[noob stuff] getting started

Hey folks, just picked up the game and having a blast. Don’t really have a clue what I’m doing but still enjoying it.

Is there a getting started guide somewhere ? Is there a site with assorted ship designs on ? Or is there a way to see other people’s designs through the challenge system in game?

If you keep playing, youll get the hang of it in no time.

Try sticking lots of Cruiser Lasers (Not beam lasers, just Cruiser) on a ship, set range to small. Add engiens/shields/whatever. See what beats you. If something beats you, try to see what it was. Either adapt or copy. Thats how you learn.

Welcome aboard, andyguest. BTW, there is a game guide in .pdf format that’s accessible from inside the game itself.

This forum is a very rich resource to mine for wisdom. I’ll give you a few “bullet points” as a place to start from. I leave it to you to research these points in far greater detail…

Designing very slow cruisers (wherein room for engines is mostly allocated instead to guns, shields, etc.) is a potential minefield, as exceptionally low (or even zero!) speed leaves you vulnerable to massive, high-damage weapons with very low tracking speed. This includes plasma.

A missile launcher can only have one shot in flight at a time. The existing shot must either strike its target, be shot down or run out of fuel before that weapon can launch the next missile.

The “tracking speed” and “shield penetration” statistics are of vital importance when choosing weapons to let a ship fulfill particular roles in your fleet. Experiment with this. Balancing those against each gun’s fire interval and optimum ranges is an intricate ballet that will go a long way towards determining if you barely survive or if you are truly victorious.

An overall armor rating on your hulls of at least 12.00 is needed to avoid fighters doing VERY bad things very quickly to your ships.

Cruiser camouflage devices are not anywhere near as useful as you might think.

“Shield resistance”…explore this.

A sufficiently fast fighter is nearly invulnerable to ship-based weaponry due to the challenge in locking-on with slower guns. Debate continues over the point of precisely what speed this threshhold lies upon. In general terms, beware of enemy fighters moving at speed 2.50 or greater.

For frigate-sized ships, the EMP missile and the ion cannon make a good offensive weaponry combination. For frigates tasked to defend cruisers against fighters, consider tractor beams to slow them down and either the pulse laser or the anti-fighter missile launcher to lay down the smack.

When deploying your fleet at the start of a mission, make full use of your ability to issue target priority % values and ideal engagement ranges to your ships and fighters. Managing the ranges can be trickier than you realize.


the getting started guide is called manual, comes with most games, and guess what: some people actually read it to understand the basics.

the rest is pretty much trial and error, thats’s right. but you will soon get into it.
my tip: don’t bother about any stats in the beginning, simply equip the ships with weapons, defense and engines you like. once your done look at power and crew requirements and adjust them until you have it balanced. test you ship and look at the stats after the battle to see what needs to be improved.
then beat the maps several times, trying to use less points each time. you will learn more that way, as if anyone tells you what to do to beat a certain setup.

everything else might be pretty much overkill to understand at the beginning, i think.


There’s no need to be a jerk about it, I think the entire point was to avoid some of the trial and error because the interface can be really, really confusing, and if you have at least one solid ship design that you can look at and get the basics from (the tutorial ship designs are not what I would call solid), it’d go a long way towards making the game more fun. No one likes stumbling around in the dark.

In fairness the manual does point you in the right direction. And if you have a solid ship it makes no difference, its knowing why one is solid and the other isnt thats valuable.
So starting witha crap design is fine.

The only thing is i think the tutorial challange should be different. When you put it on hard, a message comes up saying change the design to have rockets. And have a fleet that will lose to rockets. And then for hardest, somethnig new.

Oh wow, there’s an attitude that will help foster a friendly, helpful community where lesser skilled players feel comfortable posting and trading strategies. and only a few posts in. The manual is helpful, but I’m thinkin’ he was either looking for a site/wiki that has more specific information, or even better, to jumpstart a nice thread where people trade strategies and tips without the verbal barbs.

So, to contribute to such a discussion. One thing that helped me as a noob was learning the sheer destructive power of the ‘cruiser laser’. Short range, yes, but wow does a cruiser full of those things absolutely destroy. Also, browsing various threads around here, I learned how important speed was, even for a cruiser. A cruiser with 3 or 4 engines will take away space from some vital components, but can make it around the battlefield much easier, especially on the huge maps, and the increased speed is a boon if the enemy is loaded with plasma weapons.

Any other basic advice that can help even a new player stand toe to toe with some of the experts in those crazy challenges?


i don’t see where i’m a jerk.
i simply assumed he didn’t read it, so my advice was to read it to understand the basics and experiment. reading the manual doesn’t hurt, nor does it prevent you from asking questions later.
my post consists of more than this sentence, btw.

avoiding trial and error in this game is…not pssible. there are tutorial ships to look at (yes, they aren’t that good), but soon you try to build your own ships anyways, which IS trial and error.
and my point was, to show that you learn more, when you know why your design fails and whrere to improve.

there is somewhere a thread about the minimum cost to beat the tutorial, someone did it with around 650 if i remember right. copy this ship and you’ll beat the tutorial with a single cruiser and earn a lot of honour. congratulations.
maybe one can understand, why i don’t see how posting ship designs will help a beginner. browsing the fourm, on the other side, does.


The Cruiser Laser is the basic metric to compare against, as it is the highest raw DPS. Anything else you field should be done so in a manner that effectively uses a strength that the cruiser laser doesn’t have, like armor penetration, range, power consumption, etc. Don’t go buying something like lightning cannons if you’re up against unarmored targets, the penetration capability is wasted and the cruiser laser will otherwise beat it through rate of fire.

An interesting exercise is to make a cruiser with tight restrictions: no more than one basic generator, using 150 crew or less.

Since the resulting cruiser is often so cheap (should be roughly 1200-1800, if memory serves), you can deploy lots of them. This allows you to quickly evaluate different designs with dramatic effect - at this point you aren’t just swapping out a cruiser laser for a plasma launcher - you’re swapping 50+ of them.

What I did when I started was use plasma, missiles and the occasional defense laser in my cruisers, and anything that would fit in my fighters. busted through the single player, and it took the battle-boats challenge to show me how its not good. USE LASERS!