Stellaris Espionage Guide

This Stellaris Espionage Guide is everything you need to know about the new Espionage system in Stellaris 3.0’s “Dick” update!

Encryption is a new mechanic in update 3.0. A high Encryption level will prevent other empires from getting Intel on your empire. Likewise, a high Codebreaking level will give you a bonus when conduction espionage operations on other empires.

To increase your base Encryption, you can do any of the following.

How to Increase Encryption and Codebreaking in Stellaris

Choose the right Ethics and Civics

Cutthroat Politics Civic

This Civic can be used by Democratic, Oligarchic, Dictatorial and Imperial authority Empires. It reduces Edict Cost by 20% and increases Codebreaking by 1

Inward Perfection Civic

Explaining this Civic will have to wait for a complete guide of its own, but you get Encryption +1, Codebreaking -1 and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Brand Loyalty Civic

This Civic is exclusive to Corporate authority Empires. You get +15% monthly Unity and +1 Encryption. Of course, you’d have to commit to this authority and you’d also need the MegaCorp DLC.

Gestalt Consciousness Ethic

The Gestalt Consciousness Ethic increases Encryption by +2. This means your basic Encryption level will be higher than other empires by two points. Of course, there are some disadvantages to playing a Gestalt Consciousness Empire. Mainly the limited diplomacy options.

Pooled Knowledge Civic

The Pooled Knowledge Civic is exclusive to Hive Minds. It increases Leader Level Cap by 1, Leader Experience Gain by 10% and Encryption by 1.

Static Research Analysis Civic

You can pick up this Civic if you’re a machine empire. You’ll get +1 Research Alternative and +1 to Codebreaking.

Unlock Ascension Perks

The following ascension perks can increase your Encryption and Codebreaking.

Unlock the Enigmatic Engineering Ascension Perk

The Enigmatic Engineering Ascension Perk grants +2 Encryption. In addition, enemies’ ‘Steal Technology’ operations will fail and debris from your ships cannot be studied to learn technologies.

Unlock the Transcendence Ascension Perk

The Transcendent Ascension Perk now grants +10 base Intel on all Empires, +2 Encryption and +2 Codebreaking. Of course, you first need to unlock the Mind over Matter ascension perk and one other ascension perk before it can be unlocked.

The Fog of War covering an enemy empire

Research Technologies

You can increase your chances of getting Covert Operation technologies by having a Computing Expert as the research leader for the physics technology branch. If you don’t know which one that is, simply hover over the specialty icon on your leader.

A Computing Expert Leader

Without further ado, let’s look at a few technologies that can increase your Encryption and Codebreaking.

Research Quantum Hacking Technology

Quantum Hacking is a Physics Tier I technology that increases Codebreaking by 2. Tier I means that it can be researched from the beginning, but it can take a while for it to appear nonetheless. Additionally, Quantum Hacking unlocks an Edict called Bureau of Espionage that gives you one more Envoy, lowers Operation Difficulty by 2 and increases Base Intel Level by 10. If you see this, research it to unlock more Covert Operation technologies.

Research Quantum Firewalls Technology

Quantum Firewalls is another Tier I physics technology, but this one increases Encryption by 2. Just like Quantum Hacking, this one will lead to more Covert Operation type technologies.

Simulated Social Engineering

This is a Tier II physics covert operation technology. It increases Codebreaking by 2.

How to Increase Infiltration Level

Infiltration Level determines what Operations you can perform on the enemy Empire. Operations cost Infiltration Level and the higher your Infiltration Level, the more Operations you’ll be able to perform. Additionally, Infiltration Level increases your maximum Intel

Infiltration Level increases over time, and to increase the limit you can make a pact with the target empire. Here’s how diplomacy pacts impact your max infiltration level and Intel:

Max Intel/Infiltration LevelDiplomacy Pact
10First Contact
20Commercial Pact
Guarantee Independence
Non-Aggression Pact
30Migration Treaty
Research Agreement
Both empires are Galactic Community members
40Defensive Pact
Both empires are Federation members
Hegemony Federation
45Galactic Custodian
50Martial Alliance Federation
Research Cooperative Federation
Trade League Federation
60Galactic Union Federation

How to Increase Base Intel Level

Base Intel Level is the initial amount of Intel you have on other empires. Certain technologies can increase this value.

Colonial/Galactic Bureaucracy

Colonial Bureaucracy is a Tier 2 Society Technology and Galactic Bureaucracy is a Tier 3 Society Technology and increases Administrative Capacity by 10 and Base Intel Level by 10. You can increase your chances of getting these technologies by having more than 4 planets and having a Statecraft Expert leader.

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