This article is considered accurate for the current version (2.3) of the game.
An anomaly is represented by survey readings that deviate from what is normal. When a science ship surveys a celestial body it may identify an anomaly that needs further investigation. Anomalies have their own tab in the Situation Log.
When the investigation of an anomaly is complete, an event will pop up that can give various bonuses, such as research points, resources on a planet, or even a special project which requires further research investment to unlock benefits. Certain Ethics occasionally have additional options.
Each surveyed celestial body has a 5% chance of spawning an anomaly, which is increased by 0.5% for every surveyed planet with no anomaly before being reset. The Meticulous trait also increases the chance of finding anomalies by 10%.
To investigate an anomaly, a science ship with a scientist on board must be present at the celestial body where the anomaly is located. Investigating them takes time, which is determined by the level of the scientist minus the difficulty level of the anomaly. As such, anomalies of higher levels are often best left off until a skilled scientist can study them faster.
|Level difference||Investigation days|
|+5 (Very Easy)||45|
|+4 (Very Easy)||55|
|Level difference||Investigation days|
|-6 (Very Hard)||1440|
|-7 (Very Hard)||2160|
Each Anomaly except Ancient Signs of Life can only be found x times where x is the number of possible outcomes. Once a certain outcome of an anomaly has occurred, the same outcome cannot happen if the anomaly is discovered again.
|42 Years and 3 Days||3||Any Habitable Planet|
|Abandoned Settlements||4||Any Habitable Planet|
|Alien Life||3||Any Habitable Planet|
|Attractive Magnetism||1||Any Habitable Planet|
|Bizarre Blanket||1||Any Habitable Planet|
|Corrupt Survey Data||4||Any Habitable Planet|
|Isolated Ruin||2||Any Habitable Planet|
|Megaflora||1||Any Habitable Planet|
|Resonant Crystals||1||Any Habitable Planet|
|Overgrown Ruins||6||Any Habitable Planet|
|Peculiar Patterns||3||Any Habitable Planet|
|Deep Caverns||7||Any Uninhabitable Planet|
|Webwork||2||Any Uninhabitable Planet|
|Silent Behemoth||2||Any Uninhabitable Moon|
|Unusual Moon||3||Any Uninhabitable Moon|
|Encrypted Transmission||2||Any Planet|
|Supply Ship Wreckage||2||Any Planet|
|Irregular Energy Emissions||4||Any Star|
If the Sol system is present in the galaxy a random Asteroid might reveal a level 3 Debris Field Anomaly. Investigating it will discover the Pioneer 11 probe. If the empire is human it will gain 40-100 Influence. If the empire is alien on the other hand it will bring the following options:
- Decipher the data disk and gain 120-250 Engineering Research while the science ship leader gains 200 Experience. The location of the Sol system is added to the situation log. Entering the system will grant 80-175 Influence.
- Sell the data disk and gain 120-250 Engineering Research.
- Use the data disk as furniture and gain 40-100 Influence if Xenophobe or Fanatic Xenophobe.
The Precursors are long dead galactic empires predating even the fallen empires and the curators. Their ruins are scattered across the galaxy for the player to find via anomalies. Precursor anomalies grant a special project which once investigated grants a moderate amounts of Engineering, Physics or Society research as well as a precursor artifact. 6 artifacts are required to reveal the location of a precursor's home system.
If every precursor anomaly has been investigated but no empire managed to collect 6 artifacts a random event can trigger every 20 years and add another precursor anomaly on one of the previously investigated planets. The time is lowered to 13.3 years for Gestalt Consciousness empires.
AI empires can also sell a discovered artifact to Player empires for 1000 Energy. If the Player empire has the Warrior Culture civic it can threaten the AI empire to surrender it for free, the success rate depending entirely on both empires' Relative Power. Empires that hold a Protective, Friendly or Loyal attitude will offer the artifact for free instead of asking for payment. Each AI Empire will only offer an artifact once.
There have been 7 precursor civilizations:
|Available only with the Ancient Relics DLC enabled.|
Archaeological Sites are areas where remains on ancient civilizations have been preserved relatively intact. That can be discovered on survey, generated at game start or discovered a few years after a planet is colonized. A site can have 1-6 Chapters in addition to an introduction Chapter. Each Chapter has its own narrative and rewards and has to be unlocked before it becomes visible.
Chapters are unlocked via Excavation. As long as an Archaeological Site is within an empire's borders that empire can task a Science Ship to excavate the side. The duration of an Excavation is determined by the Archaeological Site's Difficulty rating and can be reduced by -25% if the Scientist on the Science Ship has the Archaeologist trait. As the Scientist goes through excavations, it will roll a dice and add modifiers to the result, with the following formula: Result = dice roll + archaeology skill + clues − difficulty. Additional events can also trigger at the end of each excavation.
Precursor Archaeology Sites are visible only to the empire that starts the event chain and are used to advance the Baol and Zroni event chains.
If at the end of an Excavation phase the result is not high enough to grant a Clue or finish the Chapter then one of the following events may happen:
|Media Coverage modifier||Happiness|