- Stellaris is a complex and demanding 4x game that puts an unparalleled amount of control in the player’s hands.
- Selecting the best Origin for one’s species is one of the most important decisions a player can make before starting the game.
- The game has undergone updates and changes that have added more variety and gameplay options, including new powerful Origins.
One of the largest, most complex, and most demanding 4x games out there, Stellaris is a sci-fi gamer’s dream. Granting players the ability to guide their own custom alien race’s exploration of and expansion through the universe, the game puts an unparalleled amount of control in the player’s hands.
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Whether building a capitalist super-economy, using bloodless political manipulations to bring other empires to heel, forging a delicate network of peace treaties and trade agreements, or just obliterating everything in sight with huge fleets and orbital bombardments, Stellaris gives players many ways to play. One of the most important decisions a player can make occurs before anything really starts: selecting the best Origin in Stellaris for one’s species.
Updated on January 30, 2024, by Evan Arnoldi: After recent changes and updates to the base game, Stellaris is now a far more complete 4X game than it was years ago. These updates and changes bring more variety of gameplay to the game, be it from the patches and downloadable content. These changes include additional Origins, which players can pick to define their space empire while trying to both survive and dominate the galaxy. Some of these new Origins are more powerful than the others thanks to the recent shift in meta gameplay of Stellaris. However, among the old Origins, there are still ones that are worthy of being picked due to their reliability and simple mechanics when compared to the new ones, which may require an advanced understanding of the game.
13 Prosperous Unification
Simple Origin With Huge Benefit
- Gain 4 additional pops on capital
- Gain 2 additional Districts already built
- Gain +15% Happiness, +25% Amenities, and +10% Resource from Jobs for 20 years
At first glance, Prosperous Unification will look simple enough as it only grants simple modifiers such as extra pops and bonus modifiers such as extra resources from Jobs and Happiness. However, those bonuses can be considered to be superior to others since Stellaris puts a heavy emphasis on pops and resources, and an early boost will always help.
The bonus pops and resources can catapult an empire’s progress to dominate the galaxy rapidly. Moreover, the origin offers no drawbacks to facilitate a flexible strategy for the player to focus on.
High Risk High Reward Strategy With Trait Focus
- Gain ability to have Overtuned traits on starting species
- Gain ability to enable Damn the Consequences edict
- Gene Tailoring technology is already researched
With the focus on pops as one of the most important resources in the game, having suitable traits to augment them further is always beneficial. This can be done by having the Overtuned origin as it allows the player to choose the powerful Overtuned traits that boost the species at the cost of Leaders dying quickly.
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Although it can be detrimental, since leaders are now more important than ever, it also presents an opportunity for the player to try focusing on the pops instead. Moreover, the short leaders’ lifespan can be solved in the midgame after researching a plethora of technology and gaining powerful relics such as the Eternal Throne.
11 Progenitor Hive
Impressive Turtling Origin For Hive Minds
- Grant experience to Leaders each month
- Gain ability to construct unique Offspring Nest buildings
- Lead fleet with Offspring ships
The Progenitor Hive Origin is on the more complicated end of things, offering a mix of powerful bonuses as well as penalties, forcing the player to weigh their decision carefully. Offspring Leaders gain XP passively over time, and Offspring Nests take the place of Spawning Pools, improving the player’s drones and greatly strengthening their defensive capabilities.
The player also has the option to release Sectors as Subjects, something that a normal Hive Empire cannot do. The player’s ships suffer massive penalties to their Sublight Speed, Evasion, Fire Rate, and Accuracy, however, unless the player has a special ship in the fleet or special building within the system. If the player does, they receive bonuses to those same stats.
10 Imperial Fiefdom
Pave A Way To Usurp A Galactic Overlord
- Start as subject of an empire
- Start with a border towards the Overlord
- Preserve for a period of time for a chance to usurp the Overlord
At first glance, choosing the Imperial Fiefdom Origin may seem like a strange decision, given that the player must begin the game subjugated by another, more powerful civilization. Beginning as the Vassal of an Advanced AI Empire. This Empire is not long for the world, however. In time, it will fall and the player will have the chance to become free.
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If multiple civilizations have this Origin, they will all share the same Overlord, which is fun for roleplay purposes, even if it sometimes makes diplomacy messy. Having an Overlord allows the player to research, construct, and expand well into the mid-game without having to concern oneself too much with military matters since there’s a giant (admittedly possessive) Overlord empire which will be only too happy to jump in.
9 Teachers Of The Shroud
An Early Pathway Towards Psionic Ascension
- Gain Latent Psionic trait as a default
- Gain Psionic Theory as permanent research option
- Locked into Psionic Ascension Path
Another Origin brought to players by the Overlord DLC, the Teachers of the Shroud Origin causes the player’s civilization to start with the Latent Psionics Trait. It also grants the ability to construct a Shroud Beacon on a Starbase, and it causes the player to start the game in contact with the Shroudwalker Enclave, adding more fascinating mechanics to an already great sci-fi game.
Taking Teachers of the Shroud counts as taking the Mind Over Matter Ascension Perk, but it doesn’t fill up an Ascension slot as it normally would. This locks the player out of any Ascension Path other than Psionic Ascension, but it allows the player to complete Transcendence Ascension sooner than they would otherwise be able to. Effectively granting the player an additional Ascension Perk is a massive boon unique to Teachers of the Shroud, more than earning this Origin its place amongst the greats.
Rule Over The Galaxy As The Unique Necrophage
- Main species is Necrophage
- Gain the ability to construct Chamber of Elevation
What makes an Origin the best is more than a matter of optimal numbers: lore, roleplaying, and the coolness factor merit consideration. The Necrophage Origin is great on all counts. Being able to pick and choose which species to absorb via the Necrophage purge type is an extremely valuable ability, bolstering the Founder species by allowing the player to keep those qualities that they find desirable while assimilating undesirable species into their alien master race.
The Necrophage Origin enables a unique playstyle that mixes the best of min-maxing, roleplay, and universal domination.
7 Here Be Dragons
Have A Leviathan Secure The Capital
- Capital is guarded by the Sky Dragon Leviathan
- Have a guaranteed Living Metal deposit near the capital
For players that live in fear of the early-game loss of their homeworld, love turtling strategies, or just want a whacky twist rather than a more traditional beginning to the game, the Here There Be Dragons Origin is hard to beat.
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The player starts the game with a Leviathan guardian in their home system, and as long as that creature is kept fed and happy, it will defend the player’s home system from attack. Early on, before the interstellar opposition has built shiny new missiles and railguns capable of wreaking serious havoc, having a giant, fleet-eating pet dragon is pretty much the best possible defense. It only makes the Origin more tantalizing that later the player can learn to talk to their sky-lizard friend.
6 Clone Army
Rapidly Take Over The Galaxy With Clones
- Able to construct Ancient Clove Vat buildings
- Able to build clones early in the game
The Clone Army Origin exists to facilitate one of the strongest meta strategies in Stellaris (and many 4x games, for that matter): the rush build. Sacrificing a higher pop cap for the benefit of having a massive boost to early pop growth, Clone Army lets the player gather and maintain incredible momentum in terms of societal development and expansion.
As a side bonus, this Origin also allows for some fun and interesting roleplaying opportunities when the time comes for the clones to decide whether to maintain the cloning vats that first birthed them or to become an independent species capable of reproducing in their own right. A strong starting point and interesting late-game make Clone Army an Origin to look out for.
5 Common Ground
Survive The Galaxy With A Federation
- Start the game with a Federation and as its leader
- Federation starts with two other members
Though it shares similarities with the Hegemon Origin, Common Ground is arguably a step worse for the simple reason that Galactic Unions are not as effective an asset. Despite that, the Common Ground Origin can be a safe and strong pick if the player is aiming for a friendlier game.
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Starting the game with one’s government squished right up against allies means some assistance close at hand, but unfortunately, it can also mean the player doesn’t have many available systems to survey nearby, cramping expansion a bit. For some players, this trade-off is worth it because of the way it shakes up the somewhat restricted Hegemon playstyle, but for others, Hegemon will simply always be the more enticing offering.
4 Void Dwellers
Populate The Galaxy With Habitats
- Start the game with a Habitat and Major Orbitals
- Tradition Trees will have alternative bonuses to improve Habitats
Some Origins are flashier and more dramatic than others. Though the Void Dwellers Origin might not scream “interesting” compared to some of the others in Stellaris, it offers the player a significant advantage in the early phases of the game when harvesting resources and colonizing worlds are top priorities.
Boosting science and the production of alloys, Void Dwellers enables the player to quickly conquer new homeworlds as well as to secure migration treaties to normal empires. This combination of factors makes Void Dwellers one of the best Origins for a strong early game.
Begin A Journey With A Powerful Fallen Backup
- Become a Scion of a Fallen Empire
- Gain a Wormhole leading to the Fallen Empire’s capital
- Fallen Empire grant temporary fleet when player’s empire is losing a war against Superior empire
Ideal for those players that want a bit of a helping hand in the early game, the Scion Origin provides a friendly Fallen Empire to lend some aid and cough up the occasional gift. The gift of periodic research bonuses, high-tech ships, and resources are enough to recommend Scion on its own, despite the RNG factor, but this Origin has more than that in its corner.
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The Scion Origin presents some excellent roleplaying and lore-building opportunities, as the player must eventually make the decision whether to return the favor and reward the trust that the Fallen Empire placed in them, caring for the Empire once the player’s own civilization has come into its power. Alternatively, the player can betray their intergalactic benefactor, reaping all the juicy fallout of the decision.
2 Shattered Ring
Reside In A Ring World To Begin Galactic Conquest
- Start with Shattered Ring World in the capital
Though the rarity and power of ring worlds are not what they once were, the Shattered Ring Origin still deserves serious consideration. Starting off on one of the titular, Saturn-style rings, the player is faced with the time-consuming and expensive task of clearing all eight Tile Blockers, saving up 10,000 Alloy, and researching Mega-Engineering.
If there are able to do so, however, the player will be able to repair the Ring World, granting them a homeworld with massive potential to match its massive size. Whether this undertaking is worth the investment is a matter of strategy and personal taste.
Lead A Federation Dedicated To The Player’s Empire
- Start with a Hegemony Federation
- Members will share at least one ethic with the player
It can be hard to go it alone in the universe. A reliable alliance with a powerful ally is one of the greatest advantages in Stellaris. The Hegemon gives the player two of them. Using these allies to conquer enemy homeworlds early on can catapult the player’s pop while minimizing the number of resources necessary to do the conquering. It’s impossible to overstate just how useful it is to have such allies in the early game.
Hegemon is arguably the best Origin in Stellaris, providing players with an expansionist foundation so strong that no enemy will be able to catch up with it.
- May 9, 2016
- 4X , Grand Strategy