A colony may be abandoned to allow for a free colony slot within your empire. Many players will give up planets of less than 100 fields immediately and try for a bigger planet as small planets do not have enough fields for the long-term expansion of an empire.
An abandoned colony will appear as a destroyed planet in the Galaxy View. This position cannot be re-colonized immediately as an asteroid field forms when you give the planet up (The planet blows up). It may take longer than 48 hours after a colony is destroyed until the asteroid field clears and the position may again be colonized.
How to abandon a colony Edit
Select the colony that you wish to abandon. Now go to the overview sceen for this colony and click on the colony name (Planet "Planet Name" (Your Name) ). On this screen, click 'abandon colony' in the Functions column. Now enter your password and click 'Delete planet!' instead of pressing enter.
Note - As of version 5.3.1 it is possible to abandon your homeworld, the planet colonized first becomes the new homeworld. Also, you cannot abandon a colony while there is activity and/or a fleet on its way from the planet.
At the beginning of a universe it may be tactical to temporarily keep a small planet, build up the mines and transport the resources to another long term large colony - giving up the colony immediately would lead to a net loss of resouces used to build the colony ship. As the game progresses you can easily afford many colony ships but at the beginning they can be very expensive.
Attacking "Destroyed Planet"s Edit
When a colony is abandoned, on the galaxy will appear "Destroyed Planet" where the colony used to be. Any defenses, resources or ships that were on the colony will remain, and will defend if attacked. You can probe or attack an abandoned planet. While there are usually minimal resources on these planets, some might still remain.
Re-Colonizing "Destroyed Planet"s Edit
You cannot colonize any planet slot that has "Destroyed Planet" on it. You can only colonize these slots once Ogame has updated the slot database. This happens everyday at 1:10am [Note: In which versions ?] server time. However, two of these updates have to pass before it removes the "Destroyed Planet" status. So if you delete your colony at 12PM on Monday, you will only be able to re colonize that slot at 1:10am on Wednesday morning, as two updates have to occur before it is cleared.