The Best Custom Portrait Mods for Stellaris

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Gameplay in Stellaris takes place mostly on menus.

You never control a ship manually or walk on the surface of your empire’s planets – so why do you care how anything looks?

It’s about immersion. You care more about your civilization and its accomplishments when you can put a face on your leaders, scientists, and workers.

Stellaris already features a relatively large collection of possible appearances for your intergalactic species, but there’s always room for more in the vast expanses of outer space.

Let’s look at some fantastic new portrait mods that’ll give your citizens a lot more variety, and help you have a blast as you slowly take over the universe.


1. Remastered Human Portraits

Remastered Human Portraits Mod for Stellaris

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Even though it’s the most “vanilla” choice, I know most of you are building human empires left and right.

Remastered Human Portraits by Deadrick introduces 54 new possible looks for humans, increasing your civilization’s racial diversity and helping you tell them apart.

These new portraits come with a bad-ass “cyborg” version, too. These cyborgs have access to gadgets like cool-looking glasses and masks to further diversify their appearance.


2. Human Variety

Human Variety Stellaris mod

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The second most important thing about human appearance is their outfits.

I think it’s fair to say human beings will always care about their clothing. It’s a form of communication that lets us tell the world who we are and what we do without uttering a word.

The Human Variety mod by Okami helps your population express themselves with 32 new male and female outfits for your workers and leaders.

These outfits are distributed among the populace based on their jobs and political beliefs, meaning that the citizens of two different human empires will rarely look the same.


3. Animated Synthetic Portraits Expanded: Reborn

Animated Synthetic Portraits Expanded: Reborn Mod for Stellaris

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I’ve always loved the idea of synthetic lifeforms.

When I was a kid, I dreamed of the day I’d finally upload my mind to a superior robot body.

That might be a weird fantasy for a kid to have, but with today’s rapid technological development, it’s easy to see how that idea got there in the first place.

Judging from Boston Dynamics’ Atlas, the dawn of synth civilization is nigh – but until then, you can enjoy these animated synth portraits by Silfae.

This mod lets you choose the appearance of your ascended synth species instead of accepting what the game decides is appropriate for your original species.

After all, why would you be bound by your previous physical form when you’re casting away the trappings of biology?


4. Colorful: Additional Alien Colors

Colorful: Additional Alien Colors Stellaris mod

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Another big dream of my childhood was meeting extraterrestrial entities.

What can I say? I watched a lot of Discovery Channel.

Stellaris – obviously – features plenty of alien races. Still, in a game about exploration and discovery, you want to keep bringing in fresh faces to keep things exciting.

The Colorful mod by Tentakeltier does this in a fairly non-invasive manner by adding at least 12 new colors to a bunch of alien archetypes. These include Arthropoids, Fungoids, Reptilians, Molluscoids, and even Satyrs.

These new colors are extremely well-implemented and don’t mess with the original art style.

If you weren’t installing this yourself, you’d think they were a vanilla feature.


5. Extended Vanilla Clothes

Extended Vanilla Clothes Mod for Stellaris

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Clothing is the way most modern-day humans choose to show their colors and set themselves apart from the rest. It’s a part of our personality!

Extended Vanilla Clothes by Fugasas helps starfaring humans keep this aspect of our culture intact by significantly expanding the clothing variety for your empire’s population to the point where you might not see two identical citizens in an entire playthrough.

This change also applies to every other clothed species in the galaxy, making the universe feel as varied and chaotic as you’d expect it to be.


6. VA-11 Hall-A Portraits

VA-11 Hall-A Portraits Stellaris mod

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The cyberpunk aesthetic has taken over the world in the past couple of years.

Cyberpunk shows and video games keep popping up like crazy, and judging by how our society is developing, we might live in Blade Runner sooner than we thought.

Something humans will probably never lose as we head into our mysterious future is our love for mind-altering substances.

You can get ready for the bars of the future with these Va-11 Hall-A portraits for your galactic civilization.

Va-11 Hall-A is a Cyberpunk Bartender Action game where you pour drinks and change lives – now, you’ll be exporting your questionable alcoholic mixes to the galactic community.


7. Vanilla Dimorphism Mods

Vanilla Dimorphism Mods for Stellaris

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Sexual dimorphism describes a phenomenon where members of the same species develop significantly different traits depending on their sex.

This kind of dimorphism is evident across the animal kingdom – including humans – and it wouldn’t be a long shot to assume a similar strategy may have been adopted by extraterrestrial lifeforms.

And yet, none of the non-human vanilla species exhibit these differences.

This compilation of dimorphism mods by Nekollx simply brings dimorphism to almost every species, including Avians, Fungoids, Molluscoids, and all kinds of space mammals.


8. SE Human 2

SE Human 2 Stellaris mod

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This beefy mod by McCnNn enriches your human portraits with many new body types, over 250 new hairstyles, and around 230 unique clothing articles.

Specific jobs and government types will spawn different outfits, so you’ll be able to tell whether a galactic empire is fanatical, militaristic, or a hivemind at a glance.

Something I love about this mod is how creative and even risqué some of these outfits are.

It’s a nice change from the vanilla game’s somewhat drab fashion.


9. SE Humanoid

SE Humanoid Mod for Stellaris

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SE Humanoid is an add-on to our previous entry that’ll further increase your species variety by adding new body types for the different “Humanoid” portrait groups available in vanilla Stellaris.

The mod’s main feature is introducing several new body types for each humanoid group, but it goes further.

It also introduces multi-ethnic versions and makes a wide array of new hairstyles available.

Like SE Human 2, SE Humanoid also delivers new outfits to your citizens based on jobs and government types, so everyone’s appearance is on fleek, no matter if they’re operating the guns or basking in the glory of an Eldritch god.


10. United Sci-Fi Races

United Sci-Fi Races Stellaris mod

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I love humans as much as the next guy, but the galaxy is full of mysteries.

I’ve been wondering what’s out there for too long to waste my time hanging out with hairless monkeys when I could lead a race of tentacle monsters, bird people, or the Daleks from Dr. Who.

If that last option sounded appealing to you, you’d love United Sci-Fi Races, a mod that introduces hundreds of new species portraits based on hit Sci-Fi franchises like Mass Effect, Star Wars, and Dr. Who.

You’ll also find many previously unplayable Stellaris species (like the Unbidden and the Contingency) are now accessible portraits.

Overall, it’s one of the most complete portrait mods around – and it’s one you shouldn’t pass up.

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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.