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Revision as of 05:08, 11 December 2018 by (talk) (Internal Market: not true, baselines are the same, strategics have the same rules as galactic)
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This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.

Trade represents the transfer of goods or resources from one entity to another. There are multiple types of Trade possible, each having different mechanics, and all play a large impact on the economy of an empire or even the entire galaxy.

Civilian Trade

Trade Value is collected and exploited by Starbases above Outpost level. By default Starbases will only exploit Trade Value inside the system they're build, but their collection range can be extended by 1 hyperlane for each Trade Hub module.

Trade Value

Trade value is an in-game numerical value that represents the civilian and private-sector economy of an empire as well as the total value of all goods being traded. The lucrative the trade, the more trade value it will have. All Pops generate a small amount of Trade Value based on their living standards, with higher living standard Pops generating more trade value, and trade value is also produced by a number of different jobs such as Clerks and Merchants. Additionally, Trade Value can be found as deposits in space, representing various resources that don't have industrial applications but are be desirable by the population, such like jewelry etc. Trade value itself has no inherent purpose but is each unit of Trade Value is converted into 1 Energy Credits.png Energy Credits once successfully collected and exploited, representing taxation and other tariffs applied on trade by the central government. The energy credits in question are then added to the empire's monthly income.

In order to successfully exploit trade value, two conditions must be met;

  • There must be an owned Starbase within range of the system and it must be of higher than Outpost level in order to extract trade value from the system. By default, every starbase will only extract trade value from within the system it is located in but the extraction range can be increased by building Trade Hub buildings on the starbase, up to a maximum collection range of 6 hyperlane jumps from the starbase. A planet that is within range of a collecting starbase will automatically have its trade value collected by the starbase.
  • Once extracted, the Trade Value must successfully reach the empire's capital system. If the collecting Starbase is located within the capital system, then the trade value will instantly reach the capital and be collected and converted into Energy Credits.png Energy Credits. On the other hand, if the collecting Starbase isn't located within the capital system, it must be connected to the capital system via a Trade route.

Trade Routes

A Trade Route is a path that serves to connect a Starbase collecting Trade Value to the capital system and is required for the Trade Value to reach the capital and be converted into Energy Credits.png Energy Credits. Each upgraded Starbase can by default support a single Trade Route by connecting to the capital or another Starbase. If the trade route of a given Starbase leads to another Starbase, the receiving Starbase will send both its own collected Trade Value and the Trade Value received from the other Starbase further towards the capital system. Once the Trade Value reaches the empire's capital, the capital system must contain a starbase of higher than Outpost level in order for the trade value to the converted intoEnergy Credits.png Energy Credits.

As an example: We have three Starbases; A, B and C. All three Starbases are connected to each other by a Trade Route going from A to B and then to C which is located in the empire's capital system. Starbase A collects 10 Trade Value from within its range and Starbase B collects 15 Trade Value from within its range while Starbase C receives and converts all Trade Value into Energy Credits.png Energy Credits. In this scenario, Starbase A will send its collected Trade Value (10) to Starbase B which will send both its own collected Trade Value (15) and the Trade Value received from Starbase A (10) to Starbase C which will convert the combined Trade Value received (25) into Energy Credits.png Energy Credits at a 1:1 ratio.

Trade Routes, especially the ones carrying a large quantity of Trade Value, will attract piracy. For each system with piracy that a trade route passes through, a certain amount of the Trade Value will be subtracted irreversibly. Piracy can be countered by upgrading the Starbases carrying the Trade Value as well as by mobilizing fleet Patrols. All Starbases bigger than Outposts have a trade protection value representing heavily escorted merchant convoys which will ensure that a minimum amount of trade value will always make it through any system under their protection regardless of the level of piracy on the Trade Route. By default this trade protection only applies for the system the Starbase is located within but can be extended to additional systems by building Defensive Modules such as Hangar Bays on the Starbase. Additionally, any military fleet can be given orders to patrol a route between two Starbases to actively eliminate pirates and greatly reduce the amount of piracy in the systems.

Trades Routes have their own map filter showing routes, protection and piracy.

Internal Market

The Internal Market is available from the start to every empire and represents various actors within an empire with whom the empire itself can buy and sell resources. Resources are bought and sold for Energy Credits.png Energy Credits, with their prices dependent on empire economy, supply and demand, various events and whether the Galactic Market is founded. On top of the actual price of the resource, there is also a Market Fee which has to be paid for any sale or purchase, equal to 30% of the purchase value. Resources can be purchased either in bulk or by setting up a monthly trade and can setting a minimum sale/maximum purchase price.

Galactic Market

Once the game has progressed to the point where at least one empire knows about at least 50% of the other empires in the galaxy, the Galactic Market will eventually be founded, as players get decision to nominate one of their planets as Market Hub. One empire that meets the criteria is picked as Market Founder and its capital system becomes the Market Capital, spawning a special station and map marker to denote it.

Any empire that knows of the Market Capital system has access to the Galactic Market and is able to trade on it. The owner of the Market Capital system gets a reduction in its Market Fee and increased trade value for its trade routes. Supply and demand on the Galactic Market affects the prices for every empire and large shifts in prices will affect the economy of every empire relying on importing or exporting a resource. Strategic.png Strategic Resources will not be available until they are accessible to empires on the market in large enough quantities.

Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png Genocidal empires do not have access to the Galactic Market.

Slave Market

Access to the Slave Market is granted once the Galactic Market is founded. Only empires that also have access to the Galactic Market will be able to use the Slave Market. Only Pops that are enslaved are able to be sold on the Slave Market but any empire can buy them, either to set them free or to put them to work.

The base price of slaves is 500 Energy Credits.png Energy Credits, raised or lowered by species Traits.

Diplomatic Trade

Diplomatic Trade is available between any two empires which are not Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png Genocidal and is negotiated via the diplomacy menu. The following assets can be traded:

Trade cat energy credits.png Energy Credits
Can be traded as a yearly payment or as a single sum. Valued depending on empire's existing reserves, one time payment is more preferred. Credits lose almost all their value early towards established empires.
Trade cat minerals.png Minerals
Can be traded as a yearly payment or as a single sum. Valued depending on empire's existing reserves, one time payment is more preferred. Minerals will be valued until later into the game.
Trade cat food.png Food
Can be traded as a yearly payment or as a single sum. Predominantly valued only as long-term contract, since AI rarely squanders reserves. Synthetic empires never accept food as it's worthless to them.
Trade cat non resources.png Strategic Resources
Excess strategic resources can be traded away for the duration of the trade deal. Each Strategic Resource brings at least 1 Trade Acceptance per year.
Trade cat sensor.png Information
Trade sensor links or contact info regarding other empires. Value depends on AI personality, distance (your neighbours are more interested in sensor links), and amount of new contacts.
Trade cat research agreement.png Research Agreement
Applies a 25% bonus to researching technologies discovered by the other party. Hovering over the option will show the number of applicable technologies from all fields. Each Research Agreement brings 0.1 Trade Acceptance for each lacking technology. Research Agreements provide additional Trust build up.
Trade cat transfer control.png Transfer System 
During peacetime you can offer to cede one of your star systems which is bordered by your trading partner, usually non-preferred planets that are too expensive to terraform or adapt pops to, or as a way to ease opinion penalty of claims or border tension. It is not possible to buy systems. The AI is capable of recognizing "hazardous systems" and will always refuse systems that contain colonized Holy Worlds or border the Militant Isolationists.

Trade deals run for 10 years by default but the length can be increased to up to 30 years.

Trading requires a neutral or positive attitude between the empires and empires holding a negative attitude will accept only gifts. Fallen empires only trade if they're patronizing towards the proposing empire.

Trade acceptance

The trade acceptance number show how much does the other empire favor a deal. A trade acceptance lower than 1 means that the other empire sees the deal as disadvantageous for them and will always refuse it. A trade acceptance of 1 means that AI empire sees the deal as fair and will always accept it (unacceptable offers and demands still can be sent, it has no penalties). A trade acceptance higher than 1 means that the other empire sees the deal as advantageous for them and will give a temporary bonus to their opinion (Diplomacy opinion.png Favorable trade deal), although this has a limit of only 100.

Trade Willingness

Mod country trade attractiveness.png Trade Willingness shows how much an empire is open to trading with other empires and is dependant entirely on their AI personality. The lower the Trade Willingness, the more favorable a trade deal has to be for them to see it as fair. Empires with less than 75% Trade Willingness will never make offers. The only way to improve Trade Willingness is by activating the Diplomatic Grants edict.

AI personality Trade Willingness
Honorbound Warriors 70%
Evangelizing Zealots 75%
Erudite Explorers 90%
Spiritual Seekers 90%
Ruthless Capitalists 100%
Peaceful Traders 100%
Hegemonic Imperialists 80%
Slaving Despots 80%
Decadent Hierarchy 90%
Democratic Crusaders 90%
Harmonious Hierarchy 90%
Federation Builders 95%
Xenophobic Isolationists 50%
Fanatic Purifiers 50%
Migratory Flock 110%
Fanatical Befrienders 100%
Holy Guardians 50%
Keepers of Knowledge 75%
Enigmatic Observers 50%
AI personality Trade Willingness
Hive Mind 70%
Machine Intelligence 80%
Driven Assimilators 50%
Determined Exterminators 100%
Rogue Servitors 90%
Ancient Caretakers 75%

Fanatical Purifiers only trade with empires of the same species. Determined Exterminators only trade with machine empires.


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