Pre-FTL species

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This article is considered accurate for the current version (2.2) of the game.

This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.
Humanoid civilization in Early Space Age

There are two types of pre-FTL species in the game: primitive civilizations and pre-sapient species.

Primitive civilizations are civilizations that have yet to develop the technology necessary for interstellar space travel. They advance through multiple ages as their history is written. Primitive civilizations can turned into full-fledged interstellar empires if technologically enlightened by another spacefaring empire and either be incorporated into said empire or given independence. If left alone, however, Primitive civilizations will develop on their own and eventually become space faring themselves, and will then act and function like a regular empire. Primitive civilizations can be made plentiful or outright disabled via the galaxy generation options.

Pre-sapient species are animal species that show particular promise. They would likely evolve some degree and manner of intelligence on their own if they were left alone for a few million years, but spacefaring empires can accelerate this process, turning the pre-sapients into productive galactic citizens within the span of just a few decades.[1]

Primitive civilizations[edit]

Primitive civilizations exist in various ages of development they slowly go through.

Age Monthly progress Enlightenment time Buildings Jobs Armies Description
Stone Age 0.1% 1000 Months (83.3 Years) 1 Crude Huts 4 Hunter-Gatherers No army This civilization is currently in the equivalent of a Stone Age. They have mastered fire and developed a rudimentary spoken language, but we have yet to see any evidence of metallurgy or written communication.
Bronze Age 0.2% 500 Months (41.6 Years) 1 Stone Palaces
1 Primitive Dwellings
1 Feudal Noble
1 Cleric
1 Scholar
1 Warrior
4 Peasants
3 primitive armies This civilization is currently in the equivalent of a Bronze Age. Primitive metalworking and the first written languages have appeared, while cities and larger communities are taking shape.
Iron Age 0.3% 334 Months (27.8 Years) 1 Stone Palaces
1 Primitive Dwellings
1 Feudal Noble
1 Cleric
1 Scholar
1 Warrior
5 Peasants
3 primitive armies This civilization is currently in the equivalent of an Iron Age. They have spread across most of their homeworld, while iron smelting and forging techniques have enabled them to forge crude but effective tools and weaponry.
Late Medieval Age 0.4% 250 Months (20.8 Years) 1 Stone Palaces
2 Primitive Dwellings
1 Feudal Noble
1 Cleric
1 Scholar
1 Warrior
5 Peasants
3 primitive armies This civilization is currently experiencing the equivalent of a Late Medieval Age. They have a firm grasp of metallurgy, and the invention of the printing press has started to benefit the spread of knowledge.
Renaissance Age 0.5% 200 Months (16.6 Years) 1 Stone Palaces
2 Primitive Dwellings
1 Feudal Noble
1 Cleric
1 Scholar
1 Warrior
8 Peasants
3 primitive armies This civilization is currently experiencing the equivalent of a Renaissance Age. Scientific knowledge is increasing at a rapid rate, and the invention of gunpowder has revolutionized warfare.
Steam Age 1% 100 Months (8.3 Years) 1 Stone Palaces
1 Urban Dwellings
1 Primitive Factory
1 Primitive Mine
1 Feudal Noble
1 Cleric
1 Scholar
1 Warrior
8 Peasants
2 Miners
2 Labourers
3 primitive armies This civilization is currently in the equivalent of a Steam Age. The invention of the steam engine has had far-reaching effects on their society and they stand on the cusp of an industrial revolution.
Industrial Age 1.5% 67 Months (5.58 Years) 1 Regional Capitals
1 Urban Dwellings
1 Primitive Factory
1 Primitive Mine
1 Primitive Farms
1 Primitive Power Plant
2 Bureaucrats
2 Priests
2 Researchers
2 Soldiers
8 Farmers
2 Miners
2 Labourers
2 Technicians
6 industrial armies This civilization has advanced into the equivalent of an early Industrial Age. Electricity and internal combustion engines are gradually coming into widespread use, while urbanization increases at a rapid pace.
Machine Age 2% 50 Months (4.16 Years) 1 Regional Capitals
1 Urban Dwellings
1 Primitive Factory
1 Primitive Mine
1 Primitive Farms
1 Primitive Power Plant
2 Bureaucrats
2 Priests
2 Researchers
2 Soldiers
10 Farmers
2 Miners
2 Labourers
2 Technicians
6 industrial armies This civilization has advanced into the equivalent of a Machine Age, considered a later part of the Industrial Age. Their factories are mass-producing goods and vehicles, and air travel is becoming commonplace.
Atomic Age 2.5% 40 Months (3.3 Years) 1 Regional Capitals
1 Urban Dwellings
1 Primitive Factory
1 Primitive Mine
1 Primitive Farms
1 Primitive Power Plant
2 Bureaucrats
2 Priests
2 Researchers
2 Soldiers
10 Farmers
2 Miners
2 Labourers
2 Technicians
2 Unemployed
6 post-atomic armies This civilization has advanced into the equivalent of an Atomic Age. They have harnessed the power of the atom, but not yet made it into space. Nuclear weapons may be prolific, and could result in a sudden extinction event.
Early Space Age 2.5% 40 Months (3.3 Years) 1 Regional Capitals
1 Urban Dwellings
1 Primitive Factory
1 Primitive Mine
1 Primitive Farms
1 Primitive Power Plant
2 Bureaucrats
2 Priests
2 Researchers
2 Soldiers
10 Farmers
2 Miners
2 Labourers
2 Technicians
2 Unemployed
6 post-atomic armies This civilization has entered an Early Space Age. Primitive satellites are orbiting their homeworld, and the first manned space missions have been concluded in low orbit. They will soon be ready to leave their world.

Native Advancement[edit]

Humanoid civilization advancing through the ages

Primitive civilizations can advance through ages by themselves as their history is written. The mean time for this to happen is 160 years for all advancements up to the Steam Age, and 100 years for all advancements after that. There is a minimum cooldown of 60 years after advancing ages before further advances are possible. Having an observation post built will notify you of every age advancement.

FTL Discovery[edit]

Early Space Age civilizations that don't have an observation post built in orbit will eventually develop basic hyperdrives, turning them into a normal empire. If a Starbase was built around the star the new empire will ask the owner for control of it. Should the request be accepted they will be granted control of the Starbase and all colonized planets in the system and gain a temporary +100 Diplomacy opinion.png Opinion towards the former owner. If the request is refused the civilization will be annexed. Annexing the civilization will cost 200 Influence.png Influence if Xenophile.png Xenophile or Fanatic Xenophile.png Fanatic Xenophile while granting it control of the system will cost 200 Influence.png Influence if Xenophobe.png Xenophobe or Fanatic Xenophobe.png Fanatic Xenophobe. Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png Genocidal empires only have the option to annex the civilization.

There is no catch-up mechanism for these empires; unless they advance very early in the game, they will likely be quickly conquered or turned into a Diplomacy isprotectorate.png Protectorate, especially as a Primitive civilization cannot develop FTL in the first 25 years of a game.

Nuclear War[edit]

Atomic Age and Early Space Age primitives have a small chance of starting a nuclear war. This can happen randomly but can also occur as a result of failed Covert Infiltration although those wars can be prevented via an intervention through a special event. There are three possible outcomes after the war:

  • 75% chance the race will go extinct and world will be turned into a tomb world
  • 25% chance the race will go extinct and world will be turned into a toxic world
  • (failed Covert Infiltration only) the existing civilization regresses to an earlier age

If an observation post is in orbit, you will be notified of the event. Nuclear wars are 50% less likely to happen if the civilization is being indoctrinated and will not happen if the civilization is being enlightened.

Note: A primitive civilization's ethics have no effect on their history and progress. A spiritualist civilization advances just as fast as a materialist one and a pacifist civilization is just as likely to start a nuclear war as a militarist one.

Conquest[edit]

Primitive civilizations can always be invaded and conquered as long as their system has been claimed and the Native Interference policy is set to Unrestricted. Primitive civilizations have no means to resist a technologically superior invader, although Industrial and especially Post-Atomic civilizations can be harder to conquer early game. The prize one can obtain from an invasion is the planet itself, any and all resources and buildings on it along with the primitives that can be used as a source of cheap labor once enslaved or integrated as citizens.

Conquered worlds will get the Stellar Culture Shock modifier for 10 years, which locks out the former primitive pops from using colony ships, joining Factions or being released as a Vassal. It also brings -20% Stability.png Stability and -33% Mod pop resource output.png Resources from Jobs. This modifier can be avoided if the primitive pops are resettled.

Observation missions[edit]

Empires might prefer the construction of hidden Observation Posts in high orbit over primitive worlds. This allows for the safe study and, if one so desires, influencing the primitive civilization. Observation posts typically have a number of exclusive missions that can be undertaken. Each mission can trigger various events.

Mission Effects Requirements Description
Fleet task passive study action.png Passive Observation Society Research +8 Society Research The natives are studied unknowingly from a safe distance and every effort is made to avoid cultural contamination.
Fleet task active study action.png Aggressive Observation
  • Society Research +10 Society Research
  • Can shift civilization Ethics towards Xenophobe.png Xenophobe
Active Study or Unrestricted Native Interference Policy The natives are aggressively studied and live specimens are frequently collected to learn as much as possible about their biology and culture.
Fleet task technological enlightenment action.png Technological Enlightenment
  • Society Research -5 Society Research
  • Energy Credits.png -10 Energy
  • When the mission is complete, the civilization will become a Diplomacy isprotectorate.png Protectorate of the benefactors
  • The Civilization will be given full ownership of their home system and everything in it
  • The observation post will be dismantled after the completion of the enlightenment
  • -100% chance of nuclear war starting
  • Allowed Native Enlightenment Policy
  • Civilization is not Fanatic Xenophobe.png Fanatic Xenophobe
An effort is made to rapidly elevate the native civilization to the space age. The time this takes is dependent on their current level of technology. When complete, this mission will give them full ownership of their home system and turn them into a spacefaring civilization that is our Protectorate.
Fleet task covert infiltration action.png Covert Infiltration
  • Society Research -5 Society Research
  • Energy Credits.png -10 Energy
  • When the mission is complete the civilization will be annexed and receive a temporary happiness boost
  • Tech gene tailoring.png Gene Tailoring technology
  • Active Study or Unrestricted Native Interference Policy
  • Civilization reached at least Industrial Age
  • Not Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png Genocidal
Agents are genetically modified to appear as members of the native population and sent to infiltrate their society. They will gradually replace world leaders and prepare the planet for annexation by us. This complex operation is only worthwhile on industrial civilizations. When complete, this mission will annex the planet and give the natives a large but temporary happiness boost.
Fleet task indoctrination.png Indoctrination
  • Society Research +10 Society Research
  • Energy Credits.png -3 Energy
  • Slowly shifts the civilization's ethics towards the ethics of your empire
  • -50% chance of a Nuclear War starting.
  • Utopia.png Utopia
  • Active Study or Unrestricted Native Interference Policy
  • Not Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness
Through subtle influencing of their society and culture, the natives can be brought around to our way of thinking.

Pre-sapient species and Uplifting[edit]

As opposed to primitives, planets of pre-sapient species can be colonized. The pre-sapient pops do not require either Housing or Amenities. The Pre-Sapients policy determines their status. Unlike sapient species, pre-sapients can be purged without diplomatic repercussions from any empire.

While extremely rare, it is possible for both a pre-sapient species and a pre-FTL species to spawn on the same planet.

Uplifting[edit]

For pre-sapient species the option to create templates is replaced with the option to Uplift them. The planet does not need to be colonized in order to uplift the native pre-sapient species, but the star system where the planet is located must be within the empire's borders. Uplifting a species requires the Tech epigenetic triggers.png Epigenetic Triggers technology and costs 3000 Society Research society Research. Uplifted species become part of the empire that uplifted them and get a +10% Mod pop happiness.png happiness bonus when inhabiting that empire's planets due to getting the Trait uplifted.png Uplifted trait. Finishing an uplift also grants 500 Influence.png influence.

When an uplift is complete, the pre-sapient species receive the default species rights according to the host empire, even if it is displacement from their own home. Most uplift processes tend to be rocky (70% chance of -5% planet mineral output).

Pre-sapients Coexistence Events[edit]

These events can only take place on colonies that contain pre-sapients that are not being uplifted. They cannot happen in the first 10 years of a game.

  • The pre-sapients damage some currency transfers antennas, causing an Energy Credits.png energy credits loss of anywhere from -100 to -300.
  • Your presence agitates the pre-sapients. Driving them off will grant a small Unity.png unity reward. Xenophobe empires will gain Influence.png influence instead while Xenophile can investigate and earn a small amount of Society Research society and Engineering Research engineering research.
  • Xeno-researchers demand to be allowed to experiment on pre-sapients. Accepting will give you a moderate amount of Society Research society research and -15% Mod pop happiness.png happiness for two years while refusing will add -20% Society Research society output for two years. Xenophobe.png Xenophobe and Fanatic Xenophobe.png Fanatic Xenophobe empires will gain Influence.png influence instead of the happiness reduction for accepting.

Technological Enlightenment Strategy[edit]

Humanoid empire enlightening a Late Medieval Age civilization

Technologically enlightening primitives results in establishing a Diplomacy isprotectorate.png Protectorate which can be very beneficial due to a monthly +0.25 Influence.png influence bonus as well as their high Diplomacy opinion.png opinion making them loyal. However, enlightenment will also mean transferring the starbase to the new empire, along with every station built in the system. Protectorates can be integrated without having to wait for them to catch up technologically.

Technologically enlightening and uplifting Pre-FTL societies can also be useful from a purely pragmatic standpoint as there are a number of Irradiated special traits that can only be found on Pre-Sapient species that come with very good bonuses that could be a very useful asset to an interstellar empire. Uplifting the Pre-sapients allows you to get your hands on those valuable traits by turning them into usable pops of your empire which retain the traits and can then be put to good use. These Irradiated special traits can only be found on Pre-FTL pops and cannot be obtained through any other means, not even through advanced gene-modding. Uplifting the species will also give them the Trait uplifted.png Uplifted Trait which makes them happier when living within your empire, which is nice extra bonus.

Technological Enlightenment Events[edit]

The following events can take place after more than 20% progress has been made and any of the requirements is met by the primitive civilization:

Requirement Effect
Fanatic Xenophile.png Fanatic Xenophile +70% mission progress
  • Xenophile.png Xenophile
  • Quick Learners.png Quick Learners
  • Natural Engineers.png Natural Engineers
  • Natural Physicists.png Natural Physicists
  • Natural Sociologists.png Natural Sociologists
  • Intelligent.png Intelligent
+20% mission progress
Fanatic Xenophobe.png Fanatic Xenophobe -70% mission progress
  • Xenophobe.png Xenophobe
  • Slow Learners.png Slow Learners
  • Repugnant.png Repugnant
  • Opposing ethics
-20% mission progress
None Civilization shifts ethics towards Xenophile.png Xenophile
None Civilization shifts ethics towards the benefactor's

References[edit]

Game concepts