If you're new to OGame, or are wondering how to avoid your precious fleet being destroyed along with your resources taken while you're asleep, then there's no more an important concept to learn than "fleetsaving" (also known as "FS") or "Fleet/Resource/Save" (also known as "f/r/s") , namely, the technique used to 'save' your fleet from being attacked while you're offline.
'Fleetsave' is a procedure used to protect your ships and resources from other players.
What fleetsave is not:
- it is not a function of the game,
- it is not a button you can click,
- it is not guaranteed.
Mastering the art of fleetsaving requires understanding one important concept of OGame: the concept that while your fleet is moving around the Universe, it cannot be attacked. If your fleet is not sitting on your planet or moon, no-one can hit it. Therefore it is imperative that you fleetsave when you're offline for even a short time.
Sensor Phalanx Affecting Fleetsaves
Sensor phalanxes constructed on other players moons can compromise the safety of a fleetsave by timing to the second when a fleetsave returns to a planet or moon. This precise timing can mean that an enemy can attack a fleet in the few seconds between when a players fleet returns to a planet or moon and the time they are able to send their fleets safely flying again.
A sensor phalanx constructed on a players moon is able to view fleet movements on a planet in these types of fleetsave situations:
- ACS Attack mission from a planet to another planet
- ACS Attack mission from a planet to a moon
- ACS Defend mission from a planet to another planet
- ACS Defend mission from a planet to a moon
- Attack mission from a planet to another planet
- Attack mission from a planet to a moon
- Attack mission from a moon to a planet
- Colonization mission from a planet to an empty planet slot
- Deployment mission from a planet to another planet
- Deployment mission from a moon to a planet
- Harvesting mission from a planet to a debris field
- Moon Destruction mission from a planet to a moon
- Transport mission from a planet to another planet
- Transport mission from a planet to a moon
- Transport mission from a moon to a planet
This is a summary of some of the means of fleesaving that can not be seen by a sensor phalanx:
- ACS Attack mission from a moon to another moon
- ACS Defend mission from a moon to another moon
- Attack mission from a moon to another moon
- Colonization mission from a moon to an empty planet slot
- Defense mission from a moon to another moon
- Deployment mission from a planet to another planet that has been recalled
- Deployment mission from a planet to a moon
- Deployment mission from a planet to a moon that has been recalled
- Deployment mission from a moon to another moon
- Harvesting mission from a moon to a debris field
- Moon Destruction mission from a moon to a moon
- Transport mission from a moon to another moon
Effective Means of Fleetsaving
One of the most important aspects of a good fleetsave is the time it takes for the fleet to return from a mission to its planet or moon of origin. All fleetsaving techniques require that the player be online before the fleetsaving mission returns. This is done so that attempts to save your ships from phalanx hits, debris field watch attacks, or "lucky" attacks can be planned and executed between the time when your ships returns from their fleetsave mission and the time of the enemy attack. A player must take into account how long a fleet will be safe in flight and always be online before a fleetsave returns.
It is important to note that missions such as ACS attack/defend, attack, deployment, harvesting and transport have a time period when the ships travels to their destination and a time when they return to their planet or moon of origin. Adding these two aspects of a mission gives the total time that a fleet will spend "flying" and remains safe from attacks.
Deployments are different from other missions because it is the only fleetsave mission that has a one way mission. Therefore the total flight time is only a measure of how long it takes a fleet to travel from point A to point B.
Recalling missions always return in the same time period it has already spent flying. So if a fleet has already been flying for 4:05:23 when it is recalled, the fleet will take 4:05:23 to return to its planet of origin; making a total flight time of 8:10:46 for the fleet. The recall option is only available in the first half of ACS attack/defend, attack, harvesting, and transport mission but is available at any time during a deploy mission.
Harvesting mission to a debris field
If you're new to the game, a picture that looks similar to this:  next to the planet slot number on the galaxy page indicates that there is a debris field there. A debris field is formed when a ship is blown up, and can range drastically in size from 300 crystal (a probe being counter-espionaged) to 100 million (the biggest Hall of Fame hits). ANY debris field can be recycled if you have a recycler, which nets you freebie resources for doing nothing. The best part of this, is that the person who owns the planet cannot find out who took the resources from the debris field.
As a method for fleetsaving, harvesting is particularly easy to master. Simply select your recycler(s) and ALL the rest of your ships, and send them off to a debris field. (Loaded with ALL your res.) Be sure you mark it as a debris field when you send the mission.
There are 3 things you should consider when doing this:
- How big the Debris Field is (might as well make a profit while you're asleep eh?)
- How far is it (less distance = less fuel used)
- When are you going to be online next
Point 3 is the most important aspect of fleetsaving. Say for example, you're going to sleep. You'll wake up in say, 10 hours, so you want to fleetsave. You then send your ships off, timed at 100% speed, 3 hours each way. Your fleet will get back in 6 hours, therefore it will be on your planet for 4 hours, leaving plenty of time for someone to spy on it, launch an attack and obliterate it. However, if you send your mission off at 60% speed, 5 hours each way, hey presto, your fleet will be on your planet, safe, when you log on. Also, when sending your ships, you should fill them up with all your resources from today's, and previous day's, mining/raiding hauls and they will all be safe. Congratulations.
If you have another planet, it is possible to fleetsave by deploying your ships to your other planet. This is especially useful in the beginning of a Universe as you won't yet have the techs for recyclers. Remember, using this tactic means that you must choose the time you're not going to be online carefully, as it will only be ONE WAY. This tactic is useful for players as it can allow them to move large fleets overnight for minimal deut costs, as well as being used to deploy ships you've just built to other colonies, or simply transport res. Remember, you can save every single ship and all your res with this method.
Find an Inactive that your fleet can hit profitably, and send your ships at the speed needed. This way, you can wake up to your fleet home safe and sound plus some extra resources to spend. If you time your recyclers to reach the debris field after your fleet hits you can also get that back, reducing losses.
The best tactic to use is to send your attacking fleet off on its own, then send your recs with all your other ships (cargos/probes etc) along with your res. This way, even if anything does go wrong with the attack, your resources are still safe.
Again, simple enough, however remember that once your fleet reaches its destination your resources will be left there, perhaps leaving it exposed to raiders.
These techniques will all serve you well in the early days of a universe. However, in some of the older universes, you may have noticed the occasional presence of picture that looks similar to this:  next to the planet slot number. The presence of this letter is important in its own right, if you haven't already, now may be a good time to read about moons.
So, you've read that and are wondering what that means in actual terms? Sensor Phalanxes, which can ONLY be built on moons, are a practical nightmare for your fleet. Fleet saving from a planet is phlanxable. With a phalanx, it is possible for a player to time his/her fleet to arrive a few seconds after yours returns to your planet, giving you no chance to fleetsave and ruining your day (known as "phalanxing" or as a 'phalanx hit')
Ways to avoid phalanxes
Your OWN moons cannot be phalanxed
If you have a moon, there is no excuse for being crashed short of a connection loss/natural disaster etc. If you fleetsave from a moon to another moon, or a moon to a Debris field, no-one can phalanx you and you can therefore feel relatively safe. A moon to debris fleetsaving can be monitored by observing the exact time that the debris disappear, the observation may be in error of 5-10 seconds (see blind phalanx). In another way, a moon to empty slot fleetsaving with a colony ship may be even safer if you have 9 planets already. This is the easiest method for avoiding phalanxes, however, some of you may not have moons...so read on...
The recalled deploy
Phalanxes cannot see recalled deployments. So, if you deploy, and are being phalanxed, YOU WILL KNOW BY SEEING AN INCOMING ENEMY FLEET TIMED TO ARRIVE SECONDS AFTER YOURS WILL, then recall your fleet, then you can consider yourself safe - although you will face the wasted deuterium bill... Of course, this is much better than having your entire fleet destroyed. If your fleet is very valuable, the rival may use phalanx on your fleet once per minute trying to capture the exact time you recall, the common result is that the attacker will get an error of 30-60 seconds, which allow you to fleetsave again.
The multi-deploy package system.
Fancy deploying your ships but are worried about it being phalanxed and destroyed? Send it off in chunks, the player may phalanx you, but ultimately you will only lose a fraction of your fleet instead of all of it.
General game points whilst fleetsaving
Deathstars are good for fleetsaving, as they travel very slowly and use very little deut. This slows down the overall speed of your fleet, allowing you to save for extremely long times whilst using very little fuel.
Players that do not fleetsave
Although fleetsaving is a must for most ogamers, you will see three groups of players that do not fleetsave when offline.
- Those with fleets so big no-one is able to take them out without unprofitable losses. Only players with the largest fleets dare to do this. (Not recommended in ACS universe)
- Those with large enough defenses and small enough fleets and resources to make attacking them unprofitable.
- Those still learning to play the game, better known as easy targets.
In ACS universes groups of up to five players working together may attack even players with exceptionally large defenses and fleets.
Some very good players may crash fleets by learning your online times and therefore knowing when you fleetsave, allowing them to time their fleets close even without a phalanx. To avoid this, fleetsave to different debris fields, at different times, or by splitting your fleet up for the maximum safety margin.
Ultimately, just remember that players will always attack you if you are profitable for them. If you leave resources or ships lying about they are sure to get destroyed and the attacker will get your hard-earned resources instead of you. So, make yourself unprofitable by fleet-saving, res-saving, and building defenses, and you'll progress a lot quicker. If your alliance is at war then the rules are different, as players will attack you even if you are unprofitable, giving players that fleetsave a decided advantage over players that build defenses.
Fleetsaving from moon while moon is being destroyed will make the fleet return to the planet that the moon orbited.