Manual - general information:

The windowed user interface
The main menu
Hot keys
The settings file
Command line options

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The windowed user interface:

The GalaxyHack interface is built around simple windows and popup menus:

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The main menu:

Setup battle: Select some fleets and watch them battle each other.

Fleet Editor: Create a new fleet or edit an old one you have saved.

Options: Alter the game options/preferences.

Help: View a very brief help page - the documentation for the game is only available on this website.

Quit: Exit the game.

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Shortcut keys:

Most of these options are also available in a menu somewhere.


S: Setup Battle, To Battle, or Start Battle, depending on context. So hitting "S" 3 times from the main menu will start a battle

F: Selects Fleet Editor from the main menu


Space bar: Toggle game speed slider

I: Standard game speed

O: Maximum game speed

P: Toggle pause game

Keypad plus: Increase game speed

Keypad minus: Decrease game speed


F2: Toggle display of group numbers

F3: Toggle display of group borders

F4: Cycle through possible information types in a side's group summary list

F8: Toggle pseudo fps counter


Escape: Exit to main menu, or exit from main menu to operating system

F11: Restart battle

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The settings file:

Under Windows "settings.dat" is located in the directory where GalaxyHack is installed, whilst under Linux you should edit the "settings.dat" located in $HOME/.galaxyhack.

The available settings are:

Commander This is also changeable from the in-game fleet editor. Your name.
Base data path Only relevant on Linux machines. The location in which the game should look for all the game data. If this is set to "pwd" then the game will look in the present working directory.
Fullscreen This is also changeable via the in-game options menu. If set to "1" the game will run fullscreen, if set to "0" it will run in a window.
Video driver

In Linux: "x11" is the default but runs rather slowly. "dga" will make the game run far faster, but requires root permissions, and only works with certain video cards. You can run "" to give the game permanent root permissions.

In Windows: "windib" is the default. For some reason this appears to be fastest option, but if you want to explicitly use DirectDraw then you can change this to "directx".

Screen width This is also changeable via the in-game options menu. 1024 is the standard setting.
Screen height This is also changeable via the in-game options menu. 768 is the standard setting.
Music This is also changeable via the in-game options menu. Turns music on or off.
Disable sound If set to "1" the sound system will not even be initialised.
Default pictures You can choose the default pictures the fleet editor will use when you create a new unit. The file names given must be relative to the unitpictures/<acolour> directories.
Default starting fleets These fleets will automatically load when you select "Setup battle" from the main menu. Whenever you start a battle or edit a fleet the game automatically changes this list to include the most recently used fleets. Note that if you wish to delete a fleet from this list manually, each colon must have a single space after it.
How green is green You can also set this from the in-game options menu. The menu background colour is supposed to be very dark, so if you have your monitor brightness turned up very high or very low you might want to adjust this.

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Command line options:

-x <fleet1> <fleet2> Skip the menu screen and immediately start a battle between the two fleets. Use a single space between the two fleets.
-b <number of frames> Batch mode. Graphics, sound and the user interface are not loaded, and game speed is automatically set to the maximum. The battle will automatically run, until either a side wins or the <number of frames> limit is reached, at which point the game will write the result of the battle to galaxyhack-log.txt and then automatically exit.
-u <number of frames> World update interval. This sets the game speed, with <number of frames> being directly inverse to the in game speed slider - a world update interval of 0 means maximum game speed.
-r <seed> Random seed. This sets the seed for the random number generator.

You can use command line options in Windows by going to "Run", then using "Browse" to select the GalaxyHack program, and then adding the command line option on the end of the run line. The option must come after the end quote ("). E.g. "C:\games\GalaxyHack\GalaxyHack.exe" -x Morennenians Zenennians.


-driver <videodriver>

Use the specified video driver. See the comment on video drivers in the settings file section above.