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A dark metallic sphere covered with curved and jagged grooves. The sphere emanates sensations of pain. It hurts to be near it.

The sphere thrums with a mysterious energy. It appears to be increasing in activity. It's not clear what will happen when it reaches its full capacity. However, if you capture it, you can decrease its activity by suppressing it.

Base Stats

Destroy yield
Shard 2 + Steel 200 + Plasteel 100 + Steel slag chunk 0-4 + Bioferrite 35

The Nociosphere is an initially-dormant mechanical entity with one singular purpose - to inflict pain on those around it.


The nociosphere will randomly appear on the map, playing a sound indicating its arrival. The location at which the sphere arrives is typically where traders will congregate. It will spawn in a docile state where it can be easily captured. Having a holding requirement of 0 makes this even easier, as it will never randomly escape or attack. However, it will require a warden to suppress it.


The nociosphere is a black sphere with red highlights. The red highlights glow brighter the higher its activity level. Once it is captured it can be suppressed, and should it reach 100% instability, it will become hostile & attack. Study will reveal it can be used as a weapon on your local map. Extended study will reveal that it is becoming unstable; Suppression will eventually become ineffective. Even if not studied, it will become unstable with time. A warning letter will notify the player 10 days before suppression will no longer lower the nociosphere's activity[Verify].

The sphere emits a Pain field in a 6 tile radius around itself which induces pain on any pawn within it[Verify]. This pain effect scales with both psychic sensitivity and the nociosphere's current activity. Upon entering the radius, the pain experienced by a pawn will quickly increase up to the current maximum based on the previous factors. Leaving the radius will have the pain dissipate at a similar rate. Psychically deaf pawns are immune to the pain field[Verify].

If sent out to attack, it will be active from 90-115 seconds depending on the stage of study[Verify], starting from 115 seconds down to 90 seconds. Once this timer expires, the entity will reappear in a dormant state wherever the origin of the attack was initiated. If the nociosphere has less than 10 days before it becomes unstable, and is not destroyed during an attack, it will depart and cannot be looted. The sphere cannot be sent to a Pocket Map site, even if that site originated within the same home tile the nociosphere occupies.

After being sent on an attack, the nociosphere has a cooldown of X seconds before being able to manually activate again[Add Details][Verify]. Once the onslaught mode ends during a manual attack the sphere's activity is set to 0%[Verify].

The nociosphere has a massive health scale[Add Details], with some parts reaching 12,500 total HP. However, the sphere tends to be destroyed after receiving a total of 1,500 damage regardless of where it is attacked[Verify]. This, in practice, causes the sphere to be destroyed much sooner than its health pool may suggest. This also prevents the entity from dying due to lucky hits where one part is targeted consecutively, a common weakness for most creatures. The sphere will not regain health after being attacked; Only a new nociosphere will arrive with full health, a sphere which was already sent to attack will retain its injuries until it departs.

The nociosphere has several attacks which it can use while in onslaught mode:

  • Agony Pulse - An area of effect blast centered on the nociosphere or a distant target[Add Details] with a radius of X[Verify] tiles. Causes +100% pain in affected pawns with a duration of X[Verify] seconds (acute), and +25% pain with a duration of 3 days (dissipating)[Add Details].
  • Heatspikes - A burst of high tech laser fire with 9 shots dealing 18 damage[Add Details].
  • Fleshmelter bolt - Similar to a Diabolus' hellsphere cannonContent added by the Biotech DLC with a shorter aiming time and lower base damage of 100 points.[Add Details]. Deals reduced damage to mechanoids[Verify].


The nociosphere yields 7.2 bioferrite and 720W per day.


Before becoming unstable, there are no downsides to farming bioferrite from a nociosphere as it will not destabilize faster and cannot escape unless its activity reaches 100%. Use of an electroharvester will cause its activity to increase at an extra 15% per day. Be sure to always have a pawn available for suppression to avoid an early escape, especially if farming electricity.

Moving the nociosphere to a holding platform or otherwise keeping it contained in a high traffic area may cause issues for pawns with the wimp trait or extra pain geneContent added by the Biotech DLC, as if these humanoids enter the sphere's vicinity they are likely to collapse from pain shock at high activity levels. Even if not incapacitated, this may cause mood penalties among the colony. Pawns that are psychically deaf are immune to this downside[Verify].

The nociosphere is incredibly strong. Extreme care should be taken when being deployed as an offensive or defensive weapon to avoid friendly casualties. If possible, it should be released against a threat that can keep it busy for most of its 90-115 seconds of onslaught mode.

Once it has reached the point where it can no longer be stabilized, it is imperative to get rid of it as soon as possible. If possible it should be released against a threat that can keep it busy for most or all of onslaught mode. If it is fully unstable and activates, it will enter its onslaught mode and go after everything living (not entities[Verify]) until onslaught mode is over. The ideal enemies to send the nociosphere against would be mechanoids, as they are highly resistant to its flame based attacks and do not feel any pain, negating its psychic abilities. This will allow the mechanoids to stall it until it disappears or even destroy it, especially if the mechanoid group is full of heavy weight mechanoids such as Centipedes.

After being released while unstable, it will disappear regardless of whether or not it is destroyed. Once the point is reached where it can no longer be stabilized, it is imperative to get rid of the sphere before it can attack the entire colony that houses it. There are multiple strategies for doing so[Add Details]:

Colony Defense[edit]

Whenever the colony might be raided, or otherwise have hostile creatures within the home tile, the nociosphere can be sent to dispatch them. The sphere is much more efficient at clearing out grouped up enemies, as 2 of its 3 powerful attacks have an area of effect able to incapacitate or outright kill a majority of enemies. For groups of enemies dispersed throughout the map tile the sphere is much less consistent. This is especially true if the tile is also home to many wild animals, as the nociosphere will not prioritize attacking hostiles over neutral pawns. This will often cause the nociosphere to end its onslaught before all primary targets are defeated.

Even low threat raids should be considered a target for the sphere, as each fight will weaken the sphere for subsequent raid; This may allow the sphere's loot to be obtained before it is able to disappear permanently. Be aware that the fewer targets given to attack, the more likely the rampage can find its way back to the colony.

If desperate for a hostile force to distract the nociosphere, toxic wastepacksContent added by the Biotech DLC can be used via transport pod dumping to initiate a hostile raid. Note that only low tech factions are guaranteed to send retaliatory raids, as higher tech factions might instead send toxic waste back to the colony. Raids initiated this way are also not guaranteed to happen right away, sometimes taking several days to arrive, so this must be done in advance.

Use of a mechanitor can also provide further raids on command by summoning mech commanders via the comms console, mechband antennaContent added by the Biotech DLC, and mechband dishContent added by the Biotech DLC. Similar to wastepack raids, these must be called in much earlier than the nociosphere reaching 100% activity, as they might show up several days later. Of these 3 options, the mechband dish is the most likely to distract and outlast the sphere's onslaught; The apocriton's ability to revive mechanoids and return them to the fight grants many targets for the sphere's weaponry. Furthermore, the sphere is less likely to leave the combat area due to the abundance of robot targets.


The entity is hostile to most creatures, including mechanoids, insects, all mobile entities, and wildlife. Nociospheres will not target pawns within cryptosleep caskets, buildings such as powered, unpowered turrets, or fleshmass spitters spawned by Fleshmass hearts, children under the age of 3, or other nociospheres (active or not). Nociospheres will ignore targets that are downed.

In the event there are no enemies, the sphere can be sent near animals to distract it until the end of its onslaught. Faster animals can sometimes kite the nociosphere until its onslaught mode deactivates. Be careful that these animals do not bring the sphere back towards the colony.

Active or inactive mechanoid clustersContent added by the Royalty DLC can also be a prime target for the sphere, sometimes allowing the entire cluster to be wiped out. Note that this method will likely destroy any valuable resources from the cluster, such as the mech node and unstable power cell.

A skilled animal handler or a mechanitorContent added by the Biotech DLC can use disposable animals or mechanoids to either kite or distract the sphere. The use of allowed zones can be helpful in keeping the trainer or mechanitor at a distance while the bait keeps the sphere away from the colony.

The use of psychic rituals can also serve as a nice distraction, provided the colony has the Bioferrite and manpower to conduct one. Summoning Shamblers is the best option as they always enter from a map edge which usually will not be right on top of your colony, tend to wander less than Fleshbeasts, and at higher ritual percentages the summoned horde will usually survive the Nociosphere onslaught with at least some surviving members.

In cases of urgency where suppression is no longer possible, a pawn with sufficient movement speed can be used to kite around the nociosphere around the map until the duration ends. Note that any creatures closest to it will change it's target and possibly bring it to your colony.

Direct Combat[edit]

Rarely, or within certain biomes, a large amount of disposable pawns may not be readily available on the home tile. Attacking the sphere and obtaining the loot stashed within should be considered secondary to protecting the colony and the structures within.

EMP weaponry does affect the nociosphere and the acquisition of such weapons should considered a priority if direct combat with the sphere is warranted. Directly attacking the nociosphere without EMP weaponry is ill-advised without end-game gear and/or highly skilled colonists. and/or a large amount of disposable creatures.

Melee attacks are generally ineffective against the sphere outside of a zeushammer due to the sphere's tendency to teleport away from enemies before attacking, as well as its agony pulse attack which affects a radius around itself. Any melee colonists should be equipped with longjump legs, a jump pack, or similar ability to both be able to do consistent damage and avoid damage themselves.

Deploying the sphere at the farthest possible point can delay the attack by a precious few seconds, although the sphere's teleportation ability will quickly make up this distance if no targets are available nearby.


Sending away all colonists from a map as part of a caravan just before the Nociosphere goes active can entirely avoid the risk of colonist death. Active Nociospheres will still target prisoners and tamed animals, which may make this approach harder for Sanguophage colonies that may keep keep large numbers of prisoners for hemogen farming, or colonies that have large herds of tamed animals.


  • The Nociosphere's name likely comes from the words "nocioception", which refers to the body's ability to feel pain, or "nocere" which is the latin word for harm/hurt.
  • The Nociosphere has a bounding box that is 2x2 tiles in size, making it the only pawn with a box larger than 1x1.

Version history[edit]