Stellaris - Best Fleet Composition (Early, Mid, End-Game) - Gamer Empire (2024)

War is inevitable in Stellaris. Even the most pacifist of empires will need a military to defend themselves from the dangers the galaxy has in store for them.

Lucky for us, war is simple in Stellaris. Empires throw fleets at each other until one side emerges victorious. The victorious empire is often the one with the best fleet composition.

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In past guides, I have given the advice that as long as your fleet power is higher than your opponents, you will win. While I stand by that advice, having huge death stacks of fleets isn’t always viable.

Optimized fleet comp is the best way to defeat enemies with a higher fleet power and to minimize losses.

The best fleet composition in Stellaris is one that has the following criteria: is simple to set up, is cheap, and overperforms at its current power level.

This guide will cover three builds that meet these criteria.

Table of Contents

  • General Fleet Composition Building Strategy
  • Best Early Game Fleet Composition in Stellaris
  • Best Mid Game Fleet Composition in Stellaris
  • Best End Game Fleet Composition in Stellaris
  • Final Tips on Fleet Composition

General Fleet Composition Building Strategy

Before getting into the fleet composition builds, I should explain what the term fleet composition means and what we are trying to achieve with a good build.

Fleet composition consists of the ships that are within a particular fleet. It also includes the weapons and upgrades installed on each ship in the comp.

Due to the customizable nature of ships, there are no official names for certain ships. Instead, most fleet and ship builds have been named by the community. Ship names are often their primary weapon and ship class joined together.

For example, a corvette fitted with picket defenses is a picket corvette or T1 Picket.

The term T1 represents the tier of ship. T1 is for corvettes and frigates; T2 is for destroyers, T3 represents cruisers, and T4 is for battleships.

I will use the ship names in this guide, but if you are ever browsing Stellaris forums, this can be handy information.

When creating a fleet, for it to be the best, there are a few factors you should be aiming for:

  • The best-performing weapons that counter the most defenses.
  • As strong as your current technology level allows for
  • Strong defenses
  • Simplicity in design
  • Stays strong during different game stages

Taking these factors into account, I have created three fleet compositions for this guide. Each build’s design is for a different phase of the game. That being the early, mid, and end game.

These builds are strong and will serve you very well against AI empires. They can help against the end-game crisis. Although, I would recommend tailoring your fleets to counter the crisis for the best results.

A brief guide about that is available in the end-game crisis guide here on Gamer Empire.

Best Early Game Fleet Composition in Stellaris

Unless you go prodding fallen empires, which you shouldn’t, the early game fights will feature corvettes.

These are lightweight, cheap, fast, and versatile ships. Assuming these small ships are weak, is a big mistake. An optimized corvette fleet can be deadly in the right hands.

Their high evasion, and speed, makes them perfect for hit-and-run style attacks on a numerically superior foe.

Corvettes come with two attachments. Interceptor sections, which are basic gunships. Or with picket defense, anti-missile weaponry.

Early Game Corvette Builds

This fleet composition assumes you are playing against the AI. The AI, in the early game, likes to run picket defense corvettes. Due to this, we want 50 percent of our fleet, made up of gun corvettes, using a mix of laser and kinetic weaponry.

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These interceptors will counter picket defenses very nicely. The other 50 percent need missile weaponry.

Missile corvettes are the bane of any starbase. A corvette’s greatest strength is its speed. These missile ships will allow to steamroll through your opponents’ territory.

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When it comes to defenses and upgrades, you need to manage your ship’s power carefully. Two armor slots and one shield would work best. If you have the power for afterburners, you should install them.

My advice would be to have a 20-ship fleet using this pattern. As the game progresses and destroyers become available, you will need to take steps to evolve your fleets.

Best Mid Game Fleet Composition in Stellaris

Fights in the mid-game will escalate quicker than you think. Early fights are over petty border disputes and dealing with small roaming aliens. Now, fights can well be for your empire’s survival.

Genocidal empires, a mid-game crisis, and ambitious rivals; are all ready to destroy you. This fleet composition aims to give you the best chance at weathering the storm.

At this stage of the game, enemy fleet compositions are the most diverse. You, and your fellow space empires, will all be at different stages of the technology cycle. This manifests itself most through varied fleet comps.

To begin with, you want to start by replacing your laser corvettes with laser destroyers. These will do the leg work for countering enemy corvettes.

As your potential fleet size gets bigger, feel free to experiment with some ship designs here, it is a great way to learn the game.

As your technology becomes more sophisticated, around about the time you unlock cruisers, now is the time to optimize. The time has come to leave corvettes behind and start building some cruisers.

You will now want to be producing much larger fleets, these large stacks of ships can take time to produce, but they are worth the cost and time.

You want to aim for a fleet size of around 60. This will let you run about 10 cruisers and 10 destroyers in a single fleet.

Mid-Game Cruisers

Seventy percent of your cruisers should contain only broadside sections.

You want to outfit it with nothing except whirlwind missiles. A lot of people consider this ship design very strong in the meta right now.

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The other thirty percent will want to be made up of torpedo sections at the front and middle. Finally, a gunship section at the rear.

Fill the torpedo sections with your strongest level of torpedoes and disruptor weapons. In the gunship section, add more disruptors.

I love these ships. They rush your opponent and punch them in the face before they even realize what happened.

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Mid-Game Destroyers

As for the destroyers, you have a free choice of how you want to mix the two designs. You could go 50/50, 70/30, or even 100/0; the choice is yours.

The first is similar to the torpedo cruiser. Run a gunship at the front and an interceptor at the rear. Install a mix of disruptors and autocannons.

This design will make corvettes sorry they were ever built, relieving the pressure they can put on your cruisers.

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The other destroyer design is a hybrid of offense and defense. A gunship front with a picket defense module in the rear.

Fill up the gunship section with missiles and fill the point defense section with one flack and one point-defense weapon.

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In terms of defenses, an equal mix of shields and armor will serve fine. For the disrupter ships, install afterburners to help them get within fire range faster. And for your missile ships, install auxiliary fire-control systems.

This comp should serve you for a good chunk of the mid-game. As your fleets increase in size, expand this fleet, prioritizing cruisers over destroyers.

Best End Game Fleet Composition in Stellaris

Stellaris’s early game is all about exploration and discovery. The mid-game is about dealing with threats that intend to destroy your empire. The end game is about dealing with threats that seek to destroy the galaxy.

As you can see, the stakes of this game ramp up as you play more. The solution to dealing with these galactic threats? Bigger and stronger fleets, of course.

A favored tactic by the Stellaris community is making use of the affectionately named “death stack.” In simple terms, a death stack is a huge fleet of ships that you throw at your opponent with little thought put into strategy.

It works, and the only counter to a death stack is often a bigger death stack. Near the very end of the game, you should aim to have a minimum of two of these. If you can afford more, though, go nuts.

The aim of this comp is to create the largest fleet your empire will allow. You then spread the fleet command limit in a 70/30 split between battleships/cruisers.

The cruisers in this fleet should be a 50/50 split of the two varieties explained in the mid-game section.

Late Game Titan Build

A point to note, the 70 percent towards battleships should also include one titan.

Every fleet will want one titan as well. It has huge guns and can provide bonuses to your fleet. I like to add a mix of energy and kinetic weapons to my titans, and a perdition beam as its special titan slot.

As for aura selection, my favorite is inspiring presence, improving all ships in the fleet fire rate by five percent. If you prefer another aura, feel free, this fleet comp does not rely on an aura for its strength.

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Late Game Battleship Builds

I recommend taking two forms of battleship. Both will make use of the spinal mount at the front of the ship. I prefer to install a Tachyon lance on the spinal mount.

You can feel free to experiment here, as all the spinal mount weapons are good.

The first design features a carrier section in the center and a broadside section in the rear. In the point sections, use a mix of flack and point defense.

Add your best craft to the hanger sections. Lastly, add the best possible missiles in every other slot.

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The second design I recommend is a broadside section in the center and rear. All medium slots should be whirlwind missiles, and all large slots need autocannons. These ships will pack a real wallop.

As for the split on these, it can be whatever you wish. Make sure your fleet is as large as it can be. I would recommend prioritizing the full broadside battleships over the carrier section.

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Don’t worry too much about tactics when it comes to using the death stacks. Throw your ships at stuff. You don’t want to exist anymore and watch the fireworks.

Remember that using death stacks is an all-or-nothing strategy. Only take the battles you are sure you can win. Losing a stack can take years of in-game time and a vast amount of resources to replace.

Final Tips on Fleet Composition

When it comes to the best fleet composition, the real answer is a fleet tailored to counter your opponent at every level.

The builds in this guide can take on a lot in the game, but they will never outperform a bespoke fleet. These builds can and will help you a long way, but you can make your fights easier by experimenting.

Some weapons counter shields, some excel at long range, and others belong in the bin. A lot of fun can be found in the game by trying out new things and making mistakes.

Custom fleets are a must at higher difficulties, especially when fighting the crisis. If you turn up with the wrong weapons to that fight, your ships will not stand a chance.

This is everything you need to know about the best fleet compositions in Stellaris.

If you have any questions or suggestions for this guide, please let us know in the comments section below. As always, have fun playing with your fleets in Stellaris.

Stellaris - Best Fleet Composition (Early, Mid, End-Game) - Gamer Empire (2024)
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