Celestial body

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This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.

A celestial body is a star, planet, moon or asteroid present in a star system. Celestial bodies may have resources which can be harvested by orbital stations. Each start system can have between 2 and 15 celestial bodies.

When any owned ship enters a system or passes within its sensor range, any habitable planets in the system will be revealed along with their world type. To see further details about the celestial bodies in a system, it is necessary to survey them with a science ship. This will reveal all of the orbital resources associated with each planet or asteroid. For habitable worlds this will also reveal more detailed world information including: size, available districts, blockers (if any), special features, and the habitability percentage for each species in the player's empire. Additionally, surveying worlds has a chance to reveal anomalies.

Habitable worlds

A habitable world is any celestial body that can harbor advanced organic life. These are the only worlds that can be colonized and terraformed, besides some notable exceptions. Their suitability ranges in accordance to a given species' homeworld, which affects the rate of population growth.

A planet's habitability (and subsequent future terraforming costs) is determined by its climate system. The nine habitable worlds are divided equally into three climate categories: dry, frozen and wet.

Type Climate Description
Planet arid.png Arid Dry Dry, rocky world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. The dust-covered terrain consists largely of mesas and canyons. Forests can be found in the more temperate polar regions, but vegetation is otherwise scarce.
Planet desert.png Desert Dry Dry, rocky world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. Precipitation and major bodies of surface water are relatively rare. Significant temperature variations between day and night cycles. Vegetation is scarce, but even moderate precipitation can make the desert bloom.
Planet savannah.png Savanna Dry Rocky world dominated by dry, arid plains covered by a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. The small hydrosphere allows for brief wet seasons, but aside from a few ubiquitous grasses vegetation is largely concentrated around shallow oases.
Planet alpine.png Alpine Frozen Mountainous world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. Snow covers the mountaintops and frozen-over lakes dot the valleys. While the planet experiences the minimal seasonal variations, the still-liquid water beneath the frozen surface of the lakes is enough to sustain some hardy vegetation.
Planet arctic.png Arctic Frozen Frigid, rocky world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. The poles are big, and significant water deposits can be found permanently frozen as glacial ice. However, the planet experiences seasonal variations and the equatorial band is covered by vegetation.
Planet tundra.png Tundra Frozen Cold and rocky world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. Permafrost covers most of the surface except for the more temperate equatorial regions. A stable biosphere exists but vegetation is mostly limited to mosses and lichens.
Planet continental.png Continental Wet Rocky world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. Active and stable hydrosphere. Great landmasses are separated by oceans, with large climate variations depending on latitude and precipitation.
Planet ocean.png Ocean Wet Rocky world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere and a significant hydrosphere. Oceans cover more than 90% of the surface, with scattered islands making up the remaining percentage.
Planet tropical.png Tropical Wet Humid, rocky world with a thick nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. Seasons with significant precipitation are interchanged with drier periods. Most landmasses are covered in dense vegetation.

Special habitable planets

Special habitable worlds can only be spawned in certain systems but any empire that meets the requirements can terraform a regular habitable world into a special one. All of them have either very high or very low Mod habitability.png habitability.

Type Description Source origin Terraforming requirements Pop effects Notes
Planet gaia.png Gaia An ideal, temperate world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere and a resilient ecosystem. Optimal conditions for all known higher forms of life at different latitudes. Origins life seeded.png Life-Seeded
Origins elder race.png Elder Race
Ap world shaper.png World Shaper ascension perk
Decision resort colony.png Nu-Baol Life-Seeding decision
Cannot be terraformed again
Mod habitability.png 100% Habitability
Mod pop happiness.png +10% Biological Pop Happiness
Mod pop happiness.png +10% Lithoid Pop Happiness
Mod pop resource output.png +10% Resources from Jobs
Gaia Worlds tend to have positive modifiers and no negative ones. Most DLCs add at least one system with a Gaia world but a few can be found in all versions:
  • A system called Wenkwart will always spawn in the galaxy. It contains size 19 Gaia world called Wankward Artem with a unique planet modifier.
  • A size 25 Gaia world called Zannam will occasionally spawn in a galaxy. It is defended by the Guardians of Zanaam.
  • Four Gaia worlds with special names - Prophets Retreat, Walled Garden, Emerald Mausoleum, Pristine Jewel - border the systems of the Holy Guardians. They have the Holy World modifier and colonizing them will incur their ire. Destroying them will even awaken the Fallen Empire.
Planet nuked.png Tomb A rocky world with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. It is currently experiencing a nuclear winter, with dense layers of sooty aerosols in the atmosphere. High levels of surface radiation. Minimal signs of life. Origins post apocalyptic.png Post-Apocalyptic Bombardment armageddon.png Armageddon bombardment
Bombardment full.png Javorian Pox bombardment
Mod habitability.png 0% Habitability Tomb Worlds are habitable but feature the poorest base habitability and very few Planetary Features. Also, a species cannot be gene-modified to suit a Tomb World except through the Horizon Signal event chain.
  • Pre-FTL civilizations in the Atomic or Early Space Age have a small chance of starting a nuclear war and turning the planet into a Tomb World.
  • Empires with the Civic machine terminator.png Determined Exterminator civic start on a Tomb World if they don't have the Origins resource consolidation.png Resource Consolidation Origin.
  • Colonizing a Tomb World will displease the Faction icons traditionalists.png Traditionalist faction, unless the empire has the Origins post apocalyptic.png Post-Apocalyptic Origin.
  • Each Tomb World has a high chance of triggering one of 8 unique events 2 or 3 years after the planet is colonized.
Planet city.png Ecumenopolis World completely engulfed by urban-industrial sprawl. Its natural lithosphere is no longer discernible from orbit. Origins elder race.png Elder Race Decision arcology project.png Arcology Project decision
Decision arcology project.png Restore Ecumenopolis decision
Cannot be terraformed again
  • Mod habitability.png 100% Habitability
  • Mod pop resource output.png +20% Resources from Jobs
  • Mod pop growth req.png +50% Pop Growth speed
  • The only pre-existing ecumenopolis is the homeworld of the Keepers of Knowledge Fallen Empire
  • All normal planetary features are removed. Planetary Prospecting decision disabled.
  • These city planets have their own set of districts that focus on providing massive amounts of Housing.png Housing and refining basic resources.
  • The city lights of an Ecumenopolis World are determined by the ship appearance of the terraforming empire.
  • Empires that are Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousnesses or have the Civic agrarian idyll.png Agrarian Idyll civic cannot take the ascension perk but can still use conquered Ecumenopolis Worlds.
Planet nuked.png Relic A city once stretched across this entire world. Only ancient and abandoned ruins remain now, their original inhabitants long since departed. Origins remnant.png Remnants No.png Mod habitability.png 80% Habitability Relic Worlds can be found in the First League precursors home system or in various systems added in the Ancient Relics.png Ancient Relics DLC.
  • Relic Worlds contain unique Planetary Features that grant bonuses to Research.png Research output. However most of the surface is covered by Blockers that are expensive to remove.
  • Relic Worlds have the aforementioned Decision arcology project.png Restore Ecumenopolis decision available. It terraforms the planet into an Ecumenopolis but loses its Planetary Features. If an Archeological site was present and not fully excavated it will be lost.
Planet infested.png Hive This entire world is a giant living organism, psionically connected with the Hive Mind that shaped it. Any beings not part of the Hive that set foot here will be attacked by the very terrain itself. None Ap hive worlds.png Hive Worlds ascension perk Mod habitability.png 100% Habitability if Hive-minded.png Hive-Minded
Mod habitability.png 0% Habitability if not Hive-minded.png Hive-Minded
Mod pop resource output.png +10% Resources from Jobs
  • All normal planetary features are removed. Number of resource districts no longer limited by features. Planetary Prospecting decision disabled.
  • Hive District effects are doubled on Hive Worlds.
Planet ai.png Machine Rocky world covered with artificial structures. The thin atmosphere consists mostly of industrial pollutants and is not capable of supporting biological life. Origins resource consolidation.png Resource Consolidation Ap machine worlds.png Machine Worlds ascension perk
  • Mod habitability.png 100% Habitability if Trait mechanical.pngAuth machine intelligence.png robot
  • Mod habitability.png 70% Habitability if Trait cybernetic.png Cybernetic
  • Mod habitability.png 0% Habitability if neither
  • Mod pop resource output.png +10% Resources from Jobs
  • All normal planetary features are removed. Number of resource districts no longer limited by features. Planetary Prospecting decision disabled.
  • Cannot support Agriculture Districts.
  • The following planetary modifiers will also be removed: Atmospheric Aphrodisiac, Atmospheric Hallucinogen, Bleak, Hazardous Weather, Hostile Fauna, Irradiated, Lush, Natural Beauty, and Wild Storms.
  • If when terraformed the planet contains biological Pops that don't have the Trait cybernetic.png Cybernetic trait they are killed and the machine world gains an D bubbling swamp.png Organic Slurry planetary feature.

Uninhabitable celestial bodies

All non-star celestial bodies that cannot harbor advanced organic life are classified as uninhabitable. These worlds can't be colonized or terraformed, but some can have deposits of common or strategic resources.

Type Potential Common Resources Potential Strategic Resources Description
Planet asteroid.png Asteroid
  • Minerals.png Minerals
  • Volatile motes.png Volatile Motes
A larger asteroid or planetoid standing out in the dense cluster of smaller bodies.
Planet asteroid.png Ice Asteroid
  • Minerals.png Minerals
  • Rare crystals.png Rare Crystals
A larger asteroid or planetoid composed primarily of frozen H2O.
Planet asteroid.png Crystalline Asteroid
  • Minerals.png Minerals
  • Rare crystals.png Rare Crystals
A large asteroid covered in some kind of crystalline outcroppings.
Planet barren.png Barren World
  • Minerals.png Minerals
  • Physics Research Physics Research
Barren and rocky world with a thin or non-existent atmosphere. The surface is covered in meteor impact craters and completely devoid of life.
Planet barren cold.png Barren World
  • Minerals.png Minerals
  • Physics Research Physics Research
Barren and rocky world with a thin or non-existent atmosphere. The surface is covered in meteor impact craters and completely devoid of life.
Planet barren.png Broken World devastated by some cataclysmic event. Whatever properties it may once have had are no longer discernible.
Planet frozen.png Frozen World
  • Minerals.png Minerals
  • Engineering research Engineering Research
  • Rare crystals.png Rare Crystals
Rocky world covered in a thick layer of permanently frozen ice. Low temperatures and a very thin atmosphere precludes the existence of life on the surface.
Planet gas giant.png Gas Giant
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Engineering research Engineering Research
  • Exotic gases.png Exotic Gases
  • Zro.png Zro
Gaseous planet with an atmosphere primarily composed of hydrogen and helium surrounding a dense core.
Planet molten.png Molten World
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Minerals.png Minerals
  • Engineering research Engineering Research
  • Volatile motes.png Volatile Motes
Rocky world that is scorching hot. The atmosphere is thin or non-existent, and lava from the interior flows freely due to constant volcanic eruptions. This type of planet cannot sustain organic life.
Planet toxic.png Toxic World
  • Minerals.png Minerals
  • Society research Society Research
  • Exotic gases.png Exotic Gases
  • Zro.png Zro
A rocky planet with a thick atmosphere that is lethal to all known higher forms of life.

Special uninhabitable planets

Special uninhabitable planets can only be created in unique systems or as a result of events.

Type Notes Description
Planet ai.png AI These planets are created by the Contingency. They are similar in appearance to Machine worlds, but are not habitable at all. Successful bombardment turns the planet into a broken world. Rocky world covered with artificial structures. The thin atmosphere consists mostly of industrial pollutants. There are strong energy emissions coming from across the entire surface, but no organic life signs.
Planet barren.png Cracked Created by the hatching of the Voidspawn, destroying the existing colony. Has a deposit of 20 Society research Society. The cracked shards of an enormous planet-sized egg.
Planet infested.png Infested Created when habitable worlds are infested by the Prethoryn Swarm. Successful bombardment turns the planet into a barren world that can be terraformed. The surface of this world is covered by some kind of biological contaminant.
Planet toxic.png Nanite Found in the L-Cluster, with half of the outcomes giving them the Terraforming Candidate modifier once the nanite factory is destroyed. A chaotic and inhospitable world, disfigured according to some mad design.
Planet barren.png Shattered All worlds will have a deposit of 4-16 Minerals.png Minerals. The charred, broken remnants of what was once a planet. A massive energy surge has detonated this world's core, leaving only slabs of rock.
Planet arid.png Shielded Found through exploration, where the shield can be brought down through a special project with different possible outcomes. They can also be created using the Global Pacifier Colossus weapon but these worlds cannot then be un-shielded. This entire world is encased in some kind of impenetrable energy barrier. It blocks all scans of the surface.
Planet shroud.png Shrouded Created by the End of the Cycle or when the Eater of Worlds is ravenous. Cannot be recovered. A few shrouded world can be found in some special systems. Our sensors are unable to penetrate the thick fog surrounding the planet. Ships that enter it do not return.

Habitable Megastructures

Habitable Megastructures are entirely artificial and can be constructed after researching the required technology. They feature the same Mod habitability.png habitability for every species, have unique Districts and have no colonization cost.

Type Size Required technology Notes Description
Planet habitat.png Habitat 6 Tech habitat.png Orbital Habitats
  • Has 3 types of Districts, with a fourth one being available if build over a planet with a resource deposit
  • Colonization is 3 times as fast as a planet
An artificial deep-space arcology offering planet-like, if decidedly urban, living conditions. Hydroponics and advanced filtering technologies make it near-self-sustaining, and station-borne facilities can mine the station's host planet for raw materials.
Planet ringworld.png Ring World 5 Tech ring world.png Ring World
  • Ring Worlds have +20 free Housing.png Housing
  • Intact Ring Worlds are found only in the the Sanctuary system and the Ancient Caretakers home system
  • Can be repaired from broken segments with the Tech mega engineering.png Mega-Engineering technology
  • Can be built in uninhabited systems
  • Segments destroyed by a crisis or World Cracker cannot be repaired
An immense band encircling the system's sun. Built to allow for numerous artificial habitation zones along its inner span, freed from the restrictions and mundanity of planet-bound, spherical existence.


A star is a celestial body that composes the center of a star system and influences the generation of the solar system. They are classified based on their spectral characteristics. Less common stars also have a negative effect on all ships in the system, making certain tactics less effective in battle.

Most systems have only one star but a few have two or three stars, either orbiting each other with the planets around them or far enough from each other that a few planets orbit each star.

Type Potential Resources Description
B Star.png Class B
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
The large class B main-sequence stars are very bright and blue. Although somewhat rare, the luminosity of these stars make them among the most visible to the naked eye.
A Star.png Class A
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
These relatively young white or bluish-white main-sequence stars are typically among the most visible to the naked eye. They are large and rotate very quickly, but will eventually evolve into slower and cooler red giants.
F Star.png Class F
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
F-type stars are fairly large and often referred to as yellow-white dwarves. Although they often emit significant amounts of UV radiation, their wide habitable zones have a good chance of supporting life-bearing worlds.
G Star.png Class G
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
Often referred to as yellow dwarves, G-type stars actually range in color from white to slightly yellow. Main-sequence stars fuse hydrogen for roughly 10 billion years before they expand and become red giants. Although their lifespans are shorter than K-type stars, worlds inside the habitable zone of a G star often enjoy optimal conditions for the development of life.
K Star.png Class K
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
These main-sequence stars, sometimes referred to as orange dwarves, are a fairly common sight. They are stable on the main-sequence for up to 30 billion years, meaning that worlds orbiting a K-type star have a longer than average window to evolve life.
M Star.png Class M
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
The most common stars in the universe, often referred to as red dwarves. Their low luminosity means they are difficult to observe with the naked eye from afar. Although they typically have an extremely long lifespan, red dwarves emit almost no UV light resulting in unfavorable conditions for most forms of life.
M Red Giant Star.png Class M Red Giant
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
With a large radius and comparatively low surface temperature, red giants are stars of moderate mass in a late stage of stellar evolution. Their expanded stellar atmosphere and high luminosity make for distant habitable zone orbits.
T Star.png Class T Brown Dwarf
  • Energy.png Energy
  • Physics Research Physics
Brown dwarfs are substellar objects that lack the mass to sustain hydrogen fusion. Roughly the size of large gas giants, they have a much greater density. Their low luminosity and comparatively small heat generation means that planets orbiting them are unlikely to support life.
Pulsar.png Pulsar
  • Engineering research Engineering
  • Physics Research Physics
Pulsars are highly magnetized neutron stars that emit beams of electromagnetic radiation. As the star rotates, the radiation beam is only visible when it is pointing directly at the observer. This results in a very precise interval of pulses, which sometimes is so exact that it can be used to measure the passage of time with extreme accuracy. The radiation emitted by pulsars interferes with deflector technology, rendering ship and station shields inoperable.
  • Mod ship shield hp mult.png +100% Shield Nullification
Black Hole.png Black Hole
  • Engineering research Engineering
  • Physics Research Physics
  • Dark Matter.png Dark Matter
Typically formed as a result of the collapse of a very massive star at the end of its life cycle, black holes have extremely strong gravity fields that prevent anything - including light - from escaping once the event horizon has been crossed. The gravitational waves emitted by black holes interfere with FTL drives, making it harder for ships to escape from combat.
  • Mod ship disengagement.png +50% Disengagement Chance Reduction
  • Mod ship speed mult.png +50% Emergency FTL Jump Cooldown
  • Observatory.png Allows starbases to construct the Black Hole Observatory building.
Neutron Star.png Neutron Star
  • Engineering research Engineering
  • Physics Research Physics
These incredibly dense stellar remnants are sometimes created when a massive star suffers a rapid collapse and explodes in a supernova. Although their diameter is typically as little as ten kilometers, their mass is many times greater than an average G-type star. The gravitational waves and radiation emitted by Neutron Stars must be carefully navigated around, slowing the sublight speed of ships.
  • Mod ship speed mult.png +50% Sublight Speed Reduction


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