Stellaris – How to See Enemy Ship Design

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So you want to build the perfect ships to counter your opponents? You could guess what your opponents are using and build a design around that. A much more sensible tactic would be to learn how to see enemy ship design.

All ship components have their own strengths and weaknesses. If you take the time to learn what every ship component does, this information can be invaluable during wartime.

Recommended Read: How to Orbital Bombard in Stellaris

This guide will teach you how to view other empire’s ship designs, allowing you to customize your ships to counter them.

To view an enemy ship design in Stellaris, they need to be within your sensor range, and you then have to select the fleet you wish to learn about to bring up the fleet menu. If you have enough intel, you can select the ship details button, allowing you to view all ship components.

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How to See Enemy Ship Design in Stellaris

At higher game difficulties, the AI is a very tenacious opponent. Their behavior is smarter, and they receive substantial bonuses to their economy and damage output.

At lower difficulties, you can create generic powerful ship designs, and this would carry you to a game victory. When you start dabbling at commodore difficulty or higher, this solution is not as viable.

You will need to create bespoke ship designs to counter your enemies, less they run your empire through.

You could engage your opponent and see how your ships faired in the after-action report. If they performed well, keep your design, and if they didn’t, try something else.

From an economic and tactical perspective, this is a foolish approach. A more sensible option would be to view your enemies’ ship designs and then adjust your ships to counter them.

Now, what weapons counter each setup is beyond the scope of this short guide. If you take your time and read the tooltips on your enemies’ ship components, you will learn everything you need to know.

Before you can view an enemy ship design, two things need to be true. First, the ships you wish to view must be within your sensor range. Otherwise, you won’t be able to select them, as they would be invisible to you.

Second, your intel value must be at medium or above. This would mean you need an intel score of 60 or higher.

Gathering Intel on Enemy Empires

The Intel system in Stellaris is a wild beast. Intel allows you to know what other empires are up to and their strengths and weaknesses.

The system itself is very deep and could be an entire guide on its own. Below are a few quick tips on how you can increase your intel level on other empires.

  • Having any diplomatic pacts increases intel level
  • Building the Sentry Array Megastructure
  • Using envoys to build spy networks
  • Bureaucracy technology
  • Using edicts
  • Having a high code-breaking score

Building intel is not a quick fix and is a marathon, not a sprint. It will take time to cultivate a high intelligence score with any empire, friend, or foe.

Viewing Ship Details

So, if you have a high enough intel score and can see the fleet you wish to inspect, you can view the target fleet’s ship details.

First you select the fleet, bringing up the fleet details menu in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. This will display how many ships are in the fleet, fleet stance, and a host of other info.

Every ship within the fleet is listed, separated by class. Navigate to the ship you would like to see the details of and select the ship details button next to it. It will look like a spaceship with a magnifying glass next to it.

If your intel score is not high enough, this button will be grayed out, and you won’t be able to select it.

If your intel is high enough, when you click it, the ship details screen will appear, displaying everything you would ever want to know about the ship.

The weapon components, defense components, utility upgrades, hit points, speed, and even the ship’s rank are available for your inspection.

Knowing the ship design is a small part of the puzzle. Clever Stellaris players will take that information and turn it into a huge advantage for any future fights.

A quick word of warning for when you are playing against human opponents. They could be using this tactic against you, so be ready for counters against your designs too.

This is everything you need to know about how to see enemy ship designs 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 spying on your enemies’ ship designs 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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