2,343 ratings
~ StarNet AI
File Size
2.569 MB
Apr 14, 2019 @ 10:48am
Sep 16 @ 4:31am
484 Change Notes ( view )

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~ StarNet AI

Small announcement

Heavily recommend trying another AI mod, Startech. It's more science-oriented and, I believe, will provide more fun experience for most players.


This mod intends to create an action-packed experience with AI not only being able to manage their economy, research and military but also willingness to put their fleets to use.

It's my best attempt to create the galaxy that will feel as "alive" as possible, with AI empires attempting to create their own destiny. Everyone will be trying to grow by all means necessary, be it peacefully, forcefully and if despite all efforts somebody else manages to grow better, unite against the galactic threat.

This version of the mod is compatible only with live version. If you are playing a version between 2.2 and 3.0 check my workshop, it has legacy version for every patch.

What are the main differences with vanilla?

  • AI is drastically less likely to drive themselves into an economic crisis, even at low difficulty levels.

  • Unlike in vanilla economical priorities of AIs will depend on surroundings and their empire. There isn't that much value in alloy-spam when you are a technocrat surrounded by federation allies and it's not really a good idea to try to tech-rush to megastructures when you are a swarm neighbouring a purifier.

  • Tech-choices are more streamlined. Instead of picking a random or a slightly-weighted random tech, AIs will try to climb the tech tree and get the juicy technologies asap.

  • Economical recovery is much quicker (and more importantly, it happens) compared to vanilla. Whenever anything goes wrong AI will be able to recover and get back to join the galactic race.

  • With better crisis management and smaller chance of crisis occurring, the mod can afford to focus harder on what the empire is trying to achieve. AI is able to specialise planets and squeeze much more alloys/research than vanilla.

  • Better growth management. The 3.0* patch introduced logistics planetary growth that makes planetary management more complicated than it used to be, this mod will exploit some of this potential.

    Note that starnet does not add any bonuses to AIs, everything on this list is achieved in a fair fashion.

Recommended settings

Unless you are totally sure what you are doing, I recommend playing the first game on Ensign or Captain. Once you get used to how the mod works you can try increasing the difficulty.

Heavily recommend to use the max possible amount of AI, this was the most tested setting and the most eventful, AI tend to work much better in crowded galaxies.

Advanced starts add quite a lot to experience, heavily recommend using them. I believe that adding few advanced start empires is more engaging way to increase the difficulty, you will face strong opposition and an option to unite with weaker AIs.

How much different is it from Vanilla and how does it achieve it?

Exact difference depends on galaxy settings, difficulty settings and how lucky the AIs were at the galaxy generation stage. For a rough estimate, Ensign Starnet in 2350 will have three times larger economy score, 4 times larger science score and 8-15 times larger fleet. At the same time when best vanilla AI will wield 300 navalcap worth of corvettes/destroyers, the strongest Starnet AIs will have 700 navalcap filled with state-of-the art spinal battleships.

How? Does it get more bonuses than in vanilla? If you just increase the bonus to grand admiral and call it commodore there is no point!

I will repeat, there are no additional boosts to AI. Everything Ensign AI is doing you can be doing too. Commodore AI doesn’t get any more perks apart from vanilla boosts and so on. To acomplish this, the mod changes every aspect of AI decisionmaking, the most impactful of those are the following.


Main source of performance is the economy changes. In most cases AI will be much better in balancing their resources, and has better grasp on how many specialists it can afford while not killing yourself with upkeep.

Note that among other things AI will not use clerks unless it's a good idea. So as a side-effectbranch offices will be less profitable. You might consider spawning few empires with merchant guilds to make it easier.


Default AI picks techs more or less at random. In contrast Starnet will climb the tech tree rapidly and prioritise techs which will make it as deadly as possible. Fleet composition, weapon composition and tech choice are improved to create a coherent gameplan, you should experience AI having spikes of power when it reaches next military milestone.

AI will try to build what I believe to be optimal AI composition (a lot of battleships) but if it's something that you do not want to see, take a look at a submod that will instead force AI to use mixed fleets.


The way Stellaris is balanced, having fleet is a huge investment which won’t ever pay off unless you go to war. Starnet changes opinion modifiers to make it so AI will go to war and be happy to feed on weak neighbours. This should make AI actions have a "realpolitik" look. In addition, in this mod I've drastically increased AI response to common rivals and threats, the idea is that was the best way I could achieve AI uniting against common enemies and common threats.

In addition, AI is more likely to federate with long-term allies (especially in presence of common rivals). Diplomacy isn't too moddable in stellaris, but I think I managed to tweak the constants in a way that every galaxy will eventually contain multiple competing federations.

If you do not like these changes, you can use the Patch which reverts them and makes diplomacy closer to vanilla.



To use this mod in combination with NSC2, follow the instructions at Starnet for NSC2.

To use this mod in combination with ESC, follow the instructions here.

This mod is not compatible with any other AI mod . In general most AI mods are incompatible with each other unless otherwise specified and loading them together will break everything and none of them will work properly.


Special thanks for TechSY730 and Equalizer for a huge array of bugfixes and comments and OldEnt for massive help with any fleet-related issue.

I am very grateful for everyone giving feedback and sending bug reports, thank you, without you the mod would be much less performant!

Supplementary mods

If you want to play Starnet, but would rather have AI use mixed fleets instead of what I made them use, you can check this submod.

If you want to play, but don't like me tweaking with opinion modifiers, you can check this submod.

I made a fork of this mod that will always be peaceful in the first 40 years and will prioritise tech a lot more

This mod doesn't change the crisis AI. If it's something that you are interesting in, I recommend this mod


Popular Discussions View All (30)
9 hours ago
What game settings would you recommend?
Sep 6 @ 6:15pm
PINNED: Bug Reports
Sep 1 @ 9:22pm
Compatibility discussion
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salvor  [author] 1 hour ago 

As far as I know, NSC2 hasn't been updated yet.
Apulele 4 hours ago 
Heyo, im trying to play this Ai with NSC2 and it breaks ships, what i mean is in menu of ship apperance i get to preview only juggernaut and headquaters and in menu overview of empire in ship apperance there is black box instead of ship. After launching new game i have no ships and in shipyard i can only build juggernaut and headquaters. So yea im sad ;_; because i wanted ai that actually use those nsc ships ;-;
HuaLim 5 hours ago 
Ok thanks you :)
salvor  [author] 7 hours ago 

Usually responses from players are more reliable than responses from me.

I haven't played with that mod personally, I read the description that mentioned that mods that rely on num_pops will get broken so I thought starnet will not too work too well (it uses num_pops in many places).

But nevertheless it will probably run and it is possible that it will work better than default AI. Even though some of my changes will not execute properly maybe the remaining ones will be enough.
HuaLim 7 hours ago 
@Hero Tales
Author said it will not, so anything weird happen ?
Hero Tales Sep 15 @ 2:11pm 
I played it with starnet on admiral difficulty and I didn't have game crashing.
Night Crow Sep 15 @ 9:14am 
That fix it. Thanks
salvor  [author] Sep 15 @ 8:59am 

Try unsubscribing and resubscribing, this was fixed already.
Allie Sep 15 @ 8:36am 
yes Harmony is greyed out because of Star Net it seems