Teleportation is the ability provided by psychic powers or advanced technology to move a person or object more or less instantaneously from one point in space-time to another, completely bypassing the intervening distance.
Every form of this technology or psychic ability essentially uses the Warp as the medium of travel, allowing the person or object to briefly move through the Immaterium to cross the intervening distance quickly, much as a starship uses a Warp-Drive to do the same thing to cross interstellar distances.
However, unlike a vessel using a Warp-Drive, teleportation involves only a very brief exposure to the Warp, and so teleportation across large distances is impossible. Exposure to the Warp is simply too dangerous to allow for teleportation across longer distances than from one voidship to another, or from orbit to the surface of a planet.
Teleportation technology or the similar psychic ability is used by a number of different factions and intelligent species in the galaxy, including the Imperium of Man's Adeptus Astartes, the Heretic Astartes of Chaos, the Craftworld Asuryani Aspect Warriors known as Warp Spiders, the Necrons and various Ork forces led by Meks who have repeatedly developed the technology at different points in Greenskin history.
Imperial Teleportation Technology
Imperial teleporters are large devices that have been built into the Imperium's voidcraft and ground facilities and require large amounts of power to utilise. The Imperial military makes use of its teleporters to place combat squads, usually of Space Marine Terminators, directly into combat on the surface of a planet from a warship in orbit. Safety measures built into every teleporter prevent its users from rematerialising within solid matter with fatal consequences.
Objects more than twice the standard height of a man cannot be teleported using Imperial teleportation technology and any attempt to do so will cause the device to malfunction. Imperial teleporters can also only "penetrate" solid matter, such as a bunker, fortress or other edifice that is no more than 5 metres thick. All teleportation using Imperial teleporters can only be done in a straight line through the Warp from the teleporter to the destination point, as the curvature of a world presents too much solid matter for the teleporter to penetrate.
This is another reason that Imperial teleportation technology cannot be used to teleport people or cargo from one planet to another, bypassing the use of voidships altogether. It is possible to attempt teleportation across a great distance or through a large, solid mass, but the risk of being exposed to dangerous Warp entities or of being fatally trapped by rematerialising within solid matter or far from the intended destination is then exponentially increased.
Space Marine Terminators make use of devices called Teleport Homers which are incorporated into the suits of their Terminator Armour. A Teleport Homer transmits a special signal that suits of Terminator Armour can lock onto to allow their users to teleport to a given location through the Immaterium with great accuracy by using teleporter technology located at the point of origin. Attempts to teleport without a Teleport Homer can lead to the rematerialisation of forces at widely scattered locations or can even lead to teleport accidents in which the individual teleporting rematerialises trapped within other forms of matter such as rocks or trees.
Ship-based Imperial teleporters are maintained by the vessel's Astropaths. Using their psychic gifts, they essentially "clear the path" through the Warp for a period of time long enough for the users of the device to safely travel through the Warp to their destination. Many Puritan members of the Inquisition's Ordo Malleus scoff at the idea of using teleportation technology in any fashion so long as it depends upon exposure to the Warp. However, the technology has proven critical to victory in far too many conflicts fought by the Imperium for its use to ever be entirely proscribed.
One notable Imperial military commander who is known for his strident advocacy of the efficacy of Terminator teleportation assaults is Captain Darnath Lysander of the Imperial Fists, who is well-known for leading his Terminators into battle via teleportation from Phalanx, the Imperial Fists' massive, mobile fortress-monastery.
Chaos Teleportation Technology
The forces of Chaos, particularly the Heretic Astartes, use essentially the same form of teleportation technology as the Imperium, though their variants of the technology generally date back to that which was in use during the Horus Heresy. Additionally, Chaos Space Marines, due to their allegiance to the Dark Gods, have little to fear from teleporting themselves through the Warp.
The biomechanical Heretic Astartes known as Obliterators are also able to make use of Chaos teleportation technology, usually at will. How Obliterators are able to teleport remains unknown to Imperial savants, just as so much about those warped, inhuman beings remains shrouded in dark mystery. But considering that most Obliterators were originally Traitor Techmarines and have close ties to the Dark Mechanicus, it is not hard to fathom that they have integrated into their bodies the technology that allows them to teleport through the power of the daemonic "technovirus" that created them.
Aeldari Teleportation Technology
The Aeldari generally make use of little in the way of teleportation technology due to the extreme dangers for them of being exposed to the Warp and the soul-hunger of Slaanesh. However, in one area of Aeldari life the risk has been deemed worth taking.
The Craftworld Asuryani Aspect Warriors known as Warp Spiders make use of a technology known as a Warp Spider Jump Generator that serves as a sophisticated Warp field emitter that is integrated into the a Warp Spider's Aspect Armour and is largely responsible for that suit's unusual bulk, as least so far as Aeldari defensive technologies are concerned.
The generator is what allows the Warp Spider to make his short jumps into the Immaterium so that he can cross the intervening space nearly instantaneously, completely undetectable to his foes, providing an invaluable ability to outmaneuver and surprise the enemy.
The Craftworld Aeldari use these Aspect Warriors in a similar combat role as the jump troops of the other starfaring races. But the Warp Spiders' ability to literally materialise out of thin air and attack with no warning is invaluable to Aeldari commanders despite the extreme risk to the Aeldari of travelling unprotected through the Warp even for only Terran seconds at a time.
Necron Teleportation Technology
As the Necrons as a species are incapable of using psychic abilities or controlling or interacting with the Warp, their teleportation technology does not make use of the Immaterium as the travel medium. Instead, they use an as-yet unknown technology to essentially "phase" through realspace from one point to another, in some way similar to that once used by Ork Attack Moons.
A Veil of Darkness is a device of Necron techno-sorcery that can summon unknown dark energies which twist and billow about the bearer like a ghostly cloak blown by an ethereal breeze; almost akin to a billowing sheet of tangible shadow that envelops the bearer and his allies. When the darkness ebbs, the enshrouded bearer and those Necrons nearby will have disappeared, only to rematerialise mysteriously some distance away on the battlefield later. This allows the bearer of a Veil of Darkness to swiftly redeploy himself and his fellow Necrons into unexpected positions from which to better destroy the enemy, a tactical advantage that few others can afford.
Each Veil of Darkness is fashioned from transpositanium, a substance so rare that it can only be found in a handful of places in the galaxy. It is highly sought after by the Necrons, and wars have been waged to secure it. Veils of Darkness are only carried by Necron Lords and Cryptek Psychomancers.
A Teleportation Matrix is an advanced piece of Necron technology that allows a Sentry Pylon to phase itself onto a position anywhere on the battlefield, either transporting itself from a Necron stasis-tomb underground, somewhere else on the planet, or even from another planet.
Larger Gauss Pylons have also been known to be deployed onto battlefields utilising teleportation technologies, whilst Necron Monoliths may possess similar teleportation devices, as Imperial observers have documented numerous recorded instances of those mobile fortresses being deployed by teleporting directly onto a battlefield.
Ork Teleportation Technology
Ork Mekboyz are born with an inherent, genetically-endowed understanding of many forms of advanced technology, including teleportation. In truth, the Orks have mastered teleportation technology to an extent that is in some ways greater than supposedly more advanced species, such as Mankind and the Aeldari.
Greenskin teleportation technology is believed to be the creation of the brilliant Mekboy Orkimedes, but as Ork Meks often simply independently recreate the same technologies over and over again, it cannot safely be said that no other Ork utilised the technology before him. Meks usually struggle to find willing test subjects for teleportation, but in the heat of battle it is never too hard to convince the Boyz to try the "Tellyporta" if they can close with an enemy that much sooner. The results of Ork Tellyportas are often erratic, but Greenskin physiology is more than robust enough to withstand some of the more dangerous outcomes.
Like all Ork technology, the savants of the Adeptus Mechanicus have largely been unable to determine how it actually functions. Much Ork Tellyporta technology relies on transforming mechanically or thermally-generated power into psychic power to control the short jump through the Warp. For the Tech-adepts of the Mechanicus, this violates everything they know about how technology should work. But as is the case with much Ork technology, if the Mek building the device believes it will work, then it will work, regardless of what physical laws its use seems to violate.
Ork Meks generally produce two different types of Tellyporta technology. These include personal Tellyportas that can teleport a Big Mek and his chosen squad directly into battle much like Terminators, and the much larger and stationary Tellyporta Platforms that can teleport units as large as Ork Stompas in and around the battlefield.
In the mid-32nd Millennium, during the War of the Beast, Ork Meks developed the massive mobile planetoids known as Attack Moons. Attack Moons were capable of FTL travel through the creation of what were known to the Adeptus Mechanicus as "subspace" corridors, a hyperdimensional realm that existed "in-between" the Materium and the Immaterium.
A safer method of interstellar travel than through the Warp, subspace travel none-the-less was not entirely instantaneous and did require some travel time, with the arrival of the Attack Moon at its destination in realspace heralded by strange gravitational phenomenon, culminating with the moon flickering in and out of existence until it fully materialised. While transitioning from one planet to another the receiving planet would be subjected to greater and greater gravitational and tidal stress, resulting in sudden climate change, earthquakes and other geological catastrophes. It is not known if Ork Tellyporta technology makes use of similar subspace technology, or if the Orks after the War of the Beast have ever again been able to make use of subspace travel or teleportation.
- Codex: Eldar (6th Edition), pg. 37
- Codex: Necrons (5th Edition), pg. 84
- Codex: Necrons (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 215
- Codex: Orks (4th Edition), pg. 25
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 47
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 35
- Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 176
- Deathwatch: The Outer Reach (RPG), pg. 122
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve – The Fall of Orpheus, pp. 123, 127
- Overfiend (Anthology) by David Annandale (Tellyporta Platform Picture)
- Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (1st Edition), pg. 125
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition), pp. 169, 201
- Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (4th Edition), pg. 77
- Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (2nd Edition), pg. 61
- War Zone Fenris: Wrath of Magnus (7th Edition), Ch. 4 "Magnus Ascendant"