Help Index / Basic Rules /

The Turn and the Tick

The Turn

A standard (mega) game of UltraCorps lasts for a set number of turns, usually from 20 to 60. A turn in a regular mega-game typically lasts 24 hours; sometimes late-game turns will be give more time. During the turn, you are able to play the game by accessing the Web site and submitting fleet and production orders. At the end of Turn 1, the game runs Tick 1, which processes the orders given in the turn.

The Tick

At the end of each turn, the game is temporarily locked . . . you can no longer view your empire or issue orders. This is the tick. During the tick, the computer processes the orders given on that turn.

You can always see the time of the next tick beneath the star map.

The more players in the game, the longer the tick will last. In a solo game, it is nearly instant. Mega-games with 250 players currently take under 5 minutes to tick. During the tick, you can still access your UltraMail and the chat room - you just can't reach the parts of the interface that let you submit orders. (You can, of course, go to other games, as long as they don't happen to be ticking at the same time.)

When the tick ends, the next turn begins. You can see the new status of your empire, and you can submit new orders.

Tick Mechanics

The tick consists of nine phases, executed in order. You should be aware of this order. It's vital to realize, for instance, that new units are completed before combat occurs!

  1. Fleet Movement

    All deployed fleets move toward their destination worlds at their maximum speed. See Fleets for more information.

  2. Production

    Each world completes as many production orders as it can before running out of either Ultranium or man-hours (that is, population). Unfinished orders stay in the queue. See Unit Production for more information.

  3. Unit Upgrades

    Upgrades are installed on any appropriate units to create improved units. For an upgrade to take effect, the unit and the upgrade must be together in a base fleet. See Upgrades for more information.

  4. Battles

    Combat and Auto Fleets which have reached unowned worlds, or worlds owned by other players, attempt to conquer those worlds. Gift Fleets which reach a world now belong to that world's owner, and will fight on the defense if hostile fleets are present. All battles are resolved at the same time. See Battles for more information.

  5. Auto Fleets

    Auto fleets pick up and/or drop off cargo, and are then automatically redeployed to the world from which they came (they will not move again until the next tick, of course, and their owner can change their orders if necessary during the turn). See Specialized Fleets for more information.

  6. Scanners

    Scanner data is updated, based on the new positions of fleets relative to each world. See Scanners for more information.

  7. World Data and Resources

    Each world produces new population equal to its Environmental Index (EI). Each world produces new Ultranium equal to its Resource Extraction Rate (RER). See Resources for more information.

  8. Economy

    If the economic rules are in play in this game, then unit costs are adjusted based on the number of workers producing each kind of unit. These new costs take effect for units ordered next turn. See The Economy for more information.

  9. Player Ranking

    Player statistics are calculated in five categories: number of worlds owned, net worth, firepower, win/loss ratio, and total population. See Top Player Rankings for more information. Also, if this is a point-scoring game, then points are also calculated. See Scoring and Winning for more information.

The Tick in a Solo Game

A solo game lasts as many turns as you want. You can finish your turn and run the tick any time you choose to, using the Tick Now button in the top bar.

The Tick in a PUB Game

A PUB game ticks when the owner tells it to. The owner can schedule regular ticks, tick it manually with the Tick Now button, or make it tick when all players have indicated they're done with their turns via the Done button.


You can choose to be notified by e-mail when all your games tick. This setting is on the Preferences page. You can also set notifications individually on the Empire

page for each game.

Help Index

Previous Topic: Resources

Next Topic: The Economy