6 Best Custom Habitat Mods for Stellaris (All Free)

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When we think of colonizing space, most of us picture a “new Eden” where our species can thrive with just a little technological help – but there are so few planets out there, and so much empty space…

The best way to truly make the most of space’s vastness is to construct colossal self-sufficient space habitats where our colonists can build a new life among the stars.

Think of the International Space Station, but with farms, refineries, and everything you need for everyday life.

As you know, Stellaris allows you to build just that – an orbital habitat – but it leaves a lot to be desired.

So maybe try out these custom habitat mods if you really want to get the most out of these floating alloy capsules!


6. Habitat AI Colonization Fix

Habitat AI Colonization Fix / Stellaris Mod

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One of the biggest mysteries of Stellaris is why the AI insists on constructing habitats that they never colonize.

They’ll turn entire star systems into affordable housing blocks and then just forget about them, preferring to keep their pops on spherical rocks.

The Habitat AI Colonization Fix addresses the issue by forcing the AI to start a colonization process for every new Orbital Habitat, Ring World section, and any such constructions introduced by mods.

Note: just be careful about installing this in the middle of a game. It might drive half the galaxy into an economic crisis as everyone scrambles together a dozen colony ships or more.


5. No AI Habitats

No AI Habitats / Stellaris Mod

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The AI’s inability to correctly utilize their habitats wouldn’t be so jarring if it wasn’t for the fact that they absolutely love building them anywhere they can.

No AI Habitats is an excellent alternative to the Habitat AI Colonization Fix that simply bans the construction of habitats throughout AI space, rooting out this budding housing bubble before it bursts.


4. Expanded Habitats

Expanded Habitats / Stellaris Mod

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I love building habitable capsules out in the void.

But vanilla habitats feel a little bit basic and maybe even underpowered.

The Expanded Habitats mod makes playing tall with many habitats much more viable, specifically by adding two more habitat upgrades that’ll take the habitat to size 12 so you can build a lot more districts.

Some buffs to administrative organs like the Habitat Administration and the Habitat Central Control make it easier to unlock building plots.

With the right traits, technologies, and traditions, you’ll be able to build up to 11 buildings in a fully-upgraded habitat.


3. Space Industry (Habitat Overhaul)

Space Industry / Stellaris Mod

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I always found it weird that building a habitat over a populated world had no special effects.

Well, not anymore.

Thanks to Space Industry, habitats will get specialized deposits if built over a colony, and they’ll also provide bonuses to the colony.

The more developed the colony, the better. Since a larger colony (like your capital) can even unlock building slots for the habitat overhead.

Another convenient addition here is automatic colonization. Every time you build a habitat, it’ll be seeded with some members of your main species.


2. Dyson Swarm – Colonizing Space

Dyson Swarm – Colonizing Space / Stellaris Mod

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Everyone in the sci-fi community knows what a Dyson Sphere is – but what about Dyson Swarms?

Just like you can put a star in a coffin to exploit 100% of its energy, you can take a more gradual and low-cost approach through a Dyson Swarm – an armada of smaller space stations orbiting a star and using its power for different things.

This mod allows you to build a Dyson Swarm in Stellaris, functioning as a powerful early-game habitat with Solar Stations, Zero Gravity Labs, and industrial districts – along with homes for your people.

The Dyson Swarm gets visibly bigger with each upgrade, which is a nice touch.


1. Planetary Habitats

Planetary Habitats / Stellaris Mod

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I never understood why your advanced technology in Stellaris allowed you to build a fully functional habitat floating in the void, but not one on the surface of a previously uninhabitable planet.

Planetary Habitats opens this route to planet colonization by allowing you to build the stereotypical dome-like habitats. You know, like the stuff we imagine when picturing what life on Mars will be like when Elon Musk finally gets around to conquering the Red Planet.

But with Planetary Habitats installed, you can build domes on asteroids, barren worlds, frozen worlds, and even gas giants, each with unique bonuses, costs, and building time.

Note: this is actually a sub-mod of Planetary Diversity – a massive mod that brings hundreds of new planet types and other goodies to your game – so make sure to install that first.

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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.