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The spaceship is the pinnacle of the player's civilization growth, the most powerful vehicle which the player creates in the Space stage. The construction of the spaceship sparks the beginning of the Space Stage, and once the player has made one, they will be able to move to other planets.
The spaceship in Spore is a highly modifiable object that is built in the spaceship editor. In game, the players are able to create their own ships, or view and use other player's ships. Unlike creatures in the Creature Stage, players are capable of using any accessible spaceship in the Sporepedia; creatures can't be picked out in-game, and have to be created by the player (unless they use evoadvantage).
Once completed, the spaceship takes off from the city in a small workshop, with the cheering city below.
The spaceship has a number of uses, including, but not necessarily limited to:
- Abduction and relocation of creatures and flora.
- Scanning of creatures
- Allowing the player to traverse the galaxy.
- Allowing the player to terraform and edit planets.
- Allowing the player to destroy worlds
- Both military and diplomatic missions
- Creating/Tweaking new creatures
- For playing a broad set of meta-games
The spaceship comes with a large variety of tools which let the player do things from firing fireworks to blowing up planets. When the player first unlocks the interplanetary drive, they will be allowed to zoom out and view the star system. Once they have developed the interstellar drive, they can zoom out further and view the part of the Spore Galaxy they are currently in, or even the entire galaxy.
Spaceships can also be found in the Creature stage, the Tribal stage and while they do not appear flying around in civilization stage, crashed UFOs can appear in the ground. The crashed spaceships can still be found on the planet in space stage but scanning them gives no result. If in Tribal stage, the UFO will abduct up to two and usually one of the domesticated animals in the village.
- Spaceships seem to have at the very least a 4 man/creature/alien crew due to the posse the ship's captain takes with them on a mission. A 5-being crew is likely due to the ship needing a pilot to beam the captain and way-team back up, but such functions could be remote. Crew size is at least 4. The actual crew is left to the player's imagination.
- NPC naval ships come in 3 varieties. Patrol ships defend planets and are medium sized. Fighters are spawned in groups of 5 from cruisers. Cruisers are the biggest and slowest of ships which are only used in planetary assault. They can be seen from the galactic view travelling to the enemy system. The health and firepower of the ship depends on the size. All these classes are different sized models of that empire's ship.
- Patrol ships and fighters will fight other ships by orbiting them and firing a constant barrage of short-range laser attacks. Cruisers are incapable of this, relying on their fighters to defend themselves while they launch Pulses at their target city.
- Civilian ships are visible in galactic and star system view. Merchant ships can be seen trading goods back and forth between two systems when a trade route is established. If the player's ship visits one of the star systems involved in the trade route they will, sometimes see merchant ships fly into the system. These ships will fly around the planet then curve back in the direction of the system's trade partner. Occasionally players will see civilian ships with the same model as the player's ship travelling in their empire from one star system to another.