15 Best QoL Mods for Stellaris: The Ultimate Collection

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One of the biggest challenges for strategy game developers is designing a game that’s complex enough to hook you, but comfortable enough to keep you playing for long hours.

It’s hard to design a game that’ll please every single player. So more game devs have opted to support modders who want to tweak the games themselves.

Thanks to its sheer size and micromanagement potential, Stellaris is a game that can benefit immensely from some mods to streamline & polish the user experience.

Let me introduce you to my favorite QoL mods for this excellent sci-fi epic.


15. Remove Aura Graphics

Remove Aura Graphics Stellaris mod

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Several Titan and Juggernaut ship technologies in Stellaris grant “aura” effects to your fleet.

This manifests in-game as a bright blue glow for friendlies and a red glow for your enemies.

The thing is, these aura effects are hideous. It gets to a point where I can’t even watch my ships shooting it out with space pirates, amoebas, or enemy nations – and I consider that a QoL problem.

You always have the option of not using any aura modules, but considering they give local fleets incredible boons like extra fire rate, hull regen, and weapon range, that would be pretty silly.

Remove Aura Graphics will improve your in-game experience by removing these visual effects without negatively affecting the buffs.


14. No Clustered Starts

No Clustered Starts Mod for Stellaris

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Vanilla Stellaris’ map generation will generally lump you into “clusters” with a couple of other species, making them ideal friendship candidates or an immediate threat.

This is why sometimes you’ll find your neighbor’s borders only a couple of systems away from your capital world before you have had any chance to explore or expand.

No Clustered Starts lends you a hand by overriding the cluster generation function of the map creator and forcing it to spread out the empires as far apart from each other as possible.

It’s a mod that’s ideal for newbies – or anyone who struggles with the early game.


13. Auto Embassy

Auto Embassy Stellaris mod

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No matter how well your unopposed conquest of the galaxy is going, you will eventually meet rival states vying for galactic domination just as you.

Suppose you’re lucky enough to avoid fanatical purifiers or a ravenous hivemind. In that case, your neighbors will generally be open to trade and cooperation – and the first thing in their mind is to set up an embassy.

As the game draws on, new empire contacts and embassy propositions will start piling up, which can be annoying, especially considering there’s little reason to refuse them.

The Auto-Embassy mod will take care of it for you, signing every treaty and setting up embassies without your input as you focus on growing your fleet and surveying the galaxy.


12. Foreign Gateway Construction

Foreign Gateway Construction Mod for Stellaris

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Gateways are a fantastic way to get around the galaxy quickly.

Most people consider them a fortunate find – but what’s really lucky is finding one connected to anywhere useful.

Whenever I find a gateway, it seems to be connected straight to my biggest enemy’s backyard. That can be fun if you’re playing an all-out conquering empire, but it’s completely useless and counter-productive for pacifists and other level-headed governments.

Foreign Gateway Construction gives these mysterious gates a lot more usefulness by allowing you to build a new one outside of your borders as long as you have friendly relations with the local authorities.

You pay for the construction, and they maintain the facilities. Consider it a way to invest in foreign infrastructure!


11. Tech Tiers Revealed

Tech Tiers Revealed Stellaris mod

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I’ve always been a detail-oriented person, but in Stellaris, there really is too much for a single mind to keep track of everything.

One place where I often fail is keeping tabs on what I’ve researched and whether I’m focusing too much on one development route while ignoring the rest.

Tech Tiers Revealed makes this process easier by adding roman numerals next to a technology’s name to indicate how many steps in that tech branch you’ve developed.

If you notice you can research the fifth-tier laser tech but still haven’t touched stuff like resource collection or colony development, maybe it’s time for a temporary shift in focus.


10. Tier Numbers: Buildings

Tier Numbers: Buildings Mod for Stellaris

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Even more important than keeping up with technology is understanding what’s going on in your planets.

Managing your economy, creating jobs, and avoiding crime can be daunting for newbies and even mid-level players.

This is made extra challenging by buildings that look almost the same as they level up.

Tier Numbers: Buildings helps you understand what’s happening on your planets at a glance by adding a tier number to every building.

This way, you’ll know if there’s still room for local improvement or if it’s time to build a new Orbital Habitat.


9. Pop Growth & Assembly Notifications

Pop Growth & Assembly Notifications Stellaris mod

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Another essential part of managing your planetary economy is keeping an eye on how fast your population is growing so you can avoid any significant unemployment or housing crises.

This can be challenging in a game where you have Gene Clinics and Clone Vats working hard to grow your population.

Pop Growth & Assembly Notifications will display a pop-up notification whenever a new pop is born or assembled in your empire. You’ll even hear a sound similar to your leaders leveling up, so you won’t miss it.


8. 10X Faster Reinforcement Speed

10X Faster Reinforcement Speed Mod for Stellaris

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Sometimes, QoL improvements mean breaking the rules a little.

Increasing your fleet reinforcement transit speed by 10 might make strengthening your armada a lot faster – but what you lose in “fairness,” you gain in convenience.

Especially in situations where every one of your shipyards is uncomfortably far apart from the others, the 10X Faster Reinforcement Speed mod can be a lifesaver.

Not even balance is worth waiting so long for a ship to fly from one end of your empire to the other.


7. Better Performance & Utilities

Better Performance & Utilities Stellaris mod

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As your Stellaris match draws on, you’ll notice performance hiccups and longer waiting times.

This is common in grand strategy games, and it’s generally caused by the AI having to make too many tough decisions like “where will every one of my 200 individual ships uselessly patrol” and “which one of my 300 pops needs resettling”.

Better Performance & Utilities offers up to 75% lower latency in the late game by making ship and population management easier. Some of your options are changing the population growth curve, forcing the AI to activate automatic migration, and stopping them from building new habitats.

Regrettably, some of these changes can affect the game’s balance, but you’re given full in-game control over which features are applied. You can choose your poison, so to speak.


6. Lazy Mode: Unlock Auto-Explore & Research

Lazy Mode: Unlock Auto-Explore & Research Mod for Stellaris

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Another massive QoL improvement that bypasses some of the game’s difficulty is Auto-Explore and Auto-Research.

These are two technologies you’d normally get as your empire advances – but if you’re too lazy to micro-manage your system surveying and choosing what tech you want to pursue, that’s fine too.

The Lazy Mode mod will give you a hand by enabling these technologies from the start, effectively streamlining the early game experience to get to the good stuff faster.

Just relax and let your advisors take care of everything.


5. Speed Dial

Speed Dial Stellaris mod

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Unless you’re playing some ravenous hivemind whose only objective is to consume and convert every living being in the galaxy, you will have to engage in diplomacy.

Some of my favorite galactic organizations to contact are trader caravans, marauders, and unique entities like the Artisan Troupe or the Curators.

If you have the cash, all of these can give you mighty bonuses, like skilled leaders or rare resources.

The Speed Dial mod makes opening communication channels 200% more convenient by adding a “speed dial” widget to the left of the screen.

Instead of looking through your contacts, you can just click on their emblem and be done with it.


4. UI Overhaul Dynamic

UI Overhaul Dynamic Mod for Stellaris

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Most of the QoL issues I run into with Stellaris have to do with the UI.

The vanilla interface isn’t terrible, but it’s certainly not the best it can be. And navigating this hyper-complex game can get even more complicated.

UI Overhaul Dynamic offers you a polished version of the Stellaris UI that improves upon vanilla in almost every way.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the UI resizes automatically to match your screen resolution. Most menu screens are also considerably larger – which I love – and lists require less scrolling on average.


3. UI Overhaul Dynamic – Better Planet View

UI Overhaul Dynamic – Better Planet View Stellaris mod

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Where UI Overhaul Dynamic really shines is the optional add-ons, such as Better Planet View.

This mod simply makes the planet view window larger and easier to navigate.

One of my favorite additions is the expanded population screen, which visually reflects what’s happening on the ground and what jobs are being done by which citizens.

The main attraction, however, is the expanded Planet Summary. It’s more comfortable and actually features three times more slots for buildings.


2. UI Overhaul Dynamic – Extended Topbar

UI Overhaul Dynamic – Extended Topbar Mod for Stellaris

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My favorite add-on for UI Overhaul Dynamic is the Extended Topbar, which makes keeping an eye on your research production and strategic resources easier.

It achieves this by – you guessed it – extending the top bar to include much more than just energy, minerals, food, alloys, and consumer goods.

With this mod, you also get a detailed list of every rare resource like exotic gases and nanites, how much of them you have in stock, and how many you produce per turn.

Individual research type production and even the amount of minor artifacts in your vault are also visible.


1. Tiny Outliner

Tiny Outliner Stellaris mod

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The most essential Stellaris QoL mod, from my perspective, is Tiny Outliner.

This minimalist improvement to your UI makes every entry in the outliner – planets, starbases, fleets, and civilian ships – about half as tall without losing much information. This way, almost everything fits without having to scroll down or contract tabs.

You’ll have an easier time noticing when something needs your attention, such as planets with unemployment or idle science ships.

It also looks a lot better!

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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.