Praetorian Swarm in Stellaris: how to win

The Praetorian Swarm is one of the endgame crises that can emerge and threaten all life in the galaxy during the Stellaris Campaign. This endless swarm of voracious bugs will not stop until they devour everything in their path, and it will take the concerted efforts of the most powerful forces in the galaxy to defeat them.

Players are getting more warnings about Pretorin than other crises, so it’s important to take advantage of this extra time to prepare. The Scourge can devour entire empires from the moment they spawn – don’t let yours become one of them.

How to Prepare for Void Scourge

If a Praetorian Swarm is coming into the galaxy, you will receive your first warning as early as the Endgame Year set at the beginning of the campaign (2400 by default). In most campaigns, the first warnings will appear no earlier than 2530, but if you are unlucky, they may appear earlier. Endgame crises are mutually exclusive, so Praetorin will not spawn if the galaxy is attacked by the Contingent or the Immutable.

When a swarm is first detected en route to the galaxy, each empire will receive a notification. After this point, Pretorin takes an average of about fifty years, but the date of his arrival is random and can be either earlier or later. When twelve years remain before the Scourge arrives, the Situation Log will mark the edge of the map from which they will enter. If you have not already begun to prepare for this moment, you need to drop everything and prepare for the invasion. If you are on their initial path, expect the worst.

At the first signs of warning, dedicate your research to upgrading laser weapons, strike ships, and point defenses. Developing the best armor for your fleets is also a priority. Praetorians don’t use energy weapons at all, so shields are ineffective against them.

You don’t have to immediately rebuild your ships to counter Pretorin’s ships. First, just learn the technologies you will be using when the time comes. It is likely that there will still be wars in the galaxy before the arrival of the Scourge, so stick to ship designs that have served you well so far. A good time to start refitting ships is when the Hive Mind first contacts you, two to three years before the Swarm arrives.

How to defeat the Void Scourge

The Praetorians are trying to populate every habitable planet they come across. To achieve this they have colony ships and transports, and once a planet is infected, it becomes uninhabitable for any other species. The only way to eliminate the Scourge invasion is an orbital bombardment that will turn the planet into a Barren World.

If a habitable planet were to be invaded by the Praetorians, the infection process would not be complete until the scourge had devoured the entire population of the planet. This will give you time to send your own armies to take back the planet.

New Praetorin fleets will arrive on the outskirts of the galaxy each year until the Swarm is defeated. Their fleets make heavy use of small, agile corvettes that are difficult to knock out for capital ships, so incorporating more corvettes into their fleets can help counter them. Picket-configured destroyers and carriers will be needed to deal with the strike ships and missiles fired by the larger Praetorin ships. Because Praetorians don’t have shields, energy weapons are especially effective against them.

The Pretorin Crisis is considered an all-out war, so systems taken over by or from the Void Scourge will not be occupied, but will immediately change hands. The only way to stop the constant influx of Pretorin ships into the galaxy is to reclaim every system the Swarm has taken. Heavily armed starbases at critical points can help slow their expansion, and every opportunity should be taken to push Pretorin back.

How to get the “Your Majesty” achievement

As the Pretoria Crisis continues, there may be a special project in the Situation Journal. There will be a disabled Queen in the system in Pretorin space, which can be captured by any empire. If you can safely get a crewed science vessel there before any other empire, you can isolate the queen from the hive mind and recruit her into your fleet. It will spawn a self-reinforcing Praetorin fleet under your control that will exist until it is destroyed. By recruiting the queen, you will receive the honorary title of “Queen”.

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