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 support factions. With 1.5 the entire System was reworked - the former "Rebel Factions" have been rolled into Unrest, while the Factions are now more like Political Parties and took over nearly all the pop happiness modifiers.
- 1 Pops supporting Factions
- 2 Faction Properties
- 3 Factions
- 4 Detailed Issues List
Pops supporting Factions
Only pops that are fully sentient can support factions. That excludes any pre-sentients and any Robot below Synth level. Pops with Nerve-Stapled trait are also excluded. A pop can only support one Faction. Pops that are Enslaved or being Purged can not join Factions, however either option will cause a rather high level of Unrest by itself, making it a "de facto" Faction that is likely always unhappy.
Every Ethic has at least one Faction and every eligible pop of that Ethic may support it. This is very positive if the faction is happy, but can lead to massive Unrest if it is unhappy.
As a pop has to have the fitting Ethics to support a Faction, Ethics attraction plays a major role in Faction strength and distribution. Both systems interact to a degree.
Remember: First Ethics, then (maybe) Faction support.
Every faction has all of these Properties. Happiness and Size are usually the most important figures to keep in mind.
There is at least one Faction for every Ethic. However, there might be multiple Factions for some Ethics to better allow divergent playstyles (a militant and pacifist Xenophobe Faction, for example).
Each Faction has a happiness Rating. This is derived from its Issues, with a major modification if the Faction is Suppressed or Supported.
Faction Happiness is the base happiness for every supporting pop. As such, an unhappy Faction with a lot of Supporters will cause considerable Unrest, while happy Factions with a lot of supporters will cause happiness derived production bonuses. Starting with 60% Happiness a faction will also Produce Influence (see Effects).
How many pops currently support that Faction. Happy Factions should ideally contain 100% of the Population, making them effectively your "Loyalist" Factions. This and Happiness will directly translate to Unrest across the Empire as well as the Faction Effects.
The tooltip reveals how many pops could support that Faction (fit the Ethics and other requirements) but do not do, due to lack of attraction.
How many pops in your Empire could support this Faction (meet all the requirements).
Ideally size and Attraction are equal at all times. If attraction is higher, that either means some pops that could join this Faction did not do so yet (they might have just recently converted) or are tied up in another Faction. The only known case in 1.5 is that Aliens that are Xenophobe might join the Isolationist Faction - rather then their Xenophobic one - depending on empire Ethic
This is not to be mistaken with Ethics attraction.
Issues directly translate to happiness: the more issues that are Fulfilled, the happier the Faction. By their nature opposing Ethic Factions have opposing issues, making it impossible to make all Factions happy. An issue can either produce a happiness penalty (red), a happiness bonus (green) or be neutral (yellow). Many issues have requirements before they can appear, making it sometimes hard to know what will please a faction.
Issues come in a few common shapes that can each only have two of the above states:
- Positive Issues will be green if Fulfilled. And Yellow if not fulfilled.
- Negative issues will be red if not fulfilled. Yellow if fulfilled.
- Extreme issues will be red if not fulfilled, green if fulfilled.
- Stacking issues are a special variation of Positive issues. There are 2 or more "Levels" to fulfilling that issues. Usually the higher level is the same basic mechanic/check, but with a higher threshold. Fulfilling one Level will unlock the next one (i.e., being 10, 20 and 50 years at peace; having 1, 3 or 5 Non-Aggression Pacts with Neighbors). The levels will usually provide +2%, +3% and +5% happiness which will stack for a total of +5% or +10%. However, sometimes unrelated issues share these numbers too.
A faction needs at least 60% Happiness to provide Influence for the Empire, at which point the gain is 2 Influence base. This base value is then multiplied by the support. Any effect that affects "+X Max Influence from Factions" will apply to that base value, potentially increasing the income for Factions drastically. Higher happiness will not produce more Influence (confirmed up to 95%).
i.e. a 60% Happy Faction with their Ethic being embraced by 90% of the pops, but only 66% in support of the Faction, will provide 2 Base Influence times 66% = 1.32 Influence.
Every Faction has a leader. That one will be drawn Randomly from the Leaders already hired or hireable in the Empire, but often with weighting towards certain leader classes or species cases. If the ruler of the Empire is elected, having a Faction leader elected will greatly increase Attraction for that Faction and its Ethics.
Actions the player can do to deal with the Faction:
- Embrace Ethics this allows the player to change their empire Ethics one step towards that Faction's Ethics. The action is expensive (250 influence), has a 10 year lockout, requires at least 20% support. It will make this Faction Happy (+20%) but all others Unhappy (-10%).
- Suppression this allows the player to suppress the Ethic behind the Faction, which will in the long run eliminate that Faction. This costs 1 Influence per month and makes that Faction unhappy. It will stop if the Faction is eliminated.
- Support this allows the player to increase Attraction for the Factions Ethics. This can be useful in preparation of an Ethics switch. It can not be applied to a Factions whose Ethics is already among the ruling Ethics and any Faction whose Ethics becomes a ruling one will have their Support canceled automatically.
- For any of the Terms used, please see Game Terms.
- Guiding Ethics: Militarist
- Requirement: Encountered another species.
- Supporter Requirements: Militarist
- Attraction: 100 Base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. x1.25 for Full Citizens
- Leader: 100 Base, no modifiers
|Aggressive Diplomacy||Contact with non-Vassal Default Empire||Unrestricted War policy||0||–10|
|Subjugation||Contact with non-Vassal Default Empire||Taking a planet from and/or making a subject of any empire as a result of a peace deal (remains fulfilled for 20 years)||+10||0|
|Border Expansion||Always||Establishing a new frontier outpost (remains fulfilled for 20 years)||+5||0|
|Local Rivalry||3+ Communications||1 Neighboring Rival||+2||0|
|Neighborhood Rivalries||3+ Communications||2 Neighboring Rivals||+3||0|
|Galactic Nemeses||3+ Communications||3 Neighboring Rivals||+5||0|
|Strong Alone||1+ Communications||Not in Federation||0||–25|
|Traditional Domination||Any Domination Tradition||Any Domination Tradition||+5||0|
Summary: The Militarist Path, requires eternal Warfare. Up to +30 Happiness, but half of that requires regular action which can make more then +15 hard to sustain. Requirements are easy to meet, the Failure conditions are easily avoided but do define the Diplomatic game to a large degree.
- Guiding Ethics: Xenophobe
- Requirement: Encountered another species.
- Supporter Requirements: Xenophobe. Is Xeno OR Synthetic OR empire is Pacifist
- Attraction: 100 Base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. x1.5 if Xenophobe. x0.25 if Militarist
- Leader: 100 Base, no modifiers
|Stalwart Defense||Contact with non-Vassal Default Empire||Defensive Wars policy||+5||–10|
|Minimal Diplomacy||1+ Communications||No Migration Agreement, Research Agreement, Defense Pact, Federation or Guarantee of Independence with any empire||0||–5|
|Refugee Restrictions||Contact with Default Empire||Not All Refugees Welcome||0||–10|
|Non-Aggression Pact||3+ Communications||1 Non-Aggression pact with Neighbors||+2||0|
|Non-Aggression Covenant||3+ Communications, 1 Non-Aggression pact with Neighbors||2 Non-Aggression pacts with Neighbors||+3||0|
|Non-Aggression Protocol||3+ Communications, 2 Non-Aggression pacts with Neighbors||3 Non-Aggression pacts with Neighbors||+5||0|
|Peace||1+ Communications||10+ years of peace||+2||0|
|Extended Peace||1+ Communications, 10+ years of peace||25+ years of peace||+3||0|
|Peace Everlasting||1+ Communications, 25+ years of peace||50+ years of peace||+5||0|
Summary: The Pacifist Xenophobe Faction somehow manages to be more pacifist then even the pacifists themselves. Bonus goes up to +25, but one of them is a waiting game ruined by any war declaration and actually getting enough neighbors for the Non-Aggression pacts might be a bit of a game of luck. If you have this Faction, you will probably also have Prosperity. On the plus side it does draw in any Xenophobe Xeno you should happen to get into your Empire.
- Guiding Ethics: Egalitarian
- Requirement: Encountered another species OR Planetary Unification Technology
- Supporter Requirements: Egalitarian
- Attraction: 150 Base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. x0.25 if Xeno 
- Leader: 100 Base. x0 for Ruler in Imperial Authority empire
Summary: Up to +20 bonus, but past +15 requires Research to unlock. If you have this Faction as Authoritarian, take special care not to give in to the Slavery ban. That will add even more people to that Faction, making it impossible to control while also ruining a core of your Authoritarian Attraction. A big danger is any Heir joining this Faction. Egalitarian Ethics are relatively hard to avoid and easy to maintain if you engage in any Diplomacy.
- Guiding Ethics: Pacifist
- Requirement: Encountered other Species AND Owns original Capital World
- Supporter Requirements: Pacifist
- Attraction: 100. x1.25 Leader is Ruler. x0.75 no Leader. x1.5 if Pacifist. x1.25 if Xeno 
- Leader: 100 Base. No modifiers
Summary: The pacifist Faction is surprisingly hard to get happy. Up to +22 Bonus, but Liquidity can be very hard to acquire early game and needs constant looking at the budget - dropping below it could have a runaway effect. Strategic Resources are another concern: considerable research and space or treaties will be needed to satisfy these high demands.
- Guiding Ethics: Xenophobe
- Requirement: Encountered another Species
- Supporter Requirements: Xenophobe AND Country not Pacifist
- Attraction: 100 base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader
- Leader: 100 Base. x0.5 if Scientist. x0 if Xeno
Summary: The aggressive Xenophobe Faction exists in two modes: If you are a Fanatical Purifier or if you are not. It is assumed that Fanatical Purifier will implicitly fulfill all requirements. Up to +30 bonus, or +25 if Fanatical Purifier. However primitives might be somewhat hard to find and the last one requires Research. The inability to create subspecies also has some serious ramifications for the Colonization part, which can hurt especially hard as Fanatical Purifier - it could be better to just accept that penalty and life with mere +15.
- Guiding Ethics: Materialist
- Requirement: Either:
- AND Either:
- Supporter Requirements: NOT Spiritualist. Either Materialist OR Robot Pop
- Attraction: 150 Base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. x2 if Robot Pop
- Leader: 100 Base. No Modifiers
Summary: Technologists have some of the most complicated Requirements, but they are all designed to unlock some of the issues. The Mechanists Civic will fulfill most of this out of the gate. Up to +25 Bonus, but the requirements might make it hard. The +15 from the Robots might be the easiest to get, but the two Communication based ones can be conflicting: The more people you know, the more likely you know someone that is better in Technology - especially as you will likely aid fellow materialists in their Science. The intention is probably they they even out to +0 with a potential for +5.
- Guiding Ethics: Authoritarian
- Requirement: Planetary Unification or Encountered another Species
- Supporter Requirements: Authoritarian
- Attraction: 150 base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. x0.25 if Xeno
- Leader: 100 Base
Summary: With a dedicated build the first +12 can be very easy to acquire, but getting up to +15 requires some serious Research. Moreover Slavery will drastically cut into the number of pops that can join Factions to begin with. This Faction might easily be the hardest to get any Influence from through the entire game and the Ethics Attraction is not exactly easy to maintain either.
- Guiding Ethics: Spiritualist
- Requirement: Encountered another species AND either:
- Supporter Requirements: Spiritualist. Not a Robot Pop.
- Attraction: 150 Base. x1.25 if Ruler is Leader. x0.75 if no Leader.
- Leader: 100 Base.
|Life Organic / Empty Shells||Robotic Workers Technology||Having no Robot Pops||0||–10|
|Pious Polity / Secular State||Always||Government Type is one of the Spiritualist ones||+5||–5|
|Unhallowed Ground||Surveyed Tomb World||No Colony on a Tomb World||0||–10|
|Peopling Paradise||Surveyed Gaia World||Colony on a Gaia World||+10||0|
|Blessedly Unblissed||Subdermal Stimulation Technology||Currently broken, but ought to be: No Pop under Chemical Bliss Living Standards||0||–5|
|Psionic Pursuit||Utopia DLC. Any Ascension Perk or Slot unlocked||Choose the Ascension Perk Mind over Matter||+10||0|
|Flesh is Strong||Choose the Ascension Perk The Flesh is Weak||Not Having completed the Special Project 'The Flesh is Weak'||+3||–30|
|Homogeneity||Always||At least 25% of Pops in your empire are Spiritualist||+5||0|
Summary: The requirements might be surprisingly hard to fulfill and like Materialist, any Faction enabling requirements also unlocks issues. +33 is possible, but you only have a decent shot at the first +10. Getting +20 requires luck with either a Gaia World (which could bring you into conflict with the Spiritualist Fallen Empire) or the Ascension Path (and thus technology). Tomb worlds can be terraformed once you have the proper technology, unlocking them as colony worlds (but if it stays like that remains to be seen).
- Guiding Ethics: Xenophile
- Requirement: Encountered another Species
- Supporter Requirements: Xenophile
- Attraction: 150 Base. x1.25 if Leader is Ruler. x0.75 if no Leader. x2 if Xeno
- Leader: 100 Base. x0.5 if Scientist. x2 if Xeno
Summary: Peaks of +30 are possible, but eventually Primitives to Enlighten and Pre-Sentients to Uplift will vanish, leaving you at long term cap of +15, +20 if you can get an Enclave. Getting enough species for Multicultural will require some serious work on the habitability/colonization and Diplomacy Fronts.
Detailed Issues List
- Comment says it should check for Citizenship instead. Might be subject to change