Stellaris First Contact story pack will add new pre-FTL mechanics

In First Contact, the next Stellaris story pack, players will pick from new origins in which they encounter alien races prior to inventing interstellar travel

Stellaris First Contact story pack: A strange alien artifact suspended in space near a rocky planet tinged with green and swathed in swirling cloud masses

A new story pack is coming soon for interstellar grand strategy game Stellaris, and its focus is on what everyone was doing before they started zipping around the galaxy in massive faster-than-light ships. The new Stellaris story pack is called First Contact, and in addition to adding new pre-FTL mechanics and origins, it also adds cloaking technology for a much more immersive sense of deep space paranoia.

The new origins coming with First Contact all centre on the idea of encountering aliens prior to developing interstellar space travel. Broken Shackles casts your civilisation as a band of alien abductees; Payback is an almost XCOM scenario about repelling a violent invasion and picking up some sweet tech in the process; and Fear of the Dark starts you out as a people who have explored their home system, but are nervous about what lies beyond its boundaries out there in the dark.

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First Contact also includes some expanded mechanics for encountering pre-FTL civilisations while playing as a spacefaring race in the strategy game. Paradox says it opens up a “broader range of interactions with pre-FTL civilisations, depending on their level of technology and their awareness of your presence.”

In other words, you can decide how you want to play it, and whether you’d like to come in peace or scare the living daylights out of everyone on the planet.

To that end, it may be wise to consider adding some of the new cloaking tech to your fleet. You’ll be able to use cloaking devices on your ships in order to keep an eye on pre-spaceflight civs, set traps for unruly rivals, or monitor your ‘friends’ activities to see who’s plotting against you. Of course, that just means they’ll be doing the same thing to you, so keep your head – and gun emplacements – on a swivel.

Paradox says First Contact will be available for Stellaris “soon,” but have not formally announced a release date yet. Check out our list of the best space games if you want to spend some time in zero-G to get prepared.