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Traditions are abilities or bonuses unlocked with the unity resource. Traditions help define an empire by allowing the adoption of traditions trees that suit their particular play-style. Completing a tree allows the empire to pick an ascension perk to further enhance themselves, with certain ascension perks even paving their way into one of three available ascension paths.
There is a number of Tradtions, organised into related Categories. Each category consists of 3 types of Traditions:
- Adoption: This bonus is acquired by adopting the tradition tree.
- Traditions: Each tree contains 5 traditions unlocking new abilities or bonuses. Some of these require Traditions beside Adoption to be available.
- Finisher: This bonus is acquired automatically upon unlocking all other traditions within a single category.
Both Adoption and Finisher count as a Traditions for Formula Purposes.
The cost of unlocking a tradition depends on the size of your empire, as well as how internally stable it is. Unhappy factions, minority species and slaves all increase the cost of adoption traditions further, though these effects can be offset or even cancelled out entirely by adopting the right traditions for the empire. Overall, small harmonious empires will unlock traditions more quickly than large, expansionist ones.
Tradition cost is formulated as follows:
where population factor is further broken down as the amount of each pop type (with applied multiplier):
An empire has 10 pops - break-down of 4 main species, 2 main species slaves, 2 xeno slaves and 2 robots - of which one is sentient. Additionally, the empire has colonized one planet and unlocked a tree and one tradition.
- Adopting and completing a tree increases the unlocked traditions factor (each by an additional 1).
- The empire's capital is not counted towards the total owned colonies.
Cost, Unity and Tradition Strategy:
- As Unity producing buildings are majorly planet Uniques, a high number of low population worlds will produce more Unity quicker (but at the cost of overall economy).
- Slavery is a negative factor.
- Xeno integration and especially Xeno Slavery will slow down tradition gain considerably.
- Various Factions will be unhappy if their prefered tradition is not adopted as the first choice.
|Tree||Starter bonus||Finisher bonus||Description|
|Diplomacy||+50 Trust cap||The surest way to destroy your enemies is to make them your friends.|
|Discovery||−33% Building cost for Research Station||+10% Research speed||For the first time in the history of our civilization, we live in an age where our reach extends beyond the confines of our homeworld. Our insatiable curiosity about the universe is what got us this far, and there is still so much left to discover.|
|Domination||−25% War demand cost for subjugation CB||+30% Research speed for technology sharing with subjects (towards unknown tech already researched by another)||If we do not impose our will on others, they will inevitably impose theirs on us.|
|Expansion||+1 Pops on new colonies||+2 Core sector systems||We must spread our civilization to new systems and planets if we are to survive. As other empires emerge on the galactic scene, competition will be fierce. The faster we can establish new colonies, the better.|
|Harmony||+10% Happiness||−15% Consumer goods cost||Few things can match the strength of a content populace working towards a common goal.|
|Prosperity||−33% Building cost for Mining Station||−33% Terraforming cost||There is no better indicator of the success or failure of a star nation than the strength of its economy.|
|Supremacy||+20% Border range||+15% Fire rate||The future of this galaxy belongs to those who are strong enough to seize it.|
|Adopting Diplomacy||The surest way to destroy your enemies is to make them your friends.|
|Dynamic Ecomorphism||+10% Habitability||Adopting Diplomacy||Diplomacy opens many doors through which information flows. Simply by studying the methods of others, we have learned new ways of adapting to alien environments.|
|The Federation||Form Federation||Adopting Diplomacy||We must build stable and lasting partnerships with our neighbors, based on trust and mutual respect. Together we are far stronger than we could ever hope to be alone.|
|Alien tourism||Visitor Center||Dynamic Ecomorphism||It is easy to take our rich culture for granted. We should make it easier for visitors from other civilizations to share in its beauty.|
|Entente Coordination||+100% from Federation naval capacity contribution (actual contribution counts as double)||The Federation||Perhaps the most important purpose of any successful interstellar federation is the mutual defense of its members. We have an obligation to contribute as much as we can.|
|Federal Unity||+5% Unity per federation member||The Federation||Diversity is an incredible asset, and the insights and perspectives that every member state contributes to our federation will only make our society stronger.|
|Finisher bonus||+50 Trust cap||All of the above|
|Adopting Discovery||−33% Building cost for Research Station||For the first time in the history of our civilization, we live in an age where our reach extends beyond the confines of our homeworld. Our insatiable curiosity about the universe is what got us this far, and there is still so much left to discover.|
|Science Division||−33% Scientist recruitment cost||Adopting Discovery||The number of science and medical officers has been increased throughout the fleet, organized into a special Science Division. To support this corps of officers, new training programs have greatly accelerated the rate at which we commission new science officers.|
|To Boldly Go||Adopting Discovery||A new age of exploration is upon us. As we once mapped the surface of our homeworld, we must now brave new terrain - space. There is a galaxy full of wonder waiting to be discovered.|
|Planetary Survey Corps||+10% Monthly research points when surveying a planet||To Boldly Go||Our methods of surveying uncharted planetary bodies has continued to improve, and our scans now yield a significant amount of research data that is useful to our scientists.|
|Polytechnic Education||+1 Leader skill levels||Science Division||In this age of increasingly advanced technology, a basic education in polytechnics and applied science will benefit all of our citizens. This will inevitably lead to more qualified leaders.|
|Faith in Science||+10% Happiness on planets with Assist research||Polytechnic Education||The public has come to regard science as something almost akin to a religion - their faith in it is absolute. There is no question in this universe so big that it cannot be answered by science.|
|Finisher bonus||+10% Research speed||All of the above|
|Adopting Domination||−25% War demand cost for subjugation CB||If we do not impose our will on others, they will inevitably impose theirs on us.|
|Colonial Viceroys||Adopting Domination||Our control over the colonies is dependent upon us finding capable and loyal individuals that can be trusted to enforce the will of the government.|
|Star Lords||Adopting Domination||It is our destiny to lord over those who are weaker. Obedient nations that swear fealty to our great empire may be permitted to exist... at our discretion.|
||Colonial Viceroys||Our obligation to protect our vassals from the dangers of the universe is one that we take very seriously. Alas, seeing to the defense of their worlds doesn't come cheap...|
|Vassal Acculturation||–33% Subject integration influence cost||Star Lords||We will add the biological and technological distinctiveness of our vassals to our own. Their cultures will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.|
|Fleet Levies||+20% Vassal naval capacity contribution (increase is based on vassal's own capacity)||It is a vassal's sworn duty to provide military support to their overlords. We will fill up the lower ranks of our fleet with recruits from those nations that have pledged to serve us.|
|Finisher bonus||+30% Research speed for technology sharing with subjects (towards unknown tech already researched by another)||All of the above|
|Adopting Expansion||+1 Pops on new colonies||We must spread our civilization to new systems and planets if we are to survive. As other empires emerge on the galactic scene, competition will be fierce. The faster we can establish new colonies, the better.|
|Colonization Fever||+1 Unity from Capitals||Adopting Expansion||Colonization fever seems to have gripped the populace. Their enthusiasm and patriotic fervor grows for every new world claimed by our colonists.|
|Reach for the Stars||–50% Distance cost for colonization and Frontier Outpost||Adopting Expansion||The frontiers of our star nation are being pushed ever forwards. Soon, nothing in this galaxy will lie beyond our grasp...|
|A New Life||Colonization Fever||A new life awaits our citizens in the off-world colonies. A chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure! With the help of an aggressive marketing campaign, the less fortunate elements of our society will be flocking to our colony ships.|
|Courier Network||–33% Tradition cost increase from owned colonies||Colonization Fever||A network of small courier vessels is a reliable alternative for transporting VIPs or delivering messages that can't be trusted to FTL communications. This will tie our far-flung colonies more closely together.|
|Galactic Ambition||−50% Upkeep for Frontier Outpost||Reach for the Stars||The banner of our great empire will one day be as common as hydrogen throughout the galaxy.|
|Finisher bonus||+2 Core sector systems||All of the above|
|Adopting Prosperity||−33% Building cost for Mining Station||There is no better indicator of the success or failure of a star nation than the strength of its economy.|
|Standard Construction Templates||
||Adopting Prosperity||As technology advances and becomes ever more complex, new demands are placed on our workforce. By using standardized construction templates, our workers can build things without necessarily having to understand the finer points.|
|Trans-Stellar Corporations||Private colony ship||Adopting Prosperity||There are powerful corporate entities willing to carry a large part of the cost of our colonization efforts, provided that we leave the vetting process of potential colonists to them.|
|Administrative Operations||−10% Building upkeep||Standard Construction Templates||As our empire continues to grow, eliminating corruption and inefficiency is of critical importance. These credit drains must be plugged!|
|Fleet Logistics Corps||−10% Ship upkeep||Standard Construction Templates||With ships often deployed across vast interstellar distances, a dedicated Logistics Corps is needed to make things run smoothly.|
|The Pursuit of Profit||+2 Unity from Energy Grid / Energy Nexus||Trans-Stellar Corporations||The pursuit of profit has become a central tenet of our society. Those who are successful at any kind of enterprise are deeply admired, and the accumulation of energy credits is seen as an extremely worthwhile goal.|
|Finisher bonus||−33% Terraforming cost||All of the above|
|Available only with the Utopia DLC enabled.|
Finishing a tradition tree unlocks an ascension perk slot. Ascension perks often favor either a tall or wide gameplay, with some that allow access to gameplay mechanics not available through Traditions alone. This includes 3 "Ascension paths", the ability to build Megastructures in space and similarly powerful effects.
The three ascension paths are mutually exclusive, which implies that empires cannot eventually acquire psionic mutant cyborgs. On the other hand each ascension path can still acquire the ability to build megastructures - this can only be achieved in the end-game due to the sheer amount of unity required to complete at least 5 tradition trees, or 4 plus Ascension Theory. The rare tech requirement may also be difficult to find if players do not utilise additional research alternatives. For example, with careful planning of research and traditions players can potentially unlock Voidborne -> Ascension Path 1 -> Master Builders -> Ascension Path 2 -> Circle of life to efficiently create Ring-worlds without delaying their transcendence significantly.
Ascension perks 
Note: With Utopia enabled several technologies require picking certain ascension perks in order to research them - these are the ones associated with one of the ascension paths.
|Interstellar Dominion||Border Range: +25%||Our place amongst the stars is assured and irrefutable, and the borders of our nation equally so.|
|Technological Ascendancy||Research Speed: +10%||Technologies that would have been indistinguishable from magic mere generations ago are now within our reach. A new age of technology has begun.|
||True unity is achieved only when the ultimate goals of a nation and its people are one and the same. After all, a house divided against itself cannot stand.|
|Mastery of Nature||Although we mastered the nature of our homeworld long ago, the alien biomes we have since encountered present new challenges. They too shall be overcome.|
|Imperial Prerogative||Core Sector Systems: +5||As our civilization continues to grow, so its beating heart must also expand. More systems will be placed under our direct control.|
|Consecrated Worlds||Unlocks Edict: Consecrated Worlds, which lasts for 100 years and increases Pop Happiness by 10%, Unity output by 15% and increase growth speed by 10%.||The galaxy is home to many holy places, some more obvious than others. As mortals, we still struggle to divine the true nature of the universe.|
||To leave our genetic destiny in the hands of nature is an inefficient and excruciatingly slow process. Why not jump-start the future of our species?|
||Evolution is a single-minded beast that follows a single path to its inevitable conclusion. We cannot afford to limit ourselves thus - let us explore all paths simultaneously.|
|The Flesh is Weak||The limits and constraints imposed on us by our feeble organic bodies are simply unacceptable. To reach our full potential, we must turn to cybernetic implants.|
|Synthetic Evolution||It is time to abandon the flawed organic vessels that imprison our minds. By transferring our neural patterns into synthetic bodies, we will achieve a higher state of being.|
|Mind over Matter||Only a fraction of the potential contained within our minds has been unlocked. The latent psionic abilities of our species are only now beginning to manifest in certain individuals.|
||We stand on the threshold of awakening the true psionic might of our species. Our minds are ready, and we have heard whispers of a psychic realm beyond our own...|
||Requires the Terrestrial Sculpting technology.||To carefully shape and alter the ecosystem of an entire planet into something else is not so very different from an artist sculpting a statue out of clay.|
|Galactic Force Projection||Naval Capacity: +200||Requires 2 other Ascensions Perks to be selected first.||The fleet is the instrument by which the will of our empire is made manifest - we live or die depending on its strength.|
|Defender of the Galaxy|| +50% Damage to:
Everyone's Opinion increased by +20
|Requires 2 other Ascension Perks to be selected first.||As star nations vie with one another in petty disputes, sinister forces of unimaginable power are arraying themselves against all sentient life. Who will protect us?|
||Building a Megastructure requires an unprecedented amount of resources and planning. We are breaking new ground in the field of macro-engineering.|
||Requires 2 other Ascension Perks to be selected first.||The Fallen Empires cling to the ruins of their decrepit civilizations, ever fearful of the younger and more dynamic races that surround them. Their time has long since passed.|
|Voidborne||Unlocks Station: Habitat||Space, once seen as a cold and insurmountable barrier, has become a second home to us. More and more of our young reach adulthood without ever setting foot on a planet.|
|The Circle of Life||Unlocks Megastructure: Ring World||A massive ring-shaped megastructure with artificial habitats built around the orbital circumference of a star. In theory, it could be done...|
|Galactic Wonders||Megastructures are rightfully regarded as the wonders of our time. The scope of such a project would have been unimaginable mere generations ago.|
There are three Ascension Paths, each which is comprised of two perks: one 'entrance' perk that becomes available with the relevant technology plus at least one other ascension perk unlocked, then a 'completion' perk that requires at least three other perks be unlocks and usually the associated rare technology. The ascension paths are mutually exclusive. Hive mind empires can only follow the biological ascension path.
The Biological Ascension Path focuses on mastery of DNA and evolution. The first step, Engineered Evolution, requires the Gene Tailoring technology and grants a major reduction to the cost and time required to genetically modify species, it's giving you +2 Trait Points, and also unlocks the ability to research the Gene Seed Purification technology which is otherwise unavailable (it can still be researched as normal for those who do not have the Utopia expansion), allowing recruitment of Gene Warriors.
The next step, Evolutionary Mastery requires the Targeted Gene Expressions technology. It grants an additional +3 Trait Points, a further reduction in time and cost of genemodding, and unlocks the ability to research the Genetic Resequencing technology, which once researched unlocks Advanced Genemodding. With Advanced Genemodding you will be able to add negative traits and remove positive traits, allowing you to completely reshape species at your whim. Points are refunded when positive traits are removed, allowing for a full reworking of any species from the ground up, even if they've already been modified before. It also unlocks five traits that are exclusively available to the Biological Ascension Path:
- Robust > Upgrades from Extremely Adaptive: adds +30% Habitability and an extra +30 Years of Lifespan.
- Fertile > Upgrades from Rapid Breeders: gives +30% Growth Time and +5% Happiness.
- Erudite > Upgrades from Intelligent: gives +20% Science Production and +1 Leader Skill Levels.
- Delicious: Makes the species delicious and nutritious, granting +100% Food Output yield from Processing and Livestock.
- Nerve Stapled: Removes the ability of the species to feel emotions. Happiness is disabled and Food/Mineral production increased (+10%), but adds major penalties to other resources production.
Additionally, Advanced Genemodding allows for the ability for non-Hive Mind empires to remove the Hive-Minded trait from Pops and for Hive Minds to add it to Pops.
This is particularly useful for Empires that wish to maximize slavery-focused, or pseudo-slavery focused Empire Builds. Allowing you to fundamentally alter a species (or sub-species; i.e. your main species on a different world as Egalitarians where slavery is banned) without the massive consequences that might otherwise come as a result. A good example might include modifying a species on a planet to grow faster, and be nomadic, creating a migration-hub world for future expansion. Alternatively, large amounts of dissatisfied pops can be quickly 'dealt with' via Genemodding (move your angry pops to a world, modify each group so that they are nerve stapled, move them back to the resources they can produce on without consequence).
The Shroud is a dimension in the Stellaris universe composed of pure psionic power. Only Spiritualist who have picked the Transcendence Ascension Perk may access it. It appears as a surrealistic realm, which contains many mysterious beings, including ethereal beings, a mysterious coven, and other strange manifestations.
There are several requirements that must be fulfilled to achieve Psionic Ascension, you must research Psionic Theory, which is a rare Society Research tech, and then you must choose 'Mind over Matter' and 'Transcendence' to fully awaken the dormant psychic power of your species. Upon reaching the pinnacle of Psionic Ascension, fellow species in your Empire may also become Latent Psionics or fully Awakened Psionics, depending on which Event choices are made.
To access the Shroud, a spiritualistic empire must first obtain the Transcendence Ascension Perk, after which the entire Empire will psionically awaken, granting a variety of minor-to-medium buffs to each leader and pop. When that happens, a special project will appear in which your strongest psionics will commit themselves to a séance, accessing the Shroud. It costs 5000 Society research points, comparable to the Synthetic Ascension's cost, soon after selecting the Transcendence Perk. After that, you may only access the Shroud once every approximately 60 months, at a cost of 1200 Energy Credits, which is reduced per each Zro Dust resource owned, up to a maximum of 4.
The benefits for Psionically Awakening can vary depending on Shroud events, which also include new tech options that can be gained directly through the Shroud events, including new Shields, Psi Jump Drives, and other miscellaneous benefits, including optional Pacts with the Demon-like inhabitants that dwell within the Shroud. There are noticeable combat bonuses, including an increased evasion chance for Admirals and a increase to Morale and Invasion on Generals. There is a flat research bonus granted for Scientists, and an Unrest modifier for Governors, along with a minimal Ruler buff. Minor events, known as Boons, gained through the Shroud have a relatively short time for use, and can also backfire for a similar magnitude. Be careful when using the Shroud before combat, depending on the options chosen armor could be significant reduced on your ships, among other things. Some examples are below.
- Boons & Curses
The Shroud can grant boons (+20% to +50%) or curses (-20% to -50%) to those who delve in it. In effect for 60 months, including:
- Happiness, Unity, Influence, Research Speed, Governing Ethics Attraction, Growth Time, +40 Leaders Lifespan (permanent trait added to all active leaders);
- Ship Speed, Weapon Damage, Evasion, Army Morale, Ship Upkeep, +5% Hull Regeneration, Armor, Shield Strength, Sensor Range;
- Techs: Precognition Interface, Psionic Shields, Psi Jump Drives;
- Summoning of a psionic Avatar 14K Fleet power Avatar-class (16) with a Psi Jump Drive;
20K Shield + Shield Capacitor, 5000 HP, 0 Armor with 4x Psionic Blast 300-700 Damage.
- Also a psionic Avatar Land Army, 1540 HP, 800 Morale;
4.20 - 8.40 Damage / 16.80 - 33.60 Morale Damage.
- Allowing someone to become a Chosen One, which grants them Immortal and great bonuses. This can backfire, however, as they may die instantly or go on a psionically-enhanced rampage.
There are also more unique interactions, such as communicating with a coven for massive boons at the consequence of impending doom (There will be a price to pay.).
- Eater of World: +15% Firerate, +30% Army Morale.
- Instrument of Desire: +25% Energy, +25% Minerals.
- Whisperers in the Void: +15% Research Speed, +15% Empire Influence Gain.
- End of the Cycle
The End Of The Cycle is a late-game crisis event that may only be summoned willingly by an Empire that has fully transcended. It has a chance to appear when entering the Shroud. Upon contact, it will offer the player massive boons in exchange for an undetermined cost. After 50 years have passed, the crisis event will go in full effect. All of your planets will turn into uninhabitable shroud planets, almost all of your population will die, and everyone will receive a 1000 opinion malus for dooming them all. Each planet previously owned will spawn a Shroud Avatar, while your previous homeworld will summon The End, which has a massive scaling bonus based on how much population your Empire had. There is a chance that your empire will survive, but everything except technology will be reset, akin to a newly-formed Empire. This may be regarded as the most difficult crisis event to date, with the player empire having to survive both the Shroud Menace and the hostile remaining empires.
The third ascension path focuses upon the union between biological and synthetic lifeforms, available chiefly to non-Spiritualists who adopt some form of robotic technology.
The synthetics ascension pathway involves a two-step conversion of populations in the empire, first from baseline to cyborgs, and then from cyborgs to full synthetics.
Baseline to Cyborg:
Upon the acquisition of the Ascension Perk "The Flesh is Weak", a special Project costing Engineering Research is created. The cost is 1000 + 100 per pop. The population count might include Robot pops, despite not affecting them. Upon completion all pops are turned into Cyborg versions of themselves. They acquire a prefix or suffix to differentiate them, but are still considered a subspecies of their original. All armies created from them will have their Species updated and receive the bonus from Cybernetics.
All current and pool leaders have the Cybernetic Trait added, with the sole exception of Curator Scientists and Synthetic Leaders.
Should pops without the trait appear in the Empire (Conquest of a new species or Migration of the Original Species), the Cybernetic Trait can be added via the Genetic Modification Interface. It costs 0 Traits points, but the normal costs for genetic Engineering.
Cyborg to Synthetics:
Upon acquiring the Ascension Perk "Synthetic Evolution", a special project costing Engineering Research is created. The cost is 1000 + 200 per pop. The population count includes non-viable pops (see below).
Upon completion a new Species will be created that is distinct from - but shares all the Traits of - buildable Synthetics. Note that all previous pop traits will be removed. The player is prompted for a name for that new species. All Pops that are either Cybernetic or any of the buildable Robot species are turned into that new Robot Species. If they work a Farm, that Farm is turned into a equal level Power Plant. Every army whose species has the Cybernetic trait is turned into a Droid Army. Every current and every pool leader will have their Portrait and species changed to the new species. The new species will be set as Primary Species of the Empire, and all current and pool leaders will have their Cybernetic Leader Traits removed (if applicable) and acquire the Synthetic Leader trait instead. Finally some Diplomatic notifications will be sent to all players while the AI Empires will react to this step.
Technological Ascension and Species/Ethics:
All Empires excepting other Materialist Empires will have a -20 "Abandoned Organic Origins" relationship penalty if the player changes their species to full Synthetics. All Spiritualist Empires will have a -40 "Wicked Cyborg" relationship penalty if the Ruler has the Cyborg Trait. If one goes to full Synthetics, the penalty becomes -100.
Going this path drastically increases Materialist Ethics Attraction for all affected pops.
With normally build Synthetic pops and other uploaded species there are some oddities that can occur:
- One can no longer build Synths and already build synths are converted into the new Robot Species. However Migrating Synths from other Empires are not converted and are still Subject to the AI Policy.
- Each Technological Ascension will create a separate "Uploaded Synth" species. However the overrides for Robot pops should prevent Xenophobia from having any effect.
- The Uploaded Synths will return true if checked for any of the T3 Robot Traits and Robotic Pop checks. However with 1.6 many checks have been modified to exclude Uploaded Synths from Mechanics that make no sense for them, like AI Uprising Crisis.
- The values shown have been adapted for easier calculation. The original formula can be found at under tradition cost.