Stellaris – How to Abandon a Planet

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Managing planets in Stellaris can be one of the most fun aspects of the game. Micromanaging the tiny details to maximize planet output is the reason I play grand strategy titles like Stellaris.

For whatever reason, you may decide that a certain planet doesn’t deserve a place in your empire. If that is the case, you may decide to abandon that planet.

Recommended Read: How to Conquer a Planet in Stellaris

Unfortunately, there isn’t an abandon planet button you can click to do everything for us. We must be more deliberate in leaving behind our unwanted planets.

We can abandon planets in Stellaris by; getting the population of the planet to zero, giving it away to another empire, or creating a vassal based on the planet.

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How to Abandon a Planet in Stellaris

There may be several reasons why you decide it’s time to abandon a planet in Stellaris.

Here are the different ways to abandon a planet in the game:

  • Give the planet away
  • Get the population of the planet to zero
  • Create a vassal

You can find more details on each of these methods below.

Give the planet away

By far, the easiest way to abandon a planet is to give it to another empire. This will result in losing the entire system and not just the planet, so be mindful of that.

If you have positive relations with another empire, you will gain the  diplomacy option “Transfer System.” Select this, then select the system containing the planet, and poof.

That nuisance planet is gone as easy as that.

Systems containing colonized planets are valuable. You can give the system away for free if you want.

The savvy player can use this opportunity to ask for resources from the empire you are trading with. I mean, you were giving it away anyway, so why not get paid too?

Get the population of the planet to zero

If a planet’s population ever reaches zero, it reverts to its uncolonized state. Doing this is not as easy as it sounds; it will cost time, resources, or both.

If your empire’s policies allow it, you may forcibly remove all pops from one planet to another.

Of course, you will need to make sure the receiving planet has the resources to handle an influx of pops. Otherwise, you are solving one problem and creating a new one straight away.

Moving pops around this way costs energy and unity. The base cost of resources is affected by the moving pops rank. The higher the rank, the higher the cost.

Secondly, we can purge all the pops on the planet. This option won’t be available to all empires and can take a long time if the population of the world is high. This is a great option for genocidal empires, as purging pops yields rewards.

Create a vassal

While this isn’t technically abandoning a planet, it does make it someone else’s problem. Creating a vassal empire will create a new empire in the system with the undesired planet.

This is a more flexible method than giving the planet away because you can spend influence to reclaim the planet later. Also, you create yourself an ally, and in a galaxy filled with wars, that can only be a good thing.

Owners of the Overlord DLC will have a lot more options when creating vassals too. Vassal contracts can be modified with influence as soon as the vassal state is formed. This could make your vassal a very useful ally for the rest of your playthrough.

Getting rid of planets isn’t something that happens very often when playing Stellaris. If the need does come up, though, knowing how to can only make you a better player.

Why would you abandon a planet?

There are multiple reasons you may decide to abandon a planet during your Stellaris campaigns. Ranging from the personal to the tactical.

Managing planets is tough, especially if you are new to the game. We were all there once, don’t worry. Don’t be ashamed of abandoning a planet if you feel you have too much to manage.

There is a mechanic in the game called “Empire Size.” The more planets you have, the bigger your Empire Size becomes. Having empire size over your cap causes penalties to your empire’s advancement.

The planet might suck. It may have a poor habitability score or be a tiny moon with no precious resources. Investing in these planets may end up costing you money in the long run.

Finally, you may not want the planet. I know some players like to role play as their empire and if a planet doesn’t align with their vision. It gets cut.

That’s how you abandon planets in Stellaris.

If you have any suggestions for this guide, please let us know in the comments section. Good luck with your next space empire.

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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