Factions

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Please help with verifying or updating older sections of this article. At least some were last verified for version 2.5.

This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.
Just like Ethics shift will never be one-sided in individualist empires, factions will always form.

In order to represent the struggles an empire will face in attempting to maintain control over a diverse population, Stellaris includes a system where units of an empire's population can support factions. Factions represent political parties and are the main determinant of pop Mod pop happiness.png happiness. They are disabled for Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness empires. A faction's name is randomized but can be manually changed at any point.

Faction Properties

Factions screen

Every faction has all of these properties. Approval and size/support are usually the most important figures to keep in mind.

Spawn Limitations

Factions can only spawn after at least 10 years have passed and there are at least 5 pops capable of supporting it. There is an also 180 day lockout between Factions spawning. While many also require having met another species, this is not a universal rule.

Very rarely a Faction might despawn if it loses all its members. If this happens the Faction can form again under a new name later.

Approval

Approval is derived from its issues, with a major modification if the Faction is suppressed, supported or a factions Ethic was recently Embraced. Faction Approval adds a Mod pop happiness.png Happiness modifier to all Pops who support the faction:

Approval Pop Happiness
0-39% -10%
40-59% 0
60-79% +5%
80-100% +10%

Support

A pop can only support a faction if it's sentient as well and not enslaved, purger or suffering from Stellar Culture Shock. A pop can only support one Faction. As a Pop has to have the fitting Ethics to support a Faction, Ethics attraction plays a major role in Faction strength and distribution. Both systems interact to a degree, with many issues aiming to create (or curb) conflicting Attractions. Every Ethic has at least one Faction.

The tooltip separates between Citizen and non-Citizen (Residency) pops. Currently all pops count the same regardless of Mod pop political power.png Political Power and if they have Citizen Rights.

It is ideal if happy Factions have a lot of support and unhappy ones as little as possible. Depending on the Support, an unhappy Faction will be listed as White, Yellow or Red in the outliner.

Pops with the Nerve Stapled.png Nerve Stapled trait cannot join Factions.

Issues

Issues directly translate to happiness: the more issues that are Fulfilled, the happier the Faction. By their nature opposing Ethic Factions have opposing issues, making it impossible to make all Factions happy. An issue can be either fulfilled or not fulfilled. In either case, it might produce a happiness penalty (red), a happiness bonus (green) or be neutral (yellow). Many issues have requirements before they can appear, making it sometimes hard to know what will please a faction before unlocking the proper Options.

As they can only have two states, issues come in a few common shapes that can each only have two of the above states:

  • Positive issues will be green if fulfilled, yellow if not fulfilled.
  • Negative issues will be red if not fulfilled, yellow if fulfilled.
  • Extreme issues will be red if not fulfilled, green if fulfilled.
  • Timed issues belong into one of the above, but rely on having a timed country flag.
  • Stacking issues are a set of Positive issues. There are 2 or more "levels" to fulfilling these issues. Usually, the higher level is the same basic mechanic/check, but with a higher threshold. Fulfilling one level will unlock the next one (i.e., being 10, 20 and 50 years at peace; having 1, 3 or 5 Non-Aggression Pacts with neighbors). The levels will usually provide +2%, +3% and +5% happiness which will stack for a total of +5% or +10%. However, sometimes unrelated issues share these numbers too.

Effects

All Factions produce Influence.png Influence for the empire. The higher the Faction Approval and Support the more Influence will be produced. All Factions produce in total 2 Influence baseline, which can be increased to 3 with Tech living state.png The Living State Technology. This value is then multiplied by Faction Approval and Support, resulting in the total yield.

Faction Influence Gain can be improved by the following:

  • Egalitarian.png Egalitarian adds +25%
  • Fanatic Egalitarian.png Fanatic Egalitarian adds +50%
  • Civic parliamentary system.png Parliamentary System adds +25%

Leader

Every Faction has a Leader. That one will be drawn randomly from the Leaders already hired or hire-able in the empire, but often with weighting towards certain leader classes and towards/against Xenos. Rulers can become the Leaders of Faction or already be before they become Ruler. If the Ruler of the Empire is also the Leader of a Faction, the Attraction for the Faction and the Factions Ethics will also increase.

Actions

Actions the player can do to deal with the Faction:

  • Embrace Faction allows an empire to change their Ethics one step towards that Faction's Ethics. It costs 500 Influence.png influence, has a 20 year lockout and requires at least 20% Faction support. It will make this Faction Happy (+10%) but all others Unhappy (-20%). The faction with the lowest attraction in your empire will have its Ethics regress a step.
  • Suppression allows an empire to reduce the attraction of the Faction's Ethic, which can - in the long run - eliminate the Faction. But its main use is to limit the Faction Support. Suppressing a faction gives Mod pop ethic shift.png -75% Ethic Attraction for the chosen ethic and costs Influence.png -1 Influence per month.
  • Support allows an empire to increase the attraction of the Faction's Ethic. This can be used both to promote the governing ethics or to prepare for an ethics switch. Supporting a faction gives Mod pop ethic shift.png +100% Ethic Attraction for the chosen ethic but costs Influence.png -2 Influence per month.

Factions

For any of the Terms used, please see Game Terms.
  • Guiding Ethics: The Primary Ethics of the Faction. A Faction can have only one Guiding Ethics.
  • Attraction: How attractive the Faction is to join (as opposed to an equally eligible Faction). Base values are: 100. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. Only Additional cases and exceptions will be listed below.
  • Leader: How the weighting for choosing the Faction Leader works. The base value is 100 with an Exclusion for Event Leaders

Imperialist

Faction icons imperialists icon
Imperialist Factions desire dominance over other Empires. They like Rivalries and conquering other Empires, and dislike relying on others.
  • Guiding Ethics: Militarist.png Militarist
  • Additional Supporter Requirements: none
  • Attraction: default; x1.25 with Citizenship Rights
  • Leader: default
Issue Requirements to appear Fulfillment Yes.png No.png
Aggressive Diplomacy Communications with an independent Default Empire Menu icon policies.png Unrestricted Wars or Liberation Wars War Philosophy Policy 0 –30
Conquest Communications with an independent Default Empire Diplomacy war.png Conquering a planet (remains fulfilled for 10 years) +10 0
Fanatic Purifiers None Civic fanatic purifiers.png Fanatic Purifiers civic +10 0
Local Rivalry 3+ Communications, 0-1 Rivals, not Fanatic Purifiers Diplomacy rivalry.png 1 Rival +5 -5
Neighborhood Rivalries 3+ Communications, 2 Rivals, not Fanatic Purifiers Diplomacy rivalry.png 2 Rivals +10 0
Galactic Nemeses 3+ Communications, 3+ Rivals, not Fanatic Purifiers Diplomacy rivalry.png 3+ Rivals +15 0
Imperial Hegemony 3+ Communications, not Fanatic Purifiers Diplomacy isvassal.png Having a Subject +5 0
Subject State None Diplomacy isvassal.png Being a Subject 0 -25
Leviathan Slayer None Leviathans.png Killed a Leviathan +10 0
Military Requisition of Artifacts None Ancient Relics.png Find Military Applications Minor Artifact action modifier +5 0
Waste of Artifacts None Ancient Relics.png Find Peaceful Applications Minor Artifact action modifier 0 –5

Summary: Imperialist factions function as a Militarist path that requires frequent warfare, as well as rivalries and subjects in order to please. With 2.2 Rivalries were drastically buffed, both in effect how to aquire them. They go from -5 to +15, but Fanatic Purifier just replaces the Rivalry possibilities with a flat +10. Federations and Liberation Warfare are no longer a hinderance for this faction like they used to be, but being a subject is not a possibility. Being an Overlord and Killing a Leviathan are the only ways to get the persistent +20 bonuses Reaching even consistent 60% is problematic without vassal and Rival, with 80% being impossible

Isolationist

Faction icons isolationists icon
Isolationist Factions desire isolation, seeking to have as few dealings with other Empires as possible - save for Non-Aggression Pacts. They dislike wars of aggression as well as being seen as an easy target.
  • Guiding Ethics: Xenophobe.png Xenophobe
  • Additional Supporter Requirements: Pop is either Xeno or Empire is Pacifist.png Pacifist
  • Attraction: default; x1.5 if Xenophobe. x0.25 if Militarist
  • Leader: default
Issue Communications Fulfillment Yes.png No.png
Stalwart Defense 1 Menu icon policies.png Liberation Wars or Defensive Wars War Philosophy Policy 0 –25
Unwilling Aggression 3+ Diplomacy truce.png Not attacking or joining another empire in war 0 –25
Strong Alone 1 Diplomacy federation.png Not being in a Federation 0 –25
Restricted Movement 3+ Menu icon policies.png No Migration Agreement or Refugees Welcome Refugees Policy 0 –10
Non-Aggression Pact 3+ Diplomacy non aggression pact.png 1 Non-Aggression Pact +5 0
Non-Aggression Covenant 3+ Diplomacy non aggression pact.png 2 Non-Aggression Pacts +10 0
Non-Aggression Protocol 3+ Diplomacy non aggression pact.png 3+ Non-Aggression Pacts +15 0
Peace 1 Diplomacy truce.png At peace for 10-24 years +5 0
Extended Peace 1 Diplomacy truce.png At peace for 25-49 years +10 0
Peace Everlasting 1 Diplomacy truce.png At peace for 50+ years +15 0

Summary: The Pacifist Xenophobe Faction can frequently be more pacifist than Pacifist factions itself. If the Empire is not Pacifist, only Xenophobe Xenos can join this Faction - the primary species is excluded. Any primary species Xenophobes will instead join the aggressive Xenophobe (Supremacist) faction. This can cause conflicts between both factions unless the empire enslaves or purges all Xenos. If the empire is pacifist, this is the only Xenophobe faction regardless of species.

2.2 Buffed the Non Agression Pacts no longer requiring a Neighbour to be the target and allowing them to go form +5 to +15. But in turn they now cost influence. Being at peace can stack up to +30. And unlike the Pacifist Ethics Attraction, it is years since gamestart count. While the faction has no penalty for a Liberation war policy or Defensive Pacts, the Faction is unhappy the moment it actually comes up (other than self defense).

Usually the Faction with start at +5 from Years of Peace, requiring only 20 more peaceyears or 1 NAP to reach 60%. The factions can reach 80% from the Peacetime alone and reach a potential 95% approval. On the flip side only 1 policy and being at war make it hit 0%, with being attacked resetting the Peacetime Bonus entirely.

Progressive

Faction icons progressives icon
Progressive Factions desire non-discrimination within existing social structures and dislike non-representative forms of government.
  • Guiding Ethics: Egalitarian.png Egalitarian
  • Additional Supporter Requirements: none
  • Attraction: 150 Base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. x0.25 if not Owner Species [1]
  • Leader: 100 Base. x0 for Ruler Class Leaders in Imperial Authority empire
Issue Possibility Fulfillment Yes.png No.png
Anti-Autocratic Always Imperial Not Dictatorial or Imperial Authority +10 –15
Free Movement Encountered another species Menu icon policies.png Prohibited Resettlement Policy and No Migration Controls rights for every species +10 –10
Reproductive Freedom Always Menu icon policies.png Prohibited Population Controls Policy +5 –20
Anti-Stratification Always Menu icon policies.png No species has the Stratified Economy Living Standard rights 0 –25
Born Equal Selected Lineages technology Menu icon policies.png Natural Selection Leader Enhancement Policy +5 –5

Summary: Reaching 70% the moment it spawns is trivial, with 80% possible after a while. However it has a lot of issues it can hit 0% with in non-Egalitarian Societies.

Prosperity

Faction icons prosperity icon
Prosperity Factions desire economics growth and the acquisition of resources. They like energy credits and strategic resources, and they dislike armed conflicts that disrupt internal development.
  • Guiding Ethics: Pacifist.png Pacifist
  • Additional Supporter Requirements: non-Fanatic Pacifist.png Pacifist only
  • Attraction: Default. x1.5 if either Pacifist. x1.25 if not Owner Species
  • Leader: 100 Base. x0 for Admirals and Generals
Issue Possibility Fulfillment Yes.png No.png
Solid Liquidity Any Colony Energy Credits.png At least 5000 Energy +10 0
Defensive Stance Always Menu icon policies.png Defensive Wars War Philosophy Policy +10 -10
Keep the Peace Always Diplomacy truce.png Not at war +5 –10
Nonviolence 3+ Communications Diplomacy truce.png Not attacking or joining an aggressor empire in war for 20 years 0 –30
Embetterment of Society Always Ancient Relics.png Find Peaceful Applications Minor Artifact action modifier +5 0
Waste of Artifacts Always Ancient Relics.png Find Military Applications Minor Artifact action modifier 0 –5

Summary: The pacifist faction might also be called the Economic Faction, as that is a large part of it's goals. +65 is doable from Start, with 75% reachable via liquidity.

Supremacist

Faction icons supremacists icon
Supremacist Factions wish for their Empire's founding species to dominate. They want policies that benefit their own species and disadvantages[sic] other species.
  • Guiding Ethics: Xenophobe.png Xenophobe
  • Additional Supporter Requirements: Empire not Pacifist.png Pacifist. Primary Species only
  • Attraction: default
  • Leader: 100 Base. x0.5 if Scientist. x0 if Xeno. x0 if buildable Robot Pop.
Issue Possibility Fulfillment Yes.png No.png
No Xeno Ruler Not Fanatic Purifiers Ruler.png Ruler belongs to the primary species +10 –30
Strong Alone Communications with an independent Default Empire Diplomacy federation.png Not being in a Federation +10 –30
Invasive Xeno Studies Encountered a pre-FTL civilization, not Fanatic Purifiers Menu icon policies.png Unrestricted Studies Native Interference Policy +5 –10
Xenos Disenfranchised Alien Pops in empire, not Fanatic Purifiers Menu icon policies.png No alien species has Full Citizenship Species Rights +5 –10
No Immigration 3+ Communications, not Fanatic Purifiers Diplomacy migration pact.png No Migration Agreement with any empire 0 –10
Asserting Dominance Communications with an independent Default Empire, not in a Federation with them, not Fanatic Purifiers Diplomacy war.png At war as attacker +10 0
Fanatic Purifiers Always Civic fanatic purifiers.png Fanatic Purifiers civic +10 0
Giant Massacre Encountered any Leviathan Leviathans.png Killed a Leviathan +10 0
Disdain of History Always Ancient Relics.png Proclaim Superiority Minor Artifact action modifier +5 0
Celebrating Weakness Always Ancient Relics.png Celebrate Diversity Minor Artifact action modifier 0 –5

Summary: The aggressive Xenophobe Faction manifests itself in two ways: If you are a Fanatic Purifier or if you are not. If the empire is a Pacifist.png Pacifist this Faction will not spawn - instead, all Xenophobic pops including the primary species will join the Isolationist Faction. In non-Pacifist empires, Xenophobic pops will be split between Supremacist (Owner Species) and Isolationist (Xeno) Factions which can cause considerable issues.

Most issues are unavailable to Fanatic Purifiers, who start with 60 or 70% and can reach 80% with Leviathans.

Non-Purifiers easily start at 60-70%, with 100% being possible during warfare.

Technologist

Faction icons technologists icon
Technologist Factions desire an Empire-wide embrace of scientific progress and the fruits of technological advancement. They dislike politically-motivated bans on certain avenues of research, as well as being outpaced by other Empires.
  • Guiding Ethics: Materialist.png Materialist
  • Additional Supporter Requirements: not Spiritualist.png Spiritualist. Either Materialist.png Materialist or Robot Pop
  • Attraction: 150 Base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. x2 if Robot Pop
  • Leader: default
Issue Possibility Fulfillment Yes.png No.png
AI Allowed Always Empire has not outlawed neither Robots or AI +10 –30
Bleeding Edge Contact with any default Empire. Neither Vassal nor Enlightened Primitve No Default Empire with communications is more than Equivalent in Technology +10 –20
Science Without Borders 3+ Communications Has 3+ Research Agreements with other empires +10 0
Synth Envy Any Communication has Pops with Trait mechanical.png Mechanical or Trait cybernetic.png Cybernetic Traits in their empire. Does not have Synthetic Evolution Ascension Perk Have Pops with Trait mechanical.png Mechanical or Trait cybernetic.png Cybernetic Traits in your empire 0 –10
Secret Knowledge Empire has either the "Fallen Empire gift Data Cache" or the "Curator Insight" Modifiers Empire has either the "Fallen Empire gift Data Cache" or the "Curator Insight" Modifiers +10 0
Knowledge of the Past Empire has either the "Arcane Insight" or the "Arcane Deciphering Cooldown" Modifiers Empire has either the "Arcane Insight" or the "Arcane Deciphering Cooldown" Modifiers +5 0
Precursor Secrets Empire has the "Artifact Research Completed" Modifier for a non-DLC precursor. Empire has the "Artifact Research Completed" Modifier for a non-DLC precursor. +5 0

Summary: Robot Pops of any Ethic except Spiritualism can join this Faction which puts this Faction into direct competition with almost every other Faction in an empire with Free Robotic Pops.

Starting at 60% is trivial, for all but Spiritualist Empires. If you do not actually have robots, 60% can be hard to maintain however. Science without Borders is surprisingly hard to maintain, relegating it more towards Xenophile Materialists. A total of 90% is possible, but 70% seems more likely

Totalitarian

Faction icons totalitarians icon
Totalitarian Factions desire strictly stratified societies led by an[sic] single strongman or authoritative cabal.
  • Guiding Ethics: Authoritarian.png Authoritarian
  • Additional Supporter Requirements: none
  • Attraction: 150 base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. x0.25 if Xeno[1]
  • Leader: 100 Base
Issue Possibility Fulfillment Yes.png No.png
Autocracy Empire is not Auth democratic.png Democratic Authority Empire has either Imperial Imperial or Auth dictatorial.png Dictatorial Authority +10 0
Anti-Democratic Empire is not Imperial Imperial or Auth dictatorial.png Dictatorial Empire is not Auth democratic.png Democratic Authority 0 -25
Stratified Society Always

Any pop has Stratified Economy/Academic Privilege Living Standards, is enslaved, being purged or has AI Servitude Citizenship.

+10 –20
Elitism Tech capacity boosters.png Capacity Boosters tech or Tech selected lineages.png Selected Lineages tech Technology Permitting either Technology through the appropriate policies +5 –5
Extranational Authority 3+ Communications Being an Overlord +10 0
Underling Being Subject Not being a Subject Empire 0 –10

Summary: 2.2 modified Authoritarian away from Caste slavery to Stratified Economy, which does help a lot to differentiate it from Xenophobia on Progressive issues.

70% is doable of the Start. 85% eventually. Oligarchies can at least reach 60%-75%. A Xeno/Robot slave using democracy can still reach 45%.

Traditionalist

Faction icons traditionalists icon
Traditionalist Factions desire a return to traditional values that may or may not have existed at some point before the Empire took to the stars. They like austerity and dislike certain technological advancements and non-spiritualist values.
  • Guiding Ethics: Spiritualist.png Spiritualist
  • Additional Supporter Requirements: Not a Robot Pop
  • Attraction: 150 Base. x1.25 if Ruler is Leader. x0.75 if no Leader.
  • Leader: 100 Base. x0 if Robot Pop
Issue Possibility Fulfillment Yes.png No.png
Life Organic / Empty Shells Can set Robot Worker Policy Robotic workers policy is set to "Outlawed" 0 –5
No Synth Rights Can set AI policy; Not AI Policy set to "Full Rights" AI policy is not set to "Servitude" 0 –10
No Synth Rights Can set AI policy; AI Policy set to "Full Rights" AI policy is not set to "Full Rights" 0 –20
Pious Polity (if fulfilled) / Secular State (if unfulfilled) Always The Empire has either Spiritualist.png Spiritualist or Fanatic Spiritualist.png Fanatic Spiritualist as one of its Ethics +5 –5
Unhallowed Ground Surveyed a Trait pc nuked preference.png Tomb World. Does not have the Origins post apocalyptic.png Post-Apocalyptic Civic. Does not have the Worm Tombworld Ending. No Trait pc nuked preference.png Tomb World in Empire is colonized or being terraformed. 0 –5
Hallowed Ground Surveyed Trait pc gaia preference.png Gaia World; Has Ascension Perk Consecrated Worlds Designate an uncolonized Gaia world as a Holy World +5 0
Psionic Pursuit Host has Utopia DLC. Any Ascension Perk or Ascension Perk Slot unlocked Has the Ascension Perk "Mind over Matter" +10 0
Flesh is Strong Having the Ascension Perk The Flesh is Weak Empire has not completed the Special Project 'The Flesh is Weak' 0 –30
Homogeneity At least 10% of all pops in the empire are Spiritualist.png Spiritualist At least 25% of all Pops in the empire are Spiritualist.png Spiritualist +10 0
Embattled Minority Less than 25% pops in the empire are Spiritualist.png Spiritualist Less than 10% of all Pops in the empire are Spiritualist.png Spiritualist 0 –10
Shrouded Boon Positive Shroud outcome (Boon or Success) Positive Shroud outcome (Boon or Success) +5 0
Shrouded Blight Negative Shroud outcome (Curses or Fail) Negative Shroud outcome (Curses or Fail) 0 –5
Comfort in the Past Empire has the "Proclaim religious Finding" Modifier Empire has the "Proclaim religious Finding" Modifier +5 0

Summary:

  • Being a Spiritualist empire with at least 25% of pops having the Spiritualist ethic grants a flat +10 happiness bonus. Unlocking a Harmony Tradition can raise that to +12.
  • Spiritualists dislike Robots of any kind, even more so if AI is allowed. Spiritualist Robot pops are barred from this Faction and the Materialist Faction equally, making them factionless. Of course they will just drift towards Materialism.
  • Finding a Gaia World to declare holy is not easy. Terraforming one might be easier. But if a Spiritualist Fallen Empire is around, the chances and the effect go up drastically and hallowing one of its holy worlds will noticeably improve relations with it. However, the bonus is capped at +17 for players without the Utopia.png Utopia DLC.
  • Since the bonus from adopting Mind over Matter is greater than the penalty from a negative Shroud outcome, adopting the Psionic ascension path is the best choice for empires with large Spiritualist Factions.
  • Choosing Origins post apocalyptic.png Post-Apocalyptic or the right Worm Ending allows Spiritualist Empires to derive some use from Trait pc nuked preference.png Tomb Worlds without penalty to Happiness. However conquering them is still an issue.

Xenoist

Faction icons xenoists icon
Xenoist Factions desire for greater value to be put on alien life and culture. They like diverse populations and interacting with other species. They dislike species-wide Slavery and Purges.
  • Guiding Ethics: Xenophile.png Xenophile
  • Additional Supporter Requirements: none
  • Attraction: 150 Base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. x2 if Xeno
  • Leader: 100 Base. x0.5 if Scientist. x2 if Xeno
Issue Possibility Fulfillment Yes.png No.png
Indirect Xenology Any relation is Primitive Type Native Interference policy is set to "Passive Studies" +10 –5
No Alien Slaves Any Xeno pop (not Robot or pre-sapient) Slavery not allowed 0 –25
No Purge Policy Always Purge Policy not set to allowed or Displacement Only 0 –25
Multicultural Society 4+ Communications. 1+ Xeno Pop 4+ Species in Empire +10 0
All Refugees Welcome Communication with 1+ Default Empire "Refugees Allowed" Policy +10 –10
Enclaves Incorporated Contact with any Enclave Country Enclave Station within Borders +5 0
Recent Uplift Tech epigenetic triggers.png Epigenetic Triggers Technology Uplifting a species (stays fullfilled for 20 years) +10 0
Recent Enlightenment Owning a observation post or having recently enlightened Recently enlightned a pre-FTL species +10 0
Pre-Sentient Survival Pre sentient policy on allowed or purge Pre-sapient policy set to allowed 0 –10
Landgrab Objections Encounter a primitive civilization Has not invaded a primitive civilization 0 –15
Federated 4+ Communications Being in Federation +20 0
New Contact Any Default, Fallen or Awakened Fallen empires does not have communications recent_comms_timed country flag +5 0

Summary:

Even reaching 60% requires at least contact with another Empire/finding a Primitive, which makes it difficult to make this faction happy early game. However persistent 100% percent or more are possible mid to lategame.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Comment says "Should really check for citizenship instead". Might be subject to change
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