Legion Expansion – Community Faction Mod

Created by the Progenitors in the dying days of the Pro-Com war, the Legion represented humanity’s last ditch effort to defeat the base game Machine Liberation Army (MLA) faction. It failed. When the superweapon was unleashed which disabled the MLA the Legion were not spared. Millennia later they have awoken and seek to win the unwinnable war for which they were created, in memory of their creators.

A labour of love put together over the course of many years, the Legion Expansion introduces over a hundred new units to form an entirely new faction equal in size and scope of the base game. You can use it in multiplayer, or play against the AI in skirmish.

Legion units lack the mobility and numbers of the base game MLA faction, instead their focus is on raw power. While the enemy are many, the Legion units armour is strong and their guns powerful. They do not focus on early raiding or rapid expansion, rather they prepare themselves to strike a single mighty blow that both begins and ends the battle.


Legion Expansion is installed from the Community Mods recommended tab in-game. AI support is included within the mod for skirmish play, but for enhanced AI try installing the Queller AI mod.

Hosting and Joining Games

To host Legion games ensure the Legion Expansion mod is enabled in Community Mods.

Each time you host a multiplayer Legion Expansion game, PA will upload the server mod to the server so please be patient. The speed at which this occurs depends on your upload bandwidth.

Legion games are shown in the games browser with a red Legion icon.

Community Mods will automatically install Legion Expansion if needed when players join a Legion game.

You can play as Legion by selecting a red Legion Commander in the new game lobby.

Legion Expansion Overview

Playing against the base game Machine Liberation Army (MLA) faction, you’ll often find yourself facing down never-ending swarms of units. Even with some of the most powerful units at your disposal, it can be easy to be overrun by the sheer number of enemy forces.

Each Legion unit has strengths and weaknesses. Experiment with new and different unit combinations to find powerful synergies where your units support each other and become a much deadlier force as a whole. Use every tool and ounce of cleverness at your disposal. Whether it’s scouting with hidden Investigators, jumping over obstacles with Purger boombots, forming strong points with Rampart shield generators, or surgically inserting your forces with flying Comet teleporters to do crippling damage.

A typical game against the base game MLA faction will flow something like this:

  • Early game: Defend against the base game MLA faction mobility advantage
  • Mid-game: Push out with advantage of strong units – defender attacker roles flipped
  • Late game: Advantages and disadvantages normalize as both factions develop to full capacity

Early Game

All that heavy armour and weapons means you’re not as mobile as the base game MLA faction, which means they will have an expansion advantage. Defend your expansions and stabilize your economy. Make use of the very cheap Jackal light laser turret to ward off small numbers of raiding units.

At the same time, you can still surprise the base game MLA faction players with a taste of their own medicine. The Marauder gunship is superb for picking off unguarded fabricators, the Stoke can clean up undefended metal extractors, and at sea the Catfish is great for scouting and exerting pressure.

During this phase you should focus on building up your troop numbers.


While still outnumbered, your units will be very strong when grouped together to concentrate their firepower against the enemy. With a focus on quality over quantity, you can start to push out and outright threaten the base game MLA faction forces with a quick defeat if they are unable to organize sufficient defense.

Late Game

Your forces should be supplemented with T2 troops now. Whether you pick T2 bots or vehicles will depend on the playstyle you enjoy – both have their strengths and weaknesses. If you have air dominance, consider roasting large groups of enemies with the Salamander heavy bomber.

Changes since recording – Wraith renamed to Spectre, Excalibur renamed to Paladin

Unit Database



The Xziphid war was won by the Commanders, intelligent machines created to carry out the bidding of the Progenitors. In the aftermath a number of them broke away, forming the MLA. They took the fight to their former masters and started the Pro-Com war.

Though powerful, the Progenitors could not defeat their own creations. During the peak of the war a new generation of Commander was created, programmed to be be utterly loyal and devoted to their masters and without mercy for the foe. The Legion was born. They had access to the greatest of the Progenitor’s creations, and so for a time the tide seemed to have turned.

But war is won by logistics, and the MLA had spread too far, harvested too much. The Legion fought well but despite many glorious victories in battle they were losing. It was at this point that the Progenitors unleashed their weapon of last resort: a superweapon designed to take out all of their machine creations. The Pro-Com war was over and for millennia the galaxy was quiet.

Then something disturbed the peace and the Legion awoke to find their creators gone, but the hated foe still present. So the Legion marches once more to war, in memory of the creators they still love dearly.


This project is not the work of one, but of a legion.

nicb1Project Lead / Models
CrembelsConcept Artist
KillerKiwiJuiceModels / Textures / Code / Effects
Alpha2546Effects / Balance
QuitchAI / Media
Stuart98Code / Strategic Icons
ElodeaBalance Lead / Effects / Media
AndreasGBalance Lead


Legion Expansion is dual licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License and the MIT license for software portions containing JavaScript code.


TITANS Balance Changes

Discord: https://discord.gg/pa

Unit database: https://palobby.com/units

Upcoming Balance Changes

  • Reduced ranges for most units

Upcoming New Mechanics

  • Deep space radar
  • Shields

Recent Balance Changes

Refer to technical details for spec changes.


115678 / 115693

Underwater vision removed for all non amphibious land units.

AA target priorities now include Icarus solar drone.

Spark vision decreased.

Grenadier vision decreased.

Changed amphibious units on sea floor to require underwater vision if below the water line (115693)

115506 / 115521

Grenadier range decreased.

Catapult tactical missile launcher rate of fire and cost increased.

Holkins long range artillery cost increased.

Orca destroyer torpedo range decreased.

Orbital Fabrication Bot surface radar changed to surface vision.

115447 / 115459

Fixed beam weapon collisions with structures, terrain and water surface.

Commander can now build orbital launchers and umbrellas.

Icarus solar drone beam weapon now collides with enemies, structures, terrain and water surface

Orbital Launcher cost decreased and now buildable by commander.

Orbital Factory cost increased.

Umbrella is now buildable by commander.

Anchor beam weapon now collides with enemies, structures, terrain and water surface.

SXX-1304 laser platform beam weapon now collides with enemies, structures, terrain and water surface with no underwater vision.

Artemis railgun platform beam weapon now collides with enemies and structures.

Omega orbital battleship beam weapon now collides with enemies, structures and terrain and can target seafloor with underwater vision.

Helios orbital titan beam weapon now collides with enemies, structures and terrain.

Dox assault bot speed increased.

Grenadier vision and range decreased.

Storm mobile flak no longer has under water vision.


Dox assault bot acceleration increased.

Advanced Metal Extractor production rate increased.


Stryker attack vehicle speed decreased to match Dox.

Ant light tank turn rate increased.

Grenadier vision decreased.

Spark tesla bot range increased.

Mend advanced combat fabricator cost decreased.

Spinner anti-air vehicle rate of fire decreased.

Piranha gunboat range decreased.

Barracuda submarine now has radar stealth.

Kraken advanced stealth submarine can now be targeted by mines.

Horsefly advanced heavy strafing aircraft cost decreased.

Angel advanced air support platform cost decreased.

Land and sea mines now reveal units and target radar stealth.


Grenadier acceleration decreased.

Added UNITTYPE_WaterHover and are no longer targetable by below the waterline naval torpedoes

Note: This excludes amphibious torpedoes from:

  • Commander
  • Slammer advanced assault bot

The following naval below the waterline torpedo weapons no longer target UNITTYPE_WaterHover with "exclude_unit_types": "Hover | WaterHover"


Vanguard heavy tank is now a mobile radar jammer.

Grenadier splash damage decreased.

Slammer advanced assault bot damage decreased.

Typhoon drone carrier Squall drones torpedo damage decreased.

Jig gas mining platform cost increased.

114803 / 114823

Grenadier splash radius decreased and velocity range increased.

Gil-E advanced sniper bot vision decreased and can no longer target seafloor.

Naval Basic Fabrication Ship navigation changed to new water-hover with updated flat bottom model.

Barnacle support barge navigation changed to new water-hover with updated flat bottom model and can now build teleporters on land


  • Fixed target priorities vision


Fixed attack (focus fire) delayed targeting and charging to their death for units with a firing delay, ballistic solutions, etc. eg Commander, Grenadier, Hornets, etc.

Added water-hover navigation type for low draft brown water navy access to shallows.


  • Faster and more accurate alt-fire ubercannon d-gun
  • Fixed all commanders to have identical mesh bounds based on base commander spec

Piranha gunboat / sea scout:

  • Navigation changed to new water-hover with updated flat bottom model

Area build:

  • Four wide strips of land mines
  • Double walls
  • Nuke farm sphere
  • Double Galata Anti-Air
  • Double Flak Cannon Advanced Anti-Air


Partially fixed attack (focus fire) charging to their death for units with a firing delay, ballistic solutions, etc. eg Grenadier, Hornets, etc.

Queued area load and unload can now be used to create a temporary ferry.

Commander build range increased.

Icarus solar drone speed increased.

Stryker attack vehicle speed increased (faster than Dox)

Grenadier rate of fire, yaw, range and accuracy increased

Drifter hover tank range and damage increased

Pelter medium range artillery range and accuracy decreased

Orbital Launcher cost decreased

Mend advanced combat fabricator can now build Anti-Nuke Launchers and Umbrella anti-orbital defenses (check the build range)

Anchor defense satellite ground weapon range decreased

Jig gas mining platform energy and metal production decreased


Orbital Fabrication Bot can now build T1 metal extractors.

Stryker attack vehicle ammo damage and velocity increased.

New Units

Stinger anti-air bot

Horsefly advanced heavy strafing aircraft

Stryker attack vehicle

New Mechanics / Automation

Radar Jamming

Vanguard heavy tank is now a mobile radar jammer.

Area Load / Chase and Custom Formation Unload

The following transports can now queue area loads:

Note: area load will now wait for units to enter or rolloff a factory in the area and can be queued with unload to create a temporary ferry.

Area load / chase and custom formation unload are also enabled in classic PA.

Auto Reclaim

The following can now auto reclaim:

  • Mend advanced combat fabricator
  • Angel advanced air support platform

Note: patrol will not normally reclaim if economy is positive and metal storage is full. Auto reclaim units will always reclaim wreckage while patrolling.

Amphibious Sea Floor Targeting

Amphibious units moving on the seafloor which are near the water or above the water surface can now be targeted as surface units.

The following can no longer target sea floor (113929):

Defenders still have the advantage as units must surface and if underwater they can still be targeted by artillery and bombers.

Amphibious sea floor targeting is also enabled in classic PA.

Water Hover Navigation Type

Brown water navy are now water hover to access shallows (114438) and are no longer targeted by below the water line naval torpedoes (114980).

Noteworthy Balance Changes in 2019

T2 Advanced Metal Extractor cost increased and production rate decreased to slow T2 rush in favour of expansion, map control and T1 units (113410).

The following can no longer target air (113945)

Advanced Hornet tactical bomber and Wyrm heavy bomber speeds increased.

Naval speeds increased to be faster than land (113553).

Typhoon drone carrier Squall drones can fire torpedoes (113318).

Target priorities updated for:

Technical Details

Land and sea mines changed to sight vision which now reveals units and targets radar stealth.


T2 Advanced Metal Extractor

  • Post increased from 1,500 to 2,000 (113410)
  • Production rate decreased from 20 to 15 (113410)
  • Production rate increased to 16 from 15 (115186)

T2 Bot / Vehicle / Air / Naval Advanced Factories

  • Cost increased to 4,800 from 4,500 (113034)



Boom bot

  • Removed underwater vision (115693)

Dox assault bot

  • Can no longer target sea floor (113929)
  • Can no longer target air (113945)
  • Acceleration increased to 180 from 50 (115186)
  • Speed increased to 19 from 18 (115447)


  • Rate of fire increased to 0.5 from 0.4 (114344)
  • Range increased to 145 from 130 (114344)
  • Yaw ranged increased to 135 from 90 (114344)
  • Idle aim delay decreased to 0.5 from 1.0 (114344)
  • Firing standard deviation decreased to 0.75 from 1.0 (114344 / 114803)
  • Splash radius decreased to 5 from 6 (114803)
  • Min firing velocity decreased to 70 from 85 (114803)
  • Max firing velocity increased to 90 from 88 (114823)
  • Splash damage decreased to 30 from 40 (114862)
  • Acceleration decreased from 120 to 100 (114980)
  • Vision decreased to 125 from 130 (115050)
  • Vision decreased to 115 from 125 (115447)
  • Range decreased to 140 from 145 (115506)
  • Removed underwater vision (115678)
  • Vision decreased to 100 from 115 (115678)

Spark tesla bot

  • Range increased to 70 from 65 (115050)
  • Vision decreased to 120 from 130 (115678)
  • Removed underwater vision (115678)

Mend T2 advanced combat fabricator (check the build range)

Slammer T2 advanced assault bot

  • Can no longer target sea floor (113929)
  • Damage decreased to 90 from 100 (114852)

Gil-E T2 advanced sniper bot

  • Velocity increased to 1000 from 600 (113929)
  • Can now target Stingray Tactical Missile (113945)
  • Vision and range decreased to 200 from 220 (114803)
  • Can no longer target seafloor (114803)

Bluehawk T2 mobile tactical missile

  • Removed underwater vision (115693)

Locusts T2 nanobot swarms

  • TBC

Lob Dox launcher

  • Range decreased to effective range of 240 (no change to existing behaviour and range circle will now be correct)

Vehicles / Tanks

Skitter vehicle scout

  • Added UNITTYPE_Vehicle (114980)

Stryker attack vehicle

  • Can no longer target sea floor (113929)
  • Can no longer target air (113945)
  • Damage increased to 15 from 12 (114218)
  • Ammo velocity increased to 140 from 120 (114218)
  • Speed increased to 20 from 15 (114344)
  • Added UNITTYPE_Vehicle (114980)
  • Speed decreased to 18 from 20 to match Dox (115050)
  • Removed underwater vision (115693)

Ant light tank

  • Can no longer target sea floor (113929)
  • Turn rate increased to 120 from 90 (115050)

Inferno armour tank

  • Removed underwater vision (115693)

Drifter hover tank

  • Can no longer target sea floor (113929)
  • Range increased to 115 from 100 (114344)
  • Damage increased to 125 from 120 (114344)

Leveler T2 advanced tank

  • Can no longer target sea floor (113929)
  • Range increased to 140 from 120 (113936)
  • Velocity increased to 160 from 140 (113936)
  • Turn rate increased to 60 from 50 (113936)

Vanguard T2 advanced heavy tank

  • Radar increased to 260 from 150 (113936)
  • Radar jamming 75 added (114862)
  • Removed underwater vision (115678)

Sheller T2 mortar tank

  • Removed underwater vision (115678)

Ares hover titan

  • Target priorities added (113318)
    • Commander
    • Titan & ( Land | Naval )
    • Artillery & Advanced & ( Land | Naval )
    • Nuke | NukeDefense

Also see mobile anti-air below.


Pelter medium range artillery

  • Firing standard deviation increased to 0.5 from 0.35
  • Range decreased to 240 from 260

Catapult tactical missile launcher

  • Rate of fire increased to 0.4 from 0.2
  • Cost increased to 2,000 from 1,800

Holkins T2 long range artillery

  • Target priorities added (113318)
    • Commander
    • Titan & ( Land | Naval )
    • Artillery & Advanced & ( Land | Naval )
    • Nuke | NukeDefense
  • Cost increased to 10,000 from 9,600 (115506)

Mobile Anti-Air

Spinner anti-air vehicle

  • Rate of fire increased to 3 from 2 (113034)
  • Range increased to 130 from 120 (113929)
  • Added UNITTYPE_Vehicle (114980)
  • Rate of fire decreased to 2.4 from 3 (115050)
  • Removed underwater vision (115693)

Storm T2 advanced mobile flak vehicle (113681)

  • Health increased to 400 from 300
  • Changed to fire 4 projectiles
  • Damage decreased to 15 from 60
  • Splash damage decreased to 10 from 30
  • Velocity increased to 100 from 60
  • Added pitch of 60 with pitch rate of 360
  • Second stage duration decreased to 300 from 700
  • First target priority changed to Air & (Bomber | Gunship)
  • Range increased to 100 from 80 (113929)
  • Removed underwater vision (115447)

Static Anti-Air

Galata Anti-Air

  • Rate of fire increased to 4 from 3 (113034)
  • Removed underwater vision (115678)

Flak Cannon T2 advanced anti-air (113681)

  • Changed to fire 4 beams
  • Damage decreased to 40 from 150
  • Splash damage decreased to 40 from 150
  • First target priority changed to Air & (Bomber | Gunship)
  • Range increased to 120 from 100 (113929)
  • Removed underwater vision (115678)


Icarus Solar Drone

  • Speed increased to 50 from 30 (114344)

Kestrel T2 advanced gunship

  • Target priorities added (113318)
    • Commander
    • AirDefense & ( Land | Naval )
    • Titan & ( Land | Naval )
    • Artillery & Advanced & ( Land | Naval )
    • Nuke | NukeDefense
  • Damage decreased to 15 from 20 (113681)

Hornet T2 advanced tactical bomber

  • Target priorities added (113318)
    • Commander
    • AirDefense & ( Land | Naval )
    • Titan & ( Land | Naval )
    • Artillery & Advanced & ( Land | Naval )
    • Nuke | NukeDefense
  • Speed increased to 40 from 30 (113953)
  • Can no longer target seafloor or underwater layer / subs (113953)
  • Cost increased to 800 from 600 (113600)

Horsefly T2 advanced heavy strafing aircraft

  • Cost increased to 2,000 from 1,200 (114353)
  • Health decreased to 1,250 from 1,500 (114349)
  • No longer targets air (114349)
  • Cost decreased to 1,800 from 2,000 (115050)

Wyrm T2 advanced heavy siege bomber

  • Target priorities added (113318)
    • Commander
    • AirDefense & ( Land | Naval )
    • Titan & ( Land | Naval )
    • Artillery & Advanced & ( Land | Naval )
    • Nuke | NukeDefense
  • Added heavy unit type UNITTYPE_HEAVY (113681)
  • Speed increased to 30 from 20 (113945)

Angel T2 advanced air support platform

  • Can now manually reclaim wreckage / features and will auto reclaim nearby wreckage if nothing to repair
  • Speed increased to 40 from 30 (113945)
  • Health increased to 1,200 from 1,000 (113945)
  • Cost decreased to 5,000 from 5,500 (115050)

Zeus air titan

  • Target priorities added (113318)
    • Commander
    • AirDefense & ( Land | Naval )
    • Artillery & Advanced & ( Land | Naval )
    • Nuke | NukeDefense


Naval Fabrication Ship

  • Navigation changed to new water-hover with updated flat bottom model (114438)
  • Added UNITTYPE_WaterHover (114980)
  • No longer targetable by torpedoes (114980)

Piranha gunboat / sea scout

  • Navigation changed to new water-hover with updated flat bottom model (114438)
  • Removed UNITTYPE_Scout (114980)
  • Added UNITTYPE_WaterHover (114980)
  • No longer targetable by torpedoes (114980)
  • Range decreased to 120 from 130 (115050)

Barnacle support barge

  • Navigation changed to new water-hover with updated flat bottom model (114438)
  • Added UNITTYPE_WaterHover (114980
  • )No longer targetable by torpedoes (114980)

Narwhal frigate

  • Speed increased to 12 from 9 (113550)
  • Target priorities: (114473)
    • Air & ( Transport | Bomber | Gunship | Titan )
    • Mobile & Air
  • Target priorities: (115678)
    • Air & ( EnergyProduction | Transport | Bomber | Gunship | Titan )
    • Mobile & Air

Orca destroyer

  • Torpedoes now have splash damage (113318)
  • Speed increased to 12 from 9 (113550)
  • Torpedo range decreased to 145 from 150 (115506)

Barracuda stealth submarine

  • Added radar stealth (115050)

Stingray T2 advanced missile ship

  • Speed increased to 11 from 8 (113550)
  • Anti-air target priorities: (114473)
    • Air & ( Transport | Bomber | Gunship | Titan )
    • Mobile & Air
  • Anti-air target priorities: (115678)
    • Air & ( EnergyProduction | Transport | Bomber | Gunship | Titan )
    • Mobile & Air

Leviathan T2 advanced battleship

  • Speed increased to 11 from 8 (113550)

Typhoon T2 advanced drone carrier

  • Speed increased to 11 from 8 (113550)
  • Cost decreased to 5,200 from 6,500 (113550)
  • Ammo rate increased to 30 metal per second or 20 stored drones then one per second once depleted (113550)
  • Initial launch stage decreased to 200 from 500 for shorter launch before turn (113550)
  • Now targets sea floor (113550)
  • Guard layer changed to WL_AnyLayer from WL_AnySurface with guard radius of 100 (113583)
  • Launch projectile lifetime changed to 3.0 from 2.0 (113583)
  • Squall drones
    • Drones can now fire a single short range low damage torpedo (113318)
    • Weapons priority changed to torpedoes (113550)
    • Torpedo rate of fire increased to 0.8 from max 1 with up to 10 low damage torpedoes depending on range to target (113550)
    • Torpedo damage decreased to 75 from 100 (114862)

Kraken T2 advanced stealth submarine

  • Can now be targeted by mines (115050)



  • Commander buildable (115447)


Orbital Launcher

  • Cost decreased to 1,500 from 2,000 (114344)
  • Cost decreased to 600 from 1,500 (115447)
  • Commander buildable (115447)

Orbital Fabrication Bot

  • Can now build T1 metal extractors (114218)
  • Cost decreased to 600 to match T1 factories (115447)
  • Surface radar changed to surface vision (115506)

Anchor defense satellite

  • Ground weapon range reduced to 80 from 100 (114344)
  • Beam weapon now collides with enemies, structures, terrain and water surface (115447)

Jig gas mining platform

  • Metal production decreased to 30 from 36 (114344)
  • Energy production decreased to 7,500 from 9,000 (114344)
  • Cost increased to 4,000 from 3,000 (114862)

Orbital Factory

  • Cost increased to 6,000 from 3,600 (115447)

SXX-1304 laser platform

  • Beam weapon now collides with enemies, structures, terrain and water surface (115447)
  • Removed underwater vision (115459)

Artemis railgun platform

  • Beam weapon now collides with enemies and structures (115447)

Omega orbital battleship

  • Beam weapon now collides with enemies, structures and terrain (115447)
  • Can now target seafloor (115459)
  • Now has underwater vision of 200 (115459)

Helios orbital titan

  • Beam weapon now collides with enemies, structures and terrain (115447)



  • Anti-air rate of fire increased to 2 from 1 (113034)
  • Build range increased to 30 from 20 (114344)
  • Faster and more accurate alt-fire ubercannon d-gun (114438)
  • Fixed all commanders to have identical mesh bounds based on base commander spec (114438)
  • Can now build orbital launchers and umbrellas (115447)
  • Anti-air target priorities: (115678)
    • Air & ( EnergyProduction | Transport | Bomber | Gunship | Titan )
    • Mobile & Air

Planetary Annihilation Vocabulary

Discord: https://discord.gg/pa

Here’s what you need to know when playing Planetary Annihilation:

PAPlanetary Annihilation
PA:TPlanetary Annihilation: TITANS
MLAMachine Liberation Army (Legion name for base game faction)
LegionLegion Expansion – Community Faction Mod
CMMCommunity Mods Manager
PAMMObsolete PA Mod Manager
palobbyGames Browser
Unit Database (TITANS, Legion and Classic PA)
TITANS 1v1 Ranked Leaderboards
Dedicated Server Replays
ubercannon / d-gunCommander manual alt-fire of a short range, high damage, high energy weapon as a last line of defence
com snipeUnexpected death of a poorly protected / out of position / weakened Commander often using micro and focus fire from Booms, Bumblebees, Kestrels,, Titans, Holkins, nukes, SXX, etc.
death by icarus / death by a thousand cutsEmbarrassing com snipe using only Icarus (bonus points for using over a thousand)
com boxingCommander vs Commander close quarter battles
com pushUsing your Commander on the front lines to attack
boom bot pushUsing the speed of boom bots to push another unit faster than its normal speed (often used with a Manhattan or Commander)
fabberFabricator or builder
fabber snipeTargeting unprotected or poorly protected fabbers typically using bumblebee bombers, icarus solar drones, pelican drops or raids early game
T1Tier 1 basic units
T2Tier 2 advanced units
pgenPower Generator
mexMetal Extractor
treecoTree economy where trees are reclaimed for metal
build orderOpening build queues for commander and initial fabbers based on starting location, map type, game type and initial strategy that ideally minimises walking distance and maximises output without floating, stalling or crashing eco which are adjusted based on initial scouting of the enemy
floatingWhen resources (energy or metal or both) exceed demand resulting in wasted or unused resources (blue eco bar). Always use your float to expand and build more units
stalling / crashingWhen demand exceeds available resources (energy or metal or both) slowing production to less than 100% efficiency (red eco bar). When stalling energy, units requiring energy to operate like radars and teleporters may stop working
macroBig picture management of your build, economy, vision, placement, map control, unit composition, lines of attack, etc
scoutingConstantly maintaining awareness of your enemies base(s), forces and unit composition through vision and radar
expanding / expansionExpanding to claim all metal spots then defending your expansion against enemy raids or attacks to establish map control
proxyMini base with factories outside of main base typically around a metal expansion, lane, lake or area.
pressureUsing constant raiding, expansion, proxies, area denial, map control, multiple lines of attack and other tactics to dominate your opponent leaving them feeling constantly under pressure, reactive and overwhelmed.
area denialPreventing enemy units from occupying or navigating an area
kill zoneArea covered by direct fire used to ambush, trap or completely destroy enemy units that enter the zone (often using terrain to funnel units into single file or narrow spaces through a choke point)
microMicro managing individual units, platoons or groups
stop microStopping units to focus fire or rapidly change direction eg Bomber stop micro
focus fireExplicitly targeting an attack on a single unit or Commander
wiggle / danceMoving units side to side or in circles to avoid enemy fire eg Dox vs Bumblebees (bombers)
kitingMoving your units (typically backwards) to keep enemy units at range or to pull them into a kill zone
flankingMoving your units around enemy units (or structures / terrain) to attack from a stronger position
meat shieldUsing cheaper / faster / disposable units to absorb enemy fire
pelican dropTransporting sparks, inferno flame tanks or vanguards into an enemy main base or proxy
manhattan dropTeleporting a Manhattan using a Helios directly into a base (usually on top of a Commander)
planet bounceBouncing orbital of a nearby planet to drop directly over a location on the same planet
nuke farmMultiple Nuclear Missile Launchers building Nuclear Missiles typically assisted by T2 advanced fabbers in preparation for a nuke stack or carpet nuke
nuke stackTargeting multiple nukes simultaneously on the same location to overwhelm anti-nukes, open a beachhead or double tap snipe a Commander
double tapTwo nuke stack snipe of a Commander without anti-nuke protection
carpet nukeArea targeting multiple nukes simultaneously over a large area due to poor scouting, lack of vision or just because you can (bonus points for 50+)
APMActions per Minute (not that important in PA)
APSActions per Second and Ammo per Second (rate of fire)
CSGConstructive Solid Geometry building blocks used to create advanced maps in the system editor (additive and subtractive 3D boolean operations on brushes)
FFAFree for All game mode with one player per army
team armiesTeam game mode with one or more players per team
unshared team armiesEach player controls their own army with a static alliance between the armies in each team
shared team armiesEach team is a single shared army where any player in the team can control any unit in the team (including another players commander)
sudden deathOption for teams armies where a team is eliminated if any commander in the team is killed (protect your weakest player)
world simulationLocal server games
cheeseUsually a reference to Qzipco 😉

Hosting a Local Server

Planetary Annihilation includes a local server for single player that also fully supports both offline and online multiplayer LAN games on your personal super computer.

Playing PA with a local server on the same computer requires a MODERN mid-top spec CPU and plenty of free RAM. eg minimum 8GB free and ideally 16GB free.

The minimum specs for using single player local servers with TITANS are:

  • MODERN quad core
  • 8GB RAM for dedicated GPUs
  • 12GB RAM for integrated GPUs

A good indicator of raw CPU performance is: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/singleThread.html

If you’re playing and hosting a local server on the same computer then high core counts are useful especially if you are also streaming.

Failing to connect to a local server is usually caused by:

  • firewalls / security suites / antivirus interfering with network connections
  • incorrect port mapping / forwarding / pinholes with WAN games over the internet
  • corrupt files
  • broken mods

Hosting multiplayer games on a local server requires a top spec modern CPU ideally with 16GB+ RAM.

Multiplayer LAN Games

When all players and the server are on the same IPv4 local network you can host a LAN game.

Offline (not logged in) LAN Games

When offline you are NOT logged in using a PA or Steam account. You can also be disconnected from the internet after initial setup.

LAN Setup

  • Every player must have the same build of PA
  • Every player must use a unique username
  • Every player must be on the same network subnet to receive LAN beacons
  • Every player must enable Community Mods
  • Servers use TCP port 20545 for games and UDP port 8192 for LAN beacons to advertise local games

Hosting a LAN Game From Within PA

  • Local server and local server multi-threading should be enabled in:
    • settings > server
  • Create a local game on your personal super computer using:
    • start > multiplayer > custom > create game
  • Make the game public to start broadcasting the LAN beacon for your game
  • Leave the game public to allow players to reconnect or spectate

Joining a LAN Game

  • Players can join your LAN game using:
    • start > multiplayer > custom
  • Public LAN games are listed under the Local region

Online (logged in) LAN Games

When online you are logged in using a PA or steam account via the internet.

Each player must be logged in using a different account or offline using a different username.

When hosting ensure host game locally is enabled before you create the game.

Multiplayer WAN Games Over the Internet

Using the Connect Buttons mod from Community Mods players can connect to private servers hosted over the internet.

WAN Setup

  • Every player must have the same build of PA
  • Every player must use a unique username
  • Every remote player needs to install the Connect Buttons mod and will need to know the public IPv4 or DNS address of your server
  • Servers use TCP port 20545 for games and need to be accessible via a public IPv4 address
    • If your local server is using a private IPv4 address like 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x then you’ll need to setup port mapping / port forwarding / pinholes in your router / modem
  • You’ll need high quality broadband or fibre to host a local server over the internet
    • At least 5 Mbit/s upload is recommended and ideally 10+ Mbit/s for bigger games with spectators
    • Larger games with more players and spectators will require more bandwidth

Port Mapping / Port Forwarding / Pinholes

You’ll need to figure this out yourself… don’t ask for help about your specific router. Try google or https://www.howtogeek.com/66214/how-to-forward-ports-on-your-router/

Your local PC hosting your local PA server on TCP port 20545 will be using a private IP address not accessible from the internet. eg 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x

Port mapping / port forwarding / pinholes open TCP port 20545 on your public IP address so that your local PA server can be accessed via the internet.

eg assuming your public IP address is and the private IP address of your local computer with PA is then you want to port map external TCP 20545 to internal TCP 20545.

NEVER use DMZ unless you know what you are doing and have a very secure firewall setup.

Offline (not logged in) WAN Games

When offline you are NOT logged in using a PA or Steam account. You must be connected to the internet for WAN games.

Hosting a WAN Game From Within PA

  • Local server and local server multi-threading should be enabled in:
    • settings > server
  • Create a local game on your personal super computer using:
    • start > multiplayer > custom > create game
  • Make the game public
  • Leave the game public to allow players to reconnect or spectate

Joining a WAN Game

  • Install the Connect Buttons mod from Community Mods
  • Add the public IPv4 or DNS address with TCP port to:
    • settings > server
    • Host = public IPv4 or DNS address
  • Players can join your WAN game using:
    • start > connect to > public IPv4 or DNS address of your server
  • Privately hosted WAN games are not shown in the public games browser

Online (logged in) WAN Games

When online you are logged in using a PA or steam account via the internet.

Each player must be logged in using a different account or offline using a different username.

When hosting ensure host game locally is enabled before you create the game.

Game invites can be used when you connect to the public IP address of a manually started server (see below).


If not using steam on windows you may need to manually add exceptions.

Steam Windows Firewall Rules

The steam install automatically adds PA to the allowed apps in Windows Defender Firewall:

  • Planetary Annihilation (32 bit) %INSTALLDIR%\\bin_x86\\PA.exe
  • Planetary Annihilation – Crash Reporter (32 bit) %INSTALLDIR%\\bin_x86\\crashupload.exe
  • Planetary Annihilation – User Interface (32 bit) %INSTALLDIR%\\bin_x86\\host\\CoherentUI_Host.exe
  • Planetary Annihilation (64 bit) %INSTALLDIR%\\bin_x64\\PA.exe
  • Planetary Annihilation – Crash Reporter (64 bit) %INSTALLDIR%\\bin_x64\\crashupload.exe
  • Planetary Annihilation – User Interface (64 bit) %INSTALLDIR%\\bin_x64\\host\\CoherentUI_Host.exe
  • Planetary Annihilation – LAN and Offline Game Server (64 bit) %INSTALLDIR%\\bin_x64\\server.exe

The steam windows firewall rules do not apply to:

  • third party firewalls or security suites
  • moved steam apps
  • other installations such as the PA launcher

Server Mods

Server mods from the first player to connect as game creator / host will be automatically uploaded to the server and distributed to players and spectators automatically.

Downloading PA

PAnet accounts can use papatcher or the legacy PA launcher (Windows / macOS prior to 10.15 Catalina) to download a DRM free local server: https://store.planetaryannihilation.net/download/pa

Steam accounts can be linked to a PAnet account: https://support.planetaryannihilation.com/kb/faq.php?id=63

Steam install location: https://support.planetaryannihilation.com/kb/faq.php?id=51


Download papatcher.go from https://raw.githubusercontent.com/planetary-annihilation/papatcher/master/papatcher.go

Install golang from repo (Linux) or https://golang.org/

go run papatcher.go --stream=stable --update-only

Windows Dependencies

For Windows you may need to install the latest Visual Studio 2019 64 bit runtime: https://support.microsoft.com/en-nz/help/2977003/the-latest-supported-visual-c-downloads

Linux Dependencies

Headless servers require:

  • libsdl2
  • libgl1
  • libstdc++6
  • libcurl
  • libuuid

On Fedora / NixOS the following environment variable may be needed:


Manually Starting a Server

To manually start a local server in waiting lobby config mode create a script or desktop shortcut to the server executable with the following command line parameters:

  • --allow-lan
  • --game-mode PAExpansion1:config (for TITANS) OR --game-mode config (for classic PA)
  • --server-name "local" (initial name displayed in server browser)
  • --enable-crash-reporting
  • --mt-enabled (for multi-threading)

Customise with the following additional command line parameters:

  • --max-players 12 (up to 32 players depending on the specs of your local super computer and high speed internet)
  • --max-spectators 5 (depending on the specs of your high speed internet)
  • --spectators 5 (default spectators)
  • --output-dir "path-to/your/planetary-annihilation-data-directory" (to save local replays)
  • --empty-timeout 3600
  • --replay-filename "UTCTIMESTAMP" (to automatically name replays using a UTC timestamp)
  • --replay-timeout 180 (timeout after game over when replay is written even if players are still reviewing)
  • --gameover-timeout 360 (timeout after game over when server is shutdown even if players are still reviewing)
  • --headless (no window)
  • --port 20545 (default port)
  • --server-password "password"
  • --disable-ai (disable adding of AI players)

Example Linux Service

Example systemd unit:










Example pa.sh:


mkdir -p $OUTPUT

/path/to/server \
--port 20545 \
--headless \
--allow-lan \
--mt-enabled \
--max-players 32 \
--max-spectators 5 \
--spectators 5 \
--empty-timeout 5 \
--replay-filename "UTCTIMESTAMP" \
--replay-timeout 180 \
--gameover-timeout 360 \
--server-name "server" \
--game-mode "PAExpansion1:config" \
--output-dir $OUTPUT

Example Windows Batch File

Example server.bat with PA launcher or papatcher path to server.exe:

SET OUTPUT="%LOCALAPPDATA%\Uber Entertainment\Planetary Annihilation"

mkdir %OUTPUT%



"C:\Games\Planetary Annihilation\Planetary Annihilation\stable\bin_x64\server.exe" ^
--port 20545 ^
--headless ^
--allow-lan ^
--mt-enabled ^
--max-players 32 ^
--max-spectators 5 ^
--spectators 5 ^
--empty-timeout 5 ^
--replay-filename "UTCTIMESTAMP" ^
--replay-timeout 180 ^
--gameover-timeout 360 ^
--server-name "server" ^
--game-mode "PAExpansion1:config" ^
--output-dir %OUTPUT%

goto start

Galactic War Difficulty, Adding More Maps, and a Total Overhaul


Galactic War is a roguelite campaign for Planetary Annihilation. Starting with only a small amount of tech you battle your away across the galaxy to uncover more, fighting increasingly tough and numerous opponents until you defeat the three enemy factions. Defeat bosses in specific systems and you’ll unlock new starting loadouts which you can use in future campaigns.

This guide will help you pick the right difficulty, explain the factions and unlocks, and also guide you through adding more maps.


The higher you set the AI difficulty the greater its eco modifier, economy handling and general intelligence will be. Normal uses a different set of maps from the other difficulty levels, with far less multi-planet systems.

Threat assessmentsTerribleTerribleBadBestBest
Factory build delayLongSomeTinyNoneNone
Expansion delayExtremeLongNoneNoneNone
Avoids eco floatNoNoYesYesYes
Commander retreatsNoYesYesYesYes
Difficulty ramp*+0.005+0.01+0.01+0.01+0.02
Slow expansionYesYesNoNoNo
Targets weakest CommanderNoYesYesYesYes
T2 delayYesNoNoNoNo
More commandersNoUnlikelyUnlikelyPossiblyLikely
Base eco modifierx0.4x0.5x0.5x0.7x0.8

*The increase applied to the AI’s base eco modifier for each planet you travel from the starting point

System Size

SizeNumber of Planets

*added by the Bigger Galactic War mod


By choosing a colour in the lobby you are choosing a faction. The faction you select will not appear in your war. The only difference between the factions are their boss systems and loadouts, so choose a faction whose boss you wish to avoid, or whose loadouts you have already unlocked.


Your starting loadout determines what units you have access to from the start of the war. You start with one loadout unlocked: the Vehicle Commander. Seven loadouts remain locked. You will unlock them by defeating particular faction bosses.

Each faction has multiple possible boss systems. At the start of a war, one system is selected for each faction. You may not always encounter a boss tied to a locked loadout.

FactionSystemLoadout Unlocked
Legonis MachinaKohrArtillery Commander
EntaraBionic Augmentation Commander of Neutralizing
Tau Leporis
Poseidon’s Wrath
FoundationAtlasAir Commander
PatagoniaAssault Commander
Blogar’s Fist
Zeta Draconis
SynchronousCupruBot Commander
RevenantsAlenquerOrbital Commander
XianyaoGeneral Commander

Adding More Maps

Once you’ve played a lot of Galactic War you will have seen all the built-in systems more than once. You might fancy a change, have particular systems you’d like to see, or just want more multi-planet than you get out-of-the-box. To achieve this we will use Shared Systems for Galactic War, a mod which lets you load in TITANS systems, your systems, and systems out of any map pack you lay your hands on.


Go into Community Mods from the main menu. Click the Available tab and search for “gw”. Select Shared Systems for Galactic War and choose to install it.

Using the Mod

When you go into Galactic War you’ll notice something different.

Galactic War with Shared Systems for Galactic War mod installed

In the bottom left you now choose what systems to load into Galactic War. By default, it has selected the PA category, which are the systems that ship with TITANS. Below that is My Systems, which would load any systems you have created or imported. Default Systems and onwards are categories on the Shared Systems server. These are areas which anyone can upload to (default systems) or are restricted to specific individuals (everything else). I recommend against using these categories for two reasons:

  1. Many of the systems are old and out-of-date
  2. The Shared Systems server is often offline, or when online is slow to load the systems
Loading systems from the cloud

In the screenshot above we see a 0 next to Default Systems and the Go To War button is greyed out. This is because the systems from Default Systems have not completed loading. Given the count of 0, I would assume the server is offline, but even if it were online you wouldn’t be able to play until hundreds of random systems had been loaded.

So how do we add more systems? Simple. Map packs.

Adding Map Packs

Return to Community Mods on the main menu and this time search for “map”. Select the ones you want and click install for each.

Installing map packs from Community Mods

Checking the Contents

If you haven’t used these map packs before you might want to check out what you just installed. The easiest way to do this is to go into the System Editor from the main menu.

Viewing installed systems

Each map pack consists of one or more categories which are displayed as tabs. In addition, you will see My Systems, which are ones you’ve created or imported, and PA, which are the systems that come with the game. Shared should be ignored.

If you want to get an idea of what you’ve added just browse through the selection here and click on a system to get an overview. You’ll be able to see the number of planets, the number of starting locations, planet size, etc. You can always load them in the editor if you want to go in-depth, but this overview should give you an idea of which categories you want to add into your war.

Adding Your Maps to Galactic War

Now everything is loaded all you have to do is pick which ones to use. On the Galactic War screen, you’ll see that it’s not a list of map packs, rather it’s a list of the categories you saw in System Editor.

Loading map packs in Galactic War

Each category displays a system count, in addition, once you select a category the number of multi-planet systems in that category will appear in brackets.

You are free to mix and match the system categories as you wish to get whatever Galactic War experience you want. The important thing is that you should now have a wide variety of exciting systems to play on.

Galactic War Overhaul

Once you’ve played enough Galactic War you might want to increase the challenge, or simply inject more variety into your game. The Galactic War Overhaul mod adds the following:

  • Faction personalities
  • Customised enemy/sub-commanders
    • Unique model
    • Unique personality
    • Unique colour
    • Fight according to their faction’s preferred style
  • Eight new difficulties suitable for anyone from a new player to a veteran of the game
  • Reduced sub-commander power so they won’t carry the game for you anymore
  • Adds the possibility of multiple factions in a system and an FFA occurring
  • Add support for shared army enemies
  • Bosses are distinctly more difficult than surrounding systems
  • Added planetary intelligence to allow you to make meaningful decisions on the galactic map
  • Randomised spawns so maps remain fresh on replay
  • Uses all game modes:
    • Bounty mode
    • Land anywhere
    • Sudden death
  • You can give the enemy tougher commander units
  • Option to give yourself more starting neutral systems
  • The AI uses tech card buffs
  • Guaranteed loadout to unlock every war
  • 13 new loadouts
  • Unlocks Galactic War’s biggest planetary systems
  • Adds a new faction
  • 109 new tech cards
  • Multiple AI opponents to choose from


Go into Community Mods from the main menu. Click the Available tab and search for “gw”. Select Galactic War Overhaul and choose to install it.

Using the Mod

In the Galactic War lobby you’ll find you have new difficulties available to you:


Where an item is greyed out it means the setting is specific to each Commander, not the difficulty level.

The difficulty in Galactic War Overhaul scales higher than the base game and higher difficulties assume you have unlocked better loadouts. The number of enemy Commanders will scale much higher than in the base game, so if you select a large galaxy make sure your PC is up to the task.

This mod introduces an option called Easier Start, which allows you to add more neutral systems at the beginning of the war to increase the amount of free tech you receive.

Threat assessments*
MicroNoneOKBestBestBest Best Best Best
ScoutingOKBestBestBestBest Best Best Best
Factory build delay SmallNoneNoneNoneNone NoneNone None
Expansion delay None NoneNoneNoneNone NoneNone None
Avoids eco floatNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYes
Commander retreatsNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Difficulty ramp**0.050.0750.
Slow expansionYes YesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Targets weakest CommanderNoNo YesYesYesYesYesYes
T2 delay*
More commanders No UnlikelyPossibly LikelySomeSeveralPlentyLoads
Base eco modifierx0.35x0.425x0.5x0.6x0.7x1.0x1.2x10

*Specific to each commander not the difficulty level

**The increase applied to the AI’s base eco modifier for each planet you travel from the starting point


Play as whichever faction you find hardest to beat so that you don’t have to face them. Remember that your sub-commanders will play according to faction preference, so make sure to provide them with the necessary tech.

While each faction has a preference in how it plays, each Commander within that faction will play slightly differently.

Legonis Machina logo

Legonis Machina

  • Focuses on land units
  • The closest faction to the skirmish AI
Foundation logo


  • Focuses on air and naval units
  • Can often be the easiest faction to face early
Synchronous faction logo


  • Uses a balance of all unit types
  • A jack of all-trades but a master of none
Revenants logo


  • Focuses on orbital units
  • Harder to beat on multi-planet systems
Cluster faction logo


  • Focuses on basic units
  • Features different commanders

Queller AI Mod for Multiplayer and AI Skirmish


Your Queller AI is literally best teacher there is when it comes to pure learning how to play this game, especially [the] basics

B13, Uber rank

This guide will walk you through the installation, configuration and use of the Queller AI mod. This mod is a total overhaul of the AI. It covers a wider range of difficulties than TITANS, from easier to harder (Casual to Uber), all of which play in a more humanlike fashion than their TITANS counterparts. It features complete support for the Legion Expansion.

Queller AI uses the AI Compatibility Framework to allow you to play it alongside the TITANS AI. Want a mix of TITANS and Queller in one game? You can do that.

Once installed, Queller AI will work in any game you host. Other players do not need the mod installed.

The Queller AI has no effect on Galactic War, for that you should refer to the Galactic War AI Overhaul.

Why the Queller AI?

There are a number of reasons why you might be looking to upgrade the TITANS AI:

  • You can beat the AI on absurd
  • You can’t beat the AI on a single planet, but on multi-planet systems it’s too weak for you
  • The difficulty jump from Normal to Hard is too big
  • You want something that plays a bit more like online human players would

The Queller AI is designed to resolve all of these issues, be it giving you a larger challenge, smoothing out the difficulty curve, invading more often on multi-planet maps, or just using the units a human would at that skill level.

The Queller AI will be useful to you no matter your level of skill.


The Queller AI is available to install through the game’s built in Community Mods manager for anyone who has Planetary Annihilation: TITANS. It is not available for classic owing to differing units and balance. You will need to enable Community Mods.

Choosing a Difficulty

You should download and install this mod via the Planetary Annihilation TITANS in-game Community Mods.


Queller AI Casual difficulty
  • Economy first opening
  • One army
  • Techs as soon as possible
  • Goes orbital as soon as possible
  • Turtles
  • Poor troop selection
  • Barely scouts
  • Doesn’t adapt to what the enemy is doing
  • Loves fabbers
  • Loves static defence/offence
  • Poor use of fabbers
  • Poor economy handling
  • No micro
  • Terrible threat assessments


Queller AI Bronze difficulty
  • Factory first opening
  • One army
  • Techs as soon as possible
  • Will go orbital if it can
  • Expands slowly
  • Poor troop selection
  • Barely scouts
  • Doesn’t adapt to what the enemy is doing
  • Loves fabbers
  • Loves static defence/offence
  • Poor use of fabbers
  • Average economy handling
  • No micro
  • Terrible threat assessments


Queller AI Silver difficulty
  • Factory first opening
  • Few armies
  • Will tech if it can
  • Will go orbital if it can
  • Expands slowly
  • Poor troop selection
  • Barely scouts
  • Doesn’t adapt to what the enemy is doing
  • Likes fabbers
  • Likes static defence/offence
  • Average economy handling
  • Average micro
  • Poor threat assessments


Queller AI Gold difficulty
  • Smart factory first opening
  • Many armies
  • Will tech if it can
  • Will go orbital if it can
  • Expands OK
  • OK troop selection
  • OK scouting
  • Some adaption to its opponent’s play
  • Dislikes fabbers
  • Appropriate use of static defence/offence
  • Average economy handling
  • Average micro
  • OK threat assessments


Queller AI Platinum difficulty
  • Smartest factory first opening
  • Unlimited armies
  • Techs quickly
  • Goes orbital smartly
  • Expands quickly
  • Good troop selection
  • Good scouting
  • Smartly adapts to its opponent’s play
  • Good fabber to troop balance
  • Appropriate use of static defence/offence
  • Good economy handling
  • Best micro
  • Great threat assessments


Queller AI Uber difficulty
  • Smartest factory first opening
  • Unlimited armies
  • Techs quickly
  • Goes orbital smartly
  • Expands quickly
  • Good troop selection
  • Good scouting
  • Smartly adapts to its opponent’s play
  • Good fabber to troop balance
  • Appropriate use of static defence/offence
  • Good economy handling
  • Best micro
  • Great threat assessments


By default, Queller AI at Uber level will adapt its play to try and suit the system and the opposition it faces. You can use subpersonalities to customise Queller’s game to your liking or help it play better where it’s making poor strategy choices.


  • Optimised for 1v1 play


  • Doesn’t build vehicle factories

Free For All

  • More cautious about engaging in battle
  • Techs earlier
  • Orbital earlier
  • Avoids antagonistic scouting raids


  • Techs late
  • Slower to enter orbital


  • Doesn’t build bot factories


  • More likely to build defences at its expansions
  • More likely to build titans

Suggested Difficulty

Below are recommendations for the difficulty you may wish to start on based on what you set the TITANS AI to, or your ladder ranking.

When you need to increase the challenge but don’t want to increase the difficulty, give the AI an eco-boost rather than adding more AIs. Not only will this be better for the sim, but will also stop the problem of there being fewer resources to go around for the AI which in turn makes it easier to beat.

UberAnyUber 1.8
Modifying the eco rate


The spawn the AI starts in and the profile used can make a big difference, even for symmetrical 1v1s. If you find the AI too easy on a map, try a different spawn point for it. And don’t use Bedlam, the AI’s forces struggle to pathfind on this map.

Be sure to follow the recommended number of players for any map. Remember that the number of players actually relates to the number of armies.

Thanks To

  • Sorian of Planetary Annihilation Inc for:
    • making his AI moddable
    • answering my questions
    • taking on suggestions
    • fixing bugs as they come up
    • adding cool new features which make the AI increasingly smart
  • wondible for his creation of the AI Showdown tool
  • mikeyh for writing the Javascript for loading Queller’s personalities
  • alpha2546 for extensively playtesting Queller during Legion development
  • Everyone who has helped with translations:
    • K-Orthic | Gamax
    • gmase
    • PRoeleert
    • R.O.S.S
    • DeathByDenim
    • River
    • Felix Köhler
    • tunsel
    • omylist
    • IPWIW
    • Fred
    • CmdrEdem
    • something more than human
    • Linus Petersson
    • Spassky
    • Craeox
    • sevmek
    • fera
  • PA Inc for including Queller in its professional translation project

Climbing The Skills Pyramid

Thanks to Budha for his Starcraft pyramid which was the inspiration for this guide.

The Planetary Annihilation Skills Pyramid is intended as a structured guide to improving your skills; these are all areas you should focus on mastering to improve your game. The order is my take on how key they are to playing the game and how far they can take you. Focus on working your way up the Skills Pyramid as you would the ladder and no matter where you rank you should see progress.

One way in which Planetary Annihilation differs a lot from Starcraft is that it doesn’t use the UI as a means to limit what a player can and cannot do. I strongly encourage you to check out mods to discover those which help unleash your potential.

While reading through this guide be mindful of the three golden rules of Planetary Annihilation:

  1. Grow it – always be expanding your economy
  2. Spend it – always be expanding your production
  3. Use it – always be harassing the enemy’s economy
Skills pyramid


The most basic of all basic things, the economy is the base of your entire game. Forget any clever tricks, epic battles or superweapons; without a good economy you won’t manage to do anything except die like a turtle holding a tiny amount of land.

Economy stats

This step comes down simply to being greedy: always want more than you have. You don’t need to expand above all else since if you can’t spend it then it’s a wasted investment, but an economy without an army will lose. Never stop and wall yourself in like you’re playing tower defence. In a 1v1 half of the metal on the battlefield is yours, so go and take it. If you don’t have at least one or two fabbers working on your economy then the chances are you’re doing something wrong. Just be careful not to build an economy whose only purpose is to support more fabbers which build an economy to support more fabbers…



All that money you’re making from your economy is no good if you’re not spending it.

Metal used
This is a sign you could have had more troops

A typical trap that people fall into with production is the same as their economy: getting comfortable. You have five factories all producing troops, it looks cool and you’re good to go, right? Wrong. The creation of factories is never ending so long as you’re able to increase your income. You should never be in the red, nor in the blue, but always in the green.

Pay attention to the metal used stats at the end of a game. Good players keep this above 90%, and the best players keep it around 100%. Just make sure you don’t confuse constant economy stalling with good play, so check your build efficiency too.

The Commander is a unit best used for producing factories, not economic structures. Minimise walk time between builds to maximise army size. You’ll win games simply by having more units than they do.



It’s not enough to simply be making units, they have to be the right units, which means knowing the meta. The easiest way to see what’s what is by checking out replays from higher level players and seeing what they do for each map through the leaderboard replays.

Take it to the next stage by not only copying, but also understanding. So you can see their attack force on Forge was primarily Ants, but why? For this you can dig a little deeper by following discussions on the PA forums, the #strategy channel in the Planetary Annihilation Discord and Community Chat.



With knowledge you know what to put in your army, but at this level you know where to put it as well. Before you would have troops pouring out the factory before lassoing them for battle. At this level you’re smarter than that, your rally points more considered.

If the metal is between you and the enemy then you might be rallying your troops there to hold it for your fabber. A choke into your base makes a good point to position the troops and prevent raids. You don’t place your bombers on the frontlines where they can be sniped by fighters, they’re held a little further back.

You’re not mindlessly adhering to the meta, rather your composition is adjusted on the fly. If you’re dominating the skies then you switch to Bumblebees. If you’re vulnerable to the same then you start bringing out Spinners, but if you haven’t sighted air then you replace those Spinners with additional Ants. A map with lots of chokes brings out mass Ants, while dispersed metal sees you making Dox raids and keeping your opponent on their toes.



Build orders are the cornerstone of any RTS, whether it’s a micro or macro focused one. Some people hate them, but there’s no avoiding them. Until you encounter the enemy there’s no reason to deviate from your plan, and you should have a plan before you spawn.

Building a base

Build orders change and evolve over time and most if not all the ones you use won’t be yours, they’ll come from someone near the top of the ladder. But that’s not a bad thing, it means they’ve been tried and tested and shown to work. You simply need to choose the right one, implement it effectively and once you encounter the enemy you’ll get to show what a special snowflake you are.



Insert some Sun Tzu quotes here because this is where we’re going to talk about the importance of both scouting your enemy, but also denying the enemy intelligence on your operations. If you know their plan before they carry it out then you can counter it, and likewise you should be maintaining the element of surprise for as long as possible and preventing your opponent from scouting you.

There is no scouting phase; the time for scouting is always. You want to know where their base is, what force composition they’re building towards, where their armies are, when they’re teching and whether they’re leaving the planet. With intelligence you can act – without it you are fumbling in the dark and you will lose.

There is no scouting phase; the time for scouting is always.

Learn what radar blips mean. Are they moving at the speed of air or ground? How closely are they packed? How far off the ground are they? Little details like this will tell you so much about the threat before you even see it.

Take out the enemy’s radar before a major attack and instead of encountering their army you might find a series of unprotected factories and energy plants.

Win the intelligence war and you can win the game.



At this point you need to do more than simply know what your opponent is planning and react to it, you need to be defining the game. Map control is a vital part of ensuring that the enemy is dancing to your tune.

Identify the key expansion points and deny them to your opponent. Find the chokes and set up shop. Know when it’s time to stop building the mega base and instead roll the commander out to own the middle ground.

The important thing is to ensure that fights are happening on your terms. By owning the map you force your opponent’s hand and they have to bring the battle to a place of your choosing.



The application of force is a key part of overwhelming your opponent and giving them too much to handle. Dox raiding their MEX, Inferno’s dropping in at the rear and an Ant army rolling towards the front door.

Remember that attention is a resource, so divide your opponent’s and take advantage of their weakness. Even if your attention can’t be everywhere you can set up orders that will be. You don’t need to personally oversee that Dox raid, just put enough numbers in the group that they will kill any MEX just by walking by. Set up queues at your base so you can manage your army without falling behind.

Remember that attention is a resource.

Don’t do more than you’re able. Your attention is also a resource, one you must budget accordingly. Prioritise the areas which receive your attention to maximise your effectiveness.

If you haven’t already made it your business to step through every entry on the keyboard settings page and ensure you’ve memorised every hotkey that looks even vaguely useful. Now is the time.



Winning is all well and good, but losing should be turned to your advantage too. Always analyse your games for ways to improve. Did you win because you were better or because your opponent was worse? What was the reason you lost and how will you avoid it next time? Take advantage of the fact that the game allows you to access the last 30 days of games for every player.

Don’t make excuses, make improvements to your game.

Look over the stats, identify your deficiencies. In a game where everyone has the same toolset a loss means you did something wrong. Find the turning point in the game and figure out what caused it to happen. If it’s a map you’ll see again, how have other players tackled it? More units than you means you should analyse their economy. More economy means you should analyse their build.

Don’t make excuses, make improvements to your game. Some players will even stay after a game to discuss it with you, so make sure you’re polite and take full advantage of their generosity. You will become a better player for it.



One of the major differences between a player at this level and others is the omnipotence factor, the feeling that they’re everywhere at once. No matter where you attack they are there to counter. No matter how many fronts you’re fighting on they can manage them all.

At this level you should be in complete control of your game, able to handle all the battlefields. Whether you achieve this through camera anchors or just fast panning doesn’t matter. You’re not overwhelmed by the information. You’re using middle mouse button to move the camera because you need WSAD for the army of hotkeys you use. Whether it’s ensuring you have no idle factories or summoning your air force, you have a key for it.

More than that though it’s about keeping your cool. You don’t panic when something sweeps in from the fog of war, instead you calmly divert troops while also ensuring continued production and managing your own assault on their base and the raiding party you have around the back.

Thinking about how to counter something never happens because you already know what to do. This level of skill is difficult to gain through anything other than experience, but it won’t be obtained without making full use of the options the interface provides for you.



Hyperbole and a Half: The Alot

The stuff everyone loves to see, but it’s an especially small part of Planetary Annihilation. Yet when all other things are equal it is this that can make the difference and you will see top players micro alot.

In Planetary Annihilation micro will take the form of dancing Dox to avoid fire, maximising your Bumblebee damage through floating and formation runs, keeping Ants at range and guiding Booms to their glorious demise. But until you master everything else on the list you shouldn’t waste your time. These are all time-intensive tasks and you will need to be comfortable in your game management to pull them off.

If micro is harming any other part of your game then the micro was probably a mistake.

Awesome face


This is what separates those top few from everyone else. That opening you use because, duh, that’s how you play this map? Well there was a time it didn’t exist. Some top player was testing out new builds, running the numbers, seeing what worked and what didn’t. It was so effective that everyone adopted it.

It’s not enough to do what everyone else does, you need to be ahead of the curve, surprising your opponent in ways they don’t expect. To become the best you have to put the time in. You need to be willing to try things outside the established meta if you want to surprise your opponents and win tournaments. It won’t be random either, at this level you have an intuitive understanding of the game which will guide you in what to try.

When you’re defining what the game is that’s when you know you’re among the awesome tier.

Controls and the User Interface


This tutorial will walk you through the in-game interface, the controls, what it all means and how you can customise it. The focus will very much be on elements unique to Planetary Annihilation.

When this tutorial refers to “clicking” without referencing a mouse button, assume the primary/left mouse button.

Setting Up A Game

Single player menu
Multiplayer menu

Multiplayer games of Planetary Annihilation are hosted on a server in the host’s selected region. You will be prompted to select a region the first time you host a game. Multiplayer games are not hosted on your computer. Planetary Annihilation uses a client-server model, so a player’s computer and Internet connection do not impact other players.

Single-player games may be hosted on your computer or one of the cloud servers, depending on the specifications of your machine. You can force local or remote hosting if desired. See the Local Server setting in the Global Game Settings of the guide for more information.

Uploading Server Mods

Uploading server mods

If you are using any server mods and hosting a multiplayer game, or your computer isn’t powerful enough to host a local server for skirmishes, you will automatically upload them to your cloud server as an anti-cheat mechanism. The speed at which this occurs is dependent on your upstream bandwidth and the size of the mods.

The Lobby

The individual who creates a lobby will be known as the host. Only the host can change a lobby’s settings. If a host leaves the lobby a new host is selected based on who has been in the lobby the longest.

Game lobby
Each colour represents one army. Player count recommendations for maps are actually army count recommendations.

Game Mode can be set to Free For All or Team Armies.

Game mode FFA

Free For All means every player is their own army.

Game mode team armies with bounty mode enabled

Team Armies places each army into a team. In this mode there is a second option: share army. It is a button on the right-side of each army. When clicked all the players in that team become a single army, with as many Commanders as there are players. The army is only defeated once all its Commanders are killed. Beware using the “select Commander” hotkey in this mode as it will select all Commanders on the team. Humans and AIs cannot exist together within a shared army.

Dynamic Alliances allows you to ally (and un-ally) during the course of a game with other players. Breaking an alliance with someone breaks it both ways. You cannot see alliances between other players. This option is only available when game mode is set to Free For All. The AI will never propose or accept an alliance.

Sudden Death Mode means a team is eliminated when it loses any of its Commanders. It is only available when the game mode is set to Team Armies.

Bounty Mode enables an eco boost for every army killed. If an team is a shared army you must kill the last Commander in that army to claim the bonus. When the last Commander on an army self-destructs the bounty goes to the last player who damaged it.

Sandbox enables the use of dev options such as unit spawning. Controls for this can be found under Settings – Keyboard – Dev.

To the right of each army is its economic multiplier. By default this is set to 1.0. Changing it to 0.5 would give an army 50% of their normal income while setting it to 2.0 would give it 200%. You can set this anywhere from 0 to 5, both for players and the AI.

Selected system loading

You can create new systems for use in the System Editor from the main menu, there are also map packs available via Community Mods.

Player slot

When you load a system, or when first joining a lobby, you will see a rotating graphic in the system area as well as next to your name. Only when both these loading icons have disappeared will you be able to start the game, or select ready. When players join your game they will be greyed out while they load and you will see the loading icon on their row.

Only the host can launch a game, and they can only do so once every player has clicked the ready button. Once they have done this a green tick appears on their row. Any changes to the lobby’s settings by the host removes the ready state from all the players. When you are in a ready state you cannot make any changes to your setup.

You can change your primary colour and also which Commander you will spawn in as by left-clicking. Set your default commander through the Armory on the main menu. Some Commanders may be unavailable to you.

The host can add one or more AIs in the lobby. AIs on your team are supported, but not in shared army mode, nor will the AI use or respond to dynamic alliances.

AI difficulty controls how well they manage their economy, their micro level, which player it focuses attacks on, and how smart its threat decision making is. The AI doesn’t cheat at any difficulty level, though you can assign it an eco boost if you so desire. There are also mods which make the AI even tougher.

Once you have your lobby setup, change the top-right setting from PRIVATE to either FRIENDS or PUBLIC depending on who you want to join. FRIENDS is tied to your in-game friends list, not your Steam friends.

Joining A Game

Multiplayer menu

Multiplayer – Custom Game will take you to the server browser. From here select the game you wish to join and click Join Game in the bottom right-hand corner.

When joining a game with server mods you will automatically download them from the server. The speed at which this occurs is dependent on your downstream bandwidth and the size of the mods.

The Basics


What you see when you start a game

This is the first thing you’ll see when entering a game: a full view of the system. Note that two planets have a numbered arrow pointing to them and that in the top right system list three of the planets have a green icon. The green icons represent planets players can start on, while the numbered arrows represent the spawn options you have been assigned.

You then zoom in on the planets either by positioning your mouse over them and using the scroll wheel, or by clicking the planet in the system list.

Selecting a spawn point

To select a spawn location you click. Where you click within the spawn location determines where you land. Once you have selected your spawn location click Start Annihilation. After every player has made their selection, or after two minutes have passed, the game will start.

When playing with shared armies all players on the team see the same spawn locations, in all other modes every player gets unique spawn options. The AI selects spawns in the same way as you, if you have instructed it to spawn off-planet it will only do this if it has a spawn available on another planet.

The Commander

The Commander

The first thing we see when we spawn is our Commander. This is the key unit in Planetary Annihilation; lose your Commander, or in shared army mode lose all your Commanders, and you are out of the game. It doesn’t matter how big your base is, if the Commander dies everything else dies too.

The Commander's strategic icon


Player list

In the top left is a count of the players and if we click it on we can see a list of who is playing. Any names in red indicate annihilated opponents.

Shared armies are represented by a single icon with multiple names listed next to it. Unshared teams have their icons placed adjacent to one another in the list.


System list

The system name and a list of planets can be found in the top right. Clicking on a planet switches your view to that planet.

Under some planets you may see little engine icons, this indicates that this planet is a smashable. Build as many engines, or “Halleys”, on the planet as are indicated by the icons and you will be able to select another planet to annihilate, destroying everything on both worlds.


Economy bar
Green is good

At the top of the screen is one of the most important parts of the game: the economy bar. On the left is your metal and the right your energy. The coloured bar and the numbers underneath represent the amount of the resource in storage against your total storage. The numbers to the right represent your incoming and outgoing amount of that resource, the top green number being income and the bottom red number spending. The large number on the right is the result of income minus spending.

In the centre is your overall efficiency which impacts the speed at which you build units and buildings. At 50% efficiency two fabricators or factories are building at the same rate as one fabricator or factory would at 100% efficiency. Fabricators are the construction units of the game.

Issue an order to the Commander to build something and you will see the number and colour of the bars change. Blue means you are earning more than you’re spending and your storage is full. Red means you’re spending more than you’re earning and your storage is empty or about to run out. Green is in-between the two and the colour they should ideally be most of the time.

Unit card

Hovering over any unit which is currently building will show you how much it is costing you. The cost is always the same, regardless of what is being built. Likewise, buildings which generate metal or energy will show you how much they’re making. The green bar represents the health of the unit.

Unit card while fabbing

Planetary Annihilation operates using a flow economy, meaning that all units and structures are built over time and cost your economy the whole time they’re being built. For example, let us take a standard Fabricator Vehicle which builds at 10 metal a second for a cost of 1000 energy per second. It can build a Missile Defence Tower, which costs 300 metal. This means for an economy operating at 100% efficiency it would take the fabricator 30 seconds as 300 metal divided by 10 metal a second is 30. The total energy cost would be 30,000, that’s 1000 energy a second for 30 seconds. If your economy were operating at only 50% efficiency then the fabricator would only be building at 5 metal a second, but this would still cost you 1000 energy every second resulting in a total cost of 300 metal and 60,000 energy over 60 seconds. The higher the metal output of a fabricator or factory the faster it builds things.


When you select a unit you can give it context sensitive orders with the right mouse button. For example, if you right-click in an empty space with your Commander selected it will be issued a move command. Right-click on an enemy and it would get an attack command. A left-click deselects the currently selected unit. This works for factories as well, so you can setup orders for as the rollout, such as a default patrol for fighter aircraft. Selecting a unit will cause the orders bar to appear on the right and, if the unit is a Commander, fabricator or factory, the build bar at the bottom.

  • Left-click selects units and orders
  • Right-click to give orders to a currently selected unit
  • Left-click to deselect a currently selected unit or cancel a selected order

Let’s first talk about the controls on the orders bar.


Move is self-explanatory. You would generally use this when you want to move into a densely packed enemy area and the contextual command keeps changing to attack. When you order a group of units to move they will do so in a formation at the speed of the slowest unit. Units will continue to attack anything in range while moving. Use a CTRL-click to have units break formation and move as fast as they can. Units issued a move command after being ordered to attack a target will continued to attack that target specifically until unable to do so, allowing you to dodge Uber Cannon blasts from a Commander while still shooting it and not other units in the vicinity.


Attack allows you to perform attack moves whereby units will move to a location but stop to attack anything along the way. Also used to cause a nuke to attack a ground location. Unlike many other RTSs your units can attack while moving and therefore a move command will often suffice unless you have a particular reason to maintain your unit’s full range. Units on an attack command will not maintain formation and will move independent of one another. If you issue an attack command against a specific unit, your units will treat it as a priority target even if you issue a subsequent command.

Alt fire

Alt Fire exists only for the Commander and controls its Ubercannon. This is a short-ranged, energy expensive attack that will devastate enemy units. It is much less effective against buildings and enemy Commanders.


Assist is similar to the guard command seen in other games. A unit will follow the unit it is assisting, protect it from harm, and help it build things if possible. Fabricators can help factories build faster in this way.


Repair allows fabricators to heal units and buildings. Fabricators will automatically repair units they are assisting.


Reclaim is used by fabricators and combat fabricators to suck up units, buildings and trees. Metal will be reclaimed over time. It can also be used against enemy units. It’s not uncommon to use combat fabbers to power a so-called treeconomy.


Patrol forms a patrol route based on the patrol orders you lay down. The first patrol order acts as the beginning and end of the path. Fabricators will automatically repair, reclaim and assist anything they come across.


Use is for particular buildings like the Teleporter. You should never need to select this from the orders bar, it can always be issued as a contextual command via the right-mouse button. The only exception to this rule is using enemy teleporters where you will need to issue the order manually. Units will not fire on an enemy teleporter they have been ordered to use.


Unload is for transports to unload their cargo. If you’re moving a unit between planets using Astraeus transport then you need to issue the move order to the other planet first and queue the unload afterwards.


Load is for transports to load their cargo. Note that Pelicans cannot carry Commanders.


Stop cancels everything that unit or building was doing.


Ping is found not on the orders bar but at the bottom of the screen by the clock. It is available at all times and forms a ping your teammates and spectators can see. Notice how a ping creates an alert at the top of the screen. Hovering over the alert provides a view of the area, and clicking the alert takes you to the alert location. Other events, such as the loss of a building or an attack on the Commander will also generate these.

Ping alert
Fire orders

Fire orders allow you to control when a unit will open fire. The icon changes depending on the order selected.

Move orders

Move orders currently serve no purpose. The icon changes depending on the order selected.

Energy orders

Energy orders are used to pause factory queues or disable energy expensive units as required. The icon changes depending on the order selected.

Build mode

Build mode is a contextual order for factories. Changes between normal and continuous modes. This determines whether completed units are removed from the queue or moved to the back of the queue. The icon changes depending on the mode selected.

Build Bar Commands

Build bar

The build bar appears only for fabricators and factories. Fabbers will display the structures they can build, factories display the units they can build.


For a fabber you left-click the unit you want to build then left-click on the map to give the fabber an order to build it in the selected location. To build multiple items hold SHIFT each time you click to place an item on the map. This allows you to create a queue of build orders, and you can even mix in other orders between the build orders using this method.


The build bar for factories will show the currently queued units. While in normal build mode the number of units queued will decrease by one each time the factory starts building another unit. For example, once a factory with two fabbers queued starts to build a fabber it will reduce the fabber number from 2 to 1 to indicate the size of the queue remaining. In continuous build mode the factory will loop through the queued units and the numbers displayed will not change. There will not be an indication as to where in the queue it currently is.

The stop command can be used to cancel any currently building unit and to wipe the queue.

Units added to the queue before the enabling of continuous build mode are removed from the queue upon completion per normal build mode.

Advanced Commands

  • SHIFT-click increases units in increments of 5.
  • CTRL-click puts that unit at the front of a factory’s queue and excludes it from any continuous build queue.
  • Units queued prior to continuous build being enabled are excluded from the continuous build.

Take a newly built factory as an example: you click on the Ant twice, turn on continuous build, shift-click the Ant, click the Spinner, CTRL-click the fabber. This would result in the following:

  1. An Ant is produced (as the factory was inactive it started building immediately)
  2. A fabber is produced (CTRL-click put it at the front of the queue but didn’t interrupt the currently building Ant)
  3. Six Ants are produced
  4. One Spinner is produced
  5. Five Ants are produced (one less because the sixth Ant was queued in normal build mode)
  6. One Spinner is produced
  7. etc.

You could use CTRL-click to build additional fabbers in the future without compromising the build queue, or causing large numbers of fabbers to be produced.

Area Commands

The game provides you the ability to issue commands over areas rather than simply at individual points. Select an order, such as patrol, then click and drag. You can do this with orders for units or even factories. Below are shown some examples:

Area commands, such as patrol, when dragged beyond the planet will now encompass the entire planet. You can use this to, for example, have aircraft patrol an entire world, or build on every metal spot.


Delete units dialog

It’s considered poor form to just disconnect from a game. Instead you should surrender. Press the escape key to bring up the menu and choose surrender, or select your Commander and press delete.

You should not use the quit function to exit a game.


Menu with pause

Press the escape key and select pause from the menu. You can issue orders while paused but build and order previews will not update while pause is active.

If your opponent pauses it is good etiquette to check that they are ready to resume play before unpausing.

Picture-in-Picture (PIP)

Picture-in-picture (PIP)
PIP button

One of the unique features of Planetary Annihilation is picture-in-picture. The PIP allows you the exact same functionality as the primary window, you can view anything or anywhere, give orders, etc. Hovering over this window reveals four more functions:

Swap cameras button

Swap cameras causes the PiP view to swap with the view of the main camera.

Capture main view button

Capture main view clones the current view in the PiP.

Follow alerts button

Follow alerts means the PiP will switch view to whatever the latest alert to appear is.

Pin to opposite side button

Pin to opposite side will have the PiP view the opposite side of the planet you are viewing. Note that this still does not give you 100% visibility of the planet.


Chronocam seekbar
Chronocam button

Another unique feature is the Chronocam, which allows you to look into the past, even during a live game. Grey bars represent alerts.

Closing the Chronocam takes you back to the present.

Planet Smashing

The feature that Planetary Annihilation derives its name from. Build as many Halleys on a planet as indicated by the engine icons next to the planet and you will see a new button in the system list. If the planet has no icons then it cannot be powered by Halleys.

Be aware that all players are notified every time a Halley is built and are given its location.

Send to Annihilate button

Clicking it will zoom your view out to see the entire system. Potential targets will have a new icon next to them.

Picking target for smash

Click the planet you want to annihilate. The view will now switch to the surface of the planet and you will be asked to click the location you want to come down on. Once you have done that click the final button.

Confirming smash target

Once clicked the engines will light up and away it goes.


If you cancel the move then the planet will settle into an orbit wherever it stopped. The same will happen if one of the engines is destroyed. A planet enroute to smash another planet cannot be targeted by nukes.

Be aware that if another planet gets in the way of the smash it will be smashed instead. In heavily populated systems you will need to monitor a planet’s smash route.

Once a planet has been smashed any bodies it had orbiting it will now commence their own orbit around the sun. If their orbit causes them to run across the path of another planet then the collision will be treated the same as a smash. Be wary of the chain reactions one smash can cause in a system.


To fire the Annihilaser you must build five Catalysts using T2 fabbers on the blue control points found on any metal planet. These can be fiddly to place, so use area build to construct them. You must also ensure that any metal spots near the control point are empty.

Be aware that every player is notified every time a Catalyst is completed and are given its location. A planet smash near the pole will permanently destroy the control nodes and prevent the Annihilaser being used.

Once your weapon is ready to fire the system list will have a new button present.

Fire weapon button for Annihilaser

Click it and pick a target.

Select target for Annihilaser

The Annihilaser will align the weapon, and then…

Firing the Annihilaser

You can cancel the attack if you want, but why would you?

Galactic War

Galactic War button

This is Planetary Annihilation’s randomly generated single-player campaign. You start out with almost no tech and must fight your way across the galaxy defeating enemies and gaining more technology. Victory is obtained when you eliminate the three enemy faction leaders.

Galactic War loadout screen

On the setup screen you select your commander and faction, both of which are cosmetic elements only. You can also name your game for later access.

The Size setting determines the size of the galaxy you will play in. A larger galaxy means a longer game, it also generally means an easier one as you will have more opportunities to collect tech ahead of battling a faction leader.

The Difficulty controls how quickly the AI ramps up in difficulty in terms of AI difficulty level, number of commanders and economic multipliers.

The Commander Loadout controls what technology you start the game with. You will unlock additional loadouts over the course of your Galactic War games.

Global Game Settings

Settings button

You can access these settings from the main menu.


Most of this is self-explanatory, but there is one setting I want to explain: Resolution Scaling.

Planetary Annihilation will always run at your desktop resolution, but by changing this option you can control the resolution 3D objects are rendered at. For example, if you’re running at 1920×1080 and change this setting to 125%, all units are now being rendered with a resolution of 2400×1350 before being downscaled for your output resolution, leading to a higher quality image at the expense of performance.


This is all self-explanatory.


The camera is controlled either by keys configured in the Keyboard area, or by holding mouse button three (also called middle mouse button) and dragging.

Once in-game you’ll notice that as you move the camera about the planet that the north and south poles shift in relation to the screen. While this is the optimal way to play the game it can be incredibly disorientating. We don’t get straight onto a two wheeled bike, we first start with stabilisers. That’s training wheels for US folks. Planetary Annihilation has these stabilisers in the form of Pole Lock.

Camera settings

Switching this option on will ensure that north is always at the top of the screen and south is always at the bottom. Now, this is a sub-optimal way of playing for a couple of reasons: it gets you thinking about attack lines only from the east and west because that’s how you rotate the map and it makes it much harder to navigate around the poles, which can thus discourage you from spawning there or making any plays around them. However, despite this you’re going to have a lot to be learning at first so not having to fight camera disorientation can be helpful during this period. Indeed, I used Planet Pole Lock for the first few weeks of playing.


Active Product controls whether you’re hosting Titans or Classic games. You can always join other players’ Classic games regardless of this setting.

GUI Size controls the size of the user interface, useful for adjustments on extremely high or low resolution displays.

Show Unit Icons controls the strategic icons that appear over units so you can control them even at extreme zooms. Personally I recommend setting this to “always” as icons are much easier to make out than the units themselves.

Unit icons on
Unit icons off

Show Metal Spot Icons controls the display of green dots over metal spots. You will always want this on.

Icon Display Distance controls how far out you must zoom before unit icons are shown.

Show Stat Bars controls when unit health bars are shown, as well as the small white indicators used for recharge times of energy dependent units such as your bombers. You should probably leave this on.

Show Order Previews controls whether or not you see arrows between a unit and its destination. These arrows will change in colour based on the order, so green for move and patrol, red for attack or reclaim and blue for assist . It will also show the end point of a command, so a movement symbol at the end of a movement path, or an assist system on a unit being assisted.

Order preview

Note that the final movement of patrol loop is not shown until a unit reaches the first patrol node.

Order Preview Behaviour controls whether order previews are show for all units or only the selected ones.

Show Build Previews controls whether you see wireframes for buildings queued for construction.

Build previews

Build Preview Behaviour controls whether you see all build previews or only those of the selected units.

Orbital Shell controls when the green orbital layer is displayed around a planet to assist with orbital navigation. Selected means it appears when you select an orbital unit.

Orbital shell

If you have the Legion Expansion mod for Titans installed you will also see the following options:

Theme In Game controls whether the red theme is used in-game when playing as Legion, and purple theme when playing in a mixed faction shared army.

Theme Menu controls whether the red theme and Legion background is used across the various menus. Changing this won’t take effect until you return to the main menu.


Server should be set to the region closest to you. It does not restrict who you can play with.

Local Server controls whether single-player games are hosted on your machine or on an public PAnet server. Auto will make a determination based on your hardware specs.

Local Server Multi-Threading allows the server AI and simulation to run across multiple CPU threads allowing for better performance.


I recommend you take the time to go through all these bindings and identify which are important to you, but I am going to draw your attention to a few of them:

General > Communication > Team Chat (enter) – In a FFA this allows you to talk to all players, while in a team game it would let you talk to your team only. All chat is white and team chat is yellow.

General > Communication > All Chat (shift-enter) – In a team game this allows you to talk to all players. In FFAs you can use either this or the Team Chat key.

General > Alerts > Ping (G) – This allows you to draw the attention of other players on your team to areas on the map. After pressing the key to select ping you then click where you wish to place the ping.

Units > Unit Selection > Select Commander (ALT-C) – Will select your Commander, and if pressed twice will take you straight to it. Do not use this key in shared army games as it will select all the Commanders.

Units > Unit Selection > Select Idle Fabbers (F) – Selects all idle fabbers on the screen for easy identification.

Units > Unit Selection > Select All Idle Factories (SHIFT-F2) – Use this to avoid having factories doing nothing. It will select them while they’re being constructed too.

Units > Unit Commands > Alt Fire (D) – Use this to fire the Commander’s Uber Cannon.

Dev Mode > Build Avatar (ALT-F1) – Use this in conjunction with Paste Unit (CTRL-V) to summon the Avatar in sandbox games. The avatar can build any unit and can be a great way to experiment.

Community Mods

Community Mods button

Use the Community Mods button on the main menu to access all the mods available for the game. The Recommended tab provides you some mods to get you started, while Available shows every mod ever made.

Community Mods

Mods are divided into two types: client and server.

Client mods only impact your local client and can be used in all games, including ranked games. Hotbuild 2 is an example of a client mod.

Server mods impact all players and only those of the original host of a game are applied. Anyone joining your game will automatically download and apply your enabled server mods. The Legion Expansion is an example of a server mod. Any active server mods are shown in the bottom-left of the lobby window.

If you want to make or publish you own mod be sure to check out the Planetary Annihilation support wiki.

Disabling Units

Community Mods button
Unit restrictions

The Units tab allows you to enable/disable units. Don’t like nukes? You can switch them off. These restrictions will work in both skirmish and multiplayer games. You will need to be the original lobby host for your restrictions to apply.

Unit restrictions shown in lobby

Active unit restrictions are always displayed in the lobby chat when you join.

Public Test Environments (PTE) and Legacy Builds

What is a PTE?

Public Test Environments are publicly available builds for testing upcoming changes prior to release as a stable build.

A PTE can contain any of the following:

  • fixes
  • enhancements
  • new features
  • new content
  • new units

How do I access a PTE?

You can install a PTE using papatcher via a PAnet account:

  • modern-pte (modern Public Test Environment for modern CPUs)
  • legacy-pte if available (legacy Public Test Environment for older CPUs)

What is a Legacy Build?

Legacy builds are publicly available stable builds for older CPUs like:

  • AMD Phenom
  • Intel Core 2

They automatically target the current stable servers.

How do I access a Legacy Build?

You can opt-in to a legacy build via Steam or papatcher via a PAnet account:

  • legacy (stable for older CPUs that automatically targets stable servers)

Steam (Windows / macOS / Linux)

  1. Open your Steam library
  2. Right click Planetary Annihilation: TITANS then select Properties
  3. Select the BETAS tab
  4. Select the legacy build from the list
  5. Click the CLOSE button and Steam will download any changes for the legacy build

Outside of Steam

papatcher using PAnet accounts

Download papatcher.go from https://raw.githubusercontent.com/planetary-annihilation/papatcher/master/papatcher.go

Install golang from repo (Linux) or https://golang.org/

go run papatcher.go --stream=modern-pte --update-only

Legacy PA Launcher (Windows / macOS prior to Catalina 10.15) using PAnet accounts

  1. Open the PA launcher and sign in
  2. Click on your username then select Build Options… from the list
  3. Tick the PTE or legacy build you want to install then click SAVE
  4. Change the stream from stable to the PTE or legacy build you want to test
  5. Click VERIFY to install or update the selected PTE or legacy build

Windows Dependencies

For Windows you may need to install the latest Visual Studio 2019 64 bit runtime: https://support.microsoft.com/en-nz/help/2977003/the-latest-supported-visual-c-downloads

Linux Dependencies

  • libsdl2
  • libgl1
  • libstdc++6
  • libcurl
  • libuuid

On Fedora / NixOS the following environment variable may be needed:


Clean Testing with Multiple Copies of PA

You can start multiples copies of PA using the --localstorageurl command line option with a different name for each copy:


A separate directory for settings will be created in your Planetary Annihilation Data Directory.

This can be used to separate testing from your stable build and is required when running multiple copies of PA at the same time to avoid data loss.

Playing on Stable Servers with PTE

For most PTEs you can play on stable servers using the --version command line option:

--version 115958

Remember to remove or update this when a new build goes live.

Crash Dumps

PA generated crash reports with logs (and dxdiag on windows) are usually automatically uploaded to our crash reporting system.

When reporting crashes it also helps if you include the crash ID from your logs (same as the filename of the generated minidump):


The default location for crash dumps generated by PA is now the logs directory in your Planetary Annihilation data directory.

The environment variable MINIDUMP_DIRECTORY can be used to change the location where PA crash minidump files are saved and will also generate more detailed (and larger) minidump files similar to the new --enable-detailed-minidump command line option.

Windows Error Reporting (WER) and macOS may also generate different crash reports:

Steam Command Line Parameters

  1. Open your Steam library
  2. Right click Planetary Annihilation: TITANS then select Properties
  3. Click Set Launch Options…

PA Launcher Command Line Parameters

  1. Open the PA launcher and sign in
  2. Click on your username then select Build Options… from the list
  3. Additional command-line options

Steam Installation Directory

  • Open your Steam library
  • Right click on Planetary Annihilation: TITANS or Planetary Annihilation in your list of games
  • Select Properties
  • Click the LOCAL FILES tab

Learning to Play Planetary Annihilation

Discord: https://discord.gg/pa

Like any RTS there is a learning curve

Try the following to ramp up quickly:

For single player:

Tips for New Players

  • There is no pay to win
  • Commanders skins are cosmetic
  • PA uses a streaming economy based on energy and metal: https://palobby.com/units/table/economy
  • Left click drag for area build, attack, patrol, assist, reclaim, repair, etc
  • Right click drag for local custom line formations
  • AVOID custom line formation moves across the map by moving platoons via waypoints in group formation then shift queuing a custom line formation at destination
  • Control move to break formation and move at full speed (a wide area selection of units will move into formation at the slowest unit speed)
  • Early game you should snipe fabbers, attack economy and prevent expansion (factories are harder to destroy and cannot produce units with no eco)
  • T2 Advanced Metal Extractors can be built over the top of T1 Metal Extractors and vice versa
  • Link Teleporters by selecting one then right clicking the other teleporter including the Helios Invasion Titan mobile teleporter
  • Open the top right planets menu for info like the number of Halley engines required to launch a planet
  • Nuclear Missiles and Unit Cannons are interplanetary

Tips for Returning Players

Tips for Opening Build Queues to Manage your Economy and Expansion

The goals of an opening build queue are:

  • Minimise walking by your commander and fabricators
  • Avoid stalling your economy with too many fabricators or factories
  • Produce units to scout, raid and defend your nearby expansions
  • Produce fabricators as needed for expansions, proxy bases and eventually the transition to T2 once your economy can support BOTH the cost of a T2 factory and production of T2 units
  • Avoid idle fabricators and commanders
  • Avoid excessive use of static defenses

The key elements of an opening build queue are:

  • Optimal starting location
  • Optimal build order and factory selection
  • Optimal placement

Opening build queues will vary for each map, planet terrain, starting location, nearby expansions, opponents, game mode, etc.

Take your time to look around the map and don’t just randomly click in the starting location. You’ll want to spawn close to a metal spot within range of the commander while leaving space to build your initial energy plants and factories around the commander to minimise walking.

A typical new player opening build queue might be:

  • Bot / vehicle / naval factory (never air) with priority queue (control click) of two or three fabricators to claim nearby metal spots then continuous build of fighting units (rallying to a point in the direction of the next expansion or raid)
  • One (or two metal extractors only if within turning range of the commander)
  • One or two energy plants
  • Air factory with priority queue (control click) of one Firefly scout then continuous build of fighters and a bomber to snipe enemy fabricators (rallying to a point where you can easily select your air)
    Note: for Galactic War without air tech build a Skitter vehicle scout and raid with Dox or Strykers
  • One or two energy plants
  • Next factory with continuous build of fighting units (rallying to a point in the direction of the next expansion or raid)
  • One or two energy plants
  • Priority queue (control click) of one or two additional fabricators for expansion which may include an air fabricator to expand to other parts of the planet

As you become more experienced you’ll adjust your energy to be more efficient with only a single energy plant per T1 factory or fabricator. Be careful with other units that also use energy. eg Spark tesla bots.

Place your factories on the outside and near choke points to protect your economy. In important areas outside of your main base consider creating proxy bases by building factories next to your expansions that will continuously build more units.

The more you queue with your commander and fabricators the more you can focus on positioning other units to scout and raid while protecting your fabricators and their expansions. Once you have scouted the enemy be prepared to adjust your build queues and unit mix.

Tips for falling in love with spherical planets

  • Disable pole lock and use align to north pole (default keybind: n)
  • Learn to use middle mouse to grab and alt middle mouse to rotate
  • Alternately use the arrow keys and control + arrow keys to rotate
    (on macOS you’ll need to change the default mission control keyboard shortcuts in system preferences > keyboard > shortcuts > mission control for move left a space and move right a space)
  • Learn to scout and expand as you can be attacked from all directions including orbital and other planets

You will get used to playing on spherical planets. Once you do it’s hard to go back to flat maps.

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