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This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.

Traits represents a species biological functions, abilities and personality. Traits can be selected for a species at the start of new game or species can adapt new traits through means such as genetic engineering or possibly from anomalies. They affect a variety of areas from rate of population growth to traits that affect lifespan. Most traits tend to have opposite ones, such as Nomadic or Sedentary, where only one may be held at a time. Players start the game with 2 trait points and are limited to 4 traits with varying costs; negative traits can be chosen to increase trait points.

Traits may affect the productive capabilities of population units, individual longevity, attitude towards life in the universe and other important factors. Note that traits, though decided at a species level, are treated in-game as characteristics of a POP (eg. "Intelligent" only increases science output from planet tiles worked by members of the species). Traits do not diverge naturally.

Traits are generally fixed at the start of the game. Altering traits during play is possible through special projects or by using advanced technology like genetic engineering. The resulting pops are treated as a new species with the same name as the old one.


Choosing Traits

A species can have a maximum of four traits. Like Ethics, these are purchased from a points pool. You start with two points. Choosing Positive traits will subtract points from this pool, while choosing Negative traits will add points to the pool. Most traits cost one point, but those with the most dramatic effects will cost multiple points.

The penalty traits exist to allow you to choose multiple "good" traits without turning your species into a super-species. You start with two trait points to spend. Traits can cost from 1 to 5 trait points, with the most valuable ones being the most expensive. The "Extremely Adaptive" trait, for example, costs 5 trait points because it allows your species to more easily colonize hostile planet environments. Choosing a negative trait, like "Weak" or "Decadent" will add points back to your pool so you can select something else. You cannot start the game with less than zero trait points in your pool, and you can choose at most four traits.

For example:

Start with 2 Trait Points.
Choose Intelligent -- this costs 2 points, now have zero trait points.
Choose Industrious -- this also costs 2 points, now I have -2 trait points.
Choose Sedentary -- this has a cost of -1 points, in other words it gives me a point. Now I have -1 trait points.
Choose Solitary -- this costs -1 points, so I now have zero trait points.

I now have zero trait points and no more than four traits and can begin the game with a species of intelligent hard workers, but who prefer to stay at home alone.

There are few relationships between your traits and your government options, such as Decadent requiring you to take an ethos or government with a bonus to slavery tolerance. A species's traits cannot diverge like their ethics might, but they can be genetically modified.

List of traits

Habitability traits

See also: Planets
  •   Arctic Preference
  •   Arid Preference
  •   Continental Preference
  •   Desert Preference
  •   Ocean Preference
  •   Tropical Preference
  •   Tundra Preference

  •   Gaia World Preference
  •   Tomb World Preference
  •   Ring World Preference

Standard traits

There are 29 traits available to create or modify a race.


  •   Deviants
Type Effects Excludes Cost Description
  • Habitability: +10%
  •   Extremely Adaptive
  •   Nonadaptive
2 This species is highly adaptive when it comes to foreign environments.
  • Food: +15%
2 This species has a deep connection to the land and make expert farmers and gardeners.
  • Other Species Happiness: +1%
  •   Repugnant
1 Members of this species have a special charisma and are generally considered pleasant to be around.
  • Happiness: +5%
  •   Solitary
1 Members of this species are highly communal and quite used to living in close proximity to others.
  • Ethics Divergence: -20%
2 These people always seek consensus and are more likely to conform to the governing ethics.
  • Leader Lifespan: +30
  •   Venerable
  •   Fleeting
1 Lifespans in this species are unusually long.
  Extremely Adaptive
  • Habitability: +20%
  •   Adaptive
  •   Nonadaptive
4 This species is remarkably adept at adopting to any foreign environments.
  • Minerals: +15%
2 Members of this species are known for their diligence and hard-working nature, always going above and beyond.
  • Engineering Output: +10%
  • Physics Output: +10%
  • Society Output: +10%
2 This species is highly intelligent and enjoys faster technological progress.
  Natural Engineers
  • Engineering Output: +15%
  •   Natural Physicists
  •   Natural Sociologists
1 Members of this species have a natural inclination towards engineering and the material sciences.
  Natural Physicists
  • Physics Output: +15%
  •   Natural Engineers
  •   Natural Sociologists
1 Members of this species have a natural inclination towards theoretical physics and astral phenomena.
  Natural Sociologists
  • Society Output: +15%
  •   Natural Engineers
  •   Natural Physicists
1 Members of this species have a natural inclination towards sociology and biological studies.
  • Migration Time: -50%
  • Resettlement Cost: -33%
  •   Sedentary
1 This species has a nomadic past, and its members often think nothing when relocation to another world.
  Quick Learners
  • Leader Experience Gain: +25%
  •   Slow Learners
1 Members of this species are quick to learn from experiences.
  Rapid Breeders
  • Growth Time: -10%
  •   Slow Breeders
1 This species reproduces at a very rapid rate, increasing population growth.
  • Garrison Health: +100%
  • Fortification Defensive Bonus: +50%
1 Members of this species are physiologically resilient and will fight like enraged brood mothers to defend their worlds.
  • Army Damage: +20%
  • Minerals: +5%
  •   Very Strong
  •   Weak
1 Members of this species possess great physical strength, making them formidable fighters on the ground.
  • Leader Skill Levels: +1
2 Members of this species are born with a natural aptitude.
  • Energy Credits: +15%
2 Members of this species are instinctively economical and are always looking to make a good profit, whatever corners need cutting.
  • Leader Lifespan: +90
  •   Enduring
  •   Venerable
5 This species can grow to an age that commands dignity and respect.
  Very Strong
  • Army Damage: +40%
  • Minerals: +10%
4 Members of this species possess a strength that almost defies the laws of physics.


Type Effects Excludes Cost Description
  • Resource Output without Slaves: -10%
-1 This species requires slaves or servants to feel content.
  • Habitability: -10%
  •   Adaptive
  •   Extremely Adaptive
-2 This species does not adapt well to foreign environments.
  • Other Species Happiness: -1%
  •   Charismatic
-1 The physical appearance and customs of this species are considered offensive to most others and few appreciate them as neighbors.
  • Ethic Divergence: +15%
  •   Conformists
-1 These people are rebellious in nature and constantly try to challenge the status-quo.
  • Leader Lifespan: -15
  •   venerable
  •   enduring
-1 Time is fleeting for this species. What they lack in longevity, they make up in other ways.
  • Migration Time: +50%
  • Resettlement Cost: +33%
  •   Nomadic
-1 This species has a sedentary past, and its members are reluctant to migrate away from where they grew up.
  Slow Breeders
  • Growth Time: +15%
  •   Rapid Breeders
-1 This species reproduces at a slow rate, lowering population growth.
  Slow Learners
  • Leader Experience Gain: -25%
  •   Quick Learners
-1 Members of this species are slow to learn from their experiences.
  • Happiness: -5%
  •   Communal
-1 Members of this species tend to be solitary and territorial, often becoming agitated in crowded conditions.
  • Army Damage: -20%
  • Minerals: -5%
  •   Strong
  •   Very Strong
-1 Members of this species are physically weaker than average, making them poor fighters on the ground.

Uplifted species traits

Non-sentient species have exclusive traits that cannot normally be chosen at race creation or when gene-modding a pop. They retain these traits after being uplifted into sentient species.

Except for Uplifted, all of these traits cost 1 trait point.

Type Effects Excludes Description
  • Happiness: +20% when living under the rule of the nation that uplifted them
This species was uplifted from a primitive origin, and its members are happier when living on planets belonging to their benefactor.

This trait is applied automatically when a non-sentient species is first gene-modded to uplift it to sentience. It does not cost any trait points.

  • Leader Skill Levels: +1
  • Leader Experience Gain: -25%
Members of this species often prefer old wisdom over new experiences.
  • Leader Experience Gain: -25%
  • Energy Credits: +15%
  • Army Damage: +20%
  • Other Species Happiness: -5%
  Starborn Members of this species are very possessive of the planets they call home.
  • Tomb World Habitability: +100%
  • Leader Lifespan: +30
This species has evolved to thrive in environments subject to extremely high levels of background radiation.
  Natural Intellectuals
  • Society Output: +20%
  • Energy Credits: -10%
  • Minerals: -20%
  Proles Members of this species are more philosophically inclined than most.
  • Minerals: +30%
  • Physics Output: -15%
  • Engineering Output: -15%
  • Society Output: -15%
  Natural Intellectuals This species has traditionally shunned intellectual pursuits in favor of physical labor.
  • Migration Time: -60%
  • Minerals: -20%
  • Habitability: +25%
  • Happiness: -10%
  Earthbound This species has always, consciously or not, longed to traverse the void between the stars.

Robot traits

See also: Population#Robots
Tier Effects
  • Not affected by happiness
  • Cannot have ethics
  • Cannot colonize planets
  • -80% research tile output
  • -40% energy tile output
  • +10% mineral tile output
  • Not affected by happiness
  • Can have ethics
  • -40% research tile output
  • -20% energy tile output
  • +15% mineral tile output
  • Affected by happiness
  • Can have ethics
  • +20% research tile output
  • +20% energy tile output
  • +20% mineral tile output