Top 10 Best Scientist Traits in Stellaris

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Scientists are some of the most influential leaders in your Stellaris empire.

These big-brained members of your species dedicate their lives to solving the mysteries of the universe and giving you access to powerful weapons and other ethically-questionable technologies.

They’re also the front line of your exploration teams, fulfilling the role of scouts for your budding space empire by surveying new star systems and investigating anomalies.

That said, not all scientists are equal.

Depending on their traits, they can help you get a leg up on your rivals or cause you to lag behind the rest of the galaxy.

If you’re going to assemble a good research team, you’ll need to know what to look for in a good scientist.


10. Meticulous

Meticulous Trait Description / Stellaris

To succeed as a scientist, you must have a passion for getting to the bottom of things.

For Meticulous scientists, it’s their lifestyle.

These leaders leave no stone unturned while surveying a system, leading them to discover anomalies 10% more often than the average lab coat.

It’s a fantastic boon, especially when playing in a relatively small galaxy.

The alternative to Meticulous is Carefree, allowing scientists to research anomalies 35% faster.

That can be useful in the early game, but realistically, who wants someone “carefree” handling precious research specimens and potentially dangerous artifacts?


9. Roamer

Scientist with a Roamer Trait / Stellaris

Sometimes, it doesn’t really matter what you find in a system.

You just need a rough idea of what’s going on to fly in your construction ships and start building.

If that’s the case, you should hire a Roamer.

Wanderlust is what drives these scientists. They love discovering new places, and they’ll put their backs into surveying a system faster so they can go on to visit the next.

A scientist with the Roamer trait can survey systems 25% faster than their non-roaming colleagues, which can be invaluable if you’re trying to expand quickly.


8. Towel-Bearer

Towel-Bearer Trait Description / Stellaris

In Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, it’s stated that “A towel (…) is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”.

Sci-fi aficionados worldwide celebrate Towel Day on the 25th of May to honor Douglas Adams and his beloved absorbing item.

If one of your scientists is lucky enough to run into the Stay Calm anomaly event, they’ll become attached to a towel they found on a mysterious ship, becoming a Towel-Bearer.

The towel’s versatility will help your scientist streamline many surveying processes, effectively giving them 42% faster Survey Speed.


7. Maniacal

Maniacal Trait Description / Stellaris

Some scientific discoveries are so promising and awe-inspiring, they can lead scientists to an unhealthy obsession with pushing the boundaries of science forward at any cost.

This will cause some of your researchers to manifest the Maniacal trait, which gives them 5% faster Research Speed and makes Dangerous technologies available for research more often.

These include Sapient Combat Simulations, Jump Drive, and more.

Dangerous techs provide massive boons to your civilization, but they can also put you on a collision course with powers far beyond your comprehension, increasing the likelihood of disaster.

That said, you’ll have to face a crisis in the late game one way or another, so you might as well get those techs first!


6. Spark of Genius

Spark of Genius Trait Description / Stellaris

Not all brains are made equal.

Some people are creative, others are resilient – and once in a while, someone is born with a Spark of Genius.

Genius scientists know what to look for and how to find it when researching new technologies, effectively giving them 10% faster Research Speed in all fields.

Few traits are as versatile as Spark of Genius. It’s way better than Maniacal for sure… though it’s not half as badass.

Still, if you only care about results, a Genius will get them faster.


5. Curator

Curator Trait Description / Stellaris

Meeting the Curator Order is a joyful occasion for any empire.

These repositories of ancient knowledge are happy to lend a hand in your scientific endeavors – for a price.

Along with helping you establish Curator Think Tanks on your starbases and pointing you in the direction of exciting anomalies, the Curators can lend you one of their greatest minds to lead your researchers with their vast knowledge.

For a fair price of 5000 Energy credits, you’ll get a level 5 scientist with the Curator trait, which makes them 15% faster at researching, 25% faster at surveying, and opens the door to more rare technologies.


4. Brain Slug Host

Brain Slug Host Trait Description / Stellaris

Talk about Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain implant technology has made people ask themselves whether they’d be willing to hook tech up to their brains for the promise of enhanced cognition.

If putting a chip in your brain makes you iffy, imagine how you’d feel if your leaders forced you to become a host for an alien brain slug

It sounds like something straight out of a horror movie, but you’ll definitely warm up to the idea when you consider the benefits.

Brain Slug Hosts can research technology 10% faster, get to the bottom of anomalies in 15% less time, and survey new stellar systems 15% more quickly.


3. Expertise: Computing

Expertise: Computing Trait Description / Stellaris

Your scientists can be experts in various fields, such as Industry, Military Theory, and Psionics – but none are quite as useful as Computing.

It might not sound as exciting as Psionics or Voidcraft. Still, Computing allows your Physics researchers to develop better labs and gives them access to many technological advancements that increase your empire-wide research output.

The 15% faster Computing research speed helps your empire’s technology snowball, giving you a massive edge over your less advanced rivals.


2. Sapient AI Assistant

Sapient AI Assistant Trait Description / Stellaris

The dangers of Artificial Intelligence are great – especially in Stellaris. But it would take our scientific and technological development to the highest level.

One of the best examples of what even a small-scale AI can do is the Sapient AI Assistant trait.

Scientists with this trait have developed their own personalized AI assistant capable of helping them with their work.

This manifests in-game as 10% extra research speed, 20% faster surveys, and a staggering 30% decrease in the time it takes to research anomalies.


1. Percussive Maintainer

Percussive Maintainer Trait Description / Stellaris

Don’t tell your IT staff I said this… but there’s nothing like a good whack to fix a malfunctioning machine.

You’d think that only applies to relatively simple appliances – but as the Percussive Maintainer trait shows us, even high-tech spaceships and probes can benefit from tough love.

Scientists with this trait will make your Computing research 20% faster and help you fully excavate archaeological sites in 25% less time, presumably by replacing good technical service with slapping any malfunctioning equipment a couple times until it comes back to life.

This trait can be obtained from the Ruined Station archaeology site, where you’ll also find the Rudari Death Laser relic. Talk about great value!

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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.