User interface

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This article is considered accurate for the current version (1.4) of the game.

Stellaris' Interface, also called user interface (UI), or graphical user interface (GUI), has a number of specific screens and visual elements. This article will focus on the pragmatic purpose and utility of the interface (as opposed to the stylistic elements).



The DLC section of the launcher.
UI SP setup.png

The Stellaris game launcher is used to launch the game and handle all pre-game options.

The launcher is separated into the following:

  • News tab - shows any resent developments regarding Stellaris.
  • DLC tab – lists all available DLCs and add-ons sorted by type and quick enable/disable.
  • Mods tab – lists all available mods and quick enable/disable.
  • Paradox account – used to login into PDX account if one wishes to use features such as leader-boards, etc.
  • Play

Main menu[edit]

The main menu is the first screen players see after the game loads at start up, and where players return to after they leave their in-progress games. It shows a space station with a planet in the background along with controls and information along the bottom.

Lower center
  • Singleplayer to choose a single player game
  • Multiplayer to choose a multiplayer game
  • Credits
  • Settings to access graphics, audio, controls options.
  • Exit (to leave the game)
Bottom left corner
Bottom right corner

Single player species setup[edit]

Map Views[edit]

System View[edit]

System view

We are now in System View, an up-close look at a particular star system. Here we can visually locate planets, stations and fleets with relative ease.

Galaxy Map[edit]

Galaxy view

The Galaxy Map displays vast swaths of Uncharted Space, the limits of our borders, and the territories of any alien civilizations we may have established communications with. You can view other information by using the Map Mode controls located in the bottom-right. These Map Modes include:

  • Empire Map Mode (default view)
  • Diplomatic Map Mode - colorizes the map to show the selected empire's diplomatic status with other empires
  • Opinion Map Mode - colorizes the map to show the selected empire's opinion of other empires
  • AI Attitude Map Mode - colorizes the map to show the selected empire's AI attitude toward other empires

Click the Details Mapmode button in the bottom-right menu bar to toggle Resources and Sensor Ranges displays. Some system details can be viewed on the Galaxy Map, such as the nature of potentially colonizable worlds and the values of minerals and research that can be obtained by building stations there. White numbers indicate no station have been built. Green numbers indicate a station is excavating the resource.

Top bar indicators



Government Views[edit]


Government view (tab 01 - Government)

The Government screen presents information regarding our empire and its government. Here we can see our Ruler and their traits as well as the Governing Ethics.

Click the Government types icon to open the Reform Government screen to change your government as your empire matures.

Separate tabs give detailed overviews of our Budget, any Policies that can be enacted, and information on the Demographics of our nation.


Government view (tab 02 - Budget)

The Budget tab tallies our empire's monthly Income and Expenses in Energy Credits. Here we can also track a variety of effects that influence our economy.


Government view (tab 03 - Policies)

The Policies tab covers government Policies as well as empire-wide Edicts, practices that can be enforced by spending some of our Influence. There are often a few possible stances to take for any given Policy, though we may be limited by technology as well as our Ethos.


Government view (tab 04 - Demographics)

The Demographics tab tracks the makeup and spread of our empire's populace.\n\nIt also shows dominant Traits among our Pops as well as modifiers to productivity and happiness, among other things.

Reform Government[edit]

Reform Government view

Use the Reform Government screen to change your empire's type of government.

Click the Government types icon in the Government tab to open.



Empire view (tab 01 - Planets)

The Empire screen lists the Planets of our empire, with Leaders and the different Factions in separate tabs. It also lets us create and manage Sectors.

Sector Management

In Sector Management Mode, planets are added to new or existing Sectors on a per-system basis. Sectors automate the construction of planetary buildings, greatly reducing the need for micromanagement.


Empire view (tab 02 - Leaders)

The Leaders tab lets us hire, dismiss and assign idle Governors, Scientists, Admirals and Generals.


Empire view (tab 03 - Factions)

The Factions tab provides an overview of the populace's political groupings, and allows us to hear their Demands and interact with them.

Contact Views[edit]


Contacts view (tab 01 - Empires)

In the Contacts screen we see a detailed list of all the various Empires we have encountered. Their Opinions of us are visible at a glance, and we can quickly and easily engage in Diplomacy. The Species tab shows a list of all alien species we have encountered, as well as their associated Traits.


Contacts view (tab 02 - Species)

The Species tab lists all types of nominally intelligent beings we have encountered, allowing us to Modify or Uplift them if we have the means and opportunity.

Genetic Modification

We can genetically engineer this species, modifying their Traits.


We can modify the Traits of these intelligent animals and Uplift them to become fully sapient and productive citizens of our empire.


Diplomacy Screen[edit]

Diplomacy screen

The Diplomacy screen is where we communicate with other civilizations. Here we can Declare War, form Alliances and implement Trade Deals with our neighbors, amongst other things. There is a button on the Diplomacy screen that centers the screen view on that empire's capital.

War Demands

When declaring war we also need to declare what the purpose of the conflict is, to both our enemy and any allies. These War Goals determine what kind of Demands we can press during peace negotiations, ranging from the ceding of orbital stations to vassalization. Presenting these goals gives the enemy an opportunity to react appropriately - they might give up immediately, present a counter-offer and truce, or defend their interests to the last man, woman, fungal spore or half-sentient herbivore. Finding out is part of the fun! To declare a War Goal, click and drag it from the list and drop it onto the player's Empire or any allied Empire.

War Status

The War Status screen shows the current state of any ongoing galactic conflict that we are involved in. The Warscore bar is a general representation of the two sides' military successes relative to each other, with a detailed breakdown of generated Warscore beneath.

War Negotiation

We may at any time use our accumulated Warscore to press demands for our various War Goals. Keep in mind that the enemy is unlikely to accept any demands for War Goals where the Cost exceeds the Warscore we have accumulated. Additionally, a potential victor might even show mercy by offering White Peace, while a likely loser may propose an unconditional Surrender to avoid spilling any more of the multitude of vital bodily fluids organics need to operate efficiently.

Trade Offers[edit]

Trade screen

Ship Designer View[edit]

All the Ships in use within our empire are designed here. New Hull Sizes and Components will be unlocked as we research new technologies.

Log Views[edit]

Situation Log[edit]

Planet view (tab 01 - Situation Log)

The Situation Log displays a list of all currently available Special Projects and various other points of interest. New items will likely appear as we begin exploring the galaxy.

Victory Log[edit]

Planet view (tab 02 - Victory Log)

The Victory screen lists certain conditions that we can strive to fulfill, to ensure that the legacy of our star nation will endure for as long as there is intelligent life in the galaxy.

Technology View[edit]

Technology view

The Technology screen is where we will be directing our research efforts. Technologies are categorized into three different fields, with each field typically having three available research options. We can research technologies without assigning a Scientist to the relevant field, but this will take significantly longer and is generally not recommended!

Planet View[edit]

Planet Summary[edit]

Planet view (tab 01 - Summary)

This is our homeworld and the Capital of our empire. The Planet Summary screen, which we are currently looking at, provides an overview of the planet's important statistics. Among other things, we can see the total number of Tiles this planet has, how many Pops are living on it and how much Food it produces. If the planet has a Governor, they can also be found here.


Terraforming allows us to alter the environmental conditions of a planet, to better suit a particular Species or purpose.


These are planet-specific Edicts, practices that can be temporarily enforced by spending some of our Influence. New Edicts become available as we research new technologies and encounter new situations.

Surface View[edit]

Planet view (tab 02 - Surface)

Here we see a visual representation of this planet's surface, divided into Tiles. This tab is only visible on colonies and surveyed worlds that are habitable. Each Pop occupies a single tile, which means that there can never be more Pops on a planet than there are free tiles. In addition to a Pop, a Tile can also support a Building. To get the most out of a planet, we will need to carefully manage our Pops, Buildings and Tiles.

Adjacency Effects

Some Buildings may cause Adjacency Effects to other Buildings in neighboring Tiles. Let us take this into consideration when constructing new facilities.

Army View[edit]

Planet view (tab 03 - Armies)

This is where we manage all ground forces on this planet. The upper portion of this view is divided into three sections. The top section represents the orbital space above the planet, the middle section is the atmosphere and the bottom section is the surface. New Armies are also raised here, by clicking Recruit in the bottom right. Defense Armies should be trained to defend our planets from possible invasions. In wartime, Assault Armies must be sent to occupy enemy planets if we wish to claim these worlds as War Demands during peace negotiations.


Planet view (tab 04 - Spaceport)

The Spaceport tab is where we view orbiting fleets, build new ships and upgrade the station itself. If a planet has no Spaceport, we can order the construction of one if we have the necessary Resources. Click an Empty Module Slot to view a list of available modules to install. Click the Build button at the bottom of the Build Queue, and a list of all Ship Designs and Spaceport Upgrades available for construction will appear to the right.


Military Fleets[edit]

Military Fleets are used to protect our emerging empire from threats... or to expand our glorious rule through force of arms, if we so wish. Our Navy Size is limited by technology and the skill of its commanding Admiral. No Admiral has been assigned to our starting fleet, so if we have the Influence points to spare we may wish to recruit one.

Science Ships[edit]

This is our Science Ship, which is used to Survey astronomical objects such as planets in a star system. A planet needs to be surveyed in order to make its Resources visible.\n\nTo put it to work, simply right-click on a not-yet-surveyed planetary body and select Survey System. The ship will then travel between all objects in the system and survey them each in turn.\n\nSurveying other planets may also uncover ones that are Habitable and ripe for future colonization.

Construction Ships[edit]

This is our construction ship, which is used to construct space stations. When an astronomical object such as a planet has been surveyed, we can order this ship to build a research station or a mining station to exploit any resources it may have. Different types of stations, such as military stations that can be built anywhere inside a system, will become available as our technological capability increases.

Transport Ships[edit]

When Armies are ordered into space, they automatically embark on these Transport ships which appear in orbit. Make sure to protect them, since they are quite defenseless! Escorts can be directed to follow a Transport fleet by right-clicking on it. Passive posture encourages the escorts to stay close to the transports they are following, but engage nearby enemy. Since 1.3, Transport ships that are beng escorted by warships will not be targeted by hostiles.

Military Stations[edit]

Military Stations are static defenses that can be used to protect important planets or strategic avenues of approach, but can only be built within our borders or territories we have special access to.\n\nTake care not to build too many - like ships, their maintenance costs will be a drain on our economy.

Research Stations[edit]

A Research Station built in orbit of a planetary body will gather its Physics, Engineering and Society research data.\n\nThey can only be built within our borders, and they are not needed if the planet has already been colonized.

Mining Stations[edit]

Mining Stations are used to extract the Minerals and Strategic Resources of the object they orbit. These resources can then be used by Pops and Orbital Refineries. Mining Stations are not needed to access the resources of colonized planets, and can only be built within our borders.

Wormhole Station[edit]

Wormhole stations are built on the outer rim of a system, molding minute tears in space-time into two-way portals to other stars. Ingenious.

Observation Post[edit]

Observation Posts house teams of scientists conducting research and remotely observing Primitive species on the planets they orbit.


Artist, Curator or Trader enclaves.


These are unidentified spacefaring entities. We can learn more about them and perhaps even initiate first contact by completing the appropriate Special Project.

Frontier Outpost[edit]

The frontiers of our Empire are by no means final. Frontier Outposts act as beacons projecting our influence into the void. By building them outside our domain, we expand and demarcate our borders to claim systems for mining and research purposes.


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