During the early stages of a player’s empire, it can take a few hours just to get to the nearest star system! But no civilization should let distance intimidate their ambition or deter them from expanding to resource-laden, far-off worlds.
Through strategic usage of fuel (olzine), and the research and development of new engines, vast distances can be tamed and an interstellar empire can flourish!
Thruster and warp speeds
When ships are ordered to move, they do so automatically using either thruster or warp speed:
- Thruster speed: within a star system or when in battle
- Warp speed: in deep space (not in a star system)
So a fleet sent from a planet in one star system to a planet in another will exit the current system at thruster speed, engage warp speed until it arrives at the next system, then return to thruster speed to enter the system and arrive at the planet.
Each engine can provide warp one – or greater – without using fuel (free warp). To travel faster than free warp, an engine needs access to fuel.
Using fuel (olzine)
Fuel is only used when a ship travels faster than the engine’s free warp speed (thruster speed doesn’t use fuel). Fuel efficiency decreases as warp speed increases, so the same journey will use more or less fuel relative to the warp speed selected.
Fuel tanks can only hold so much, and longer journeys can require more fuel than a ship can carry. When establishing freight routes, a planet enroute with a good supply of olzine could prove highly valuable, enabling ships to refuel instead of having to allocate precious cargo space to additional fuel tanks.
Each civilization starts with the same Base Warp engines – the slowest in the game. By researching engine technologies, better engines can be unlocked which can provide faster free warp, higher maximum warp speeds and better fuel efficiency.
Zero Gravity engines for example, have a free warp speed of two and a max warp speed of four. With a high fuel factor they aren’t very fuel efficient, but their free warp speed offers cheap, fast travel.
Visit our Engines wiki page to find out more and make sure you’re up to speed 😉