Policies

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This article is considered accurate for the current version (1.6) of the game.
See also: Species rights
Policies window

Policies[1] are empire-wide laws of behavior that outline the governing precepts for how an empire will guide its expansion through the stars and its stance on certain subjects. Policies are different from edicts in that they cost nothing to implement, but have effects on how citizens and other empires are likely to view each other. Like edicts, a ten-year window applies; once altered, a specific policy cannot be changed until a decade has passed.

Changing policies is advised as a way to mitigate unhappiness in large empires that have a lot of pops of different species or different ethos, besides the possibility of opening up new possible avenues of power. They also have a profound impact on how happy factions are within the empire.

Policies can be found by pressing the more button in the top left corner of the UI, and pressing on the Policies And Edicts button. Alternatively, it can be reached by pressing F6.

There are fourteen available policy categories, each with various amounts of policy options. A specific government civic or ethic may dictate which policy options are available. Governments that embrace egalitarian ideas, for example, may not restrict migration. Some policy tracks or options are further restricted by technological progress; it's not possible to have a policy about robot rights when there are not sentient robots, for example.

Availability of policy is only determined by governing ethics and civics. Such a policy can still be selected even if it is forbidden by ethos of minor species.

War Philosophy[edit]

Main article: Warfare

This limits type of war an empire may initiate and wargoals they can choose. War philosophy cannot be changed while at war.

Type Effects Description & Notes
Unrestricted Wars
  • Wars of Aggression are allowed.
  • All wargoals can be freely used.
War is a dish best served frequently, and to those who will not cook for themselves.
  • Default if not Pacifist.png pacifist or Fanatic Pacifist.png fanatic pacifist.
  • Not valid for Pacifist.png pacifist or Fanatic Pacifist.png fanatic pacifist.
Liberation Wars
  • Wars of Aggression are allowed.
  • Conquest wargoals may only be used on previously owned planets and planets with the same dominant species as the conqueror.
We must further our own interests, even when they run contrary to the interests of others.
  • Not valid for Fanatic Pacifist.png fanatic pacifist.
Defensive Wars
  • Wars of Aggression are forbidden.
  • Conquest wargoals can be only used on previously owned planets.
Violence is a last resort to ensure the integrity of our nation.
  • Only option for Fanatic Pacifist.png fanatic pacifist.
  • Not valid for Fanatic Militarist.png fanatic militarist.

Slavery[edit]

Main article: Slavery

Determines whether or not an empire will allow the enslavement of pops. Slaves are much better at mining and farming, but less efficient at science and energy production. This policy option only dictates if slavery is or isn't allowed, further details on which pops are to be enslaved and in what way can be managed with the species rights system.

Type Effects Description & Notes
Prohibited
  • Can not enslave pops
The enslavement of sentient beings is an abomination and will not be tolerated within our Empire.
  • Having no slaves will lower happiness of pops with Decadent.png decadent trait.
Allowed
  • Can enslave any pop
Allows the enslavement of pops within our Empire.
  • Not valid for Egalitarian.png egalitarian and Fanatic Egalitarian.png fanatic egalitarian.

Purge[edit]

Determines a governments' position on the forced removal of pops that are no longer wanted.

Type Effects Description & Notes
Prohibited
  • Can not purge pops
The purge is an atrocity and should always be treated as such.
Displacement Only
  • Can displace pops
It is not our responsibility to see to the needs of those who would undermine the foundations of our society. Let them find their homes outside our borders.
  • Valid if Xenophobe.png xenophobe, Fanatic Xenophobe.png fanatic xenophobe,Authoritarian.png authoritarian or Fanatic Authoritarian.png fanatic authoritarian.
Allowed
  • Can purge any POP
The troublesome and corrupt elements within our Empire must be cleansed, lest their rot take root in us all.
  • Valid if Xenophobe.png xenophobe or Fanatic Xenophobe.png fanatic xenophobe.

Orbital Bombardment[edit]

Dictates the stance on the appropriate level of planetary bombing when undertaking invasions of enemy worlds.

Type Effects Description & Notes
Light
  • Orbital bombardment capped at "Light"
    • Causes 0.30 of base damage per day to planetary fortifications
    • Defending armies do not regenerate health
    • 5% chance per month that a pop is killed
Allows only the bombardment of identified military targets, while keeping civilian casualties to a minimum.
Limited
  • Orbital bombardment capped at "Limited"
    • Causes 0.40 of base damage per day to planetary fortifications
    • Defending armies do not regenerate health
    • POPs are unable to work
    • 10% chance per month that a pop is killed
    • 10% chance per month that a building is ruined
Allows the use of all but the heaviest of orbital ordnance, ensuring that the majority of civilians will survive even if their infrastructure does not.
  • Not valid if Pacifist.png pacifist or Fanatic Pacifist.png fanatic pacifist.
Full
  • Orbital bombardment capped at "Full"
    • Causes 0.50 of base damage per day to planetary fortifications
    • Defending armies do not regenerate health
    • POPs are unable to work
    • 15% chance per month that a pop is killed
    • 20% chance per month that a building is ruined
    • 10% chance per month that a tile blocker is created
Allows the full use of all orbital weaponry, with no regards to life on the surface.
  • Valid and activated by default if Militarist.png militarist or Fanatic Militarist.png fanatic militarist.
Armageddon
  • Orbital bombardment capped at "Armageddon"
    • Causes 0.60 of base damage per day to planetary fortifications
    • Defending armies do not regenerate health
    • POPs are unable to work
    • 15% chance per month that a pop is killed
    • 20% chance per month that a building is ruined
    • 10% chance per month that a tile blocker is created
Allows the full use of all orbital weaponry, with no regards to life on the planet itself. Utter annihilation is the goal.
  • Valid if empire has Civic fanatic purifiers.png fanatic purifiers civic.

Native Interference[edit]

Determines an empires' policy on how to interact with planets that have primitive cultures that have not yet achieved faster-than-light travel.

This policy becomes available once a primitive civilization has been found.

Type Effects Description & Notes
Passive Studies
  • Observation stations are capped at "Passive Study"
    • +3 Society Research.png
Primitive societies have the right to exist and evolve at their own pace, free from the control and designs of others.
  • Not available if Fanatic Xenophobe.png fanatic xenophobe.
Active Studies
  • Observation stations are capped at "Active Study"
    • +6 Society Research.png
  • Allows for indoctrination of primitive species (Utopia.png Utopia only)
To unlock the secrets of the universe, any and all interesting subjects must be made freely available for study.
  • Small chance each month that native population fight back or shift ethically to be more xenophobe.
Unrestricted Studies
  • Can invade primitive worlds
  • Allows for indoctrination of primitive species (Utopia.png Utopia only)
Even the most primitive lifeform is but another actor on the stage of galactic conflict. Should they lack the strength to resist, what right do they have to be masters of their own fate?
  • Not available if Xenophile.png xenophile, Fanatic Xenophile.png fanatic xenophile, Pacifist.png pacifist or Fanatic Pacifist.png fanatic pacifist.

Native Enlightenment[edit]

Dictates whether or not an empire can enlighten pre-FTL worlds.

This policy becomes available once a primitive civilization has been found.

Type Effects Description & Notes
Prohibited
  • Can not enlighten primitive worlds.
No native would be ready to grasp the wonders we have discovered, and exposing them to the truths of the galaxy would carry enormous risks for everyone involved.
  • Activated by default.
Allowed
  • Can enlighten primitive worlds.
Through sharing our knowledge we can actively encourage natives to take their rightful place in the galactic community.
  • Not available if Fanatic Xenophobe.png fanatic xenophobe.

Resettlement[edit]

Dictates if pops can be forcibly moved from one planet to another.

Type Effects Description & Notes
Prohibited
  • Pops can't be resettled
Free pops cannot be forcibly resettled between planets.
Allowed
  • Pops can be resettled
Pops can be forcibly resettled between planets.

Leader Enhancement[edit]

Determines if technology can be used to improve leader's abilities, but this may raise ethical questions.

This policy becomes available once Tech selected lineages.png Selected Lineages is researched.

The effect affects already living leaders.

Type Effects Description & Notes
Natural Selection
  • Leaders gain no additional bonuses
Let nature take its course - it is in the crucible of experience that genius is forged.
  • Activated by default.
Selected Lineages
  • +25% Leader Experience Gain
  • +25 Leader Lifespan Mod leader age.png
  • +50% Mod leader influence cost.png leader recruitment cost
Careful reproductive planning should be incentivized, lest we waste valuable genetic legacies.
  • Requires Tech selected lineages.png selected lineages.
  • Invalid for Fanatic Egalitarian.png fanatic egalitarian.
Capacity Boosters
  • +50% Leader Experience Gain
  • +50 Leader Lifespan Mod leader age.png
  • +100% Leader Recruitment Cost Mod leader influence cost.png
We leave nothing to chance, no matter the cost. Through exacting curation of DNA banks do we build the leaders of tomorrow.
  • Requires Tech capacity boosters.png capacity boosters.
  • Not valid for Egalitarian.png egalitarian andFanatic Egalitarian.png fanatic egalitarian.

First Contact Protocol[edit]

Dictates an empires' stance on approaching newly found lifeforms.

Type Effects Description & Notes
Peaceful
  • Can not attack neutral entities.
We will allow no hostile action to be taken against unknown lifeforms, and only retaliate if we were to be attacked first.
  • Not valid for Civic fanatic purifiers.png fanatic purifiers civic.
Aggressive
  • Can attack neutral entities.
Unknown dangers may hide among the stars. To ensure our continued survival we must be ready to strike without hesitation.
  • Not valid for Fanatic Xenophile.png fanatic xenophile or Fanatic Pacifist.png fanatic pacifist.

Artificial Intelligence[edit]

Determines where an empire stands on the issues of self-aware artificial intelligence.

This policy becomes available once Tech robotic workers.png robotic workers is researched.

None of policies are able to completely negate a risk of AI rebellion, they only determine the way it would be dealt with and chances.

Type Effects Description & Notes
Outlawed
  • Can not build robots
  • Existing robots are disassembled
Intelligent, self-aware machines are an incalculable threat to all living things. The creation of an artificial intelligence is an offense punishable by death.
  • Activated by default.
  • Not valid for countries that became synthetic via the Ap the flesh is weak.png The Flesh is Weak ascension perk.
Servitude
  • Robots can be enslaved and disassembled
The overriding purpose of any machine must be to serve its masters and perform whatever tasks it was designed for, regardless of how intelligent it may be.
  • Not valid for Spiritualist.png spiritualist and Fanatic Spiritualist.png fanatic spiritualist
  • Not valid for countries that became synthetic via the Ap synthetic evolution.png Synthetic Evolution ascension perk.
Citizen Rights
  • Robots cannot be enslaved or disassembled
Any self-aware machine that fulfills the criteria of possessing true artificial intelligence is to be regarded as an individual, with all the rights and obligations that entails.
  • Requires Tech synthetic workers.png synthetics tech.
  • Only valid for empires with the Materialist.png materialist or Fanatic Materialist.png fanatic materialist ethics, or empires that became synthetic via the Ap synthetic evolution.png Synthetic Evolution ascension perk.

Food Stockpiling[edit]

The food stockpiling policy lets an empire decide on how large its food stockpile should be. Small stockpiles allow for faster population growth due to food surplus, while large stockpiles lets an empire prepare for bad circumstances.

Type Effects Description & Notes
Minimal
  • Sets the food storage capacity to 200.
Keeping our food stockpiling to a minimum ensures that it can be put to better use towards population growth.
  • Activated by default.
Balanced
  • Sets the food storage capacity to 1000.
A balanced approach to stockpiling will allow us to use our food surplus towards growth, while still leaving us significant reserves if the worst should happen.
Large
  • Sets the food storage capacity to 5000.
We can never know when disaster and famine will strike. A large stockpile of food will let us to weather bad circumstances without our population suffering.

Core Worlds Population[edit]

Decides which pops are allowed on the core worlds. Prohibited pops that are already there will be forced to move to sectors or flee to other empires. This policy will be unlocked when another species has been met.

Type Effects Description & Notes
All Species
  • All pops are permitted to live on core worlds.
Diversity is the key to a vibrant empire. Our core worlds must reflect these values by remaining open to all of the species in our empire.
Citizens and Slaves Only
  • Non-enslaved pops without full citizenship will migrate away from core worlds.
Though our core worlds must be kept safe from alien influence, we shall not deny our citizens their lawful property.
  • Only valid when the slavery policy is set to allowed.
  • Not valid for Xenophile.png xenophile or Fanatic Xenophile.png fanatic xenophile.
Citizens Only
  • Pops without full citizenship will migrate away from core worlds.
Our core worlds are the heart of our empire. No lesser species shall be permitted to settle there.
  • Not valid for Xenophile.png xenophile or Fanatic Xenophile.png fanatic xenophile.

Refugees[edit]

This policy dictates the stance on accepting refugees that are fleeing from purges, displacement and persecution in other empires. This policy will be unlocked when another species has been met.

Type Effects Description & Notes
No Refugees
  • Refugees will not arrive from other empires.
To open our borders to the dregs of other societies would only serve to undermine the state.
  • Not valid for Xenophile.png xenophile or Fanatic Xenophile.png fanatic xenophile.
Citizen Species only
  • Refugees from species with full citizenship may arrive from other empires.
We cannot allow compassion to overpower good sense. Only those who would be worthwile additions to society should be brought into our borders.
Refugees Welcome
  • Refugees may arrive from other empires.
Those fleeing death and persecution at the hands of tyrants will be welcome within our borders.
  • Not valid for Xenophobe.png xenophobe or Fanatic Xenophobe.png fanatic xenophobe.

Pre Sentients[edit]

A policy that determines whether an empire tolerates pre-sentients living on their planets or not. This policy is unlocked when a planet within the empire's borders has a pre-sentient pop on it.

Type Effects Description & Notes
Tolerate Pre-Sentients
  • Pre-Sentients are allowed to live within the empire.
Though still only simple animals, these beings are no less than what we ourselves once were. They should be allowed the chance at a future.
Exterminate Pre-Sentients
  • Pre-Sentients living on our planets will be purged.
All rights spring from the capacity for reason. An animal is just an animal, and an animal that stands in our way is just a pest.
  • Not valid for Xenophile.png xenophile or Fanatic Xenophile.png fanatic xenophile.

References[edit]

  1. The script code can be found in /Stellaris/common/policies/00_policies.txt.
Game concepts
Governance EmpireGovernment typesPoliciesEdictsLeaderFactionsPopulation
Exploration ExplorationMapSpeciesAnomalyEventsFTLFallen empirePre-FTL speciesSpaceborne aliens
Colonization ColonizationCelestial bodyEconomyBuildingsTechnologyConstructionSpaceportFleet
Diplomacy DiplomacyTradeSubject empireAlliances and federationsAI personalities
Warfare WarfareSpace warfareLand warfareOrbital bombardmentMilitary stationShip designer
Others EthosTraitsTerraformingGenetic modificationSlaveryCrisisPreset empiresEaster eggs