‘Stellaris’ is free to play on Steam this weekend

Players can play 'Stellaris' for free until May 23

In celebration of the game’s sixth anniversary, Stellaris will be free to play on Steam from now until May 23.

READ MORE: Quantum futures: Stephen Murray on embracing roleplaying, Blorg body pillows, and six years of ‘Stellaris’

Announced yesterday (May 19), Paradox has shared that Stellaris will be free to jump into between today and May 23.

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In usual Paradox fashion, Stellaris is a grand-scale real-time strategy game. Set in space, players create and customise their own species and corresponding empires, while assigning traits, ethics and civics that will inevitably facilitate different in-game strategies. If you’re a fan of other Paradox strategy games like Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis and Hearts of Iron then it’s worth checking out Stellaris.

Stellaris belongs to the 4X subgenre of strategy games. 4X games are generally on a grand scale and tend to focus on empire-building with a large suite of diplomacy mechanics. In Stellaris, the player generally starts with one planet and the means to start expanding their empire.

From there, the early game focuses on exploration and the colonisation of new planets. The game features all the staples of real-time strategy including warfare, economy management, resource gathering and diplomacy. Like all strategy games, Stellaris requires a sharp level of micromanagement if the player wants to succeed, balancing economic prudence with empire expansion and player interaction is a challenge all players will have to face.

Even though the game was released over six years ago, Paradox continues to support it with expansions and patches. The newest expansion Overlord released just last week, adding new mechanics for interacting with the player’s vassals as well as new civic and diplomatic options. Patch 3.3 has also just been added, fixing some balance issues associated with the new expansion.

The game continues to be incredibly popular among players, averaging almost 19,000 concurrent players over the last month.

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In other news, Ukrainian developer Frogwares is developing a new game despite the ongoing invasion. 

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