Stellaris Nexus – How Play the UNE (Advanced Guide)


The goal of this guide is to introduce the reader to the depth of high-level UNE.

While the UNE is a very beginner friendly faction. The fact that so many tactics can be executed by the leaders of the UNE, makes them also an intriguing faction for veteran players. Before we can talk about specific tactics and the situations required for each tactic, we first analyse the general strength of the UNE.

The UNE start with an extra Politic edict in their deck. The Politic edict is more expensive than playing a edict directly but allows for more flexibility. Additionally, the UNE have a cost reduction of one support on their Politic edicts, which is very strong in the early to mid-game. It is also important to understand the advantage and risk of stacking certain edicts. For example the research edict often is a strong choice for your Politic edict but if used to often you will use up your spare science resulting in the inability to play your regular Research edict a few turns later. Additionally the UNE gain one Senate Support for every Politic edict they play. In the first turns (1-16) it is sometimes better to stay at two Senate Support instead of losing the extra income.

On average the high Support income of the UNE will even out the extra cost of your Politic edicts and allows the regular usage of Politic. While these are very strong abilities the UNE often lacks military power. A good player always needs to keep an eye out for their neighbors. It is advisable to use the chat to agree on peace and secure the peace with a few pacts since it is rarely positive to break pacts in the early game.

All UNE leaders can be played somewhat similar, so I will focus on the Patriot and only sometimes mention the other leaders.

We have already talked about the general bonuses of the UNE, so we now turn our attention to the actual bonuses of the Patriot.

The Patriot

Firstly, the Patriot starts with a further Politic edict in his deck, which allows even more flexibility.

His leader edict “Security” allows the player to protect himself from plots while also generating one Senate Support. This edict is not very strong but is always a good choice for the Senate Support.

The Agenda of the Patriot rewards the player with 5XP for every Senate Support they gain. Therefore, it is important to change the priority of sources of Senate Support according to the situation. In rare cases it can even be good to Politic into Consolidate for 10XP and 2 Senate Support.

While the ultimate Edict “Patriotism” grants additional military power, the UNE Patriot has an especially weak early-game. We will later talk about the Military options of UNE but first focus on the best scenario for a UNE player, a macro game.

The reason why the UNE is such a strong macro faction is that they can adapt to their surroundings. A UNE player might not have better tech than a Voor with a good spawn but if their spawn is not good for a tech build, they can deviate to another build that fits their situation more. The main skill of a good UNE macro player is to identify the best macro build for the specific game.

Here I wanna shortly add that it is not a good idea to decide the whole build in the first turns. A good player also needs to know when to change his build or leaves open multiple branches of a build until he has gathered more information.

There are three macro builds the UNE can go for: Trade, Science, Culture.


To make a trade build viable the player needs, a ZRO Monopoly, a planet with natural Trade Value or another trade focused faction as neighbor. In most cases it is better if even multiple of these conditions are fulfilled. The idea of the trade build is very easy. Use the trade to make people trade with you instead of attacking you and build up a large bank. This will allow many play in the late game. From being able to contest many titles by spamming Versatile with your saved money or building 4+ Orbital Senates.

The science build needs Industrial or Advanced planets but really takes of if the player finds the tech Gravity Field (P4). It can also be played with Advanced planets, using either Advanced Labs or Astro University. Sometimes these techs can be picked to guarantee a science start not failing if the player misses Gravity Field. In comparison to the trade build this has a weaker early-game since you cannot use trade to guarantee peace. Therefore, this build needs to be played very carefully sometimes even not going all in on a title to stay under the radar. To gain SP with this build you mainly use titles and Nexus. It is important to plan your end-game very early on since taking Nexus late game can be a very difficult task and the player needs to find a good balance between researching the greedy social techs or military focused physic and nano techs. This build also requires a lot of communication to create a good spot to win.

The culture build uses Culture as its main SP income. The Culture build requires Populous or at least Advanced Planets to achieve a high Support (in the late game a culture build should have around +20 Support per turn). Research will mostly go towards social techs. Many techs are very useful in the social tree but from time to time it is better to macro less to get more military tech. Similar to before, the Culture build is very fragile and needs to hold back at the start.

In rare cases it might be better to not go macro but instead play very aggressive. I consider this style slightly worse than macro but the UNE has enough bonuses supporting aggressive builds that it can be a good choice for some games. The aggro build has no real requirements. It is important to have a decent eco and focus on physic and nano tech but otherwise everything depends on the opponent. A aggro player needs to know if he wants to go for Nexus or contest titles by stealing key planets from opponents.

The reason for staying so vague on how to play these builds is that a player will often have to mix the previously mentioned builds. For example I might start next to Chinorr but do not wanna go for Orbital Senate since this will create a weakness for someone to steal your planets with SP. The solution is going for culture and use Versatile to push the Culture everywhere at the end of the game.

Something I intentionally left out in the previous parts are Traits (the rewards you receive for leveling). The reason for doing so, is that I do not want player to fixate on a specific set of traits for every build. In the end adaptation is king in this game. We will now analyse every trait and decide when to pick it.


Level 2:

Pacifist: This is in most cases the best choice and should always be picked by new player if they are uncertain. It should be noted that the game rounds in a way that having an uneven amount of planets is better.

Egalitarian: This can be picked if the player plans to Politic into Construction on a regular basis or does not find any production income.

Xenophile: This can be picked if the player is scared to lose a good trading partner like Chniorr in the early game (maybe someone found a lot of planets with Trade Value). It also can be used to release early pressure by offering a player that threatens you trade for keeping peace. An often undervalued resource are Votes, especially in the early-game the 3 Votes will make you far stronger in the first council.

Level 3:

AI Developing Algorithms: This should be your default choice since Research edicts are very strong and science pacts can get you till the mid game without building research buildings.

Trade Ministry: Of course this trait is key for a trade build but I would only pick it if I have already started trading with one or two players. After picking the trait, it is difficult to switch to a build that does not include any trade. Therefore, the player needs to be careful when picking the trait.

Peacekeeping Patrols: This is rarely the best choice. It’s biggest strength is their free action after playing the Politic edict. This can be picked if the player wants to have a very quick fleet that can move a lot. Alternatively this can be picked if the player can still take many planets. For example I get 20XP from explore and have taken one planet with a high amount of free build slots. Now, I rush Peacekeeping Patrols and get Senate Support with the tactic.

Level 4:

Parliamentary System: This is the default choice. Even in a trade build, redrawing your Trade edict more often is sometimes better than extra Trade Value.

Merchant Guilds: This can be picked if the player plays a trade build and is on risk to lose his trade partner to a person with more Trade Value.

Shadow Council: This is the weakest Trait. It is still pick able in one of the following situations:

  • The player misses spare science and has a neighbor with good tech to steal.
  • Plots on Nexus have extremely high Value to you, e.g. you are certain you can win, if Nexus is denied to other players. This could be due to titles or a good war that you can have in the following Council iteration.
  • You have researched a very good plot.
  • You do not enough have enough support to play the extra edict drawn.

Level 5:

The choices on Level 5 depend mostly on the state of the game.

Orbital Senate: The Orbital Senate is very good building but is also very greedy. The two main conditions that need to be fulfilled to pick this trait are:

  • Enough Credits/Production to build a Orbital Senate every 3 turns.
  • Not in the focus of other Players either by good Diplo or not leading the scoreboard. Otherwise, opponents can just attack you and steal your Senates. Of course, this is also a viable pick, if the player has a strong military to defend his planets but in general I would assume that in this case it is better to use your military to take Nexus or other targets to win titles.

Naval Aviation: This is a good pick if the player is scared of others attacking him or if the player already has a strong military and wants to further strengthen his navy. Super carriers are best in supporting large fleets like Battleships.

New Traditions: This is the middle ground pick and can be good if the player misses support.

Level 6:

Versatile: This is the default choice if the player has enough Support or Credits to take use of the infinite edicts.

Patriotism: This is a good choice if the player plans on taking military actions in the late game or expects to be attacked.

I hope this guide helps new and old players to get a better idea of how to play the UNE.


This was the start. One Advanced planet has +3 science, the other has 4 Trade Value and the Populous planet has 1 Material. My first intuition tells me that this is a great opportunity for a trade build since I am also directly next to Chinorr.

Since I want to get Trade Ministry quickly to get access to the extra Trade edict, I play Politic and build an Embassy.

The remaining game is peaceful. I find a Populous planet between me and Nexus and decide to pick Egalitarian and go for a low planet count build that uses trade and Culture. I end the game with 49SP from Culture which I can mainly finance with my trade income.

This was an easy spawn since I had a good idea which build is optimal from the beginning. It is still important to not panic when you do not find any planets for Material income. I found some rich planets further away but decided that it would be better to have a compact empire that I can efficiently defend with my starting ranged fleet (I know that the AI will not attack me most likely but in a human game this is an important insight). I also invest some of my credits to build new Fleets to not be defenseless.

This is a very short description of the game and leaves open which traits I picked on level 4 and 5. Therefore, it is a great opportunity to test your own knowledge gained in the guide and try to decide which traits are best in the example.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2715 Articles
My first game was Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation) back in 1996. And since then gaming has been my main hobby. I turned my passion for gaming into a job by starting my first geek blog in 2009. When I’m not working on the site, I play mostly on my PlayStation. But I also love outdoor activities and especially skiing.

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