Wormholes are an optional game feature. They will not appear in all games.
Wormholes are transient natural phenomena that allow starships to move vast distances quickly. They appear at random locations, up to the number of Wormholes set in the game configuration. They eventually collapse, at which time they may be replaced by new Wormholes.
Some Wormholes can be transited in only one direction, while others can be transited in both directions. If a Wormhole can be transited in only one direction, one end will be labeled as the Entrance , while the other end will be labeled as the Exit . If the Wormhole can be transited in both directions, there will be no such label. The difference between the three types of endpoint can be determined by the scanners.
Wormholes are not automatically visible. Starships with a mission of Sensor Sweep can detect Wormholes within 100 light-years (default setting - can be changed in custom games). Information on a Wormhole is updated when a starship with a mission of Sensor Sweep is within range, or when a starship transits it. When information has been gathered on both ends of a Wormhole, either by scanning both ends or by transiting it, the star map will display a track between the two ends.
Wormholes have a stability rating ranging from 1-100. When a Wormhole first appears, it will have a high stability. More stable Wormholes are generally safe to transit, but as the Wormhole becomes less stable and approaches collapse, it can become quite dangerous. The stability can change each turn. As the stability decreases, the risk of a starship taking damage and the amount of damage it receives increases, and highly unstable wormholes are capable of destroying small and medium ships. In addition, as the stability decreases, the maximum amount of change per turn increases.
Wormholes are high-energy phenomena. Due to the energies inside the Wormhole, all starships will exit with their shields down. In addition, due to an unexplained interaction between the energy inside a Wormhole and the Advanced Cloaking equipment, a starship with Advanced Cloak equipment will exit cloaked, as long as all cloaking requirements are met.
It is believed that the Chunnel abilities of the Cyborg were developed based on this.
To use a Wormhole, the Enter Wormhole mission must be used.