Getting Started – The First Turn

Written by: ECV

The first few turns are extremely important in VGA Planets.  This post will give you an outline of what you can do on the very first turn to get the best possible start.

When you open your first turn on Nu, you will immediately own three things.

(1)  One planet.  This is your homeworld.  Its climate will be the ideal temperature for your race’s growth.  That is, the temperature will be 50 degrees unless you are playing the Crystals, in which case the temperature will be 100.  The homeworld also will have a large amount of money and minerals to help you get started.

(2)  One starbase.  This starbase will be in orbit around your homeworld.  It will already have some defensive resources built.  Starbases are good for lots of things, but their primary purpose is to build ships.  It is very important to build as many ships as possible on every turn, including the first turn.

(3)  One ship.  Nu gives you a Medium Deep Space Freighter with a transwarp engine.  A transwarp engine is so named because it can move at any warp speed for the same amount of fuel.


Your first turn is an easy one to play, although around turn 6 or 7 be prepared to begin spending much more time on your turns.  So what should you do on your first turn?


(1)  First, examine your surroundings.  For a good explanation, go to Thin’s post about connections and watch the video.  You can press the hotkey “q” to show the connections between planets as you can see in Thin’s video.

(2)  Load your freighter with clans and supplies and credits.  In a future column I will discuss different options and opinions about what to put in your first freighter.  For now, here’s a safe plan: load your freighter with 150 clans, 50 supplies, 150 megacredits, and a full fuel tank.

(3)  Having examined your surroundings, choose a planet within 81 LY and move your freighter there.  You may have several planets within 81 LY of the homeworld; I recommend sending your freighter to the farthest.

(4)  Set your freighter’s mission to Sensor Sweep.

(5)  Go to your planet and build as many factories and mines as possible.  This will cost a hefty portion of your startup funds.

(6)  You have the option of setting a tax rate on your colonists.  I feel that it is best to be in the habit of leaving your colonist tax rate at 0% as much as possible.  It is acceptable to tax your colonists at a low rate on your first turn because it won’t hurt growth much.  If you do this, I recommend reverting to zero on turn 2.  I also recommend not using the check box feature “Auto adjust tax rate to maintain happiness level” on your homeworld.

(7)  Finally, go to your starbase and build a ship.  A Large Deep Space Freighter with transwarp engines is a safe choice; indeed this is many players’ preferred ship to build on turn 1.   However, I recommend that everyone build a capital ship rather than a freighter on turn 1.  In a future column I will give details of what ship to build based on the race you are playing, and why I think you should build it.



Experienced players often have very different opinions about how you should begin your game.  Nonetheless, if you follow the steps above for the first turn you will get a good start.  From the very outset, you must keep in mind that there are three absolute priorities, and everything you do in the first few turns must serve these priorities.  You must: (1) build a useful ship every turn (2) raise money and (3) try to discover who your neighbors are.  Keep watching this blog, and in future columns and videos we will help you learn how to get a good start!


One final note: this game is somewhat boring at first since you have to wait for everyone else to play their turns.  Don’t give up!  It will get very exciting as soon as you build a great fleet, discover your neighbors, and begin your quest to dominate the Echo Cluster!


3 thoughts on “Getting Started – The First Turn

  1. Nice job ECV!
    I might debate filling the fuel tank of that first freighter though. It does well with 100 or so fuel, and then can “beam up fuel” along the way if needed. Full tanks waste fuel as the ship gets heavy, and it’s always important to have plenty of fuel at your base for later moves. Good overall start for a new player though!

  2. Thank you Tom! You are right about the fuel tank. There should be enough fuel on the homeworld to make it a non-issue, however. In a future column I will go into more detail about some specific issues with getting a good start. I figure if somebody wants a really simple and foolproof way to play turn 1, this method is pretty safe.

  3. I’m going to play dumb here and say, wouldn’t setting a course to the planet’s Warpwell be better?
    If the planet is close enough, this can lead to a net gain in fuel that is non negligeable too!

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