Stellaris – How to Hire Mercenaries

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If you play Stellaris long enough, you will find yourself at war with rival empires.

If you fail to maintain your war machine, ambitious enemies will not think twice about exploiting your weakness.

Recommended Read: What to Do With Influence in Stellaris

We are all human, which means we can’t always do things on our own, and we need to hire some help. In Stellaris, military aid comes in the form of mercenaries.

You can acquire mercenaries in Stellaris by renting fleets from Marauder Clans or hiring mercenaries from a Mercenary Enclave.

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How to hire mercenaries in Stellaris

If your fleets are on the other side of the galaxy purging alien scum, a surprise attack from a neighbor can be catastrophic.

Mercenaries can buy you the time you need to consolidate your forces and launch a counterattack. So let’s talk about how to get mercenaries in Stellaris.

Mercenaries are not available with only the base game. You need DLC to have the option to acquire them. These are the two ways to hire mercenaries in the game:

  • Rent Fleets From The Marauder Clans
  • Hire Mercanaries From an Enclave

Rent Fleets From The Marauder Clans

This first option will require the Apocalypse DLC. This DLC saw the addition of the Marauder clans.

Think of the clans as pirates. They explore the galaxy seeking plunder and tribute from weak empires. If tribute is refused, they will take it by force.

These pirates are not all bad. They offer out their fleets and experienced leaders; for a price of course.

The leaders can be hired as soon as you meet them. They provide great buffs to your fleets or ground forces.

For game-balancing reasons, you cannot hire mercenary fleets until the mid-game. When they become available for hire, they will contact you and let you know.

These fleets require a large investment of energy upfront, either 4000, 6500, or 9000. When hired, a fleet will be under your control for 5 years.

Marauder Clans refuse to deal with genocidal empires that seek to eradicate life in the galaxy.

One final point is that their fleets are not always available. If another empire has paid for their mercenaries, you will be unable to.

Hire Mercanaries From an Enclave

The release of the Overlord DLC added Mercenary Enclaves. Enclaves have existed in the game for a long time now. They allowed players to exchange resources for buffs to their empire.

Mercenary enclaves are different in that they must be formed by a player or the AI. Once formed, empires can hire mercenary services and improve relations with them.

Better relations mean the enclave will offer you better services. The services they offer are:-

  • Regardless of opinion, all empires can rent a fleet for 10 years.
  • At +20 opinion, you gain the option to buy ground armies.
  • At +30 opinion, you have the option to pay for a 15% modifier to your naval capacity.
  • At +40 opinion, you can pay the enclave to unlock the mercenary Garrison Starbase Building.
  • Finally, at +50 opinion you can buy a 15% damage modifier against mid-game and end-game crises.

Founders of mercenary enclaves become their patrons. Patrons receive discounts and also a share in the profits the enclave makes. Patrons can also upgrade the mercenary enclave, improving their services and resource output.

Overall, mercenaries are one of many tools in your arsenal in Stellaris. They won’t break the game and allow you to destroy your rivals with next to no effort.

What they do offer, though, is a great safety blanket and can provide a much-needed power boost when attacking enemies.

That’s how to hire mercenaries in Stellaris!

If you have any suggestions for this guide, please let us know in the comments section. Have a great day.

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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