This is an old revision of the document!
A planet's designation determines what it does within your empire. The main way it does this is through theprimary structure. Planets can only export resources produced by their primary structure; if the primary structure generates units or nothing, the planet cannot export anythitng and can only import . Some designations have primary structures that do not produce anything by default; these structures instead grant a special effect, like increasing the tech level of other planets.
Planets are typically manually designated by the player, by pressing the “Designate” button. Designation is instantaneous, but it takes a couple of watches for the new primary structure to reach full production. Designating a planet temporarily reduces efficiency. Planets can only be given designations that are allowed by their current tech level and deposits.
TL 5 or higher. Primary structure is starport. Planet can import and export all resources, allowing it to consolidate and redistribute resources among many planets. Planet also contains the militia base structure which builds basic infantry. Surplus labor is assigned to the starport, which wastes it; it is better to assign labor to planetary defenses or the militia base.