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3.4.1 Why can I not build a certain building?

Buildings may appear unbuildable (with a red cross on the build screen) if you have no Colony Hub, if the building type is not appropriate to the planet type (for example, a Park cannot be built on a Frozen planet type), or if the building or building type is restricted to a certain number per colony (for example, you can only build one of each factory type per colony).

3.4.2 How do I repair buildings?

Left click on the building, and click "Damaged". It will then display "Repair". Repairs use up cash and full repairs will take a day or more, depending on the type of building. Once damaged is reduced below 50%, buildings become operational. You can opt to auto-repair all buildings on the Options screen, however will not prioritise repairs and early in the game will tend to drain your treasury.

3.4.3 Why can't I turn power "on"?

Buildings that are more than 50% damaged cannot be "turned on" - repair them first to at least 50%. In colonies with chronic power shortages, buildings may not be turned on. Limited power supply will be diverted towards essential buildings like housing. Power can otherwise be toggled by clicking on the building, and then clicking On/Off.

3.4.4 What do different buildings do?

In summary (Satellites and Orbital Bases are listed under What equipment and weapons are available?):

3.4.5 What differences are there between planet types?

There are seven different planet surfaces. A full Planet List is contained in the appendices:

3.4.6 How do I colonize planets?

You need to build a colony ship, only possible at Admiral rank or higher. Assign the ship to a fleet and send it close to an empty planet, then select "colonize". You cannot colonize planets that already have a colony on them.

3.4.7 Why can't I build more than 5000 buildings?

Patching the game removes this limitation.

3.4.8 Can I see what my colonies need at a glance?

Yes. Under Information (F7), select Colony Info and the appropriate colony from the map. Basic needs are shown, with critical problems (like lack of food) in red and less critical problems (like power shortages) in yellow.

3.4.9 Can I change the colony name?

The manual says yes. The reality appears to be no.

3.4.10 What buildings can I build in the alien colonies I've captured?

Human 'alien' colonies (former AFT and FNS colonies) can build everything you can build on your home planets. On non-human alien planets, you can always build Dev. Centres, factories, Arcologies, Nuclear Plants, Hospitals, Phood Factories, Police Stations and Military Spaceports. You can also build newly researched items where the alien race has the technology, but perhaps did not allow you to capture it. For example, Garthog planets can build Plasma Projectors once you have researched them, but you cannot capture these items because they are destroyed when you invade. Not all technology, such as Solar Plants, can be built on alien colonies.

3.4.11 Can I flatten or clear un-buildable areas like rock formations?

No. This can be very annoying on certain planets, where half of the area available for buildings is taken up with obstacles.

3.4.12 What do the 'Major incident on planet...' messages mean?

These normally indicate that a Nuclear Plant on the planet named has been heavily damaged. These messages can be somewhat confusing, because when (as Commander) you send a SitRep enquiry to the planet from the Bridge, the governor tells you everything is fine. If you examine the colony carefully you'll see the problem.