Aven Colony is a city-building strategy game about mankind’s first colony on an alien world, on a moon orbiting a gas giant 10 light years from Earth called Aven Prime. As the Governor of humanity’s first colonies outside the solar system, your goal is to build and protect one small, vulnerable human settlement into a huge, sprawling, and prosperous sci-fi metropolis.
There are many kinds of city-builders and Aven Colony is unlike any you may have played. As you begin, you’ll have over a dozen colonists depending on you for their survival from the outset (doesn’t help that the harsh world of Aven Prime can make it very difficult to keep your colonists alive and happy). You’ll need to focus on providing food, water, electricity, housing, air filtration, storage, and much more until your colony is strong enough to start building luxury services to its citizens.
During the single-player campaign you’ll have to contend with alien “creep” spores that can infect your buildings, researching alien relics from a long-vanished civilization, and plan expeditions that will allow you to send your colonists out into the surrounding area.
Aven Colony will challenge all you may have learned before in other city-builders. With that in mind, here are our tips for new players:
Start with the Campaign
Aven Colony‘s single-player campaign is designed to gradually teach you what you need to know to master the game. It’s a good idea to play the two “Holo-Sim” tutorials and the first four campaign missions before attempting sandbox mode. Keep in mind that each mission is different, and what worked in the humid wetlands mission may not work as well in a desert or arctic mission where farmland is scarce.
Once your colony is large and stable, you can often build as you please. However, when a colony is just starting out, it’s very easy to ruin it by building things that are too expensive or unnecessary. Wait until your colony can afford to build and support all the buildings you want to create. You also have 5 advisors who will offer you mission objectives and rewards — Veronika, Vory, Kalandra, Jack, and Uros. You’re always free to build the colony how you like, but if you find yourself struggling follow their objectives closely.
Aven Colony lets you fully control the game speed and play at 1x, 2x, 4x or 8x speed at any time, or pause the game — 4x and 8x speed are recommended only for advanced players. Fast-forwarding through the game means that you may not notice problems until it’s too late, and you may not have time to fix things once they go south.
Watch the Bottom Bar
Keep an eye out for indicators that are flashing red. Don’t worry too much about the rate of change on the right side of the indicators; worry about the ones that have red icons or are flashing. If you see this, pause the game immediately so you have time to investigate the problem and fix it.
Watch Your Workers
While not all buildings have workers, for those that do their efficiency depends on the number of workers assigned to the building (as well as their happiness). If a building isn’t doing its job fast enough, it may need more workers so you can raise its worker priority. Also, consider moving workers away from buildings that don’t need them. For example: Farms don’t need workers during the winter season since they can’t grow food.
Focus on Infrastructure First
Until you get to 100 colonists, don’t worry too much about keeping them happy. Once you do, and if you find that your people are starting to grow unhappy, select them to find out what they’re complaining about by using Surveillance Camera Mode or switching to the Colonist List and selecting the colonists whose happiness is lowest.
Make Sure You Have Enough Immigrants
It’s very easy to forget that your starting colony only has enough workers for a handful of buildings — you can build an Immigration Center to get more. It’s very easy to find yourself with a colony where every building has only one worker and nothing is getting done. If you find that your colony isn’t operating optimally at the early stages, you either have too few colonists or too many buildings for the number of colonists you have. Look at getting more colonists via Immigration Centers and/or recycling buildings you don’t need.
Make Sure You Don’t Have Too Many Immigrants
Immigration is necessary, but too many all at once can kill your colony. New immigrants place demands on jobs, housing, food, water, and even morale. If you have multiple Immigration Centers, consider scaling back the number of workers, recycling any Centers you don’t need, or even implementing the Immigration Ban social policy until you can get the situation under control.
You’re Not Building a Utopia
It’s very important to keep your colonists’ morale above 50% so you keep them working efficiently, keep winning referendums, and have a margin of error if the colony starts having problems. At the same time, if your colonists are at 60% happiness, there’s usually not too much to be gained from increasing their happiness to 70%, 80%, or 90% unless you can truly afford it.
Keep an Eye on the Aggregate Morale Panel
Watch the specially “% Jobs Filled,” “% Employed,” and % Housing Filled.” Those are incredibly useful for helping you keep your colony in balance as it grows. As you scale up, try to keep “% Jobs Filled” and “% Housing Filled” between 70% and 90%. “% Employed” should always be over 80%, but that’s much easier to achieve. Checking the aggregate morale panel several times per sol will help ensure that you keep your colony in balance as you grow.
Surviving the world of Aven Prime can be challenging. But if you slow down, look after your colonists, and work carefully to build a balanced colony, you’ll become strong enough to stay in balance and survive. And eventually you’ll be able to create a truly epic city that you can truly be proud of. Good luck, Governor!