Best Combat Reworks & Overhaul Mods for Stellaris

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Many players approach Stellaris with a dream of building a badass fleet and taking over the universe in a glorious campaign full of epic battles and dire struggles.

The reality is often a lot less exciting.

Space warfare in Stellaris is often determined solely by the combined strength of your fleet rather than its composition or whatever micro-management strategy you might think of.

If you want something more than just accumulating Battleships and throwing them at your enemy until they yield or you run out of resources, you’ll have to get some mods to overhaul the combat.

I’ve been researching this for a while – and I’ve put together this list offering some of the most meaningful and exciting reworks for Stellaris warfare.


1. Under Siege

Under Siege Stellaris mod

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Having to destroy a planet with orbital bombardment or by landing massive armies can be too violent for a Pacifist empire – so why not put them under siege until they yield?

This mod allows you to do just that by taking control of the system, which would logically cut off the planet from their empire’s infrastructure and stop all resource traffic.

Unless the planet can produce its own resources, a shortage will ensue.

Once the deficit becomes critical, their stability will drop to the point where they’d rather surrender to you – no combat.

It’s arguable whether starving people into submission is better than subjugating them militarily, but it’s definitely less troublesome than landing ground troops.


2. Reworked Tactical System

Reworked Tactical System Mod for Stellaris

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One fantastic balance rework of interstellar combat that you need to try out is the Reworked Tactical System mod.

This modifies a little bit of everything to make combat in Stellaris a lot more engaging.

It’s no longer just having the bigger cannons and lasers to win, but a more nuanced system where the composition of your fleets and what weapon/defense systems you’ve outfitted them with is key to success.

You can also download the second part of this mod, which modifies the size of the battlefield and makes a healthy balance of large and smaller ships even more critical.


3. Amazing Space Battles

Amazing Space Battles Stellaris mod

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If you’re interested in something that won’t only affect combat gameplay-wise but also visually, Amazing Space Battles is the way to go.

This mod is meant to make space battles more exciting and fun to watch. Among other things, it adds new, flashier effects to almost every weapon system in the game and makes explosions much larger.

In addition, the mod makes ships move more slowly and with purpose while in combat, which can affect the outcome of battles as well.

My favorite change is how different ships focus on attacking different objectives rather than your entire fleet firing all of their weaponry against a single ship.


4. Stellaris Better Combat

Stellaris Better Combat Mod for Stellaris

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Many Stellaris fans can trace their gaming roots back to RTS games.

If you count yourself among them, you’ll love what Stellaris Better Combat offers.

This mod makes Stellaris’ combat much less basic and one-dimensional by increasing the importance of well-balanced fleets instead of giving the win to whoever has the most gigantic ship.

This way, making sure there are some Corvettes to run interference and protect your Titan as they aim their massive XL weapons is just as important as your total fleet power.

You’ll also find a host of new weapon types with different strengths and weaknesses, making ship design much more relevant to the outcome of space battles.


5. At War Mod Collection

At War Mod Collection Stellaris mod

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At War is a remarkable multi-part improvement to Stellaris space and ground combat presented in several independent modules that allow you to pick and choose which ones you want to apply.

These include massive improvements to Carriers to make them more viable in the late game, better Starbases, and a better way for Admirals to gain experience from battle to battle.

My favorite additions have to do with planetary defense.

In vanilla Stellaris, planets are sitting ducks without a beefy fleet or Starbase to defend them. This mod introduces new planetary cannons and defense fleets to protect them from landing craft and orbital bombardment.


6. Balanced Space Warfare 3

Balanced Space Warfare 3 Mod for Stellaris

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Balanced Space Warfare is, by far, the ultimate combat mod for Stellaris.

It’s hard to list everything it does in a short article.

But to summarize: it makes ship size and movement speed key to determining the outcome of a battle. It also rebalances weapons, changes ship behavior in combat depending on central computer components, etc.

The mod also features some very creative and immersive additions, such as Spec Ops ships that can act as kamikaze bombers, interfere with your enemy’s systems through electronic warfare, and even repair larger vessels without returning to a shipyard.

The AI will use all of these additions to great effect, designing competent fleets with different compositions depending on the empire’s personality – so don’t expect an easy win.

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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.