Building Your First Interstellar Colony

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Establishing your first interstellar colony is relatively easy, compared to your first interplanetary colony. However, it all depends on the destination solar system and its worlds.

This guide will go over to how acquire and produce the basic spacefaring technologies needed for a spacecraft capable of interstellar travel, as well as tips on exploration and founding your first interstellar colony.

This topic assumes you have all basic manufacturing setup in your home system. This means a city capable of producing at least basic space rockets and have constructed a moon colony. Read the Building Your First Moon Colony guide if you have not established a moon colony yet.

Home System Infrastructure

It is critical that your home system has access to eludium. This allows the manufacturing of gravity drive technology, which is not only cheaper to produce but also much easier to operate than conventional rocket drives.

Access to lumenite will allow for wormhole FTL drive technology, which lets spacecraft travel instantly between solar systems.

Note: While FTL drives make interstellar travel much easier and faster, they're not a strict requirement if hour long sublight speed deadheading is considered tolerable.

Positive wormhole.
Negative wormhole.

Spacecraft Blueprint Acquisition

A spacecraft is the ideal way to travel the galaxy. A spacecraft will greatly benefit from having a full crew, a sizable cargo hold, adequate sensors, and above mentioned drive technologies are recommended for an interstellar voyage.

The designer can be used to create a spacecraft blueprint. The designer is not easy to use for everyone, so it is possible to acquire spacecraft blueprints designed and published by other players on the Steam Workshop.

Recommended spacecraft blueprint exchange designs:

Some of these spacecraft blueprints might even be editable if you want to try and modify one later.

Spacecraft Construction

To manufacture a spacecraft the spacecraft blueprint first has to be saved onto a storage media device, such as paper, disk, or thumb drive.

Construct a spacecraft factory and select your above chosen spacecraft blueprint for construction. The spacecraft will require some basic construction materials and a lot of different modules.

Construct an airport repair shop to start manufacturing of the modules.

See Commanding a Spacecraft for help with actually using one after your first spacecraft has been manufactured.

Tip: It's generally good to build a station at this point too. Stations will allow larger ships to be constructed, and also allow spacecraft to dock to it for trading and boarding purposes. A recommended design is the Del Rey Station - GDrive by Haxus.

Exploration of New Solar Systems

A system survey.

The first step in making an interstellar colony is of course exploration and locating of suitable worlds to colonize.

Exploring new solar systems is simple and just requires that a spacecraft enters it. However, to get a survey of the solar system, the spacecraft also has to be equipped with sensors.

Exploration is not impossible without sensors, but it requires landing on a world and manually foraging the resources to learn their quality.

Suitable Solar System

Any solar system with at least one world can be colonized. Keep in mind that not all solar systems have something useful to contribute to the greater empire.

Solar systems with a habitable world can produce an officer, so those are always useful for a fledgling empire.

As mentioned in the moon colony guide, if your home system doesn't contain any sources of cryozine, this is an important resource to try and find to help deal with the asteroid threat*.

In addition, ioplasma is nice to find. It allows for the creation of transporters.

*Only if using Reach for the Stars

Colony Construction

The interstellar distance between solar systems is so great that cities can't automatically share commodities between each other. This means that all construction materials needed to start a colony have to either be brought there by spacecraft or manufactured in the new solar system.

It is therefore preferred to make each solar system totally self-sufficient. This means making them able to manufacture construction materials, tools, medical commodities and food.

While making a self-sufficient colony in a harsh environment is possible, it is easier to start out by colonizing a habitable world in the same solar system first. This can even be done without bringing construction materials from the home system, since starting from scratch with a stone mine is easy. However, bringing starting materials can greatly speed up the process.

Jump-started Colony Construction

Bringing the necessary construction materials to a new solar system will help jump-start the colony's development.

Primarily stone and hammers are used in all simple construction on a habitable world. But, to start a harsh environment colony or build advanced buildings, more advanced construction materials and tools are required.

Here is a list of commodities that are good to bring:

Place an airport terminal construction site, which will function normally even while under construction. Land the spacecraft at the airport terminal's site and offer to sell the commodities for free on the Trade communication channel, the airport should then respond with offers to buy them for free.

If the spacecraft is able, bringing passengers will also greatly increase colonization speed. Passengers can be transported in passenger berths or cryo berths. Cryo berths are generally recommended for this purpose as they can carry thousands of passengers at a time.

Broker Shipments

Once the new solar system has been colonized there might be new or better resources that would be better used in the home system. Commodities can be send from one solar system to another using shipments.

Shipments are simple fire-and-forget one-way commodity packages. A broker is setup to schedule the shipment, it will then fetch the commodities from any connected buildings to fill the order. Once the shipment order is filled, the shipment will be send at an hourly interval. When a shipment is then received by the recipient city, it will try to store the commodities in empty warehouses and other buildings, if no storage is found the commodities are simply discarded.

Another Possible Goal

Should you wish to have an exploration goal, you could refer to the Relic story. At the end of the second part, Dangerous Exchange, you'll be given co-ordinates to a sector containing a beacon and also a ringworld. These are very useful, and generally cool to colonize, so you may wish to find it. This is most easily do-able with warp drives, but you can try your luck with wormhole chains or even deadheading towards the target sector.