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This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.

The fleet consists of all spaceborne vessels. They are the primary way of interacting with objects and entities in the galaxy. Ships are divided into stations and mobile ships, each of which is further divided into civilian and military vessels. Stations are built by construction ships, while mobile ships are built by spaceports.

Ship construction

All player-made ships can be constructed at any spaceport. Said spaceport has to be of sufficient size in order to build ships of a larger hull size. Construction takes both time and resources and occupies the spaceport's production queue until finished.

All ships built at a spaceport containing a Fleet Academy will receive permanent bonuses to their offensive capabilities.

Upgrading ships

Ships may be upgraded at any spaceport when an upgraded design is available. The cost for upgrading each ship is Minerals.png minerals, where "priceDifference" is the difference in cost between the old and new design. Like with regular ship construction the cost it is paid in full before work begins.

If the upgrade is disrupted, all progress is lost and all minerals are refunded. A fleet either upgrades fully or not at all. However, should the fleet and spaceport be engaged by another fleet the upgrade queue will continue after the battle.

For particularly extensive fleet upgrades, it may be worth splitting the fleet into several smaller groups that are upgraded at several separate stations and then reformed into the original fleet once the work is complete.

When upgrading a ship, the system will attempt to use the most recent version of the same class name. If no design of the same class name is available, then the upgrade process will retrofit them to the most-recently saved design of the same size instead. This is particularly useful when upgrading fleets obtained from integrating a vassal; depending upon the vassal's technology and your technology, this may actually downgrade the integrated fleet.

Ship designer

Main article: Ship designer
Ship Designer interface.

Stellaris features an interface where the player may create and customize their own ship designs. Here, the player may choose from a variety of sections and components that include weapons, armor, engines, shields, power generators, and other more unique and specialized components.

Ships are broken up into several sections based on their hull size which provide weapon and utility slots. These slots can be either small, medium, large or specialized slots and there are a variety of different sections that provide a different number and kind of slots. However, some slots are independent of sections; namely the engine, computer, FTL drive, and the sensors. The utility slots are used for shields, armor, and power generators. All components have a Minerals.png mineral cost and may have a Minerals.png mineral and Energy Credits.png energy maintenance cost.

It should be noted that each ship has its own power requirement as seen in the ships stats tab to the right. In order to be a valid, operational design the ships have to have an energy balance of zero or higher (non-negative).

The player can opt to use the Auto-generate ship designs option, should they not want to deal with the micromanagement of it. The game AI will auto-default to this option and will use the same algorithm to generate its own designs.

Strategic use

Because different kinds of weapons (such as lasers, rockets, guns, etc.) react differently to different types of defenses (armor, shields) the player can use this information to outfit their fleet in such a way to be better suited to battle their opponents. Furthermore, large weapons are better suited at taking out large targets, like cruisers and battleships, while smaller weapons are more adept at taking down smaller targets like fighters and corvettes. Thus, knowing what technologies their opponents have and what they actually have on the field can be used to great advantage.

Civilian ships

Civilian ships represent all non-combatant vessels of an empire. They can be equipped with defenses like shields, but have no weapons. Civilian ships by default have the evasive fleet stance, meaning that they will attempt to escape the system whenever a hostile fleet enters it. All civilian ships require Energy Credits.png energy as monthly upkeep. While they have no weapon slots, their sensors, FTL drive, and engines may be upgraded. All civilian ships have 300 Base HP.

Construction ship

See also: Construction
See also: Military station

Construction ships are used to build every space structure with the exception of spaceports. They are not used up during construction. They cost Energy Credits.png1 per month.

Option Cost Maintenance Placement Requirement Description
Mining station Minerals.png 90 Energy Credits.png 1 Orbit Gather any resources present on the celestial object each month. If the resource is Energy Credits.png the maintenance is free.
Research station Minerals.png 90 Energy Credits.png 1 Orbit Gathers any research points present on the celestial object.
Observation post Minerals.png 50 Energy Credits.png 3 Orbit Allows observation and interaction with planet-bound primitive civilizations.
Frontier outpost Minerals.png 170
Influence.png 30 + distance from border
Energy Credits.png 3
Influence.png 1
Orbit Expands the borders of your empire as long as it is active. Also gathers resources and research points if placed over celestial bodies that generate them.
Military station Minerals.png varies Energy Credits.png varies Empty Space Constructs a defensive military station. Cost and maintenance varies on design. Cannot be built too close to another defensive station (including a spaceport).
Wormhole station Minerals.png 75 Energy Credits.png 0.25 Outside Gravity Well Creates wormholes that can be used by fleets as a means of FTL travel between systems. Ships must be outfitted with the appropriate FTL drive, called a "Wormhole modulator".
Megastructures Minerals.png varies Energy Credits.png varies varies All megastructures are available to be built using Constructor Ships only when the appropriate Technologies and Ascension Perks have been obtained.

Science ship

Science Ships are the primary method of exploring the galaxy and the stars and systems within it. They require a scientist to operate, and cost Energy Credits.png1 per month.

Once crewed, the Science ship can conduct a survey of the individual objects within a star system. During these surveys, it can uncover all resources present on a planet. A survey may also result in discovering an anomaly. A scientist's skill level decreases the anomaly analysis risk but does not increase the reward, meaning that a five-star scientist will not find more resources than a one-star scientist. Furthermore, an object needs to be surveyed only once and any future hidden resources will be automatically revealed once the requisite technology is researched. The Science ship can also survey debris left after a space battle which may yield research points or possibly even unlocking unique technology options.

The Science ship may also be used to boost research of a planet, boosting any research output of the planet depending on the skill level of the scientist.

Science ships are equipped with a science lab by default. With the prerequisite research, they can be upgraded to curator exploration labs for a 25% survey speed bonus or curator archaeology labs for anomaly-related bonuses.

Colony ship

Colony ships allow you to settle habitable planets. When ordering the construction the player is given the option of choosing the parent POP of the colony, inheriting all of its traits and ethics. The POP is not consumed nor transported in this process. Once finished, the Colony ship may be sent to any habitable world within range to start a colony. They cost a hefty Energy Credits.png8 per month and take one year to build.

Private Colony Ships are unlocked by purchasing the Trans-Stellar Corporations Tradition from the Prosperity Tradition tree. They cost Energy Credits.png energy credits instead of Minerals.png minerals, but the player doesn't decide what pop ethic is used to create the ship, meaning pops with randomly chosen ethics are on board the ship.

Transport ship

Transports ships are special ships that carry your armies from one planet to another. They cannot be built at a spaceport and cost no energy for maintenance at all. Instead, each non-defensive army unit will turn into a transport ship once embarked. Transport ships don't have space warfare capability since they don't have weapon slots. Damaged Armies can slowly heal themselves during their space travel. Without transports ships, an empire may not send land armies to another planet and thus besieged planets can never be occupied, no matter how long the bombardment lasts (it is still possible to cleanse pops and let them die out gradually by bombardment, though). For attackers, they must carefully escort their transport ship to ensure successful planet occupation. On the other hand, it is always an advantage for defenders as long as they can intercept and eliminate enemy transports in space.

Military ships

These represent all armed vessels designed for war. All military ships are grouped into fleets which can be led by an admiral. Unlike civilian ships, military ships require both Energy Credits.png energy and Minerals.png minerals as monthly maintenance, which is calculated as a fraction of the initial mineral construction cost (0.3% for minerals and 0.4% for energy).

Military ships are classified by their hull size, which influences their combat stats, cost, available sections and components and fleet limit cost. Each ship size has twice the building time of the previous one. There are four available hull sizes:

Ship Size #Sections Fleet Size.png Size Minerals.png Cost Time Time Mod ship hitpoints add.png HP Mod ship armor mult.png Armor Mod ship evasion mult.png Evasion Mod ship speed mult.png Max Speed Accel Rot Speed Slots
Corvette 1 1 70 60 300 2 (2%) 60% 1.75 5.25 0.35 0.08 0.1 Small Torpedo
Destroyer 2 2 160 160 800 12 (14%) 25% 1.25 4.5 0.3 0.05 0.2 Small Medium Large Point-Defense
Cruiser 3 4 360 360 1600 30 (29%) 10% 1.25 3.75 0.25 0.035 0.175 Small Medium Large Point-Defense Hangar Torpedo
Battleship 3 8 720 480 2400 80 (55%) 5% 0.75 3 0.2 0.025 0.15 Small Medium Large Point-Defense Hangar Extra Large

Max speed, acceleration and rotation speed are hidden attributes in-game, though there are ship components and leader traits to increase them. Combat speeds of most ships are significantly slower than their normal speeds, so attacking an enemy with longer weapon range may incur heavier damage than expected. Rotation speed doesn't matter very much during combat as most weapons are able to attack enemies all around, but it restricts the effect area of extra large weapons due to their small firing arc.

Support Modules

Only available to Military Stations, Support Modules apply additional 'aura' effects to friendly or enemy ships. Support Modules do not cost any additional Power of Minerals.

There are several types of Support Module, some of which are available from the start; two rare modules must be researched first.

Support modules are as follows;

  • Nanobot Cloud: Provides friendly ships in area of effect with 5% Mod ship hitpoints add.png hull regeneration per month.
  • Quantum Destabilizer: Reduces Mod ship fire rate mult.png rate of fire for enemy ships within area of effect by 15%. The Quantum Destabilizer must be researched.
  • Subspace Snare: Enemy ships in the area of effect suffer 400% longer Jump Charge Time, -50% Mod ship speed mult.png sublight speed, and Emergency FTL Cooldown is increased by 100%.
    • On stations, the Subspace Snare forces incoming enemy ships to arrive directly on top of the station. Military stations with this module will have a small magnet symbol on their Military Station icon both on the solar system and galaxy maps.
  • Shield Dampener: Enemy ships in the area of effect have their Mod ship shield hp mult.png Ship Shield Hitpoints reduced by 25%, and their monthly Shield Regeneration is reduced by 5%.
  • Proximity Mines: Only available to Military Stations; causes enemy ships in the area of effect to have a 20% chance of taking 5-15 damage (75% Mod ship armor mult.png armor penetration) every day that they are in the minefield.
  • Capacitor Fields: Friendly ships in the area of effect gain +20% monthly Mod ship shield hp mult.png Shield Regeneration. Capacitor Fields must be researched.

The effects of individual support modules do not stack; two stations with Nanobot Clouds do not provide double hull regeneration per month, nor can several Quantum Destabilizers reduce enemy firing rates to glacial speeds. The Nanobot Cloud and Capacitor Fields overlap each other, and the former will take precedence if both auras are present. Likewise, the Quantum Destabilizer takes precedence over the Shield Dampener should both auras be present.

Naval capacity

Each empire is limited in the number of military ships it can field. Going beyond this limit will increase the maintenance cost of all military ships the empire owns by a varying amount.

Your ships' maintenance costs are multiplied by either 1, or naval capacity used / total naval capacity, whichever's greater.

What this means is that, for example, if your fleet takes up 50% more naval capacity than your empire's total naval capacity, then each of your ships' maintenance costs are likewise increased by 50%. On the other hand, if your fleet takes up 100% or less than the max naval capacity, then the maintenance costs of each of your ships will always remain at their default costs.

An empire's base naval capacity is 10, this is modified by;

  • Spaceports, depending on level:
    • Level 1: +5
    • Level 2: +6
    • Level 3: +7
    • Level 4: +8
    • Level 5: +9
    • Level 6: +10
  • Habitats give a flat +8 (not counting inhabitants)
  • +0.20 per population, rounded down (after the first 10 population)
  • Doctrine technologies (up to +50%, in increments of 10%)
  • Ruler Traits (Leader trait fleet organizer.png Fleet Organizer +20%, Leader trait nervous.png Nervous -20%)
  • Government Civics (Civic subspace ephapse.png Subspace Ephapse +15%, Civic citizen service.png Citizen Service +15%)
  • Empire and Edicts (The Grand Fleet +35%, Master's Teachings: Warring States +15%)
  • Traditions (Supremacy: Master Shipwrights +10%)
  • Galactic Force Projection Ascension Perk +200 (flat bonus) (Utopia DLC only)
  • Federations give a -20% penalty to their members but Federation fleets do not cost upkeep.

Note that naval capacity isn't a hard cap for fielding ships. In fact, the AI will frequently build over its naval capacity if it has the resources to maintain their fleets. Because of this, it may likewise be necessary to build over your naval capacity, especially when you're preparing to go to war against an AI with equivalent or better fleet power (though in this case, players should also look into increasing their naval capacity whenever possible, if only to reduce maintenance costs).

Maximum Naval Capacity may never exceed 9,999. Note that this is not a 'hard' cap on the number of ships an empire can support; it is fully possible to exceed this limit so long as an empire can afford the increased maintenance fees for all of its ships.


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