In Stellaris, the galaxy is vast and full of opportunities for an Empire to expand its territory, power, and influence. However, at a certain point, there are only so many systems to claim and planets to colonize before an Empire reaches its limit. That's why Megastructures are one of the best things to invest in, as they allow for the continued growth and development of an Empire into the late-game.
The Overlord expansion adds three new Megastructures to the roster, each unique in design and function. All three present new strategies for Empires in managing their territories and waging war against rivals. They also look amazing and are perfect for showing the galaxy why you deserve to rule the stars.
Hyper Relays Are a Helpful Method of Travel
Similar to the existing Gateways, Hyper Relays are a way for Empire fleets to travel between systems at greater speed. They allow ships to jump to Hyper Relays in adjacent systems instead of using the existing hyperlane connections, thereby avoiding having to traverse systems at sublight speeds. Each Relay is constructed in single stage, takes a year to complete, and costs 25 Influence, 500 Alloys, and 100 Rare Crystals.
While this method of travel between systems is cheaper and can be acquired earlier than Gateways, for a Relay network to be effective, it requires one to be built in every adjacent system with a hyperlane connection. If a link is disconnected for whatever reason, the link will no longer be able to reach that far. Certain Edicts and Subject Specializations can make Hyper Relays grant additional effects and buffs to an Empire.
Orbital Rings Are Perfect for Small Empires
Orbital Rings are considered half Megastructure, half Starbase. They are built around colonized worlds, offering a number of benefits to the planet, chief among them being greater protection. Constructing an Orbital Ring doesn't require players to research the megastructure technology. Instead, it has its own tech to be researched. Building the initial Ring requires 1,000 Alloy, 50 Influence, and takes nearly two years to complete. It can be improved with two additional tiers, which offer additional space for modules and building, as well as increasing the weapons range. However, this requires additional resources, starbase technology, and Planetary Ascension Tiers.
Rings are considered one of the best assets to invest in for players who wish to manage a small but well-developed Empire. The best example is Habitation Modules, which increase the district size of the planet allowing for further development. Star systems with a citadel starbase, defense modules, and multiple colony worlds with their own Orbital Rings make for a near impenetrable defense against any attacking fleet.
Quantum Catapult Can Be Useful Under the Right Circumstances
One of Stellaris' more unconventional Megastructures, the Quantum Catapult is another method of transporting fleets across the galaxy instantaneously and at vast distances. The only catch is that it's a one-way trip, and your fleet might not end up exactly where intended. The Catapult can be a useful way for an Empire to surprise the enemy and outflank them, or rapidly respond to Crisis Forces in the galaxy.
Catapults can only be constructed in systems with either a pulsar or neutron star. Players who choose the Slingshot to the Stars Origin will start with a ruined Catapult in a neighboring system, which can be repaired and used without having to research any technologies. However, its accuracy decreases with distance and can result in your fleet ending up in a system far from the intended target. Fortunately, the accuracy can be improved by upgrading the Catapult until completion.