What Are Sectors In Stellaris?


Stellaris is a massive, very in-depth space strategy game that gets more complex, deeper, and more immersive with each new DLC. This can amount to a lot of micromanaging, which can become pretty tedious unless you’re the type of player who likes to micromanage. Sectors can help you take some of the micromanagement out of the game, plus give your empire some significant boosts to production, research, or in generating raw materials.

Sectors are similar to states in the United States and can provide significant boosts to your empire. While allowed to have a lot of self-rule and automation, sectors are ultimately responsible to the overall authority in your empire. Every empire starts with a core sector that has a Governor already established.

The Frontier sector is not really a sector, it’s an area where all colonies and systems are placed that are not part of an established sector. No Governor can be assigned, so no benefits from having a governor can be reaped. Sectors are created by selecting a colony world outside of any current sectors.

Stellaris How To Create Sectors

Creating sectors is pretty easy in Stellaris. Activate the Planetary Summary screen of the planet you want to be the capital of the new sector and click on the “Create New Sector” icon. Once created it will include all planets and systems within 4 hyperlanes of it unless they are already a part of another sector or outside your empire’s borders. Wormholes and Gateways are not considered hyperlanes so a sector’s boundaries will not be extended through those.  Sector capitals are identified by 5 blue points on their icon, regardless of whether the sector map mode is active or not. Creating a sector is free.

If you’re not happy with the way the sector came out, you can either delete it or move the sector capital to a new location. To move the sector capital simply click on another colony within the sector and bring up the Planet Summary screen for that planet. The “Create Sector” icon will now be a “Move Sector Capital” button. Clicking it will make that planet the new sector capital plus it will redraw the sector boundaries. Moving a sector capital is free unless it is the core sector. Any colony can be a sector capital, including Habitats and Ring Worlds.

If you move the core sector capital, it will also change your empire’s capital at a cost of 250 Influence. This will also remove all trade routes in your empire until new ones are created, so there will be a significant initial impact to your empire.

Any sector except the core sector can be deleted by clicking the “Delete Sector” icon on the Planet Summary screen of the sector capital. Sectors can also be deleted at the “Planets and Sectors” screen. Deleting a sector also costs nothing.

Stellaris Sector Management

Establishing sectors eliminates some micromanagement from your empire plus any colonized planet in a sector gains benefits from the Governor as well. A Governor can provide specific bonuses to all colonies in the sector. For example, if the Governor is an army veteran the Governor can give an increased army build speed of 20%, reduce army costs by 20% and increase defensive army damage by 20%. Even if a Governor has no special bonuses the Governor can still provide an increase in resource production, reduce the effects of empire size from pops and can cut crime in the sector. The amount of the effect depends on the Governor’s skill level, the higher the skill level the more pronounced the effects. A Governor with a long life span can eventually provide significant boosts to his or her sector.

A Governor is one of the primary reasons for including all your colonies in a sector, even if a sector only has one colony planet. Since sectors cost nothing to create it’s worthwhile to create one, the only cost is the upkeep of the Governor himself, who will always provide benefits regardless of the skill level.

Sectors can be automated at the “Planets and Sectors” screen. Clicking the “Sector settings” button will allow you to choose what the sector focuses on. A sector can work on balancing things out, which means it will try to concentrate on producing raw material, manufacturing capabilities and research equally.

A sector can also be given a specific focus, which helps reduce micromanagement. A Production Focus will make it primarily emphasize producing food, mineral and energy production. If assigned a Manufacturing Focus then it will concentrate on making things like Alloys and Consumer Goods. A Research Focus will emphasize research.

Sectors have their own stockpile of resources that can be transferred between sectors plus there is also a shared stockpile for all sectors to draw from. In the upper portion of the “Planets and Sectors” screen you can set the amount of Energy and Minerals your empire will divert to the shared stockpile per month. You can also set a limit on how many resources are stockpiled for use between sectors.

How Are Sectors Determined In Stellaris?

Where you place a sector capital is the biggest influencing factor in how sectors are determined in Stellaris. Sectors are measured from the sector capital and once the sector capital is created all systems within 4 hyperlanes of the capital are included in the new sector, unless they are already a part of another sector or outside of your empire’s boundaries. If a sector includes a Gateway or Wormhole it’s borders are not extended through them. The 4 hyperlane measurement is also what determines sector size. Although some sectors will be larger than others that’s mainly due to hyperlanes being further apart in one sector versus another.

How Do You Expand Sectors In Stellaris?

Sector boundaries cannot be changed directly. They can be changed by moving the sector capital. This is a free move, and the sector boundaries will be redrawn so that they are within 4 hyperlanes of the new capital. Sectors can be expanded if a sector is along the boundaries of your empire. Extending your empire boundaries will also automatically extend the boundaries of a sector, provided the new systems are within 4 hyperlanes of the sector capital.

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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