Some people like games that are nothing but pure escapism. Other players, however, enjoy games that are a bit more realistic.
Stellaris is one of the latter games. Despite being a sci-fi game filled with aliens and spaceships, this game forces you to tackle a number of realistic problems on behalf of your planets’ populations. And one of the biggest problems is unemployment.
In this case, art imitates life. Just like in the real world, the population of each planet will keep growing, and there are only so many jobs to go around. Eventually, you’re going to have an unemployment problem on your hands.
With our complete guide to dealing with Stellaris unemployment, you’ll be able to fully understand this issue. More importantly, you’ll have a variety of ways to solve it!
The Bad News: It’s Inevitable
I’m a big believer in “ripping off the Band-aid” when it comes to bad news. In the spirit of that, let’s start with this grim fact: unemployment is an inevitable problem in Stellaris.
Your empire is going to expand across the stores. And outside of specific outside influences, the population on each world has nowhere to go but “up.” Eventually, you’re going to be struggling with unemployment on one or more planets.
While that’s the “bad news,” the good news is that there are plenty of ways to solve this problem. And let’s be honest: figuring out creative ways to solve different problems is a large part of why you play games like Stellaris!
The Effects of Unemployment in Stellaris
Depending on how much you empathize with your virtual colonists, you may be asking a pretty blunt question right now: “why should I care about unemployment at all?”
My equally blunt answer is that your different populations are merely another resource in the game. When they are well-employed, these populations are happy and can contribute to your ongoing research efforts.
When populations are unemployed, though, the happiness rating takes a hit ranging from -20% to -80%. Needless to say, this has the potential to wreck your research plans. And if they are on a research planet, well…an unhappy population kind of defeats the whole point!
Now that you know more about the negative impact of unemployment, let’s explore the different ways that you can solve this issue.
Are you interested in the quickest, most direct solution to your planetary problems? In that case, you just need to make a quick trick to the Planetary Decisions screen. There, you’ll find a number of options that will help you approach the problem.
For example, you can spend 25 influence to Declare Population Controls. This reduces population growth by -100% while also providing -5 to stability and +100 to the Emigration Push. It’s a thorough solution (unless you’re playing as Gestalt Consciousness–this is prohibited for them), and you can end it any time.
If you happen to be playing as Gestalt Consciousness, you can activate Cease Drone Production for 25 influence. This results in -100% population growth and no other effects.
If you want to reduce the population growth without stopping it completely, you can activate Discourage Planetary Growth for 25 influence. It reduces population growth by -75% while increasing population upkeep as well as amenities usage by +25%. This also boosts Emigration Push by +100 and cannot be selected by Gestalt Consciousness players.
Other planetary decisions are less focused on population, but they can still reduce growth by -50%. This includes Declare Martial Law (unavailable to Gestalt Consciousness), Deploy Hunter-Killer Drones (only available to Hive Mind), and Activate Compliance Protocols (only available to Machine Intelligence).
Stimulate the Economy
What’s one of the best ways to fight unemployment in real life? By creating jobs, of course. You can effectively do this in Stellaris in order to stimulate the economy.
Start by building Commercial Zones. Afterward, you can upgrade these zones to a Commercial Megaplex. When the smoke clears, each Megaplex creates 11 jobs for your population (10 clerk jobs and 1 merchant job per Megaplex).
As strategies go, this works better towards the beginning and middle of the game. For the later game, you should explore more of these strategies.
Another solution to planetary unemployment sounds simple, but it’s not always easy to pull off. You need to find these folks another planet!
Provided you have other suitable planets, it’s an easy matter to ship out excess populations from one planet to a new one. With a bit of luck, you can have it all: multiple robust populations and no major unemployment problems.
The only real downside to this solution is that it really increases how much you must micromanage in the game. If you’re bad at micromanagement, this solution may cause more problems than it solves.
Social Welfare and Utopian Living Standards
Without going outside of the core game design, the only other solution to unemployment is to change the living standards of your population.
For example, you can switch to Social Welfare. This makes your unemployed workers productive, and they’ll actively generate +1 Unity for you.
If your empire is Egalitarian, you can also switch to Utopian Abundance. This makes your unemployed populations generate +1 Unity and +2 Research.
Obviously, changing the living standards of a population will have other effects on your empire and your gameplay. Despite that, many players prefer these solutions because it requires less micromanagement than other approaches.
Solving Problems With Mods
Not every player approves of mods. Nonetheless, mods provide one of the best ways to maximize your Stellaris enjoyment every time you play. And you can use mods to fix your unemployment issues with the click of a button.
The best mod for this task is the Auto Population Migration mod. As the name implies, this mod automatically finds new planets for your homeless and unemployed populations so you don’t have to manually take care of it.
Long story short? If you just want to stop worrying about unemployment and get back to expanding your empire, this is the easiest option.
How to Deal With Unemployment In Stellaris: What Next?
Now you know how to deal with unemployment in Stellaris. But do you know what to do next?
If you enjoyed using mods to handle unemployment in the game, you’ll be pleased to discover a world of other modding possibilities. To help you get started, check out our list of best Stellaris mods today!