Both single and multi ship fleets are commanded and managed in the same way (a single ship is still considered a fleet).
The image above shows two fleets belonging to the player:
- The fleet on the right has been selected and the fleet context menu is visible. It contains three ships (indicated by the 3/3 at the top of its icon - the number on the left is the number of ships in the fleet and the number on the right the maximum permitted based on the fleet's flagship level) and the fleet control buttons are visible.
- The fleet on the left contains a single ship (the box appears when hovering the fleet).
- See the fleet context menu section below for an explanation of all the icons
To send a fleet somewhere you first need to select it. The cursor will then turn into a marker showing how long the fleet will take to travel to the position below the cursor.
- In a system, ships can only ever travel at impulse speed so activating boosted warp would make no difference
- While travelling in deep space warp speeds are used. Activating boosted warp speed will show shorter or longer travel times to the same destination
- The potential speed of a fleet is determined by the ship with the slowest engines
When a fleet is selected and you click on a star, planet, other fleet etc. you will get a pop up menu where the available options will depend on the object selected and modules available to the fleet.
In the image above, the selected fleet is within a system and clicking a planet brings up a menu with two options: Explore and Colonize.
In the above 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, attack, or attack and return.
- Move to position: your fleet will pursue the other fleet, but it won't do anything else without further orders
- Attack: the fleet will attempt to intercept the other fleet and if it can catch it - battle will commence! (if the fleet wins the battle it will remain at that location where the battle took place)
- Attack and return: the same as attack but if the fleet wins the battle it will return to the position it was when the order was originally given
To form a fleet:
- Select a fleet (which could be a single ship)
- With the original fleet still selected click on another fleet
- Click 'Merge fleet' from the menu that appears
The fleet originally selected will then move to the other fleet's position and automatically merge with it (if the fleet is moving it will attempt to intercept it):
- Ships are added to another fleet in a circular pattern around the flagship
- The flagship of the new fleet is chosen automatically (the ship with the highest flagship level amongst both fleets)
- If no ship within either fleet has a flagship level high enough to support all ships in a single fleet the 'Merge fleet' option will not be available to begin with (disabled on the menu)
The fleet formation can be optimized by then managing the fleet (the positions of ships within a fleet affect how the fleet will perform in battle: see Ship Weapons for details).
The 'Split' button on the fleet context menu can be used to open the fleet splitting screen. From this screen you can then choose which ships to remove from the current fleet and separate out to their own fleet(s) of one or more ships.
Alternatively, you can open the fleet splitting screen from Fleet management.
- The fleets in the current fleet are shown on the top half
- Drag ships one by one to the lower half to form a new fleet
- The first ship moved is designated as the flagship
The fleet management panel is accessed by clicking the icon next to the fleet name (Spyglass/loop icon). From this panel you can:
- Change the fleet name
- View the fleet's info and combined cargo
- Set tactics on a ship-by-ship basis
- Make a note for this fleet
- Upgrade Ship (Only when in orbit with a Shipyard)
- Recycle (Destroy) Ship. (Resources only returned if in Orbit with a Shipyard)
- Special Function Indicator (Cloaking, Detection, Mine-laying etc?)
- Split fleet
- Automatic fleet formations
Fleet formations can be automated by selecting one of the fleet formation presets (at the bottom of the fleet management screen).
Players can also place ships within a fleet manually for more strategic control.
- Click a ship to drag and change its position
- It's not possible to position a ship more than 300 meters away from another ship in the same fleet
The fleet context menu is the graphic and controls that appear around a fleet when it’s selected. The information shown and buttons that are enabled will depend on the modules installed on the ships within the fleet and the fleet’s current activity.
- Boosted warp: available if a fleet has fuel tanks with olzine available (find out more about engines and speeds of travel)
- Lay minefield: the fleet must have a minelayer installed (find out about Mine Warfare)
- Cloak: the fleet must have a cloaking module installed (fine out about Cloaking)
- Repair mode: available when a damage ship is in orbit of a planet with a shipyard (the Syntis have their own unique ship repair module they can activate anywhere)
- Transfer: opens the fleet's resource transfer screen
- Mine asteroid field: available when a fleet has an asteroid mining module installed
- Split: see Splitting fleets above
- Stop/cancel: stops/cancels the current fleet action e.g. moving, mining
- Manage fleet: see Fleet management above
Buttons can be in one of three states: disabled, enabled, or active. The following table shows how these three states look (using the boosted warp button as an example):
A button could be disabled because:
- It isn’t applicable for the fleet’s current state e.g. the stop button is disabled if the fleet isn’t moving
- The relevant module isn’t available to the fleet e.g. no ship within the fleet has a cloak, repair, or minelayer module installed
The fleet context menu will also show timers when certain activities are underway:
- Left timer: the fleet’s ETA to current destination (only shown while moving)
- Right timer: only shown while any of the following are active:
- Laying a minefield - time remaining for minefield to be deployed
- Cloaked - time fleet can remain cloaked for
- Repairing - time remaining until fleet HP is repaired to 100%
- Orbital strike - time remaining until orbital strike can launch
- Planet attack/invasion - time remaining until planet invasion can launch