In Stellaris, part of your winning strategy is building your economic influence across the galaxy, pushing your economic superiority onto the galactic stage.
Prosperity comes from trading.
But to trade with your neighbors in the galaxy, you need a marketplace.
The Galactic Market, the central hub for all your trading requirements, whether legal or not, represents this marketplace.
The Galactic Market
The Galactic Market is a galaxy-wide marketplace wherein each participating Empire can sell its goods, creating a bigger yet unpredictable trading economy.
Before the Galactic Market is formed, you trade on the local marketplace of your Empire. The prices are very stable, only driven by your own supply and demand.
After the formation, prices of resources are based on the galaxies’ supply and demand of resources, making them fluctuate much more.
Strategy Idea: If you learn that a rivaling empire relies heavily on a specific trade to keep its economy afloat, you can destroy that resource. By that making their economy worthless and making it harder for them to fight back against you. If you use this strategy, please leave us a note in the comments.
Pre-Condition: Galactic Senate
For the Galactic market to be formed, the Galactic community must first be created. This happens automatically after some time, with you discovering more and more empires.
The galactic community is a federation of many empires in the galaxy wishing to join, forming the Senate. All you have to do is decide to join.
The Senate’s members can propose laws and resolutions and vote on galaxy-wide problems.
Creating the Galactic Market
And one of these many proposals early in the game is to form a Galactic Market. If the Senate’s majority vote is in favor of establishing the Galactic marketplace, the event chain resulting in its formation is set in motion.
You cannot propose the formation of a Galactic market though, you must wait till some Empire does. But then you should put your influence behind this resolution.
Otherwise, if the proposal fails, the resolution can later be re-proposed in a new attempt for the foundation of the Galactic Market.
Caveat: If you have been a bad boy/gal and tick some no-no boxes, you are not allowed to join the Galactic Market. These no-nos are
- you are not part of the galactic community
- you play an empire with a genocidal civic
- you decided to play a devouring swarm.
I would be scared and not want to trade with you then, anyway :)
Become the Galactic Market Hub’s Host
Hosting the Galactic Market Hub on one of your Empire’s planets yields some influence over the market as well as a reduction in market fees when buying or selling goods.
Galactic Market Fee
Note: The factor affecting market prices next to supply and demand is the so-called market fee. This fee is the number of energy credits you must spend for the trading itself. This market fee starts at 30% but can be raised or lowered via events or traditions.
Hosting the Galactic Market Hub reduces your Market fee by a whopping 10%.
Nominate your Planet as the Galactic Market Hub
So once the decision to form a Galactic Market has been made by the Senate, immediately you should nominate one of your planets as the seat of this market.
But beware, there is a lot of competition to obtain this and the process resembles a lottery.
To improve your chances for the seat of the Galactic Market Hub, you need to nominate a planet through the planetary decision tab (top middle on the image below).
Choose the planet your Empire with the most Trade value:
The planet in my example above has a trade value of 69.
Click on “Decisions” and choose the “Galactic Market Hub Nomination”.
It sets you back 1000 Energy credits and 150 Influence.
Now in a first step, Stellaris immediately assigns each applying planet a random rating, ranging from weak to very strong. The trade value of your planet plays a huge role in this rating and ideally is above 120. More on that later.
Your chances of getting the Hub increase dramatically if you are a Corporate authority or if your planet has a very high trade value (above 120).
Most of this decision process is random, however, beginning when the planetary application for the Galactic market Hub is made.
To reinforce your first application, you can nominate the planet a second time, increasing the planet’s chances of becoming the seat of the Galactic Market.
You do this again via the “Decisions” tab. And your rivals will, too.
This again sets you back a lot of credits, though.
Finally, five in-game years after the initial roll, a second roll is made by Stellaris. This is the deciding roll of the dice about the planet hosting the Galactic Market Hub.
Improving Chances for Hosting the Galactic Market Hub
To increase your chances of hosting the Galactic Market Hub, you’re going to have to build your trade value rapidly right from the beginning.
To do this you create more Starbases to increase your “collection range”: Every colony or Starbase you own has its specific collection range (depending on their setup), the distance over which they can collect trade value, in terms of hyperlanes.
So a collection range of i.e. 3 can collect trade value from up to two systems away.
To increase your trade value you can construct trade hubs on these Starbases, each trading hub increases the Starbases collection range by 1.
This effect is stackable, meaning that you can specialize multiple Starbases into being trade collectors.
Same effect with the Hyperlane Registrar Starbase Building.
Your empire automatically creates these trade routes. A trade route is a system of hyperlanes that connect starbases to the empire’s capital system. There, the trade value is then transformed into energy credits, consumer goods, or other resources based on the empire’s trade policy.
Another way to earn trade value is by employing
These job roles produce extra trade value which is then added to the planet’s progress in trade value and transformed into whatever resource the empire has chosen.
Stellaris Megacorp DLC: Galactic Slave Market
In case you play the Megacorp DLC, in addition to a Galactic market for resources, a second market opens up alongside it.
The galactic slave market allows empires that have not outlawed slavery to buy and sell organic slaves of many different species.
Whilst some empires will have outlawed slavery, they can still purchase the slaves from the market, these pops, however, will immediately be set free upon purchase.
Slaves can be purchased at a base value of 500 energy credits, with the prices being raised or lowered depending on what trait lineup they have.
Species that have more “positive traits” are more expensive to “buy”.
One final thing to note about trade within the galaxy is that empires can form trade federations. Once joining this federation type you have 2 years to gain at least 50 trade power within a single star system.
If you as an empire fail to do so you are hit with a -10% trade value debuff. However, if all members have participated and succeeded, all members of the federation get a 12% trade value increase and a 5% consumer goods production bonus.