Top 30 Best Stellaris Mods Of All Time

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Paradox Interactive’s incredible sci-fi grand strategy game Stellaris lets us discover a sprawling galaxy full of mysteries, alien species, and existential threats.

Whether you’re in it for exploration or the possibility of conquering the stars with glorious armadas, the game has a lot to offer.

The thing is, by the time you really know how to play, you’ve also experienced a lot of what you can do.

Eventually you’ll have seen it all. What then?

That’s precisely the right time to join the vibrant modding community developed around Stellaris to discover incredible mods featuring new species, planets, storylines, and more!

This collection has top-quality Stellaris mods that every newbie or veteran should try out.


30. Astronomical Emblem Pack

Astronomical Emblem Pack Stellaris mod

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Choosing the right crest for your flag is vital for creating a galactic empire that makes you feel invested enough to make it through the entire Stellaris campaign.

While the base game offers some attractive options, sometimes you want something more… specific.

The Astronomical Emblem Pack brings over 600 options to your flag creator, including symbols from many sources, both fictional and otherwise.

You’ll find stuff from Star Wars, Star Trek, Mass Effect, and even Half-Life in this add-on. In addition, there are some religious and national symbols – and a lot of miscellaneous surprises.


29. Vassals Expanded and Reworked

Vassals Expanded and Reworked Mod for Stellaris

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Something that always rubbed me the wrong way in vanilla Stellaris is how, no matter your empire’s political philosophy, your relationship with your subjects is always the same.

With the Vassals Expanded and Reworked mod, you’ll be able to turn subjugated empires into Serfs, Disciples, Jr. Partners, Sister Republics, or Puppet States – in addition to the vanilla options.

Even Hiveminds get some love, with the mod allowing them to turn other states into “appendages” for future integration.


28. Production Revolution

Production Revolution Stellaris mod

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Micro-managing your citizens is one of the best aspects of planet administration in Stellaris – but it’s also one of the most complex and time-consuming.

This means more effort for the player and more processing power spent by your system deciding what every individual in the entire AI-controlled galaxy should be doing every month.

Production Revolution completely overhauls how labor and production work to simplify the system and diminish the lag you might experiment in the late game.

The new system calculates the “manpower” in your empire and distributes it across production centers rather than following every individual citizen.

It’s simpler, and it should keep your game running smoothly.


27. UI Overhaul Dynamic

UI Overhaul Dynamic Mod for Stellaris

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No strategy game mod ranking is complete without some UI improvements, and UI Overhaul Dynamic is the gold standard for Stellaris.

Its most significant features include:

  • Automatically adapting the UI size to your resolution.
  • Increasing the size of most menu windows.
  • Remodeling the Ship Designer and Fleet Manager for easier use.

You’ll also notice many smaller additions that should make navigating your empire easier. It even gives you access to a functional Tech Tree!


26. Tiny Outliner

Tiny Outliner Stellaris mod

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The most important part of Stellaris’ UI is the outliner, which gives you a quick and easy way to find your planets, starbases, shipyards, and fleets.

It gives you essential information at a glance, such as which planets have unemployment, what action is being carried out by your different science and construction ships, and more.

Tiny Outliner takes all of this information and compresses it, so every entry in the outliner occupies a single “line.” That way, you can fit a lot more tabs into the outliner, making them easier to find without having to scroll down for hours.

In addition, you can keep an eye on all of your planets and fleets simultaneously, so you’ never miss another important event that requires your attention.


25. SE Human 2

SE Human 2 Mod for Stellaris

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If you’re a “home team” kind of person who conquers the galaxy in the name of humanity, the SE Human 2 mod is a must-have.

This add-on redesigns and improves the portraits of the human race.

It includes new body meshes, new hairstyles, more outfit variety, and even unique animations for unhappy pops for extra immersion.

SE Human 2 gives humanity a much cooler, more bad-ass look. The women are hotter, the men are more ripped, and they all look like they actually want to take over the galaxy, in stark contrast to the bored-looking vanilla humans.


24. Compiled Dimorphism Mods

Compiled Dimorphism Mods Stellaris mod

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Another fantastic improvement to your portrait collection is Vanilla Dimorphism, which makes most animal-inspired species look more believable.

For those of you who didn’t pay attention in Biology class, sexual dimorphism describes the phenomenon where two members of the same species look different depending on their sex.

It manifests as different sizes, colors, facial features, etc.

Humans exhibit this trait in Stellaris, but they’re essentially alone in the universe in that regard, which just isn’t realistic considering some of these species are literally anthropomorphic Earth animals.

The Compiled Dimorphism mod fixes this by adding new male and female portraits to countless species belonging to almost every category, including Avian, Humanoid, and Mammalian.

You’ll also find some new colors and more appearance variety overall.


23. Fatherland: Colonial Empires

Fatherland: Colonial Empires Mod for Stellaris

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The great expanse of outer space is an opportunity for rugged individualists who want to set up their own colonies where their values can flourish.

Fatherland: Colonial Empires brings this industrious fire to the people’s hearts in Stellaris, allowing new self-administrated colonies to crop up on habitable planets outside your borders.

The reasons for leaving the empire in search of new lands are many.

Some are prosecuted minorities, others are rogue corporations escaping nationalization, and there are always free-spirited explorers who just like homesteading.

These new rogue colonies will have different ideologies and relationships with their “parent” empire, depending on their origin.

Will you set them free, or will they have to bend the knee?


22. Rise of Cosmic Industry

Rise of Cosmic Industry Stellaris mod

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The economy of a Stellaris empire is surprisingly simple.

That’s fantastic for newbies just getting into the game, but veteran grand strategy players might feel it’s basic.

Rise of Cosmic Industry overhauls production and commerce in Stellaris to make it more engaging and strategic.

It reworks how construction works, making each planet depend on its own “labor” when erecting new buildings. You’ll also have to manage your trade routes manually through Cargo Ships, and there are new ways to exploit resources in your territory more efficiently.

Easily my favorite feature is Factory Automation, which allows you to phase out manual labor in favor of automated factories.

If Tesla can do it, so can a galactic empire.


21. Sins of the Prophets: Stellaris

Sins of the Prophets: Stellaris Mod for Stellaris

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Fans of the influential space shooter franchise Halo will love Sins of the Prophets – a beefy expansion to Stellaris introducing everything you need to immerse yourself in the Halo universe.

The coolest addition is, without a doubt, the high-quality UNSC and Covenant shipsets, including massive spaceships like the Unyielding Hierophant and the UNSC Artemis.

Sins of the Prophets also includes all the portraits, emblems, and namelists needed to play as the UNSC or any Covenant species.


20. Treasure Planet: Terran Empire Shipset

Treasure Planet: Terran Empire Shipset Stellaris mod

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When it comes to aesthetics, I’m a traditional guy.

I love exploring the vastness of the universe in Stellaris and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with futuristic technology.

But if I had to pick between a spaceship and an oaken man-of-war, I’d choose the historical ship any day.

That’s why I love the Terran Empire Shipset, inspired by the anachronistic spacefaring fleets of Disney’s Treasure Planet.

If you can suspend your disbelief enough to swallow that a vessel made of timber can sail among the stars with a good-enough shield, this mod will give your next playthrough a very unique 18th-century flavor.


19. Machine Shipset

Machine Shipset Mod for Stellaris

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Coming back to the future, we find the Machine Shipset, one of the most popular and high-quality visual overhauls for your Stellaris fleet.

This incredible shipset was inspired by the Automated Dreadnought, an ancient warship left behind by a long-gone civilization to guard their planets in vanilla Stellaris.

What sets the Machine Shipset apart besides the incredible quality is just how complete it is. Rather than replacing all military vessels and calling it a day, this changes starbases, defense platforms, science and construction vessels, and even megastructures!


18. NSC2

NSC2 Stellaris mod

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One of the most in-depth overhauls for Stellaris ships you absolutely have to try is New Ship Classes 2.

This mod expands your military fleets to include all-new ship classes like Strike Cruisers, Battlecruisers, Dreadnoughts, and a specialized Flagship.

You’ll also be able to upgrade vanilla classes to obtain Spitfire Battleships, Heavy Carriers, and more.

That’s not all, though. NSC2 introduces many new features like advanced ship behaviors, new weapons and defenses, more upgrade levels for your starbases, and even new story events!

It really is too much to list in just a few words, so make sure you try this out ASAP if you haven’t yet.


17. Aesthetic Cinematic Gameplay

Aesthetic Cinematic Gameplay Mod for Stellaris

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Why do we spend so much time fostering a healthy economy that allows us to build a massive military fleet if not to watch our ships wage glorious war against the enemies of our people?

Regrettably, vanilla Stellaris goes a little light on the visual effects of space battles.

They look fine, but after around 30 seconds, you’ve seen everything they have to offer.

Aesthetic Cinematic Gameplay makes conquering the galaxy more rewarding by massively improving the look of space battles. This includes introducing more animations, better visual effects for weapons and shields, and more eye-catching explosions.

In addition, the mod introduces all-new content, like new ship classes, a rework of vanilla vessels, and new sections and components to customize your ships.


16. Expanded Stellaris Traditions

Expanded Stellaris Traditions Stellaris mod

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Choosing traditions is one of the main ways to steer the course of your empire in the right direction.

While the base game offers many traditions to pursue, such as Harmony and Domination, gamers always welcome more variety.

Expanded Stellaris Traditions adds a staggering 44 new tradition trees into the game to accommodate more playstyles and open the doors to roleplaying. These include Faith, Chivalry, Collectivism, and more.

One of the best features is tradition swapping, which replaces some traditions for others depending on your governing ethics and civics for extra immersion.


15. Balanced Space Warfare 3

Balanced Space Warfare 3 Mod for Stellaris

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Somewhat basic and boring combat has been one of Stellaris’ users’ main complaints ever since release. It’s not terrible, but it often comes down to having a larger fleet than your foes and little else.

BSW3 spices things up with an in-depth rework of all things combat.

The mod features more complex ship design, myriad new weapon and shield technologies, and even new “Spec Ops” ships capable of conducting electronic warfare, kamikaze bombing, and even repairing your vessels without visiting a shipyard.

More importantly, you’ll notice important balance changes to make every type of ship useful in different situations.


14. Gigastructural Engineering

Gigastructural Engineering Stellaris mod

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Nothing makes me feel as powerful as building many megastructures across my empire.

I grew up on National Geographic’s Megastructures TV series, so my idea of a bright future is filled with colossal steel, glass, and concrete infrastructure.

Gigastructural Engineering opens the doors to even more crazy XXL projects ranging from Orbital Arcologies to Atmospheric Purifiers.

You’ll have a hard time figuring out what any of these do just from the name, but I assure you they’ll give you some incredible advantages over your foes.

Be warned, however, that the AI can and will build any of these 44 incredible megastructures – so keep an eye out and try to establish engineering domination early on in the game.


13. Zero’s Infinity Stones

Zero's Infinity Stones Mod for Stellaris

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Who needs megastructures when you can have the primordial forces of the universe at your fingertips?

According to Marvel lore, the Infinity Stones are just that – representations of the different facets of the cosmos spit out from the Big Bang and scattered all around the universe.

Luckily for you, they all happened to land in your Stellaris galaxy.

Zero’s Infinity Stones let you collect every one of these powerful gems, the Infinity Gauntlet, and even Thor’s Hammer as relics with game-changing effects.

With a wealth of fun events related to the stones and the opportunity to change the course of intergalactic history if all are collected, this mod is one of the most fun additions to Stellaris.


12. ST: New Horizons

ST: New Horizons Stellaris mod

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Star Trek is an old-school sci-fi franchise that has changed the lives of many nerds since 1966.

Thanks to the ST: New Horizons add-on, Trekkies can bring their Vulcan salutes to Stellaris.

This sizable mod aims to overhaul Stellaris into an ST game by introducing numerous maps and events from the series, an entirely new tech tree, and many visual changes.

ST: New Horizons also includes over 90 pre-scripted Star Trek species with fully animated portraits that’ll populate the galaxy and spread their influence with 20 shipsets based on iconic vessels from the show.


11. Star Wars: Legacy of the Old Republic

Star Wars: Legacy of the Old Republic Mod for Stellaris

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Star Wars has been “baby’s first sci-fi” for generations.

Some got started with the classic trilogy, others with the prequel trilogy (that’s me!), and it doesn’t seem like it’ll stop anytime soon.

Legacy of the Old Republic is an incredible total conversion mod that’ll put you at the helm of one of 37 pre-scripted empires during the aftermath of the Great Hyperspace War and Great Sith War from the Star Wars Legends continuity.

Over 50 Star Wars species, custom shipsets, and an enormous map filled to the brim with lore-accurate planets full of exciting events await in this mod.


10. Mass Effect: Beyond the Relays

Mass Effect: Beyond the Relays Stellaris mod

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I may have started my sci-fi journey with Star Wars, but as I delved deeper into the genre, I discovered other incredible universes I’m dying to explore – such as Mass Effect’s Milky Way.

Beyond the Relays is a unique Stellaris conversion that’ll let you explore two different ME-based map types populated by 24 preset empires, including the Asari Republics, Turian Hierarchy, Salarian Union, and even the Migrant Fleet – all with unique traits, civics, and origins based on the lore.

What I like the most about this mod is the custom galaxy map, which comprises isolated clusters you can only move between through the Mass Relay network – just like in the original lore.


9. Diverse Rooms

Diverse Rooms Mod for Stellaris

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Considering the enormous differences between a fungoid, a reptilian, and a human, you’d expect them to occupy completely different accommodations.

And yet, Stellaris shows them standing in generic rooms with little variation between them.

Diverse Rooms fixes this issue by adding close to 300 all-new room backgrounds that break away from the “rectangular room with one window” structure. These include dank caves, idyllic forests, cloud worlds, and even neon-lit bars.


8. Immersive Beautiful Stellaris

Immersive Beautiful Stellaris mod

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One of the most important parts of galactic aesthetics in Stellaris is the “skybox” or background you see whenever you zoom into a specific star system.

Immersive Beautiful Stellaris thoroughly beautifies the galaxy by introducing a whopping 117 high-quality skyboxes that make every star system visually striking.

These skyboxes are affected by the system’s position in the galaxy and are liable to change depending on certain environmental factors.

You’ll also enjoy some minor improvements to the galaxy UI.


7. StarNet AI

StarNet AI Mod for Stellaris

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Making a game is hard work, and sometimes, the most basic things can be overlooked.

In the case of Stellaris, that would be the AI, which seems unable to avoid economic crises and will declare wars with no intention of winning or – sometimes – even participating.

StarNet AI is a man-made solution that’ll bump the AI’s IQ to a more competitive level.

You’ll no longer notice every empire in the galaxy driving their economy through the mud, and whenever they declare war, you better be ready for an all-out attack. These AI are dead-set on expansion, and they’ll do anything they need to achieve it.


6. United Sci-Fi Races

United Sci-Fi Races Stellaris mod

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The main reason I fell in love with sci-fi in the first place was the possibility of meeting numerous different species in the vastness of outer space.

United Sci-Fi Races makes my dream come true by introducing an enormous amount of portraits matching over 220 races from famous (and not-so-famous) sci-fi franchises like Star Wars, Halo, XCOM and Dr. Who.

The mod also features custom namelists and starting systems/planets for extra immersion.

If you want the traits that complete the full package, you’ll find them in the United Traits mod.


5. Trait Diversity

Trait Diversity Mod for Stellaris

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Vanilla Stellaris offers a wealth of traits to customize your species, but there’s no such thing as “enough options” for gamers.

Trait Diversity will supercharge your species creation process with a staggering 220 new traits for biological and mechanical species.

You’ll be getting 169 traits for organics and 51 for robotics. These include positive and negative characteristics that’ll allow you to create the specialized species of your dreams.

With new traits including Efficient Metabolism, Pyrokinetic, and Microscopic Sight, you can get an idea of the exciting possibilities in this mod.


4. More Events Mod

More Events Mod Stellaris mod

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I play Stellaris for the story.

For me, it’s not only about conquering the galaxy and overcoming the crisis but telling a good narrative in the process – even if it ends in failure.

The More Events mod helps me do that by packing every playthrough full of new anomalies and events.

You’ll notice the difference, especially from the mid-game onward after the initial galaxy exploration slows down.


3. Real Space

Real Space Mod for Stellaris

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The first few times you play Stellaris are rife with discovery and wonder as you find new planet types and solar systems you’ve never seen before – but after a while, the novelty fades away.

Real Space keeps things lively by introducing a rich collection of new stellar classes and unique solar systems, including 132 systems based on real-life stars in our local galactic neighborhood.

You also get around 50 new skins for gas giants and many new star types such as dwarfs, supergiants, and hypergiants.

The mod shines brightest once you’ve installed all the different expansions mentioned in the description, such as the System Scale and New Frontiers add-ons.


2. Guili’s Planet Modifiers

Guili's Planet Modifiers Stellaris mod

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Like Pandora’s Box, every planet is full of surprises that may aid or hinder your species’ settlement on its surface.

Guili’s Planet Modifiers makes looking for a new home in the stars even more exciting, with over 300 unique modifiers that affect any kind of habitable world, including habitats and ringworlds.

Some of them have to do with precursor civilizations, while others showcase unusual geological phenomena.

There’s a wealth of new discoveries and colonization events waiting for you, over 100 new planetary features with custom graphics, and even 28 new powerful relics.


1. Planetary Diversity

Planetary Diversity Mod for Stellaris

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Rather than discovering new secrets on each planet, what about new types of planets altogether?

Exploration and colonization are what I enjoy the most on Stellaris, so Planetary Diversity had to be at the top of the list.

This mod adds 54 new habitable planet types to Stellaris, branching out from the base game archetypes such as Continental, Arid, or Alpine. For example, a Tropical world could be an Atoll, Tepuy, or Geothermal world, each with its own benefits and visual appeal.

And that’s just the base mod! Planetary Diversity is a much larger project with add-ons like More Arcologies and Planetary Habitats, all linked on the main mod page.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.