DarkOrbit is a massively multiplayer online game developed by Bigpoint Games. The game is set in outer space, where players control a spaceship to battle against non-player characters and other players. It is a two-dimensional flash game with around 65 million registered users, including several millions of active ones.
DarkOrbit was released on December 11, 2006.
At the start of the game, the player chooses between three companies: Venus Resources Unlimited (VRU), Earth Industries Corporation (EIC), and Mars Mining Operations (MMO). Players are given a short tutorial before being teleported to the home map. The object of the game is to gain wealth and power both individually and for the company.
Users are ranked using a mathematical formula based on a variety of factors, including level, honor, ship type, aliens destroyed, and more. The lowest rank is "Basic Space Pilot" and the highest rank is General (with only one in each company). Players level up by gaining experience through fighting aliens/ships and doing quests. Each level requires twice as much experience as the level before it. Higher-level players gain access to more maps up until level 17, when all maps are unlocked. Honor is acquired in a way similar to experience and allows players to sell resources for higher prices. Shooting down other players from one's own company will lower honor and overall rank.
DarkOrbit uses two types of currencies: credits and uridium. Uridium is more valuable and harder to obtain. *Many use a bot to acquire uridium from bonus boxes for free DarkOrbit has put 'scripts' into the game to catch the players using this and it has had some effect at stemming the tide. Some types of equipment and ammunition can be purchased using credits, but the most elite items can only be bought with uridium. However, for some of those elite items, there is an option to bid using credits. This auction system, in which players will not be refunded credits if they lose, is used to control inflation of credits. Many new items are not offered in trade. The P.E.T. 10 is a highly priced drone that increases with costs as the player levels it up. There are also several ship designs and ammo types that are never auctioned in game. At this time there is a new box to be picked up which costs 1,500 uridium for a chance at winning needed items. The randomness of the distribution has come into discussion many times as they mirror the galaxy gate spins on payouts of junk ammo/ores.
DarkOrbit utilizes a real-time combat system. In combat, a variety of weapons can be used to destroy aliens and other players. These include laser cannons, laser ammunition, rockets, rocket launchers, and mines. Players need to click on their target to lock on before they can begin shooting. Successfully destroying an enemy will result in a "cargo box" containing ore being dropped that the player can take. If the destroyed ship is a player, it will cost 500 uridium to repair the ship, although the ship started with in the game is free to repair.
Players start of the game with a Phoenix, a free but easily destroyed ship. As the player advances in the game, he/she can buy better ships. There are a total of ten different ships that can be bought, with the Goliath and the Vengeance typically being regarded as the best ships. Ships can be equipped with a variety of items, including shield generators, speed engines, laser cannons, rocket launchers, ammunition, and many other accessories.
Players can join a clan if they pay 50,000 credits. Benefits of joining a clan include help from clan mates and clan payouts in the form of credits. However, most clans have a clan tax (between 1% and 5%) that is collected into the clans treasury daily. Clans can help players level up, gain credits and compete against other rivals. In addition, a player can found a clan for 300,000 credits.
The Skylab is a system is used to produce and refine ores. These ores can then be sent to the player's ship and either sold for credits or equipped to enhance the ship.
The Pilot Bio is a relatively recent addition to DarkOrbit. Each pilot point can be used to acquire certain abilities that help the player in battle or other game functions. A player can have up to fifty pilot points in their bio. When certain skills are maxed out, they generate special effects, such as brighter lasers, rocket trails, etc.