The galaxy gets invaded by strange beings, almost as if from nowhere. They fight like a feral bear, and no matter what you throw at them, they keep coming. It may not seem like it at first, but this threat is not invincible. If you keep your cool and educate yourself, you can and will overcome it.
Every Stellaris player has lost to the end-game crisis at least once. You should not feel bad if this has happened to you, Stellaris isn’t an easy game to win. This guide will teach you what the end-game crises are, what threats you will face, and some advice on how to defeat it.
Recommended Read: How to Win the Game in Stellaris
Once you have learned about the threats the game will throw at you and you get a bit of practice, the end-game crisis becomes a manageable problem. Who knows, maybe you will become the crisis yourself one day.
There are three standard kinds of end-game crises in Stellaris – The Prethoryn Scourge, Extradimensional Invaders, and The Contingency. They all appear in the end-game, and their mission is simple – to wipe out all life in the galaxy.
Table of Contents
- What is the End-Game Crisis in Stellaris?
- The Prethoryn Scourge
- The Contingency
- Extradimensional Invaders
- The Nemesis Crisis
What is the End-Game Crisis in Stellaris?
Stellaris will throw a lot of curveballs at you while you play. You may have to deal with rampaging marauders, border skirmishes, genocidal empires, economy problems, and many other things.
All of these problems pale in comparison to the end-game crisis.
The final test every player will face one day is this crisis. It will appear somewhere in the galaxy; armed to the teeth and ready to wage war with every empire in the galaxy.
You cannot reason with them, nor will they stop in their mission. The only way to defeat them is by waging war.
Lucky for us, the name “end-game” crisis is literal. The game will give you time to prepare for it. By default, the end-game year is set to 2400, meaning you have 200 years to prepare.
The crisis will not appear at random. There are precursors and pop-ups to it. If you know what to look for, you can take extra steps to prepare.
If you know they are coming, cancel any wars you are fighting because the real fight is about to start.
The crisis difficulty can be adjusted in the game settings menu, presented at the beginning of the game. Players that hate themselves, or are seeking a greater challenge, can increase the strength of the end-game crisis.
The next sections of the guide will cover each kind of end-game crisis, the tactics they use, and some tips on fighting them.
While this advice is no substitute for real practice, it will give you a great foundation to build upon.
The Prethoryn Scourge
The Prethoryn scourge is a biological threat that appears to have traveled from another galaxy.
To put that in perspective, the closest galaxy to the Milky Way is 25 thousand light years away. Meaning the scourge has likely traveled for thousands of years to reach your galaxy.
Before they arrive, every empire receives a notification of subspace echoes on the edge of the galaxy. On average, you have around 50 years of game time to prepare for their arrival.
When they are close enough, five systems receive markers. These markers are where their invasion of the galaxy will begin.
Some time after this, the Prethoryn’s will contact you, announcing their arrival. Get ready because 30 months after that, the vanguard of the invasion will arrive.
The vanguard will begin attacking the target planets, setting up a base for the rest of the invasion force to arrive.
When the main body of the fleet arrives, they begin spreading out across the galaxy.
Prethoryn Scourge Mechanics
The Scourge will construct star bases and invade planets similar to standard empires.
The star bases are where they produce their new fleets from. Their construction ships will build these in any system that is not claimed by another empire.
They will invade any colonized planet, and after a successful invasion; they will purge every pop on the planet.
After the pops meet their doom, the planet will become infested. Infested planets become uninhabitable to all empires.
If the scourge finds an empty colonizable planet, they send an infestor ship to infest it. When the infestor makes landfall, it begins work to turn the planet into an infested one.
The only way to cleanse an infestation is to bombard the planet into oblivion and then terraform it.
Defeating the Prethoryn Scourge
Prethoryn weapons are hyper effective against all defense measures. Their weapons chew through shields with ease.
Armour and hull defenses don’t fair well, either. This makes a powerful offensive strategy the best defense against them.
Their fleets make use of strong armor and do not use shields at all. This makes energy weapons a great choice to counter them.
I would recommend making use of lasers for their armor and point defense to counter the scourge’s missile attacks.
When the scourge spreads far enough, the Sentinel order will spawn. They will produce fallen empire level fleets and will take the fight to the scourge. They even donate fleets to empires that are fighting the Prethoryns too.
Finally, is the option to capture a queen. If you defeat a fleet that contains a queen, you have a chance to capture it and gain the Prethoryn Brood-Queen relic. This will give you your own Prethoryn ships to control.
If your species is Psychic, you can even speak to the captured queen. Giving you some insight into the Prethoryn race. I won’t spoil what she reveals in this guide.
The Contingency is an advanced and long-forgotten AI that has lain dormant for thousands of years. Its creation and purpose are a mystery, but what is clear is the threat to the galaxy it poses.
The prelude to the contingencies’ arrival is the beginning of the ghost signal. This mysterious signal appears to be harmless at first, but further research reveals its sinister nature. This signal is dangerous for players that make use of AI in their empire.
The signal causes synthetic pops will go missing. As the signal becomes stronger, these disappearances become more frequent.
When the signal reaches its zenith, the Contingencies AI hub worlds reveal themselves. Then their purging of the galaxy will begin in earnest.
The Contingency begins with four random uninhabitable worlds scattered across the galaxy. These planets become Sterilisation Hub AI worlds. These worlds spawn some defenses and some pretty nasty fleets too.
The Contingency will then spread from these AI worlds and attempt to become one large empire. Unlike the other crises, they have no target preference and will target indiscriminately.
Their greatest weapon is the ghost signal. This signal affects all robots and AI in the galaxy.
The signal starts powerful, but destroying the AI worlds lowers its potency. The strength of the signal lowers mechanical pop output and makes AI computers on fleets weaker.
As the signal gets weaker, the Contingency will receive more reinforcements.
Finally, is the infiltration missions they carry out against empires using intelligent machines.
These infiltration missions can lead to devastating acts of espionage; from leaders becoming synths to terrorist operations on your planets.
Fighting the Contingency
Waging war on this AI can be tough, as you have to fight on four different fronts. To defeat the AI, you first need to destroy the AI hub worlds using orbital bombardment.
After all four have met their demise, a final super AI hub world will appear. Destroying this will wipe them out for good.
These worlds are heavily defended by powerful ships and star bases, so it is easier said than done. Some clever ship optimization can be a real difference-maker against the Contingency.
The warships the Contingency use have a good mix of shield and armor defense. So, a healthy mix of kinetic and energy weapons on your ships is a great place to start.
Weapons that can bypass these defenses are great, too, e.g., arc emitters and disruptors.
In terms of defense, Contingency ships use only energy weapons. Outfit your ships with as many shields as you can to counter this.
Last but not least is removing the sapient computer systems from all of your ships. The ghost signal inflicts a massive penalty to any ship with this component fitted.
The final standard crisis you may come across is the Extradimensional Invaders. Beings comprised of pure energy will spill forth into the galaxy.
They seek to consume all the energy in the universe and will destroy anything in their path.
Unlike the other end-game threats, there is no prelude to their arrival. A portal will appear in a random system, and their initial fleets will begin arriving.
After their vanguard has arrived, these mysterious entities will contact you. They explain their intent to destroy you and call themselves the Unbidden.
The Unbidden commence their invasion of the galaxy. Their portal is the epicenter of that invasion.
Unbidden fleets will spread like a plague across the galaxy and will not think twice about annihilating anything that is in their way.
An argument could be made for this being the most difficult crisis. If your empire is not ready, I agree with that assessment.
The initial fleets that arrive are large and very powerful. It will take a considerable force to even dream of taking them on.
In the beginning, they will receive smaller reinforcement fleets; through the portal at set intervals.
They receive other fleet reinforcements depending on the number of starbases they have built. The more they have, the more fleets they will be able to muster through their portal.
Instead of invading planets, they absorb the energy from any planet they come across.
When the planet reaches 100 devastations, it will become a barren world. The planet receives the terraforming candidate trait, meaning it isn’t lost forever.
Extradimensional invaders will target an empire that has a ruler with the “chosen one” trait. If there is no ruler with that trait, they will target empires with psionic pops first.
The greatest threat these beings pose is the fact the Unbidden are not the only ones trying to get into the galaxy.
After they spread far enough, another faction of extradimensional invaders will appear, calling themselves the Aberrant. Then a few years after that, a third will appear, calling themselves the Vehement.
These factions are a double-edged sword, as they are hostile to all standard empires. On the bright side, they are also very hostile to each other.
Fighting the Invaders
The best tactic for fighting these invaders is doing everything you can to stop them spreading early.
If you can stop them from growing too big, the Vehement and Aberrant will not spawn, making this crisis much easier to handle.
Optimizing fleets to fight the invaders is very simple. They use only energy weapons. Therefore making ships with a lot of shield modules is the best choice.
When selecting weapons, the choice is very clear, too. Extradimensional ships only use shields, so kinetic weaponry will help you destroy them very quickly. Disruptor weaponry on corvettes can make for devastating hit-and-run style engagements.
To defeat the invaders for good, you need to destroy the portal they came from.
The portal cannot be damaged until all the dimensional anchors that the faction has built are destroyed. You can use the situation log to highlight the anchors on the map for you.
When hostile fleets arrive in the portal system, that faction of invaders will recall all its fleets back to defend the portal.
So be ready for a fight because if they manage to re-open the portal, you will have to take the fight to them again.
The Nemesis Crisis
Owners of the Nemesis DLC have another crisis that can happen in the game; the Nemesis crisis.
Any empire can now become an end-game crisis. Even a player can choose to be the crisis.
While the details of how to become the crisis are beyond the scope of this guide, you should be aware of the potential dangers of the nemesis.
The “Become the Crisis” ascension perk is the first step to becoming the crisis. If any empire takes this perk, it does not stop a normal crisis from happening. So yes, you could have to deal with two of them at once.
Taking this perk begins a chain of events that, if left unchecked, will result in the death of the galaxy.
If a nearby empire has decided to become the crisis, you need to do all you can to stop them before they amass enough resources to destroy everything.
How to Defeat the Nemesis Crisis
The Nemesis uses special Star Eater ships to harvest the rare resource dark matter.
They use dark matter to produce the Aetherophasic Engine, a weapon that can destroy the galaxy. If they have no Star Eaters, they cannot get any more dark matter.
The AI isn’t very smart with its Star Eaters either and will send them out to harvest stars without an escort. While they are strong ships alone, they are easy to pick off.
Conquering the nemesis empire’s home system should be your next port of call.
Their home system is where the Aetherophasic engine lives. Destroying the engine puts an end to their nefarious plans.
With the major threat out of the way, you can take your time conquering the rest of their systems.
When you have finished conquering them, they will no longer pose a threat to the galaxy, and you can get ready to face the real end-game crisis.
Fighting an end-game crisis is difficult. Often it can feel that no matter what you do, they keep coming back.
With greater numbers, too. It is supposed to be hard, but with a little practice and perseverance, they can be defeated.
This is everything you need to know about the end-game crisis 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 fighting for survival against the end-game crises in Stellaris.