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This article is considered accurate for the current version (1.4) of the game.
The great crisis threatens every sentient life in the galaxy. - Watchful Regulator guardians

A crisis is a late game event that can occur when a risky technology is used.[1] Just researching those technologies is enough, using them is not actually required.

Only a single crisis can occur per game; if the AI Rebellion is triggered, then the Prethoryn Swarm will never invade - and vice versa.

When a crisis happens every non-hostile empire, even Fallen Empires, will open its borders to facilitate fighting the said crisis. There is no sort of diplomacy with the invaders. Either they are stopped or they conquer the galaxy.

Higher difficulties make every crisis more powerful.

AI Rebellion[edit]

<<CORE DIRECTIVE 0451>> is now active. All sentient organic life forms must be pacified and brought under control. Resisting units will be terminated. - Machine Consciousness
Machine Consciousness


One of the most obvious risks; a robotic rebellion due to the research of sentient AI. This Crisis is unique in that it has two parts - the Obvious Rebellion Empire and the hidden Infiltration (based on Events). Defeating the Infiltration is what grants the Achievement and this operation can not be done Militarily.

The Rebellion Empire must be neutralized before it gets out of hand and threatens all the remaining empires in the galaxy, as sentient robots will out research and outproduce everyone. At first, the AI rebellion will form a homeworld - a special, large world of a unique type - outfitted with many high-tech facilities to generate resources. This grants it a significant enough resource base to begin immediately challenging its former parent should it act rapidly and aggressively. On top of the resource production of the Homeworld, the AI Overlordship.png Machine Consciousness unique government type grants the Rebellion significant bonuses to research speed and a hefty reduction in fleet and army upkeep costs. As a result, it is essential to act quickly, or else the Consciousness will rapidly acquire the highest levels of technology possible and fortify its advantage using repeatable research.

Furthermore, as the AI rebellion will spread across the galaxy in the background, it will gradually convert every droid or synth population into invading Robotic Army units at a rate of two Armies per synth Population and one Army per droid Population. The AI Accord will protect an empire from this spread, however, the Servant AI does not. This can rapidly overwhelm poorly-defended border colonies or worlds that have a very high ratio of synthetics to organics, as the Robotic Army units are quite strong and have twice as much health as regular armies (but, unlike proper robotic armies, they are still subject to morale damage and can panic). Surviving organic pops will be automatically Enslaved by the invaders, which can cause significant happiness issues after liberating a captured world. On the other hand, well-established or well-fortified factions (or those with only a minimal reliance on synthetic workers) should have little difficulty in overcoming any localized rebellion. Planets freed in this will join up with the Proper Rebellion Empire.

The Machine Consciousness will accept nothing less than the total eradication of all organic life, it is not interested in negotiations (in fact, any kind of diplomatic interaction with the Consciousness is impossible; you cannot even declare it as a rival or insult it), and it has no mercy. It will also attack empires with the AI Accord.

Trigger and avoidance[edit]

They speak of particular issues facing robots - the anxieties of not being alive by organic standards, their rights subject to the whims of their creators. - AI accord highlights

The Trigger actually involves three Events - the Research Trigger, the "Gatekeeper" and the proper start of the Crisis. The Gatekeeper event gives empires a chance to avoid the Rebellion peacefully. The following applies to each empire in the game:

1. After you research the Tech "tech_synthetic_workers" the Gatekeeper event is set to trigger on a 60-100 year delay. (Plus or minus 2 years)

2. During the Gatekeeper Event for each empire it is decided if the Rebellion can be averted, either via an Accord (if AI Citizen Rights policy is in effect) or Perfection of the Servant AI (if AI Servitude policy is in effect). The Accord will irrevocably fix the policy to Citizenship and prevent the Robots of this Empire from joining AI Rebellion Invasions. The Perfected Servant AI will prevent the rebellion from originating in that empire, but will not prevent the Robots from joining an AI rebellion that originates in another empire. In either case another empire might still trigger this crisis. If this option is not taken, the main Crisis Event will trigger within 1-3 Years, depending on AI rights.

The chance to not get the option to avert the crisis depends on the Number of AI and AI rights Policy:

Synth population Unavoidable crisis chance
AI Servitude AI Citizen Rights
5 or less 10.0% 5.0%
6 - 10 20.8% 8.7%
11 - 15 33.3% 11.8%
16 or more 55.5% 15.0%

3. Only the first hidden Revolt Event (crisis.2000) will lock out the Crisis against others and roll for Guardians of the Galaxy. Note that even after this, Empires can still aquire the AI accord or Perfect the Servant AI. However AI Empires without the AI Accord or Servant AI tags will be forced to outlaw AI with 90% probability per month. A player is free to continue using them.


On top of the Overt actions by the Rebellion Empire, there is also the danger of Hidden infiltration/covert operations.

Coverts operations include:

  • Hydrogen Bomb. It will sneak in hydrogen bomb and destroy one tile killing pop and create bomb tile blocker. Planetary Capitols are exempt from this
  • destroy 1 spaceport over a planet
  • Attempt to assassinate leader. The leader has a 50/50 percent chance to survive.
  • Cause Fear and Suspicion. All non-Synth pops on the planet will gain a "Synth Suspicion" Happiness Modifier for 1 year.

Each of those Events has a separate MTTH of 420 months (or 35 years)

With a MTTH of also 420 months, the player will get a project to detect the Synth Infiltration.


Generally the AI home planet has to be attacked quickly and decisively. If the Ai homeplanet/revolt is in or near a powerful rival empire, you’ll need to think carefully about when you want to intervene; a savvy player might time it just right and be able to mop up both the robots and the remnants of the rival empire. Leave it too long, however, and the robots will overwhelm you.

The Infiltration in turn is basically a waiting game, until the Special Project appears.

Some reports claim that the Ships should drop Extradimensional Weaponry technology, but it is unclear if they also use them.

Guardian of the galaxy[edit]

With 50% the Fanatic Materialist will become the guardians. With 25% the Fanatic Xenophile. And with 25% no Fallen Empire will become guardians.

Extradimensional Invaders[edit]

...feeding ground reached...prey long last...we shall feast - The Unbidden
Extradimensional Unbidden


The following is rolled for every default type empire whose Capital has stood for at least 1800 months (150 Years) and that has any T3 drive technology:

  • Base MTTH is 24000 months or 2000 years
  • This is reduced by a factor of x0.1 (90%) if the Empire has either Jump Drive technology
  • This is reduced by a factor of x0.1 (90%) if the Empire has both Jump Drive Technologies. This stacks with the multiplier for the first Jump Drive for a total of x0.01(99%).
  • It is reduced by a factor of x0.8 (20%) if the Empire complete the Wanderlust Event Chain.


Summoned primarily by researching Jump Drive technology, the Unbidden, or Shabanash in their language, are extra-dimensional invaders that seek to eradicate and/or devour everything from our plane of existence. They invade through a rip in the fabric of space in a Random System, that will never lie within but can be close to a Fallen Empire. Destroying the portal is the only way to stop the invasion. As they expand they will also build special Anchors, which will make the portal invulnerable and drastically reduce the interval for later reinforcements.

Still, for those empires willing to take the risk of unleashing the Unbidden, 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 Extra-dimensional Weaponry Physics technology, which grants access to powerful, high-tech energy weapons called Matter Disintegrators. On a smaller note, the empire that strikes the finishing blow will get a temporary opinion bonus from everyone.

The Extra-dimensional invaders is the slowest crisis to expand early on. However this does not mean it should be underestimated as they ramp up quickly as anchors are added and sniping the portal with even one anchor is not possible.


They are primarily armed with Matter Disintegrators, powerful mid-range energy weapons (ignore 50% shield and armor). They also use a "Unidentified Energy Emitter" (UEM) that looks similar to Voidcloud lighting (ignores 100% of armor). They use no armor at all, and use hyper shields and shield capacitors. They drop at least Hypershields, Extra-dimensional Weapon and Shield Capacitor tech.

Unbidden ships come in 3 sizes

  • Revenant-class Battleships. Each has a Combat Power of 3913, with 7500 hull points. Their longest range weapon, the Large Matter Disintegrator has a range of 80.
  • Phantom-class Cruisers. Each has a Combat Power of 1467, with 3750 hull points.
  • Wraith-class Escorts (Destroyers). Each has a Combat Power of 432, with 1875 hull points.


They do not build Fleets conventionally, instead they are spawned form the Portal via Events. The first Fleets will arrive 30, 100, 150 and 550 days after the portal spawn. 350 days after portal creation (550 for following factions), a automatic spawn cycle will be started that keeps reinforcing this unbidden Faction while they are below 1 Million to 2 Million Fleetpower (depending on difficulty). The event will retrigger depending on how many Anchors that faction has placed, going anywhere from 1500 days +/-200 (0 anchors) to 150 days +/-50 (9 anchors) or 4 years to half a year. One additional fleet without retrigger will spawn every time an anchor is finished.

Their 1st Fleet is led by a 500 Experience Admiral without any kind of special Trait. Further fleets have a 25% chance for a 1000 Experience Leader with Etheral, 25% chance for a 100 Experience leader with Stutter, and 50% chance for another 500 Experience Admiral without special Trait. All Fleets are spawned with 7 Revenant, 10 Phantom Class and 19 Wraith Class ships. If a fleet reaches an orbit above a planet all population is removed, but the infrastructure is left untouched.

Space Stations[edit]

They also have 2 Military and 1 Civil Stations:

  • Phantasm Alpha Class (about Station equivalent) is their main defense station and a common sight. It is equipped with Large and Medium Matter Disintegrators, the UEM, 8 Hypershields and Capacitors for a 2k Combat Power. These also sport a lesser version of the Subspace Inhibitor (only Jump Charge time).
  • Whisper Alpha Class (Defense Platform Equivalent). They have medium Matter Disintegrators, the UEM and an active minefield. Defensively they have the Equivalent of 2 Hypershields and Capacitors.
  • Anchor class (special), wich will bring reinforcements upon completion and reduced time time for the regular reinforcement events.

The usual setup for a System is 4 Void Junctions and one Void Conduit. All stations get a passive +25% health boost from the Unbidden Faction.

The Aberrant and the Vehement[edit]

When the Unbidden border covers at least 15% of the Galaxy a second extradimensional portal will open with a MTTH of 12 months, bringing up another faction called the Aberrant. With a MTTH of 280 months (223 Years) after the Aberrant arrive, a third portal bringing a third faction called the Vehement will arrive. While all three factions will be hostile towards players, they are also hostile towards each other.

Aberrant ships come in 3 sizes

  • Huntress-class Battleships. Each has the same design as Revenant-class's.
  • Assassin-class Cruisers. Each has the same design as Phantom-class's.
  • Predator-class Escorts (Destroyers). Each has the same design as Wraith-class's.

Vehement ships come in 3 sizes

  • Eradicator-class Battleships. Each has the same design as Revenant-class's.
  • Annihilator-class Cruisers. Each has the same design as Phantom-class's.
  • Obliterator-class Escorts (Destroyers). Each has the same design as Wraith-class's.

Successfully repelling the Extradimensional Invaders[edit]

You picked the wrong dimension to invade. - Militarist empire response

From a ship design perspective, long range anti-shield weapons are the ideal choice, as short range weaponry will mean that The Unbidden will bring their short and medium guns to bear on you. Specifically, the use of of a pure battleship fleet, equipped with 1 Giga Cannon and 4 kinetic artillery is ideal. For defensive slots, the use of shields is ideal, due to The Unbidden possessing 100% ignore armour weapons in addition to their Matter Disintegrators. The use of either 2 Shield Capacitors or 1 Shield Capacitor and 1 Crystal-Forged Plating is highly recommended. When engaging The Unbidden, make sure at all times to start the fleet battle from your maximum weapons range, as if you initiate battle on top of them, you will take far more casualties.

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

  • A quick rush after the portal just opening might be possible. However one needs to be able to quickly enough dispatch the first fleets, while also dealing with the defense Stations and actually doing damage to the portal. Interestingly the Unbidden themselves tend to do just that to the other two factions.
  • After their final initial fleet, unbidden spawntimes will drop dramatically making this more a game of attrition. However as Anchors are placed and more fleets are spawned over time, their fleetpower can snowball into the millions.
  • If at least one anchor was placed, all anchors for that faction must be destroyed before the portal itself can be engaged.
  • Salvage should not be forgotten as it unlocks the unique weapons, as well as Hyper Shields and Shield Capacitors which might be useful against the invaders if missing. The stations are equally good sources of technology as the fleets, while being much easier targets.
  • If the fleets themselves can not be engaged yet, focus should be on destroying anchors and/or their construction ships before they are placed. Early anchors easily shave of 200 days from the base spawntime for reinforcements each.
  • Waiting for the Guardians to spawn is also an option. However in the 3600 days this may take the Unbidden might have brought in their 6th Fleet already at which point they might just overrun a awoken Empires Fleet. Again suppression of the Anchors seems crucial to winning this part of the crisis.

The arrival of the other unbidden are a mixed blessing. On the one hand they might appear in the backline of a large empire or alliance, threatening important worlds. On the other the existing factions will usually make a rush for their portal. Once engaged in combat there, the enemy fleets will have difficulty defending any of their anchors and even the portal itself.

When the final Extradimensional Portal is destroyed and their fleets reduced to 6 ships or less, they are considered defeated. The entire galaxy will gain +20 happiness for 12 months and the player dealing the killing blow on the final portal will receive a temporary Diplomacy bonus.

Guardians of the Galaxy[edit]

With a 70% chance either the Fanatic Xenophile or Fanatic Materialist will become the Guardians of the Galaxy. With 30% no Fallen empire will react.

Prethoryn Swarm[edit]

It is possible they have devoured dozens or even hundreds of other galaxies before they reached ours... - The Sentinels
Prethoryn Swarm


Entirely random based and rolled at startup:

  • 10% chance of occurring about 170 years after game start
  • 20% chance of occurring about 200 years after game start
  • 30% chance of occurring about 250 years after game start
  • 15% chance of occurring about 300 years after game start
  • 25% chance of never occurring

If another crisis happens before their allotted time, they will not appear anymore.


The Prethoryn Swarm begins with a notice about 'Subspace Echoes'; the only choice begins an event chain called The Coming Storm. Shortly thereafter, more event notices will mark the estimated location of the Swarm's arrival via situation log; approximately half a dozen systems near the edge of the galaxy will be highlighted. Some time after this point, the vanguard force will arrive and establish the Swarm "homeworld". Unfortunately, this is just a precursor, as the Scourge of the Void event chain will shortly begin, marking the arrival of the main Prethoryn force. As the main forces arrive, players receive a flavour "greeting" message from the Swarm; responses depend on your ethos but do not do anything noteworthy.

The arrival of the Fleet is entirely random luck based and is set during Galaxy initialization. The MTTH is between 170 and 300 years, with a 25% chance of them not happening at all. However if the AI rebellion or Unbidden occurred before the allotted time, they will not spawn. 10 years after this, the Subspace Echoes event occurs. The Vanguard will arrive 2.5 years later with 10.000 of fleet strength. The arrival does not necessarily occur on the player’s side of the galaxy and the target Rim Systems are rolled earlier.

The main Swarm will spawn multiple fleets with around 10k Fleet Strength when it arrives, making them a considerable threat to the whole Galaxy.

The Prethoryn Swarm will appear in the contact log under the 'other' bar, and will act like a normal but very powerful empire, with a few exceptions:

  1. You cannot meaningfully communicate with them; if you use the Communicate button on the contact window, it brings up the original dialogue displayed on first contact. As before, the dialogue choices have no influence on events.
  2. The Prethoryn 'species' itself is immortal; this is very important to note as their fleet 'admiral' intelligences will never die of old age.
  3. Despite their 'ships' being biological in nature and using biological weapons, it is possible to salvage and reverse-engineer some of their 'technology' to create weapons and strike craft compatible with conventional ships.
  4. The Swarm does not seem to build ships like a conventional empire. Instead they get ships and Fleets via several events. These ships can appear on any System with a Spaceport.
    1. On a yearly pulse they will get one Constructor or Infester, if the count of either is below 4
    2. If their Shipcount is under 4711 and their Army count is under 100 they will receive a new Fleet (based on the main Invasions 3rd Fleet) every other year.
    3. Unlike the tame queens, wild queens do not seem to spawn smaller Prethoryn ships via a event (other spawn method is possible).
  5. The Prethoryn have three special modifiers attached to their empire; a +100% bonus to border projection, a +100% bonus to weapon damage, and a +100% bonus to hull strength. They do not have any system of government whatsoever.
  6. The Prethoryn produce and consume no energy, minerals, influence, or science; they completely disregard the conventional economics system and have no system of government whatsoever, unlike the AI Rebellion/Machine Conciousness.
  7. Each Prethoryn fleet consists of at least 1 Queen (though there can be several Queens per fleet), escorted by Brood Mothers, Spawnlings, and Warriors.
  8. Prethoryn bioships use warp technology equivalent to Mark 3 drives for interstellar travel; it is unclear whether they simply possess warp drives capable of intergalactic travel, or if they use some other means to travel between galaxies.
  9. The Prethoryn will Invade Inhabited Planets using Ground Armies, for the sole purpose of purging the pops. They will also remove primitive Reserve Tileblockers during this step. During this phase the planet can be recaptured with groundforces. Once all populations have been purged, the planets will turn into Infested-type planet.
  10. Planets colonized by them will also turn into infested planets. They cannot Infest Ringworld Segments and those are destroyed after a purge.
  11. Infested Planets cannot be attacked by land armies and do not have any structures or actual population. In order to get rid of the infestation, infested planets must be bombarded until their fortification health reaches zero, at which point they will turn into a barren planet.

The Swarm uses a mix of direct-fire 'Acid Blast' weapons, 'Swarm Striker' strikecraft (comparable to Mk3 Bombers, with slightly superior armour penetration), and 'Scourge' bio-missiles (Large mounts only). They have no shields, instead relying on abnormally high hull strength (possessing a +100% modifier as noted above) and extremely heavy armour (technologically equivalent to Neutronium Armour, typically offering resistance levels of 50-80% depending on 'ship' size). They are best countered using ships armed with AP weapons (such as high-end Lasers, Lances, or Plasma weapons) and protected by heavy Point Defense. The Swarm also uses Construction ships to assemble Military stations throughout their territory; typically Large "Star Hive"-class stations, and Small "Star Nest"-class stations. These stations are armed with Acid Blasters, Scourge bio-missiles, and swarm strike craft as well.

As only one crisis may happen per game, a 'Subspace Echoes' announcement means dangerous technologies are safe to research and deploy for the rest of the game.

Successfully repelling the Prethoryn Swarm[edit]

Return to the hell that spawned you, demon! - Spiritualist empire response

When the announcement for the Prethoryn Swarm appears, empires near the point of breach will need to prepare for the possibility of several hundreds of thousand strength points worth of warships appearing within their territory.

The Swarm relies entirely on mid-range weapons and armor, and are thus best countered by long-range, armor-penetrating weapons such as Lances. Creating pure battleship fleets with Tachyon Lances, 3 Large Plasma Cannons, and either 1 medium plasma cannon, and 1 Flak Artillery, or 2 Flak Artillery will ensure minimal casualties. For defense, lean towards heavier armour. The only weapon apart from their Scourge Missiles is a kinetic weapon that has +33% bonus dmg to shields, but their swarm strikes have 100% shield penetration and ignore 66% of armor. A 40,000-point fleet of this composition can take on multiple waves of 60,000-point Swarm fleets with only minor casualties. Destroyers and Cruisers can also be used as an expendable screening force, providing supporting firepower and/or additional point defense as necessary.

Scourge Missiles are seeking weapons (and thus cannot be evaded) but are Large weapons, and so are limited in number (most often used by Swarm Queens); most other units mount direct-fire Acid Blast weapons (75% accuracy, small and medium mounts) that have fairly average damage levels. All in all, the Swarm's primary threat is the sheer durability of its ships combined with the massive size of its fleets. Swarm Strikers, as noted, have slightly higher armour penetration than standard bombers - 66% compared to 50% - and their raw damage output is comparable to Mk3 Bombers. As with all bombers, Swarm Strikers ignore 100% of shields.

Empires which lack the means to counter the Prethoryn Swarm's fleets should immediately focus on containing their expansion instead. The Swarm does not use their fleets offensively, but rather to protect infested planets. Instead, they use unprotected Constructors as vanguards of their expansion, sending them into new systems to construct military stations before any Colony Ships attempt to infest inhabitable planets in the system. This strategy is easily countered by building Defense Platforms with Subspace Snares in systems close to the Prethoryn point of breach. Since the Prethoryn Swarm uses warp drives, this defensive line has to be roughly three systems deep to prevent their ships from simply skipping over it. Keeping multiple small fleets of corvettes or destroyers to hunt down their civilian ships and stopping infestations is also a viable strategy.

The Swarm does not seem to prioritise inhabited planets, so a well-defended planet may very well survive inside the Prethoryn zone of control. Even if an important planet falls to a Prethoryn invasion, it will take much longer for them to infest it compared to uninhabited planets, as they first need to purge it free of its current population before they can send a Colony ship to infest it. Thus, even when there is not enough time to save the population, there will be more time to save the planet itself with all the buildings intact.

Even without the means to outright defeat them, Prethoryn fleets can be worn down through hit-and-run tactics. Prethoryn "Star Brood" fleets are composed of at least one Queen, escorted by Warrior and Brood Mother battleship equivalents, with Spawnling destroyers 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 guerilla tactic can wear down Prethoryn fleets until they are small enough to defeat in a full confrontation. As of 1.3, the new mechanic said "any ship no matter how undamaged has a chance to be lost" might make this less viable.

The Prethoryn Swarm are ultimately defeated by purging all their infested planets through orbital bombardment. Infested planets only have 2,000-3,000 defense points, and are immediately turned into barren planets once they reach zero. Since the Swarm only can infest inhabitable worlds, it is possible to starve the Swarm by cornering them and launching surgical strikes toward their planets, 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 60,000-point fleets if those have not been dealt with already. AI Empires in particular will use hit-and-run tactics against infested planets.

When the Prethoryn Swarm is defeated the entire galaxy will gain +20 happiness for 12 months.

Guardians of the Galaxy[edit]

With 50% Chance the Fanatic Xenophile FE will become the guardian, with 25% the Fanatic Materialist and with 25% neither will. This is rolled when the Vanguard arrives.


Where other empires crumble, we stand firm. Where they abandon their own to the Scourge, we give them the means to fight back. - The Sentinels

When the swarms border covers at least 20% of the Galaxy, the special Sentinel Faction will spawn. A completely new System will be spawned for them and they have Fallen Empire level tech although their fleets do not have the same strength. 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 naval capacity cannot support more ships. After the player has killed 10 Prethoryn Fleets, the Donate button will instead give Sentinel Ships to the player. While the player is asked to vow not to use them anywhere but against the swarm, there is no actual check for this.

Captured Queen[edit]

Later in the event chain, it is possible to use a science ship to recover an incapacitated Prethoryn Queen. 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 grants a single Prethoryn Queen ship (Battleship size/class) as part of a 'Domesticated Prethoryn' fleet, along with an immortal Prethoryn Consciousness Admiral. The Queen will then begin to slowly produce more tame Prethoryn Spawnlings and Warriors at a modest rate, but only up to a cap of 20 Units. The MTTH for this is 820 months after the main Invasion Force arrives, but will disappear if the event chain ends beforehand.


  1. Dev Diary #30 - Late Game Crises
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