I'm playing in a galaxy with many primitive species. I would like to build observations posts over those planets that are within my territory. How do I easily find the locations of these planets?


Plan A: As they come within your borders.

Give your construction ships orders from the Galaxy View Instead of the System View unless you are:

  • Ordering up a military station.
  • You are mineral poor.

When a new system enters my borders and I've got a free construction ship, I'll select the ship, and right click on the new system to build any applicable stations. For those few times a primitive species is in the system, you'll see "build observation post" in the menu between "build research stations" and "build frontier station". This is the easiest time to build observation posts.

If you do use System view to build your utility stations one at a time, the civilization's icon to the left of their world name should also be a pretty big flag that it is a site for an "alternative research station"

Plan B: Go back after you've already built up the system.

This one is a little more fiddly. Open up the "Contacts" report and uncheck the 3 boxes at the top which don't represent the (grey) primitive species. At this stage, you can iterate through the list and click on the camera-like icon to focus your view on their home system. If they are within your borders, send a construction ship. Do this a couple times and you'll start to see the virtue of Plan A.

  • 1
    We'll get icons in Banks so that should make our life easier. – SMeznaric Mar 29 '17 at 10:27


The below still applies, but is all now unnecessary.

As of the 1.5 "Banks" patch, the system has an icon to the right of the system name indicating that there's a primitive civilization with no observation post.

Survey ships will detect primitive civilizations as you survey. As they do, either make a mental note, write it down, or send one of your construction ships there immediately. You could even rename the system in such a way that it reminds you.

Let's say you don't do that. Then, if there are any resources in the system, you will eventually send a construction ship there to build mining or research stations. If you do this by right-clicking on the system from the galaxy view, then "Build Observation Post" will be one of your options. Make sure you include that in the ship's order queue. I usually do it before building the other stations, just to make sure I don't forget.

Let's say that the pre-FTL civilization is the only thing of interest in the system. In this case, you won't ever bother clicking on it to send the construction ship. This is the main scenario where I forget about one of these systems for a while. Because of this, I occasionally right-click on systems with no apparent resources just inside the edge of my borders, just to check.

Let's say you don't do any of that. Then, you can find pre-FTL civilizations in the Contacts menu. There's a checkbox at the top that limits the results to these types of civilizations, but it's not obvious from that view which ones already have an observation post, or are even within your territory. You can figure it out by comparing this list to your list of observation posts, but it's a little tedious.

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    With 2.2.3 you can all existing Observation Posts in the Outliner. – Erik Kalkoken Feb 6 '19 at 17:09

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