Brain Bugs – Extreme Tech Empire Build

April 29, 2022 by Solar Cross

What follows is a predictable build for an organic tech rush but with a strategic twist I call the Indoors Nerd Rush.

Initial Build – The Brain Bugs

Let us get the obvious stuff out of the way first. The initial empire build for an organic tech rush is a straightforward stacking of research bonuses in every place we can put them.

Strategy – Indoors Nerd Rush

We all know real brain boxes do not attain the heights of techno-wizardry by going out in the real world and exploring. No, they spend their lonely Saturday nights swotting away on computer simulations of the real world. So it will be for the Brain Bugs.

For a normal empire tech will usually come from a mix of researcher output, research station output and investigated anomalies. However the shy and retiring Brain Bugs will eschew the latter and triple down on their powerful researchers.

I do like to play the anomaly hunting game for early tech but that gambit suits a leader build rather than a researcher build.

We want our Bugs doing what they do best but we still want other resources besides research. For those resources we want to rush the robots tech tree so we can get robots and then droids working those jobs.

See here for a guide on how to rush Droids and the Synthetic Ascension path.

Security in Obscurity

The Brain Bugs will not even build an extra science ship until much, much later. Their initial science ship will tentatively scout out the locations of their local guaranteed planets. Then survey them and return to assist with research. This is mainly to delay first contact as long as possible.

I would not even be in too much rush to colonise them because the immigration pull from the newly colonised but unproductive planets will slow pop growth on our main planet.

Partly this shyness is to save on alloys but mostly this is to hide from other empires as long as possible. One reason for this early reclusiveness is that the trade off for an extreme emphasis on researchers is an anemic production of alloys. This means an early military weakness which will invite aggression, but only if discovered. An unseen weakness is no worry at all though.

A similar strategy is employed by the Invisible Espionage Build I wrote about here. However the Enigmatix can be less shy because its early alloy weakness is hidden by stacked Encryption. For this reason the Enigmatix would do well to explore aggressively for the anomaly game.

In contrast the Brain Bugs will have to actually avoid contact at first to avoid revealing their weakness to enemy infiltration or general intel. Although our furious tech rate could allow us to start stacking Encryption too somewhat later than game start.

Computing specialists are useful here to get those espionage techs. Technocracy will help us race up the Traditions too so the Enigmatic Engineering perk can be taken early as well (after Technological Ascendency).


This hiding strategy naturally suggests an Isolationist policy will suit better than the standard Expansionist policy.

The other trade off from a researcher rush besides low alloys will be ceding system acquisition to our local rivals. At least at first. However once a decisive technological advantage is gained we can go full nerd rage and take back that lost territory with our hi-tech death rays. Hopefully.

The trick is in being able to switch up alloy production at the right time and to a sufficient scale. A tech advantage should mean more efficiency in alloy production, ship production and fleet power per unit of resources spent. That all depends on getting the right techs though.


What does the Remnant origin do for this strategy? For one thing the bonus techs from clearing blockers can partly make up for slacking on the anomaly hunting game. For another, Relic worlds have a bonus to research special feature. Finally when restored to an Ecumenopolis it can become an alloy producing monster.

Importantly for our indoorsy bugs, starting on such a planet saves us the trouble of exploring to find one.

Fast Federation Side Strategy

One way we can mitigate the opportunity cost of slow or no exploration is to get a friend to do it instead. We can use the Fast Federations tactic to create a friendly federation bound empire to secure our neighbourhood for us. An extra benefit of this is to allow the founding of a Research Cooperative federation for even more research power.


Thanks to Technocracy, low Empire Size, Oligarchy and lots of researchers this build will rip through the traditions.

Obviously the Discovery tradition tree should be the first to be filled. Prioritise the side of the tree dealing with researchers over the side dealing with science ships. We will also need this tree filled if we want to use the Research Cooperative side hustle.

It is efficient to adopt the Domination tree for the -33% clear blocker cost before removing the expensive blockers of the Relic Worlds and its former colonies.

Supremacy and Unyielding will do good work for us when it is time to go full nerd rage. Additionally adopting them increases the chances of drawing ship techs and starhold techs respectively.

The rest can be taken as one pleases.


The first perk should be Technologcial Ascendency. After that it just makes sense to take the Synthetic Ascension path with this build. You can take Enigmatic Engineering along the way. After that we set our sights on Galactic Wonders, Colossus Project or whatever you like.

See this article for how to rush to megastructures.

That is it for the Brain Bugs. Do you like this build? Do you think it could be effective or fun?

Share this article to my twitter @SolarCrossGames or my reddit community r/SolarCrossGames and let’s chat about it.

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