Several hundred years in the future, scientific breakthroughs have brought on a golden age of space exploration. Amidst this booming new frontier, there is colonization, piracy, and wonder. Empires are forged and destroyed across epic space battles in the never-ending quest for glory. For a bold and cunning captain, the future is unlimited.

General

Starport: Galactic Empires is a competitive massively multiplayer game for Windows PCs. Your life in the Starport universe begins near Earth where you will be the captain of a new merchant vessel. By gaining funds and experience you can upgrade your ship and your standing as the game progresses. Haul valuable cargo and transport passengers through space to begin working your way up in the game world.

In Starport, greater reward means greater risk. You'll need to equip your ship to handle it. During your progress, you'll engage in combat with other players, planetary defense platforms, space-anchored gun turrets and other hostiles. From traditional projectile weapons and smart-missles to exotic energy weapons, you'll have a good selection of firepower from which to choose.

You might choose to claim a world by starting a colony on it. Keep these colonies defended, keep the colonists who reside there happy, and they can become valuable strongholds.

Later, you might chose to roam the galaxy as a pirate and invade and take over the colonies of others. You might also choose to spend your warp fuel on exploration, where you might find powerful artifacts of alien technology or valuable information. In time, you could own a large empire of colonies and earn many experience points which will put you in the top of the rankings.

Gameplay

Keys

Use the mouse or arrow keys on your keyboard to move your ship around. When using the mouse, use the six quick-buttons midway down the right hand side of the screen. The CTRL key fires your primary weapon. The TAB key fires your secondary weapon. The F1 key turns on Enter Mode. The ESC key will open the game menu at the top of the screen. Read the StarPedia in-game for more extensive help.

Game Menu

There is a menu at the top of the screen in the game where you can find many useful commands. It will appear when you move your mouse to the top of the screen.

Enter Mode

To enter a planet or a port, turn on enter mode and collide your ship with it. Enter mode is turned on using the third button from the top on the six quick buttons on the right. You can also turn on Enter mode with the F1 key, the END key, or by typing /e into the text input bar. Once Enter mode is active, things you can enter show a white halo around them.

Galaxy Map

You'll want to find your way out of U.N.-Controlled space so you can practice combat on some aliens and collect some resources on planets. You can also attack other ships outside of U.N.-Controlled space. To get out of U.N. space, bring up your galaxy map. Its the 4th button from the top on the Six Quick Buttons on the left hand side of your interface (or "HUD"). You'll be able to see which systems are U.N.-Controlled by their red connection lines. You can zoom in and out on the galaxy map using the blue buttons on it marked "-" and "+". You can select a system on the galaxy map by clicking on it with the mouse cursor. The green connection lines that appear show the ship's projected path. You can then click the white button labelled "GoTo" and ship's auto-navigator will auto-pilot to that system. You can sit back and wait for arrival. Pressing the left or right arrow key will take you out of autopilot.

Porting

If you get some resources in your cargo holds (indicated by the gray grid of boxes on the right), try to find a Star Port to sell them at. If the merchant there is buying a resource you hold in your cargo holds you can make some profit. The numbers near the purchase button here are for haggling percentage offers.

Starbase

The StarBase in Sol is an important place. Its one of only 4 places you can purchase new ships or hardware. The more common, smaller ports all just buy or sell resources.

Online Help

Look at the Star-Pedia which you can reach from the menu system. The menus appear any time the mouse is moved up to the top of the screen or when you press the ESC key with no info screen active. You can also type /help for a quick list of all commands. Check it out!

Shields and Energy

These 2 critical stats about your ship are indicated by the horizontal bar graphs at the top of the game screen. The blue bar and number on the left indicates your amount of SHIELDS. If your ship gets hit, shields will be reduced. If shields are zero, you'll blow up! The red bar graph and number on the right is your ENERGY, which is required for firing weapons. Energy constantly regenerates over time, but (VERY IMPORTANT) shields do NOT regenerate on their own. New shields must be bought at ports.

Warp Fuel

Every character has an amount of warp fuel. Warp Fuel is used every time a warp portal is entered to make the jump from one star system to another. One warp jump costs about 10 units of warp fuel (the actual number varies depending on the type of spaceship making the jump). Warp Fuel is automatically generated for every character, at a constant rate over time, regardless of whether or not the character's human controller is online or offline. The typical setting for warp fuel generation speed in a game of SGE is 1 unit every two minutes. If you want to make a jump but don't have enough warp fuel you'll have to wait for it to generate. On the other hand, if you have not logged on to the game for 24 hours or so, you will find that 24 hours worth of warp fuel (about 1440 units) has accumulated for your character. Entering the atmosphere of a planet requires 1 unit of warp fuel, and docking at a port also requires 1 unit of warp fuel. The warp fuel gauge on the console displays how much warp fuel your character currently holds.

Texting

Any text input without a leading slash will go out as a chat message to anyone in your current system. Text with a leading forward-slash are interpreted as commands, like IRC. Here are some commands you can type to the keyboard while playing:

/help Get the full list of text commands.
/tell [player_name] Hi there Send a private message to another player.
/shout Alright, I'm shouting I'm shouting I'm shou-- Shout to the entire system.

More Help

Look at the Star-Pedia which you can reach from the menu system. Choose the "COMPUTER" menu followed by "STARPEDIA." The menus appear any time the mouse is moved up to the top of the screen or when you press the ESC key with no info screen up. You can also type /help for a quick list of all commands.