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Space pirates will regularly attack nearby systems with increasingly strong fleets.

They launch from pirate bases which can be located on planets or in asteroid fields. Bombardment from your ships can destroy a pirate base and grant you some credits or a new population unit for a nearby planet as reward.

Pirate bases can be found on any colonizable planet as well as in asteroid fields. They will settle in a wild system's worst planet, preferring inhospitable biomes such as asteroid fields, volcanic planets, toxic planets, or radiated planets and preferring smaller planets and poorer planets over larger or richer ones. Pirates will spontaneously appear on a random eligible system every ten turns, until turn 350. The first pirate ship will appear three turns after discovery of a pirate system; new fleets will then appear every 12 to 18 turns.

Pirate raiders will merely blockade a defenseless system, but pirate marauders and ravagers will bombard populations and destroy any unprotected space installation, such as a space surveillance system, an asteroid mine or laboratory, or a superscalar gas harvester. Military outposts at the warp points are enough to protect a system against space pirate intrusions, and missile bases are sufficient to protect a planet against raiders and marauders.

Pirate Ship Image First Turn
Pirate Raider
Pirate ship frigate.png
Pirate Marauder
Pirate ship destroyer.png
Pirate Ravager
Pirate ship cruiser.png