Pre-FTL species

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This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. It was last updated for 2.2.

This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.
Humanoid Civilization in Early Space Age

There are two types of pre-FTL species in the game: primitive civilizations and pre-sapient species.

Primitive civilizations are civilizations that have yet to develop the technology necessary for space travel. They advance through multiple ages as their history is written. Primitive civilizations can be made plentiful or outright disabled via the galaxy generation options.

Pre-sapient species are animal species that show particular promise. They would likely evolve some manner of intelligence on their own if they were left alone for a few million years, but space faring empires can instead accelerate this process, turning the pre-sapients into productive galactic citizens within the span of just a few decades.[1]

Primitive civilizations

Primitive civilizations exist in various ages of development they slowly go through.

Age Monthly progress Enlightenment time Buildings Jobs Armies Description
Stone Age 0.1% 1000 Months 1 Crude Huts 4 Hunter-Gatherers No army This civilization is currently in the equivalent of a Stone Age. They have mastered fire and developed a rudimentary spoken language, but we have yet to see any evidence of metallurgy or written communication.
Bronze Age 0.2% 500 Months 1 Stone Palaces
1 Primitive Dwellings
1 Feudal Noble
1 Cleric
1 Scholar
1 Warrior
4 Peasants
3 primitive armies This civilization is currently in the equivalent of a Bronze Age. Primitive metalworking and the first written languages have appeared, while cities and larger communities are taking shape.
Iron Age 0.3% 334 Months 1 Stone Palaces
1 Primitive Dwellings
1 Feudal Noble
1 Cleric
1 Scholar
1 Warrior
5 Peasants
3 primitive armies This civilization is currently in the equivalent of an Iron Age. They have spread across most of their homeworld, while iron smelting and forging techniques have enabled them to forge crude but effective tools and weaponry.
Late Medieval Age 0.4% 250 Months 1 Stone Palaces
2 Primitive Dwellings
1 Feudal Noble
1 Cleric
1 Scholar
1 Warrior
5 Peasants
3 primitive armies This civilization is currently experiencing the equivalent of a Late Medieval Age. They have a firm grasp of metallurgy, and the invention of the printing press has started to benefit the spread of knowledge.
Renaissance Age 0.5% 200 Months 1 Stone Palaces
2 Primitive Dwellings
1 Feudal Noble
1 Cleric
1 Scholar
1 Warrior
8 Peasants
3 primitive armies This civilization is currently experiencing the equivalent of a Renaissance Age. Scientific knowledge is increasing at a rapid rate, and the invention of gunpowder has revolutionized warfare.
Steam Age 1% 100 Months 1 Stone Palaces
1 Urban Dwellings
1 Primitive Factory
1 Primitive Mine
1 Feudal Noble
1 Cleric
1 Scholar
1 Warrior
8 Peasants
2 Miners
2 Labourers
3 primitive armies This civilization is currently in the equivalent of a Steam Age. The invention of the steam engine has had far-reaching effects on their society and they stand on the cusp of an industrial revolution.
Industrial Age 1.5% 67 Months 1 Regional Capitals
1 Urban Dwellings
1 Primitive Factory
1 Primitive Mine
1 Primitive Farms
1 Primitive Power Plant
2 Bureaucrats
2 Priests
2 Researchers
2 Soldiers
8 Farmers
2 Miners
2 Labourers
2 Technicians
6 industrial armies This civilization has advanced into the equivalent of an early Industrial Age. Electricity and internal combustion engines are gradually coming into widespread use, while urbanization increases at a rapid pace.
Machine Age 2% 50 Months 1 Regional Capitals
1 Urban Dwellings
1 Primitive Factory
1 Primitive Mine
1 Primitive Farms
1 Primitive Power Plant
2 Bureaucrats
2 Priests
2 Researchers
2 Soldiers
10 Farmers
2 Miners
2 Labourers
2 Technicians
6 industrial armies This civilization has advanced into the equivalent of a Machine Age, considered a later part of the Industrial Age. Their factories are mass-producing goods and vehicles, and air travel is becoming commonplace.
Atomic Age 2.5% 40 Months 1 Regional Capitals
1 Urban Dwellings
1 Primitive Factory
1 Primitive Mine
1 Primitive Farms
1 Primitive Power Plant
2 Bureaucrats
2 Priests
2 Researchers
2 Soldiers
10 Farmers
2 Miners
2 Labourers
2 Technicians
2 Unemployed
6 post-atomic armies This civilization has advanced into the equivalent of an Atomic Age. They have harnessed the power of the atom, but not yet made it into space. Nuclear weapons may be prolific, and could result in a sudden extinction event.
Early Space Age 2.5% 40 Months 1 Regional Capitals
1 Urban Dwellings
1 Primitive Factory
1 Primitive Mine
1 Primitive Farms
1 Primitive Power Plant
2 Bureaucrats
2 Priests
2 Researchers
2 Soldiers
10 Farmers
2 Miners
2 Labourers
2 Technicians
2 Unemployed
6 post-atomic armies This civilization has entered an Early Space Age. Primitive satellites are orbiting their homeworld, and the first manned space missions have been concluded in low orbit. They will soon be ready to leave their world.

Native Advancement

Native empires can advance ages by themselves. The mean time to happen is 160 years for advancements up to the Steam Age, and 100 years for later advancements. There is a cooldown of 60 years after advancing ages before further advances are possible. Having an observation post built will notify you of every age advancement.

FTL Discovery

Early Space Age civilizations that don't have an observation post built in orbit will eventually develop basic hyperdrives, turning them into a normal empire. If a Starbase was built around the star the new empire will ask the owner for control of it. Should the request be accepted they will be granted control of the Starbase and all colonized planets in the system and gain a temporary +100 Diplomacy opinion.png Opinion towards the former owner. If the request is refused the civilization will be annexed. Annexing the civilization will cost 200 Influence.png Influence if Xenophile.png Xenophile or Fanatic Xenophile.png Fanatic Xenophile while granting it control of the system will cost 200 Influence.png Influence if Xenophobe.png Xenophobe or Fanatic Xenophobe.png Fanatic Xenophobe. Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png Genocidal empires only have the option to annex the civilization.

There is no catch-up mechanism for these empires; unless they advance very early in the game, they will likely be quickly conquered or turned into a Diplomacy isprotectorate.png Protectorate, especially as advancing to a FTL-capable empire cannot happen in the first 25 years of a game.

Nuclear War

Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
-Robert Oppenheimer quoting the Hindu scripture.

Atomic Age and Early Space Age primitives have a small chance of starting a nuclear war. It can also happen as a result of failed covert infiltrations although those wars can be prevented through a special event. There are three possible outcomes after the war:

  • 75% chance the race will go extinct and world will be turned into a tomb world
  • 25% chance the race will go extinct and world will be turned into a toxic world
  • (failed covert infiltration only) the existing civilization regresses to an earlier age

If an observation post is in orbit, you will be notified of the event. Nuclear wars are twice less likely if the civilization is being indoctrinated and will not happen if the civilization is being enlightened.

Note: A primitive civilization's ethics have no effect on their history. A spiritualist civilization advances as fast as a materialist one and a pacifist civilization is just as likely to start a nuclear war as a militarist one.

Conquest

Primitive civilizations can always be invaded and conquered as long as their system has been claimed and the Native Interference policy is set to Unrestricted. Primitive civilizations have no means to resist a technologically advanced invader, although Industrial and especially Post-Atomic civilizations can be harder to conquer early game. The prize of an invasion is the planet itself, and the primitives that can also be a source of cheap labor once enslaved or integrated.

Conquered worlds will get the Stellar Culture Shock modifier for 10 years, which locks out using the pops from colony ships, joining Factions or being released as a Vassal. It also brings -20% Stability.png Stability and -33% Mod pop resource output.png Resources from Jobs.

Observation missions

Empires might prefer the construction of hidden Observation Posts in high orbit over primitive worlds. This allows for the safe study as well as influencing the primitive civilization. Observation posts typically have a number of exclusive missions that can be undertaken. Each mission can trigger various events.

Mission Effects Requirements Description
Fleet task passive study action.png Passive Observation Society Research +8 Society Research The natives are studied unknowingly from a safe distance and every effort is made to avoid cultural contamination.
Fleet task active study action.png Aggressive Observation Society Research +10 Society Research
Can cause Xenophobia in the civilization
Active Study or Unrestricted Native Interference Policy The natives are aggressively studied and live specimens are frequently collected to learn as much as possible about their biology and culture.
Fleet task technological enlightenment action.png Technological Enlightenment Society Research -5 Society Research
Energy Credits.png -10 Energy
When the mission is complete, the civilization will become a Diplomacy isprotectorate.png Protectorate of the benefactors.
Civilization is given full ownership of their home system.
Allowed Native Enlightenment Policy
Civilization is not Fanatic Xenophobe.png Fanatic Xenophobe
An effort is made to rapidly elevate the native civilization to the space age. The time this takes is dependent on their current level of technology. When complete, this mission will give them full ownership of their home system and turn them into a spacefaring civilization that is our Protectorate.
Fleet task covert infiltration action.png Covert Infiltration Society Research -5 Society Research
Energy Credits.png -10 Energy
When the mission is complete, the civilization will be annexed and receive a temporary happiness boost
Tech gene tailoring.png Gene Tailoring technology
Active Study or Unrestricted Native Interference Policy
Civilization reached at least Industrial Age
Not Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png Genocidal
Agents are genetically modified to appear as members of the native population and sent to infiltrate their society. They will gradually replace world leaders and prepare the planet for annexation by us. This complex operation is only worthwhile on industrial civilizations. When complete, this mission will annex the planet and give the natives a large but temporary happiness boost.
Fleet task indoctrination.png Indoctrination Society Research +10 Society Research
Energy Credits.png -3 Energy
Slowly shifts the civilization's ethics towards yours
Utopia.png Utopia
Active Study or Unrestricted Native Interference Policy
Not Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness
Through subtle influencing of their society and culture, the natives can be brought around to our way of thinking.

Pre-sapient species and Uplifting

As opposed to primitives, planets of pre-sapient species can be colonized. The pre-sapient pops do not require either Housing or Amenities. The Pre-Sapients policy determines their status. Unlike sapient species, pre-sapients can be purged without diplomatic repercussions from any empire.

While extremely rare, it is possible for both a pre-sapient species and a pre-FTL species to spawn on the same planet.

Uplifting

For pre-sapient species the option to create templates is replaced with the option to Uplift them. The planet does not need to be colonized in order to uplift the native pre-sapient species, but the star system where the planet is located must be within the empire's borders. Uplifting a species requires the Tech epigenetic triggers.png Epigenetic Triggers technology and costs 3000 Society Research society Research. Uplifted species become part of the empire that uplifted them and get a +10% Mod pop happiness.png happiness bonus when inhabiting that empire's planets due to getting the Trait uplifted.png Uplifted trait. Finishing an uplift also grants 500 Influence.png influence.

When an uplift is complete, the pre-sapient species receive the default species rights according to the host empire, even if it is displacement from their own home. Most uplift processes tend to be rocky (70% chance of -5% planet mineral output).

Pre-sapients Coexistence Events

These events can only take place on colonies that contain pre-sapients that are not being uplifted. They cannot happen in the first 10 years of a game.

  • The pre-sapients damage some currency transfers antennas, bringing a -100 or -300 Energy Credits.png energy credits loss.
  • Your presence agitates the pre-sapients. Driving them off will grant a small Unity.png unity reward. Xenophobe empires will gain Influence.png influence instead while Xenophile can investigate and earn a small amount of Society Research society and Engineering Research engineering research.
  • Xeno-researchers demand to be allowed to experiment on pre-sapients. Accepting will give you a moderate amount of Society Research society research and -15% Mod pop happiness.png happiness for two years while refusing will add -20% Society Research society output for two years. Xenophobe.png Xenophobe and Fanatic Xenophobe.png Fanatic Xenophobe empires will gain Influence.png influence instead of the happiness reduction for accepting.

Technological Enlightenment Strategy

Technologically enlightening primitives results in establishing a Diplomacy isprotectorate.png Protectorate which can be very beneficial due to a monthly +0.25 Influence.png influence bonus as well as their high Diplomacy opinion.png opinion making them loyal. However, enlightenment will also mean transferring the starbase to the new empire, along with every station built in the system. Protectorates can be integrated without having to wait for them to catch up technologically.

Technological Enlightenment Events

The following events can take place after more than 20% progress has been made:

  • Xenophobe.png Xenophobe species might add -20% to the mission progress due to their distrust
  • Fanatic Xenophobe.png Fanatic Xenophobe species might add -70% to the mission progress due to their distrust
  • Xenophile.png Xenophile species might add a +20% bonus to the mission progress thanks to their eagerness
  • Fanatic Xenophile.png Fanatic Xenophile species might add a +70% bonus to the mission progress thanks to their eagerness
  • Species with the Quick Learners.png quick learners, Natural Engineers.png natural engineers, Natural Physicists.png natural physicists, Natural Sociologists.png natural sociologists, Intelligent.png intelligent traits might add a +20% bonus to the mission progress
  • Species with the Slow Learners.png slow learners or Repugnant.png repugnant traits might add a -20% reduction to the mission progress
  • Opposing ethics might add a -20% reduction to the mission progress due to opposing views
  • Working together with your empire might drive the pre-FTL species to abandon xenophobia or embrace xenophilia
  • Finally, the pre-FTL species might take on one of your ethics during the enlightenment

References

Game concepts