Guts of Cloaking

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In order for matter to be cloaked, it requires a certain number of cloaking units per kT. When a ship is empty, its cloak provides the maximum amount of cloaking possible with that device. When the ship has cargo, the weight of the cargo reduces the number of cloak units per kT, and thus, the cloaking percentage.

Cloaking when the Ship is Empty

To determine the total number of cloaking units for an unladen ship, read the following table:

Cloaking Device Cloak Units/kT Max Cloaking %
Transport Cloak* 300 75
Stealth Cloak 70 35
Super-Stealth Cloak 140 55
Ultra-Stealth Cloak* 540 85
Shadow Shield* 70 35
Depleted Neutronium Armor* 50 25
Chameleon Scanner* 40 20
* Available only to races with the Super Stealth trait.

For example, an empty ship with a Stealth Cloak has 70 cloak units/kT, or 35% cloaking. By itself, the ship is visible to enemy scanners at only 35% of their maximum range.

When a cloaked ship has cargo, we need to recalculate the number of cloak units/kT available. Let's say this ship is a small freighter with a Quick Jump 5 engine, Tritanium Armor, and a Stealth Cloak. Empty, it weighs 91kT, with 70 cloak units/kT, and is cloaked at 35%. If you completely fill this particular freighter with cargo, it weighs 161kT. To calculate the new cloaking percentage:

  1. Calculate the total number of cloaking units for the ship:
    Max_cloak_units/kT x Ship_mass_empty
    70 units/kT x 91kT = 6370 total cloak units
  2. Calculate the actual units/kT:
    Total_units / Ship_mass_with_cargo
    6370 / 161 kT = ~40 units/kT

We can use the following chart to learn how much coverage a given number of cloaking units provides.

Cloaking chart.gif

At 40 cloak units/kT, the loaded freighter in our example is now only 20% cloaked.

The following table provides exact numbers at certain points on the graph, allowing for more precise calculations.

 100 units/kT     50% cloaked
 300 units/kT     75% cloaked
 600 units/kT     87.5% cloaked
1000 units/kT     93.75% cloaked

Cloaking for a Fleet with More than One Ship

In a fleet with more than one ship, uncloaked ships are counted as cargo when calculating units/kT. Let's place our empty freighter in a fleet with an empty scout that has a Quick Jump 5 engine, Laser, and a Bat Scanner, which weighs 15kT when empty. The entire fleet weighs 106kT, so traveling together, this fleet would be 6370 / 106 = ~60 units/kT, approximately 30% cloaked.

  • Super Stealth races do not count the cargo when determining cloaking.

The Effect of Multiple Tachyon Detectors

When a hull has more than one Tachyon Detector in its design, the effectiveness is calculated as follows:

95% ^ (SQRT(#_of_detectors) = Reduction factor for other player's cloaking (Capped at 81% or 17TDs)

A 98% cloaked fleet would then be 98%*81%=80% cloaked, much less effective.

The scanning of a fleet is determined by the *best* scanning ship in the fleet, and the *best* tachyon detector ship in the fleet. The scanners and tachyon detectors do not have to be on the same ship. AFAICT this makes cloaking the only time in which different ship designs can directly help each other (both in overcloaking and tachyon detection).

This means that an IS player with NAS can receive PenScanners and combine them with Tachyons, and that gifted Tachyon detectors could be combined with the (pen)scanners of another race (I've not tested JoAT intrinsic scanning)

The Appendix of Cloaking

Here's pseudo code you can use to determine cloaking percentage from cloaking points per kT.

if points <= 100
   percent = point/2
   points = points-100
   if points <= 200
       percent = 50+_points/8
       points = points-200
       if points <= 312
           percent = 75+_points/24
           points = points-312
           if points <= 512
               percent = 88+_points/64
           else if points < 768
               percent = 96
           else if points < 1000
               percent = 97
               percent = 98
           end if
       end if
   end if
end if
  • Original source: Stars Help file - Copyright 1998 Mare Crisium, LLC


  • Posey's Spreadsheet contains a page for calculating:
    • the cloaking units and effective % cloak for fleets
    • the effective (reduced) scanner range wrt cloaking and TDs
  • Stars! Calculator contains a page for calculating the cloaking units and effective % cloak for fleets

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