaiaseeders 3.png Gaia Seeder phase 3 DLC plantoids species pack.png
Restricted habitability bonuses
Where Mod habitability.png Source DLC
Planet habitat.png Habitats +20% Ap voidborn.png Voidborne ascension perk Utopia.png
Planet nuked.png Tomb Worlds +20% Tech tomb world adaption.png Tomb World Adaptation technology
+20% Trait plantoid radiotrophic.png Radiotrophic (botanic trait) DLC plantoids species pack.png
+70% Trait survivor.png Survivor (from the Origins post apocalyptic.png Post-Apocalyptic origin) Apocalypse.png
+100% Irradiated Irradiated (pre-sapient trait)
Planet ocean.png Ocean Worlds +20% Trait aquatic.png Aquatic Aquatics.png
Habitability reductions
Category Mod habitability.png Source DLC
Species traits −10% Nonadaptive.png Nonadaptive
Resolution industrial development.png Industrial Development
(–25% total)
–2% Resolution 1: Regulatory Facilitation
–3% Resolution 2: Collective Waste Management
–5% Resolution 3: Building a Better Tomorrow
–10% Resolution 4: Environmental Ordinance Waivers Federations
–5% Resolution 5: Project Cornucopia Federations

Colony ships[edit | edit source]

To colonize a planet, an empire needs first to own the system via a Spaceport 1.png Starbase and then to send a colony ship to the planet. Colony ships can be built at any Starbase with a Sb shipyard.png Shipyard module.

Colony Ships cost a base amount of resources and take a year to build. While ordering its construction, you have to choose which species (including robots) will board the colony ship. Species require the Species right colonization rights.png Colonization Allowed species rights to be selected for Colony Ships.

To colonize a planet, select the colony ship, right click on the planet you want to settle, and choose Colonize Planet.

Private colony ships[edit | edit source]

Empires with the Civic corporate dominion.png Corporate Dominion or Civic private prospectors.png Private Prospectors civic can build Private Colony Ships for 500 Energy.png Energy.

Meteorite colony ships[edit | edit source]

Meteorite Colony Ship

Trait lithoid.png Lithoid Empires with the Origins lithoid.png Calamitous Birth Origin can build Meteorite Colony Ships. Meteorite Colony ships are built twice as fast as regular Colony Ships and cost only 500 Minerals.png Minerals. When they are used to colonize the world gains the Lithoid Crater modifier and two Buried Lithoids blocker.

Colony development[edit | edit source]

When a Colony Ship lands on a planet it will be converted into a Tier 1 capital building, which can be upgraded as the population grows. After landing a period of initial development will occur. The period lasts about 2 years and 10 months at 0 pops, and grows with increasing number of pops. It can also be reduced by the following:

Mod planet colony development speed.png Colony Development Speed bonus source Boost
Planet habitat.png Habitat +200%
Menu icon policies and edicts.png Evacuation Protocols edict +100%
Tech cryostasis 1.png AI-controlled Colony Ships technology +50%
Tech cryostasis 2.png Self-Aware Colony Ships technology +50%
Expansion Adopting the Expansion tradition tree +25%
Trait ruler frontier spirit.png Frontier Spirit ruler trait +25%
Diplomatic stance expansionist.png Expansionist diplomatic stance +15%

While the colony is being established, it is extremely vulnerable: just a few days of orbital bombardment will wipe it out completely. During this period the new colony does not produce anything and consumes Energy.png Energy. Once the colony has been successfully established, a single Pop will appear and take a Job colonist.png Colonist job. You can then begin to develop the planet by constructing District.png Districts and Building Buildings, clearing Tile Blocker.png Tile Blockers, and resettling Pop.png Pops.

The Tradition expansion colonization fever.png Colonization Fever tradition from the Expansion Expansion tradition tree and the R cryo core.png Yuht Cryo Core relic each increase the number of initial pops on a new colony by 1.

References[edit | edit source]

Game concepts
Governance EmpireEthicsGovernmentCivicsPoliciesEdictsLeaderFactionsPopulationSpecies rightsEconomyTechnologyTraditionsCrime
Exploration ExplorationMapSpeciesAnomalyEventsFTLFallen empirePre-FTL speciesPrecursorsSpaceborne aliens
Colonization ColonizationCelestial bodyPlanetary featuresPlanetary managementDistrictsBuildingsShipStarbaseMegastructures
Diplomacy DiplomacyTradeSubject empireFederationsGalactic communityAI personalitiesIntelligence
Warfare WarfareSpace warfareLand warfareShip designer
Others TraitsTerraformingPop modificationSlaveryCrisisPreset empiresAI playersEaster eggs