Endless Space Wiki


Battle actions, popularly called "cards," are played during combat phases.

Card families[]

Each card has a color associated with one of the six types, which the tutorial refers to as action "families". The family name for the type is displayed on top of the card. The six families are:

  • Defense cards enhance the performance of your defense modules.
  • Offense cards enhance the performance of your weapon modules.
  • Tactics cards have varied effects.
  • Engineering cards enhance the performance of your support modules, namely armor and repair.
  • Sabotage cards degrade the performance of enemy ships.
  • Unblockable cards which include the retreat actions for withdrawing from battle.


In the event that your card Blocks your oppnents, (signified by a yellow cross over your card) the Card can do three things depending on which battlecard it is:

  • The effects can remain unchanged
  • The effects can take on a negative effect
  • The effects can take on an enhanced effect, making them even more efficient if they block the enemy card

The effects that a blocking card take on are defined in parenthesis after the normal effect, looking like this: 

-15% accuracy to enemy weapons (block:-5%)

Thus the effect of this card states that enemy weapons will receive a 15% malus if this card is unaffected. It is important to note that the "Block" effect is Added to the original effect. Thus if Short Circuit counters another card, the enemy recieves a -20% malus to accuracy. The "block" effects DO NOT replace the original effect

To ensure clarity, one more example will be given. In this example, "Barrier" (plus 50 armor pts. to your ships, "Block": +100 pts.) counters "Short Circuit". This will result in the following effect: +150 armor pts. to your ships.

This is defined in BattleCardDescriptor.XML, as well as here: http://forums.amplitude-studios.com/showthread.php?9258-Tutorials-for-Modding-ES  (the info is downloadable via PDF, and that's where you will find the BattleCard information)

Usage cost[]

Some Battle Action cards are free to use, requiring 0 Dust to activate. These are technological actions, unlocked through scientific research.

Other action cards that require Dust to activate are unlocked by Heroes as they gain levels. A Hero must be an admiral in the battling fleet for their actions to be available. The tutorial describes these Hero actions as "quasi magical in nature, due to the uncanny ability of Heroes to create powerful effects by manipulating Dust." The heroes may gain effects that lower the usage cost of all their battlecards.

Viewing cards[]

Cards available to a specific fleet can be viewed at any time via the Fleet Control panel by first selecting a single fleet to reveal its separate ships and Hero, and then clicking on the "Battle Actions" button. When you do not have enough Dust to activate a Hero action, it is grayed out and the cost is displayed in red.

Using cards[]

One battle action card may be optionally selected for use in each of the three combat phases during which fighting occurs: the long range, medium range, and melee phases. Battle action cards for all three of these fighting phases may be selected as soon as the Battle View screen is displayed, at the beginning of the Arrival Phase. If no card is selected prior to the beginning of a fighting phase then no card is used for that phase, however a card may still be selected for each of the remaining fighting phases.

Players may select a card for a phase by clicking on the "?" button labeled "Select an Action" on the left side of the Battle View screen, underneath the picture of the Hero serving as Admiral. Battle actions played by the opponent for each phase are displayed on the right side of the screen.

Even if one side is destroyed early in the battle, the cards for the remaining phases are still played for the winner.

Specific Battle Actions[]

Note: many of the in-game descriptions are wrong. These descriptions are taken from the XML.

This is not true of Disharmony, whose in-game descriptions are correct.

Numbers in parentheses () represent the effect in case your card had blocked the enemy card

Battle Action Type Counters Effect Dust cost Unlock Tech
Magnetic Field Defense Offense +40% (+10%) kinetic defense
-20% (+20%) beam damage
0 N/A
Weapon Overclock Offense Tactics +40% (+10%) kinetic damage
-20% (+20%) missile defense
0 N/A
Nano-Repair Systems Engineering Sabotage 20% (+10%) repair
-10% (+10%) damage
0 N/A
Short Circuit Sabotage Defense -40% (-10%) enemy kinetic projectiles
+20% (-20%) enemy beam defense
0 N/A
Adaptive Strategy Tactics Engineering +40% (+10%) best weapon type damage
-30% (+30%) best defense type defense
0 N/A 
Retreat Tactics (Unblockable) Tactics Retreat at end of phase
Enemy gets 2 (0) free rounds of attack
0 N/A
Camouflage Defense Sabotage +40% (+10%) missile defense
-20% (+20%) kinetic projectiles
0 Photon Distortion
Offensive Retreat Tactics Tactics Retreat at end of phase
Both sides get 1 round of attacks (You get 2 free rounds of attacks)
0 Photon Distortion
Barrier Engineering Sabotage +50 (+100) armor per ship
+10% (+0%) HP as armor
0 Advanced Simulations
EMP Sabotage Defense -20% (-15%) enemy beam, missile defense 0 Wave Function Control
Weapon Disruption Sabotage Offense -25% (-15%) enemy missile damage 0 Neural Robotics
Energy Absorption Defense Offense +40% (+10%) beam defense
-20% (+20%) kinetic defense
0 Solar Mining
Target Locked Offense Tactics +20% (+10%) beam damage 0 Solar Mining
Dust Warheads Offense Engineering +25% (+15%) kinetic, missile critical chance 20 Hero Ability (Commander)
Ultimate Defense Defense Tactics +25% (+15%) all defense 30 Hero Ability (Commander)
Emergency Shelter Engineering Sabotage Ships destroyed this phase are resurrected at end of battle with 5% HP 50 Hero Ability (Commander)
Gravity Well Offense Offense +15% (+10%) damage
-15% (-10%) enemy damage
60 Hero Ability (Pilot)
Dust Barrier Engineering Offense +25% (+15%) HP as armor 20 Hero Ability (Pilot)
Power Convergence Tactics Defense +300% to next phase's action 50 Hero Ability (Pilot)
Beam Surge Offense Defense +30% (+20%) beam critical chance 50 Hero Ability (Adventurer)
Illusion Defense Sabotage Creates illusionary ships 60 Hero Ability (Adventurer)
Armor Weak Point Sabotage Engineering -20% (-25%) enemy all defense 30 Hero Ability (Adventurer)


  • If you think you will win a battle in the current phase, it is usually a good idea to play Nano-Repair Systems in the following phases--it will be played even if you win, effectively giving your fleet a free repair.

Card Gallery[]

Sample Card Images[]

Battle Action Cards