Stellaris: How to Use Cloaking

The galaxy can be an unfriendly place in Stellaris, with space pirates, interdimensional terrorists, and fanatical slave empires posing plenty of threats to your fledgling civilization. Fortunately, Stellaris also provides players with a wide range of sci-fi technology to improve the efficiency of their ships and the safety of their planets.

Despite its size, Stellaris has been missing one of the most iconic pieces of sci-fi technology until now. The First Contact DLC finally introduces stealth to the game, allowing players to hide their ships for exploration, investigation, and ambushes.

How to Unlock Invisibility in Stellaris

Stellaris  Cloaked  Component  in  Ship  Designer In order for players to begin hiding their ships in Stellaris, they first need to complete the Basic Cloaking Fields technique. As a rare technology, the Basic Invisibility Field has a small chance of appearing in Stellaris’ semi-random technology selection whenever a player completes a physical technology, but the odds can be increased. Having a Scientist who specializes in field manipulation will make it more likely to appear, as will the Technocratic Citizen and Tech Advantage boost perks.

After completing the basic cloaking field technology, players can use Stellaris’ ship designer to install the basic cloaking field generator component on their ship. This component is located in the auxiliary slot and requires a small amount of Alloy and Strange Gas strategic resources. There are four other cloaking technologies to explore in the tech tree, each offering increased cloaking strength, all the way up to the top-tier Dark Matter and Psi-Phase cloaking components.

How to Use Invisibility in Stellaris

Stellaris  Official  Cloaking  Graph Players can activate cloaking on any ship or fleet equipped with a cloaking generator through the ship order menu in the lower left corner. While cloaked, ships ignore closed borders and cannot be detected by normal sensors. This allows players to glide through their ships through impassable borders, and even use their science ships to scout hostile planets, boosting Intel.

As shown in the image above, the basic cloaking generator can only cloak frigates and frigates, and has a cloaking strength of 1. This is important because enemy stations and orbital rings equipped with detection arrays will be able to detect stealth ships if their detection strength is greater than the ship’s stealth strength. Additionally, the stealth strength of a fleet is always determined by its lowest member, so a fleet with frigates and cruisers is easier to detect than a fleet with only frigates. While it is possible to gain greater invisibility strength than 5, it requires additional rewards such as completing the Subterfuge Tradition Tree or entering a Nebula of Obscurity.

Cloaking Strength affects not only how easy it is to spot cloaked ships, but also the penalty they suffer when cloaking. If the base stealth strength is 1, the ship suffers a 50% sublight debuff, and a 2.25x FTL recharge speed. These penalties are separate from the 100% Shield Nullification applied by the Basic, Advanced, and Elite Field Generators upon activation. Dark Matter Field Generators only apply a 50% shield nullification while invisible, while Psi-Phase Field Generators have a 100% penalty when using Normal Shields, but no penalty at all when using Psionic Shields . Players must account for these debuffs when using stealth fleets for espionage and infiltration, especially if they plan to go straight into combat.

Stellaris is currently available on PC, macOS, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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