This guide is not intended for noobs as there are many big spoilers and also because it is so simplified it makes the game boring if you haven’t already done it a few times. Finish FW and Wander campaign before even reading. this is intended to help you understand a fine tuned system for getting through all current story up to 0.9.9 in a quick manner without doing any of the taxi/cargo etc missions found in the job panel. Thats right, grab a shuttle and get ready to steal pirate ships for a living. Its argueably muuuuuch faster money and good for practicing those combat skills.
Quickstart guide: not for fitfirst timers, the spoilers and tactic will ruin the game lol, this is for speed starting once youve seen it all so you can breeze through the story archs with absurd levels of ease.
Step 1 – The ship
New game, pick shuttle, skip tutorial (get lost old man!!) And gut it. No weapons, no shields, downgrade thruster and turning thruster, buy outfit expansion and max out bunks. Do not fill the bunks yet.
Step 2 – The place
Head to alniyat system (“map south-west” in what will be called free worlds region), land, now hire crew and take off again. Open your map and click on aldhibain since it has a ship yard. You can certainly take jobs that are on the way, but if you dont pay off any of your loan early yet, you wont need to.
Step 3 – The process
This part can be frustrating, tedious, challenging, repetitive, and is super rewarding because this is the action of not being an errand boy.
Basically all you do is lurk around so the main planet (where inbound ships congregate) is at the edge of your screen so you can see inbound pirate ships, but they wont be as likely to come after you. All you do is left click the ship you want when it comes in so its in the right-hand active target indicator on the hud. Follow it around until other ships disable it. Then its 1 in 100 to snag it without it getting blown up.
The best time to do this is when there are a lot of ships in range of the military/trader ships so that they turn to the next ship instead of taking the time to finish off the one you want. Once you have successfully boarded a ship and captured it, click “done”on the boarding panel and immediately hit the hyperdrive jump button to get out ofd the system, and as soon as you are in aldhibain, immediately click the land button to automatically land on the planet. This will help prevent the ship from being taken out by all the kamikaze pirates who cant resist diving at weakened ships. Now you have a machine gun, ho…ho….ho….wait, thats not right.
Dont bother building a fleet at this pointunless you just want to, just snag an argosy and sell anything else you grab to pay bills and refit the argosy for max bunks like you did the shuttle. You want speed at least 200 but not much more, and turning over 50. Again, no shields, no weapons, just enough power to move and the rest is outfit expansions and bunks.
If you are struggling to get there in time.
Step 4 – The big picture
Keep trying, it takes a while bc everyone loves murdering slave children pirate crews. Still faster than. Once you are using an argosy, its time to buy rifles and grenades for attack in the nearby system of sargas, just dont forget to move them when you change ships.
My typical progression looks like this: Shuttle>argosy>bastion>falcon>beetle
Once you have a falcon, you can certainly bunk it out to get more falcons and start a fleet. You shuold be grabbing any other ship worth your time to sell as well to pay off the bank loan and keep up with crew salary. Now you can start drawing ships you want away from the center of system to make it easier to capture before it gets mowed down by the zealously murderous military. With 3 or 4 falcon escorts fully outfitted, you should be able to start taking bounty missions. If not, get more falcons. If so.
So now you have your fleet and youve been nobody’s bit…..chump about it. Bounty missions are great because nobody messes with your bounties….except the crews who like to blow themselves up now and then. No big deal, once a bounty ship is disabled, you can leave the system, land, come back and its still there waiting, leaving you to refill crew and capture them all. You can eventually get falcons and leviathans this way, plus marauder falcons which are amazing.
Step 5 – The even bigger picture
You now have the potential for a large fleet and the means to sustain it by selling bounty ships. You could start the free worlds campaign….or head to hai space and start the cycle all over again. A bunked out falcon can absolutely steal 2 (or maybe 3? I doubt it….) Shield beetle ships which sell for around $8 million each. Do you farm korath tech first to make the falcons more capable? Or do you wait until you have beetles to do the korath farming? I’ve done both, no preference. Stack those beetles, just remember wether its unfettered hai or korath: plasma cannons and ion cannons are a great combo for disabling hai and korath ships, and beetles can have 8 forward guns (since beetles have great turning and you havent started fw yet, dont add turrets, 4 plasma cannons and 2 ion cannons goes a long way farming korath even with just 4 or 5 beetles, assuming you have the shields for it) and its super simple to convert a bunked out ship into a max cargo ship for the korath farming. Of course, I never farm quarg tech until I get hurricanes with sunbeam turrets like in the guide picture.
Free worlds campaign is fun, the first few times. If youre going to build a big fleet, why not do that first, then rush the free worlds with 20 beetles that have 900 shield regen, 2 plasma cannons, 2 ion cannons and 2 inhibitor cannons, then add 2 flamethrowers down the road and you can clearcut any forest of enemies. You will have to try to lose a ship like this, its almost foolproof until you get to the pug part. Make it 30 of these beetles for wanderer campaign and swap out for a couple of plasma turrets on each beetle with just 1 or 2 inhibitor cannons on forward guns if even that, skip buying derecho ships altogether and hold out til hurricanes to avoid losing too much time and money on diminished value of ships and outfit moving. With plasma turrets and all the battery of sun reactors and system cores, you dont need to generate much power and system cores are essential for fighting the drones later. Also, I am a fan of using heliarch cooling units and their smallest thruster sets to use up any small amount of leftover outfit space.
Just remember, that same bunked out ship converted to max cargo ship can now be fitted as a command ship, put the outfit expansions back and instead of bunks, add shields and power but no guns. Run the show from a distance with an invincible space brick like a bactrian or just another beetle, or something small and silly even.
Step 6 – The Last
Nah, thats it, have fun, hope this helped. Sorry for grammar, spelling, punctuation, but it is a quickly-made quick-start guide. The specific battle tactics are yours to learn, it cant be all easy!