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3 Improve your Stellaris economy

3.1 Construct Mining Stations

Once your science ship has surveyed a planet or asteroid there is a chance you will be able to extract resources from it. In this game Mercury has +2 minerals. Select your Construction ship, right click on Mercury and order it to build a Mining Station. Once completed our income will improve.

stellaris-new-player-guide-construct-mining-station

Repeat this process every time your science ship finds mineral and energy deposits. If you get the option to construct a research station then don’t. At least not for now.

3.2 Built Power plants

Each mining station will require -1 energy in monthly maintenance. So soon your energy surplus will be gone. To prevent this from happening you should visit planet Earth and construct additional Power Plants. Ideally they will be placed on a tile that already produces some energy.

stellaris-new-player-guide-construct-more-powerplants
I ended up building 2 new farms, 1 mining network and 2 new power plants. The power plant in the top right corner is still under construction. The farm in the lower left requires a larger population to function. However the blue bar indicates that a new worker will be ready soon.

3.3 Things you should not do

  • Do not construct an additional science ship
  • Do not construct an additional construction ship
  • Do not spend minerals on research stations, get mining stations first
  • Do not move your fleet, when it is in orbit it is cheaper to maintain

3.4 Fully exploit your solar system

After about 8 months your entire solar system should be scanned. Keep building mining stations anywhere you can. Add power plants when needed. When I was done I had +12 energy income and +23 minerals. Thanks to research the influence also increased to +4.stellaris-new-player-guide-exploited-solar-system-incomestellaris-new-player-guide-fully-exploited-solar-system

4 Expand your Empire in Stellaris

So our own solar system is fully used, now what? Now it is time to explore and expand! But how do we do that?

4.1 Border influence

Go to the galaxy map ( shortcut E) and notice the blue ring around Sol. The blue ring represent your borders, or influence. Every star system within your borders can be exploited. It does not need a Colony and it does not need a frontier outpost, you can just send a construction ship, construct mines and harvest those minerals.

stellaris-new-player-guide-border-influence
This time we are lucky and no less than 5 other stars are already located within our borders.

4.2 Explore your region

We now know that our solar system is not the only one out there. So find your  Science Ship and have it scan the nearby system (survey system).

stellaris-new-player-guide-explore-nearby-systems
Pro tip: You can use shift to queue the exploration of all nearby solar systems.

4.3 Exploit your region

Once you have scanned a few solar systems you should send your construction ship to construct Mining Stations. This will improve our economy even further. After two additional solar systems my mineral income improved to +32.

5 Improve your Stellaris fleet

Once you have exploited a few solar systems you will have more minirals than you construction ship can spend. This often the right the time to start expanding your fleet, or in some cases a bit too late because space pirates already appeared.

5.1 Update your ship designs

Before we construct new ships it might be a good idea to check if we are using the latest technology. I researched Level II missiles at the start of our game, so let’s use them.

  • Open the Ship designer (F4)
  • Click on the Corvette class
  • Click on a weapon
  • Drag Fusion II missiles to fill all slots
  • Press autocomplete ship design (adds power when needed and shields when possible)
  • Press save
stellaris-new-player-guide-upgrade-missiles
Just drag the missiles into the slots.

Once upgraded we have a 75 mineral costing Corvette class that has 300 health and 3 Fusion II missiles that produce 6.27 damage per second. The big advantage of these missiles are their range. You can hit the enemy before they can hit you. Later you will unlock Torpedoes that have an even bigger range and ignore shields completely.

5.2 Construct additional ships at your Spaceport

If you visit your home planet then you will notice a Spaceport tab. The spaceport can be constructed in the orbit of every colonized planet, has 2500 health and is equipped with some weapons. Upgrading it will unlock additional upgrade slots, makes it stronger and allows it to construct bigger ships. The game is based on Corvette (size 1)>Destroyer (size 2)>Cruiser (size 3)>Battleship (size 4).

stellaris-new-player-guide-space-dock

Now that you have found your Spaceport simply order a few corvettes. If you followed my instructions and did not move your fleet then the new ships will automatically be added to your primary fleet.

If you ignored these instructions and moved your fleet then you will need to merge them. You can merge fleets by selecting both fleets and then using the merge button, or by pressing G on your keyboard.

5.3 Research new weapons

Depending on how safe you feel some of your research effort should be going to upgrading your fleet designs. If you get the chance then unlock new power cores, shield and better missile systems. Point defense can also be extremely important because it can shoot down incoming missiles.

5.4 Add an admiral to your fleet

Your default fleet does not come with a leader. Recruit an admiral to greatly improve your fleet’s performance. There are a 9 basic traits ranging from -15% fleet upkeep to +10% fire rate. Recruiting an admiral requires influence points. But you should have plenty.

These are the steps required:

  • Click Assign Leader on your fleet
  • Press Recruit at the Admirals tab
  • Choose between 3 candidates
  • Click the newly hired admiral
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Choose the best out of three candidates.

5.5 Gain experience from combat

Now that you have a fleet and admiral you can start to train it. Try to fight space pirates when you can. If you win the combat your admiral will increase in level and become more effective. Additionally the debris resulting from combat can be analyzed by science ships and potentially  unlock new weaponry.

6 Stellaris Research and how to improve it

Now that we have the means to defend ourselves and a stable income we should improve our research capability. The easiest way to do this is by ordering your construction ship to construct research stations, when possible.

stellaris-new-player-guide-research-station
Keep in mind that player has no control over the research type. Saturn just happened to provide +2 physics and +2 social research points.

Additionally you can place a few basic science lab on your planet Earth’s surface. These Basic Science Labs can be upgraded to specialize in either Physics (Physics Lab), Society (Bio Lab) or engineering (Engineering Facility). But keep an eye on your energy income levels, each building and upgraded requires monthly maintenance.

stellaris-new-player-guide-science-lab
This planet is focusing on Physics research and is producing no less than +22 physics research (no I did not name the planet).

7 What’s next?

Once you have completed all these steps then you are well on your way to playing Stellaris. Obviously there is a lot more to tell, but you should make a profit, have plenty of minerals, have a fleet with an admiral and be ready for the next phase. What’s that? Expansion! In the next guide I will tell you all about how to expand your borders with Frontier outposts and how to colonize.

Let me know in the comments what you would like to see first! Here are some ideas:

  • Optimal space combat
  • Best Ship design
  • How to create sectors
  • Best techs
  • Conquering: Warscore, Cecede-, Vassalize- and Liberate planets

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