In their simplest form settlements are player owned locations on planets that you can dock at.
Settlements are a large undertaking for any player to consider and you need to be at least level 25 before considering attempting to deploy a settlement.
A settlement has all the normal attributes of a Promenade allowing the owner to contract most of the in game offices to their promenade. They can also set things like docking costs and taxes. Settlement owners have to sink a lot of credits in to keeping their settlement vibrant and in one piece, this involves hiring staff (the right types) researching law and tech levels along with a plethora of other research projects.
Settlements require the owners to first locate craft Five ‘Hub Parts’. These along with a settlement license ensure that a settlement can be placed. After that they require power, housing, staff and a great deal of attention and funding to get off the ground.
Player Settlements are denoted on the main navigation map by a red dot. If there is a dot you will find there are multiple locations to dock at on the same planet.
Reward wise it’s a place to call home!