Blacknova Traders FAQ
Bitcoin Traders FAQ

New Players Strategies Misc Q&A


Welcome to Bitcoin Traders! Bitcoin Traders is a mod of Blacknova Traders, an open source game created by Ron Harwood and Paul Kirby. The game play is identical to Blacknova Traders except for one main difference. You can exchange your in game credits for Satoshi! FAQ based on original version.

Table of Contents:
  1. For Everyone:
    1. New Players Guide
    2. The Rules
  1. Strategies:
    1. The Trader
    2. The Builder
    3. The Conqueror
    4. The Idiot
  1. Misc:
    1. Cool Tricks
    2. Planetary Production Values
    3. Hull Sizes by Tech Level
    4. Upgrade Costs by Tech Level
    5. How... or How Not to Colonize a Planet

Questions,Answers, and Bug Trackers:

For Everyone:

This is the section to read if you are a new player.

  New Players Guide  

This guide will assist you in getting a feel for the layout of the game, as well as a strategy for getting started.

  1. Interface

    1. Commands

      1. Devices: Here there are different devices to use in the game

        1. Space Beacons: Use these to set a message for others to see in almost any sector

        2. Warp Editors: Use these to create or destroy warp connections. Great for making trade routes right next to each other

        3. Genesis Torpedos: Use these to create planets in unchartered space

        4. Mine Deflectors: These can be used to protect your ship from mines others have placed in a sector.

        5. Mines: These can be used to mine a sector to protect it.

        6. Fighters: You can deploy these with mines to either attack other ships on sight, or demand a toll for going through the system

        7. Emergency Warp Device: This device can save your ship in case of attack. It will send you to a random sector. Good for also getting yourself to a random location!

        8. Escape Pod: If your ship is destroyed, you usually lose any credits you had on your ship. With an escape pod, you CAN take it with you!

        9. Fuel Scoop: Use this to gather free energy when travelling through real space.

        10. Last Ship Seen Device: Lets you see what the last ship seen in a sector was. Great for hunting down a bounty

      2. Planets: Here you can see all the planet you own. You can collect your credits from any or all of your planets or change production of your planets.

      3. Log: View your game log here. This will include many important events.

      4. Sector Defences: This will show you all the mines and fighters you have deployed, and where they are at.

      5. Read Messages: View any incomming communications

      6. Send Messages: Compose a message for a friend or frenemy

      7. Rankings: View the current rankings of all non-destroyed players

      8. Settings: You can view all the current game settings

      9. Teams: You can set up a team to work together in controlling the galaxy!

      10. Self Destruct: Its the end of the world.. you have had too much! Blow yourself up! Destroys ship and planets you own

      11. Options: Change your password and set your language options here

      12. Nav Computer: Calculate the most effective route from your sector to another

      13. Map: View the map of the galaxy! Use this to find a place you havent been before!

      14. FAQ: This FAQ!

      15. Feedback: Leave feedback about the game

      16. Forums: Link to the forums

      17. Logout: Logs out of the game

    2. Trade Routes: Set up custom trade rouths here. Trade routes can be real space or warp, one way or both ways. You can also repeat your trade route by running the route once, then selecting how many times to repeat. Common routes are Port to Port, but you can do Special Port to Planet to mass transport colonists.

    3. Cargo: This shows what you are currently carrying.

    4. Realspace: You can set up real space jump shortcuts here. Useful if you find a hidden system.

    5. Warp To: This shows all sectors connected to your current one via warp gates. You can change this using Warp Editors

  2. Ports

    1. Special Ports: Here is where you buy devices, colonists, and ship ugrades. You can also buy Fighters, Armor, and Torpedos.

      1. Upgrade Types

        1. Hull: Increases Cargo Capacity

        2. Engines: Decrease turns needed for realspace jumps

        3. Power: Increases max energy

        4. Computer: Increases Max Fighters, also used for Nav Computer

        5. Sensors: Detect Cloaked ships

        6. Beam Weapons: Deal more Damage (Requires energy in cargo!)

        7. Armor: Increases Maximum Armor

        8. Cloak: Increase ability to sneak past ships and fighters

        9. Torpedo Launchers: Increase maximum Torpedos

        10. Shields: Increases maximum shields (Requires energy in Cargo!)

      2. View Bounties: Here you can view all the bounties on other ships, or place your own!

      3. Intergalactic Bank: The safest place to store your credits, get a loan, or exchange for Satoshi!

        1. Withdraw: Here you can withdraw credits from your IGB to your ship

        2. Deposit: Here you can deposit funds from your ship to your IGB account. You need to have funds in your IGB account to exchange for satoshi

        3. Transfer: You can transfer funds to another ship, transfer from one planet to another, or consolidate all your funds onto one planet

        4. Loans: Here you can take out a loan or repay loans. Loans do not reset if you are destroyed! You also can not withdraw satoshi if you have a loan

        5. Bitcoins: Here you can exchange credit for satoshi, satoshi for credit, withdraw satoshi, or deposit satoshi.

    2. Energy Ports: These ports sell energy

    3. Ore Ports: These ports sell ore

    4. Goods Ports: These ports sell goods

    5. Organic Ports: These ports sell organics

New Player Induction

So, first day as a space trader then? How about I buy ya a drink and give ya a few pointers, maybe ya'll survive long enough to earn yer first satoshi.

To start, ya got yerself 1,000 Credits, courtasy of the Federation and their new fangled Universal Income Scheme. Ya got yerself a basic ship too, so the feds now think ya dont need no more help. Ya seen the basic guide they gave ya? Yea, written by pencil pushers who never seen the inside of a cockpit. Let me tell ya how it is really done. While yer in Sol, first thing ya should do is use that 1,000 credits and buy yerself a level 1 upgrade to your hull. Trust me, it will make the next step much easier. Then, hop yerself to the IGB and take out a loan. They want their money back in 24 hours, but thats fine, Ya should be able to pay it off in less than an hour. Go back and upgrade yer hull to level 2.

Now, head yerself to sector 1 and do a full scan. Ya be looking for a sector that has a port in it, try for a Ore,Goods,or Organic port. Go ahead and head to that sector. Do another full scan, and make a note of what sector has another port trading something different. If ya cant find one, explore a bit until ya find 2 sectors connected to eachother by warp that trade different stuff. Go back to yer main display, and select yer Trade Control. Click on create new Trade Route, and put the sector ya in as starting point, and sector with the port ya want in the ending point. Make sure its a Warp move, and both ways to max profits. Ya can play around with other settings later.

Now back in yer main screen, ya should see the trade route ya created. Click it ta do your first trade. Now here, ya got an option to repeat the trade! Repeat it 100 times. Now ya got some credits! Return to Sol by either moving back to it by warp gates, or choosing sector 0 to travel by real space. Pay off yer loan, then upgrade yer ship. Make sure ya buy yerself an escape pod! This will protect ya from losing yer planets and credits. And if ya want to make sure yer credits are safe from harm, store them in the IGB. It gains interest sitting there as well. When ya can afford it, buy some emergency warps to escape attack, and energy scoop to get energy doing those long real space trades! And when ya made yer first million, come back and buy me a beer.

Planet Builders Guide

Welcome back! Ya made a few million since ya were here last? Good, cause now ya get to build yer own planet. Ya should be well versed in making trade routes by now, so I wont be wasting yer time with describing how to make them. What ya need now is ta go to a special port and buy yerself a genesis device. It costs 1 million, but it is well worth it. Fill yer hold with colonists as well. Ya may need to sell your cargo off first. Find yerself an out of the way sector somewhere in the middle of space, preferably one that has an ore, goods, or organics port. Once there, use yer Genesis Torpedo to create a planet. Way to go, yer a land owner now!

Hold up, there is more than just owning land, ya got to build it and protect it as well. Under the Planet Screen, ya can use yer transfer screen to transfer the colonists ya have in yer hold onto the planet. Ya also can set yer production rates. I reccomend 20 Ore, 20 Organic, 20 Goods, 20 energy, put 0 for fighters and torps. This is just a start, ya can change them later ta produce fighters and torps. Notice it ads up ta only 80? That means 20% of yer population will work for credits!. Now, on main page, use a warp editor ta make a link from a special port to yer system. Then, make a new trade route with the special port as the source, and yer planet as destination. While yer at it, change yer global trade settings to trade colonist, fighters, and Torpedos. Now, ya can click that trade route, and repeat it until ya got 50,000 colonists on yer planet. This may take a bit, but once done, ya'll have a really nice producing planet.

Now, make yerself a trip back to the special port and restock on mines and fighters. These ones wont be going onto the planet, but around the planet. Get yerself back to yer system, and click on the mines through the Device Screen. Ya can deploy yer mines and fighters out and choose if they attack any non-team ships, or if they just try ta charge a toll. Now, use yer warp editors to remove all the warps both ways heading to yer planet, and make a one way warp back to Sol, for those unlucky traders who get stuck in yer little empire.

Ya can now just let yer planet grow, and gain the residiual income from yer investment. If ya build up 10k of ore, goods, and organics, and 10 million in credits, ya can build a base. When the planet gets big enough population wise, ya can even use what it produces here to colonize new planets. SPeaking of of new planets, each sector can hold 5, and if ya own 3 of them, you own the sector and can make yer own rules in the sector management. Now go out, and make make yer first billion

  The Rules  

These are the official rules for the game.

  1. You are not allowed to have multiple accounts. In other words, if you have more than one player in the game you are breaking the rules. If you are caught with multiple accounts you can voluntarily self destruct all but one and keep playing that one or lose them all. Remember, the admin can always remove your player from the game.

  2. Please, no cursing in the beacons or the forums.

  3. If you find a bug it is against the rules to exploit it. You must report it right away to the webmaster and preferably to the forums as well.



These are some generic strategies to help you get started. These aren't set in stone, and are very general. They should give you an idea of what works and what doesn't though.

Special Note: For all of these strategies I am assuming that you have already survived your first couple of days in the game. If you are still a newbie, read the New Player Guide first.

  The Trader  

The Trader primarily spends his time trading. The best thing to do is find a goods port and an ore port in adjacent sectors. Trade back and forth until either you can afford a hull upgrade or the port's prices are no longer very good. Keep doing this. When you're engines are large enough to realspace (this varies on the galaxy size in each game, usually anywhere from 14 to 18) start doing trade routes between goods and ore ports. They don't have to be adjacent at this point. Be sure to buy a fuel scoop if you're going to realspace trade (trade route).

Be sure to have the maximum amount of EWDs and an escape pod at all times to ensure survival. You don't have to upgrade any techs except for hull, energy, and engines. Everything else is good for combat or colonizing. Your military techs can be zero as the EWDs are your primary means of survival.

PROS: Quick rise in score. Good to play catch up if you enter the game late.
CONS: Lack of planetary empire means that you'll lose out in the long run.

  The Builder  

The Builder is mainly concerned in building a planetary empire. As such, he should build his hull to a level 15-16. Then start colonizing a planet. Colonize planets to about 25-50 million before moving on to the next planet. The reason for not fully colonizing a planet is that you want the colonists to procreate for as long as possible. They stop when there are 100 million people on a planet.

Here's the deal on upgrading. When you hit a 15-16 hull level, upgrade everything to within 4 of your hull. Actually, forget about sensors. Builders don't need sensors. They don't need amour either for that matter. Always have full EWDs and an escape pod. Every time you upgrade your hull, upgrade the other techs. Quit upgrading engines when you can realspace anywhere in 1 turn. Upgrade as soon as you can.

So far as colonizing is concerned, realspace to a special port. Pick up a full load of colonists, fighters, and torps. Realspace to your new planet. Drop off colonists, fighters, torps, and the energy you made from realspacing. On each new planet, set the energy production to 5% and all other productions to zero. You'll need the energy to power planetary shields and beams.

Colonize constantly. Use the money made by your planets to buy the stuff to supply your planets. You don't really need to trade much in this strategy.

PROS: You make lots of cash in the long run.
CONS: Kind of slow to start. Conquerors can sometimes take your planets.

  The Conqueror  

The premise here is that you build up your military techs (shields, armor, computers, torps, and to a lesser degree sensors) and use them to take other people's planets. You then use the money acquired from these new planets to upgrade even further. You end up with lots of ill gotten colonists and planets this way. They will make money for you and you will gain an empire similar to that a Builder might create.

Be sure to stock every new planet acquired with plenty of fighters and torps to be sure that the former owner won't come and try to take the planet back. Trust me, that sucks.

PROS: You can get a whole lot of colonists using a small number of turns.
CONS: Everyone will hate you and it's sometimes hard to defend new "acquisitions".

  The Idiot  

This is more a list of what not to do. I've seen people do things that boggle the mind, but the truth is that they just don't know any better. Here's a listing. Don't...

  1. ...scan over and over and over. It is a waste of turns. Don't scan ships or planets unless you actively plan on attacking them. For one, it's a waste of turns. Also, it pisses people off to be scanned. You will be marked if you scan someone more than once.
  2. ...waste your time trading energy or organics. Ore and goods will give you the greatest returns.
  3. ...realspace move unless you can get somewhere in 1 or 2 turns. I've seen people use 50-100 turns to move from where they are to sol. You could probably move from sector to sector and find a special port using less turns. Plus you might find other planets or trading ports along the way.


This section contains some information on game mechanics. For example, if you want to know how many units of organics your planet can make in a turn, you could probably find it here.

  Cool Tricks  

  1. Before you attack a planet check to see if it is set to sell. If it is, buy all the energy. The planet's beams and shields will be made useless.
  2. If you need to go to a special port and don't particularly care where you go afterwards, shop at good old sector 0. After you're done wait around and let the update that runs every 6 minutes place you in a random sector. You effectively get a free move. Of course, this only works if you're hull is over the allowed federation space limit. I call this the "sol bump".
  3. Whenever you buy an EWD, buy a warp editor to go along with it. That way, if you get attacked you can easily create a link back to wherever you were before. If being there is important that is.

  Planetary Production Values  

Planets can produce all sorts of things. Here goes. By the way, all of the commodity production rates assume you're producing at 100% capacity. If you're putting 50% towards a commodity, for example, it would take twice as many colonists to make the same number of said items.

  1. Colonists reproduce at the rate of 1.0005 * your current population each turn. So, it takes 2000 colonists to have one baby each turn.
  2. It takes 20,000 colonists to make 1 fighter each turn. The number of fighters produced is as follows: number of colonists * .005 * .01
  3. It takes 8,000 colonists to make 1 torpedo each turn. The number of torps produced is as follows: number of colonists * .005 * .01
  4. It takes 800 colonists to make 1 unit of ore each turn. The number of ore units produced is as follows: number of colonists * .005 * .25
  5. It takes 400 colonists to make 1 unit of organics each turn. The number of organics units produced is as follows: number of colonists * .005 * .50
  6. It takes 800 colonists to make 1 unit of goods each turn. The number of goods units produced is as follows: number of colonists * .005 * .25
  7. It takes 400 colonists to make 1 unit of energy each turn. The number of energy units produced is as follows: number of colonists * .005 * .1
  8. It takes 67 colonists to make 1 credit each turn. The number of credits produced is as follows: number of colonists * .005 * 3.0

  Hull Sizes by Tech Level  

This list will show you how many items you can store in your holds. This list also represents armor, shields, beams, torps, and fighter capacity. I show up to tech level 24 That's the highest I've ever gotten to. The formula for figuring out the capacity of your holds or other tech levels you will have is 100*(1.5^(the tech level in question)). Round off that number and you have your answer.

  1. 100
  2. 150
  3. 225
  4. 338
  5. 506
  1. 759
  2. 1,138
  3. 1,709
  4. 2,563
  5. 3,844
  1. 5,767
  2. 8,650
  3. 12,975
  4. 19,462
  5. 29,193
  1. 43,789
  2. 65,684
  3. 98,526
  4. 147,789
  5. 221,684
  1. 332,526
  2. 498,789
  3. 748,182
  4. 1,122,274
  5. 1,683,411

  Upgrade Costs by Tech Level  

This is a listing of how much it costs to upgrade to a certain tech level. For example, upgrading from 0 to 1 costs 1,000 credits.

  1. 1,000
  2. 2,000
  3. 4,000
  4. 8,000
  5. 16,000
  1. 32,000
  2. 64,000
  3. 128,000
  4. 256,000
  5. 512,000
  1. 1,024,000
  2. 2,048,000
  3. 4,096,000
  4. 8,192,000
  5. 16,384,000
  1. 32,768,000
  2. 65,536,000
  3. 131,072,000
  4. 262,144,000
  5. 524,288,000
  1. 1,048,576,000
  2. 2,097,152,000
  3. 4,194,304,000
  4. 8,388,608,000
  5. 16,777,216,000

  How... or How Not to Colonize a Planet  

I've seen planets that have 100 million colonists on them already. I'm gonna give a short lesson right now on why you should NEVER colonize a planet to 100 million people.

First, I pose a question. How many extra, and conveniently free, colonists does a maxed out planet make per turn. The answer is zero.

Now, how many new colonists could be produced by 100 million peeps if they were allowed to reproduce. The answer is 50k peeps. At 5 creds per peep, that's a value of 250k per turn for free. You don't even have to transport them from a special. They take care of that on their own.

Now imagine that you don't have 100 million peeps on one planet, but 50 million each on two planets. Now, each planet will make 25k peeps per turn and you'll get your 250k credits worth between the two planets.

Those two planets will take exactly 1387 turns to reproduce until they are full. You will gain free colonists, which means free money, on every one of those turns. If you had just the one planet, you'd get nothing for free.

Now imagine that you had spread those colonists over four planets instead of two. It would take each of those four planets 2774 turns to go from 25 million peeps to 100 million peeps. You'd be getting free people for that many turns. Ultimately you'll get an additional 300 million people for free. At 5 creds per person that's 1.5 billion credits for free. It's spread over 2774 turns, but it's still a damn lot of credits for free.

I assume you see where I'm going with this. Residual income is a gold mine. By spreading the same number of colonists over a greater number of planets you are increasing the total future amount of residual income. The only downside is that you have more planets to defend. The upside is that even if you lose one, you have other equally large planets to rely on for income.

Hence, the moral of this story is not to colonize to 100 million. It's dumb. I am going to suggest a maximum colonizing limit of 15-25 million colonists. That gives you a solid planet, but also gives you plenty of time for the planets to grow. That's just a suggestion. Use your own judgment.

Questions and Answers:

What is Bitcoin Traders?

Bitcoin Traders is a mod of Blacknova Traders, an open source game created by Ron Harwood and Paul Kirby. The game play is identical to Blacknova Traders except for one main difference. You can exchange your in game credits for Satoshi!

Doesn't most open source games keep you from profiting from them?

Most games have a Common Creative License that specifically precludes being used for profit. However, Blacknova Traders uses GNU AFFERO GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE Version 3 which allows me to not only modify the source code, but also profit from the modified code. The original source code is availaible at original sourcecode.

How do you determine the Credit to Satoshi exchange rate?

In the game, you can have credits on your ship, in your IGB account, and on any or all of your planets. Bitcoin Traders calculates the total sum of ALL credits existing in game, and subtracts the sum of all outstanding credit loans. This value is then related to the current balance of the faucet wallet, to determine the exchange rate. In other words, the exchange rate is set so that 100% of the credits in the game are backed by satoshi in the faucet wallet.

Wait, loans? I can take out a loan then cash it out as bitcoin then right?

No. If you have an active loan, you will not be able to withdraw your satoshi. However you can still buy and sell satoshi within the game. It is possible to profit by trading at the right times!

What faucet do you use?

Bitcoin Traders uses Faucet Box to make use of its API and php library. This means less coding mistakes!

Common Game Related Questions

When I try to change my planet's production, it does not save!

Please ensure that there is an integer in every field. If you want to set a production to 0, you need to enter 0 into the field

My colonies are not producing any credits!

Make sure your total production is set less than 100. Credit production is set to whatever is left

My colonies seem to not produce the energy or organics that they should

If you have fighters in orbit around your planet, they take energy to maintain their full fighting potential. Likewise, your colonists have to eat, so part of your food production goes to feeding the masses. You need to have your organics at least 10% to keep your population from starving

My colonies are not producing any fighters or torpedos

Ok, this will take a bit to explain. I reccomend reading further up about planetary production. For purpose of this question, we will take fighters. As you see, it takes 20,000 colonists to make 1 fighter per turn. If you have less than 20,000 colonists, then you wont be making a fighter any time soon, even if production was set to 100%. Partial builds do not carry over turn to turn. So if your production is set to 10% for fighters (which is default setting), you would need to ensure that you have 200,000 colonist on the planet (10% of 200,000 is 20,000!) to produce 1 per turn. Basically, if your planet isnt producing torps or fighters, you need to change your production percentages, or increase your planets population.

My colonists are not producing credits! My planet seems to be stuck at 10 million

Colonies without a base are limited to 10 Million Credits.

I lost my ship in an attack, and now all my credits and planets are gone!

The only safe storage of Credits is in the IGB. Make sure you buy an escape pod every time your ship is destroyed! You can also buy emergency warp drives to protect yourself from attack

I created a two way trade route, but I can only see it from one sector

If you want to see the trade route in both sectors, you need to create two routes, one starting in each

How do I get satoshi?

Go to your IGB and deposit some credits into the bank. THen, under the bitcoin option, buy some satoshi with your credits. Now, make sure you have set your withdrawal address, then select withdraw btc. Here you can select how much satoshi you want

I tried to withdraw 100,000 credits, but it only gave me 100.

Comma's can not be used in form fields. This will be changed in a later

I made a deposit, but it hasnt credited me yet

Our system will not automatically credit you until your total awaiting credit reaches .01 btc. However, we can still do a manual transfer. Please contact WebDragon using the mail system in game. Thank you

Bug Tracking List

The following changes have been made to the core Blacknova Traders game
Addition of Bitcoin functionality in IGB
Addition of Ad coding in Header and Footer
Addition of anti-adblocks
Addition of Referral functionality
Ability to choose own password on signup
Addition of Referral Lottery System
Addition of coding to allow game to be leased to other domains
Addition of page to act as landing point for Godaddy Cron Service
Addition of coding to act as backup to cron failure
To be done: Redo coding to do includes as appropriate, compile a patch file for core Blacknova Traders
Bug Fixes as described below

20160128-1: Game Start can have less than 1 credit per satoshi for exchange rate.
Resolved: Exchange disabled when satoshi buy rate is less than 10 credits/satoshi

20160129-2: Password field will not accept special characters.
Resolved: Lucky1 awarded .01 btc as a finders fee.

20160129-3: Phrase "Click here for more details" Misleading on bounty page.
Resolved: Now says "Click on the name to add more bounty"

20160129-4: Xenobe Attacks not working.
Resolved: Removed legacy table entry from PHP

20160131-1: Scheduler not running
Resolved: Added sceduler file as excemption for leasing code. Thanks to Lucky1 for finding this bug

20160131-2: Scheduler runs manually, but not from Cron
Resolved: Added code to cron to foward correctly. Josh has been awarded .01 btc as a finders fee

20160131-3: Rankings can not be sorted
Resolved: Corrected bug in rankings page from original code. Thanks to Lucky1 for finding this bug!

20160202-1: Residual coding appearing in attack page
Resolved: Corrected bug in original code. Josh has been awarded .01 bitcoin as a finders fee

20160209-1: Real Space Move gets stuck in a loop
Resolved: Repaired orignal code

20160209-2: IGB gives php error
Resolved: Error in modified code fixed. Josh has been awarded .01 bitcoin as finders fee


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