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This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.
A gas giant with four units of research resources and one unit of the very rare Zro aerosol.

In Stellaris, an empire's economy is based around resources which are produced in limited quantities on astronomical objects and are used for various purposes.

Resources are obtained by having a pop on its tile in a colony or by building a specific type of station in space. They can also be produced on a planet by constructing buildings and these stack with already existing resources of the same type. Gathered resources can benefit a planet, a sector or an empire as a whole.

Resources can vary from fairly common Food.png food crops to very rare substances such as Dark Matter.png dark matter and from physical Minerals.png minerals to "produced" knowledge, such as Engineering Research engineering research.

In that way, resources are very important and ought to be quickly scouted, exploited, and developed.

There are two kinds of resources: basic and strategic.

Basic resources

Basic resources are the most 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

Energy Credits.png Energy credits are the game's currency, backed by an empire's ability to produce energy. Their focus is mostly on Production for Maintenance, rather than storing large amounts. They are mainly used for recurring expenses such as maintenance of buildings, ships, spaceport modules, stations and food replacement for Robots. There is a significant maintenance cost for colony ships and colonies that are being established. 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 Credits.png energy), and building robots.

Finally, they can also act as a bargaining chip in trade deals with early empires. However, as empires grow more established, producing and storing larger amounts of energy credits, they become less valuable for trade. However that can make it really cheap to acquire them via trade deals, especially for Minerals.

They can be acquired by building mining stations around celestial bodies with energy deposits, building trading post modules in a starbase and by constructing and upgrading power plants on colonized worlds. They are produced and stored on a sector-by-sector basis as well as empire basis so it is advisable to keep an eye on total energy balance before transferring systems to a sector.

It is very important to keep a positive balance as not having enough energy credits will cause a critical resource shortage that reduces the output of Minerals.png minerals, all research, ship and army build speeds, ship shields and weapons damage by half. Additionally, colonies in the process of establishing themselves on new worlds will halt their progress and the output of robotic pops will be reduced by half.

Generally, consistency of energy output is more important than the amount, unless active expansion is in process.

Empires can stockpile up to 5000 energy credits by default, with generating-related technologies and the Resource Silo starbase building increasing the limit. Sectors have their own separate stockpiles.


Minerals.png Minerals is a collective term for all physical, material resources that are used for constructing and upgrading stations and buildings on planets. Minerals are also required for the upkeep of ships and upkeep for population in the form of consumer goods.

They, like Energy Credits.png energy credits, can be obtained by building mining stations around celestial bodies with mineral deposits, building mines on habitats and by constructing and upgrading mines on the surface of planets and moons. They are also produced and accumulated on a sector-by-sector basis.

Empires can stockpile up to 5000 minerals by default, with mining-related technologies and the Resource Silo starbase building increasing the limit. Sectors have their own separate stockpiles.

The primary purpose of Minerals is 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.

Secondly, Minerals also act as a valuable commodity for trade deals, as they are consumed by a significantly wider range of projects than Energy Credits.png energy credits; there are few times where an otherwise somewhat unattractive trade deal cannot be made attractive to another empire by offering them a modest sum of minerals.

Finally, minerals are used to manufacture consumer goods and maintain ships. Both act as a small but persistent drain especially for large empires. See Consumer Goods and Ship designer for details.

It is often important to have a sizable storage, especially so in times of war, in order to better deal with urgent situations and be able to survive production sites being lost or cut off. Not having enough minerals will cause a critical resource shortage that reduces Mod ship armor mult.png ship armor, Mod army damage mult.png army damage, weapons damage and research speed by half. A careful player should decide how many months or years worth of minerals should be kept in storage as a reserve. Minerals production should be pretty much maximized at all times, unless there is energy shortage or the empire has passed the point of saturation and cannot put minerals to use faster.

Consumer goods

Consumer goods represent a portion of an empire's industrial output that is occupied with seeing to the needs of the population. Each pop in an empire will use a certain amount of consumer goods, primarily dependent on their living standards. Consumer goods cost is represented by a monthly drain of Minerals.png Minerals.

The base amount of goods a pop requires per month depends entirely on the living standards set for that particular species. Each unit of Consumer Goods has a base cost of 0.75 Minerals.png Minerals.

Robots and Droids do not need consumer goods while Synthetics' consumer goods consumption depends on AI Rights Policy.

The base costs are affected by various modifiers to calculate the total amount of minerals necessary to produce enough consumer goods to fulfill the needs of the population. These modifiers depend on factors such as ethics, traits, planet modifiers and whether the empire is engaged in a defensive war. Regardless of what sum present modifiers give, the lowest possible consumer goods cost that an empire can have is capped at Mod pop consumer goods mult.png –90% Consumer Goods Cost.

Living Standards Consumer Goods cost
Chemical Bliss living standards +2.00 Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods
Mandatory Pampering living standards +2.00 Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods
Utopian Abundance living standards +1.50 Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods
Academic Privilege living standards +1.50 Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods
Social Welfare living standards +1.25 Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods
Decent living standards +1.00 Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods
Impoverished Conditions living standards +0.75 Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods
Basic Subsistence living standards +0.50 Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods
Non-Existent living standards +0.00 Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods
Drone living standards +0.50 Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods
Hive Dissociation, Identity Sublimation, Transubstantiation Synthesis or Transcendent Awakening living standards 2x Consumer goods.png Consumer Goods


Food.png Food is a universal term referring to any and all substances that an empire produces as sustenance for its inhabitants. Every organic pop consumes 1 Food.png food per month, regardless of living standards.

Each planet grows its own Food.png 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 increases population growth. Likewise, an empire-wide food shortage leads to starvation, which sharply and rapidly decreases happiness and halts or even regresses pop growth, although existing pops will not die. Empire food storage can be managed via the empire policies, with the storage limits being 200, 1000 or 5000. Food is only used by organic pops; machine pops use Energy Credits as a replacement, and Machine Empires other than Rogue Servitors are unable to produce or store any food whatsoever.

Food can be produced by constructing orbital hydroponic farms on starbases or by building and upgrading hydroponic farms on the surface. Aside from hydroponic farms, there are also a wide variety of other buildings that also produce food, either as their primary produce or as a by-product. The lowest level food-producing building produces +1 Food.png food, while the highest level food-producing building produces +12 Food.png food.

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 "Processing".

Livestock yields 6 Food.png food per pop every month while Processing yields 8 Food.png food per pop every month until the pops are killed. Note that the pops in question will still consume 1 Food.png food per month each.

If an empire's food supply is depleted then starvation will quickly follow. Starvation penalties will start applying once the food supply has dropped to -2 Food.png food in storage and every additional missing unit of food below that will cause a "starvation" penalty of -5% Mod pop happiness.png happiness for every missing unit of food, which stacks; -20 Food.png stored food will cause a -100 Mod pop happiness.png happiness penalty. Whilst these happiness penalties do not affect food production (to avoid starting an escalating feedback loop where unhappy farmers produce less food, and then become even more upset because they aren't farming enough to feed themselves, reducing the food output again, increasing unhappiness again and so on), the happiness penalties can cause significant reductions to all other resource outputs and causes unrest to skyrocket which can lead to major problems with maintaining order. As such, starvation should be avoided at all costs, even if it means importing food from other empires.


Influence.png Influence represents the political and diplomatic clout of the empire's leaders (or the processing power of Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness's nexus or core AI), and acts as a limiter of an empire's internal and external affairs. It is used for constructing starbases to claim ownership of new systems, claim other empire's systems, enacting most edicts, incorporating vassals, changing and reforming government types, building some empire-unique buildings, maintaining defensive pacts and federations, taking sectors resources, and dealing with factions. Depending on a players' governing ethics and government type, it is also possible to use it to influence elections.

The most common way to spend influence is claiming systems. base cost of claiming a new system (neutral or owned by others) is 75 Influence.png influence, which is increased the further away the system is from one's existing borders.

A normal empire produces a base of 3 Influence.png influence a month, can store only 1000, and the storage amount cannot be increased.

It's much harder to earn extra influence than other basic resources. More influence can be get by declaring rivalries, researching technologies that increase influence output, keeping factions happy, finishing events or anomalies, having protectorates or winning wars using the "Humiliate" and "Stop Atrocity" war goals. It is produced on an empire basis so it doesn't matter if a given system is managed by a sector. Some modifier also allows empire to use influence more efficiently by reducing the influence cost of some actions.

An influence shortage causes an empire-wide −20% Mod pop happiness.png happiness penalty.

Influence.png Population Governance Planet Technology
  • "Sponsored Rebels" modifier
  • "Servitor Morale: Maximum" modifier
  • "Servitor Morale: High" modifier
  • Fanatic Authoritarian.png Fanatic Authoritarian
  • Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness
  • "Servitor Morale: Average" modifier
  • Civic cutthroat politics.png Cutthroat Politics
  • Civic inwards perfection.png Inward Perfection
  • Civic subsumed will.png Subsumed Will
  • Menu icon traditions.png Synchronicity tree completion
  • Leader trait psionic chosen one.png Chosen One
  • Trait ruler deep connections.png Deep Connections
  • Tech planetary unification.png Planetary Unification
  • Authoritarian.png Authoritarian
  • "Servitor Morale: Low" modifier
  • Leader trait psionic leader.png Psychic
  • "Servitor Morale: Abysmal" modifier
  • "(Faction) Suppressed" modifier
  • "(Faction) Promoted" modifier


Unity is a resource used to acquire traditions, allowing one to progress through tradition trees and gain ascension perks. Note: choosing an ascension perk does NOT spend unity. Unity can also be spent on Ambitions, which are similar to edicts. Ambitions require the Apocalypse.png Apocalypse DLC and the Ascension Theory technology.

Every empire has a base gain of Unity.png +1 Unity. Additional unity is generated by buildings, in particular the Planetary Capital building. Research and traditions can add a number of unity generation buildings. Civics, ethics and certain Traits can also affect unity gain rather drastically. Democratic governments can get extra unity by fulfilling their ruler's mandate.

Unity can be stockpiled, although it will stop accumulating at 2 million.


Research is used to acquire new technologies in the Physics Research Physics, Society Research Society, and Engineering Research Engineering departments. It is also spent on some special projects.

It can be acquired by building research stations and by constructing and upgrading science labs on the surface of planets and moons. It, like Influence.png influence, is produced on an empire basis.

Stored research works totally differently from other stored resources. Storage can only be acquired from any time spent not working on either an active research topic or by finishing special projects, including salvage operations. The moment active research does take place, stored research is used to speed up the progress. For every point of research income, an additional point from the storage is used to effectively double the speed. As such research tends towards 0 storage eventually, while still allowing lump sums to be gained and stored.

Research points gained from anomaly investigation and from salvaging debris are added to the stored research pool; research points are not added to the stored research pool when conducting special projects such as debris salvage or genetic modification.

Research.png Population Governance Planet Technology
  • "Pleased" modifier
  • "Precursor Data Cache" modifier
  • Erudite.png Erudite
  • Trait robotic 3.png Synthetic
  • PM assist research.png Research Assistance (improved)
  • PM Strong Magnetic Field.png Magnetic Miracle
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Spirit of Science
  • "Curator Insight" modifier
  • Intelligent.png Intelligent
  • Logic engines.png Logic engines
  • Trait psionic species.png Psionic
  • Consumer goods.png Living standards – Academic privilege
  • Leader trait intellectual.png Analytical
  • Leader trait intellectual.png Intellectual
  • PM assist research.png Research Assistance
  • PM Irradiated.png Uncertain History
  • Module Observatory
  • Trait psionic species.png Latent psionic
  • Purge.png Labor Camps
  • Ghost Signal Ghost Signal
  • "AIs Patched" modifier
  • Menu icon policies.png AI – Servitude
  • "Stellar Culture Shock (early space age)" modifier
  • "War Protester" modifier
  • "Withdrawal Symptoms" modifier
  • Trait primitive.png Serviles
  • "Enraged" modifier
  • Ghost Signal Ghost Signal (2)
  • Ghost Signal Ghost Signal (machine 4)
  • Trait robotic 2.png Droid
  • Menu icon policies.png AI – Outlawed
  • Ghost Signal Ghost Signal (3)
  • Ghost Signal Ghost Signal (machine 5)
  • "Stellar Culture Shock (atomic age)" modifier
  • Slavery.png Battle Thralls
  • Ghost Signal Ghost Signal (4)
  • Consumer goods.png Living standards – Chemical Bliss
  • "Stellar Culture Shock (machine age)" modifier
  • Ghost Signal Ghost Signal (5)
  • Nerve Stapled.png Nerve Stapled
  • Slavery.png Chattel Slavery
  • Slavery.png Domestic Servitude
  • Trait robotic 1.png Robot
  • "Stellar Culture Shock (industrial age)" modifier
  • "Stellar Culture Shock" modifier
Engineering Research Population Governance Planet Technology
  • PM Unstable Tectonics.png Unstable Tectonics
  • Natural Engineers.png Natural Engineers
  • "Subterranean Tech Provision" modifier
Physics Research Population Governance Planet Technology
  • Dark Matter.png Dark Matter
  • PM Wild Storms.png Wild Storms
+15% Natural Physicists.png Natural Physicists
  • "Prismatic Lenses" modifier
  • PM Strong Magnetic Field.png Strong Magnetic Field
Society Research Population Governance Planet Technology
  • PM Dangerous Wildlife.png Odd Animal Life
  • PM Titanic Life.png Titanic Life
  • "Pharmaceutical Innovation" modifier
  • PM Dangerous Wildlife.png Hostile Fauna
+15% Natural Sociologists.png Natural Sociologists
  • "Well Rested Scientists" modifier
  • PM Atmospheric Hallucinogen.png Atmospheric Hallucinogen
  • PM Atmospheric Hallucinogen.png Filtered Atmospheric Hallucinogen
  • PM Hollow Planet.png Subterranean Civilization
  • "Loss of Personnel" modifier
  • PM faith in science.png AI Failure
  • PM Unknown.png Unproductive Without Experiments

Strategic resources

Strategic.png Strategic resources are rare resources that provide an empire-wide modifier boost. The resources do stack and require an amount modified by your empire size to get the boost. They are also required in quantity to both build and maintain advanced buildings. They can also be traded with other empires and are valued far more than the common basic resources. Strategic resources are always visible but requires specific technology to exploit.

Resources Pre-requisites Effects Celestial Body Description
Volatile motes.png Tech rare crystals.png Mod ship weapon damage.png +20% Explosive weapon damage Planet frozen.png Frozen world These preternatural particles contain a tremendous amount of energy which could be exploited in energy production, as fuel, or even as explosives
(unrecognized string “rare gasses” for Template:Icon) Tech mine dark matter.png Mod country all tech research speed.png +10% Research speed Black hole Rare and exotic gasses with a variety of different uses, particularly in the operation of advanced energy-based weaponry and force-fields. Some of the gasses can also be used as starship fuel or even as recreational drugs
Rare crystals.png Tech exotic gases.png Mod pop resource output.png +10% Pop Resource output Planet gas giant.png Gas giant These crystals have properties that make them extremely effective at focusing laser beams, and they are also a critical component in most advanced electronics. In addition, many cultures treasure them as decorations and adornments.
Living Metal.png Living Metal.png Armor +20% Armor Hit Points Planet asteroid.png Asteroid This inorganic material shows characteristics usually only present in biological life forms. It will always attempt to regenerate back into the shape it was stabilized into.
Zro.png Zro.png Mod ship auto repair add.png +0.5% daily hull regeneration
Mod ship auto repair add.png +0.5% daily armor regeneration
Mod country spaceport cost mult.png -20% Megastructure build cost
Planet ringworld.png Broken Ringworld (anomaly)
Destroyed Contingency Sterilization Hub
An extremely rare aresol of exotic particles. It has been deposited on a number of worlds by meteor impacts, but it's true origin is a mystery. If ingested by psyionically-gifted individuals, zro acts as a very potent, (and addictive)drug that enhances PSI abilities.
Dark Matter.png Dark Matter.png Mod ship speed mult.png +20% Sublight speed Planet gas giant.png Gas giant This exotic substance has many properties that seemingly defy several natural laws. Harvestable concentrations can only be found near black holes or in certian nebulas.
Nanites.png Nanites.png Mod ship hitpoints add.png +20% Ship Hull Points Neutron star Simple but powerful nanoactuators, allowing for complex manipulations and experiments of mesoscopic scales."

Local resources

In addition to the global-modifier resources there are also some local resources which provide a certain boost only to the planet they are on. These resources require the construction of a special building on the resource tile to exploit them.

Resources Pre-requisites Effects Location Description
Alien Pets.png Alien Pets Building alien zoo.png Alien Zoo Society Research +4 Society Output
Unity.png +4 Unity
Mod pop happiness.png +5% Happiness
Mod planet migration all pull.png +25% Migration Attraction
  • Accompanied by 3 Society Research Society.
  • Not found on Tomb worlds or any empire's home system
  • 2x chance if it's a Gaia world.
  • 2x chance if world has either the Lush or the Dangerous Wildlife modifiers.
These docile non-sentient creatures can easily be domesticated, and their friendly demeanor and appealing looks would make them popular as pets and companions. Xenophiles value them highly and proudly present them in their zoos.
Betharian.png Betharian stone Building betharian power plant 1.png Betharian Power Plant Energy Credits.png +10 Energy credits
  • Accompanied by 2 Energy Credits.png energy.
  • Not found on Tomb worlds or any empire's home system
  • 5x chance if it's a Gaia world.
  • 5x chance if world has either the Lush or the Dangerous Wildlife modifiers.
These rare stones have been deposited on many worlds through meteor strikes. They burn very slowly and are very efficient energy sources.

Trader Enclave resources

Each trader enclave has one strategic resource they'll sell for 3000 Energy Credits.png energy credits for 120 months. You will receive a notification to extend the deal for the same cost and time each time it expires. If a trader enclave is destroyed the resource it provides becomes unobtainable.

Resources Pre-requisites Effects Enclave Description
Muutagan.png Muutagan crystals Diplomacy opinion.png +50 Opinion Mod pop happiness.png +10% Citizen Species Happiness Muutagan Merchant Guild The Muutagan Merchant Guild are the only group that posses the knowledge of crafting these crystals. If struck, these 'singing' crystals start to vibrate while emitting a unique humming sound. They are often used as musical instruments, and have a calming effect on most beings.
Riggan Spice.png Riggan spice Diplomacy opinion.png +50 Opinion Mod ship fire rate mult.png +5% Fire Rate
Mod army damage mult.png +10% Army Damage
Riggan Commerce Exchange The secret methods of extracting and mixing this spice is something that is not known outside the Riggan Commerce Exchange. The spice has a unique flavor and is a popular food ingredient.
Xuran.png XuraGel Diplomacy opinion.png +50 Opinion Mod habitability.png +10% Habitablity XuraCorp Produced by XuraCorp, this gel claims various positive medicinal effects for creatures living in inhospitable environments.

Nano resources

These resources can only be found on celestial bodies inside the L-Cluster, especially on Nanite Worlds. Note that they appear on ringworlds built within the L-Cluster as well.

Resources Pre-requisites Effects Description
Xuran.png Gray Actuators Mod country all tech research speed.png +10% Research speed Simple but powerful nanoactuators, allowing for complex manipulations and experiments of mesoscopic scales.
Gray Crystals Mod ship weapon damage.png +10% Kinetic weapon damage
Mod ship weapon damage.png +10% Energy weapon damage
Mod ship weapon damage.png +10% Explosive weapon damage
The crystalline by-product of certain nanobot activity exhibits curious interations with other nanoscopic material, hinting at truth hidden beyond the planck scale.
Gray Dust Tech terrestrial sculpting.png Terrestrial Sculpting Mod planet building build speed mult.png +15% Terraforming speed
Cost +15% Terraforming cost
A slurry of elements reduced to particulate matter. Once distributed across a world, Gray Dust can be activated by nanomachines to rapidly alter planetary conditions.
Gray Scales Pop resource food mult.png +20% Food output Concentrated artificial fertilizer designed to revive devastated biospheres.


Game concepts
Governance EmpireEthicsGovernmentCivicsPoliciesEdictsLeaderFactionsPopulationSpecies rightsEconomyTechnologyTraditionsCrime
Exploration ExplorationMapSpeciesAnomalyEventsFTLFallen empirePre-FTL speciesPrecursorsSpaceborne aliens
Colonization ColonizationCelestial bodyPlanetary featuresPlanetary managementDistrictsBuildingsShipStarbaseMegastructures
Diplomacy DiplomacyTradeSubject empireFederationsGalactic communityAI personalities
Warfare WarfareSpace warfareLand warfareShip designer
Others TraitsTerraformingPop modificationSlaveryCrisisPreset empiresAI playersEaster eggs