20 Best Stellaris Species Mods Worth TryingThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
One of the most exciting parts of exploring outer space in Stellaris is meeting other intelligent races, each with their own history, culture, and knowledge to share with us… or weapons to destroy us.
Are they terrestrial or aquatic? Born in the void or on a planet? What’s their opinion on the possibility that we’re all just different aspects of an omnipresent God?
The mysteries never end.
Yet after a dozen or so full Stellaris playthroughs, the base game’s species and archetypes might start feeling a bit too familiar for a game about braving the great unknown.
If you’re already at this point, you’ll be happy to know that the modding community has a ton of content to quell your thirst for novelty.
From small racial overhauls to massive new species packs, these mods will make your game a lot more diverse.
20. C6 Species
First up, we have a race of friendly blobs with silly rubber hose arms who’re totally not going to purge your stellar system.
The C6 species started out as concept art in a development diary for the official Stellaris: Aquatics Species Pack.
It wasn’t chosen for the main release – but gamers seemed to love it, so a couple of heroes from the dev team snuck it out the back door for us through this mod.
Little is set in stone about these flailing blobs other than their evident charisma and apparent friendly demeanor, so it’s up to you to give them the right traits to thrive in the void.
19. Species Engineering
I love it when Sci-Fi universes are populated by hundreds of different species rather than just one or two.
In Stellaris, it can take a while before you meet more than a few of them – especially if you’re not the expansionist, conquering type. Sure, there’ll always be some primitive societies to interact with, but no more than one or two.
Species Engineering adds the possibility of building “Evolution Labs” after researching the right technology.
This building allows you to play god and create a new species in one of your colonized worlds.
Alternatively, you can create them in an uncolonized world, so they become a primitive society. Perfect for roleplaying the Annunaki… or better yet, the Qu.
18. Halo Species Mods
Next up, we have a real treat for fans of the most influential first-person shooter of the 2000s.
I’m talking, of course, about Halo: Combat Evolved, a Sci-Fi epic with rich lore, including some fascinating space societies that fit in perfectly in the Stellaris universe.
This collection of mods includes fleshed-out species based on the United Nations Space Command, the Covenant, and three other exciting races that play a significant role in the lore.
These mods are more than just portraits. They include new origins, civics, namelists, flags and backgrounds along with new tech, armies, and buildings. There’s a lot to discover!
17. Vanilla Dimorphism
Sexual dimorphism is a natural phenomenon where members of the same species have different sizes, colors, and shapes depending on their sex.
This can be seen in thousands of species on earth, including lions, spiders, octopi, and humans.
The Vanilla Dimorphism mod makes a ton of vanilla species dimorphic. It specifically targets animal-like species, such as space cats, space foxes, and space goats, giving their males or females a distinct new body type.
It’s hard to say whether this is more realistic or dimorphism is an Earth-exclusive trait, but it definitely makes the game feel more varied and fun.
16. Lithoid Supremacy
When humans think of extraterrestrial life, we tend to imagine relatively soft and squishy carbon-based lifeforms such as ourselves.
That’s why I love lithoids, which may be carbon-based but are definitely not soft and squishy. How life could arise in such an environment remains a mystery, but I don’t need to know that to enjoy this crystalline species.
The Lithoid Supremacy mod gives you even more reasons to play as a rock people empire with new traits, techs, civics, and even a new planet for the Lithoids.
15. LABRATS Species
Humans have a complex relationship with rodents. Some of us hate them, others love them, but we all depend on them to try out all kinds of crazy experiments in the name of scientific advancement.
The LABRATS species is what happens when we take it just a little bit too far.
These giant rats have the intelligence and drive to maintain a stable society and thrive in outer space – but will they see us as stewards of their species, or their historic oppressors? Only time will tell.
There are ten different LABRAT body types, and over 15 different outfits for different governors, scientists, admirals, and generals.
14. Cyfurrix Race
If you like the idea of anthropomorphic animals, you’ll love the Cyfurrix Race.
As its name implies, this is a race of furries. Cat people, dog people, and fox people are all here, and their anime-style portraits look really cool.
The Cyfurrixen are an unusual species that’s both xenophilic and highly militaristic.
I feel they’d conquer planets just to stuff their population into zoos to “protect” them.
Admittedly, it’s not the most balanced mod. But it’s a small price to pay to have ocelots with six-packs leading your armies.
13. Destiny: Hive Portraits
The Hive is an unbelievably powerful species from Bungie’s Destiny whose leaders got elevated to near-godhood by mysterious symbiotic worms.
Doesn’t this sound like a Stellaris event?
Their society is structured around “Sword Logic,” which is the belief that defeating others in combat is the only way to become stronger and that individual strength is the core value of existence.
Other than bad-ass portraits, this mod adds a new Hive origin, tech, civics, traits, and even a new resource: Hive Worms.
12. Plant’s Species Expansion
Plant’s Species Expansion brings new traits designed specifically for Molluscoid, Plantoid, Aquatic, and Machine species – but that’s not why I included it in the ranking.
This mod also brings a new mollusk-like species with a single eye and a body structure that makes them look like a cyclops monk. They’d make great religious zealots!
Excluding the Machine traits, any of this mod’s Plantoid, Molluscoid, or Aquatic traits might be a good fit for these bizarre-looking aliens.
Hell, maybe they’re some sort of hybrid. It’s really up to you!
11. Xenology: Traits Expansion
If you’re still not finding what you need to craft your perfect space-conquering species after looking through your vanilla traits, check out Xenology: Traits Expansion.
Xenology aims to make outer space feel more varied and increase specialization with 25 new positive traits, 17 negative traits, and a whopping 49 new leader traits – some of which only become available through certain trait combos.
The mod also introduces 42 new species traits across all vanilla archetypes.
It won’t only give you more possibilities for your own empire but also enrich other spacefaring civilizations’ biology and culture.
10. Animated Polynian Species
The Polynian product line is a series of articulated figures released by Daibadi Production, a Japanese PVC figure manufacturer.
These figures depict cute robotic anime girls based on popular anime tropes. They stand between a human and a robot, with curvilinear bodies but mechanical parts.
Animated Polynian Species introduces a whopping 127 fully animated portraits perfect for replacing your boring old synthetic species with hot new artificial anime girls.
While using these portraits for robotic species seems logical, nothing stops you from making them organic or lithoid.
9. More Aquatic Species
There’s only one thing in human experience that appears as mysterious as outer space: the deep sea.
Considering water is a prerequisite for life according to our understanding, it’s only fair that there would be some fully aquatic species populating the stars.
Stellaris introduced some of these with the Aquatics Species Pack, but there’s always room for more.
This Aquatic portrait mod introduces 11 new Aquanoid portraits inspired by sea creatures like fish, squid, and crustaceans.
Tip: I recommend pairing this with the Extended Aquatics mod for extra traits.
8. Origin: Living Planet
Populating a planet with your own custom-made species is exciting, but what about becoming the planet?
If you’ve played one too many Stellaris games and no amount of cool portraits and unique traits excites you anymore, it’s time you try something bigger – way bigger.
The Origin: Living Planet mod lets you go through the game as a colossal sentient mass based on Starlord’s father in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Instead of developing a civilization, you’ll consume others to grow your power.
7. Etiluos’ Animated Species
Some modders are one-hit wonders, but others, like Etiluos, can’t seem to stop creating new content once they get started.
This creator has made over 20 different new species for Stellaris, ranging from cute anime girls with mermaid or dragon characteristics to sentient goo.
You’ll also find plenty of anthropomorphic animals and some species based on video game characters like the Kriken from Metroid Prime: Hunters and Lucario from Pokémon.
Most of these don’t have custom traits, but the sheer amount of phenotype variety and Etiluos’ gorgeous art style make up for it.
6. Mechroid 2: A Cyborg Species Expansion
The “zombie apocalypse” threat isn’t scary because of the walking corpses but the risk of losing yourself and becoming a mindless cannibal.
Like the Cybermen from Dr. Who, Mechroids present a similar terror to any species that crosses them.
These semi-mechanical beings have shed their organic bodies in favor of machine parts, and they can only reproduce by doing the same to others.
This can be a crippling limitation, or a fearsome expansion strategy, depending on how you choose to play.
5. Silfae’s Animated Portraits
Creator Silfae is well known in the Stellaris modding community for their extensive list of amazing species with animated portraits.
Silicoids, Serpentoids, Raptors, Shark people, and the Asari from Mass Effect are only some of their fantastic add-ons.
Other than beautiful and varied portraits, their mods introduce complementary traits, custom starting systems, and even new shipsets. The most detailed among them even feature prescripted empires and custom AI personalities.
What I like the most about these portraits is that the art style is similar to vanilla Stellaris, helping these new races blend in with the rest of the intergalactic population.
4. Cryogenesis Unofficial Species Pack
Homo Sapiens were forged in southern Africa’s hot and humid regions, and earthling life itself is hypothesized to have arisen from a high-temperature “primordial broth” of sorts.
As such, we tend to see heat as a prerequisite for life.
This limits our intergalactic expansion possibilities, and we should expect some species to rise up and fill that vacant biological niche.
The Cryogenesis mod introduces eight new animated portraits representing uniquely cold-adapted versions of some vanilla species and three new traits that’ll help you colonize frozen worlds.
You also get an all-new “Cryogenesis” origin and access to a fun colossus weapon known as the Cryo-Ra. Call me Frozone ’cause I love this mod.
3. Mass Effect Species Pack – Expanded Edition
If I had to choose a sci-fi universe to be reborn into, I’d go with Mass Effect.
Sure, the threat of complete annihilation by the Reapers is worrying, but the many unique alien species and the way they interconnect is fascinating to imagine.
Plus, I can’t think of anything better than an Asari girlfriend. I’m basic like that.
The Mass Effect Species Pack lets you bring some of these fantastic aliens into Stellaris with custom portraits, flags, and lore-accurate starting systems. These include the Quarians, the Salarians, the Turians, etc.
Sadly, my beloved blue space-women are missing from this single download, but the creator recommends this 100% compatible Asari mod.
2. Elves of Stellaris
I’m a fan of the intersection between Sci-Fi and medieval fantasy, two genres that have more in common than most people think.
Meeting the mysterious elves is no different from meeting any other fictional species, so bringing this staple of medieval fantasy to the stars actually makes a lot of sense.
Elves of Stellaris lets you do that with a wealth of new elven portraits, traits, origins, and even ships worthy of an empire that powers technology with magic.
The mod introduces not one but seven different elf types to populate the galaxy.
1. United Sci-Fi Races
The incalculably massive size of the universe practically guarantees a near-infinite amount of different lifeforms would arise as time goes on.
It’s impossible to predict what you’ll run into, and that’s part of the appeal.
The United Sci-Fi Races mod helps keep things unpredictable by summoning over 200 races from famous works of fiction to populate the galaxy.
There are Daleks from Dr. Who, the Chiss from Star Wars, and even the Na’Vi from Peter Jackson’s Avatar. The variety is astounding!
You’ll also find some custom fantasy races and previously unplayable Stellaris factions like the Contingency or the Unbidden available as portraits.