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Civilization Wiki

Probe team (SMAC).png
Skimship probe team (SMAC).png
Destroyer probe team (SMAC).png

Probe Team units are those units which are equipped with the Probe Team equipment. These units are used for espionage activities in a fashion equivalent to the Spy of earlier Civilization games. The Probe Team equipment is available upon the discovery of Planetary Networks. The effectiveness of one's Probe Teams, and one's faction's vulnerability thereto, are affected by the unit's morale, one's faction's PROBE rating, and other factors.

By default, Probe Teams use the Speeder chassis, despite their apparent "man on foot" appearance. The Probe Team equipment cannot be deployed on the 'Copter or Needlejet chassis.

Probe teams require no unit-support, and as such a faction running Free Market economics will not suffer penalties for having them outside their home bases.

Any use of a probe team other than basic infiltration of datalinks, and any attempt at framing another faction for the action involved, is considered justification for Vendetta in most situations, or at the barest minimum, grounds for voiding a Pact.


  • Higher levels of probe teams have a greater chance of success, even when the base targeted has improved security.


  • Probe teams can convert units or bases for a cost which varies with one's faction's and the opposing faction's PROBE rating. Note, however, that units "stacked" on a single tile cannot be affected by a Probe Team.
  • Probe teams can infiltrate the datalinks of a base, allowing you to forever view their base garrison, military nexus, base information, research goal, etc.
  • Probe teams can steal technology.
  • Probe teams can destroy a base facility.
  • Probe teams that attack the headquarters of their enemy, can assassinate prominent researchers. That means that the research points they have on whatever technology they are researching is reset. Example, it says they have 4 of the 6 turns required to finish researching Social Psych, and you assassinate their scientists, then it's now 0 of 6. Note, once you capture or destroy a headquarters, no other bases become headquarters (this may be a bug), so it doesn't work anywhere else.
  • Probe teams can infect a base with a genetic virus once they have the required tech researched. This kills half the population, and weakens the units within. This is an atrocity.
  • Probe teams can cause a drone riot.

Whenever you do an action against a base, you have the option of trying to frame another faction. This is a good way to get your enemies to fight one another.

Defense against[]

  • If a base has a probe team in it, then it will detect and fight the enemy probe team when they attempt to access the base. This applies even among probe teams controlled by nations operating in a Pact of Brotherhood.
  • If you have regular military units on the road outside your base, you can see an enemy probe team coming. If it tries to move around you off the road, it'll use its movement turns doing that, before its close enough to get to your base. You thus have time to get to it, or move something else in front of it to block it.
  • The secret project Hunter-Seeker Algorithm destroys all enemy probes teams that try to probe you, unless they have the Algorithmic Enhancement in which case it does not destroy them, only lowers their success rate.

Additional things that affect it[]

  • The secret project Net-Hack Terminus gives +1 morale to all Probe Teams, reduces cost of probe team actions by 25%, and all probe teams with Fusion Reactor or higher automatically get Algorithmic Enhancement.
  • The secret project Telepathic Matrix gives you +2 Probe Team morale.