Beginner’s Guide to the Second Thargoid War

Viper engages Thargoids in battle
A viper engages Thargoids in battle

The Thargoids have invaded the bubble and are systematically exterminating human installations. The focal point of the invasions is the Maelstroms. Three made bubblefall within the first week, and at-least 5 more are expected to arrive soon.

There are three different ways you can help:

For all activities, you’ll want to know evasion tactics for when you’re hyperdicted or interdicted and do not wish to fight.

Anti-Xeno combat


Image source: Inara

There are hundreds of videos and guides on the most effective ways of fighting off Thargoids. This section will provide the basic to get you started.

When fighting Thargoids, the idea is to be fast and cold to avoid being hit. Thargoids have trouble hitting you if you’re moving and running a very low heat signature. The most common tactic is known as ‘cold orbiting’ which involves turning off flight assist and orbiting around the target. Low temperatures can be obtained using Thermal Vent on a beam or via heat sinks.

Read more (Anti-Xeno Initiative)

The primary combatant we’ll be facing are Thargoid Interceptors. There are 5 known subclasses of Interceptor.



The Cyclops is the weakest and most common interceptor.

Hearts: 4
Max Speed: 450 m/s
Payout: 8,000,000 Cr


The Basilisk is a tougher variant of the Cyclops. Its special trait is speed; it is the fastest interceptor in the Thargoid fleet. The primary cannon also hits harder than a Cyclops.

Hearts: 5
Max Speed: 530 m/s
Payout: 24,000,000 Cr


The Medusa has a higher damage output than a Basilisk. It’s the second most powerful interceptor.

Hearts: 6
Max Speed: 450 m/s
Payout: 40,000,000 Cr


The Hydra is a nasty space salad that ruins everyone’s day.

It has much higher armor, the most powerful weapons, and a faster reload than the other variants. The AXI considers it a challenge to even the most experienced AX pilots.

Hearts: 8
Max Speed: 530 m/s
Payout: 60,000,000 Cr


The Orthrus is the newest variant and is a non-combative interceptor. It is believed to be a recon ship scouting systems for Thargoid invasion.

Hearts: 0
Max Speed: ? m/s
Payout: 30,000,000 Cr

Read more (Anti-Xeno Initiative)

Rescue and Evacuation


Image source: Inara

Search and Rescue (SAR) operations are available for pilots with less interest in combat. Due to the nature of the war, your ships will still be at risk of hyperdiction and interdiction. You’ll also be flying through active AXCZs to land at some stations and settlements. So bring protection!

The rescue operations for the Thargoid War include both wounded and unwounded missions. They require different modules to carry out:

  • Wounded: Cargo space (unique Occupied Escape Pods)
  • Unwounded: Passengers (economy cabin)

I’d suggest a half-cargo half-passenger build. Ideally you want to go with Medium-pad ships due to the number of Outpost-sized stations that appear during the war. You can go large-pad if you don’t mind being limited to only large stations and ground settlements.

General ship build recommendations

  • Shields (prismatic if possible)
    • if using regular shields: Reinforced level 3 or better
  • Shield boosters: Heavy Duty engineering
  • Guardian FSD Booster and engineered FSD (Increased range + Mass Mgr) for quality of life
    • The rescue ships are typically over 100Ly from the front lines
  • A-rated Thrusters and Power Distributer
    • You need to be able to out-run Thargoid interceptors if you get interdicted.
    • Thargoid interceptors move 450-530m/s depending on variant

This Python build has been reviewed and approved by a couple individuals on the AXI Discord. For advice on your own builds, visit their Discord’s #ship-builds channel.



This section is under construction.

Evasion Tactics


While in the vicinity of the war’s front line, you may get hyperdicted or interdicted by Thargoids. You can evade them relatively easily if properly equipped with a fast ship.

Always submit to interdictions. It’s basically impossible to win the interdiction mini-game.

  1. As soon as you drop into real-space, the Thargoid will take a moment to deploy their Thargon Swarm. During this time, they won’t pursue you. Begin boosting away immediately.
  2. Once they enter combat mode, they take some time to get up to their max speed (450-530m/s depending on variant). By this point, you should already have several km of distance on them.
  3. You should have time to engage your FSD before they can close the distance.

Even though you can usually evade them, it’s still recommended to pack defenses: Heat sinks, hull reinforcements, and shield boosters.

If you have more questions or need more detailed guides, a good place to start is the Anti-Xeno Initiative and/or Operation Ida.