Crew, their roles and their needs
When starting the game, you might notice a few colored fields describing your starting crew.
Those are their skills. They are as follows:
Agility – determines the crewman’s movement speed inside and outside the ship
Endurance – determines maximum hit points and energy, as well as hunger capacity. Which means higher endurance = less lunch breaks.
Engineering – determines the speed of building and repair, as well as engine operation. Very useful to have one or two high Eng crew members, as this skill makes a huge difference.
Intelligence – determines the speed of food production, research, as well as non-combat operations. You want your scientist and botanists to have high intelligence, as well as your pilot, scanner operator, etc.
Combat – determines the operation of combat consoles – weapons, heating and shields.
Your crew will gain experience by performing tasks governed by a skill, so don’t worry if you need combat but got a scientist in trade. Just put them on a console and they’ll get there eventually.
When starting off, make sure you have at least one person with high engineering and one with high science. It’s not absolutely required, but will help you to build and research stuff fast enough to keep up with the difficulty curve.
Your crew member also have their needs:
Top to bottom, the bars represent:
Health – if this reaches zero, that person dies. People are hurt by fires, lack of oxygen, enemy weapon fire, or starving/dehydrating.
Morale – not sure if this does anything at the moment. If your crew has beds to sleep in, chairs to work in, tables to eat at and plenty of food and water, this will rise naturally.
Energy – if this reaches zero, the crew member has to rest and can’t do any work. Recharges faster in a bed. If no beds are available, your crew will just sleep on the floor.
Hunger – the standard survival hunger meter. You need food on board of your ship, and a Food Dispenser oriented towards a walkable tile to fulfill this need. Your crew will walk to the nearest dispenser to eat when hunger gets low.
Thirst – ditto, but you need a Water Cooler and water instead. Water Cooler can be accessed from any of the four adjacent tiles.
Experience – used to improve skills. Working gives experience, and when experience maxes out it improves the most relevant stat.
Oxygen – basically how long can this person stay in space. Irrelevant for when the ship’s interior loses oxygen, as your crew is not in a space-suit inside.
Finally, your crew can perform any of the 6 roles:
General are your janitors. They clean, and firefight. That’s pretty much it. It’s good to have one or two general crewmen for cleaning but otherwise they’re pretty useless.
Scientists will deal with research and making food at Plant Beds. They’re crucial for a well-functioning ship.
Operations are your pilots, scanner operators, etc. They operate the consoles that give you various bonuses – Navigation (evade), sensor, and heat.
Military do the same thing, but for combat consoles – Weapons, Shield, Armor, and Mining.
Engineers build and repair your stuff, as well as firefight. You’ll need a lot of them early to build faster. In the late game I like to keep 2 or 4 engineers depending on the ship’s size.
Captain is a special role. There can be only one, and he needs a Captain’s Chair to be of any use. Then he sits in that chair all day, giving buffs to nearby crew based on his stats. Useful to have in the late game, but not crucial early on, so don’t worry about delaying a captain.
You can change roles via the Role Panel, or by right-clicking a crew member and selecting a role from the context menu. You can switch them around at will so if you need some more engineers to deal with repair, just switch some of the other crew over for a time being.