Game Formats in Planets

Planets can be played in various game formats, ranging from 1-player games vs an artificial intelligence up to Giant Melee Games with up to 30 players. For each game the starmap is generated randomly, so the playing field never looks the same.


Single Player Levels are small maps where beginner and intermediate players can try out and practice their skills versus an artificial intelligence called ‘Hiatus’. Each of the small maps opens new tasks that is harder than the one before. At the time of this writing, 10 levels per race can be played and Hiatus sometimes is very hard to beat.

  • The Levels can be accessed by pressing the ‘Levels’ button above your game overview.


Blitz Games are 1 on 1 Planets Games on a very small starmap and – depending on the turn frequency – often require only a few hours to days to complete. Blitz Games can be played vs. one live opponent or the artificial intelligence called ‘Hiatus’. Due to their relatively short game length are Blitz Games the only format that is used for tournaments. While alliances and cooperations are extremely important in the larger game formats the Blitz Game mainly focused on military strength and strategic abilities. Furthermore it is an ideal set-up for tactical training or sandbox tests or to test people from the community in a 1:1 duel.


Classic ‘Vanilla’ Games are the most played games in the Planets universe:
11 players command 11 different, yet balanced races on a map with 500 planets. Each race starts with one homeworld and seeks to colonize the surrounding and unknown planets in order to create structures that generate minerals and ressources for starbase and starship production. Since the aim is to control more than 200 planets to win a game (or 250 planets in a bilateral alliance), the process of expansion often results in conflicts, tactical battles and even wars and requires skillful diplomacy and well-chosen foes and allies.

Classic Games are the oldest format in Planets and reach back to the early 1990’s, when neither win-conditions nor the new online interface existed. They have been altered in very small steps over the last 25 years to improve the race balance, but have remained in their structure like originally designed. One of the key elements of Vanilla Games is that you only play with (or against) human players and that each game has its own and unpredictable developments.


Campaign Games are Classic Games that have additional features enabled. Each player can choose between several race abilities and ships that can be brought into the game. The choice needs to be made before going into the game and cannot be changed while the game is running. Each choice costs a number of so-called ‘Advantage Points’ that are limited for each game. These limits ensure that no excessive use of special advantages is possible and to maintain the game balance among each player. All advantages need to be researched by the player before they can be activated for the Campaign specials. The necessary ressources can be collected through active gameplay and successful battles.

Campaign Games can also include ‘Stellar Cartography’ Maps that have additional objects on the star map, such as nebulae, star clusters or asteroid fields. Each of these objects has its own rules and behviours, what raises the map and game complexity.


Giant Melee Games are Classic or Campaign Games with a bigger Starmap and up to 30 active players. Player in Giant Melees step right into the action of a densely populated universe and don’t have time for development as there is in Classic Games. Giant Melee Games often have a running start, players who join late will receive more than the usual ‘Starter Kit’ of one Homeworld and one freighter in order to keep up with the crowd. Often a large alliance and complex diplomacy is required to survive a Giant Melee as you never know who will show up when, how and from where.


Mentor Games (or Mentor vs. Midshipman Games) are a relatively new format that is comparable with an old game format from the 1990’s called ‘Ashes of the Old Empire’. Up to 14 players can join a game with one experienced player in the middle who explains all necessary playing techniques until all have completed the tasks at different levels of engagement. With increasing difficulty the game escalates and ends in a full grown war of all ‘Midshipmen’ vs the Mentor who will try to survive the combined skills of well-trained officers.


Team Games are made for those who wish to play in a pre-defined alliance with family and friends and wish to compare their strengths to others around the globe. Team games require a good portion of co-ordination and a good hand for the choice of the races you play together and usually they are a lot of fun.


Die Hard Games are privately generated games with a special set of additional rules:
Each player must commit to stay in the game, no matter how the game develops or he/she will be booed at or insulted in the community. Only premium players are allowed to join in order to have a competitive playing field. In return you can expect each race and player giving you hell as good as they can.

  • To join a Die Hard Game watch closely in the Planets.Nu community: Every few weeks a new game is announced by the players Big Beefer or Anaconda. The wait is definetely worth it.


The hardest game format in the Planets Universe: Once a year all top players for each race on the Leaderboard are invited to represent their species in a world championship game in which the next ‘Emperor’ is fought out. Opposed to all other game formats there can only be one winner (no alliances allowed) what makes these games extremely hard to play and diplomatically very challenging. Each player has to give up all his scores he accumulated for this race bevore joining a championship game – and only the winner will get them back. All others will fall a long way if they don’t succeed.

  • To qualify for a championship game you must be ranking first in the Leaderboard in one of the races when the invitations are sent out. If the first ranking officer declines and you are ranking second, you might be having a very good day.