This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.
Armies are ground forces for invading and defending planets as well as handling out of control rebellions.
An empire can recruit armies of any species that is present within its borders, as long as there are members of that species living on the planet which the army is built on. Transports are generated automatically as armies are embarked. New assault armies automatically embark in transports if the planet has reached maximum capacity. A planet can hold as many armies as its size.
The amount of non-defensive armies an empire can build from a species is limited to the number of pops of that species living within the empire. Titanic beasts are limited to three per empire and lost armies cannot be replaced.
|Army Type||Cost||Time||Army Damage||Morale Damage||Health||Morale||Maintenance||Requirements||Description|
|Militia||free||free||0.75 - 1.50||0.56 - 1.12||150||150||none||Starter||Each planet has a defending Militia, whose size depends on the number of Pops. Garrisons cannot be transported.|
|Defense Army||30||60||1.50 - 3.00||1.50 - 3.00||200||200||0.15||Starter||Defensive armies are powerful, but cannot be transported from the planet.|
|Assault Army||60||90||1.72 - 3.45||1.98 - 3.96||230||230||0.33||Starter||Assault armies come with their own transports and can invade other planets.|
|Elite Guard Army||115||2.62 - 5.25||4.59 - 9.18||350||350||0.50||
||The ruler's personal elite guard force.|
|Slave Army||20||60||1.73 - 3.45||1.73 - 3.45||230||200||0.25||
||Slave soldiers who serve their masters on the battlefield. Most are conscripted by force, but many slaves volunteer in a desperate attempt to increase their food rations or escape from grueling labor.|
|Clone Army||60||30||1.88 - 3.75||2.34 - 4.69||250||250||0.33||
||Vat-grown clones that reach adulthood in a matter of months. With a natural lifespan of less than a decade, their lack of personal initiative is deemed an acceptable trade-off for their total obedience to officers.|
|Robotic Defense Army||8
|60||1.50 - 3.00||1.50 - 3.00||340||immune||0.23||Droids tech||Cold and heartless killing-machines designed only for war. They pursue their objectives relentlessly, and are impervious to the shattering effects of poor morale that so often plague organic combat units.|
|Robotic Assault Army||15
|90||1.65 - 3.30||1.65 - 3.30||400||immune||0.50||Droids tech||Cold and heartless killing-machines designed only for war. They pursue their objectives relentlessly, and are impervious to the shattering effects of poor morale that so often plague organic combat units.|
|Android Defense Army||10
|80||1.88 - 3.75||2.34 - 4.69||434||immune||0.45||Synthetics tech||Semi-autonomous cogs in a well-oiled war machine, android combatants are more resilient, aggressive, and responsive to changing battlefield conditions than their robotic predecessors.|
|Android Assault Army||20
|120||3.00 - 6.00||3.00 - 6.00||500||immune||1.00||Synthetics tech||Semi-autonomous cogs in a well-oiled war machine, android combatants are more resilient, aggressive, and responsive to changing battlefield conditions than their robotic predecessors.|
|360||3.00 - 6.00||7.89 - 15.75||350||600||1.00||Telepathy||Soldiers gifted with psionic abilities. Their focus on destructive psionic powers has led to drastically different tactics and strategies on the battlefield – their first objective is always to remove the enemy's willingness to fight.|
|Gene Warrior Army||50
|360||3.00 - 6.00||6.00 - 12.00||400||400||1.00||Gene Seed Purification||Genetically enhanced super soldiers. Recruits are typically chosen from the elite of the conventional military forces. These then undergo extensive gene therapy, and are made larger, stronger, and faster than their peers.|
|360||3.75 - 7.50||3.75 - 7.50||400||200||0.75||Morphogenetic Field Mastery||Ravenous hordes of bio-engineered horrors made up of little more than teeth, claws, and an instinctive urge to kill. A cadre of scientists monitor and supervise the raging swarms as best they can from hardened bunkers behind the front.|
|90||4.50 - 9.00||4.50 - 9.00||1000||400||0.80||Titanic Lifeforms Planet Event Chain||Research breakthroughs have enabled us to train Titanic Lifeforms into military units, but due to the rarity of suitable subjects we will be only field a limited number of these Armies at a time.|
|Available only with the Utopia DLC enabled.|
|Available only with the Synthetic Dawn DLC enabled.|
Machine Intelligence empires cannot build armies used by organic species, not even robotic or android armies. Instead they have their own set of armies. While their armies do have morale, it is far too high to ever be depleted.
Ground combat takes place between several assaulting armies and the planet's defending armies. The latter are composed of any standing armies present on the planet as well as a number of free but weak garrisons. The base number of garrison units is 2, increased by 0.4 for each population over 1.
The damage dealt by attacking armies is multiplied by a modifier based on the planet's fortifications. At 100% fortification, damage dealt to defending armies will be decreased by 95%; whilst at 0% fortification damage to defending army is doubled. It is therefore highly advisable to only start landing once the fortification level is reduced by orbital bombardment, unless there is a considerable advantage for the attacker. The total amount of fortification is again based on population, starting at 1000 and is increased by 100 per pop above 1.
Each army has health and morale, as well as a range of possible damage against both these values. This damage is dealt to a random enemy army once a day until either side runs out of armies. If an army's morale is depleted, their damage dealt is reduced by 75%. If their health is depleted, they are destroyed. Once all armies of one side have lost all their health that side loses the battle.
Landed armies cannot disembark if there are no pops alive on the planet. This can be caused by losing the planet to the abandon war goal or purging all pops on the planet. The Number of Armies that can be stationed on a planet equal the Planet Size. The attacker has no limitations, other than how many armies they can muster.
Attachments are modules that enhance armies. They are unlocked by researching technology and bought and equipped individually to single armies. In order to outfit an army with modules, it must be landed on a planet. While on basic armies they're not worth the cost, on advanced armies they can prove useful.
Transports are ships transporting an army from a planet where it is based to a planet it aims to invade. Defense armies cannot be transported.
Unlike other ships, Transports are not built in the spaceport (although they can be modified through the ship designer and subsequently upgraded at spaceports), they are found under the armies tab located on one of the planets you control. The defensive army units can not be embarked from planets. Assault Armies will board transport ships in a 1:1 ratio and can either be embarked from or deployed to a planet all at once or individually through right-clicking an individual unit. Once an army is disembarked, dropships will carry it to the planet's surface.
In addition, transport ships may be required if an event is triggered within the Situation Log, for example, should armies need to board a ship that has been damaged in battle to inspect the remains/look for survivors or whatever the event dictates you need to do.
Use for Army types
There are a whole bunch of army types in the game. Each one has a specific purpose.
- Militia / Refitted Workbots spawn for free, based on the number of population on the planet. They are always of the primary species, take up no slots and cost no maintenance. They spawn on occupied planets to help the occupier. On their own, Garrisons are little more than speed bumps. However they can work as useful damage sponges for the real defensive armies. This use is compounded by them despawning and fully healing between assaults.
- Assault Armies / Hunter-Killer Armies are the kind you will use to attack planets, unless you have and can afford a better army. When they are not needed in space, they can operate as a useful defensive army as well. However they are usually too expensive for that on a large scale.
- Defense Armies / Grids are the significantly cheaper brother of the Assault Armies. They can not be moved off planet and are also inferior in any way to Assault Armies (however the Garrison should not be forgotten in that calculation). They are outclassed against any more advanced army. However the combination of the low maintenance and not counting against the assault army cap makes them excellent at suppressing unrest.
- Slave Armies are a special kind of Assault armies for Slaver Empires. They are cheaper while offering nearly the same performance as Assault armies. If they have access to them, Slavers should usually use them over Assault Armies.
- Clone Armies while having the same Build and Maintenance cost as normal Assault Armies, these are superior in Production time and combat ability. If available they can effortlessly replace Assault Armies.
- Robot Armies / Droid Armies These are special armies available for Empires going along the AI Robotics path. While they can be recruited just by having the next technology and are quite powerful, they cost a minor premium in energy maintenance. Their most special feature is that they are immune to morale damage. They are not affected by the AI policy selection and do not need any population to recruit them from. AI rebellions will use them exclusively.
- Psionics Armies / Gene Warrior Armies / Mega-Warforms costly but highly effective armies that are especially effective at damaging enemy morale. Fallen Empires will use these armies almost exclusively.
- Xenomorph Armies are basically barely controllable Zerg Broods. The most powerful normal army you can employ when it comes to raw damage and a benefit of going for the Genetic Engineering line.
These armies can only be gained based on a Special Projects or event.
- Titanic Beast Armies Only can be recruited on planets with Titanic Life modifier. A maximum 3 armies of this kind can be recruited in the entire game (a better limitation is not possible based on the Script limitations). They are stronger than xenomorph armies.
- Titanic Guard Army A special kind of Garrison army that spawns upon completing the quest that allows Titanic Beast Armies. A minor trade-off for getting the quest multiple times.
- Avatar Basically a one entity army, it is by far the most resilient and scary. Its health will ensure it survives every battle as long as supported by other armies, especially since enemy armies lose morale if as much as the avatar looks at them.
- Primitive Army / Industrial Army / Post Atomic Army A special kind of army only Pre-FTL Species possess. Performance is even inferior to garrisons, while they operate like them. They may stay around upon a species learning FTL travel, taking up valuable slots. If deciding on conquering a Pre-FTL planet, Industrial and especially Post Atomic armies should not be underestimated; while nevertheless inferior to regular army types, their numbers should not be shrugged off.
- Swarm Army Only used by the Swarm Crisis, this army is only outclassed by Gene warrior Army and about equal to the 2nd Robot Army.
- Rebel Army These armies are spawned by Faction revolts. Their Performance is under that of even Defense armies and in part even Garrisons. However they will be quite Numerous (1 per pop). They should despawn after winning the fight.
- Rebel Slave Army Will only spawn on Malcontent Slave Faction Revolts. Their power is somewhere slightly above defensive Armies. They will operate as defensive armies after victory.
- Mutant Horror This army may be spawned as part of a terraforming related Event Chain. It is superior to Clone Armies.