Nanomachines, or nanites, are a strategic and hard-to-acquire resource in Stellaris. Having microscopic robots in your empire’s tool belt will provide some strong enhancements. It also sounds really cool if you ask me.
Knowing how to get nanites is an easy process, and you are likely going to have to fight for them too. Be aware before you go hunting for this rare resource that you will need to own the distant stars DLC.
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Nanites are one of the four strategic resources that are not produced by standard empires. This is actually the rarest of those four, as not even fallen empires get access to nanites.
Nanites are only located within the L-Cluster in Stellaris. After gaining access to the L-cluster, you need to scan the systems there and get them within your borders. Once in your borders, you can build mining stations at the nanite deposits to obtain them.
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How to Get Nanites in Stellaris
As I have previously said, you can’t make your own nanites; you have to find them. Lucky for us, they are always in the same place, the L-Cluster.
The L-Cluster is a remote region of space at the North Eastern corner of the galaxy. It is inaccessible through the hyperlane network or with Jump Drive technology. Getting there will involve making use of the L-Gates.
L-Gates are like normal gateways, but do not become active after researching the Gateway Activation tech. Instead, you will need to collect seven L-Gate insights.
L-Gates are scattered throughout the galaxy and located in systems containing black holes. After you discover your first gate, the situation log receives a new special project called “The L-Gate Cluster.”
From then on, it is a race between you and the other empires that have discovered the L-Gates to farm these insights. Whenever an empire reaches 5 insights, the other empires will receive a message to let them know.
There are five ways to obtain an insight:
- Research the L-Gate Insight rare repeatable technology
- Purchase an insight for 5000 energy once every ten years from the Curator Order Enclave
- If you own the Ancient Relics DLC, 1000 minor artifacts will net you one insight every ten years.
- Investigating anomalies
- Defeating special enemies
After acquiring seven L-Gate insights, one of four things will happen. The most likely thing that will happen is the Grey Tempest. This is a minor crisis situation, named such because it is a mini version of the end-game crisis.
If the galaxy is not ready, the Grey Tempest stands a good chance of bringing the galaxy to its knees. If it can defeat it, the opportunity to lay claim to the nanites within the L-Cluster will be yours for the taking.
The other, less likely options can be more peaceful. The Dessanu Consonance may be inside the cluster. They are a peaceful empire that requests you stay out of the factory system, which acts as their capital.
If you comply, they will keep to themselves; antagonizing them could lead to war.
The cluster may appear abandoned, and you may come across an entity known as the Grey. They are an ally that can take the form of a Legendary leader, a titan class ship, or a nanite war form.
Finally, is the L-Drakes. Each gate will spawn a space dragon, which will try to find somewhere to nest. These drakes can be attacked for resource reward or tamed with a science ship for war.
With the L-Cluster open, you can now start farming nanites. I recommend defeating the Grey Tempest first before trying to settle the cluster.
They recover quickly, and you will need a sustained offensive to prevent them from rallying.
Like any strategic resource, they come from celestial bodies. In this case, the nanite worlds that inhabit the cluster. To harvest nanites, you will need to build a mining station around the nanite world.
Other AI empires will not waste time trying to acquire these resources for themselves. Get your science ships in there, scanning as fast as you can, and your outposts built.
With your mining stations completed, you gain access to the following:
- Nanite repair system component. When installed on your ships, they will heal themselves without the need to visit a friendly space station
- Nanite Actuator edict; this edict provides a 10 percent bonus to research speed for an upkeep of 0.5 nanites
- Nanite Transmuter upkeep. The nanite transmuter requires one nanite in upkeep to run but provides +2, Exotic Gases, Rare Crystals, and Volatile Motes.
These bonuses are no joke, and if the AI beats you in the race for the nanites, you should consider making some claims and going to war over them.
This is everything you need to know about how to get nanites 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 farming nanites in Stellaris.