How Your Ship Works

A quick summary of How Your Ship Works

There are many different types of ships, but they all work in the same basic way. Each ship is equipped with shields and armor for protection against attack. Most ships have weapons and cargo holds, and some have configurable hardware. Each ship has a "speed" measured in turns per hour. They all can move from sector to sector using the local map or using the current sector view and all ships have a course plotter. This section will give you information on how your ship works for these basic functions.

Ship Information

On the right hand of your screen, you will see information about your ship. Ship information is grouped into sections. The first group shows the ship type and its basic information.


The rating of your ship is represented by a pair of numbers. The first number is the attack rating and indicates how much damage your ship does. Basically, the higher the attack rating the better the damage your ship will do against other ships. That attack rating is calculated like this:

Attack Rating = INT(((armor dmg + shield dmg)/40) + (drones/50))

So for example, a Federal Ultimatum with Holy Hand Grenade, Salvene EM Flux Cannon x3, Creonti "Big Daddy" x2, Torpedo Launcher and 120 Combat Drones would be:

INT(((750 + 600)/40) + (120/50)) = 36

The second number is the defense rating and shows how much damage your ship can withstand. Again, the higher the number, the more damage you can take. It's calculated like this:

Defense Rating = (# of Armor + # of Shield + (# of drones * 3)) / 100

So in the example above, the Federal Ultimatum with 700 shields and 600 armor and 120 combat drones would be:

(700 + 600 + (120 * 3)) / 100 = 17

Shields and Armor

Your ship is designed with a number of shields and armor to protect it from harm. The first number in the pair of numbers shown next to Shields and Armor is the actual amount you have and the second number is the maximum possible for your type of ship. When hitting mines or under attack by another ship, your ship takes damage. It will lose shields first. When all shields are gone, your ship begins to lose armor. If your ship has combat drones, these will absorb damage as well. When all shields and armor and drones are gone, your ship is destroyed. You are placed in an escape pod and sent to your racial Headquarters. You lose all of the cargo and cash that was onboard your ship, and you lose some amount of experience. You will then have to buy a new ship with what money your have saved in the Bank.
You can repair your damaged ship by buying shields and armor at UNO shops located around the galaxies.


These letter abbreviations and the row of dashes '-' or stars '*' that follow indicate the configurable hardware that can be installed on a ship. The use of these different types of hardware is detailed elsewhere, but here are what the abbreviations stand for:

C Cloak
I Illusion Generator
J Jump Drive
S Scanner
D Drone Scrambler

Not all ships have configurable hardware, and most can only use one or two different types. If you have one of these installed on your ship, it will by shown by a * in the row of dashes that correspond to the letter. In the example above, the star is in the 4th place meaning that the ship is equipped with a scanner.


The next group of ship information on the right hand side shows the forces that your ship can carry. Forces are the term for Mines, Combat Drones, and Scouts. Not all ships carry forces.

[x] Mines : 11/30
[x] Combat : 50/50
Scout : 0/0

In the above example, the ship has 11 mines out of a maximum of 30 and all 50 combat drones that it can carry. No scouts are allowed on this ship. The [x] is a clickable link that lets you drop one of that type of force into the current sector where you ship is.

Cargo Holds

Below Forces is Cargo Holds. This shows how many goods your ship can carry. Some ships carry no cargo at all, while others are designed to carry alot of cargo. Cargo Holds is also a clickable link. You can jettison your cargo into space if necessary, but you lose the experience gained from buying it.

Cargo Holds (60/60)
Empty : 60

In this example the ship has a maximum of 60 cargo holds and can carry 60 units of port goods at a time.


At the bottom of the right hand screen is a list of your ship's Weapons. Weapons Open : 6 This ship currently has no weapons, but can arm itself with a total of 6.

You can only have one level 5 weapon, two level 4 weapons, 3 level 3 weapons and 4 level two weapons. This is also controlled by your weapon Power.

Maneuvering your ship

Your ship is able to move from sector to sector in the galaxy you are in. In the upper left of the screen, you will see these links:
Ship 2

Current Sector: Displays only the directly connecting sectors and displays all information about the current sector.
Local Map: Displays a larger grid of sectors, but does not show detailed information about the current sector.
Galaxy Map: Displays all sectors in the galaxy, but cannot be used for navigation.


This screenshot details turns, cash on hand, alignment and all other trader info on the top right hand side of your screen.

Space Merchant Realms is a turn-based game. Almost everything you do in-game will cost you turns. The number of turns you have is shown in the upper right part of the screen. You are only able to move or act in the game if you have enough turns to do it. Below is a chart that shows which actions cost you turns and how many.

Turn Cost Activity 1 turn Moving from one sector to another. 1 turn Landing on a Planet. 1 turn Buying or Selling goods. 1 turn Dumping cargo. 1 turn Cloaking. 1 turn running into a single mine. 3 turns Attacking a trader. 3 turns Attacking a port. 3 turns Attacking a planet. 3 turns Attacking forces. 5 turns Moving through a galaxy warp. 10+ turns Using a jump drive. This is based on how far the jump is and if you want to jump more than one galaxy.
You gain turns normally over the course of an hour. The number of turns you get per hour (TPH) depends on the type of ship you have and is referred to as ship speed. Each ship has a base TPH value. The TPH of your current ship is shown on the Trader information screen. If the speed of a particular game is greater than 1.0, then the tph is increased accordingly.

Newbie Turns

At the start of a game, each player is given 250 newbie turns except for newbie class players, they recieve 500 newbie turns. You also receive 100 newbie turns when your ship is destroyed. Newbie turns are safe turns that prevent your ship from being attacked or damaged by mines. Having newbie turns also prevents you from attacking other ships or dropping forces in a sector. They are supposed to be used to safely get a new ship after you have been podded and trade at ports for a while without worry of attack. Newbie turns are used up at the same rate as normal turns. If you have newbie turns, they are shown below the normal turns you have in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Once your newbie turns are gone, you are vulnerable to attack and your ship can be damaged by mines. If you want to drop your newbie turns, you can do it under the Trader options.