Stellaris: Top 10 Best Hive Mind Traits

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In Halo, we battled the Gravemind.

In Starcraft, we pushed back the Zerg.

In Stellaris, we’re given a chance to turn the tables and become the hive-mind rather than defend against it.

Playing a hive-minded empire is one of the most unique ways to enjoy Stellaris. Thanks to modifiers like longer Leader lifespans, no happiness mechanics, and access to many unique civics, it has the potential to completely change how you play the game.

Whether you’re a hive mind veteran looking to improve your strategy or a newbie setting up your first hive mind empire, you’ll want to know what species traits are better suited for hive minds.

And this ranking covers all the best hive mind species traits & tips to get the most of them.


10. Talented

Talented Trait Description / Stellaris

Leaders are one of the best parts of playing as a hive mind.

These executive appendages of your Gestalt consciousness don’t need to age and acquire experience, so they start out younger. They also live longer than the average organic.

This makes Talented a great trait to have. Your leaders will have plenty of time to develop, so reaching the higher level cap is a given, and it’ll bring benefits for a long time.

Plus, it’s pretty funny to picture a “talented” hive mind.

What’s the comparison point? Are they artsier than other hive minds? Better at calculus?

We’ll never know.


9. Strong or Very Strong

Strong Trait Description / Stellaris

Picking the Strong trait will give you 20% extra Army Damage in addition to 2.5% Menial Drone output at the cost of one trait point. Very Strong gives you double the benefit for double the price.

This trait is especially well-suited for hive minds for several reasons.

Infesting planets is a given when you’re playing a hive mind, and to do that, you need strong armies.

Moreover, hive minds get an extra job for each district, making a district-oriented playstyle more beneficial. This makes the extra Menial Drone resource output all the more beneficial.


8. Agrarian

Agrarian Trait Description / Stellaris

The 15% extra Food from jobs provided by the Agrarian trait is pretty good for almost any species.

Still, it’s especially beneficial for hive minds, thanks to the additional job per district.

More Food means more growth potential – and if you’re planning to infest the entire galaxy, you’ll need all the nutrients you can get.

If you play your cards right, you’ll have enough Food surplus to enact the Nutritional Plenitude edict to increase your growth speed by 10% and still have some left to store for hard times – or to turn into Energy credits in the internal market.

Two trait points is a serious investment, but it’s 100% worth it.


7. Industrious

Industrious Trait Description / Stellaris

Like Agrarian, the Industrious trait is ideal for hive minds thanks to improved districts.

While Food is vital for hive minds, Minerals are more valuable in the grand scheme of things. You need them for everything, from new districts to smelting Alloys for your fleet. Since peace is not an option, you’ll want the mightiest navy.

The 15% increased Mineral production is a must-have trait for Lithoid hive minds, as these rocky life-forms consume these raw materials for sustenance instead of Food.

It’s Agrarian with extra benefits at the same price of two trait points.


6. Adaptive or Extremely Adaptive

Adaptive Trait Description / Stellaris

Growing your population until your biomass covers the entire galaxy is a hive mind’s highest goal.

To do this, you need to be able to survive on all sorts of planets.

Whether it’s colonizing a virgin planet or infesting foreign territories, having high habitability is a must.

This makes the Adaptive and Extremely Adaptive traits a top pick for hive minds.

These traits give you 10% and 20% higher habitability at the cost of one or two trait points, depending on your choice.

With the right strategy, you might even be able to colonize tomb worlds!

This trait is crucial for hive minds, as they can only colonize with their main species, while more open societies could just get immigrants from other species for different planets.


5. Intelligent

Intelligent Trait Description / Stellaris

The most important tip you can give a new Stellaris player is to focus on research.

More technological advancements are a surefire way to get ahead of the galactic competition, and that’s just as true for hive minds as it is for everyone else.

The Intelligent trait can give you the extra push to dominate your foes by increasing research output from jobs by 10% at the cost of two trait points.

You wouldn’t want to be a stupid hive mind, would you?


4. Natural Engineers

Natural Engineers Trait Description / Stellaris

Instead of getting a bonus for every kind of research, you could choose to specialize and pursue engineering, physics, or society research for even greater gains.

For example, the Natural Engineers trait gives you 15% Engineering research from jobs instead of just 10% like Intelligent. This enables you to take your ships and resource production to the next level faster.

The quicker you get new ship types and more powerful starbases, the more you’ll be able to bully your neighbors into submission. Plus, technologies that unlock more starbase capacity are key for efficient expansion.


3. Natural Sociologists

Natural Sociologists Trait Description / Stellaris

While Engineering is a fantastic choice for most species, hive minds have exceptional synergy with the Natural Sociologists trait.

This science tree holds the secrets to increased habitability and blocker removal, allowing you to more efficiently colonize new planets. If used right, it can even replace Adaptability.

In addition, the 15% increase in Society research from jobs will put you on the fast track to the Nutritional Plenitude edict, which is a crucial part of any successful hive mind strategy.


2. Charismatic

Charismatic Trait Description / Stellaris

Making friends in the galactic ecosystem isn’t easy – and hive minds have it especially hard due to their massive differences with societies made up of individuals. This manifests in-game as a -30 default modifier to their relationship with other empires.

The Charismatic trait can help us overcome our differences by reducing this modifier to -5, which is much easier to reverse.

In addition, this trait gives you 20% extra amenities from jobs, which helps overturn the usual amenity shortage hive mind empires tend to face as their population grows.


1. Rapid Breeders

Rapid Breeders Trait Description / Stellaris

There’s nothing more important for a hive mind than increasing its growth speed.

After all, you need people – or appendages – to go and do the conquering.

You can’t go wrong with Rapid Breeders, which provides a 10% growth speed boost for your species in exchange for two trait points.

Hive minds already get a 25% growth speed bonus by default, which means you’ll get an impressive 35% total bonus.

That might sound a bit hard to manage in terms of infrastructure, but the -25% Empire Size effect modifier should make it perfectly doable.

Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently head into your next hive mind playthrough and show those puny single-bodied minds who’s boss.

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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.