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Stellaris: How to Increase Administrative Capacity

When you start expanding in Stellaris, you’ll quickly come up against the administrative cap. Many players don’t want their empire’s scrawl to exceed their admin cap because this subjects them to penalties.

Unfortunately, opportunities to increase that cap are confusing. How can you increase your administrative capacity and lead your empire to victory? Keep reading to discover our complete guide!

Civics and Modifiers

The civic war?

Initially, your empire starts out with a puny administrative capacity of 30. You can increase that almost right away with the right civics and other modifiers.

For example, the Pacifist Ethic gets you +10 on the cap. The Efficient Bureaucracy Civic gets you +20. Meanwhile, the Imperial Prerogative Ascension Perk nets a whopping +30 on the admin cap.

Of course, different civics, ethics, and perks also dramatically affect other aspects of the game. Be sure to consider the longterm ramifications of your decision before you finalize your choice.

The Tech Solution

Let's talk about techs, baby

What about raising the cap a bit further into the game? In that case, your best solution is to rely on certain techs.

By following certain technology paths (such as Planetary Unification to Adaptive Bureaucracy), you can unlock techs that expand your administrative capacity. At about the halfway point of your game, you’ll be able to repeatedly research some of these techs to keep raising the cap.

Now, this is assuming that you want to stay under the cap in a “tall” style game. Many Stellaris players prefer a “wide” strategy that involves ignoring the cap almost completely (more on this soon).

Power of Cheats

Cheaters DO prosper

The idea of cheating on a video game is very divisive within the community. Nonetheless, cheating (in some form or another) is one of the most direct ways to overcome any Stellaris hurdle so long as you play the game on PC.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find Stellaris mods that directly let you tweak the admin cap. You’ll need to do things manually by going into your installation folder and opening 00_defines.txt.

First, save a backup before you make any changes. Next, look for EMPIRE_SIZE_BASE in the text file. Finally, you change the number there to whatever you’d like it to be.

Ignore It Entirely

Leave it be

With all that being said, do you want to know how most Stellaris players handle the admin cap? By ignoring it entirely!

The cap serves to rein in some of your early expansion. The truth is that penalties for exceeding the cap are very wild. While those penalties stack up, you can afford to go quite a bit over the cap and still be successful.

That’s because the benefits of expanding your empire far outweigh the penalties of exceeding the cap. And you may find ignoring the cap both easier and more rewarding than trying to constantly stay ahead of it.

How to Increase Administrative Capacity in Stellaris: What Next?

Now you know how to increase administrative capacity in Stellaris. But do you know how to handle the problems in your expanding empire?

Our guides will help you overcome each Stellaris challenge. Before you start your next game, check out our guide to deal with unemployment in the game!

Written By

Chris Snellgrove is a professional nerd turned nerdy professional. After completing a PhD in English, he started teaching by day and writing by night. Despite the manic schedule, he finds plenty of time for books, comics, movies, and video games. Ultimately, he lives his life by the philosophy of the Rocky Horror Picture Show: "don't dream it!"

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