Here are a few questions that get asked a lot. If you're curious about something weird or incomprehensible, this is probably the first place to check.
It might also be useful to look at the Mentor vs. Midshipmen - Frequently Asked Questions page.
The act of creating an account should start you off automatically in a beginner's game. If you need help figuring out what to do from there, though, there's a page of guides that link here. If you have a little time, you'd do well to familiarize yourself with the pages at the top of the Table of Contents at the left side of this page. Reading through the Introduction will give you some basic information, and there's more as you go further down. If all else fails, you can ask a question in the Activity Feed on the main page.
A player's "Effective Rank" for joining a game is the higher of:
This reflects the fact that many of the skills needed to play Planets.nu well are independant of race.
A lot of other people have asked the same question, so we created this page: Differences Between Planets.nu and VGAP3
There are four ways to repair a starship.
Only a starbase will replenish the crew.
This is from a report that is generated when your ship is damaged by a Glory Device.
The most common reason is that you've got more colonists on the planet than the population can support. The excess will eat your supplies as fast as they come out of the factories.
First, check your email account's Spam folders and the like to make sure things aren't being sent to the wrong place. That does happen sometimes, and you can fix it on your end.
Check your Planets.nu player profile to be sure that you haven't accidentally disabled email notification.
In addition, you can manually re-enable it yourself by using the "change email" option in your Profile. You don't even have to change your address; just use the same one if you want -- so long as you press the button.
Sometimes accounts can have their mail deactivated by the website. This can happen for a variety of reasons (mainly bouncing back emails). The Administrators can re-enable outgoing email at user request; use the Contact link at the bottom of the page.
Sometimes the servers stall when trying to process a game turn. If you think this is the case, check the Feed and see if other people are reporting the same problem. On the other hand, it's equally possible that your browser isn't paying attention; try refreshing it.
This feature creates a large tip in favor of the already advantaged large fighter races. The Birds and Fascist in particular which are already the two weakest races in the game pay a huge penalty when this is in effect. They simply can not fire enough torpedoes at those huge carriers and the extra mass makes no difference for the Dark Wing or Victorious.
This is a direct by-product of the PRNG (Pseudo-Random Number Generator) used in Planets.nu, combined with the fighter launch code. That PRNG is actually a set of three tables, all 119 elements long (7x17). Tables were used instead of an algorithm, as that was the only way to be sure that the combat was replayed properly in all possible client architectures. This PRNG is exactly the same as was used in VGAP3.
The fighter launch code pulls a number from the 1-20 PRNG. If that number is less than or equal to the number of bays, and there is are less than 19 fighters from this starship currently in flight, a fighter is launched.
Because of the structure of the PRNG (three 7x17 element tables), and because some of the rows/columns have many low values, it is possible that some fighter bays won't launch during battle. It is also possible, but less likely, that no fighters will be launched.
There are other, similar, problems with beams and torpedoes, but the overall impact is usually much less.
This problem impacts the Evil Empire much more than other races. It is believed that the reason for this is the large number of Evil Empire starships with a small number of fighter bays.
Many people consider this to be a bug, and there is a different type of RNG available for Custom Private games.
These documents are a work in progress. We're working on it, mate; be patient. In the mean while, why not ask in the Activity Feed? There's always someone around who'll be glad to answer it.