This is a guide on how to use food for pop growth and create empire in Stellaris (Federations)?
How to Create Empire?
I always make custom empires force spawn. It’s easy. Just click the little bird icon in the bottom right of your custom empire’s selection portrait. If the icon is gray, then the empire WILL NOT spawn. If it is colored like it is on fire, the the custom empire may or may not spawn. If it is colored and has a little green lock in it, then the custom empire will definitely spawn.
Just remember if you set the game to have more AI empires than custom empires you have forced to spawn, it will create random empires to fill the rest. Example: you create 10 custom empires but play a game with 15 AI empires. Your 10 custom empires will be in the game along with 5 random empires. If you force spawn 10 custom empires and play with 10 AI empires, all AI empires will be your custom empires. This does not affect AI Fallen Empires or Marauders as you cannot custom create them without mods.
You need to make sure that the custom empires do not have the same starting system and make sure they are set to force spawn. If you have two custom empires set to the same starting system and force spawn both of them, the game will choose one and the other one will lose the force spawn. This the empire that lost the force spawn will be replaced by a random empire created by the game.
Also, make sure that when you set the amount of AI empires, do not count the empire you are playing. Example: you make 10 custom empires and set them all to force spawn. You then choose one of the 10 custom empires to play and then set the game to 10 AI empires. Now the game will spawn 9 custom made empires because the empire you are currently playing as is not counted. It will also spawn a random empire to meet the 10 AI empires you selected. The solution to this would be to choose 9 AI empires at the start of the game because you took one of the custom empires out of the pool the AI has when you chose to play as that empire.
Not sure what you are doing, but I rarely play with random game created empires because they are not challenging. I almost always play with custom empires I created and never start with random AI empires. The only random AI empires I get are Fallen Empires, Marauders, empires that have split or branched off from my forced spawn custom empires, and Pre-FTL empires that have achieved FTL tech (either on their own or with the help of other empires).
How to Use Food (for Pop Growth)?
Setup a food sale trade rule early.
Influence and the Nutritional Plenitude Edict is a little bit of a Tall vs Wide decision. Delay early expansion for the narrow upwards growth, or continue with the stacking of planets for parallel growth.
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