[Top 10] Stellaris Best Traits That Are Excellent

Stellaris top 10 traits
The colonists bordering the Workforce Acquisition Corporation didn't fare too well.

A Strong Foundation

In Stellaris, one of the first choices you’ll face when creating a new species is choosing traits. These traits determine the overall characteristics of your species. Do they breed like locusts, or are they a race of scientific geniuses?

This guide will cover all the best traits at your disposal depending upon whether you choose to create a hivemind, biological, or machine empire. 

Starting with…

10. Emotion Emulators (Best For Machine Empires) 

Yes, you can create a race of charismatic machines whose sole purpose is to seek out and destroy all organic life in the universe.  

Emotional Emulators gives you bonus amenities, which may not seem like much but greatly reduces the number of maintenance drones you need. The fewer drones you have working in maintenance the more you have producing alloys and research. 

Why Emotional Emulators is great:

  • More amenities mean fewer drones required for maintenance duties
  • Having more amenities at the start means higher stability, giving you a bump in production 

Emotional Emulators details:

Wiki Link


9. Mass Produced (Best For Machine Empires) 

We shall drown the disgusting organics in a tide of unstoppable steel.

Mass Produced is all about population assembly speed. Without drones to work the foundries, no alloys will be produced, therefore the faster you can build more machines, the faster your economy grows.

 If in doubt Mass Produced is always a good pick for a Gestalt Machine empire. 

Why Mass Produced is great: 

  • Faster machine assembly means your colonies are growing much faster
  • More machines over time mean your economy has an advantage over any rival that doesn’t have this growth speed boost. 
  • If in doubt about traits for your machine empires - pick this, it’s arguably the best trait 
  • Population is the most powerful resource, the more of them the stronger your empire becomes

Mass Produced details:

Wiki Link


8. Adaptive (Best For Biological Empires) 

Surely there's someone desperate enough out there to colonize this heap of gas?

Planetary habitability controls what planets you can colonize and what kind of buffs and debuffs you get for settling a world. If your habitability is too low, your species is unable to colonize that world. if your species can colonize a world but has low habitability you’ll get debuffs to happiness and resource yield, greatly lowering that colony's efficiency. 

The adaptive trait allows you to bypass some of these debuffs and potentially colonize more worlds than you’d otherwise be able to. This is a great pick for any wide empire strategy. 

Why adaptive is great:

Bonuses to habitability allow your species to thrive on worlds they otherwise wouldn’t be able to colonize

Has great synergy with biological ascension, you can colonize worlds, and then later modify your species to have full habitability to a given world's climate.

Adaptive details:

Wiki Link



7. Aquatic (Best For Biological Empires) 

Something seems fishy about these guys.

Ever wanted to conquer a galaxy as a race of hyper-advanced squids? There’s a trait for you. Aquatic makes the top ten because it now costs a single trait point (it was once a free species climate choice, but it gives too many bonuses to be free). 

Aquatic turns any ocean preferring race into a potential economic powerhouse, granting you a bonus to production, and making your guaranteed habitable worlds (which will also be ocean worlds) snowball that much faster. 

This is a strong pick for any ocean climate preferred race and enables you to have a very strong start. 

Why Aquatic is great: 

  • Bonus to ocean habitability and housing use allows you to get that bit more out of your colony
  • Bonuses to resource output on ocean words further enhance your economy
  • The aquatic trait is part of a species pack, which comes with its own set of ship models and origins, making for a fun roleplaying experience 

Aquatic details:

Wiki Link


6. Charismatic (Best For Hiveminds) 

Negotiations with a hivemind can be a different experience.

Charismatic is similar to emotional emulators but is available to biological empires. It’s a very good trait for any empire but shines with hivemind. Having fewer of your drones shackled to provide amenities for the hive allows them to be used more productively, giving your hivemind more drones to put into other parts of your economy. 

Why Charismatic is great:

Having to put fewer pops into amenities means more can be placed into production jobs

More amenities give you bonuses for happiness and stability, giving you resource output bonuses 

Charismatic details:

Wiki Link


5. Intelligent (Best For Biological/Hiveminds) 

A big brain game.

Just like in real life, intelligence is always a good thing. Intelligence grants bonuses to your researcher’s job output. Having more efficient researchers enables your civilization to tech up faster, and in Stellaris technology is king. No matter if you’re a hivemind or a standard empire, intelligence is a no-brainer trait pick and remains powerful across an entire playthrough. 

Why Intelligence is great: 

  • More researcher output equals faster tech discovery
  • Tech is still the strongest thing in Stellaris, granting the most powerful economic bonuses and the best weaponry to blow up your enemies 
  • Intelligence starts as a light bonus but scales up to become massive in the mid and late game

Intelligence details:

Wiki Link


4. Logic Engines (Best For Machine Empires) 

"With this new innovation, our efficiency shall improve by 000.12%" - Silocron Sentience global news

The intelligence equivalent for Machine empires. Give your unwavering drones a little CPU upgrade and watch the magic happen. Having smarter brains benefits machines as much as it does fragile meat sacks. 

Why Logic Engines is great: 

  • Just like intelligence, logic engines boost brain drone output, meaning more efficient technological advancements
  • A mild early game bonus becomes a mid-late game powerhouse

Logic Engines details:

Wiki Link


3. Budding (Best For Hiveminds)

These guys will certainly be a thorn in your side.

For those that like ‘em green and mean, a trait from the Plantoids race pack comes in clutch. Massive bonuses to pop growth mean that plantoid hiveminds can propagate like pesky weeds across the stars. 

Resistance is futile, you will be composted. If you have the plantoids race pack this is one of the strongest traits in the game as of 3.3.

Why Budding is great: 

  • Budding starts as a small bonus to pop growth but increases steadily as your empire pop size grows
  • The more pops you have the better your growth bonuses
  • This is a small bonus at first but doesn’t take long to ramp up to utterly ridiculous levels of growth

Budding details:

Wiki Link


2. Thrifty (Best For Biological Empires) 

It turns out plants make great trading partners... they need the manure.

Before 3.3 trade value wasn’t considered very useful to specialize into. However, the old ways are quickly becoming obsolete. Going all out for trade value is now a very viable strategy and can have your economy swimming in energy credits or resources. 

The only caveat is that hiveminds and machine empires do not have access to any trade and can’t pick this trait. 

Why Thrifty is great: 

  • Thrifty provides a flat 25 percent output bonus to trade jobs
  • As is usual in Stellaris this bonus starts small but later on becomes huge, once you have worlds generating lots of trade value this trait will scale up to ungodly amounts

Thrifty details

Wiki Link


Rapid Breeders (Best For Biological/Hiveminds)

Love is in the nebula

As mentioned, your population is your most valuable resource in Stellaris. Having access to a trait that directly boosts the growth rate of the most powerful resource makes this the best trait. Rapid breeders pull o ahead of budding because it doesn’t require any DLC. Everyone has access to this trait. If you don’t know what to pick, this is the best possible choice, no matter your build or species. 

Why Rapid Breeders is great:

  • A flat bonus to the population growth rate is useful throughout the game
  • This will stack with technology and building bonuses, enabling you to outgrow the surrounding empires

Rapid Breeders details: 

Wiki Link


Go Forth And Conquer

No matter what type of empire you choose to play, there are top-tier traits you can pick that enable you to get a huge headstart on your rivals. However, traits are only the beginning of a game of Stellaris. It’s a huge multifaceted game with lots to learn, but don’t worry, we have plenty more tips and guides to help you along the way to galactic domination, check them out below. 


You may also be interested in:

[Top 10] Stellaris Best Origins That Are Excellent

Stellaris Best Megastructures: What to Build First

[Top 10] Stellaris Best Ascension Perks

More on this topic:

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.
Gamer Since: 1999
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Destiny 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:Mass Effect 2, The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings, Stellaris

More Top Stories