How first contact works and how to get intel about Empires in Stellaris

When you first encounter another realm in Stellaris, most of the information is displayed for you, and you can learn more about them almost immediately. After patch 3.0, you now have to dig a little deeper and be smart when communicating with the Empire. You have to send an emissary to an enemy kingdom to find out more about it. Over time, you can use your new information to form an alliance or twist critical details to create an enemy.

How information works in Stellaris

First contact

When you first make contact with a new realm, you must go to your situation log and designate a messenger to make contact. It’s like when you had to engage with the community to know it.

The first contact has become a kind of archaeological dig, with your envoy contacting you after some time to take stock. There are three new statistics to help you get to know the Empire better.

  • Difficulty Level – The difficulty level in the status log indicates the difficulties your Envoy will face when trying to make contact with a new realm.
  • Skill Bonus – The more empires your empire knows, the more you can interact with them and get a higher skill bonus. The skill bonus makes it easier to successfully communicate with the Empire.
  • Insights – A revealing score gives you the chance to make a breakthrough that catapults you to the next level of contact with the Realm.

You can see all this in your status log, click on the Contacts tab and go to the View First Contact page.


As you progress through the First Contact screens, you’ll be presented with a number of options that allow you to answer your realm’s questions while learning a foreign language. Finally, you will have the opportunity to respond to the new kingdom after learning its language. You can try to be nice, stand back or be aggressive, and this will be made clear in your answer choices.


Improvement of relationships or establishment of an espionage network

Once you have created a communication network with the new empire, you can choose whether to establish a direct relationship with the empire or to create a spy network. In both cases, the messenger must be consumed.

If you plan on establishing a direct relationship between your two emissaries, not much has changed in Patch 3.0. You can contact a particular empire on the contact page, click on diplomacy with them, and the option to improve relationships will be there.

Those who prefer to spy against the Empire will find this option on the same screen. In the lower left corner of the Diplomacy tab, you can select the Espionage option. You can send an envoy to spy on a neighboring kingdom to learn more about it. The messenger will slowly increase his infiltration level, and as he does so, he will be able to take more actions to learn about or harm the Empire.


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