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Wish Upon A Stellaris: Banks, Kennedy, And Beyond

Good stuff

Our Adam had a look at the state of Stellaris [official site] after Paradox released the most-recent update and paid add-on for their space strategy game. He called those "an indication that the studio have ideas as to how the universe can become more lively, without making it more cluttered at the same time, and that makes the future of Stellaris very exciting indeed." And what of that future? Paradox have shared some of their plans and hopes for the future, which include fleshing out the mid- and late-game, adding a "space UN", expanding ethics, and making empires more interesting and alive.

"We now have a very solid base game to build on, and that going forward it's time to scale up our ambitions," game director Martin Anward said in yesterday's dev diary. He explained that the future update codenamed 'Banks' is still planned to be a biggun, but Paradox will now also release a smaller update, codenamed 'Kennedy', before then. It's due to launch this year and will focus on a few areas that they didn't have time for with the recent Heinlein update, "such as precursor event chains and endgame crises".

While Paradox are still keeping mum on what Banks will bring, Anward does tease that the name "may offer some clues". That's not much of a hint; the sci-fi novels of Iain M. Banks are full of ultra-intelligent sentient megaships who see their human creators as basically pets, social anarchism, interfering superspies with big bags of dirty tricks, and... goodness knows how many other ideas. Maybe some fun espionage?

Anywho! Anward points out these as the most important - but not the only - areas Paradox should focus on right now:

  • Fleshing out the mid- and lategame through the addition of more interesting narratives and 'galactic events' akin to Awakened Fallen Empires that shake up the galactic scene.
  • Improving the internal workings of empires, making pops and leaders more interesting, and making empires feel more alive.
  • Expanding on the ethics system, creating more unique playstyles and enhancing roleplaying.

Anward also detailed a few ideas they have, a few things they might add, but these aren't promises and there's no word on when they would arrive.

  • Ship appearance that differs for each empire, so no two empires' ships look exactly the same.
  • More story events and reactive narratives that give a sense of an unfolding story as you play.
  • More potential for empire customization, ability to build competitive 'tall' empires.
  • Deeper Federations that start out as loose alliances and can eventually be turned into single states through diplomatic maneuvering.
  • Ability to set rights and obligations for particular species in your empire.
  • Global food that can be shared between planets.
  • Superweapons and planet killers.
  • Ability to construct space habitats and ringworlds.
  • More interesting mechanics for pre-FTL civilizations.
  • Factions that are proper interest groups with specific likes and dislikes and the potential to be a benefit to an empire instead of just being rebels.
  • A 'galactic community' with interstellar politics and a 'space UN'.
  • Buildable Dreadnoughts and Titans.

It seems that, as with their other games, Paradox are in this for the long haul.

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Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.