Stellaris

“I have no idea what I’m doing!”: Guide for first 25 years

There is a lot of stuff going on with this update so I figured I'd try to create a short and simple guide on what to focus on for the first 25 game years. There is a lot of new mechanics and resources but starting out you can ignore a lot of it and just focus on a few things.

"But there's alloys and consumer goods now and what the hell are districts/crime/stability/jobs!"

Chill out. We will get there.

Step one is the same as it was before. Keep your science/constructor ship busy 100% of the time. Always be surveying/exploring and grabbing more systems. Consider building 1-2 more science ships if you are having trouble finding another world to colonize quickly. Since colony ships don't use minerals anymore it should be fairly easy to afford your first one, just don't spend all your alloys before you've built one.

Step two is to keep your pops employed. Unemployed pops create crime and reduce planet stability. As pops grow on your capital they will need a job to do. There are two ways to give them a job: build a building that provides jobs or make a district. Districts are limited by planet size and buildings are limited by pop size. I recommend building another alloy foundry first since you will need a lot of alloys early game. There is no reason to build extra districts/buildings if there are no pops to fill the jobs there, just like there was no reason to fill all the planet's tiles with buildings in the old system until you had somebody to work on the tile.

Step three is to spend your resources. It isn't bad to save up sometimes, but stockpiled resources are better put to work rather than sitting in a pile. If you have a lot of one resource, checkout this list for some ways you can spend it:

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  • Food – You can spend 1k food to boost pop growth on your planets by 25%. Checkout the decisions button on the planet summary screen. Early game I was buying food and boosting all my planets to get growth up. AFAIK you no longer get a growth boost for maxing out your food storage so be sure to spend it on growth decisions instead!
  • Minerals – Minerals are spent creating buildings/districts/mining stations. You can also turn them into alloys with a foundry building. I had a lot of excess minerals early game but your mileage may vary. Consider selling minerals and buying alloys if necessary.
  • Consumer goods – Used mainly for research/unity production. Its also used to make colony ships. If you have a lot of excess sell it, but don't run out. I've found this resource isn't super important early game aside from using it to make colony ships, but again, your mileage may vary.
  • Energy – Used as upkeep for buildings/stations and some edicts. I mainly used this to buy resources I'm short on at any given time. If you find yourself buying a lot of some resource, consider making buildings/districts that produce it instead. It will be more efficient if you can just make it yourself.
  • Alloys – Used to make all ships and to claim new territory. This is probably the main thing slowing you down early game (aside from slow pop growth and influence income). It is the most expensive resource to buy so do whatever you can to produce it yourself instead.

Step four is to solve whatever problems come up as you try to complete steps 1-3. Mining drones blocking your expansion? Save up some alloys and build a fleet to crush them. Not enough housing on your capital? Build a city district or luxury residence. Run out of food? Buy more or make some agriculture districts. Pops unhappy? Make sure the planet has enough housing/amenities and nobody is unemployed. Hit the mineral storage cap? Sell that shit and buy something you actually need. The more you play, the more you will avoid these problems before they occur, but while you are learning you usually have enough time to fix problems as they occur before they get out of hand.

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"Okay I'm doing all these steps but now I'm just sitting around waiting for things to happen."

Good, now you have a chance to look around and read all the tooltips and try to better understand how things fit together. There are a lot of things not explained here but you can figure them out in game by just looking around at the different menus and mousing over things. Good luck and feel free to ask questions in the comments below or suggest alternate strategies!

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