Encyclopedia Hiigara

The Mothership was the Kushan flagship and deep space colony vessel during the Homeworld War.


While the Mothership was initially designed to be a Colony Ship and general base of operations, the additional roles of flagship and mobile shipyard were forced upon it due to the power and hostility of races it encountered soon after departing from Kharak.

While vessels of this magnitude do not have particularly practical applications in regular space warfare, the invention of the hyperdrive makes the mobility of a large stationary object like the Mothership possible and the advances made in engineering allow capital ships to be produced in mere weeks. This makes a mobile shipyard very useful on the battlefield, constantly replenishing vessels lost in battle, reconstructing an entire squadron of fighters or a frigate in a very short amount of time.

Purpose and mission[]

The Mothership was built in the years following the discovery of the first city of Khar-Toba in 1110 KDS, the first colony founded by the Kushan in the wake of their Exile from the world of Hiigara by the Taiidan Empire. Khar-Toba was a significant discovery, proving the existence of spaceships on Kharak's surface in prehistoric times (the existence of ships in the system had already been discovered in the form of debris fields in Kharak's orbit and more complete shipwrecks found in the Great Banded Desert). The Khar-Toba's power plant, after being reverse-engineered, provided "another generation of breakthroughs in power and material sciences." But the real treasure, that catapulted Kushan science 500 years forward was "a solid state [sic] hyperspace induction module" attached to the power plant. Furthermore, the Khar-Toba contained the Guidestone, which provided the Kushan with the final proof that they were not natives to their world.

Once the legitimacy of the Guidestone was proven in 1155 KDS after years of analysis, the Daiamid began to make plans for the future of the Kushan, taking into account the physical and historical proof that they were not from Kharak, and the short time their world had left before it became uninhabitable to their people. When the other plans were deemed unfeasible, impossible and/or undefinable, Rachel S'jet, Kiith-Sa of Kiith S'jet and the first Kushan to set foot on Khar-Toba in millennia, gave a passionate speech to the Daiamid and made her own proposal: To build a starship that would take their people back to Hiigara. The Mothership Plan, as it came to be known, gained the full approval of the Coalition of the Northern Kiithid and their allies in the South.

The Mothership was envisioned to use the map found on the Guidestone as a star chart, finding its way across the galaxy to the primordial home of the Kushan people, Hiigara. The intention was to colonize the world and to establish a permanent settlement there, so the Mothership was not only designed to serve as an exploratory vessel, but as a colony ship. It would be capable of carrying as many as 600,000 cryogenically frozen Kushan in storage as well as a large crew of 50,000 to maintain the Cryo Trays and man the ship's various systems, including ship construction and mineral refinement, designed to supply the crew and to build or repair ships in case the Mothership Fleet was damaged.


The construction of the Mothership was a grand undertaking, unlike anything before in the history of Kharak. The Mothership was constructed over a period of 57 years, starting in the first triad of 1159 KDS, 53 years after the discovery of Khar-Toba. Its construction first required the building of the orbital infrastructure and facilities needed for such an undertaking, which took 20 years. Over the next 10 years an immense space station and shipyard known simply as the Scaffold was built, fitted with a massive Phased Disassembler Array designed by Kiith Somtaaw. This Scaffold became the only moon that Kharak had ever known, easily visible in the night sky, traveling across the surface of the planet in the outer orbit. Within the Scaffold's clutches, the Mothership was born.

Nearly all of the asteroid belt of the Kharak System had to be harvested in order for the Mothership to be constructed, and its resources were towed to the Scaffold's refineries. There, processed by the station's PDAs and broken down into their base atomic substances, Kharak's debris fields became part of the pride and joy of the Kushan people. From these shattered remains, strong metal alloys were made to build the Mothership's hull. The design went through at least two stages before the Mothership was completed, but the basic idea held and the design was never changed significantly. One large hangar was built in the center of the ship, accessible by two sides. Although its main purpose was to hold the Cryo Trays and the Hyperspace Module, the hangar was also designed for the construction of ships from Strike Craft to Capital Ship class. The Mothership's outer hull took 25 years to finish and its internal systems only needed 2 more. 10,000 Kushan and 25,000 robots worked on the ship day and night to finish it.

Once the construction advanced far enough, the Second Core, the ancient hyperspace core that was once the "heart" of the First City of Khar-Toba was taken to orbit and refurbished. Its original containment units, designed for a much higher energy output than Exile-level technology could manage, were replaced with compatible versions that allowed the Mothership to reactivate 6% of its full power. The outer surface of the core was engraved with the names of the 2,357 Kushan that died during the Mothership's construction and it was installed inside the ship.

On Fleet Intelligence's insistence, a point-defense grid system was built along the Mothership's hull. The defense system was made up of mass driver turrets, based on new technology that used electromagnetic fields to propel projectiles in the vacuum of space. While this defense grid is useless against large ships, it can successfully defend against a fighter squadron. In addition, several warship designs passed through Fleet Intelligence and were accepted for possible construction, many of which were used later on during the Homeworld War.

The final and most important piece of the Mothership's construction was that of the central processor unit for the Mothership, a supercomputer that would cover several decks. At the time, even the Khar-Toba had not unveiled the necessary technology to construct a supercomputer of such magnitude. At the time, the only computer even close to that complex was the human brain, and not without serious alteration. It was hence that Karan S'jet, a neuroscientist and heir to the position of Kiith-Sa within Kiith S'jet, entered the picture. She proposed a bold new technology to merge machine and human brain tissue using experimental cybernetic technology. At the time this had never been tried before, but the procedure, seen as the only solution that did not require a complete redesign of the Mothership, was accepted. Much to the horror of Karan's family, she volunteered herself and refused to give up the technology if it was used on someone else.

Reluctantly, unsure of whether or not Karan could ever be removed, the Mothership's technicians wired Karan into the ship. (Homeworld 2 slightly retcons the canon here. In this new version, Karan's chamber was located directly inside the Second Core. It's widely presumed her proximity to that Progenitor artifact stopped her aging and allowed her to live for centuries.) In time, she was given command of the fleet and became Fleet Command, both leader and prophet for the Kushan during the events that followed the Mothership's hyperdrive test.



The Mothership as a shipyard.

Upon reaching Hiigara, Karan S'jet debarked the mothership and was the last person to set foot on Hiigara. On her advice, the Hyperspace Core was put on display on the Assam Kiith'Sid museum. The ship was ultimately converted into a large orbital shipyard with its main purpose being to build new super-capital vessels like the Explorer-class Deep Space Mining Vessel, the Carrier, or the occasional Heavy Cruiser.

After the Beast War and before the Vaygr War, the Mothership was pulled from retirement to serve as the flagship of a new fleet to fight the Radaa, under the command of Tyrra Soban, with Karan S'jet-Sa taking on the role of advisor.

Discrepancies in specifications[]

Mothership's in-game height is 2138.1 meters or approximately 2.1 kilometers. The Scaffold, that enclosed it during construction, is 1370.3 meters or approximately 1.3 kilometers. Game manual, however, disputes these numbers: Page 6 of Part 1: Historical + Technical Briefing states that Scaffold is 25.6 kilometers long (19.7 times larger). Assuming that the size ratio between Mothership and Scaffold is kept, the latter implies that the mothership should be 41.37 kilometers tall.

The first game's lore mentioned the Mothership's construction took 100 years, but the dates cannot match up now that the actual dates of its construction are known.

Before Homeworld 2 retconned it, the Mothership's hyperspace core was not the Second Hyperspace Core, or even a core. It was a Kushan-made device known as "the Hyperspace Module." The original was left behind in Kharak. In earlier versions of Homeworld 2's story, this distinction would've been important.


The mothership is the core of the player's fleet: it produces, repairs, and (in the original Homeworld but not Homeworld Remastered) refuels ships, acts as a resource drop-off point, and converts ships captured by Salvage Corvettes to the player's cause. Despite its size, the mothership is very lightly armed, with only a few small cannons. Its hull strength of 250,000 is the highest of all controllable ships in-game, but it can be threatened by even moderately sized enemy fleets if left unguarded due to its weak armament. The Kushan mothership has two exit points from which ships leave: a small dock on its starboard size, which disgorges and captures all ships that are frigate-sized or smaller, and a larger dock on its port side that releases and captures resource controllers and Capital Ships.

In the campaign, the Mothership cannot move, and if it is destroyed, the player loses the game.

In multiplayer and custom battles, the mothership can move, but at a very slow pace. Destroying it and all Carriers results in victory. Unlike all other ships, motherships cannot be rebuilt if lost; as carriers cannot build capital ships, the loss of a mothership results in the loss of capital ship-building capabilities.


  • Many fans jokingly call the Mothership the "banana," referencing its elongated and curved shaped.
  • In the Homeworld Remasterd Collection, there is a developer-added mod that turns the Kushan Mothership into an actual space banana.




  1. Motherships cannot be built in-game: this number is taken from internal reading of the files.
Main Factions Minor Factions
Kushan and Hiigaran Ships
Microships Sentinel-class Defense Pod (HWC) • Leech-class Breaching Pod (HWC)
Scouts Arrow-class Scout‎ (HW) • Seeker-class Reconnaissance Fighter (HWC) • Hiigaran Scout (HW2)
Interceptors Blade-class Interceptor‎‎ (HW) • Spectre-class Cloaked Fighter (HW) • Acolyte-class Heavy Fighter (HWC) Hiigaran Interceptor (HW2)
Bombers Thunderbolt-class Attack Bomber‎‎ (HW) • Hiigaran Bomber (HW2)
Defenders Shield-class Defender‎ (HW)
Weapons Platforms Hiigaran Gun Platform (HW2) • Hiigaran Ion Platform (HW2)
Fireships Mimic-class Infiltration Craft (HWC) • Martyr-class Mimic Composite Vehicle (HWC)
Light Corvettes Cavalier-class Light Corvette (HW)
Corvettes Avenger-class Acolyte Composite Vehicle (HWC)
Heavy Corvettes Hammer-class Heavy Corvette (HW) • Ambassador Corvette (HW)
Gunships Hiigaran Gunship (HW2) • Pulsar Gunship (HW2)
Logistical Support Corvettes Porter-class Salvage Corvette (HW) • Mercy-class Repair Corvette (HW)
Multi-Weapon Corvettes Tempest-class Multi-Gun Corvette (HW)
Minelayer Corvettes Resolute-class Minelayer Corvette (HW) • Hiigaran Minelayer Corvette (HW2)
Assault Frigates Vengeance-class Assault Frigate (HW) • Minion-class Heavy Tug (HWC) • Flak Frigate (HW2) • Torpedo Frigate (HW2)
Logistical Support Frigates Matriarch-class Support Frigate (HW) • Marine Frigate (HW2) • Hiigaran Defense Field Frigate (HW2)
Ion Cannon Frigates Firelance-class Ion Cannon Frigate (HW) • Hiigaran Ion Cannon Frigate (HW2)
Multi-Weapon Frigates Dervish-class Multi-Beam Frigate (HWC)
Drone Frigates Puppeteer-class Drone Frigate (HW) • Hive-class Advanced Drone Frigate (HWC)
Super Capital Ships
Destroyers Revelation-class Destroyer (HW) • Perdition-class Missile Destroyer (HW) • Deacon-class Destroyer (HWC) • Hiigaran Destroyer (HW2)
Carriers Imperator-class Carrier (HW) • Shaman-class Carrier (HWC) • Hiigaran Carrier (HW2)
Heavy Cruisers Avatar-class Heavy Cruiser (HW)
Battlecruisers Hiigaran Battlecruiser (HW2)
Dreadnoughts Archangel-class Dreadnought (HWC) • Kalash (DoK)
Motherships Kushan Mothership (HW) • Hiigaran Shipyard (HW2) • Pride of Hiigara (HW2)
Non-Combat Ships
Resource Collectors Providence-class Resource Collector (HW) • Worker-class Resource Collector (HWC) • Hiigaran Resource Collector (HW2)
Resource Controllers Redemption-class Resource Controller (HW) • Chieftain Mk. 3-class Ore Processor (HWC) • Hiigaran Mobile Refinery (HW2)
Drones & Probes Target Drone (HW/HW2) • Seeker-class Probe (HW) • Proximity Sensor (HW) • Hub-class Research Ship (HW) • Trapper-class Gravity Generator (HW) • Veil-class Cloak Generator (HW) • Kushan Sensors Array (HW) • Hiigaran Probe (HW2) • Hiigaran Proximity Sensor Probe (HW2) • Hiigaran Sensor Distortion Probe (HW2)
Other Logistical Ships Khar-Selim (HW) • Scaffold (HW) • Explorer-class Deep Space Mining Vessel (HWC) • Clee-San (HWC) • Hiigaran Crew Transport (HW2) • Khar-Toba (HW/HW2/DoK)
Space Stations Chimera Station (HW2) • Tanis Station (HW2)
Taiidani Ships
Scouts Fiirkan-class Scout‎ (HW)
Interceptors Triikor-class Interceptor‎‎ (HW) • Koshiir-Ra-class Defense Fighter (HW)
Bombers Kaark-class Attack Bomber‎‎ (HW)
Defenders Seejur-class Defender‎ (HW)
Weapons Platforms Orbital Ion Cannon Turret (DoK)
Fireships Cruise Missile (HWC)
Light Corvettes Raachok-class Light Corvette (HW)
Heavy Corvettes Taiidan Heavy Corvette (HW) • Ambassador Corvette (HW)
Logistical Support Corvettes Tiirshak-class Salvage Corvette (HW) • Taiidan Repair Corvette (HW)
Multi-Weapon Corvettes Diirvaas-class Multi-Gun Corvette (HW)
Minelayer Corvettes Wodaan-class Minelayer Corvette (HW)
Assault Frigates Kudaark-class Assault Frigate (HW)
Logistical Support Frigates Heeshk-class Support Frigate (HW) • Tiifal-class Defense Field Frigate (HW)
Ion Cannon Frigates Sajuuk Cor-class Ion Cannon Frigate (HW)
Super Capital Ships
Destroyers Skaal-Tel-class Destroyer (HW) • Skaal-Fa-class Missile Destroyer (HW)
Carriers Saarkin-Cho-class Carrier (HW)
Heavy Cruisers Qwaar-Jet-class Heavy Cruiser (HW)
Motherships Imperial Flagship (HW) • Headshot Asteroid (HW)
Superweapons Low Orbit Atmosphere Deprivation Weapon (HW/HW2)
Non-Combat Ships
Resource Collectors Taiidan Resource Collector (HW)
Resource Controllers Siim Salla-class Resource Controller (HW)
Drones & Probes Target Drone (HW/HW2) • Taiidan Probe (HW) • Proximity Sensor (HW) • Taiidan Research Ship (HW) • Koraal-class Gravity Generator (HW) • Fushai-class Cloak Generator (HW) • Raakel-class Sensors Array (HW)
Other Logistical Ships Field Generator (HW) • Colony Ship (HWC)
Space Stations Research Station (HW) • Nomad Moon (HWC)
Kadeshi Ships
Interceptors Swarmer (HW)
Defenders Advanced Swarmer (HW)
Frigates Kadeshi Multi-Beam Frigate (HW)
Motherships Kadeshi Mothership (HW)
Non-Combat Ships
Fuelships Fuel Pod (HW)
Bentusi Ships
Interceptors Super Acolyte (HW/HWC)
Motherships Bentusi Exchange (HW) • Bentus (HW2)
Non-Combat Ships
Barges Cargo Barge (HW)
Unknown Ships
Salvage Corvette Junkyard Dog (HW)
Non-Combat Ships
Derelicts Junkyard Office (HW) • Ghost Ship (HW)