Updated 19th July 2017
Paradox have found something special in Stellaris; they’ve found a way that players can really tell the story of their species, a way that players can play their game as a role playing game and not just a strategy. One can play sub-optimally but play as that species might really evolve as they entered the galactic stage. I wrote something about story-telling in this sort of way in an earlier post, Story Telling in Strategy Gaming.
For this reason some of the most popular mods in the Stellaris Steam Workshop are those that allow you to customise your species and empire; things like additional portraits, cityscapes, flags, name lists, ship sets, more traits, more government types, more ethical choices etc.
I’ve already curated lists for some of these categories:
- Stellaris Portrait Mods
- Stellaris City Mods
- Stellaris Ship Set Mods
- Stellaris Species Customization Mods from Sci-Fi Franchises
Here I hope to document those mods (high-quality, as ever) that expand species customisation to really help the player tailor the game they want to play this time around. Mod categories are:
You can get every mod featured here in my “Stellaris Empire Customization” Steam Workshop Collection.
Note that these civics mods will all likely experience issues if used with the Ethic & Government Rebuild mod. See the Ultimate Merge Mod, which contains the Ethic & Government Rebuild and additional civics.
|Name and Link||Author||Description|
|Civic Redux||Ungentlemanly Conduct||More than 30 new civics, including civics that produce game-start bonuses (similar to Syncretic Evolution). May cause trouble if used with mods that allow normally-uninhabitable worlds to be colonised, such as AlphaMod.|
|Civics Variety Pack||LittleRaskol||20 new civic choices specifically designed to fill unused government/ethic niches. This is a cut down version of the Government Variety Pack.|
|Juri’s Civics Expansion||Syme||Introduces 18 standard and 8 Hive Mind civics. Included in the latter is a civic, called Theosis, which allows Hive Mind empires to research Psionic technologies.|
|More Civics Mod||OFC The Vilified Exile||New civics, some vanilla civics changed to work with different ethics/government combinations, and some changes to Traditionalist and Totalitarian factions.|
|More & More Better Civics||Dukom||Introduces new civics and changes vanilla civics to specifically make them more unique and fun.|
|Starter Tech 2||Lazerus Artifical||Introduces civics to grant techs at game-start, such as Genome Mapping, Cloning, Terrestrial Sculpting, T2 weapons and defence, and T2 labs and production buildings.|
Check out the All “Ethic Points” Versions collection by Grimhat for mods that allow you to choose between 0, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 Ethic Points when creating your empire. A no-ethics empire sounds a bit boring to me, but it’s good to have choice, I suppose!
Also see HiveMindPlus by Gumus, which reduces the cost of the Hive Mind ethic from three to two, giving you one more point to spend on a non-fanatic ethic, adding a little more flavour to Hive Minds!
Flags & Emblems
|Preview||Name and Link||Author||Description|
|Desert Froggo’s Flag Collection||Desert Froggo||Crop Signs, Earth Flags, Earth Religions, Warhammer 40K, Star Trek, Video Games, and original emblems.|
Donate through Square Cash.
|Flag Background Pack||zraith||An additional 28 flag backgrounds.|
|Flags : Emblems & Backgrounds||swefpifh||New emblems in gold, silver, and onyx colours, plus new backgrounds.|
|Harkax Flags||Harkax||Emblems to illicit a more alien atmosphere. Also includes a handful of new backgrounds.|
|Humanity Emblems||ExtraNoise||More than 150 emblems related to human institutions and history.|
|Japanese Prefectural Flag’s Badges||MM263||29 emblems inspired by badges from Japanese prefecture flags.|
|Mod Pack Flag Graphics||zraith||Consolidation of some scattered emblem mods.|
|More Backgrounds||kimstad||Does what it says – adds more backgrounds!|
|OCD Emblems||Teh T||Improved placement of vanilla emblems to be more mathemagically centred.|
Donate through Patreon.
|Ro Flags||roe.ese||22 more flag emblems inspired by East Asian seals. Currently only available in white.|
|Spectra Flag Colors||Syme||Adds 2028 flag colours while maintaining compatibility with vanilla Stellaris flag colours. Also achievement compatible.|
|TehT_FlagPack||Teh T||More flag backgrounds in the style of the vanilla ones, mathemagically placed to integrate with default emblems.|
Donate through Patreon.
|Name and Link||Author||Description||Examples|
|Alien Suns: Babel Fish||S. C. Watson||30 unique, randomly generated namelists, each with more than 5000 names.|
|Alternative Hive Mind Namelists||UntrustedLife||Five new name lists specifically for Hivemind or infestation-themed empires.||Cerebrate 15, Collective Combat Drone, Production Cell|
|Byzantine Name List||n00bypl4y3r||Names transferred from Byzantine in EU4.||Agathe Kretikos, Ikaria, Edesses, Thema Cypriakon|
|Cradle of Civilization Name List||creepyeyes||Uses names from ancient cultures including the Assyrians, Hittites, Sumerians, Babylonians, Israelites, and Persians.||Jael, Nanshe, Babylon|
|Dragon-themed Descriptive Fantasy Names||NullPointer||Includes “easy-to-remember” descriptive names. Planets have a high chance of receiving names related to their climate.||Ivory Gaze, Moonstone, Amber Tower, 1st Flight|
|Honorbound Warriors Name List||Dukhat||Names to match the “Honorbound Warriors” personality.|
Utilises “Humanoid 4” names for ship names.
|Asul, Indomitable, Eloxar, Cerberus Armada|
|Java-Sanskrit Name List||Walkerk19||Names based on old Javanese and Hindu Sanskrit.||Of Heaven Mahakota, Gada, Sekala Brak, Chariots of Mesa|
|Lovecraft Name List||NanosphereV, based on work by GamingCthulu||Includes names from the Lovecraft Mythos.||Rlim Shaikorth, One of the Thousand, World of Seven Suns, Fleet of Thoth|
|Panamanian Flavor Mod||Roberto E. Zubieta||Names from everyone’s favourite Central American isthmus. Also open source!||Emperatriz Juana I, ISS Suspiro, Batallón Tiradores, Nueva Kunanega|
|PulpNames||gamingbattle||Names inspired by science fiction novels, short stories, comics, serials, TV series, radio programs etc. from the 1930s-1960s.||Sandy Starr, Solar Queen|
|The Quintessential British Name List||Tearsdale||Includes Boaty McBoatface (with a little encouragement – see the workshop page).||Joseph Campbell, HMS Felixstowe, Britannia|
|Roman Names List||Gunth||Includes historical and mythological names drawing form Roman and Greek history.||Livia Claudia, Victrix, Nova Venetia, Classis Terrestris|
|Xor Namelist||Yzaxtol||Uses concepts and ideas as names rather than proper nouns or a fictional language.||Composer of Hatred, Seeker of Courage, Foundation of Life, Omen of Fury|
Stellaris: More Negative Species Traits Simultaneous Lovin’Adds 20 negative species traits, which grant between 1 and 5 trait points.
|Name and Link||Author||Description|
|1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 99 Trait Points||Grimhat||A mod collection; each mod changes the number of trait points available in race creation.|
|Additional Traits||Teh T, Aqua, Granhyt, Mike “Electric Chair” Pence, machinekng, Meltup||Aims to add a balanced assortment of traits, so that they’re as suitable for multiplayer as single player|
|Advanced Traits [More Traits for Genetic Path]||Teh T||Adds more advanced traits to pick from when following the genetic ascension path, including a few negative ones.|
|Extended Traits||r-M||Adds over 20 species traits and six additional ruler traits.|
|Gwen’s Zero Cost Traits||GwenBlanketKnight||Adds a selection of neutral (zero cost) traits, with a limit of one per species.|
|Immortality Trait||Petyr Baelish||Includes a single trait to make rulers of the species immortal.|
|Scarecrow’s Trait Compendium||Scarecrow||Curated set of traits plus some original ones. Includes many superlative versions of base game traits.|
|Snowyamur’s The Trait Archive||[HG] Snowyamur||More than 50 species traits and more than 30 leader traits (and increases the leader pool limit by 10). A well-refined and established traits overhaul that aims to make the game either ridiculously insane, or more fun.|
|Svafa’s Expanded Species Traits||Svafa||More than 30 species traits with a focus on more evocative options to fulfil sci-fi tropes that the base options don’t quite allow.|
|Synthetic AI Traits||Accuare||Adds traits ideal for a robotic/synthetic empire.|
|Trait Collection||Fnord||Adds more than 70 traits, including some negative ones.|
It’s highly recommended you use GeneMod_UI++ to improve the genetic modification screen when dealing with this many traits.
|United Traits||Fugasas||Adds 65 traits inspired by various sci-fi franchises, such as Star Wars, Mass Effect, and Doctor Who.|
|Xenology – Traits Expansion||Devious||Adds 20 more species traits and 15 special leader perks, each unique to their own species’ attributes.|
Choose Syncretic Species Appearance
Allows you to select the portrait and name the species created by the Syncretic Evolution civic.
This feature should be officially supported by the time 1.8 Čapek rolls around!
I have been looking forward to adding this to @StellarisGame so much!
And don’t worry, UI is still WIP 😉 pic.twitter.com/0iVAQKPqSa
— Lysann Schlegel (@lysannschlegel) July 11, 2017
Enhanced Gene Modding
Featured in June’s Mod Roundup.
Produces an extra menu that will pop-up after successfully gene-modding a species, giving you the following options (among others):
- rename species;
- change appearance of species;
- modify all leaders, armies, and colonisers of same sub-species to the newly gene-modded species;
- convert a species into your dominant species;
- convert a species into synthetics;
- designate a new homeworld for species within your empire.
This is another feature that’s being taken seriously by the Paradox devs, with improvements coming to vanilla gene-modding in 1.8 Čapek.
Enhanced Species Names
Improves the generator for random empire names, adding some flavour and variety to the galaxy. Details of the generation are in the workshop link.
Ethic & Government Rebuild
Featured in May’s Mod Roundup.
This mod goes a long way to adding depth to the ethics and government dimensions of Stellaris, as its name suggests. It transforms the ethical wheel such that the Collectivist – Individualist scale is separated into two different scales (with the intention of separating out social and economic effects) and introduces three new scales (for a total of seven scales). New factions are included with the additional scales. You have five, rather than three, points to choose from in selecting from this expanded wheel.
- more than 40 new civics, from which you’re now able to choose three on empire creation;
- a new Direct Democracy authority type;
- new empire policies.
There are also plans to add a new Governance tradition branch.
I love the content that Ethic & Government Rebuild adds, but do note that it’s incompatible with pretty much all civics mods, either directly or indirectly (e.g. balance) and any mods that might add new government authorities (such as the Pirate Codex Government Type below) or alter ethics. See the Ultimate Merge Mod, which contains the Ethic & Government Rebuild and additional civics.
Government Variety Pack
Adds 20 new civic choices and more than 40 new government types, which add flavour in the form of government name and ruler titles.
Gwen’s Complex Traits and Civics
- traits that augment a species’ leaders with bonus leader traits;
- civics that grant specialised technology and buildings that are otherwise inaccessible;
- traits and civics that grant strange and unique playstyles.
Specifics are available here.
Pirate Codex Government Type
Featured in June’s Mod Roundup.
This is a very creative mod that adds a pirate-themed government authority along with 46 unique civics. Some of the more interesting ones are:
- Leviathan: Creates a controllable guardian dragon in your system at the start of the game, but decreases your monthly mineral gain by 65% and your monthly energy gain by 10%.
- One Banner: Gives you control of all pirate fleets at the start of the game, changes your country type to a custom one that ignores empire borders and can survive without a planet, increases your fleet capacity by 500 and reduces your ship upkeep costs by 100% (you will have to pay for the first few months), but every other faction will hate you and you cannot form alliances
- Spy Cabal – Gives you the option of assassinating enemy governors for influence or kidnapping and reprogramming them to work for you after your army takes control of a planet (does not work on sector governors); also gives you an edict that makes you kill your enemy’s ruler after you win a war against them.
Authors: 何 and Thighs
Aims to overhaul population growth mechanics by slowing base population growth and adding new neutral traits which alter population growth further; this generally trades off growth rate with leader lifespan.
I love this mod because it makes migration and robots much more useful and exciting.
Trace Empire Customisation
Author: Trace Projectile
Adds more cities, ship themes, and room backgrounds. The latter two are particularly impressive; genuinely unique ship themes are hard to find, and I believe this is unique in providing room types with windows.
Ultimate Merge Mod
This includes some very inventive civics (from Innovative Civics), such as “Primitives Caretaker”, which ensures your home system has four planets inhabited by primitives.
Also includes a handful of additional civics mods and others, including the Ethic & Government Rebuild, which means you can finally safely use the latter with additional civics!
Note that there are some reports of incompatibility with the UI Overhaul 1080p mod, so you might not be able to use the two together.