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Tips for beginners

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Various Things You Might Want To Know

Aurora is a work in progress. That means that once in a while, a bug might find its way into the code. All game info is stored in Stevefire.mdb in the Aurora directory. Currently there is no autosave function, so make it a habit to create a backup every day you play Aurora. Just in case.

Manual transfer of fuel, missiles and supplies.

Don't start a game with Invaders unless you know what you're doing! These aliens are not only pretty nasty, but they tend to explore like crazy, thereby creating new star systems, thereby new NPRs, thereby making the game slower and slower. You won't notice it at first, but the long-term effects are serious. You can switch off the creation of new Invaders (and Precursors and Star Swarms, but those aren't as problematic), but the existing ones will continue expanding the universe. You've been warned.

Remember that not all open game windows are updated when you change data in one of them. So you could e.g. start a new colony on an asteroid or planet, but the Economics window wouldn't list it unless you advanced the time or closed and re-opened it. Likewise, after creating a new component, e.g. a laser or an engine, the technology dropdown in the Research window might not yet show it. Select another tech area from the dropdown, then the one where your new design should appear.

In many listboxes in the game, you can select multiple items at once by Ctrl-clicking on them.

In the beginning, the most important minerals to look out for/keep an eye on are

  • Duranium - most things you're going to build consist of 50% other stuff and 50% Duranium. Call it the steel of the 21st century. You'll need loads of it, and then some.
  • Sorium - refined into spaceship fuel. You have a lot of fuel on your home planet, but keep an eye on your fuel stocks. If you run out of Sorium, you are in trouble.
  • Corundium - needed to build mines and automines.
  • Mercassium - makes your scientists smarter. You'll want to grow your research capabilities ASAP, so you'll need a lot of this.

How to fight faster battles - see Game Slowdown.

Shift & Left click, then drag the cursor in the system map to measure distances.

Clicking on Set To Default in the Event Updates window will give every event a distinct colour.

If you are confused about the Galaxy map at first, you're not alone. That's mainly because the systems are not automatically placed. Shift-click and drag the star systems to a position of your liking, then click the SysPos button and save that layout, or your changes are lost when you exit the game.

You can train your promising young scientists by assigning them a research project and one lab. It'll take them forever to get it done, but they increase their skills faster when working on an actual project.

Finally, reading the FAQ might be a good idea if you're a new player.

Top Tech for Beginners

The most important techs to research in the beginning are the ones that increase economic growth - mining, production, research. This is probably the stuff you need to get started. In no particular order:

Top Economic Techs

  • Higher construction rate +++
  • Higher research rate ++++
  • Higher mining rate +++
  • Small jump gate (the big ones require huge ships your shipyards probably couldn't handle)
  • Improved Command and Control (5000RP) (to build a Sector Command HQ)

Top Military Techs

  • Missile reload rate (most important defense tech)
  • Missile Engines, whenever you develop a new engine tech
  • EM Sensitivity + Active Sensor strength (affect your Active Search Sensor range)
  • One or two Armor tech levels (armor gets lighter, thereby making your ships faster)

Top All-round Techs

  • Power plants (Reactor Tech), to get better engine tech +++++ An absolute must
  • Don't ignore Engine Power +5/10/15% (faster engines, when fuel economy doesn't matter that much)
  • Fuel efficiency (also gives longer missile range)

Top Techs for a Conventional Start

  • Trans-Newtonian Technology (5000RP) - Just because you're starting in the Dark Ages, you don't want to remain there.
  • Geological Survey Sensors (1000RP) - You can't very well strip mine the solar system if you can't find which minerals are there.
  • Jump Point Theory (5000RP) - Don't leave home without it! Well, you can't. Not your home system anyway.
  • Nuclear Thermal Engine Technology (2500RP) - Space is a big big place.
  • Gravitational Survey Sensors (2000RP) - You can't travel the Intergalactic Super-highway if you can't find the on-ramp.

Techs you can safely ignore until mid-game

  • Cloaking
  • Shields
  • Most non-missile weapons (gauss guns for missile CIWS, some players also recommend carronades and railguns)
  • Biology Techs & Terraforming rate & Colonization Cost Reduction (too expensive in the beginning)
  • Laser size reduction, laser warheads (broken in v5.60), radiation warheads (of dubious value, according to some)
  • Ground units

Shore Leave


Military ships (and any with sensors) require good morale for top efficiency.

  • Crew morale can be reset by taking shore leave. Simply return to a colony with population of 10,000 or more and stay in orbit until morale recovers. (Remember to cancel any standing orders that will take you elsewhere)


Military ships have the additional burden of maintaining their cutting edge military grade hardware. This requires maintenance supplies, which are built by maintenance facilities automatically and construction factories through build orders.

The maintenance clock also needs to be reset occasionally to reduce the failure rate aboard a ship. To reset the clock, order a ship to begin an overhaul while in orbit around a colony with maintenance facilities. The overhaul will take three months off of the maintenance clock for every 1 month of elapsed time in overhaul, and the ship will be immobile for the duration.

See Ship Maintenance and Ship Maintenance Details for further discussion of these mechanics.

Odds and Ends

These are tips that can be useful but haven't yet found their proper home in the wiki.

Task Group Naming

Many veteran players suggest that one rename Shipyard Task Groups to include a leading space in the name. They are used quite frequently and this causes them to sort to the top of the list