Stellaris – How to Subjugate

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In Stellaris, wise empire leaders will form strong alliances with their equals to ensure survival. Weaker empires do not have this luxury, but they can still enter into a symbiotic relationship with their superiors.

Subjugation exists in some form throughout a lot of Paradox games. The agreement involves a stronger empire, called the overlord, entering into an agreement with a weaker empire, called the subject.

Recommended Read: Stellaris – Beginner’s Guide

This process is called subjugation, but how do you subjugate other empires in Stellaris? This guide will show you how to get new subject empires, either through peaceful diplomacy or nefarious warmongering.

Another empire can become your subject in Stellaris through diplomatic means by simply asking them. If diplomacy is not an option, you can use a subjugation casus belli to declare war and force them to become your vassal.

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How to Subjugate in Stellaris

When you subjugate other empires, they become your vassals. You and the vassal enter into a contract where you each provide the other with a benefit.

The vassal receives protection, bonuses to production, and sometimes may retain their autonomy.

The overlord receives tribute, end-game victory points, and military support from their vassal.

With that said, there are three surefire ways to subjugate another empire in Stellaris. Through diplomacy, through warfare, and making a subject out of your own empire.

How to Subjugate Through Diplomacy

Not all interactions with other empires have to revolve around bloodshed. Sometimes, asking nicely is a much faster and safer course of action.

If you and another empire share values, get along with each other, and live close to each other, there is a very good chance that your friend will want to be your vassal.

If you are several tiers stronger than the other empire, there are potential threats on the horizon, and if they have a high opinion of you, they may well agree to become your vassal.

A peaceful subjugation leads to a peaceful life, as subjects recruited this way are often far more loyal than those who become your subjects by force. 

If the galaxy is in a dangerous state, such as the end-game crisis being present, some empires may ask to become your vassal first.

Contact whoever you wish to subjugate via the diplomacy screen. If they agree to your contract terms, as easy as that, you have yourself a new subject.

Not all empires are eligible for this kind of recruitment. Genocidal, hive-minded, and fallen empires will never entertain your offers. They will not accept force as a method of subjugation either.

How to Subjugate Using War

Peace is cool and everything, but launching full-scale warfare is a ton of fun, too. And if you are going to launch a full-scale war, you may as well get a new subject out of it.

You can’t go around declaring subjugation wars on everyone. To declare this kind of war, you first need a subjugation casus belli.

If you don’t know what a casus belli is, it is a fancy Latin way of saying a justification to go to war.

There are several ways to get a subjugation casus belli, and they are:

  • Having superior relative power over the target
  • You have the Scion origin.
  • You take the Become the Crisis Ascension Perk.
  • You are president of a level-three hegemony federation.
  • The imperial crusade resolution has been passed, and you are a member of the Imperium.

If you have one, you can declare it whenever you like. The targets will not surrender without a good fight; asserting total dominance will force them into compliance.

Subjects “recruited” this way will not be happy about it. Rebellion will not be far away if you do not maintain an iron grip on those subjects.

Creating Your Own Subjects Out of Sectors

When your empire becomes large enough, you will often separate your systems into sectors. These are like counties or states only on a galactic scale.

A sector is still governed by the player, but it is possible to release a sector as a subject empire.

If your empire has become too large to manage, or perhaps there are some parts of your empire not connected to your primary borders.

There are some great perks to creating your own vassals this way. For starters, the vassal contract that you enter into must be accepted. Whereas other empires recruited via peace, get a say in the terms and conditions.

The best part is that if you change your mind about the vassal and want your systems back, a cost of time and influence is all you need to take back your decision.

That is everything you need to know about how to subjugate in Stellaris.

If you have any questions or suggestions for this guide, please let us know in the comments below. Why don’t you try to subjugate the entire galaxy in your next game of 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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