A colonized planet does nothing without Facilities with which to give it the ability to contribute to your empire. Without these Facilities, your colony will stagnate and it may grow, but with no benefit to you. The information in this section is pertinent to several areas, but this article is focused on Planetary Development, and hence, Facilities. For more
Production refers to the population's ability or willingness to construct facilities, build ships, or use the facilities that they have. A higher population naturally has a higher production value. However, other factors such as Happiness will increase or decrease production.
The Construction Queues
Each colony has two queues for production. The first is the Planet Queue for constructing and upgrading Facilities. The second is the Construction Queue for Ship Building. These are referred to, jointly, as Construction Queues. Whenever you add an order for a colony to build something, it goes on one of these queues. Your population will work on each item, in order from top to bottom, until the list is completed. Orders from one Queue do not affect or inhibit the orders for another Queue.
When adding orders to the Queues, first you choose what you wish to build, then you choose how many you wish to build. Multiple items are entered as a single item if you chose a quantity. Otherwise, they will be listed as separate items. The Queues are also arranged in such a way that orders on them may be reorganized, added or deleted at will. You cannot change the Quantity of a order without deleting and re-adding it.
- Building multiple items of the same type is actually faster if you enter them as a single item. Entering them individually means that you will lose production when the facility or ship is completed. This is especially true if the item in the queue is fast to build.
- You may increase (or decrease) the Quantity by intervals of 10 if you hold Shift while clicking the appropriate arrow.
Some facilities say only "one per planet/system effective". When you see this, this does not mean the facility itself, but refers instead to the ability of that facility. For instance, the Medical Lab and Gestation Vats will not work together because they actually use the same ability. Some abilities are different in that they seem to have the same ability but do not. Solar Power Generators use a different ability from the Mineral Extraction Facilities. This example was an illustration as there is no real benefit to having both.
Emergency Build and Slow Build
There are times when the normal speed for construction will either be not enough or too much. In these cases, you may set any colony to Emergency Build or Slow Build. Emergency Build increases the production of a colony to 1.5 times normal for (up to) 10 turns, but afterward, the colony is set to Slow Build for same number of turns, after which it returns to normal. This can be a great way to respond to a territorial conflict, or to simply get high priority ships and facilities built quickly. During Slow Build periods, your colony's production is halved.
- Setting Emergency Build affects both Queues. If you can, set Emergency Build at a time when you can get the most out of both Queues.
- Turn off Emergency Build as soon as you don't need it anymore. Slow Build continues for as long as your Emergency Build lasts.
As your empire advances technologically, most of your facilities will get better as well. In the stock game, most facilities gain a level when the technology that controls them also gains a level. The is obvious as you build new facilities, but your old facilities will have to be upgraded in order to gain the additional bonuses from the research you have done. Similar to building new facilities, upgrade orders go onto the Planet Queue and you may upgrade more than one facility at a time. To upgrade a facility, select Upgrades at the top right and a list of facilities that can be upgraded will appear on the left. Upgrades cost 1/2 or 50% of the original facility cost, and you will not gain the benefits of either facility once the upgrade starts until the upgrade is completed.
- If you have more than one facility of the same type, upgrade them at the same time. This is done by setting the Quantity and will save you a lot of production time.
- If you are researching the same technology very quickly (a level or more per turn), wait until research in the technology is slow before you upgrade again. This will save you a significant amount of resources.
While some facilities are important based on a given strategy or during different phases of the game, there are also some of particular note that should be considered immediately upon colonizing a planet. Additionally, some facilities have special properties or ways of working that are mentioned here as well.
- Space Port - This facility should be the first built in any System that has a colony which gathers resources, generates research, or gathers intelligence. Without a Space Port, those points do not get added to your empire. Mind you, there only has to be one per System and multiple Space Ports are not beneficial in a single system.
- Space Yard - A Space Yard allows the colony a Ship Building Queue. You cannot build Ships, Bases or Units without one. There needs to be one of these on every planet you wish to build ships. Furthermore, upgrading a Ship Yard has the additional benefit that it will allow more production to be devoted to the Construction Queue each turn.