For new players, it is highly recommended to play through the in-game tutorials and to read about the Game Mechanics. The campaign beginner guide by HELMUT provides additional tips for what to do after the player has completed the campaign tutorial (this guide is now quite outdated unfortunately). The unofficial Discord server is also a good place to look for help.
Important game mechanics[edit | edit source]
Combat[edit | edit source]
Campaign[edit | edit source]
Other notes[edit | edit source]
Autofit[edit | edit source]
Often when you get ships they come with no weapons and without some experience, setting them up yourself does not end well so a good idea is to press the autofit button on the refit screen, pick a style and try that. Once you get a feel for it try modifying and you will it up.
Ship Styles[edit | edit source]
Starsector features different ship styles that generally operate fairly differently from each other. They all use the same mechanics but differences in stats or specific ship features incentive them to be used in different ways.
Safety Overrides needs special attention as it can drastically alter a ship from the norms of its style. The massive speed boost can enable Low Tech ships to catch up to practically everything. The massive boost to flux dissipation can enable High Tech ships to cycle a brutal rate of damage. Ships using Safety Overrides can be distinguished in combat by their distinctively different engine colours, which take on a harsh white glow.
Low Tech[edit | edit source]
Low Tech ships tend to be red, high armor & hull, mostly ballistic weapons and are slow.
The Lasher is a stereotypical Low Tech ship. A common early build is Safety Overrides with Light Machine Gun, although very short range. Stay very close to the opponent use its Accelerated Ammo Feeder ship system with (F) to increase firepower dramatically. Lashers & Machine Guns are commonly available and Safety Overrides is known from the start.
High Tech[edit | edit source]
High Tech ships tend to be blue, high speed, mostly energy weapons and low armor & hull.
Try to kite the opponent with superior speed & long range weapons. Always be mindful that you will need to keep shields up and back off to a safe distance to vent.
Midline[edit | edit source]
Midline (Mid Tech) ships tend to be tan in colour and average speed, armor & hull. They generally have a large scope for customisation and tend to rely on advanced knowledge and skilled piloting to use well.
The Wayfarer is a stereotypical Midline ship that combines the strength of ballistics with the utility of energy weapons, although some piloting skill is required to use three converging weapons simultaneously. A Light Dual Autocannon, Light Assault Gun and Ion Cannon (no other weapons) is an excellent build for fighting pirates or similar threats with weak or no shields. It is available as a starting ship.
Intel[edit | edit source]
Just fighting or trading randomly is often unprofitable and exploring regularly gives you very little and is boring. So make sure you look at the intel screen. Factions regularly put bounties up for specific fleets and bases and sometimes on all enemies in one of their systems which will make fighting a lot more profitable. Factions also put up procurement missions where they'll ask for a specific amount of a resource and will pay around 3x the normal price with no tariffs, you will also find transport missions in bars which is (relatively) safe money. Factions also put out exploration missions either to survey a planet or scan some a derelict ship. These are good because you have some guarantied pay and where there is one Probe or derelict there tends to be more in the system.
Exploration[edit | edit source]
When you are exploring the system, look around everything including the star, gas giants, jump points and gates. The good stuff like research stations tend to be around the most annoying places like black holes and neutron stars. With surveying, survey every Terran, Jungle, Arid and Tundra world. They are often really good and their survey data sells for more. Also you should look at every world in systems that you visit because you can tell which ones have ruins as they have bits of rock orbiting them and ruins are great. The more orbiting rocks the bigger the ruins.
Trade[edit | edit source]
The first thing to know is that repetitive trade appears unprofitable on the open market, due to the high tariffs. Instead you should look for or create opportunities to acquire or sell commodities very profitably. The trade page contains full details and the Piracy page may be of interest.
Free Ruins[edit | edit source]
If you need some extra cash or just want free stuff. Look at the planet info in the Core Worlds, they start fully surveyed so you can see if they have ruins and you can explore them like normal. If you are planning on getting the salvaging skill try hold off until you get that first so you can get extra goodies.
Raiding[edit | edit source]
If you plan to come across a hostile planet without a station (either naturally or you just blew it up) then you should plan to raid it for loot. The effectiveness of the raid depends on how many marines you have, if you have specific ships and the defences of the planet. Planet defences can get pretty crazy high, however once there is no station you can tactically bombard the planet with fuel to disable the defence structures and now it only depends on the colony size, stability and skills which means often it won't be high. So take around 300 marines and 3 Colossus Mark 3 and you'll do well.
Tutorial Exploit[edit | edit source]
in the campaign tutorial, in the system you start in, the warp point does not work. So if you get the transverse jump ability from the navigation skill you can become the sole supplier of that system which will earn you a lot of money and experience if you feel like you want a head start. Be warned though, this can only be done in the tutorial, it's boring and if the planet becomes decivilised then you cannot complete the tutorial locking you out of the distress call ability and the story missions. So quick save each trade run.