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. The unofficial Discord server is also a good place to look for help.
Important game mechanicsEdit
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 incentivise 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 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 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 (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.
The first thing to know is that repetitive boring trade is unprofitable by design, due to the high tariffs. Instead 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.