Forming a Federation with another empire or empires can have a lot of advantages and disadvantages. Specific pros and cons are present for each federation type, but all Federations have the same basic pros and cons. Each Federation type also has its own special bonuses.
A Stellaris Federation gives you allies at the expense of 15% of your empire’s energy output. All members get Intel bonuses that are shared between them plus a Federation fleet can be created. The con to this is that at first only the Federation president has control of the fleet.
How do you get the ability to create a Federation? Through the Diplomacy tradition. Read about that Tradition and the other four that I consider to be the best traditions in Stellaris.
Pros and Cons For All Federations
One big pro for Federations is that they will have a Federation fleet. This fleet is designed by the Federation President unless the Federation laws are changed. The con to the president being the only one who can design the fleet is that if the Federation president is an AI empire, then the AI will probably design them and the AI typically does not create the best fleet designs possible, which can be a definite con. But nonetheless, there is a fleet available in times of trouble unless the Fleet Contribution Law is set to None.
This fleet does not cost your empire anything to maintain although you will be required to donate part of your fleet capacity to it, which can be a con if you have low fleet capacity to begin with.
Another con for the Federation fleet is that you don’t have control of it unless you’re the Federation President. The Presidency rotates unless you can change the Federation laws in your favor.
Another pro for Federations is that you have allies. This is basically the same as having a Defensive Pact with an empire, but you will also have better diplomatic relations with fellow federation members plus you gain perks that you otherwise wouldn’t get from a Defensive Pact.
The con to having more “friends” is that you give up your right to declare war whenever you wish unless the Federation laws are changed. Typically, it will take either a unanimous or majority vote to declare war on someone. This means that a Federation can oftentimes be slow to respond to a crisis.
There are five Federation types if you own the Federations DLC and it’s activated. These are the Galactic Union, a Martial Alliance, a Research Cooperative, a Trade League, and a Hegemony. If you don’t own the Federations DLC then only the Galactic Union Federation will be available.
All Federations have 5 levels, the initial perks for each Federation are listed below. At the end of this article there is a link that will take you to a page at the Wiki site with a detailed breakdown of all the perks for each Federation.
Read More: Read my Stellaris Federations Review or use the menu at the top of this page to find all my Stellaris articles.
Stellaris Galactic Union Federation Bonuses
This is a generic type of Federation that will be available to everyone, regardless of whether you own the Federations DLC or not. The diverse ethics of this Federation creates a 50% smaller impact to Federation cohesion and all members gain 60 intel between them.
Stellaris Martial Alliance Federation Bonuses
This Federation focuses on the ideals of military power and cooperation. An empire must be either a Militarist or Fanatic Militarist (ethic) to join. Very large and powerful fleets are the hallmark of this Federation.
The Martial Alliance Federation gains 100 in army and ship starting experience, they can build fleets 25% faster than they normally could, and they gain 50 Intel between them.
Stellaris Research Cooperative Federation Bonuses
The Stellaris Research Cooperative Federation tends toward a technological approach and specializes in cooperative research. Members of this Federation believe in a technological approach that emphasizes continual progress and finding all of the facts about the universe. This Federation wants to be the technological masters of the galaxy. To be a part of this Federation an empire must be a Machine Intelligence with either a Materialist ethic or a Fanatic Materialist ethic.
Level 1 perks for this Federation are free research agreements between all members and a gain of 50 Intel between members.
Stellaris Trade League Federation Bonuses
A Trade League Federation is exactly what its title suggests. It focuses primarily on promoting economic growth for its members and it has a new Trade Policy that replaces the other trade policies. You must be a Megacorp or have the Merchant Guilds civic to be a member.
Initial perks for this Federation are The Trade League Trade Policy that unifies all the other trade policy bonuses into one. Members also gain a total of 50 Intel between members. The Trade League Policy promotes trade to create revenue and profits for the state and people.
Stellaris Hegemony Federation Bonus
Judging by my current game this could turn out to be one of my favorite Federations. This Federation is usually built around one very powerful empire and it is surrounded (called a buffer) by weaker empires. An empire must have the Rogue Servitor Civic, plus it must also have either the Authoritarian or Fanatic Authoritarian Ethic. In a Hegemony Federation the main empire rules and reaps most of the benefits from the Federation.
Level 1 perks for this Federation are that once you are a member you cannot leave without the President’s permission. If you do ask and the President refuses you get the Secession Casus Belli. You can use this Casus Belli to attack the President and if you win you can leave the Federation.
This Federation type also has lower centralization requirements, plus members gain 40 Intel between them.
Federations Depend On Your Playstyle
Since Federations can limit your ability to declare war, they might not be the best option if you have an aggressive playstyle and like to conquer everything in sight. Creating Non-Aggression Pacts and Defensive Pacts with neighbors would be a better option.
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On the other hand, if you have a more defensive style, and like to “turtle” your way forward, then a Federation is a good option. Not only will you have allies whenever there are defensive wars to fight, you can oftentimes count on them during an offensive war if the rewards are right for other members.