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This article has been verified for the current console version (2.6) of the game.

Trade represents the transfer of goods or resources from one entity to another. There are multiple types of Trade possible, each having different mechanics, and all play a large impact on the economy of an empire or even the entire galaxy.

Civilian trade[edit]

Trade value.png Trade Value is collected and exploited by Starbases above Outpost level. By default Starbases will only exploit Trade Value inside the system they are built, but their collection range can be extended by 1 hyperlane for each Trade Hub module.

Civilian Trade is not available to Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness empires. Auth corporate.png Corporate empires on the other hand are highly dependent on it.

Trade value[edit]

Trade value is an in-game numerical value that represents the civilian and private-sector economy of an empire as well as the total value of all goods being traded. All Pops generate a small amount of Trade Value based on their living standards, with higher living standard Pops generating more Trade Value, and Trade Value is also produced by a number of different jobs such as Clerks and Merchants. The trade value of a planet is affected by its stability Stability.png, with 100 stability giving +30% trade value and 0 stability -50%. Additionally, small amounts of Trade Value can be found as deposits in space, representing various resources that do not have industrial applications, but nevertheless are desirable to the population.

Each unit of Trade Value exploited is converted into Energy.png Energy Credits and, depending on the Trade Policy, additional Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods or Unity.png Unity.

In order to successfully exploit Trade Value, two conditions must be met:

  • There must be an owned Starbase within range of the system and it must be of higher than Outpost level in order to extract Trade Value from the system. By default, every Starbase will only extract trade value from the system in which it is located. The extraction range can be increased by building Trade Hub modules up to a maximum collection range of 6 hyperlane jumps from the Starbase. A planet that is within range of a collecting Starbase will automatically have its Trade Value collected by the Starbase. If the Starbase is disabled it will not export Trade Value until the hostile fleet is removed.
  • Once extracted, the Trade Value must successfully reach the Starbase in the capital system of empire. If the collecting Starbase is located within the capital system, the Trade Value will be instantly exploited. On the other hand, if the collecting Starbase is not located within the capital system, it must be connected to the Starbase in the capital system by a Trade Route. The capital starbase must be above Outpost level to be included in trade network (as any other trade hub).

Auth corporate.png Corporate Branch Offices exploit 50% of a planet's Trade Value without reducing the planet owner's profits. For Civic criminal heritage.png Criminal Heritage Branch Offices the percentage will instead vary from 25% with 0 Job criminal.png crime to 75% with 100 Job criminal.png crime. Trade Value exploited by Branch Offices is converted entirely into Energy.png Energy Credits regardless of the Trade Policy. They do not require trade routes.

Pops will automatically generate some trade value[1], depending on their living standards and stratum, according to the following table. Undesirables never generate trade value.

Living Standards Ruler stratum Specialist Stratum Worker stratum
Chemical Bliss 0.4 0.4 0.4
Shared Burdens 0.2 0.2 0.2
Academic Privilege 0.4 0.4 0.15
Utopian Abundance 0.4 0.4 0.4
Stratified Economy 0.4 0.25 0.1
Social Welfare 0.4 0.25 0.25
Decent Conditions 0.4 0.25 0.15
Basic Subsistence 0.25 0.15 0.05

Civic gospel of the masses.png Gospel of the Masses will add 0.25 to the above values, provided the pop has a spiritualist ethos.

Trade routes[edit]

A Trade Route is a path that serves to connect a Starbase collecting Trade Value to the capital system and is required for the Trade Value to be exploited. Each upgraded Starbase has one outgoing Trade Route, which by default is connected directly to the capital, but can be manually re-routed to any other Starbase (select the base in trade route mapmode, then right-click on the target base to cancel or switch route). If the Trade Route of a given Starbase leads to another Starbase, the receiving Starbase will send both its own collected Trade Value and the Trade Value received from the other Starbase further towards the capital system. Once the Trade Value reaches the empire's capital, the capital system must contain a starbase of higher than Outpost level in order for the Trade Value to be exploited.

As an example: We have three Starbases; A, B and C. All three Starbases are connected to each other by a Trade Route going from A to B and then to C which is located in the empire's capital system. Starbase A collects 10 Trade Value from within its range and Starbase B collects 15 Trade Value from within its range while Starbase C receives and converts all Trade Value into Energy.png Energy Credits. In this scenario, Starbase A will send its collected Trade Value (10) to Starbase B which will send both its own collected Trade Value (15) and the Trade Value received from Starbase A (10) to Starbase C which will convert the combined Trade Value received (25) into Energy.png Energy Credits at a 1:1 ratio.

Trade Routes have their own map filter showing routes, protection and piracy.


Civilian Trade will always make use of Wormholes, Gateways, and L Gates . Starbases with Trade Hub modules will collect Trade Value from the other side of a Bypass, as well as systems neighboring the other end if enough modules are constructed. Trade Routes will also be formed through a Bypass if the path is shorter that way.


Lucrative trade always risks attracting piracy. Every trade route that goes through a system without an upgraded Starbase will attract piracy in that system, slowly growing for 10 years until it reaches 25% of the Trade Value going through the system. Piracy can be countered in three ways:

  • Piracy suppression.png Piracy Suppression: Fleets automatically decrease Piracy for the systems in which they are located when Max Piracy is less than Piracy Suppression. As soon as the fleet leaves the system, Piracy will start rising again. Any fleet can be given orders to patrol between systems in order to keep Piracy levels low. The amount of piracy suppression is dependent only on the ship's hull size, with corvettes being the best and titans being the worst, independent of their equipment, although high mobility might help soften piracy spikes on long routes.
  • Trade protection.png Trade Protection: All Starbases bigger than Outposts give nearby systems a Trade Protection value representing heavily escorted convoys that cannot be attacked by pirates. A Trade Protection value ensures that the same amount of Trade Value cannot be lost to piracy. By default, this trade protection only applies to the system in which the Starbase is located, but can be extended to additional systems with weapon modules. Trade Protection is generated by the following:
    • +8 for each Starbase level
    • +5 for each Gun Battery module
    • +5 for each Missile Battery module
    • +10 for each Hangar Bay module
    • The Secure Shipping tradition adds an additional +5 Trade Protection on all Trade Routes.
  • Connect all trade hubs to your capital using gateways, this completely eliminates piracy

If piracy is left unchecked in a system, then the possibility exists that a pirate fleet will spawn which will attempt to attack and occupy the system Starbase and destroy stations within the system. Pirate ships scale in strength with the amount of intercepted Trade value.png Trade Value but their ship components will never advance beyond tier 3.

Trade value.png Trade Value Lost Corvettes Destroyers Cruisers Battleships
0-10 10 0 0 0
10-20 14 0 0 0
20-30 14 0 0 0
30-40 14 0 0 0
40-50 8 4 0 0
50-60 12 6 0 0
60-70 12 8 2 0
70-80 12 8 2 0
80-90 14 8 4 0
90-100 0 0 2 1
100+ 12 0 0 1

The market[edit]

The Market is available from the start to every empire and represents various actors within an empire with whom the empire itself can buy and sell resources. Resources are bought and sold for Energy.png Energy Credits, with their prices dependent on empire economy, supply and demand, and whether the Galactic Market is founded. Resources can be purchased either in bulk or by setting up a monthly trade and then setting a minimum sale/maximum purchase price. The Market base prices are the following:

Resource Energy.png Price
Minerals.png Minerals 1
Food.png Food 1
Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods 2
Alloys.png Alloys 4
Exotic gases.png Exotic Gases 10
Rare crystals.png Rare Crystals 10
Volatile motes.png Volatile Motes 10
Dark Matter.png Dark Matter 20
Living Metal.png Living Metal 20
Zro.png Zro 20

Galactic market[edit]

The Galactic Market is created by passing the Form the Galactic Market Galactic Priorities Resolution. Once the Resolution is passed the Galactic Market Nomination event will begin. For 5 years eligible empires may boost their chances by nominating one of their planets and by boosting their nomination bid. Nominating a planet randomly assigns a rating, according to the table below. After the 5 years are up the selection lottery is drawn and one empire is chosen as the host of the Galactic Market, based on the rating of every empire.

The lottery weights are:

Rating Requirements (Chance to get this rating) Weight
None No nomination, all eligible empires 1
Weak Decision default.png Galactic Market Hub Nomination decision (56.25% chance; ~5.39% if Corporate Empire) 11
Adequate Decision default.png Galactic Market Hub Nomination decision (37.5% chance; ~60% if Corporate) 21
Strong Decision default.png Galactic Market Hub Nomination decision (6.25% chance; ~10% if Corporate; ~93% if Ecumenopolis) 31
Exceptional Strong rating and 1 Decision default.png Boost Nomination Bid decision
Adequate rating and 2 Decision default.png Boost Nomination Bid decision
Perfect Strong rating and 2 Decision default.png Boost Nomination Bid decision 51

If the winning empire did not nominate a planet then one of their planets will be randomly chosen as the host of the Galactic Market. If they did nominate a planet then one of their planets will be chosen randomly where the nominated planet has weight 9999 and all other unnominated planets have weight 1.

Any empire that knows of the Galactic Market system has access to it and is able to trade on it. The owner of the Galactic Market system gets a reduction in its Market Fee. Supply and demand on the Galactic Market affects the prices for every empire and large shifts in prices will affect the economy of every empire relying on importing or exporting a resource. Strategic.png Strategic Resources will not be available until at least one empire has them in stock.

Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png Genocidal empires do not have access to the Galactic Market. If a Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png Genocidal empire conquers the system hosting the Galactic Market the station will be moved to the nearest empire.

The Galactic Market cannot form in a galaxy with only one or two empires.

Slave market[edit]

Access to the Slave Market is granted once the Galactic Market is founded. Only empires that also have access to the Galactic Market will be able to use the Slave Market. Only Pops that are enslaved are able to be sold on the Slave Market, with a base price of 500 Energy.png Energy Credits, raised or lowered by species Traits.

Empires that have the Slavery policy set to Outlawed will set free any Pop bought on the Slave Market but the Pop price will be doubled.

You will be notified if there are slaves of your main species put on sale.

Market fee[edit]

All sales or purchases on the Internal and Galactic Market have a Market Fee added to them. The Market Fee starts at 30% and cannot go below 5%. It can be lowered by the following:

  • Sb offworld trading company.png Trader Proxy Office starbase buildings add -5% Market Fee each
  • Agenda Import / Export agenda adds -5% Market Fee
  • Tradition diplomacy federal unity.png Insider Trading diplomacy tradition adds -10% Market Fee
  • Tradition versatility adaptive programming.png Adaptive Programming versatility tradition adds -10% Market Fee
  • The empire that houses the Galactic Market gets -10% Market Fee

Diplomatic trade[edit]

Diplomatic Trade is negotiated via the diplomacy menu. Most of physical resources, that are tradable through Market can be traded here too, although instant trades amounts can be defined manually here and there is always 10-30 years time limit on long-term contracts. Diplomatic Trade often can yield better deals than the Market.

The following resources can be traded. Each one is considered more valuable than the previous but a sudden shortage can make AI empires value a certain resource more.

  • Energy.png Energy Credits: The least sought resource. Some types of empires might still often run low on it. For example, Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligence, which highly dependent on it for maintenance, or underpopulated Egalitarian.png Egalitarians, which tend to buy out a lot slaves with acceptable habitability.
  • Minerals.png Minerals: Valued twice more than Energy Credits.
  • Food.png Food: Valued even more than Minerals due to its growth bonuses.
  • Alloys.png Alloys: Very often in demand, especially by empires that are not Pacifist.png Pacifist.
  • Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods: Valued a bit more than Food due to potential bonuses and uses for upkeep.
  • Volatile motes.png Volatile Motes: Highly valued due to its possible uses and great rarity.
  • Exotic gases.png Exotic Gases: Highly valued due to its possible uses and great rarity.
  • Rare crystals.png Rare Crystals: Highly valued due to its possible uses and great rarity.
  • Living Metal.png Living Metal: One of the most valued resources due to its scarcity.
  • Dark Matter.png Dark Matter: One of the most valued resources due to its scarcity.
  • Zro.png Zro: The most valued resource due to its scarcity.
  • Trade cat sensor.png Communications: Valued based on the number of new contacts.
  • Trade cat sensor.png Active Sensor Link: Valued based on distance, neighboring empires being more interested.
  • Trade cat transfer control.png Transfer System: Available only towards neighbors during peacetime, it is the most valued trade option and can be used to offer to cede one of your star systems, usually non-preferred planets that are too expensive to terraform or adapt pops to, or as a way to ease opinion penalty of claims or border tension. The AI will always refuse to accept systems that contain colonized Holy Worlds or border the Militant Isolationists.

AI values resources depending on empire's existing reserves, once AI fills their stockpile long-term contracts become only viable option and still will be accepted. AI will never accept mixed long-term/instant trades. Although Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness empires have no use for Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods or Zro.png Zro, they are still willing to trade for them.

Trade deals run for at least 10 years but can be done for up to 30 years. It is possible to break long-term trade contracts if not enough resources are stockpiled, but will create an Diplomacy opinion.png opinion malus.

Trading requires a neutral or positive attitude between the two empires. Empires holding a negative attitude will accept only gifts. Fallen empires only trade if they're patronizing towards the proposing empire.

Trade acceptance[edit]

The trade acceptance number shows how much the other empire favors a deal. A trade acceptance lower than 1 means that the other empire sees the deal as disadvantageous for them and will always refuse it. A trade acceptance of 1 means that AI empire sees the deal as fair and will always accept it (unacceptable offers and demands still can be sent, it has no penalties). A trade acceptance higher than 1 means that the other empire sees the deal as advantageous for them and will give a temporary bonus to their opinion (Diplomacy opinion.png Favorable trade deal), although this has a limit of only 100.

Trade willingness[edit]

Mod country trade attractiveness.png Trade Willingness shows how much an empire is open to trading with other empires and is dependent on their AI personality. The lower their Trade Willingness is, the more favorable a trade deal has to be for them to see it as fair. Empires with less than 75% Trade Willingness will never make offers. The only way to improve Trade Willingness is by activating the Diplomatic Grants edict.

AI personality Trade Willingness
Honorbound Warriors 70%
Evangelizing Zealots 75%
Erudite Explorers 90%
Spiritual Seekers 90%
Ruthless Capitalists 100%
Peaceful Traders 100%
Hegemonic Imperialists 80%
Slaving Despots 80%
Decadent Hierarchy 90%
Democratic Crusaders 90%
Harmonious Hierarchy 90%
Federation Builders 95%
Xenophobic Isolationists 50%
Fanatic Purifiers 50%
Migratory Flock 110%
Fanatical Befrienders 100%
Holy Guardians 33%
Keepers of Knowledge 50%
Enigmatic Observers 50%
AI personality Trade Willingness
Hive Mind 70%
Machine Intelligence 80%
Driven Assimilators 50%
Determined Exterminators 100%
Rogue Servitors 90%
Ancient Caretakers 50%

Fanatical Purifiers only trade with empires of the same species. Determined Exterminators only trade with machine empires.


  1. The script code can be found in /Stellaris/common/pop_categories/00_social_classes.txt and /Stellaris/common/scripted_variables/01_scripted_values_megacorp.txt.
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