A pirate is a rogue spaceship that may sometimes fly into your colonies and either attack colony buildings, steal their spice, or even attempt to steal artifacts left on the surface (this tends to happen when a spice raid comes across an artifact). They are very easy to defeat, and usually pose as no threat if there is an Uber Turret on the planet. When Pirates are stealing spice, you can abduct the spice crate and the Pirates will leave the planet, since there is no spice to steal. The pirates will often come in groups of spaceships. There will be up to five smaller gunner ships that have 50 Hit Points and a mother ship that has 250 Hit Points. These groups can be easily destroyed with an Anti-Matter Missile or Mega Proton Missiles. Pirates may also fake a rare signal, although the signal only appears when a player mouses over a planet. Upon approaching the planet, the Pirates will attack. Warriors have superpower named Raider Rally, that will summon pirates on a planet.
- Pirates have the Knight's special ability (Summon Mini-U), although it is not used often.
- The types of spaceship that Pirates use are different between different saved games and different regions of the Galaxy, with no pattern between them.
- The species of the space pirates is unknown. They might belong to various species, as suggested by the different spaceships that they use.
- When an empire's last planet is conquered, any of that empire's ships become pirates. The ships will retain their original trail color rather than the pirate's normal grey trial. When the player hovers their cursor over one of these ships, a display will appear that shows the ship to be "Pirate", with a yellow neutral face. This suggest that destroyed empires become pirates.
- If the player destroys an empire while under attack by the same empire, the attack fleet will become pirates and attempt to loot spice from the planet. After the pirates leave, a message will appear with a checkmark image, but the text will warn of pirates raiding your spice.
- Occasionally, when you are ambushed by pirates, they will leave the planet without firing a single shot, suggesting the possibility that they are afraid of your kind or are mainly afraid of you. It is more likely that a glitch in the programming causes this error, as it can happen when the player changes direction in the atmosphere.
- If you destroy the bigger Pirate ship the mini U's won't be destroyed.
- Rarely a pirate ship can be seen using a small healing kit.
- When pirates are stealing your spice, often you can use the abduction beam to steal the spice before they do, causing them to leave the planet