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One of the Most Complex Strategy Games on Steam Gets Much Simpler When You Play it as Terminator

3 min

Paradox Interactive’s Stellaris is considered a complex strategy game that many fail to get started with. With 88% positive reviews, it is a top SF game on Steam. Our author Schuhmann says: “If you play Stellaris as a terminator, you will save yourself a lot of complex mechanics and can ideally get started. Those who have bounced off Stellaris so far will find their way into the game this way.

What makes Stellaris so complex?

  • Stellaris is a real-time strategy game from 2016 that has since received 18 DLCs. The last expansion came in May 2023.
  • The game is a 4x strategy game from Paradox Interactive. Like Europa Universalis, Victoria or Crusader Kings, the games have a reputation for being daunting for newcomers: it is perceived by many as difficult to get into the games. The games are fundamentally under-explained and have numerous, nested mechanics, but weak tutorials.
  • In Stellaris, the sheer abundance of races and sliders available before the game starts can be daunting. Also, there are umpteen resources and mechanics to consider in the game. As you know from reports, many players fail to get started with the game.

Star Trek Infinite, a Stellaris spin-off in the Star Trek universe, will be released on October 12:

Star Trek Infinite – Game features and pre-sale bonuses

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Killer robots facilitate the entry into Stellaris

This makes getting started in the game much easier: Stellaris gives you a total of 27 different pre-made choices when choosing your species. You can even build your own species.

If you choose the XT-489 Eliminator, Stellaris immediately becomes much simpler. This is because the robots not only eliminate every living creature they encounter, but many of the more complex mechanics in Stellaris.

The Eliminators are a machine race of robots: the AI has gained consciousness and wiped out the race that originally created the AI.

The robots have made it their goal to wipe out all life in the universe. Probably they were compared once too often with “toasters”.

Extremely simplifies the entry into the game.

Killer robot eliminate fleshlings and game mechanics

That’s why Stellaris becomes simpler this way: The killer robots eliminate some game mechanics in Stellaris:

  • So you don’t have to worry about food, and you don’t have to worry about “consumer goods” – both resources are important to living things, but the robots don’t care. The only resources that matter are energy, metal and mineral. This makes the building part of the game much easier. This allows you to focus on just a few types of buildings when planning your space empire.
  • Moreover, one does not have to care about diplomacy: You don’t need reasons for war or property claims against your opponents, but have the possibility to declare war against all organics at any time anyway in order to exterminate them.
  • Furthermore, the management of conquered planets is omitted: normally, one has to take elaborate care to integrate subjugated peoples in order to avoid uprisings: The robots “clean” the planet: If you do take over a world so densely populated that some rebellious fleshlings survive longer than a few days, the rebellion will certainly not last long.
  • The politics part of the game about factions and political currents is also omitted: you have nothing to do with any interstellar associations.
  • Your own guides are virtually immortal and do not need to be replaced unless a rare malfunction occurs.

Stellaris is so focused on grow, research, kill

These are the advantages of the robots: Stellares becomes much more streamlined because you cut out many components of the game that usually complicate it. You can focus on the essentials and push the two progress trees, research and society:

  • Thus, a strong start is to establish “simulation centers” on each planet in particular to secure early advantages in exploration and expansion.
  • An early attack on an isolated opponent and the takeover of his worlds can give the eliminators a starting advantage.

These are the disadvantages of the race: Especially at the beginning you are vulnerable against coalitions of fleshlings. It may be necessary to first fortify yourself with strong fortifications by building strong bastions at every entry point into your space.

If you expand too fast, you become a crisis yourself: the races of the universe rot together and all the flesh races band together against the threat, that is, against you.

The war can then only end with the total annihilation of all life. That can be troublesome.

Half a universe is quickly conquered, even if it resists.

This is what’s behind them: The robots in Stellaris are like the Vikings in Crusader Kings 3: they bypass many of the complex subtleties of strategy games and are purely out to “wreak havoc and destruction”.

This makes it an ideal introduction to get to know the game first: those who can then tolerate more complexity can switch to another species.

For those who have always wanted to play one of Paradox’s complex strategy games, but have bounced off the complexity and unreadability of the games again and again, Eliminators can be an introduction to the wonderful world of Swedish 4x games.

A sweeter alternative to Stellaris and this strategy:

In Galactic Civilizations 4 I conquer the galaxy with rambunctious cuddly monsters