How to start
This is a handy guide on how to start playing Spacetrace.
When uou start the game you are under protection for the first 6 hours. Nobody can attack you during that time, but you cannot attack either. This time is best used for building a fleet and starting researches.
Play through the Tutorial
In the tutorial you will learn the basics of playing spacetrace.
Your first fleet
You should build a fleet, that consists of ships of every class (1 to 4). At least one mothership is needed in a fleet to open a hyperjumpgate for that fleet. You have around 5000 manpower (MP) and it is good to use them all for fleets, so you have a strong fleet that is capable of defending your planet and can attack other planets. Always leave some ships in your base fleet to protect your shipyard and research center. Important: always be aware of the attitude of your fleets.
In the beginning, you should send your investigation probe to seek out new lifeforms (e.g. other players). Your planetary SETI-scan has a radius of 10 sectors, so you should send out your investigation probe to a distance of 20 sectors. (you can use the travel time calcuator (TTC) to check out the distance) If your investigation probe finds other planets, it establishes so called "communication-links" to them that you can see on your com-screen. Once an investigation probe reaches its destination, you can destroy it; the com-links will remain!
In your com-center you´ll see a list of other players. The com-links are automatically added whenever you find another player with an investigation probe or whenever you have contact in another way. You can send messages to other players if you click on their names. You can even send a message to players not listed in your com-list through the player search on that page. The planets-screen shows the coordinates (or coords, for short) of uninhabited planets and the names of players that abandoned their planets (if you don't log in for 8 days, your planet is considered 'abandoned', that means you won't meet any fleets at the abandoned planets, because their fleets and buildings are dimensionally displaced into sub-space. If you don't log in for 31 days, your planet will vanish from the galaxy). You can leave messages on the planets and sometimes they reveal ancient technologies.
on the colony-map you can zoom through the galaxy and see which colonies are owned by whom. Each spacetrace era (which runs for 90 days) all alliances will fight about the colonies. At the start of each new era all colonies will be unassigned and all transports will be destroyed, so we all have the same fresh start. Until then, you can prepare your fleets: research some decent technology, so you are prepared for battles.
also look here: Quick start (german)