Cloaking is an installable defensive system. It requires manual activation in order to power it up, which cloaks the ship and adds 60% to Evasion chance. With upgraded Engines and skilled Crew, it is possible to achieve 100+% Evasion chance, although the extra Evasion does not do anything unless the enemy ship fires just before cloaking is enabled on the ship or the ship is in an asteroid field.
Cloaking causes the opponent's weapons to stop charging and their anti-ship drones to drift aimlessly, re-targeting when cloak finishes. This means that it is usually best to activate cloak immediately after the enemy fires their weapons; this will cause the shot to almost certainly miss, and then drastically delay their next shot. This can effectively grant a 2-volley advantage over the enemy. Beam weapons are less vulnerable to this, as the AI will likely fire the beam just as it is fully locked-on, and a fired beam will not miss even if already cloaked. However, cloaking before a beam is fired may be helpful if shields are down enough to where the beam would hit the ship, thus giving them a chance to regenerate.
Firing any non-beam weapon while cloaked will shorten the amount of time the ship can stay cloaked. The Stealth Weapons augmentation negates this penalty. Firing beam weapons do not affect the remaining cloak time.
After coming out of cloak, the system takes 4 Ion Damage as a cooldown. Note that maintaining cloak for longer increases the effective time between cloaking activations, as the cooldown does not begin until cloak is deactivated. Although all conventional enemy weapons cannot charge up during cloak (including the Rebel Flagship's four artillery bays), one notable exception is the Rebel Flagship's Power Surge in its second and third forms, which fires on a timer independent of targeting. As such, when fighting these forms, one should either keep the Cloak system on a lower power level so that it is available during each volley, or fire a weapon immediately after Power Surge ends to decloak and begin the cloak cooldown.
Boarding and hacking drones
System and Upgrade costs/details