In Stellaris, Salvagers are a much more traditional Enclave introduced in the Overlord DLC. These fuzzy friends show up to help you break down unwanted material (whether that’s your own ships or someone else’s debris). You just need to find them first. Unlike the Shroud-Touched Coven, who you can automatically meet at the start of the game, or the Mercenary Enclaves, which you can create yourself, Salvagers must be found in the world. Or among the many worlds, as the case may be! How to find the Salvagers is just one purpose of this guide, however, so let’s get right down to business. It’s time for our guide to the Salvagers Enclave in Stellaris.
How to Find the Salvagers in Stellaris
As mentioned above, this Enclave doesn’t enjoy the same “cheats” as other factions introduced in the Stellaris: Overlord expansion. Instead, you need to find the surly scrappers the old-fashioned way. That means exploring. Lots of it. Preferably with Science Ships. These will allow you to explore the stars very quickly and “survey” sites of interest along the way. The Salvagers, like other Enclaves in Stellaris, live on neutral starbases found somewhere in the galaxy. You need to find that point and pass through it — allowing the Salvagers to notice you and attempt contact. You can always hold off on surveying systems to focus on exploration early on or net yourself some open borders through friendly agreements and war.
A simpler option is to just build an extra Science Ship or three. This is actually just good advice for the game in general. You start each game with just one such ship but can construct more very quickly. It’s good to pop one or two actual Scientists into these early vessels for survey purposes. Yet you can also send a single, empty ship into the stars to explore — mapping out hyperlanes and finding other factions. This is key to the game later on, and if you just so happen to meet the Salvagers along the way, all the better!
What Do the Salvagers Do in Stellaris?
Once you find the Salvagers, interact with them the same as any other Enclave: from the Contacts menu. They appear under this section just like a normal empire. The difference, of course, is that your usual Diplomacy and Espionage options are unavailable. The Enclave will instead present you with a variety of dialogue choices. Each option comes with a cost but provides some kind of unique benefit or affect. Unlike the unique mercenary factions, you can’t become their patron to earn discount services. Yet requesting their help still gradually bolsters their opinion of you (just like other Enclaves). A higher Salvager opinion unlocks more dialogue options, giving you more services from the scrappers.
Here’s a simple breakdown of the Salvager options in Stellaris:
- “We’d like to scrap a fleet.”
- “What reclaimed vessels do you have?”
- “Tell us about Salvage Works buildings.”
- “We’d like you to salvage some debris.”
- “Can you help us with engineering research?”
Some of these are fairly straightforward. Scrapping a fleet destroys the ships in a selected group. However, it converts them back into Alloys, refunding some of the build cost that went into them. Whereas purchasing “reclaimed vessels” lets you cut Alloys out of the equation altogether. Instead, this lets you purchase a Corvette, Destroyer, Cruiser, or Battleship to add to your navy. In exchange for Energy Credits, of course. This can only be done once every two years. On the bright side? The ship will match the design of another empire’s ships — potentially giving you access to better stock than you can make yourself.
Asking them to “salvage some debris,” meanwhile, just saves you the trouble of doing this yourself. The Salvagers will, uh, salvage up to three debris fields on your behalf. These must be within your borders, mind you, so no sneaking behind enemy lines with a third party. That’s what spies and privateers are for. The debris will net you more Alloys and some Engineering Research for your trouble (at the cost of Energy Credits). Speaking of which, you can also outright pay the scrappers to boost your Engineering research for five years. No debris required! Just ask them to “help us with engineering research” and they’ll take Alloys plus Energy Credits in payment.
Last but not least is the Salvage Works. This is a building type that can be built at starbases throughout your territory. Its purpose is to passively reduce the upkeep costs and repair times of any ships you dock at that station. This makes it very handy for both after and between wars.
Honestly? That’s really all there is to the Salvagers Enclave in Stellaris! Best of luck getting those fuzzy little monkeys wrenching up your gear. It’s better to be their friends than never meet them at all when making your way through the empty space of Stellaris!