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To get achievements in Stellaris, you have to play on Iron Man. This means you can't manually save or load.

I have never played on Iron Man, primarily for one reason: frontier outposts.

There doesn't appear to be a way to determine what the effect on your borders will be prior to actually adding or removing the outpost. So, when removing an outpost, I always save first, remove it, check the results, and often load because a system I needed was lost. When adding, I have to just suck it up and guess, because building one takes a while and I wouldn't want to re-do the intervening months. I suppose I could save, schedule one, put it on fastest and not even really play, check the results, then load and build or not build for real.

So, is there any way to determine the effect on your empire's border prior to building or disbanding a frontier outpost that would work on Iron Man mode?

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Unfortunately, there is no way at the moment other than, as you said, trial and error.

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I've now tried playing Iron Man, after the Unity DLC came out, and I've come up with a plan for removing outposts:

The autosave only happens once a month, on the 1st of the month. Unlike many games with Iron Man modes that I've played, there is no autosave on exit. This means that you can always load your saved game, backing up to the start of the current month.

Therefore,

  1. wait until the 2nd of the month.
  2. Put the speed on Slowest.
  3. Pause.
  4. Remove the station you might want removed.
  5. Unpause.
  6. Wait a couple days, and see how the borders change.
  7. If you don't like it, load your saved game. It will be the 1st again, and your outpost will be back.

Adding outposts is still unpredictable, unless you can build one in less than a month. You get at least some of the resources back from canceling one's construction, so I suppose you could at least load back to the beginning of the month and cancel the construction, if you don't like the results when it finishes.

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