Stellaris – Best Build for New Players

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Experience is your greatest strength in Stellaris. With experience comes the ability to utilize the game mechanics to your advantage rather than weather the storm. The best way to increase your experience level is to play games from start to finish.

Stellaris ramps up in difficulty very quickly. New players can find themselves defeated before getting a chance to experience the late game. Having a strong build at the start of the game; enables new players to play a game to completion.

Recommended Read: How to Use Jump Drives in Stellaris

I designed this build to give new players the best chance to reach the game’s end date for the first time. Reaching the end of a game is an achievement all by itself, and you should be proud if you manage it.

The best build in Stellaris for new players is one that gives you the best chance of reaching the end game. This will be a standard species empire with materialist and xenophile ethics. Take civics/traits that boost research and resource production, and pick the Here be Dragon’s origin.

Table of Contents

The Best Build for New Players in Stellaris

Whenever you make a build in Stellaris, you want to first decide what kind of game you want to play.

Would you like to conquer the entire galaxy? Contact the Shroud? Or become de facto leader of the galactic community without firing a shot?

When I created this build, I used this ethos: “Create a fun-to-play build that gives new players the best chance for completing a game of Stellaris.” With my aim set, I made the build with these design philosophies:

  • The build must allow players to interact with as many game mechanics as possible to maximize learning and development.
  • The build will prioritize research and resource production.
  • Make the build viable for an end-game victory, so as experience grows, so can player achievement.

Before I move on, I should explain what a build is in Stellaris. A build is created in two phases.

Empire creation makes up the first phase and consists of your Ethics, Civics, Government Authority, Species Traits, Origin, and Ruler Traits.

The second half of build creation takes place during gameplay, consisting of: Play Style, Traditions, and Ascension Perks.

Empire Creation Phase

Empire creation is the first step when creating a new build. Feel free to follow along with the guide as everything is broken up into the steps they will appear in-game.

The empire creation menus have four categories; Species, Home world, Empire, and Ruler.

Each category has a collection of menus to navigate; some are more important than others when determining build.


The species category has four sub menus; Appearance, Species Name, Name Lists, and Traits.

Depending on what DLCs you own, will get access to different appearances.

For our beginner build, we want to avoid any of the special species, as they change the game mechanics quite substantially. Take any appearance you like that is not Lithoid, Machine, Toxoid, Plantoid, or Fungoid.

The next option is species name. If you are not feeling creative, the game can make you one. The Name List menu is a collection of names the game will assign your planets and ships. Again, not a big deal. Pick one which you find easy to read and move on.

Last but most significant is traits. Traits effect how pops interact with the planet they live on and their job output.

We want our first pops to be pumping out research as fast as possible, so we are going to take traits that enable that.

The first trait to pick is Intelligent. This will improve all research by 10 percent when carried out by these pops.

We want to take Natural Engineers as well to boost engineering research, but we have no trait points left.

Taking a negative trait will give us more trait points to spend. The Slow Learner’s trait reduces leader experience gain by 10 percent. This cost is nothing and well worth it.

Home World

We can almost leave this section alone, as it is almost all cosmetic. This section is all about what kind of planet your home world is and the star system it is in. The two menus are Name & Class and City Appearance.

In Name & Class, you name your home world, name your starting star, and select the climate of your home planet.

You also have the option to select a preset solar system to start in. We are ignoring that feature for this build and starting in a random system instead.

City appearance is not important. Choose whichever you like, and then you are ready to move on to the significant choices.


Without a doubt, the most important set of menus when determining build is the empire section. Here you will select your Origin, Government & Ethics, Advisor Voice, Empire Name, Flag, and Ship Appearance.

Foremost, we must select an origin. An origin is the backstory of our empire, and there are a lot of great picks to choose from.

The best of these for a beginner is; Here be Dragons. This origin will put a giant space dragon in your home system. This dragon is powerful and will defend your home planet from invasion. There are also some cool story elements to this origin that I will leave you to discover on your own.

Next is the Government & Ethics menu. There are a lot of choices to make here. Starting from right to left, they are: Authority, Ethics, and Civics.

Your authority is the way your government is run. In our case, we want a democracy. This unlocks some civics we want to take and also makes interacting with the faction mechanic much easier.

Your ethics are what your empire and its people believe in. These are all good, and this is the choice that will most determine your empire’s play style.

Our aim is to maximize research, so we need the fanatic materialist ethic first. We also want to make the game easier for ourselves, and the best way to do that is gaining allies.

With that in mind, we take the xenophile ethic. This will make other empires like us more, increasing the chances of creating alliances.

Now we get to pick civics. Civics are the principles your government adheres to when ruling its people.

You start with two civics and get to unlock a third later on in the game. The first civic we want is Technocracy. We want the bonus to research this gives and the extra research alternative.

The Second is Meritocracy. Meritocracy improves specialist resource production by 10 percent.

With the important things in the empire selection selected, the rest is all window dressing. Advisor voice, Empire name, Flag, and Ship appearance can be set it to whatever you like.


This used to be the most irrelevant section in empire creation. With the release of the Galactic Paragons DLC, that all changed.

There are two menus here. First is Ruler appearance, where you get to design the look of your empire’s leader. Set the appearance and name your leader whatever you wish.

What gave this section some usefulness was the addition of the Ruler Traits section.

You can now select a class and a trait for your first leader to take. We want our first leader to be a scientist with the Spark of Genius trait. This will provide another 3 percent research speed buff.

How to Play the Build

With the build complete, it is time to start playing the game. The build isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it mechanic, though.

If you want to get the most out of it, you will want to adjust your play style to further enhance your strengths.

As every play-through of Stellaris progresses, so does your empire and its objectives. The following section features some hints and tips to get the most out of the build, depending on what phase of the game you are at.

Early Game

The early game is all about exploration and meeting a few of your neighbors. Here, you want to focus on increasing your research power and basic resource generation.

The best ways to do this are as follows:

  • Take the Discovery tradition as your first tradition and complete it.
  • Take Technological Ascendency as your first ascension perk. Both of these picks will send your early game research through the roof.
  • Settle your first worlds.
  • Next, take the Prosperity tradition and build your economy.
  • Build good relations with your friendly neighbors, and avoid war if you can.
  • When resolving events, always take the options that provide research benefits.

Take your time here and enjoy the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you may notice that some of your allies are more powerful than you in terms of military strength. Form pacts with them and increase your opinion, and they will leave you alone.

Focus on improving your research speed when picking technology to research, and soon you will find yourself way ahead of the curve.

Any troublesome neighbors you do encounter won’t be able to defeat your dragon friend yet, so you are safe.


The game becomes a much more reactive experience from here on out. Here is what you want to work on during the mid-game:

  • It’s time to start developing a decent military and take the supremacy tradition to bolster fleet strength.
  • Either form your own or join a federation of empires.
  • Promote science in the galactic community.
  • Continue to develop your empire’s research and economy potential.


If you can handle the mid-game, all you have to do now is keep your cool and get ready for some big fights. The best way to survive the end game is to be militarily ready.

  • Start preparing for the end-game crisis. Prepare large fleets and think about taking the Defender of the Galaxy Perk for 50 percent extra damage to the crisis.
  • You want to ascend your species before the crisis comes as well. The best ascension path for the beginner and this build is The Flesh is Weak. Once you take that perk, you want to take the cybernetic tree ASAP.
  • Help the galaxy defeat the end-game crisis. This is easier said than done. If you fail this step, do not lament, you’ve learned loads by getting this far, and you will get them next time.

This is everything you need to know about my build designed for new players.

If you have any questions or suggestions for this guide, please let us know in the comments section below. And as always, have fun playing with this build in Stellaris.

Simon Neve

Simon lives in Northern Ireland with his wife and two children. When not caring for his family, Simon enjoys video games, board games, and tabletop roleplaying games. When playing isn't an option he writes about them instead.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Kaddish

    Best begginer guide i have ever seen thank you .

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