Huge New Stellaris Beta Patch Tries to Make Battles Look Better

Get the full rundown on update 1.2.0.

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A big patch for 4X strategy game Stellaris is now available on Steam in beta, and the full patch notes are now out.

The update brings Stellaris to version 1.2.0 and delivers on a number of features that developer Paradox has been recently discussing on its forums in recent weeks. Among them is a rework for borders; by default, they are now open to everyone and can only be closed through a diplomatic action. However, Empires close their borders to their rivals, while Fallen Empires will never open their borders. These changes were made to help "make the game feel less constrained towards the mid-game."

A look at a longer-range battle
A look at a longer-range battle

Embassies are removed from the game with this patch. In their place is something called Trust, which grows over time by having diplomatic treaties active. There are also new diplomatic statuses available such as defensive pacts, though it's now more difficult to get into an alliance with an AI player in the first place.

As part of an effort to make large-scale battles look better, all weapons now have double the range they did previously. This means "fleets will engage at longer ranges and spend more time advancing at each other before close-up engagements happen."

Furthermore, Paradox explains, "The default combat behavior of ships was changed from that of orbiting swarm mode into one where they make passes at the enemy and attempt to engage with broadsides, which should help make large battles look like less of an angry beeswarm unless all ships involved are using aggressive computers."

You can get more in-depth explanations on the big changes here and here, and then see the full patch notes here.

The update is currently available in beta, meaning it won't be automatically pushed to all users. Instead, to grab it you'll need to go into the Beta area of Stellaris's Properties menu in Steam. Instructions for doing so, courtesy of Paradox, are as follows:

  1. Right-click on Stellaris and choose "Properties"
  2. Click on "Betas" tab
  3. Select "1.2.0_beta" (if you can't see it, restart Steam)
  4. Download update
  5. Version should be 1.2.0

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