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This article has been verified for the current PC version (3.2) of the game.

Faster-than-light travel, often abbreviated to FTL, is the method by which ships traverse the vast emptiness of space between star systems. Advancements in technology can grant improvements to the speed at which ships jump to FTL and even unlock experimental FTL drives.

A fleet will initiate FTL travel when its first ship reaches the edge of a system or bypass, regardless of the current position of other ships.


A hyperlane network predates all other known construction in the galaxy and connects the star systems together to allow interstellar travel, although some systems may be more isolated than others. Ships move at sublight speed until they reach a hyperlane entry point (shown as an arrow on the system map). The Hyperlane Density setting determines the number of hyperlanes individual systems can have. A double value creates a very unrestricted game where interdiction is next to impossible. Conversely, a half value connects the galaxy linearly, with most systems having only two hyperlanes, allowing for a highly defensive game.

FTL drive Alloys.png Cost Power Power Time FTL charge time Fleet action button jump.png Tactical jump Required technology Crisis date Description
Ship part hyper drive 1.png Hyper Drive I 5 10 No.png regular Ships equipped with Hyper Drives travel swiftly between the edges of star systems along interstellar hyperlanes.
Ship part hyper drive 2.png Hyper Drive II 10 15 -25% No.png Tech hyper drive 2.png Hyperlane Breach Points regular
Ship part hyper drive 3.png Hyper Drive III 15 20 -50% No.png Tech hyper drive 3.png Hyperspace Slipstreams regular
Ship part jump drive 1.png Jump Drive 20 30 -70% Yes.png Tech jump drive 1.png Jump Drive 50 years earlier The Jump Drive tears ship-sized holes in the very fabric of reality, allowing for near-instantaneous movement between systems. The nature of the space the ship passes through on this journey is still poorly understood.
Ship part psi jump drive 1.png Psi Jump Drive 20 30 -80% Yes.png
+50% range
Tech psi jump drive 1.png Psi Jump Drives 50 years earlier The Psi Jump Drive harnesses the psionic potential of the ship's crew to warp the local space-time continuum, eliminating the distance between the point of origin and the destination. Supposedly.

Systems that are restricted because of closed borders are shown in red on the galaxy map. Home systems of Space Creatures that haven't been investigated with the initial special project are also restricted.

FTL Inhibitors

FTL magnet.png FTL Inhibitors are devices present inside Fortress buildings and at least Starport level starbases once the Tech aura snare.png FTL Inhibition technology is researched. Hostile fleets can only leave a system with an FTL inhibitor through the same hyperlane they entered from.

Tactical Jumps

Ships equipped with Ship part jump drive 1.png Jump Drives or Ship part psi jump drive 1.png Psi Jump Drives can execute Tactical Jumps. Tactical Jumps allow a ship or fleet to instantly travel to any system within a large range indicated by a yellow dotted circle. After jumping the fleet spends 200 days recharging, during which time it suffers -50% Mod ship speed mult.png Sublight Speed and Mod ship weapon damage.png Weapons Damage.

Experimental Subspace Navigation

The Tech experimental subspace navigation.png Speculative Hyperlane Breaching technology enables science ships led by a scientist Leader to travel directly to a destination, ignoring the hyperlane network. During the transit the ship is considered MIA. Experimental Subspace Navigation can be used to bypass impassable areas such as a guarded system, a closed empire's borders or the galactic core.

Rolling subspace tides

The L-Cluster as well as the system housing the Corrupted Avatar guardian cannot be entered via either Experimental Subspace Navigation or Tactical Jumps and attempting to do so will show a notification about rolling subspace tides allowing only conventional travel. Both Experimental Subspace Navigation and Tactical Jumps can be used to leave the said systems however. The rolling subspace tide around the Corrupted Avatar system will recede once the system has been entered at least once via its wormhole.


Humanoid Empire using a wormhole

There are two types of Bypasses in Stellaris: wormholes and gateways. Both offer instantaneous travel but require research in order to be usable. The number of Bypasses can be adjusted at settings before the start of a game session. Ships will automatically use Bypasses if the route is shorter, shown on the starmap by a blue travel line.


Wormholes are natural formations that come in pairs and link two random systems across the galaxy. Initially, wormholes are too unstable to allow passage through them, but once an empire obtains the Tech wormhole stabilization.png Wormhole Stabilization technology, that empire's science ships can stabilize wormholes for that empire by right clicking on the wormhole or its system, opening them permanently for their empire. This only allows passage through that wormhole for ships of that empire; other empires must research the tech themselves, and then also "stabilize" that wormhole, before being able to use it. Clicking on a wormhole will shift the camera to the connecting system. Like hyperlanes, a wormhole cannot be used if the other end lies within an empire with closed borders except if war is declared.

One of the wormholes will always lead to the Sealed System, a trinary system with no hyperlane connection containing a Gaia planet that is guarded by a Corrupted Psionic Avatar. This wormhole will be present in the galaxy even if wormholes have been disabled.

Wormhole generation events

The Alien Machine event can be triggered by investigating an anomaly with the same name that can appear on asteroids. One of the two event options will lead to the creation of a new wormhole pair, one end in a system 2-8 hyperlanes away and the other in a system 15-50 hyperlanes away.

If Earth is destroyed with a World Cracker there is a 50% chance of creating a wormhole in the system leading to another newly created wormhole.


Real scale of a Gateway

While exploring the galaxy, empires can find abandoned gateways that were once part of a massive, galaxy-spanning network. The number of abandoned gateways can be scaled by galaxy settings. Owning a system with an inactive Gateway drastically increases the chance for the Tech gateway activation.png Gateway Activation technology to appear, which is required to reactivate them.

Reactivation of an abandoned gateway takes 2 years and costs 6000 Energy.png energy and 2500 Alloys.png alloys. When a Gateway is reactivated for the first time in the galaxy, another random Gateway will also reactivate along with it.

Empires can build their own Gateways by researching the Tech gateway construction.png Gateway Construction technology, which requires the Empire to have encountered any pre-existing Gateways, so if Gateways were disabled during galaxy creation, it is impossible to build any new ones.

Each system can only have one Gateway. They can be constructed even in a system with an L-Gate or a wormhole. The construction site must be built outside the system gravity well and is built in 3 years and costs 100 Influence.png influence and 2500 Alloys.png alloys. Upgrading it into a fully functional Gateway takes 3 years and costs 6000 Energy.png energy and 2500 Alloys.png alloys.

Gateways can travel to any other gateway, so long as the empire that owns the gateway has its borders open and is not at war with the traveling fleet's empire. Due to the unique system of the L-Gate, you can jump through one to the L-Cluster, then onto another L-gate so long as its borders are open, or you are at war. Regular empires cannot close their borders to Fallen Empires, therefore regular empires' Gateways can always be accessed by the Fallen Empires, except while at war with them. Claims can be extended through gateways, however only if the borders are open on the side that's getting claimed. Sectors don't extend through gateways.

Gateways are able to greatly enhance and simplify trade routes.

Gateways can't be deactivated or destroyed once they are fully activated or constructed.

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