Exploration is one of the most important tasks for a spacefaring empire. At the game’s start nobody will know anything about the universe beyond their home system. To learn more about anything beyond it, an empire will need to send their science ships out to survey them. Early game exploring is key for an empire to start growing rapidly, however caution is warranted for the various events and anomalies associated with exploring can bring either great boons or banes with them. Players can build science ships from the start of the game, and every player starts with a pre-built science ship which is ready to be sent out to survey. By default science ships are set to “evasive” stance, which means they will flee any system where hostile ships or spaceborn life forms are present. They can be set to “passive” stance instead, which lets the ship continue its current orders even if the system it is in contains hostile aliens.
They are built at starbase shipyards, like all other ships. They do not have weapons but are automatically equipped with the latest sensors, engines, reactors, armor and shields based on your current technology. Surveying gives detailed information about a celestial body, namely deposits, habitability and anomalies. Researching Anomaly will investigate an anomaly, the investigation time being dependent on the level of the scientist and of the anomaly. Assist Research allows science ships to boost the research output of the planet, by an amount depending on the skill level of the scientist.
In order to survey a planet, select a science ship and right click on the planet and select the “Survey” option. The player may also select the “Survey System” option to order the science ship to survey every celestial body in the system. From the galaxy map, the player may queue survey mission by holding down “Shift” key and right clicking on a system and selecting the “Survey System” option one by one. The science ships can only survey systems that are within their reach. Surveying celestial bodies such as stars, planets and asteroids allows for the discoveries of resources such as energy credits, minerals, strategic resources, research points or a primitive civilization or pre-sapient species on them. The player may then send a construction ship to build mining and research stations to harvest them, provided the system with the resources are within their borders.
These anomalies can be investigated by any scientist, but have a greater chance of success if the scientist has a high skill level. When an anomaly is found, the player gets an alert at the top of their screen. Planets surveyed by an empire within its own borders do not have to be surveyed by other empires. However planets within Fallen Empire borders will have to be surveyed once border access is gained one way or another. A Typical Situation Log with events. Scientist assigned to the science ship before the projects can be researched. However, some of the projects may require something other than a science ship such as a military warship, or a troop transport, or something else entirely.