How To Build Your First Moon Base
Updated Mon Jan 6 2014

Your first moon base is challenging because a space rocket is the only vehicle available to get it started. The space rocket is difficult to maneuver and cargo space is limited. This topic shows how to build a moon base with only one rocket trip to the moon.

Once your first moon base is operational, you will have the materials needed to manufacture spacecraft. Spacecraft enable you to carry passengers and large amounts of cargo. This makes starting the next city vastly easier, whether it is on a paradise habitable world or the harshest inferno magma ball.

This topic assumes you have built a city on a habitable planet that is manufacturing space rockets, such as a new emperor's home planet. That city will be called the home city. Read How To Build Your First City if you have not built a home city.

Home City Infrastructure

Prepare the home city to support a moon base. Build up the infrastructure that is needed in the home city before you go to the moon.

Build an airport terminal in the home city. An airport terminal creates a trade connection with all other cities in the solar system that also have an airport terminal. Roads and wharfs similarly create land and sea trade connections between cities. Trade connections allow supplies to flow between the cities that are interconnected.

Build a broker in the home city. A broker imports all types of commodities from cities that are connected. Each level of the broker causes it to import a larger percentage of the commodities available. Retail stores, cantinas, and grocery stores also import commodities from connected cities, but only the products they sell. None of them sells eludium so, without a broker, no eludium would ever be imported from the moon base we are planning to build.

The moon base will consume a large amount of air. A broker built on the moon will import air and all other kinds of commodities, including water, from the home city. Water can be converted to air by a refinery to augment the air supply. To prepare for the air demands of the moon base, manufacture both air and water in the home city.

Build an eight-level refinery in the home city. Set the refinery to manufacture air. There are several processes for making air. Select Air using Atmosphere to collect breathable air directly from the atmosphere. By the way, this process does not require a breathable atmosphere; it can be used in a harsh atmosphere to extract breathable components.

Build wells and treatment plants to produce water. Water wells can be dug anywhere on the terrain, no specific geological formation is required. Treatment plants can be built on the coast and on land. A treatment plant on land requires a source of ice to convert to water. Ice is mined where ice is present on the terrain.

The airless environment of the moon will be deadly. Build a two-level armorer. Set one level to make environment suits and set the other level to make environment suit helmets.

Go to a retail store and purchase an environment suit and a helmet. Read How To Go Shopping for more information. An environment suit isn't essential if you can't afford it.

Finally, build a pharmaceutical lab to make medical kits. A medical kit is not essential but it is a cheap alternative if you cannot afford an environment suit. You'll need to heal yourself a lot.

The home city now has the infrastructure necessary to support a moon base.

Preparing For The Journey

Plan to carry everything you need to build an airport terminal and a broker on the moon in one trip. Those two buildings are needed to connect the new moon base with the home city. Once the moon base is connected to the home city, supplies can be imported and colonists will begin to arrive.

The Construction window shows what is required to build each building. When a building is selected, the Construction Materials section shows a list of commodity icons. The tooltip on the construction commodity icons shows the actual number of each commodity needed to build the building in the current environment. Harsh environments add 1 electronic part, 3 metal, and 2 plastic to the construction of every building level.

Town Square
Airport Terminal on Moon
Broker on Moon
Total With Spares

Electronic Part

Mechanical Part









Soldering Iron


Fly a space rocket to the retail store in the home city. Land as close as possible to the retail store.

Exit the rocket so you can shop at the retail store; don't walk far from the rocket. Buy three crates. Build a carpenter or a plastic factory if necessary to manufacture crates.

Buy all of the materials needed to build the airport terminal and the broker on the moon. Buy spares of each due to the failure rate of materials when fetched. The table above shows a suggested Total With Spares that will fit into 3 crates; your choices for spares may vary depending on the quality of your construction materials.

If you can't afford all of this stuff, don't buy the stone. It can be foraged from the ground on the moon. Read How To Forage From the Environment for more information.

Get into the rocket. You are carrying over a ton of construction materials so movement will be slow or impossible. If you did not move away from the rocket, simply turn toward it and get back inside.

The second seat in the space rocket enables you to bring a citizen colonist along with you. On the Comm window, press the Load Crew, Passengers or Troops button. Offer the seat to a passenger and a citizen will get into the rocket with you. The space rocket must be landed on a road slab to board a passenger.

By the way, the second seat can be used to carry cargo, instead of a passenger. To use the second seat for cargo, get into the rocket and drop one of the crates in your inventory. It will be placed in the second seat position. Click on the crate to pick it back up. The crate can only be picked up if you are inside the rocket. This works for other items and in other multi-seat vehicles too.

Blast Off

Fly the rocket to a moon or other planet. Do not try to land on a large gas giant or the sun; you will not survive. Look for a good site to build a moon base.

Locate eludium and lumenite. They are mineral resources so they will be labeled in top-down view. If you find both eludium and lumenite, but they are on different worlds from each other, build the first base where the eludium exists. Eludium enables you to build a spacecraft with gravity drives. Without lumenite, the ship could not have wormhole drives. However, that spacecraft would make building a second base at the lumenite outcropping far easier than using a rocket.

Ice is valuable if you find it. Colder moons will often have ice patches. Ice can be mined and converted to water and air, enabling a moon base to become self-sufficient.

Radioactives provide fuel for nuclear power. The presense of radioactives is a positive factor when selecting a location for the moon base, if you intend to build nuclear power plants.

Small distant planets can be difficult to spot. They are easier to spot when the rocket is moving very fast. Look around when moving quickly and the smaller planets will be more apparent.

The fuel cell on the rocket lasts 20 minutes. If you explore your solar system using a rocket, bring extra hydrogen with you. The K key will refuel your current vehicle using items in your inventory.

Moon Base Alpha

Land on the moon at the site you selected for the moon base.

Switch to top-down view and build the town square of the moon base a short distance from the rocket but not beneath the rocket.

Build a road beneath the rocket. The Labor window can be used to do the work without exiting the rocket.

On the Comm window, press the Debark Passengers button to unload the colonist. The space rocket must be landed on a road slab to unload a passenger. The colonist leaves the rocket and joins the local population, becoming a citizen of the new moon base. The new citizen will help construct the moon base.

Build an airport terminal on the terrain next to the road slab. Lift off with the rocket and land on the airport terminal construction site.

Move a hammer and a soldering iron into your ready inventory. Your ready inventory is any inventory position that is not inside a container.

Be sure your environment suit is on and your helmet visor is closed before exiting the rocket.
If you do not have an environment suit, prepare to perform the next step quickly.

Exit the rocket. Drop all three crates of construction materials where you are standing. Get back into the rocket.

On the Labor window, press the Work Construction Site button. Materials are fetched from the city's inventory and from materials lying physically in the construction site, such as the crates.

The Work Construction Site button checks to see if the needed tools are in the city's inventory and it also checks your ready inventory. Apply work until the airport terminal is completed.

Exit the rocket. The air inside all building sites is breathable without an environment suit. Pick up the crates. Get back into the rocket.

Use the Construction window to build a broker. Fly the rocket to the broker construction site and build it the same way you built the airport terminal, using the materials in the crates.

The new moon base is now connected to the home city. It may take a few minutes for the first shipment of supplies to arrive. Cities import commodities every six minutes. The new moon base is ready to grow.

Growth Tips

Unlike a habitable environment, citizens in a harsh environment work all the time whether there is power or not.

Build mines to extract eludium and lumenite.

Lumenite mining requires tongs, a tool your city may not be manufacturing. When a building is selected on the Construction window, information about the building is shown at the lower portion of the window. The manufacturing process for the building can be selected using a combo box at the bottom. When a manufacturing process is selected, the tool tip on the combo box shows the requirements to run the process.

Add homes to the moon base by building houses, apartments or condominiums. Homes are needed for the population to grow.

Build a power plant. Power is needed for life support. Power production is the first priority when delegating jobs in a harsh environment. Citizens will work the power plant before anything else.

Build a refinery. Set the refinery to make air from water. Refinery operation is the second priority when delegating jobs in a harsh environment. Citizens will work the refinery before anything else except power production.

Food production consumes precious water. Imported food is usually sufficient. Food production is the third priority when delegating jobs in a harsh environment. Food production can help a moon base to become self sufficient. To produce animal by-products at a farm in a harsh environment, you must bring an animal to the farm.

Remaining jobs are allocated after power plant, refinery, and food production jobs are filled.