The Radar is a tool that allows you to visualize distances from a given radar center to any desired space-objects (ship, planet, sun). To do so you first need to define the center of the radar. In the Galaxy-Map hover the mouse over any desired object (highlight it) and press “R” or use the left mouse button to center the radar on that object and left-click the radar icon at bottom left of screen to activate the radar. Four yellow circles (with the object that you just selected in its center) indicate that the radar is active. The outmost circle represents the range of the radar.
Now, every object that you select after activating the radar will be displayed with its distance and (if applicable) the ETA (estimated time of arrival) next to the selection marker. There are several methods to select the objects that you want to be displayed with more detailed information on the radar:
Manually select one or more objects in the Galaxy Map by holding the CTRL key and clicking on the desired objects.
Select the objects (ships or planets) from the appropriate lists in the Main-Window. (eg the Ships Screen, Planets Screen, Recon Screen, etc)
Probably the most convenient way to select the desired objects is to simply double-click the desired type of object (ship, planet, sun). This will select all objects of the same type and the same owner, and that are within radar-range, as the one you just double-clicked.
Please note that usually a double-click on an object means “select all ships at the same location” (ie all other ships in orbit of a planet). However, when the radar is active the functionality of the double-click is altered to select all objects of the same type and owner, that are inside the current radar-range.
In addition a double-click on one of your own ships will select all other ships with the same ship-design, that are inside the current radar range. You can use CTRL+double-click for example to select all ships of additional ship-design.
Please also pay attention to the Selection sub-menu in the ship-context menu. This will list the available selection methods for the specified ship, which depends on the current mode.
You can deactivate the radar by pressing “R” again or by left-clicking the radar icon at bottom left of the screen.
You can modify the radar-range by using the mouse-wheel while holding the SHIFT key.
In order to make the most of the radar you need use it in combination with the various lists in the Main-Window. There is quite a lot of information stored in the Recon Screen and in other screens. In order to visualize the information that is buried deep in there, you need to select those objects that are of interest to you. Use sorting by various criteria to group the relevant objects together, and then select those that you want to have displayed with distance and ETA information on the radar.
When the game has advanced a bit, your scout-ships probably discovered a few unsettled planets. Those planets are listed in the Recon Screen. How do you send your brand new colony ship to its nearest unsettled planet?
Here’s how to do this:
In the Galaxy-Map hover the mouse over the colony-ship that you want to send to the nearest unsettled planet.
Press “R” to activate the radar, and center the radar on the colony ship.
In the Main-Window click on the Recon tab and sort it by owner. This will list all known planets that do not have an owner yet first.
Select the planets that do not have an owner by clicking on the first entry, and SHIFT-clicking on the last one.
Adjust the radar-range with SHIFT+mouse-wheel until you get a good overview of which possible candidates are near your colony ship.
Of course you can also turn your query around: Which of my colony ships is closest to a particular unsettled planet?
In the Galaxy-Map zoom in on the desired unsettled planet, hover the mouse over it and press “R”.
In the Ships Screen sort by name, and select all colony ships.
Adjust the radar-range with SHIFT+mouse-wheel. This will give you a good overview of which colony ship is closest to that particular planet.