Provided that you are at least 50% built on your available planet space, you will be able to send exploration ships to unclaimed planets. Each planet does not need to be halfway built, only that the total number of buildings in your empire must be 50% of the total max space available on planets under your control.
Sending an exploration ship gets more expensive according to how many planets you control and how far away the planet you want to explore is from the nearest planet you control. There is a limit of 8 exploration ships that you are allowed to construct in any 24 hour period.
The cost of exploration will be reduced by 40% when casting Space Amazement (SA).
- Base Cost: (1500 x planet count) + (100 x distance)
- With SA: (Base Cost x 0.6)
Why can I not explore? How can I explore?
1. First, you must have 50% of your total building area covered with completed buildings (having buildings in queue but not yet completed will NOT allow you to explore).
2. Build an exploration ship in the Units menu
3. Go to the map and click on systems (stars) somewhere close to your homesystem or other planets you might have explored before (indicated by a yellow circle, once My Systems is checked in the side menu).
4. Find an empty planet (with no Empire name under it) that can support life. There are bonus resource and research planets also. Exploring safely in systems owned in majority by your family will bring some protection against other families taking your planets later.
5. You click on the planet and then the explore button. You need to pay a price in GCs for exploring. This price can be lowered by 40% if you cast the Space Amazement spell first.
6. After paying, the exploration ship goes off to the planet.
Exploration Time = (SQRT((xDifference)^2 + (yDifference)^2))* 1/(1+SpeedBonus%)
You can't explore planets immediately though, it always takes at least 1 tick, even when it states 0 ticks as travel time.
Exploration ships start off from the nearest planet you own (even if there is no portal).
Note: The exploration ship vanishes after its used. You can't explore twice with 1 ship.
Note2: An exploration ships that tries to explore an already explored planet will be safely returned to the main fleet.