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Stellaris open beta lets you test its “experimental” new tech tree

A new Stellaris technology open beta is live now, allowing players the chance to test experimental changes designed to address power creep.

Stellaris technology open beta - A figure in a mask with glowing yellow lights shining from the eyes. Two alien creatures stand behind them.

Stellaris is one of the finest grand strategy games on Steam, and time has only made it better as developer Paradox Interactive continues to develop it more than seven years after its original launch. It’s a crown jewel in the roster of the publisher behind the likes of Crusader Kings 3, Age of Wonder 4, Cities Skylines 2, and Europa Universalis 4, yet its development team shows a consistent desire to deliver regular upgrades – even if that means making bold changes, like its latest set of “experimental” tweaks now available in a Stellaris open beta.

The Stellaris ‘technology open beta’ is testing a number of changes, including some planned to arrive in Stellaris patch 3.11, otherwise known as ‘Eridanus.’ One of its key features, however, is a technology rebalance aimed at addressing power creep in the grand strategy game. While some of these changes may arrive in 3.11 if they prove successful, Stellaris game director Stephen ‘Eladrin’ Muray says others might not arrive until 3.12, or “any release at all for that matter,” depending on how they are received.

“Stellaris has undergone a significant amount of power creep over the years,” Muray explains, “and the speed at which we’re able to burn through the entire technology tree is much higher than is healthy for the game. Due to the large number of stacking research speed modifiers, repeatable technologies are reached far too early in the game.”

Muray also highlights another common issue: “It’s also become trivial to stack large numbers of ship build cost and ship upkeep reduction modifiers,” which can naturally lead to situations where you’re able to create and maintain a vast fleet with minimal impact on your finances. As such, the technology open beta contains many changes designed to rework how you progress through the tech trees.

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“While some changes planned for 3.11 have snuck into this release (like some improvements to Galactic Doorstep),” Muray notes, “the overall technology rebalance is considered experimental and may or may not end up being released. It is likely to undergo some changes if it does go live.”

The Stellaris technology open beta is available now, and will run until Monday January 15, 2024. In order to join, you’ll need to manually opt in by right clicking on Stellaris in your Steam Library, selecting ‘properties’ and heading to the ‘betas’ tab, where you can select to join the ‘stellaris_test – Technology Open Beta’ branch. You can find the full list of changes so far here, along with a feedback form to offer your thoughts. Paradox also asks that you disable mods for the beta, as “they are likely to break.”

If you’re not looking to test out the new changes yet, however, we’ve got the best Stellaris mods to spice up your next adventure, along with a guide to Stellaris DLC.

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