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Stellaris is an incredible sci-fi strategy game, so it just makes sense that there are robots you can develop for your Empire! If the species you're controlling during the game just won't reproduce enough to fill all the available jobs, they're the perfect solution.

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Robots are an artificial population that can be built by Empires. As you improve their technology, they'll be able to complete more and more complicated tasks... but do the risks outweigh the rewards when you're dealing with Artificial Intelligence? We're here to tell you.

How To Start Building Robots & What They Do

In order to start building robot populations, you'll need to research 'Robotic Workers,' a Tier 1 Engineering Technology. You'll also need to ensure that your Policy regarding Robotic Workers is set to 'Allowed.'

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Once that has been fully researched, you can start building Robot Assembly Plants on your planets. These buildings provide one roboticist job. As long as it's filled, a roboticist job will produce 2 "Population Points" each month. Once you accumulate 100 Population Points, one Robot Population (or Pop) will be spawned.

That means it will take 50 months to spawn each Robot Pop. It's worth noting that you can't speed up the process by building more Robot Assembly Plants because only one can be active on each planet at a time. You could build a second one, but that job wouldn't be filled and it wouldn't produce Pops. If you're hoping to get a lot of Robot Pops, build Robot Assembly Plants on every planet you've colonized.

Once a Robot Pop has spawned, it will act as any other Pop does: it will start working a job! The type of job they can take will depend on how advanced your Robots are (more details on that below).

How To Modify Your Robots

In order to modify Robot populations, you'll need to research the 'Machine Template System,' another Tier 1 Engineering Technology.

Once that happens, you'll be able to modify their traits just like the traits of any other species. Again, as with other species, you can apply a trait template to just one planet or the entire species. The various traits you can take may have a beneficial or disadvantageous impact on newly created robots.

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Managing Robots' Rights

Before you start building tons of Robot Populations, you should decide for yourself what rights to give them. There are two major places to adjust Robots' rights.

The first place is in the Species menu. Like any other species, you can set Robots' rights, which are their:

  • Citizenship
  • Living Standards
  • Military Service
  • Colonization Rights
  • Population Controls
  • Migration Controls
  • Slavery Type
  • Purge Type

The second place is in your Policy menu, where there are certain Policies referring specifically to AI and Robotic workers.

Robotic Policies
Robotic WorkersArtificial Intelligence
Outlawed
  • Robot Populations cannot be made
  • All existing Robot Populations and Robot Armies are disassembled
  • Cannot research any Robot Technologies
Outlawed
  • Robot Populations cannot be sapient
  • Robot Workers cannot become Rulers
  • Robot Populations can be disassembled
  • Robot Populations cannot join factions
Allowed
  • Robot Populations can be made and will not be disassembled
  • Can research Robot Technologies
Servitude
  • Robot Populations can be sapient
  • Robot Workers cannot become Rulers
  • Robot Populations can be disassembled
  • Robot Populations cannot join factions
Citizen Rights
  • Robot Populations can be sapient
  • Robot Workers can become Rulers
  • Robot Populations cannot be disassembled
  • Robot Populations can join factions (if they are sapient)

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What Robots Need To Survive

Robot populations automatically receive the 'Mechanical' Trait, which means they add +200 percent habitability to any planet. Essentially, they can survive in any environment.

As far as how much of your resources they consume, it will depend partially on how advanced your Robots are. If they're just a bunch of complicated machines, they'll need much less to live on than a Population of any other species. If they're true Artificial Intelligences (AIs) however, you'll have to treat them a little better.

AI Policy Set To 'Outlawed'AI Policy Set To 'Servitude'AI Policy Set To 'Citizen Rights' & 'Synthetics' Technology Has Been Researched
FoodNo Food needed
Energy Credits1 Energy Credit needed per Robot Population per month
Housing0.5 Housing needed per Robot Population1 Housing needed per Robot Population
Amenities0.5 Amenities needed per Robot Population 1 Amenity needed per Robot Population
Consumer GoodsNo Consumer Goods neededRulerBetween 1 and 0.4 Consumer Goods needed per Robot Population per month depending on Living Standards
SpecialistBetween 1 and 0.25 Consumer Goods needed per Robot Population per month depending on Living Standards
WorkerBetween 1 and 0.05 Consumer Goods needed per Robot Population per month depending on Living Standards

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Robot Tech Levels

Over the course of the game, you'll have more and more opportunities to improve the quality of your robots by researching new Technologies. Which technologies these are and what they change are detailed below.

Technology TierTechnology PrerequisitesTechnology ResearchedMaximum Job Stratum Robots Can WorkCan They Colonize New Planets?Can They Work In The Military?Are They Affected By Planet/Empire Happiness?Are They Sapient?
Tier 1
  • 'Powered Exoskeletons' Engineering Technology has been researched
  • Your Empire does not have the Gestalt Consciousness Ethic
  • Your Empire has not outlawed Robotic Workers
Robotic WorkersWorkerNoNoNoNo
Tier 2
  • You have researched at least six Tier 1 Engineering Technologies
  • 'Colonial Centralization' Social Technology has been researched
  • Your Empire does not have the Gestalt Consciousness Ethic
  • Your Empire has not outlawed Robotic Workers
DroidsSpecialist
Except:
  • Researcher
  • Bureaucrat
  • Culture Worker (if AI policy is 'Outlawed')
YesYesNoNo
Tier 4
  • You have researched at least six Tier 1, 2, and 3 Engineering Technologies
  • 'Galactic Administration' Social Technology has been researched
  • 'Positronic AI' Physics Technology has been researched
  • Your Empire does not have the Gestalt Consciousness Ethic
  • Your Empire has not outlawed Robotic Workers
SyntheticsIf AI Policy is 'Citizen Rights'RulerYesYesIf AI Policy is 'Citizen Rights'YesIf AI Policy is 'Citizen Rights'Yes
If AI Policy is 'Servitude'SpecialistIf AI Policy is 'Servitude'If AI Policy is 'Servitude'
If AI Policy is 'Outlawed'Specialist
Except:
  • Researcher
  • Bureaucrat
  • Culture Worker
If AI Policy is 'Outlawed'NoIf AI Policy is 'Outlawed'No

Other Robot Technology To Research

There are more Engineering Technologies to research to improve your Robots, but they are not more tiers of Robots, they are just improvements to the three tiers above.

Technology TierTechnology PrerequisitesTechnology ResearchedEffects
Tier 1
  • 'Robotic Workers' Technology has been researched (if you are not a Machine Empire)
  • 'Powered Exoskeletons' Technology has been researched (if you are a Machine Empire)
  • Your Empire is not a Hive Mind
  • Your Empire has not outlawed Robotic Workers
Machine Template System
  • +2 Mechanical Population Trait Points
  • +1 Machine Population Trait Points
  • Allows you to modify Robot Populations
Tier 4
  • 'Synthetics' Technology has been researched
  • Your Empire is not a Gestalt Consciousness
  • Your Empire has not outlawed Robotic Workers
  • Your Empire has not outlawed Artificial Intelligence
Synthetic Personality Matrix
  • Mechanical Populations can now generate leaders for your empire
(note the difference between Leaders and Rulers: Rulers are a job stratum, while Rulers are individuals assigned to Research Ships, Technology Research, Governing Sectors, etc.)

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Synthetic Dawn DLC: Building A Machine Empire

The Synthetic Dawn DLC expands on the Robot mechanics already in the game by adding Robot Empires to the game! They have a unique type of permanent Government: the Machine Intelligence. All robots have been networked into a hive mind of sorts and work together for the betterment of the Empire. Machine Empires have their own traditions, civics, and personalities, but one thing is always true; they will not tolerate organic life in their Empire.

Robots usually get the 'Mechanical' Trait when they are created by other species, but Robots who are made in the Machine Intelligence have the 'Machine' Trait instead. Robots with the 'Machine' Trait can't exist outside of the Machine Intelligence. Robots with the 'Mechanical' Trait can exist within the Machine Intelligence or outside of it. While Machine Empires cannot build robots like other organic empires, they can take over the Robots built by other Empires and use them as Drones who are not affected by happiness and can work any job.

One other thing you need to keep an eye out for is that, with this DLC, it's possible for your AI to revolt against you if the Artificial Intelligence Policy is set to 'Servitude' and either the 'Synthetics' Technology or the 'Sapient Combat Simulation' Technology has been researched.

Other Other Robot Technologies To Research

The Synthetic Dawn DLC added lots of new Technologies to research to improve your Empire's Robots. For some, but not all, you must be in a Machine Empire.

Technology TierTechnology PrerequisitesTechnology ResearchedEffects
Tier 2
  • 'Droids' Technology has been researched
  • 'Machine Template System' Technology has been researched
  • Your Empire is not a Gestalt Consciousness
  • Your Empire has not outlawed Robotic Workers
Cross-Model Standardization
  • +1 Mechanical Population Trait Points
Tier 2
  • Your Empire is a Machine Intelligence
Micro-Replicators
  • Robotic Populations are assembled ten percent faster
  • Upgraded Drone Storage
Tier 3
  • Your Empire is a Machine Intelligence
  • The 'Micro-Replicators' Technology has been researched
Self-Assembling Components
  • Robotic Populations are assembled ten percent faster
Tier 3
  • 'Colonial Centralization' Technology has been researched
  • 'Machine Template System' Technology has been researched
  • Your Empire is a Machine Intelligence
Binary Motivators
  • +1 Machine Population Trait Point
Tier 4
  • 'Cross-Model Standardization' Technology has been researched
  • 'Synthetics' Technology has been researched
  • Your Empire is not a Gestalt Consciousness
  • Your Empire has not outlawed Robotic Workers
Fungible Circuitry
  • +1 Mechanical Population Trait Point
Tier 4
  • 'Binary Motivators' Technology has been researched
  • 'Galactic Administration' Technology has been researched
  • Your Empire is a Machine Intelligence
Nanite Assemblers
  • +1 Machine Population Trait Point
Tier 4
  • 'Binary Motivators' Technology has been researched
  • 'Galactic Administration' Technology has been researched
  • Your Empire is a Machine Intelligence
Mega-Assembly Systems
  • Allows you to create a new building: the Machine Assembly Complex
    • This building adds three Replicator jobs to the planet, each of whom creates one Population Point each month

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Utopia DLC: Robotic Synthesis

The Utopia DLC adds lots of unique changes to Stellaris, but the one that affects Robots is the new 'Synthetic Evolution' Tier 2 Ascension Perk. To use Synthetic Evolution, your Empire must not be a Gestalt Consciousness, you must have researched the 'Synthetics Personality Matrix' Engineering Technology, the 'Synthetics' Technology, your Empire must not be a Gestalt Consciousness, and you must have completed the special project 'The Flesh is Weak.'

By taking this Ascension Perk, you turn all the Populations, Leaders, and Armies in your Empire into 'Synthetics.' It essentially creates a new Mechanical species and places you in it. This means all your Populations are robots now, with all the resource, housing, and amenities changes that come with that.

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