When you start a new game, depending on the mission, you may have very little. In the "Kill 'em All" mission for example, your single fleet consists of a shuttle and two mosquito-class fighters. You have one Plains planet . On this plains planet, you have a resource colony, a solar plant, a starport, a factory, a shipyard, and a planet cannon. You can also find 50 structures, 3 ship structures, 20 aluminum, and 20 steel. Onboard your ship, you will find another 30 structures. While this may seem to be bountiful, it is actually very small compared to what you will have later in the game.
|This tells us that this planet (your homeworld, in this case), has small amounts of iron and coal being produced each turn. You already have a resource colony established on this planet, so starting next turn, some coal and iron will appear on your planet. You can build a resource colony on any planet, and they will mine whatever materials can be found. Resource colonies cost 15 structures to build, however.|
You may not build factories, foundries, electronic plants, weapon shops, or any other large buildings without first establishing a solar plant. Despite their importance, these are relatively cheap to build, requiring only 5 structures. Solar Plants also produce a resource, "Energy," which will be covered later.
|Click on your starport. You should be able to see that it contains 20 Aluminum, 3 ship structures, 20 steel, and 50 regular structures. Your fleet has 30 regular structures onboard already. The energy that your Solar Plant produced does not show up on the Starport screen. This is because it is impractical to transport pure energy from one place to another. The best you can do is build a solar plant on another planet and produce your energy there.|
Starports will become the most useful building in the game, as they allow you to contact your planets. You cannot move materials to or from a planet without first building a starport.
You might notice that, under the fleet column, there is some fine print, saying "Fleet Capacity: 2550/6500." This means that the 30 structures on the ship weigh 2550 units of weight, and the fleet can carry 6500. One structure weighs 85, should you be wondering.
There is also a slider along the bottom of the Starport bar. This adjusts how many of each commodity are transferred with each click. With this slider on '1,' one unit of material will be taken aboard. With '5,' five units will be taken aboard. Take a guess at the other numbers. When the notch is on 'All,' all of that commodity will either be brought aboard, or dropped onto the planet, depending on the direction it is moved. Feel free to experiment with the controls. If you try to move 'All' of the structures onto the fleet, you will encounter slight problems, as only 76 will fit (due to weight constraints). 'All' is by far the most useful setting for this slider.
|The factory comes next. Click on it. It has two large boxes: the "Production Queue" box, and the "Materials required to produce ______" box. On the queue, you notice three items: Structure, Component Structure, and Ship Structure. Factories can produce all three given the materials. Unfortunately, you do not have all of the required materials. Structure is OK, but Component and ship structures have 'None Available' written in red over carbon fiber and computer chips. Notice, however, that aluminum is still available on the 'Ship structure.' Three can be used. This is because you have 20 aluminum sitting on the docks. Regular structure is having no complications because you also have 20 steel. One steel and one aluminum yield one structure.|
Under the queue list, there are a few options, namely 'Add,' 'Delete,' and 'Repeat.' Clicking on 'Add' brings up a list of items that can be added to the production queue. There are three items, and they are already on the list. 'Remove' pulls things off of the list. 'Repeat,' which is already activated, signals the factory to start again at the top of the list after building everything else. In factories, especially, 'repeat' should always be active (the fourth item on the list is 'repeat,' offset by asterixes, to show that this feature is turned on).
|Skip "Shipyard." It is rather large and complex, and will be covered at the end of this section. Go to 'Planet Cannon.' A box pops up, titled "Planet's Weapons." This shows a list of features on your planet cannon. The first one, which simply states that you have a planet cannon that shoots at enemy ships. There is also a list of improvements. You can make it shoot twice as quickly, you can make it shoot missiles and bombs, and you can make the planet barren upon losing a fight. These improvements cost structures to build, but you cannot spare the resources this early. Ignore the planet cannon; just feel safe and protected with its presence.|
|Now, go back to the shipyard icon. Click on it. Your fleet status pops up. You have a list of ships, the components on those ships, and a box in which you can build more ships. You can inspect your fleet as much as you please. You can add and remove ships at whim, provided that your fleet is at a planet with a shipyard. Only Plains planets have shipyards, and usually only one of these immense structures will suffice.|
In the upper right hand corner, click on "Change." (Upgrading your shipyard is impossible without 150 structures, which you do not have access to.) You will get a queue much like that at the factory. There are a few differences though. The shipyard is idle. It has nothing to build. That is why there were some Z's on the shipyard icon that you clicked to get to this screen. Click on 'Add' to add some items to your queue.
Here is the other major difference between a shipyard and a factory. Factories change metals into structures. Shipyards change ship structures into ships. Add 'Probe' to the list. Your production queue now has one probe. 'Repeat' is off, for you do not want three probes. If you do, click on 'repeat' to get the same results you would get at the factory. The 'OK' means that you have the structures required to produce this probe (you have three; you only need one).
That ends the overview of 'Getting Started.' You have reviewed some fundamental buildings in StarKnights. Still, seeing the buildings that are already established is not quite the same as building an empire of new buildings. Click here to go on to the tutorial.