Stellaris Megastructures are enormous structures that offer a variety of different bonuses and boosts. There are 14 Megastructures in the game so far and they can be either single-phase (3) or multi-phase megastructures (11). We have provided guides for all of them but in this article, we will try to rank and see which ones perform better than others.
A few things before we start: Since we are ranking both multi-phase and single-phase Megastructures, just looking at the stats they give won’t work; instead we will rank them based on how useful they are considering both, the time and the resource cost. Note that the list is meant to give you general guidelines on these Megastructures and is not, by any means trying to determine which one is the best or which one is the worst – they are all useful in certain parts of the game. We are merely ranking them based on the current meta and what you will most likely need in your galactic Empire. Without further ado, let’s check out the Stellaris Megastructure Tier list.
S Tier: Must Have Megastructures
Tech Required: Mega-Shipyard (after Mega-Engineering)
Total Cost: 10 000 Unity, 33 000 Alloys
Output when Fully Upgraded: 20 Shipyards, 100% Ship build speed
Stellaris Mega Shipyard is just too good all around to be in a lower Tier – its usability and versatility are really in the meta right now. First of all, if you are going for any of the Megastructures that need the Galactic Wonders Ascension perk, you need to build one other Megastructure first. So, even if you don’t really need to build that many ships at the mid-game phase, going for a Mega Shipyard is still a very viable option – you will carve a path for your next Megastructures and you will be able to use Mega Shipyard’s bonuses later on anyway. Surely you will need to build the fleet at some point – so why not speed it all up by having this Megastructure as your first one?
Tech Required: Gateway Construction (after Gateway Activation)
Total Cost: 6000 Energy, 5000 Alloys, 100 Influence
Being able to move across the Galaxy in the late phase of the game is of the utmost importance – that’s why we deem Stellaris Gateways to be in the S Tier of Megastructures. The playstyle without having these things is simply too difficult, especially if you are not running a Quantum Catapult. The good thing is that it’s fairly easy to build – but the downside is that the tech requirements are a bit tricky to fulfill. Be it as it may, Gateways are useful not just for war efforts but also for trade – and should you have the chance to build you, we say go for it.
Tech Required: Science Nexus (after Mega-Engineering)
Total Cost: 20 000 Unity, 50 000 Alloys
Output when Fully Upgraded: 300 Society, Engineering and Physics output, 15% Research Speed
We all know that it’s not the fleet that wins the game – it’s the science behind it. No matter what kind of game you are running, you need the science for literally everything in the game – from production to fleet management, ship design, and all other aspects of the game. Science Nexus might seem a bit mundane as basically you only get the Research output from it – but what more do you need? All the aspects of your game will speed up and your empire will be able to spread faster once you get this Megastructure. Most people skip it mainly because it’s boring – but hey, you can always build other Megastructures once you finish this one.
A Tier: Overall Great, With a Specific Purpose
Tech Required: Orbital Habitat (Starhold path)
Total Cost: 1500 Alloys, 150 Influence
The main reason why Orbital Habitat is so high up in our Megastructure Tier List is the fact that it’s very versatile and you can build many different kinds depending on your needs. So yes, specializing Habitats is the key when it comes to these megastructures – they can be used for almost all sorts of resource production and you can also specialize them in defense, effectively turning them into large space fortresses. The cost is reasonable if you don’t spam them across the Empire as well as the tech requirements as no rare technologies are needed in order to build these Megastructures.
Tech Required: Orbital Ring (Starhold path)
Total Cost: 50 Influence, 1000 Alloys
Stellaris Orbital Rings are another great way to boost your planet’s output – especially in the worlds that are highly specialized in a certain resource. When we compare the total cost for them, the tech requirements, and the bonuses that they can provide, we can say that these Megastructures are really useful to have. The trick is here not to overdo it – you don’t need an Orbital Ring around every single planet you colonized, just around the key ones that generate most of the resources. In that way, the resources that you spend on building them will soon be given back to you as you boost your empire economy.
Tech Required: Sentry Array (after Galactic Wonders Ascension Perk)
Total Cost: 45 000 Alloys, 12 500 Unity
Output when Fully Upgraded: +40 Base Intel, Galaxy-wide sensors
Sentry Array is another late-game Megastructure that requires Galactic Wonders Perk in order to unlock the tech requirements for it. Because of that and due to the fact that some users are experiencing lag difficulties when this thing comes online, we haven’t put it in the S-Tier. However, its gameplay effects are simply astonishing – with Sentry Array you will be able to see the enemy movement and its fleet composition as well as the ship design (most of the time). This effect will give you a vast strategic advantage which is especially important when it comes to the End-Game crisis.
Tech Required: Quantum Catapult (After Mega-Engineering)
Total Cost: 35 000 Alloys, 300 Influence
Quantum Catapult is yet another Megastructure that can help you with the general movement of your fleet – and when we say help, we mean sling-shot it halfway across the Galaxy! We know that it’s not 100% reliable – sometimes your forces can end up scattered or just misfire; but once fully upgraded, it’s pretty accurate. You just need not target the exact system where the enemy is but give your fleet some time to regroup after the Quantum launch – and in this way, dealing with end-game crisis (or any kind of enemy attack) becomes much easier.
B Tier: Decent Megastructures but With a Very Niche Purpose
Strategic Coordination Center
Tech Required: Strategic Coordination Center (after Mega-Engineering)
Total Cost: 50 000 Alloys, 10 000 Unity
Output when Fully Upgraded: +150 Naval Capacity, +6 Starbase Capacity, +12 Defense Platforms, +15% Sublight speed
Strategic Coordination Center is a nice military type Megastructure which is decent overall – but the cost is just too high. The problem is that the same thing that you are using to boost your fleet Alloys, you will need to actually build the fleet. Unless you have a very stable economy, especially in terms of Alloy production, the Strategic Coordination Center should not be your first choice for a Megastructure (unless you can restore a ruined one). To sum it up, all the bonuses which you get are pretty neat if you can afford them – if not, invest it in some other Megastructure.
Tech Required: Ring World (Galactic Wonders Ascension Perk)
Total Cost: 25 000 Alloys, 300 Influence (1 Segment)
Although on paper Ring World looks like a very cool thing to have, in reality, you will mostly use it for either research or trade boost. The reasons are many and we discussed them in our Ring World guide but to sum it up, other things in the game are much more effective – like Ecumenopolis world for industrial purposes. This is the main reason why it’s in our B Tier of Stellaris Megastructure Tier list; it’s good, it’s decent, but there are better and more effective Megastructures to choose from for a desired purpose.
Tech Required: Dyson Sphere (after Galactic Wonders Perk)
Total Cost: 55 000 Alloys, 26 000 Unity
Output when Fully Upgraded: +4000 Energy
Similar to some other Megastructures, Stellaris Dyson Sphere looks great just by looking at the output it yields. The thing with this megastructure is the fact that, if you can get it fast, Dyson Sphere should be in the S Tier. Having this somewhere in early mid-game will just produce enormous Energy output thus giving your empire a huge boost. However, the main problem is the cost and the tech requirements – usually, you will be able to build it in the late-game phase. At that point, you probably won’t need this much energy as your economy will be stable enough, making this megastructure obsolete in its core purpose.
Tech Required: Interstellar Assembly (after Mega-Engineering)
Total Cost: 12 500 Unity, 45 000 Alloys
Output when Fully Upgraded: +40% Diplomatic Weight, +150 Opinions, +2 Envoys
The main issue that Interstellar Assembly has is the fact that there are better options for all of the bonuses that this Megastructure gives. Don’t forget that you can increase Envoys by various edicts, technologies, and Ascension Perks – they are not as rare as they used to be in the past. Furthermore, your fleet power also increases your overall diplomatic weight – so why spend 45,000 Alloys on Interstellar Assembly when you can simply build the ships and get a similar effect (plus you know, the fleet)? Overall, this Stellaris Megastructure is decent but there are better options to go for.
C Tier: There Are Better Options to Choose From
Tech Required: Hyper Relay (rare Tier 2 tech)
Total Cost: 25 Influence, 100 Rare Crystals, 500 Alloys
Hyper Relays have their purpose in Stellaris but overall, by the time you finish the entire network of them, you should be able to get something better instead (such as Gateways). That’s the main reason why they are in our C Tier – the problem is not just the cost, the problem is also the overall time that you will spend on building these FTL Megastructures. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t build any Hyper Relays in your empire; linking major worlds can be useful as it will allow your armies to move faster in case your empire gets attacked. However, making Hyper Relay network galaxy-wide is just too big of a hustle considering the benefits in terms of movement speed that you get.
Tech Required: Matter Decompressor (after taking Galactic Wonders Perk)
Total Cost: 22 500 Unity, 55 000 Alloys
Output when Fully Upgraded: +2000 Minerals
Similarly to the Dyson Sphere, Matter Decompressor is a pretty straightforward Megastructure – it gives you more minerals. Furthermore, similarly to Dyson Sphere, this Megastructure is really useful if you can get it early on – but unfortunately the price is really high and the technology needed does require Galactic Wonders first. Having problems with minerals in the late-game phase is not something that players usually encounter, at least not on a scale this large – and this is why we put the Matter Decompressor in the lower part of our Stellaris Megastructures Tier list.
Mega Art Installation
Tech Required: Mega Art Installation (after Mega-Engineering)
Total Cost: 12 500 Unity, 55 000 Alloys, 100 minor artifacts (for tier 5 upgrade)
Output when Fully Upgraded: +400 Unity, 20% Amenities
As you can see, the price for Mega Art Installation is really high – and that’s the main reason why it’s in the last position of our Stellaris Megastructures Tier list. The benefits of having more unity (by spending a lot of Unity on its building in the first place) are great but not game-changing – at least not if you can’t get this Megastrucutre early on. So, as you can see, Mega Art Installation generally speaking has great benefits but only if you can acquire it early on. The cost for the final upgrade (additional 100 minor artifacts) is just insane and you should not pay it no matter how much you need that extra influence – you can use other means to get it.
Final Thoughts on Stellaris Megastructures Tier List
As we mentioned earlier, all Stellaris Megastructures have a purpose – and they are all useful to have in an Empire. The main problem that Megastructures in the lower part of our list are facing is the fact that the cost is just too high for the benefits that you get. Furthermore, because of that high cost, certain megastructures can’t be built early on but they provide resources that you need early on – making them obsolete. On another hand, Megastructures on top of our list are generally good all around and are useful in any game phase.
Photo credits: Paradox Interactive, Stellaris