Mod «StarNet AI» for Stellaris (v2.6.0 - 2.6.1)
This mod intends to create an action-packed experience with AI not only being able to manage their economy, research and military but also willingness to put their fleets to use.
There are some good AI mods which fix some of the issues (notably, Glavius Ultimate AI, Decai, E.D.A.I) but I found that they don’t completely remove AI passiveness and you never feel truly afraid of your neighbour. Even if A.I. performs better economically you never feel like they want to achieve anything and end up serving only as speedbumps before the crisis.
This mod tries its best to fix this issue, AI opponents are more than willing to make sizable militaries and more importantly use these ships to conquer weak neighbours, both human and AI, trying to grow as large as possible striving to dominate the galaxy.
When would you want to try this mod?
You want to be challenged by AI.
Starnet will be very trigger-happy and if they ever see that someone (be it another AI or a human player) decided to cut off their military spending they will invade, fights can happen very early, being declared upon in 2220 is quite possible, so be prepared for surprises!
You want to try playing Crime syndicate.
Both vanilla and modded AIs frequently like to turn their planets into Police State dystopias, Starnet won’t.
You want to fight midgame "final boss".
Due to the way Starnet was designed adding few Advanced Start empires will make quite the difference. Nations with advanced start usually will end up either killing their neighbours or subjugating them creating a nice midgame challenge.
You want to experience the game in a new way
Even if you tried other AI mods, Starnet will feel different. Galaxy is a scary place where most alliances are made just to kill somebody else and peace is always temporary.
You want to play co-op with friends and want to fight together against harsh galaxy
As I’ve said, Grand Admiral no-scaling AI will be really really hard and practically unbeatable. But with a team of cooperating human player you can try doing even seemingly impossible.
Unless you are totally sure what you are doing, I recommend playing the first game on Ensign or Captain. Once you get used to how the mod works you can try increasing the difficulty.
Heavily recommend to use the max possible amount of AI, this was the most tested setting and the most eventful, AI tend to work much better in crowded galaxies. Lowering the number of AIs is a simplification and will favour the human player.
Advanced starts add quite a lot to experience, heavily recommend using them. I believe that adding few advanced start empires is more engaging way to increase the difficulty, you will face strong opposition and an option to unite with weaker AIs against the galactic threat.
Fallen empires may make the game much easier (if you are blocked by them and other AIs can’t reach you, also early awakening will hurt strong AIs).
What should I expect and how does Starnet achieves that?
Size of Starnet militaries will vary from game to game (research prioritisation is flexible so sometimes they will delay their attacks to have better tech), for a rough benchmark, advanced Commodore AI will usually wield 120-170 corvettes in 2240 and 100-200k fleetpower of battleships in 2300.
What the hell? How? Does it get more bonuses than in vanilla? If you just increase the bonus to grand admiral and call it commodore there is no point!
No, there are no additional gameplay bonuses to AI. Everything Ensign AI is doing you can be doing too. Commodore AI doesn’t get any more perks apart from vanilla boosts and so on. The reason this mod is capable of doing what it’s doing is the combination of the following improvements.
Main source of Starnet performance is the economy changes. In most cases AI will be much better in balancing their resources, having as many minerals as they can be spending, have as much food as they can use to encourage planetary growth, have around 0 energy in the peacetime and not too huge of a deficit in a wartime, etc. In similar fashion it chooses better time to upgrade buildings in a way which won’t crash its mineral economy.
Default AI picks techs more or less at random. In contrast Starnet will climb the tech tree rapidly and prioritise techs which will make it as deadly as possible. Fleet composition, weapon composition and tech choice are improved to create a coherent gameplan, you should experience AI having noticable spikes of power when it reaches next military milestone.
The way Stellaris is balanced, having fleet is a huge investment which won’t ever pay off unless you go to war. Starnet changes opinion modifiers to make it so AI will go to war and be happy to feed on weak neighbours. This should make AI actions have a "realpolitik" look.
How to install mod?
To install the mod for the game Stellaris, unpack the contents of the archive to the folder Documents\Paradox Interactive\Stellaris\mod and enable the modification in the launcher.