While Stellaris has a unique format that works, we will look into other choices if you grow tired of playing it repeatedly. Looking at the alternatives, there aren’t many games identical to Stellaris in every way. It’s difficult to beat a grand strategy, 4X, space sci-fi, a highly replayable game with extensive DLC content is hard to beat.
While numerous space games are available, none offer the breadth of options Stellaris offers. On the other hand, there are many games that are good in their own right, and we will look into those. The goal is not to replicate everything Stellaris has to offer (spaceship warfare, 4X, sci-fi, custom empires, grand strategy, etc. ), but to identify commonalities and explore what other game formulas are available.
10. Alpha Centauri
Starting with an old classic, Alpha Centauri is a game that excels at one thing: atmosphere. The game’s predefined narrative is engaging, and the variety of unique factions adds replay value. There are a lot of core mechanics here that are found in one of the most popular 4X games today. The main downsides are that the UI may be a bit confusing and the game mechanics aren’t clear from the start, but we are used to that in Stellaris.
9. Sins Of The Solar Empire
If advanced starship combat is what you find lacking in Stellaris, Sins Of The Solar Empire fills that role perfectly. Although it is an old game, it feels finished. There are little few traces of a grand strategy, it is rather an RTS game that delivers action right away. The empire choices are similar to old-school RTS games and will give you three factions to choose from, which we find simple and effective. Overall, a solid spacecraft combat experience with perhaps obsolete graphics.
8. Galactic Civilizations 4
Although this game had a rough road, it’s beggining to look more polished than ever. This turn-based 4x strategy game changed a lot over the years and was initially resistant to community feedback at first. It has a lot of systems that can make the game fun but fall short in their execution. Generally, the choices in the game can feel a bit too straightforward because of the balancing issues that the system presents. While we acknowledge that there are many unbalanced aspects of Stellaris, you can still play a variety of builds successfully, while there aren’t many options here.
7. Master of Orion
If you like the idea of Civilization games, but find yourself wanting that space sci-fi element, Master Of Orion fills that role, not perfectly though. The game has very good visuals and the little details like icons are handled with care. It is simpler to comprehend than Stellaris but at the price of complexity. It’s also reminiscent of a Civ-style tech tree and includes many sci-fi features. Overall, a solid mixture of Stellaris and Civ games that falls short in terms of overall depth and richness.
6. Distant Worlds 2
This game accomplishes several things better than Stellaris. The galaxy feels more alive, and the benefits of trading, transporting, pirating, shipbuilding, and so on are more evident. On the other hand, the things that make Stellaris an excellent game are lacking in this one. There aren’t many options, discoveries, or initial presets here. Although there are obvious parallels, there are also numerous distinctions in how these two games are played, and each is unique in its own way.
5. Alliance Of The Sacred Suns
Hope for the future of games like Stellaris. Allience of the Sacred Suns is currently in beta and we hope the devs will pull through and deliver us a good product. So far, AOTSS seems to be all-in on a grand space game’s systems and strategy aspects. The art style is a bit funky and “not serious enough”, but if gameplay variety and quality are good, it can be overlooked. We just feel like the game has a lot of catching up to do and hopefully, the team will delay the game until fully polished.
4. Civilization VI
Civilization games have been around for a while. Although it isn’t a space game, it features resource management, tech trees, and various playstyles that Stellaris has. While we dislike the cartoonish art style compared to Civilization V, the AI is superior, there are more options, and the game is properly polished. Of course, there are many flaws and shortcomings that come with large strategic systems, but we can overlook them as we have in Stellaris. One thing that stands out is that it has been only $6 on Steam for years now; we know there are expansions, but $6 for a full game is a great deal.
3. Europa Universalis IV
Some call it a medieval Civilization game, but it doesn’t do it justice. Europe Universalis IV is the big brother of Stellaris since it came from the same studio with the same Clausewitz engine. The RTS/pause gameplay style is reminiscent of Stellaris, and the endless conflicts, political plots, and enraged neighbor empires sound all too familiar. Furthermore, the game goes above and beyond to ensure that everything is historically authentic, which can be noticed when playing it.
2. Chaos Galaxy 2
Chaos Galaxy 2, a recent retro-style turn-based space game, achieves several things exceptionally well. The game is largely centered on war and fleet building. Also, its pixelated appearance enables rapid and dynamic gameplay. The art style is robust and humorous, with a “Red Alert 3” vibe. It’s not graphically intensive, but it’ll keep you engaged because of flashy mechanics. The game has received overwhelmingly positive reviews, and the developers are actively seeking feedback.
1. Endless Space 2
Maybe the “closest” of all Stellaris-like games. It ticks a lot of boxes for Stellaris fans seeking a viable replacement. There are similarities in planet administration, ship designs, governmental systems, and many other areas. Yet, there are numerous distinctions. The most significant difference is that Endless Space 2 is a story-driven game. Furthermore, rather than the “sandbox” vibe of Stellaris, the factions you play will have a more defined path and not customizable empires. The gaming mechanics are considerably smoother than in Stellaris, and it’s a superb game to try if you enjoy space sci-fi strategy games.