Stellaris - Ascension Perks Tier List (2.7)

Stellaris - Ascension Perks Tier List (2.7)

180 497 views | 23 Jul. 2020

You've asked for it, and here it is; the 2.7 power ranking for the Ascension Perks. This video is spread over several categories; Vanilla, Expansion, Special, and Ascension Path. So join ASpec on this journey and discover the joys of ranks, perks, what is good, and what is bad.

Feel free comment on what you feel deserves to be an in a higher or lower tier. Also, post what can be improved on the worst tiers.

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Video Title; Stellaris - Ascension Perks Tier List (2.7)

Previous Video; Stellaris - How To Play Tall (2.7)

Stellaris Copyright © 2020 Paradox Interactive AB.

#Stellaris #Tierlist #Ascension

A muffin

The Flesh is Stronk

Death Korps Trooper

"Why would you want to destroy planets? Look at that pop you would have"

Wait... You guys are not exterminating Xeno scum?

Snuw Wulfie

I don't think you see the implication of eliminating a fortress world instantly with the colossus


What we started doing for our games, is we create Cyborg, psionic eidatic memory, fecund pops. Its super easy to do and they stack.

Ghostlyswat 12

My idea for shared destiny is that they could remove the fudal society civic and put it as apart of this perk as well as let the vote for what ever you vote for it would make it a good pick for vassal heavy empires


You missed out the parts where psionics makes you immune to infiltration from the contingency crisis and give excellent leader bonus's and you omitted the ship tech psionic items too.

crusader 2113

You could use a colossus for mining, just use it on barren, frozen, and molten world's to get a ton of minerals.


I think D and C tier perks are maybe good for role playing.

Bigoun Big

You dont need arcology prject if you find few relic worlds



"Dont be too proud of the technological terror you constructed, the ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the...


Huggable Cube

I have what might be a stupid question but is it worth holding off on picking a perk until you have better options available?


This list may be modified based on the game setup you are playing. Like for example, you probably think about the +5 starbases as being crap in a default game setting, but in a slower tech, longer game, with much less access to repeatables, where you are playing as fanatic purifier necrophages, on a gigantic map, on highest difficulty, where you need to expand or die, I am actually considering this as my second pick. The repeatables are very far away and I need starbases for collecting trade, protecting trade, expanding fleet cap as well as protecting bottleneck systems, in order to make sure I do not need to use my fleet to protect them, since you are almost at war with everybody else all the time, they can attack you any moment without warning.
In this setup you end up very short on starbase cap, even with edicts and traditions, and going over the cap is very punishing. And here is the biggest benefit, the snowball benefit. If you can get something in early game that boosts the speed at which you expand, this will snowball into a more powerful empire later in the game.
So here is the thing, if you can make the +5 starbases bonus work for you in the early game expansion rush with fanatic purifiers, it will probably build your entire game from there.

Matthew Hannigan

I personally like taking Interstellar Dominion if only for the convenience; it reduces downtime caused by not having enough influence when expanding, and I don't know how worth it that is but it just feels good

Robert Cartledge

Hey Apex, since you didnt particuarly like transendant learning I thought Id give you my 2 cents on it :D
Ive found that one of the most powerful ways to start is to build my race around the goal of better leaders being its focus, philosipher king for +2 leader lvls and less bad traits, +25exp and +1 leader lvl traits along with as much increased lifespan as possible, combine that with lithoid or machine for even longer life leaders then rush discovery and get transendant learning 1st.

What this accomplishes? the leader exp rates stack, 25% from race trait, 25% for scientists from discovery, 50% from transendant learning lets you lvl up your scientists super fast for overall very good bonuses to science, along with further boosts from civ leader, goveners and research assistants you can very quickly stack a bit % bonus to your overall science :D

In some rare instances I have used this to keep my initial race leader alive for 300+ years (by maxing out life extending traits and techs asap) and by that point ive benifited from a max lvl leader for so long that im way ahead if not approaching a win.

also colosus vs mech crisis is the funnest way to beat the mech worlds :D


I mean, you're just straight up objectively numerically wrong about Synthetic Evolution and The Flesh is Weak. The extra pop growth from having access to Robot Assembly Plants combined with the assembly speed bonus makes TFIW better than Cloning Vats, and the flat resource bonus from SE combined with the huge number of trait points you get for your synths makes them just straight up more productive than bio pops. Genetic ascension is really good, way way WAY better than Psychic ascension, but Synth Ascension is just flat out better than Genetic.

Dawid Szczechla

XD Synthetic Evolution should be an S+ tier. It not only grants you +100% habitability , but most important, doubles, or even triples your pop grow. Clone vats have no chance to balance it out. Also, universal transactions. You can always join a federation and have too many planets to build your branch offices on. Never picked that perk.

John Vanderbeck

Imperial Prerogative is available to you way WAY WAY sooner than you can dedicate an entire planet to bureaucrats.


I'd put synthetic evolution over engineered evolution at this point because more pops = more lag so as long as I can have productive pops that's good enough for me. Not to mention the micro needed to constantly update pops if you have migration treaties going on. On the other hand with the upcoming patch leading to less pops overall this may change.

Samuel Andermatt

Galactic force projection should really be higher. It might not be good in easy mode, but in easy mode it does not mattter if it is good or not.

Huggable Cube


Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of population. - Darth Aspec

Unnamed Shadow

I find Nihilistic Acquisition to be really good when playing Necrophages, since your Pops grow incredibly slow. This allows you set up colonies and also weaken those primitives before you conquer their planet, reducing revolt risk.

Vherstinae Altheiris

There's another (admittedly niche) function to the Consecrated Worlds perk: if you happen to spawn in a galaxy with a spiritualist Fallen Empire, consecrating the gaia worlds under their protection will result in a massive reputation buff with them and they'll start gifting you technologies and equipment. Rare to get, since you pretty much have to start spiritualist and be lucky enough to have a spiritualist FE within reach, but if you do get that perfect storm you basically have a sugar daddy without having to be a Scion.

Mr Frost

his points with some of this is so bullshit

DJ Brouwer

The Colossus is also good for reducing end game lag.


Assimilator Colossus is fun. I would want a colossus rebuilt where it can crack barren planets for resources


"You only have 8 slots"
Cough Mods Cough

Death Council

Looks at my defense platform capacity (20/100) pretty sure if I max that out it’ll hold the choke point till they decide to use the jump drives

Jack Taylor

*Ecumenopolises. It’s an English word, so therefore it uses an English pluralization. English plurals end in “s”, “es”, or no change from the original word (“bananas”, “cheeses”, “sheep”). English plurals DO NOT end in “i”.

Josef Norman

I know I'm late but I still gotta say that planet cracking is very useful when you play wide. The AI will take many small worlds that just aren't worth keeping in the empire, and you don't want them colonized cause they end up being more of a drain on the empire, and when you are just gonna purge the pops anyway, simply cracking the planet for the minerals becomes the most useful option

Sati Starr

So we get to the Colossus project at 26:30 or so I'm like thinking of those fanatical purifying bird assholes and say out loud "no fuck that we're blowing that up."

Sometimes efficiency has to make way for good old fashioned gamer rage.


"de facto" keep using this word. I do not think it means what you think it means... :P

Jonathan Langlois

I had a playthrough where I did pick transcendance and mind over matter. I ended up with what was essentially a god emperor. Somehow, that one leader I had survived long enough to become immortal. It was great and a lot of fun. A heck of a lot of things had to fall in line to make that happen. The best part is that this was a randomised fanatic purifier empire with a butterfly appearance. It was great.

Buzzy Bland

Not 12 hours ago I generated a borderline perfect galaxy with over a dozen habitable worlds within spitting distance of my starting planet. Rich systems, great planets, and I even managed to score the horizon signal event chain and turn my home system into a little cluster of planets. I saved my early ascension perks until I could grab better ones because even I could figure out most of the vanillas weren’t that great. About 7 hours ago I slammed down both psionic perks simultaneously and the first habitat perk because I was familiar with them all.

Now I’m at work, wanting to slam my head through a wall because that save is on Ironman, and the genetic modification perks would have been so much better.

kinn grimm

If you wouldn't mind, could you make this into a cheat sheat or google doc?

Mr. Bones

Xeno Compatibility is just "Bloatware: The Ascension Perk" lmao

Davizito PA

You always get the psi shields the psi jump drive and the chosen one eventually. The thing about the chosen one is who you get to send and their respective chance of succeeding. The covenants are really random, and I don't know if any of them is really worth it.

Sacha Thibault

For the perk that give +5 starbase its powerfull with starbases that are naval capacity oriented.
You could get 100-150 naval cap with the logistic office and the ancor.

Inquisitor Winter

Id say transcendent learning might be a C- or D+ if you have immortal leaders.


There was a mod, don’t know if it’s still around, that added buildings that were unlocked by these perks, which always fit with the lore text. Those made some of these D-tier perks more worthwhile. I kinda wish Paradox would do something similar to improve them.


Can you get as many as you want in game?


as a tall player i don't want to own more planets than i want, so if i go to war and i end up getting more planets, its a micro management nightmare for me. planet killers solve this problem as i don't want more planets in a war. plus fuck xeno filth.


started playing recently, felt like most ascension perks are kinda meh, so i watched this video to see which ones are better than i think ... every vanilla except the technology one is bottom of the list xD


Eternal Vigilance is nice when you are surounded by stronger hostile empire and have to play defensively until you can beat them. It can easily help you double your effective fleet power and keep hostile from attacking you if you plan out choke points properly.

The Leaving Goose

Eternal vigilance is good when you say "fuck it" on building a navy but still want some defense.

Magic Stix

When he put colossus project in C tier I was like NOO. But then I thought about it and he is kinda right.


Isn't xeno-compatability part of the megacorp DLC?

Eric Guier

Galactic Contender does let you take out an FE earlier, which lets you steal their absolutely broken economy buildings for yourself earlier on which are basically free megastructures, ensuring you'll have more repeatables when the crisis shows up. So I'd rate it a little higher.

fabricio fazano

Ecumenopole should be considered megastructures. Change my mind.

Stewart Games

If you are playing with Ecumenopoli (and you should be, they are superior to habitats and ring worlds in every way), then Mastery of Nature is easily A tier. Two extra arcology districts on every Ecumenopolis is an enormous boon.


23:31 it's because they are very humble.


We need another 1 or 2 ascension paths, give us more flavour! Just a quick brainstorm
1. Turning pops into undead, hmm, straight from the new species pack announcement. Removes food consumption, removes amenities consumption, dead/killed leaders can be ressurected.
2. Turning pops into pure energy. Allows converting energy into pops and vice versa. All leaders are replaced with a single immortal entity, which gives special bonuses for each role; the less "leader slots" you've taken - the bigger the bonuses.
3. Turning pops into 5-dimentional ones. Allows Cthulhus.


I honestly use interstellar dominion in the early game because I want to get as much territory as possible before I run into any other star nation.

Фаик Тагиев

If you play as a machine empire having +2 to leader cap is great as they are immortal. +2 to level means extra stats on leaders (like research speed or ship fire rate).

Brandon Risner

Hmmm, this video is very informative. I feel like i've been using One vision as my third or fourth perk for several years. I will have to rethink this strategy.

Matt Black

Drinking game for every time he says de facto lol...


I disagree on Nihilistic Acquisition. Granted it may not be the best perk out there and this is only good when you play as a slaver race. However, it provides a method to insanely boost your population or economy. Yes, ideally, you conquer claimed planets. But you can't always conquer an entire opposing empire in 1 war. So what do you do for the remaining planets out of your reach? You kidnap the population. This would completely cripple those worlds that you don't have access to anymore. It would crash the research and economy of the empire, no longer making it a threat. It boosts your empire's population incredibly quickly, allowing for rapid planet growth. And if you can't keep up the resources to the accelerated growth, well you can always sell the slaves. Selling unneeded slaves just boosts your resources by a lot. In the late game, I would sell soo many unneeded slaves, I was able to finance wars with other factions and build more fleets. Not quit sure what's so hated about this one.

ryan hollmers

I got mind over matter as a materialist my first game ever and had no idea what to do with it lol

Michael Hines

Aspec I have to say you have the best subscribers.


Nihilistic Acquisition is awesome. It's often better to just take the pops and the planets can be a liability. Less influence cost in claims, less sprawl, less territory to defend. No way it's D tier.

Adam Skovran

Owning baul is not a valid argument, thats like gambling you very rarely gat that.

Ian Graham

So what did we learn today? There are many ascension perks! Most suck. Want the good ones? Pay up!

Rover 6428

The neutron sweep colossus is actually really good at fighting crisis-infected worlds. At least that’s what I did when I fought the floo... ugh I mean the scourge


I can't disagree with grasp the void more. If you get that in the mid game and fill them with anchorages its 6(modules)*4(base)*2(fleet commander) more fleet capacity per station so that's 240 potential bonus fleet capacity at the cost of 30 energy. Compare that to 80 Fleet capacity and 20 command limit from interstellar dominion.

Also Transcendent learning with venerable, hive mind, machine empire, or lithoid allows for multipule level X leaders which are insanely underrated becuase so few people seem to realize how powerful they are since they don't see them by getting perks like this.

Logan Court

I like getting Transcendent Learning for immortal/long live empires.

Random Sushi

@ASpec Must i play as Megacorp to use the Arcology project or can i use it as "normal" population ? Bec i think about buying the megacorp or an other DLC in the actual discount


Eternal vigilance should take the cap off the number of starbases you can control, and upgrade all of them to the second tier in exchange for unlocking at citadel instead.


When your kid hears the term “de facto”, and is eager to use it without really knowing what it means

Sgt. Bonkers

Synthetic Evolution > Genetic Mastery, when it comes to pop growth speed on paper.
cloning vats + regular robot production + migration treaties on high pull worlds can't compete with robot build speed cranked to 11 + all regular pop growth modifiers + biological pop growth from migration treaties.
if you play a synthetic ascension empire with lots of migration treaties, and have a high-amenities and free housing ecumenopolis, you suck up migrants like a black hole, and convert them into synths in no time. Sure, the pops themselves won't be as good as evolutionary mastery pops, but it's quantity, not quality that wins the game, especially since synth pops themselves are the 2nd best available pop already.
Genetic Mastery only becomes better if you're a hivemind (and only have access to that one anyways), or if you play some kind of non-diplomatic / isolationist / xenophobe run.

Also, new bio pops get integrated automatically as synths.
Evolutionary Mastery needs to spend social science points if it wants to integrate new pops from migration, slave market and / or conquering.


"Therefore Eternal Vigilance gets a solid D"... Ease up there ASpec, lets keep this PG.

Comrade Darwin

Transedence and mind over matter should be A or S teir, All of the psionic techs are garunteed to be gotten through it the only question is time, especially if you get the zroni precursers psionics is definetly the best way to go. Psionic Avatars are also pretty powerful against the unbidden which you're pretty much always going to get if you go psionics because of their shield bypass weapons and big boi shields numbers


"my lord why would you kill the pops?"
1. because F the xenos,. thats why
2. its the only ship that can fight end game lag. once you have 100+ planets, do oyu REALLY need/want more?

Christian Dauz

Can Flesh Is Weak be used alongside the Biological Perks?

Always wanted Gene-Enhanced Cyborgs

Esteban Gajardo

if you are xenophobe? can you lose to a player because of the lower pop growth or denying pop migration from treaties? I'm playing tall xenophobe and in terms of pops i'm just behind a fanatic xenophile AI empire but I outmatch them in terms of tech and fleet power. If this was an empire from a player would I lose bc of this or tech and fleet superiority would win?


I feel like eternal vigilance should give you a unique repeatable tech that buffs starbases


Lmao, leaving synths last because he planned to but them below s tier.....because if he had done it first, anyone remotely competent at the game wouldve stopped watching.

Incase someone doesnt know, synths are ss tier

Prophet HerbAndDerp

Machine world is S++ for me for the Rogue Servitor, just put all the uneeded trophies just before the terraform happens and you get a nice +15 food feature as a bonus to getting rid of the undesirables.

Patas Suaves

Colossus Project should have more requirements, especially possessing ethics Militarist AND PLUS Civics typical of ruthless, totalitarian, imperialist or cruel empires.

An Average Arsonist

"Laughs in xenophile assimilator with six migration treaties"


46 long video for a top list. No thanks.


With all the mods I play with, there are dozens of Ascension Perks to choose from. I forget how few there are in the base game.

Mateusz Sławiński

In my opinion, hive/machine worlds are on par with Ecumenopolis. Yes, they are weaker, but you don't have to consume tens of strategic resources to exist like production districts in Ecus.

Jolly Green Giant

If you get trapped with few planets, voidborn is a godsend.

Jesse Saari

this competitive scaling of perks is kinda weird, im pretty sure paradox havent balanced those at all anyway :D, also bad idea making this vidoes because its gonna break the illusion of freedom and choises what stellaris was all about ;)


Eternal vigilance is an A for me for saving my life early mid game when I was pushed back to tiny corner of the galaxy. Could not build the ships to compete. Had 40k defence citadels on chokepoints that gave the horded enough pause for me to recoup.

Kirill Zolotarev

I don't know, synthetic evolution and going robots gives me 5-10 pop growth per planet, they are immortal so leaders go on and on and combined with tech slavery + ring world begging = crazy crazy tech advantage.


I like Galactic force projection. +80 naval cap early game is great to not have to deal with too much extra upkeep. Its usually a pick 2-3 for me when i play the bad guys.

Over Dose

colossus project, what is it good for? one planet challenge. thats it. never touch it otherwise.

Armchair Magpie

I must be very lucky. Playing Fanatic Materialist I got: MoM, the Zroni chain with the artifact, and tons of Zro in my empire. It's like the game wants me to go for Telepathy and the Shroud!


I am going to have to disagree with you on Interstellar Dominion, along with expansion it severely speeds up early game expansion, giving you the ability to cap archeology sites, anomalies, and valuable resources while you have few pops. In my mind, it is an auto first pick. The early game economic and territorial boost it gives you is simply too strong to pass up.

justin weissinger

What is the ship set at They look glorious! Also great videos for a new player like myself!

Jolly Green Giant

Enigmatic Engineering is OP in Multiplayer, which means if you have great tech, players can't get your tech.


1) The only reason you shouldn't build an Ecumenopolis, the only scenario when it's not a good idea, is when you already have all your planets converted to Ecumenopolis (lols aside, keep at least one agri-world mmk?). It's also why the First League precursor chain is the best and Kleptomaniac Rats are your friends.
2) Psionic evolution path gives access to the best shields, best computers, the best ship drive, best leader perks and the best defense against at least 1 crisis. Plus it opens the possibility of wiping out the galaxy, so that's nice.


Pretty much exactly how I would put them


How come do you not equate Gaia worlds to those of machine/hive worlds?
All three give a +10% resource output, with Gaia worlds also adding 10% happiness.

Jolly Green Giant

Genetic has become ass.

dai san gen

disagree with psionic path, you forgetting the psionic tech like psionic shield(strongest shield in the game), psi jumpdrive(the best ftl in the game) and Precognitive (also the best ship computer in the game)

Jason J

20:02 what's the matter professor?

Jaden Othole

Id move Transcendence up more since u forgot to mention that u gain access to the Shroud and exclusive Psionic Technologies

Daniel Stephens

Consecrated Worlds are also REALLY good if you spawn near a Spiritualist Fallen Empire. You find the three Gaia worlds that they marked as holy and mark them too, since you weren't gonna colonize them anyway.

Blatt Blast

I honestly use the colossus as a population bomb against my enemies. I destroy all their high population planets and leave them as a rump state