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Stations are big immobile crafts that allow players to trade, repair ships, recruit crew among many other functions. Stations can appear in large groups, specially in a faction's Prime Sector, but also individually.
Stations are usually much bigger than other ships and have much more HP, which makes them almost indestructible for early players. Larger stations also have larger commodity limits.
Stations that produce goods are more commonly referred to as Factories.
Players can interact with stations by pressing the F button. Depending on the station a menu will appear, where players can then refine, buy and sell resources, assemble ships, among other functions.
In most stations players can hire new crew members. These will also vary depending on the station type. When looking for a captain, for example, you are more likely to find one at a Shipyard or Military Outpost than at a Repair Dock.
Each different station will have different trade possibilities and is likely to spawn in different locations. A Scrapyard may appear completely alone in a sector. Most Habitats spawn mostly alone with the chance for a trading post to supply the new colony. Planetary Trading Posts are next to never inside the gate network and Equipment Docks are in highly developed and populated systems. They are more likely to appear in gate sectors. Faction headquarters only spawn in their respective Home Sector which is always detached from the gate network.
Stations belong to factions unless owned by the player. The prices and available uses of stations depend on the current relations with that specific faction and several important facilities like equipment docks or turret factories might deny to talk with them. Turrets are a particular example as the faction reputation unlocks each rarity tier of turret up to exceptional through the highest reputation.
If the relations are too bad when you attempt to use the stations menu, it might even inform you that it is unable to do business until relations improve.
Players may hire crew members from any station, provided that they are in good faction standing with the owner of that station.
Types of Stations
The types of stations can be determined by the scripts that the stations use for their routines. Alternatively they are further divided by 6 categories; Mines, Basic Factories, Low Tech Factories, Advanced Factories, High Tech Factories and Other Stations.
The official script types of stations at the time of writing are:
- Equipment Dock
- Military Outpost
- Repair Dock
- Research Station
- Resource Depot
- Smuggler Hideout
- Trading Post
- Solar Power Plant
The player can create their own factories by using a ship made at a shipyard. When ordering a new ship they must choose the "Station founder" option and once created they can enter it with the interaction menu and will have the option to found a new factory in the top right. The ship is converted to a station and loses the ability to move, so it either needs to be well placed initially or moved by force turrets later on.
All factories and stations the player can construct produce goods, which can be bought at a 100% discount. They also attract NPC traders who will buy or sell goods at the station. The base price decides the frequency of traders visiting the station, while regional supply and demand will affect the price past the set price.
Factories are divided into four categories ranging from tier 1 basic factories to high-tech tier 4 production chains.
When a player builds any of the end tier consumer stations of category 5, they most commonly will receive a 20% cut of the profits and the station lures more traders into the system to buy and sell their other goods. Not all of them are meant to offer income, however. Military Outposts offer a steady supply of military missions and others better rates. It also is necessary to supply a core equipment dock to buy the highest type of turrets based on their initial tech level as no faction is active there outside of colony missions.
Note: Stations cannot be founded if they are closer than 3km from another station. However, after founding, the station can be extended in build mode so that it is closer to another station. This is useful when you want to install trading and transporter System Upgrades in the station to trade with another stations, for example to supply factory with ingredients or sell products automatically without using cargo shuttle fighters.
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