The Astral Actions DLC came with a few new interesting mechanics, and we will be exploring them in our Stellaris Astral Actions tier list. The main focus of this addition to the game is the story element, as well as a few new mechanics focusing on improving the highly sci-fi stuff in the game, like Wormholes, Quantum Catapults, and Hyper Relays.
The tier list is still in the experimental stage and is prone to change.
While more story is always welcome, we are usually looking for new interesting mechanics to explore, and while this is not one of our favorite Stellaris DLCs, it has some interesting additions in the form of Astral Actions. We will be ranking these according to their usefulness, but also the fun factor and novelty they bring to the game (looking at you, +10% Physics). So without further ado, here is our Stellaris Astral Actions tier list.
Allows science ships to lock bypasses.
First, we need to acknowledge that this Astral Action is situational, but it probably has the most potential. The fact that you can lock a Wormhole, L-Gate, or Shroud Tunnel is a very unique ability in the game, and it has its own unique uses. The abuse potential around Wormholes is big.
The biggest question is the following: are you in a situation where L-Gates and Wormholes are located in strategically excellent locations? This means war choke points or close powerful enemies. If the answer is no, then this Astral Action might as well be D-tier. If the answer is yes, it can change the whole game for you since the duration and the cooldown are both 10 years, which means you can permanently lock any L-Gate or Wormhole, if you have the resources to do it.
Unlocks Astral Edicts: Astral Binding, Astral Shielding, and Dimensional Artificing.
The first one, Astral Binding, is just phenomenal. +10% Resources From Jobs is super helpful, and the only real issue here is that the Upkeep cost is in Astral Threads. This kind of creates that economy where you can boost your whole empire with Astral Threads alone (Astrastal Threads into everything else).
The second one, Astral Shielding, is also good for war and especially good against weapons that are bad against shields since you get even more value on your shield parts. But, even when it’s not an ideal situation for shields, activating this edict to give you an extra boost is always nice.
Finally, we have the Dimensional Artificing. Nothing too special to be said here; it just exchanges your Astral Threads for Minor Artifacts, cool.
+15% Sublight Speed for 5 years and -15% Hyper Jump Charge Time for 5 years.
While it may not seem like a huge boost, the Sublight Speed bonus is extremely important in war. Given the fact that in the current Stellaris ship design meta, speed is very important, this Astral Action is top-tier. You will essentially have a stronger fleet, and the huge territories that you will need to conquer (or defend) will be more reachable.
Moreover, the -15% Hyper Jump Charge Time is very important since there isn’t really anything that gets this utility’s cooldown…down. Unlike a lot of other Astral Actions, this one is not situational; it’s always great to have bonus Sublight Speed and a faster Hyper Jump.
Removes the current Relic Activation Cooldown.
It is more than obvious why this Astral Action is one of the best in the game. The ability is simple: you get to activate a second relic while the first one is active. Given how powerful and impactful a lot of relics are in this game, having the ability to activate two at the same time blows almost everything out of the water on this list.
Unlocks the “Phase Fleet” fleet order.
The Phase Fleet ability can seem like an underpowered utility until you realize its potential. While this ability is almost useless when fighting small and defensive wars, it is very powerful in prolonged combat. Going deep inside enemy territory without quick ways to get back is where this Astral Action thrives.
The 180 days that the ships are gone will go by quickly, and the ships will be fully repaired. This is useful in a lot of sticky situations where you just have some fleet stuck in a random place in the galaxy, which can happen more times than you think. Also, as we mention below, it can be combined with some sneaky Quantum Catapult ambushes and recalls, if the situation allows it.
Summon Dimensional Fleet
Summon a controllable Extradimensional fleet for 10 years.
This Astral Action summons an Unbidden fleet to fight for you. While on paper this Astral Action doesn’t seem that useful (only 10 years of fleet duration), the main thing to take into account is that the fleet is actually very powerful. In late-game scenarios, this fleet can have 20–30% power relative to your whole fleet. It can be used as a “tanking” tool in order to minimize casualties or as a deciding extra firepower to provide you with the edge you need.
Just be careful of one thing: the fleet drops Unbidden tech that your enemy can research. Make sure that it never gets in their hands. This can be easily avoided in most situations. All in all, while the main downside is that the fleet only lasts 10 years, it’s a very good Astral Action considering the fleet’s power.
Gain Hyper Relay Insight
Unlocks the Hyper Relays technology for research with 50% progress.
This tech boost is straightforward and is just here to provide the player with a huge incentive to build Hyper Relays. This is a much-needed boost for a lot of players who simply skip building Hyper Relays. The +50% progress in Hyper Relays technology is really good, but what’s much better is that you get to actually unlock the tech by doing so. It’s very good, but boring and provides nothing new to the table.
Creates an astral rift in a random owned system without adjacent astral rifts.
It’s important to note that the Astral Rift can be only activated 4 times. So you will create four rifts in total and get a lot of powerful bonuses by exploring them, like resources, technology, relics, and more. This Astral Action is basically providing you with the bonus progression further down the Astral Action path and we consider it almost mandatory.
Unlocks the Astral Jump fleet order.
This is a late-game Astral Action, since you need to research Jump Drive tech. You will basically have the ability to jump with your fleets wherever you like, but (a huge but) only within your borders…booo! The fact is that if you have a big empire or extensive open borders, there is some good utility here since there are a lot of surprising things that can happen in regard to AIs declaring wars.
+15% Quantum Ambush Ship Fire Rate, +25% Quantum Catapult Accuracy, and +100% Quantum Ambush Duration.
Ok, let’s talk about the Quantum Catapult, the most controversial megastructure. We have mixed feelings about this Astral Action. The Quantum Catapult is a very fun and sometimes useful utility, but it needs a bit of love—more buffs. Astral Calibration does increase the capabilities of the Quantum Catapult, but the numbers and efficacy aren’t really there yet. The main thing that worries us is, of course, the precision of the catapult. While +25% accuracy is decent, it can still be unreliable, especially when the game’s hyperlane density is low.
One good play that comes to mind is to catapult your fleets to ambush enemies, and then recall the whole fleet with Folding Hyperspace. Although, again, the main issue with the catapult is the accuracy at long range. If you are playing with low hyperlane density (meaning less connected systems), the catapult can scatter the fleet in a way that makes the fleet difficult to regroup. This can ruin the battle and lose a big war. Nevertheless, we still think that the catapult is useful, and if it gets a few more minor buffs, it will be very powerful. Plus, it’s kind of fun, and that always plays a factor.
+10% Monthly Physics Research for 5 years.
There isn’t too much to say about this Astral Action. It’s pretty self-explanatory and its usefulness lies in its simplicity. Tech/research is always powerful and anything that can boost it is also inherently good as well. On the other hand, in comparison to some other Astral Actions in this tier list that provide cool utilities and new ways of playing the game, this one just feels dull. We really don’t “need” more +10% random tech stuff boosts in the game.
Allows the construction of 1 Astral Siphon building.
This Astral Action can be used 3 times, and the effect is different in each stage:
- Unlocks the Astral Siphon Building. Basically, you have Astral Threads storage capacity and specialist slots that turn Consumer Goods into Tech and Astral Threads. The main problem is that the numbers are low, and it’s just not that great.
- Upgrade Astral Siphon Building – 4 Specialist Jobs.
- Upgrade Astral Siphon Building – 6 Specialist Jobs.
All in all, the idea of the building is fine, but the value you get isn’t there, considering that you are spending precious resources. If the resources/numbers were a bit more higher, we would consider putting it further up in our Stellaris Astral Actions tier list.
Flash Forge Hyper Relay
Next Hyper Relay is constructed instantly and free.
Speeding up and lowering the cost of Hyper Relays is cool and all, but the cost of this Astral Action is really not that worth it. More often than not, the 50 Influence cost will hurt you since it is a precious resource, and 500 Astral Threads is also not that cheap. Honestly, it’s not really good. We would have to think of a scenario where you would have infinite Astral Threads and Influence, and need to build Hyper Relays as soon as possible, but that usually is not the case. If you are sitting on a lot of Astral Threads and Influence, this can be a convenient Astral Action and can be considered B Tier then, but if you have a finite source of Astral Threads, it’s not good compa some other Astral Actions.
Gain Quantum Catapult Insight
Unlocks the Quantum Catapult technology for research with 25% progress.
The main idea here that comes to mind is that you can utilize this Astral Action when you want to build any Megastructure as soon as possible, just to research the Galactic Wonders ascension perk and build a Dyson Sphere, for example. Besides that, it’s just an Astral Action that incentivizes you to build the Quantum Catapult.
Don’t get us wrong, we have a strong bias towards the catapult and always like to play it, it just makes games more interesting and is sometimes game-changing, but this is just not improving anything about the actual Quantum Catapult and that’s where the main problem is currently. Nevertheless, this will get you the Quantum Catapult tech, and that is convenient. The only reason this is D-tier in our Stellaris Astral Actions tier list is because the Quantum Catapult is simply not loved by many players.
Image Credits: Stellaris