Colony and Sector automation

TLDR: For colony automation I would recommend:

– Ensuring every planet is in a sector (with a governor)

– Turn off automation for the sector

– Enable automation for individual colonies, setting the world type based on the planet's available districts

– Enable a monthly transfer of energy credits and/or minerals into the shared stockpile (CTRL/SHIFT+CLICK is your friend). It doesn't matter which- choose whatever you have in more abundance.

– Manually add any improvements you want which the automation system might not choose.

I'm new to this game, and the colony automation (automatically constructing buildings and districts) was a little hard to understand. I found some guides that introduce the feature, but didn't answer all of my questions. So I did some experimenting, changing the settings, watching what the AI built, then refunding and repeating. Here is what I found:

– There are two types of automation. Colony automation, configured from the "Planet Summary" screen, and sector automation, configured from the "Planets and Sectors" screen.

– Colony automation, when turned on, overrides sector automation. Improvements are chosen based on the world type (eg, "Mining World").

– If Colony automation is turned off, and sector automation is enabled, improvements are chosen according to the sector setting- *not* the world type.

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– Colonies *must* be in a sector (not frontier) for automation to work- even if automation is turned on from the "Planet Summary"

– Improvements are paid for from the sector's local stockpile, or the global stockpile. If refunded, the funds are returned to the local stockpile, even if they came from the global stockpile.

– Stockpiles do not discriminate between energy and minerals. You can put just energy into the stockpile, and the automation system can build things which require minerals. (I assume the converse is true- improvements requiring energy (just blockers?) may be paid from stockpiles supplied with minerals).

I'll also add as a quick tip, when adjusting the monthly stockpile automatic transfer, you can use the CTRL and SHIFT keys to increment/decrement by 10 and 100 respectively.

Here's what I could decipher about the actual algorithm the automation system uses for choosing buildings:

– Is non-destructive. Does not demolish/replace buildings or districts. Will replace abandoned buildings with the same one.

– Upgrades buildings, even if they don't coincide with the chosen world type.

– Seems to account for housing, amenities, available jobs, and unemployment.

– Seems to favor buildings over districts (unless housing is needed).

– Seems to not account for macro economy.

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It seems pretty reasonable, at least, at a local level. On the macro level it can have issues- at least, the sector automation did for me. I was playing a devouring swarm, and had ~70 planets, which was way too many to manage, which is why I began looking into any of this at all. I turned on sector automation to "balance" for all my sectors, and eventually it created so many Alloy Foundries that my alloy stockpile hit the ceiling and was being thrown away while my mineral stockpile completely depleted.

If anyone has any other insight, I'd love to here it. Cheers


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