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  • Updated July 2013.

This advanced base guide focuses on base specialization and location. The Astro Layout section sets minimum build goals for bases depending on their specialization. The Planet Choice section shares common wisdom on which astros work better in which specialization. Both sections describe time-tested methods. This page has an accompanying Frequently Asked Questions pages. If you find an area confusing and the FAQ is unhelpful, notify Merovech (Gamma).

This guide focuses on base specialization and is not relevant for all players. Players who play free accounts should consider specializing due to restrictions on space.

Astro Layout

The three major areas of activity on a base are fleet production, research, and commerce. Because space is a premium on all astros, it is critical that you build your empire by specializing your astros accordingly. All bases should have a minimum structure, but specialization helps a given base reach its potential. This section discusses basic empire organization and specific base structures. Specialization is necessary for Free accounts, not necessary for upgraded accounts. So, if you’re upgraded, take that into account.

Basic Empire Organization

For a basic empire, you will want three Commerce astros, two Research Astros, three Production astros, and a balance of Production/Research astros (dual-purpose). Your first will likely be a dual Production/Research base, this arrangement provides ten bases—the goal of the Ten-Seven Guide. When building your initial empire, your second, third and fourth bases should be commerce specialized to help jump start your economy. The table below suggests an order in which you may build your bases.

Commerce bases are of dubious value. Consider building them up briefly in the beginning, then converting them to Production bases.
Base Build Order
Order Specialization Astro Type
Home Production / Research Rocky, Crater, Metallic
2nd Commerce Asteroid/ Rocky, Crater, Metallic
3rd Commerce Asteroid/ Rocky, Crater, Metallic
4th Commerce Asteroid/ Rocky, Crater, Metallic
5th Production/Research Rocky, Crater, Metallic
6th Production Rocky, Crater, Metallic
7th Production Rocky, Crater, Metallic
8th Production Rocky, Crater, Metallic
9th Research Arid, Tundra, Gaia, Earthly
10th Research Arid, Tundra, Gaia, Earthly

Why is your first base probably a dual-purpose base?

In the Ten Seven Guide, you are advised to start with a Rocky, Crater or Metallic planet; to optimize production. These three astros are suited for Production, yet you have to build eight Research Labs to expand your bases. Rather than later disband those Labs (recovering only half of what you spent), the recommendation is that you make your first base dual-purpose.

I personally find that whenever I start I end up with an Arid or Tundra, both of which are better for research. So, to meet my above recommendation, you have to restart your account. I find this wasteful, when the first astro is typically suitable for Research or Research and Production. Later in this guide, I recommend which astros are I find are worth having.

Base Structure Goals

A major consideration is specializing astros and optimizing production, commerce and research. The following table presents decent long-term goals for each of your bases. Be mindful that this is a guideline and your unique situation may require a different layout. For example, if you managed to build on an Oceanic world, the value of Metal Refineries is a waste of space. However, to play this game effectively, you’ll want to take heed of the preferred astros discussed later. Oceanics are a waste.

Free players are severely limited in what they can build. Space is a premium. Therefore, they should focus on securing planets, which is discussed in greater detail below—as which astros are preferred. The minimum layout in the table below shows the basic structure that should work for all free players. It’s a good goal for upgraded players as well, until you need to grow beyond its offerings. The production structures are balanced for cost.

The goals listed here are easily possible for a player under Level 30. These goals allow a player to build the key infrastructure for a base without heavy research requirements. Orbital Bases, Androids Factories, Antimatter Plants and Multi-Level Platforms all require substantial research to construct. These “Very Advanced Structures” are discussed in a separate guide.

  Minimum Research Production Commerce Upgraded
Metal Refineries 16 16 16 14 25
Robotic Factories 12 12 7 10 21
Nanite Factories 5 5 5 5 14
Android Factories 10
Shipyards 12 (16) 12 20 12 20
Orbital Shipyards 1 1
Research Labs 22 22
Turrets 3 3 3 3
Command Centers 10 10 10 10 15
Spaceports 15 10 15 15 20
Crystal Mines 12 20
Totals 73 90 75 74 179
Energy 99 108 122 100
Urban 12 17 16 18
Base Econ 80 70 85 112
Real Econ ~140 ~105 ~150 ~196 (~190)

  • Urban: Assumes a Slot-2 Arid, Tundra or Rocky. Divide the Total by your astro’s fertility and round up.
  • Shipyards: Level 12 allows Heavy Cruisers, which helps ensure all bases have a 2:1 (CR:HC) ratio.
  • Command Centers: Level 10 improves defenses 50 percent.
  • Base Econ: You should assume an increase of 25 percent above base economy per Trade Route. So, the Minimal base should have an effective economy of 140.

I still need to redo the Upgraded column.

Formula for Space Provided

Total = structures + ceil(structures/fertility) + ceil(structures/energy)

Arid and Tundra type planets have 95 available spaces, 120 spaces with Terraform, and 170 with Multi-level Platforms. Rocky has 85, 110 and 160, respectively. Crystals have 80, 105 and 155. Asteroids have 65, 90 and 140.

The Minimum column below represents the structure limits free players experience. The energy requirement for the minimum layout is 75, which requires Fusion-10 (assuming Energy-20). Disrupter Turret-3 raises the requirement to 99, which requires Fusion-13. With a Slot-2 Arid or Rocky, the base will need Urban-13, Urban-15 if a Crystal or Asteroid. With this example, the base will consume 87 of the astro’s available spaces, which is within the limits of even the fully-Terraformed Asteroid. Adding the other four Shipyards (needed for Battleships) on an Asteroid would require Urban-16, but no new Fusion Plants. This adds five slots, which is just outside the limits of a Terraformed Asteroid.

The Research column represents the minimum build with 22 Research Labs. This is enough for Cybernetics, but not enough for Tachyon. You need the Cybernetics for improved productivity, but not the Tachyon. The number of Spaceports is reduced because of space limits for a Terraformed Slot-2 Arid planet require saving seven spaces, which is gained by reducing the number of Spaceports or Robotic Factories.

The Production column represents the optimal infrastructure for a Fully Terraformed Slot-2 Rocky Planet. Of the 110 available slots, every one is filled, assuming Energy-20 with only Fusion Plants. Notice the reduced number of Robotic Factories; saving energy and space.

The Commerce column assumes a Slot-2 Crystal optimized. These are extremely rare, which helps underscore why Crystals are more hype than value. In reality, a player is better served with a Slot-2 Rocky with Spaceport-20 than with a Crystal base. The added economy and trade route is worth 30 credits, which is more than adding the Crystal Mines. The Real Economy row shows in parenthesis the potential value of a Slot-2 Rocky with Spaceport-20 (based on the quality of your empire’s Trade Routes.)

Astro Choice

Base location is a critical concern for a successful empire. Remember the real estate mantra: “Location, location, location.” This section discusses the three considerations in astro selection.

Astro Specialization and Type

These are good pros and cons for each type of astro. The general consensus for astro choices are the following:

Each astro has different advantages that make them better for certain specializations. The general consensus on Astro Empires is to specialize the astros below. If the astro is not below, do not waste your time. The emboldened astro is the preferred choice for a given specialization.

Specialization Preferred Astros
Research: Arid; Tundra; Gaia; ToxicSlot-4/-5; Earth
Commerce: Asteroid, Crater
Production: Rocky, Crater, Metallic, Asteroid

Why Not Crystals?

I recommend Asteroids over Crystals because you can convert the Roid base to a Production base when you’ve sobered up. “Commerce” bases do not provide the long-term value you seek in a strong empire.

My findings vary a bit from the sage wisdom of other guides. I did separate analysis of slot usage. The analysis was never completed as I started working on my scout database. However, I stand by my recommendations. If you do not see an astro listed above, avoid it.


The table below is from the Astro Empires tables list. This is to help guide your understanding regarding why certain astros are preferred for bases. Production planets need more Metal. Commerce planets need more Crystals, and Research planets need more area and fertility.

Terrains Metal Gas Crystals Fertility Area Planet Area Moon
Arid 2 2 0 5 95 83
Asteroid 3 1 2 4 65
Craters 3 1 1 4 85 75
Crystalline 2 1 3 4 80 71
Earthly 2 2 0 6 85 75
Gaia 2 2 0 6 90 79
Glacial 1 2 0 5 95 83
Magma 2 4 0 5 80 71
Metallic 3 2 1 4 85 75
Oceanic 1 2 0 6 80 71
Radioactive 2 3 0 4 90 79
Rocky 3 2 0 5 85 75
Toxic 2 4 0 4 90 79
Tundra 2 2 0 5 95 83
Volcanic 2 4 0 5 80 71

The red figures above are the characteristics of the astro type that make that astro appealing. When astro hunting, always make a note of Crystalline, Gaia and Rocky astros. If you do not plant a base there, somebody will. There are a lot of Asteroids, otherwise I would recommend charting them, too.

Free account players should add 25 to the astro’s area to represent the maximum possible space they will have available with terraforming. Once you research Armour-22, you should add another 50 to the astro’s area to represent the limits you will encounter with Multilevel Platforms. Thus, an Asteroid will never have more than 140 spaces for structures.

Astro Orbit Preferences

Ideal Locations

Prefer Metal-3, Slot-2 astros. Planets if you need space, moons and roids if you want cheap prings.

Choose Slot Twoes. Naturally, you will let your needs influence your decision on which astro to take. When you can be choosy, prefer a Slot 2 orbit (e.g. GXX:XX:XX:2X). Slot 2 orbits have 3 solar energy, which provides cheap, accessible energy. Slot 2 orbits also increase base Fertility by one, which reduces the infrastructure you need to build your base. This easy access to cheap energy and improved fertility is what makes Slot 2 orbits preferable.

Slot 1 orbits are the second preference because they have higher solar energy but less fertility.

Slot 3 and beyond are terrible choices as you are always in a deficit in either energy or fertility. The exception is Toxic in Slot 4 or Slot 5. This is because Gas is better and mitigates problems with lower fertility. You may chose a Slot-3 if you can afford the extra Fusion plants you will have to build to offset the low solar output. You still get the Slot-2 fertility benefit.

Choosing a Moon or Planet

Moon or Planet Simplified?

  • Planets if free account player
  • Moons if upgraded
  • Astroids if you’re patient.

Should you choose a moon or a planet? If you are going to play with a free account, you should focus on planets. Otherwise, you should focus on moons. This is because of limitations of space. Free players are limited to five terraform structures. This puts a ceiling on the number of structures they can build. Therefore, free players need the larger astros to maximize what they can build.

Conversely, upgraded players have no ceiling on structures. This allows paying characters to focus on other issues; such as cost. Deflection Shields, Planetary Shields and Planetary Rings cost 25 percent less on Moons than Planets. That is a gross savings of 1024, 6250 and 12500 credits, respectively. The size difference between a Moon and Planet is usually surmounted by two Terraforming, which costs 192 credits. Thus, it is cheaper to occupy Moons in the long term for upgraded players.

At least, this is the traditional logic. I need to look into this further to determine if there is real cost savings.

Of course, if you focus on planets, you will pay full price for Prings and Pshields. Moons cost half as much, and asteroids a quarter as much.


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