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Everything In the Stellaris Lem Update

The Stellaris 3.1 'Lem' update is here! This update marks the first that the new 'Custodian' team have worked on, which seeks to create small pieces of content and bug fixes, all for free through each update. This lets the 'Expansion' team focus on working on the bigger game changing content brought in with expansions.

Everything In the Stellaris 'Lem' Update cover

Stellaris’ next update, ‘Lem’, has been released! Following Stellaris’ tradition of naming each update after a famous science fiction author, this update is named for Stanisław Lem. He is best known for his 1961 novel, Solaris, which focuses on the limitations of human rationality. 

One of the significant things about this update is it marks the first update with the new ‘Custodian’ team. This team focuses on improving and updating already existing systems, whereas the ‘Expansion’ team works on creating brand new content in the form of full expansions. The Custodian team help keep the game updated with free content and bug fixes every three months, so the Expansion team can focus on the big stuff.


The Lem update brings with it the biggest update to the Traditions system since the release of ascension perks with the Utopia expansion. Traditions are a mechanic that fans have wanted to be expanded for a while now, leading to the release of several fan made mods that greatly expand the system itself. Now however, we finally have new official tradition trees and a slight change to how they work. The new tradition trees are Mercantile, Unyielding, and Subterfuge. The existing trees have also been slightly rebalanced.

The Mercantile tree is the only free new tradition tree, with the others requiring a certain expansion in order to work. Unyielding will require the Apocalypse expansion, and Subterfuge will require the Nemesis expansion. Unyielding and Subterfuge require those expansions because they contain game mechanics relating to their respective expansions. Subterfuge includes buffs and abilities relating to the espionage mechanic, and Unyielding includes buffs and abilities that improve your star bases. The new system gives you 7 free slots to accommodate the higher number of max traditions, rather than them being hard locked in like before.

The new Traditions UI is looking pretty snazzy

The new Traditions UI is looking pretty snazzy


Mercantile tree improves your economy. The perks included create more clerk and merchant jobs, improve commercial zones, increases trade value, decreases market fee, and creates new policies that allow you to convert trade value into commercial goods or unity.

Subterfuge tree improves your security and codebreaking. The perks included increase your encryption, codebreaking, infiltration speed, and hostile espionage difficulty. Intel can also be gained whenever another nation’s operation against you fails.

Unyielding tree improves your defence. The perks included increase the number of starbases you can build, decreases the cost to build them, and improves their armour and damage. Ship build speed and fire rate can also be improved during defensive wars and strongholds can produce unity as well.


Along with updates to the Tradition system, some species packs are also receiving small updates. The Humanoids species pack now includes a clone army origin, which makes your entire civilisation an empire of clones originally bred for warfare, but were lost. An event is included where you may investigate your past, who created you, and why. Also included are two new civics. The Master Crafter civic converts artisans into artificers, which produce consumer goods, trade value, and engineering research. The Pleasure Seeker civic allows pops to have increased happiness in exchange for consumer goods, similar to the Chemical Bliss technology.

Another Star Wars playthrough couldn't hurt

Another Star Wars playthrough couldn’t hurt

A Plantoids species pack now includes two new civics, Idyllic Bloom and Catalytic Processing. Idyllic Bloom allows you to build gaia seeder buildings that slowly convert a planet into a gaia world. Catalytic Processing replaces metallurgists into catalytic technicians, which convert food into alloys. Also included are three new species traits.  The phototropic trait will allow you to convert 50% of your food upkeep into energy upkeep. The radiotrophic trait works the same as phototropic, but will also make your pops ideally suited to tomb worlds. The budding trait produces organic pop assembly as another source of pop production.

And the Necroids species pack doesn’t include any new civics, origins, or traits. It instead has had a few reworks on some of the existing mechanics. The reanimated armies civic now allows for more targets to be reanimated, such as ether drakes, void spawn, and tiyanki matriarchs. The necrophage origin can now be applied to hive minds, and death cults now include more benefits.


The Lem update will also bring with it a ship load of bug fixes, and a few small UI improvements here and there. Also Rogue Servitor empires are now able to take the ecology ascension perk and build ecumenopolises.

That’s everything included in the Lem update for Stellaris! The Custodian team is doing great work with the small updates every three months between expansions. Are you happy with the new content the Custodians have introduced? Are you excited to see what else they bring in future updates? Let me know in the comments!


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