Aurora is on version 1.9.5 C#, available at the Aurora Forums.

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Q: What is Aurora?
A: Aurora is a 4x (eXpand, eXplore, eXternimate, eXploit) game. Written by Steve Walmsley.

Q: Are there any System Requirements?
A: The only one is a screen resolution of 1280x1024.

Q: Can I get involved? What about mods?
A: The game is free, but not Open Source or developed collaboratively. Currently, there is no modding planned for. However, you can always post suggestions, discuss changes and report bugs on the forum, and obviously help improve the wiki ;)

Q: Does the AI cheat?
A: As far as I know, neither the NPRs nor civilian ships use fuel. Apart from that, the AI plays by the same rules as the player.


Q: It takes forever to get anything built!
A: You start with only a handful of Construction Factories and a small naval shipyard. It's important that you reserve a part of your industrial production to build more factories as soon as possible. You'll need exponential growth. Which of course uses up more minerals, so make sure you build enough mining capacity as well, or your factories run dry.

Q: I just geo-surveyed this planet/moon/asteroid, but nothing shows up. And why are there pages/systems/colonies missing from the Mineral Report screen?
A: Very few system bodies will have Trans_Newtonian_Elements on them - less than one in twenty. If there are no minerals, the survey/report/window will be blank for that body (well, unless there are alien ruins, which are one-in-a-thousand rare).

Q: What do ship components you can salvage or build and store on your planets actually do?
A: Salvaged tech gives research bonuses, but once you have alien or your own ship components on your world what are they used for? The building time and cost of new ships doesn't seem to be reduced by having the right components.
I assume you're talking about the "completion date" field on the SY management tab when you select a construction task - that's a "feature" :-) If you actually create a build task and look at the next (SY tasks) tab, you'll see that the completion date is shorter if you were able to use stockpiled components.
So long story short, using infrastructure to build ship components reduces ship build time.

Q: My time increments were cut short!
A: Oh, it's NPRs' fault! they are engaged in combat or similarly important activity, luckily you can use automated turns. Also see Game Slowdown.

Q: February 30th?
A: Each month has 30 days in Aurora. Makes things a lot easier.

Q: Why am I missing some of my leaders?
A: You probably missed the message that they died in an accident, or retired.

Q: I'm getting so many messages about things I'm not interested in. Can I configure that?
A: In the Events Log window there is a button "Filter Events". There's a long list of event types. Double-click any you don't want to see.

Q: I gave orders to my ship, but it didn't move in weeks!
A: Check the Event Log. The ship might be in overhaul. Or check the Shipyard Task window - you might have assigned new ship construction to that task group, preventing it from moving.

Q: I sent a bunch of asteroid miners to an asteroid, but they didn't start mining. I waited for a month or so, but they only got to work when I ordered them again to move to the location where they already were.
A: A ship has to be assigned to a particular population if it needs to function as part of this colony. Normally, this is invisible because when a fleet moves there this is set automatically. However, if you moved them there and then set up the colony afterwards, or SM'ed them into position, that wouldn't happen. You can fix it as you did above by moving them to the location again, or you can set a ship's assigned population at the top right of the Ship Window (F6).

Q: My asteroid miners are still sitting on that moon, without mining.
A: That's because asteroid miners only mine asteroids. BTW, use "Move To" for mining, not "Extended Orbit".

Q: My ships don't fire!
A: see the checklist in Combat Overview.

Q: Manually refueling, rearming and resupplying through the Individual Unit window is a major pain in the neck!
A: It is. That's why you can designate ship classes as Tankers, Colliers (ammo carriers) and Supply Ships in the Design window. Then you'll get "Refuel from tanker/Rearm from Collier/Resupply from Supply Ship" orders at the location of these ships. Task Groups containing these ships also now have "Unload 90% Fuel/Ordnance/Supplies to Colony" orders available, so you can automate shipping stuff to your outposts.

Q: It takes dozens of clicks to send a ship to a distant colony. Isn't there a way to simplify things a little?
A: You're lucky! Click "Show all Pops" in the Task Group Orders tab and it'll list all your colonies within four jumps. Ships will then calculate the shortest route themselves.

Q: All the star systems I discover are named Gliese 716 or Gliese 671 or Gliese 176. How original. But somewhat confusing.
A: It's not our fault, it's Glieses' fault, he discovered and named them. Of course, you could re-name them, from the System window (F9).

Q: All my colonists are working in the agricultural sector. None of these hippies wants to be a miner or factory worker.
A: The percentage in agriculture and environmental is based on 5% plus 5% for every point of colony cost. In other words, if the planet is extremely harsh, most of the population is going to be working on keeping everyone alive. To reduce colony cost you could terraform the planet, or you could put the population in orbital habitats so they don't care about conditions on the surface, or you could use automated mines so you don't need population.

Q: In the task force screen, next to the name of some ships there is an (A). What does that mean?
A: The (A) means that they have Active Sensors on.

Q: All of my systems on the Galactic Map are piled up on top of each other. How do I get it to look like the nifty screen shots I've seen on the forum?
A: Whenever a new system is discovered (by exploring a jump point), it shows up in the center of the galactic map. In order to move the systems into a better arrangement, you need to shift-left-drag the ones you want to move. Note that this is only a temporary arrangement. In order to make the arrangement permanent, you need to click the "Sys Pos" button to open the "System Positions" dialogue box, and then hit the "Save Positions" button. There is also a "snap-to-grid" function that can be accessed by hitting the "Line Up" button in the same box. If you have been moving the systems around and you decide you don't like what you've done, you can hit the "Restore" button (before hitting Save Positions), which restores things to the last saved configuration. Finally, you can select multiple systems to move by using left-drag (without the shift). The selected systems will turn an different color. To unselect, simply left-drag in an empty part of the map.

Q: I just got a message that my ground based Geo-survey team was done on 2003 AZ84. But I can't find 2003 AZ84 on the System map's huge list of bodies. Isn't there an easier way to find them for pick-up?
A: Yes. The easiest way might be to click on the event message in the event log. It should take you to that colony's Teams tab.


Screen and Visual issues

Q: My netbook screen resolution is bellow the minimum 1280x1024. So I can't play?
A: Well there is reduced height option for 1024x800, but it won't be pretty. Otherwise, try some 3rd party desktop extenders.

Q: I have a window that doesn't appear on the screen, or appears to be off-screen. How do I fix that?
A: Close all windows (or restart) and then use the Reset Window Positions option on the Miscellaneous menu on the main menu bar

Q: I have Garbled/scrunched text.
A: Aurora doesn't support font scaling, make sure you are using default font size in Windows. Try this solution.


Q: I'm using Windows Vista or later and I keep getting permission errors when trying to extract patch files to the Aurora folder
A: This has to do with security features. The easy fix is to right click /aurora , go to "Properties", go to "Security", browse to the one called "Users" and modify it to have all permissions.


Q: Help! I'm using windows Vista or later and the game crashes
A: Windows 7 and Vista, need to have the game run as administrator. Right-click the game icon, and then click Run as administrator.

Q: Help! I'm getting error 76, Error in CreateGameLog, path not found.
A: Create a directory in your game folder called Logs.


Q: Whenever I try to open my System View Window I get an Error 713. Saying MSSTDFMT.DLL is missing. What do I do?
A: The problem is that that DLL is required for visual basic VB6 to provide the types of functionality provided by the System View window.

Technical solution

  • Download a tool from Microsoft for Exchange 2000, that is a VB6 program which has MSSTDFMT.DLL included
  • Extract the download contents to a folder of your choosing. There's no need to run the install, just use whatever unzipping software you prefer (7-Zip, WinRAR, etc. whatever you have available
  • Then (with admin privilidges)...
    • for 32 bit Operating systems
      • copy msstdfmt.dll to c:\windows\system32
      • RUN regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\msstdfmt.dll
    • for 64 bit Operating systems
      • copy msstdfmt.dll to c:\windows\syswow64
      • RUN regsvr32 c:\windows\syswow64\msstdfmt.dll
  • Doing this once "registers" the DLL and should solve your problem

Alternate Solution

  • Go to the Aurora Forums and check out AcidWeb's Aurora v7.1 - All-In-One/Portable release (or whatever the latest release is) It fixes this issue, adds some enhanced graphics and even enables the music features