As games of Stellaris progress, so does the scale of the game. What starts as your small corner of the galaxy will turn into a vast operation before you know it.
As the scale increases, so does the need for you to send assets to multiple locations in the galaxy. Pirates could be attacking on one side, while your ally needs aid to fight the genocidal machines bombing their planets.
Recommended Read: How to Terraform a Planet in Stellaris
These threats you must face could mean sending your ships on long journeys across the galaxy, that could take years of in-game time. This is where Jump Drive technology comes in. This tech allows your ships to bypass the hyperlane network and jump vast distances in an instant.
To use jump drives in Stellaris, select the initiate jump icon in the fleet control interface, select your destination, and your fleets will jump to their target. Before you can use jump drives, you must first unlock the technology and install them onto your ships. Once installed, the initiate jump icon will be available in the fleet control interface.
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How to Use Jump Drives in Stellaris
The traditional method of moving your ships from A to B is using the hyperlane network.
You can speed up the use of the hyperlane network by using wormholes or gateways. The problem with those methods is that you need to get lucky with where they spawn to make use of them.
Leaps and bounds ahead of these methods in terms of speed is the use of jump drive technology.
These late-game techs allow your ships to leap vast distances, saving tonnes of time when undertaking long journeys. What would have been five long hyperlane jumps can be done in a single bound.
The tactical strength provided to you by being able to ignore the hyperlane network is staggering.
While at war, your enemy may have created some impenetrable fortress worlds; blocking your march to their capital. Now, you can jump drive straight past this obstacle and claim their capital from under their noses.
Unlocking Jump Drive Technology
There are two-way to get your hands on jump drive tech.
First is the old-fashioned way, progress your empire to the late game and research one of the two jump drive technologies.
The second requires the First Contact DLC and allows you to start the game with jump drive technology already unlocked.
Researching is the original way, and there are two kinds of drive that you can research. There is the “Jump Drive” physics tech or the “Psi Jump Drive” society tech.
Observant players amongst you will notice that both of these techs come with a danger warning. Let me explain why you can ignore this.
There are a few dangerous techs in the game, and none of them provide any real danger. A dangerous technology will increase the likelihood of a specific end-game crisis triggering. In the case of jump drives, it increases the likelihood of The Unbidden being the crisis.
There is also a small chance of them spawning earlier, but this risk is tiny, and the pros far outweigh the cons. The end-game crisis is going to happen no matter what you do, so feel free to make use of dangerous technologies.
The second option is to start the game with jump drives already unlocked. The Eager Explorer’s civic unlocks “Subspace Drive” tech.
Be warned. This civic makes the game a lot harder; as you start with fewer pops, no military ships unlocked, and no access to the hyperlane network.
Once you have the tech unlocked, or if you start with it; you are ready to start leaping through the galaxy.
Initiating a Tactical Jump
The game refers to the use of jump drive tech as making a tactical jump. Once a civilian ship or a military fleet all have a jump drives installed, the initiate jump button becomes available.
Clicking this button will display a dashed yellow circle around the selected ships. This is the range of the jumps you can make and is only visible on the galaxy map.
Select your target system by left-clicking, and your ships will initiate the jump straight away.
Tactical jumps do have their downsides. After making a jump, those ships cannot make another jump for 200 in-game days.
During this cool-down period, ships will suffer a 50 percent reduction in sublight speed and a 50 percent reduction in weapon damage. Bear this in mind if you are jumping straight into a fight after a jump.
This is everything you need to know about how to use jump drives in Stellaris.
If you have any questions or suggestions for this guide, please let us know in the comments section below. As always, have fun making tactical jumps in Stellaris.