Stellaris Habitat: Complete Guide [2023]

Habitats are vast stations considered as Stellaris megastructures that you can build if you have Utopia Stellaris DLC purchased. At first, they were a bit sluggish and not really useful, but ever since Federation DLC, Habitats are really a good thing to have for most empires. There are several ways in which you can build them and when it comes to Habitats, the key reason why you are building them in the first place is either to optimize and boost your economy or to create massive fortress stations on choke points in your empire Hyperlane network.
Furthermore, Habitats do have a high cost and can’t be just put in random places because you will run out of the required resources very soon. So, let’s check out how these things actually work and how to use them in the best way.

How To Build a Habitat in Stellaris?

Anthropoid habitat printscreen

Orbital Habitat is a large station built solely around planets in any star system you control. So no, you can’t build them around moons and stars, only around planets. Before you can build a Stellaris Habitat, you need the proper technology for it. The easiest way to get the tech early on is to employ an engineer with Voidborn spec and follow down the Starport – Starhold path in the tech tree. “Orbital Habitat” technology is not rare but the upgrades are – however, once you research it, it’s only a matter of time before you get the upgrades for it.

Another thing that you should pay attention to is Stellaris Ascension Perks. If you are aiming to build Orbital Habitats you should definitely take Voidborn (+20% habitat habitability and +2 habitat building slots) followed by Master Builders (+50% to Megastructure build speed and +1 to build capacity) later on. These two will allow you to spam Habitats all around your empire with ease. Furthermore, having Void Dwellers as your Stellaris Origin would help a lot if you want to get Habitats early on.

Once you have researched the Orbital Habitat technology, you need to select a construction ship, right-click on a designated planet where you want to build your Habitat and select Megastructure – Habitat. The cost is rather high: 1500 Alloys and 150 Influence. Note that building a Habitat around a planet prevents you from building Rings later on so plan accordingly.

What Districts Can Be Built In a Habitat?


Depending on the location of your Orbital Habitat, you will be able to choose districts to build in it. The basic level of a Habitat (Orbital Habitat) has 4 available slots for districts. There are four basic types of districts that you can build on any Habitat, regardless of its location:

  1. Habitation District – Provides housing jobs and can be turned into food production.
  2. Industrial District – similar to regular industrial districts on your planets, provides Alloy and/or Consumer goods production.
  3. Trade District – works great with Mercantile Civic, quite unique.
  4. Leisure District – provide Entertainer and Culture Worker jobs.

Besides 4 basic types, there are 3 specialized types of districts that you can build if the planet where you set the Habitat has a deposit of some resources (Research, Energy, or Minerals). Three specialized districts are:

  1. Astro-mining Bay – it can be built if a planet with a Habitat in orbit has a mineral deposit, great for large mining stations.
  2. Reactor District – possible to build on Habitats that have an energy deposit thus quite rare as mostly only stars have it, works pretty much the same as energy districts on regular planets.
  3. Research District – can be built if a planet with the Habitat in orbit has a research deposit, provides awesome research boost.

In total, there are seven possible districts that can be built on various types of Habitats. In order to understand how they can be fully utilized to their max potential, let’s dive into the types of specialized Habitats that you can build.

10 Ways To Specialize a Habitat

Fungoid Habitat printscreen

Habitats are usually built in early mid-game. At that game phase, optimizing your economy and gaining momentum for the later stages of the game is of the essence and that’s where your Habitats come into play. Generally speaking, the best way to use Habitats is to aim to build only the ones that you can specialize in for the resources that you might need. Let’s take a look at what kinds of Habitats you might want to go for.

1. Mining Habitat

As we mentioned earlier if you place a Habitat with minerals, you will get a mining district on it (Astro-Mining Bay). This is perfect if you are short on planets and you don’t have enough mineral deposits on your planets. Try to go for only Mining Districts on it, and get a Mineral Purification Hub and a Holo-Theater. Designate the Habitat as a Mining Station. Once you do all that, the Habitat will provide much more minerals than what the planet deposit was producing before. Pop growth speed will be a problem for sure so you might want to consider building a Clinic or additional Habitation District to speed it up.

2. Generator Habitat

Generator Habitats provide Energy credits for your Empire. In order to get one, build a Habitat above a planet that has energy credits on it. You will be able to build 4 Reactor Districts on this type of Habitat and that’s what you should aim for. Same as with generator worlds, build an Energy Grid (Energy Nexus) for extra energy credits production and a Holo-Theater for extra Amenities. Finally, designate the Habitat as a Generator Station in order to maximize its energy output. Note that these worlds are pretty rare so you might not be able to build one. Look closely around your empire to find a planet with an energy deposit on it.

3. Research Habitat

In order to build a Research Habitat, you need to find a planet with any kind of research (Physics, Society, or Engineering) deposit on it. The type of research doesn’t matter as you will get a Research District once you build a Habitat on the planet. Build a Research Institute once you upgrade your Habitat’s Administration building. Same as with the previous two types, go for a Holo-Theater in order to get more amenities and designate your Habitat as a Research Station.

4. Strategic Resource Extraction Habitat

Strategic Resource Extraction Habitats are really important and if you are building any kind of Habitat, this one is a must. Now, we have already mentioned that there are no specialized districts for Strategic Resources on a Habitat. However, if you build a Habitat on a planet with a rare strategic resource deposit you will get a new planetary feature. This will allow you to build specialized buildings such as Gas Extraction Well on a Habitat. You will be getting much more resources from Gas Extractors or other rare material workers than what the planet deposit has been yielding before. If you have limited resources for building your Habitats, this is the type you should go for before you get more for others. As for districts, you can go with Leisure Districts so that you don’t have to build a Holo-Theater on your Strategic Resource Habitat. Besides strategic resource extraction building, you can build other Strategic Resource manufacturing refineries and designate the Habitat to a Refinery Station once you finish setting it up.

Note that there is a huge difference between a strategic resource refinery and a Strategic Resource Extraction Plant. Refineries simply turn Minerals into Strategic Resource and can be built on any type of Habitat as opposed to Strategic Resource Plants which extracts the resource from a Habitat and can be built only on a planet that has that specific strategic resource deposits on it. In other words, you can build Refineries pretty much anywhere but the real advantage of these types of Habitats is in building Strategic Resource Extraction Plants such as Gas Extraction Wells.

5. Industrial Habitat

Industrial Habitats should be built on planets that have no other type of resource available. Simply build your Habitat around a barren world and pop some Industrial Districts in it, accompanied by a Holo-Theater. Before you build districts, you should choose what type of Industrial Habitat you want to go for as you have three choices:

  • Foundry Station – 25% industrial district build speed increased and 20% reduce total Metallurgist upkeep cost
  • Factory Station– 25% industrial district build speed increased and 20% Artisan upkeep cost reduced
  • Industrial Station – 25% industrial district build speed increased and 10% Artisan and Metallurgist upkeep cost reduced

As you can see, this purely depends on your current in-game situation as all types of stations provide different bonuses. Furthermore, depending on what kind of station you want your Industrial Habitat to be, you can build Civilian Industries buildings and/or Alloy Foundries.

6. Unity Habitats

If you seek a boost in Unity, then these kinds of Habitats are your best choice. Building Unity Habitats is pretty straightforward: Build a Habitat above barren world and select an Ecclesiastical (or Unification) station as your designated choice and spam Leisure Districts. Fill the building slots with Nodes, Monuments, and other unity-generating buildings. This will provide enough job spots for unity production.

7. Trade Habitats

Trade Habitats are extremely powerful if used properly. The first thing you need to do is to have a Starbase specialized in trade and trade protection. In the system with a Starbase like that, build your Habitat above a deserted world. Build Trade districts and fill building slots with Comercial Zones and Holo-Theaters. Designate the Habitat as a Trade Station in order to get a further boost in trade value.

8. Fortress Habitats

Probably the most favorite type of Habitat is a Fortress Habitat. There is a reason good reason why so many players choose to go for this option as these Habitats provide great protection and can really slow down the advancing enemy fleet. The first thing you need to do is to plan your defense and asses where the enemy might strike. Next, you need to pinpoint choke points in your empire Hyperlane (places where the enemy has to go through). Furthermore, Fortress Habitats provide great protection for your Hyper Relay network if you have it. Once you have identified the choke point, it’s time to build a Habitat – you can build it above any kind of a planet and put a few Leisure and Habitation Districts on it. Build Military Academy and spam Fortresses and at least one stronghold with FTL inhibitors on it. In this way, you will not slow down potential enemy assaults but also provide bonuses to your overall Naval Capacity. If you need more combat advice, check out our Stellaris Ship Design Guide.

9. Agricultural Habitats

Another easy setup is to go for an Agricultural Habitat. In case you need a food boost in your empire, pick an empty planet and build your Habitat there. Designate the Habitat as a Hydroponics station and build Habitation districts. Proceed with building Food Processing Facility, and a Holo-Theater, and fill the rest of the slots with Hydroponics Farms. Although it looks very simple and useful, in our experience there are better (cheaper) solutions to provide a food boost to your empire so use these only if you don’t have any other options.

10. Resource Silos Habitats

Resource Silo Habitats are basically gigantic warehouses. You can build it anywhere and simply spam Resource Silos on it. It doesn’t matter what kind of station you designate this Habitat to be – the only thing that matters are the silos on it.

How To Upgrade Habitats?

Habitat near a star

The first thing you should keep in mind is that each time you upgrade your Habitat Administration building you get more building slots. If have Voidborne then you will get two more building slots from the beginning.

Keep in mind that there are three different types of Habitats:

  • Orbital Habitat – basic type, provides 4 districts
  • Advanced Habitat – upgraded type with 6 districts
  • Habitat World – fully upgraded, 8 districts

If you have Voidborne Ascension Perk then you will be able to upgrade habitats from your decision menu – simply click on the Decision, scroll down, and choose the “Upgrade Habitat” option.

If you don’t have Voidborne perk, then you need to get a rare technology. However, in our experience, this is not very difficult as you won’t be upgrading Habitats as soon as you get them anyway. Once you finish with the basic setup of Habitats, the new rare tech will have appeared by that time so you will have it already. Just be sure to choose to research it once it appears. When you research “Habitat Expansion” and “Advanced Space Habitation” you will be able to upgrade your Habitats. Note that you won’t be able to upgrade a Habitat unless you have built all available districts on it.

Stellaris Habitat – Is It Worth It?

Molluscioid type of Stellaris Habitat

As you can see, there are many ways how you can use a Habitat in Stellaris. Most players choose to go with the safest option – defensive Fortress Stellaris Habitat as well as Strategic Resorce Habitat. Research Habitats are great if you can get them early on and other types can be useful depending on what you need at that moment. Be it as it may, Habitats have really changed overall Stellaris gameplay and they continue to do so. Hopefully, this article provided some useful info on how you can use Habitats in the best way.

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