Ships and Fleets
- 1 Shipbuilding
- 2 Commanding fleets
Ships are built in shipyards. Your home planet at the start of the game has a shipyard ready to use. You can also build shipyards on other planets.
If a planet has a shipyard, it's accessible via the shipyard icon on the top or by clicking on the Shipyard queue on that planet's management screen.
To build a ship you will need to:
- Select a ship blueprint (new blueprints are created in the ship designer)
- Order one or more builds of it (you will need sufficient resources available).
- Wait for construction to complete (larger, more equipped ships take longer).
- Your new ships will appear in the planet's orbit once finished.
- Each new ship counts as a separate fleet, which means it will come with an upkeep cost. Merging multiple ships into single fleets will reduce this (see below section on fleets).
Constructing new ships
Ships can be built from the blueprints found on the Planetary shipyard panel. Selecting one will populate the cell in the bottom of the shipyard view, where you can order one or more builds (if you have sufficient resources). Larger ships with high-tech parts will take a few hours to complete.
Ships under construction will appear in the Shipyard queue on the bottom. Once a ship has been built, it will appear in planetary orbit, ready for orders.
You start the game with a single blueprint (which your initial ships inherit from). You can design your own blueprints using the ship designer.
The modules that you have available will depend on the technology you've unlocked and their compatibility with the selected hull. For example, to add a minelayer to a ship, you must unlock Mine Warfare Frigates which will give you access to the minelaying module and the hull which can use it.
Select a hull
Clicking the New blueprint button will open the Hull selection list. All hulls available to your empire will be shown here along with their basic statistics and available slots.
Once you've chosen the hull, click Select to enter the ship designer view itself.
When first entering the ship designer, the previously selected hull will be shown with its module slots highlighted. These slots are where you can place modules you want to equip your ship with e.g. weapons, engines, shields, cloak etc.
Adding ship modules
Modules are selected from the panel on the right and can be filtered by size. Modules can only be attached to a module slot of equivalent size e.g. small weapon on a small slot.
The eraser tool (which looks like a recycling logo for now) can be used to remove parts added previously. Hovering a part reveals info such as its resource cost.
When a module has been selected, compatible module slots on the hull will be highlighted in green. As you hover the module over the slot it will snap into place - left-click to place it (highlight will turn to yellow).
Not all modules are compatible with all hulls, for example the Torpedo launcher is a large module and few hulls have a large module slot. A minelayer is only compatible with one particular hull for each civ.
As parts are added, the statistics panel at the bottom of the screen will update. If resources are tight or you need a ship fast, keep an eye on the price and time to build.
- The ship's engines provide a base energy level.
- Adding modules will increase the energy requirements.
- If demand exceeds supply, you will need to add additional energy modules for the blueprint to validate.
- There are small and medium sized energy modules for flexibility.
- Engines provide a continual energy source so no recharging is required.
- Energy shields can protect against energy weapons but not ordnance.
The current energy balance (demand/supply) is shown on the top left of the statistics panel. An energy balance of 20/300 means that 20 units of the available 300 are required by the attached modules.
- Rockets, torpedoes, kinetic weapons and mines require ordnance to function.
- Ordnance modules come in both small and large sizes.
- Ordnance expires as it is used, but is automatically replenished when the ship enters orbit of a planet with a shipyard.
- Ship ordnance is shared by all ordnance based weapons, so the more there are, the quicker a single module will expire.
- Ordnance weapons do more damage than energy weapons.
Once your blueprint design is complete, clicking the Research button will save it and return you back to the shipyard (the To galaxy button will return without saving). You'll need to have at least:
- Named the blueprint
- Added engines
- Added a scanner
For Alpha, blueprints will take around ten minutes for research to complete. During this time, the design a new ship button will show the research time remaining until the blueprint is available.
The following video walks through the steps above and creates a blueprint for a minelaying ship:
Once you've built a few ships, it's easy to forget which ship is equipped with which modules, but there's a ship inspection mode that will enable you to see this.
First, you need to double click the ship to zoom in to it as shown in the first image below (from here it's possible to see by eye which modules have been added).
Then, hovering the mouse over the ship will pop up the info boxes as can be seen in the second image.
This also works for enemy fleets that are within your scanner inner radius, enabling you to determine the strength or a nearby fleet before engaging them.
The image below shows two fleets for the same player:
- The fleet on the left contains five ships (indicated by the top right icon). This box appears when hovering a fleet.
- The fleet on the right has been selected. It contains a single ship and the fleet control buttons are visible.
In Outscape, single ships are considered fleets, as such they are commanded and managed in the same way as multi-ship fleets.
To send a ship somewhere you first need to select it. The cursor will then turn into a marker showing how long the ship will take to travel to a position.
- In a system, ships can only ever travel at warp 0, so adjusting the warp from 0 to 1 or 2 makes no difference.
- Traveling in deep space, warp speeds are activated. Adjusting the warp speed, will show shorter or longer travel times to the same destination.
- The potential speed of a fleet is determined by the slowest ship.
When a fleet is selected and you click on a star, planet, other fleet etc. you will likely get a pop up menu, where the available options will depend on the object itself and modules on your ship.
In the image below, the selected fleet is within a system, and clicking a planet brings up a menu with the only option being to explore (if there was a colonization module on board that option would be available).
In the following image however, a star has been clicked from the star map view, which brings up the list of planets in that system. For each of the planets the same menu with the option to explore appears.
With a ship selected and an enemy ship then clicked on, the available options are to move to that position or to attack!
Move to position: your fleet will pursue the other fleet, but it won't do anything else without further orders.
The option to attack will do the same as move to position, however should the fleets get close enough together, battle will commence!
Fleets are formed manually around a designated flagship. The first step is to move each of the ships that will form the fleet to the position of the ship which will be the flagship. Select a ship, click the flagship, and you should get the option "Move to position".
Once all ships have been moved to the same position, zoom in to that area (double-click or scroll-up the mouse wheel). One by one, select each ship and then move it to a position around the flagship. Each ship will then move to join the fleet.
Once done, all ships will be formed into a fleet. They'll hold that formation until you say otherwise. In the below image, you can see a small icon next to the fleet name - clicking this will open the fleet management panel.
The following video walks you through the process outlined above to form a fleet. Please note that the UI needs a lot of work and we have a considerable overhaul planned.
The fleet management panel is accessed by clicking the icon next to the fleet name (three small ships). From this panel you can:
- Change the fleet name
- View the fleet's combined cargo
- Set tactics for battle
- Set tactics on a ship-by-ship basis
- Make a note for this fleet