The new Stellaris: Federations expansion is out with a trio of new features for the title. One of them, Origins, allows you to give your species its own starting point in the universe. Is your civilization rising from a post-apocalyptic past, now departing to the stars from a Tomb World? Or maybe you’re like the Quarians from Mass Effect, forever roaming space in orbital habitats, never to inhabit a planet? Our Stellaris Origins guide explains what the origins are, the effect they’ll have on your gameplay, and gives some recommendations and tips for each.
A stable planetary unification has allowed this civilization to prosper and grow.
This is one of the most basic origins available. All it does is give you more pops and some additional districts to start. Pick this one if you just want a boost for your civilization.
Effect: Start the game with an additional 4 Pops and with an additional 2 Districts.
This civilization has been preoccupied with the idea of metallic automatons since the early Steam Age. Although many said it could not be done, the first true robots left the assembly lines long before even rudimentary space flight was achieved.
If you at all plan on going down the robotics line, you might as well start as a Mechanist. It’s almost certain that another species out there will be using robots, inevitably triggering the The Contingency, so it might as well be you, right?
Effects: Start the game with 8 Pops being robots, and with the technology and infrastructure to build more. Robot Upkeep: -5%.
Requirements: Is some degree of Materialist.
A second species forms an integral part of this civilization. They are big, strong, and most of them have the intelligence of a particularly dim-witted child. Ancient wars have culled their species of their most aggressive tendencies, leaving them quite servile.
If you particularly enjoy having more than one species in your empire, now you can start with one! Whether you embrace the species or keep them down all depends on you and your ethics.
Effects: Start the game with 12 Pops being of another, subservient, species.
Requirements: Does NOT have Gestalt Consciousness Ethic. Does NOT have Fanatic Purifiers Civic.
This civilization has evolved in a paradise, possibly designed just for them.
As far as origins go, this one is about as old as time. What if our civilization was seeded by a more advanced civilization? In Stellaris, this means you start on a Gaia World, great! But it also sets your habitability preference to those types of worlds which makes most of the planets in the game less than ideal for settling.
Effects: Homeworld is a Gaia World (Size: 25) with several Rare Planetary Features. Habitability preference is set to Gaia World Preference, making other types of planets undesirable.
Requirements: Does NOT have Machine Intelligence Authority.
Baptized by nuclear fire, this civilization has faced total annihilation – and survived. Devastated yet unbroken, they have rebuilt civilization from the ashes of the old world.
This is nearly the opposite of the Life-Seeded origin. Rather than having a perfect starting world, but few planets to settle, with Post-Apocalyptic you get a bad world to start, but can settle most of the desolate planets in the galaxy. That’s not exactly a common habitability preference, so you should have just about free reign over those types of planets.
Effects: Capital starts as a Tomb World. Gain the Survivor trait, granting: Tomb World Habitability: +70%. Leader Lifespan: +10 Years.
Requirements: Does NOT have Machine Intelligence Authority. Does NOT have Agrarian Idyll Civic.
This civilization once spanned the void, controlling much of the Galaxy. They were eventually defeated and almost destroyed, but after a long period of destitution they are returning to the stars.
Remnant civilizations start off in a Relic World. These rare planets have 80% habitability for all races, but are littered with planetary blockers. You’ll need to clear them in order to actually grow as a species. Throughout the course of the game you can decide to restore to world to an Ecumenopolis, a planet wide city. This process takes 20,000 Minerals, 200 Influence, and 3600 days.
Ecumenopolis planets have 5 percent cheaper districts and have unique foundries, industrial, and research zones. Each provides a 25 percent boost to build speed and a 20 percent reduction to upkeep. Should you restore your planet or not? That choice is up to you.
Effects: Starts with a Relic World as your homeworld. Reclaim your lost glory!
Requirements: Does NOT have Agrarian Idyll Civic.
This civilization inhabits a Ringworld built by unknown forerunners. If it can be understood and fully repaired it will grant them great power.
Prior to the addition of Origins, Ringworlds were incredibly rare. Most of the time you had to get lucky and find one first or fight until you could claim it. Now you can start on one! It’ll still be broken down, but you’ll have a project to continually work on until you can claim the huge bonuses from a complete Ringworld.
Effects: Start with a partially destroyed Ringworld as your homeworld. The Ringworld will start with an Arcane Generator that is able to maintain some of your segments.
Requirements: Does NOT have Agrarian Idyll Civic.
This civilization has made its home in space for as long as it has maintained records – life in a typical planetary environment is anathema to them. They live on three orbital habitats that were only recently united.
Habitats are a huge departure from the normal Stellaris flow. Rather than building districts, you build stations aboard your habitats. The Leisure Station increases happiness and decreases subsequent build time for other Leisure Stations. The Mining Station reduces the cost of Astro-Mining and bumps up the number of minerals from jobs.
Effects: Start with three Orbital Habitats and the technology to build more. Members of your species thrive on Habitats and produce 15% more there. Severe habitability and growth penalties on all normal planets. Hydroponic Farms have +1 Farmer Job.
Requirements: Does NOT have Gestalt Consciousness Ethic. Does NOT have Agrarian Idyll Civic.
A Fallen Empire has meddled in the development of this civilization for thousands of years, guiding them onto a path of their choosing.
Scion is a good origin for a particularly difficult playthrough. If you’re bad at early game and need time to grow, why not have a Fallen Empire there to defend you? Eventually you’ll grow large enough to challenge them for your own freedom.
Effects: Start as a vassal of a Fallen Empire.
Requirements: Does NOT have Gestalt Consciousness Ethic. Does NOT have Fanatic Xenophobe Ethic.
This civilization has a dormant gateway in their home system – potential technological benefit, or a looming menace?
Gateways are remanants of an old galaxy-spanning network. You’ll need the Gateway Activation technology before you can do anything with the one in your system, along with 6000 Energy and 2500 Alloys. Where does the gateway connect to? You’ll just have to activate it to find out.
Effects: Start with a dormant gateway in your home system.
Tree of Life
This Hive evolved in a symbiotic relationship with a vast Tree. The Tree grants them many benefits, but its loss would cripple them.
The Tree of Life origin basically asks you to make sure you always have a planet with a Tree of Life on it. Should you struggle, and lose access to a full grown Tree of Life, your entire species will suffer penalties.
Effects: Our Hive gains many bonuses from living on a planet with a Tree of Life present, or penalties if it is absent. Colony ships are more expensive, but will provide new planets with their own sapling.
Requirements: Has Hive Mind Authority. Does NOT have Devouring Swarm Civic.
On the Shoulders of Giants
Due to some unknown past, this civilization has hidden boons in their solar system, placed there by a mysterious benefactor.
The idea behind this Origin is that a past civilization has been in your system. Normally you’d discover these as you explore the stars, but On the Shoulders of Giants ensures there’s one in your home system. Each of these dig sites contains a one to six chapter story to investigate and can provide big bonuses to your empire.
Effects: Start with an Archaeological Site related to a mysterious benefactor in your home system.
Requirements: Does NOT have Gestalt Consciousness Ethic.
Not native to their “Homeworld,” these Lithoids arrived there when a meteorite slammed into the planet and killed off most of the native life.
More than anything, Calamitous Birth is a good Origin for players truly trying to be rock people.
Effects: Start with a Massive Crater deposit on your Homeworld, giving additional total districts and mining districts. Able to build Meteorite Colony ships which travel at great speed but damage their target planets.
Requirements: Lithoid species type.
This Machine Intelligence has long-since consolidated all resources in their home system into their Capital world, covering it entirely with Machinery.
Machine Worlds can be a pain to build, so why not just start with one?
Effects: Start with a Machine World as your Homeworld.
Requirements: Has Machine Intelligence Authority. Does NOT have Rogue Servitor Civic.
This civilization established early contact with their immediate alien neighbors. Finding strength in their differences, they soon decided to face the future, and whatever it might bring, together.
These next two Origins are for Federation players. If you don’t like having to finagle a federation together, why not just start with one? With Common Ground, you work together as equals.
Effects: Start as the leader of a Galactic Union federation with two additional members. Members will occupy any Guaranteed Habitable World slots near your home system. Start with The Federation tradition unlocked.
Requirements: Does NOT have Gestalt Consciousness Ethic. Does NOT have Xenophobe Ethic. Does NOT have Fanatic Xenophobe Ethic. Does NOT have Barbaric Despoilers Civic. Does NOT have Fanatic Purifiers Civic. Does NOT have Inward Perfection Civic.
This civilization has established early contact with their immediate alien neighbors. Gradually, over the span of a century, they masterminded the birth of an interstellar union in which they would have a dominant role.
With Hegemon, you rule over the lesser members of the union.
Effects: Start as the leader of a Hegemony federation with two additional members. Members will occupy any Guaranteed Habitable World slots near your home system. Start with The Federation tradition unlocked.
Requirements: Does NOT have Gestalt Consciousness Ethic. Does NOT have Xenophobe Ethic. Does NOT have Fanatic Xenophobe Ethic. Does NOT have Fanatic Purifiers Civic. Does NOT have Inward Perfection Civic.
This civilization’s homeworld is highly unstable, and it is only a matter of time before it explodes. Their only hope is to seek refuge elsewhere before it is too late.
The idea of starting on a planet that’s going to explode after a few decades is wild and awesome. Paradox does warn that it’s a particularly challenging origin, however.
Effects: WARNING: Challenging Origin. Your homeworld will explode within 35 to 45 years after the game starts. Valuable resources from the doomed planet’s mantle boost production on the surface. No guaranteed habitable worlds will spawn near your home system.
This civilization originated as a lost and forgotten colony, separated from its homeworld long ago. The struggling colonists endured many hardships before they were able to build up the necessary technological and industrial base that would allow for a return to space.
Again, Stellaris has already had unique events where it was possible for your species to already be somewhere in the galaxy. Lost Colony simply provides another way for this to happen.
Effects: An Advanced Empire of this species is spawned somewhere in the galaxy.
Requirements: Does NOT have Gestalt Consciousness Ethic