This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.
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.
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 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 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), 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, 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 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, 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; 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.
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 ship armor, 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 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.
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.
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 –90% Consumer Goods Cost.
Food is a universal term referring to any and all substances that an empire produces as sustenance for its inhabitants. Empire food rationing can be managed via the empire policies, evaluating food spending against pop growth and happiness.
Each planet grows its own 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 not increases population growth directly, but can be spend on planetary decision to boost local population growth. 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. 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 creating farming jobs via building farming districts and hydroponic farms and food processors on the surface. The baseline output of one farmer is +6 food, it can be boosted by productivity modifiers (stability, repeatable techs) and food processors.
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".
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 in storage and every additional missing unit of food below that will cause a "starvation" penalty of -5% happiness for every missing unit of food, which stacks; -20 stored food will cause a -100 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.
Food is one of the cheapest market resources, rated at 1 Energy per unit without fees.
Influence represents the political and diplomatic clout of the empire's leaders (or the processing power of 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, which is increased the further away the system is from one's existing borders.
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.
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 DLC and the Ascension Theory technology.
Every empire has a base gain of +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.
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.
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.
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.
Trader Enclave resources
|Available only with the Leviathans DLC enabled.|
Each trader enclave has one strategic resource they'll sell for 3000 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.
|Available only with the Distant Stars DLC enabled.|