Territory controlled by a specific faction, denoted by a colored border corresponding to that faction, acts differently from regular open space. All faction nodes share this color and exclusively feature combat against faction-specific ships.
Unlike normal nodes, all faction nodes will have combat encounters. There are no beacons. Secondary events at these nodes are limited to arenas, challenges, huge military ships, military bases or wormholes.
At the center of this this territory is a central node, denoted by a star, which allows the base to be captured. The battle is not immediate, bringing up a screen which indicates the current military power of the base as a percentage and a "Capture the Base" button to start the battle. The military power determines the overall difficulty of the encounter; for example, a base at 100% military power will be equal in difficulty to a normal node, while 200% is twice the average of the node. The node will spawn a Capital Ship for every hundred percent of military power (e.g. two Capital Ships at 250%).
The military power of a base can be reduced by defeating other nodes in the territory, including the battle which unlocks the central node. Each node reduces the total by 10%, for a total reduction of about 300%. The military power cannot be reduced below 50%. As one move further away from home, the starting value will increase, to the point that it generally won't drop below 100% after a while.
If the node is defeated, the base will act as a store, shipyard and a workshop for crafting technology related to that faction, and the border will disappear. All undefeated nodes around the base will lose their aggressiveness. The items sold depend on the base's faction.
Bases fights differ from standard node combat in that initially a faction-unique Star Base will spawn. In addition, the total amount of enemies is much higher and the timer for enemy reinforcements will always count down if there's less than twelve foes spawned. The goal is to defeat the base's main defense troops. It gets easier as the surrounding nodes are defeated, but it isn't needed to defeat all of them. What usually matters the most during the final fight is the presence of Capital Ships and their veteran levels. To sum up base strength:
- For every 20% power there will be an additional opponent, to a maximum of 50.
- Under 100% power, there will be no Capital Ships.
- Between 100% and under 200%, there will be a single veteran Capital Ship.
- Starting at 200%, there will be, at random, a veteran or a double veteran Capital Ship for each 100%.
Considering the power of double veteran Capital Ships, one will often need to drop the military power below 200% to be able to capture the base near the start of the game.
It is useful to know that all bases have a minimum of 25 preliminary nodes and that each defeated node lowers the base's defense by 10%. The only other way to lower a base's defenses is to defeat the boss nodes in the base, which also lowers the base's defense by 10%. However unlike other nodes, boss nodes respawn every 24 hours. Furthermore, everytime a boss node respawns, each ship in the node (including the boss) gets its level raised by 20% and non-Capital Ships may gain an additional veteran level.