If you are new to Stellaris, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that games have no end. While that is technically true, it is also possible to “win” a game of Stellaris. It is unfortunate that the game fails to teach this to new players effectively.
You and every other empire in the galaxy are in direct competition with each other to become the victor. In gameplay terms, you get nothing for winning the game. It is still a great achievement and one to be proud of, nonetheless.
Recommended Read: How to Build and Upgrade a Habitat in Stellaris
The average game of Stellaris can last anywhere from 25 to 50 hours of playtime. Meaning that achieving victory is no easy feat. This guide will teach you how and when victory is decided in Stellaris.
You win a game of Stellaris by first reaching the victory year. If there is no end-game crisis active, the empire with the highest victory score will declare itself the winner.
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How to Win a Game of Stellaris
Stellaris is a grand strategy 4X space game, which is as nerdy as it sounds. The idea of the game is to create a powerful space empire that leaves its mark on the galaxy.
The problem arises when it turns out the galaxy is full of other empires doing the exact same thing.
You and these other empires will wage war, conduct diplomacy, trade, and conduct espionage; all in an effort to be the best. To determine the best empire, Stellaris uses a points system called victory score.
Now, you earn victory score in a wide variety of ways.
In its simplest form, it is a numerical representation of your empire’s accomplishments. Before an empire can declare itself the winner, the date will first need to reach the victory year.
The Victory Year
After you create an empire and are ready to start a new game, the game presents you with some game settings to adjust.
Here can you customize your Stellaris experience to your own tastes. You can edit a lot of things; galaxy size, the number of fallen empires, the strength of the crisis, technology costs, and much more. The setting we care about is victory year.
When the game reaches this date, the empire with the highest victory score is declared the winner. By default, the year is set to 2500. If you set this setting to maximum, there is no victory year, and no empire will win.
Two important things you should know about different paths to victory. If the crisis is active when the victory year hits, the game will delay the victory year.
After the defeat of the crisis, the game will then decide a winner as normal. The second is that if only one empire remains, that empire will immediately claim victory.
Now that you know when winning happens, you can start to learn about how to win.
As I said before, the winner is the empire with the highest victory score when the victory score arrives. But what is victory score, and how do you get it?
There are nine different ways to earn victory score.
You’ll be glad to know that there are no hidden tips or tricks to any of these victory score sources. They are simple and equate to; make your empire stronger, and you get more victory score.
A brief explanation of every source of victory score is as follows:
- Economic Strength. In a nutshell, the more material resources your economy produces, the more victory score you get.
- Relics collected. Any relic you get hold of can provide you with a healthy boost to your victory score. There are too many relics to go through in this guide, but you can find everything on the relics page of the Stellaris Wiki.
- Number of colonies. You will get 50 victory score for every colonized planet you own.
- Number of pops. Pops are not only great for producing resources but for farming victory score too. They are worth 2 points each.
- Subject Empires. An overlord receives 50 percent of their subject’s victory score.
- Federation status. Any empires within a federation take ten percent of their victory score and add it together. This total is then shared between all federation members.
- Crisis ships killed. The crisis seeks to end all life. The game will reward you for helping defeat this threat. Your prize is 10 victory score for every crisis ship destroyed by your empire.
- Technology level. The more technologies your empire unlocks, the higher your victory score. Repeatable techs count too, but they are worth less.
- Number of systems owned. Spreading your empire out wide is great for victory score. Every system you own is worth ten points towards end-game scoring.
If you make it all the way to the victory year, and you played a major part in the destruction of the crisis; you will have a good chance at winning the game. If you hide away and leave the crisis to other empires to defeat, you will not win.
In the grand scheme of things, winning the game means nothing. The game won’t reward you, and other empires do not acknowledge your victory. Not only that, the game doesn’t end at the victory year either, and you can continue playing as long as you like.
What it is good for is; a proof of mastery. If you are consistently winning games of Stellaris, it is a good indicator that it may be time to increase the difficulty. It has great merits in multiplayer, I find. You can view victory score at any time in the situation log.
That is everything you need to know about how to win a game of Stellaris.
If you have any questions or suggestions for this guide, please let us know in the comments section below. As always, have fun winning in Stellaris.