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Stellaris blasts off to Distant Stars in new DLC

What lies beyond the L-Gates?

Travel beyond the limits of known space to a mysterious cut-off cluster in the new Stellaris DLC, the 'Distant Stars Story Pack', which could open up powerful shortcuts across space but miiight have been closed off for a good reason. But obviously you're going to stick your spaceoar in and see what's up. What are you, spacechicken? Distant Stars also includes new anomalies to investigate and new Leviathans to meet.

As is often the way with Paradox strategy game expansions, it's accompanied by a free update which reworks parts of the base game. Expect new binary and trinary star systems, anomaly studies no longer having a chance to fail, and other tweakies.

So, buy the DLC and mysterious new 'L-Gates' will appear in your galaxies. These are initially busted, jammed in maintenance loops, but investigating and poking around in a variety of ways will eventually open up the ability to open them - if you want. Open a gate and you'll be whisked away to the L-Cluster, a small series of systems unconnected to the main galaxy. Paradox say there are several possible reasons for why the gates were locked down, and I'm sure several of them are terrible. But L-Gates offer the powerful ability to jump to distant systems, as the L-Cluster is a hub which can spit you out at any L-Gate.

Beyond the L-Cluster, the DLC also adds three new types of Leviathan, the honking great creatures which drift around space on their whims and may or may not murder you to bits. 20-odd unique systems are in, with their own encounters, events, or anomalies. Speaking of, it also adds loads more anomalies - about half as many as are already in the game.

Stellaris: Distant Stars Story Pack is out now on Steam for £7.19/€9.99/$9.99.

Also out now is update 2.1, lovingly nicknamed 'Niven' in honour of Casino Royale actor David Niven, bringing changes including:

  • Galaxy generation has been reworked for more interesting hyperlane terrain: stars are now grouped in highly connected 'constellations' separated by thin 'highways', making for more strategic placement of natural chokepoints
  • All hyperlanes are no longer immediately visible when starting a new game, but will be revealed through exploration. Hyperlane visibility extends roughly twice as far as your sensor range
  • Added binary star systems
  • Added trinary star systems
  • Anomalies can no longer fail, but instead the time to research an anomaly will depend on the difference between scientist level and anomaly level, with high level anomalies potentially taking a very long time to research for a low skill scientist
  • Added Experimental Subspace Nagivation which allows science ships to go missing-in-action and travel to a selected system. This will allow them to bypass (but not enter) closed borders
  • AI will retreat its Colossus if it is alone in combat, as even a planet destroying giant laser is cold comfort in the lonely depths of space
  • Fixed an issue where the AI would incorrectly allocate too much budget to navies when it could not support any more ships, resulting in underdeveloped empires
  • Fixed issue where tutorial missions could sometimes trigger for Gestalt Consciousness empires, who really should know all this instinctively already

The full patch notes are over here, and Paradox's dev diaries have explored some of the patch changes and DLC features in greater depth.

I've still not revisited Stellaris since Paradox stripped down interstellar travel - how're you feeling about that change these days, spacegang?

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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.