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What is Planetwars?

Planetwars is an online multiplayer strategic campaign that pits you and your allies against the rest of the Zero-K playerbase in a fight to control the galaxy! On behalf of your faction you will choose which planets to attack and defend, and you'll fight on those planets in Zero-K 2v2 or 3v3 battles. As the battles are are won or lost, your faction will spread its influence throughout the galaxy, conquering planets and gaining resources to use in further battles. You can spend some of those resources yourself to send dropships and bombers to other planets or to fortify the defenses on planets your faction controls. You can even take on leadership roles within your faction, gaining responsibility over the military, economic, strategic, or diplomatic course your faction will pursue.

At its heart, though, Planetwars is simply a series of small-team teamgames, but with something larger to fight for than just the battle at hand. It's a way to make a great RTS game even better!

How do I play?

First, join a faction. In the Zero-K lobby, click on Planetwars, then choose a faction to join. You can leave a faction and join another at any time via the Factions page. You may optionally choose to join a Zero-K clan, or even start your own clan.

Now wait until it's your faction's turn to launch an attack or defend against an invasion. If your faction has the initiative, you can select a planet to attack, or you can join in an attack that one of your fellow faction members has started. Once enough players have joined the attack (either two or three, depending on the planet) then defenders will have a few minutes to join. Once enough defenders have joined, the battle will begin. On the other hand, if your faction does not have the iniative, you'll need to wait for the attacking faction to select a planet to attack and then you can join in the defense. The lobby will display which faction has the initiative, which planets are available to attack, and which attacks are available to defend against.

You can use the Galaxy Map to see which planets each faction controls. By clicking on a planet's name you can see more details and you can spend resources to send starships to that planet or to build structures on that planet. You gain resources by participating in Planetwars battles.

You can take on leadership roles by interacting with the other faction members in chat or on the forums. You can vote for faction leaders or nominate yourself to be a faction leader by visiting your user page. Or you can convince one of the current faction leaders to give you an appointed position.

Note that you need to be Level 10 or higher in Zero-K in order to play in Planetwars. You can increase your level by playing multiplayer games, either against other players or against the AI (skirmish and campaign games under the Singleplayer tab don't increase your level).

How do we win?

There are two ways for your faction to win. The first is to conquer the homeworld of one of the other factions; your faction wins the current round and all other factions lose. The faction that was conquered will suffer especially drastic consequences in the Planetwars lore to be written between the end of the current round and the start of the next round. Winning this way is rather difficult, as homeworlds have massive defensive bonuses and are protected from warp and influence projection.

The second way to win is by conquering planets that have Ancient Artefacts. These structures are found on some planets and, when activated at great energy cost, will generate Victory Points each turn. The first faction to accumulate 100 Victory Points wins the current round.

How can I help my faction win?

Play Zero-K! Play in the Planetwars small-team battles and do your best to help your team win them. Accumulate resources from playing battles and spend them to secure your faction's planets and to weaken the planets your faction needs to conquer. Study the Galaxy Map to see which planets might be vulnerable and which directions are best to expand in. Read the events that show up in your faction's event feed to keep up with what's happening in the game. Talk to your fellow faction members in chat and on the forum in order to coordinate strategies. Recruit your friends to join in! Teach them how to play Zero-K, and play practice matches to improve your skills.

But most of all, have fun!

Attacking and Defending

Main article: PlanetWars attack

  • The Planetwars tab in the lobby shows which faction currently needs to attack or defend.
  • In the Planetswars tab, planets which are recommended to be attacked are shown as buttons. Click the button to sign up for the battle.
  • When in the battle try to find and destroy your opponent's Command Center. It is especially important to destroy if you are losing.
  • When your faction can attack you can choose a particular planet by selecting it on the main page and clicking "ATTACK PLANET".
  • Defend your planets if they are attacked otherwise the other faction is awarded an automatic victory.
  • Infrastructure can be disabled during the battle.

Influence and Conquest

Main article: PlanetWars influence

  • Each faction has an influence score on each planet.
  • Influence gain is determined by the outcome of an invasion.
  • The faction with the most influence on a planet controls it.
  • The player who fought the hardest for the planet, and/or has the least existing planets, owns the captured planet.
  • Planets project Influence through wormhole links for their owner.

Initiative and Turns

Main article: PlanetWars initiative

  • Factions can attack when they have the initiative.
  • Turns progress when an invasion occurs.


Main article: PlanetWars ships

  • Dropships increase Influence gains.
  • Bombers destroy infrastructure and Influence from orbit.
  • Warp Cores can send dropships or bombers deep into enemy territory.

Planetary Infrastructure and Artefacts

Main article: PlanetWars structures

  • Develop your infrastructure to provide functions such as producing bombers and dropships or defending planets from attack.
  • Some planets already start with ancient artefacts. Each planet starts with a wormhole.
  • Most structures can be disabled in battle or destroyed by bomber attacks.
  • Each faction starts with one Headquarters structure on their homeworld. Losing this structure loses the game.


Main article: PlanetWars economy

  • Metal income is 100 per turn spread between the players involved in an invasion.
  • Metal is required to construct buildings, energy is required to run them.
  • Elect economic leaders to pool everyone's resources for expensive structure.

Roles and Quota

Main article: PlanetWars faction roles

  • Elect leaders to manage economy and military by a vote.
  • Leaders can appoint managers to help them.
  • Leaders have increased access to the faction's resources.


Main article: PlanetWars diplomacy

  • Factions can make treaties with each other.
  • Treaties can include ceasefires, defense pacts, trading resources, or even sharing or exchanging planets.
  • Parties to a treaty may offer metal as a guarantee. If a party breaks the treaty, they forfeit the metal they offered.


Main article: PlanetWars events

  • Events allow players to track the activities within the galaxy.


Main article: PlanetWars factions

  • The factions have a long and dynamic history built up over many rounds of Planetwars.