The Clone Bay brings dead crew members back to life at the cost of skill experience (-20%). It also heals crew members between FTL jumps using partial-cloning technology. However, it cannot coexist with the Medbay on a ship, meaning that the only way to heal crew members other than jumping is with a Healing Burst.
Clone Bay works in the following way:
- If a crew member dies from any combat-related reasons during a hostile encounter, the Clone Bay system will start the process of replicating his/her body. Multiple crew members are brought back to life in a first-in first-out queue (only one cloning process can be active regardless of the system level). If the Clone Bay is depowered, destroyed completely, ionized, or disrupted by a Hacking surge or by event specifics (such as Slugs Detected Radiation From Your Medical Unit), all crew members currently in queue will take about three seconds to be permanently killed (unless you have the Backup DNA Bank augmentation — in this case, the process of replication simply stops).
- Crewmembers will also be cloned if they die because they are on the enemy ship when it gets destroyed (this includes the flagship in its first two stages).
- Clone Bay will heal all injured crew members for an amount of HP dependent on the system level each time you perform an FTL jump. It does not need to be powered for this effect to take place.
- Clone Bay will create a clone of a crew member in most non-combat events which kill the crew (such as the dreaded Giant Alien Spiders). Several exceptions (such as Unknown Disease on Mining Colony) will not allow you to retain your crew due to various reasons (mostly well-justified in-game). As with passive healing, it does not need to be powered for this.
- The Clone Bay will not clone a crew member that is still on an enemy ship that jumps away. This is an easy way to lose a boarding party, and appropriate care should be taken.
- Each time a crew member is resurrected, (s)he loses a portion of experience. While the effect may sound particularly harmful for the boarding parties, the disposable nature of cloning bay allows to send more boarders instead of returning them for healing, quickly saturating the enemy ship. It also significantly reduces risk of losing the member due to mishappen timings. With proper care, lost experience can be regained relatively quickly.
A ship cannot have both a Clone Bay and a Medbay. Purchasing a Clone Bay in a store will replace the Medbay, and vice versa, even when at maximum system capacity. Any upgrades made to a medbay will carry over to a clone bay when purchased.
If the enemy ship has a powered Clone Bay when boarding, once all enemy crew members are dead, the battle will continue until their Clone Bay is destroyed. This can be especially deadly when combined with upgraded Doors that impede your boarding party's access to destroying the Clone Bay, so it is a good idea to knock out the Clone Bay with weapons-fire before you send in your boarders, and then teleport them into the destroyed system's room, to defend it from would-be repairmen.
Enemy Clone Bay, however, can be used to boost combat skill of your crew members (if you have a Medbay or Healing Burst and good enough defenses to prolong a battle) — as long as it is active, it will continue to resurrect enemy crew, which will serve as target practice for your boarding parties. To be precise, respawned enemy crewmembers won't give extra experience, but systems repaired by them will.
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