Fundamentally most Khaak activity occurs in sectors with a Khaak installation. They have two kinds of installation...
- Hive: The toughest (durability wise) AI stations you will face. These can only spawn in a list of hard-coded sectors. Can respawn every 96 hours, and at most 75% (rounding down) of spawn locations can be occupied. Consist of roughly 6 Khaak module pairs and 8 Khaak Defence Platforms.
- Outpost: Fairly easy to kill. These will frequently spawn in sectors with appropriate mining activity within 3 sectors of an active Hive. Respawn time is 48 hours but under 1 hour if not killed by the player and still in range of a hive. Consist of 1 Khaak module pair.
- Black Hole Sun V
- Matrix #451
- Company Regard
- Antigone Memorial
- Heretic's End
- Lasting Vengeance
- Pious Mists IV
- Silent Witness XII
- Open Market (Split Vendetta)
Cradle of Humanity does not add new Khaak hive spawn locations. There is logic exempt most of Sol from Khaak spawns and outposts, however as of 4.10 this is likely bugged as people frequently report Khaak outposts in forbidden sectors. The list of sectors intended to be Khaak free...
- Asteroid Belt
Khaak activity is mostly governed by appropriate mining. The list of minables the Khaak consider appropriate and their relative weights...
- Ore: Yield = 0.0005, Mining = 0.7, SpawnChance = 1.2
- Silicon: Yield = 0.0005, Mining = 1.0, SpawnChance = 1.2
- Nividium: Yield = 0.005, Mining = 2.0, SpawnChance = 2.7
Sectors where mining occur gain heat which increases the spawn chance of nearby hives and the creation of an outpost. Player mining generates twice the heat of NPC mining. Sectors also naturally gain heat based on their yield every hour. Even sectors without any resources will gain a little heat every hour, but are usually drowned out by the heat generated by mining.
Once an outpost or hive has spawned Khaak will periodically spawn on top of appropriate miners. There is also a background spawn rate which allows infrequent and small attacks in sectors without an outpost or hive.
Attacking both kinds of installation will cause defenders to teleport in. These are normal Khaak ships so a non-issue to most L and XL ships but can overwhelm Split capitals with their low shielding. Khaak turrets on their installations and defence platforms are weak but highly accurate so pose a significant threat to S sized ships, especially on the larger hives which have good coverage. Destroyers with 3 L shields are as good as invulnerable to the Khaak in high attention no matter how poorly they are flown, with most damage being taken being self-inflicted from tactical boosting performed by AI. Due to the way low attention damage calculations work, hives are a lot more dangerous in low attention levels and can kill lone destroyers fairly easilly, likely due to it calculating more turrets hitting a target than possible in high attention. If attacking hives in low attention it is recommended to use multiple destroyers to try and spread the damage.
Khaak installations have two kinds of modules. Both have defence turrets installed on them but one is significantly tougher than the other. The weak modules and defence discs die quickly to battery fire, or near instantly to XL battery fire. The tough module is the toughest module in the game, needing roughly 5 rounds of unmodified close range XL battery to kill or many minutes of constant L battery fire from multiple ships. With a small number of destroyers the recommended approach to kill hives is to in sector kill the nearby defence discs and the weak modules, and then slowly kill the tough modules in low attention or by letting the AI pilot the ships. Outposts can be killed by a single destroyer fairly easily, and fighter swarms should also be reasonably effective against them.
Due to a bug in 4.10, it is possible that intercept subordinates ignore some Khaak fighter ships in their area of operation. This makes using fighter fleets against installations impractical since the spawned in Khaak fighters cannot be dealt with efficiently allowing them to deal massive damage on top of the heavy turret fire. As such I recommend using destroyers with anti-fighter loadout.