You start the game with only one colony and a huge loan on your shoulders by the Bank of Moon and Mars. When you manage to pay up the loan, you are rewarded with the required technology to build Colony Ships at your Orbital Yard. These can be used to create new colonies to expand your influence.
This is the main colony screen. Each one of your colonies has its own screen, showing the various buildings and units present there.
Rename your Colony: Select your Command center and then click on Rename.
Construct a new building: Click on any empty slot to choose a facility to build there. By issuing a construction order your building is immediately placed in the construction queue and the required resources are subtracted from your colony's stock.
Manage facilities: Click on an existing building to see specific information about it, as well as any available actions to perform (such as training units).
Choose a mission: Click on any mission title to see detailed information.
Resources: This is the amount of resources present in the colony. Hover your mouse to see more information. The Storage Area facilities determine the maximum resource capacity stored in a colony.
Units: In this section of the screen you can see which units are currently stationed inside your colony. These will defend the colony in case of an attack.
Construction Queue: Construction orders are placed here. When the first is completed, the next one down the queue begins automatically. You begin the game with one queue slot. If you buy the other three slots, orders you place there start automatically, one after the other, so your workers never stay idle between orders!
Colony Warp: You can move one of your colonies (except your HQ) to a free spot on any planet by clicking the button 'warp' on the lower right area. You must pay 15,000 CP to do this!
Destroy Colony: This option is available to all your colonies except your Headquarters. CAUTION: This action can not be undone! The colony will be destroyed along with all it's resources/buildings/units/items/etc. You will get NO colony ship back from this action.
Colony Population: The population of a colony is the total upkeep of all its buildings. So, in order to increase population you must build more.
2. Creating More Colonies
Your first colony (your HQ) is barely enough to support an empire, so quite naturally you will want more.
The first 7 colonies (beyond your HQ) can be freely created on available planets using Colony Ships.
The total amount of Colony Slots are 12.
The first 8 are free and require only a Colony Ship.
The last 4 though can unlock by either purchasing "Colonization Grants" or PvPing.
Important:"Colonization Grants" do not provide a Colony ship , you will have to manually construct one to be able to colonize.
In summary, you can have a maximum of 12 colonies: 1 is your HQ, 7 can be built freely, 4 must be built after buying "Colonization Grants".
Once you have a Colony Ship and you are able to build a new colony, click on the planetary surface icon:
A map of the planet surface will appear, on which you can pick any empty spot to colonize:
On the map, you can see various colonies. The different graphic of a colony signifies it's type:
a) The "red" ones WITH a flag are colonies that belong to your enemies and they are PvP ON.
b) The "gray" ones WITHOUT a flag are colonies that belong to your enemies and have their PvP OFF.
c) The "green" ones are "friendly" colonies belonging either to you or to a member of you alliance.
You may also select to colonize on another planet; available ones are shown on the right of the map.
3. Colony Manager
When you have more than one colony, you gain access to the colony manager, where you see an overview of your colonies.
In addition to reviewing the summary information, you can perform the following actions:
Trade resources: Send resources from your colony to others owned by you or your allies.
Centauri Supplies: Send resources to your armada in the Centauri star system. Important: This only becomes available if you have progressed enough in the game to gain access to the Centauri Expansion.
Increase Intelligence Level: By spending 1000 Research Points you can permanently increase the Intelligence Level () of your colony by 1.
4. Intelligence Level
The Intelligence Level (IL) () of your colony is a measure of how well defended it is versus espionage.
Higher ILs help you against spies: They make things more difficult and expensive for your opponents when they try to scout you. A successful scout report contains details about the resources, buildings, units and items present in your colony - information you might want kept secret from enemies.
They also help you notice incoming scout attempts. If you do notice such actions, you get a notification so you at least know someone is keeping an eye on your empire.
Finally, each IL gives you an additional minute of warning time against incoming player attacks, beyond the default 20 minutes. For example, a level 20 IL will show you an incoming attack 40 minutes before it hits you.
Note: The maximum warning time equals the time needed for the enemy fleet to travel the distance between the two colonies.