Every playthrough of Stellaris follows a basic pattern. The early game is all about exploring the galaxy and discovering new things. The mid-game is about interacting with your neighbors and establishing your place in the pecking order. The late game is all about survival of the fittest and dealing with galaxy-destroying threats.
The mid-game is, without a doubt, the most interactive and engaging section of Stellaris. A vital component of excelling at this game stage is understanding the claims mechanic.
Recommended Read: Stellaris – Complete Empire Size Guide
Claims allow you to go to war with other empires in territory disputes. There is nothing worse than a pesky neighbor beating you to a valuable system and claiming its rewards.
You can claim a system in Stellaris by using the claims menu, clicking the plus icon next to the system you want, and then paying a cost of influence.
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How to Claim a System in Stellaris
Making a claim on a rival’s system is straightforward. What gets complicated is the costs involved and who can make a claim.
When at peace, only empires that have Unrestricted Wars as their war philosophy can make claims. You can check your war philosophy on the Government tab on the in-game menu. This war philosophy is not available to pacifist empires.
If claims are available to your empire, you can select the claims option from the in-game menu to start. Claim a system by clicking the plus button next to the target system. After selecting the system or systems, press the make claims button to finish making your claim.
After staking a claim on a system, you immediately gain the “claim” Cassus Belli and Wargoal. This will let you declare war on the owner of the claimed system, and if victorious, you take control of the system.
The only complicated component that may come up is the need to make multiple claims on a system. If you and an ally both have claims on the same system and you are victorious, who gets the territory?
Well, it is the empire that has bought the most claims on that system. If both empires have the same amount of claims, the most senior claim takes the spoils. This is a very niche scenario, but you should be aware of it all the same.
The Cost of claiming a system
Claims are one of the few things in the game that costs influence. the base cost is 50 influence, and that price is modified by the following:
- 100 percent if you are waging an offensive war against the owner of the system.
- It is reduced by 20 percent if you and the owner are rivals.
- An extra 25 influence if the system contains a colonized planet.
- An extra 25 influence if the systems outpost has been upgraded.
- An extra 25 influence if the system per hyperlane jumps from your border.
There are civics and research options that can further reduce the cost, and it is possible to reduce the cost of a claim to zero.
Claiming systems as a defender
If you are fighting a defensive war, all empires can make claims to any occupied territory their attacker has taken. Claims made this way cost nothing and are the only way pacifist empires can make claims.
If you lose a system during a conquest war, the game immediately gives you 10 claims on the lost system.
The AI is capable of and will make use of the claims system to further its own interests.
The game will inform you if your neighbors are making claims on your systems. This is often a precursor to invasion, and you would do well to prepare your forces.
This is everything you need to know about making claims in Stellaris.
If you have any questions or suggestions for this guide, please let us know in the comment section. Good luck keeping those aliens away from your systems.