Gameplay Tips (SEV)
Grow or die
Build colony ships right away and settle as many planets as you can before you encounter enemies. Having a strong base to start with can be key to winning. Build on the bigger planets first. Make SURE you have a spaceport in each system and build them first. Without a spaceport in the system, any resources/research/intel generated will be lost. Also, if your planet supports more than 10,000kT or so always build a shipyard and a resupply depot. Having lots of planets that can supply and build ships helps you keep them busy and lets you rapidly build up fleets if you need them.
Learn or die
I never have less that 50% of my research points go towards "Applied Research". Frequently monitor your research achievements and whenever you improve a level here, IMMEDIATELY upgrade your facilities so you can get all your research facilities learning faster. This makes your knowledge growth geometric instead of arithmetic which in the long term can give you a big edge.
Watch your minerals closely
I find that once I get into the game and start trying to build up a fleet to fight other players I often get into trouble with mineral resources. Devote some research points to improve your mineral extraction technology and each time you gain a level here you should upgrade your facilities to help you gain more minerals faster. Also, when building facilities I always try to build lots of mineral extraction facilities where the planet supports minerals over 100%.
If you do find yourself getting low on minerals scrap any old ships or bases or satellites and get that net minerals positive quick. You can then build updated newer ones when you have the resources.
Diversify your knowledge
I still have yet to learn all the technologies out there but what I have found so far is you need to study these areas first:
- Applied Research
- Minerals Extraction
- Particle Weapons: A lead here early and always makes fighting easier
- Armor: you need to get up at least a few levels here to have your armor worth anything.
- Colonize other types of planets (rock, ice, gas) - start putting a little research into one of the other types of planets early. Once you get this, quickly build the new type of colony ships and settle those new types of planets quickly where you are already in control. This lets you grow without having to fight for the space.
- Light Hull Construction: Its good to get your ships bigger so work on this a little from the start.
- Once you have these established and have upgraded and built more research facilities you can start to branch out to the other research areas. I usually just pick off points from my applied research and spread them out 1% at a time about an ever increasing number of fields to study. But always keep your applied research points at least 50%.
Satellites are cool because you don't need to study much to get them and once you build them you can put your superior particle beam weapons on them and build them on planets that can't build ships or can't upgrade. In time you can then develop ships with satellite launchers and lots of cargo storage that can move these satellites to your boundary warp points to protect your strategic points. This will free up your ships to amass into large groups that can smash your competition where you need them. Note that as you build your satellites, launch them immediately into space about your planets so they can serve as a defensive barrier - they do you no good on the planet surface. Support ships can pick them up whether or not they are in orbit so just get them up there as soon as you build them.
Later on, after I have studied some good sensor technology I usually make special sensor satellites which I then build and launch from my planets to give me an easy constant eye on my systems. This prevents enemy ships from sneaking around you and turning up where you least expect them. Once you get satellites watching everything you can pretty much clear your inner systems of ships and keep them concentrated at the boundary warp points for protection.
When a planet is under attack, any weapons platforms on the planet will fire upon the oncoming fleet. They are fairly cheap but take up considerable cargo space (especially on small and tiny planets) and may have a hefty upkeep cost. However, they are great for quick defense of planets which cannot create ships, and they will also participate in land battles along side your troops. Placing one or two on each planet may help with the attrition of an attacking foe while your fleets deal most of the damage.
Carriers and fighters
Fighters are fast and hard to hit. They are difficult for a fleeing foe to escape from, so fighters are great for intercepting ships before they escape. Fighters are fairly vulnerable to point defenses, but against races that neglect to research such defenses, fighters can deal substantial damage with minimal losses. Against foes with point defenses, a cloud of fighters may help ensure missile volleys hit by absorbing the defenses first.
Don't try to grow too fast
If you overextend yourself you can become vulnerable to fleets coming in and ripping you the shreds. Better to add one or two systems at a time. Reinforce your unexplored warp points with satellites and fleets while you fill out your newer systems with colonies and defenses. Once you have established your planet weapons bases and satellites for protection, then you can send your fleets out to grab more systems.
Repair ships are vital to keep your forces both flying and up to date. Not only can they patch up holes in your ships, they may assist in retrofits, greatly improving the speed at which a fleet can be spaceworthy again. By adding Solar Collectors, repair ships may also double as a source of supplies for fleets in repair.
Some other tips I discovered:
Tip: Pick up the latest patches from the SEV site. When you upgrade, your saved games will generally still work.
Tip: Use the keyboard shortcuts. I use space all the time to look at my next ship. / to start exploring with my ship, Y to sentry my ship, L to launch my satellites from my planets, etc. The game doesn't quite let you get rid of your mouse but the keyboard shortcuts can really speed things up.
SEV is a really really deep game. I have been a bit frustrated with crashes and such but the latest patches seem to have fixed most of those problems. I think it will take me years to probe the depths of this game - and I haven't even start playing people yet!
Rococho Rangers' Tips
Later in the game its good it invest research in planetary improvement tech, build the climate control facilities on planets with below "mild" conditions to increase your reproduction on those worlds.
Build the value improvement plants on mining/farming planets till the planets value is maxed out, then recycle them.
Lastly unless you have imported other races who breath every atmosphere, then build atmospheric converters on all planets that don't have your races atmosphere. This will take along time, but if your patient then it will increase your planet space by a factor of 5 which in long games is a HUGE advantage.