Our examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Stellaris 20 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 5 months ago.
You can pick a starting species, or create your own from scratch. You pick positive and negative traits for your species to possess, that affect everything from fighting to diplomacy. You then choose the ethics and guiding principles that govern your new empire. Each principle grants you certain enhancements, but also restricts how you play. A spiritualist empire, for example, can't use robots. You can also pick the origin of your empire, be it a fractured people's desperate escape from a dying world or a powerful dynasty built on slaves.
Play starts on a single world with a few resources and ships, but soon expands into the galaxy. Your final goals is dependent on your principles and ethics, be it peaceful coexistence with neighbouring systems, total domination or a small but wealthy colony bursting with resources.
As you progress, you fight other worlds in real-time combat, where the focus is on the bigger picture rather than individual ships. Each opponent requires a different strategy, or possible a diplomatic solution. Finding ways to share power and resources with the other planets and civilisations is a great benefit. But don't forget to look after your current worlds, assigning governors, collecting tributes and more.
It's an incredibly deep and complex game, where the power is in your hands to forge a story of your own making; be it one of total domination or simple living.
Cross-Platform: Play between Mac and PC
You can play this game in the following styles:
- You need be 18-years-old to to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold for online play, but can then configure family accounts for younger players to play online with Xbox One.
- You need be 18-years-old to subscribe to PlayStation Plus for online play, but can create sub-accounts for younger players of 7-years or older to play online with PlayStation 4.
Stellaris: Console Edition
Stellaris: Console Edition: Deluxe Edition
Stellaris: Console Edition: Standard Edition
Stellaris: Console Edition - Deluxe Edition
Stellaris: Console Edition - Standard Edition
- In-Game Purchases: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.
- You need a subscription to play online:
There have been several expansion packs to the game which have added more content and ways to play.
On consoles, there is also the choice between the Deluxe and Standard Editions, the difference being that the Deluxe Edition comes with 3 of these packs (Plantoids Species Pack, Leviathans Story Pack, and Utopia expansion) pre-installed, but you can still buy them even if you get the Standard Edition.
It's important to set up your accounts and devices appropriately. More information is on our Financial Resources page.
Release Date: 09/05/2016, updated in 2021
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Content Rating: PEGI 7
Players: 1 (32 online)
Accessibility: 24 features
Components: 2D Side-On and Grid
Here are our hand-picked short list of similar games; the perfect thing to play next if you enjoyed Stellaris. We also have a long list of games similar to Stellaris.
Our experts have hand-picked the following board games that offer a similar experience or theme to Stellaris.