To select crew, you can click on them, drag a box around them, or press a key combination. The Tab button selects the entire crew, then cycles through them individually. Your Captain can be selected with Shift-1; the other crewmen can be selected with Shift-# or Ctrl-#, with # representing a number key.
Moving crew on the ground
Right-click on a location to send all currently selected crewmen to that location. They will automatically try to reach the destination, but may get stuck. If that happens, use small steps to get them around the problem.
Picking up coins
Have a crewman walk through coins to pick them up. You can view your current cash totals from the Inventory window. If your crewman is not already holding some other item, you can have them walk through loot drops to pick those up, too.
Interacting with objects
If you right-click on a station or resource, all of the currently selected crewmen will go to it. The crewman with the most seniority will interact with it. If it is a life-support station, the crewman will keep using it until the need it meets is fully met. If it is a combat station, the crewman will keep using it until assigned elsewhere. If it is a resource, the crewman will start harvesting it. If the crewman was already holding something else, he will mention it instead of harvesting the item. The only other objects that can be interacted with are the red buttons, each of which unlocks a specific door.
Interacting with an NPC
If an NPC has a speech bubble over their head, you can have a crewman interact with them to open a Communications window, pausing the game. Click on the desired response to advance. "-Walk away-" will end the conversation peaceably. Red text will make the other person hostile. Blue text indicates that the response is used by the plot. Yellow text well add the NPC to your crew roster.
Your crew can attack even if they do not have weapons. Right click an enemy when the cursor is showing a red target icon to have your crew move into range and attack. If a crewman gets hit, all nearby crewmen will start attacking the source. A red sword icon indicates that a crewman is fighting. A blue shield icon indicates that the crewman is merely guarding, which means that they will attack any enemy that comes in range. To have your selected crewmen guard, press G or click on the Guard button on the upper left.
Getting on and off of ships
Right click inside a ship to have selected crewmen get inside if they are standing in front of the ship. Crewmen who are too far away will simply come to the ship. You can have crewmen go to the ship by pressing R or clicking the Return to Ship button on the upper right. To get off of the ship, simply click somewhere outside of the ship. The selected crewmen that are on board will get off the ship at the same place no matter where you click, but selected crewmen already outside will go to to that place.
The Space Screen
Ships do nothing by themselves, except possibly take off (when you press O or click the Orbit button) and self-destruct (if you press the Z key at any time during game play). If you attempt to orbit with some crewmen off of the ship, you will get a confirmation prompt and all offending crew will attempt to come running. For more detailed information on specific ships and stations, see Fleet management.
A ship still cannot do much without stations on it. Stations can be installed from the Fleet menu. Right click a station to assign the selected crewman to it. Use the Crew menu to select which type of station each crewman should go to when combat starts.
When crew are assigned to combat stations, the ship will be able to move (Navigation stations), fire weapons (Tactical stations), provide more information about the surroundings (Scanner stations), or repair itself (Engineering stations). The level of station and the corresponding level of the crewman will determine how much bonus gets applied. Crew gain levels when they use a specific station long enough. The time required keeps increasing linearly with the crewman's current level.
- Shields When this stat is above zero, enemy projectiles will not cause hull breaches or fires.
- Armor When this stat reaches zero, the ship will be destroyed.
- Energy Every ship has a specific amount of energy available. It can be allocated to engines, stations, and weapons by clicking the appropriate plus or minus buttons in the lower left. If energy is not allocated to any of those, it will repair the ship's shields (if it has shields).
- Speed This determines how fast your ship can travel in pixels per second.
- Accuracy This determines how far off of the mark your weapons can fire. 100% accuracy does not guarantee a hit.
- Damage This multiplier determines how much damage your weapons will actually inflict, when combined with the weapons' damage stats.
- Auto Repair This determines how quickly the ship will repair its armor, shields, hull breaches, and/or fires.
To land your captain's ship, press P or click the Planet button near the middle of the screen. Click on a landing site, then confirm. More drop points may be available after progressing the plot.
The Planet Screen
Primary Viewing Area
This is the largest box, filling most of the top half of the screen. This is where you order your crew around. The small box embedded in the top right corner has buttons for opening the Inventory, Crew Equipment, and Mission Log menus. It also has a button for launching the ship into orbit and one for accessing the Esc menu. The small box below it contains the fast-forward and pause buttons.
This is the box in the lower right corner. Blue cells represent terrain or crewmen, red cells indicate enemies, and green cells indicate resources. Flashing icons indicate that a crewman is performing the associated task. The map can be scrolled by placing the cursor near the edges of the box.
Crew Stat Bar
This is the bar just below the primary viewing area. It displays the name of the selected crewman (or the first if multiple are selected), the crewman's armor, health, weapon, and remaining ammunition.
Crew Quick Select Bar
This is the bottom of the three boxes in the lower left corner. It displays the health of your crew, along with their heads and the first five letters of their last name. You can select crew by clicking on them. If you want to select multiple, hold Shift or Ctrl while clicking. The bar can be scrolled with the buttons at the ends if you have more crewmen than fit.
This is the box between the quick select and stat bars. It contains buttons for ordering selected crew to harvest, guard, or return to the ship. It appears blank when no selected crewman is outside the ship.
Menus and Windows
- New Game Starts a new game. You can choose to skip the tutorial. The Escape key cancels the action before you confirm.
- Save Game Opens the save game menu. You can see the captain, captain's ship, cash on hand, and the date for each save file. The Save button appears over the Delete button once you select a file. You will get a confirmation box if you try to overwrite a save file. The key will save the game to the last used save file, even if you are not at this screen. The return button goes back to the game, not the Esc menu.
- Load Game This looks almost exactly like the save game menu, except that a Temp Save appears below the main three saves.
- Options Opens the Options menu.
- Quit Exits the game.
- Return Goes back to the game.
These take effect immediately, but they are only saved when you click "Return" or press.
- Music Volume The mute button will turn off the music completely. The crew to the right indicate louder music.
- Sound Effect Volume This acts just like the music volume.
- Resolution This can be touchy, so it is best to change this last.
- Mouse Acceleration This makes the cursor move farther for a given hand movement.
- Invert Mouse This makes hand movement result in the cursor going in the opposite direction.
- Fast Scroll Speed Makes map scrolling faster.
- Mouse Edge Scrolling This lets you scroll the primary viewing area by moving the mouse to the edge of the area. Map edge scrolling cannot be changed.
This window displays your cash and the accessible items. Drag an item out of the window to delete it (after confirming).
The top of the window displays the crewman's name between buttons to cycle through the rest of the crew. Clicking on the name will let you change it, one name at a time. See here for more information on managing crew.
- Equipment This displays the current crewman's armor. You can drag armor in from the Inventory window to equip it.
- Weapon This displays the currently equipped weapon. You can drag weapons in to equip them, unless the slot is occupied by a Srill. Mouse over the weapon to see its stats.
- Item This acts like an ordinary inventory slot, except that it only holds one item and you cannot drag ship items into it.
- Augments These boxes are for inserting augments. Once an augment is equipped, it cannot be removed.
- Traits This displays the traits that the crewman has acquired.
- Info This displays the crewman's race, overall level, and individual skill levels.
- Stats This displays the crewman's health, armor, hunger level, sleep level, and entertainment level. Yellow text indicates that a level is below 50%. Red text indicates that it is below 25%.
- Combat Station This determines which type of station a crewman will try to use when you enter space combat. Setting this to Repairs will make the crewman automatically seek out hull breaches, fires, and damaged stations. It also makes the crewman exit life support stations without seeking another station, which helps ensure that all energy is available immediately.
This displays collected quest items. It automatically opens when you pick something up, but you can open it again anytime.
The top of this window is just like the Crew Equipment window. To install stations, drag them from the Inventory window to the ship area where you want to put it. You can move stations around after installing them. This movement is necessary to get half-height stations to sit on top of each other.
- Weapons These can be installed just like crew weapons. When the weapon energy is not high enough to power all weapons, the rightmost weapons will be disabled first.
- Ship Stats This displays the ship's stats, as detailed above.
- Ship's Crew This displays all available crew. Click on a name to transfer the crewman to the ship displayed above.
This displays the currently orbited planet with available drop sites. See Landing for more information.