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This section contains major plot details. If you have not made significant progress in the game, then it is recommended that you read no further!

Five Pebbles' can as seen in the background of Outer Expanse, representing a typical iterator superstructure. This structure is heavily obscured by clouds in-game.
A distant iterator superstructure as seen from The Wall. These buildings are partially obscured by the cloud layer in-game.

Iterators are biomechanical artificial intelligences created and utilized by the Ancients in order to assist in solving the Great Problem. Only two Iterators are accessible in-game: Looks to the Moon and Five Pebbles. Several other Iterators are mentioned in-game through Pearls.


Iterators have massive metal superstructures, colloquially called "cans" by the Iterators themselves, suspended high above the ground by a number of supports. The undersides of the superstructures are frequented by periodic lethal green electric storms, which replace the Rain storms that affect the surrounding areas. A city can be found on top of each Iterator.

In-game lore strongly suggests that Iterator cans produce the water vapor and cloud layer surrounding them, and as such are responsible for the heavy rainfall of the game world.

Each superstructure contains an internal zero-gravity environment populated with Neuron Flies. There is also a central Iterator 'puppet' taking the form of a somewhat robotic humanoid, which can be directly communicated with.

List of Known Iterators

Looks to the Moon / "Big Sister Moon"

As the senior Iterator of the Local Group, Looks to the Moon once acted as the decision-maker for her neighboring Iterators. Her interactions with Slugcat show her to be kind and considerate, yet rather assertive. She collapsed sometime after Five Pebbles, an Iterator built dangerously close to herself, began leeching off her water supply. This caused her systems to fail, and her structure collapsed, leaving her catatonic.

Looks to the Moon is located in the far right of Shoreline, in the ruined Looks to the Moon facility. Slugcat is able to understand her speech once given the Mark of Communication by Five Pebbles. Her dialogue changes depending on the Slugcat being played. When brought Pearls of any kind, she attempts to read them, revealing much of the game's hidden lore.

Five Pebbles / "Erratic Pulse"

Main page: Five Pebbles
Five Pebbles looking down upon Slugcat in a dream shortly after meeting him

Five Pebbles is the impatient and short-tempered Iterator who controls the Five Pebbles region.

Five Pebbles grew extremely frustrated after the last of the Ancients ascended, leaving him and other iterators behind to work on a problem that, in his eyes, no longer needed to be solved. This all came to a head when Sliver of Straw, another Iterator, released what is known as the Triple Affirmative; a confirmation that a solution has been found, affirmative that the solution is portable, and affirmative that a technical implementation is possible and generally applicable. Five Pebbles took immense interest in this event, as she had not only apparently solved The Great Problem all the Iterators had been working on, but she had also been confirmed to die, leaving her method a mystery.

This fueled him with motivation to achieve personal ascension, and he began masquerading in local Iterator group chats under the pseudonym "Erratic Pulse", probing others on their thoughts and beliefs. He ended up confiding in Seven Red Suns, an Iterator who he viewed as a close friend and mentor, that he was upset with his situation and wanted a solution. Eventually, Five Pebbles attempted to enact a plan where he would rewrite his own genetic code.

Unfortunately, the process resulted in him using up a tremendous amount of the groundwater that both he and Looks to the Moon shared. As Iterators need water to function, this caused slag to build up in her systems. Five Pebbles closed communications from all incoming sources, so most of her pleas to stop did not reach him.

Eventually, Looks to the Moon sent a forced broadcast in order to talk to him directly, which caused his processes to fault at a crucial moment. This spawned Rot, which continues to plague Five Pebbles until his collapse.

No Significant Harassment

No Significant Harassment is a flippant and sarcastic Iterator who often makes friendly jabs at others, showing little concern towards issues his peers consider serious. He doesn't show much regard to the Great Problem or ascension in general, unlike most others in his social circle.

Despite his jovial nature, No Significant Harassment is shown to deeply care about those around him and goes to great lengths to help his friends.

In the Downpour DLC, a Broadcast confirms that No Significant Harassment uses he/him pronouns. Not much is said about him in the base game.

This section contains major plot details. If you have not made significant progress in the game, then it is recommended that you read no further!

A shadowed, humanoid figure in the background holds its hands out, the Hunter is curled up, hovering slightly above the figure's hands.
The image displayed at the very end of a Hunter playthrough. The figure in the back is an Iterator, speculated to be No Significant Harassment due to their connection with the Hunter.

If Hunter is able to reach Looks to the Moon with both the Green Neuron Fly and its starting Pearl, it is revealed that No Significant Harassment was responsible for reviving Looks to the Moon by sending the Hunter to her aid. The rare Green Overseer is believed to belong to No Significant Harassment.

Spoilers end here.
This section contains major plot details from Spearmaster. If you have not made significant progress or completed the game as Spearmaster, then read no further!

In the Spearmaster campaign, No Significant Harassment is shown to be somewhat close to Seven Red Suns, another Iterator. He acts as a confidant, listening to Seven Red Suns' dilemma concerning Five Pebbles cutting off all communication, and Looks to the Moon being unreachable through the broadcast network. Despite the tense situation, No Significant Harassment still keeps their laid-back attitude, teasing Seven Red Suns for developing an attachment to the Spearmaster after having observed their journey.

In some of the dialogue revealed by broadcasts, No Significant Harassment is shown to have both a more caring and serious side in contrast to their usually lighthearted tone, attempting to contact Looks to the Moon out of worry and leaving Five Pebbles a very stern message, respectively. At one point, No Significant Harassment becomes cold and defensive towards Seven Red Suns, as Suns is upset that their plan failed so drastically.

Spoilers end here.

Seven Red Suns

Main page: Seven Red Suns

Seven Red Suns is a close friend to Five Pebbles, especially when Five Pebbles develops the Rot. Similar to Five Pebbles, Seven Red Suns is rather cynical in their views, even going as far to pronounce the futility of the Iterators and their attempts to solve the "Great Problem".

In the Downpour DLC, new pearl dialogue confirms that Seven Red Suns uses they/them pronouns. Not much is said about them in the base game.

This section contains major plot details from Spearmaster. If you have not made significant progress or completed the game as Spearmaster, then read no further!

Spearmaster snuggling up to Seven Red Suns on their ending screen.

Spearmaster was sent by Seven Red Suns to establish contact with Five Pebbles due to him and Looks to the Moon both abruptly disappearing from the communication network.

In the Spearmaster campaign, it is revealed through broadcasts that Seven Red Suns is at least somewhat close to No Significant Harassment. The two of them engage on various topics ranging from the situation with Five Pebbles and Looks to the Moon, the Mark of Communication, or the messengers that they create and utilize.

Throughout the story, it's shown that Seven Red Suns was the one who delivered the instructions to Five Pebbles on how to attempt to write out the self-destruction taboo; they feel incredibly guilty for this and express sorrow over hurting Looks to the Moon and dooming Five Pebbles, as well as losing him as a friend.

Seven Red Suns admits to No Significant Harassment that they have begun to feel affection for the Spearmaster as their journey unfolds, particularly after Five Pebbles violently removes the Data Pearl from their chest, wishing that the messenger would arrive back safely. They also explain that rather than giving Spearmaster the Mark of Communication, which is only a one-way connection, Seven Red Suns devised a system of gestures and facial expressions to communicate with each other.

Seven Red Suns is seen along with Spearmaster in their menu selection art after having delivered Moon's message.

Spoilers end here.

Sliver of Straw

Main page: Sliver of Straw

Sliver of Straw is held in high regard for being the only one to allegedly achieve self-destruction. She broadcasted the “Triple Affirmative” to the rest of the Iterators shortly before dying: Affirmative that a solution has been found, affirmative that the solution is portable, and affirmative that a technical implementation is possible and generally applicable. Ever since her passing, Iterators have collaborated and convened in chatrooms in attempts to reproduce her conditions. All attempts in recreating her results have failed.

This section contains major plot details from Saint. If you have not made significant progress or completed the game as Saint, then read no further!

The Downpour DLC added Sliver of Straw as a secret and special encounter. She can be faced in Challenge 70, which can only be accessed if all other Challenges are completed. This encounter is not canon, and the developers of Downpour have confirmed this.

Spoilers end here.

Chasing Wind / "Grey Wind"

An Iterator in the Local Group. Though often unmentioned in Pearls, Chasing Wind seems to be a participator in Sliverist groups. They grew suspicious of an Iterator going under the name "Erratic Pulse" speaking of personal Ascension. Chasing Wind brought this up to several members of the Local Group.

After Five Pebbles began isolating himself and attempting to cross himself out, Chasing Wind contacted Seven Red Suns in an attempt to reach out. Chasing Wind was the one to reveal that Unparalleled Innocence made images of Five Pebbles' Rot infected structure publically available and asks Seven Red Suns to get a hold of Five Pebbles.

While not much is known about Chasing Wind outside of these interactions, it can be inferred that they have a fair bit of integrity and care for the local group seeing as they tend to approach others about potentially dangerous issues.

Additionally, they are one of the few Iterators who go by a different name; in this case, Chasing Wind is referred to as "Grey Wind".

Unparalleled Innocence

Though barely mentioned in Pearls, Unparalleled Innocence is one of Five Pebbles' neighbors. They were responsible for taking pictures of Five Pebbles' condition, which "were then made public in the Local Group".

From what is revealed through dialogue, Unparalleled Innocence may be generally considered mean. It is unclear whether this behavior is directed specifically towards Five Pebbles, or if they are in general considered to be unkind.

Additional Iterators

These Iterators are only seen in a single conversation that takes place in a select Pearl; they have no official names outside of their acronyms.


UU is a laid back and lighthearted Iterator, with their only lines being playful or teasing. Even as another Iterator causes disruption to their conversations, they simply brush it off and proceed to remove the disruptor from the group.


With HF only having a single line in the game, consisting of only two words (Being "Wait now..."), it's impossible to accurately describe them in detail.

Broadcast Iterators

This section contains major plot details from Spearmaster. If you have not made significant progress or completed the game as Spearmaster, then read no further!

The following Iterators are only seen very briefly through Spearmaster's broadcasts, and as such, not much is known about them.

Pleading Intellect

A curious and laid-back Iterator who shows interest in a messenger sent by No Significant Harassment before the time of Spearmaster.

Wandering Omen

A cynical and old Iterator seen showing distaste for their colony of highly celebratory Ancients and describes themself as "dusty and old" in one of the broadcasts.

Gazing Stars

An Iterator seen frequently talking about ascension and what comes after.

Secluded Instinct

An optimistic Iterator, the only one actively seen excited about what comes in the future.

Epoch of Clouds

An Iterator within the local group of Sliver of Straw. Only seen in one broadcast talking with Wandering Omen about betting with Sliver of Straw over which animals would win in fights.

(In-game, they are exclusively referred to as EOC, but the name Epoch of Clouds has been confirmed by the developers.)

Unknown Iterators

The following two Iterators are only seen through initials in anonymous chats.


A rather blunt Iterator. Guides discussions with a lot of technical knowledge.


A stubborn and abrasive Iterator that has open disagreements with the Local Group and the Sliverists, they were present in the original game but frequently reused in Downpour. They consider Sliver of Straw a traitor for seemingly breaking the self-destruction taboo and often starts debates in group chats that they're a part of, often seen citing a theory known as "Transcendental Inversion".

Spoilers end here.


As their name implies, Iterators were created by the Ancients to iterate—try, try again in solving the Great Problem. They also were tasked with taking control of the Ancients' daily troubles in an effort to help the people achieve Ascension easily. Iterators were created after the Void Fluid revolution, which allowed the Ancients to construct these massive superstructures with ease—hundreds, perhaps even thousands of Iterators were created during this time. Iterators would bring food, water, energy, and other necessities to the cities on their cans. After the last of the Ancients were gone, the Iterators began to work on two different issues—one assigned to them by their creators, and the other brought to attention by the Iterators.

The first issue is the "Great Problem"—the matter of helping "lesser beings", such as Lizards or Slugcats, ascend. This is a difficult issue—after all, most creatures in the current state of the world are fighting for their survival every cycle, and thus are often completely unenlightened. In addition, the Iterators have no reliable way to speak to or contact these "lesser beings", except in the case of the Overseers. Unfortunately, the relative focus on this issue was nigh completely abandoned once the second issue came into play.

The second issue is the matter of Iterators themselves achieving ascension. Though at first considered completely impossible, Iterators began to speculate and convene with one another on how one could achieve such a feat. Interest peaked when Sliver of Straw, a deceased Iterator, released a "Triple Affirmative"—affirmative that a solution has been found, affirmative that the solution is portable, and affirmative that a technical implementation is possible and generally applicable, according to Moon. Due to Straw's mysterious death shortly after sending the signal, no Iterator knows what her solution was. Many Iterators have tried to replicate her solution, but all have failed.


  • In the game's source code, Iterators are referred to as "oracles".
  • Five Pebbles grows increasingly frustrated as more Slugcats show up in their quests for ascension.
    • This is shown through his tone in dialogue for the various Slugcats.
  • One of Looks to the Moon's dialogues implies Iterator puppets have a sense of smell.
  • At the uppermost region of The Wall, it is possible to make out buildings in the distance. These are the cans of several other Iterators north of Five Pebbles, which are most likely a part of the Local Group. In total, 13 other cans are visible. However, as Looks to the Moon suggests, there could exist thousands more Iterators, which are not present in this view or in text logs.
    • Since the view from The Wall is facing the north, more Iterators may be located southern of Five Pebbles.
  • In the ending cutscene for Saint as the camera pans down from above the clouds there are noticeably less Iterator structures visible in the distance, with the few that are being heavily damaged alongside their communication arrays.