Starting as an Emperor

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Spawning on a fresh new world.

During avatar creation you can pick a start type; this guide is for those who pick "Reach for the Stars" or "The Savage State".

This guide assumes that you are doing a fresh start, and are on your starting world.

Tribal Age

Your new avatar comes into existence in a small native village, located on its randomly chosen homeworld. Your homeworld is a habitable world that is only home to your new fledgling civilization, its location in the universe depends on the chosen starting region during avatar creation.

Your surroundings will vary depending where you spawn on your randomly generated homeworld. You could spawn in a desert, on a mountain, in snowy plains, on a flat beach, etc.

Note: If you selected The Savage State scenario, there won't be a starting village.

Native Village

The native village will be your base for the beginning. You don't have to stay in it, but it is your only safe haven right now and it offers a few things to get you started.

Wild animals will ignore you while you are inside the village, although if you leave the village the wildlife may attack you. If you die, you will respawn in the village.

If you find yourself without a village, or you have ventured far from it, a new village will appear nearby after some time in the wilderness. Simply creating a fire and waiting through the night should be long enough for it to appear.


You can chat with a villager by walking up to them and greeting them on the Voice communication channel with a Hail (Shortcut: SHIFT + R) while facing them.

The native village has a healer that is able heal your wounds if you get injured or poisoned. Simply talk with the healer and they will diagnose and treat you.

Outside the village is the stargazer. They will inform you of your first trial, saving your homeworld from destruction. More on that later.


Shortly after your arrival in the village, you will be greeted by Targoss, a tutorial NPC who will begin to speak to you, giving you a basic introduction into the game's controls as well as your first quests to master. Targoss is always of the same species as your avatar, dressed in fabric clothing and holding a torch.

Targoss will follow you around and help you through the different stages of your civilization. He will also eventually offer you his torch.

If you want to get rid of Targoss or restart the tutorial, simply open the Bio (F8) window's Jobs tab and drop the "Reach for the Stars" story. Note that he is immortal until the tutorial is dropped.

You can also click the "No, thank you. I know how to do those things" dialogue option when prompted to make him disappear.

If you at any point forget the controls, check out The Basics page.

Note: Targoss does not spawn in The Savage State starting scenario.


Press F4 or click the backpack icon to open the Gear window and examine your inventory. You start with a basic knife and a piece of paper containing a message from Haxus, the game's creator.

Note: If you If you selected the "Savage State" scenario, you will only start with a knife.

Your Knife

Your knife has two functions: It can be used as a weapon to injure or kill animals, NPCs, or other avatars. It can also be used to skin animal carcasses, which are dropped when an animal is killed. The function can be selected by using the scroll wheel. Be careful to select the second function when skinning carcasses, or you will destroy the carcass instead of skinning it!

By default, information about the tool you currently have selected is at the lower right of the screen. When the weapon function is selected you will see this icon:

The number "20" means the nominal damage of this weapon is 20 hp (which is fairly low for a weapon).

The spike below the number indicates the type of damage. In this case it is piercing damage.

When your knife's skinning function is selected you will see the following icon:

Skinning an animal carcass is done by attacking the it while it is laying on the ground, this will produce a morsel of animal meat, a piece of leather, and a bone.

Your Torch

If you accept Targoss' help, he will eventually offer you his torch. The torch serves a main purpose: to provide you with some dim light at night, allowing you to explore you surroundings without having to walk around blind. The torch may however also be used as a weapon, smashing it on the enemy. It can inflict burning. Alternatively, the knife does more direct damage.

Exploration Era

So far, your avatar is nothing more but a naked guy or girl, booted on a wild and unknown - though beautiful - world, residing in a camp of natives. Needless to say, you are very far away from going to the stars and expand to other planets and systems. So far, the moon, you see lighting up the sky at night, is merely a distant object - going there nothing more but a dream. There is a lot of work ahead, so you better get started.

The very foundation to become an empire is to have a symbol to rally under, a flag. The flag must be handcrafted in order to create an empire. Luckily you can do this using the resources you can forage from your environment.

Inspecting the Flag Recipe

Inspecting the flag recipe.

So your first goal should be to look for the materials needed to craft the flag. You can see the crafting recipe in the Handcraft window, which is opened by click the button (showing two hands) in the upper-left corner of the Gear (F4) window.

Crafting a flag include multiple steps. To make your flag, you need:

In order to make textiles you will either need:

To make a sewing needle you will either need:


Leather and a bone are both obtained by skinning animal carcasses. animal carcasses are dropped by dead animals.

Plant fiber and a log can be foraged from certain shrub and tree plants.

To find plant fiber or a log, you can use the overhead view by pressing backspace. Once in the top-down view, press \ and Shift + \ to cycle between the different overlays, until the "Plant" resources are shown.

For more information on finding basic materials, see the Forage page.

Crafting the Components

With all of the materials in your inventory, you are now ready to craft your flag. This is done from the Handcraft window, again accessed through the button at the top left of your Gear (F4) window. Now, do the following:

  1. Select the appropriate sewing needle (either using bone or log) recipe from the drop-down list
  2. Click the make button
  3. The component will be consumed in exchange for a sewing needle

This has solved the first problem. Now follow the same steps to make textiles. Be sure to use the right option to make your textiles, (either using leather or plant fiber), or the button will be greyed out, as you lack the materials to handcraft.

Creating your Empire

Once textile and sewing needle is acquired.

You should now have all you need to make your flag. Select the flag from the drop-down list and click the make button. As you are not part of any empire when you first attempt to craft a flag, you will be given the option to make one, including selecting an empire flag and empire name.

When selecting a flag, you'll be given an interface for generating one randomly. You can also load your own image by clicking "Load Flag":

The window for selecting a flag

After crafting the empire, simply attempt to craft the flag again to actually create it.

Note: It's not actually required to claim your world at this stage, so you can use the textiles to craft something else if you like.

To find out more information about handcrafting and making a flag, please refer to the Handcraft page.

Hints and Tips

  • Tip: Handcrafting a knapsack, backpack or utility pouch will help with carrying items.
  • Note: You have likely noticed that everything you need to make a flag can be made from a single animal carcass. For a long time, it has been somewhat of a tradition to kill Targoss (the tutorial guy) to obtain the carcass. However, Targoss is immortal until the tutorial story is either dropped or you select the "No thank you" dialogue option. You will have a few seconds after this to kill him before he despawns.
  • Warning: Do not attack your villagers in order to obtain materials, unless you feel confident in your ability to run. This will change their stance towards you to hostile, causing all of them to attack you at the same time. They also won't forgive you right away, unless they get to kill you.

Start of Civilization

This begins the Rise of Civilization. The ultimate goal of your civilization is to develop space travel, destroy or escape the asteroid, and spread your race into the galaxy.

Next chapter: Building Your First City