Fight me! Stellaris beta patch fixes AI not declaring war

War has returned to the galaxy with a hasty hotfix for Stellaris [official site], clearing up some big problems created by the recent update 1.6 (nicknamed ‘Adams’). Here’s the biggest one: AI factions were not declaring war. That’s a bold utopian vision of our spacefuture but a bit wonky for a game full of spacewar. That’s a mighty embarrassing bug, both for developers Paradox and for me. I’ve been feeling chuffed about my diplomatic skills in my current game but, er, nope, my spacepeacocks flourished because my rivals were entirely unable to spacepunch me in my beautiful spaceface.

Update 1.6.1 is now live as an opt-in beta patch. It’s opt-in because while Paradox think its fixes don’t cause more problems, they haven’t tested it fully yet. Rather than leave the galaxy without war over the weekend, they’ve released 1.6.1 in beta.

To get the update, right-click on Stellaris in your Steam library, select Properties, then go to the Betas tab, and select “1.6.1_beta” from the drop-down menu.

“If after a few days in the wild we’re convinced the fixes are good and no new issues have been introduced, we’ll push it 100% live as an official patch,” Paradox say.

Stellaris project lead Jamie Wood, who took over the role last month, apologised for this mess in yesterday afternoon’s announcement:

“I’d like to offer my sincere personal apology to everyone negatively affected by issues with 1.6.0. We know it hurts when something you care about fails, and believe me, it hurts us too. Software development is a massively complex beast with a million little things all interacting, and with the sheer scale of fixes we brought in with Adams, some things got un-fixed. That’s why we dropped everything relating to future development plans to correct this right away. I hope this patch will address the worst concerns, and that you all can have a fun weekend playing the game.”

Check the full 1.6.1 beta patchnotes over here. Looking over player reports, it sounds like Stellaris still has a fair few bugs skittering around, some more serious than others. But 1.6.1 certainly won’t be Stellaris’s final update, given Paradox’s strategy game model of eternal expansions and updates.

I dread what will happen to my current empire of friendly spacepeacocks after I install this patch. “I’m fairly certain I have MASSIVELY overextended but no one has stopped me yet,” I said in the RPS treehouse yesterday. Well, now I know why. A reckoning is coming right to my spaceface.


  1. Grizzly says:

    This has to be worse then the Empire: Total War bug of the AI not being able to do naval invasions.

    • alh_p says:

      Yes, but thankfully (hopefully?) this might not go so long un-fixed.

      That reminds me of the spat between Paradox dev Johan and the then lead TW dev (name forgotten) over TW: Empire’s abysmal AI. The line I retain was something like Paradox saying that AI coding for EU3 was a real challenge but that they weren’t aware that TW Empire had any AI…

      It was all very public and naughty of Paradox. And very funny.

    • Sakkura says:

      That reminds me of how they made it impossible to block the AI’s naval crossings in EU4, because it’s too dumb to avoid or deal with that issue.

      Of course they introduced that change when I was at war with Venice…

    • carewolf says:

      Back in earlier Paradox games it was common that AI couldn’t do naval invasions, often they couldn’t even handle ships correctly and had to be excempt from rules governing attriition at sea etc. I has gotten better in recent games, but invasions is still something AI does a lot poorer than driving a car.

    • pentraksil says:

      Nowhere near that level of buggy.

  2. Umama says:

    I’ve been doing my first playthrough after picking this up in the Humble monthly. I was wondering why no one wanted to punch my smug space hippy ferrets in the face!

    I was really just finding my bearings with this playthrough anyway, and I was considering picking up Utopia and starting a new game this weekend so I’ll be sure to install the beta patch with it.

    It may have been a blessing in disguise for me as no war really let me explore the game well without diverting everything to fleet buildup. I think I’ll pick a more agressive race next.

    • nitric22 says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Picked up the bundle and went 15 hours into a game without a single conflict. I guess I just assumed I was a cool neighbor! Likely not. The timing for such a bug actually works out though because I got a decent feel for the mechanics without having to go all battle mode. And much like you, I’m thinking a more aggressive race may be the better approach on a new game now that I know I’m not just a super diplomat.

  3. Faldrath says:

    “Divine Bird Friends League” is nice. In my latest game, my spacemoths are from a planet named Them, in the Themmis system. The game suggested “Union of Them” as an empire name. I had to oblige.

    • Premium User Badge

      distantlurker says:

      The ‘Diaspora of Us’ will vaporize your puny nation!

      • Aloysius says:

        The ‘Interstellar House of Pancakes’ wishes we could all just get along!

  4. Stugle says:

    “Spacepunch me in my beautiful spaceface” is beautiful prose. I might just have to get Stellaris as a token of appreciation that it led to the creation of that sentence.

    • poliovaccine says:

      No offense meant to the writers at RPS but, uh, if that is your idea of beautiful prose you should try some Peter Matthiessen haha..

  5. teije says:

    Paradox laid a big spaceegg with 1.6, from trying to push out too many changes at the last minute. So good they’ve cleaned it quickly.

    • Sakkura says:

      Yeah they may have rushed it for the anniversary thing. Not a great idea.

  6. bestnameguy says:

    It all makes sense now. I’ve been working through my first playthrough as a xenophilic religious oligarchy of friendly space fungii and after expanding some, made contact with three empires:
    democratic space lizards, theocratic space boars, and a terrifying large, aggressive group of xenophobic, dictatorial, enslaving space crocodiles. After a peaceful period quiet period, the space crocodiles suddenly demanded that we become their vassals. We refused and braced for invasion, but immediately after the demand we received defensive pact offerings from the other two empires. I figured the newly arranged 3-empire defensive alliance convinced the crocs to put the invasion on hold. Perhaps that’s not the case, though. I’d better spend the weekend building up my pathetic fleet before the new patch goes wide and the crocs let loose the dogs of war!

    • Kefren says:

      crocs of war.

    • brucethemoose says:

      I’m doing a space hippie playthrough too! Xenophile spiritual pacifist, specifically.

      I used to always do some form of materialism, but the shroud mechanics they added in 1.5 are great.

      Also, you picked a great time to get into Stellaris. 1.6.1 is amazing, and mods have come a long way too.

      • bestnameguy says:

        I’m enjoying it quite a bit so far, although I have this nagging fear that I’m not quite grasping all of the mechanics (definitely haven’t grasped the sectors idea yet, and my fleet is a joke) and I’m teetering on the edge of total ruin at all times. I suppose I’ll find out the hard way!

        • brucethemoose says:

          Sectors are presented as a positive thing in game, but essentially they’re a way of bringing down the efficiency of big player empires, to counterbalance endless expansion. The more planets you have over your “core world” limit, the more you have to hand over to the mediocre AI builder.

  7. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Alice, maybe they didn’t punch your spacepeacocks in their spacefaces, because they were so confused by the spaceeyespots on your spacetails?

  8. Gothnak says:

    I thought my peaceful Mushroomlords were just being super peaceful. Now those stinky gasbags near us are going to try and push the borders i assume… Well, maybe we won’t be the Fun Guys they think we are.

  9. King in Winter says:

    The 1.6 update had an unfortunate timing for me, as it hit just as I was about to grab three achievements: ten space species living in utopian standards in my space democracy, access to ten strategic space resources, and solving the Enigmatic (space) Fortress. Sadly according to PDox there’s no way to un-break achievements in a save where they are broken. Guess I’ll have to hunt for some others in my fanatic purifier run I’ll be starting next.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I feel a bit bad that Paradox feels like they failed with their free patch. Bugs happen.

    That said, the Infinity Sphere quest chain completely died on me in this patch. I finished part of it where it’s supposed to talk, and instead the chain ended immediately and there’s no continuing. So that’s weird.

    But still, I like the free DLC. Not going to complain.

  11. Renegade says:

    Rather brilliantly someone on reddit summed up the 1.6 patch in true Douglas fashion:

    link to

    A great stellar empire loudly and proudly declares that its sole purpose is to purify the galaxy and destroy all alien life, only to have its vast administrative bureaucracy decide that it is never quite the right time to muster the nation for war. Years later they decide that Moral Democracy is a better idea, but all the memo sheets still say “STELLAR BLOOD REAVERS” and it’s too much effort to change that and really we wouldn’t want to dilute the brand.

    Elsewhere, a similarly bureaucratic mind decides to erect a historical monument. On second thought, tear that monument down, that patch of ground would look better as an open pit mine. Is that mine operational yet? Good! We need to fill it in and put up a power station. It’s no use complaining now, the relevant documents have been open to public consultation for months! It’s hardly our fault nobody was willing to fight the gargantuan toothy green thing that sleeps in the broom cupboard of the Colonial Development Planning Council. Pardon me? Ah yes, prime site for a research lab. Get cracking on that!

    There’s a rather large crowd in the streets clamoring for alien rights. Across from them, a man in a lab coat is loudly and fruitlessly trying to explain that automated robot workers are not, in fact, an alien species and also they’re hardly more self-aware than an egg beater. The crowd are now insisting that egg beaters receive freedom of assembly and a mandatory minimum wage. The man in the lab coat takes a moment to look dejected before joining in because really, this is probably easier in the long run.

  12. Dynamique says:

    Started with Stellaris right after the 1.6 patch as a peaceloving civilization (“Come on, there’s plenty of space for all of us, right?”)… Now I’m scared of the update.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      You kinda need to be heavily armed in Stellaris anyway, to deal with space pirates and weird aliens. You may not have defensive stations deployed at key locations, but you almost certainly have a large fleet if you’ve progressed reasonably far in the game.

  13. Ericusson says:

    Bah, Stellaris mechanics are so shallow anyway it does not change much in the end.

    The game is so rigid and offers so few possibilities of interactions with AI players, the whole experience is a disappointing rolling down the hill to the inevitable crappy engine massive lag fest that is the game’s mid to end game.