Top 10 Best Trait Mods for Stellaris (All Free)

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My favorite part of almost any game is character creation – and this applies even more to building my own species and early galactic empire in Stellaris.

The average Stellaris player will take at least a week to finish a game. If you’re going to put that much time into a galactic empire, you better start on the right foot!

Species traits are one of the most critical choices you’ll make when creating a custom empire.

Will they be peaceful agrarian people? Consumerist deviants? A hive-mind?

It’s up to you!

If you’re feeling bored or limited by Stellaris’ vanilla traits, you’ll be happy to know that many mods exist to expand your species’ genetic possibilities.


10. Extended Aquatics

Extended Aquatics Mod for Stellaris

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We’ll kick things off by celebrating life below water with the Extended Aquatics mod – meant to expand upon the official Aquatics Species Pack content released in Nov 2021.

This mod adds five new species traits, five unique leader traits, and a custom origin for aquatic species.

The new From the Depths origin gives your species the Deep Dwellers trait and improves the habitability of Ocean Worlds but makes it impossible to colonize anything else.

The Deep Dweller trait (-4) pairs well with the Biggest Fish trait (+3), which increases leader lifespan and army damage but makes pops eat more food.


9. Just More Traits

Just More Traits Stellaris mod

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Just More Traits mod introduces numerous extra characteristics into Stellaris so you can explore even more evolutionary paths when creating a species.

Creator EdFromEarth brings us 57 all-new species traits.

Some grant completely new abilities, while others are just watered-down or buffed versions of vanilla traits.

Some examples of this are the new 2-point Long-Lived and 3-point Indelibe traits, which fill the gap between the 1-point Enduring and 4-point Venerable traits present in vanilla Stellaris.

This will significantly expand your roleplaying opportunities and enable you to create the very specific species of your dreams.


8. Precursor Traits

Precursor Traits Mod for Stellaris

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Over time, it’s inevitable for species to continue evolving and perhaps even bettering themselves through genetic manipulation and cyborg augmentations.

As such, it’s not really realistic to expect every race in the galaxy to have a balanced trait profile.

The Precursor Traits mod addresses this by introducing the Advanced, Ancient, and Precursor traits into the species creation menu.

These traits bring up your available trait points, allowing you to stack powerful positive attributes like Venerable, Rapid Breeder, and Very Strong together.


7. Roleplayer’s Paradise

Roleplayer’s Paradise Stellaris mod

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If you want to make overpowered species like the Qu from All Tomorrows or the Borg from Star Trek, you’ll need more than just extra trait points.

Roleplayer’s Paradise expands your RP possibilities by giving you access to numerous uniquely powerful traits for a fraction of the cost you’d usually expect.

Dominant armies, enormous intelligence, and the ability to automatically generate rare resources like Volatile Motes and Exotic Gasses are only a few points away.

Since this mod was created for roleplaying purposes, you’ll also find highly detrimental traits.


6. Additional Traits

Additional Traits Mod for Stellaris

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Next up, we have a straightforward mod adding over 70 new positive and negative traits spread out among organic, robotic, and pre-sapient species.

Organics get the most out of Additional Traits, with 47 new positive and negative characteristics. Some of my favorites include Genetically Ill (reduced habitability) and Planetary Designers (faster and cheaper terraforming).

On the other hand, robotics get just 20, but they’re all pretty good. Stuff like Standard Frame (faster pop assembly) and Brittle (increased upkeep) is very versatile for roleplaying.

Something else I love about this mod is that it includes five traits for pre-sapient species – the kind that hasn’t achieved space flight yet. They usually get left out, so it’s an excellent little addition.


5. Species Traits

Species Traits Stellaris mod

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Whenever I’m making a new species, I try to stay close to what’s coherent with the species archetype. For example, I wouldn’t make a mammal species able to photosynthesize.

Species Traits expands your race creation possibilities while keeping this in mind by introducing four or more archetype-specific traits.

For example, Humanoids can now get the Two-Legged trait, and Insectoids can have Exoskeletons.

This mod makes the species archetype even more important and provides fantastic roleplaying opportunities.


4. United Traits

United Traits Mod for Stellaris

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The United Sci-Fi Races mod is probably the most extensive and exciting new species mod available for Stellaris.

By itself, it introduces a vast array of new portraits based on fictional species from sci-fi franchises like Mass Effect, Star Wars, and Dr. Who – but what about traits for those species?

You’ll find those in the United Traits mod, featuring over 70 all-new characteristics inspired by these fan-favorite species.

Why are your organics Mutants? How expensive is it to build Super Luxurious robots? And why on Earth would you want an Obnoxious species?

It’s up to you to answer these questions after trying United Traits.


3. Expanded Traits, Civics, Pops, and More

Expanded Traits, Civics, Pops, and More Stellaris mod

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Traits, civics, and the rest of Stellaris’ systems exist in a complex and delicate ecosystem.

Where most trait mods try to limit their reach to avoid disturbing this ecosystem – also known as balance – Expanded Traits, Civics, Pops, and More follows a more integrative approach.

This mod introduces a bunch of game-changing traits, civics, edicts, and policies that work together and create a new balance.

Even the AI will create much more efficient species after discovering DNA editing.


2. Xenology: Traits Expansion

Xenology: Traits Expansion Mod for Stellaris

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One of the main things that draw me to Stellaris is how much you can customize your empire and how varied the different species and traits are.

Xenology makes Stellaris even better by emphasizing these differences through 42 new species traits and a more sophisticated Leader generation that depends on the species’ base attributes.

For example, an Illustrious species might produce a Regal ruler, while a Humble species will gravitate toward Diligent governors.

Every one of the new traits has at least one associated leader type.

You’ll find that these new traits are pretty expensive, so you’ll have to balance them with punishing negative characteristics. This helps specialize your society and makes for excellent roleplaying.


1. Trait Diversity

Trait Diversity Stellaris mod

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I’m the kind of guy that gets just a little bit of everything at an all-you-can-eat buffet. In other words, I appreciate variety above all else.

Offering a staggering 169 traits for organic species and 51 for robots, Lylant’s Trait Diversity has the largest pool of new characteristics available in a single mod – and it’s updated frequently, so it all remains functional despite Paradox breaking your load order with every update.

I’m not choosing quantity over quality, though.

These are all excellent traits that open the doors to new avenues of intergalactic development and unique roleplay.

My favorite new traits that’ll add tons of personality to your pops are Emotionless, Verbophobic, Pyromaniac, and – brace for it – Infanticides.

You might have to put a trigger warning on your save file!

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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.