Minimum Rank [Maximum Rank]

Planets.Nu has a handicap system installed that protects junior players from advanced level players in live games. It increases the balance within each game and stops expert level players from attacking junior players just for the sake of raising their leaderboard ranking.

Before being able to join a live game with handicap, the system checks a player’s ranking in the desired race, and how high he/she ranks in his two strongest (highest ranking) races. If these two races’ rankings are more than two levels above the rank of the desired race, the player will count as the higher skill level.


Game type Minimum Rank Maximum Rank
Junior Officer’s Game None Lieutenant
Officer’s Game Lieutentant Commander
Senior Officer’s Game Commander None

Example: If a player wishes to join a live game as the Crystal Confederation and has the rank of a midshipman, but is ranking Commander in the Solar Federation and Admiral in the Robotic Imperium, she/he will not be able to join a Junior Officer’s game as her/his highest ranks are too high. She/he however can join an Officer’s Game, since only one (not two) rank is above the allowed skill level.

Ship components – Mass

To calculate the exact empty mass of a ship the the used beam weapons and torpedo launchers are added to the hull mass of a ship design.

Note that neither engines nor fighter bays have their own mass, since they are integrated in the hull mass during the construction process.

Beam Weapons Mass Torpedo launchers Mass
Laser 1 kt Mark 1 Photon 2 kt
X-Ray Laser 1 kt Proton Torpedo 2 kt
Plasma Bolt 2 kt Mark 2 Photon 2 kt
Blaster 4 kt Gamma Bomb 4 kt
Positron Beam 3 kt Mark 3 Photon 2 kt
Disruptor 4 kt Mark 4 Photon 2 kt
Heavy Blaster 7 kt Mark 5 Photon 3 kt
Phaser 5 kt Mark 6 Photon 2 kt
Heavy Disruptor 7 kt Mark 7 Photon 3 kt
Heavy Phaser 6 kt Mark 8 Photon 3 kt

The table shows the mass for one beam weapon, respectively one torpedo launcher.
Should a ship design for example have 4 beam weapons installed, the beam mass must be taken x4.


A player at Planets.Nu can achieve ranks by simply playing the game and by ranking high when the game ends. During a running game several (but less) points for a player’s ranking are awarded, too, in order to reflect his/her activity while playing.
Awarded points are multiplied by the tenacity multiplier that reflects a players fighting spirit.


Rank Experience Required Achievement Required
Midshipman 0 0
Ensign 400 0
Sub-Lieutenant 1000 0
Lieutenant 3000 25
Lt. Commander 6000 100
Commander 10000 400
Captain 16000 1000
Commodore 24000 2000
Rear-Admiral 32000 3000
Admiral 40000 4000
Fleet Admiral 48000 5000

Ranks allow players to qualify for games at higher difficulty levels in Planets.Nu’s handicap system (maximum rank and minimum rank games) and to qualify for championship games.

Apart from the ranking also Campaign ressources (to research new ships) are awarded for active and successful gameplay.

Minefields – Mines per torpedo type

With the ‘Lay Mines’ mission a ship will transform it’s torpedoes into mines. Different torpedo technologies can create a different number of Deep Space Mines.

Torpedo Type Mines / Torpedo Mines / Torp (Robots)
Mark 1 Photon 1 4
Proton Torpedo 4 16
Mark 2 Photon 9 36
Gamma Bomb 16 64
Mark 3 Photon 25 100
Mark 4 Photon 36 144
Mark 5 Photon 49 196
Mark 6 Photon 64 256
Mark 7 Photon 81 324
Mark 8 Photon 100 400

The most cost effective torpedo in terms of Megacredits for minelaying are the Mark 4 and Mark 7 Photon Torpedoes, while the Mark 8 is much more expensive in Megacredits but lower in the mineral use. For most players the Mark 7 is the only true technology for laying serious Minefields.



Three types of structures can be built on planets: Mineral Mines, Factories and Defense Posts. The number of structures that can be built on a planet is limited by the number of colonists living on a planet and the available local ressources.



Structure Purpose Costs per structure
Mineral Mines Extract minerals 4 MC / 1 SU
Factories Produce supplies 3 MC / 1 SU
Defense Posts Defense / Scanner shielding 10MC / 1 SU

MC = Megacredits, SU = Supply Unit



Maximum structures: The number of possible structures is limited by the colonist clans living on the planet. Low populations can support 1 structure per colonist clan (100 colonists) while high populations can support less structures in relation to their size:


Structure low colonist population and then
Mineral Mines one per clan up to 200 200+SQRT(clans-200)
Factories one per clan up to 100 100+SQRT(clans-100)
Defense Posts one per clan up to 50 50+SQRT(clans-50)




Structure decay: If there are less colonist clans living on the planet than the installed structures (higher population earlier in the game) would require, the structures will slowly break down due to low maintenance. In standard Planets.Nu games the decay rate is set to 3 which means that 3 structures will break down each turn until the number of supporting colonists is reached again.



Host Order: Structures are built immediately during gameplay (client side) and are checked in the beginning of the hostrun. Later in the hostrun the limiting number of colonist clans is checked a second time during the structure decay.


Minesweep – Beam weapon efficiency

Different Beams have different sweeping capabilities – the better and more expensive a beam is, the more Mines or Webmines it can destroy.

Beam type Mines swept Webmines swept
Laser 4 3
X-ray 16 12
Plasma Bolt 36 27
Blaster 64 48
Positron Beam 100 75
Disruptor 144 108
Heavy Blaster 196 147
Phaser 256 192
Heavy Disruptor 324 243
Heavy Phaser 400 300

For the total amount of swept mines just take the beam count of your ship hull and multiply it with the sweeping power in the table above. As you can see, the differences are tremendous. If you don’t know whether to build a ship with less beams / higher technology or more beams / lower technology you in most cases can choose the higher technology. As a rule of thumb …

Web drain

Each Webminefield owned by the Crystal Confederation will drain 25kt fuel per turn from each ship that is stuck inside the webminefield. This effect is cumulative, multiple overlapping webminefields will drain multiple times. If a webminefield is owned by any other race than the Crystal Confederation, it will not drain any fuel. It will however inflict the typical fuel losses when a webmine is struck. Crystalline are always immune to web drain, even if they are each opponents in a Giant Melee game.

Minefield sizes – Mk7

One Mk7 torpedo will be converted into 81 space mines.
Minefields and sizes if Mark 7 Torpedoes are used:


Mk7 minefield sizes before mine decay:

Friendly code Torpedos Mines Radius*
md1 10 810 28 ly
md2 20 1620 40 ly
md3 30 2430 49 ly
md4 40 3240 57 ly
md5 50 4050 64 ly
md6 60 4860 70 ly
md7 70 5670 75 ly
md8 80 6480 81 ly
md9 90 7290 85 ly
md0 100 8100 90 ly
mda 277 22500 150ly

*if a new minefield is layed

Mk7 minefield sizes after mine decay: 

Friendly code Torpedos Mines Diff. Radius**
md1 10 770 -0 ly 28 ly
md2 20 1539 -1 ly 39 ly
md3 30 2309 -1 ly 48 ly
md4 40 3078 -2 ly 55 ly
md5 50 3848 -2 ly 62 ly
md6 60 4617 -2 ly 68 ly
md7 70 5837 -2 ly 73 ly
md8 80 6156 -3 ly 78 ly
md9 90 6926 -2 ly 83 ly
md0 100 7695 -2 ly 88 ly
mda 277 21375 -4 ly 146 ly

** after minefield decay and if a new minefield is layed.


The biggest minefield one will ever see, will have a radius of 146 lightyears. When laying a maximum size minefield that no one sweeps, the decay of five percent will destroy 1125 mines, which is the equivalent of 14 mk7 torpedoes or the sweeping power of 3 heavy phasers (webs: 4).


Super Refit [Refit]

Solar Federation Special Mission (ship): Any ship owned by the Solar Federation can perform the ‘Super Refit’ mission that allows upgrading its ship components (torpedo tubes, beams, engines) when orbiting a starbase and while automatically loading the right ammunition onto the ship (if available). To successfully upgrade its components a federal ship needs to be set to ‘Super Refit’ and a full set of the desired components must be available (already built) at the starbase. Super Refit will (if the conditions are met) take the lower tech components out of the ship and install a full set of high tech components instead. The ‘old’ components will be stored in the starbase’s space dock, if there are no full sets of ‘better’ components available, the old (full) set of components will not be replaced. It is possible to only refit one or two types of ship components (engines and/or beams and/or tubes) and leave the other components as they are. The ‘Super Refit’ mission is processed in ship ID order and requires fuel on board, the mission itself does not burn fuel. Super Refit only replaces complete sets of weapons and priorizes from high tech to low tech. This has the following effects:

Upgrading components: If a ship has the maximum number of weapon components installed and is set to ‘Super Refit’, and the starbase has several full sets of high tech weapons available, the highest tech components will be installed.

Example: If a Diplomacy Class Cruiser with 6 Mk4 torpedo tubes is set to ‘Super Refit’ and 6 Gamma Bomb, 6 Mk7 and 6 Mk8 torpedo tubes are available at the starbase, the Mk8 torpedo tubes will be installed.

Adding components: If a ship has less than the maximum number of weapon components installed and is set to ‘Super Refit’, and the starbase has enough of the same components available to make it a full set, the missing components will be added.

Example: If a Diplomacy Class Cruiser with 4 Mk7 torpedo tubes (maximum is 6) is set to ‘Super Refit’ and at least 2 Mk7 torpedo tubes are available at the starbase, then the missing 2 Mk7 tubes will be added to the ship.

Downgrading components: If a ship has less than the maximum number of weapon components installed and is set to ‘Super Refit’, and the starbase only has a full set of lower tech weapons available, the full set of the lower tech components will be installed.

Example: If a Diplomacy Class Cruiser with 4 Mk7 torpedo tubes (maximum is 6) is set to ‘Super Refit’ but only 6 Gamma Bomb torpedo tubes are available at the starbase, the Gamma Bomb tubes will be installed.

Stripping components: If a ship has less than the maximum number of weapon components installed and is set to ‘Super Refit’, and the starbase does not have any full set of replacement weapons available, the incomplete lower tech components will be removed.

Example: If a Diplomacy Class Cruiser with 4 Mk7 torpedo tubes (maximum is 6) is set to ‘Super Refit’ and only 5 Mk8 torpedo tubes are available at the starbase, the 4 Mk7 tubes will be removed and not be replaced.

Host OrderSuper refit is performed before movement and after cloning. A ship therefore can, if it is refitted, fly away fully armed in the same turn as it receives the refit. Alternatively it can be cloned and refitted in the same turn resulting in a refitted and a low-tech version in the next turn. Super refit is processed in ship ID order.


Campaign starmap object: Nebulas are interstellar collections of ionized gas covering vast areas with a fog which is difficult to penetrate with conventional sensors. This causes the following effects:

  • Hide ships and planets: Each point of nebula has a visibility factor depending on the level of density. Ships and planets will only be visible at this range.
  • All cloaking ships except ships with “advanced cloak” which end their movement inside of a nebula will be decloaked after movement. Ships which start their movement inside of a nebula are decloaked at the beginning of the turn.
  • Minefields and web minefields which are overlapping a nebula suffer from a 3X higher minefield decay rate.
  • Cobol Ramscoop does not work (if ending movement inside a nebula).
  • Planets inside Nebulas are 10 times more likely to experience a small meteor shower.
  • Bioscanners and sensor scans do not work on planets inside of a nebula except for the Pawn Class Baseship (Robots).
  • Ionstorms which encounter a nebula have their voltage reduced by the nebula intensity each turn they touch the nebula.
  • All native life on planets inside a nebula with visibility less than 50ly may be taxed higher than the normal rate before becoming angry. Since these natives have never seen the stars the arrival of aliens causes the entire population to go into a religious fervor.
  • The Cyborg B41 Explorer and the Birdman Swift Heart Class scout are equipped with a Neb Scanner which will automatically detect planets and ships inside a nebula up to 100 light years away regardless of the nebula density.