Starships provide a way to travel between your planets, transporting cargo and occasionally fighting battles.
Individual starship status can be monitored and starship orders can be given for any ship you control on the Starship Interface Pane of the starmap. This screen may be reached either by selecting the starship directly from the starmap or from the Starship List on the Dashboard. While this is open, a course may be set by simply choosing a destination on the starmap and clicking it with the mouse pointer (or by using the arrow keys).
There are four information tabs on the starship interface: Ship Status, Cargo, Movement, and Orders. In addition, there is a graphical pane which shows icons for the starship plus any other starships or a planet/starbase in the same location. At the top of this part of the starmap will appear buttons used for cycling through your planets in sequence, including a checkbox. This checkbox is used for marking ships as either Not Finished, Finished, or Ignore.
The Ship Status tab shows the name and hull type of the ship plus a list of its equipment. There are also displays for damage taken and surviving crew. On the Status bar are buttons marked Notes (which opens a private note page for this starship) and Name (which lets you change the ship's name).
Under Cargo is a list of the amounts of each type of cargo currently on board the starship. The following buttons might be present on the Cargo bar:
This section deals with the navigation of the starship. The present position, course, speed, and final waypoint for this vessel are shown in the Movement section. The course and waypoints can be adjusted using the mouse pointer on the map or certain Hotkeys, including the [Shift] button and the arrow keys. On the Movement bar are buttons marked Speed (permits you to adjust your speed) and History (displays this ship's movement history). In addition, depending on the starship, there could be buttons for Hyperjump , Warp Chunnel Chameleon or Temporal Lance .
When the Speed button is selected, a menu will appear with the available warp speeds for the starship. The choices will always be Warp 0 through Warp 9 . If the background for a given speed is grey, the starship will be able to move at that speed, consuming normal amounts of fuel. If the background for a given speed is orange, the starship will only be able to move at that speed by overdriving the engines, which is much less fuel efficient then when the engines aren't being overdriven.
If the background for a given speed is red, the starship has been damaged to the point that the speed can't be achieved without repair. Only the current state of the starship is used to determine whether or not the background is red. Repair that's already planned, whether from supplies, a starbase or a repair starship, is not considered. If the starship will be repaired before it moves, a speed that is currently showing a background of red may be used.
The Orders tab shows the ship's present Primary Enemy (if any) and Orders. In addition, there is a display containing the present starship Friendly Code which, if clicked, will randomize the code. On the Orders bar are buttons marked Enemy (which lets you select your primary enemy), Mission (which lets you select from a list of available ship missions ), and Friendly Code (which will let you manually change the starship's Friendly Code).