Beginners Guide To Building A Space Station


Last Updated: 4/13/08

Here is a tutorial on building a space station. It will include information on designing hulls and prototypes of ships and structures. I will also include the thought processes of designing you should have in hopes to steer you in the right direction of coming up with your own effective and efficient designs.

Step 1: Planning! It is crucial to plan out your designs well in order to create efficient designs. There are a few questions you have to ask yourself before you begin.

Q1. What kind of space station do I want to build, colonial, storage, military, or production? For this tutorial I will build a colony/storage station. I use these stations as the hub of my interplanetary supply lines within a system. For example: cargo ships carry minerals from planets 1 through 6 to the space station where a couple cargo ships take the minerals to my production planet. This prevents a traffic jam at my refinery on my production planet.

Q2. How big do I want it? Personally I want as big as possible to store more minerals as well as modules since the number of modules you are able to put in the space station depends on the hitpoint value. The max size will be determined by the hull design u pick and how much stuff you can carry into space. To determine this, we have to design a cargo ship.

Q3. What components do I want on it? (Ex. guns, radar…)

Step 2: Open the hull designer and choose facility and Space Station. For this tutorial, I will use Mining Base I.

A. Fill out all required fields making the hull size max and the hit points equal to hull size. Fix errors but don’t worry about designing it all yet. We are just trying to get an estimate of the amount of materials will be needed to build it. For me it was about 35,000 copper.

Step 3: Next, we have to design ships to carry the materials into space so we know how much we can bring up there. This becomes less of a problem as your battlegroup size increases allowing more ships to be used as haulers. First, we need to design an engine to move our ship. I will use a Great White (GW) for this tutorial so I need an engine that can move 10300 hull (max size for the GW). At the beginning the most thrust we can use is 10,000. This will be fine, the engine will still move the ship but at a slower speed.

A. Enter the engine builder and give it a name and select materials that get as close to the desired properties as possible indicated by the arrows in the right pane.

B. Since this is a cargo carrier, I will not need to place guns. This means the engine will only have to produce enough power to support the cargo bay and radar since we will use the beginning radar (Player designed radars don’t use power). 500 power is a good place to start.

C. For thrust put 10,000 unless you are able to put more. You want to have at least as much thrust as the hull size of the ship if possible. Enter the max speed value.

D. You will have to play with the power generation and maneuverability values to produce good results. As you decrease maneuverability you should see the cost and time go down. I chose to just manipulate the maneuverability because they are only hauling cargo. With good minerals and close to perfect power - thrust - speed - maneuverability ratios, it should come out to be about 1-2 hour for research time, about 2900 hull consumption and 800k - 1mil for Production cost. You can get better numbers depending on how many times you roll and the numbers you plug in. Go ahead and research the engine you design.

E. Open the hull design window and select the Great White Corvette hull. Give it a name and enter 10300 for size and hitpoints. Select a common material to make it out of such as Iron. Add 1 radar slot in the all arc and enough slots for your engine ensuring it touches an outer slot on the green arc. (68 slots) For the rest of the slots add cargo bay and whatever armor slots you want. I left one slot on each arc for armor and crew. You have to have enough space for the engine and radar crew (listed in the resource details on their designs). Note the amount of cargo space your ship has displayed in the upper right of the window. 6185.9 for me. Since I have a battle group size of 10, I can take 9 of these ships because the 10th slot is for a space engineer. This means that I can carry 55673 minerals and components total which is enough for the space station we are building. Go ahead and research the design.

Step 4: We need to build a new power engine for our space station because we will need more than 2000 power to run the massive cargo and hangar bays.

A. Open the engine builder and use the same minerals that you used in step 3. Set the power output to at least 3000 and leave speed and maneuverability and thrust at 0. Name it, submit and research the design.

Step 5: Next we need to design a spaceport big enough to launch our cargo ships.

A. Go into the hull designer and select facility, production and spaceport I. Name it and make the size 1,100,000. Again choose a common mineral such as Iron for the structure material.

B. Select Bay Door 1 in the slot palette and place enough slots so that our cargo ships can fit through, should take 4 slots. You may also want to make a couple doors with much more space to allow for bigger ships later. I also recommend that you place several doors of this size to speed up launching and docking of many ships.

C. Place enough hangar bay to hold at least one cargo ship. I placed enough to hold 20+. Add armor if you like and make the hitpoints again equal to the hull size. Place weapons if you like and any other size doors that you want. You can add radar and cargo space as well. NOTE: make sure you add radar slots if you add weapons slots or else they will not fire. Research the design.

Step 6: Next we need to finish the hull design of the space station itself.

A. Open the build window and select hulls only in the filter drop down window. Select the space station design that you made in step 2 and click view details. Make the bay door that you have placed big enough to fit a cargo ship because you will need to dock them to transfer minerals. Add as many additional doors that you want. I filled the rest of the slots with cargo bay leaving 1 armor/crew slot per arc. Depending on the power output of your engine, you can place weapon slots. First design the hull with no weapon slots and note the power usage. Subtract that from the power output of your engine from step 4. Subtract 10 for the beginning radar and what is left is the power you can use to power weapons. I will not go through weapon design as there are other tutorials for that. When you design a weapon, it will tell you how much power it requires. Some simple division and you can figure out how many weapons you can place. If you add weapon slots, redesign and make sure the power usage doesn't exceed the output of your engine. Research the design.

Step 7: Prototypes. This is where you add all your components to your hull to create the final product. During the prototype phase you cannot add any components until they are completely researched. So you may have to jump ahead a bit in the tutorial and come back when your components are researched.

A. Open the prototype builder and select your space station hull. Select the power engine you created in step 4. Add whatever armor you want and radar. If you add armor make sure to move the arc sliders to select how many plates you want on each arc. If you wish to add weapons, now would be the time to do so. Name it, make sure everything is the way you want it, and submit and research the prototype.

B. Create a new prototype with your cargo ship hull. Add the engine you created in step 3 and a radar as well as armor if you wish. Name it, submit and research it.

C. Create a new prototype using your Spaceport hull that you created in step 5. Add what components you want including radar, weapons, armor, power engine. Name it, submit and research.

You're almost done!

Step 8: Build a space engineer and enough cargo ships to carry what you need into space. Find out what you need to take into space by selecting the space engineer and put it into space. Click build, and select your space station. It will give you a list of everything you need to build it. About 35000 minerals, an engine, radar, and any weapons or armor. You will also have to carry enlisted and officers up to space as well. (Currently you have to take 1 additional enlisted and officer up to space because of a bug)

Step 9: With your cargo ships docked (NOTE: The Space engineer can also carry limited cargo) click on the spaceport and click contents. Click transfer. Select a cargo ship on the left and the minerals/components you need on the right and click transfer from colony. Select the next cargo ship in the list and continue to transfer materials. Continue this process until all the materials and people you need are listed on the left side of the transfer window.

Step 10: Select all your cargo ships and the space engineer and click the Battlegroup icon on your command interface (or press F3). Click create new. It will create a new battle group called 1st Army. You can change the name if you like.

Step 11: Order all the ships into space if not already there.

Step 12: Select your space engineer and order it to build the space station. You will not be able to place the station very close to your planet.

Congratulations on your new space station!


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