Stellaris – 10 Best Mods for Improved Gameplay

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The best thing about being a PC gamer? Is it the frame rate? The superior machines? Or the fact that there is a system for every budget? All great points, but the best thing is downloading the best mods for improved gameplay.

Like most Paradox games, Stellaris has a healthy mod-making community. These heroes create free-to-use content for us players to enjoy. Mods can change the UI, fix bugs, add gameplay mechanics, rebalance the game, or can be a total conversion of the game.

Recommended Read: How to Get Relics in Stellaris

This guide will share ten of the best mods for improving your gameplay experience in Stellaris. They are all taken from the Steam Workshop, with links provided. If you don’t know how to install mods, check out the Installation guide here on Gamer Empire.

Remember, if you enjoy a mod and want to support mod developers’ work, check out the mods landing page for directions on how to support creators.

The 10 best mods for improved gameplay in Stellaris are UI Overhaul Dynamic, Cinematic Camera, More Events Mod, Gigastructural Engineering, New Ship Classes 3, Amazing Space Battles, Planetary Diversity, Better Cheats Mod, Star Wars New Dawn, and Star Trek new Horizons.

Table of Contents

Best Mods for Improved Gameplay in Stellaris

If you have a problem in Stellaris, it is more than likely that there is a mod for that.

Whether you want to play as a faction from Warhammer 40000 or you think there aren’t enough anime girls in the game, there is a mod out there for you.

This list guide, will feature mods that impact the gameplay of Stellaris in positive ways. Some make the game look better, while others change the game from the ground up.

The content that follows is, of course, a subjective opinion. If your favorite gameplay mod is missing, be sure to share it with other readers in the comments section and explain why you love it.

We tried to include as many different styles of mods as possible. There are some that are small additions to the game and others that change in massive ways.

The mods are in no particular order. Here are the 10 best mods for improved gameplay in Stellaris.

UI Overhaul Dynamic

Developed by Orrie, this UI overhaul makes looking at the Stellaris menus a much more pleasant experience.

If you have read any of the Stellaris guides on Gamer Empire, you may have noticed the interface is different in the screenshots. This is because I do not play Stellaris without this mod anymore.

Once you install this mod, you will not want to go back, either. Through some simple tweaks to the interface, absorbing the plethora of information in your UI became so much easier.

All the same, information is there, organized in a better way.

Orrie has been faithfully maintaining this mod for over four years now and shows no signs of ceasing their work for the community.

They also create compatibility patches, ensuring that this mod will work no matter your mod loadout.

Going back to vanilla Stellaris is a chore after experiencing this mod. Do yourself a favor and try it out today.

Cinematic Camera

Are you a screenshot enthusiast, or enjoy watching the action unfold during epic space battles? If you are, you may have found the vanilla camera controls a bit lacking.

The vanilla camera doesn’t zoom in to a satisfying distance and lacks freedom in the rotation department. That is all fixed, with the addition of the Cinematic Camera mod by Avel.

While not the most exciting or game-shattering mod out there, for those of us who like to see what our ships are doing, it is a must-have mod.

If you enjoy taking the perfect screenshots, maybe for a YouTube thumbnail or something like a Reddit post, the Cinematic Camera mod has you covered.

The mod is compatible with almost everything, so feel free to add it to your load order without consequences.

More Events Mod

The mods get a lot more exciting from here on out. If you have played Stellaris for long enough, no one would blame you for getting bored with vanilla events.

The mid-game rolls around, the Khan launches his crusade, you find the same guardians, and the same quest lines appear, etc.

To help you break away from the drudgery that is the Stellaris mid-game, we have the team behind the More Events Mod. First uploaded in 2016, and the team behind this mod is still going strong with their updates.

The mod adds the following content: 21 extra dig sites to find, over 70 anomalies, 18 events related to dealing with primitives, around 30 domestic-level events, 5 unique system events, and 10 of what the authors describe as “high impact” quest lines.

All the extra features are lore-friendly, come with custom artwork, and integrate seamlessly to your game.

The best mods out there are ones that feel like they were always there, and this mod does exactly that.

The mod team is very active when it comes to support and has language support for Italian, Russian, French, and even Japanese.

If you’re bored with seeing the same old events in Stellaris, this mod is what you need to spice up your next play-through.

Gigastructural Engineering

The Utopia DLC saw the release of Megastructures in Stellaris.

Megastructures are these outlandish feats of engineering that are some of the wildest ideas devised by science fiction authors.

Some megastructures are larger than stars, which is pretty insane on its own. Stellaris mod developers took one look at these structures and decided they didn’t go far enough.

Thus, the Gigastructural Engineering mod was born.

The team behind this mod has crafted some of the craziest structures ever seen in a science fiction setting. They call these monoliths gigastructures, and they dwarf their megastructure counterparts.

The mod has the following features: 45 new megastructures, custom in-game achievements, a new quest line to explore the galactic core, AI improvements, 4 new in-game crises to fight, new origins, and a custom UI.

There are too many gigastructures to cover in this guide, but here is a list of the best ones:

  • Weaponized Celestial Bodies. Convert planets and moons into moving fighting vessels.
  • Nicoll-Dyson Beam. Built around a star, this structure allows you to fire a beam of energy at any system in the galaxy.
  • Global Land Unification Engine (GLUE). Has an enemy destroyed one of your systems with a colossus? This allows you to put it back together for later terraforming.
  • Psychic Hypersiphon. Ever wondered why your civilization doesn’t harvest the mysterious shroud for its endless energy? Well, now you can. I’m sure there will be zero consequences.
  • Alderson Disc. This is a solar system size disc, creating the largest possible living space for your pops.

There are so many more amazing structures, but we will leave you to discover the treats this mod has to offer for yourself.

Planetary Diversity

The previous mod may be a bit whacky for most players. This mod brings things a bit more down to earth. The Planetary Diversity mod revamps the habitable planet system in a massive way.

A team of developers has painstakingly produced over 50 new habitable planets for Stellaris players to enjoy. Not only is this greater from a cosmetic perspective, but it also comes with a wide array of gameplay features.

There are new events to discover, new planets to find, and new planetary features to exploit. The mod team has gone to great lengths to ensure that the new planet features have something for everyone.

The devs have also developed a full collection of 11 other sub mods. This allows for the addition of some very exotic worlds to your galaxy, such as shroud worlds, scrapyard worlds, graveyard worlds, and even acid worlds.

The mod has its own Discord server, too. There, you can interact with the developers, ask questions, make suggestions, or get support with bugs.

If you have seen all there is to see when it comes to habitable planets, then planetary diversity is the mod you need.

Better Cheats Mod

Now, this mod is not for everyone. The purist out there will refuse to download any mod with the word cheat in it, and that is understandable.

Others have found that adding a few cheats to their game now and then helps them a great deal.

The best cheat mod on the Steam Workshop right now is, without a doubt, Better Cheats by rsettlemire30.

The cheat mods will allow you to boost resource production, speed up research, increase your ship damage, speed up building, increase your naval capacity, increase starbase capacity, and many other things to make the game trivial.

Of course, achievements are disabled while you use this mod, and rightly so. This doesn’t make messing around with cheats a less valid way of playing the game.

I use this cheat mod to skip ahead to the end game after large game updates. This allows me to unlock all the necessary tech and have all the resources I need to see the new gameplay elements.

If I didn’t use this mod, I would have to play the game for 20 hours before I could see any of the new stuff added to the game.

After I have seen what I want to see, I start a new game without cheats enabled and proceed with my standard Stellaris games.

New Ship Classes 3 (NSC3)

You know a mod is good when it takes an already amazing gameplay feature and enhances it in ways you didn’t know you wanted.

If someone had been playing Stellaris for a while and asked, “Which mod should I download first for Stellaris?” Without any hesitation, the answer is NSC3.

This is because NSC3 takes the core gameplay of Stellaris and improves upon it.

The core gameplay loop of Stellaris is ship management and ship combat. You could argue that this mod is as extensive as a dev-built DLC for those two features.

This passion project came to life thanks to a dedicated team, and they deserve all the praise in the world for it.

Features added by this mod are: five new ship classes, upgraded Orbital Rings, a bespoke mod menu, ship class upgrades, hyperlane editing, new ship behavior settings, two new starbase levels, new weapons, new special ship components, new events, and way more than we could cover here.

Such an extensive mod does come with compatibility issues. Like all good mod teams, the NSC3 team listens to user feedback and does their best to help their fans get back to playing ASAP.

Amazing Space Battles

Vanilla space battles in Stellaris look great. The ships line up and throw lasers at each other until one side wins.

You may wonder how a mod could improve upon that, and the Amazing Space Battles execute on its name marvelously.

For the most part, this is a cosmetic mod. But it does have some features that improve ship AI and targeting behavior.

The mod also adds cool explosion effects for every ship class, new weapon effects for every weapon type, different strike effects for separate armor types, and different effects depending on weapon size.

Ship combat feels so much more realistic with this mod, and the author, Chickenhunt, has developed an entire series of Amazing Space Battles mods.

Another mod that you will have a hard time going back to vanilla after using it. Don’t believe the hype? Go check the media on the mods Steam Workshop page. You will want to install it straight away.

Star Wars: New Dawn

If you make a list of mods for a Paradox game, it isn’t worth anything if it doesn’t contain at least one total conversion mod.

This list is no different, and the first of the two total conversion mods is a Star Wars one called Star Wars: New Dawn.

Paradox games are famous for their total conversion mods, and the Stellaris’ modding community has not disappointed.

Star Wars: New Dawn allows players to move away from the vanilla galaxy to a handcrafted reimagining of the Star Wars setting.

It is set at the end of the third prequel film Revenge of the Sith and is an entirely new game experience for gamers. Forget what you know about Stellaris games because this is something new altogether.

Some features include:

  • Lore accurate planets
  • Lore accurate ship designs
  • New quest line to discover
  • A complete revamp of the economy
  • Star Wars themed end game crisis
  • Almost 100 Star Wars races to choose from
  • A new megastructure
  • New ship classes
  • The institution mechanic, which is a new neighbor interaction mechanic

A must-try mod for Star Wars fans and for those who want to try a new way of playing Stellaris.

Star Trek: New Horizons

The most popular mod on the Steam Workshop right now and likely will be for a long time to come. The Star Trek: New Horizons is a total conversion mod, which lets you play Stellaris in the Star Trek universe.

While the previous Star Wars mod we mentioned is good, ST: New Horizons is in a league of its own. If you didn’t know it was a mod, it would be easy to mistake it for paid-for DLC.

The mod team behind this project all deserve a medal for the work they have produced. The assets are fantastic, the scripted races are perfect, and their community interaction is second to none.

Listing all the added features for this mod could be a full guide all on its own. Some of the most important features are:

  • An entire new tech tree
  • Unique faction specific flagships
  • New megastructures
  • A total rework of the districts system
  • Over 90 Star Trek races added
  • Unique mechanics for different races
  • Translated into five different languages
  • New ship designer

This is only a fraction of the new gameplay mechanics added. Playing this mod, sometimes feels like you are playing a different game.

Non Star Trek fans will love this mod as well. The wide range of story features and gameplay mechanics, scratch an itch the vanilla Stellaris cannot do.

This has been the best mods for improved gameplay in Stellaris.

If you have any questions or suggestions for this guide, please let us know in the comments section below. As always, have fun using the best gameplay mods 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.

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