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This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.
Mammalian Fleet

A ship is a spaceborne vessel controlled by an empire. They are the primary way of interacting with objects and entities in the galaxy via specific ship orders. Ships are classified into civilian and military vessels, the former being controlled individually while the latter form fleets. All ships must be constructed and repaired at Starbases where there is a Shipyard module. Each Shipyard module can construct one ship at a time.

Civilian ships

Civilian ships represent all unarmed vessels of an empire and are controlled individually. They are equipped with shields, armor and core components automatically once the next tier component tech is unlocked at a free cost and do not have to return to a Starbase to receive component upgrades. Each civilian ship except transports have a monthly maintenance cost of 0.75 Energy.png Energy.

Civilian ships have the evasive fleet stance by default meaning that they will attempt to escape the system whenever a hostile fleet enters it.

Construction ship

Construction ships are used to build every space structure. They are not used up during construction meaning that they can go on to do other tasks after they have finished their building project. Fleet Orders allow the construction ship to build the following:

Build order Cost Maintenance Description
Fleet task build outpost action.png Outpost Alloys.png depends on Government
Influence.png 75 per hyperlane from closest owned system
Energy.png 1 Energy The Starbase is a space station used to claim star systems and expand your borders. It can only be built in orbit around a star. The full cost is dependent on which star system is being claimed.
Fleet task build mining station action.png Mining Station Minerals.png 100 Minerals Energy.png 1 Energy Mining Stations are used to collect Minerals, Energy Credits and Strategic Resources from uninhabited planets, stars and asteroids. Mining Stations that collect Energy do not cost any upkeep.
Fleet task build research station action.png Research Station Minerals.png 100 Minerals Energy.png 1 Energy Research Stations are used to collect Physics, Society and Engineering research data from uninhabited planets, stars and asteroids.
Fleet task build observation station action.png Observation Post Minerals.png 100 Minerals Energy.png 1 Energy Observation Posts can be built in orbit around planets inhabited by primitive civilizations to study their society.
Fleet order button build megastructure.png Megastructure Site Alloys.png depends on Megastructure
Influence.png depends on Megastructure
Energy.png 5 Energy Megastructures are truly massive construction projects only possible in the zero-g environment of space.

Science ship

See also: Surveying

Science Ships are the primary method of exploring the galaxy and the stars and systems within it. They require a scientist to operate.

Once crewed, the Science ship can conduct a survey of individual objects within a system. During these surveys, it can discover resources present on a celestial body (i.e.: planets, stars, asteroids, etc.). A survey may also result in the discovery of an anomaly. Furthermore, an object needs to be surveyed only once and any future hidden resources (such as strategic 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 unlock unique technology options.

Science ships can also assist the research of a planet. Upon activation, the science ship will orbit the planet and boost its research output depending on the skill level of the scientist on board.

Colony ship

See also: Colonization

The large colony ships allow an empire to settle habitable planets. When ordering the construction of a colony ship, the player is given the option of choosing the species of the pop that is to be sent to the new colony, inheriting all of its traits and ethics. Pops are 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. Colony ships take one year to build and their upkeep cost is maintained throughout the whole colonization process. Alternatively, colony ships can also be built through the interface of the planet to be colonized. There are four types of colony ships available depending on government.

Type Cost Pops Requirements
Colony Ship Alloys.png 200 Alloys
Food.png 200 Food
Consumer goods.png 200 Consumer Goods
1 Not Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness
Colony Ship Alloys.png 200 Alloys
Food.png 500 Food
1 Auth hive mind.png Hive Mind
Colony Ship Alloys.png 400 Alloys 2 Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligence
Private Colony Ship Energy.png 500 Energy Credits 1 Civic corporate dominion.png Corporate Dominion if MegaCorp.png MegaCorp is not installed
Civic private prospectors.png Private Prospectors if MegaCorp.png MegaCorp is installed

Transport ship

See also: Land warfare

Transports ships are where assault armies are kept. After an army has been recruited it is automatically embarked in a transport ship which will be orbiting the planet where they were created. Therefore, they cannot be built manually. While armies have an upkeep cost, transport ships cost no additional Energy.png energy to maintain. After a battle transport ships will heal the embarked armies.

During war transport ships must be carefully escorted by a military fleet since they are unarmed. Their only purpose is to carry assault armies into enemy planets so that they can occupy them. Additionally, some situation log projects require a transport ship to be completed.

Military ships

Military ships represent all armed vessels of an empire and unlike civilian ships they can be grouped together into fleets and led by an Admiral. Military ships require both Energy.png Energy and Alloys.png Alloys as monthly maintenance. They are designed via the ship designer.

Military ships are classified by their hull size, which influences their combat stats, cost, available sections and components and Command Point cost. Each ship takes twice as much time to be built compared to the previous one in the category. There are five available hull sizes, with the Titan and Colossus only available to owners of the Apocalypse DLC. Each ship size has two technologies that increase its hull points and one technology that increases its evasion.

Upgrading ships

Military ships must be upgraded manually when an upgraded design is created. The cost for upgrading each ship is simply the difference in construction cost between the new design and the old one. Each ship upgrades individually, with multiple ships being upgraded simultaneously if the starbase contains multiple shipyards.

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.

If a ship obtained via an event contains components not yet researched the ship should not be allowed to upgrade. Upgrading it will replace the components with the latest researched ones, even if those are inferior.

Naval capacity

Naval capacity represents the number of military ships that an empire can manage. Going beyond this limit will increase ship maintenance costs by a percentage equal to the overcame value. For example if an empire exceeded its naval capacity by 50% it will increase the maintenance cost of each ship by 50%. Each empire can build a Titan for each 200 Naval Capacity, up to a maximum of 20 Titans at 3800 naval capacity. An empire's base naval capacity is 20, and is modified by:

  • Ap galactic force projection.png Galactic Force Projection ascension perk adds +80
  • Job soldier.png Each Soldier Job adds +4
  • Job soldier.png Each Warrior Drone Job adds +4
  • Sb anchorage.png Each Starbase Anchorage module adds +4, or +6 with the Naval Logistics Office building
  • Each naval doctrine technology building adds +30
  • Tech repeatable naval cap.png Each Fleet Management Procedures repeatable technology adds +20 (can only be researched 5 times)
  • Each Pirate Free Haven corporate building adds +10
  • Each Mercenary Liaison Office corporate building adds +10
  • Each Strategic Coordination Center level adds +50
  • Civic citizen service.png Citizen Service civic increases Naval Capacity by +15%
  • Civic subspace ephapse.png Subspace Ephapse civic increases Naval Capacity by +15%
  • Civic naval contractors.png Naval Contractors civic increases Naval Capacity by +15%
  • Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png Genocidal civics increase Naval Capacity by +33%
  • Tradition prosperity fleet logistical corps.png Fleet Logistics Corps / Automated Underway Replenishment supremacy tradition increases Naval Capacity by +20%
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Master's Teachings: Warring States edict increases Naval Capacity by +10%
  • Menu icon policies and edicts.png Grand Fleet unity ambition increases Naval Capacity by +20%
  • Leader trait fleet organizer.png Fleet Organizer ruler trait increases Naval Capacity by +15%
  • Trait brainslugged.png Brain Slug Host ruler trait increases Naval Capacity by +10%
  • Mod shroud unavailable.png Covenant: End of the Cycle increases Naval Capacity by +100%
  • Diplomacy federation.png Federation member empires have reduced Naval Capacity by -20% (capacity is set aside for use by the Federation fleet)
  • Diplomacy issatrapy.png Satrapy empires have reduced Naval Capacity by -30%

Maximum Naval Capacity may never exceed 9999. This is not a hard cap on the number of ships an empire can support; it is fully possible to exceed this limit as long as an empire can afford the increased maintenance fees for all of its 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).

Command Limit

Command Limit is a limit on how large any one individual fleet in an empire can be. An empire's base command limit is 20, increased by the following (the hardcoded maximum is 500, but cannot be reached without mods):

  • +10 per hull type technology
  • +20 per fleet doctrine technology
  • +10 per Admiralty Support Staff technology (repeatable, but only 5 times)
  • +10 Civic distinguished admiralty.png Distinguished Admiralty civic
  • +20 Tradition supremacy war games.png War Games \ Three-Dimensional Awareness \ Combat Variable Mitigation supremacy tradition
  • +20 Ap galactic force projection.png Galactic Force Projection ascension perk

Maximum attainable Command Limit without mods: 260

Ship Rank

As ships partake in battle they will increase their rank. Ships, when built, start off with zero experience. Ships built in starbases with a fleet academy apart from the required shipyard are granted 100 experience points and therefore start as experienced. Ships get +1 experience point every day they are in combat.

Ranks are classified as follows:

Rank Exp Points Effects
Regular 0-100 None
Experienced 100-1000 Mod ship weapon damage.png +10% Damage
Veteran 1000-10000 Mod ship weapon damage.png +20% Damage
Mod ship hitpoints add.png +5% Hull points
Evasion +5% Evasion
Elite ≥ 10000 Mod ship weapon damage.png +40% Damage
Mod ship hitpoints add.png +10% Hull points
Evasion +10% Evasion
Humanoid empire using a World Cracker


The colossus is a unique military ship that requires the Ap colossus project.png Colossus Project ascension perk and has a single slot which can be equipped with a weapon of mass destruction. It has no weapons to defend itself although its Hull points are significantly higher compared to average ships (three times greater than those of titan) and can be equipped with defense components. During space battles the Colossus will follow direct orders, such as going through the battlefield to fire upon an enemy planet. Only one colossus can be constructed at a time and it cannot be merged into fleets.

Weapons of mass destruction can only be used during a Total War and as such cannot be fired during wars started from Diplomacy federation.png Federation members or Diplomacy defensive pact.png Defensive Pacts.

The ascension perk does not directly unlock the Colossus hull or its weapons; rather, thay are only available after finishing the associated special project. After the special project is halfway completed the empire will be prompted to choose a weapon of mass destruction. A Colossus can carry the following weapons:

Weapon Effect Opinion Requirements Notes
Ship part global pacifier.png Global Pacifier If fired on a planet it permanently turns it into a Shielded World
If fired on a habitat or ringworld it turns into a Shielded variant
-200 Victim
-20 Victim's Federation
  • The world will gain a deposit of 10 Society research Society Research
  • If used on a Holy World the Fallen Empire will awaken and declare war on the Colossus owner
Ship part world cracker.png World Cracker If fired on a planet it turns it into a Shattered World
If fired on a habitat it vaporizes it
If fired on a ringworld segment the segment is irreparably destroyed
-1000 Victim
-100 Everyone not allied with the attacker
Not Pacifist.pngFanatic Pacifist.png Pacifist
  • Civic fanatic purifiers.png Fanatic Purifiers and Civic machine terminator.png Determined Exterminator empires gain 600-1000 Unity.png Unity on first use
  • If a habitable world is shattered it will gain a deposit of 4-16 Minerals.png Minerals
  • If Earth is shattered there is a 33% chance of creating a wormhole between Sol and another system
  • If used on a Holy World the Fallen Empire will awaken and declare war on the Colossus owner
Ship part neutron sweep.png Neutron Sweep All Pops are killed and the world can be colonized -800 Victim
-80 Victim's Federation
Not Spiritualist.pngFanatic Spiritualist.png Spiritualist
Not Pacifist.pngFanatic Pacifist.png Pacifist
  • The planet also gets -30% Mod habitability.png Habitability for 10 years
Ship part divine enforcer.png Divine Enforcer All Pops become Spiritualist.png Spiritualist
All Trait mechanical.png Mechanical and Hive-minded.png Hive-Minded Pops are killed
-400 Victim
-40 Victim's Federation
Spiritualist.pngFanatic Spiritualist.png Spiritualist
Tech telepathy.png Telepathy technology
  • The planet also gets +999% Spiritualist ethic attraction for 10 years
  • Owned worlds can be targeted but will also get -20% Mod pop happiness.png Happiness for 10 years
Ship part nanobot diffuser.png Nanobot Diffuser Planet is instantly acquired
All Pops gain the Trait cybernetic.png Cybernetic trait
All Trait mechanical.png Mechanical and Hive-minded.png Hive-Minded Pops are killed
-600 Victim
-60 Victim's Federation
Civic machine assimilator.png Driven Assimilator

Using a weapon of mass destruction causes large amounts of War Exhaustion on the targeted empire, and gives it +50% Ethics Attraction towards Militarist.png Militarist and Xenophobe.png Xenophobe.

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