Stellaris – How to Form a Federation

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Federations have seen some major changes throughout Stellaris’s lifecycle. Federation updates were so big they even have their own DLC named after them. Knowing how to form a federation can be the difference between winning and losing the game.

As a member of a federation, you and your allies receive a long list of benefits. The most important of which are allies. Why try and fight the galaxy’s greatest threats alone when you can team up?

Recommended Read: What Are the Best Origins in Stellaris?

Before the DLC was released, there was only one type of bland federation. Now federations are bespoke to their members and can be min-maxed to their heart’s content.

There are four ways to form a federation in Stellaris. Adopting the Federations tradition, starting as a federation, revolting against the Galactic Imperium, and forming the League of Non-Aligned Powers.

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How to Form a Federation in Stellaris

Forming a federation used to be a headache. The AI acted like it was allergic to joining them, and you had to beg them to join.

They would only entertain the invitation if you were lucky too. Thank goodness that has all changed.

Forming a federation can still be a challenge if you choose to take the traditional route. You could also choose to start as a federation, skipping all the hassle.

Federations now come in six different flavors. These become available to empires based on their ethics, civics, tradition tree completions, and authority. The six federations receive upgrades and level up.

The types of federations are:

  • Galactic Union. The vanilla federation that any non-genocidal empire can join. These attract a lot of members from differing ethics because of the great cohesion benefits. If you do not own the Federations DLC, this will be the only federation you can form.
  • Martial Alliance. Available to empires with a militarist ethic and to those that have finished the Unyielding tradition tree. The clue is in the name. This federation can provide powerful bonuses to your ships and armies.
  • Research Cooperative. Scientifically minded empires would do well to join a research cooperative. To form one you will need to be some form of materialist, a machine intelligence, or finish the Discovery tradition tree. Members enjoy research buffs which will make gaining the late-game techs a breeze.
  • Hegemony. This federation is all about the president ruling over the other members with an iron fist. You will need to be an authoritarian empire, a rogue servitor, or complete the Domination tradition tree. Being a member of this federation isn’t the best, but being the president is where the big bonuses are at. At higher levels, you can wage war to force other empires to join your Hegemony.
  • Holy Covenant. Religious empires can use a Holy Covenant to spread the good word to the stars and generate extra unity. Spiritualist empires and those that have finished the Harmony tradition tree can form a Holy Covenant. Despite robots being a sin in the eyes of spiritualists, machine empires can join but never be president.
  • Trade League. If maximizing profits and hoarding wealth is your jam, you should consider a Trade League federation. Megacorps and empires who have completed the Mercantile tradition tree can form Trade leagues. Also, if you have the corporate dominion and or Merchant Guild’s civics, you unlock this federation too.

How to Form a Federation Using Diplomacy

The most common way to form and be invited to federations is using diplomacy. It is simple to unlock, and you can have a decent federation up and running by the mid-game if you have the right neighbors.

If you get invited to a federation by a neighbor, you don’t need to unlock or do anything. You are now part of their federation and can enjoy all the benefits. This will only happen to the lucky. It is much more efficient and reliable to form your own.

To form a federation, you will first need to adopt the Diplomacy tradition tree. After adopting, one of the first traditions you can take is The Federation tradition. Once you adopt this tradition, you can form federations.

You will need good relations with a neighbor to invite them, and it helps if you share ethics.

Start the game as a Federation

The easiest way to form a federation is to start the game already in one. This will let you start the game with the Federation tradition unlocked and the president of a three-empire federation.

We do this by selecting one of two origins. The common ground origin will start you as the president of a Galactic Union federation. And the Hegemon origin will start you as the president of a Hegemony Federation.

Revolt Against the Galactic Imperium

A very niche method that I have never seen done with my own eyes. That is because there isn’t any way I am going to let some alien become galactic emperor over me.

If another empire is the ruler of the Imperium, you can use espionage to get support to overthrow them. When you finally declare war on the Imperium, you and your fellow rebels will form a federation for the war.

War in Heaven

A War in Heaven will trigger when two Fallen Empire’s awake and declare war on each other.

When this happens, every empire in the game receives a choice. Join one of the Fallen Empires or fight both of them.

The brave empires that choose to take their own side will form a federation of Non-Aligned Powers. The strongest member becomes the president and takes control of the federation.

You can become president of this federation without adopting the federation tradition.

This is everything you need to know about forming federations in Stellaris.

If you have any questions or comments about this guide, please let us know in the comments section below. Enjoy cooperating 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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