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Races and Crew Members

There are a total of nine races in the universe of Faster than Light. This is higher than the maximum number your space cruiser can hold for crew members, as the maximum of that is eight. It is uncommon you could find such a diverse selection of crew members to recruit without considerable effort though. Some races are commonly found in shops to recruit, while others are so rare that you can only find them from random events from particular beacons and in a specific type of sector. Each race has a unique trait or ability to them. While reasonably balanced, not all of these races are equal. Some have greater advantages than some others, but all of them serve a purpose; with some better suited to some tasks than others.

No matter the race your crew member is, he or she is able to gain experience in skills and will become more efficient at those areas of expertise. Having a level of experience in a skill pertaining to the system your crew member is manning will increase the bonus to that system. There are a total of three levels per skill that a crew member can grow to. Each level gives a set bonus while manning.

Because of this experience points mechanic, it benefits you more than it would otherwise to keep a system manned and to also keep that crew member alive for as long as you can. As you travel farther through the sectors of your game, crew members that you can find from random events and recruit from shops will sometimes have experience levels in certain, random skills. This only occurs if you have the update of the Advanced Edition and have the content enabled. They can have higher than just one experience level, but it is increasingly uncommon the higher an experience level could be in a skill. This does help to balance somewhat against crew you have trained ever since the start of your game, but it regularly still won’t compare to a crew member you have tailor made yourself.

There is one exclusion to this, but the possibility is so very rare that you may never encounter this unique crew member in all your missions. There is a crew member named “Virus” that will offer to join you in a multiple step random event. Somewhere in an engie sector you can encounter an engie ship that claims they must destroy your ship to eradicate the virus. If you have the blue text option to have your engie crew member speak to them, he will die and you will be forced to fight the hostile engie space cruiser. If you win, either by destroying the engie ship itself or the hostile engie crew, your just recently murdered engie crew member will reform out of the air. The virus has taken hold of your engie crew member, repurposing the engie as its body. Essentially the virus is now your crew member, and he has maximum experience levels in every possible skill. This would simply be impossible to achieve without cheating and in standard gameplay. This Virus crew member is among the most versatile, but he is still restrained to normal engie limitations of half combat damage.

Experience points required to reach each level of a skill are variable per skill, but will remain consistent under each skill. You require 15 experience points per level for piloting and the same for engines. For every natural dodge, unaided by the evasion boost from cloaking, your crew members who are manning the pilot deck and the engines will gain one experience point. So you would need to dodge 15 times with your crew member at either at the pilot deck or engines, or one at each, to gain a level in either of those skills.

Shields require 55 experience points for each level. For every time the shields absorb some kind of force, even if they are completely brought down, your crew member manning the shields will gain one experience point. So you cannot repeatedly turn the energy slots to your shields off and on to artificially skill up your crew member’s experience in shields. The experience points per level is so much higher for shields because your shields have a guarantee of protecting your space cruiser, with the exception of certain missiles, whereas the pilot deck and engines only have a minor chance for your space cruiser to dodge. Obviously the more upgraded your engine systems is the greater the chance, but part of that boost is also received from the skill of your crew member manning the engines. Shields do take a lot of damage in the course of every battle, but the amount of damage done to them in total is irrelevant to the rate in which you gain experience for that crew member manning them. To the shields, and the experience gained from manning them, only every strike counts.

You can gain experience for the shield skill in more ways than just taking the brunt of enemy weapon fire. Asteroids careening into the shielding will raise the skill, for every asteroid, and so will ion damage, whether that is from ion waves from a hazardous beacon or from ion weapons. You cannot increase your dodge rate in the same way against flying asteroids, as dodging them for whatever reason does not contribute experience points to the crew member manning the engines or pilot deck.

And with Advanced Edition content enabled, you cannot gain experience points from asteroid impacts with your shield when out of combat, as that environmental hazard continues after the hostile space cruiser is defeated or fled.

A good way to raise your shield skill quickly is to find a ship that doesn’t have enough fire power to break all the way through your shielding, so that your HULL will never receive damage. So long as they do not have any missiles, and they are not going to charge their FTL drive to jump away, you can stay in this quasi-battle until you have reached your desired shield level. Maximum would be best, but this takes considerable time to achieve and involves your space cruiser doing essentially nothing. It takes patience, and possibly some AFKing. Just be sure to not attack their space cruiser if you try this method. Usually engi ships, in the first few sectors, can have this suitable setup.

The repair skill gains one point of experience points per successful repair. The crew member repairing does not have to repair the entire thing. It is the last final turn of the wrench that completely repairs the system or subsystem that grants the experience points, similar to brawl skill increases. For every level in the repair skill, you need 18 experience points, equating to a potential total of 18 repaired systems or subsystems. Suffice to say, the repair skill trails behind the other skills in rate of skill up. It will be rare that you ever see this maxed, unless your space cruiser truly has gone through a lot of wear and tear, and still managed to survive it all. The brawling combat skill, your crew member’s capabilities at fighting another person gain experience points much like the repair skill. When your crew member defeats an enemy crew member, he or she will gain a single experience point. It will take a decent amount of altercations for you to raise this skill beyond that of level one. A crew teleporter would be essential, if not necessary for this. As often as boarding parties invade your space cruiser, it still might not be enough, even if that crew member you are trying to raise the combat skill of manages to survive.

You can also gain an experience point by destroying one health bar of a system or subsystem of an enemy space cruiser, which is a more feasible and safe way of raising the skill, but can be difficult to do en masse. This is due to the fact that by the time you have defeated all the crew members on the enemy space cruiser, your crew members can no longer attempt to destroy their systems or subsystems. As useful as this would be for training, it wouldn’t make much sense story wise as you are trying to reach your destination as quick as you can. And while you could try not wipe out the entire hostile crew, they will continually pursue your invading crew members to fight them off, and while a hostile crew member is in the same room, your crew member cannot attack the system or subsystem.

You however can try to train this skill on unmanned drones. The tricky part of this is that unmanned drones do not have any life support, and so your crew members will be receiving constant damage while inside the unmanned drone’s rooms, attacking its systems. You should have a level three crew teleporter for this, to be as safe as possible, while a level two is still manageable by the skin of your teeth. It is also easier to train a rock crew member in this way, as they have higher health.

Fortunately the brawling combat skill requires the least of all the skills for total experience points per level. Just a mere eight per, but this is high for the way you gain experience points for brawling.

Finally there is the weapons skill, a very wanted skill to have high on a crew member because of how it lowers the recharge rate on your space cruiser’s weapons. You gain a single experience point in the weapons skill for every discharge of your weapons. This equates to the more frequent your weapon discharges, the quicker your crew member manning the weapons control is going to raise their skill level. Though slower weapons tend to be stronger, they just aren’t as efficient at raising the weapons skill. Most of the time your ship doesn’t start out with that kind of strong weapon, but some are still slow regardless. To gain one level in the weapons skill, you need to earn 65 experience points for that crew member.

Below will be a list of the benefits you receive per system of a crew member having one to three levels in a skill. Though there are technically three total levels, crew members start at level 1 by default. That default skill level of 1 still grants a bonus while manning. The only skills that are excluded from having any kind of bonus are those that do not involve directly manning any system, which is combat and repair skills. And even though you can man some subsystems, the door system and the sensors, there is nothing applicable to apply a manning bonus to, so there just isn’t one and neither an associated skill for them.

  • Engine Skill
    • Level 1: Dodge rate +5%.
    • Level 2: Dodge rate +7%.
    • Level 3: Dodge rate +10%.
  • Pilot Skill
    • Level 1: Dodge rate +5%.
    • Level 2: Dodge rate +7%.
    • Level 3: Dodge rate +10%.
  • Shield Skill
    • Level 1: 10% quicker recharge rate.
    • Level 2: 20% quicker recharge rate.
    • Level 3: 30% quicker recharge rate.
  • Repair Skill
    • Level 1: 0% quicker repairing.
    • Level 2: 10% quicker repairing.
    • Level 3: 20% quicker repairing.
  • Combat Skill
    • Level 1: 0% higher damage per attack round.
    • Level 2: 10% higher damage per attack round.
    • Level 3: 20% higher damage per attack round.
  • Weapons Skill
    • Level 1: 10% quicker rate of charge.
    • Level 2: 14% quicker rate of charge.
    • Level 3: 19% quicker rate of charge.

The skills that boost the effects of manning systems are the most influential of them all, but that is four skills out of the total of six. You should ideally try to have one crew member at each of those four mannable systems, but if you cannot then shielding and pilot deck are more important. Pilot deck enables any kind of dodging, and shielding’s manning bonus is a dramatic improvement especially as it scales in level.



The humans are the standard and basic race in Faster than Light. They are most common to find, and are described as uninteresting. There is little that distinguishes them amongst the races, as they have no special talents. They are among the most numerous in the galaxy of Faster than Light, constituting a great number of the forces of the Federation, and comprising the entire faction of the Rebels. Whenever you encounter the Rebels, their crew members are always humans. So you could say that even though humans themselves are plain, they are at the center of this strife that may just be a battle for superiority over all the other races in the galaxy. Wherever you go, you see the strife the Rebels are causing, trying to take over every sector, whether its controlled by the Mantis or the homeworlds of the Engi. The federation are cast into a contrasted light, by trying to join all races together and generally resisting the spread of the rebels.

The stats of the humans are essentially the baseline for all races. They deal normal damage, repair at a normal rate, move at standard speed, are vulnerable to oxygen deprivation and the ravages of fire. They are also among the cheapest to hire from stores, at the cost of 45 scrap. The only special ability they have is a slightly reduced requirement of total experience points per level, so their skills can rise in level faster. Instead of the standard 15 experience points for piloting, humans only need 13. The engine skill also only needs 13, instead of the standard 15. Shields have a greater improvement at the need of 50 experience points instead of 55. Weapons have the greatest effect from their reduced experience points need though, at 58 experience points per level instead of the 65 needed for the rest of the races. Repair is reduced just barely two levels, to 16, and combat is reduced the least to 7.

Humans are distinguishable by their faded purple uniforms of friendly crew members, while rebels are in their own unique white attire. There are actually models for both genders, unlike the rest of the races, and will range from brunette, blonde, to darker toned.

Ships you can choose from, aside from a few that are rare unlocks will usually have multiple humans amongst the crew, with any other races being less common. At the very least among those ships there will be just one human.

Because of the special abilities of other races, and the benefits that you gain from that, humans are among the least desirable races to have on your crew. Often you just don’t have a choice though, as the selection is sparse for potential crew members by the combination of a limitation of total scrap you have to spend in a game and the uncommon discovery of shops, which furthermore may not have any crew members to recruit from as they have a different selection instead.

Another detriment to the human races is the lack of blue text options in random events. There is actually only one blue text option that a human crew member can fulfill, while other races tend to have a plethora of opportunities. However this is likely due to the common nature of the humans, as your crew almost always has at least one human crew member, with the exception of starting with rare unlockable ships like the crystal cruiser. Blue text options are meant to offer superior rewards or simply just better options, and so out of all the races humans just are not as suitable candidates to that.



The engi are a race that is a cross between an organic being and a sentient machine. They are emotionless by nature, and choose to take on a humanoid shape rather than need to. They have long, curving arms that nearly reach to the floor by their stout legs and a half circle face peering out of a skull-like helmet with a greenish glow. They are most distinguishable by those curving arms, and their mostly gray, silvery color.

Their bodies are made out of some kind of nanites, and so essentially they are just machines, even though they need oxygen to survive, and are just as vulnerable to fire as humans are. No one really knows what the engi originated from, as it seems their current homeworlds weren’t their first. They are innately talented with machinery and possess great knowledge over technology. Their levels of technology far outpace human technology, and so they serve as excellent mechanics and operators.

Their bodies are fragile though, not suited to the rigors of combat as well as organic tissues are. Engi race crew members are much weaker in combat, only able to inflict half the standard amount of damage, but their health is the same as the standard of 100. However their native rate of repairing is doubled, making them excellent to station at systems that are crucial and vulnerable to any kind of damage. They do not have any speed detriment, but also do not move any quicker than the standard, so they can easily move across the ship to perform multiple repairs.

Engi are somewhat uncommon, and there is a general difficulty in building up the number of your crew members, so even though an engi would be exceptionally suited to being the general repairman of your space cruiser, they are usually delegated to often targeted systems that need to be brought up to full again quickly. Those would be systems like the shields, the weapons, and the engines. The pilot deck is important as well, but usually the pilot deck is placed in a location farther away from the rest of the systems, and is not as commonly targeted by enemy weapon fire. A regular pilot stationed there, like a human, would be enough to repair the single health bar that the pilot deck usually has. Systems like the weapons control or the shields each have several health bars to repair, and by one volley of weapon fire from a hostile enemy, a few can be knocked down. Such a situation an engi would be great for.

Engi cost barely more than humans to recruit, at 50 scrap instead of 45. They also aren’t as rare to find as races like the Zoltan and mantis are, but because of their halved damage in combat, it is risky to have more than two engi in your crew. They would be particularly vulnerable to boarding parties in your space cruiser, even if you have the anti-personnel drone to protect your crew members and ship. There are just only so many slots you can have for drones, and each summoned anti-personnel drone consumes two energy slots and one drone parts if they are destroyed. Relying on anti-personnel drones alone are a sure way of burning through your drone parts if they have to take on too many hostile crew members, as anti-personnel drone are roughly equivalent to the fighting force of a rockman. Still in such a situation, you could still use the engi to back up the anti-personnel to get additional damage in but this is exposing them to risk as they can fall quickly.

As a race, the engi ostensibly avoid confrontation with the rebels by way of a pact, while they are allied openly with the Zoltan race. Despite that, they secretly support the Federation, believing them to be ideal to be in power. The mantis prey upon the engi as well, exploiting their physical weakness with the intent of turning them into slaves. There are many occasions to protect engi ships from mantis cruisers. And yet you also find engi in mantis space cruisers as they were taken and subjugated…

As the engi have a greater understanding of technology, particularly those surrounding space craft, there are several possible blue text options for them in a number of random events, namely the rare engi virus.

With the double repair of the engi, they have a boost that the repair skill cannot influence. Anything that has to do with repairing, maintenance, or restoration will be done at double speed. So this includes hull breaches and fires. They are twice as quick at mending the tears in the hull, and the same for raging fires.

It is ideal to have at least one engi crew member in your ship, and preferably two if possible, while having other more combat strengthened races balancing the engi’s weaknesses.

If the engi were to be inspired from anything other than an android race, they bare a combined similarity to the Geth androids and the Quarians from the Mass Effect franchise. Their bodies resemble the environmentally contained suits the Quarians don, but Quarians are organic beings with an incredibly weak immune system, while the Geth are emotionless androids with an also similar shape. With their technological prowess and their weakness at combat the engi have, they do resemble the Quarians the most as they also have an exceptional talent with technology and are vulnerable to any kind of infection.



The mantis are startlingly green insectoid race bent on brutal, aggressive tactics. They stride on four legs, and as such have a heightened movement speed at a value of 1.2x the standard. Their pincer-like arms are evolved to give them an edge in combat, as they always have been a warring race, indifferent to individual lives, so they inflict 1.5x the standard amount of damage in combat, making them the strongest race at brawling. They are one of the few races to not wield a laser pistol in combat, and instead relying on those scythe-like appendages to rend through their enemies. When attacking electronic systems, they spit acid onto the components that eat away at it.

There is no race that is superior in combat than the mantis in a fair fight, with no other variables coming into play. As brutal and ruthless as the mantis race is, they are woefully inept at technology and repair very slowly. In sharp contrast to the engi race, their repair speed is halved. This applies to everything, just like the engi, in that they mend hull breaches half as quickly and put out fires half as quickly.

Again just like the engi, it is not advisable to have your crew consist entirely out of mantis. While they would be difficult to be surmounted by any boarding party, they would be inadequate at dealing with any damages done to the space cruiser, most especially fire out of them all. Unlike the engi however, this could be reasonably offset by the use of certain drones. There is a system repair drone that will repair anything on your ship, from broken systems, raging fires, and hull breaches. In general those drones are exceptional at mending hull breaches because they are not harmed by the vacuum effect in the room. Despite this though, you should at least have one different race among a crew comprising of mantis. Not to reinforce the slavery the mantis try to enforce upon the engi, but engi do match incredibly well with mantis crew.

As strong and useful as the mantis race is, they are fairly uncommon for you to find and recruit. Roughly they are the third most common, putting them below the humans and engi in frequency.

Aside from the actual bug species the mantis are derived from, it would seem that in modern media the mantis may be inspired from the zerg from the StarCraft series, particularly the base unit the zergling. Their shape and belligerent behavior are sharing traits.



Whatever the rockmen’s true name is at a race, it is not known. They came to be known as Rockmen by the humans, and are in general referred to as Rock crew. Rockmen are hulking beings with the rough, harsh skin of stone. They look like chiseled boulders, their shoulders and biceps the most massive part of their giant bodies. Their eyes glow a vivid red, stark against the faded purple, the dark brown, the sandy orange, and the pale grey of their skin. Their models come in those four variants ever since the update of the Advanced Edition.

Their rock skin is said to be just as strong as actual rock. To complement their hardy defenses, they appear to be physically strong and resistant enough to weather the hazard of fire without harm. The Rockmen are the only race to be completely immune to fire. Instead of wielding any fire extinguisher, they just leap up and down, stomping in big clouds to get rid of fire. They have similar brutish methods to mend broken systems, by swinging their boulder-like arms like a slow hammer. Just like the mantis, they don’t use laser weapons to attack hostile crew, and instead just their arms like they do with repairing of systems.

Due to their rock skin, the Rockmen have the highest health, being 1.5x the standard at 150 health points. However due to their large size, and their evidently great weight, they move much slower than the other races at half the speed. The Rockmen do well at mending hull breaches since they weather the damage from suffocation much longer, but they take quite a while to get there to do the job. They serve well defensively, such as against boarding parties, but they won’t win out against a mantis one on one. Worse is that a mantis will outpace them, but there is no player versus player in FTL, so you don’t have to deal with another controlling party dancing circles around your Rockmen with the other races.

So long as you can suffer the time it takes a rockman to get somewhere, then usually he is better suited for the job. This is true for fires, as he won’t die as he tries to put them out, but your systems will likely take more damage in the process and the fires will spread more than they would have. Even so, in general it takes time to put out a fire, and you can counteract the sluggish stride of the Rockmen by positioning them at strategic locations for quicker addressing of problems like fires. Some ships hurt you more with the rockmen’s slow speed by being long and narrow, like the federation cruiser, but others are box shaped and are better suited to them.

Though Rockmen aren’t vicious like the mantis are, they still are highly aggressive towards aliens in their territory. They will often open fire at sight of your space cruiser, but if you have some Rockmen crew, there are blue text options to interact with these Rockmen cruisers and come to a different outcome. There are still more blue text options for Rockmen crew members if you have any, like in situations dealing with fire.



The details to what the Zoltan race truly are is unknown. Their bodies are said to be composed almost entirely out of sheer energy, that which can be harnessed by them. They are known to be purveyors of justice in the bureaucratic sense. Often Zoltan vessels approach you, hassling you for weapons permits to have the right to be in that sector, and similar events like that. As much haste is needed for your mission, you don’t have the time to wait around for such a lengthy process, so you resort to fighting the Zoltan vessels.

The Zoltan have the broadest range in their model variation, as they can have six different color palettes, ranging from a faded and muted green, to a neon green. One is hued with yellow over the green.

The Zoltan are ambivalent to the Federation, opting to not choose a side at all even though they are allied with the engi. Emotionless, logical beings would mesh well with the Zoltan as they shy away from aggression and prefer to solve things diplomatically. It is rare you will ever find Zoltan outside of engi and Zoltan controlled sectors and homeworlds, and as such they are just as rare to find as the slug race are. If you do find them to recruit from a shop, their contract will cost 60 scrap. The Zoltan race are highly desired and prized crew members due to their unique and vital special ability to provide energy to systems. This is just one energy slot, but it is entirely independent from your space cruiser’s reactor and therefor can go beyond the 25 limit of your space cruiser’s reactor. The limitation is that this energy slot is entirely contingent on where your Zoltan crew member is standing. He can only provide that energy slot to whatever system room he is standing in, and will not provide any freely ranging power if he is standing in a systemless room. He also will not affect subsystems, as that will neither allow you to circumvent the proximity restriction on the Zoltan crew member.

The less known, but equally important aspect to their energy providing aura is that the energy they give can power through the effects of ion damage. The energy your Zoltan gives off will cause the system he is nearby to continue to work, even if an ion weapon is continually firing at it. You could use this to also continue to power shields that are under ion fire by positioning two Zoltan crew members inside the shielding room. Only one will be manning the system, but a Zoltan does not need to man the system in order to provide power to it. This is yet another benefit to the energy aura the zoltans give off.

However zoltans are not as sturdy towards damage, as their health is only 70 points worth. This makes them more vulnerable to any kind of hazard, not just combat related. Damage from laser weapons, missiles, fires, and the vacuum effects of a lack of air supply from either an underpowered or broken oxygen system or a hull breach will all affect a Zoltan crew member much more rapidly than other races. 30 health points may not seem that much, but for a crew member as precious and rare as a Zoltan, it sure is. Fires are particularly dangerous to zoltans, as they quickly spread and accelerate their damage over time rate.

Though zoltans have that reduced health, making them weaker adversaries in combat, upon their deaths they will erupt in an explosion. This isn’t a massive explosion, as it possibly could be, as it inflicts 15 damage to everything and anything in the room. This affects systems to crew members, but won’t harm friendly crew members. This makes boarding parties comprised entirely of Zoltan exceptionally dangerous as three of them exploding near each other will inflict 45 damage, nearly half the health of most races. This can kill off your fighting crew members, as they likely would already have received damage from the stretch of the brawl.

If you combine a med bay with a Zoltan, you can use their explosion to your advantage without having to sacrifice your Zoltan to the void. It won’t do much, but it helps so long as the enemy space cruiser doesn’t have a usable med bay. There are only a couple blue text options possible for Zoltan races if they are among your crew.

Any Zoltan designed vessels you encounter will have a special Zoltan shielding that protects their vessel differently than standard shielding. This Zoltan shielding is like a shell, having a certain amount of health, rather than a constantly regenerating shielding. They do have the standard shielding beneath their Zoltan shield, and the Zoltan shield is usually eight health points worth, so while it is an obstacle it is not insurmountable or something too dangerous to engage with.



The slug race are among the smallest in form than all of the races in the galaxy of FTL. They have stubby bodies with mud shaded underbellies and yellow, green, orange, to even pink upper bodies. Slugs evolved in sectors swallowed in pervasive nebulae. The specifics are vague, as the story focuses on space and not their evolution on an actual home planet, but they developed telepathic abilities to be able to see through their clouding environments. Though capable of many forms of telepathy, they are capable of normal speech as evidenced by the many attempts slugs make at swindling you through deals.

They are distrustful of other races, but so is everyone else of them because of their thieving and conniving nature. Blue text opportunities are in great number with a slug crew member, as they can peer into another being’s mind to read their thoughts and mental wellbeing, as well as sense living beings on board your space cruiser as well as those nearby.

Slugs are average in most aspects, such as movement speed and vulnerability to fire, except that their telepathic powers allow them live sight of rooms adjacent to the ones they are residing in. Their telepathic powers are more useful than that though, as they can sense live locations of living beings on enemy space cruisers, showing what race they are and what they are doing, with the exclusion of their health bar. Similarly they also show enemy crew on your space cruiser.

The other special trait to slugs is their immunity to any form of mind control. Whenever a mind control is attempted on one of your slug crew members, it will give off a reactionary text saying, “Resisted”. This is just like when your space cruiser dodges a missile and the miss text appears, confirming that your vessel did indeed dodge that missile.

Their immunity to mind control only protects themselves though. They do not extent a protection over other crew members, and cannot revert the process of mind control on an ally succumbed to its effects.

To recruit a slug from a shop, they cost 45 scrap for their contract. The process of hiring is a little odd though. When someone becomes a part of their crew, and it’s obvious what your mission is for, that 45 scrap you spend on them could be the difference between life and death. So it is curious if perhaps the crew member you recruit doesn’t ever receive the scrap at all, which may be akin to slavery…

Aside from their telepathic prowess, slugs are virtually no different other than in appearance than humans, except for the humans’ special ability to require a miniscule amount less of experience points for the next level. They are relatively rare to find, like the zoltans despite their race description, but just one slug is of ideal use. Any more than that, and you simply just have a regular extra crew member who happens to be immune to mind control. Having two slug crew members does not combine their telepathic abilities, and so you basically just have an insurance policy in case one of them dies that you still have their sensing abilities.

Usually slug designed ships don’t have sensors equipped, since their own telepathic abilities are superior to those of regular sensors. For some reason, enemy slug ships tend to have some of their systems unconnected by hatch doors, prohibiting the slug crew inside from accessing and repairing those systems. Usually these are the oxygen system and the door system. This incredible design flaw is easily exploited, as taking out the oxygen system just once will cause them to suffocate if the fight lasts long enough.



The Crystalmen are among two of the secret, mythological races in FTL. You won’t be able to ever find a Crystalman unless you encounter a uniquely specific random event. It is possible to find this random event in an asteroid field with a distress call. The text box of the event will explain about a crystal formation around a capsule. If you manage to rescue the capsule, instead of going for the weapon, you will obtain this unusable augment item.

You will then have to bring this sealed capsule to a Zoltan research facility. The Zoltan research facility is yet another random event that can be found in any engi and Zoltan sectors. Once there, you can ask them to open up the capsule and within you will find a Crystalman crew member. This is all a part of a quest line to unlock the crystal cruiser, but other than starting the game with that cruiser and this mini quest, there is no way to find a crystal crewman. If you do proceed through the quest, finding the wormhole in the rockman homeworlds, you will find the hidden crystal worlds where you can recruit more Crystalmen and even encounter crystal hostiles.

In appearance they are similar to the Rockmen, but their bodies are smoother and lightly faceted. They have no discernible eyes. Their crystalline skin have hues of purplish blue, cyan, bluish gray, and finally a light indigo. If you do manage to find a shop in the crystal worlds with the Crystalmen, then you can recruit them for the cost of 60 scrap.

The Crystalmen abilities are fairly unique. They receive lass damage from suffocation, but are not immune to it. Their health is bolstered to 125 over the average of 100, but is not as high as the rockmen’s. The Crystalmen long ago turned away from the violent ways of their brethren, the Rockmen, and hid away from the galaxy. This is why they are unknown to the galaxy as a whole. But like the Rockmen, they stride at a slower rate. This speed is not as severely diminished as the Rockmen, as it is reduced by 20% of the average.

The Crystalmen do have an actual ability though, called lockdown. This ability is triggered on their crew member icon, and when activated will cover the room they are standing in with crystals. While covered in these crystals, the room cannot be left or entered, and the room itself becomes immune to damage. The Crystalmen can continue with what they were doing after activating this ability, so they are not locked with the room, but neither can they leave the room after using lockdown as they are not immune to its effects. Lockdown can be used both offensively and defensively. Crystalmen, while rare and precious, make excellent additions to boarding parties as they can separate enemy crew from each other and single them out. They can also prevent enemy crew from entering their med bay, while you are free to destroy the med bay unimpeded.

If the Kickstarter did not do as well as it did for FTL, then the Crystalmen would never have been implemented into the game. This may be why they have such a minor role in the game, other than their secret location.



The Lanius race are a new addition to FTL through the Advanced Edition update. This race is very different than the rest, as they are anaerobic life forms with a metallic composition. Like the mantis, they are aggressive but are not malicious inherently. By their mere presence in a room, they somehow drain the oxygen from the air supply. This makes them severely incompatible with any other race in nearby proximity, so they are destined to solitude except from those that are of the same race. Even the Crystalmen will be harmed by their presence.

The Lanius consume minerals to survive, and as such have cycles of hibernation even while traveling through space. They awaken in the presence of marked mineral resources. This tends to be during intergalactic war, or in the wake of one.

Lanius can be found through random events where they are literally consuming ships, beacons, and bases. It is rare that you ever will find them though, unless you start the game with the Lanius vessel, where then your crew members will be able to interact with other Lanius.

Though the Lanius appear to be designed by nature to devastate intergalactic civilization, they are not inherently malicious. They can be spoken with and reasoned with.

Lanius have the standard stats like that of humans and slugs, with regular movement speed, damage, and repair speed. Their specialty lies in their ability to drain oxygen from a room, and their immunity to the lack of it. As they are quite large, Lanius do move more slowly, at the same speed as Crystalmen do which is 20% slower than the standard.

Lanius can be useful in a number of ways that deal with crew combat. Their presence will deter boarding parties from entering wherever they are, since the AI of enemy crew aggressively avoids vacuumed rooms, but they will not share that behavior when the Lanius is onboard their vessel.

As interesting as the description of Lanius is, who they are and their purpose, aside from removing the oxygen from a room there isn’t that much that sets them apart from other races.

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