You can upgrade two ways. Instant cost Uridium (475 for this item), 5,500 credit, ZERO time (thus "instant"), and 50 each of the three different kinds of rocks. Normal does NOT cost Uridium, but takes 1 hour to construct.
HINT: This is one hour of real time. You can log out of the game and the" time" in Skylab keeps on running.
Don't waste you Uridium! Click on Build (purple oval above).
You will see the information in the screen shot below. Under the Prometium collector the screen shows a blue up arrow (in red oval) which means you are "building" the Prometium collector. It is NOT yet functional - but will be in 1 hour.
Click on OK. You will see that your rocks have been delivered!
Every mineral is totally filled also, except Xenomit. Skylab only makes as much Xenomit as your refinery needs to produce Seprom. It doesn't make any EXTRA Xenomit. Over many months I have collected an extra 40,000+ units of Xenomit and stored it in my Skylab. You can receive Xenomit from Boss and Uber NPC's, from Galaxy Gate Spins, from Booty Boxes and during specials like the Halloween Pumpkins and the Christmas Presents.
++++ If you've read this far - GOOD FOR YOU! Here's a SUPER HINT that will help you a LOT!! +++++++
SUPER HINT: Here's a suggestion for your Skylab I didn't discover right away -- and wish that someone would have told me about. After the next level of your Seprom is completed (this assumes a Skylab that has at least a level 10-12 Seprom refinery), send as much Seprom as you can to your ship. When it gets to your ship, put it on your lasers and rockets.
Then, let your Skylab Seprom build back up. Once it does, send MORE Seprom to your ship and keep putting it on your lasers and rockets. Also put around 200 - 300 on your generators.
What you are doing is building up a surplus of Seprom on your ship. As long as you put it on your weapons you can carry as much as you want and it won't take up any cargo space (except the Seprom on your generators). I carry around 100,000 Seprom on my lasers and 10,000 on my rockets and 200 on my generators. Once you have whatever amount YOU want built up, then go ahead and build your next Skylab Seprom level.
Once that Skylab level is completed, replenish your weapons and generators. The amount you stockpile should be enough to last you until your next Seprom level is reached.
Once your Skylab is completed, keep this surplus always on board your ship. By doing this you will ALWAYS have Seprom on board to help you in quests, battles, etc. -- and won't ever have to pay valuable Uridium to "instantly send" it to your ship.
8. Let the three collectors run for a day. You can go back to the maps and practice using your ship. Kill some NPC's (these are the aliens like the Streuners, Lordakia, etc.), work on some quests, collect some boxes, have some fun. At the same time you will be building up your credits and Uridium that you can use to upgrade the other modules in Skylab.
9. In the next day or two, the next step is to either build your refineries OR upgrade the Basic Module to level 2. I suggest upgrading the Basic module as you may eventually want to get it 1 level above Storage and Solar. Mouse click on the words "Basic module" (circled in red below). A pop-up window will appear that gives you Info and Upgrade choices. Mouse click on Upgrade and follow the directions above. The screen shot below was taken after working on my Skylab for several weeks. Note that the Basic module is at level 13 while all the other items are at a lower level. NOTE also that the expenses incurred in building the various parts of Skylab INCREASES with each level. Level 14 of the Basic module costs 186,180 credits, 23:44 hours and 641,694 of each of the three main rocks. This will seem HUGE to you now -- it is not so bad once you have played the game for a few weeks!!
Use your ship to kill some npc's (kill a few of the Lordakia in map 3-2) and collect their "cargo" - which are the rocks you need. Lordakia will give you some Terbium which is needed to complete the Terbium collector.
5. Once you have collected over 50 of each rock, in Skylab mouse click on the Transport module (see below), then mouse click on the transport to Skylab button (next to the Symbol for Skylab - see green circle below). The button to the left of that is used to transport rocks to your ship. Type in the number of rocks of each type you want to send to Skylab (see red circle). Click on the Send button (in purple oval) and save your Uridium.
How to Build a Skylab
Skylab is a separate structure that you "construct." You won't actually see any changes in the structure as you "build" it -- you will only increase the level numbers of the various components. The maximum level is 20. The main purpose for building Skylab is to produce a rock called Seprom, which you will use to help you get Pilot Points (explained in detail in PILOT BIO) and will be used to increase your ships generators and weapons. You can also sell the other rocks, especially Promerium, back to Dark Orbit for credits.
It takes quite a while to build you Skylab to level 20, and you can use the minerals as you build, so is is a good idea to start work on Skylab as soon as possible.
Building and Upgrading Your Skylab
Background - The Rocks
In order to build / upgrade your Skylab you are going to need the three main types of rocks, Promerium, Endurium and Terbium. These are the same three rocks you found on the space maps and you have collected in your starter quests or gotten when you killed some aliens (like Streuners). These rocks are "combined" in Skylab to make most of the other rocks. The rest of the rocks that are made in Sklyab are listed across the top of the Skylab page and are Prometid, Duranium, Xenomit, Promerium and Seprom.
HINT: The Xenomit module makes a "Xenomit replacement" that can be combined with Promerium to make Seprom. Skylab only makes what Xenomit that you can use - it does NOT make any extra. You can "find" additioinal Xenomit however (see Skylab Hints).
HINT: You cannot sell Xenomit or Seprom (see Skylab Hints) - nor would you want to. Xenomit is used to produce some weapons, and Seprom is used to enhance your weapons and some generators.
HINT: You are given 100 rocks each of Prometium, Endurium and Terbium to start with. See the screen shot below. Look at the word in red, Prometium. Under it it says, in white, 100. (See the number in the purple oval.) That is how many rocks of that mineral you currently have (they were given to you by Dark Orbit). Under that is how may Skylab can hold in Level one, 105,600 rocks.
Building Skylab - starting from the beginning
1. The three basic modules to the actual Skylab structure are the Basic Module, the Storage Module and the Solar Module. When you start the game, level number 1 of these three modules are already built and waiting for you (level numbers are in blue - I have circled one of them in red below for you to easly find). The levels of everything except the Transport module, go from 1- 20. The Transport module only has 1 level. The following screen shot is what your Skylab looks like to start with.
HINT: The Solar module above is using 48 units of electricity and is producing 170 units of electricity (these are the numbers in yellow). The Storage module is using 16 units of the 170 produced by the Solar Module. The Basic module is using 16 more units, and the Transport module is using another 16 units. Adding together 16 + 16 + 16 = 48 units of energy that the Solar module is using.
2. The first step is to build up your collectors - the items on the left of the screen above. They are the Prometium, Endurium and Terbium collectors. Mouse click on the words "Prometium collector" on the screen (see red oval below). Then in the drop down box that appears, mouse click on Upgrade (green oval below). You will see the following.
If you sent 100 of each rock, it will take 18 minutes to get to Skylab. The more rocks you send, the longer it takes. In 18 minutes, if your Skylab screen is open, you will get the following message:
3. Repeat step 2 for the Endurium collector.
4. At this point you will run out of rocks in Skylab (see screen shot below).
OBVIOUS HINT: Buy the Credit robots if you need them! Do NOT buy any robots unless your refineries get ahead of your collectors. If you can keep everything at about the same level, you should not need to use robots.
HINT: You can buy up to 12 active robots at a time for each collector. They only work for a few days and then you have to buy more if you want them. You can actually buy more, they go into "storage" and are put into use when the first bunch stop working.
Your ultimate goal is a totally completed Skylab - everything at Level 20. Here is what you are trying to achieve:
6. Now that you have the additional rocks that you need, repeat step 2 above and build your Terbium collector.
7. Eventually your Prometium collector will finish building and you will see the following. In the purple oval is the number 1 - meaning the Prometium collector is now at level 1. It is using 16 units of energy (in green oval). It has already collected some Prometium (in red oval).
HINT: When building my Skylab, I keep my BASIC MODULE at least one upgrade above the Storage and Solar Module. All the other modules cannot exceed the level of your BASIC module. If you keep it one level above the others it can help you avoid other problems "down the road."
10. Build the refineries to level 1. Start with Prometid. As your number of rocks, credits and time allows, build the others in order: Duranium, Promerium, Xeno and Seprom.
11. Now the Basic module should be at level 2, all the rest will be at level 1. Start the process over as assets allow. Start with the Basic module, upgrading it to level 3. Then upgrade Storage to level 2, then Solar to level 2. After that upgrade the three collectors to level 2. Finally, upgrade the refineries to level 2.
12. Keep working at Skylab. Eventually refineries like Seprom will fall behind because they are take a LONGER time to build. You can either hold off upgrading the other units until the ones like Seprom get caught up, or you can Instant build the slower ones like Seprom.
HINT: If you wait until half the time has gone by in a Normal build, the total cost to Instant build the rest of that unit from that point is HALF the Uridium total. The instant build cost in Uridium goes down over time.
13. Every collector, module and refinery has an on / off switch. You can use this switch to turn off, say, a refinery, that has gotten to far ahead of another one. The yellow arrow is pointing to the switch. If it is green it is on. Mouse click on it and it will turn red, indicating that it is off.