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Colonization Menu & Shortkeys Explained

There are five menus at the top of the Colonization screen. From left to right: GAME, VIEW, ORDERS, REPORTS, TRADE, and COLONIZOPEDIA. Most of them are pretty self-explanatory but here is a quick run-through:

GAME: Here you can set sound options, save and load game etc. It is also here that you Declare Independence. In the Colony Report Menu you can select which reports to receive. For example you can turn off the Sons of Liberty Membership report which isn't really that useful, but pops up way too often. As long as you have the Rebel Majorities on, that should be enough. The Game Options menu has the very useful "End Turn" option, which means that you can unload cargo, equip pioneers and so on after all your units have moved -- then select next turn.

VIEW: Has to do with the map. Zooming in and out, showing hidden terrain etc. There are some nice keyboard shortcuts for this, check out the end of this article.

ORDERS: Give orders to your units. This menu is very rarely used, usually one uses the R for build road, B for build colony, P for plow, F for fortifying units etc. If you want to start a Trade Route, this is the menu you use when your ship or wagon train is active -- or you could press T.

REPORTS: This one is quite useful, so we'll go through it step by step. (The F1-10 indicates shortkey)

F1 Terrain: Shows you the terrain underneath your active unit.
F2 Religious Adviser: Here you can check how long it is until you get new recruitments on the docks in Europe.
F3 Continental Congress: Shows bells produced towards next Founding Father. Also shows the rebel sentiment and the Expeditionary Force.
F4 Labor Adviser: Here you can find an overview of all your colonists. If you click on one of them, more detailed information will appear. This can be useful if you are wondering which colonies are missing lumberjacks, statesmen etc.
F5 Economic Adviser: Reveals quantities of cargo sold, and current prices in Europe.
F6 Colony Adviser: Overview of military units and statesmen in colonies. Use the F6 key to check where you are weak militarily and where you lack Statesmen.
F7 Naval Adviser: All about the navy. Your ships, their location, cargo and destination.
F8 Foreign Affairs Report: War/Peace relationship with other powers in the New World. Check in on this from time to time, because it also tells you how many rebels your rivals have -- if they are nearing Independence, you may have to attack!
F9 Indian Adviser: Shows you the different indian tribes and how many cities/villages/camps they have. Also tells you how many missions you have, but maybe most importantly how many muskets and/or horses the indian tribes have.
F10 Colonization Score: This shows your Colonization Score..

TRADE: Create, Edit or Delete trade routes.

COLONIZOPEDIA: Information about colonist skills, terrains, cargo types, units etc.

Your gameplay will smoothen up a bit if you know all the keyboard shortcuts for Colonization. The most common for Colonists/Units are:

P = Plow
R = Build Road
B = Build Colony
T = Begin Trade Route
F = Fortify
S = Sentry
W = Wait until end of turn
C = Centers the map (unit in the center)
F1=Shows what Terrain your unit is standing on.

Some other very useful keyboard shortcuts:

H = Show hidden terrain (Use this for planning the perfect colony sites)
E = Takes you to the Europe screen
Z = Zoom in map
X = Zoom out map

In addition, there is the "go-to" command. When a unit is active, click-and-hold the left mouse button down and you will see the "go-to" indicator. Release mouse button on the desired destination. Your unit should now automatically go to it's selected destination. The go-to command dosn't always work -- some times it can be wise to move your unit "manually".
Tip: If you change your mind after you have clicked the left mouse button (and not yet released), simply release it on the same spot as you unit is and no harm is done!

For loading or unloading cargo, you can use the SHIFT+ "drag-and-drop" command. Press SHIFT and drag the selected cargo to or from your ship/wagon train.

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