The tactical grand strategy space saga Stellaris is about to get relatively spooky. In their newest species pack called “The Necroids,” Paradox Interactive is going to allow players to become fully undead. This not only promises to be fully terrifying for any living (or rock) race that you run into; it also comes with some rather chilling benefits to any portion of your population to be alive. That’s because, for any race who is alive and rather religious, you can create Death Cults to best take command of your populations. If you want to know what a Death Cult is, and best use it in a new campaign, check out this Stellaris Death Cult guide for some early tips!
Death Cult Stellaris Guide
The Death Cult is a civic available to Spiritualist or Fanatic Spiritualist races. This civic allows you to create Death Priests and Mortal Initiates. Death Priests increase your research, as do your Mortal Initiates. However, Mortal Initiates really put the “Mortal” into “Immortal Empire”: You can kill them to gain empire-wide bonuses!
To gain a Death Cult, you must be a Spiritualist. You cannot have the Inward Perfection, Fanatic Purifiers, or…. the Necrophage race. Dang it! You can’t be a Zombie Fanatic, sacrificing your fellow zombies! Oh well.
Alternatively, you can get the Corporate Death Cult civic. This still requires your Megacorporation to be spiritualist, but has slightly less strict edict options.
What does sacrificing do? To start, you have a new job type, the Mortal Initiate. The more Mortal Initiates you have, the more research you gain. However, when you select a Sacrifice Edict, you gain bonuses based on how many initiates you sacrifice. The first number is the minimum bonus. The second number is the amount you get when you destroy around 40 Population worth of initiates.
- Harmony: 10% Happiness – 50% Happiness. A huge boost to your stability, but primarily only useful if your people are significantly angry. Not a bad idea for a last-second push to increase productivity.
- Togetherness: 10% Monthly Unity – 35% Monthly Unity. This one has the least growth potential with populations killed. However, getting this boost to unity is legitimately not a bad idea!
- Bounty: 5% Credits, 5% Minerals – 30% Credits, 30% Minerals: Great for the warmongering spiritualist! Losing a huge pile of population might be a bad idea for starting a war, however. At least you don’t need many actual pops in order to engage in Space War!
In addition, when you kill your population, you gain a +5 bonus to Pop Growth Speed. +5 is a pretty big modifier, actually! You won’t instantly replace your dead 40 pop, of course. But you’ll get some people back pretty fast. And this bonus seems to be stacking per your population destroyed. That’s kinda insane, and makes the edict almost worth it!
Some Basic Tips
If you want to build up your Temples, you can! You start with Sacrificial Temples (+1 Priest, +1 Initiate). With the Holographic Rituals tech, you get the Grim Holotemple (+3, +3). Finally, you can get the Temple of Grand Sacrifice (+5, +5) when you get Consecration Fields. That’s a pretty huge boost in initiates, but you’ll need several Temples of Grand Sacrifice on multiple planets to even see the highest bonus to your edicts. That can be… annoying.
The low benefits can be good enough. Try not to kill too many initiates, since the Temples don’t give too much more than research bonuses by themselves. I’ve found that killing 10-15 initiates at once tends to give good enough bonuses, especially early on.