In order to represent the struggles an empire will face in attempting to maintain control over a diverse population, Stellaris includes a system where units of an empire's population can join factions. These factions can gain support and militancy, and press the empire with demands (such as for independence).
Factions can be interacted with in various ways. Each method has its cost, but can help when dealing with that faction in a emergency situation.
- 1 Pops joining Factions
- 2 Faction Properties
- 3 Known Factions
- 4 Dealing with Factions
Pops joining Factions
Only pops that are fully sentient can join factions. That excludes any pre-sentients and any Robot under Synth level. A pop can only be part of one Faction.
By default all non-Enslaved Pops are part of the Loyalist faction whereas all enslaved pops that are not discontent are part of the Docile Slaves faction.
Pops with at least 50% happiness are not prone to join any non-Loyalist faction. As such especially during offensive wars and after conquests, Faction activity will increase significantly. Settling planets with under 50% Habitabiltiy will force the colonist into factions simply due to the maximum happiness. Long-term Ethics Divergence will cause the biggest issues due to no universal agreement over Policy Selection.
Usually every faction has all of these Properties. Support, Atraction and Supporters are usually the most important figures to keep in mind.
How "interesting" it is for discontent pops to join that faction in particular. Negative Attraction means the faction will dissolve. However pops that are still discontent might join another faction instead of becoming loyalists. Some Factions have an infinitely high attraction causing every pop fulfilling the criteria to join them (all Slaves must be in one of the Slave Factions).
How ready that faction is to commit acts of sabotage and maybe even open rebellion. Depending on Support level, additional effects have a chance to trigger. Support has a chance of increasing by 10% per month, with the probability being higher the more members the faction has, and being lowered the more members the loyalists have. This means that having many different factions will cause them all to gain support more quickly. When a faction is suppressed no support is gained, instead it decreases by 1% per month.
What goals the Faction has. Usually a change in policies or granting their Independance/Return to their previous Overlords.
What the Faction will do if their demands are not met and their Support is high enough. Increasing Levels of Support unlock more and more dangerous Effects. Each effect has a chance to trigger once per month. Most effects acquire a -100% trigger chance just after they have been triggered, so they can not retrigger that quickly. Common Effects are:
- Consolidate Support will make other pops on the Planet unhappy (either directly or via Ethos change), thus increasing the Faction Supporters and thus it's Danger. That way even a very minor Faction can grow to a big danger over time.
- Sabotage/Riot/Slave Riot will ruin a random Building. This will incur costs for repairing it and probably also increase discontent if the building produced happiness.
- Rebellion all supporting pops will spawn a defense Army on their planet, that will try to take control of the local Planet. If successful, that will spawn an empire that is at war with the player and all his defensive allies.
Lists how many pops are in that faction. Serves as a quick overview of how quickly that faction will gather support and how expensive suppression will be
Actions the player can do to deal with the Faction.
- Suppression stops all Support gain and drops Support by 1 per month, but at a steep Influence cost.
- Giving in to the demands will dissolve that Faction. But if the pops are still discontent and part of the empire afterwards, they may join other Factions.
Some factions have special actions, that only they themselves can trigger.
The faction that supports the empire. Has no Demands and does not need to be dealt with. The loyalist leader is always an option in democratic elections.
Democratic election factions
These multiple factions will briefly exist during democratic elections to allow for multiple choices.
Special Slave only Faction. Effectively "enslaved Loyalists", but not quite. As long as Slavery is not set to Regulated, this faction is dangerous. Afterwards it is intended to be ignored by the player. The greatest danger is forcing pops into the Malcontent Slaves Faction.
Non-Slaves that disagree with the use of Slavery in the empire. Most likely non-collectivist and non-xenophobes.
One of the most dangerous Factions in game. Is made up of very unhappy (under 30%) slaves and slaves radicalised by the other two Slave Related Factions. The Slave Revolt in particular is a extremely dangerous problem. Primarily intended to prevent the player from just forcing otherwise unhappy pops into the Docile Slaves faction (and thus out of the Faction System) using Slavery.
Discontent pops that have the "Recently Conquered" penalty will join this faction. Their goal is to have thier planets returned to thier previous owners. There are several special way to deal with this Faction:
- 3-phasic Integeration Campaigns will lowever the Faction atraction for a lump Sum of Influence
- Fighting it out. Unlike any other faction it will not reform after a rebellion has failed.
- completely eliminating the enemy empire. Without an empire to return too, no Repatriarch Faction can form.
However all but the first option may let the pops join another Faction instead.
Discontent Planet pops not part of the Repatriarchs or another higher Ranking Faction. They wish the planet to become an indepedent empire to choose its own intergalactic allegiance.
Because sectors means one does no longer have to deal with Planetary Separatists, instead the Sector Separatist Faction is introduced. Wishes to release the whole sector as a independant Empire.
All Faction capable pops set to being Purged are forced into this faction. Their goal is to stop all running purges.
Dealing with Factions
The best way to deal with a Faction is to increase the happiness to the point where they cease existing entirely. Longterm negative Ethics divergence will be the best tool to supress Factions, as it limits Policy related Discontent (by bringin the Ethos closer to Government line). Xenophobia and Pacifism in particular can be a big driving Factor. As is individualism for Slaveholders. Supression will curb a Factions support, but at a running Monthly influence cost. The exact formula is unknown. Collectivists recieve a major cost reduction here. As of 1.3.1 Individualist empires recieve a discount on Policy Happiness and Alien Overlord penalties, making them uniquely able to just live through Ethics Divergence.