Spaceborne aliens

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This article is for the PC version of Stellaris only.

Spaceborne Aliens are spacefaring forms of life which will likely be the first aliens that new spacefarers will encounter. Every difficulty level above Ensign increases the power of Leviathans and Marauder Empires, with the exact raised stats varying for each. Other Spaceborne Aliens are not affected by the difficulty level.

Space creatures

Space creatures are entities which may not even classify as ships or life in the common meaning of the words. They generally inhabit a certain area of space and are seldom seen away from it. Upon discovery a special project will be added to the situation log, which when completed will allow an empire to deal with them in three ways:

  • Researching unlocks a special project for detailed research that will grant a choice between an empire modifier and a creature technology.
  • Hunting will grant a +33% damage bonus empire modifier towards that type of Space Creature, and resources rewards upon killing them. This option is available to Fanatic Militarist.pngMilitarist.png Militarist, Fanatic Xenophobe.pngXenophobe.png Xenophobe or Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png Genocidal Empires.
  • Pacify will unlock a more expensive special project that allows an empire to turn the space creatures permanently non-hostile, allowing for co-existence as well as unlocking the ability to research special components or weapons that they use. Only 2 of the 5 Space Creatures can be pacified. Pacified space creatures will not attack even in retaliation. This option is available to Fanatic Pacifist.pngPacifist.png Pacifist or Fanatic Xenophile.pngXenophile.png Xenophile Empires.

If killed, space creatures will keep respawning in their home system unless an empire's sensor range covers the system.

Ancient Mining Drones

Ancient mining drones

Ancient mining drones operate in pairs of one fleet and one station. Mineral and energy-rich systems may have quite a few of these pairs (3-5). The normal mining fleet consists of 3 Combat and 12 Mining drones.

When encountered the Drone Study special project will be given, costing 1000 Engineering research Engineering research. Finishing it grants a choice between the Drone Mining Techniques empire modifier (+5% Minerals.png Minerals) and the Drone Destroyer empire modifier (+33% Damage Damage to Ancient Mining Drones).

Fighting them can be a good idea for reasons besides the Questlines:

  • They are equipped with Cutting Lasers, energy weapons which are about on par with T1 Plasma Weapons but deal more damage to hull and less to armor.
  • The Systems they occupy tend to be rich in space resources
  • They can also grant access to T2 Reactors and Thrusters
Processing hub
Processing hub

Similar to the crystalline entities, the mining drones possess a special home system. It consists of 2 normal mining stations and the Home Base Ore Grinder. Each station is guarded by two fleets, one purely destroyers and one made of drones, summing together around 1200 fleet power. Still, compared to the crystalline entities they are by far the easier target.

Upon reaching the system the player can choose to get the "The Processing Hub" special project (300 engineering), which grants on completion the Droning Optimizations edict (+25% Minerals.png output), or 2000 Minerals.png minerals if you already have it. Destroying the station adds a massive mineral deposit (+10 or more) to the asteroid next to the Processing Hub.


Defensively: The cutting laster works similar to a Plasma weapon, so shields are a must. However, armor can still be somewhat effective, due to changed damage priorities. Against the Hub minimal Point Defense is advisable.

Offensively: The only defenses are hull and armor. The exact armor values vary drastically, from less than half the HP of hull to more then twice the HP. Energy weapons - including their own weapons - are effective against them.

Mining Drone Combat Drone Destroyer Home Base Ore Grinder
  • Small 2 Cutting Laser
  • Large 1 Armor T1
  • Medium 1 Armor T1
  • Core Reactor T2
  • Core Thrusters T2
  • Core Sensor T1
  • Medium 1 Cutting Laser
  • Small 2 Cutting Laser
  • Large 1 Armor T1
  • Medium 2 Armor T1
  • Core Reactor T2
  • Core Thrusters T2
  • Core Sensor T1
  • Medium 2 Cutting Laser
  • Small 2 Cutting Laser
  • Large 1 Armor T1
  • Medium 3 Armor T1
  • Core Reactor T2
  • Core Thrusters T2
  • Core Sensor T1
  • Large 2 Laser T5
  • Hangar 3 Precision Drone
  • Large 5 Armor T1
  • Core Reactor T2
  • Core Sensor T1

Crystalline Entities

Crystalline entities

Large, space-borne, semi-sentient crystals of yellow, red, green, or blue colors. All options can grant access to the Crystal-Infused Plating technology, unlocking the only hull-increasing ship component.

  • Researching them costs 1000 Physics Research Physics research. Finishing the special project grants a choice between the Crystal Focus empire modifier (+5% Energy.png Energy) and the Crystal-Infused Plating technology option.
  • Hunting them instantly grants the Crystal Hunter empire modifier, granting +33% Damage Damage to Crystalline Entities and 500 Minerals.png Minerals for every destroyed fleet.
  • Pacifying them costs 2000 Physics Research Physics research. Finishing the special project grants the Crystal-Infused Plating technology option.
Crystalline Systems
Crystal prism

There are two special systems related to the crystalline entities.

The first one is the crystalline entities home system, containing Crystal Nidus, a large crystalline structure. It is guarded by 4 elite fleets, one of each color, ranging from 2000 to 3000 fleet power. The system can be safely explored and claimed if the crystalline entities have been pacified but does not contain more resources than the average system. As their home system has a pulsar, shields will be useless when attacking it.

The second one is the shardling system. It contains multiple asteroids with mineral deposits called Yormak's Belly, Eye, Fist, Snout, Tail, Tongue and Tusk. More importantly, one asteroid called Yamak's Heart contains the Orillium.png Orillium Ore Strategic Resource. The system is guarded by 4 shardling fleets of 522 Fleet Power, which are hostile even if the crystalline entities have been pacified.


Crystalline entities come in 3 sizes, 4 colors, and normal and elite versions. The difference between colors is purely aesthetic.

Defensively: Crystalline entities use shard throwers which do considerable bonus damage to hull, but no bonus damage to anything else. Thus, shields and armor are effective against them. (However, as mentioned earlier, their home system has a pulsar so shields will be ineffective there.)

Offensively: Crystalline entities have only hull points and no armor, shields, or point defense. Thus, anything that does bonus damage to hull (e.g. plasma, autocannons) or a lot of raw damage (e.g. guided weapons) should be effective against them.

Space Amoebas

These solitary space creatures appear surrounded by several flagella that act as disjointed limbs, periodically re-connecting to the host body to be re-programmed. Amoebas are able to travel through hyperlanes. They can be found either solitary hunting Tiyanki or in fleets of 3 units without FTL capability.

  • Researching them costs 1000 Society research Society research. Finishing the special project grants a choice between the Flagellating Movement empire modifier (+5% Evasion Evasion) and the Regenerative Hull Tissue technology option.
  • Hunting them instantly grants the Amoeba Hunter empire modifier, granting +33% Damage Damage to Space Amoebas and 1000 Energy.png Energy for every destroyed fleet.
  • Pacifying them costs 2000 Physics Research Physics research. Finishing the special project grants the Amoeba Breeding Program and Regenerative Hull Tissue technology options.

They operate in small Fleets of 10 Ships with about 880 Fleet Power. The fleets consist of 2-3 Mothers (carrier cruiser equivalent) and 7-8 Corvette sized beings, for a total of 10 units. A rare variant are the red Space Amoeba Hunters, with around 1000 Fleet Power.

Tiyanki Space Whales

Tiyanki space whales

These passive creatures migrate in groups of three between star systems, grazing upon the local gas giants that they find. Even when provoked, they are unlikely to attack anyone they encounter, primarily gas giant stations will suffer their wrath. They do not possess an event chain, just lore description. As long as they are passive, they will not cause civilian ships with the Evasive stance to flee. Their entire species may turn hostile if you attack a Tiyanki group.

Completing their special project will unlock and give 25% Progress towards the Frequency Tuning technology. Which grants access to the anti-shield Energy Syphon weapon.


Tiyanki are not inherently agressive. However it can still be beneficial to kill them: in order to prevent others for running into them, to get access to Regenerative Hull Tissue, to get additional progress towards the Energy Syphon or just to keep Space Amobeas from wandering into ones territory during a hunt.

Defensively: The Energy Siphon packs a punch on par with a T3 Railgun and has more polarized strengths and weaknesses. Armor is effective. Offensively: The Tiyanki have a 2:1 Ratio of Hull points to armor. That makes all energy weapons particularly effective against them.

Void Clouds

Void Cloud

These wisp-like beings possess a hostile attitude and will aggressively engage anything entering their starsystem. They appear in two forms: solitary (approximately 1000 fleet power) in regular star systems and in a pair of 4 cloud groups (~4k per Group) in black hole systems. If a void cloud destroys two fleets, it will procreate a new void cloud. Void clouds do not possess FTL capability.

Void clouds possess a form of natural shielding. It grants them 2000 shield points but the shield is not generated by any component and cannot be reverse-engineered.

When encountered the Cloud Study special project will be given, costing 1000 Physics Research Physics research. Finishing it grants a choice between the Void Loops empire modifier (+10% Physics Research Physics output) and the Cloud Destroyer empire modifier (+33% Damage Damage to Void Clouds).

Surveying their remains unlocks a reverse-engineered technology: Cloud Lightning Conduits which is a T3 large Slot version of the Disruptor with tracking equivalent to the Medium Slot version.


Even solitary clouds are easily the toughest Spaceborne alien one can find this side of home Systems. Early game they should not be engaged lightly.

Defensively neither shields nor armor helps, as Void Cloud attacks pierce both. Evasion is of limited use, so the only other option is to rely on Hull Points, which can be increased by Crystal Plating (given by reverse-engineering Crystalline Entities). Void Clouds' erratic damage output can destroy Corvettes in one hit before they have a chance to retreat.

Offensively they have a 1:1 ratio of shields and hull, which makes kinetic and missile weapons advisable.

Void Cloud Systems
Great Wound system

There are two special systems related to the void clouds.

The first one is the void cloud home system, a black hole cluster always called Great Wound. It is guarded by 3 Void Cloud fleets of 6k fleet power. Most black holes have deposits of 4 Physics Research Physics and the central one contains the largest Dark Matter.png Dark Matter deposit in the galaxy. The system should be attacked with a highly superior force due to the effects of black holes on space battles.

The second one is a black hole system with ringworld debris and two Tomb World among other uninhabitable planets. It is guarded by a regular Void Cloud fleet. Only two pieces of the ringworld remain, neither containing Living Metal.png Living Metal. The system has less resources than most, save for the black hole itself which is guaranteed to have Dark Matter.png Dark Matter.

Space pirates

Space Pirates
A pirate base

Once 10 years have passed, every empire that has a mining or research station outside its home system will get the The Birth of Space Piracy Event. This Event will spawn a pirate base and 4 Reaver-class ships in the closest unowned System. Systems with hostile Spaceborne aliens, Enclaves or an Outpost under construction are excluded. These pirates can be easily defeated but they mark the start of regular Pirate spawns, which will continue as long as a player has any unclaimed System near or inside their borders. The strength of theses fleets will increase over time.

The MTTH is 280 months, modified by these rules:

  • x0.9 if > 9 Starbases
  • x0.9 if > 19 Starbases
  • x1.4 if > 0 Pirate bases
  • x1.6 if > 1 Pirates bases
  • x2 if > 2 Pirates bases
  • x3 if > 3 Pirates bases
  • x0 if > 4 Pirates bases
  • x0.2 if the player has at least one isolated system (a system that only connects to the borders of one or more empires)

If the player has at least one isolated system, the Pirates will spawn in one of them. Otherwise, they will spawn in a random system adjacent to the player. Precursor anomaly locations, Enclaves, or systems where Pirates spawned within the last 5 years are excluded. Systems that contain outposts under construction or a fleet above 1k fleet power are also excluded.

If a pirate fleet is destroyed but the pirate base is not, the base will regularly spawn a new fleet with a MTTH of 100 months. Pirate ships spawn under the following rules:

Tier Years passed Raiding fleets composition
0 0-15 3 corvettes
1 10-30 5 corvettes
2 15-45 7 corvettes
3 30-60 8 corvettes
4 45-70 7 corvettes
4 destroyers
5 60-80 10 corvettes
4 destroyers
Tier Years passed Raiding fleets composition
6 70-90 10 corvettes
5 destroyers
1 cruisers
7 80-105 10 corvettes
5 destroyers
2 cruisers
8 90+ 10 corvettes
5 destroyers
3 cruisers
9 105+ 1 galleon
Pirate Home System

The pirate home system contains a Young Blood fleet (around 700 fleet power), the Scarred Veterans fleet (around 8k fleet power) and the Old Guard, a huge pirate galleon with 12k fleet power, possessing 40k health and massive amounts of armor. The system's only resources are two asteroids with higher Minerals.png Minerals deposits.


Pirate corvettes are equipped only with kinetic weapons so armor is advised for the first 45 years. Beyond that, they use each type of weapon, excluding XL mounts but including point-defenses. Pirate ships are balanced offensively but their weapons never advance beyond T3, so the most effective defense is technological superiority.

Pirate ships are protected mostly by armor, with a few shield modules which are always a tier below armor. As such, weapons effective against armor are recommended.


The nomad fleet

The Nomads, or Namarians as they call themselves, are a passive millennia old intergalactic race with no homeworld, forever traveling the void in their starships. Once they establish communications the nomads will act as a sort of "bridge" between the player and unknown alien empires, and the player is likely to soon be barraged by a large number of "Communications Established" events as more and more alien empires are discovered by the nomads, and, by extension, the player. They travel from system to system and their stay in the galaxy is temporary and will eventually set sail for another one. Events related to them can take place during their stay.

The chance if and when the nomads will appear in a game is rolled at game start, with the following weights:

  • 20 to appear after 20 years + 100 days
  • 25 to appear after 40 years + 200 days
  • 25 to appear after 55 years + 275 days
  • 30 for no nomads

All times are +/- 500 days.

When their time is due they will spawn in a random Rim System that has no ship in it and that no empire has a intel level better than low. Upon appearing, they will decide the mid point and endpoint of their journey. On their journey Nomads will perform an action when entering a system. Those actions depends on if the system has an owner and what the relationship with the owner is.

If the system is owned by an empire that has neither contact nor is hostile to them, they will start orbiting a random planet in the system until contact is established. The player is not capable of deciphering their communications but contact will always be established by them after 100 days. After contact is established they will send the owner a request. If they enter another system owned by the same empire they will roll for a request again. Each interaction has the following weights:

  • 30 - Ask to leave some pops on an owned planet within your borders
    • x0 If not at least 4 free tiles on any dry planet or if the system owner is a Auth hive mind.png Hive Mind
    • x0.75 if they already left pops before
    • x1.5 if any form of Xenophile, Egalitarian or Spiritualist Empire and not already left pops before
    • x0.3 if Slavery is allowed
      • Nomads traits are Trait pc desert preference.png Desert Preference, Nomadic.png Nomadic, Venerable.png Venerable and Natural Engineers.png Natural Engineers.
  • 30 - Ask for a planet to settle on, forming a new empire
    • x0 if there is no suitable free planet or if the system owner is a Auth hive mind.png Hive Mind
    • x0.5 if they already settled one planet
    • x1.75 if any form of Xenophile, Egalitarian or Spiritualist Empire and did not already settle a planet
      • Nomads ethics are Egalitarian.png Egalitarian, Spiritualist.png Spiritualist and Xenophile.png Xenophile.
  • 30 - Sell 5 or 15 Cruisers
    • x0 if the system owner already got offered ships
    • x0.25 if system owner is Fanatic Militarist.png Fanatic Militarist or Fanatic Xenophobe.png Fanatic Xenophobe
    • x0.5 if already sold ships to an empire
    • x1.75 if any form of Xenophile, Egalitarian or Spiritualist Empire and not already sold ships to anyone
  • 10 - Move on with no request

If the system has no owner, and neither hostile, mid- or endpoint of their journey, they will perform a peaceful action with the following weights:

  • 10 - Build new Ships
    • x10 if under 3k Fleet Power
    • x5 if under 5k Fleet Power
    • x0 if over 10k or has the have the ship building lockout
  • 80 - Pick a random planet and wait in orbit for 30–50 days. Afterwards, they have a 25% chance to move on and 75% chance to pick another planet in the system to repeat it
    • x0 if less than 1.5k Fleet Power
  • 10 - Move on without doing anything

The nomad fleet consists of the following:

20 Protectors 3 Ark Ships
  • Large 1 Laser T4
  • Point defense 2 Point-Defense T2
  • Medium 2 Armor T3
  • Medium 1 Shield T3
  • Core Hyperdrive T3
  • Core Thruster T3
  • Core Sensor T3
  • Core Reactor T4
  • Core Combat Computer T3 (Picket)
  • Core Hyperdrive T3
  • Core Thruster T3
  • Core Sensor T3
  • Core Reactor T4

While the Nomads are inherently peaceful, a fight can be picked in order to get access to their technology. Nomads are easy prey but their technology is just average by midgame, making this rarely useful.


An enclave.

Enclaves are neutral NPC spawned factions. They do not own any planets but consist of large enclave stations. They primarily exist to be interacted with via Diplomacy Menu using the "Others" filter. There are 3 types of enclaves: Artisans, Curators and Traders. Each of them has between 2 or 3 basic interactions and one or two restricted interactions that can only be used after an Opinion of at least 50 is reached. Their maximum Opinion is 100 and an empire builds opinion with them by using their services or having them inside your borders. The enclave Opinion is tracked wholly via the trust mechanic and no other Diplomacy bonuses or penalties apply.


The primary resource for interacting with Enclaves is energy. All actions are repeatable but some of the actions also have an increasing cost. The price increases as an empire's population goes past certain thresholds:

Pops Energy.png Energy cost
0-60 1000
61-120 2000
121-180 3000
181-240 4000
241+ 5000

During the renewal request after a buff runs out, the player will be able to renew the deal for a [scales with population] Energy.png energy credits, with an exception for Trader Enclaves, with a renewal cost of a fixed 3000 Energy.png energy credits.


The Curators are an ancient order dedicated to preserving knowledge. Their primary resources is Energy.png energy credits. They give the following diplomatic options:

  • Purchase Scientific Help. For [scales with population] Energy Credits grants the 10 year "Curator Insight" Buff to the empire, which increases all Science by +10%.
  • Ask about the Mysteries of the Universe (Leviathans).
    • Ask for the position of a thus far not known leviathan. It costs 300 Energy.png Energy and a point of interest will be added to the situation log.
    • (free) Gives background information about each Specific leviathan, including an estimation of how your current fleets would fare against it.
    • Ask how to defeat a specific leviathan, providing a permanent +25% damage buff for 5000 Energy.png Energy. The only exception is the Enigmatic Fortress where you can ask for hints regarding exploring the fortress instead.
  • (restricted to +50 opinion or higher) Ask to allow the construction of Curator Think Tanks in starbases sharing the system with a Curator enclave station.
  • (restricted to +50 opinion or higher) Hire scientist for 5000 Energy.png energy credits. Gives a level V Scientist with the "Curator" trait (+15% Research Speed, +25% Survey Speed; works like Maniacal for many rare/restricted techs). Only one curator scientist can be hired at any given time.
  • Ask about the L-Gates, giving the option to buy an L-Gate Insight for 5000 Energy.png Energy every few years.

Having a Curator leading Physics and/or the Curator Insight Bonus also will also unlock the curator archaeology and exploration lab technologies to be researched.

Curator strength opinion

Curator enclaves can always be asked how would the player's fleets fare against the leviathans. Depending on the total fleet power they will give the following replies:

  • Below 5k: Poorly. Very poorly. Wait a second, you're not actually thinking of...? My goodness, with the ships you have? It... it would be a slaughter!
  • Between 5k and 15k: I would strongly advise against it. Your attacks would likely be more of an annoyance than a threat.
  • Between 15k and 30k: Hmmm... yes... yes, I suppose you might actually stand a chance. If you combined your entire fleet... it would not be an easy victory, mind you, but one that is at least within the realm of possibility.
  • Over 30k: Yours is a mighty fleet, comparable to some of the greatest armadas recorded in the annals of the Curator Order. Victory is certainly within your reach.

Note that their advice are inaccurate on the highest difficulties and you require an even stronger fleet.


The Artisan Troupe are artists and entertainers. Their main resource is energy as well. They can help boost Governing Ethics Attraction, Unity and Happiness. Unlike other Enclaves, all Stations make a single enclave and all other stations are marked on the Galaxy view upon making contact with any part.

  • Commission art piece. Buys a single instance of the Planet Unique Building zanaam obelisk.png Art Monument for 3000 Energy.png energy credits.
  • Become Patron. Costs [Pops Scaling] Energy.png energy credits and lasts for 10 years, granting +10% yearly Unity.png unity and steadily raising the enclave's opinion. There will be a automatic renewal request after the buff runs out, unless it was canceled by the Artisans. Becoming a patron also allows beneficial Patron Events to trigger, however one should earmark resources for those.
    • The 4 newsletter events give the option to convert 500 Energy.png energy credits into 50 Influence.png influence.
    • Some of their equipment malfunctions and you can either salvage it to get 500 Minerals.png minerals or fix it and get 50 Influence.png influence.
    • The more important one grants access to the Empire Unique Building modern 1.png Ministry of Culture for 5000 Energy.png energy credits.
  • (restricted to +50 opinion or higher) Ask to allow the construction of Art colleges in starbases sharing the system with an Artisan enclave station.
  • (restricted to +50 opinion or higher) Hold Festival. For 5000 Energy.png energy credits grants the "Festival of Worlds" Buff for 5 years which boosts Happiness and Growth. There is also a chance for one of the following to happen within the next year:
    • 10% base chance: A stampede breaks out and kills a pop. You can either divert the media's attention for 100 Influence.png influence or suffer a negative modifier for two years. More likely for Materialist.png Materialist.
    • 10% base chance: Some artisans wish to settle on one of your planets. Accepting will add 2 artisan pops to one of your worlds. The climate preference will always match. More likely for Xenophile.png Xenophile and Pacifist.png Pacifist.
    • 5% base chance: The artisans steal 500 Minerals.png minerals and Energy.png energy credits, end the festival modifier and refuse to communicate for 10 years. More likely for Materialist.png Materialist and Xenophobe.png Xenophobe.


Traders are merchants and as expected their only concern is profit. Unlike other Enclave types, there are three different Trader Enclaves and contact with each station must be done separately. Traders grant the following options:

  • Trade Deal: Trade Energy.pngMinerals.pngFood.png basic resources monthly at a ratio of 2:1 and can be canceled at any time. The higher the value, the faster Diplomacy opinion.png Opinion increases.
  • Trade for Strategic Resource: Requires +50 Trader Opinion. Grants access to a unique strategic resource for 10 years, at the cost of 3000 Energy.png energy credits . There will be an automatic request to renew the deal after it runs its course. Resources vary based on which specific trader Enclave is encountered and all 3 can be acquired at the same time:
    • XuraCorp gives access to XuraGel (+10% Mod habitability.png Habitability)
    • Muutagan Merchant Guild gives access to Muutagan Crystal (+10% Mod pop happiness.png Citizen Species Happiness)
    • Riggan Commerce Exchange gives Riggan Spice (+5% Mod ship fire rate mult.png Fire Rate and +10% Mod army damage mult.png Army Damage)

Every other empire offers more balanced trade deals so unless everyone has a negative attitude or ran out of resources to trade, the trading options serve only as a fallback or to build up opinion enough if the enclave system is too far away to build a starbase.

Destroying Enclaves

While enclaves will never become hostile to any empire except in retaliation, they can be attacked like any neutral entity. With around 7k fleet power and highest level weapons they are no easy prey but various rewards can be salvaged from their remnants, depending on the type of enclave destroyed. Each enclave station is equipped with the following:

Artisan station Curator station Trader enclave
  • Extra large 1 Arc Emitter T2
  • Guided 4 Missile T5
  • Large 6 Laser T5
  • Medium 6 Plasma Cannon T3
  • Small 6 Autocannon T3
  • Point defense 4 Point-Defense T3
  • Large 10 Armor T5
  • Large 10 Shield T5
  • Auxiliary 2 Shield Capacitor
  • Core Sensor T4
  • Extra large 1 Lance T2
  • Guided 4 Torpedo T3
  • Large 6 Energy Torpedo T2
  • Medium 6 Disruptor T3
  • Small 6 Disruptor T3
  • Point defense 4 Point-Defense T3
  • Large 10 Armor T5
  • Large 10 Shield T5
  • Auxiliary 2 Shield Capacitor
  • Core Sensor T4
  • Extra large 1 Cannon T2
  • Guided 4 Multi-Missiles T2
  • Large 6 Artillery T2
  • Medium 6 Kinetic T5
  • Small 6 Autocannon T3
  • Point defense 4 Flak T2
  • Large 10 Armor T5
  • Large 10 Shield T5
  • Auxiliary 2 Shield Capacitor
  • Core Sensor T4

Enclave stations do not drop debris for salvage.

Destroying an artist or trader enclave will let you salvage 2000 Energy.png Energy Credits and Minerals.png Minerals. Destroying a curator enclave will let you salvage their databanks worth of 1000 Research.png Research in all fields. Attacking a curator or artisan enclave will make every enclave station of the same type unavailable for trade.

Destroying a curator or trader enclave station brings a small and temporary opinion reduction towards most other empires. Destroying an artisan enclave will not due to their duplicitous reputation.

Leviathans creatures

Leviathans are extremely powerful Spaceborne aliens found in specific, predetermined systems and even rivalling moons in size and mass. They are marked with a skull icon both in the fleet power box and on the galactic map. Each leviathan 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. Leviathans have an immense amount of health (in the Millions) and should only be engaged mid-late game. They all use various energy weapons.

AI empires will only attack leviathans if their fleet power is at least 40k.

Automated Dreadnought

Automated Dreadnought guarding the abandoned system

The Automated Dreadnought is a deadly capital ship with full firepower and solid armor. It rates around 40k in combat power.

Defeating the Automated Dreadnought will have following benefits:

  • Issue a special project to repair the disabled dreadnought, a chance to get the most powerful battleship in the game. The project is extremely expensive (10000 Engineering research Engineering Research), and the ship will spawn with either a jump drive or a psi jump drive, if the Empire has it. However, it cannot be retrofitted with other drives, so keeping off with repairing it might be advisable.
  • Scrap it for a 5000 of Minerals and Energy, and 1-5k Engineering Research
  • The system also contains two habitable planets of size 16 and 20
Weapons Utility Core
  • Tech energy torpedoes 2.png Neutron Launcher Largex2
  • Tech disruptors 3.png Phased Disruptor Smallx2
  • Tech pd tracking 3.png Guardian Point-Defense Smallx2
  • Tech plasma 3.png Plasma Cannon Largex5 Smallx3
  • Tech ship armor 5.png Neutronium Armor Largex6
  • Tech shields 5.png Hyper Shields Largex6
  • Tech shield rechargers 1.png Shield Capacitors x3
  • Tech regenerative hull tissue.png Regenerative Hull Tissue x2
  • Ship part sensor 4.png Tachyon Sensors
  • Tech jump drive 1.png (Psi) Jump Drive
  • Tech combat computers 3.png Sapient (Line tactics)
  • Tech thrusters 4.png Impulse Thrusters

Tactical: The Dreadnought's base stats are comparable to the titan, however it has innate 5000Mod ship armor mult.png ship armor and +300%Mod ship shield hp mult.png ship shield modifier. Its main armament are large energy Weapons, with a token amount of small energy weapons.

Defensively: The reliance on Energy weapons makes shields a must-have. Evasion can be a suitable defense against the large slot weapons, but it is not completely helpless against small ships either.

Offensively: The Dreadnought's shields are stronger than twice its hull and armor combined. However due to it getting a lot of percentile bonuses, its regeneration is comparatively low. Shield skipping or breaking weapons are advised. Even Guided Weapons can be useful in large enough numbers.

Dimensional Horror

Dimensional Horror emerging in the current dimension

The Dimensional Horror exists only halfway within the known universe in a black hole system and looks like monsters from the Cthulhu Mythos. It never moves, but is capable of attacking anything in the system.

Defeating the Dimensional Horror will leave behind a dimensional rift, with a project that takes 140 days to be researched. Once examined, it will grant a total bonus of between 4000 and 6000 Engineering research engineering and Physics Research physics research points, increase the progress of Tech jump drive 1.png Jump Drive tech by 50%, and permanently enable it as a research option if the player has not already completed it. If either Tech jump drive 1.png Jump Drive tech or Psi Jump Drive has already been researched, examining the rift will only grant the aforementioned bonus research points.

Tactical: The Dimensional Horror has exceptional range and is able to use all of its weapons against anything that enters the system. It is highly advised to jump in as close to the Horror's physical position as possible to shorten the time to come into weapon range. It has 5 weapon types:

  • 1 Dimensional Beam, a weapon that seems to operate like a Lance. It skips right through Shields and Armor. It seems to have a low Accuracy and Tracking so it is only effective against low-evasion ships
  • 2 large Dimensional Strikers. These Weapons have a very high shield drain.
  • 2 Medium Ripper. Usually dealing the bulk of the Damage. Has good Accuracy, Tracking and Shield breaking effect.
  • 2 Small Render. Exceptional Accuracy/Tracking. 2nd highest damaging weapon.
  • 4 Dimensional Guard PD. Extremely low damage and weakness against Shields and Armor.

Defensively it has 3 Auto Repair and 80% Armor Mitigation. It has about Destroyer-level Evasion, but accuracy and armor penetration seems more important in weapon selection. It seems to prefer attacking Battleships and Corvettes/Destroyers, and seem to hit Cruisers last. Armored cruisers with small-medium plasma Weapons should be most effective.

Location: It will only spawn in a Black Hole System. The Leviathan only appears after the system is first visited, meaning that the first empire to discover it cannot do so only through sensors.

Recommended Strategy: 11-12k fleet of high evasion ships. Battleships and Titans are not recommended due to their vulnerability to the dimensional beam.

Enigmatic Fortress

Ancient Vault with all defenses

The Enigmatic Fortress guards various mysterious technologies. Its engagement ring is always visible. It has the longest and most complicated event chains among all leviathan. Once disabled, player has different options to explore the fortress. Unlike other leviathans, curators do not have any advice regarding fighting it so there is no damage bonus against it.

Successfully investigating the Enigmatic Fortress will have following benefits:

  • Gain 24x Engineering research engineering output (potential yield gain of 2000 - 4000)
  • Gain 24x Physics Research physics output (potential yield gain of 1600 - 3200)
  • Gain 24x Society research society output (potential yield gain of 1000 - 2000)
  • Unlocks the tech option for Tech enigmatic encoder.pngTech enigmatic decoder.png Enigmatic Encoder and Decoder (evasion and tracking auxiliary components).

Tactical: The Enigmatic Fortress 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
  • Core Reactor T6
  • Core Sensor T4

All Weapons and armor are top tier, with the shields and reactors being of the Dark Matter Tier (effectively T6). The main vault can revive based on poor quest decisions and carries the Enigmatic Disruption Field but it is quite vulnerable to torpedoes.

The following table contains the outcome of every decision:

No. Choice Outcome
1 Demolitions Team Expedition proceeds. Transport ship is destroyed.
1 Local Power Surge - Go with the higher estimate (-500 Energy.png energy) Vault repowers
1 Local Power Surge - Go with the lower estimate (-50 Energy.png energy) Expedition proceeds
2 Place metal rings around the remaining two poles Vault repowers
2 Search for torus-shaped indentations on the bulkhead Vault repowers
2 Rearrange the metal tori on the poles Expedition proceeds
2 Remove center and rightmost poles from the pedestal Vault repowers
3 Home System Research - The beginning Vault repowers
3 Home System Research - The middle Event success
3 Home System Research - The end Vault repowers
3 Supply Dark Matter.png Dark Matter Event success
3 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.
3 Black Hole Research Event success

Should the timer be left to expire at any point the vault will repower.

Ether Drake

Ether Drake

The Ether Drake is the leviathan appearing on the cover of the Leviathan Expansion. It can move extremely fast within a star system, with a max speed of 20 (in comparison, max speed of corvette is 5.25 without additional components). Its name is Avice, and is presumably either female or likewise as defeating it gives you the Egg (see the "Young Drake" subsection).

Defeating Ether Drake will have following benefits:

  • 300 Influence.png Influence
  • The Admiral who leads the fleet defeating the Ether Drake will gain the Leader trait glory seeker.png Dragonslayer trait, giving +10% Combat speed Combat Speed and Mod ship fire rate mult.png Fire Rate.
  • Xenophile and/or Spiritualists gain access to the Empire Unique Building Building zanaam obelisk.png Ether Drake Shrine whilst other Ethics gain access to the Empire Unique Building Building religious monument.png Dragonslayer Monument. Both grant +15 Unity.png Unity.
  • The planet it guarded, Dragon's Hoard, is a very wealthy planet with +30 Energy.png Energy and Minerals.png Minerals. Putting a mining station on it will eventually provide two special rewards (MTTH 600 months):
    • Enable researching of Tech dragon armor.png Artificial Dragonscales, the only Level 6 Armor.
    • Discover a Dragon Egg and get the option to smash it for 300 Influence.png Influence or issue a special project to incubate the egg and hatch a Young Drake. The Young Drake has between 14k and 16k fleet power.

Tactical: This leviathan has exceptional armour but no shields and should accordingly be engaged with energy weapons.

Both long-range bombardment and short-range engagements with small high evasion ships seems likely to succeed. The equipment includes: One Dragon's Breath (identical to the titan Perdition Beams), 8 secondary weapons, 4 tertiary/point-defense weapons, 4 Dragon Armor and 2 Regenerative Hull Tissues.

If the player deals at least 20% of its total HP in damage, the Ether Drake will become aggressive and start attacking the attacker's territory. However it will return after wrecking all Stations in two random Systems. If the players does at least 85% damage the dragon will instead return home to hibernate.

Location: Only spawns around Orange Dwarfs (K-Class). Searching for "Dragon's Hoard" should enable one to find it.

Young Drake

Choosing to incubate the egg will issue a special project that, upon completion, will yield a Young Ether Drake named Scile in an independent fleet named Ether Hatchling. The Young Drake has no shields, but will gain health based on any Mod ship hitpoints add.png Ship Hull Point bonuses from research or strategic resources. Other empire-wide modifiers (e.g. armor, health regen) will also apply. The Young Drake has 10,000 base health, 172 base armor, and 34% base evasion. It uses a battleship combat computer with +5% fire rate, +10% damage, and artillery behaviour. It has impulse thrusters, tachyon sensors, and the most advanced FTL available (this does not include Jump Drives). Its weapons are;

  • One XL Energy "Dragon's Breath" (2k-3k damage, 120 range, 85% accuracy/0% tracking, 11.5s cooldown)
  • Eight Medium Energy "Wing Skewer" (100-150 damage, 80 range, 80% accuracy/75% tracking, 2.1s cooldown)
  • Four Energy Point Defense "Drake's Lightning" (10-12 damage, 10 range, 80% accuracy/50% tracking, 1.1s cooldown)

It also possesses four Large Dragonscale Armour ((18x4)=72) and two Regenerative Hull Tissue.

Asteroid Hives

One of the Asteroid Hives

Asteroid hives are lurkers living in crystal asteroid systems. They are the only leviathan that doesn't have any unique benefits when defeated, except for some energy and a large amount of society research points. However, their home system itself is one of the biggest treasures in the galaxy. The hive system contains five crystal asteroids, with the following yields: 2x6, 1x8,2x10 for a total of 40 Minerals.png Minerals. When the system is discovered you will receive a message mentioning that something is not alright there. If a mining station is built in the system the Hives will awaken in 100 years, the time being reduced by 66% with every additional mining station.

Tactical: They have 20k hull points and 10k armors, but no shields nor evasion points. Their only equipment is 3 Unique "Hive Strike Craft" Hangars (for 60 Strike Craft) and an Auto repair per Asteroid. The asteroids belong to a unique station Size class. Accordingly, point defense is the most important weapon to bring to this fight. The strike craft has 50% evasion, 100% accuracy, 0% tracking, 100% shield-penetration and 66% armor-penetration so the armors and shields are almost meaningless. The MTTH is 100 years, times 0.3 for every mine built on a crystalline asteroid. As such it might be possible to mine a few of the asteroids and still break even when the hivers appear.

A Fleet of about 50 Destroyers with Point Defense Focus is well enough capable of killing the hives, by engaging them one after the other. However the proximity of the Hives means that quite often going into Firing position on one of them will draw in the fighters from the next. The swarmers operate like bombers (Skip Shields, Problem hitting corvettes) making armor most advisable as defense.

Location: It can spawn around any A, B, F, G, K and M class star. If the system is surveyed, the amount of 30+ Minerals should easily allow one to identify the system.

Infinity Machine

Infinity Machine orbiting Gargantua

The Infinity Machine is a smooth spherical object orbiting a black hole called Gargantua. It is the only neutral leviathan.

A year or two after discovering it the Infinity Machine will send out a transmission and starting a special project to contact it. After the project is completed a peaceful contact will be established, revealing that the Infinity Machine is surprisingly talkative although it perceives time non-linearly. Depending on government ethics, some empires can try saying the liar paradox although the technosphere immediately recognizes it and finds it boring. You can offer to help it in its quest to understand infinity and start a very lengthy special project at the black hole that can only be done by a level 5 scientist. Finishing the project will have one of the following outcomes.

  • The project fails but the Infinity Machine will acknowledge your effort and reward you with either the Positronic AI or the Zero Point Power technology. If you researched both it will grant your empire a +5% Research.png research bonus.
  • The project succeeds and the Infinity Machine enters the black hole. A hull fragment will remain, granting you either the Positronic AI or the Zero Point Power technology as well as 150 Influence.png. In addition the black hole will get a 4 Research.png research production.
  • Very rarely after the Infinity Machine enters the black hole, Gargantua will shrink to a smaller size, change name to Pantagruel and reveal what black holes actually are. This grants the achievement Infinite Creation if not already obtained. Building a starbase over the black hole will also add the Mirror of Knowledge modifier, ents|granting +10% Mod country all tech research speed.png Research Speed. In addition the black hole will get a 10 Research.png research production.

Alternatively the Infinity Machine can be attacked, forcing it to open and become aggressive. Destroying it will allow the Infinity Machine to be broken down for a large bonus of minerals and influence, or study its nature for advances in robotics. This removes any bonus awarded thus far.

Depending on empire ethics, another non-aggressive option can be available after the investigation project is completed.

  • Spiritualist.pngFanatic Spiritualist.png Spiritualist empires can declare the Infinity Machine a divine object, granting a +5% happiness empire unique modifier.
  • Militarist.pngFanatic Militarist.png Militarist empires can destroy the Infinity Machine with an army without fighting it to gain massive Minerals.png and Influence.png or instantly gain 50% progress on Synthetics.
  • Materialist.pngFanatic Materialist.png Materialist and Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness empires can attempt to hack the Infinity Machine. Chance is 5% but if successful, it permanently grants a +3% Research.png research bonus as well as either the Tech sentient ai.png Positronic AI or the Tech zero point power.png Zero Point Power technology. If you have both you will gain between 1000 and 2000 Research.png research points. For Gestalt consciousness.png empires this is the only option. This approach destroys the Infinity Machine.

Tactical: The Infinity Machine is equipped with the following Equipment:

  • 4 Advanced Strike Craft.
  • 1 Lance Weapon.
  • 3 Large, 3 Medium and 9 small Gamma Lasers.
  • 6 Point Defenses.
  • 20 Large Hyper Shields.
  • 2 Shield Capacitors and Regenerative Hull Tissues.
  • T4 Thruster, Sensor, and Battleship Computer.

Location: It always spawns in a Blackhole System called "Gargantua", making it the most predictable and easy to find leviathan.

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 will contact you surprisingly not in a non-linear tone and will ask you for 800 Energy.png energy and Minerals.png minerals. Refusing with either of the two options will have the technosphere ask you again next time you enter the system. If you accept it will absorb the resources and disappear into the black hole the same way your ships did and add it a permanent +20 Society research society research points.

Spectral Wraith

650THz Spectral Wraith

The Spectral Wraith is special kind of life born near pulsars. It is by far the most mobile leviathan and players may encounter it without being the ones to trigger it. At the same time, a player may never see it as it wanders indiscriminately and may blunder into a Fallen Empire where it will meet with a swift and untimely demise. The Wraith does not spawn directly upon entering the System, but will instead spawn once the Mid-Game years starts if anyone scanned the Pulsar in its spawn system. If a player empire is the first to scan the pulsar an event message will notify them.

The Wraith will now spawn at the mid-game date set in the galaxy settings and will not spawn if its star has not been surveyed before the mid-game date, which means you will never see a wraith if you haven't searched its star before the mid-game date.

The Spectral Wraith has three different colors: red, yellow and blue. Each color is weakened when in the proximity of a certain kind of star (Frequency Sync, -50 Armor and Evasion Multiplied by -1) and uses a specific spectrum emitter. As such combat should be contained to systems with the proper star and the weapon types can be predicted. The colors and star classes are:

  • Red: M Class/Red Dwarfs; 450THz
  • Yellow: G Class/Yellow Dwarfs; 520THz
  • Blue: A or B Class/blue and blue-whitish Stars; 650THz

Defeating Spectral Wraith will have following benefits:

  • +5%Physics Research physics research speed, +5%energy weapon damage and +10%Energy.png energy production on surface.

Tactical: All Wraiths have 6 Large Guns, 2 Auto Repairs, Guardian Warp, Cruiser Computer 4, Thrusters and Sensors 3. However, which type of gun it has in those slots depends on the Wraith. Also actually catching the Wraith might be harder than defeating it.

Stellarite Devourer

Real scale of the Stellarite Devourer

The Stellarite Devourer is a spaceborne entity the size of a gas giant that feeds itself upon stars. The Stellarite Devourer is very aggressive and will attack any attacking empire if not killed or sufficiently damaged during a battle.

Defeating the Stellarite Devourer will have one of the following benefits:

  • A project to Analyse the Remains. Upon completion the choice is:
    • Scrap the remains. Gives large Energy and moderate influence and mineral income.
    • Try to reignite the Sun in the Stellar Devourers home System. The Project has a 30% chance to kill the scientist and his 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. This Project can be completed with an unmanned science ship.
  • Militarist.pngFanatic Militarist.pngMilitarist or Xenophobe.pngFanatic Xenophobe.png Xenophobe only. Getting the Building zanaam obelisk.pngStellar Devourer Trophy.This grants the Stellar Performance achievement.

Tactical: The Stellarite Devourer has long Range Stellar Plasma weapon. All weapons have a extreme range of 150, but their windup time might make it appear they operate a different ranges. The weaponry is as following:

  • 1 Devourer Beam. This is effectively a Titan Lance: 5000-7500 Damage, -25% Damage to Shields, 90% Armor Penetration, 150 Cooldown, 150 Range, 85% Accuracy, 0 Tracking
  • 4 Stellar Torpedoes are Missiles that can not be shot down: 500-750 Damage, 30 Cooldown, 150 Range, 100% Accurancy, 50% Tracking, PD Target (20 Speed, 200 Health, 100 Retargetting Range)
  • 4 Stellar Plasma: 250-350 Damage, -20% Damage to Shields, 90% Armor Penetration, 10 Cooldown, 150 Range, 80% Accuracy, 75% Tracking
  • 8 Stellarite Lasers which are Point Defense Weapons: 10-12 damage, -100% Shield Damage, 10 Cooldown, 10 Range, 80% Accuracy, 50% Tracking

Defensively it seems to have about 50% armor mitigation (possibly from the Computer), 2 Autorepairs, but neither shields nor relevant dodge. It will give chase to any attacker when between 99.5% and 33% remaining health. A Stellarite Devourer on the move will have a negative effect on every colonized planet in systems it visits (-25% Happiness and Habitability), since it effectively adds a second sun. It will return if healed above or damaged below the chase thresholds. Or left for 90 days.

Distant Stars creatures

Scavenger Bot

Scavenger Bot in the starship graveyard

The Scavenger Bot is an automaton jury-rigged from the scraps of thousands of shipwrecks, constantly scavenging a massive ship graveyard. Defeating it grants access to the Nanite Repair System technology, as well as two random Tier V component techs. The graveyard system also contains two broken planets with high Minerals.png Minerals deposits.


  • It receives 50k Armor, 50k Shields and 100k Health from its Shipsize
  • 11 Large T5 Armors
  • 9 Large T5 Shields
  • 2 Shield Capacitors
  • 1 Nanite Repair System (improved Regenerative Tissue)
  • 1 "Scavenger Beam" Weapon. Counts as Kinetic 5k-10k Damage. x2 Shield, x2 Hull, x0.8 Armor, 180 CD, 150 Range, 85% Accuracy, 0% Tracking,
  • 7 "Our Scientists can make no sense of these". Counts as Missile (destructible). 100-150 damage, x1.5 Hull, x1 Shield Penetration, x1 Shield Damage, x0.8 Armor, 10 CD, 80 Range, 80% Accuracy, 75% Tracking, 350 Missiles Speed, 10 Missile Armor, 100 Missile Health.

Tactical: The perfect offense is hard to predict due to the abundance of components and difficulty modifiers, but it is safe to say that skipping shields and even armor is advisable. As the Scavenger Bot has no point defenses, Torpedoes are a good bet against it. Disruptors work for the remaining slots.

Defensively the Secondary weapon deals the most damage due to the extremely high rate of fire. While it is nominally a Missile, the projectiles speed and durability harden it against point defense. Only massed Point Defense has any chance to stop relevant numbers of projectiles. Shields, Hull and Evasion (unless the missiles can be negated) are equally poor defenses, leaving Armor as the primary defense.

Armored Carriers can be viable: Fighters counter the Scavenger Bot's defenses and work as PD, while the mandatory Point Defenses will blunt the damage output of the secondary weapon.

Tiyanki Matriarch

Tiyanki Matriarch

A giant Tiyanki whose hide has been hardened by the years and unknown biological processes. It is neither harmless nor docile. Defeating it will have a devoured ship emerge from the leviathan. Its grateful captain, Reth Unddol, will offer his services, as well as his ship which is perfectly balanced between all weapon and defense types with the latest technologies. Alternatively the ship can be scrapped for 1500 Minerals.png Minerals. Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png Genocidal empires only have the option of keeping the ship while killing Reth Unddol for 120 Unity.png Unity.

Tactical: This leviathan has exceptional armor but no shields and should accordingly be engaged with energy weapons. It's weapon is a Titanic energy stream.



The Voidspawn is an unborn leviathan, 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 surveying the planet, you will be notified that it has some sort of pulse. Within the next half a year the planet will suddenly change its appearance and destroy up to three buildings on the planet and create Rifts Tile Blockers. Within another half a year the event will end in two ways. Either the pulse will stop or the Voidspawn will hatch from the planet, destroying it in the progress.

The Voidspawn becomes hostile a month after hatching, destroying all but the most heavily fortified Starbases around the system's star. Defeating it grants a large amount of Unity.png Unity as well as the option to start a special project to research what was left of the egg planet in order to gain the Tech gargantuan evolution.png Gargantuan Evolution technology option. The egg planet will also gain a deposit of 20 Society research Society as soon as the Voidspawn hatches.

Tactical: Like its Ether Drake cousin, the Voidspawn has exceptional armor but no shields and should accordingly be engaged with energy weapons. Its only weapons are guided organic projectiles that have 100% Shield Penetration and 200% Hull Damage, making Armor the only viable defense. If the system is correctly deduced or a save is loaded outside Ironman mode the system's Starbase can also be upgraded. A Citadel built completely with defense modules can fight the Voidspawn on equal footing, with ships or defense platforms giving it the edge necessary to win.

Location: The egg planet is always a Trait pc desert preference.pngTrait pc arid preference.pngTrait pc savannah preference.png Dry world in the second or third orbit of a class G star.

Marauder empires

Marauder Home System

Marauders are nomadic FTL societies that have eschewed planetary dwelling in favor of living on ships and stations in and around a handful of resource-rich systems, subsisting largely on raiding each other and extorting tribute from settled empires. Marauders are always hostile but will generally not attack empires unless they enter their home systems, or if the Marauders are in the process of raiding them. A Marauder empire can be eradicated by destroying all stations and void dwellings in their home systems, but these are well defended and will take a powerful mid to late-game navy to deal with them.

Marauders will occasionally set out to raid settled empires they have established contact with. Before raiding, they will offer said empire a chance to pay them off with a hefty tribute (the targeted empires can choose to tribute Minerals.png minerals, Energy.png energy or Food.png food). If they are not paid, the pillaging will begin. While in the process of raiding, they can still be bought off with tribute, but the price is doubled.

Settled empires can also pay the Marauders to conduct a raid on one of their Rivals for 3000 Energy.png energy credits, both diverting their attention and potentially weakening that rival's military and economy. While raiding on behalf of an empire, Marauders are treated as allied and their systems can be traveled through. This form of raid cannot be bought off and while they will always reveal they were paid to raid, they will never tell by which empire. Marauders can only raid one empire at a time but multiple Marauder empires can raid the same target. Marauders will never raid Fallen Empires and will always refuse to do so if asked.

Both forms of raiding involve the Marauders sending a fleet to that empire's territory. The Fleet will attack the nearest colonised Planet, destroying all outposts and mining stations along their path. A fleet on Marauding will go into the orbit of the target planet and stay there for a while, then abducting (killing) 3 Pops and ruining 2 buildings. They will still be hostile on their way back. Fleet strength depends on the number of years passed and can thus facing them can result in a considerable challenge.

Empires can also permanently hire a Marauder Admiral or General for 2000 Energy.png energy credits. Their Leaders start at level 3 and have the Mercenary Warrior trait, granting the following:

  • Admiral: +10% Mod ship evasion mult.png Evasion and Mod ship hull regen.png Fire Rate
  • General: +10% Mod army damage mult.png Army Damage

Once the mid-game year has been reached, the option to hire mercenary fleets of varying sizes will be unlocked. All players will be informed of this change. The chance for one Marauder empire to have mercenaries is rolled yearly and 30 for each Empire/80 for nothing. Mercenary fleets cost a large Energy.png energy up-front payment, and consist of a fixed-size fleet that cannot be split, merged or disbanded, with a leader that cannot be reassigned. The fleet does not count towards Mod fleet size add.png naval capacity and will not cost any maintenance, but will only serve for a period of 5 years, after which the empire will have to renew their contract by paying the full cost again.

Years passed Raiding fleets composition
0-40 6 corvettes
4 destroyers
1 cruisers
40-60 12 corvettes
6 destroyers
2 cruisers
60-80 18 corvettes
10 destroyers
3 cruisers
80+ 24 corvettes
14 destroyers
4 cruisers
Mercenary Fleet Ships Hire Cost
234th Dwamak-Bashers
Armada of the Voidborn
Her Chosen Champions
6 cruisers
8 Destroyers
16 corvettes
9000 Energy.png
Unhinged Screamer Flotilla
Star Rider Flotilla
Order of Eternal Night
4 cruisers
6 Destroyers
12 corvettes
6500 Energy.png
Frenzied Volunteer Squadron
First Storm Wing
Twilight Congregation
2 cruisers
4 Destroyers
8 corvettes
4000 Energy.png

If a Marauder Empire is destroyed while an empire is hiring their fleet, all mercenary fleets will cancel their contracts and join together to attack the vanquisher empire within 5 months. Marauder Refugees will also settle on the planets of the closest empire that has the Refugees Welcome policy.

Marauder Empires are unable to interact with Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png genocidal empires, meaning they cannot make use of their mercenary or raiding services.

The Horde

The Great Khan

After the Mid-Game year starts, one of the Marauder empires might unify under a Great Khan, an expansionist but ultimately benevolent leader. It can happen on its own at any point but there's also a 5% chance for the event to be triggered each time a Void Dwelling is destroyed. Once this happens, the Marauder empire becomes a Horde and will begin expanding in all directions, invading the systems of any empire that will not submit to the Khan, including other Marauder empires. At any time, it possible for an empire to submit to the Khan and become a Satrapy, a type of subject that has to pay part of its income and naval capacity in tribute to the Horde and house a Void Dwelling for both protection and submission, but is otherwise left to do as they please.

When the Horde forms, all mercenaries hired from that Marauder empire will cancel their contracts and return back home to join it.

The main Horde fleet, called "Chosen of the Great Khan", is led by the Great Khan personally. It starts at level 10 and has the unique The Great Khan trait, which gives large bonuses to every fleet stat. When the Khan's fleet is destroyed for the first time, they will escape the battle. Within a year the Khan will return with a second fleet. If the fleet is defeated again the Khan will make no attempt to escape and will therefore die in battle. After 20 years have passed since the rise of the Horde the Khan, the leader may also die by disease or assassination. Alternatively, the Khan will die a natural death between 15 and 45 years after the Horde was created.

Once the Great Khan dies the Horde will become unreachable, leaving an automatic message if diplomatic contact is attempted. Within a year the Horde will change into the following:

  • If the Horde owns no planets it will turn back into a Marauder Empire.
  • If the Horde owns between 1 and 5 planets it will turn into a strong regular empire.
  • If the Horde owns between 6 and 9 planets it will split into two regular empires that will constantly war with each other.
  • If the Horde owns at least 10 planets it will fracture into four regular empires that will constantly war with each other
    • Regular empires created from the Horde are Fanatic Militarist.png Fanatic Militarist and Xenophobe.png Xenophobe Hegemonic Imperialists.
  • If the Horde had at least two Satrapies there is a 10% chance it will instead turn into a Federation Builders regular empire. Every former Satrapy will be offered the chance to join a Federation with the former Horde, which will also be its first president.

The number of ships the Horde will have depends on the game difficulty setting.

As with Marauder Empires, the Great Khan has no intention of coexisting with Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png genocidal empires and will not offer them to become a Satrapy.


Marauder designs may look similar to Pirate ships but they have much better technology around T3.

Corvette Destroyer Cruiser Galleon Asteroid Outpost Void Dwelling
  • Small 3 Autocannon T2
  • Medium 1 Shield T2
  • Medium 2 Armor T3
  • Auxiliary Afterburners T1
  • Auxiliary Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Hyperdrive T2
  • Core Sensor T2
  • Core Thrusters T3
  • Core Reactor T3
  • Core Combat Computer T2 (Swarm)
  • Large 1 Kinetic T3
  • Small 2 Laser T3
  • Medium 1 Shield T3
  • Medium 2 Armor T3
  • Auxiliary Afterburners T1
  • Auxiliary Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Hyperdrive T2
  • Core Sensor T2
  • Core Thrusters T3
  • Core Reactor T3
  • Core Combat Computer T2 (Picket)
  • Large 1 Laser T3
  • Medium 2 Kinetic T3
  • Small 2 Autocannon T2
  • Medium 3 Shield T3
  • Medium 3 Armor T3
  • Auxiliary Afterburners T1
  • Auxiliary Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Hyperdrive T2
  • Core Sensor T2
  • Core Thrusters T3
  • Core Reactor T3
  • Core Combat Computer T2 (Line)
  • Guided 1 Missile T3
  • Large 4 Laser T3
  • Large 4 Kinetic T3
  • Small 1 Autocannon T2
  • Point defense 3 Flak T1
  • Medium 4 Shield T3
  • Medium 6 Armor T3
  • Auxiliary Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Hyperdrive T2
  • Core Sensor T2
  • Core Thrusters T3
  • Core Reactor T3
  • Core Combat Computer T2 (Artillery)
  • Small 3 Kinetic T2
  • Medium 2 Shield T2
  • Medium 1 Armor T3
  • Auxiliary Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Sensor T2
  • Guided 4 Missile T3
  • Large 3 Plasma Cannon T2
  • Large 3 Artillery T1
  • Medium 3 Kinetic T3
  • Medium 3 Plasma Cannon T2
  • Small 6 Autocannon T2
  • Point defense 4 Flak T1
  • Medium 4 Shield T3
  • Medium 6 Armor T3
  • Auxiliary Regenerative Hull Tissue
  • Core Sensor T2

Stations have around 4k Fleet Power, the primary Fleets around 11k with 8k Galleons. Raiding fleet vary in size based on gameyear, with 4 Tiers (<40, <60, <80, >80) being available.

Defensively: Excluding a few odd Energy weapons, Marauders focus almost entirely on kinetic and missile weaponry. Accordingly, shields are practically useless.

Offensively: They rely primarily on their Hull points, then their Armor. A few models have shields on par with their armor, but mostly these can be ignored. There is very limited Point Defense, with a focus to countering strikecraft. Due to their low values, it might be best to just punch through shields and armor even with unfavorable weapons to maximize hull damage.

If the Horde formed nearby and an empire has resources and naval capacity to spare but not enough to fight the Horde then becoming a Satrapy is recommended, as it's only temporary until the Great Khan dies 15 to 45 years later.


While bordering the Marauder Empires is dangerous, some beneficial events might trigger at regular intervals:

  • Some Marauder pops are expelled from their space stations (refugees)
  • An abandoned habitat is discovered (+400 Minerals.png Minerals)
  • Border guards secure a Marauder Shuttle (+400 Energy.png Energy)
  • Patrols discover a resource cache (+300 Energy.png Energy and Minerals.png Minerals)
  • Border skirmishes give the empire the Marauder Whetstone modifier (+10% Mod ship fire rate mult.png Fire Rate for 10 years)
  • Border patrols save a Marauder admiral (permanent level 4 admiral with the Leader trait mercenary warrior.png Mercenary Warrior trait)
  • A derelict fleet is discovered. It can either be crewed (1 cruiser, 2 destroyer, 4 corvettes) or scrapped (+200 Minerals.png Minerals)


Game concepts
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Exploration ExplorationMapSpeciesAnomalyEventsFTLFallen empirePre-FTL speciesPrecursorsSpaceborne aliens
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