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Before You Build Ships
You should not use your initial resources to build ships in the game. Building warships in OGame uses up too many resources that can be better applied to defenses in the beginning of the game. Start with rockets and lasers as your initial defenses and get a shield built too. If you start building small fighters you can lose them to a larger fleet and the resources you put into the ships will just go to waste. Put all your resources into technology upgrades and defenses before you think about ship building. Also think about joining an alliance at this time so you can be protected while you build up your colony. Once you have a good defense built up it is time to build ships.
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Civilian Ship Basics
Before you start to build your military ships you should get a colony ship built. Make sure you have the technology requirements for it by clicking on the tech-tree icon and checking what you need to upgrade. Ships require large amounts of resources and without another colony you just won’t have enough resources coming in. On your second colony build resource mines, power, and some defenses. Once you start producing resources, ship them to your stronger planet and start constructing military ships. Build small cargoes first and then move up to the larger ones. If you do the tutorial you will get several cargo ships as a reward so make use of it.
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Small Cargo - This civilian ship is your transport workhorse. Use the small cargo to move resources back and fort between colonies once you have another planet established. Each small cargo can hold 5,000 units of resources.
Large Cargo - This transport ship is a significant upgrade from your small cargo ship. The large cargo holds 25,000 units of resources. Use the large cargo to helps your empire expand and grow.
Recycler - Eventually you will find yourself in a battle and after a victory you will find debris that can be picked up by using the recycler ship. This civilian ship has a cargo space of 20,000. Recyclers should be brought with your fleet to clean up the debris fields after space battles so you don’t lose the valuable resources.
Espionage Probe - This small ship is used to spy on your enemies and to explore the galaxy. They are very weak and are easily destroyed by opposing fleets. Empires should send probes on a consistent basis to gather data.
Solar Satellite - This orbits your planet and provides energy for your ground structures. The solar satellite is very weak and is easily destroyed by a fleet. Use solar ground-based power until you have an established fleet to protect your satellites.
Colony Ship - This ship is used to expand your empire which will transform into a ground station and supply your new colony with initial resources to get started. Upgrading the astrophysics technology will allow you to have up to nine additional colonies. This ship requires extra deuterium fuel reserves to fly longer distances. The colony ship is very weak and needs to be protected by fleets.
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First Military Ship Production The Cruiser
Once you have some transports built it is time to focus on your combat ships but don't rush to build fighters just yet. Put your resources and technology upgrades into the cruiser first. This ship can help defend your planet from smaller attacks. Build as many cruisers as you can and after you have them you are free to build whatever other combat ship you like. Use additional colonies as mining facilities until you have enough resources to pump out several ships at a time. As you develop your empire you will be able to construct the higher level ships. Take your time building ships this MMO game can be a bit slow at the beginning.
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Small Fighter - A single fighter isn’t much of a threat but large numbers of these fighters can be useful. Small numbers of fighters can be used to harass weaker enemy colonies. Combine these with cruisers to provide inital protection for your new colonies.
Heavy Fighter - This fighter is a an upgrade of the small fighter. It has a higher attack rating and more firepower. Once you can build these they should replace your light fighters.
Cruiser - The cruiser is the first major warship your empire will build. It costs significant amounts of resources and should be built once another colony is established. Additional colonies will allow for more resources which can help to produce this ship rapidly. These ships can be used against colonies that only have fighter protection.
Battleship - The battleship requires many technology upgrades and is expensive resource wise to build but it is also very powerful. This ship is the backbone of any Empire and large groups can be deadly in combat situations.
BattleCruiser - This fighting ship can cut to pieces smaller less-advanced fleets. The battlecruiser is perfect to intercept hostile fleets where it can bring all its weapons to bare upon the enemy. The ship is expensive but needed for any Empire wishing to dominate the stars.
Bomber - This small ship is used to remove ground defenses on planets. It features advanced targeting equipment and plasma bombs.
Destroyer - The destroyer is slow but very advanced. Only the most powerful empires can afford to build these giants. The ship also lacks maneuverability but makes up for it in its devastating attack .
Death Star - The design for this ship is believed to have originated in a galaxy far, far, away but no one knows for sure. The Death Star requires massive amounts of resources to build. Only tyrannical empires dare build this giant ship.
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To expand your empire you need to build colony ships and find new suitable planets. Each empire can have nine additional colonies. Use your astrophysics technology to acquire the ability to colonize planets. Once the colony ship is built find a planet that is empty on the galaxy map and click on colonize. Your colony ship does require fuel so make sure you have enough or you can’t send your ship. Once your ship arrives it will transform into your initial base with some resources you can use to develop it. Your ship will be consumed and you won’t be able to use it again. If you have an alliance your leaders may want you to colonize at a certain spot so ask them.
If you colonize in the middle of a star system you will get balanced resources. When you colonize farther put you will get diminished metal and crystal but more deuterium fuel. Once you have larger fleets you should colonize farther away from the sun so you have the fuel reserves to send your fleets on missions.
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Fleets and Missions
On the fleet screen you can send any number of ships on missions. Some missions will require specific ships to do the task. You can send different fleets for any number of tasks. For example you may go on an expedition with one fleet, while another transports resources to a new colony. The top of the fleet screen will show the movement of your ships. If you are under attack you will get a red warning sign and the planets that is under threat. If there is enough time you can reinforce it or gather alliance members to help you.
Expedition - On the main galaxy map you can pick an expedition mission. This mission will help you to explore parts of the galaxy that you haven’t been too. During expeditions some random events can occur but you can find out what those are for yourself.
Colonize - This mission requires a colony ship and allows you to colonize a new planet.
Recycle Debris Field - The recycler ship can be sent on this mission to clean up after a battle and bring the resources back to your colony.
Transport - You can use this mission to send resources to your colonies or alliance members. Your ships will automatically return after dropping off their goods.
Deployment - This mission will send a fleet to a new location. You can send resources if you have transports during this mission.
Espionage - You can use espionage probes during this mission to gather data about planets and potential enemies. Your probes can be destroyed by rival empires.
ACS Defend - Send a fleet to defend a member of your alliance from attack.
Attack - Send a fleet to attack an enemy. Any ships that survive the encounter will return home.
ACS attack - Join with teammates to attack a hostile empire.
Moon Destruction - Send a fleet to destroy the moon of your enemy. Moons can form from the remnants of debris fields and can also be destroyed.
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Take your ship building slowly and get your resources production built up. OGame is very fun to play but you need patience during the building process. If you like games like this try the massive MMO EVE Online.