[Top 15] Stellaris Best Civics That Are Excellent

Stellaris top 15 best civics.
Aquatic ships fleeing from the galactic sushi conglomerate.

Shape Your Society

Civics are the foundations of a society that direct your empire. If you’re confused about what to pick then this guide is going to cover the top 15 best civics, to give your empire the best possible start. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating that restarting a game because the civics you’ve chosen do nothing for your empire.

There are around 40 civics for normal biological empires to choose from, so it’s important to pick the best ones and ignore the others. If a specific civic is not selectable, you need to choose the correct ethics to access that civic. 

The game tells you what civics and ethics are compatible, but these tend to follow logical patterns, egalitarian empires can’t choose slavery civics, for example. 

Now let’s examine the top 15 civics.

Starting with… 

15. Functional Architecture

The council convenes to discuss further budget cuts

Functional architecture says why waste time on silly things like windows when they increase construction time by 5.21 percent? 

A bonus building slot at the start can kickstart your early game, but you have tons of ways to get more building slots by the late game. Cheaper buildings make it easier to construct much-needed infrastructure in your fledgling colonies. 

Why is Functional Architecture great?

  • Cheaper buildings mean less time until you can start developing colonies, allowing you to put those resources elsewhere
  • The extra building slot comes in very handy, you can put an extra lab there for a tech advantage, or more alloys to pump up your military power

Functional Architecture details:

  • -15% Building and district cost
  • +1 to planet building slots

14. Beacon of Liberty

Please take a moment to practice free thoughts today

Your society rejects the control of authority, people are free to go as they please, and do as they please within your borders, within reason. 

Beacon of liberty grants a flat monthly bonus to unity and reduces penalties for having a larger empire. It’s a good civic for the late game as the unity bonuses massively scale up. 

Why is Beacon of Liberty great? 

  • Ealy gains to unity production allow you to unlock powerful tradition tree bonuses faster
  • Empire size reduction allows you to control more territory without being penalized

Beacon of Liberty details:

  • +15% To monthly unity
  • -15% empire size from pops

13. Citizen Service

Do your part against the Blorg Friendchip Crusade

Service guarantees citizenship. Boosts to your military and some easy ways to generate unity production make citizen service an excellent civic. 

The military boosts scale up enormously in the late game (on the magnitude of giving you an extra fleet - thank you, citizens). Take this for a more military-focused empire and unity boosts. After all, the only good bug is a dead bug.

Why is Citizen service great? 

  • Your soldiers also produce unity, which means your bastion worlds can become unity hubs as well
  • The naval capacity bonuses are small at first but scale up to become huge by the midgame, you’ll have gigantic fleets 

Citizen Service details: 

  • +15% To naval capacity
  • +2 Unity from soldiers

12. Distinguished Admiralty

The fleet is the jewel of the empire

When the admirals and generals call the shots, you can guarantee the navy and military are going to be top tier. Distinguished admiralty gives a bonus to fleets and makes your generals and admirals much better. 

This is another military-focused civic with smaller bonuses that greatly add up together. 

Why is Distinguished Admiralty great?

  • Initial bonuses to your admirals make your fleets a little bit better at the start.
  • Improved fleet command and slightly better combat performance mean your navy is going to be stronger from the get-go. 

Distinguished Admiralty details:

  • Admirals and generals gain 2 bonus levels (they start at level 3) 
  • +10% Bonus to ship fire rate
  • +1 Admiral level cap 
  • +10 to fleet command limit (your fleets can have more ships in them)

11. Exalted Priesthood

Religious nuts with space-age technology

You achieved an interstellar civilization but that didn’t stop you from abandoning religion, somehow. Exalted Priesthood focuses purely on unity bonuses, you will be pumping out unity much faster than anyone else from the get-go. 

If you want to unlock traditions and ascension perks faster than anyone else, this is the go-to for you. 

Why is Exalted Priesthood great? 

  • You will gain bonuses for unity production from high priests (who replace some politicians) plus as a spiritual empire you have access to temples, which give you priests who also produce unity. This is best if you want to snowball into traditions. As of 3.3 High priests produce an extra 2 unity, this seriously adds up in a larger empire. 

Exalted priesthood details: 

  • Capital buildings replace some politician's jobs with high priests
  • +1 unity from priests

10. Imperial Cult

Bow down before your god!

When you’re not satisfied with being a mere mortal ruler, only godhood will do. The imperial cult civic only affects edicts, but edicts are incredibly versatile in themselves. 

You can use your divine power to execute swift proclamations and enact sweeping changes in your domain, after all, who is going to dispute the will of their god?  A very good choice for the true imperials. 

Why is Imperial Cult great? 

  • Edict bonuses are fantastic in the first 50 years of the game. Edicts can help you weather disaster, boost your production or boost your military to an insane degree. 

Imperial Cult details:

  • +100 To the edict fund

9. Inward Perfection

When you just want to ignore everything outside of your borders and perfect your corner of space. 

Inward perfection is a great choice if you want to turtle up and minimize interaction between your empire and the outside galaxy. You give up any possible diplomatic influence for some powerful empire-wide bonuses. 

Choose this for an isolated playthrough, focusing on the growth and development of your empire. 

Why is Inward Perfection great? 

  • A great choice for players who don’t want to bother with any diplomacy 
  • Large diplomatic restrictions are traded for very hefty bonuses across the board
  • Perfect for roleplaying as a peaceful isolationist
  • It can be a great way to learn how to optimally develop your empire without annoying distractions

Inward Perfection details:

  • No diplomatic interactions, no treaties, or anything like that, you’re the ultimate isolationist
  • Cant wage unrestricted wars
  • +20% Monthly unity 
  • +10% Pop growth
  • +50 Edicts fund
  • +5% Pop happiness 
  • -1 Envoys 
  • +1 Encryption
  • -1 Codebreaking 

8. Slaver Guilds

Our slaves come with a money-back guarantee, parts not sold separately

Why do the work for yourself when you can “gently” coax a Xeno to do it for you without having to worry about wages, unions, or welfare at all? 

Slaver guilds are a great pick for authoritarians. You can use slaves to vastly reduce your consumer good maintenance, focusing those resources on other areas. The right empire policies ensure your slaves can work in all sections of your industry. 

Why is Slaver Guilds great? 

  • Enslaved pops don’t require consumer goods, drastically lowering your need to produce them
  • Slaver guilds ensure some portion of your population is enslaved, so you don’t have to be constantly finding new slaves 

Slaver Guilds details: 

  • +10% To slave pop resource production 
  • The enslaved pop ratio stays at 35%

7. Shared Burdens

Workers of the universe unite

To each according to his need and equality for all. If you’ve ever wanted to play as a space communist then this is the civic for you, luckily it also happens to be a decent civic as well. 

Shared burdens are good for reducing the maintenance needs of your specialist workers, as they’ll require fewer consumer goods. Your planets will enjoy greater stability as well. 

Why is Shared Burdens great? 

  • Lower consumer goods requirement across the board is great when you have tons of specialists
  • Your population doesn’t take as long to demote, the party needs you in the mines, comrade! 
  • Stability bonuses mean more production overall 

Shared Burden's details: 

  • Enables Shared Burden's living standards, but disables most other living standard policies
  • +5 To stability 
  • -45% Pop demotion time 
  • Gives you access to special housing buildings, that are straight-up better than what any other empire has access to

6. Reanimators

Death is not the end for this cheery bunch

Ever wanted to play as a civilization of interstellar necromancers? There’s a civic for you. Reanimators have a smattering of bonuses and playstyle-changing effects. 

Your specialist necromancer jobs grant bonuses to research, and they create ground armies from the defeated remnants of your enemies. You also have a chance to resurrect dead leviathans. 

Why is Reanimators great? 

  • Arguably one of the strongest defense civics in the game, your planets are practically immune to ground assault as any armies just join your zombie hordes
  • Necromancers grant research bonuses and also spawn undead armies 

Reanimators details:

  • The military academy is replaced by Dread Encampment, which grants necromancer jobs 
  • Necromancers turn consumer goods into physics and society research, also spawning defense armies
  • 33% chance to resurrect organic armies as undead armies 
  • Chance to resurrect dead leviathans 

5. Death Cults

When your society goes full goth

Life is just a phase, isn’t it? If you want an interstellar empire that reveres death then this is the civic for you. 

Death cults work by giving you access to sacrifices, and these sacrifices can then be used to grant yourself large empire-wide bonuses. However, the number of sacrifices required goes up as your empire grows. So you must be on the lookout for fresh victims. 

Why is Death Cults great? 

  • Sacrifices can grant happiness, unity, energy, or mineral production, you also gain more unity production after every sacrifice 
  • Just be aware that the population cost of a sacrifice goes up as your empire grows
  • You can use sacrifices to grant huge bonuses and then use your new power to conquer your neighbors, rinse and repeat

Death Cult details: 

  • Can build Sacrificial temples
  • Death priests turn consumer goods into unity, society research, and amenities
  • Mortal initiates turn consumer goods into society research 
  • Unlocks Sacrificial edicts, which grant empire-wide bonuses whenever you sacrifice a mortal initiate

4. Meritocracy

A king is only as good as his men

Good old meritocracy, it turns out that promoting people based on their ability to do the job and not their social connections is an effective way to govern a society. Meritocracy has been a top civic for a very long time now. 

Flat-out bonuses to your specialist production are not to be ignored. If you’re ever in doubt about civics then Meritocracy is always a good pick. You need to be a democracy or oligarchy to select this civic. 

Why is Meritocracy great? 

  • A nice bonus to all of your specialist production, which includes, alloys, research, and consumer goods is fantastic for any empire with compatible ethics 
  • This specialist bonus may seem unassuming at first glance but it can put you ahead of the packed economy-wise
  • An extra leader level cap is the cherry on the cake for turning all your leaders into powerhouses

Meritocracy details:

  • +10% Specialist pop output
  • +1 To leader level cap

3. Technocracy

Where every toilet comes with a full VR headset

Technocracy fell out of favor briefly, but as of patch 3.3 is back in business. Tech has always been super strong in Stellaris and the technocracy civic gives a ginormous bonus to research output. 

This will easily put you ahead in the tech race, which is a huge advantage to have. For any fanatic materialist out there, not picking technocracy is a massive mistake. 

Why is Technocracy great? 

Science directors grant big research output while producing a few amenities, even a couple of colonies will grant you huge bonuses to research that someone who doesn’t have this civic can’t match in the early game 

Extra research alternatives allow you to push the best techs in the games and advance through technology much faster

Technocracy details: 

  • Capital buildings replace some political jobs with science directors, who produce lots of research
  • Scientists are twice as likely to discover technology that falls within their field of study, making it easier for you to focus on a specific tech
  • +1 to research alternatives 

2. Fanatic Purifiers

"YOU HAVE IGNORED OUR FRIEND REQUEST FOR THE LAST TIME!" Last known broadcast of the Blorg friendchip crusade

Ah, now we get to the good stuff, for the highly xenophobic among us, allow us to introduce the fanatical purifiers. 

Fanatic purifiers have no access and don’t care about diplomacy, if your goal is to wipe out all life in the galaxy, why would you bother interacting with your victims?  

Fanatic purifier locks you into a different playstyle, you must be conquering and exterminating your enemies from the get-go, or the rest of the galaxy will unify against you quickly. However, you have massive bonuses to your military which will make you more than a match for any Xeno filth. 

Why are Fanatic Purifiers great? 

  • No diplomacy, only total war, this can be great for aggressive players 
  • Purification casus beli makes starting wars easy
  • Massive bonuses to your navy and army mean you will have an immensely powerful military
  • No need to deal with integrating alien pops, simply wipe them out, all of them 

Fanatic Purifier details: 

  • No diplomacy, no access to the galactic market 
  • Access to the purification casus beli 
  • Always purges Xeno pops 
  • Gets unity from purging Xeno pops
  • Armaggeddon bombardment stance, enough said
  • +33% Ship fire rate 
  • +33% Army damage
  • -15% Ship build cost 
  • +33% Naval capacity 

Master Crafters

This society believes in a job well done

Master crafters is considered one of the best civics, if not the best civic right now. For a typical biological empire, it offers some very tempting bonuses that are not found anywhere else. 

You gain access to artificers that are much more efficient than artisans. They give you a wide array of bonuses that can be used to boost your economy in the late game especially. 

Why is Master Crafters great? 

  • Artificers give you engineering bonuses and produce more consumer goods than artisans 
  • this means you need less of them in your empire and you can put resources into other areas
  • OR you can use your increased consumer goods production to enact policies like wartime economy, effectively giving yourself a huge bonus to alloy production for free 
  • Industry districts add building slots to your planet, making it easy to develop your industrial capacity to crazy levels 

Master Crafters details: 

  • Artisans are replaced with Artificers, which produce +1 extra consumer goods, +2 trade value, and + 1.1 engineering research 
  • Every 3 industrial districts built adds a building slot to your planet 

There we have it, the top 15 civics to pick in Stellaris. Using these will give you an edge over the competition and allow your chosen empire to dominate, enslave, befriend or ignore the rest of the galaxy. However, if you’re curious about any other mechanics or need more tips then we have you covered below. 


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From the deep forests of Fangorn to the furtherst reaches of the Delta quadrant, Tom's adventures as a roaming Geek will hopefully never end. Proffesional word crafter, unfortunately memeworthy.
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