Unless you run a genocidal empire hell-bent on the eradication of all life in the galaxy, you are going to have to socialize with aliens at some point. Empires in Stellaris communicate with the diplomacy system, a staple of that system are envoys.
Envoys can be sent on various diplomatic missions across the galaxy. Not all of these missions focus on making friends, either.
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You only have a finite number of envoys in Stellaris, and this guide will share how you get more envoys while playing the game, as well as a bit of information on what they are for.
You can get extra envoys in Stellaris from ethic choices, civics, traditions, edicts, megastructures, ascension perks, buildings, and technology. There are over a total of 30 different ways to get extra envoys.
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How to get More Envoys in Stellaris
By default, every empire will begin the game with two envoys. Envoys are like leaders but differ in some very important ways.
Envoys have no upkeep cost. They automatically replace themselves and do not level up.
Where they match standard leaders is that they are all named, get sent to carry out missions, and are a vital component of running a powerful empire.
The more envoys your empire has, the more active your empire can be on the diplomatic front. So, it stands to reason that you should know how to get more envoys in Stellaris.
There are around 30 different ways to get extra envoys, and these methods fall into two categories. You either obtain them during empire creation, or during gameplay.
Here is a full list of every way to get more envoys and how many you get for each:
- Empath Civic. For hive minds only. +2 Envoys
- Diplomatic Grants Edict. Unlocked after adopting the Diplomacy Tradition Tree. +1 Envoy
- Finishing the Diplomacy Tradition Tree. +1 Envoy
- Xenophile Ethic. Awarded extra envoys from empire creation or by adopting this ethic. +1 Envoy
- Building Embassy Complex. One-time building, built on your capital after unlocking Xeno Diplomacy tech. +1 Envoy
- Fanatic Xenophile. Awarded extra envoys from empire creation or by adopting this ethic. +2 Envoys
- Double Agents tradition. Unlocked in the Subterfuge Tradition Tree. +1 Envoy
- Shared Destiny Ascension Perk. For non-genocidal empires, as long as they don’t have the Inward Perfection Civic. +2 Envoys
- Observation Instinct Edict. For Hive Mind empires that have unlocked the Quantum Hacking tech. +1 Envoy
- Sanctum of the Whisperers Building. Gained from having high favor with the Whisperers in the Void. +1 Envoy
- Grand Embassy Complex Building. Upgraded version of Embassy Complex. +2 Envoys
- Bureau of Espionage edict. Standard empire edict, unlocked after unlocking Quantum Hacking. +1 Envoy
- Public Relations Civic. For Megacorp empires only. +2 Envoys
- Enmity tradition tree finish. Requires the Humanoids DLC. +1 Envoy
- Adopting the Politics Tradition Tree. This tree becomes available after the Galactic Community forms. +1 Envoy
- Pompous Purists Civic. +1 Envoy
- Diplomatic Corp Civic. +2 Envoys
- Orbital Embassy Complex orbital ring building. If your Capital is on an orbital ring, this is your Embassy Complex Equivalent. +2 Envoys
- Covert Analysis Algorithm edict. For Machine Empires after unlocking Quantum Hacking tech. +1 Envoy
- Galactic Sovereign civic. A free civic for standard empires that form the Galactic Imperium. +1 Envoy
- Interstellar Assembly (stage II). Stage two of a Megastructure. +1 Envoy
- Interstellar Assembly (stage IV). Completed Megastructure. +2 Envoys
- Enhanced Surveillance edict. Unlocked after unlocking the Judgement Corps tradition in the Domination tree. +1 Envoy
- Broken Shackles origin. Is chosen only during empire creation. +1 Envoy
- The Federation tradition. In the Diplomacy Tradition tree. +1 Envoy
- Delegated Functions civic. For Machine Empires only. +1 Envoy
- Autonomous Agents technology. A mid-game technology for Gestalt consciousness empires only. +1 Envoy.
- Corporate Sovereign civic. A free Civic for Megacorp empires that form the Galactic Imperium. +1 Envoy
- Universal Compatibility tradition. In the versatility tradition tree, and exclusive to Machine Intelligence empires. +1 Envoy
- Courtly Knights Knightly Duties policy. Exclusive policy to Toxic empires with the Knights of the Toxic God origin. +1 Envoy
Without using console commands or cheat mods, it is impossible to make use of all these methods.
Not only that, but some of them are long-term projects that will take your empire a long time to work towards completing.
What do Envoys do?
Envoys can be sent on diplomatic missions to other empires. They also have a second, more nefarious role of forming spy networks in other empires.
When going on diplomatic missions, they go to either improve or harm relations with other empires. Improving is useful for getting other empires to do what you want, and harming relations is good for bullying your opponents.
Spy networks improve your intel on other empires, allowing you to gain secret information about that empire. This includes their economic status, where their ships are, and the ability to view their ship loadouts.
Envoys who are building spy networks can undertake espionage missions. These missions seek to undermine the target empire and acquire advantages for yourself.
These missions can target military structures, steal research points, extort favors, encourage the crisis to attack them, and many other operations.
Be warned, other empires will not take kindly to discovered spy networks in their borders. This is considered an act of war and will likely end with a declaration.
The espionage system is a very deep and complicated game mechanic. It is way beyond the scope of this short guide, but the Stellaris Wiki is a great place to go if you ever want to learn more.
This is everything you need to know about how to get more envoys 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 sending your many envoys out on diplomacy missions in Stellaris.