One of the biggest features missing from Stellaris: Console Edition at launch was the online multiplayer of the PC version. It was relatively understandable for Paradox Interactive to assume that a more casual audience wouldn’t be as interested in this, and so spend more effort on polishing the overall experience in single player, but thankfully they’ve gone back and rectified this with a free update that’s available right now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Multiplayer on console is exactly as you’d expect, dropping multiple human players into a galaxy and letting you manage rival empires. You can have up to 14 empires in a match and up to 4 human players within this, and while nice, this is a notable step down from the full 32 player games that can be had on PC.
Even so, there’s plenty of options, so you can save and load a multiplayer session, continue a save in single player after it’s ended, and have players hotjoin a galaxy in progress.
Stellaris came to console back in February with Tantalus doing a fine job of porting the traditionally mouse & keyboard gaming to controller, keeping Paradox’s brand of pauseable real time 4X strategy intact. Stellaris drops you into a galaxy as a fledgling space-faring race looking to make a name for themselves, but you soon butt up against other up and comping space empires and those more established. Randomised story events help to keep you pushing forward, with several grand galaxy-threatening plots that can play out.
In our Stellaris: Console Edition Review, I wrote “Stellaris: Console Edition is a solid port of what is easily Paradox Interactive’s most accessible grand strategy game. While Stellaris has evolved and grown over the past three years on PC, the base game is still a good solid grand strategy title with some intriguing ideas for storytelling and managing an endgame, though without some of the depth of their other titles. More importantly, wrapped a controller and TV friendly interface around the game that puts control over even the grandest of empires well within your grasp.”