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This article has been verified for the current PC version (3.2) of the game.
L-Cluster outside of a Huge-sized elliptical galaxy

The L-Cluster is a cluster of stars located north-east of the galaxy and entirely inaccessible through the regular hyperlane network, experimental subspace navigation, or jump drives. The L-Cluster contains on some celestial bodies a unique Strategic Resource: Nanites.png Nanites. If a ringworld is built inside the L-Cluster the uninhabitable sections may gain Nanites.png Nanites deposits.

What else will be found in the L-Cluster is randomized at the start of the game. As such reloading a previous save before accessing will not alter the result.


Some Black Hole systems are home to L-Gates. These heavily modified gateways cannot be activated with the Tech gateway activation.png Gateway Activation technology. Upon first encountering one, the L-Cluster entry will be added to the Situation Log, requiring the collection of 7 L-Gate Insights. Insights can be obtained from investigating anomalies, defeating certain enemies, researching the rare L-Gate Insight repeatable Voidcraft.png Voidcraft technology or asking the Curator Order for an insight every decade (-5000 Energy.png Energy). Once an empire acquires 5 L-Gate Insights the other empires will be notified.

Players can spend 50 Minor artifacts.png Minor Artifacts to discover an L-Gate Insight with a cooldown of 10 years.

Once 7 L-Gate Insights have been collected, the Tech repeatable lcluster clue.png L-Gate Activation technology will become available for research. The empire will have to own a system with an L-Gate before it can access the L-Cluster. Finally, a special project will be added to activate the L-Gate, taking 180 days for a science ship to open the gate.

Once the first L-Gate is activated one of four things will be found, with the following weights:

Outcome Chance Opens all L-gates
Gray Tempest 35.7 % Yes.png
Dessanu Consonance 21.4 % Yes.png
Gray (Silence) 21.4 % No.png
L-Drakes 21.4 % Yes.png

Up to 10 L-Gates can exist in a galaxy and new ones cannot be constructed. Only one L-Gate is located in the L-Cluster, in the Terminal Egress system, and as a result any L-Gate in the galaxy will connect to the same gate in Terminal Egress but the Terminal Egress gate can be used to travel to any L-Gate inside the galaxy. Unlike regular gateways, L-Gates in enemy systems can be used during war.

Completed Sentry Arrays will not grant visibility of the L-Cluster before an L-Gate is activated. After L-Gate activation, it will grant visibility of the L-Cluster.

Gray Tempest

Gray Tempest emerging from a reactivated L-Gate

A common outcome of the L-Gate activation is an invasion from the L-Cluster. All L-Gates in the galaxy except the first one activated will open at the same time and bring an invasion force. In a tiny galaxy with only one L-Gate the empire that activated it will endure the invasion instead.

If a Gray Tempest fleet bombards a colony until it reaches 100 Devastation.png Devastation it will turn it into a Nanite World. If the colony is a habitat or a ringworld segment, it will be destroyed.

Nanite fleets are composed of one titan and 5 cruisers all equipped with a few energy weapons and numerous strike craft. Their energy weapons deal -25% damage to shields and double damage to armor, their strike craft ignore shields and 66% of armor and their titan weapons ignore all shields and armor. Therefore point-defenses are necessary, preferably Flak Artillery, and Tech crystal armor 1.png Crystal-Infused Plating tech or Tech crystal armor 2.png Crystal-Forged Plating tech components and to a lesser extent shields will help. Nanite ships have equal amounts of tier V armor and shields so the best offensive weapon would be Torpedoes. Due to the huge number of strike craft that nanite titans carry own strike craft are more useful at fleet defense than offence.

The Gray Tempest home system contains a factory station twice as strong as the usual fleet which will create a new fleet every 10 years. If the factory is destroyed, all Gray Tempest ships will dissolve and all Nanite Worlds will get the Terraforming Candidate planet modifier.

Dessanu Consonance

Another possible outcome of the L-Gate activation is finding an empire called the Dessanu Consonance inhabiting the entire L-Cluster. Upon discovery the Dessanu will provide the empire that opened the gate +1 Living Metal.png Living Metal, Exotic gases.png Exotic Gases, Rare crystals.png Rare Crystals and Volatile motes.png Volatile Motes as well as the Living Metal Living Metal technology if it hasn't been already researched. Their only request is that no ship will enter the factory trinary system at the heart of the L-Cluster and that they are not asked about the Nanites. The Dessanu will never leave the L-Cluster even if they become hostile, nor will they build new fleets.

Each time a ship or fleet enters the factory system the Dessanu will demand that it leaves within 60 days. Refusing to do so or inquiring too much about nanites will make them hostile, as will attacking them.

Each Dessanu system contains at least one Gaia World. However, if a planet is successfully invaded and occupied it will turn into a Nanite World with the Terraforming Candidate planet modifier. All armies will safely retreat back in orbit. If the factory is destroyed the same will happen to all Dessanu worlds.


If the L-Cluster is abandoned a random Nanite World will have a Level 3 Surface Signature anomaly. Investigating it will reveal a nanite entity taking the form of a member of the species discovering it. Asking it to join you will add Gray to the Contacts menu. Gray can take one of three forms at any time (except if it is in battle or merging state):

  • Governor Level 10 leader with the Leader trait psionic chosen one.png Nanite Entity trait
  • Nanite Titan ship (around 40k fleet power)
  • Nanite Warform army (around 1k army strength)

Should Gray be destroyed it will merge back and reappear in 10 years.

This outcome leaves only one L-Gate activated, all the others coming online afterwards one at a time every one or two years. This gives the empire that activated the first L-Gate a significant head start, especially if opened in the early game. It is therefore the best L-Cluster outcome by far.


The only outcome of the L-Gate activation seemingly unrelated to nanites is the spawning of L-Drakes. Each L-Gate in the galaxy will activate and bring an L-Drake which will travel to a random system three hyperlanes away and nest there. It will not be hostile even if its nesting system is claimed. If an L-Drake is attacked all L-Drakes will become hostile towards the attacking empire but each L-Drake killed adds a moderate reward of Influence.png Influence and Minerals.png Minerals. If the empire that opened the L-Gate takes this stance it will also gain moderate Engineering research Engineering and Society research Society research for each killed L-Drake and discover that the L-Drakes are nanite constructs. L-Drakes fight identically to the Young Drake from the Leviathans.png Leviathans DLC.

If the empire that opened the L-Gate enters a nesting system with a science ship it will have the option to start a special project to tame the L-Drake residing there, gaining control of it. The option is not available if the empire is Fanatic Xenophobe.png Fanatic Xenophobe or Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png genocidal.

This outcomes leaves all L-Gates activated and leading to an abandoned L-Cluster, allowing everyone access.


The outcome of activating L-Gates is determined with a global flag at galaxy generation, so reloading a save file won't change the result. We can know the outcome without even encountering the L-Gates the way we use a script to check global flags (Console required):

effect if = { limit = { has_global_flag = gray_goo_crisis_set } custom_tooltip = "Gray Tempest"}
else_if = { limit = { has_global_flag = dragon_season } custom_tooltip = "L-Drake" }
else_if = { limit = { has_global_flag = gray_goo_empire_set } custom_tooltip = "Dessanu Consonance" }
else = { custom_tooltip = "Gray" }

The output of the script explains itself.