In Stellaris, Power Projection is a new way of gaining Influence. It replaces the old bonus you once received from having Factions within your empire. Factions now produce Unity instead — which might leave you high and dry when it comes to generating Influence, an equally valuable resource. There are several questions that go along with this, of course. What is Power Projection in Stellaris? How do you get more? What’s the cap? Let’s take a look at the details in our Power Projection guide!
Power Projection, as mentioned above, is one way to gain Influence in Stellaris. In fact, it’s the primary way to earn more of the stuff ever since Patch 3.3 launched at the start of 2022. Influence is a resource that mostly accrues on a monthly basis just like any of your other currencies: Energy Credits, Unity, etc. Every empire starts with a base level of Influence gain. Yet you can earn a bit more by declaring other empires as your “rivals.” Power Projection remains important because it increases your steady, passive Influence gain throughout a Stellaris campaign.
Even so, Power Projection is highly limited. It has a maximum cap of 2.0 units of Influence from per in-game month. That’s not a lot! Especially when it takes 75 Influence or more just to claim a single star system. Actions like casus belli, which are used for things like claiming territory during war or rebelling against a Hegemony, also cost Influence. More Power Projection equals more Influence, which equals more opportunities to steal, reclaim territory, or mark territory as your own. Especially during military conflict. This is also partially tied to the fact that Power Projection comes directly from your military power.
More specifically: Power Projection is an expression of your total Navy Size compared to that of your empire. The larger your navy is compared to your empire, the more Power Projection you gain. This means that a small and scrappy military empire gain have just as much Power Projection as an enormous and well-guarded one. Whereas a sprawling empire with a thin set of fleets will have much lower Power Projection. As a side note, you can also check how enemy navy size compare to yours by raising your Intel — such as by using Espionage.
That’s not all there is to it, either. You can get +1 Power Projection right out of the gate without building, buying, or renting a single Stellaris ship. Just select an Imperial form of government at the beginning of your campaign. This provides a static +1 Power Projection buff from the start. You’re still restricted by the 2.0 total Influence gain from Power Projection. Yet it’s still a pretty sizable boon. Gaining even just 1.0 monthly Influence per month requires quite a large navy.
So what’s the downside? Well, you can’t use Egalitarian, Fanatic Egalitarian, or Gestalt Consciousness Ethics with an Imperial government. You’re also stuck with each ruler for life. Ther is no election to replace them. That means you’re stuck with any bad traits they develop. On the bright side, you also get the bonus from their positive Agendas for longer. No Fanatic Egalitarian Ethic also means less chance of them getting the Public Debates Agenda (which increases the chance of an Ethics shift by 50%). Really, though, that’s no great loss.
With this new Power Projection system in place, you need to have to fight if you want to claim more star systems. Or at the very least you need to pay the upkeep on a large navy. That’s not the worst tradeoff. At the very least, it should dissuade Stellaris players from expanding faster than their fleets can keep up. Best of luck taking advantage of this new information as your empire grows!