Main interface

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Outliner top.png
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This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.

The UI of Stellaris is similar to previous PDS games - menus and sub-menus, putting a wealth of important information a click or two away. Navigating such an interface can contribute to a large portion of a grand strategy game's learning curve, but all the information is organized logically and you'll know where everything is in no time. While this article covers some of the UI basics, it is recommended to use the in-game tutorials to fully familiarize oneself with the UI. Like other PDS games, Stellaris is full of tooltips - if an action isn't clear, hovering the cursur over the button (or icon, statistic etc.) will most likely reveal information further explaining the situation.

Map views

System view

The system view offers an up-close look at a particular star system. The player can visually locate planets, stations and fleets with relative ease.

The following (clickable) actions are available in this map view:

  • Celestial body - Opens a summary screen of the celestial body and further possible actions depending on the celestial body (terraforming, anomaly research, etc.). If the celestial body is colonizable (and surveyed), the planetary features will be visible too. Celestial bodies of interest (colonizable, deposits, anomalies, etc.) will have their name displayed.
  • System assets - Fleets, stations, colonies, bypasses, and megastructures are shown with the owning empire's flag, a status bar, and the asset icon. The staus bar is colored green for owned assets, blue for friendly assets, grey for neutral assets, and red for enemy assets. The status also bar shows a fleet or station's military power and hull, armor, and shield levels, or a colony's name and devesation level. Clicking on the status bar or icon opens a summary screen of the asset and further possible actions depending on the type (construction ship, observation post, etc.). Clicking the empire flag opens the government screen for player assets, and the diplomacy screen for foreign assets.
  • System arrow - The triangles pointing outside the system represent hyperlane connections to neighboring star systems. Clicking on a green triangle (an explored system) will move the view to that system. Hovering over an arrow will provide information on intel level, survey status, and ownership.
  • Points of interest - Exclamation points within a hexagon represent points of interest from the situation log. These can be special projects, archaeological sites, or other items of interest. Any system with a point of interest will have a similar hexagonal highlight on the galaxy view.

Galaxy view

The galaxy view displays the generated galaxy for the game. The player can see at a glance basic information on system resources, anomalies, colonizable planets, foreign empires, and more.

The following (clickable) actions are available in this map view:

  • Colonizable icon - Opens a summary screen of the colonizable planet with further possible actions. If the planet is surveyed, the planetary features will be visible too.
  • Hexagonal indicators - These are used to determine the precise location of systems as if they were on a leveled plane - done due to systems being on a 3D map in space (different Z-axis).
  • System name - Hovering over a system provides more information, including owner and survey status. Systems with items of interest and occupied systems will have their name highlighted with a clickable box, which brings up the system view. Systems without any of these do not have this clickable box. However, it is always possible to go to system view by clicking the stellar object that represents the system.
    • Systems with colonies show the empire's flag to the left of the system name; clicking the flag opens diplomacy for foreign empires, and the colony view for the player's empire. Orange spikes indicate the empire capital, blue spikes indicate a sector capital. Occupied systems show the flag of the occupying empire, red spikes indicate a fully occupied system, no red spikes indicate one or more unoccupied colonies.
    • Systems with upgraded starbases, bypasses, megastructures, primitives or oberservation posts, enclaves, or archaeological sites will show up to four of these icons on the right of the system name. Clicking the icon for a starbase, megastructure, enclave, or archaelogical site will bring up those interfaces; clicking a bypass will center the screen on its other end, or the first gateway opened.

Both views

The following (clickable) actions are available in either map view:

  • Anomaly icon - Opens the anomaly research screen. Players can choose to leave it, assign another scientist, or research the anomaly.
  • Resources - Green indicates extracted resources (yellow when extracted by another empire), while white indicates unextracted resources. Extracted resources only appear when the details map mode is turned on.
  • Ship icon - Selects all ships of that type in the system (player or foreign, civilian or military) and opens their summary screen. Further possible actions depend on selected ship type (construction, colony etc.).
  • Body/System name - Dark-gray names indicate un-surveyed locations. Highlight boxes indicate bodies or systems of interest
  • Special projects - An exclamation mark in a square box represents a project (also listed under the situation log) that will progress a quest or give a reward upon completation.

Top bar

Empire flag

  • Opens government screen

Resources (and important values)

  • Displays monthly gain of resources and other important values. Hovering over an icon reveals additional info and calculation break-down. Clicking an icon opens a relevant screen.
  • Basic resources - Energy.png Energy credits, Minerals.png minerals, Food.png food, Consumer goods.png consumer goods, and Alloys.png alloys (stored amount + monthly gain). Opens market screen.
  • Expansion resources - Influence.png Influence and Unity.png unity (stored amount + monthly gain). Opens Claims and Traditions screens.
  • Research resources - Science. Hovering shows individual Physics Research physics, Society research society, and Engineering research engineering production. Clicking toggles a dropdown. Clicking the dropdown opens the technology screen.
  • Strategic resources - Stored amount + monthly gain, Hovering shows individual sorage and production of Volatile motes.png volatile motes, Exotic gases.png exotic gases, Rare crystals.png rare crystals, and other Menu icon strategic resource.png strategic resources. Clicking toggles a dropdown. Clicking the dropdown opens the market screen.
  • Empire recap - Empire sprawl.png Empire size, Available envoys available envoys (opens envoy assignment screen), and Pop.png population (opens species screen)
  • Empire capacity - Starbase capacity and Naval capacity.

(Game) Date

  • Displays the current date in the game
  • Control buttons - Pause/unpause and speed buttons
  • Keyboard controls - Spacebar and + / - (respectively)
    • Game speed hotkeys are not available in multiplayer


  • Notifications about on-going circumstances requiring the player's attention, hovering over an alert provides more information about the circumstance
  • Square alerts remain until the circumstance changes or the player right clicks them to dismiss the alert
  • Round alerts remain for a brief amount of time then disappear
  • Alert outline and background color indicates urgency: red, very urgent; orange, somewhat urgent; green, informational
  • Can be disabled per alert type (re-enabled through the outliner)

Music player

  • Allows selection of specific tracks to play
  • Control buttons - Pause/unpause and skip buttons
  • Toggle shuffle mode on/off

Federation and Galactic Community

  • Once it is formed, the Galactic community (or Galactic Imperium) icon appears in the top right, next to the music player.
  • If the player is a member of a federation, that icon appears to the left of the Galactic community icon

Side bar

See also: Empire interface
UI side bar.png
Management screens

A series of information screens for managing the player's empire. Most screens also have a key bound to them.

  • Government (Empire flag) - Government, demographics, and advisor voice tabs. Displays any modifiers affecting the empire or its population. Accessed through the empire shield. It's a recap of what your empire is.
  • Navbar icons galaxy.png Contacts (F1) - A list of all known empires the player made contact with.
  • Navbar icons situation.png Situation log (F2) - Log, anomalies, and victory tabs. Used to track any on-going objectives within the game.
  • Navbar icons market.png Market (F3) - Market and Slave market tabs.
  • Navbar icons planets and sectors.png Planets and sectors (F4) - Lists all Sectors in the player's empire and shared pool resources information. Selecting a sector lists all planets within it. Selecting a planet opens the planet summary screen.
  • Navbar icons expansion planner.png Expansion planner (F5) - A tool to easily sort through colonizable planets. Selecting a planet opens the colonization tool.
  • Menu icon policies.png Policies (F6) - List of empire policies to enable/disable.
  • Menu icon edicts.png Edicts (F7) - List of empire-wide edicts to enable/disable.
  • Menu icon traditions.png Society management (F8) - Displays the traditions trees and the relic vault tabs. Allows focus on a desired play-style and interactions with minor artifacts and relics. If the Nemesis DLC is enabled, the Crisis tab will also be here.
  • Menu icon ship designer.png Ship designer (F9) - A tool to design new ships or refit existing designs.
  • Menu icon fleet manager.png Fleet manager (F10) - A tab used for the management of every fleet in your empire, allowing to create fleet templates and more.
  • Menu icon technology.png Technology - Lists current (and previously) researched technology.
  • Navbar icons factions.png Factions - Lists any factions in the player's empire and available options to deal with them.
  • Menu icon claims.png Claims - A list of every claim made, allows claiming systems from the galaxy map.
  • Menu icon species.png Species - Lists any known species. Allows genetic modification of species within the empire.
  • Menu icon leaders.png Leaders - Lists all existing leaders (by type) in the player's empire. Allows the recruitment of new leaders.

Bottom bar

System information

  • Changes view between system/galaxy (opens last system viewed)
  • Displays systems's name and owner's flag (if any)
  • If player-owned, it is possible to change the name by clicking on it
  • If owned by a foreign empire, a claim can be added here.
  • If not owned by the player's empire, it can be restricted from pathfinding


  • Colors the galaxy map in accordance with the chosen map-mode
  • The displayed information changes with regards to the selected empire
  • Available map-modes are:
    • Toggable: Sector graphics, Trade Routes, Hyperlanes, and Political unions
    • Selectable: Empire (ownership), Diplomatic, Intel, Opinion, AI Attitude, and Immediate neighbors.

Control groups

  • Quick-access to player-bound objects (planets, ships, stations, etc.)
  • To bind select an object hold Ctrl and a Number
  • To unbind right-click the control group


  • War status - Shields of entities at war with the player (above map modes)
  • Details map-mode - Displays extracted resources on the galaxy view (toggle)
  • Go to - Opens the system view on the player's home system
  • Search - Search among known star systems (opens system view if system is selected)
  • Multiplayer chat (not available in single-player)
  • Help
    • Missions - Tutorial missions
    • Wiki - Opens the Stellaris Wiki in the browser
  • Main menu - Options for save, load, settings, and exit.


The outliner is located at the right edge of the screen. It provides the player a quick-access lists to the following:

  • Situations
  • Planets
  • Sectors
  • Branch Offices (Only while playing a Megacorporation)
  • Holdings
  • Shipyards
  • Starbases
  • Military fleets
  • Leased fleets
  • Civilian ships
  • Armies
  • Observation posts
  • Disabled alerts
  • Factions
  • Integration
  • Terraforming
  • Megastructures

Each item will show informational icons and details, such as name and system location.


  • Globe icon (hotkey O) - Toggles the outliner on/off
  • Gear icon - Opens a customization screen to choose which lists appear and their order
  • Circled arrows icon - Opens reorder planets screen, to set the order in which planets appear in the outliner
  • Lists can be collapsed by clicking on their header
  • Selecting an item opens a relevant screen
  • Double-clicking centers the screen on the selected item