There are six commonly encountered Space-faring Races in the FTL universe, along with a seventh that is unknown to galactic society. Members of each race can be recruited to join your crew, either by hiring them from a Store, buying (and freeing) them from a slaver, or rescued from a Random Event.
Each ship can carry a maximum of eight crew members. Each ship starts with a small crew already on-board, but the rest must be found by the player.
Crew members gain skill through experience working at various ship tasks: Piloting the ship, Shield recharging, running the Engines, Weapons operation, Repairing damage, and engaging in Combat. All races gain experience at the same rate.
Hailing from Earth, Humans are one of the most common races in the galaxy. Humans comprise the majority of both the Galactic Federation and the Rebel Fleet. Humans possess no special abilities, but also have no notable weaknesses and are the cheapest race to hire from Stores, at 40 . Additionally, they are the only race with unique male and female sprites; this is purely cosmetic, and the abilities of men and women are identical.
- It's unclear if the 'Engi' are partly organic or entirely mechanical, but it's well known that they make exceptional engineers.
Though their home systems are known, the origins of the emotionless Engi are a mystery; it's known that the majority of their bodies are made from trillions of nanomachines, and that they can adopt different shapes, though the majority of them generally stay in humanoid forms, which other races find more comfortable to deal with, out of habit. They still require oxygen to breathe, however.
- + Repair speed is doubled
- - Combat damage is halved
Engi are most useful when used as repair crew or manning ship systems, and should avoid one-on-one combat unless absolutely necessary, especially without medical support.
Note: System repairs, hull breaches, and fires are all fixed at double speed
Note: Despite being entirely made up of nanobots, Engies can still suffocate and die from lack of oxygen.
- Blue Options
- (Engi Crew) Remotely repair its targeting system. (Occurs on Malfunctioning Defense System)
- (Engi Crew) Have your Engi crew-member contact them. (Occurs on Engi Fleet Discussion)
- (Engi Crew) Send your Engi to calm down the infected. (Occurs on Unknown Disease on Mining Colony)
- (Engi Crew) Threat unresolved. Current mission imperative: Protocol 52.34. (Occurs on Engi distress call)
The violent and hostile Mantis appear, to Humans anyway, to be man-sized Preying Mantises, though they are much more aggressive than their namesakes, who only kill for food, where the aliens kill for fun. Though individuals have been known to work with the Galactic Federation for a common goal, the race as a whole tends to be deceptive and untrustworthy, frequently dabbling in piracy.
- + 1.5x damage in combat (game incorrectly says double)
- + 1.2x move speed
- - Halved repair speed
Mantis are best used as Boarding crew, as their double damage and increased movement speed allow them to disrupt and destroy enemy systems and crew.
Note: System repairs, hull breaches, and fires are all fixed at half speed; even if a Mantis crewman is closer, it's better in the long run to leave him at his post and send someone else to repair damage.
- Blue Options
- (Mantis Crew) Have your Mantis oversee the repairs. (Occurs on Slug Oxygen Malfunction)
- Have your Mantis crewman talk to KazaaakplethKilik. (This simply adds extra dialogue and has no practical effect.)
As befitting a species whose very skin is as hard as stone, the Rockmen are a warrior race who value personal strength and martial prowess over nearly everything else. While they stay primarily in their own systems, the Rockmen are liable to open fire on any ship they encounter that isn't one of theirs. Still, there are always exceptions to the rule, and having a Rockman on your crew can be very beneficial.
- + Immune to fire
- - Movement speed is halved
- + Health is increased to 150
Their increased health make them useful as both defense and Boarding crew, as they can outlast any other race in one on one combat, except for the Mantis. Their extra health is also great for fixing hull breaches since they take longer to suffocate. Their immunity to fire obviously makes them perfect for putting out fires, and Rockmen can be devastating to enemy crew when boarding enemy ships in conjunction with fire weapons.
- Blue Options
- (Rock Crew) Send your Rock crew-member in. (Occurs on Fire on Small Research Station)
- (Rock Crew) Send your Rockman crew in. (Occurs on Crystalline Research Facility)
- (Rock Crew) Put your Rock crew-member on the comm. (Occurs on Mantis Ship Adorned With Rock Body Parts)
- (Rock Crew) Send your Rock crew-member in to prevent a riot. (Occurs on Unknown Disease on Mining Colony)
- (Rock Crew) Offer to lead them out of the nebula. (Occurs on Rock Armoured Transport)
- (Rock Crew) Have your Rockman pose as captain. (Occurs on Slug Captain Invites You to a Drink)
- The 'Zoltan' are close allies of the 'Engi'. Their innate energy is strong enough to power ship systems.
At least partially energy-based, the Zoltan generally aren't for or against the Galactic Federation, and are known for being fair and even in their dealings with others. The Zoltan often appear in Engi Homeworlds or Engi-Controlled Worlds, though they do of course have their own home systems. They are the second-rarest race (not including the Crystal race) and cost 65 to hire from stores. Their special traits are:
- + Provides one power to occupied system
- - Health is reduced to 70
The Zoltan ability provides a single block of power to the ship system whose corresponding room they are currently standing in. This is especially useful in reduced-power battles, or in battles against ships with Ion weapons, as their energy cannot be blocked by the Ion effect. For example, having two Zoltans in the shield system room will ensure that your ship will always have at least one layer of shields active at any time.
In Weapons Bays and Drone Control Systems, Zoltans provide power starting with the highest priority module (the left-most slot), and their power can only be redistributed by changing the priority of the modules.
- Blue Options
- (Zoltan Crew) Have your crew-member present his official documentation and pay the entry fee (Occurs on Zoltan Trade Hub)
- These telepathic Slugs were shunned in the Galactic Federation for their constant thievery and manipulation of other sentient beings.
The xenophobic Slugs are the rarest race in the galaxy, apart from the Crystal. Their home sectors are all engulfed in enormous nebulae, which lead to them evolving unique psychic abilities in order to overcome the general lack of visibility. As a result, Slug ships aren't built with sensors; the psychic powers of the crew are just as effective, if not more so, than any electronic system. While not as aggressive as the Rockmen or the Mantis, Slugs are very, very greedy, and are known to prey upon ships that wander into their home systems, as well as resort to piracy in other systems.
- + Telepathy: Slugs can see into rooms directly connected to the one they're standing in, even when Sensors are down. They can also see enemy crew members (indicated by red dots) on the enemy ship and on your own ship.
- Blue Option
- (Slug Crew) Have your Slug talk them into letting you go. (Occurs on Zoltan Security Checkpoint)
- (Slug Crew) Our Slug senses someone aboard the ship. Investigate it. (Occurs on Slug Transport with Military Escort)
- (Slug Crew) Have your crew monitor their life signatures. (Occurs on Slug Home Nebula Surrender)
- (Slug Crew) "Sir, allow me to assess his mental state." (Occurs on Single Life Form on Moon)
- (Slug Crew) Attempt to communicate telepathicly. (Occurs on Intelligent Lifeform on Planet)
- (Slug Crew) Check for lifeforms and keep a lookout for ships while looting the wreck. (Occurs on Disabled Rock Transport)
Descended from a splinter group of Rockmen who rejected their species' violent ways long ago, the Crystalmen are almost completely unknown in the galaxy, having hidden from all other sentient life. They can be encountered as starting crew on the Crystal Cruisers, or in the Dense Asteroid Field Distress Call event, or within the crystal sector itself (they are at shops to recruit/found as prisoner/etc). Acquiring a Crystal crew member from the aforementioned event allows the Crystal Cruiser quest.
The crystal have the most special abilities, and the only race with an active ability:
- + Reduced suffocation damage
- - Movement speed -20%
- + Health increased to 125
- Lockdown: Active ability that coats the room they're in with crystals, preventing anyone from entering or leaving and making the room itself invincible to damage. The crystals wear off over time, or when attacked. This ability requires time to recharge after being used.
Potential strategies to use Lockdown could be during a boarding attack by locking down your most precious system room or during boarding enemy ships by locking down a room so your crew can destroy the system in it uninterrupted. One particular example would be locking down the Medbay on an enemy ship, so it can be destroyed before any crew members are able to reach it, making it much easier to board and kill the crew of a ship that has one. The crystal race was created for a donor that contributed 2,000 USD to FTL's Kickstarter campaign.
- (Crystal Crew) Have your Crystalline Being re-calibrate your weapons. (Occurs on Crystalline Cache)
- (Crystal Crew) Have your crew speak to them. (Occurs on Crystal Civilian Question)
|Human||40||100||1||1||1||No special traits|
|Engi||50||100||2||.5||1||Doubled repair speed|
|Mantis||45||100||.5||1.5||1.2||1.5x damage, 1.2x movement speed|
|Rockmen||65||150||1||1||.5||Immune to fire|
|Zoltan||65||70||1||1||1||Adds 1 power|
Lockdown, reduced suffocation