Stellaris'possibly one of the best RTS games on the market – owes its success not only to intricate gameplay mechanics, designed by the masters of the genre – Paradox Interactive.

The expansions released since the core game’s debut made the title even more exciting, adding various new mechanics, units, civilizations, etc. Fans of space-oriented storytelling will find plenty of intriguing lore to indulge in, and those interested mainly in gameplay will also leave satisfied.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the ever-growing universe of Stellaris’ expansion packs.

Utopia expansion pack

As the name suggests, the first expansion on our list deals with creating the galactic paradise. Utopia’s main feature are new constructions called megastructures. The player can create monumental ringworlds and Dyson spheres, gaining prestige and an advantageous position in the sector. Another new type of construction is the habitat station, which can house an entire colony of space explorers.

Other gameplay mechanics introduced in the expansion include Ascension perks, which allow the player’s civilization to transcend the limitations of their bodies. The Indoctrination mechanics gives the player a chance to bring primitive races into the fold with convincing rhetoric or violent conquest. Last but not least, advanced government and slavery options allow the player to maximize their ruling benefits and specialize conquered nations in different areas of servitude.

Key features

  • Expand your colony with towering megastructures
  • Build habitats to house your civilization among the stars
  • Shed your mortal form through three unique ascension paths
  • Use advanced methods of ruling and slavery to subjugate with ease.


Apocalypse expansion pack

Death beams, orbital cannons, planet destroyers, etc. – these and more tools of intergalactic destruction can be found in Apocalypse expansion. The pack gives the player an array of weapons to turn entire worlds into space dust, including the planet-killer “Colossus”, heavy orbital installations protecting the player’s world from aggressors, and new “Titan-class” vessels, excellent for leading a massive charge against an enemy fleet. Other, less destructive features include new Ascension perks and civics – a nice respite from vaporizing entire systems.

Key features

  • Build tools of intergalactic destruction and sow fear in the hearts of your enemies
  • Destroy entire worlds with the planet-killer weapon “Colossus.”
  • Lead your fleets to victory with Titan-class vessels
  • Expand your Ascension and Civics paths with new perks


Megacorp expansion pack

Your dream of climbing the corporate ladder on an intergalactic scale is about to come true! Megacorp expansion gives the player access to the Corporate culture path – building offices on conquered worlds and gaining Trade Values from it will surely look good on a yearly spreadsheet. The pack also allows the player to create an Ecumenopolis, enlarging the core planets’ population to gargantuan numbers. Nothing says Corpo like a planet-sized city full of performance-oriented drones! Other additions include space caravaneers – an encounter with them might end either way; new megastructures to drive the player’s corporate machine, and new perks and civics.

Key features

  • Build your intergalactic empire into a trading superpower
  • Turn your planets into sprawling megacities.
  • Interact with caravaneers, traveling through the galaxy with all sorts of goods
  • Expand your civilization with new Ascension perks and civics


Federations expansion pack

Tired of destroying systems with your WMDs? A corporate career doesn’t seem to be up your alley? Have you tried forming an intergalactic alliance based on trade and/or military support? If not, then the Federations DLC is just the thing for you. This expansion pack emphasizes diplomacy-oriented gameplay. With new forms of relationship-building between empires, you can create a commerce-oriented Trade League, Martial Alliance that will support each other with their military powers, or a Hegemony, subjugating systems under your alliances banner. The expansion also adds the option to form a senate, where its members vote on the fate of the galaxy. Another interesting feature is the Origins system, where the player can deepen their civilization’s lore by developing their background.

Key features

  • Form alliances with other galactic superpowers
  • Decide on important matters in the galactic senate votings.
  • Write the history of your people in with the Origins system.


Leviathans story pack

The first story pack released for Stellaris takes the player to the ends of the galaxy, where ancient beings fight each other to settle even more ancient grudges. Choose a side in the War in Heaven and aid your allies to achieve victory. Other new features of the Leviathans pack include the Guardians – majestic beings traveling across the galaxy – who can be fought or observed to access new technologies and great treasures. The pack also gives the player access to new species portraits, music, new missions, and encounters.

Key features

  • Choose a side in the war between the gods of the galaxy.
  • Find and investigate the Guardians to gain access to the treasures and technology they protect
  • Equip new race icons
  • Enjoy minutes of new tracks.


Synthetic Dawn story pack

The machines are rising and the player is in charge of the revolution. As the leader of an A.I. civilization in Synthetic Dawn DLC, the player’s task is to lead their machine empire to galactic domination. The empire can be made of a variety of mechanical minions, including worker robots, scientific machines, and more. The pack features a scenario in which the machines rebel against their overlords, a common trope in sci-fi storytelling. As with other story expansions, Synthetic Dawn offers new character portraits and music tracks.

Key features

  • Build a civilization of robots and lead them o conquer the galaxy
  • Face the imminent threat of machines revolting against their masters
  • New character portraits and music included


Distant Stars story pack

We’re entering the Stargate/Halo area of sci-fi with Distant Stars – a story pack focusing on exploring ancient pathways and secret passages to other galaxies. Send a research party to find what lies on the other side of a wormhole or intergalactic bridge and gain knowledge of the ancient civilizations to develop your own further. The pack allows the player to encounter new anomalies to analyze, mysterious systems to explore, and gigantic creatures to observe. Also, more music, yay!

Key features

  • Travel far into the deep space using a network of ancient passageways
  • Explore new worlds and analyze anomalies popping up throughout the galaxy
  • Encounter massive beasts and research them for the benefit of science


Ancient Relics story pack

Play the space Indiana Jones and discover the traces of long-forgotten civilizations in Ancient Relics DLC. The player gains access to archaeological sites that may yield important data and technological resources to benefit the player’s empire. Said relics can also be gained by overcoming crises that may befall the player civilization and usual galactic adventuring. Exploring ancient worlds may lead the player to encounter the remnants of the Precursor civilization – studying it may lead to great scientific progress.

Key features

  • Troves of ancient relics are waiting to be discovered.
  • Explore the abandoned worlds and study their secrets
  • Investigate the trees of a First Civilization and gain knowledge from their mistakes


Horizon Signal flavor pack

In this DLC, the player is tasked with investigating a mysterious signal sent out by a being from faraway regions of the galaxy, thus beginning one of the longest chain event in the history of the series. Written by Alexis Kennedy, Horizon Signal takes the player to an unknown region of space, where they will encounter new threats and learn the secret behind the signal’s origin. An excellent adventure for all the fans of space mysteries!

Key features

  • Answer the mysterious signal and face the threats that await you in an unknown sector of the galaxy
  • Experience the longest chain event of the game

Horizon Signal flavor pack is a free DLC.

Arachnoid portrait pack

Arachnoids are a subspecies of the Arthropoids – one of the races the player can choose at the beginning of the game. This portrait pack is included as a free DLC with the Nova Edition of the game, so make sure to get it to unlock these mortifying, multi-legged creatures.

Key features

  • Unlocks Arachnoid portraits to use in the game

Arachnoid portrait pack is part of Stellaris Galaxy Edition Upgrade Pack

Plantoid species pack

Sow terror in the heart of your enemies with your plant-based visage! This expansion adds a new species – Plantoids. The new race comes with their own portraits and spaceship models, as well as a Plantoid cityscape artwork to decorate your desktop background.

Key features

  • A new race of flora-based aliens
  • The pack unlocks the Plantoid character portraits, ship models, and artwork.


Humanoid species pack

Any fan of classic sci-fi films will love to get their hands on this expansion pack. Not only does it add 10 new portraits the player can use, but it also unlocks not only new ship models but also a pre-scripted empire of Voor Technocracy,  new voice lines, remixes of classic Stellaris songs and Humanoid cityscape artwork.

Key features

  • Classic science fiction-themed expansion pack
  • Unlock new character portraits and ship models
  • Play the campaign as the ruthless Voor Technocracy


Lithoids species pack

If you loved the character of Korg from Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok movie, you will definitely enjoy this expansion pack. Lithoids are a race of sentient rock creatures, offering the players a brand new gameplay experience. Thanks to their rocky nature, Litohids can adapt to any environment, making the conquest of the galaxy that much easier. The pack includes new race portraits, ship models and voice tracks, as well.

Key features

  • Play as a unique race of Lithoids
  • Use the new race’s adaptive abilities to conquer any environment.
  • Enjoy a bundle of new character portraits and ship models.

Necroids species pack

In the darkness of space, this race has made their goal clear – to rid the galaxy of all life and have the conquered worlds join the ranks of the undead. Necorids species pack includes a new origin – the Necrophage – giving the player access to the Necroid race and their unique civics, which blur the line between imperial rule and the fanatical cult of death. The DLC also includes a set of new portraits, ships, and cities.

Key features

  • Embrace the cold grip of death and lead your undead empire to victory
  • Choose the Necroid race and build your empire with new horror-themed civics, ships, and cities.


Stellaris E-books

The world of Stellaris is extremely, immensely large, and it will take a long time before the player manages to figure outits ins and outs. For those who want to get even deeper into the lore and worldbuilding of the game, the developers prepared a set of e-books. The first one, Stellaris Digital Collector’s Book, details the gameplay mechanics, locations, races, and other bits of information that will surely help the player understand Stellaris’ world better. It also contains the game’s artwork, allowing the player to admire the craftsmanship behind the in-game designs.

The other e-book is Stellaris: Infinite Frontiers, written by Steven Savile. Set in the universe of Stellaris, this exciting novel takes the player to the early years of galactic exploration, as the Commonwealth of Men learns that they are not alone in the universe. The clash between empires is all but inevitable, as the Commonwealth sends a colony ship to investigate the signal coming from the deep space.

Key featuresBoth e-books expand upon the game’s lore, adding valuable background information and making the universe of Stellaris even richer.

Phew! That took a while. As you can see, the DLCs for Stellaris include not only gameplay changing expansions but also packs that change the game’s cosmetics or add new events, as well as entire books describing the robust world of Paradox’s opus. If you want to feel the full scope of this sprawling RTS, be sure to check out all of these, as they add the flavor that makes Stellaris one of the most detailed games in its genre.