How To Build Stellaris Ships


Stellaris ships are the very backbone of your empire. You use ships to explore strange new worlds, to build things like mining or research stations, and to both expand and defend your empire.

Select a Shipyard, click the Shipyard tab, then click a ship to add it to the Shipyard queue to start construction. Once in the queue the shipyard will track the status of your ship and tell you the time remaining to complete the build.

How Do I Build Ships In Stellaris?

In Stellaris you build ships at a shipyard. Unless you’re in your home (starting) system you’ll have to construct one first using a construction ship. To start building a ship select a shipyard and go to the shipyard tab. At the bottom of the pop-up menu there are three tabs, click on the Shipyard tab to see a list of ships you can build and can potentially build. To start building click on a ship to add it to the queue. Ships can be removed from the build queue by clicking on them, and the order they are built in can be changed by clicking the up and down arrows to the right of the ship name.

Ships that you have the capability to build but lack the resources to do it with are grayed out. If the Shipyard needs to be upgraded, it will also not let you build the ship. For example, a Titan can only be built at a Citadel level starbase (which the ever-informative tooltip tells you).

What To Check If You Can’t Build Ships In Stellaris

Since you have the technology at the very start of the game to build basic ships like construction ships, science ships, colony ships, and corvettes, something else is amiss if you can’t build them at the start of a game.

The most obvious problem is not having a shipyard. You get one automatically at the start of the game but if it was somehow downgraded to an outpost that would stop you from producing any ships. Fortunately, the outpost, if it was downgraded, cannot be deleted since you have a colonized planet in your starting system, so upgrading it back to a Shipyard will fix the problem once you have enough resources.

The next most obvious issue is not having enough resources to build the ship. The shipyard lists all the ships you have the capability of building with some of them probably grayed out. The grayed-out ones are ships that can’t be built because something is lacking or if the Shipyard is not at a high enough level. For instance, at the start of the game you have the capability to build a colony ship but will probably lack enough alloys and consumer goods to build it. Hovering the mouse cursor over the ship in the build list will bring up a detailed breakdown of the ship, including resources you lack to build it.

More advanced ships require upgraded shipyards, like Starholds and some ships require special resources, like exotic gases or rare crystals. Once again, checking the tooltip will tell you what’s lacking.

Where Is The Shipyard In Stellaris?

There are several ways to find where a Shipyard is. The Outliner lists every Shipyard and Starbase in your empire (a Shipyard is simply a Starbase with at least one shipyard). There is a symbol to the left of the name indicating what level the Shipyard is at. A tooltip pops up giving you all the nitty gritty details about the shipyard, like armor hit points, how many starbase buildings it has, etc. Double-clicking on the name in the Outliner will also take you to the system the Shipyard is located in.

Another method is to open the Galaxy map and zoom in until the icons next to the system names start appearing. If a system has a Shipyard in it the shipyard icon will appear next to the name. Clicking on the icon will activate the same pop-up menu for the Shipyard as the one in the Outliner.

If you want to really dig down into a detailed view of the system a shipyard or starbase is in open the system map for that system, the shipyard is indicated by the shipyard icon. Clicking on it will bring up the Shipyard pop-up menu.

How Do you Unlock New Ships In Stellaris?

You unlock new ships in Stellaris through research in the Engineering Branch, and one ship type is usually a prerequisite for another. To build newly unlocked ships you will also usually need to upgrade a Starbase to the next level.

You must also have DLCs active for some ships to be available to be unlocked. The Apocalypse DLC is needed for the Titan and the Colossus and the Federations DLC is needed for the Juggernaut.

Where Can I Build A Mega Shipyard In Stellaris?

You can build a Mega Shipyard anywhere in your borders where you can build a Shipyard with a few caveats. You can only build it in a one-star system and must remove any mining or research stations that are on that star.

A fully assembled mega shipyard is awesome! Not only can you build 20 ships at a time if you have the resources, but the build speed is also increased by 100%. When you couple that with the Gateway technology and build a Gateway in the same system as the Mega Shipyard, you have the fantastic capability of warping reinforcements to remote systems in a very short time. Just build a 20-ship fleet and warp it to the trouble spot with Gateway technology.

Can You Design Ships In Stellaris?

Ships are designed in Stellaris using the cleverly named Ship Designer. There are two easy ways to access the Ship Designer. The method I use most often is the toolbar on the left side of the screen. The Ship designer is a little more than halfway down on the menu. The F9 key is also a keyboard shortcut that opens the Ship Designer.

Once opened you’re presented with the option to modify an existing design or to create a new design. If you want to create a new design, you’ll be given a list of ships that you can design a new class for.

If you choose a Battleship, for example, you’ll first need to decide what types of sections it needs. The sections you select determines what types of armaments, shields, armor, and auxiliary modules the ship can carry. For instance, adding a Carrier Core allows to carry small strike craft.

You won’t be able to create the ship design until you have enough power just in case you have trouble saving your design. On the other hand, if you’ve been stingy with your power requirements you might be able to use a smaller reactor, every little reduction in cost and time helps. Once you save the new design it’s immediately available for production.

Rich Gallien

I've always liked board games like chess and PC games, especially space based strategy games, which lead to the creation of this site. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it and updating it with new games!

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