This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.
Spaceborne aliens are spacefaring forms of life which will likely be the first aliens that new spacefarers will encounter. Every difficulty level above Ensign increases the power of Leviathans and Marauder Empires, with the exact raised stats varying for each. Other Spaceborne Aliens are not affected by the difficulty level.
- 1 Space creatures
- 2 Nomads
- 3 Enclaves
- 4 Leviathans
- 5 Enigmatic Cache
- 6 Marauder empires
- 7 Caravaneers
Space creatures are entities which may not even classify as ships or life in the common meaning of the words. They generally inhabit a certain area of space and are seldom seen away from it. Upon discovery a special project will be added to the situation log, which when completed will allow an empire to deal with them in three ways:
- Researching unlocks a special project for detailed research that will grant a choice between an empire modifier and possibly a creature technology.
- Hunting will grant a +33% damage bonus empire modifier towards that type of Space Creature, and resources rewards upon killing them. If the creatures cannot be pacified the option is available to all empires, otherwise it is only available to Militarist, Xenophobe or Genocidal empires.
- Pacify will unlock a special project that costs 5000 Physics research and allows an empire to turn the space creatures permanently non-hostile and unlock the ability to research all special components the creatures use. Only 2 of the 5 Space Creatures can be pacified. Pacified space creatures will not attack even in retaliation. This option is available to Pacifist or Xenophile Empires.
If killed, space creatures will keep respawning in their home system unless an empire's sensor range covers the system.
- Nomads do not appear if MegaCorp DLC is installed, being replaced by the Caravaneers.
The Nomads, or Namarians as they call themselves, are a passive millennia old intergalactic race with no homeworld, forever traveling the void in their starships. Once they establish communications the nomads will act as a sort of "bridge" between the player and unknown alien empires, and the player is likely to soon be barraged by a large number of "Communications Established" events as more and more alien empires are discovered by the nomads, and, by extension, the player. They travel from system to system and their stay in the galaxy is temporary and will eventually set sail for another one. Events related to them can take place during their stay.
The date when and if the Nomads arrive is rolled at game start, with the following chances:
- 20% chance to appear after 20 years + 100 days
- 25% chance to appear after 40 years + 200 days
- 25% chance to appear after 55 years + 275 days
- 30% chance to never appear
When their time is due they will spawn in a random Rim System that has no ship in it and that no empire has a intel level better than low. Upon appearing, they will decide the mid point and endpoint of their journey. On their journey Nomads will perform an action when entering a system. Those actions depends on if the system has an owner and what the relationship with the owner is.
If the system is owned by an empire that has neither contact nor is hostile to them, they will start orbiting a random planet in the system until contact is established. The player is not capable of deciphering their communications but contact will always be established by them after 100 days. After contact is established they will send the owner a request. If they enter another system owned by the same empire they will roll for a request again. Each interaction has the following chances:
- 30% - Ask to leave some pops on an owned planet within your borders
- x0 If the system owner does not have a colonized Dry planet within borders or is a Hive Mind
- x0.75 if they already left pops before
- x1.5 if any form of Xenophile, Egalitarian or Spiritualist Empire and not already left pops before
- x0.3 if Slavery policy is set to Allowed
- 30% - Ask for a planet to settle on, forming a new empire
- 30% - Sell 5 or 15 Cruisers
- 10% - Move on with no request
If the system has no owner, and neither hostile, mid- or endpoint of their journey, they will perform a peaceful action with the following chances:
- 10% - Build new Ships
- x10 if under 3k Fleet Power
- x5 if under 5k Fleet Power
- x0 if over 10k or has the have the ship building lockout
- 80% - Pick a random planet and wait in orbit for 30–50 days. Afterwards, they have a 25% chance to move on and 75% chance to pick another planet in the system to repeat it
- x0 if less than 1.5k Fleet Power
- 10% - Move on without doing anything
While the Nomads are inherently peaceful, a fight can be picked in order to get access to their technology. Nomads are easy prey but their technology is just average by midgame, making this rarely useful. The nomad fleet consists of the following:
|20 Protectors||3 Ark Ships|
Enclaves are neutral NPC spawned factions. They do not own any planets but consist of large enclave stations. They primarily exist to be interacted with via Diplomacy Menu using the "Others" filter. There are 3 types of enclaves: Artisans, Curators and Traders. Each of them has between 2 or 3 basic interactions and one or two restricted interactions that can only be used after an Opinion of at least 50 is reached. Their maximum Opinion is 100 and an empire builds opinion with them by using their services or having starbases in their systems. The enclave Opinion is tracked wholly via the trust mechanic and no other Diplomacy bonuses or penalties apply.
The primary resource for interacting with Enclaves is energy. All actions are repeatable but some of the actions also have an increasing cost. The price increases as an empire's population goes past certain thresholds:
During the renewal request after a modifier runs out, the player will be able to renew the deal for a [scales with population] energy credits. With Trader Enclaves you will be asked how many monthly units (of the respective rare resource sold by the enclave) you want to buy.
||Research aid||scales with population||An ancient scholarly order dedicated towards the preservation of knowledge and technology.|
|Mysteries of the Universe - not known||300|
|Mysteries of the Universe - how to defeat||1000|
Once per 10 years
|Establish Think Tank||Allow the construction of Curator Think Tanks buildings in enclave system starbases||50|
|Recruit scientist||Gain an immortal level 5 Scientist with the Curator trait|| 50|
|Infinity mystery||Gain 500 Engineering research||Mirror of Knowledge modifier|
||Become patron||Gain the Patron of the Arts modifier for 10 years (+10% Monthly Unity). Becoming a patron also allows Patron Events to trigger:||scales with population||An interstellar union of artists united in their wish to create art higher than any other.|
|Commission art piece||
Does not own 5
|Found Art College||Allow the construction of Art College buildings in enclave system starbases||50|
||Strategic Resource deal||Provides a unit of a rare resource for 10 years. The resource amount and can be scaled up to 5 times. The higher the volume, the faster Opinion increases. Resources vary based on which specific trader Enclave is encountered:|| 500 per unit
10 monthly per unit
|An interstellar conglomerate of merchants dedicated towards the pursuit of profit.|
|Seek expertise||Gain an immortal level 5 Governor with the Enclave Trader trait (once per enclave)|| 50|
- Curator strength opinion
Curator enclaves can always be asked how would the player's fleets fare against the leviathans. Depending on the total fleet power they will give the following replies:
- Below 5k: Poorly. Very poorly. Wait a second, you're not actually thinking of...? My goodness, with the ships you have? It... it would be a slaughter!
- Between 5k and 15k: I would strongly advise against it. Your attacks would likely be more of an annoyance than a threat.
- Between 15k and 30k: Hmmm... yes... yes, I suppose you might actually stand a chance. If you combined your entire fleet... it would not be an easy victory, mind you, but one that is at least within the realm of possibility.
- Over 30k: Yours is a mighty fleet, comparable to some of the greatest armadas recorded in the annals of the Curator Order. Victory is certainly within your reach.
Note that their advice are inaccurate on the highest difficulties and you require an even stronger fleet.
While Enclaves will never become hostile to any empire except in retaliation, they can be attacked like any neutral entity. With around 7k fleet power and highest level weapons they are no easy prey but various rewards can be salvaged from their remnants, depending on the type of enclave destroyed. Each enclave station is equipped with the following:
|Curator station||Artisan station||Trader enclave|
Enclave stations do not drop debris for salvage. Attacking a curator or artisan enclave will make every enclave station of the same type unavailable for trade.
Destroying a curator or trader enclave station brings a small and temporary opinion reduction towards most other empires. Destroying an artisan enclave will not due to their duplicitous reputation.
Leviathans are extremely powerful Spaceborne aliens found in specific, predetermined systems and rivalling moons in size and mass. They are marked with a skull icon both in the fleet power box and on the galactic map. Each leviathan has a unique event chain. While one can just stumble over one during exploration, they can also be found with the help of the curator enclave. Leviathans have an immense amount of health and should only be engaged mid-late game.
Leviathans get various bonuses to make them stronger based on the game difficulty. AI empires will only attack leviathans if their fleet power is at least 40k.
|Available only with the Distant Stars DLC enabled.|
The Enigmatic Cache, or BALDOR as it calls itself, is a tubular entity that will emerge from any Gateway or L-Gate once the mid-game year is reached and set course for the nearest empire that is not at war. If the Enigmatic Cache is attacked it will instantly teleport away from the system.
Once the Enigmatic Cache enters an empire's borders it will start orbiting each one of the empire's colonies for a month. As long as it orbits a colony it gives it a +30% Research Output modifier. The first time it happens the empire will get the option of issuing a special project to study it or leave it alone for 50 Influence. The special project costs 2500 Engineering research and finishing it refunds 250 research and grants an L-Gate insight. Once all colonies have been scanned the Enigmatic Cache will set course for the nearest empire and repeat the process.
After all colonies in the galaxy have been scanned, the Enigmatic Cache will head to the capital of an empire whose Technology Level is not rated as Superior to that of any other empire and that is not a Machine Intelligence. After entering orbit the Enigmatic Cache will attempt to communicate. Accepting will have the Enigmatic Cache request to uplift the main species via a special project that takes 2 years.
Around 4 months into the project is started the empire will be notified that the Enigmatic Cache is deteriorating and bring the following options:
- Abort the uplift, causing the Enigmatic Cache to teleport away.
- Ignore it. Once the project is complete there is a 75% chance the main species gains the Somewhat Uplifted trait and -20% Happiness for 10 years and a 25% chance the main species gains the Uplifted trait and -10% Happiness for 10 years. The Enigmatic Cache will also remain in orbit above the capital and permanently give its Research Output modifier.
- Issue a special project to repair the Enigmatic Cache with a construction ship. Once the uplift is complete the main species will gain the Uplifted trait. The Enigmatic Cache will also remain in orbit above the capital and permanently give its Research Output modifier.
Note: The traits do not give unique bonuses to leaders despite the tooltips saying they do.
|Available only with the Apocalypse DLC enabled.|
Marauders are nomadic FTL societies that have eschewed planetary dwelling in favor of living on ships and stations, subsisting largely on raiding each other and extorting tribute from settled empires. Marauders are always hostile but will generally not attack empires unless they enter their systems or they are in the process of raiding them. A Marauder empire can be eradicated by destroying all stations and void dwellings in their home systems, but these are well defended and will take a powerful mid to late-game navy to deal with them. Each Marauder empire holds 3 systems, with the home system having very large deposits of Energy or Minerals.
Marauders will occasionally set out to raid settled empires they have established contact with. Before raiding, they will offer said empire a chance to pay them off with a hefty tribute (the targeted empires can choose to tribute minerals, energy or food). If they are not paid, the pillaging will begin. While in the process of raiding, they can still be bought off with tribute, but the price is doubled.
Settled empires can also pay the Marauders to conduct a raid on one of their Rivals for 3000 energy credits, both diverting their attention and potentially weakening that rival's military and economy. While raiding on behalf of an empire, Marauders are treated as allied and their systems can be traveled through. This form of raid cannot be bought off and while they will always reveal they were paid to raid, they will never tell by which empire. Marauders can only raid one empire at a time but multiple Marauder empires can raid the same target. Marauders will never raid Fallen Empires and will always refuse to do so if asked.
Both forms of raiding involve the Marauders sending a fleet to that empire's territory. The Fleet will attack the nearest colonised Planet, destroying all outposts and mining stations along their path. It can and will path through wormholes, but not activated gates. A fleet on Marauding will go into the orbit of the target planet and either steal some resources depending of the amount of tribute demanded or killing up to 4 biological Pops. They will still be hostile on their way back. Fleet strength depends on the number of years passed and thus facing them can result in a considerable challenge.
Once the mid-game year has been reached, the option to hire mercenary fleets of varying sizes will be unlocked. All players will be informed of this change. The chance for one Marauder empire to have mercenaries is rolled yearly and 30 for each Empire/80 for nothing. Mercenary fleets cost a large energy up-front payment, and consist of a fixed-size fleet that cannot be split, merged or disbanded, with a leader that cannot be reassigned. The fleet does not count towards naval capacity and will not cost any maintenance, but will only serve for a period of 5 years, after which the empire will have to renew their contract by paying the full cost again.
|Years passed||Raiding fleets composition|
|Mercenary Fleet||Ships||Hire Cost|
Armada of the Voidborn
Her Chosen Champions
|Unhinged Screamer Flotilla
Star Rider Flotilla
Order of Eternal Night
|Frenzied Volunteer Squadron
First Storm Wing
If a Marauder Empire is destroyed while an empire is hiring their fleet, all mercenary fleets will cancel their contracts and join together to attack the vanquisher empire within 5 months. Marauder Refugees will also settle on the planets of the closest empire that has the Refugees Welcome policy.
While bordering the Marauder Empires is dangerous, some beneficial events might trigger at regular intervals:
- An abandoned habitat is discovered (+400 Minerals)
- Border guards secure a Marauder Shuttle (+400 Energy)
- Patrols discover a resource cache (+300 Energy and Minerals)
- Border skirmishes give the empire the Marauder Whetstone modifier (+10% Fire Rate for 10 years)
- Border patrols save a Marauder admiral (permanent level 4 admiral with the Mercenary Warrior trait or +50 Influence if genocidal)
- A derelict fleet is discovered. It can either be crewed (1 cruiser, 2 destroyer, 4 corvettes) or scrapped (+200 Minerals)
- Some Marauder pops are expelled from the void dwellings (generates 1 Pop of refugees, if current empire policy allows to accept them). Marauder pops have the Extremely Adaptive, Rapid Breeders, Nomadic, Quarrelsome, and Deviants traits and the Militarist ethic.
After the Mid-Game year starts, one of the Marauder empires might unify under a Great Khan, an expansionist but ultimately benevolent leader. If that the game reaches late game before the event triggers it can no longer occur. It can happen on its own at any point but there's also a 5% chance for the event to be triggered each time a Void Dwelling is destroyed. Once this happens, the Marauder empire becomes a Horde and will begin expanding in all directions, invading the systems of any empire that will not submit to the Khan, including other Marauder empires. At any time, it possible for an empire to submit to the Khan and become a Satrapy, a type of subject that has to pay part of its income and naval capacity in tribute to the Horde and house a Void Dwelling for both protection and submission, but is otherwise left to do as they please.
AI empires that lost more than two planets to the Horde have a chance to submit every year, the chance increasing the more planets are lost.
When the Horde forms, all mercenaries hired from that Marauder empire will cancel their contracts and return back home to join it (including hired leaders). The Horde will also create a new fleet every few years, the size of the fleet depending on the Naval Capacity provided by Satrapies.
The main Horde fleet, called "Chosen of the Great Khan", is led by the Great Khan personally. It starts at level 10 and has the unique The Great Khan trait, which gives large bonuses to every fleet stat. When the Khan's fleet is destroyed for the first time, they will escape the battle. Within a year the Khan will return with a second fleet. If the fleet is defeated again the Khan will make no attempt to escape and will therefore die in battle. After 20 years have passed since the rise of the Horde, The Khan may also die by disease or assassination. Alternatively, the Khan will die a natural death between 15 and 45 years after the Horde was created.
Once the Great Khan dies the Horde will become unreachable, leaving an automatic message if diplomatic contact is attempted. Within a year the Horde will change into the following:
- If the Horde owns no planets it will turn back into a Marauder Empire.
- If the Horde owns between 1 and 5 planets it will turn into a strong regular empire and keep its Satrapies.
- If the Horde owns between 6 and 9 planets it will split into two regular empires that will constantly war with each other.
- If the Horde owns at least 10 planets it will fracture into four regular empires that will constantly war with each other.
- If the Horde had at least two Satrapies there is a 10% chance it will instead turn into a Federation Builders regular empire. Every former Satrapy will be offered the chance to join a Federation with the former Horde, which will also be its first president.
The number of ships the Horde will have depends on the game difficulty setting.
Marauder designs may look similar to Pirate ships but they have much better technology around T3.
|Corvette||Destroyer||Cruiser||Galleon||Asteroid Outpost||Void Dwelling|
Stations have around 4k Fleet Power, the primary Fleets around 11k with 8k Galleons. Raiding fleet vary in size based on gameyear, with 4 Tiers (<40, <60, <80, >80) being available.
Defensively: Excluding a few odd Energy weapons, Marauders focus almost entirely on kinetic and missile weaponry. Accordingly, shields are practically useless.
Offensively: They rely primarily on their Hull points, then their Armor. A few models have shields on par with their armor, but mostly these can be ignored. There is very limited Point Defense, with a focus to countering strikecraft. Due to their low values, it might be best to just punch through shields and armor even with unfavorable weapons to maximize hull damage.
If the Horde formed nearby and an empire has resources and naval capacity to spare but not enough to fight the Horde then becoming a Satrapy is recommended, as it's only temporary until the Great Khan dies 15 to 45 years later.
|Available only with the MegaCorp DLC enabled.|
The Caravaneers are space-based coalition of traders who send out fleets across the galaxy to offer every empire great deals. They start in a unique system called Chor’s Compass which contains their Caravaneer Citadel and two out of three caravan fleets: Racket Industrial Enterprise, the Numistic Order, and the Vengralian Trium. These fleets roam the galaxy, traveling towards every empire to offer deals.
The Caravaneer Citadel in this System acts as the return point for the caravan fleets and an intergalactic Casino. Should the station be destroyed but at least one caravan fleet still be alive, they will ask to re-establish it in a random uncolonized system claimed by an empire, as close to their original one was possible. If the empire accepts it will lose control of the system but gain +5% Trade Value.
The Caravaneers use a unique resource called CaravanCoinz, which can be bought in bulks of 8k, 12k and 26k with Energy Credits. The options are equally efficient. Those can be used to either play Slots or open a Reliquary.
|Price||2783.92 CaravanCoinz||6194.21 CaravanCoinz|
6 per game per empire
If a Empire has a colony within 3 hyperlane jumps of the Caravaneer Citadel, there is a yearly chance for an event to happen with the following weights:
- 500 - nothing
- 10 - The Collector sells a mystery box for 3000 Energy (only Option available for Gestalt Consciousness). If bought, it will grant:
- 35% - Nothing
- 10% - 4000 Minerals
- 10% - 1000 Engineering
- 10% - 1000 Society
- 10% - 1000 Physics
- 10% - 1000 Alloys
- 5% - Alloy Hyperfabricator capital world modifier (+10% Alloys from Jobs)
- 5% - Energy Accelerator capital world modifier (+10% Energy from Jobs)
- 5% - Incredibly Boring Relic capital world modifier (+10% Minerals from Jobs)
- 10 - A planet gets the Problematic Gambling modifier (+15 Crime for 1825 days)
- 10 - A planet gets the Festival Aftermath modifier (-5% Stability) for 1825 days. Same chance to spawn Hybrid Species as "Xenophiles like Caravan"
- 10 - A planet gets the Hot Slots! modifier (+15% Trade Value) for 1825 days)
- 5 - Up to 50 biological pops on a planet gain the Resilient trait
- 5 - A planet loses 2 Pops and is given 20 Devastation. A Special Project is added, adding a light amount of Society research and unlocking the Psionic Theory technology or adding a large amount of progress if already unlocked.
Every time a Caravan fleet enters an empire's borders it will offer a rare trade deal. The offer can be accepted immediately, delayed to when the fleet is leaving the space or rejected outright. The fleets can not be contacted any other way and all attempts will redirect to Chor's Compass instead. Delaying has a very low chance of the deal changing.
The Numistic Order is a religious Caravan that offers only deals with fixed costs. It features the largest amount of offers but many of them are one time only. They offer the following deals:
|200 Exotic Gases||1700 Energy|
|3000 Energy Credits||500 Alloys|
|200 Rare Crystals||2 Pops||Not Gestalt Consciousness|
|2 Pops with the Numistic Administration trait||3500 Energy||Not Gestalt Consciousness|
|Numa's Breath planetary feature||200 Minerals|
|Numistic Magnetistrips planet modifier||100 Influence||Machine Intelligence|
|Numistic Cruiser||500 Energy|
|Caravaneer Cruiser||2500 Energy|
|Numistic Shrine building||2000 Energy||Not Gestalt Consciousness|
|Numistic Visualisation edict||2500 Energy||Not Gestalt Consciousness except Rogue Servitor|
|Numistic Data Modeling technology (+5% from Jobs)||3500 Energy|
|Governor leader with the Merchant of Numa trait||1500 Energy||Not Gestalt Consciousness|
|Divine Algorithm decision||2000 Minerals||Machine Intelligence|
The Vengralian Trium is unique in that both their products and their prices are randomly generated, as opposed to each product having a specific price. Their deals may contain any of the following:
Racket Industrial Enterprise
Rackets are the only predefined Caravaneer species, using the same portraits and traits as the Ketling Star Pack. The payment options for this Fleet are randomly generated based on the product offered although Gestalt Consciousness empires are never asked for Consumer Goods. They offer the following deals:
|Caravaneer Cruiser||200 Minerals|
|200 Minerals||200 Food||Game year < 50|
Not Machine Intelligence
|500 Minerals||1000 Food||Game year < 150|
Not Machine Intelligence
|2000 Minerals||4000 Food||Game year > 150|
Not Machine Intelligence
|4 Racket Pops||500 Alloys||Not Gestalt Consciousness|
|4 Robots||500 Alloys||Machine Intelligence|
|Waste Reprocessing Center building||6 Pops||Not already unlocked|
|Orbital Trash Dispersal technology||Any of the following:||Not already unlocked|
|Governor with the Waste Management Specialist trait||Any of the following:|
|Scientist with the Spark of Genius or Maniacal traits||Any of the following:|
|+5 Energy to a celestial body with a mining station||Any of the following:||Mining station|
|Any of the following:||Any of the following:|
In addition to the actual offers, simply having a Caravan pass through an empire's colonized systems has a chance to trigger events. Events in general have a shared 720 day lockout.
|Gestalt Consciousness||3 free Pops leave their planet to join the Caravan. If the empire is Authoritarian it also loses 10 Influence.|
|Gestalt Consciousness||1 Caravaneer pop joins a planet. If the empire is Xenophobe it can refuse but it costs 30 Influence.|
|Xenophobe||Mass protests erupt in the system. The empire gains a moderate amount of Influence.|
|Xenophile or Materialist||An open-air trade and party takes place. The empire gains a moderate amount of Energy. There is a 33% chance that 3 hybrid species pops will spawn within a year.|
|Any||The Caravan steals 200 Energy Credits.|
|Any||The Caravan abandons a ship, bringing the following options:
Attacking the Caravaneers
While the Caravaneers will never become hostile to any empire except in retaliation, they can be attacked like any neutral entity. If a Caravan is attacked it will become hostile but the rest of the Caravaneers will remain peaceful and available for trade. Caravans have 4k fleet power and come equipped with mid-game components. The Caravaneer Citadel on the other hand has 7k fleet power and comes equipped with end-game components. Both Caravans and the Caravaneer Citadel grant 2000 Energy and Minerals when destroyed.
|10 Destroyers||6 Cruisers||1 Cargo Ship|