Stellaris – How to Get More Influence

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Influence is the hardest basic resource to come by. You can’t flip a switch or build something to get more influence in Stellaris. You have to be more deliberate.

Influence represents the sway your empire has in the galaxy. Without influence, you will be unable to expand your empire, maintain diplomatic pacts, build megastructures, make claims, or boss your vassals around.

Recommended Read: How to Build a Science Ship in Stellaris

If you want to become a galactic contender, you will need to learn how to increase influence production. In the past, influence was much easier to get hold of. As the game has evolved through the years, influence has become more scarce.

You get more influence in Stellaris by choosing authoritarian ethics, being a gestalt consciousness, declaring rivals, having vassals, galactic community decisions, ruler traits, and power projection.

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How to Get More Influence in Stellaris

Influence is now hard to come by in Stellaris, this is for balance reasons. It prevents empires from exploding outwards at an alarming rate in the early game.

Every empire has a base influence production of three. There is also a hard cap of 1000 influence, that can’t be changed.

Increasing influence can be split into four categories: empire creation, diplomatic, power projection, and leader traits.

Empire Creation Bonuses

The chance to improve your influence production begins at empire creation. There are three options you can take that will provide a permanent buff to your empire.

First and second is the Authoritarian ethic. The standard version of this ethic provides a 0.5 influence increase per month.

Taking the Fanatic Authoritarian ethic doubles that bonus to 1. If you change ethics mid-playthrough, you will lose this bonus.

The second option available at creation is taking the Gestalt consciousness. Taking this ethic means you must play as a machine empire or as a hive mind.

You cannot change ethics during a Gestalt consciousness playthrough, but you receive +1 influence per month.

There are no civics or species traits that can directly increase your influence. There are civics that can reduce the influence cost of starbases and claims.

Using Diplomacy

You can’t be friends with everyone in the galaxy. It is a certainty that you will run into an empire that does not like you, or you may be playing a xenophobic empire, so you hate everyone.

Having enemies may sound like a bad thing but in Stellaris, we can put it to good use by declaring others our rivals.

This can only be done if you have tense or terrible relations with the target empire. If you don’t have bad relations with any of your neighbors yet, sending envoys to harm relations is an easy way to do so.

Declaring a rivalry provides a few benefits: reduces claims cost by 20 percent on the rival’s territory, closes borders, reduces opinion by 100, provides the animosity Casus Belli, and the all-important 0.5 monthly influence increase.

The game only allows empires to take on three rivals at a time, so choose wisely.

Winning a war with the animosity Cassus Belli awards the winner 100 influence to spend. The defeated empire loses all its influence and receives debuffs to influence production and pop happiness.

If you have any protectorate vassals as part of your empire. They will provide their overlord with a 0.25 stipend of influence per month.

Using the Galactic Community

Around the beginning of the mid-game, the galactic community will form.

In brief, this community votes to determine the galactic law that all members must adhere to. Three of these laws can improve your influence production.

These reforms will only become possible in the later stages of a playthrough. The first one that will become available is being appointed custodian.

You will need to be a very powerful presence in the galaxy to even have a chance at this position. The Ai will only support this decision if a large galactic threat is unfolding, such as the end-game crisis.

Becoming custodian gives your empire a staggering +5 influence per month during your 30-year term. Once you are custodian, you will be able to pass some other new laws.

One of which is “Introduce Galactic Standard.” This law gives every galactic community member a +1 influence bonus.

The last resolution you could pass is “Proclaim the Galactic Imperium.” This will change that +5 custodian bonus to a +6 and makes your empire the de facto ruler of the galaxy.

Leader Traits

Hiring leaders that boost influence with traits is more of a lottery than anything else.

You can’t pick what traits your leaders get, but some traits produce influence for your empire. These are:

  • Intimidator
  • Military Overseer
  • Deep Connections
  • Herald of the Empire
  • Xeno-cataloger
  • Psychic
  • Chosen One
  • Chosen of the Whisperers
  • Gunboat Diplomat

Keep an eye out for these traits if you are struggling to generate influence during your games. These aren’t reliable long-term methods, as leaders have this nasty habit of dying.

Power Projection

Every empire has a power projection ranking. This is a measurement of an empire’s military power in relation to its empire size.

Having a significant power projection ranking can give provide up to +2 influence a month. This bonus can be further improved if your empire has the Imperial Authority.

You can view your power projection by hovering your mouse over the influence icon at the top of the screen. If economically viable, you should target having a high power projection score.

This is often a good indicator of your military’s ability to defend the empire if required.

This is everything you need to know about generating influence in Stellaris.

If you have any suggestions or questions on this guide, please let us know in the comments section below. Have fun influencing others 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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