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Worlds can be claimed for an empire. A claim is staked by raising a flag of your empire. To do this, hold a flag in a ready inventory slot and select it as the current item in hand. Look at the exact spot to put the flag pole and left click with the mouse.
A world does not have to be claimed to build a city. An unclaimed world can hosts cities of multiple empires.
A world must be claimed to construct a military headquarters.
Note: The claim to a world with a military base cannot be stolen. Claims of friend empires cannot be stolen.
Claims of neutral empires can be stolen with confirmation. The first attempt to steal the claim from a neutral empire warns that the world is already claimed. A second attempt to claim that world within one minute steals the claim.
| Known issue!
It appears that currently surrendering cities to pirate empires does not work. They never accept the request
It is possible to surrender cities to another empire. This was historically used as war negotiations during the MMO.