And get it on the cheap to keep playing.

A free weekend for the space themed, 4X grand strategy game, Stellaris, has just kicked off. From May 12 through May 17, you can play one of the more critically acclaimed strategy titles available today. This free event comes alongside a big 2.7 update for the game. This update and free weekend also happens to coincide with the game's fourth anniversary of availability.

As is the case with pretty much every single one of these free weekends on Steam, the game is also on sale at a very steep discount. If you like what you play during this free event, you can pick up Stellaris for 75% off and keep playing after the weekend is over. The sale ends on May 18, which gives you just one extra day after the free weekend ends to make your decision.

This discount makes the base game a very enticing $9.99 (USD) through Steam. The "Galaxy Edition" of the game is now $12.49 for this sale event. If you want the Stellaris: Starter Pack that includes the game and a handful of DLC, you can get it all for $39.95.

Of all user reviews, Stellaris has an 84% "Very Positive" score on Steam.

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Get ready to explore, discover and interact with a multitude of species as you journey among the stars. Forge a galactic empire by sending out science ships to survey and explore, while construction ships build stations around newly discovered planets. Discover buried treasures and galactic wonders as you spin a direction for your society, creating limitations and evolutions for your explorers. Alliances will form and wars will be declared.

Like all our Grand Strategy games, the adventure evolves with time. Because free updates are a part of any active Paradox game, you can continue to grow and expand your empire with new technologies and capabilities. What will you find beyond the stars? Only you can answer that.

Every game begins with a civilization that has just discovered the means to travel between stars and is ready to explore the galaxy. Have your science ships survey and explore anomalies, leading you into a myriad of quests, introducing strange worlds with even stranger stories and discoveries that may completely change your outcome.

With characteristically complex unique planets and celestial bodies, you will enter a whirlwind of spectacles in a highly detailed universe.

Through customization and procedural generation, you will encounter infinitely varied races. Choose positive or negative traits, specific ideologies, limitations, evolutions or anything you can imagine. Interact with others through the advanced diplomacy system. Diplomacy is key in a proper grand strategy adventure. Adjust your strategy to your situation through negotiation and skill.

An eternal cycle of war, diplomacy, suspicions and alliances await you. Defend or attack with fully customizable war fleets, where adaptation is the key to victory. Choose from an array of complex technologies when designing and customizing your ships with the complex ship designer. You have a multitude of capabilities to choose from to meet the unknown quests that await.

Grow and expand your empire with thousands of randomly generated planet types, galaxies, quests and monsters lurking in space.

Customize your Empire! The characters you choose, be it a murderous mushroom society or an engineering reptile race, can be customized with traits like ethics, type of technology, form of preferred space travel, type of habitat, philosophies and more. The direction of the game is based on your choices.