In order to represent the struggles an empire will face in attempting to maintain control over a diverse population, Stellaris includes a system where units of an empire's population can support factions. Factions represent political parties and are the main determinant of pop happiness. They are disabled for Gestalt Consciousness empires.
- 1 Pops supporting Factions
- 2 Faction Properties
- 3 Factions
- 4 References
Pops supporting Factions
Only Pops that are fully sentient can support factions. For the exact requirement for supporters see below. A pop can only support one Faction. Common lockout conditions are slavery, being a shackled robot, suffering from culture shock, and purging. However, either option will cause a rather high level of Unhappiness by itself, making it a "de facto" Faction that is always unhappy.
Every Ethic has at least one Faction and every eligible pop of that Ethic may support it. This is very positive if the faction is happy but can lead to massive Crime and Poor planetary approval if it is unhappy.
As a Pop generally has to have the fitting Ethics to support a Faction, Ethics attraction plays a major role in Faction strength and distribution. Both systems interact to a degree, with many issues aiming to create (or curb) conflicting Attractions.
Remember: First Ethics, then (maybe) Faction support.
Every faction has all of these properties. Approval and size/support are usually the most important figures to keep in mind.
Generally, Factions only spawn after at least 10 ingame years have passed and there are at least 5 pops capable of supporting it. There is an also 180 day lockout between Factions spawning. While many also require having met another species, this is not a universal rule.
It can rarely happen that a Faction despawns shortly after forming due to losing members, which can result in the Faction re-forming under a new name later.
This is derived from its issues, with a major modification if the Faction is suppressed, supported or a factions Ethic was recently Embraced. Faction Approval adds a Happiness modifier to all Pops who support the faction:
How many Pops currently support that Faction. Happy Factions should ideally contain 100% of the population. While that rarely happens, minimizing unhappy factions is still relevant. This is primarily a informational value, as the derived value Support is often more important. It still maters for the Approval based modifier.
How many pops support the faction, weighted by their political impact. The tooltip separates between Citizen and non-Citizen (Residency) pops. Currently all pops count the same regardless of Political Power and if they have Citizen Rights. 
It is ideal if happy Factions have a lot of support and unhappy ones as little as possible. Depending on the Support, an unhappy Faction will be listed as White, Yellow or Red in the outliner.
Issues directly translate to happiness: the more issues that are Fulfilled, the happier the Faction. By their nature opposing Ethic Factions have opposing issues, making it impossible to make all Factions happy. An issue can be either fulfilled or not fulfilled. In either case, it might produce a happiness penalty (red), a happiness bonus (green) or be neutral (yellow). Many issues have requirements before they can appear, making it sometimes hard to know what will please a faction before unlocking the proper Options.
As they can only have two states, issues come in a few common shapes that can each only have two of the above states:
- Positive issues will be green if fulfilled, yellow if not fulfilled.
- Negative issues will be red if not fulfilled, yellow if fulfilled.
- Extreme issues will be red if not fulfilled, green if fulfilled.
- Timed issues belong into one of the above, but rely on having a timed country flag.
- Stacking issues are a set of Positive issues. There are 2 or more "levels" to fulfilling these issues. Usually, the higher level is the same basic mechanic/check, but with a higher threshold. Fulfilling one level will unlock the next one (i.e., being 10, 20 and 50 years at peace; having 1, 3 or 5 Non-Aggression Pacts with neighbors). The levels will usually provide +2%, +3% and +5% happiness which will stack for a total of +5% or +10%. However, sometimes unrelated issues share these numbers too.
Faction Influence Gain can be improved by the following:
Every Faction has a leader. That one will be drawn randomly from the Leaders already hired or hire-able in the empire, but often with weighting towards certain leader classes and towards/against Xenos. Rulers can become the Leaders of Faction or already be before they become Ruler. If the Ruler of the Empire is also the Leader of a Faction, the Attraction for the Faction and the Factions Ethics will also increase.
Actions the player can do to deal with the Faction:
- Embrace Faction allows an empire to change their Ethics one step towards that Faction's Ethics. It costs 500 influence, has a 20 year lockout and requires at least 20% Faction support. It will make this Faction Happy (+10%) but all others Unhappy (-20%).
- Suppression allows an empire to reduce the attraction of the Faction's Ethic, which can - in the long run - eliminate the Faction. But its main use is to limit the Faction Support. Suppressing a faction gives -75% Ethic Attraction for the chosen ethic and costs -1 Influence per month.
- Support allows an empire to increase the attraction of the Faction's Ethic. This can be used both to promote the governing ethics or to prepare for an ethics switch. Supporting a faction gives +100% Ethic Attraction for the chosen ethic but costs -2 Influence per month.
- For any of the Terms used, please see Game Terms.
- Guiding Ethics: The Primary Ethics of the Faction. A Faction can have only one Guiding Ethics.
- Requirement: Requirements are same for all Factions:
- Supporter Requirements: Which requirements a pop must meet, in order to be able to support this Faction. Standing requirements for all Factions are:
- Attraction: How attractive the Faction is to join (as opposed to an equally eligible Faction). Base values are: 100. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. Only Additional cases and exceptions will be listed below.
- Leader: How the weighting for choosing the Faction Leader works. The base value is 100 with an Exclusion for Event Leaders
- Guiding Ethics: Militarist
- Additional Supporter Requirements: none
- Attraction: default; x1.25 with Citizenship Rights
- Leader: default
|Aggressive Diplomacy||Communication with a non-Vassal Default Empire||Unrestricted or Liberation Warfare||0||–30|
|Subjugation||Communication with a non-Vassal Default Empire||Timed flag from getting Ownership of a planet (remains fulfilled for 10 years; other transfers excluded)||+10||0|
|Fanatic Purifiers||Has valid Fanatic Purifier Civic||Always||+10||0|
|Local Rivalry||3+ Communications; Not valid Fanatic Purifier Civic; Less than 2 Rivals||Has 1 Rival||+5||-5|
|Neighborhood Rivalries||3+ Communications; Not valid Fanatic Purifier Civic; More than 1 but less than 3 Rivals;||Has 2 Rivals||+10||0|
|Galactic Nemeses||3+ Communications; Not valid Fanatic Purifier Civic; More than 2 Rivals||Has 3 Rivals||+15||0|
|Imperial Hegemony||3+ Communications; Not valid Fanatic Purifier Civic||Being a Overlord||+5||0|
|Subject State||Being a Subject||Always||0||-25|
|Leviathan Slayer||Host has Leviathans DLC; Contact with any Guardian Country||Killed a Guardian Flag||+10||0|
Summary: Imperialist factions function as a Militarist path that requires frequent warfare, as well as rivalries and subjects in order to please. With 2.2 Rivalries were drastically buffed, both in effect how to aquire them. They go from -5 to +15, but Fanatic Purifier just replaces the Rivalry possibilities with a flat +10. Federations and Liberation Warfare are no longer a hinderance for this faction like they used to be, but being a subject is not a possibility. Being an Overlord and Killing a Leviathan are the only ways to get the persistent +20 bonuses Reaching even consistent 60% is problematic without vassal and Rival, with 80% being impossible
- Guiding Ethics: Xenophobe
- Additional Supporter Requirements: Pop is either Xeno or Empire is Pacifist
- Attraction: default; x1.5 if Xenophobe. x0.25 if Militarist
- Leader: default
|Stalwart Defense||Communication with a non-Vassal Default Empire||Empire has its war policy set to anything other than Unrestricted Wars||0||–25|
|Unwilling Aggression||3+ Communications. On attacker side of any war||Is neither attacker in a war, nor joined one as an defender||0||–25|
|Strong Alone||1+ Communication||Empire is not in a Federation||0||–25|
|Restricted Movement||3+ Communications||Empire does not have a Migration Pact with another Empire and does not have their refugee policy set to "Refugees Allowed"||0||–10|
|Non-Aggression Pact||3+ Communications; Less than 2 Non-Agression Pacts||1+ Non-Aggression pact||+5||0|
|Non-Aggression Covenant||3+ Communications, At least 1 but less than 3 Non Agression Pacts||2+ Non-Aggression pacts||+10||0|
|Non-Aggression Protocol||3+ Communications, 3+ Non-Aggression pacts||3+ Non-Aggression pacts||+15||0|
|Peace||1+ Communications||Empire has been at peace for at least 10||+5||0|
|Extended Peace||1+ Communications, Empire has been at peace for over 10 years||Empire has been at peace for over 25 years||+10||0|
|Peace Everlasting||1+ Communications, Empire has been at peace for over 25 years||Empire has been at peace for over 50 years||+15||0|
Summary: The Pacifist Xenophobe Faction can frequently be more pacifist than Pacifist factions itself. If the Empire is not Pacifist, only Xenophobe Xenos can join this Faction - the primary species is excluded. Any primary species Xenophobes will instead join the aggressive Xenophobe (Supremacist) faction. This can cause conflicts between both factions unless the empire enslaves or purges all Xenos. If the empire is pacifist, this is the only Xenophobe faction regardless of species.
2.2 Buffed the Non Agression Pacts no longer requiring a Neighbour to be the target and allowing them to go form +5 to +15. But in turn they now cost influence. Being at peace can stack up to +30. And unlike the Pacifist Ethics Attraction, it is years since gamestart count. While the faction has no penalty for a Liberation war policy or Defensive Pacts, the Faction is unhappy the moment it actually comes up (other than self defense).
Usually the Faction with start at +5 from Years of Peace, requiring only 20 more peaceyears or 1 NAP to reach 60%. The factions can reach 80% from the Peacetime alone and reach a potential 95% approval. On the flip side only 1 policy and being at war make it hit 0%, with being attacked resetting the Peacetime Bonus entirely.
- Guiding Ethics: Egalitarian
- Additional Supporter Requirements: none
- Attraction: 150 Base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. x0.25 if not Owner Species 
- Leader: 100 Base. x0 for Ruler Class Leaders in Imperial Authority empire
Summary: 2.2's introduction of Stratified Society for Authoritarians finally fixed the issues that plagued this faction in regard to Xeno Slavery/Oppression. There is still a potential minor issue with population control on species level and Residency Pops however.
Reaching 70% the moment it spawns is trivial, with 80% possible after a while. However it has a lot of issues it can hit 0% with in non-Egalitarian Societies.
- Guiding Ethics: Pacifist
- Additional Supporter Requirements: non-Fanatic Pacifist only
- Attraction: Default. x1.5 if either Pacifist. x1.25 if not Owner Species 
- Leader: 100 Base. x0 for Admirals and Generals
|Solid Liquidity||Owns a Planet beyond their Capital World||Empire has at least 5000 energy in storage||+10||0|
|Defensive Stance||Always||Setting War Policy to Defensive Wars Only||+10||-10|
|Keep the Peace||Always||Empire is not at war||+5||–10|
|Nonviolence||3+ Communications||Empire did not enter a war as an Attacker and is not on the side of the Attackers in any other way||0||–30|
Summary: The pacifist faction might also be calle the Economic Faction, as that is a large part of it's goals.
With 2.2 Traditions and Strategic Resources no longer mater. +65 is doable from Start, with 75% reachable via liquidity.
- Guiding Ethics: Xenophobe
- Additional Supporter Requirements: Empire not Pacifist. Primary Species only
- Attraction: default
- Leader: 100 Base. x0.5 if Scientist. x0 if Xeno. x0 if buildable Robot Pop.
|Same Species Ruler||Does not have valid Fanatic Purifiers Civic||Ruler is of the empire's primary species||+10||–30|
|Strong Alone||1+ Communications||Empire is not in a Federation||+10||–30|
|Invasive Xeno Studies||Does not have valid Fanatic Purifiers Civic. Has a relationship with a Pre-FTL species||Has the Native Interference policy set to "Unrestricted Studies"||+5||–10|
|Xenos Disenfranchised||Does not have valid Fanatic Purifiers Civic. Has any Xeno pop (excluding Robot, Pre-Sapients or Pops being purged) in empire||No Xeno Pop has Full Citizenship rights (Robots and Pre-Sapients excluded)||+5||–10|
|No Immigration||Does not have valid Fanatic Purifiers Civic. 3+ Communications||Does not have any Migration Treaties with any other empire (including owner species)||0||–10|
|Asserting Dominance||Does not have valid Fanatic Purifiers Civic. Any Relation is a Default Empire, has Communication and is not in a Federation with Empire||Entered a war as Attacker||+10||0|
|Fanatic Purifiers||Has valid Fanatic Purifiers Civic.||Always||+10||0|
|Giant Massacre||Host has Leviathans DLC and has seen a Leviathan.||Kill a Leviathan||+10||0|
Summary: The aggressive Xenophobe Faction manifests itself in two ways: If you are a Fanatic Purifier or if you are not. If the empire is a Pacifist this Faction will not spawn - instead, all Xenophobic pops including the primary species will join the Isolationist Faction. In non-Pacifist empires, Xenophobic pops will be split between Supremacist (Owner Species) and Isolationist (Xeno) Factions wich can cause considerable issues.
Most issues are unavailable to Fanatic Purifiers, who start with 60 or 70% and can reach 80% with Leviathans.
Non-Purifiers easily start at 60-70%, with 100% being possible during warfare.
- Guiding Ethics: Materialist
- Additional Supporter Requirements: not Spiritualist. Either Materialist or Robot Pop
- Attraction: 150 Base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. x2 if Robot Pop
- Leader: default
Summary: Robot Pops of any Ethic except Spiritualism can join this Faction which puts this Faction into direct competition with almost every other Faction in an empire with Free Robotic Pops.
Starting at 60% is trivial, for all but Spiritualist Empires. If you do not actually have robots, 60% can be hard to maintain however. As of 2.2 Science without Borders is surprisingly hard to maintain, relegating it more towards Xenophile Materialists. A total of 90% is possible, but 70% seems more likely
- Guiding Ethics: Authoritarian
- Additional Supporter Requirements: none
- Attraction: 150 base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. x0.25 if Xeno
- Leader: 100 Base
Summary: 2.2 modified Authoritarian away from Caste slavery to Stratified Economy, which does help a lot to differentiate it from Xenophobia on Progressive issues.
70% is doable of the Start. 85% eventually. Oligarchies can at least reach 60%-75%. A Xeno/Robot slave using democracy can still reach 45%.
- Guiding Ethics: Spiritualist
- Additional Supporter Requirements: Not a Robot Pop
- Attraction: 150 Base. x1.25 if Ruler is Leader. x0.75 if no Leader.
- Leader: 100 Base. x0 if Robot Pop
|Life Organic / Empty Shells||Can set Robot Worker Policy||Robotic workers policy is set to "Outlawed"||0||–5|
|No Synth Rights||Can set AI policy; Not AI Policy set to "Full Rights"||AI policy is not set to "Servitude"||0||–10|
|No Synth Rights||Can set AI policy; AI Policy set to "Full Rights"||AI policy is not set to "Full Rights"||0||–20|
|Pious Polity (if fulfilled) / Secular State (if unfulfilled)||Always||The Empire has either Spiritualist or Fanatic Spiritualist as one of its Ethics||+5||–5|
|Unhallowed Ground||Surveyed a Tomb World. Does not have the Worm Tombworld Ending.||No Tomb World in Empire is colonized or being terraformed.||0||–5|
|Hallowed Ground||Surveyed Gaia World; Has Ascension Perk Consecrated Worlds||Designate an uncolonized Gaia world as a Holy World||+5||0|
|Psionic Pursuit||Host has Utopia DLC. Any Ascension Perk or Ascension Perk Slot unlocked||Has the Ascension Perk "Mind over Matter"||+10||0|
|Flesh is Strong||Having the Ascension Perk The Flesh is Weak||Empire has not completed the Special Project 'The Flesh is Weak'||0||–30|
|Homogeneity||At least 10% of all pops in the empire are Spiritualist||At least 25% of all Pops in the empire are Spiritualist||+10||0|
|Embattled Minority||Less than 25% pops in the empire are Spiritualist||Less than 10% of all Pops in the empire are Spiritualist||0||–10|
|Shrouded Boon||Positive Shroud outcome (Boon or Success)||Positive Shroud outcome (Boon or Success)||+5||0|
|Shrouded Blight||Negative Shroud outcome (Curses or Fail)||Negative Shroud outcome (Curses or Fail)||0||–5|
- Being a Spiritualist empire with at least 25% of pops having the Spiritualist ethic grants a flat +10 happiness bonus. Unlocking a Harmony Tradition can raise that to +12.
- Spiritualists dislike Robots of any kind, even more so if AI is allowed. Spiritualist Robot pops are barred from this Faction and the Materialist Faction equally, making them factionless. Of course they will just drift towards Materialism.
- Finding a Gaia World to declare holy is not easy. Terraforming one might be easier. But if a Spiritualist Fallen Empire is around, the chances and the effect go up drastically and hallowing one of its holy worlds will noticeably improve relations with it. However, the bonus is capped at +17 for players without the Utopia DLC.
- Since the bonus from adopting Mind over Matter is greater than the penalty from a negative Shroud outcome, adopting the Psionic ascension path is the best choice for empires with large Spiritualist Factions.
- Choosing the right Worm Ending allows Spiritualist Empires to derive some use from Tomb Worlds without penalty to Happiness. However conquering them is still an issue.
- Guiding Ethics: Xenophile
- Additional Supporter Requirements: none
- Attraction: 150 Base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. x2 if Xeno
- Leader: 100 Base. x0.5 if Scientist. x2 if Xeno
Even reaching 60% requires at least contact with another Empire/finding a Primitive, which makes it difficult to make this faction happy early game. However persistent 100% percent or more are possible mid to lategame.
- May be subject to change. Originally residents suffered a 25% support multiplier. A similar penalty was rolled into political power for residents, but as of 2.2.1 political Power has no effect on support.
- Comment says "Should really check for citizenship instead". Might be subject to change
- Tooltip disagrees with real value