These features are only available if the accompanying DLC is activated.
- You, Robot: Play Stellaris as a customized robotic civilization, complete with a series of robotic portraits for science robots, worker robots, and more
- AI, eh? Aye!: Follow new event chains and story features to lead your robot race to greatness as an intergalactic AI empire; pursue mechanical perfection in the stars
- Rise of the Machines: Oppressed synths may rebel against their masters and form new empires -- or you may even discover a fallen synthetic civilization deep in space
- Digital Enhancements: New synthetic race portraits, and expanded voice packs for VIR
- Machine Empires use the new 'Machine' species class with its own portrait set. Around 12 new machine portraits are planned, including one themed for each existing species class (Fungoid bots, Avian bots, etc)
- A regular Machine Empire is made up entirely of networked drones (exceptions are made by the 3 special civics below) and are built using resources (in the same way as robot pops)
- Different models can be created and built once the 'Machine Template' technology is researched.
- They do not require food, instead using energy for maintenance.
- Organic pops can not be integrated into a machine empire, and must be displaced or purged.
- A special form of purging called 'Grid Amalgamation' - kills pops at a moderate speed, but the pops produce a large amount of energy while being purged (similar to processing for organic empires)
- Machine Empire pops do not die from old age, but can suffer potentially lethal accidents and malfunctions, though this is fairly rare.
- They also have their own sets of tradition swaps, similar to Hive Minds, including a new 'Versatility' tree that replaces the Diplomacy tree
- They have their own unique personalities, dialogue and interaction with entities such as the Contingency and Fallen Machine Empires.
These features were added to the base game by the 1.8 (Čapek) patch meaning that they are free for all players and function without the need of the accompanying DLC.
- Revamped election mechanics – Democratic governments no longer get to choose their ruler from a pool of active leaders, instead it will be centered around factions. Candidates are now representatives of factions and by taking into account the citizenship status of pops, the odds of a candidate winning an election are determined by the amount of support a given faction has throughout the empire.
- Leader skill changes – Depending on an empires' civics, traditions, policies and a species' traits, leaders can now earn up to ten skill levels.
- Core sector governor – Instead of hiring a governor for each core system, there is now a single governor that governs all core systems. Additionally, a governor skill level now provides a direct increase to all resource production in a sector independent of their leader traits bonuses.
- Manual Purging – Purging specific pops is once again possible on special cases if said pop is either: a slave, a non-protected pre-sapient or an undesirable.
- Simplifying vassal creation – Previously it was only possible to create vassals by releasing an entire species whose homeworld was captured. Now to create a vassal all that is needed is to select a sector that contains a species (or sub-species) you want to make a vassal of and click on the Create Vassal button. All systems in the sector will be released as one Vassal empire. Vassal empires will receive their overlords' ethics and authority but they are able to choose their own civics. Systems can be granted or seized by trade.
- Land appropriation and refugees – This new policy governs whether or not newly conquered planets should have tiles appropriated from non-citizen species. It is available for all ethics types and it works by clearing some tiles either by driving the occupying species away and turning it into refugees or by outright eliminating them from the game. Homogeneity-seeking empires will make use of this policy meaning that wars of conquest will usually generate refugees.
- Pre-sapient policies – New policies are available that dictate how species with the potential to be uplift are treated and they include: extermination, tolerance, protection and use as livestock.
- Initial border status – This new policy controls the default border status an empire has towards other empires. An open approach means that ones' borders can be traversed without the need of an open borders agreement and a closed approach means it would need one.
- Robotic workers policy refinement – This new policy dictates whether robotic pops should exist or not. Outlawing robotic workers will dismantle all robots within an empire. The currently existing artificial intelligence one is changed and it now determines if mechanoids can have sentience or not (outlawed) and if they should be enslaved (servitude) or given freedom (citizen rights).
- Main article: Developer diaries
- Patch 1.9 (Boulle)
|No.||Title and Link||Description||Date|
|19||Humanoids Species Pack||A new species pack straight from the artists with additional VIR content.||2017-11-22|
|20||Tech Progression in Cherryh||The release of the Humanoids Species Pack and patch 1.9.||2017-12-07|
- Patch 1.8 (Čapek)
|No.||Title and Link||Description||Date|
|1||Crises & The Contingency||Improvements done on the crises front with a major revision of the AI uprising crisis||2017-06-01|
|2||The Čapek Update||Changes and improvements to Habitability and Terraforming coming in 1.8||2017-06-15|
|3||Genemodding Templates||Changes coming to genetic modification in the 1.8 Čapek update||2017-06-22|
|4||Fallen Machine Empire||Tweaks to fallen empires in 1.8 along with a new synthetic-type fallen empire in the upcoming story pack||2017-06-29|
|5||Hive Mind & Tradition Improvements||Added flavor improvements for Hive-Minds/Devouring Swarms along with traditions flavor changes||2017-07-06|
|6||Ethics Voice Packs||New voice-over sets for VIR the trusted in-game friendly advisor||2017-07-13|
|7||Robomodding & Robot Changes||Unique robotic traits, robot template modding and related assortment of robo-changes in the works||2017-07-20|
|8||Ship Component & Balance Changes||Changes to ship design and combat behavior rework||2017-07-27|
|9||Machine Empires||Synthetic Dawn Story Pack & new kinds of robotic empires||2017-08-03|
|10||Machine Uprisings||Machine Uprisings feature in the Synthetic Dawn story pack||2017-08-10|
|11||Synthetic Dawn Music||Andreas Waldetoft, the in-house composer, on the new tracks for synths included in the upcoming story pack||2017-08-17|
|12||Čapek Feature Roundup (part 1)||A round-up of some minor changes and reworks coming in the 1.8 Čapek update||2017-08-24|
|13||Čapek Feature Roundup (part 2)||A continuation of the feature round-up in the 1.8 Čapek update||2017-08-31|
|14||Decadence and Ascension Changes||Awakened empires will now become decadent with time/power and requested changes to ascension paths||2017-09-07|
|15||Čapek/Synthetic Dawn Patch Notes||Changelog for the 1.8 "Čapek" update||2017-09-14|
|16||1.8 Post-Release Support||Update of the beta branch status and current patch notes of patch 1.8.2||2017-10-05|
|17||1.8 Post-Release Support (part 2)||Wrapping up of 1.8 soon and moving on to 1.9||2017-10-12|
|18||Official Sound Track||The Stellaris soundtrack DLC is changed to include all previously released tracks as well as all future track releases||2017-10-19|
- Forum, Stellaris Prepares Robotic Empires for Digital Distribution Across the Universe, 2017-08-03
- Forum, Stellaris Synthetic Dawn Feature Breakdown, 2017-09-06