|Ships, planets, and other objects in the game are referred to as contacts. Besides planetary structures, contacts are shown in three colors: Red, Yellow and Green. Green contacts are friendly objects. Yellow are neutral. However, please note that DarkSpace has a different take on neutral forces than most. Neutral forces, such as planets, ships, space monsters, and the like are hostile to ALL factions. Any cargo items floating in space will be yellow, and will turn green if claimed by a friendly, or red if claimed by an enemy. Red contacts denote one thing, and one thing only... the enemy! Any red contacts on your screen should cause you to sit up and take note. A simplification of your goal in DarkSpace is to eliminate every contact listed in red. Several planetary structures have their own color codes, and these are best learned by observing the structures on friendly planets.
Many subclasses of contacts exist, each offering different options for interaction.
o Vessels: Whether scout or station, vessels offer the same types of interactive options. You can follow them, setting your ship to stay as close as possible. You can shadow them, which is similar to following, but keeps a greater distance. You can even unload infantry or cargo onto them if you are close enough.
o Fighters/Missiles/Bombs/Infantry Landing Pods: Fighters and missiles provide few possibilities for interaction. Your only real interaction is to shoot them if they belong to the enemy.
o Planetary Infantry: Ground based infantry can be issued orders in the lower right of your screen when selected. They may be set to focus on attacking enemies, stay in place to defend a spot, or raze buildings. Additionally, you can disband infantry on your own planets. You can also load friendly infantry onto your ship.
o Cargo: Cargo pods can be loaded onto your ship by pressing the "L" key, and unloaded onto nearby targets like infantry or sold to starports.
o General Planetary Structures: All planetary structures can be paused or scrapped using the interface in the lower right.
o Barracks: Barracks can be set to produce either Infantry or Heavy Infantry.
o Starports: Starports are used to transport resources around a system. Pressing "Ctrl+U" with the starport selected will load resources into your cargo, which can then be unloaded at another port by pressing the "U" key.
o Shipyards: Shipyards can be used to dock your ship and to spawn new ships. To dock, select the shipyard ("Ctrl+Y"), and use the structure ("Ctrl+U"). You will have to use it twice to confirm the ship exchange.
o Asteroids: Asteroids can be mined by any ship with a mining beam. They can also be tractored or shot. They cause heavy damage to any ship that runs into them, or any planet they crash onto.
o Planets: Planets can be selected directly, as well as selecting the surface spaces on the planet. You can orbit a planet, or unload cargo onto a surface space. Engineers can build structures on surface spaces.