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This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. It was last updated for 2.1.

This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.

Slavery is where a species has its rights curtailed in order to boost its Minerals.png Mineral and Food.png Food output at the cost of causing a penalty to its Energy Credits.png Energy and Research.png Research production, as well as sharply reducing the Mod pop happiness.png Happiness of the pop. Patch 1.5 adds 3 settings for Enslavement of a Species and several forms of slavery through the species rights system. Slavery is no longer handled on a per-pop basis and a Sector may no longer decide which pop will be enslaved, that decision is made by the central government.

Enslavement and emancipation[edit]

With the Slavery policy active, an empire can choose which species can be enslaved as well as how they are enslaved via species rights. Enslavement is done automatically based on the species and (in some types) what they are working on.

There are the following Enslavement options:

Option Description Note
No Slavery Full Citizenship and Residency. All pops of this species are free, but not necessarily able to produce leaders. This is the default for every species that cannot be enslaved.
Partial Slavery 40% of pop of this species is enslaved. The slaves' use is dictated by the chosen type of slavery. Only available for Empires with the civic Civic slaver guilds.png Slaver Guilds or Indentured Assets, and can be applied to the empire's founding species.
Full Slavery Every pop of this species is enslaved regardless of what resources their tiles produce. The slaves' use is then dictated by the chosen type of slavery. This is a requirement for a certain set of slavery types. It is only available for Xenophobe.png Xenophobe and Authoritarian.png Authoritarian empires, and cannot be applied to the empire's founding species.

Slavery types are as follows:

Type Pop Effects Notes Description
Chattel Slavery Minerals.png +10% Minerals

Food.png +10% Food
Energy Credits.png -33% Energy Credits
Research.png -75% Research Output
Unity.png -75% Unity Output
Mod pop happiness.png -20% Happiness

Chattel Slaves have their rights curtailed to maximize productivity, and commonly work with Food.png Food and Minerals.png Mineral production. Chattel Slavery is the most common form of slavery in the galaxy. Whether for life or a limited time, unrestricted access to the labor of others is in some parts seen as a privilege with numerous counter-duties attached, and elsewhere considered a self-evident prerequisite for a functioning society.
Domestic Servitude Minerals.png 0% Minerals

Food.png 0% Food
Energy Credits.png -33% Energy Credits
Research.png -75% Research Output
Unity.png 0% Unity Output
Mod pop happiness.png -20% Happiness

Domestic Servants increase the Happiness of free Pops but are less productive than other slaves or even free Pops.
  • +5% Mod pop happiness.png Happiness owner Pop Happiness.
  • Requires the Utopia.png Utopia DLC.
Domestic servants spend much of their time tending to the needs of free Pops - some are assigned to individual domiciles, while others tend to public spaces. The split in their duties reduces their "hard" resource output, but the quality of life gains for free Pops frequently outweigh this drawback.
Battle Thralls Minerals.png 0% Minerals

Food.png 0% Food
Energy Credits.png -15% Energy Credits
Research.png -50% Research Output
Unity.png -15% Unity Output
Mod pop happiness.png -10% Happiness

Battle Thralls have a lesser penalty to Energy Credits.png Energy and Research.png Research production and make excellent soldiers for local Armies.
  • Requires the Slaves citizenship policy.
  • Requires the Utopia.png Utopia DLC.
Battle thralls are weaponized serfs, often trained from birth in the martial arts and conditioned for absolute obedience. While prized as soldiers, the battle thralls fare poorly in fields where they cannot utilize their sheer physical strength and resilience.
Livestock Food.png +4 Pop Food Output
Mod pop happiness.png -30% Happiness
Livestock Pops can not be employed to produce resources, but are instead regularly culled to increase the Food.png Food supply.
  • Requires the Slaves citizenship policy.
  • Requires the Utopia.png Utopia DLC.
Livestock is Pops!

Enslaved Pops have a -50% discount in Mod pop resettlement cost mult.png resettlement costs. The Civic corvee system.png Corvée System civic will, if in use, reduce this by another -50%, allowing one to resettle enslaved pops for free.

Production of Food.png Food and Minerals.png Minerals can be increased in various ways:

  • Leader trait iron fist.png Iron Fist governor trait increases slave productivity by +10%
  • Building slave processing.png Slave Processing Facility building increases productivity by +10%
  • Civic slaver guilds.png Slaver Guilds Civic increases slave productivity by +10%
  • Authoritarian.png Authoritarian and Fanatic Authoritarian.png Fanatic Authoritarian boost it by +5% and +10% respecitvely
  • Enslaved pops (regardless of type) do not receive happiness related bonuses or penalties to production
  • Enslaved pops do still suffer habitability penalties to production

Slavery strategy[edit]

  • Enslaved pops have a -50% discount to resettlement costs and the Corvée System civic will reduce this by another -12.5%, allowing the empire to resettle slaves for 37.5. This can be used to great effect when colonizing planets; once the colonists have landed, the player can immediately proceed to building mining and agricultural sectors and then ship in slaves to work on them. This will free up all non-enslaved pops to work on specialist jobs, allowing the empire to get new colonies up and running very quickly. Once the slaves have served their purpose or are needed elsewhere (on another new colony for instance), they can easily be shipped off-world to other planets.
  • Battle Thralls get +20% army damage.
  • Livestock produce food without needing a job from a sector.
  • Setting a slave race to Limited Military Service will allow building of armies with that species, permitting the recruitment of Slave Armies. The Battle Thralls slavery type in particular works well with this.
  • Any planet with slaves should have a Stronghold or Fortress along with a decent amount of armies on it to ensure that unrest is kept under control. However, with the right traditions and buildings, the need for it might be negated, albeit only partially.


  • The direct bonus is the increased production from the pops themselves and possibly from free pops across the empire.
  • It also boosts Authoritarian or Xenophobe Ethics attraction for free pops on the same planet.
  • Slaves can not join Factions and use the baseline Happiness of 50% regardless of Ethics (however see below).
  • Slaves operate on an Impoverished Conditions Living Standard. Under Caste System this will override the Living Standards selected for the species as a whole
  • As a combination of increased income and poor living standards, slaver empires tend to have a lot more Minerals available - but this can vary based on the Slavery type used for the species


  • Slaves are unhappy. They suffer a happiness penalty ranging anywhere from -10% to -30% depending on slavery type. This is in addition to the penalty from their Living Standards (usually -20% from Impoverished).
  • As a result of poor Happiness, slaves will produce considerable Unrest, which poses a danger in potentially triggering harmful event that might culminate in a rebellion. Considerable Armies and other Unrest suppression methods will be needed to counteract this.
  • Slaves are drawn towards Egalitarian and Xenophile ethics. Even though they are forbidden from joining factions, they produce considerable unrest which ties into the Dangers section below.
  • As slaves cannot join Factions, a large percentage of pops will not be eligible for forming factions. This can delay the forming of happy factions and the associated Influence income somewhat.
  • Egalitarian and Xenophile empires of any kind will not be happy with the use of slavery.


  • Unrest-incited slave rebellion is always a danger. If unrest rises too high, the slaves may revolt, which will spawn a number of rebel armies that will attack any defense armies stationed on the planet. If the rebels are able to defeat said defense armies and conquer the planet, the system will flip to their control, forming a new empire. After breaking free, it is highly likely that the rebel slave empire will try to join a nearby Egalitarian or Xenophile empire, causing the empire in question to annex the rebellious planet, likely leading to a full-scale war in the process.
  • An empire that practices slavery is a valid target for the "Stop Atrocity" wargoal which, in the case of slavery, has two effects: First it will free and emancipate all slaves in the empire, effectively crippling the Mineral (and possibly Food) income of the empire. Secondly all the former slaves will emancipate as Xenophiles and/or Egalitarians and are extremely likely to form or join appropriate factions almost instantly. These factions are likely to be quite unhappy, producing Unrest. At the same time, the former owners will also be unhappy, leading to even more Unrest. This could actually result in an even worse Unrest situation than from just having slaves and can, at worst, completely destroy the internal stability of the empire, leading to massive economic problems (due to resource production penalties caused by unrest) and possibly even revolts breaking out all over the empire (also caused by high unrest).

Combating Unrest[edit]

  • Stationing Armies on a planet will lower unrest.
  • Happy pops will have a minor unrest suppression effect, slightly lowering unrest.
  • Certain civics, traditions and edicts will lower unrest:
    • The Civic police state.png Police State civic Unrest.png -25%
    • The Greater Good Menu icon traditions.png Tradition -20%
    • The Organic Intermediaries Menu icon traditions.png Tradition Unrest.png -20% (Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Empires Only)
    • The Natural Preeminence/Auth hive mind.png Domestication Sweep/Auth machine intelligence.png Systematic Terror Traditions Unrest.png -20%
    • The Martial Law/Gestalt consciousness.png Patrol Drones Edict Unrest.png -50%

There are also a number of buildings that can combat unrest

  • Fortress Unrest.png -50
  • Stronghold Unrest.png -30
  • Slave Processing Facility Unrest.png -25% (Slave only)
  • Military Academy Unrest.png -10
  • Psi Corps Unrest.png -10%


  • Security Zone Unrest.png -40


  • War Factory Unrest.png -10


Game concepts
Governance CrimeEmpireEthicsGovernmentPoliciesEdictsLeaderFactionsPopulationSpecies rightsTraditions
Exploration ExplorationMapSpeciesAnomalyEventsFTLFallen empirePre-FTL speciesSpaceborne aliens
Colonization ColonizationCelestial bodyPlanetary managementEconomyTechnologyConstructionStarbaseShip
Diplomacy DiplomacyTradeSubject empireFederationsAI personalities
Warfare WarfareSpace warfareLand warfareShip designer
Others TraitsTerraformingPop modificationSlaveryCrisisPreset empiresAI playersEaster eggs