Stellaris – How to Increase Naval Capacity

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You want big death stacks of fleets, right? You want your ships to block out the sun? Well, first, you will have to know how to increase your naval capacity.

If you want to win Stellaris, you are going to need a lot of ships to fight for that victory. Even the pacifist empire enjoyers out there will need them because your warmongering neighbor will be making large fleets.

Recommended Read: Stellaris – Best Ship Designs

Naval capacity is an easy mechanic to grasp and manage. Mastery of the system will allow you to exploit it for your empire’s gain. This guide will teach you how the mechanic works, what it does, and most importantly, how to increase naval capacity.

Naval capacity can be increased in Stellaris by a set amount or by a percentage. Percentage increases tend to come from non-physical things, such as civics, edicts, or galactic reforms. Flat increases come from physical things, such as buildings, technology, megastructures, and pop jobs.

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What is Naval Capacity?

Naval capacity is an arbitrary representation of your empire’s ability to manage military fleets. The higher the number, the greater the amount of ships you can manage.

Every military ship you build costs a certain amount of naval capacity (which the game calls ship size) depending on its tier. Corvettes cost one, Destroyers cost two, Cruisers cost four, Battleships cost eight, and Titans cost sixteen.

The game will add up the sizes of every ship you own and then compare it to your naval capacity.

If you are below the naval capacity, you receive no penalty. If you are above, the game will assign you an upkeep cost for all of your military ships. I will explain this penalty soon.

All empires have a base naval capacity of 20. The maximum it can ever get to is 9999, though this number is seldom reached without cheats.

As a mechanic, naval capacity is very similar to Starbase capacity. Both of them are a soft cap, meaning you are free to go over the capacity if you can absorb the upkeep cost penalty.

The upkeep penalty cost is where the mechanics differ. The percentage amount you go over your naval capacity is the percentage penalty of ship upkeep you will incur.

That may sound confusing, but with an example, it will make a lot more sense.

Imagine an empire that has a naval capacity score of 200. They are fighting a tough war right now, so they have built a large fleet.

The sizes of all the ships they built add up to 240. Their naval capacity icon at the top of the screen will become red and will say 240/200.

Now 240 is 20 percent higher than 200. So the empire in our example will incur a 20 percent upkeep cost to all the ships in their empire.

Now that you understand naval capacity, the next sections will explain every way in the game to get more of it.

How to Increase Naval Capacity in Stellaris by a Flat Amount

There are a lot of ways to get a simple numerical increase in your naval capacity. These methods tend to involve your empire producing a physical thing. There are exceptions to that, though.

Here are all the ways you can get a straight number increase to your naval capacity (NC):

  • Soldier Jobs. These jobs provide a plus four bonus per pop working as a soldier. Technology can make this plus six.
  • Necromancers. This job provides two NC, and with the correct technologies, they produce plus four.
  • Duelist Job. The last job that can help is the duelist. They provide plus two per job.
  • Anchorage Starbase Modules. Anchorages are built on Starbases and provide plus four NC. A Naval Logistic Office, built on the same Starbase, increases this bonus to plus six.
  • Mercenary Garrison Starbase Building. A plus five to NC.
  • Galactic Force Projection Ascension Perk. Provides an extra 80 NC.
  • Doctrine: Fleet Support technology line. This is a four-stage technology tree. Each stage provides 30 NC, for a maximum boost of 120.
  • Aetherophasic Engine. Part of becoming the crisis. For the first stage you build of the engine, you receive 100 NC. There are four other stages, each providing an extra 50 NC. This will cap at 250.
  • Fleet Management Procedures. Another multi-stage technology project. Each stage provides 20 NC. There are five stages, so this will cap at 100.
  • Galactic Mobilization Custodian Reform. If you become the custodian, you can pass this reform for 150 NC.
  • Recruitment Office Overlord Holding. This building provides an extra 10 NC for the overlord empire.
  • Strategic Coordination Center. This is a three-stage Megastructure. Every stage of this megastructure will give your empire 50 NC for a maximum of 150.
  • Mercenary Liaison Office, Corporate Holding. A building megacorp empires can build. This gives the megacorp 10 NC
  • Pirate Free Haven, Corporate Holding. Another holding for megacorp empires. It also provides 10 NC.

How to Increase Naval Capacity in Stellaris by a Percentage

It is also possible to increase your naval capacity by percentage, not only by a set amount. Getting your empire a healthy amount of both of these is the best way to increase naval capacity.

Increasing by percentage methods come from theories or political agreements rather than building physical things.

There are ways to decrease your Naval Capacity by a percentage as well, but I won’t be going through them in this guide.

Here are all the ways you can increase your NC by a percentage:

  • Being a Genocidal Empire. Fanatic Purifiers, Devouring Swarms, Teravores, and Determined Exterminators; all receive a 33 percent increase in NC.
  • The Mutual Defense Resolutions. This resolution can be passed within the galactic community five times. Every time it passes, you get an extra 10 percent NC. This means if you pass all five, you will get a healthy 50 percent NC.
  • Game Difficulty Settings. Playing on lower difficulties gives you an NC boost. Civilian difficulty grants a 100 percent boon, and Cadet difficulty provides a 50 percent increase.
  • Citizen Service Civic. A standard civic, which provides a 15 percent boost to NC
  • Subspace Ephapse Civic. Available to hive mind empires and again provides 15 percent increase to NC
  • Enacting Edicts. Two edicts can give NC percentage. The grand fleet edict provides 20 percent, and master’s teachings: Waring states edict provides 10 percent.
  • Ruler traits. Two ruler traits provide NC. Fleet organizer trait provides 15 percent NC. Also, the Brain Slug Host trait grants 10 percent.
  • Diplomatic stance. If you set your diplomatic stance to belligerent, this will increase your NC by 10 percent. Setting it to supremacist increases NC by 20 percent.
  • Fleet Logistic Corps. In the supremacy tradition tree, the fleet logistics corps tradition boasts a 20 percent stipend to NC. A must take tradition tree, in my opinion.

This is everything you need to know about how to increase your naval capacity in Stellaris.

If you have any suggestions or questions for this guide, please let us know in the comments section below. As always, have fun creating the largest fleets 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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