Stellaris – How to Change Ethics

In Stellaris, one of the lesser-known game systems is the ability to change ethics. Understanding and utilizing this tool can optimize your empire and gameplay experience. In this guide, we’ll cover how to change ethics in Stellaris and the mechanics behind it.

How to Change Ethics in Stellaris

When you start playing Stellaris, you have three ethic points that must be spent. Fanatic ethics cost two points, while standard ethics cost one point. This means every empire will have either three standard ethics or one fanatic and one standard.

Knowing how to change ethics in Stellaris can help you achieve your empire’s goals and address challenges that arise. For example, if your pacifist empire is constantly attacked by a neighboring militarist empire, it may be time to embrace militarism and defend your territory.

To shift your ethics, you must first understand the factions mechanic in Stellaris.

How Factions Work

Factions represent political parties in your empire that your pops (population) can join. When creating an empire, each pop will adopt a standard ethic, which is tied to a faction. The more pops that join a faction, the more unity it will produce for your empire. Unity production is also affected by the faction’s goals, with pacifist factions favoring pacifist laws and militarist factions preferring aggressive policies.

Factions with high approval provide happiness buffs, while ones with low approval provide debuffs. You can suppress factions with low approval or promote factions with high approval to encourage pops to join the factions you want.

Embracing a Faction

The final option available in the faction menu is the option to embrace a faction, which allows you to change your empire’s ethics. To embrace a faction, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You have 5000 unity to spend.
  • The faction you intend to embrace has 20 percent faction support.
  • Your empire does not already have the fanatic version of the ethic the faction represents.
  • You are not a vassal to another empire.
  • It has been over ten years since the last time you embraced a faction.

After embracing a faction, your ethics will shift immediately. However, this decision comes with consequences. The faction members you embraced will be happy, but all other factions will receive a -35 faction approval for ten years. This debuff could lead to an empire-wide unhappiness spike, potentially resulting in decreased resource production, increased crime, or even a planetary revolt.

Nevertheless, changing ethics is a manageable challenge that can benefit your empire in the long run. If you have high governing ethics attraction, your pops may ultimately change their ethics to conform to the empire’s new direction.

Overall, changing ethics is an overlooked feature in Stellaris that experienced players should learn. Use your newfound knowledge to optimize your gameplay and achieve your empire’s goals. If you have any additional questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments section below.