Long before the events of Stellaris took place, the galaxy was home to other spacefaring empires. If you’ve met a fallen empire before, you already know this, but there were empires that predated those boomers.
Stellaris calls these ancient civilizations precursor empires, and there’s a lot of interesting gameplay to be had while learning more about them. You can only discover the mysteries around one precursor in a game, so which one is best?
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This guide will cover all you need to know about which of the precursors is best in Stellaris. Before moving on, to get the most out of these old empires, you do need to own the Ancient Relics DLC.
In order, the best precursor empires in Stellaris are Cybrex, The First League, Irassian Concordat, Zroni, Baol, and Yuht Empire.
Table of Contents
The Best Precursors in Stellaris
There are a lot of hidden layers in Stellaris lore, one of the most mysterious aspects of that lore being the precursor empires. There are seven of them in total, and your empire has the chance to uncover the secrets of one of them.
The game will allocate a precursor empire to you at random after a few years of game time. Your empire has to locate and research six artifacts located at random throughout the galaxy.
Once the artifacts are all accounted for, you can discover the precursor’s home system and receive your rewards. This guide won’t cover how to do that, instead focusing on which precursor is the best.
All the home systems will spawn resource nodes, provide a one-off resource reward, and provide you with a special project to complete for more benefits.
The following heading ranks all the precursors from worst to best:
6. Yuht Empire
By far, the worst option is the Yuht Empire. It is so bad that many serious players consider rolling this precursor a game-ending situation, choosing instead to quit the game and try again.
Discovering the home system yields some energy, minerals, ancient artifacts, unity, and the Yuht Cryo Core Relic.
The relic increases ship fire rate, provides an extra pop when colonizing, and the active is a reduction in ship upkeep.
Completing the Yuht special project also provides some laughable bonuses.
Bonuses to some society research projects (which you probably have already researched), a bad planetary decision, and a space station building to increase sensor range.
To put it bluntly, these bonuses are a total joke. There is nothing they fix or help with that isn’t done better by a different game mechanic.
Discovering one of these home worlds is a long and difficult process that can take most of a playthrough in some cases. For this to be your reward after all that effort is an insult.
The only saving grace is the resource nodes the Yuht system will contain. That being ten research, five alloys, five exotic gases, ten energy, and ten minerals.
A little bit better is the Baol precursor, which is once again considered to be on the weaker side. A lot of the rewards for this empire focus on terraforming, which can be impactful but still not worth the effort.
Discovering the Baol yields no one-off resource reward. The only reward for discovering the system is the Last Baol Relic.
To be fair, this relic is quite good and provides different rewards based on whether your empire is biological in nature or not.
Biological empires get a ten percent increase in pop growth speed, and machine empires receive a 10 percent boost to society research. The triumph effect allows you to use the Nu-Baol life-seeding decision on your planets.
This decision allows you to turn planets into Gaia for no cost other than 720 days of in-game time.
Completing the Baol special projects yields some research bonuses and a 15% discount on terraforming costs, which may as well be nothing, to be honest.
The Zroni is the first very strong option on this list. The problem is that there is a catch; it is only good if you intend to take your empire down the psionic path. Sorry materialist empires, this isn’t for you.
The Zroni home system contains an inhabitable shroud world and a resource node that will provide five zro a month. But the real reason psychic empires want this precursor is the psionic archive relic.
Psychic empires love meddling with the shroud, and this relic improves everything about that. The cooldown between breaches is reduced, and the odds of rolling good results improve as well.
The active effect isn’t the best, providing increased damage, plus five stability, edict discounts, and increased governing ethics attraction.
After finishing the Zroni special project, you get psionic theory as a research option, faster psionics research (40% faster, which is no joke), the Stormcaster weapon option, and free traits for your researchers.
While it doesn’t provide a lot of outside psionic bonuses, this precursor does enable a speed run of the psionic ascension path ascension perk.
3. Irassian Concordant
This is where the precursors start to get good for everybody. The Irassian Concordat left behind some very interesting and outlandish relics for your empire to find.
Discovering the system will generate a reward of minor artifacts, minerals, unity, physics research, and the Javorian Pox Sample Relic.
This relic’s passive bonuses are a 20-year increase to the leader’s lifespan and double the chance to discover biological technology.
The active effect boosts biology research by a staggering 50%, one of the largest boosts to research in the game. It is a shame it is such a niche bonus.
There is another reward with this relic, and that is the Javorian pox orbital bombardment stance. This is the power to virus-bomb your opponents’ worlds, eradicating life but leaving infrastructure intact.
The special project associated with the concordant is also juicy.
A further 20% biology research boost, a 5% boost to pop growth speed, free research boosts to pop growth tech, free expertise traits, and access to the Irassian naval yards star base building.
The yards increase shipyard capacity and improve shipyard build speed by 20% on the starbase that contains them. This bonus does stack with other ship-build speed bonuses, such as the one from the mega shipyard.
2. The First League
An amazing precursor empire. If you discover that this is the empire you rolled, you should be happy. This boasts a large suite of excellent bonuses that will help elevate your empire to new heights.
The home system contains a size 25 relic world. This is a free colony planet for your empire; use it at your own leisure. One-off rewards are the standard affair of unity, society research, influence, and minor artifacts.
Alas, there is no relic reward for completing the First League quest line, but it makes up for that in other areas.
The home system is also guaranteed to spawn two research nodes, one size ten mineral and a size ten energy node.
After finishing the league’s special project, your engineering research will receive a healthy boost in terms of free project advancement and researchers receiving expertise traits.
Industry-related projects also get a 15% increase in their unlock speed, and building on planets will be 10% faster empire-wide.
While other precursors discussed so far have some weak areas, the First League does not. There is nothing it provides that is a waste, and it all has a good use somewhere, regardless of the type of empire you choose to play.
The last precursor provided nice, consistent rewards from top to bottom. The Cybrex takes that formula and cranks it up a few notches on the power scale.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the best precursor empire is the Cybrex; furthermore, second place isn’t even close to this one. The difference in power level between the Cybrex and First League is almost comical.
For discovering the home world, you will receive unity, energy, minor artifacts, and engineering research. All great rewards, but nothing compared to the Cybrex War Forge relic.
With this relic, you can create the Cybrex War form ground army on your capital planet. These are super robots that can be a real menace to your opponents in ground combat.
The triumph effect of the war forge is its ability to convert minerals into alloys in an instant. 2000 minerals convert into 1000 alloys when you first activate it.
The next time you activate it, the mineral cost will go up by 2000, and the alloy yield will increase by 1000.
This increase in cost and reward will continue 20 times, ending with a 20,000 mineral cost and a 10,000 alloy yield. In wartime, this can be the difference between fielding a defense and getting wiped out.
Believe it or not, those bonuses are the weakest part of the Cybrex. The home system will contain a ruined ring world. This ring world can be repaired for a fraction of the cost of building your own.
Last but not least are the special project rewards, and these boggle the mind even further. For starters, there is the Cybrex mining hub starbase building research option.
Placing this building on a starbase will increase all mining station output by 100% in that system.
Then, the Mega Engineering research project will become a guaranteed option. That’s right, one of the most important rare technologies becomes an option for you right away.
On top of that, you receive a free 10% increase in megastructure build speed. All of these bonuses are amazing on their own, and they all come in one nice package.
If you are lucky enough to have the Cybrex as your precursor, your empire has a bright future ahead of it.
Spoiler Warning for the Cybrex
Below are spoilers for the Cybrex. If you don’t want spoilers about in-game story beats, do not keep reading the rest of this article.
The Cybrex empire is not extinct, and yes, you can meet them. If the contingency spawns as your end-game crisis and you have discovered the Cybrex home world, there is a good chance the Cybrex will come to your aid.
They will return to the galaxy and assist in the battle against the end-game crisis. This can lead to a second ring world for your empire.
This is everything you need to know about the best precursors 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 finding the best precursors in Stellaris.