Starship combat is played out in rounds. Each round, each starship acts in turn in a regular cycle. Generally, starship combat runs as follows.
Step 1: Every starship starts the battle flat-footed. Once a starship acts, it is no longer flat-footed.
Step 2: The GM determines which starships are aware of each other at the start of the battle. (Cloaking devices and other devices might hide a ship from another ship's sensors.) If some but not all of the starships are aware of their enemies, a surprise round happens before regular rounds begin. Starships that are aware of the enemies can act in the surprise round, so they roll for initiative. In initiative order (highest to lowest), starships that started the battle aware of their enemies each take one move or attack action. Starships that were unaware don't get to act in the surprise round. If no starship or every starship begins the battle aware, there is no surprise round.
Step 3: Starships that have not yet rolled initiative do so. All starships are now ready to begin their first regular round.
Step 4: Starships act in initiative order. All crew aboard a starship act on the starship's turn.
Step 5. When each starship has had a turn, the starship with the highest initiative acts again, and steps 4 and 5 repeat until combat ends.