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This article has been verified for the current PC version (2.5) of the game.

Traditions are abilities or bonuses unlocked with the Unity.png unity resource. Traditions can be seen as a representation of the socio-cultural evolution of the empire as it expands and develops. Traditions help define an empire by allowing the adoption of traditions trees that suit its particular play-style. Completing a tree allows the empire to pick an Ap slot available.png ascension perk to further enhance themselves.



Traditions tab.

Each tradition tree consists of the following:

  • Adoption effect: This bonus is acquired when adopting the tradition tree.
  • Tradition set: Each tradition tree contains a total of 5 traditions, that give new abilities or bonuses when adopted.
  • Completion effect: This bonus is acquired upon adopting all of the traditions within a single tree.

Tradition swapEdit

Some empires have little use for certain tradition trees (those being Diplomacy, Domination or Harmony). For such empires, these three tradition trees are replaced (swapped) with special trees that better fit their playstyle. Any authorities and civics that cause tradition swapping can only be picked during the empire creation phase and after that, they are fixed on permanently and cannot be replaced.

Traditions swaps range from narrative-only changes to the names and flavor text of an existing tradition tree to the addition of an entirely new tradition tree with new bonuses and effects.


The cost of unlocking a tradition depends on the size of your empire beyond your administrative cap, as well as how many traditions you have already unlocked. Overall, small harmonious empires will unlock traditions more quickly than large, expansionist ones.

Tradition cost is formulated[1] approximately as follows:



An empire has completed one tradition tree and opened another, for a total of 8 unlocks (5 + 2 opens + one extra for finisher) and 2 open trees. Their empire size is 3 over their limit.



  • Adopting and completing a tree both increase the unlocked traditions factor (each by an additional 1).

Tradition treesEdit

Each adopted Tradition will unlock all Traditions directly underneath.


Expansion Traditions are themed around colonizing faster, growing the population faster, and generally expanding the empire.

Adoption effect:   +25% Colony development speed
  –10% Starbase influence cost
  +1 Pops on new colonies
  +20 Administrative Cap
  -20% starbase upkeep
  +10% Pop growth speed
  +10% Pop assembly speed for Machine Intelligence
Finisher effect:   +1 Max District for all non-habitat planets


Domination Traditions were originally focused around   subject empires, but are now focused around strengtening the empire's governance through reducing crime, improving the performance of workers and slaves, and gaining better rulers and governors.

Adoption effect:   -33% Clear Blocker Cost
  +2 Governor level cap
  +1 Housing from Capital and Residence buildings
  +2 Housing from Maintenance Depots for Machine Intelligence
  +2 Housing from Synaptic Nodes for Hive Mind
  +20% Crime reduction from Enforcers
  -10 Deviancy on all planets
  +2 Ruler level cap
  +5% Resource output from Workers and Slaves
  +5% Resource output from Menial Drones
Finisher effect:   +1 Monthly influence


Prosperity Traditions are focused on improving the empire's economy by improving planets and improving the work performance of specialists.

Adoption effect:   +10% Mining Station Output
  −10% Building and District upkeep
  -10% Building and District build cost
  +25% Building and District build speed
  +5% Specialist Output
  +5% Complex Drone Output
  +1 Clerk Job from City Districts
  +5% Monthly Energy Credit output for Gestalt Consciousness empires
  +1 Housing from City Districts, Hive Districts and Nexus Districts
Finisher effect:   +1 Merchant Job per 50 Pops or   +1 Coordinator Job per 20 Pops or   +1 Synapse Drone Job per 20 Pops


Harmony Traditions are focused on improving the empire's population by increasing leader lifespan, reducing their food and amenity consumption, and improving stability.

Adoption effect:   -10% Pop food consumption
  +20 Leader lifespan
  -50% Stratum demotion time
  +25% Governing Ethics Attraction
  +15% Fire rate within the empire's borders (both ships and starbases)
  +33% Ship build speed while in a defensive war
  -10% Pop Amenities Usage
Finisher effect:   +5% Stability


  Gestalt Consciousness empires have their Harmony tradition tree replaced by Synchronicity. Despite the change in traditions, Synchroniality is still based around improving the empire's population along with a bonues to defense.

Adoption effect:   -10% Pop food consumption or   -10% Robot upkeep
  +20 Leader lifespan for Hive Mind
  -50% Leader accident chance for Machine Intelligence
  -20% Leader upkeep
  +2 Maintenance Drone job from maintenance depots
  +15% Fire rate within the empire's borders
  +33% Ship build speed while in a defensive war
  -10% Pop Amenities Usage
Finisher effect:   +5% Stability


Supremacy Traditions are focused on improving the empire's military capabilities, through the ability to field larger fleets, improvements in ship construction and maintenance, better admirals, as well as building stronger and more starbases.

Adoption effect:   +2 Starbase capacity and   +20% Army damage
  −10% Ship build cost
  +25% Ship build speed
  −10% Ship upkeep
  +20% Naval capacity
  +10% Ship fire rate
  +20% Orbital bombardment damage
  +20 Fleet command limit
  +2 Admiral level cap
  +20% Starbase damage
  -33% Starbase upgrade cost
Finisher effect:   War doctrine policies unlocked


Diplomacy Traditions are, as the name says, focused around diplomacy with other empires. This is done through the introduction of   federations, improvements to the galactic market and trade.

Adoption effect:   −50% Diplomatic influence cost and   +10% Pop growth from Immigration
  Form Federations
  +10% Trade value
  +100% Federation naval capacity contribution
  -10% Market Fee
  +5 Base Trade Protection for Trade Routes
Finisher effect:   +33% Trust growth and   +50 Trust cap


  Inward Perfection,   Barbaric Despoilers,   Fanatic Purifiers and   Hive Mind empires have their Diplomacy tradition tree replaced by Adaptability. In contrast to Diplomacy, Adaptability Traditions are themed around helping them empire achieve self-sufficiency, which is accomplished through improvements to pops, increased habitability and improvements to planetside construction, resettlement and reduction of hostile orbital bombardment damage.

Adoption effect:   −10% Pop housing usage
  Form Federations
  +10% Monthly Food output if empire cannot join federations
  +10% Habitability
  -25% Orbital bombardment damage taken
  +25% Defense Army damage
  +1 Free building slot for all planets
  -33% Resettlement cost
Finisher effect: Unlocks Planetary Prospecting Decision


  Machine Intelligence empires have their Diplomacy tradition tree replaced by Versatility. Versatility is themed around improving the flexibility of the machine population

Adoption effect:   −10% Pop assembly cost
  Form Federations
  +50 Trust cap
  +20 Opinion with Machine Intelligence empires
  -10% Pop housing usage
  -10% Market Fee
  -5% Upkeep for all jobs
  -33% Resettlement cost
Finisher effect:   50% Refund per demolished building or district


Discovery Traditions are focused around research and space exploration. It grants bonuses to research and improves the performance of scientists and science ships.

Adoption effect:   +20% Anomaly research speed
  +35% Survey speed
  +50% Science ship disengagement chance
  +1 Research alternatives
  +2 Scientist level cap
  +10% Research Station Output
  +25% Leader experience gain
  +1 Leader level cap
  -20% Upkeep for Pops working with Research
Finisher effect:   +10% Research speed

Ascension perksEdit

Finishing an entire tradition tree or acquiring the   Ascension Theory technology unlocks an ascension perk slot. Ascension perks can be viewed as defining characteristics that emerge as a product of with the socio-cultural evolution represented by the Traditions intertwining with the empire's identity (its Ethics, Civics, Government and Population). Ascension perks represent the empire's greater-scope ambition(s) and, in the case of the three Ascension paths, its ultimate final fate.

Ascension perks often favor either a tall or wide gameplay, with some that allow access to gameplay mechanics not available through Traditions alone. This includes the three ascension paths, the ability to build deep-space megastructures, the ability to use terraforming to create special planets and other powerful abilities. An empire can have up to 8 Ascension perks.

Due to the difficulty of unlocking an ascension perk slot, it is prudent to delay making a choice, especially if the desired perk cannot be selected if any required technologies have not been researched yet. In addition, once chosen, the Ascension perk is permanent and cannot be changed.

Tier 0 ascension perks can be taken from the start. Tier 1 ones require 1 previous ascension perk, tier 2 ones require 2 previous ascension perks and tier 3 ones require 3 previous ascension perks.

Ascension perk Tier Effects Prerequisites Description  
  Consecrated Worlds 0   Consecrate Worlds decision    Spiritualist The galaxy is home to many holy places, some more obvious than others. As mortals, we still struggle to divine the true nature of the universe.
  Eternal Vigilance 0
  •   +25% Starbase Hull Points
  •   +25% Starbase Damage
  •   +25% Defense Platform Damage
  •   +5 Defense Platform Capacity
  Star Fortress technology To display weakness is to invite attack. The price of invading our space must be so high that as few as possible are prepared to meet it.
  Executive Vigor 0   +50% Edict Duration There will be no half-measures or compromises when implementing the edicts decided upon by our government. We go all the way, or not at all.
  Imperial Prerogative 0   +30 Administrative Cap
  •     Corporate authority
As our civilization continues to grow, so its beating heart must also expand. More systems will be placed under our direct control.
  Interstellar Dominion 0
  •   –20% Claim Influence Cost
  •   –20% Starbase Influence Cost
Our place amongst the stars is assured and irrefutable, and the borders of our nation equally so.
  Mastery of Nature 0
  •   –33% Clear Blocker Cost
  •   Mastery of Nature decision
Although we mastered the nature of our homeworld long ago, the alien biomes we have since encountered present new challenges. They too shall be overcome.
  Nihilistic Acquisition 0   Unlocks the Raiding bombardment stance
  •   Is either:
  •   Gestalt Consciousness
  •    Authoritarian
  •    Xenophobe
  •    Barbaric Despoilers
The notion of self-determination cannot be a moral absolute. Holistic goals clearly outweigh individual concerns.  
  One Vision 0
  •   -10% Pop Amenities Usage
  •   +10% Monthly Unity
  •   +50% Governing Ethics Attraction
   Machine Intelligence True unity is achieved only when the ultimate goals of a nation and its people are one and the same. After all, a house divided against itself cannot stand.
  Shared Destiny 0
  •   –50% Subject integration influence cost
  •   +100 Subject Trust Cap
  •   Is not:
  •   Corporate
  •   Inward Perfection
  •     Genocidal
As we reach for ever greater heights, we must not leave behind those who have loyally served us. The glorious future of our empire was always meant to be a shared destiny.
  Technological Ascendancy 0
  •   +10% Research Speed
  • Rare technologies are now 50% more common
Technologies that would have been indistinguishable from magic mere generations ago are now within our reach. A new age of technology has begun.
  Transcendent Learning 0
  •   +2 Leader Level Cap
  •   +50% Leader Experience Gain
Our society must change its approach towards learning, and by doing so, our best and brightest will be able to reach a completely new level of achievements.
  Universal Transactions 0
  •   -15% Branch Office Cost
  • Commercial Pacts cost no   influence
  Corporate authority
  •     Criminal Heritage
We shall extend our brand and our business to every solar system in the galaxy. Greed is eternal!  
  Voidborne 0
  •   +20% Habitat habitability
  •   +2 Habitat district cap
  Orbital Habitats technology The void, once seen as a cold and insurmountable barrier, has become a second home to us. Permanent habitation in the depths of space is now eminently possible.  
  Xeno-Compatibility 0
  •   +33% Immigration Pull
  •   +20% Pop Growth Speed if planet has at least 2 different species
  •   Hybrid Species
  •    Xenophile
  •   At least 1 xeno pop living in empire
  •   Gene Tailoring technology
The invention of universal sexual biology has revolutionized society. Even if it sometimes requires awkward rotations to make a connection.  
  Enigmatic Engineering 1
  •   +2 Sensor Range
  •   +4 Ship Hyperlane Detection Range
  •   Technology can't be reverse-engineered by others
Technology is simply not a way to solve a problem, but it is a language by which we ascend beyond the mundane. Lesser minds simply fail to understand our advances.  
  Grasp the Void 1
  •   +5 Starbase Capacity
The vast expense of the galaxy holds limitless riches for those empires that understand how to maintain their grasp on the void.
  Engineered Evolution 1
  •   +3 Trait Points
  •   Clone Vats building
  •   –25% Modify species special project cost
  •   Gene Seed Purification research option
  •   Gene Tailoring technology
  •    Mind over Matter
  •    The Flesh is Weak
  •    Machine Intelligence
To leave our genetic destiny in the hands of nature is an inefficient and excruciatingly slow process. Why not jump-start the future of our species?  
  Mind over Matter 1
  •   Telepathy research option
  •   Psi Corps building
  Psionic Ascension Path
  •   Primary species gains the Latent Psionic trait
  •   New leaders have a 20% chance to get the class appropriate Psychic trait
  •   Existing leaders can get the Psychic trait through events
  •   Increased Spiritualist ethics attraction
  •   Psionic Theory technology
  •    Engineered Evolution
  •    The Flesh is Weak
  •    Gestalt Consciousness
Only a fraction of the potential contained within our minds has been unlocked. The latent psionic abilities of our species are only now beginning to manifest in certain individuals.  
  The Flesh is Weak 1
  •   –10% Robot Upkeep
  •   +33% Pop Assembly Speed
  Special Project to turn all pops into cyborgs
  •   All organic pops gain the Cybernetic trait
  •   All organic leaders gain the class appropriate Cyborg trait
  •   Assimilation Citizenship option
  •   Increased Materialist ethics attraction
  •   Enslaved robots will never rebel
  •   Droids technology
  •    Engineered Evolution
  •    Mind over Matter
  •    Gestalt Consciousness
The limits and constraints imposed on us by our feeble organic bodies are simply unacceptable. To reach our full potential, we must turn to cybernetic implants.  
  World Shaper 1
  •   –25% Terraforming Cost
  •   Gaia World terraforming option
  •   Climate Restoration technology
  •    Gestalt Consciousness
  • Unless:
  •    Rogue Servitor or   Driven Assimilator
To carefully shape and alter the ecosystem of an entire planet into something else is not so very different from an artist sculpting a statue out of clay.
  Arcology Project 2   Arcology Project decision
  •   Anti-Gravity Engineering technology
  •    Gestalt Consciousness
       Agrarian Idyll
Thus shall we make a world of the city, and a city of the world.  
  Galactic Force Projection 2
  •   +20 Fleet Command Limit
  •   +80 Naval Capacity
The fleet is the instrument by which the will of our empire is made manifest - we live or die depending on its strength.
  Hive Worlds 2   Hive World terraforming option
  •   Hive Mind
  •   Climate Restoration technology
We shall create living worlds that are every bit as much a part of the Hive as the drones that inhabit them.  
  Machine Worlds 2   Machine World terraforming option
  •   Machine Intelligence
  •   Climate Restoration technology
We shall shape our worlds into a mirror image of ourselves, replacing the fraility of biology with the immutable perfection of metal.  
  Master Builders 2
  •   +50% Megastructures build speed
  •   +1 Megastructures build capacity
  •   Either:
  •   Galactic Wonders
  •   Voidborne
  •   Technology
Building a Megastructure requires an unprecedented amount of resources and planning. We are breaking new ground in the field of macro-engineering.  
  Synthetic Age 2
  •   +2 Machine Modification Points
  •   –33% Modify species special project cost
  •   Machine Intelligence
  •   Machine Template System technology
The age of organics has come and gone, the future of the galaxy belongs to the machines. This is the dawn of a synthetic age.  
  Evolutionary Mastery 2
  •   +3 Trait Points
  •   –25% Modify species special project cost
  •   Genetic Resequencing research option
  •   Engineered Evolution
  •   Targeted Gene Expressions technology
Evolution is a single-minded beast that follows a single path to its inevitable conclusion. We cannot afford to limit ourselves thus - let us explore all paths simultaneously.  
  Synthetic Evolution 2
  •   +1 Robot Modification Points
  •   –50% Modify species special project cost
  •   +10% Robot Output
  Special Project to turn the empire synthetic
  •   A new robotic species will be created and can be named.
  •   All organic pops and leaders become that species
  •   All organic pops have their traits replaced with Mechanical
  •   Every organic army is turned into an Android Assault Army.
  •   Machine Intelligences regard you as a machine empire
  •   –40 opinion from Spiritualist empires
  •   –60 opinion from Fanatic Spiritualist empires
  •   –20 opinion from every empire that is not Materialist, Fanatic Materialist, Machine Intelligence or Synthetic
  •   The Flesh is Weak
  •   Synthetic Personality Matrix
  •   Synthetics technology
  •   Completed special project The Flesh is Weak
It is time to abandon the flawed organic vessels that imprison our minds. By transferring our neural patterns into synthetic bodies, we will achieve a higher state of being.  
  Transcendence 2
  •   Primary species gains the Psionic trait
  •   Assimilation Citizenship option
  •   All primary species leaders gain the Psychic trait
  •   Special Project to breach the Shroud
  •   Mind over Matter
We stand on the threshold of awakening the true psionic might of our species. Our minds are ready, and we have heard whispers of a psychic realm beyond our own...  
  Colossus Project 3
  •   Colossus ship type
  •   Colossus Project Special Project
  Titans Technology The Colossus Project is where fevered dreams of terror and deterrence meet. A vision of the biggest ship, carrying a weapon capable of devastating entire worlds.  
  Defender of the Galaxy 3
  •   +50% Damage to endgame crisis factions
  •   +20 Opinion from other empires
As star nations vie with one another in petty disputes, sinister forces of unimaginable power are arraying themselves against all sapient life. Who will protect us?
  Galactic Contender 3
  •   +33% Damage to Awakened Empires
  •   +33% Damage to Fallen Empires
  •   +33% Damage to The Gate-builders
  Established communications with an awakened or fallen empire The Fallen Empires cling to the ruins of their decrepit civilizations, ever fearful of the younger and more dynamic races that surround them. Their time has long since passed.
  Galactic Wonders 3
  •   Ring World research option if   Utopia is installed
  •   Dyson Sphere research option if   Utopia is installed
  •   Matter Decompressor research option if   MegaCorp is installed
  Mega-Engineering technology Megastructures are rightfully regarded as the wonders of our time. The scope of such a project would have been unimaginable mere generations ago.


  1. The formula variables can be found at /Stellaris/common/defines/00_defines.txt under tradition cost.