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Faster-Than-Light Index

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Tropes involved in bypassing Einstein's universal speed limit. See also Teleportation Tropes.


  • Alcubierre Drive
    An FTL drive that works by contracting space ahead of the ship and expanding it behind, moving in a "bubble" of warped space.
  • Blind Jump
    Making an FTL jump without knowing where you're going. This will probably end in disaster.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel
    When travel between the stars is easy, cheap, quick and convenient.
  • Extradimensional Shortcut
    Traveling faster than light by popping into a dimension where the laws of physics are more permissive.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel
    Any situation where you can cover more distance than a light particle would in the same time.
  • FTL Test Blunder
    Trying a new FTL system comes with complications.
  • FTL Travel Sickness
    Traveling faster than light does bad things to people who aren't properly protected.
  • Hyperspeed Ambush
    Using faster-than-light travel to take an enemy by surprise.
  • Hyperspeed Escape
    Using faster-than-light travel to escape from danger.
  • In-System FTL
    A form of faster-than-light travel that only works within a star system.
  • Interstellar Weapon
    You fire it and it hits a target in another solar system.
  • Lightspeed Leapfrog
    A space vessel is beaten to its destination by a more advanced one built and launched later.
  • No Warping Zone
    An area where you can't use FTL drives, typically in the immediate vicinity of a planet.
  • Portal Network
    You can travel long distances by a going through a complex system of linked portals.
  • Psychic Starship Pilot
    You need someone with psychic powers to pilot at faster-than-light speeds.
  • Rapid FTL Proliferation
    Multiple factions get FTL travel at roughly the same time, enabling a land rush if not war.
  • Sci-Fi Flyby: Used in tandem with FTL travel to show how impressive the setting’s ships are.
  • Shipless Faster-Than-Light Travel
    The ability to move faster than light without needing a vessel or outside assistance.
  • Streaming Stars
    Stars are seen streaking by to emphasize how fast a spaceship is going.
  • Sub-Lightspeed Setting
    When faster-than-light travel explicitly isn't possible in the setting.
  • Subspace Ansible
    A device that can be used to instantly communicate with others of its sort, regardless of distance.
  • Subspace or Hyperspace
    Certain dimensions or forms of space that can do things impossible in regular space, such as having objects go faster than light.
    • Another Dimension
      Another universe, which is what subspace and hyperspace often end up being.
    • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place
      Hyperspace is drastically different from normal space, and is dangerous and terrifying to travel through.
    • Hyperspace Lanes
      Faster-than-light travel is restricted to certain system-to-system jumps or preexisting routes of travel.
  • Sublight Subterfuge
    You can't, or shouldn't, use FTL in a situation in which you normally would.