Category:Star Ruler Manual

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Contents

Star Ruler Manual

General

Welcome to Star Ruler! It is a new 4X strategy game done in real time.

Controls

To move around the galactic map use these controls:

Hold RMB: Orbit around focused object.

Hold RMB+LMB: Zoom.

Middle Mouse Button: Pan Camera.

Click on Middle Mouse Button: Center on object. {found this out by accident}

Alt/Shift: Finer/Broader movement. {I have no idea what or how this works}

You may also move your cursor to either the left or right side of the screen and hold down RMB to rotate your camera.

To select objects you can use these controls:

LMB: Selects the object.

LMB+drag: Bandbox selection.

ALT+drag LBM: “Paints-select” objects. This selects all objects that the cursor moves over.

Ctrl+LMB: Select/Deselect object.

Double-LMB: Focus camera on object/Open relevant window (Planet Window/Star: System Window)

Press Z: Zoom to selected object.

The Context Menu

The context menu is opened by pressing the right mouse button down while your cursor is hovered over an object. An object may be a ship, a star a planet, a system and so on. The options in the context menu change depending on what orders you can give the selected objects(s).

Giving Orders:

Select a ship belonging to you. Click on any spot of empty space near your ship and it will move there as if you had ordered it to move on a 2D-plane. If you zoom out a bit and with your ship selected, mouse over a nearby system. You’ll know that you have moused over the system when a white ring pops up around the star. Right click on the system while the ring is poped up and select “Move to System” Your ship will then proceed to move to that system.

Rally Points

If you’d like objects that are built to move to a certain object when they’re finished building, select the object that they’re to be built on and right-click on their destination. You’ll notice that there’s an option called Rally Here. This sets the rally point of that object to that destination; all ships built by that object will rally to that position until you tell it otherwise.

When an object has a valid rally point, when it is selected, you’ll see a green beam pointing to the Rallying point. The Rally Here option will also be checked. To clear the Rally Point, open the context menu on the planet and select Clear Rally Point.

The Topbar

The topbar is the row of buttons and information along the top of the screen. It is divided into three sections:

The left section displays what your scientists are currently researching and the estimated time it will take them to reach their goals.

In the middle is a row of buttons which open specialized windows; we’ll go into how to navigate each window later.

The right section displays the current time and the amount of time you have played the game.

The Ticker

The Ticker is directly underneath the topbar. The Ticker notifies you of important events occurring in your Empire. If systems fall under attack, new colonies are formed, research is completed, and et ctera, this is where you’ll be informed of them. You may double-click on any event in the Ticker to zoom to the source of that event.

(You may customize what events are shown here at a later time.) {so far I haven’t figured out how this is done. }

Pinned Object List

On the left you’ll notice that your homeworld is indicated by a Planet icon and the planet’s name. It will also display what the object is currently doing; this is an entry of the Pinned Object List. To add items to the list and keep them on-screen at all times, press ‘P’ on any object. Objects in the pinned object list can remotely give orders through the contextual menu; making this an invaluable tool for keeping track of large-scale projects and critical assets. To remove items for the list, ctrl-click their entry and the entry will be removed.

Object Information Panel

The object information panel is the panel on the bottom of the screen; it displays stats on the object that you have selected. You’ll notice four bars along the top of the panel, they represent certain values. The leftmost is HP, the one next to that is Shields. After Shields is Power and that, Fuel. The panels on the bottom display the objects orders, it’s detailed information and the Multiple Mode Subwindow. To minimize this window click on the up/down arrow on the top right corner.

If a planet is selected it will show what stock piles it has. Each planet has their own stockpiles of everything (except goods & luxuries) and you can see these on the right side of the object information panel (bottom panel) when you have it selected. Space Ports send resources to and from your empire bank, and attempt to keep the stock of every resource of the planet they're on at roughly 50% of its total storage capacity. That means that if you can store 1000 metals but you have 700, the space ports will send the 200 excess resources to your empire bank. Had you had 300, they would've pulled 200 metals from the bank and put it on the planet.


The resources you see on the top left are your empire bank, these resources are stored inside your empire-wide "treasury" as it were. You start with 0 because you haven't added any resources to your empire bank yet (Goods and Luxuries are always produced into and consumed from the bank).


Empire Window

The majority of your foreign affairs with other Empires is conducted here. On the left side is a list of all the Empires in the game, their associated colour, and their chosen Icon. By default, your Empire is selected. In the detailed information panel to the right, you;ll see a breakdown of all the resources n your galactic bank, the number of ships you control, the number of planets you control and wheter or not your colonies by default use a governor. You also may access the Object List in this windiow, which allows you to browse through all of your Empire’s assets and select or focus your camera on them.

When you click on the Propose new treaty button on the right side, in the small square boxes in the middle, this brings up the Treaty Window. It allows you to create, modify, alter, reject, accept, or cancel treaties with other Empires. On the left side you’ll see a list of clauses: thes are ‘components’ of the treaty. Each treaty is made up of Clauses and Modifiers.

===CAUTION===

Modifiers (such as Duration) affect the basic nature of the treaty and should be paid special attention to when you’re considering a treaty. Some treaties have permanent effects and are not to be taken lightly. For instance, agreeing to a peace between yours and another empire, without a Duration modifier, ensures enforced peace between your Empires: Neither may ever again assail the other in any shape or form and the treaty may never be canceled.

This is the only clause which has a non-cancelable permanent effect; pay particular attention to it. Now that you’re aware of the more potentially dangerous effects of the treaty window, let’s proceed to go over the general mechanics of the window:

To add clauses to a treaty, left-click on the clause you’d like either Empire to uphold. The clause will be added to the appropriate section of the Trade window and will have a magnifying glass icon (unless it’s Declare War or Peace Agreement). That button opens a window which allows you to edit the specifics of that clause. You’ll notice that clause added from the left side go to the top and clauses from the right side go to the bottom; this is because what is expected from the Advocate of the treaty is listed in the top window and what is expected from the Recipient is listed in the bottom panel.

As you are offering the treaty to another Empire, you are on the top. The advocating empire is always on the top. Once you have finalizied your treaty, you may then propose it to the Empire in question. The Send button sends the request to the other Empire, whose responsibility it then becomes to review the treaty and decide to accept, reject, ignore or alter the treaty.

Special Note: Any empire may alter the treaty you sent them; when the treaty has been altered, you will be notified. Should you Accept the changes of a modified treaty, the treaty goes into immediate effect; if you Reject the changes, the treaty is dissolved. If you Alter an Altered treaty, your most recent version will be sent back until the treaty is ignored, accepted or rejected.

Planet Window

The Planet Window, whose purpose is to provide control to the complex entities that are planets. At the top of the window are basic details of the planet including its name, its free slots, what Governor it is employing, and so forth. The row of icons underneath the basic details provide some basic information about the whole planet; they may be moused over to gain more detail on their functions; most of the icons and buttons in the games are equipped with notes. Underneath those icons are tabs. These tabs give you information and command over the minutia of your planet and planets in general. Let's take a little time to explore each tab in depth before we move on to the next window. You may open this window by clicking the Planet button at the top, or double-clicking a planet.

Resources

Every planet in Star Ruler has a resource called Ore. Ore allows your planets to produce materials efficiently and in great numbers; without Ore your local production will decrease to roughly 20% of its normal output. Ore is refined into Metals, Metals are made into Electronics, and Metals and Electronics put together make Advanced Parts. Each individual resource requires their own dedicated facility. For instance, the Metal resource is generated by the Metal Mining Factory and Electronics are produced by the Electronics Factory.

The level of these facilities dictates their output and internal storage capacities, not including storage granted by cargo blocks.

Workers

Workers are the people manning the facilities on your planet. The statistic on the planet window shows how many Workers are employed versus how many are available. In the object information window you can see how many Workers you may have at maximum as well.

Workers consume food, produce resources, and reproduce. Without workers, your facilities are liable to go Offline. This can be disastrous as facilities such as Farms may be turned offline if there are not sufficient workers to keep it online.

When the amount of Workers on a planet hits 0, the planet becomes decolonized and neutral. All structures that were intact at that time remain on the surface and the queue remains as it was. This means that your planet may then be captured and your ships produced by an enemy empire.

Mood

The Mood of a planet is a number which ranges from -1.0 to 1.0. At -1.0, your Workers are very unhappy and the amount of labor they will provide and the amount of resources they generate will be greatly diminished. At 1.0 your Workers are happy and the amount of labor they provide and the amount of resources they generate increases substantially.

The availability of Goods and Luxuries, and what Civil Acts you have enabled, determine the Mood of your Workers. In order to become Happy, they must have access to a wealth of Goods and Luxuries. A lack of Luxuries will only make them disgruntled.

Manage Queue

The first tab, Manage Queue, allows you to add ships, structures, or improvements to the list of items for the planet to build. As planets can only build one thing at a time, managing your queue will ensure efficiency on a planet-wide basis.

To add items to the queue, double-click on their entry in the list; only one item may be built at a time. To manage the order of items in the queue, drag the item you would like to move above or beneath other items.

Changing the Buildlist

The icons in the list of items on the left side of the Manage Queue can be changed to show Structures (left-most), Ships (center-most), or Planetary Improvements (right-most).

To see the build queue in action as you proceed through the Manage Queue section of tutorial, select the Structures tab and press the Pause key. (Usually located about Page Up on most keyboards)

Add another item to the list. Click and hold to grab on to the item and slide it above the currently construction; this is how you may re-order the construction queue. Now remove the top item, unpause the game, and pause it a few moments after.

Above the Queued Constructions list, by default, is what the planet is currently building. To its right, you'll see a list of icons and values. What they represent is (1) how much of that resource the item has received (2) how much the item still needs of a particular resource to be built. Notice how quickly the resources filled? Resources that were sitting around on the planet very rapidly filled the queue until no surplus resources remained; then the construction became reliant on the factories' output to generate the remainder of the resources, leading to a significant slowdown.

Having a large surplus of resources on a planet helps your citizens in a variety of ways, including allowing them to build several structures and ships in times of crisis when factories are going on and off-line. Cargo Blocks are a good source of extra cargo space on planets, try to build one!

Manage Queue

Beneath the resource requirements for the selected/constructing item is listed the cost of all items in the queue. Beneath that are some options. We'll briefly go over their functions: Setup Queue: Setup Queue allows you to create a Queue list that doesn't start building until it is applied to the current queue. This is primarily useful for setting up repeating constructions and so forth and is not meant to be used as a general purpose tool. Clear Queue: Clear Queue clears the entire queue immediately. If the Governor is on and the Queue is cleared but structure slots remain open, the Governor will add items to the queue automatically.

Structures Tab

This tab's primary purpose is to serve as a nexus of information about Structures. On the left you'll see a list of structures. This list can either display structures that are currently built on the planet or list all the structures available in the game.

When a structure is selected from the list, the panel on the right will fill with information about that structure. Try it out on a few of your structures.

Resources Tab

This tab displays all the resources that this planet holds. It also displays where those resources are being consumed or generated. Alternatively, the tab can also display all the resources in the game in a similar fashion.

For instance, if you required Advanced Parts but weren't sure what structure made them, you could consult the Resources tab here for more information on the resource and its requirements.

Options Tab

This tab allows you to configure more of the general settings about the window and its behavior. Whether it prints out reports ever so often in the ticker, whether it alerts you whenever a planet has ran out of slots to build on, when a planet's resource is low, and et cetera.

On Space Ports, Shipyards

Space Ports are a particularly valuable asset to your expanding empire and deserve special attention and consideration. Space Ports allow your planets to pull resources down from your galactic bank of resources and import resources from your planet into the resource bank (capped at 50% so that your local economy can't crash).

Planets without shipyards have particularly low amounts of labor and will have some difficulty making larger ships. Consider adding a few shipyards to planets that are going to be dedicated ship factories to boost the planet's overall output.

Space Ports also give the planet a small amount of fuel which nearby ships can use to refuel. The amount provided is a small amount and is not meant to supply larger ships; establishing a Fuel Depot in a system that will have a large compliment of ships will ensure that ships aren't constantly rushing back and forth, trying to get the fuel they need.

Goods and Luxuries

Goods and Luxuries are specially exempt from being locally bound. They have built in commercial distribution throughout your empire and automatically add straight into your Empire's pool of resources. Additionally, all of your citizens pull from that galactic bank whenever they consume goods or luxuries to achieve happiness.

This means that local production of goods and luxuries is not as important as global production of goods and luxuries and is important to keep in mind.

Building Ships

Blueprints Window

This window is where all ship making occurs. To start, click on the Blueprint List (left-most tab). The game will automatically update the designs on this list as your technologies progress and obsolete the old designs.

To display old designs, click on the bottom-most button. If you need to manually update a design, simply find it in the list, click on it, and then click on Update Hull to update it to the latest in discovered technologies. If you'd like to use an already existing design as a template for a new ship, simply double-click their entry in the list. The other tabs are the Ship Layout editor and the AI Settings list. We'll go over their functions in just a moment. We're going to create a ship design from scratch. Click the Layout Tab to continue.

Ship Layout Window

This tab allows you to create, modify, and template ship designs. On the top you have the ship's name and scale (the ship's overall scale impacts the parts inside it).

To the right of that you have a list of resources; this is how much the ship will cost to build. Beyond those are saving and loading options for the design. You can also import or export designs from your profile into or out of the game for ease-of-use.

Beneath that top portion of the window is the main interface to ship creation. Subsystems are added and moved around on the ship blueprint (the blue ring); this is important as the subsystems take damage relative to where your ship was fired upon. So if your ship was hit in the flank, damage would be applied to the back-most subsystem first.

In the center of the window is where all the components of your ship are put down. To the left of it is the parts list; this is a list of all subsystems you have unlocked through technological research. The options and versatility of your subsystems will expand dramatically as you research and unlock new subsystems. The utility of old systems will also increase. On the right side of the window are the statistics of the ship. Currently, there are no parts aboard the ship so there are no stats to be displayed.

At the top of the screen is the amount of available internal space that you have remaining to place subsystems into. Subsystems at minimal scale take up 0.25 space and at their largest take up 4.0 space. Note that the amount of available internal space is decided only by the Hull of the ship. Neither the scale nor the amount of technological progress you have in ship construction will alter a given hull's Space. Except when you scale a ship lower or higher than the practical range of the used hull (i.e, when you scale a fighter hull to more than 1, at scale 2-2x1-, you will have half the avaliable space, and so on) Now that you're aware of how a lot of the system works, let's build your first design. It will be a cheap, fast, manned, and unarmed Scout replacement.

To begin, add a Standard Hull to the design. To add parts to the ship's layout, double-click on the item in the parts list. If you'd like to know more about an individual part in the parts list, hover over it and a window will display the stats of that part on this particular ship. The stats displayed by the part are modified by the scale of the ship, so they are always relevant to your design.

You'll notice new entries have appeared on the statistics portion of the window: Hitpoints and Mass.

In the case of Mass, Mass is the total weight of the ship; Thrusters must overcome Mass with Thrust in order to Accelerate the ship. The more that they overcome the Mass, the more maneuverable the ship will be and the faster it will be able to react to course corrections. Your ships, in Space, have very little friction to fight against so their speed is literally Acceleration over Time.

An important thing to consider there is that ships must slow down and in order to do so, they must "turn and burn" to negatively accelerate. As you will be constructing combat ships no doubt at some point later in your career as a Star Ruler: Engines are likely the first subsystem to take a hit.

The most defining feature of this fast scout ship will be its huge, twin, engines. To access Engines, click on the Engines tab in the Parts List. Add two Thrusters to the design and place them near the rear of the craft. Notice that a warning has appeared in the upper-right hand corner of the window. These warnings serve as a failsafe so that you do not accidentally forget important systems: such as a fuel cell for ships that require fuel.

Currently, the ship's engines are at their default scale where we want them at maximum scale.

To increase the scale of a Subsystem, mouse over it and click on the blue plus icon on the bottom right corner. You'll need to do this twice to reach maximum scale from the default scale. Note that when you hover over the plus(enlarging) or minus(shrinking) icon of a subsystem it displays how changing its size affects the rest of the design.

This is an important time-saving feature to remember when building ship designs.

Now our ship has two large engines to power it but a problem has arisen: Engines require Control. This is where our Crew comes in. Manned ships require three subsystems to function: Life Support, Crew Quarters, and a Bridge.

Add them and play around with changing their sizes, seeing how that affects the stats of the ship. Crew also has a minor side-effect: Your ships can repair themselves slowly.

Field Repairs are very slow but can be accelerated if the ship has Metals, Electronics, and Advanced Parts for the crew to perform repairs with. Now that our ship has a Crew to control the Thrusters, the Thrusters will function.

Or they would, if the Bridge had power to run it. We're lacking a source of power generation, as indicated by the warning in the upper-right hand of the layout editor ("Power may be unstable"). By default we only have two options: the fuel-consuming Power Generator or the fuel-less Solar Cell which can only power the ship near Stars. As this ship is a long-range exploratory ship, we should probably stick with something a bit more reliable than Solar Cells and Capacitors. Add a Power Generator (it's in Support) to the design and Voila! The ship's design is now functional!

As you may have noticed, due to the requirements of the design, should the power generator ever be disabled or destroyed the ship's bridge will be unable to provide the controls necessary to operate the thrusters or operate the power generator.

Perhaps more worryingly, that the Life Support system will not have the power it needs to run and will immediately shut off. At its smallest, the Life Support system contains only 10 seconds worth of Air plus whatever extra there is listed in the statistics in seconds of air supply.

The crew can perform repairs, but bringing the power generator and potentially the Bridge back online will most certainly take more than 10 seconds.

So what can you do to ensure that in the event of the Power Generator getting somehow disabled that your subsystems will continue to function? The answer is the Emergency Power subsystem modifier, located in the

Subsystem Modifiers tab

Unlike other subsystems you have added, Subsystem Modifiers need to be attached to another Subsystem to perform their job. To attach the Modifier to a subsystem, just drag it over the subsystem you want. The Subsystems will both light up with a glow. Since all the systems on this craft are vital to its function, add Emergency Power to all the other Subsystems to ensure that, in the event of the Generator going offline, the ship can continue to function.

There's one final screen to go over that we have yet to in the Ship Layout editor: the AI Settings. The AI Settings tab allows you to configure how the ship should automatically respond in certain situations: such as determining what to fire upon next, or whether it should attempt to stay in formation in a fleet or break off when it detects enemies.

The currently available settings alter what targets the ship should prefer: to fire upon ships with a minimum of X% health or maximum of X% health, and what Scale of target to prefer (e.g. a Cruiser which is Scale 12 could prefer Targets up to its scale and lower (min 0, max 12). Make sure to set up your AI settings for this ship before you continue, as modifying the AI settings of ships that have been already built is impossible. Though orders may be overridden and repeating orders cancelled, you will not be able to specify what sorts of ships they prefer to target and so forth. You can call it quits here or add parts to the design; the basic design of the ship is now complete! When you're done modifying the design, give it a name in the upper left hand corner of the screen and click the Save button. The design is now available everywhere in your Empire to be built.

Congratulations! You have made your first space-worthy craft and graduated the Ship Construction portion of this series of Tutorials. Ship design mastery is absolutely critical in a campaign against an enemy. Countering enemy designs can swing insurmountable odds in your favor and turn a sure victory on its head.

System Window

The System Window is the key to managing your Empire effectively in Star Ruler. With it you can get broad-spectrum overviews of systems that you control as well as what each system is currently tasked to do. The System Window also makes it easy to distribute build orders, freeing you from the intimate details of each planet.

Open this window via the System button at the top of the screen, or by pressing A. You may also open the window by double-clicking a system. To assign build orders to a system, click the Build Ship or Build Structure button next to each planet and then select a structure or ship. Click the Build button again to build the ship -- continue clicking to add multiple build requests. If you'd like to change what is currently being ordered to be built, click on the change assignment button next to the Build button.

Whenever a planet has orders to build structures or ships, the name and progress of the item being currently constructed are displayed next to the planet. When you Build Across Colonies, the System Window automatically decides which planets build which ships; making its decision based off of how capable the planets in the system are respective to the build order.

Research Window

This is the Research Window. Research is an important part of your Empire's development in Star Ruler.

Improving your understanding of the universe and its mechanics will allow you access to new subsystems and new technologies in addition to enhancing the subsystems and technologies that you've already discovered.

Your mouse wheel increases or decreases the zoom level of the main research window and dragging with your LMB pressed will pan the window around. Clicking on a technology or node focuses your researcher's attention on that node; you may only research one technology at a time. Technologies that are locked cannot be researched and have a grey question mark laid across their surface. Technologies unlock new subsystems and improve various aspects of structures, subsystems, and overall empire management. Every few levels of a technology will boost the amount of research on the nodes around it, reducing the amount of time it takes to unlock paths to other technologies.

To unlock technologies, you must find a node that links to that technology and research to its fullest extent. The little circles surrounding nodes are called hunches and guesses. They give a probability of discovering a new area of research as represented by any linked greyed out nodes. Once a hunch or guess is researched then it disappears. The result will be either a greyed out node will be unveiled or it will turn out to connect to a known node in which case nothing appears to happen. Therefore to guarantee unlocking of all connected greyed out nodes all the hunches and guesses must be researched. Once all the connected greyed out nodes are researched it appears pointless to continue researching any hunches and guesses on your base node. Make sure to clear them from your research queue.

Fleet Management

In Star Ruler, fleets are a great way to organize your units and keep ships organized when you give them attack orders as without being in a fleet units will not care about the speed of the other ships in the fleet. Before we begin with fleet management and control, please produce five fighters. When you're finished, click next to continue.

Select three of the ships that you just built and press the 'F' key. This will pick a commanding unit from the group of ships (typically going toward the largest armed ship in the group) and bind them together as a fleet unit. Fleets are organized into formations when they are formed; much like how when multiple ships are given a move order they move in formation. Any orders that you give to the commander of a Fleet will be passed down to all its subordinates. The AI settings of individual ships will remain in effect but may be overridden by the fleet commander. Select one of the ships you did not include in the fleet and press the 'J' key. This will join the ship to the nearest fleet to it. To manually join a ship into a fleet, select the ships that are not a member of the fleet and right click on them and choose Join Fleet -> Fleet 1. You'll notice there is a 'Join Fleet' command; this is what you will use to join them to that fleet. Join the last ship to the fleet and press next to continue.

Fleets move and act as a coordinated unit while retaining individual ship identity. To resign a commanding unit from the fleet, right click on the fleet leader and choose the 'Resign Command' option. Should you need to select a nearby fleet but are unaware of its actual position, press the key.

To select the nearest nearby fleet, press the Select Nearest Fleet (default: S). This is useful if you cannot locate your fleet or would only like to select one fleet when multiple fleets are overlapping. System Status Indicators Zoom out of your system until a ring appears around your system. The ring that has appeared is the System Status Indicator and is used to indicate who owns what system, whether it is contested, and whether there is a battle involving your Empire taking place there. Should the SSI turn yellow, then a battle is currently taking place in that system. A white indicator means that the system is uncontrolled. A brightened version of an Empire's color indicates that the system has multiple Empires' ships in the system but is still owned by the Empire whose color is being brightened.

Colonizing New Worlds

To colonize worlds, you need the aid of a space ship which has a Colonizer subsystem in it. One of the default designs that you begin the game with, the Colony Ship, has such a Colonizer subsystem. Once you built a Colony Ship it will automatically find the planet with the largest number of slots and proceed to automatically colonize it. This behavior persists when you move colonization ships to nearby systems. When they arrive in system they will automatically colonize the larges world that they see.

Auto-Colonization

Auto Colonize finds idle Colony Ships throughout your Empire and orders them to as fully populate the system as they are able. With the aid of this command you do not have to keep track of where your colony ships are but you do have to keep track of whether you have colony ships. This order is not a flagging order. It does not signal that system should be colonized; it finds colony ships and orders them to move to the system. This means that if you give the order and have no colony ships, no colony ships will be sent. It may be useful to zoom out, select the entire galaxy and select auto-colonize. This will flag all planets, seen and unseen, for colonization starting with the closest systems. Note if a colony is destroyed, for example by the Remnant, no further colony ships will be sent to that planet. To flag the planet for auto-colonization again repeat the galaxy selection process.

It is possible to colonize the entire galaxy this way by setting a planet to repeat-build colony ships but this can lead to economic collapse or losing lots of expensive colony ships to enemy activity.

Forcing Orders

To force an order (for instance, Force Attack), hold down CTRL from when you open the context menu to when you select the order. The behavior of some orders change when forced and are listed below.

Forced Attack: Ships will attack the object until destroyed or disabled.

Forced Supply This: Ships that supply the object will remain in the system that the object was located.

Forced Assault: Instead of returning to the system they were deployed from, the ships will remain in the system they attacked.

Clearing Orders

To clear the orders of a ship, you may right click on it and select Clear Orders. If you do a Forced Clear Orders,, it will clear all orders automated orders such as Fetch Fuel when Low and Auto-Colonize. You may also press B and CTRL+B, respectively.

Assault

Select a system itself by either right-clicking on the star and choosing “Select System” or clicking from far enough away that your selection changes from (system name) Star to (system name). Now right click on another system. Notice that there is an option called Assault. Assault orders all combat ships in that system to aggress upon the system that you right clicked on, destroy and aggresses, and then return to their system of origin. Unless you hold down control, in which case they will remain in the system that they aggressed upon.

Rapid Exploration

If for example you have 5 scout ships, select them all and press the X key. You will notice they’ll all pick individual systems and proceed to scout them out; staying in the system to give you constant feedback on your surroundings.

Scouts are very useful for pinpointing nearby fleet movements and locating your neighbors before they arrive on your front doorstep unannounced.

Giving Orders

Select a ship belonging to you. Click on any spot of empty space near your ship and it will move there as if you had ordered it to move on a 2D-plane. If you zoom out a bit and with your ship selected, mouse over a nearby system. You’ll know that you have moused over the system when a white ring pops up around the star. Right click on the system while the ring is poped up and select “Move to System” Your ship will then proceed to move to that system.

Fog of War

When you no longer have ships in a system, you no longer can see into it. You may retain who owns it but all other information is discarded. As such, it is valuable to keep eyes and ears out in all systems as much as possible. The more informed you are, the more liable you are to make good strategic decisions.

Build on Best and Haulers

Zoom back in to your home system. Right click on the star and select Build on Best -> Hauler. Build on Best is a command that finds the planet most capable of constructing a ship and issues a construction order to it.

The space, factories, and current queue of all the planets in the system are considered by the AI when choosing which planet to place your order onto and generally makes correct assumptions. When the Hauler completes, let it sit for a moment.

Chances are, a few seconds after it was built, it started moving on its own! Don't panic, it's meant to do that. The Hauler has Cargo Bays on it and, consequently, due to its ship design, it will automatically look for and resolve and 'holes' in the local stellar economy by trading resources between worlds.

Haulers are, in particular, useful for aiding ships with Construction Bays in their work as, on their own, Construction Bay'd ships have no means to receive resources with which to build ships. The advantage of building ships through a Construction Bay is that due to the zero-gravity environment and relatively clean setting, the Labor costs of ships are predominately ignored. Given enough Haulers bringing in enough resources, space-mobile construction centers are possible.

Haulers are also good at helping new systems start up for the first time, as they're able to haul materials back and forth between planets that otherwise wouldn't be able to easily receive them due to their Space Port being overloaded or not yet constructed.

Normally, Haulers will only haul materials in the system that they're in. This is a problem if you need a system that is outside their system to be Supplied. This can be majorly resolved by right clicking on the object and issuing a Supply This command.

Supply This works similarly to Auto-Colonize in that if there are no idle Haulers, the command won't get distributed. If you hold down Control when you give the order, the Haulers will stay in the system that contains the object that you ordered that they Supply.

Combat

Let's go over some of the basic rules of damage and engagement in the combat section of the game. Firstly, weapons have Range and all may fire independently of the ship's current vector. When a shot strikes a ship, it goes through multiple potential layers of damage absorption before the damage goes to the subsystems and potentially destroys or disables a subsystem. Where the shot struck the ship matters as the blueprint of the ship is called up whenever damage is to be dealt. If a shot strikes the front of your ship and that just so happens to be where your huge railgun is, it is likely that it will take the brunt of the damage before anything else would if the damage got post all the layers of potential defenses on the ship.

This is the sequence of damage absorptions a shot may have to go through: (Stealth ->) Shields -> Armor (-> Armor -> Armor -> etc.) -> Hull -> Subsystems) When a shot impacts the hull, some of its energy is delivered straight into it; the amount of damage absorbed by the Hull is listed in the subsystem's local data (mouse over it in the blueprint window to see). This means that weapons like rail guns tend to blow through armor, shields, and hull, but can potentially be completely ignored. Rail guns are excellent against armored targets as they often do enough damage to blow straight through small amounts of armor. Beam Weapons are poor against armored targets because they do smaller amounts of damage more often but require no ammunition whatsoever. Missiles are excellent against armored targets but are one of the few weapons in the game with a direct counter: Reactive Armor

Torpedo’s blow through armor and do massive damage but has large delays between shots.

When ships are in combat, their movement is independent from their firing solutions. The turrets are free to fire on nearby objects while the ship moves, targetting targets of opportunity as it moves towards its destination.

The firing solution for targetting nearby ships is sometimes slow but manually refreshing the ship's firing solution database will help it automatically target nearby threats. This makes personally attended battles much more coordinated and graceful than normal. To refresh a ship's firing solution, give it a Defend System order (default: D).

If a ship goes grey during combat, that means that it has gone disabled. A disabled ship cannot currently be recovered but may be salvaged for materials or analyzed to boost your technological research. Ships that have become disabled are then subject to the ravages of space and take small amounts of damage over time.

See Armor Type Comparisons for more info.

Starting out

I initially didn't know that much about the game and hence experienced lots of problems trying to play. I especially had problems with a very slow start until I figured out some things.

1. Your Empire capital produces relatively huge amounts of resources at the start. However it is very low on starports and this manifests as very low metal production early-game and incredibly slow growth. It is often worth it to build lots and lots of starports on it so you can shift the resources. This may involve removing some of the existing structures. Look at the Economy window to optimize and/or put early research into Economics.

2. Linked to 1 you may want to produce haulers to ferry the resources produced by your homeworld to your new colonies to get them started. This has the benefit of delivering resources in chunks which may lead to sustained growth as growth becomes focussed on certain planets rather than resources being spread over all your planets. Haulers for me only appear to work in the system they were produced in not intra-system.

3. I prefer to have the first 3/4 planets producing Economic goods (Metal, Electronics, Advanced Parts, Food, Goods and Luxuries). The last three types tend to be easier to take care of.

A single planet dedicated to Goods and Luxuries is often enough with some research in Economics and more Luxuries factories. Personally the governor produces too many Goods factories and not enough Luxuries. Rearrange if you want. For me, a single planet dedicated to Food production was basically enough for a 150 system Empire with a few Biology levels.

The first 3 are more complex. Initially you'll probably be low on Metal so your first world may want to be metal focussed after which you'll experience Electronics shortages and then Advanced Parts shortages. I find Advanced Parts shortages hit when I begin epic galaxy colonization with research planets. Stopping colonization for a bit while you take advantage of the massive increase in research capability and build up your new planets may be best.

4. In the Star Ruler\Game Data folder is a file called "build_queues.xml". Rename it to "build_queues.txt" and you can adjust the governor build queues. Most of it should be fairly self-explanatory. Default is Balanced. Make sure to rename it to "build_queues.xml" again once you've finished editing.

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