Stellaris Leviathans DLC & Heinlein Patch Due Oct 20th

Strange and giant space nasties are coming to Stellaris [official site] in the Leviathans paid expansion, which Paradox today announced will launch on October 20th. Players will get to fight a space dragon for its horde, encounter a mysterious sphere, meet something which lives inside a sun, and so on – the usual stuff.

Just as important – perhaps more so? – is the free update hitting the 4X strategy game alongside the expansion. Codenamed Heinlein (after the sci-fi author, as is Paradox’s way), it will add or overhaul features from auto-explore to sector governors.

Leviathans will introduce giant new weird things to space. They range from a simple (hah!) space dragon you can try to duff to steal its hoard (a planet, obvs) to a silent metal sphere hovering near a black hole. These ‘Guardians’ include spacelife, ancient technology, and… who even knows, presenting both problems and opportunities. Probably don’t go riling up spacespheres – that’s a lesson I’ve learned from Iain M. Banks’s Excession.

Leviathans will also bring Enclaves – independent outposts of traders or mercenaries – along with the ‘War in Heaven’ eventy story bit. That’ll see two Fallen Empires kicking off and having a go at each other, which of course presents several opportunities.

The Leviathans Story Pack will cost $9.99.

As for the Heinlein update launching alongside it, here are the big features

  • A convenient Auto-Explore feature.
  • Rally points for your freshly-assembled Navy.
  • The Expansion Planner Interface.
  • An overhaul of Strategic Resources.
  • Clearer specialization/role for ship types.
  • More options for customizing new galaxies.
  • New smarter Sector Governors.

If you want to see more of Heinlein, check out this development livestream from September, which shows the update and Leviathans:

Oh, and check out this beautiful space baby, one of several “cute” species portraits coming with Leviathans making cute noises:

You are a little lamb, spacefriend.


  1. c-Row says:

    So that’s one whole evening of playing the new patch before Civ 6 lands the next day. Yelp.

  2. CMaster says:

    Wait, do we get the Dragon’s Horde or Hoard?
    I mean, both would be useful but kinda different.

    • RedViv says:

      I would LOVE to get some kind of huge green research option from killing one of those to actually make a horde of dragon ships.

  3. Ahkey says:

    The Excession reference is very much appreciated.

    Now if they could just add The Culture as a race! I wonder how long the ship names can be..

    • A Wanderer says:

      Well, I’m pretty sure the ship names would lack gravitas.

      • 2lab says:

        They’d probably be falling outside the normal moral constraints, tbh.

        • v21v21v21 says:

          Someplace in the grey area, perhaps.

          • Doomstar says:

            I’m getting keener for this expansion as days go on. Somewhere on par with the Anticipation of a New Lover’s Arrival.

            (Also, someone has already modded in a bunch of culture ship/people names)

    • Benratha says:

      Just go with “Mistake Not….”

  4. A Wanderer says:

    At least someone at RPS mentionned Banks in a post about a 4X space game.
    I’m happy now.

  5. mercyRPG says:

    A game which has sucky pause rewind “You cannot Influence Combat … Resistance is Futile?”-combat f a c e p a l m Stellaris = AvoidWare

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      Drib says:

      This has got to be the least coherent comment I have seen yet on RPS.

      • syndrome says:

        is there some sort of hidden competition? because this deserves an insta-medal

  6. teije says:

    Been following this on the Paradox forums, and this will move Stellaris a long way towards adding great content, more interesting dynamics and reducing some of the current pain points. Looking forward to it.

  7. Morgan Joylighter says:

    But when does the content written by Alexis Kennedy come out? That’s what I, and I suspect more than a few others, are waiting to play this game for…

  8. Zenicetus says:

    It sounds interesting and I’m sure I’ll get it at some point. Probably not right away, though. There are some big changes coming in the free Heinlein patch including revamped ship roles during combat, sector management, and ethos/government balance.

    There has been no public beta testing of any of that. It might be fine, but I want to see some reviews of the new rebalancing in the free patch before dedicating too much time to a new campaign. If the previous Asimov patch is any indication, it might need a hotfix or further patch to stabilize.

    • Someoldguy says:

      I’ll be waiting until someone tells me this makes the late game fun. I don’t particularly need 50 more fun things to meet in the exploration and expansion phase, I need stuff to do later in the game. I’ve seen some of this stuff aim at stopping you outgrowing the competition, but nothing about a smoother passage to victory once you have.

  9. Calculon says:

    Am I the only person annoyed by this?

    Im really starting to get irritated with Paradox – and its not only because of Stellaris – but let’s start there first. Please note – I dont own the game – I chose NOT to buy it based on my belief that at release it wouldnt be worth the purchase – missing too much content. I do however own several other Grand Strategy titles by Paradox including: CK2 (who doesnt + 90% of DLC) EUIV (+95% of DLC), Victoria III (+100% of DLC)

    Based on my understanding of Stellaris – mid and late game are pretty boring and missing many important mechanics. Fundamental portions of an economic system are absent. Trade is abysmal. Diplomacy is less than mediocre. What I take issue with is – Space Dragons? Seriously? Of all of the key pieces of content that Paradox SHOULD put in – they put in Space Dragons!? “But you dont own the game – why are you complaining?” I hear you saying.

    Here’s why. Let’s take a little trip to EUIV – where I have been happily buying DLC for the past 3 years approximately – shelling out quite a significant amount for the game overall – and JUST NOW – Rights of man is putting in ‘Great Powers’.

    What is ‘Great Powers’ you might ask? Its a feature that was in Victoria III pretty much at release (I believe, or +1 expansion – not absolutely sure) which gives the top 4 empires interesting playing mechanics to create ‘satellite’ followers among other interesting bonuses including additional diplomatic interactions. I would argue – its fundamental core game-play that Paradox is just now – 3 years after release -adding.

    Let’s take a skip over to Cities Skylines – which I also own. Cities skylines has had about 3 (ish?) useless DLC’s released thus far? They really dont add anything interesting or complex to the game. They could have fixed/improved tourism, they could have put in economic/trade functions, more interesting dynamics between commercial and industrial, etc etc etc – there is a lot of interesting things that they could do with Cities Skylines and they havent – which makes you wonder – Why not?? Certainly they arent stupid. What’s the pattern here?

    Paradox releases incomplete games missing large feature sets, and the proceeds to pop out flavorless DLC, perhaps *some* increased basic mechanics – certainly nothing fancy/dynamic, and then when they have milked it nicely – then they start adding in some quality DLC with fundamental mechanics that should have been in at release. Hence you have – Space Dragons for Stellaris.

    As a Paradox consumer – Im starting to feel like a sucka

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      Malarious says:

      I disagree. Well, I don’t know about Cities: Skylines (I haven’t bought any of the DLC for that and it’s not developed by PDX anyway) but I buy every CK2 and EU4 DLC (and Stellaris now too, I suppose) on release day and never feel like a “sucker”.

      It’s just capitalism, and it’s a means of literally voting with my wallet to sustain the development of games that I love and have sunk countless hours into. I throw money at things that I like because I want to see more things like it. The actual features of the DLC are pretty much irrelevant to me — as long as they keep programmers working on patches, I’ll keep throwing money their way.

    • syndrome says:

      @Calculon welp you don’t sound like a Calculon to me