Stellaris: 10 Archaeological Sites To Watch Out For (2024)


  • Stellaris has a variety of archaeological sites that can provide valuable rewards such as artifacts, relics, and empire-wide modifiers.
  • Some of these sites, like Message In The Canopy and Debris Belt, can significantly boost an empire's early game progress and economy.
  • Other sites, like The Grand Herald and Ruined World, offer powerful rewards such as a damaged Titan or a genetic modification point that can enhance an empire's military and species capabilities.

As a game focused on exploring, expanding, exploiting, and exterminating, Stellaris has numerous features that keep exploration rewarding in every stage of the game. Among these features are Archaeological Sites, which will require a Scientist to start an excavation.

Archaeological Sites will give minor artifacts as a basic reward, which the player can sell or convert for further research. These sites will also have unique rewards that can put a relatively small empire into one of the biggest powers, such as granting powerful relics, or a massive amount of research.

10 Message In The Canopy

Uncover Secrets Of Terraforming Within Hidden Messages

Stellaris: 10 Archaeological Sites To Watch Out For (1)
  • Grants Mask of Transformation; -10% Terraforming Cost & Speed

Settling in a lush world such as Tropical, Continental, or Gaia World will have a chance to trigger a colony event called Message In The Canopy. This event will spawn a fully-fledged archaeological site that can be excavated by a scientist, granting rewards that could boost an empire's early game.


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The main reward for this archaeological site is the empire-wide modifier Mask of Transformation. This modifier grants a boost towards terraforming cost and speed, making it easier for an empire to terraform planets. It's a useful modifier for empires that wish to terraform planets.

9 Debris Belt

A Collection Of Debris Can Finance An Empire

Stellaris: 10 Archaeological Sites To Watch Out For (3)
  • Gain the Crystal of Odryskia Relic

Getting a particular system called Odryskia should be a call for alert. This system will spawn a particular archaeological site called Debris Belt, which can massively boost an empire's economy. This is due to its main reward, a relic called the Crystal of Odryskia.

This relic will grant extra rare crystals every month as its passive effect. While active, it will boost an empire's resources by granting 60 energy credits per month and granting a Hyper Focus trait to a scientist. The extra energy credits will be massive, especially during the early game, as empires will scramble for more credits to kickstart their economies.

8 Never Forget

Remind The People Of Their Own Happiness

Stellaris: 10 Archaeological Sites To Watch Out For (4)
  • Gain A Life Worthwhile empire modifier (+5% happiness)

Sometimes, living alongside many other species in the galaxy can put a strain on a species' happiness. This is especially true when they are in the middle of a war or economic hardship due to an empire's policy. (The exception, of course, is if they are robotics with artificial intelligence.) Therefore, any increase in their happiness will be a boon, as it increases their productivity as well.

The main reward from this archaeological site seems small at first. However, when coupled with other happiness modifiers, it can snowball into something that can make the empire's population more productive.

7 The Grand Herald

Uncover A Powerful Titan For Conquest

Stellaris: 10 Archaeological Sites To Watch Out For (5)
  • Gain a damaged Titan

Titan has always been a powerful ship to add to an empire's fleet. It can either defend the borders, or assault a rival's capital system to subjugate them. It can also be used as the lead of a powerful fleet to face a dangerous Leviathan in the vast galaxy.


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Unfortunately, acquiring a Titan usually takes decades or even centuries in the game, as empires need to get the necessary technologies first. However, The Grand Herald will enable a player to get a Titan as early as the first decades of the game, provided that they are lucky enough to get the archaeological site.

6 Ruined World

Genetic Library Worthy Of Being Pursued

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  • Gain the Omnicodex relic

Visiting a system called Omni is great for players who wish to advance their empire. It will unlock a unique Archaeological Site called Ruined World, located in a Relic World inside the system. If necessary, an empire could also even wage war against another if the system is inside another empire's borders.

Such war could be necessary, as the archaeological site will grant one of the most powerful relics in the game. The Omnicodex will grant three powerful populations when activated. The relic will also passively grant a genetic modification point, making an empire's species more powerful than before.

5 Under The Ice

Quicken Colony Development With Its Boon

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  • Gain +20% Colony development speed OR gain -3% Pop amenities usage

Scanning a random Frozen World will sometimes reveal an archaeological site called Under The Ice, which will massively improve an empire's chance of colonizing the galaxy with its unique reward. When finished, it grants Frozen Submariners' Legacy for 20 years. This passive buff grants either extra colony development speed or reduced amenities usage.

The site will also grant other bonuses to empires with other civics, such as one with certain corporate civics.

4 Planetary Machinery

Have An Efficient Empire With An Ancient Relic

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  • Gain the Defragmentor relic
  • Planet receives +10% energy from jobs
  • Gain 100 influence

Encountering a Relic World guarantees an exciting time, especially if the planet also contains a specific archaeological site called Planetary Machinery. The archaeological site will begin a chain that will reward a player with the Defragmentor relic, provided that they choose the right options.


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The relic will grant various economic bonuses, such as reduced upkeep of robots and buildings. The relic will also grant huge monthly energy credits when activated, making it a must for an empire that wishes to thrive economically.

3 The Broken Gates

Either Worship Or Defy A Monstrosity

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  • One of the following:
    • Worship the Elder One for Eldritch Knowledge (+6% Research Speed and -10% Growth Speed)
    • Challenge the Elder One

Encountering a Dimensional Horror will chill the bones of many players, including veterans of Stellaris. However, players who are just starting will sometimes wonder what will happen if they instead worship the dimensional horror. This can be done with the event chain of The Broken Gates.

When completed, the archaeological site will spawn an otherworldly monster called the Elder One, and render the system obsolete. The player can choose to worship it for increased research speed at the cost of growth speed. Alternatively, they can challenge it for a chance to parade its corpse on a planet.

2 Kleptomaniac Rats

Watch Out For A Very Hungry Dragon

Stellaris: 10 Archaeological Sites To Watch Out For (12)
  • Awaken an ancient dragon named Shard.
  • Defeating Shard grants The Rubricator relic.

This archaeological site can only spawn when Ancient Relics is installed. The quirky archaeological site Kleptomaniac Rats spawns after completing an anomaly chain of events called Weapon Trails. At first, it should look harmless. However, a player well-versed in fantasy stories can already see there will be a dragon guarding the hoard of treasure that the rats stole.


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Specifically, a space dragon named Shard will be awakened at the end of the Archaeological Site. When defeated, The Rubricator can be obtained, which will grant a massive amount of minor artifacts when activated.

1 Ancient Robot World

Prepare For Unforeseen Consequences

Stellaris: 10 Archaeological Sites To Watch Out For (14)
  • One of the following:
    • Gain a fully upgraded Sentry Array
    • Gain 80 robotic populations spread across all colonies in the empire
    • Add 25 alloys deposit to the planet
    • Create a Machine Intelligent empire as a vassal
  • WARNING - picking any option except the first will have consequences.

The system Ultima Vigilis should be a warning for players that are curious enough to have a Jump Drive installed and explore the system. It is devoid of any hyperlane and exists outside the galaxy. Upon research, the player can find an archaeological site called Ancient Robot World.

After finishing the chain of events, the player can choose from four options that have tempting bonuses. However, picking options other than the one that will restore a fully upgraded Sentry Array will have consequences, as it will allow the Unbidden crisis to spawn earlier than the endgame year starts.

Stellaris: 10 Archaeological Sites To Watch Out For (15)
PC , PS4 , Xbox One

May 9, 2016
Paradox Development Studio

4X , Grand Strategy
Stellaris: 10 Archaeological Sites To Watch Out For (2024)
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