Stellaris adds a stony-faced new faction in the Lithoids Species Pack

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Stellaris, much like space itself, is always expanding. While the larger Federations expansion isn't due out later this year and set to overhaul the diplomatic side of the sprawling 4X strategy sandbox, Paradox Interactive rolled out an extra slab of optional DLC yesterday for players eager to expand their universe. The Lithoids Species Pack allows players to control an empire of planet-devouring mineral-based creatures. It's life, Jim, but not as we know it.

The Lithoids do sound like an interesting faction to play as. Slow off the starting line, but hard to stop once that boulder starts rolling. Being made of rock, they're largely unaffected by hostile environments, allowing them to settle down on any planet they encounter and devour it for resources; the crunchier the better. Whether you (or the AI) play them as a more intelligent and discerning pile of rocks or an all-consuming landslide is up to you.

They're also surprisingly easy on the eye. Take a look at their hippie-pleasing asymmetrical crystalline ships below, in a trailer cheekily accompanied by the percussion (but not melody, because lawyers) from Queen's We Will Rock You.

Owning this DLC not only lets you play as pre-baked Lithoid races, but also carve out your own custom variants, with 15 types of Lithoid portrait to work with, and one unusual Lithoid/Robot hybrid look, giving new meaning to the concept of silicon-based life. There's also a new Lithoid voice pack which I've not heard yet, but I'm assuming sounds a bit gravelly.

The Lithoids Species Pack DLC is out now on Steam, GOG and Paradox Plaza for £5.79/€7.99/$7.99.

Dominic Tarason
Contributing Writer

The product of a wasted youth, wasted prime and getting into wasted middle age, Dominic Tarason is a freelance writer, occasional indie PR guy and professional techno-hermit seen in many strange corners of the internet and seldom in reality. Based deep in the Welsh hinterlands where no food delivery dares to go, videogames provide a gritty, realistic escape from the idyllic views and fresh country air. If you're looking for something new and potentially very weird to play, feel free to poke him on Twitter. He's almost sociable, most of the time.