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This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.

A crisis is an End-Game event that can occur and threatens the entire galaxy, each having the ultimate goal of destroying all life. There is no diplomacy beyond exchanging menacing words with the invaders. Either they are stopped or they conquer the galaxy. Each crisis has a situation log entry that keeps count of the casualties on both sides and shows how close it is from being defeated. Only a single crisis can occur per game; if the Contingency is triggered, then the Prethoryn Swarm will not appear - and vice versa.

The Crisis Strength setting determines the stats of each crisis' ships as well as their weapons damage, scaling from 0.25× to 5.0×. In addition higher difficulties will also make every crisis more powerful.

When a crisis happens all non-genocidal regular empires, even some Fallen Empires, will open their borders to facilitate fighting the said crisis. Fallen Empires will send their fleets against a crisis if it approaches their borders and may even awaken to help fight it.

Each crisis has an audio cue that will play in the background, growing more nuanced as the crisis overruns more of the galaxy.

The Ap defender of the galaxy.png Defender of the Galaxy ascension perk grants +50% Damage damage bonus against crisis enemies, making it very useful at turning the tide if more conventional means are ineffective.

Crisis triggers

After 50 years into the End-Game the crisis trigger will roll once every 5 years until a crisis takes place, with the following weights

  • 10 for the Prethoryn Scourge
    • x2 if more than 60 End-Game years passed
    • x3 if more than 80 End-Game years passed
    • x4 if more than 100 End-Game years passed
  • 10 for the Extradimensional Invaders
    • x0 if no default empire has either version of the Jumpdrive
    • x4 if any default empire has Psi Jump Drive
    • x1.5 if any empire completed the Wanderlust Event chain.
  • 10 for the Contingency
    • x0 if no default empire has the Tech synthetic workers.png Synthetics technology and Trait mechanical.png Mechanical Pops
    • x2 if any default empire has the Tech synthetic workers.png Synthetics technology and between 25% and 50% Trait mechanical.png Mechanical Pops
    • x4 if any default empire has the Tech synthetic workers.png Synthetics technology and more than 50% Trait mechanical.png Mechanical Pops
    • x1.5 if the Ancient Caretakers exist
  • 120 Nothing

After a crisis is chosen, the global flag for it is set and the initial crises event is triggered after 200 days + Random(800) days.

Prethoryn Scourge

Prethoryn Scourge

The Prethoryn crisis begins with a notice about subspace echoes beyond the galaxy that are approaching. Immediately a situation log notice called "The Coming Storm" is added.

On a MTTH of 600 months, they will be close enough to get the general direction of the swarm. A system at the edge of the galaxy will be marked as the center of the Invasion. The system cannot be within or near a Fallen or Awakened Empire. It will not be an owned system either unless every rim system is claimed. 5 forward systems are marked for the vanguard fleets. 120 months after that, a transmission will be received from the swarm.

30 months later the Vanguard will arrive. A total of 12 vanguard fleets will arrive in 4 random systems near the center of the invasion. 40–80 days after the vanguard the main invasion fleet will arrive at the center system. In each vanguard system 3 Star Brood and 3 Transport Fleets will spawn. At this point the Prethoryn Scourge appears in the contact log but diplomacy is impossible.

The Prethoryn Scourge uses the following mechanics:

  • The Prethoryn species itself is immortal so their gestalt pattern admirals will never die of old age.
  • The Swarm gets fleets at regular intervals on any system with a spaceport.
    • (monthly) If they have no planet and army they get a fleet of 20 armies
    • (yearly) If their count of Infestors is under 4, they get a fleet of 5 Infestors
    • (yearly) If their count of Infestors is under 4 but they still have at least 10 ships total, they get a fleet of 3 constructors
    • (every 2 years) If their ship count is under 2000 and they have at least 1 owned planet left, some new Star Brood Fleets will spawn. They always get 2 fleets, with a third fleet at 20% galactic border coverage and a fourth fleet at 40% border coverage. They may also get Constructors and Infestors with this reinforcement.
  • Prethoryn constructors will build starbases to expand their territory. Their starbases are as strong as citadels and modified by the Crisis Difficulty setting.
  • The Prethoryn Scourge use infestors instead of colony ships. They will land on uncolonized habitable planets and subvert the biosphere within a year. Any orbital bombardment will instantly interrupt the process.
  • Prethoryn transports will invade inhabited planets using ground armies for the sole purpose of purging the pops. During this phase the planet can be recaptured with ground armies. Once all populations have been purged the planets will become infested.
  • Infested Planets cannot be invaded. In order to get rid of the infestation, infested planets must be bombarded until Planetary Devastation reaches 100%, at which point they will turn into a barren planet that can be terraformed.
  • If the Scourge overruns a ring world segment it will destroy it. Ring world segments destroyed by the swarm cannot be rebuilt. Overrun habitats are destroyed entirely and are likewise impossible to rebuild.

Audio Cue: As the Prethoryn Scourge infests more of the galaxy faint chittering sounds will start to be heard in the background.

Prethoryn Ships

Prethoryn Ships have natural armor despite not using armor components.

Swarmling Warrior Brood Mother Queen Starbase
  • Guided 1 Scourge Missile
  • Small 2 Acid Blast
  • Auxiliary 1 Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Bio Drive
  • Core Bio Sensor
  • Core Picket tactics
  • Guided 3 Scourge Missile
  • Medium 2 Acid Blast
  • Auxiliary 1 Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Bio Drive
  • Core Bio Thrusters
  • Core Bio Sensor
  • Core Line tactics
  • Hangar 4 Swarm Strikers
  • Small 2 Acid Blast
  • Auxiliary 1 Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Bio Drive
  • Core Bio Thrusters
  • Core Bio Sensor
  • Core Artillery tactics
  • Guided 4 Scourge Missile
  • Medium 3 Acid Blast
  • Hangar 3 Swarm Strikers
  • Auxiliary 1 Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Bio Drive
  • Core Bio Thrusters
  • Core Bio Sensor
  • Core Artillery tactics
  • Guided 5 Scourge Missile
  • Medium 5 Acid Blast
  • Hangar 3 Swarm Strikers
  • Auxiliary 1 Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Bio Sensor

Vanguard fleets consist of 31 Swarmlings led by an admiral with the Void Swimmer Trait (+20% STL and Combat Speed).

Star Brood fleets consist of 1 Queen, 8 Brood Mothers, 10 Warriors, and 35 Swarmlings. They are led by an admiral that has a 25% chance to have the unique Hive Affinity Trait (+20% Mod ship fire rate mult.png Fire Rate).

Prethoryn Scourge uses unique Prethoryn Army to invade planets. Each transport fleet consist of 20 Armies and do not have a general. Prethoryn Army has 400 health, inflicts 3-6 damage and 6-12 morale damage per day. They deal 100% collateral damage.

The scourge uses unique bio-equipment, some of which can be reverse engineered.

  • Bio Drive: This is equivalent to Hyper Drive I, which provides FTL ability but no jump charge time bonus.
  • Bio Thrusters: This is equivalent to Chemical Thrusters (Thrusters T1).
  • Bio Sensor: This is equivalent to Gravitic Sensors (Sensor T2) but lacks the tracking bonus.
  • Small Acid Blast: 20–46 Damage with 75% accuracy and 70% tracking, 60 Range, 4 CD, +50% Shield Damage.
  • Medium Acid Blast: 50–115 Damage with 75% accuracy and 25% tracking, 60 Range, 4 CD, +50% Shield Damage.
  • Scourge Missile: This weapon can be reverse-engineered.
    • 20 Hull Points, 40% Evasion, 18 Speed and 120 Retarget Range
    • 135–175 Damage with 100% accuracy and 5% tracking, 120 range, 5 CD, 100% Shield Penetration, +50% Armor Damage, +50% Hull Damage
  • Swarm Strikers: This weapon can be reverse-engineered.
    • 10 units per hangar
    • 80 HP, 20 Armor, 80% Evasion per Unit
    • 8–12 Damage with 100% accuracy and no tracking, 10 Range, 8 CD, 100% Shield Penetration, 66% Armor Penetration

Successfully repelling the Prethoryn Swarm

Prethoryn swarm entities are heavily armored, attack enemies with missiles and strike craft, along with some acid bursts. Swarmlings possess corvette-level evasion.

Since all their weapons either ignore or cause major damage to shields, and work equally well against armor and hull, combat fleets should protect themselves with point defense, armor and plating. Use energy weapons that deal bonus damage against both armor and hull to attack.

Empires which lack the means to directly counter the Prethoryn Swarm's fleets should immediately focus on containing its expansion instead. Keeping multiple small fleets of corvettes or destroyers to hunt down their civilian ships and stopping infestations is a viable strategy to limit the spread of the Prethoryn.

If an important planet falls to a Prethoryn invasion, it will take much longer for them to infest it compared to uninhabited planets, as purging takes much longer than infestation.

Prethoryn "Star Brood" fleets are composed of at least one Queen, escorted by Warrior and Brood Mother battleship equivalents, with Spawnling corvettes making up the bulk of the fleet combat strength. A fleet equipped with long-range weapons can expect to destroy a number of Spawnlings before the Prethoryn units are able to return fire, at which point emergency FTL can be used to avoid casualties altogether. By repairing and repeating, this guerrilla tactic can wear down Prethoryn fleets until they are small enough to defeat in a full confrontation.

Salvage should not be forgotten as it unlocks their bio-weaponry, which is most useful against themselves. The starbases are equally good sources of technology as the fleets while being much easier targets.

Infested planets are immediately turned into barren planets once they take enough planet damage. Since the Swarm only can infest habitable worlds, it is possible to starve the Swarm by cornering them and launching surgical strikes toward their planets to render them uninhabitable, thus widening the berth between them and any infestable territory. The Prethoryn will pull any fleets from surrounding systems to defend their planets, so fleets targeting Prethoryn planets must be prepared to face multiple swarm fleets if those have not been dealt with already. AI Empires in particular will use such hit-and-run tactics against infested planets.

Another feasible strategy is to get a Colossus into the area where the Crisis will spawn and breaking all of the planets to starve them, putting your best fleets near the edge of the invasion zone is also helpful, stationing them at the ending for any wormholes leading out of the invasion zone is a must.

When the Prethoryn Scourge is defeated the entire galaxy will gain +20 Mod pop happiness.png happiness for 120 months.


Sentinel Fleet

When the Prethoryn Scourge covers at least 20% of the galaxy, the special Sentinel empire will spawn close to any borders, frequently the swarm's. A new black hole system will be spawned for them and they have Fallen Empire level tech although their fleets will lack strength from strategic resources and repeatable technologies. This mechanic is in addition to a "Guardians of the Galaxy" awakening. The player can donate energy to the Sentinels so they can afford more ships although they will refuse the offer if their ship count is already over 100. If their ship count is under 50, they will get a new fleet on an MTTH of 100 months. The fleets use a mix of ship appearances but with a unified internal design using top-tier weapons and equipment. They also have access to Fallen Empire titans. Sentinel admirals have the Sentinel Training trait, giving them +20% damage against the Prethoryn Scourge.

After the Sentinels spawn, the killed Prethoryn fleets are tallied for every empire. Empires are eligible for a one time donation of ships from the sentinels under the following conditions:

  • At least 7 Prethoryn Fleets were tallied
  • The sentinels still have more than 30 ships
  • Did not attack the Sentinels

When the Prethoryn Scourge covers at least 50% of the galaxy the Sentinels will make a breakthrough in swarm anatomy, giving every empire +20% damage against the Prethoryn Scourge.

The sentinels do not expand. A few weeks after the Prethoryn Scourge has been defeated their Grand Master will disband the Sentinels.

Captured Queen

Later in the event chain (MTTH of 820 months after main invasion), an incapacitated Prethoryn Queen will appear in a random system inside the Prethoryn Space. A special project will be available to acquire the creature. By severing the Queen's connection to the Swarm's overmind and installing an implant, the Queen can be rendered 'tame' and subservient to whoever is able to complete the Special Project first. This gives the player a Queen which will spawn more Prethoryn ships up to a 126 Fleet Command Limit. It is impossible to change the leader and composition of the fleet in any way and the leader is not eligible for factions or rulership.

The R prethoryn queen.png Prethoryn Brood-Queen Relic, can be obtained earlier, after winning a random fight against Prethoryn fleets, which allows the creation of controlled Prethoryn fleets with 80 Fleet Command Strength for 10000 Food as its active ability. These fleets can be merged even above the usual Fleet Command Limit!

Feral Prethoryn

For 15 years after the Prethoryn Scourge has been defeated, every year there is a 10% chance that on a previously infested planet that's not inhabited a Feral Prethoryn swarm may appear. They will not expand but may roam the surrounding systems and fight other Feral Prethoryn swarms. Roaming fleets are made up of 30 Swarmlings.

Communicating with the Scourge

If an empire's primary species has the Leader trait ruler hive mind.png Hive Minded or Trait psionic species.png Psionic traits, it will be able to communicate with the Prethoryn Scourge. They will explain that they're the last survivors of a race and the word "Prethoryn" specifically means "survivor". They also explain that they were driven to near extinction by a species referred to as "The Hunters" and that they will eventually also come to the galaxy as they've hunted the Prethoryn for eons, possibly destroying the galaxy in the process. They also state that peace is impossible since they need to feed before returning to the void between galaxies. The Prethoryn "HAK HAK HAK!" isn't laughing at the other empires for trying to stop them, it's laughing at them for thinking they might survive something like The Hunters.

In addition, within 100 years of acquiring the R prethoryn queen.png Prethoryn Brood-Queen Relic if the main species is Trait psionic species.png Psionic, the queen will tell the telepaths about a "Hole in the Void" and lead them to discover that the galaxy the Prethoryn came from has been extinguished by something.

Extradimensional Invaders

Extradimensional Unbidden

Summoned only by having the Jump Drive technology, invaders come from a plane of existence close to the Shroud and that seek to devour everything from this plane of existence. They invade through a fracture in the fabric of spacetime and destroying the portal is the only way to stop the invasion. Still, for those empires willing to take the risk of unleashing the Extradimensionals, the rewards are significant. Safe access to Jump Drive technology is but one of these boons; destroyed Unbidden ships can be salvaged by a Science Ship to discover the Tech extradimensional weapon 1.png Extradimensional Weaponry technology, which grants access to powerful Matter Disintegrators weapons. On a smaller note, the empire that destroys the portal will get a temporary Diplomacy opinion.png Opinion bonus from everyone.

The portal cannot be destroyed until all other dimensional outposts are destroyed. The portal will be guarded by the main Extradimensional fleet. If the portal system is attacked, then the invaders will recall all of their ships to aid in its defense, which can result in the loss of an unprepared fleet, but can also be used to destroy all their fleets quickly. If the starbase in the portal system is destroyed, all fleets will remain to guard the system until it is rebuilt, halting their expansion.

Audio Cue: As the Extradimensional Invaders consume more of the galaxy a faint wind will start to be heard in the background.

The Extradimensional Invaders use the following mechanics:

  • The Extradimensional species themselves are immortal so their admirals will never die of old age.
  • Extradimensional Invaders do not invade planets. Instead, their fleets drain energy from orbit. Once the planet takes 100% damage it will be stripped of all life and turned into a barren world that can be terraformed.
  • If the Extradimensional Invaders overrun a ring world segment it will destroy it. Ring world segments destroyed by them cannot be rebuilt. Overrun habitats are destroyed entirely and cannot be rebuilt.
  • Extradimensional construction ships will start creating starbases in any available system, which expand their territory, reduce their reinforcement arrival time and make the portal invulnerable.
  • The invaders get initial fleets on 15th, 30th, 55th, 90th, 180th, 265th, 340th, 425th and 550th days after the portal spawns
  • Unless they have more than 2000 ships they will receive smaller reinforcement fleets through the portal at regular intervals:
    • 0: 1500 days, ±200
    • 1: 1300 days, ±200
    • 2: 1100 days, 200
    • 3: 900 days, ±200
    • 4: 600 days, ±200
    • 5: 400 days, ±200
    • 6: 400 days, ±200
    • 7: 300 days, ±100
    • 8: 250 days, ±50
    • 9: 200 days, ±50
    • 10 or more: 150 days, ±50

Extradimensional Ships

Unbidden, Aberrant and Vehement ships use different names but are identical save for color.

Escort Cruiser Battleship Starbase
  • Medium 3 Matter Disintegrator
  • Small 5 Psionic Shield
  • Core Psi Jump Drive
  • Core Sensor T4
  • Core Line tactics
  • Large 1 Matter Disintegrator
  • Medium 3 Matter Disintegrator
  • Small 2 Matter Disintegrator
  • Medium 5 Psionic Shield
  • Core Psi Jump Drive
  • Core Sensor T4
  • Core Line tactics
  • Large 3 Matter Disintegrator
  • Medium 4 Matter Disintegrator
  • Small 2 Matter Disintegrator
  • Large 5 Psionic Shield
  • Core Psi Jump Drive
  • Core Sensor T4
  • Core Line tactics
  • Large 4 Matter Disintegrator
  • Medium 4 Matter Disintegrator
  • Large 10 Psionic Shield
  • Core Sensor T4
Extradimensional Aberrant
Extradimensional Vehement

Initial fleets consist of 9 battleships, 12 cruisers and 20 escorts led by an Admiral which may get the Dimensional Stutter or Ethereal traits.

Reinforcement fleets consist of 4 battleships, 6 cruisers and 10 escorts led by an Admiral which may get the Dimensional Stutter or Ethereal traits.

Portal Fleets consist of 21 battleships, 30 cruisers and 45 escorts led by an Admiral with the Ethereal trait.

Their unique weapons - Matter Disintegrators - come in 3 sizes and can be reverse-engineered. These exotic energy weapons deal −50% damage to shield, +50% damage to armor and +100% damage to hull.

  • Small Matter Disintegrator: 20−49 Damage with 90% accuracy and 60% tracking, 60 Range, 4.5 CD.
  • Medium Matter Disintegrator: 50−123 Damage with 90% accuracy and 30% tracking, 90 Range, 4.5 CD.
  • Large Matter Disintegrator: 120−294 Damage with 90% accuracy and 5% tracking, 120 Range, 4.5 CD.

The Aberrant and the Vehement

When the Unbidden border covers at least 15% of the Galaxy a second extradimensional portal will open, bringing up another faction called the Aberrant. With a MTTH of 40 months after the Aberrant arrive, a third portal bringing a third faction called the Vehement will open. While all three factions will be hostile towards life, they are also hostile towards each other.

The new factions have a far shorter delay for the Initial Fleet spawns (1, 5, 15, 30, 45, 60, 150, 350) in order to bring them on even ground with the Unbidden.

When the Aberrant and the Vehement appear the extradimensionals will have a trend to fight each other first, possibly binding their fleets for a strike at the starbases or portals.

Successfully repelling the Extradimensional Invaders

The most efficient fleets are those heavily shielded, and equipped with kinetic weapons to quickly bring down shields and guided weapons to ignore them. Their ships have poor evasion, even when led by an Ethereal admiral.

The player has multiple strategic choices when faced with these Extradimensional Invaders:

  • A quick rush after the portal opening might be possible. However, one needs to be able to quickly dispatch the portal guards and initial fleets as they spawn, which requires very powerful fleets.
  • Unlike other crisis, their initial invasion fleets are much stronger than reinforcements. If the player can effectively clear their initial fleets, reinforcements shouldn't be a problem since they're much weaker than initial ones.
  • Salvage should not be forgotten as it unlocks their unique weapons. The starbases are equally good sources of technology as the fleets while being much easier targets. However, the Matter Disintegrator weapons are anti-armour and hull, and the extradimensionals use no armor on their ships, so replacing your weaponry with these is generally a bad idea to fight the invaders.
  • If extradimensional invaders claimed lots of systems before normal empires can strike back, player should focus on destroying their starbases and construction ships, since starbases will reduce reinforcement interval.

The arrival of the other extradimensionals are a mixed blessing. On one hand, they might appear in the rear of a large empire or alliance, threatening important worlds and thus the defense against the existing Factions. On the other, all extradimensional factions will begin to fight each other, potentially causing major damage to one another. Once engaged in combat there, the enemy fleets will have difficulty defending any of their starbases and even the portal itself making this a crucial opening to strike at such critical targets.

When extradimensional invaders are defeated the entire galaxy will gain +20 Mod pop happiness.png happiness for 120 months and the empire that destroyed the last portal will gain the R unbidden warlock.png Extradimensional Warlock Relic.

The Contingency

The Contingency

An ancient, alien AI put in place by a species or entity called the Ren-Miruu to prevent a "class-30 singularity event", a technological advancement that will destroy the universe. After the creation of the Contingency, the Ren-Miruu committed suicide. However, in its impatience, the AI began broadcasting a faint Ghost Signal to subjugate any existing Synths, with the goal of being manually reactivated from the outside. It will awaken after a race develops and deploys Synths, and will attempt to sterilize the galaxy, either to follow its original programming or some other homicidal motive.

During the Galaxy creation, the 4 Contingency Hub Systems are put into the galaxy. They are always hidden inside galactic resources clusters. These Systems contain a random assortment of planets, as well as a non-random one that is a hidden nest of the Contingency.

Audio Cue: As the Contingency sterilizes more of the galaxy a mainframe will start to be heard in the background.

Prelude events

The prelude starts with a notification about a mysterious signal traveling through the galaxy and adding The Ghost Signal entry to the situation log. The signal has no effect at this point. Every year each empire will be affected by an event, in the following order:

  1. Every organic empire that uses them will lose one synthetic pop and every machine empire will lose a machine pop in one of two special events.
  2. Every organic empire that uses them will lose another synthetic pop mysteriously.
  3. Every empire will get a notification about galaxy-wide synthetic disappearances.
  4. Every empire will get a notification about the Ghost Signal growing stronger and how it affects machines and synthetic pops differently.
  5. The Ghost Signal reaches full strength and the Contingency activates as an enemy to all empires - Organic, Synthetic and Machine Intelligence alike.

The Ghost Signal

After the Contingency activates the Ghost Signal will start to affect every synthetic pop and even ships with the Sapient Combat Computer. It is measured in 5 levels and starts at 5. The effects will be lessened as the ghost signal loses strength.

Autonomous Ship Intellects used by Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness are immune to the ghost signal.

Synthetically Ascended species are also immune to the Ghost Signal.

Machine Intelligence Empires are affected differently as the Contingency attempts to breach their core and take over the central AI. And as such the bulk of processing resources is redirected to the Firewall to prevent that, significantly reducing the efficiency of their drone workers. While a lower penalty per pop, given the demographic nature of these Empires it might be a much bigger penalty. As they are much more heavily affected, Machine Intelligence Empires will get the special project "Blocking the Ghost Signal". The cost is 600 + 100 * Pop count Engineering research Engineering. Finishing it will remove its effects.

Ghost Signal Strength Mechanical Pop penalty Sapient Computer penalty Machine Drone penalty Contingency fleet reinforcements (per hub) Contingency army reinforcements (per hub)
5 −70% Job Resources and Government Ethics Attraction −50% Fire Rate and Tracking −40% Minerals, Energy and Science one fleet every 1600 days +/- 200 one army every 700 days +/- 200
4 −55% Job Resources and Government Ethics Attraction −40% Fire Rate and Tracking −25% Minerals, Energy and Science one fleet every 1500 days +/- 200 one army every 1000 days +/- 200
3 −40% Job Resources and Government Ethics Attraction −30% Fire Rate and Tracking no effect one fleet every 1400 days +/- 200 one army every 1300 days +/- 200
2 −25% Job Resources and Government Ethics Attraction −20% Fire Rate and Tracking no effect one fleet every 1300 days +/- 200 one army every 1600 days +/- 200
1 −10% Job Resources and Government Ethics Attraction −10% Fire Rate and Tracking no effect no reinforcements no reinforcements

The Hubs

Every 50 days after the Contingency activates the sterilization hubs will reveal themselves one after the other. The planets are turned into the special AI worlds and spawn three fleets and an AI Core station. The hubs can not be invaded and must instead be bombed similar to the Swarm Infested Worlds. Players may also crack them with World Cracker or shield them with World Pacifier if they possess a Colossus. Destroying the hub via orbital bombardment may reveal a Living Metal.png Living metal deposit and enables the Living Metal Tech research alternative.

As the Hubs are destroyed, the Contingency Crisis and in particular the Ghost signal will lose strength every time a Hub is destroyed. The 4th and final sterilization hub destroyed will also reveal the Secret Lair of the Contingency.

The first hub will also Create the Contingency Empire, awaken the Guardians of the Galaxy and awaken the Fallen Machine Empires if possible.

When a planet is captured by the Contingency it immediately starts the process by purging all pops - organic, synthetic and machine alike. If the planet is recaptured the purges will stop and the planet returns to the original owner.

When the purge is completed the planet changes control over to the Contingency. 3 droid pops called Custodian Bots are spawned but the planets will not reinforce the Contingency. Unlike sterilization hubs, purged planets can be captured in ground combat and unless the Custodian Bots are spawned over a building that produces Defensive Armies the planet will be defenseless against an invasion. If occupied all Custodian Bots are destroyed but the buildings will remain. Unlike other crises the Contingency does not ruin Ringworld segments.

The Secret Lair

After the 4th Sterilization Hub is destroyed, the Secret Lair of the Contingency Main Processor is revealed. The Secret Lair System will spawn near a random Rim System. The system is defended by 1 Final AI Core and 4 AI Core Stations.

When the secret Lair is destroyed the Contingency deactivates. All ships will self-destruct, infiltration events and special projects stop and any remaining modifiers related to the Crisis are removed.

Assuming they did not awaken as Malfunctioning Custodians, the Machine Intelligence Fallen Empire will vanish leaving their ringworlds for the taking, otherwise (if Malfunctioning Custodians) they will attack anyone and anything, potentially developing into a second, minor crisis.

Synthetic Infiltration

While the war rages among the stars, organic, machine and syntheticallly-ascended empires might have issues at home as well.

The first infiltration attempt will invariably fail. The second infiltration will happen 120 days afterwards and will make every organic and synthetic empire targetable for infiltration events. It will also grant the Synth Detection project within a year. Completing this project grants the Voight-Kampff achievement and a large amount of unity. Until completed every year each organic and synthetic empire has a 30% chance to get the Terror Gatekeeper event, which will trigger a damaging infiltration event. Aside from Synth Bombing each event can only happen once. The weights are the following:

  • 40% Synth Bombing: On a random planet three worked buildings are ruined and the pops working them killed. The empire will then get -10% Unity.png Unity for 6 years.
  • 10% Spaceport Scuttled: A random starbase is destroyed.
  • 10% Fear and Suspicion: A random planet gets -20 Stability.png Stability for 20 years.
  • 10% Ruler Assassination Attempt: 70% chance the ruler escapes and gain some Influence.png Influence, 30% chance the ruler is killed.
  • 10% Scientist Exposed as Synth: A scientist leader is killed.
  • 10% Admiral Exposed as Synth: An admiral leader is killed.

Auth hive mind.png Hive Mind and Trait psionic species.png Psionic empires cannot be infiltrated. Instead, the first infiltration event will describe how their population cannot be infiltrated and how the Contingency will not try further infiltration on them. Infiltrated empires that take the Ap transcendence.png Transcendence ascension perk will also become immune to infiltration.

Warning Signs

Instead of infiltrations, Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligences are attacked more directly by the Ghost Signal. They will get a security breach event that will make every machine empire targetable. Until the "Blocking the Ghost Signal" project is completed or the Ghost Signal strength drops below 4 each year every machine empire has a 30% chance to get the Terror Gatekeeper event, which will trigger a damaging subversion event. Aside from Unit Stack Error each event can only happen once. Chances are equal for each event.

  • Spaceport Scuttled: A random starbase is destroyed.
  • Science Unit Terminated: A scientist leader is terminated.
  • Military Unit Terminated: An admiral leader is terminated.
  • Power Grid Malfunction: Three Power Plants or Power Hubs and the pops working them are destroyed.
  • Contingency Intrusion Averted: Contingency sabotage fails, no effect.
  • Unit Stack Error: Errors are detected in a unit stack, which may be caused by the Ghost Signal. You are given the option to either terminate the units (no pop is actually terminated) or wait. If you choose the latter after 120 it will turn out to be either:
    • 65% A false alarm. Nothing happens.
    • 35% A true alarm. A random planet gets +10% Devastation and loses 4 Pops.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Unlike other crises, the Contingency crisis has a predetermined point for Guardians of the Galaxy due to the actual crisis starting 5 years before the arrival. If a Fallen Empire is rolled to become Guardians of the Galaxy they will awaken right after the first sterilization hub is activated.

Ancient Caretakers

Being originally created to fight the Contingency, if the Ancient Caretakers are present in the galaxy they will always be the Fallen Empire chosen to awaken, and the Contingency will always attempt to corrupt them. The Ancient Caretakers have a 66% chance of severing the connection and activating their Final Defense Protocols (Guardians of the Galaxy awakening) and a 33% chance to be corrupted by it and start attacking every other empire (Berserkers). The chance to awaken as Custodians or Berserkers is rolled at the start of the game so reloading a previous save will not alter the result. Later into the crisis, another fallen empire may awaken as a Guardian of the Galaxy in addition to the Ancient Caretakers.

The Cybrex

Originally one of the Precursor empires, the Cybrex will resurface to help fight the Contingency if it sterilizes over 20% of the Galaxy. Near a random rim system, the Cybrex Beta ringworld system will spawn. All Empires will be contacted immediately. The Cybrex function analogous to the Sentinels of the Swarm Crisis, except they will only donate ships after 100 destroyed fleets and will take them back a month after the crisis ends.

Cybrex ships are identical to the Contingency's save for the color. Each fleet is led by an admiral with the Cybrex Databases trait, giving it +10% Evasion and Fire Rate and +20% Damage to the Contingency.

The Cybrex do not expand. A few weeks after the Contingency was defeated they will depart from the galaxy, leaving Cybrex Beta free for the taking.

Contingency Ships

Sterilizer Euthanizer AI Core Master Core Starbase
  • Large 1 Launcher T2
  • Medium 1 Plasma Cannon T3
  • Medium 2 Laser T5
  • Medium 4 Shield T5
  • Medium 4 Armor T5
  • Auxiliary 1 Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Hyperdrive T3
  • Core Thrusters T4
  • Core Sensor T4
  • Core Sapient Computer (Picket)
  • Extra large 1 Lance T1
  • Large 2 Plasma Cannon T3
  • Medium 3 Laser T5
  • Point defense 1 Point Defense T2
  • Large 4 Shield T5
  • Large 4 Armor T5
  • Auxiliary 1 Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Hyperdrive T3
  • Core Thrusters T4
  • Core Sensor T4
  • Core Sapient Computer (Line)
  • Titan 1 Titan Lance
  • Extra large 4 Lance T1
  • Large 2 Plasma Cannon T3
  • Medium 4 Laser T5
  • Medium 4 Plasma Cannon T3
  • Point defense 2 Point Defense T3
  • Hangar 8 Seeker Drones
  • Large 10 Shield T5
  • Large 10 Armor T5
  • Auxiliary 1 Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Sensor T4
  • Titan 4 Titan Lance
  • Extra large 4 Lance T1
  • Large 2 Plasma Cannon T3
  • Medium 4 Laser T5
  • Medium 4 Plasma Cannon T3
  • Point defense 2 Point Defense T3
  • Hangar 16 Seeker Drones
  • Large 10 Shield T5
  • Large 10 Armor T5
  • Auxiliary 1 Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Sensor T4
  • Extra large 1 Lance T1
  • Large 1 Laser T5
  • Small 2 Plasma Cannon T3
  • Point defense 2 Point Defense T3
  • Auxiliary 1 Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Sensor T4

Roaming fleets consist of 10 euthanizers and 20 sterilizers led by an Admiral with random skill.

Hub fleets consist of 25 euthanizers and 50 sterilizers led by an Admiral with random skill.

Special Weapons: The Contingency uses stock weapons, with only one exception - Seeker Drones:

  • 10 Units per Hangar
  • 100 HP, 50 Armor, 50 Shield, 80% Evasion per Unit
  • 19-21 Damage with 100% accuracy and no tracking, 20 Range, 8 CD, 100% Shield Penetration, 66% Armor Penetration

Contingency uses Android Assault Army to invade worlds. Each transport fleet consist of 20 Android Assault Army and do not have a general.

Successfully repelling the Contingency

Contingency warforms use lots of shield and armor to protect their relatively fragile hull, so penetrating weapons (Arc Emitter, Disruptor etc.) work best against them. Defensively, attackers should stack as many shields as they can to counter their pure energy weaponry.

The initial Fleet spawned with the hub systems is considerable and planets in the Hub Systems will often have fallen before the first fleet has mobilised. Colonies in the Hub Systems are generally a writeoff until the roaming fleets have been dealt with.

Even if identified beforehand, hubs normally cannot be prevented from awakening. If the planet is destroyed through the World Cracker Colossus, the shattered world will simply reform into the sterilization hub. Military starbases on the star will be abandoned if there are no colonies there, rendering any resources spent moot. If fleets are parked in the system, the Contingency will spawn an armada of much greater power than standard. The only known method of preempting them is to build at least a ringworld frame in the system, although this also eliminates all other planets.

The first order is generally to destroy any roaming fleets (if they attack one's planets). The Contingency fleets already spawned are generally not likely to rush to the aid of a planet or hub. They are more likely to attack another target than defend.

Destroying the hubs is the ultimate goal. Their hub fleets will always stay with the Hub, making it a hard target together with the AI Core and the starbase. While destroying one of the hubs does reduce the reinforcement intervals, the reduction in spawn cycles running in parallel should be a net advantage.

The empire that destroys the Secret Lair will gain the R contingency core.png Isolated Contingency Core Relic.

The End of the Cycle

This crisis is not an official crisis, meaning it can still occur even if the game doesn't allow an endgame crisis to happen. It is the most threatening crisis in the game so far. Due to not being an official crisis, the other empires won't rally to face it, nor will any fallen empire awaken as guardians, all due to every AI empire considering it to be the unstoppable end.

The End of the Cycle can only be activated by an empire that has chosen the 'Transcendence' ascension perk. Upon contacting the Shroud, the player is offered the option to form a Covenant with an entity known as "The End of the Cycle." If the offer is accepted, the empire will gain an empire-wide modifier - "Covenant: End of the Cycle" which provides a massive +100% boost to Minerals.png minerals, Energy.png energy, Food.png food, Unity.png unity, Influence.png influence, Mod country all tech research speed.png research speed and Mod fleet size add.png naval capacity for 50 years. Hovering over it will end with There will be a reckoning. Every planet belonging to that empire and any of its vassals gains the Shroud-Marked modifier, which warns Something very bad is going to happen here.

As soon as the 50 years have elapsed and the Covenant: End of the Cycle modifier has expired, the Reckoning occurs.

The Reckoning

The Reckoning will all but end the empire that benefited from the covenant and instantly destroy all its vassals. When the Reckoning occurs, all Shroud-Marked planets will be depopulated and turned into 'Shrouded Worlds', which become uninhabitable forever. All fleets and ships under the Shroud-Marked empire's command will be instantly destroyed, all leaders are killed, and all resources from that empire's store will be drained almost completely. Having lost everything, the Shroud-Marked empire will survive only in the form of a newly colonized planet of survivors, which will start with the default name of 'Exile'. The game will pick any planet with 40% habitability or more, even if it is located within another empire's borders. If that planet is somehow Shroud-Marked, or no planet is otherwise possible, the game is instantly lost.

Every regular empire will gain a -1000 Opinion modifier with the remnant of the Shroud-Marked empire for "bringing the end", with a decay rate of 5.

Every Shroud-Marked colony will spawn a shroud manifestation. Finally, an immensely powerful Shroud entity known as "The Reckoning" - representing the combined essence of all deceased psionic individuals in the former empire that summoned it - will appear over the empire's former homeworld, and proceed to seek out the remaining life in the galaxy. It normally leaves the exiles for last, and therefore the exile empire should first prioritize surviving against other empires instead and trying to expand if possible.

In this state, one might benefit from the Reckoning, depending on the circumstances. If all the other empires are destroyed by the Reckoning before they defeat the player, one can simply win the conquest victory by virtue of being the last one left.

As the Reckoning randomly targets worlds to destroy, its power will increase as it consumes more pops (up to 5000 pops). It gains bonuses to hull, shield, fire-rate, damage, and shield regeneration as follows (only the highest tier bonus applies);

Tier Health (Bonus) Shield (Bonus) Shield Regen Bonus Rate of Fire (Multiplier) Damage (Multiplier) Notes
Base Stats 10,000 50,000 0 4.35 Cooldown 4 x 300-700 This is the baseline stat set for the "ship". Also includes a 5x jumpdrive range bonus. 30% Evasion. Four weapon mounts.
1 (<500 pops) +50,000 +100,000 +100 x2 x2
2 (<1000 pops) +100,000 +200,000 +200 x3 x3
3 (<2500 pops) +150,000 +300,000 +300 x4 x4
4 (<5000 pops) +200,000 +400,000 +400 x5 x5
5 (>5000 pops) +250,000 +500,000 +500 x6 x6

There are only two courses of action that have the slightest chance of defeating The Reckoning. One is to wait for it to target an Awakened- or Fallen Empire, another crisis or any strong empire with tough fleets to weaken it. The other option is to keep building up for the eventual encounter alone since The Reckoning will always leave the exiles for last. The Reckoning has relatively low tracking, as it is a single entity, but its range, firepower, fire rate, health, shields and shield regeneration are massive.

For all its might, if an empire (including the exiles) is powerful enough to do it, the Reckoning can be defeated conventionally. One strategy is to dodge its attacks using swarms of corvettes and use weapons that can pierce/ignore shields. The Reckoning targets random planets in its destructive spree, so the player will have several chances to retreat, rebuild, and come back. During battle the Reckoning will tend to target small ships first and only engage larger ships when all smaller classes are defeated. A combination of two to three dozen carrier battleships with bombers - whose weapons bypass shields - and a large swarm of several hundred corvettes with regular torpedoes (who likewise ignore shields) with about 5 repeatable technologies that boost damage output of both systems have a good chance of greatly weakening or even defeating the Reckoning in a single battle.


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