One of the most important things to learn when starting to learn a strategic game is understanding how that game’s resources work. When I first started Stellaris, I felt completely lost. I have this resource bar at the top of my screen and I had no clue how to get more of these things, and how to spend these things effectively. One of the biggest Stellaris tips I could have used to streamline my learning of this game was the importance and usages of each resource.
From the beginning of the game, this resource doesn’t truly feel like the most important of the basic resources. I would have to give that honor to Minerals. But as I’ve played more if Stellaris, I’ve realized how important it is to enjoy a large supply of Energy Credits.
One of my first steps when I start a game for Stellaris is to buy a 2nd Science Ship. The Science Ship itself costs Minerals and time, but once it’s built, it can’t actually be used until it is led by a Scientist.
The base price of a scientist seems to be 200 Energy Credits. When you start a game, you start with 100 Energy Credits. What I’ve found myself doing is avoiding the expense of Energy Credits until after I’ve spent my first 200 on a scientist.
After that though, I have several other options to spend them on. One of the most common expenses paid with Energy Credits is clearing tile blockers. There are plenty of these on your starting planet and they have a base cost of 100 Energy Credits and time to clear. As you the number of you Pops grow, it’ll be important to spend the Energy Credits to clear these tile blockers so that you Pops’ growth aren’t stunted.
Minerals are King. I mentioned above that one of the biggest Stellaris tips I wish I had are how to earn and spend the games’ resources effectively. Another Stellaris tip, which I need to emphasize is this.
Minerals are the most important resource in the beginning of the game.
I say this because I’ve constantly found myself wishing I had more minerals to spend, and always struggled to earn more. My beginning spending habits usually involved buying Mining Stations and Research Stations around planetary bodies to increase my resource income, but I didn’t focus on any one resource, instead choosing to spread my income among as many as I could.
This lack of focus led to me being Mineral starved for almost all of my games. Just recently, I switched up my focus and tried to exclude the Research Stations and Energy Credits, and instead, focus purely on Mineral income from the beginning of the game.
I would avoid 1 or 2 Mineral planetary bodies and only build Mineral Stations around 3 or 4 resource points. Whenever a Pop was available and I struggled to find a tile to plop him down on (Pop resource allocation I’ll discuss in a future post), I would generally place them on Minerals and would always ensure that they have a Mining Network there since they tend to have a good return on investment (2 Minerals/mo for an expense of 60 is awesome compared to 2 Minerals/mo for a 90 Mineral orbital Mining Station).
As I continued to grow my empires choosing to invest my resources on efficient increases in my Mineral income, I found myself in a much more stable position when I encountered other empires
Minerals are King
One of the things I love about Mineral Networks on planets vs Mining Stations in space is that the planetary Mineral Network only costs a base of 60 minerals compared to the space faring Mining Station. The problem with Mineral Networks is that they require a Pop in order to earn income, whereas the Mining Stations do not.
When I have a some Minerals begging to be spent, I usually try to spend them on Mineral producing resource points. These are most commonly 2 things, the Mining Networks, and Mining Stations.
But another way one makes more resources is if a Pop grows up and becomes a functioning member of society. As you increase you Pops, you can place them on resource tiles. If you have a 4 Mineral resource tile and a Pop just finished it’s growth, placing him on that 4 Mineral tile will increase you Mineral gain by that much, seemingly for free.
If you focus on increasing you food production and you hit you Food cap, you’re extra Food production will go towards a bonus towards Pop growth. This means more Pops faster, meaning more planetary resource tiles, meaning more income.
One of the main focuses on planetary tile management for me at least is making sure I fill food tiles with Pops first. If I succeed in doing that, then I’ll increase my food production, resulting in increased Pop growth, and a net increase in resource gain.
In summary, more Food, means more Pops, which means more resources.
Influence was a tricky resource for me to understand. I have only 46 hours of Stellaris game time so far and for the majority of it, I earned and spent Influence without really ever understanding it.
Now I’m a bit wiser. I’ve learned that it costs a base of 75 Influence to build a starport outpost. Since this is the only way to expand you borders, it’s an expense you’ll be making quite regularly. Every single system which contains resources or colonizable planets that you want, you’ll need to first take control of that system with a starport outpost.
Something else I’ve been spending my influence on are Edicts. These are kind of like government short term policies usually lasting 10 years, that grant you a bonus, at the cost of Influence.
An example of the Empire wide Map the Stars edit. For a 100 Influence expense (25 less than building a starpost outpost), you gain:
- Survey Speed: +25%
- Anomaly Discovery Chance: +10%
- Edict Duration: 10 years
An interesting though I had as I was writing this is using this Edict at the beginning of the game. There are times when my Construction Ships can’t claim a system and are waiting on a Science Ship to finish surveying the system first. If I have plenty of Influence, I could spend 100 Influence on the Map the Stars edict to speed that Science Ship along. Not only that, but a 10% chance in Anomaly Discoveries would give my Empire more opportunities to earn more resources from those Anomalies.
I still have a lot of work in learning how to optimize the use of this resource. It seems that it can be a useful kind of Joker card. A resource I can spend to acquire other resources faster. A resource I could trade for others. Spend it for more empire space, increasing you borders and controlling systems. As I learn more about this resource, I’m sure I’ll find my that my game play will improve immensely.
The talent tree resource. Traditions. You spend Unity on Traditions to acquire bonuses for you empire. Traditions to me feel like the talents of World of Warcraft. A way for you to customize you empire in a direction that suits you style of play and preferences.
From what I’ve seen so far, there are 7 Tradition trees:
There is a lot to cover in Stellaris’s Traditions, so I’ll save that for a future post.
Technology. This is yet another way for you to improve you empire. There are technologies for just about everything in this game:
- Naval Weapons, Defenses, and other improvements
- Colonization speed bonuses
- Automatic Science Ship surveying. When I first discovered this, I was amazed. Plus a +25% Survey Speed boost. Love it.
- Upgrades to planetary buildings
- Additional Edicts (Campaigns)
- So much much MUCH more……
This will definitely be something I need to learn more about. I haven’t really gotten farther than the early game so I don’t really know all the different technologies out there. I can’t wait to discover them.
Stellaris seems to be such a fantastic game, and knowledge of it’s resources will help you get the most out of you time enjoying this game. The first Stellaris tip I would give any new player is this. Learn the resources. Learn to get them FAST. The more you earn, the more you can spend, making you bigger, more powerful, and thus, more able to win the game.
Now go out there and conquer you galaxy. That’s what I’ll be doing!