Stellaris – The Ocean Cartel (The Build Guide)


Criminal heritage has always served a niche in Stellaris. Messing with other nation’s planets in a negative way. I’m here with a way more practical and viable build than just crime. In general, this build is in no way a competitive build. It’s simply a mix of ideas that I’ve come up with.

You know than infant’s game where you match the blocks with the holes? That’s basically what I do to come up with ideas, origins, government types etc.

Hope you enjoy the build!

Warning: This build may talk about multiplayer games, but in no way is a competitive build.

The Main Idea

This might sound a bit crazy, but ocean paradise is in this build. Before I thought of Megacorps, The idea was use ocean paradise’s large size along with other size increasing modifiers, and make an size 36 Ecumenopolis.

After I thought of Megacorps, the idea was that a central, core planet would control and use other planet’s that the nation didn’t own. With ocean paradise you don’t get guaranteed habitable worlds. So if we where to go for an Ecumenopolis, we wouldn’t have any basic resources.

Criminal heritage allows us to spam branch offices, easy way to get minerals and energy, all the basic resources we need. We don’t need food since we can farm it with hydroponics farms on our star bases.

Influence won’t be a problem since we have Fanatic Xenophobe, barely any influence used up in the early game.

The Build


Main and only species.


This is required for ocean paradise, and since we have no plans to leave our home planet, this is
a given.


Since we are going to have our entire population on 1 planet and we really need pop growth. This
is much better than rapid breeders.


Since we will only have 12 building slots for the whole game, we need as much research bonuses
we can get.


No plans to leave our capital, this is a free pick.


No plans to leave our capital, so this is also a free pick.


Ocean Paradise

In no way is this a competitive build, I simply am wanting to experiment with the new aquatics, I
started with this idea It’s a pretty good one, but no guaranteed habitable worlds means this is a
bad year 30 rush origin.



Fanatic Xenophobe

Since we only have 1 planet, we need the most amount of Pop growth we can get. The influence
saved will result in more branch offices.


There’s simply not another ethic that would be better than this. The SFR and claim cost is great.
No retreat is even better.

Government Type


Along with the better starting infrastructure and bonus to admin cap, branch offices will provide the
resources that our lacking guaranteed habitable worlds would otherwise have.


Criminal Heritage

Since we are fanatic Xenophobe. It’s almost impossible to get a commercial pact. Also, I’ve barely
played this civic until now.

Corporate Hedonism

Combined with the happiness bonus from ocean paradise, we start with 80+ stab. For the same
bonuses as Utopian abundance, it’s quite cheep in terms of CGs.

How do you Bud underwater?


Jan 1st 2200

Strip ships, make a science vessel and dismantle the crew quarters. Don’t forget to disband the corvettes before Feb

Sell all food, CGs, and 25 alloys. buy 300 minerals and make a research lab. Disable the bureaucratic center.

Change policy to Civilian economy.

Send your first science vessel to survey any systems that is in your starting nebula, if there are none, search for enemy empires.

Send your construction ship to any system in your starting nebula. If there are none, construct any stations in your home system then hold on star base.

  • Administrative AI.
  • Quantum Theory.
  • Global energy management.

  • Genome mapping.
  • Hydroponics farming.
  • Bio diversity studies.

  • Zero G refineries.
  • Nanomechanics.
  • Geothermal fracking.

After Jan 1st

Send your second science vessel to assist research on your capital.

Set up a monthly transaction of all food you made that month.

Save CGs until you can distribute luxury goods.


The order in which to acquire Mercantile.

The order in which to acquire Prosperity.

Pretty simple, Prosperity into Mercantile. Supremacy or Discovery.

Ascension perks:

  • Hydrocentric.
  • Engineered evolution.
  • Arcology project or Evolutionary mastery.
  • Arcology project or Evolutionary mastery.

Branch Offices

First, how will we get them?

Simple! Remember that science ship I told you to send out at the start? That ship will find empires that we will establish branch offices in.


We need 40 I Intel in order to view their capital to establish an office. In order to do this we want to set our contact policy to cautious and make sure that when you establish communications, you go for the aggressive introduction, and make sure you start a spy network right away.

Once you get 30 Intel start doing Intel gathering missions. Once you get 40, go to their capital world and make a branch office.

What Buildings?

Smuggler’s port is the best first building, branch office value, merchants for trade value, and the most crime from 1 building.

Early on, we want tech and crime. So any 40 crime buildings that fit your needs is probably fine. Later we want Only Smuggler’s ports and Wildcat mining operations. Minerals will be rare when we get our Ecumenopolis.

War or Maybe Not?

War is very optional, being with a team might bring you into a war, you also need to pull your weight and protect yourself. So It’s smart to make some alloy production and fleets.

Tech wise, you want to go for economy techs, but if you don’t get military techs you will get killed. If you don’t get economy techs, you will just fall behind. It’s important to only pick techs that will give you the best bonuses.

Here’s a few ways to protect your lands.


Bastions will only last so long, after cruisers they are next to useless. We need to get star forts Before year 30 This can sometimes be a pain. If you need help with tech rushing, Check out my rogue rush guide.


Most people will make federations and pacts with nearby nations to ensure victory. This is pretty easy to take advantage of. But we are a criminal syndicate, we want to make branch offices every where we can.

Just make sure when establishing a branch office, It’s not on a potential ally.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13365 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.