In both the Advanced Edition and up-to-date Standard Editions of FTL, the Zoltan race explodes on death, dealing damage to hostile targets in the same room they are in when they die but not hull or subsystems. This much I know, however, much remains to be known about the Zoltan Explosion, or should I say Zplosion!!

The Zplosion has been thought to deal 15 damage to the attacker, so I'll use that for a base number but I haven't had it verified that it deals exactly 15 damage.

  • How much damage does the Zplosion do?
  • Does the damage vary from a target in melee vs. a target in ranged combat (still in the same room though)?
  • Does the Zplosion's damage increase if the Zoltan has combat experience rank 1 or 2?
  • Does the Zplosion's damage vary against targets with different hit point totals? That is, does it deal 15% of max hp, of 15 points flat? This could be tested on other Zoltans or Rocks or Crystals.
  • If a Zoltan is mind controlled and dies under this effect, who does the Zplosion harm? The original owner's team? The hostile influencer's team? Both?
  • If a Zoltan Zplodes in a forest and no one is there to see it, does it deal damage to the trees? (Okay, this last one is a little silly. You don't really need to answer it.)
  • 1
    I know the answer to the MC question is it damages the 'enemy' of the zoltan, which in this case would be the opposing ship.
    – l I
    Apr 14, 2014 at 18:56
  • 3
    I need to kill some zoltans. Not to test this- those green bastards just piss me off. Apr 14, 2014 at 22:06
  • 5
    As for the last question, quantum mechanics tells us that if unobserved, a randomly timed Zoltan explosion will leave the trees in a dual state of simultaneously being blown up and not blown up.
    – IQAndreas
    Apr 15, 2014 at 7:37

1 Answer 1


So I've been doing a run with suicidal exploding zoltans as my primary form of offense and here's what I've found:

  1. Zplosions do 15 damage to every enemy crew member in the room.
  2. It does not vary based on distance, if they are in the room they take 15 damage.
  3. No, I managed to train a zoltan up to full combat and his explosion still did 15 damage.
  4. No, its 15 points flat no matter what the target is.
  5. The mind controlled Zoltan will not damage the crew he belongs to.
  6. IQAndreas already answered this one in the comments.
  • The only part of this that I find odd is the Mind control answer. I had two Zoltan fight to the death (one was mind controlled) and the resulting explosion didn't finish the other off. But as you've done the serious study, and not me, I'll trust your response. Thank you! Apr 18, 2014 at 13:21
  • @BlackVegetable which one exploded, the one being MCed or the one fighting the MC? If your MC system is upgraded it'll provide a boost of health to the unit, so it may have more hp to withstand MC.
    – l I
    Apr 18, 2014 at 13:36
  • The one being MC'd; I rarely upgrade my MC system as I get a lot of utility for a single power's worth of MC. Apr 18, 2014 at 14:37
  • @BlackVegetable I just went and tested to be sure, you are right, the MCed unit didn't damage the enemy when he exploded. I've updated my answer.
    – l I
    Apr 18, 2014 at 16:48
  • Do these explosions do any damage to the system of the room they occur in (even partial)? May 6, 2014 at 17:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .