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This article has been verified for the current PC version (3.0) of the game.

Guardians are extremely powerful Spaceborne aliens added in various DLCs. They can be found in special predetermined systems and rival moons in size and mass. They are marked with a skull icon both in the fleet power box and on the galactic map, and the exact strength number can only be seen with debug mode on. Each guardian has a unique event chain. While one can just stumble over one during exploration, they can also be found with the help of the Curator Enclave. Guardians have an immense amount of health and should only be engaged mid-late game.

Guardians get various bonuses to make them stronger based on the game difficulty. AI empires will only attack a guardian if their fleet power is at least 40k.

Asteroid Hives

The Hive asteroid belt

A random system in the galaxy will have an asteroid belt containing 5 unique crystalline asteroids with deposits of 6-8 Minerals.png Minerals and 6 unselectable asteroids with one of them producing a chirping-like sound. Entering the system for the first time will display an event window hinting that there's more to the system than meets the eye.

If the system is claimed with a Starbase the Asteroid Hives will awaken with the following MTTH based on the number of constructed mining stations:

Mining Stations 0 1 2 3 4 5
MTTH 100 years 33.3 years 11.1 years 3.7 years 1.2 years 0.4 years

The Asteroid Hives use only strike craft as their weapons. As a result carrier ships are the ideal counters as the Asteroid Hives have no point-defense themselves and launched strike craft will engage and destroy the enemy ones before attacking the guardians. In addition carrier ships have point defenses themselves.

Defeating all 6 Asteroid Hives will grant 500 Energy.png Energy and 2000 Society research Society research in addition to allowing the system to be safely mined.

Automated Dreadnought

Automated Dreadnought patrolling the empty system's asteroid belt

A random system in the galaxy with two habitable worlds will be defended by the Automated Dreadnought, an ancient warship of old locked in patrol mode. The Automated Dreadnought uses regular ship components and can be countered appropriately.

Weapons Utility Core
  • Large 2 Launcher T2
  • Large 5 Plasma T3
  • Small 3 Plasma T3
  • Small 2 Disruptor T3
  • Point defense 3 Point-Defense T3
  • Large 6 Armor T5
  • Large 6 Shields T5
  • Auxiliary 3 Shield Capacitor
  • Auxiliary 2 Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Ship part sensor 4.png Tachyon Sensors
  • Ship part jump drive 1.png Jump Drive
  • Ship part computer sapient.png Sapient Combat Computer (Line)
  • Ship part thruster 4.png Impulse Thrusters

Defeating the Automated Dreadnought gives the following two choices:

  1. Salvage the dreadnought for 5000 Energy.png Energy and Minerals.png Minerals and 1000-5000 Engineering research Engineering research.
  2. Issue a special project to repair and use it that costs 50000 Engineering research Engineering research. Its Jump Drive will be upgraded to a Psi Jump Drive if the empire has the technology.

Dimensional Horror

Dimensional Horror emerging in the current dimension

A random black hole system in the galaxy will appear empty on sensors but reveal the Dimensional Horror when first entered, a nightmarish creature that entered only partially in the current dimension. The guardian cannot move but its tentacles can strike across the entire system. Its weapons ignore armor but do -75% damage to shields. The Dimensional Horror has equal amount of shields, armor and hull as well as no evasion, making the long-ranged Kinetic Artillery or size X weapons the ideal counter.

Defeating the Dimensional Horror will leave behind a dimensional rift with a special project that takes 140 days to be researched. Once examined, it will give the following rewards:

  • 4000-6000 Physics Research Physics Research
  • 4000-6000 Society research Society Research
  • Unlock the Tech jump drive 1.png Jump Drive technology with 50% progress if not already researched

Enigmatic Fortress

Ancient Vault with all defenses

A random class A star system in the galaxy will house the Enigmatic Fortress, a massive space station guarded by numerous unique defense platforms. The Enigmatic Fortress uses regular components and can be countered appropriately. The installation consists of the following stations:

1 Ancient Vault 2 Ancient Guardian 2 Ancient Warden 4 Ancient Defender 8 Ancient Sentinel
  • Large 7 Artillery T2
  • Large 8 Shield T6
  • Large 7 Armor T5
  • Auxiliary 1 Enigmatic Decoder
  • Auxiliary 1 Shield Capacitor
  • Core Reactor T6
  • Core Sensor T4
  • Large 1 Artillery T2
  • Small 1 Autocannon T3
  • Point defense 1 Point Defense T3
  • Large 8 Shield T6
  • Large 4 Armor T5
  • Auxiliary 1 Enigmatic Decoder
  • Auxiliary 1 Shield Capacitor
  • Core Reactor T6
  • Core Sensor T4
  • Large 1 Artillery T2
  • Small 1 Autocannon T3
  • Large 4 Shield T6
  • Large 3 Armor T5
  • Auxiliary 1 Shield Capacitor
  • Core Reactor T6
  • Core Sensor T4
  • Small 1 Autocannon T3
  • Point defense 1 Point Defense T3
  • Large 2 Shield T6
  • Large 2 Armor T5
  • Medium 2 Shield T6
  • Auxiliary 1 Shield Capacitor
  • Core Reactor T6
  • Core Sensor T4
  • Small 1 Autocannon T3
  • Large 1 Armor T5
  • Medium 4 Shield T6
  • Auxiliary 1 Shield Capacitor

Defeating the Enigmatic Fortress will start a lengthy event chain that must be completed to gain its rewards. Letting the timer expire at any point will result in the vault repowering.

No. Choice Outcome
1 Demolitions Team (1 army transport) Expedition proceeds but the army is lost
Local Power Surge - Go with the higher estimate (-500 Energy.png energy) (science ship) Vault repowers
Local Power Surge - Go with the lower estimate (-50 Energy.png energy) (science ship) Expedition proceeds
2 Place metal rings around the remaining two poles Vault repowers
Search for torus-shaped indentations on the bulkhead Vault repowers
Rearrange the metal tori on the poles Expedition proceeds
Remove center and rightmost poles from the pedestal Vault repowers
3 Home System Research - The beginning Vault repowers
Home System Research - The middle Event success
Home System Research - The end Vault repowers
Supply Dark Matter (-10 Dark Matter.png Dark Matter) (science ship) Event success
Use Force (1 military ship) Event failed - the vault and all ships in the system are destroyed, every habitable planet is turned into a Tomb world and every uninhabitable one into a Molten world.
Black Hole Research (special project) Event success

Successfully investigating the Enigmatic Fortress will grant 1000-5000 Research.png Research across all fields as well as unlock the Tech enigmatic encoder.png Enigmatic Encoder and Tech enigmatic decoder.png Enigmatic Decoder technologies.

Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness empires will automatically get the rewards above upon defeating the Fortress, skipping the event chain entirely.

Ether Drake

Ether Drake

A random class F star system in the galaxy will feature a Planet molten.png Molten World called Dragon's Hoard guarded by the Ether Drake, a dragon-like guardian the size of a moon. The Ether Drake uses only energy weapons that do -20% damage to shields and has high hull and armor but no shields itself. As a result, shielded fleets equipped with energy weapons are the ideal counter. Initially the Ether Drake will stay and guard Dragon's Hoard but should it be attacked enough to lose 20% HP it will go to two random systems belonging to the attacker and destroy their starbases. After the Ether Drake leaves if the systems were colonized the starbases will be rebuild into frontier outposts. If the Ether Drake loses 85% HP it will stay or retreat to Dragon's Hoard and heal.

Defeating the Ether Drake grants the following rewards:

  • 300 Influence.png Influence
  • The Empire Capital gains the unique D monument.png Dragonslayer Monument planetary feature
  • The Empire gains the R dragon trophy.png Ether Drake Trophy Relic
  • If an Admiral was leading the fleet that defeated it, it will gain the Leader trait glory seeker.png Dragonslayer trait
  • The Dragon's Hoard, which outputs 30 Energy.png Energy and 30 Minerals.png Minerals. Building a mining station above it will reveal both of the following within 50 years, though not necessarily at the same time:
    • Remains of the Ether Drake's mate: The remains can be studied to unlock the Tech dragon armor.png Artificial Dragonscales, which is the best armor in the game. Alternatively, it can be grinded for 100-4000 Minerals.png Minerals and 1000-5000 Society research Society research.
    • Ether Drake's egg: The egg can be smashed for 300 Influence.png Influence or used in a timed special project that takes 50000 Society research Society research to hatch a controllable Ether Hatchling with about 7K Fleet Power. Unlike the controllable Space Amoeba, the Ether Hatchling will never grow to a full sized Ether Drake.

Infinity Machine

Infinity Machine orbiting Gargantua

A black hole system in the galaxy named Gargantua will house the Infinity Machine, the only guardian in the game that's not hostile. At first no interaction with the Infinity Machine is possible but a year or two after being discovered the guardian will send a transmission and start a special project that requires 360 days and at least a level 3 scientist leader to be finished. Completing the special project allows the following options:

  • Materialist.pngFanatic Materialist.png Materialist empires can attempt to hack the Infinity machine. Chance is 50% and if successful it permanently grants a +5% Research.png Research Output empire modifier as well as either the Tech sentient ai.png Positronic AI or the Tech zero point power.png Zero Point Power technology. If both were already researched it will grant 1000-5000 Society research Society research. For Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness empires this is the only option. This approach destroys the Infinity Machine.
  • Spiritualist.pngFanatic Spiritualist.png Spiritualist empires can declare the Infinity Machine a divine object, granting a +5% Mod pop happiness.png Happiness empire modifier.
  • Militarist.pngFanatic Militarist.png Militarist empires can destroy the Infinity Machine with an army without fighting it to gain the same bonuses as when defeating it.
  • All empires can communicate with the infinity Machine after the special project is completed. Militarist.pngFanatic Militarist.png Militarist and Fanatic Egalitarian.png Fanatic Egalitarian empires can try saying the liar's paradox but the guardian merely finds paradoxes boring. The empire can offer to help it and start a special project that requires 1800 days and a science vessel to be finished. Finishing the project will have one of the following outcomes.
    • 50%: the project fails but the Infinity Machine will reward the empire with the Tech sentient ai.png Positronic AI technology. If already researched it will grant the Tech zero point power.png Zero Point Power technology. If both were researched it will grant the empire a +5% Research.png Research Output empire modifier.
    • 25%: the project succeeds and the Infinity Machine enters the black hole. It will grant the Tech sentient ai.png Positronic AI technology. If already researched it will grant the Tech zero point power.png Zero Point Power technology. If both were researched it will grant 150 Influence.png Influence. In addition the black hole will get a 4 Research.png Research deposit.
    • 25%: the project succeeds and the Infinity Machine enters the black hole and shrinks it to a smaller size renamed Pantagruel which will get a 10 Research.png Research deposit. The empire will get 200 Influence.png Influence and permanently gain the Mirror of Knowledge modifier (+10% Mod country all tech research speed.png Research Speed). In addition a Curator Enclave can be contacted and given some info for 500 Engineering research Engineering Research.

Alternatively the Infinity Machine can be attacked, forcing it to open and become aggressive. The guardian comes equipped with lasers, strike craft, heavy shields and regeneration components and has good evasion. As a result, shielded fleets using kinetic weapons are the ideal counter. Destroying the Infinity Machine will allow it to be broken down for 700-4000 Minerals.png Minerals and 250-500 Influence.png Influence. Alternatively empires that are not Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness can study its nature to permanently unlock the next tier of Trait mechanical.png Mechanical Pop research. Destroying the Infinity Machine removes any empire modifier.

Horizon Signal

If the Horizon Signal event chain has been started entering the Gargantua system, whether it's the first time or not, will have the Infinity Machine initiate contact and ask you for 800 Energy.png Energy and Minerals.png Minerals. Refusing with either of the two options will have the guardian ask again next time a ship enters the system. Accepting will have the Infinity Machine disappear like the Horizon Signal science ship and add a 10 Society research Society Research deposit to Gargantua.

Spectral Wraith

650THz Spectral Wraith

The Spectral Wraith is a guardian that can only appear during the mid-game years. A random pulsar in the galaxy when surveyed will reveal a unique Pm strong magnetic field.pngPm frame 1.png Pulse Germination modifier. The first empire that surveys the pulsar will be shown an event window pointing to the date when the mid-game starts and hinting that is the system where the Spectral Wraith will spawn.

Unlike other guardians the Spectral Wraith is completely mobile and can travel anywhere in the galaxy. It will spawn in one of three colors: red, yellow or blue. In systems whose star has the same color (M for red wraiths, G for yellow wraiths, and A or B for blue wraiths) the Spectral Wraith will gain -50% Armor Armor and Evasion Evasion. Aside from this debuff, the color variation is purely cosmetic. Red Giants and binary/trinary systems do not trigger the debuff.


  • the hull has 20k Hitpoints, 10k Armor and a serious 75% Evasion. With aforementioned debuff reducing it to 5k Armor, 25% Evasion. Accordingly, small Energy Weapons offer the right amount of Tracking and Anti-Armor Ability, but with the high hull/armor ratio just about any weapon can work
  • the Weapons deal 100% to hull, 200% to Armor, 50% to Shields, at 80% Accuracy, 75% Tracking
  • Destroyers or Cruisers with small to medium guns and heavy shields or crystal plating should be ideal and available
  • Defeating it is possible starting ~5k Fleet power, assuming a perfect countering built. With ~10k able to defeat it trivially even with suboptimal conditions like large guns and a pulsar system. This makes it one of the weakest Leviathans, but in turn catching it is usually the issue.

Defeating the leviathan gives a permanent empire modifier with the following effects:

  • Research speed (Physics) +5% Physics Research Speed
  • Damage +5% Energy Weapons Damage
  • Energy.png +10% Energy from Jobs

Stellar Devourer

Real scale of the Stellar Devourer

A random class M star system in the galaxy will appear empty on sensors but reveal the Stellar Devourer when entered, a glowing spaceborne entity that feeds upon stars. If the Stellar Devourer was engaged and did not lose at least 67% HP it will attack one of the attacker's systems until the starbase is disabled and then stay for 90 days until retreating. If the system is colonized all planets will get -25% Mod pop happiness.png Happiness and Mod habitability.png habitability until the guardian leaves.

The Stellar Devourer's weapons are mostly energy and torpedoes, so shields and point defense are an effective counter. It has extremely high hull and point-defenses, but no armor or shields, making hull-damaging weapons such as plasma weapons and particle launchers the most effective counter.

Defeating the Stellar Devourer will give the option to issue a special project to investigate its remains that takes 60 days to be finished. Once examined it will give the following options:

  1. Harvest the remains for a large bonus of 350-2000 Energy.png Energy, 150-1000 Minerals.png Minerals and 80-175 Influence.png Influence.
  2. Try to reignite the Sun in the leviathan's home System. The Project has a 30% chance to kill the scientist and its ship but is guaranteed to turn the whole System more habitable: All Frozen Planets will become Arctic planets, with one guaranteed Gaia World. All other planets undergo a temperature increase as well, rerolling them completely.

Xenophobe.pngFanatic Xenophobe.png Xenophobe and Militarist.pngFanatic Militarist.png Militarist empires have the option to instead gain the unique D monument.png Stellar Devourer Trophy planetary feature (+8 Unity.png Unity, +5% Mod pop happiness.png Happiness ) on the empire capital, as well as 500 Influence.png influence.

Corrupted Avatar

Corrupted Avatar

A randomly placed system with a wormhole will bring an event window when first entered, mentioning a signal coming out of the wormhole and hinting that this specific wormhole is different from the rest. Exploring the wormhole will reveal its connection to a trinary system in the galaxy with no hyperlane connections. Said system is guarded by a Corrupted Avatar (aka Psionic Entity). The Avatar uses only energy weapons that ignore armor but do -75% damage to shields. It has moderate hull and shields but no armor, making kinetic weapons very effective.

Defeating the Corrupted Avatar allows free access to the system, which contains a Gaia World which when surveyed will reveal a level V anomaly. Investigating the anomaly grants access to the Tech neuroregeneration.png Neural Tissue Engineering technology to organic empires or 300-1000 Society research Society research if Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligence. The gas giant in the system will also have a Exotic gases.png Exotic Gases deposit.

The Corrupted Avatar can be avoided by setting a science ship's stance to passive and guiding it around the guardian. This approach does not allow colonizing the Gaia World but it does allow the research reward to be claimed.

If a Sentry Array has been completed the system housing the Corrupted Avatar can be seen but cannot be entered with Jump Drives until the system has been entered via the wormhole first.

Unlike other guardians the Corrupted Avatar will always be present if the required DLC is installed. Its system is accessible only via a wormhole which will appear even if wormholes were disabled on game startup.

In the Utopia.png Utopia DLC Corrupted Avatars can also appear for 10 years following Shroud failures. They have the same stats but do not grant any reward upon being defeated.

Tiyanki Matriarch

Tiyanki Matriarch

A random system in the galaxy with a Gaia World and another habitable world will be home to the Tiyanki Matriarch, the eldest member of the species and the only one to be aggressive when approached. The Matriarch has two weapons - one that ignores armor and does -75% damage against shields and one that deals double damage against both shields and armor. It also has significant armor and very high hull but no shields and as a result should be engaged with energy weapons.

Defeating the Tiyanki Matriarch gives the following rewards:

  • Reth Unddol, a level 5 admiral with the unique Leader trait hells heart.png Hell's Heart trait. Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png Genocidal empires will kill her for 120-350 Unity.png Unity instead.
  • AH4B, a battleship that can be used or scrapped for 1500 Minerals.png Minerals. It comes equipped with the following components:
Weapons Utility Core
  • Guided 1 Missile T5
  • Guided 1 Whirlwind Missile T2
  • Guided 2 Torpedoes T3
  • Small 4 Plasma T3
  • Small 1 Autocannon T3
  • Large 4 Armor T5
  • Large 4 Shields T5
  • Auxiliary 1 Shield Capacitor
  • Auxiliary 1 Advanced Afterburners
  • Ship part hyper drive 3.png Hyper Drive III
  • Ship part computer default.png Advanced Combat Computer (Artillery)
  • Ship part thruster 3.png Plasma Thrusters

Defeating the Tiyanki Matriarch will breach the Galactic Law if the Tiyanki Conservation Act Resolution was passed and the empire is a member of the Galactic Community. Doing so will also incur a fine of -5000 Energy.png Energy Credits.



The Voidspawn is an unborn guardian, hidden within a size 20 Trait pc desert preference.pngTrait pc arid preference.pngTrait pc savannah preference.png Dry world orbiting a class G star. Within a year after colonizing a planet in the system, an event will mention how the dry world has a pulse. Within the next half a year the planet will change its appearance, add 30 Devastation.png Devastation and create 3 Rifts Blockers. Within another half a year one of two things will happen. Either the pulse will stop or the planet will once again change its appearance, add 30 Devastation.png Devastation and create 3 Rifts Blockers. Should the latter happen the Voidspawn will hatch in a few months, destroying the colony and turning the planet into a Cracked World with a 20 Society research Society Research deposit. A month later it becomes hostile.

The Voidspawn uses only guided weapons. It has high hull and armor but no shields, making energy weapons effective against it. Defeating the guardian grants 600-6000 Unity.png Unity and brings the option to start a special project to research what was left of the egg planet that takes 140 days and grants the Tech gargantuan evolution.png Gargantuan Evolution technology.

If the Voidspawn did not hatch the planet will return to its original appearance once all Rifts Blockers are removed.

Scavenger Bot

Scavenger Bot in the debris field

A random class M Red Giant star system will contain an ancient battlefield debris field patrolled by the Scavenger Bot, an ancient construct constantly scrounging the debris field for new parts.

The guardian uses only guided weapons. It uses equal amounts of shields and armor but has no point-defense and barely any evasion, making both guided weapons and strike craft very effective against it.

Defeating the Scavenger Bot grants the Tech nanite repair system.png Nanite Repair System technology, as well as two random Tech mass drivers 5.pngTech lasers 5.pngTech missiles 5.pngTech ship armor 5.pngTech shields 5.png tier V component techs or a large amount of Engineering research Engineering research if all techs were already researched.

Additionally the system has two broken worlds that bring in total 20 Minerals.png Minerals when mined.



Shard is a guardian that fights identically to the Ether Drake. She appears upon the conclusion of the Kleptomaniac Rats Archaeology Site excavation. Defeating her grants the R rubricator.png Rubricator Relic.

If the Relic World is colonized the guardian will destroy the colony in two years if it's not defeated.

As the excavation already requires claiming the system, the starbase can be upgraded into a bastion citadel in preparation for the fight. Alternatively the final Chapter of the site can be delayed to better prepare technologically.

If Shard spawns adjacent to a Fallen Empire, the Empire will send a fleet to destroy her, rendering the Rubricator unobtainable.