Skip to main content
If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Stellaris’ 3.6 Orion update warps in new galaxy shapes and a combat rebalance

Starburst or Cartwheel? I can’t decide

Being interested in both sci-fi and strategy games, I’ve always wanted to reshape the galaxy. The free 3.6 Orion update for Paradox’s spacey grand strategy Stellaris is live now, and it's done that, but in a way I hadn’t quite imagined. Among the changes with this update are six new galaxy shapes to mix up the pattern of your interstellar empires a bit. Orion also rebalances fleet combat, bringing in elements of the open beta that began back in October. Paradox have chucked in a few reworks of bits and pieces from Stellaris’ numerous expansions too, including changes to the Utopia DLC’s Ascension path. You can see more about that by watching the video below.

The 3.6 Orion update for Stellaris rejigs some DLC-specific features.Watch on YouTube

The new galaxy shapes that Orion brings into the game don’t seem essential, but they’re a nice addition. Mucking about with different galactic styles was always something I appreciated in Star Trek: Birth Of The Federation as a kid, so I’m pretty happy to see the option work its way into Stellaris all these years later. You can now set your galaxy to either 3-arm or 6-arm spiral, one called barred that looks a bit like those vampire shurikens Blade throws, starburst, the very swirly cartwheel, and spoked. That last one seems like a snowflake, which makes the update seem seasonally appropriate somehow. As for the fleet rebalances, these are intended to smooth over some of the ongoing issues Stellaris had with its space combat.

Paradox haven’t been able to shoehorn in everything they hope to improve with the 3.6 update, such as the ineffective command limits or the inherent misery of dealing with doomstacks, so those are being addressed in future updates. The devs have implemented a variety of roles in the autodesign tool that apply to different ship types. They’ve also fiddled with the behaviour of ship combat computers, and added the new swarm and torpedo computers. A bunch of weapons changes are in the update too, including making smaller weapons fire faster, and larger ones slower but with more punch. There’s a lot more detail about the Orion update’s changes in the forum post here.

Stellaris is on Steam and GOG for £35/$40/€40, and the free 3.6 Orion update is live now. You can read the full patch notes for the update here.

Rock Paper Shotgun is the home of PC gaming

Sign in and join us on our journey to discover strange and compelling PC games.

In this article


PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac

Related topics
About the Author
CJ Wheeler avatar

CJ Wheeler

Former News Reporter

CJ used to write about steam locomotives but now covers Steam instead. Likes visual novels, most things with dungeons and/or crawling, and any shooter with a suitably chunky shotgun. He’s from Yorkshire, which means he’s legally obliged to enjoy a cup of tea and a nice sit down.