Shipyard (level 2)
but how do I upgrade it to shipyard level 2? It just says functioning in red for me.
I have all the resources needed to upgrade it.
When you are building ships or researching you cannot upgrade the building that is currently being used. This also seems to apply to research if any of your colonies are doing it (1 planet researching something = no other planets can research too if I remember correctly).
Resources will be one of your biggest concerns right now so you can either load up on metal/crystal factories (for the ships/research) or be like me and turtle up until you get all researched up.
I personally would go for raids on inactive players cause you get resources faster than just waiting for them to build up. The downside is you make enemies fast if one of the comes back.
Also, don't rely on OCN players for too many resources cause they can ban you for resource boosting (if you do it more than 3 times a week on a regular basis from what I've heard). If you would like I could send you a couple hundred k of each resource for the boost but just don't want you to get a ban cause I know how long it can take to get into uni 35.
As for a strat, get colonies ASAP! Check out the technology tree on the left menu to see what you need to build em. If you can get lots of colonies up (I have one around every 20-100 slots) you can get resources 100x faster.