Some time ago we were teased with the existence of Hyper Relays, and what they would do to the in-game balance. The newest developer diary explains them in full.
Hyper Relays are a rare Tier 2 technology that require the Hyperlane Breach Points technology and access to Rare Crystals to discover.
Once you have observed a functional Hyper Relay in use by another empire, the technology will appear much more frequently, causing them to spread in a pleasing manner across the galaxy.
Hyper Relays can be built by your Construction Ships outside the gravity well of systems, just like Gateways. They’re useless on their own, but a chain of Hyper Relays built in adjacent systems dramatically speeds up travel, allowing you to jump from Relay to Relay after a short windup rather than having to travel across each system at sublight speed, as long as neither endpoint is controlled by a hostile empire.
Once two Relays in adjacent systems have been linked, the hyperlane between those systems will become bolder, and ships traveling along them will show the route plotted in blue as they are using the bypass.
Hyper Relays can be built in your own space, or that of your subjects. For convenience, Relays can also be built directly from the Galaxy Map.
If an Empire’s capital is attached to the Hyper Relay Network, additional effects can be projected through the network using several Network Edicts. These add strategic resource upkeep to your Hyper Relays and an effect on all of your colonies that are connected to your capital.
As one could imagine, an expansive Hyper Relay network makes travel much faster during the mid-game while you do not yet have a comprehensive Gateway system built, and since such travel is permitted in neutral empires that have open borders, navigating the galaxy and responding to distant threats is easier than ever before.