In Stellaris, the economy is based on the production and consumption of resources and services either from a specific planet or throughout the empire. It relies heavily on Pops working on different Jobs, or mining stations built over various celestial bodies.
In that way, resources are very important and ought to be quickly scouted, exploited, and developed.
There are three kinds of resources: Material, Abstract and Strategic.
All material resources and strategic resources (except Trade Value) must be stocked. All empires have a 15000 basic storage capacity for each kind of them, and can build Resource Silos building on colonized planets and starbases to expand their stockpile capacity. Any produced resources that cannot be stored or stockpiled are simply wasted.
Material resources are the most straightforward and important type as they provide the means to expand both geographically, developmentally and technologically. They are gathered and stockpiled on a monthly basis, but not necessarily on the same day. While they all have a stockpile, how that stockpile and the excess is used varies fundamentally between each resource.
Energy credits is an energy backed currency accepted by all space-faring races, and acts as the market's currency, replacing Gold and Ducats from previous Paradox games. Energy Credits also serve as "food" for robotic pops. Energy credits themselves can thought of as power cells that are traded and used for many different things.
All empires can use Energy Credits to purchase other material and strategic resources from the Internal Market or the Galactic Market. If the empire has access to the Slave Market, it can also use Energy Credits to purchase slaves.( Megacorp DLC required)
Other than trade, they are mainly used for recurring expenses such as maintenance of buildings, ships, spaceport modules, stations and food replacement for Robots. Energy credits are also expended as lump-sum payments for other various tasks, such as recruiting leaders, clearing tile blockers, initiating terraforming (a significant investment, with the cheapest process costing 2000 energy), and building robots.
Energy credits are also used to gamble at the caravaneer station and are used for some deals with the caravaneers( Megacorp DLC required) Finally, they can also act as a bargaining chip in trade deals with other empires.
They can be acquired by building mining stations around celestial bodies with energy deposits, selling other resources or slaves at the internal or galactic market, building solar panel modules on a starbase and by constructing generator districts on colonized worlds. Non-Gestalt Consciousness empires can utilize Trade Value to produce extra energy credits, generating energy credits with trade is less efficient per pop than using generator districts(although this ineffciency can be offset by various modifiers that improve trade value) and it requires trade routes to the capital, but it can be produced without planetary resources and is produced by jobs that usually provide amenities. Gestalt Consciousness empires (specifically Machine Empires) can construct Bio-Reactor buildings that convert Food into Energy Credits at a 5:4 ratio.
Unlike other resources, an empire can stockpile up to 50000 energy credits by default, as opposed to 15000.
They, like energy credits, can be obtained by building mining stations around celestial bodies with mineral deposits, or building Mining districts and Mineral Purification buildings on habitable planets. It is also possible to obtain Minerals by building Nebula Refineries on Starbases, as long as the Starbase is located within a Nebula. Nebula Refineries produce +6 Minerals and there can only be one such building on each Starbase.
Each Mining District generates 2 Miner Jobs while each Mineral Purification building generates 1 Miner Job. Every Miner job produces +4 Minerals by default but the yield can be increased by building Mineral Purification buildings on the planet. A Mineral Purification building will increased the Resource Output of Miner jobs on the planet by +20% or +30%, depending on level. The Mineral yield can also be increased via the Mining Guilds Civic, which will increase the amount of Minerals produced by Miner Jobs by +1 Minerals.
The primary purpose of Minerals is to function as the raw material for Space and Planetary Construction. Significant lump sum expenses are applied to these projects upon queuing them up, which will then take some time to complete. Here it acts as the primary limiter on expansion and planet development.
Minerals are arguably one of the most vital resources in the game as they used by certain jobs to manufacture advanced resources, like Consumer Goods and Alloys. Consumer Goods are needed for things such like upholding Living Standards and producing Amenities (which are both vital for ensuring internal stability and economic output) as well as for Research. Alloys on the other hand are needed for all Space-based construction, including but not limited to; Ships, Starbases and the like.
Minerals can also act as a bargaining chip in trade deals with other empires and can be bought from other empires if needed.
It is often important to have a sizable storage and output, in order to better deal with urgent situations and be able to survive production sites being lost or cut off. Minerals production should be pretty much maximized at all times, unless there is an energy shortage or the empire has passed the point of saturation and cannot put minerals to use faster.
Food represents the various nutrients requires to sustain and grow organic pops. Empire food rationing and distribution can be managed via the empire policies, evaluating food spending against pop growth and happiness.
Each planet grows its own food which is then added to an empire-wide stockpile that feeds the whole empire, with every planet exporting and importing food according to production and consumption. Surplus food does not increase population growth directly, but 1000 food can be spent on a planetary decision to boost local population growth by 25%. An empire-wide food shortage leads to starvation, which decreases happiness by 25% and pop growth by 75%, although existing pops will not die. Food is only used by organic pops; machine pops use Energy Credits as a replacement.
Food can be produced by constructing orbital hydroponic farms on starbases or by creating farming jobs via building Agricultural districts, Hydroponic Farms and Food processors on the surface of a planet. Each Hydroponics Bay building on a starbase produces 3 food while each farmer job in an agricultural district, hydroponic farm or food processing building produces 6 food. The yield can be increased by building food processors; these buildings provide farmer jobs and will also increase the food output of all farmer jobs on the planet by either 20% or 30%, depending on level. Food output is also affected by productivity modifiers such like stability, technology (both regular and repeatable).
Every Agricultural district generates 2 farmer jobs (3 for Hive Mind) while every Food processor building generates 1–2 farmer jobs, depending on level. Each starbase can only support one Hydroponics Bay building. Every planet can support a certain amount of agricultural districts, with the amount varying depending on the size of the planet and any planetary features. If one wants to increase a planet's food production beyond that, the empire can do so by building Hydroponics farms, with each one taking up a building slot and provide 2farmer jobs, making the amount limited by building slots. As for Food Processor buildings; every planet can only support one such building.
An empire can also obtain food by extracting it from pops, which is done by either enslaving the species and setting the slavery policy to "Livestock" or by purging the species and setting the purge policy to "Forced Labor" or "Processing". Livestock yields 4 food per pop every month, although the pops in question will still consume 1 food per month, while Forced Labor and Processing purges yield 3 and 6 food per pop every month without any upkeep until the pops are killed. In the case of Livestock and Processing, the yield can be increased by Gene-modding the targeted species to have the Delicious trait as it increases the food obtained from each pop by +2.
Food is usually of little use for Machine Intelligence Empires, as they use Energy instead, although they can still derive some use from it by constructing Bio-Reactor buildings on colonized planets. Each Bio-Reactor building consumes 25 to produce 20 energy and their number per planet is only limited by building slots. Food is one of the cheapest market resources, rated at 1 Energy per unit without fees.
Consumer Goods represent the various goods, products, items, trinkets and other equipment needed to allow pops to live a healthy and good life as well as to facilitate intellectual work. They are produced from minerals.
Trade Value represents trade and movement of trade goods through a given area as well as tolls and tariffs collected by the empire for such commerce. The more active commerce an area has, the higher trade value it has and this can be increased with the appropriate buildings and jobs. Trade value itself is not produced from any other resource but it can be converted into energy, consumer goods or unity, depending on trade policy.
Abstract Resources represent non-physical assets that an empire has access to. They are mostly concepts that represent complex sociopolitical activity within the empire's leadership and population.
Unity is a catch-all phrase acting as an umbrella term for representing the cultural and societal progress and evolution of the empire. It is used for adopting and advancing traditions as well as for adopting and maintaining ambitions.
Research represents application of knowledge and information to facilitate scientific research, development and experimentation that is carried out with the intent of discovering and developing more advanced technology. It is usually produced from Minerals but can also be obtained from Special projects and events.
Strategic resources are special rare resources required to both build and maintain advanced buildings and ship components. They are much harder to obtain than the common basic resources and are therefore also much more highly valued. Strategic resources can be obtained by either extracting them from natural deposits or manufacturing them synthetically. Natural strategic resource deposits are always visible but requires specific technology to exploit. Synthetic versions are produced from minerals, albeit at a steep price. All strategic resources can also be manufactured from Dimensional Fabricator buildings.
If an empire's stored stockpile for a certain resource drops to 0 with negative income, a resource shortage will occur. Resource shortages should be avoided at all costs as they impart massive penalties:
|Energy shortage||Minerals shortage||Food shortage||Alloys shortage||Consumer Goods shortage||Influence shortage||Exotic Gases shortage||Rare Crystals shortage||Volatile Motes shortage|