A ship is a spaceborne vessel controlled by an empire. They are the primary way of interacting with objects and entities in the galaxy via specific ship orders. Ships are classified into civilian and military vessels, the former being controlled individually while the latter form fleets. All ships must be constructed at a Starbase or Orbital ring with a shipyard module, or with Federations enabled a Mega Shipyard or a Juggernaut. Each shipyard module can construct or upgrade one ship at a time. Ships can be repaired at any controlled, operational starbase above outpost level.
Civilian ships[edit | edit source]
Civilian ships represent all unarmed vessels of an empire and are controlled individually. Their shields, armor, and core components are automatically upgraded once the next tier component tech is unlocked at no cost, and they do not need to return to a Starbase to receive component upgrades. Each civilian ship, excluding transports, has a monthly maintenance cost of 1 energy. Construction and Science ships cost 100 alloys to build.
Civilian ships use the evasive fleet stance by default, meaning that they will attempt to escape the system whenever a hostile fleet enters it. They can also be set to a passive stance to ignore hostile fleets.
Construction ship[edit | edit source]
Construction ships are used to build every space structure. They are not used up during construction, meaning that they can go on to do other tasks after they have finished their building project. Construction ships also have a Fleet Order that makes them build mining and research stations automatically. Construction ships can construct the following:
|Build order||Base cost||Monthly upkeep||Description|
|Outpost|| 75 per hyperlane from closest owned system
100 if not Machine Intelligence
150 if Machine Intelligence
|1 Energy||The Starbase is a space station used to claim star systems and expand your borders. It can only be built in orbit around a star. The full cost is dependent on which star system is being claimed.|
|Mining Station||100 Minerals||1 Energy||Mining Stations are used to collect Minerals, Energy Credits and Strategic Resources from uninhabited planets, stars and asteroids. Mining Stations that collect Energy do not cost any upkeep.|
|Research Station||100 Minerals||1 Energy||Research Stations are used to collect Physics, Society and Engineering research data from uninhabited planets, stars and asteroids.|
|Observation Post||100 Minerals||1 Energy||Observation Posts can be built in orbit around planets inhabited by primitive civilizations to study their society.|
|Megastructure Site||depends on Megastructure||5 Energy||Megastructures are truly massive construction projects only possible in the zero-g environment of space.|
|Available only with the Overlord DLC enabled.|
Science ship[edit | edit source]
- See also: Surveying
Science ships are the primary method of exploring the galaxy and the stars and systems within it. They require a scientist to operate.
Once crewed, the science ship can conduct a survey of individual objects within a system. During these surveys, it can discover resources present on a celestial body (i.e.: planets, stars, asteroids, etc.). A survey may also result in the discovery of an anomaly. The science ship can also investigate debris left after a space battle which may yield research points or possibly even unlock unique technology options.
Science ships can also assist the research of a planet. Upon activation, the science ship will orbit the planet and boost its research output depending on the skill level of the scientist on board.
|Available only with the Overlord DLC enabled.|
Colony ship[edit | edit source]
- See also: Colonization
Colony ships allow an empire to settle habitable planets or megastructures in owned systems. When ordering the construction of a colony ship, the player is given the option of choosing the species or sub-species of the pop(s) that will be sent to the new colony. Pops are neither consumed nor transported in this process. Once constructed, the colony ship may be sent to any habitable world within an owned system to start a colony. Colony ships take one year to build and their upkeep cost is maintained throughout the whole colonization process. Colony ships can also be built through the interface of the planet to be colonized, which automatically queues the colonization order as long as the path is not blocked.
The cost of a colony ship in an organic empire depends on the government and the empire's primary species class.
Transport ship[edit | edit source]
- See also: Land warfare
Transport ships are the space based form of assault armies. After an army is recruited, it is automatically embarked in a transport ship which will be orbiting the planet where it was created. While armies have an upkeep cost, transport ships cost no additional energy to maintain. Transport ships are collected in fleets like military ships, but cannot be combined with military ships and are not listed in the fleet manager.
During war, transport ships must be carefully escorted by a military fleet since they are unarmed. Their only purpose is to carry assault armies into enemy planets so that they can occupy them. Transport fleets use the passive fleet stance by default, and can be set to use the aggressive stance, which will cause them to follow a military fleet and land on enemy planents with similar or less army strength. Additionally, some special projects require a transport ship to be completed.
Military ships[edit | edit source]
- See also: Space warfare
Military ships represent all armed vessels of an empire and unlike civilian ships they can be grouped together into fleets and led by an admiral. Military ships require both Energy and Alloys as monthly maintenance. Military ships have a number of base stats, but derive most of their stats from components. A military ships components can be customized via the ship designer.
Military ships are classified by their hull size, which determines their base combat stats, base cost, and available sections. There are four regular hull sizes available: Corvette, Destroyer, Cruiser, and Battleship; the Apocalypse expansion adds a fifth regular hull size – the Titan – and a special size, the Colossus. The Federations expansion adds a second special size, the Juggernaut. The Nemesis expansion adds a third special size, the Star-Eater, as well as Menacing versions of the Corvette, Destroyer, and Cruiser.
The size of a fleet is limited by an empire's Fleet Command Limit, which starts at 20 but can be increased by various technologies.
Upgrading ships[edit | edit source]
Military ships must be upgraded manually at a starbase with a shipyard module, Mega Shipyard, or Juggernaut whenever a design is updated. The cost for upgrading each ship is simply the difference in construction cost between the new design and the current one. Each ship upgrades individually, with multiple ships being upgraded simultaneously if the starbase contains multiple shipyards.
When upgrading a ship, the system will attempt to use the most recent version of the same class name. If no design of the same class name is available, then the upgrade process will retrofit them to the most-recently saved design of the same size instead.
If a ship obtained via an event contains components not yet researched, the ship should not be allowed to upgrade. Upgrading it will replace the components with the latest researched ones, even if those are inferior.
Ship size[edit | edit source]
Each military ship uses a certain amount of naval capacity and fleet command based on its size. The regular military ships have the following sizes:
Titans can only be built at a Citadel level starbase with a Titan Assembly Yards or a completed Mega Shipyard. The other regular sizes can be built at any starbase or orbital ring with a shipyard module, or at a Mega Shipyard or Juggernaut.
Except for Titans, each ship size has a Voidcraft technology: Standardized <size> Patterns, which reduces build cost by −5% and increases build speed by +25%. Each size also has two Voidcraft hull improvement technologies: Improved <size> Hulls and Advanced <size> Hulls, which each add between +20% and +33% hull points depending on ship class.
Titans also have a strict build limit, with a base of 1 allowed per empire; every 200 naval capacity increases an empire's Titan cap by 1, up to a maximum of 20 Titans at 3800 naval capacity.
Juggernauts use a separate cap of one Juggernaut per navy (see below), however when built as part of a Federation fleet they consume an additional 32 Federation naval capacity.
[edit | edit source]
Naval capacity represents the number of military ships that an empire can effectively support. Going beyond this limit will increase ship maintenance costs by a percentage proportional to the exceeded capacity. For example, if an empire exceeded its naval capacity by 50%, it would increase the maintenance cost of each ship by 50%. An empire's base naval capacity is 20 and is modified by the following:
|Galactic Mobilization Custodian Reform resolution||+150|
|Aetherophasic Engine stage 1
Additional +50 each stage, total: +250
|Galactic Force Projection ascension perk||+80|
| Per stage of Strategic Coordination Center
3 stages, total: +150
| Doctrine: Fleet Support tech line
4 technologies, total: +120
| Fleet Management Procedures tech
Max 5 times, total: +100
|Per Corporate empireMercenary Liaison Office corporate holding, for||+10|
|Per Corporate empirePirate Free Haven corporate holding, for||+10|
|PerRecruitment Office overlord holding, for overlord||+10|
|Per Mercenary Garrison starbase building
Only with Unchained Knowledge resolution level 3 or above
|Per Soldier/Warrior Drone job
Additional +2 with Ground Defense Planning technology
|Per Necromancer job
Additional +2 with Ground Defense Planning technology
|Per Duelist job||+2|
Maximum Naval Capacity may never exceed 9999. This is not a hard cap on the number of ships an empire can support; it is fully possible to exceed this limit as long as an empire can afford the increased maintenance fees for all of its ships. In fact, the AI will frequently build over its naval capacity if it has the resources to maintain its fleets. Because of this, it may likewise be necessary for a player to build over naval capacity, especially when preparing to go to war against an AI with equivalent or better fleet power.
[edit | edit source]
Naval coverage is equal to twice the naval capacity used and is used to calculate power projection. Power projection adds monthly influence based on the ratio of naval coverage to empire size. If naval coverage equals or exceeds empire size, power projection adds +2 monthly influence; imperial authority empires gain +3 monthly influence instead. If naval coverage is less than empire size, power projection is scaled by the percentage ratio. For example, with naval coverage of 50 and empire size of 100 (i.e. 50%), power projection would add +1 monthly influence, or +1.5 monthly influence for imperial authority.
Ship rank[edit | edit source]
As ships partake in battle, they will increase their rank. Ships start with zero experience. Ships gain +5 experience every day they are in combat and +0.1 experience every day they are suppressing piracy.
Ranks are classified as follows:
|Rank||Exp Points||Damage||Hull Points||Evasion|
Ship starting experience can be increased by the following:
|Fleet Supremacy edict||+100|
|Martial Alliance federation||+100|
|Built from a Starbase with a Fleet Academy building||+100|
|Built from a Mega Shipyard||+100|
Colossal ships[edit | edit source]
Colossal ships are the largest ships that can be built. There are three classes of colossal ships: the Colossus, the Juggernaut, and the Star-Eater. Each requires the starbase to have the Colossal Assembly Yards building before they can be constructed, and – aside from the Star-Eater – each empire can have only one of each at a time. However, replacements can be built if they are destroyed and Colossal ships obtained from integrated subjects will be kept.
Colossus[edit | edit source]
|Available only with the Apocalypse DLC enabled.|
The Colossus has a single weapon slot which can be equipped with a weapon of mass destruction capable of affecting an entire planet or habitable megastructure. Each Fallen Empire has a 10% chance to start the game with a Colossus and can build more if they have awakened. For player empires, constructing a Colossus requires the Colossus Project ascension perk.
Colossi are unable to attack enemy fleets, as they lack the weaponry to do so. During space battles, a Colossus will follow direct orders and will maneuver straight to its designated target. This means that the Colossus will do things such as going straight through an ongoing space battle to fire upon an enemy planet, unless its stance is set to Evasive.
An empire that owns a Colossus gains the Colossus casus belli, allowing them to declare a total war on other empires. Similarly, any other empire can use the Stop Colossus casus belli to declare a total war on the Colossus owner. During a total war, any systems captured by either side will be immediately annexed and the war can only end in the total destruction of either side or a status quo.
- If a Colossus is destroyed during a total war, nothing happens. The war is still a total war.
- If a Colossus is built during a regular war, nothing happens and the Colossus can be used as normal. If one side is totally destroyed by the Colossus, the war ends and the war goal is not enforced. The same is true if an empire that owns a Colossus is dragged into a regular war, usually because of federation or defensive pact.
Using a Colossus causes large amounts of war exhaustion on the targeted empire, and gives it +50% ethics attraction towards Militarist and Xenophobe, which can cause the diplomatic and political climate in the region to grow even more hostile over time.
The Colossus Project ascension perk does not directly unlock the Colossus hull or its weapons; rather, the perk grants access to a special project which unlocks both the ship and its weapon. After the special project is halfway completed, the empire is prompted to choose a starting Colossus weapon from those they could research (except Deluge Machine). The empire can later research other types of Colossus weapons and retrofit it into their Colossus via the ship designer.
Colossus weapons can only target planets, ringworlds and habitats. Targeting a planet with a pre-FTL civilization requires the Unrestricted Studies Native Interference policy.
A Colossus can carry the following weapons:
|Weapon||Effects||Opinion when used||Requirements for research||Notes|
||If used on a Holy World the Holy Guardians will awaken and declare a Total War on the perpetrator|
||AI worlds can be targeted and turned into broken worlds|
||Driven Assimilator||Can be used on pre-FTL worlds but will give −40 opinion with every empire|
||Hydrocentric ascension perk||Ringworlds, Habitats, and Ocean Worlds cannot be targeted|
Toxic god[edit | edit source]
|Available only with the Toxoids DLC enabled.|
The toxic god is a unique colossus that can be unlocked as part of the Search for the Toxic God situation and does not count towards the 1 colossus limit. Its weapon can turn habitable planets into Toxic Worlds. Unlike the buildable colossus the toxic god is armed with strike craft, energy weapons and regenerative hull tissues.
Juggernaut[edit | edit source]
|Available only with the Federations DLC enabled.|
The Juggernaut can construct, repair, and upgrade ships the same way a starbase can. It has 10 times the hull points of a Titan and features six Hangar slots and two turreted Extra Large slots. It also has its own set of aura components, which are significantly more powerful than the Titan's auras.
Juggernauts have two shipyards and can thus build or upgrade up to two ships at a time. It cannot build Titans or Colossi, but it can upgrade or repair them. The Juggernaut can also upgrade itself and will automatically start repairing itself after a battle. It cannot be repaired or upgraded at a starbase. Juggernauts can retreat and go Missing in Action to reappear at the nearest friendly starbase like all regular fleets. Fleets can set a Juggernaut as their homebase, though the target location of a "return to homebase", "repair", or "upgrade" order will fail to update in real time if the Juggernaut is still in motion.
Federation fleets, the Galactic Defense Force, and the Imperial Armada can all have a Juggernaut each, however in the formermost case they will consume 32 Federation naval capacity on top of filling out the Federation's single-Juggernaut cap.
Fallen Empires cannot build Juggernauts.
Star-Eater[edit | edit source]
|Available only with the Nemesis DLC enabled.|
The Star-Eater is equipped with a Star Cracker, a weapon that destroys stars. Constructing Star-Eaters requires the Become the Crisis ascension perk as well as reaching the final crisis level, which also gives two Star-Eaters for free. When the Star-Eater finishes firing, the star becomes a black hole, and all planets and megastructures are permanently destroyed. All fleets present except the Star-Eater will go MIA. If a system contains multiple stars, firing upon any of them destroys all stars in the system. Unlike Colossi, Star-Eaters are equipped with regular weapon slots and therefore can engage in regular fleet combat.
|Galaxy size||Dark matter|