Working your way through Stellaris can take quite a bit of time. While your empire and citizens grow, advancing in technologies and expand throughout the galaxy, their personality is going to show a bit more. Do they want to expand early? Should they focus on the robot portion of their population? Do they have a hive-mind collective and want to lean on it to continue furthering your ambition against the other empires? You’ll earn ascension perks that increase specific passives for your empire, giving them massive bonuses while you climb the traditions tree. Each time you complete a tradition branch, you unlock an ascension perk, and those perks have tiers. The more tiers you have access to, the stronger ascension perks become available to your empire. We’re going to break down the best ascension perks for each tier and why these are some of the best choices.
The Interstellar Dominion perk increases your empire’s starbase and claims influence cost, making it easier to expand your empire. It makes establishing outposts and planets far less costly, meaning you can branch out to other corners of the galaxy before other empires do.
- Claim Influence cost lowered by 20%
- Starbase Influence cost lowered by 20%
For an empire that wants to double down on their research progress early and increase their researcher’s speed, the Technological Ascendancy is a good choice. You’ll also have the opportunity to pull more rare technology cards from all of the decks, giving you even more advanced choices to select from each time you complete a technology.
- Research speed increases by 10%
- Rare technologies now appear 50% more often
If you don’t want to rely on finding habitable planets for your species, going down the habitat route is a good option. These are artificial worlds that your citizens can live and work on without living on a real world. Their base benefits are established and important, and you can construct them anywhere, so long as you control the sector.
You must have the Utopia DLC.
- Habitat habitability increases by 20%
- Habitat building slots increase by 2
- You can upgrade Housing buildings on your Habitats
- You can always research the next tier of habitat technology in the engineering tree
Grasp the Void
This is a good choice for any empire that wants to expand its base starbase capacity. It increases it by five, which is always good if you want to protect your borders or find yourself needing to temper another rival empire’s thoughts about expanding against you. It’s good for nearly any player.
- Starbase capacity increases by five
Mind Over Matter
Are you ready to open up the psi mind of your entire empire? The Mind Over Matter perk gives you the chance to unlock the telepathy research option, unlocking a massive trove of psychic potential for your species. You’ll be able to create a psi corps building and follow the Psionic Ascension Path moving forward.
This is available with the Utopia DLC.
- Psi Corps Building
- Psionic Ascension Path
- Telepathy Research Option
If you’d prefer to change a planet to fit your colonists rather than trying to find one, then you likely try quite a bit of terraforming. It can be a costly job, but to develop a new planet for your species to thrive in and expand even more, it’s a worthwhile addition for your empire to explore. The World Shaper ascension perk makes it easier to perform.
- Terraforming costs are reduced by 25%
- Your empire has the Gaia World terraforming option.
If you want to turn a planet into a massive city, similar to Coruscant from Star Wars, the Arcology Project is a worthwhile addition. The Arcology Project terraforms a planet into an Ecumenopolis, removing all blockers and filling all District slots with City Districts. If you want your population to have a place to stay, the Arcology Project can make it happen.
- Arcology Project decision is now available
During the later portion of Stellaris, megastructures are some of the best development projects an empire can create. These projects are massive, resource-demanding, and time-consuming. The Master Builders perk cuts the time in half and make it possible for players to build an additional one than they regularly could. It’s a nice thing to have in the back of your pocket, waiting for the end of the game to arrive.
- Your empire’s build speed for megastructures is increased by 50%
- Your empire can build one more megastructure
For those who want to modify and play with their population’s genetics, the Evolutionary Mastery perk gives you additional trait points, makes it easier to modify a species, and you can even remove the Hive-Minded trait from any of the species you control. It’s a good way to prevent certain aspects of your population from becoming too dependent on it, and potentially making it more difficult for you to operate.
- Your species gains three trait points
- The modify species special project costs 25% less
- The Genetic Resequencing research option is now available
- You can add or remove the Hive-Minded trait
The Colossus Project allows your empire to construct some of its most massive of weapons. Should you have the resources for it, you can build a colossus ship or complete the Colossus Project special project, forcing other empires to meet you with their own monumental constructs, or get out of your way. The resources for these projects are enormous, but making it this far into a Stellaris game is always worth it.
- Colossus ship type unlocks
- Colossus special project is available
When you reach the end of the game, most empires have access to megastructures. However, there are a few that locked behind the Galactic Wonders perk that you can access later in the game. The options vary based on the DLC you have in your Stellaris game, but overall, these projects give you an advantage against other empires that are not capable of making them.
- Dyson Sphere (Utopia DLC)
- Matter Decompressor (MegaCorp DLC)
- Ring World (Utopia DLC)