Just a collection of tips and tricks to get you started with the game!
Master of Orion Tips & Tricks
My advice is not to install too much Workshop content and try the core game first to get a feel of it.
That being said, I consider UCP and 5X-Lite to be the two mandatory mods, since they fix a lot in the base game, missed by developers.
As for the actual strategic advice:
- As in any 4X game, reconnaissance is key. Scout those juicy Terran/Gaia planets and settle them before your opponents do. Understand who your neighbors are, which systems you can take over quickly, and where to stay away.
- And this is why Elerians will always be a master race. Complete map view is Godlike.
- My usual opener is 2 frigates into Construction ship into Colony ships spam until my home planet cannot support it. Then switch to buildings. Frigates help you secure your desired borders by blocking hyperlanes, Constructors follow your colony ships to build military bases on chokepoints and gas giant /research station farming.
- You will be dead meat if you cannot hold what you settled. You need those early frigates at key points to catch pirate ships and bomb their nests for sweet loot.
- Turn 1 open your empire overview and raise your tax until your pops go into strike, then pull it back a bit. You don’t care if new pop is going to strike if he goes into colony ship, and cash is extremely important at every stage of the game.
- By that same logic, trade everything you can to AI for cash. Economic deals are awesome. Research agreements are fine too.
- Fortify your settled systems on chokepoints leading to AI with military bases asap. This is the only defense you will have against aggressive AI. Backed by a few frigates, star base can hold it’s own against early AI, but not for long. You will need the proper fleet soon.
- Planet management – there are different schools of thinking whether you should go food or production first. Early game I tend to buy the automated factory in new colony, and build the food one, because I need these colonies to become useful faster. This is why you need lots of cash – so you can jumpstart your colonies. In general new colonies are useless, don’t waste resources on them too much.
- Define your ship-spamming 1-2 worlds with the most production possible and build everything related to ship-building and buyout costs there. This is usually your capital + your first colony, but sometimes you find great candidate early game. Trade for optional techs (e.g. space elevator) if you don’t have them. On this world you will spam and buy all your fleets. All other worlds should work on research while producing cash.
- Missiles are awesome. I don’t recommend energy weapons for new player ever – they are very hard to get good results with, require extensive ship fitting knowledge and in general costly on research, while missile tech is easy to define and get, easy and cheap to fit, and with retargeting modules IMO are much better overall.
- Before you unpause the game, modify your starting Frigates to have missiles + 1 nuke + some PD. This way you can actually kite the energy pirate ships in combat while shooting missiles from long range, and then bomb their dwelling for loot.