Stellaris

Stellaris

1,687 ratings
Ship Equipment & Load Outs - Patch 2.2 compatible
By SteveRaptor
DISCLAIMER: The following information, opinions and builds are my own personal view of the game.
I do not claim my builds to be the "best meta" builds or anything like this, I simply share what works for me throughout countless of hours in game and game play, theory crafting aside, everything here is used on gamely basis.
The following builds are used in hard/insane difficulty with 'hard' aggressive AI, on Iron man.

The guide is designd to give both new players, and veteran ones a useful approach to deal with the many combat scenerios that Stellaris can throw at the player.
The ship designs and loadouts in the guide are effective against all AI empires and all Awakened empires.
In addition, the guide will also feature loadouts that are tailored specifically for dealing with the End-game Crisis events.

This guide will be updated with every major stellaris patch being released.
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Introduction to Stellaris 2.0
So with the relase of Stellaris 2.0 the game has drastically changed in many aspects.
In space combat perspective 2.0 completely changed how combat works and how it is waged.

Here is a brief summery of the main aspects that changed in 2.0 regarding space combat:

  • Doom stacks are gone, instead , each admiral can command a limited amount of ships.
  • Instead of one big doom stack, you control several fleets.
  • Fleet mobilty and movement from system to system has been greatly reduced due to how hyperlane works now.
  • As a result of the above, the mobilty of a fleet is an important thing to consider.
  • The Upkeep of combat ships has been drastically increased.
  • The game has switched from "Quantity" to "Quality" meaning you control relativly smaller fleets the new upkeep cost is the main reason for this, this also applies to AI empire and FE/AE empires, so no more 600k-1m AE doom stacks running rampant.
  • Armor has been redesigned and now works the same way as shields do, so no more damage mitigation.
  • Weapons have been re-balanced, some have been completely overhauled, and their specific role has been boldended.
  • Ships can now choose from several battle computers which provide various bonuses and allow the ship to perform different roles.


In stellaris 2.0 most weapons have been re-balanced and are now viable in different situations.
Since every weapon now has its main strength and weaknes it is better to mix and match several weapons types to cover each other weaknesses.

Fleet mobility is an important aspect to consider in 2.0, since it takes considerably longer for fleets to get from point A to point B.
A fleet that consist of destroyers and corvettes can re-locate and respond to threats around the border faster than a battleship fleet can, it can also chase down enemy fleets or escape from them.

In 2.0 i found out that loadouts used in the early-mid game are sometimes outclassed by better loadout options unlocked by later tech, so in most of the cases ships roles and loadouts transition from one configuration with the early weapons, to a different configuration with late game weapons.
Enemy fleet compositions also differ depending on the stage of the game, and this is also taken into account.

Therefore this guide will now be split into two sections:

Early game to mid game loadouts and late to end game loadouts.


Ship types and combat roles
This section will detail the different ship types currently available in stellaris, their strengths, weaknesses and ther combat roles.

Corvettes

Corvettes are your fleet's bread and butter.
They are cheap and fast to produce in numbers and are highly evasive.
Corvettes shine against larger ships that carry large/XL weapons with low accuracy and/or tracking.
Due to their high evasion, the mentioned large weapons and XL weapons have large issues hitting them, making corvettes an excellent counter to fleets consisting of mostly battleships.
In terms of firepower corvettes have their use small slot weapons and are capable of carrying torpedoes.
The most notable weapon that can be equipped exclusivly on the small slot is the auto cannon.
The auto cannon is a short range, highly accurate weapon ,capable of tearing through shields with ease and dealing good damage to the hull.
The auto cannon allows the corvettes to engage other small ships with high evasion with high efficiency and serve as good shield strippers against larger targets like battleships.
The main drawbacks of the auto cannon is its low range and its terrible damage against armor.
the auto cannon allows the corvettes to stay relevant through all stages of the game.

The second notable weapon that corvettes are able to carry are torpedoes.
Torpedoes effectivly ignore shields and deal massive damage to the ships armor.
Torpedoes have high accuracy but no tracking to start with, so they serve as battleship/cruiser killers.
The torpedoes allow the corvettes to became a major threat to battleship/cruiser heavy fleets in the later stages of the game.

Finally, the corvette is the fastest ship in the game, and therefore a fleet of corvettes can quickly respond to unexpected border intrusions or to chase down enemy fleets.

Strengths:
  • High evasion, good against large weapon platforms
  • Effective against both small and larger targets
  • The perfect counter to battleship heavy fleets
  • Cheap and fast to produce as well as quick to reinforce
  • High sublight speed makes the corvettes an excellent response force

Weaknesses:
  • countered by bigger ships that can carry medium/small sized weapons like destroyers and cruisers
  • vulnerable to accurate weapons like lasers and auto cannons

Destroyers

Destroyers are corvettes that sacrificed some evasion for more firepower and better loadout options, as well as far better armor,shields and hull.
Destroyers retains a good enough evasion value to stay relativily safe from large weapons
and at the same can be outfitted with larger guns.
They are also far more tankier than corvettes, and combined with their high evasion state, destroyers have fairly good survivability against most weapon and ship types.
Destroyers can be outfited with medium and small weapons to deal with fleets consisting mostly of corvettes and other destroyers, or they can be equipped with a Large slot weapon to deal with larger ships such as cruisers and battleships.
They can also be outfitted to serve as Point defense/Flak support ships to counter torpedo/missile/fightercraft heavy fleet.
Destroyers also have high sublight speed and, just like corvettes, are suited for "response" fleets.

Strengths:
  • Good evasion
  • Versatile loadout options
  • High sublight speed
  • Relativly cheap and fast to produce and reinforce


Weaknesses:
  • Weak to medium sized weapons
  • Weak against cruisers specalized in large weapons (more on that later)

Cruisers

Cruisers are jack of all trades and masters of nearly everything.
The cruiser's main strength is its incredible loadout versatility.
It can be costumized to deal with almost any situation and with any enemy fleet composition in terms of weapon choices.
Cruiser is the first ship type to have 2x Aux slots, allowing for more role specalization.
In addition to this they get access to all 3 types of combat computers.
While they have low evasion, they are very durable and can be outfitted to deal with smaller ships and overpower them fairly easily.
Cruisers make for the best large weapon platforms in the game, this is due to them having access to the picket-type battle computer and 2x Aux slots which can be further used to bolster the accuracy of their weapons.
This results in a sniper-type cruiser that can decimate smaller targets like destroyers and corvettes with large weapons, something a battleship cannot accomplish, and this is just one loadout option.
Cruisers can be equipped with auto cannons if needed to deal with smaller targets as well.
Another subtle feature of the cruiser is its tendancy to "Tank" incoming fire from enemy fleets, most notably medium sized weapons.
This in turns greatly increases the survivability of the destroyers in the fleet.
All in all cruisers are big step in fleet composition and are a great addition to any fleet.

Strengths:
  • Outstanding loadout versatility
  • Very durable against small and medium sized weapons
  • Can be equipped to deal with a variaty of combat scenarios
  • Relativly fast, although not as fast as a corvette
  • Able to "tank" damage for your fleet

Weaknesses:
  • Poor evasion
  • Weak to large weapons
  • Very vulnerable to XL type weapons
  • Expensive to produce
  • High upkeep limits the number of cruisers that can be fielded

Battleships

Battleships are late game ship type that serve a specific role.
Battleships are platforms that excel at carrying a hefty amount of large sized weapons and an XL weapon.
They lack the picket ship computer (which gives tracking bonus) and instead specalize on long range combat against other large targets such as other battleship or cruisers.
Since their large weapons have fairly low tracking, battleships aren't suited to engage smaller fleets consisting of mostly destroyers and corvettes.
Instead, battleships are great at engaging fleets with a large number of cruisers and some battleships.
Battleships are very slow, making them poor choice for mobile fleets.
Therefore a fleet that is composed of battleships should be carefully positioned on the galaxy map to deal with possible border intrusion during war or to invade enemy empires.
When reinfocing battleships, its important to make sure that the shipyards producing said battleships are positoned near the front lines, as it takes a considerable amount of times for newly produced battleships to move across the galaxy due to their poor mobility.

Strengths:
  • The best counter against cruiser-heavy fleet
  • Long range combat
  • Very durable

Weaknesses:
  • Weak to small ship types (corvettes and destroyers)
  • Poor mobilty
  • Very expensive to produce
  • Very high upkeep, greatly limiting their numbers

Titans

If battleships were specalized at killing cruisers, then titans are the solution at killing battleships.
Titans are flagships, very durable and have a very specific purpose (except looking pretty cool).
They can only equip Large slot weapons and they posses a titan-class XL weapon capable of firing across the entire system.
As such they are very effective at killing battleships at extreme ranges and they are also capable of withstanding a great amount of punishment in return.
They are also effective against cruisers as well.
However titans, like battleships, fair poorly against small ship types.

Strengths:
  • Extreme range combat
  • Very durable, can absorb a lot of punishment
  • Excells against cruiser/battleship heavy fleet

Weaknesses:
  • Very weak to small ship types
  • Can only field a limited number
  • Insane upkeep and production costs
  • Poor mobility
Early to mid game fleet loadouts
The early game is unofficialy designated as the first 100 years, from 2200 to 2300.
The mid game is usually shorter and lasts for 60-70 years, from 2300 to 2360-2370.

The loadouts will assume the use of the most basic tech and weapon tiers to account for the earliest possible time of acquiring them.

Therefore as you progress and unlock their relevant upgrades, simply update the loadouts to their better version, there is no need to change the weapon loadouts themselves.

At the early stages of the game, your fleet command limit per admiral is around 70, and most of your early game fleets is going to consist of corvettes and after around 20-40 years, depending on your research RNG, destroyers.

While this won't be shown here, the basic weapon loadout of your starting corvette, which is 2x mass drivers and 1x laser works perfectly fine so this loadout should get the job done until you unlock auto cannons.

Another important thing to mention is while the weapon loadouts themselves are more or less finalized, the defensive modules aren't.
The shields/armor layout should be constantly changed depending on weapons used by enemy fleets.
In this guide I will use a balanced mix of armor and shields but during your games you should change those accordingly (e.g. focus on more shields and less armor if you see mostly energy weapons like lasers and plasma being used by enemy fleets).
Lets begin:

Corvette



Loadout
  • 2x Auto cannons
  • 1x Small laser
    -----------------------------------
  • Combat computer (Swarm)
  • 2x Small shield
  • 1x Small armor

Description
Auto cannons is a big stepping stone for corvettes, and should be researched as soon as they pop up in the research options.
This loadout allows corvettes to be relevant at any stage in the game.
The 3rd slot, is dedicated to an energy weapon to help offset the auto cannon weakness against armor.


Destroyer



Loadout
  • 2x Auto cannons
  • 2x Medium lasers
    -----------------------------------
  • Combat computer (Picket)
  • 3x Small shield
  • 3x Small armor

Description
A well equipped destroyer gives a definitive edge against the common corvette fleet encountered in the early stages of the game.
They are far more resilent and can use auto cannons to tear down corvettes.
At the same time, their Medium sized lasers are very helpful at destroying starbases and other destroyers when waging early game wars.

Cruiser



Loadout
  • 2x Auto cannons
  • 3x Medium lasers
  • 2x Medium mass drivers
    -----------------------------------
  • Combat computer (Picket)
  • 4x Medium shield
  • 4x Medium armor

Description
Cruisers make a big impact on fleet combat and strategy once they become available.
The ability to counter both destroyers and corvettes without much competition at the early game gives the owner a large advantage against the opposition.
Cruisers can also absorb a lot of incoming fire away from your fleet, grealty reducing the amount of casualties after a space battle.
This early game cruiser design is built to counter fleets that consist mosty of corvettes and destroyers, as well as tackle other cruisers.


Fleet composition stages
As the game starts, the only ship available will be the corvette and as such the first fleet is going to be composed of them.
As a general rule of thumb, increasing ship numbers by increments of 5 seems to be the most feasible way (except battleships), a 1:2:3 ratio for cruisers, destroyers and corvettes also works well.

For a single fleet at the very early stages of the game i suggest building 15-20 corvette per fleet.
If economy permits, i suggest creating a second fleet and fill it up with another 15-20 corvettes.

Later on, when destroyers are unlocked and the economy is stable, add 5 destroyers to each fleet.
You should end up with 15 corvettes and 5 destroyers.

From there try to buid each fleet up to 20-25 corvettes and 5-10 destroyers.

When cruisers are unlocked, mix 3-5 cruisers for each fleet if possible.

The final goal is to get a composition of the following:

  • 25-35 Corvettes
  • 10-15 Destroyers
  • 5-10 Cruisers

This is ofcourse grealty depends on how much your economy can sustain.
When you manage to achive the following composition for one fleet, create another and attempt to achieve the same composition, or at the very least, to follow the same ratio, i suggest running with 3 fleets by the mid game.
There is no urgent need to max out the admirals command limit straight away.
When you have all 3 fleets with this basic composition and if your economy permits, you can slowly add more ships until you reach the command limit cap.

Mid to late game fleet loadouts
Generally, the transition to the mid - late game loadouts depends on specific weapon tech that becomes available.

There are 3 weapon types that greatly change the previous, early-mid game, ship designs:

  • XL weapons
  • Kinetic Battery
  • Neutron/Proton Launchers

Those weapons are important because as the game progress into the later game, enemy fleets will consist of more battleships and cruisers and less on destroyers and corvettes.
Those 3 weapons provide the best solutions to deal with those fleets.



Corvette



Loadout
  • 1x Small plasma cannon
  • 2x Auto cannon
    -----------------------------------
  • Combat computer (Picket)
  • 2x Small shield
  • 1x Small armor
  • Aux fire control

Description

An updated version of the early game corvette. very similiar to the original design but the laser has been replaced with a much more powerful plasma cannon.
A great all-rounder that is effective against all types of ships and is a reliable design throughout the rest of the game.

Destroyer (Kinetic-Type)



Loadout
  • 1x Kinetic Battery
  • 2x Point defense OR 2x Auto cannons
    -----------------------------------
  • Combat computer (Picket)
  • 4x Small shield
  • 2x Small armor
  • Aux fire control

Description

The first type of destroyer is a mixed long range kinetic fire and PD defense.
Since shields are the first layer of defense that encounters fire, it is important to have a decent amount of kinetic fire to decmate enemy shields first, so energy weapons can work on armor.
Destroyers have the fire power to bring down large enemy ships while using their high evasion to dodge XL/large weapons fire.
Those destroyers should protect your larger ships from enemy torpedoes, missiles and strikecraft.
Note that if you notice enemy fleet use little to no missile or strikecraft, consider replacing PD with auto cannons.


Destroyer (Energy-Type)



Loadout
  • 1x Neutron Torpedo
  • 1x Medium Plasma
    -----------------------------------
  • Combat computer (Picket)
  • 4x Small shield
  • 2x Small armor
  • Aux fire control

Description

The second type of destroyer is dedicated to long range energy fire to complement the previous, kinetic destroyer, and its role is to deal with enemy armor after shields are down.
Due to the Neutron torpedo high base accuracy, this destroyer type can also engage smaller ships like destroyers and even corvettes with moderate success.

Cruiser



Loadout
  • 2x Kinetic Battery
  • 2x Medium Plasma
    -----------------------------------
  • Combat computer (Picket)
  • 4x Medium shield
  • 4x Medium armor
  • 2x Aux fire control

Description

With late game tech, cruisers serve as great large weapon platforms that can reliabily hit targets from battleships to destroyers from long range.
This makes them the best platform to carry kinetic battery due to its relatively low accuracy compared to neutron torpedoes and the cruisers ability to use an addition Aux slot to boost its accuracy (over destroyers) and have access to the picket computer which adds a big bonus to tracking (compared to battleships that don't).



Battleship



Loadout
  • 1x Giga Cannon
  • 4x Neutron torpedoes
    -----------------------------------
  • Combat computer (Line)
  • 3x Large shield
  • 3x Large armor
  • 2x Aux fire control

Description

Despite their specific niche role, battleships are great at destroying cruisers and tackle enemy battleships with the right loadout.
Since battleships have no access to the picket computer, their accuracy with large weapons is lower than that of a cruiser..
Therefore it is advised to equip them with neutron torpedoes instead of kinetic batteries due to the low base accuracy of the latter.
I also recommend using Giga cannons and arc emitters instead of lances.
The reason is that the first layer of defense to take hits from weapons are shields.
The first volley of lance energy fire tends to be mitigated by enemy shields at max range, while giga cannons and arc emtters are far more effective at this situation.

Arc emitters are another option to deal with ships that have high shields and/or high armor values but mediocre hull points (like the contingency).


Titan



Loadout
  • 1x Perdition Beam
  • 4x Neutron torpedoes
  • 2x Kinetic battery
    -----------------------------------
  • Combat computer (Artillery)
  • 7x Large shield
  • 5x Large armor
  • 3x Aux fire control
  • Tracking aura OR fire rafe debuff aura

Description

Titans are great addition to a fleet, especially one which consist of a lot of battleships.
They are excellent at killing other battleships and cruisers and can inflict massive damage at long range.
Their aura is very useful to buff your fleet or debuff the enemy fleet.
They are very expensive and slow, so the amount you will be able to field greatly depends on your economy.


Fleet composition stages

As fleet command limit is increased, you can add more ships to your fleet.
The first ships to add are destroyers and corvettes since they are reliable against all types of ships and they don't hit your economy as hard as cruisers and battleships.

Everytime you unlock one of 3 weapons mentioned above, replace the old loadout with a new one that includes that weapon.

Since you now have 2 destroyer types to build, up from a single variant, retrofit your current destroyers into the energy type destroyer.
You should have around 15-20 of them and this should be enough.

From there push your corvette amount to around 30-40 depending on your command limit.
Then produce 10-15 Kinetic type destroyers.

For cruisers, 10 is enough per fleet and there is no need for more.

For battleships 3-5 are enough and by now you should hit your cap.
I recommend that you do not add battleships to each of your fleet, and instead keep some fleets more mobile and fast so they can be used to respond to unexpected situations as quick as possible.

For a 150-190 command limit fleet you would like to achieve the following composition:

  • 30-40 Corvettes
  • 10-15 Kinetic destroyers
  • 15-25 Energy destroyers
  • 5-10 Cruisers
  • 3-5 Battleships

Another important thing to consider is that if the enemy fleets consist of a high number of battleships (10+) consider replacing your cruisers with more battleships of your own or more destroyers and corvettes since cruisers tend to take big hits from enemy battleships.
Crisis Loadout: The Contingency
This Section is dedicated for outfitting your ships for dealing with the Contingency crisis event.
In addition, it wlll include some basic and useful information regarding the Contingency fleets.

The Contingency



On the standard 1x Crisis strength, the Contingency roaming fleets consist of around 120k fleet power and the hub protector fleets at around 320k.
Their fleets are usually small in ship number and consist of battleships and destroyers.

Main Features:

Defensive:

- Very high armor
- Very high shields
- Low/Medium Evasion
- Medium hull points

Offensive:

- Medium and Long range weapons, including the XL weapon type - particle lance.
- Medium and large sized weapons.
- All weapons are energy based.
- High damage modifiers result in extreme damage output.

Contingency fleets are extremely powerful, and while they lack in numbers they compensate by each individual ship being very powerful, especially their battleships.
There are only a few weaknesses that can be exploited to effectively beat their fleets.

Weakness:

- Reliance on purely energy weapons, means shields are very effective against them.
- Most of the killing power of their fleets come from their Large weapons, which have low accuracy.
- Weak Point defense.
- Relatively low hull points compared to their shields and armor values.

There are two efficient methods to deal with the contingency fleets, each taking advantage of a different weakness in the Contingency fleets, those methods will be discussed in two seperate sections.
The Battleship Method
The battleship method takes advantage of the contingency low hull points relative to their armor and shields and the fact that most of the contingency killing power is coming from their battleships.
This means that quickly taking down their battleships will result in a swift victory with minimal losses.
By utilizing weapons that can ignore some or all of their high defense layers (shields and armor) and go straight for the hull, and the fact that battleships prioritize engaging enemy battleships first, it is possible to take down the contingency fleet with minimal losses.



If you have no access to cloud lightning use this instead:



Loadout
  • 1x Arc emitter
  • 4x Cloud lightning (recommended) OR 6x Medium phase disruptors *
    -----------------------------------
  • Combat computer (Line)
  • 5x Large shield
  • 1x Large armor OR Crystal forged plating (recommended) **
  • 2x Reactor Booster

Description

The arc emitter battleships utilize long range weapons that completely bypass shields and armor and go straight for the hull.
While contingency battleships are indeed powerful, there are only few of them (10 in most cases), and as such they get focused down and destroyed very quickly before causing too many losses.


* Cloud lightning is a tech that can be acquired by killing void clouds and researching their debris.
If there is no access to cloud lightning you can use medium phases disruptors by equipping your battleships with the "Hangar core" and "Broadside Stern" sections.
Do not use any strikecraft in the H slot since they have little to no effect and take valuable power that can be used for mounting more shields.

** Crystal forged plating is a module that increases ship hull points and is acquired by killing crystal entities (space aliens) and salvaging their debris, it is a superior choice to using armor, so if you have access to it, use it instead.

Titan



Loadout
  • 1x Perdition Beam
  • 6x Cloud lightning
    -----------------------------------
  • Combat computer (Artillery)
  • 10x Large shield
  • 2x Large armor OR Crystal forged plating (recommended)
  • 2x Reactor booster
  • 1x Shield Capacitor
  • Tracking aura

Description

Titans are just the icing on the cake and they are not required.
It is also effective to deploy a titan only if you have access to cloud lightning to mount it on the large slot, since the titan can not equip medium or small size weapons, so it is impossible to equip it with disruptors.
However if you happen to have the requirements of having access to a titan and the cloud lighting tech, a titan can out range the contingency batlleships and take some of them out before coming into fire range, plus it also gives your battleships a nice tracking aura as well and can soak a lot of punishment.

Fleet composition for the battleship method

As a rule of thumb, for best results and minimal losses, create 1 fleet of the following composition for every 100k fleet power of the contingency fleet:

With a command limit of 170-190 try to achieve the following composition for a single fleet:

  • 20-23 Battleships
OR if you have access to titans:
  • 18-21 Battleships
  • 1 Titan

Field Results

Below are pictures of the battleship method in action against a crisis strength of 1.25x contingency fleet (which slightly larger than the average 170k fleet at this crisis strength).

Pre-Battle:




Post- Battle:



Conclusion:

Following the rule of thumb mentioned above, two fleets that consist of 23 battleships each engage a 200k contingency fleet.
The battle ended with just 6 battleship losses out of 46 ships which sums up as 13% fleet losses.
The Corvette Method
The corvette method takes advantage of the contingency lack of accurate weapons and takes advantage of the high evasion value of the corvette.
Using the same strategy of bypassing as many layers of defense possible similiar to the battleship method, corvettes can utilize torpedoes to bring down large targets with great efficiency.
Although torpedoes do not bypass enemy armor, they do deal 50% more damage against it, which let corvettes crack enemy armor very quickly, even the high armor value on the contingency ships.
The lack of long range weapons of the corvette method is compensated by their extreme mobility and the ability to close distance in a matter of moments.
As mentioned before, the contingency primary means of dealing damage (Particle lance and Large weapon mounts) are inefficient against the corvette's high evasion.



Loadout
  • 1x Torpedo
  • 1x Small phase disruptor
    -----------------------------------
  • Combat computer (Picket)
  • 3x Small shield
  • 1x Reactor Booster

Description

A simple torpedo corvette loadout with the addition for a small phase disruptor to bypass both enemy armor ands shields.
With the picket computer and sensors, the torpedoes achieve 100% chance to hit against both the contingency destroyers and battleships.
I also highly recommend using admirals with the 'gale speed" trait to command your corvette fleets.
Although the contingency does have point defense, it is equipped only on their battleships and its a tier II version and few in numbers, more so considering their low number of battleships.

NOTE: When engaging large fleets, it is also possible to equip a small number of corvettes with whirlwind missiles to supress the contingency point defense guns.
Although this is optional.

Fleet composition for the corvette method

As a rule of thumb, similiar to the battleships method, for best results and minimal losses, create 1 fleet of the following composition for every 100k fleet power of the contingency fleet:

With a command limit of 170-190 try to achieve the following composition for a single fleet:

  • 170-190 torpedo corvettes
    OR
  • 160-180 torpedo corvettes
  • 10 whirlwind corvettes

Field Results:

Below are pictures of the corvette method in action against a common 1.25x crisis strength contingency fleet of 170k fleet power.
Note that the corvette fleet composition is not optimized to the max of the command limit.

Pre battle:




Post battle:



Conclusion:

Following the rule of thumb, two fleets with a combined number of 325 corvettes engage a 170k contingency fleet, with 53 corvette losses that can be summed as ~16% total losses.
The outcome is nearly the same as the battleship method in terms of losses.
Video showcase of both methods
The following video presents both methods in a real time game and provides useful commentary regarding the contingency fleets and the methods themselves

Crisis Loadout: The Prethoryn Scourge
This Section is dedicated for outfitting your ships for dealing with the Prethoryn scourge crisis event.
In addition, it wlll include some basic and useful information regarding the scourge fleets.

The Prethoryn Scourge



On a standard 1x Crisis strength setting, the aproximate fleet power of a typical scourge fleet is around 130-150k.

The scourge fleets consist of a large number of ships of two types: battleships and destroyers.

Main Features:

Defensive:

- Very high armor
- High hull points
- Low/High Evasion
- No shields

Offensive:

- Small, Medium sized all-rounder weapons (acid blasts)
- Extremely powerful missiles (Scourge missiles)
- Strikecraft
- Very high damage output at all ranges.

The Prethoryn Scourge has the most dangerous fleets of all three crisis factions and are the most challenging to beat.
The fleet and weapon diversity and flexibility of the scourge forces allows them to engage any ship type and prevent being efficiently countered by a single, mono fleet.
The scourge main damage dealer weapon is the scourge missile, a long range, accurate and high damage missile type that can cause severe losses in a short amount of time if not countered properly, this missile is mounted on both the scourge battleships and destroyers.
This results in a very powerful and versatile mixed fleet.

The scourge also differs from other crisis factions by deploying large numbers of fleets simultaneously and they reinforce their lost fleets much faster.
This means that gaining ground against the scourge is much more difficult, and the fleets designed to counter them must be able to engage a number of scourge fleets before returnning to the spaceport to reinforce, in order to make any real progress and gain territory.

Weakness:

- Poor tracking
- Poor mobility
- Very weak to energy based weapons

The most effective method of dealing with the scourge fleets, with the goal to take out as many scourge fleets as possible before returning the fleet to the nearest starbase to reinforce, is a mixed fleet that consist of battleships and corvettes.

The Mixed Fleet method

The idea behind a mixed fleet of corvettes and battleships is to combine their strengths and cover each other weaknesses.
Corvettes have great evasion, allowing them to easily dodge almost all scourge missiles and other weapon fire aimed against them. however they lack in firepower to deal with the massive hull and armor points of the scourge battleships.
Battleships on the other hand possess excellent firepower in the form of neutron launchers and the Tachyon lance to deal with the scourge, but they have no evasion, and will fall quickly to the scourge missiles.
Whats more, battleships will have a hard time destroying the scourge destroyers due to their high evasion values.
By combining both ships togather in combat, we use the corvettes evasion and swarm behavior to attract and "tank" as much fire as possible from the battleships and deal with the scourge corvettes.
The battleships will instead focus their firepower on the scourge battleships and make a more efficient use of their large and XL weapons.

Below are the designs for the battleships and corvettes for the mixed fleet method:

Battleship




Loadout
  • 1x Tachyon lance
  • 4x Neutron torpedoes
    -----------------------------------
  • Combat computer (Line)
  • 6x Large crystal forged plating* (recommended) OR Large armor**
  • 2x Aux Fire control

Description

This is a simple energy based battleships loadout designed to take out the scourge battleships as quickly as possible.
Stacking as much accuracy as possible will help the battleships to achieve 100% chance to hit against the scourge battleships and a moderate hit chance against their destroyers.


Corvette



Loadout
  • 1x Scourge missile*** (HIGHLY recommended) OR Torpedo
  • 1x Small plasma
    -----------------------------------
  • Combat computer (Picket)
  • 3x Small Crystal forged plating* (recommended) OR Small armor**
  • 1x Aux fire control OR Afterburners****

* Crystal forged plating is a module that increases ship hull points and is acquired by killing crystal entities (space aliens) and salvaging their debris, it is a superior choice to using armor, simply because it adds more hull points vs armor points.
** Dragonscale armor, which is gained by defeating the ether drake leviathan is another excellent choice.
*** The scourge missile is acquired by defeating a scourge fleet and researching its debris, this should be top priority when the scourge invades the galaxy.
The scourge missiles is a drastic upgrade over the devastator torpedo.
**** Use afterburners ONLY if evasion is not capped at 90%

Description

Basic corvette loadout to maximize damage against armor and hull, generally you should have 90% evasion capped with this loadout, but if you don't then simply replace the Aux fire control with afterburners.

Fleet composition for the mixed fleet method

As a rule of thumb, for a 150-200k fleet power strength of a scourge fleet, you are looking at deplying 1 mixed fleet which consists of two mono fleets (corvette fleet and battleships fleet).

With a command limit of 170-190, a mixed fleet will consist of two seperate mono fleets:

First Fleet:
  • 20-23 Battleships

Second Fleet:
  • 170-190 Corvettes

War Doctorine

If you have completed the supremacy tradition tree, you will have access to war doctorines which give various bonuses to your fleet.
It is important to note here that the best doctorine used against the scourge fleets wth the mixed fleet method to minimize losses is the Hit and Run doctorine.
The reason for this is that since corvettes absorb most of the incoming fire, and have a high base disengagment chance, picking hit and run will greatly reduce their losses after the battle, while giving them enough time to clean up all scourge destroyers and soak most of the damage for the battleships.

Field Results

Below are pictures of the mixed fleet method in action against a crisis strength of 1.25x scourge fleet in a large galaxy setting.

Pre-Battle:



Post- Battle:



Conclusion:

Following the rule of thumb mentioned above, a mixed fleet that consist of two mono fleets of corvettes and battleships engages a ~180k scourge fleet.
The total losses are 19 corvettes, which sums up as ~5% losses of the entire fleet.
This means that the surviving fleet can engage at least 2 or 3 more scourge fleets before having to return to the nearest starbase to reinforce.

Finally, here is a detailed video that presents the Mixed fleet method and general strategy when dealing with the scourge crisis with added commentary in a live, iron man game:




Crisis Loadout: The Unbidden (Out Dated)
This Section is dedicated for outfitting your ships for dealing with the Unbidden crisis event.
In addition, it wlll include some basic and useful information regarding the Unbidden fleets.



The Unbidden










Unbidden fleet sizes range from 90k to 130k depending on map size, however they have tendency to merge their fleets and create bigger doomstacks, if allowed to expand, their fleets can stack into 200-300k fleet size, even on smaller maps.
Their fleets consist of battleships, cruisers and destroyers.

Main Features:

Defensive:

- High Hit points
- Very high shields
- Low/Medium Evasion
- No Armor

Offensive:

- Medium and short range weapons
- Matter Disintegrators that ignore 50% shields and 50% armor
- Unidentified Energy Emitters that ignore 100% armor (very accurate)

Unbidden fleets are powerful, they have excellent short range weapons and high shields, but they have some big weaknesses that can be exploited, allowing a fleet of a much smaller size to destroy them.

Weakness:

- Very weak to kinetic weapons due to lack of armor and reliance on shields
- Short range weapons, and in-accurate medium range weapons
- Giga cannons absolutely annihilate their fleets
- Has issues destroying high hit point targets

The best way to deal with the unbidden are battleships that are fitted with kinetic weapons.
Battleships are the bane of the unbidden as they are the manifestation of all of their weaknesses.

Battleships:

A battleship outfitted to battle the unbidden










The reason that shield rechargers aren't used is because they provide minimal shield regeneration to a battleship due to having only 3 shield modules which allows for low base shield regeneration, instead, the crystal forge plate is a much better choice since it scales greatly with the high base hit points of the battleship.

A fleet of battleships engages a typical unbidden fleet










The outcome of the battle:










Looking at the outcome, a battleship fleet that is 2/3 of the unbidden fleet, completely crushed them with minimal losses.

Depending on how many repeatable techs have been researched, 25-35 Battleships should suffice when engaging an unbidden fleet at around 100k fleet power.
Do note, that against bigger stacks more battleships may be required.


Corvettes, Destroyers and Cruisers:

Range is the name of the game against the unbidden, corvettes and destroyers are poor choices against them because the unbidden has very deadly and accurate close range weapons which tear corvettes and destroyers apart.
In addition to this, destroyers and Cruisers medium slots are less effective due to their range, cruisers can only equip 2 large slot weapons and 2 medium weapons, which is not optimal against the unbidden, large weapon mounts are at their prime against the unbidden.

Another big reason to the success of the battleships is their slow speed and their ability to mount the Giga cannon.
Giga cannon is amazing against the unbidden, and the slow speed of the battleships allows them to delay contact with the enemy fleet, and maximizing long range damage.
Cruisers, destroyers and corvettes are faster and get into the unidden weapon range earlier.

Conclusion
Thank you for reading my guide.

I know that a lot of players, especially new ones, have trouble figuring out how to build their ships, figuring which weapon fits for what scenerio and in general winning wars vs the AI.

Hopefully this guide will provide a good tool and guidance for this purpose.


If you have any questions, feedback or if there is anything I missed or didn't cover, please feel free to comment below.

If this guide helped you, please don't forget to rate.
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514 Comments
psycho Dec 18, 2021 @ 8:35am 
This guide still does its job with the current version (3.2.2)
Landlocked Viking Oct 5, 2021 @ 10:12am 
@SteveRaptor please give the permission for someone else to update this guide if they give full credit I beg you <3
[PAX]Tool Jul 31, 2021 @ 8:23am 
@buxatze2009
you should take that up with the maker of the mod you're having issues with.
Ertert Jul 30, 2021 @ 1:24am 
hello, I have a problem related to the inability to install a modification to stellaris from the workshop. They just don't load and the launcher doesn't see them. How to solve this problem?
opa Jul 23, 2021 @ 11:07pm 
i always come back to this guide its literally never failed me good job bro
Bardagh Apr 26, 2021 @ 10:56pm 
If you're not up to updating it, SteveRaptor, might you give permission for someone(s) else, with full credit given, to release an updated version?
The Varin Apr 25, 2021 @ 11:30pm 
Echoing the other commenters' sentiments, this guide is very useful even after the 3.0 update! The core parts of the guide still ring true. A few tweaks to reflect some of the new changes and this would turn into the best up-to-date guide around!
Oakshield Apr 23, 2021 @ 3:11pm 
That is because the ship design still works. Only exception are the late game Corvette's; but that's easily solved by changing the Aux Fire Control for the Reactor Boosters.
You will loose some tracking because of it, but get a nice damage increase in return; so in the end it balances things out nicely.
SteveRaptor  [author] Apr 23, 2021 @ 4:15am 
Thanks for the kind words folks, I appreciate that, i'm happy that you still find this guide useful.
SkeL Apr 22, 2021 @ 7:08am 
I still use this guide too, i would change only some things like adding carrier cruiser at early game and carrier battleship at late game.