Gaming

Stellaris Features That Civilization 7 Should Draw Inspiration From

Highlights

  • Stellaris and Civilization 6 have similarities as 4X games, but Stellaris introduces its own ideas that could enhance Civilization 7.
  • Stellaris’ detailed population system could be incorporated into Civilization 7 to accurately represent cultures and create a new layer of politics.
  • Stellaris’ three-tiered approach to government systems and the vassal and federation mechanics would be a great fit for Civilization 7, enhancing strategic and historical simulation.


Despite being real-time and turn-based, respectively, Stellaris and Civilization are franchises with a lot in common. Starting from humble beginnings, players gradually build their Civilization into a great empire. It’s not just borders that change, either, and both games give players opportunities to shape their people’s cultures over hundreds or thousands of years. In some ways, Stellaris almost feels like it could have been a sequel to Civilization, showing a successful civ branching out into the wider galaxy.

Most of these similarities are because Stellaris and Civilization are 4X games, a genre that Civ played a significant role in shaping. However, while Stellaris stands on Civilization’s shoulders, it also introduces plenty of its own ideas. Firaxis should pay attention since some of these features could make great additions to Civilization 7.

Related

Civilization 7 Should Steal One of Stellaris’ Best Features

Sid Meier’s Civilization 7 will likely introduce a wealth of new features to the franchise, and one feature should come from Paradox’s Stellaris.

Civilization 7 Could Learn from Stellaris’ Pops and Factions

Stellaris and Civilization 6 represent an empire’s inhabitants as pops and Citizens, respectively. Each Citizen or pop represents a segment of the population rather than an individual. While Civ 6 Citizens essentially fill the role of generic worker units in other strategy games, Stellaris pops have a lot more demographic information. This includes their species, job, social class, political leanings, and more. Each pop has an individual happiness rating, contributing to a planet’s average happiness. They will also join political Factions matching their ideology and sometimes even immigrate to other empires.

Species don’t apply to Civilization 7, but culture could. Civ 6 sort of models culture through the City Loyalty mechanic but could expand it by tracking the cultures of individual Citizens. This would allow Civilization 7 to represent large, multi-ethnic empires more accurately, rather than portraying them as the monocultures they appear to be in previous Civ games.

Meanwhile, giving citizens different ideologies and social classes and letting them form and join Stellaris-inspired factions would create a new layer of politics in Civilization 7. It would provide players with a new system to navigate and create opportunities to manipulate the internal politics of rival nations.

Stellaris Takes an Interesting Approach to Government and Ideology

Speaking of politics, Stellaris’ governments are much more fleshed out than in Civilization. Civilization 6 has 13 forms of Government with the Gathering Storm DLC. Each is a broad archetype representative of powerful states in their corresponding Era. Meanwhile, Stellaris splits government into three variables: Ethics, Authority, and Civics, corresponding to ideology, distribution of power, and ingrained institutions. The latter are distinct from policies, which are much easier to change.

Stellaris’ system still has limitations, such as not distinguishing between a state’s official ideology and its leaders’ behavior. It’s also debatable how capable Stellaris’ Ethics is at representing the idiosyncrasies of real-life political philosophies.

However, Civilization shouldn’t dismiss Stellaris’ three-tiered approach to government systems out of hand. Firaxis could improve Civilization 7 by creating a similar system that gives governments variable Philosophies, Authorities, and Institutions. The first would represent the state’s official ideology and from where it draws legitimacy. Authority determines whether power is held by many, few, or one, with Institutions covering everything else. This would open the door for political systems that aren’t present in the Civilization games.

Stellaris’ Vassals and Federations Are a Great Fit for Civ 7

While Civ 6 only lets players become the suzerain of city-states, Stellaris allows sufficiently powerful empires to vassalize weaker ones through various means. Civilization 4 had a similar vassalage system, potentially opening the door for vassals to return in Civilization 7. If so, Firaxis may want to examine Stellaris’ Overlord DLC, which expanded the system by introducing a more comprehensive range of vassal-suzerain relationships.

Federations are another important feature in Stellaris‘ diplomacy, showcasing multilateral agreements between two or more at least nominally equal partners and representing much closer relationships than a regular alliance or trade agreement. Examples of Federation types include Martial Alliances, Galactic Unions, and Hegemonies, corresponding to real-world associations like NATO, the EU, and the Warsaw Pact. Therefore, it’s easy to see how such a system would benefit Civilization 7 from both a strategic and historical simulation perspective.

CIVILIZATION 6

Sid Meier’s Civilization 6

Franchise
Civilization

Released
October 21, 2016

Genre(s)
Strategy

Multiplayer
Online Co-Op , Local Co-Op

ESRB
E10+ for Everyone 10+: Drug Reference, Language, Mild Violence, Suggestive Themes

How Long To Beat
23 Hours

Metascore
88

Number of Players
1-6

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Antonio Josse

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