Table of Contents


What is Colonies Online?
Colonies Online is an open MMO-sandbox. The game is set in the distant future on the far reaches of space. As a colonist you should be prepared to explore vast territories of far-out planets, withstand numerous monsters populating them, search for rare resources and simply survive. In cooperation with your friends you can set up your own colony which will become your new home in the outland.
Who is developing Colonies Online?
The project is being developed by Iron Bit – a small independent team of passionate people.
When will Colonies Online be released?
Colonies Online will be released just as soon as we are ready with the major part of game features for the players, but you can get some insight into the game and follow the project right now. We’re also planning to further develop the project after release, adding new cool stuff. We’ve got huge plans!
How do I start playing Colonies Online?
At the moment our project is under development and testing. If you wish to contribute, then you have two options: create an account on www.colonies-online.com and wait for an invitation or, alternatively, buy Early Access to the game and see it for yourself right now!
I’ve created an account, when do I get an invitation?
Free invitations are sent at random basis according to the project’s needs. We will try to invite you as soon as there will be an opportunity to do it.
What is "Early Access"?
By purchasing the "Early access" package, you immediately get access to the Colonies Online in its current state, where you will help us to test and debug the game. Also by purchasing game early you provide us financial support for more polishing and adding of more features to the game :)
I’m unable to enter the game. Get a Login Failed message.
Check spelling of username and password. Your username is the email address used for registration on www.colonies-online.com. If you forgot your password, it can be reset on website.
How do I control my character?
The game features two modes of character control – the peaceful mode and the combat mode. In the peaceful mode your character interacts with game interface, NPCs and buildings. In the combat mode you can do aimed fire and use abilities. By default, you can switch between modes by pressing Tab button. Character movement is done using WASD buttons.
A weapon is out of ammo, how do I reload it?
By default, press R key to reload. Remember that reloading will take some time, try not to look for trouble while reloading. Good colonist is a careful colonist!
Can a character run out of ammo?
Do not worry, you will not run out of ammo, in the future space colonists have problems more important than counting the rest of the shells in the clip – there is whole space to be explored!
My character’s health does not regenerate fully, what’s wrong?
It’s easy – you have been wounded. If your character was beaten by monsters then part of his health won’t regenerate until you heal it specific way. You can see how much are you wounded on red line, placed on status bar of interface – the more you wounded, the more it grows. If this red line acquires it’s maximum state, then your character will have only 1 HP and will not acquire more wounds. To heal a wound, you need to visit a medic at the base – voila, you are good as new! To prevent new wounds, use personal shield generators.
What is personal shield generator and how do I use it?
Personal shield generator it an item that you can buy from a vendor at the Outpost at the first planet. When you have one of them, place it in the corresponding slot at the character’s equipment window. Shield generator needs a power source to work – a quark battery, which you also kan buy from a vendor at the Outpost. When you will buy a battery – place it in the corresponding slot at the character’s equipment window. As soon as you place it there, you will see that blue shield indicator will start to grow over healthbar. Keep in mind that quark batteries are depleted over time, watch over charge level and don’t forget to buy more of them just to be more safe in your fights. Quark batteries are depleted when used with shield generator – to stop depleting just remove batteries from their slot and move them to your inventory. Quark batteries are not depleted when you are offline.
I came across a lair, despite my best efforts I'm unable to destroy it.
Destroying a lair can be quite a task, call your friends for help! If you’re new to the game, do not strive to destroy lairs, better start with ordinary monsters and meanwhile get better equipment.
What is a “blackout”?
Blackout is a temporary loss of control over your character which results from their health dropping to zero. A blackout lasts a while, then the character spawns with full health in the same place. If a character falls into a blackout twice in a short time, he die. A character may be resurrected in one of the available respawn points chosen by the player, e.g. at the base or ILU.
Can I team up with other players?
In Colonies Online teams are called squads. To create a squad, you need to invite at least one player. This can be done with chat line /invite . If the invited player is not yet a member of some other squad and accepts your invitation, your squad will be created. If you want to invite a character which name contains spaces, then place his name in quotes according to this: /invite <”character name”>.
How big can a squad be?
A squad consists of 2 to 10 characters.
How do I leave the squad?
You can leave your squad at any time. Use the /squit command. You can as well use other commands related to squad: /promote, /pr – transfer leadership to the chosen character (available for squad leader only); / kick – remove the specified character from the squad (available for squad leader only).
How do squad members communicate with one another?
Each squad has got its own chat channel. To send a message to the channel, use /squad command.
How are awards for monsters and lairs allocated in the squad?
Awards for destroing monsters and lairs, as well as killing other players are allocated equally among the squad members who have taken part in the battle.
How and where do I buy new weapons and armor?
If you have enough cash, you can significantly improve your equipment buying new weapons and armor. For this purpose, refer to the merchants located at the base. Some merchants require not only cash for trade, but also Xenodine – specific substance that you can acquire by killing most dangerous monsters – Lair Queens. Amount of Xenodine needed to purchase an item is displayed near it cost in money with a blue icon and number.
How do I buy an item?
To buy an item, right click it in the window of the corresponding merchant and hit “Pay”. Upon purchase the item will be transferred into your inventory.
How do I remove an item?
To remove an item, simply drag and drop it outside interface windows.
How many planets are there, and how big are they?
The system implemented in the project supports almost infinite number of planets. But at this moment only a few planets are available for players. Planet size vary, it is currently 5000 km².
How do I travel from planet to planet?
To fly to a different planet (or travel within a certain planet), use STS-terminals. One of such terminals is located at the base on first planet. In the terminal UI select the planet you are heading to, and particular sector of the planet where you wish to land. Check the timer – it counts down time left to shuttle arrival and shuttle departure.
What is STS-terminal?
STS-terminal is a device, that you can find on the base on the first planet, and also in ILU modules. With it you can call a shuttle for transfer to another sector on the planet, to a different planet, or to ILU that belong to your squad member. It will cost you some in-game cash.
Some sectors are not available for landing. Why?
You will need an ILU – Individual Landing Unit to land on a particular sector of a planet. A limited number of such modules can be accommodated in one sector. Once the sector is full, it becomes unavailable for landing. Yet, if one of the ILU modules in the sector belongs to your squad mate, you can use it for landing. In this case, your own ILU will not be deployed.
What is ILU?
ILU is a landing module and small mobile camp designed to support players in difficult situations on dangerous planets. To operate ILU, use the respective window of the interface (by default press L), which enables you to replace ILU modules, reset or deploy ILU.
How do I deploy ILU?
The following is required to deploy ILU: a character must be located within the landing glade of the sector. There must be enough free space for at least one ILU in the glade. Make sure your character’s ILU is undeployed and ready to function (i.e. contains no less than a Core module and hasn’t been destroyed). To deploy ILU, press "Deploy” button in ILU window. ILU is automatically deployed upon flight, unless ILU of a squad member has been used.
I’m unable to deploy ILU in an empty field. Why?
It should help to check if your ILU is undeployed and contains no less than a Core module before you proceed with deployment.
My ILU is deployed in a different place, can I get to it?
Yes. Use STS-terminal in proximity, e.g. the one at the base. You could as well use terminal attached to ILU of your squad member. Location of your ILU will be indicated on planet map in the STS terminal. Also you can use an emergency beacon – special single-use device that will allow you to fast-travel to your ILU from any place – you can buy one at the Outpost on the first planet.
How do I undeploy ILU?
ILU is undeployed automatically once you conduct a flight through its STS terminal to the base or sector free from ILU of other squad members. In all other cases, ILU stays deployed.
My ILU is destroyed or I can’t make it to it. What shall I do?
You can at any time reset your ILU. To do this, press "Reset ILU" button in ILU window. In such case, all modules installed at the ILU will be lost, and you will have to at least install the Core module to the new ILU to be able to use it.
When and how can I replace ILU modules?
ILU modules can be replaced at any time, provided that the ILU is in undeployed condition. Modules can’t be extracted from ILU. If you replace one module with another, the old module is destroyed.
What happens to my ILU when I leave the game?
Nothing, ILU is left in its place till it is destroyed or till you have it undeployed.
How and where can I build my colony?
You can build your colony at any planet besides the first one. To build a colony, you'll need: working ILU, unoccupied sector of a planet and building blocks. When you will arive on free sector of other planet, you will need to walk away from your ILU at some distance and make new Facility. To do this, press K and create new facility with interface of window that just opened. Then you need to activate your facility as a “building-in-progress” zone – to do it, press “Build” button in the facility control window. After that an icon with builder’s helmet will appear right next to a name of an activated facility. Then right-click at any building block that you have in your inventory and point with your mouse on planet’s surface – if highlited silhouette of a block is green – then you can place it on a surface with left-click. Congratulations on beginning of a space colony!
What is facility and how it works?
Facility is a complex of constructions, that are united together in single network, in which they share common parameters of energy usage, security and ownership rights. You can create facilities with unique names and rights of ownership for any character in game on every planet. Every facility links to a planet where it was founded. Constructions can not be in same facility if they are placed too far from each other. You can create a list of a characters with different rights for each one of your facilities. Also, you can manage security parameters of your facility with Security terminal – construction, that you can place at any of your facilities. For now, you can assign one of three types of ownership rights to any character in game – supervisor, builder and visitor.
What the difference between the rights of supervisor, builder and visitor of my facility?
Supervisor can assign rights to other characters, create and destroy constructions. Builder can manage current constructions, create and destroy new constructions. Visitor can walk in and around facility without restriction – he won’t be attacked by turrets, he can open closed doors.
How can I create constructions?
In your facility you can place any constructions that you've bought earlier on the base. To place an construction, use it in your inventory with a right-click and point with your mouse on planet’s surface – if highlited silhouette of a block is green – then you can place it on a surface with left-click. You can rotate an construction before placing – use < and > keys. After placing a block you can move or destroy it – hold down the Shift button and right-click on the construction of your choise, then you will see a special window that provide instruments for rotation or permament demolition of that construction.
I’m trying to place a construction, but it’s silhouette glows red, what am I doing wrong?
There are several reasons for it – maybe you are not far enough from your ILU, or you had not activated “Building-in-progress” mode on your facility, or had not created a new facility, or your character is in combat (in that case your avatar’s border will glow red).
What are the types of an constructions that I can build?
For now there are several types of constructions that you can build - all of them you can purchase from the vendor at the base of the first planet. - Walls – the basis of your building. There are several types of them – internal and external. External walls provide more protection – their armor is thicker and they have a shield generators. - Corner walls – connection blocks that will help you to make confined spaces. Also packed with shield generators. - Doors – clever way to protect your building from unauthorized visitors. Only allowed members of your facility can use your doors! (You can configurate your facility by pressing K). - Floors – because you don’t want to find yourself frozen on the bare ground. - Ceilings – in future they will help to protect your base from “DEATH FROM ABOVE!” scenarios. - Windows – for claustrofobic folks. Let the turrets and monsters do their job while you rest and enjoy the sight through bullet-proof glass! - Energy generators – important part, they are needed for your shield’s generators and turrets to work, just don’t forget to place enough Chasium Rods in them! - Turrets – you always neet to guarantee a good security for you and your loot – make them work for you and configure their behavior as you like through security terminals. Just don’t get under friendly fire! Also, don’t forget to build enough energy generators for turrets to work. - Security terminals – on terminals like those you can configure behavior of your turrets, make white-lists and black-lists of people that you want or don’t want them to shoot on sight. - Crate boxes – being a colonist is a hard work, and earning goods is a big part of it. You need to store those somewhere, then crates will come in handy. - Resource mines – constructions, designed for automatic large-scale resource extraction. Mines are also divided into three types according to resources they can extract. Don't forget that you will need power generators for mines to work.
What happens to my buildings when I’m offline?
Don’t forget about central idea of Colonies Online – persistent world, in which every player is connected to one another and nothing is safe! If you want some security for your hard earned loot and beautiful buildings – then think about what you do. You can unite with other players and build a giant super-protected base, or you can play Robinson Crusoe and hide in the wilderness, just don’t get lost!
How do I protect my buildings from unwanted intrusions?
Unite with other colonists, build more mighty walls, place more turrets, don’t forget to close your doors – and then your colony will be safe. More or less.
Can I give an access to my facility for my friends and squadmates?
Sure, you can do it. Just write them in white-list of turrets, if they are configured on agressive behavior, and also give your mates rights for visiting your facilities in corresponding management window.
Shield generators don’t work or my turrets does not shoot at enemies, is it a bug?
No, you just need to build enogh energy generators at your facility and put Chasium Rods in them for work. Current level of an energy of your facility you can find at the facility management screen (press K button).
How do I gather resources?
To start mining resources, you will need the following things: - Resource Digger – portable disposable device with limited amount of uses, which you can use for sampling soil for the presence of minerals. There are three types of diggers – one for each resource type. Important note: gather rare resources with this device, using mine to extract small amount of recourses is unprofitable! - Resource Mine – construction, designed for automatic large-scale resource extraction. Mines are also divided into three types according to resources they can extract. Don't forget that you will need power generators for mines to work.
What types of resources are in the game?
Now there are three categories of resources – minerals, crystals and polymers. Each category include several types of resources, which also are divided on common and rare. Rare resources will be a very important part of the gameplay in the future. More specifically: Common minerals: Iron, Titan, Uran; Rare minerals: Khevron, Magnen; Common crystals: Ellerium, Dialin; Rare crystals: Trubin, Chroxin, Chasium; Common polymers: Polynox, Psylomel, Phenel; Rare polymers: Barrix, Verdonix. Important note: gather rare resources with a resource digger, using mine to extract small amount of recourses is unprofitable! In closest hotfix we will add a method for distinguishing of rarity of the resources directly in the game, but in the meantime you can use this text as a "cheat sheet".
How do I find new resources on the planet?
It is impossible to determine a location of a specific resource without resource digger. Fields of common resources can fill a whole sector of a planet, rare resources will appear on small areas in low quantities. Use resource digger more often to examine soil for resources – do it at least 5 times at any specific place – if after the 5th time the digger won’t find anything good, then it will be better for you to try using another digger in another place.
How to use a mine?
Deployed mine operates automatically if it has energy. Filling status of the mine is displayed as progress bar at the mine management window (to summon it, just right-click on the mine). The closer progress bar to 100% – the more resources are in the mine. If mine is full at 100% then it temporarily stops it’s work until you grab resources from it’s internal storage. To gather resources from the mine, click “Grab” button in mine management window – then part of the mine’s resources will transfer to mine’s delivery container – you will see them appear in mine’s inventory at it's management window. Then you can just drag and drop resources in your inventory or storage containers. If mine contains a plenty of resources, then maybe you will have to do a “Grab” procedure several times.
There are no new extracted resources in a mine, how long do I need to wait?
Here are few options – make sure that you’ve chose the right spot for mine to deploy – use digger again to examine soil. Make sure, that you’ve deployed right type of the mine accordingly to resource you’ve found - mineral mine for minerals, etc. It will be very good to check your facility power level (press K to summon Facility management screen) – maybe, you don’t have enough energy for your mine to operate. It is possible, that you’ve deployed the mine on the field of some rare resource – in that case mine won’t extract much of a resource. If all of the items that listed above are met - then just be more patient are visit your mine after some time.
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