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  • Writer's pictureSpace Tomato

10 Important Tips for Star Citizen Newcomers!

Star Citizen takes a while to get acquainted with. So, I’ve summed up 10 tips to help turn that 10-hour learning curve, into 1. This won’t be a new players guide, but rather a summation of useful tips that the regulars know that will help you get to playing the game efficiently and having more fun early on.

1-Make an account and get started.

Okay, so this one is basic and actually is more in line with a new players guide, but I felt it necessary just in case you are actually just hearing about this game for the first time. So let’s go through the process of making an account. For those of you who have already, skip to number 2 on the list.

First, you will be greeted by the main screen. You want to join the universe and will immediately be hit with a lot of information. Assuming you’ve done your research and know what you are getting into, get to scrolling. Scroll, scroll, and scroll to get to the starter packs! There are two starter packs for $45, which will give you access to the entire game, I suggest the Aurora, since it is more versatile, and has the added benefit of a bed where you can log on and off, but do some studying and pick the ship you feel best suits you.

Check your PC stats against the requirements, this game requires a beast of a computer.

Now once you have made your decision you will be able to tack on the single-player space opera campaign for another $20 if you would like to play that. It is where most of the effort is being spent right now, and, hopefully, it will release before Star Citizen. Together they will cost about the price of a full high-end game.

You’ll check out and buy and be brought to a page where you can continue to checkout, you’ll need to create a profile at this point. Keep in mind the name you choose is both your community moniker used outside of the game and your handle inside of the game. Though your handle can be changed once for free. So you might as well pick something you want to be known as.

Make sure to include my referral code (STAR-TH4D-PPQL). This code will get you 5,000 extra starting credits to use in-game. After all this, you’ll need to fill out the traditional billing info, verify your account, and voila, you’re in.

Now you can go look at other ships to buy, but I advise against it at this and any other point, personally. Earn your ships in-game, if you have the time. If not, just make sure you buy a ship that has the Star Citizen download included. Not all ships are able to be bought at any time, but some can be bought as standalone ships. Finally, download the launcher, sign in with your new account, and launch the game. Now you’re ready to get started.

2-Learn to use the PITS, the Personal Inner Thought system.

This system will allow you to do almost anything you need to at a given time right from a single in-game menu. Learn your keybindings, change your keybindings, activate your flashlight, remove your helmet, turn on your ship, equip your weapon, and many other actions you will need to do at some point. This menu is extremely important and will continue to be used for more things such as accessing your personal inventory and interacting with the outside world. This menu is brought up by holding “F” and clicking the right mouse button, you can then navigate through the menus by using the 2 mouse buttons to move forwards and back. While you’re doing this, definitely take some time to enter the true keybinding menu by hitting escape, going to options, and selecting the second to the right menu.

Familiarize yourself with the keybindings for any control system you might use, and change them to your liking. There are a lot, so get used to checking them out on this menu or in the PITS. And as an extra tidbit, note that the F key and left-click method is used commonly throughout the game to interact with objects.

3-Learn to use your MobiGlas.

As annoying as it might seem, there is another menu you need to keep track of. But this menu is more traditional. As a full-screen menu that actually exists diegetically in the game, this device will allow you to do many more complex tasks than the PITS menu. Here, you can customize your weapons and ships, accept and monitor your contracts, view your star map using the mouse scroll wheel.

Quick tip, if you find the star map is unusable, try double-clicking the right mouse button to zoom out first.

You can also repair and rearm your ship here on approved landing pads, and possibly most importantly, you can use the comms panel to contact other users, interact in chat and voice comm rooms, and call landing zones to gain access to land. This last one is incredibly important.

You can not land at certified spaceports and space stations without doing this first, so remember it.

You will need to go to the "friends" tab in the comms panel and call the landing zone you are near, then wait for them to assign you a landing pad. Make sure to familiarize yourself with this menu during your first few hours in the game. It can be accessed by pressing F1 for the main screen, F2 for the star map, and F11 for the comms panel, by default.

4-Join an organization

This one certainly isn’t for everyone. Not everybody wants to play with a group, and the joy of MMOs is generally that you can get a lot out of it whether you choose to or not.

But Star Citizen isn’t a finished MMO, I really hope you know that at this point, but if not, there’s a nugget of info.

Not all of the game systems are actually in the game yet, so sometimes the game can feel a bit lacking after the first several hours of playing through the missions and exploring all of the planets. This is partially remedied by group play. This game is a lot more fun with others in most instances, and if you don’t have existing friends that want to jump in, there are hundreds of player-run organizations that you can join with different goals, commitment levels, and in-game activities.

Just hop on the main website, go to the Community tab, and then organizations, from there you can see rising and most active orgs as well as filters to find your perfect fit. I’m going to plug my own org here, Garden Interstellar Initiative. We are a friendly org with a lot of players, but if you are active you most definitely get the attention and engagement of a smaller group, and you have the freedom to take part in almost any activity in-game besides piracy. In addition, I also run a discord server that has plenty of people that would love to play with you. We are focused heavily on in-game creative content, but also have many newcomers looking for groups to play with, and always running chat rooms.

5-Spawn your ship

Assuming you’ve been following these tips in order, you are finally ready to get playing. The first, and probably most exciting, early game activity is spawning your ship to see it for the first time. But this isn’t incredibly straightforward. That being said, you’ll have it done in minutes. Once you choose where you are going to start your journey, you will have one of several different paths to the spaceport. Keep an eye out for signage and other players, and you’ll find your way. Once you get there, find one of these computer terminals, hold f, and flick the screen. Here you will be presented with the ability to spawn your ship, so go ahead and hit that ‘Retrieve button.

When you are told which hangar or pad you’re on, remember it, because all too often we all forget where to go. If you ever find your ship is destroyed, you’ll need to use this claim button which will allow you to recall your ship in a certain amount of time-based on the value, or pay a fee to expedite that process. You’ll need to do this often, so it’s good to know about it right away.

6- Take box delivery missions.

Now we are ready to get flying. You may not be the cargo-hauling type, but as a brand new player in Star Citizen, you’re going to want to learn the lay of the land, so to speak, fairly quickly. The best way to do this while taking advantage of your time is to run single box delivery missions.

To do this, open your MobiGlas, go to your contracts manager tab, and look for personal delivery missions, these are usually pretty safe, long-distance missions that will net you a few thousand credits for each delivery.

Sometimes they can be a bit bugged, but what isn’t?

Make sure to take notice of the different places you are sent during these runs, and remember the amount of time and fuel it takes to get there, this will come in handy later. And if you’re feeling like a pinnacle citizen already? Stack up missions for higher payouts and more efficient runs. Just remember, with the newest 3.10 update in July, multi-location delivery runs are now a thing, so make sure not to overwhelm yourself.

7- Rearm, Repair, and Restock

Remember earlier I said you need to use your MobiGlas to get all of your ship's attributes restored? You should do this after every couple of missions you complete. When you get to a landing pad just open your mobiglass while you are still in your ship, select the vehicle services tab, and select the services you need before confirming. This may not work the first time, and it may take several seconds to actually start, so give it a moment just to make sure! And if you just can’t get it to work, try hovering right above the landing pad and doing the same thing. This was a fix for the buggy system in the past, and could still help you out.

8-Take advantage of chat

For the most part, the Star Citizen community is very kind, understanding, and helpful. You’ll have the occasional bad faith player or troll, but for the most part, everybody is in this struggle together, and gets that playing in alpha can be a bit difficult. Learn to utilize the public chat so that you can ask for help when you need it and get a ride, or party up with other people looking to play. You can do this by hitting F12, and then sending your own messages by hitting enter to type. Almost every single time you enter the game you’ll be able to find a player that wants a gunner to run defense on their cargo hauler, or a partner to go exploring with, people to show off their ships to and let others fly their ships, people looking to help others, or just people looking to fly around with somebody.

So open up the chat and call out to those other citizens. You can hit the tab button to switch between your chat rooms, or press F11 to call up the full menu where you can change chat colors, start new parties, add friends, and invite people to a party. So explore and get to know others. And if you just hate everyone, hit F12 again to get rid of the chat window on your screen.

9-Take advantage of camera controls

While this game is technically a first-person experience, you can enter a limited third-person mode for various reasons. To do this, simply hit the F4 button. This will allow you to get a third-person view of your character or ship, and take pictures and video of the area around you. I won’t get deep into the details, for that you can either use video resources provided by the users of my Discord server.

Advanced Camera Controls Tutorial (Mr. Hasgaha):

Advanced Camera Controls Tutorial (TheSpaceCoder):

These on-screen videos come from two of our members and are very informative or you can join the Discord outright, and ask everything you need to know there. As you can imagine, all of these eye-candy shots I use in my videos and cinematics are captured using this system, so it can be very powerful once you learn to take advantage of it.

10- Use the issue council

While we are all here to enjoy this expansive space sim being made, we are still alpha testers in the end. And the developers depend on us to report the bugs we run into so that they can triage them and eventually work on fixes. Sometimes it feels like they aren’t listening, but somebody is, and the more people that report a bug, the more likely they are to be seen. So if you run into an annoying bug, hit up the issue council here, and see if you can find it listed, add your own account of the bug and who knows, maybe someday you’ll find yourself in the exclusive early testers group.

Bonus Tips&Tricks

Now here is a lightning round of quick tips that didn’t get their own segment. A small reward for those of you who have stuck around.

  • Get used to flying in free flight, you won’t have to risk your ship and you’ll get a better understanding of how the flight model works.

  • Stay hydrated and fed, buy food at a spaceport if you find yourself there and keep your stats up. There is a small level of survivability in-game that you’ll need to monitor every several hours. You can use the F button and left click to drink, and hold the mouse button down to continue. You can also store the consumables for later. Or if you’re not about that, you can just hold backspace to kill yourself and restart the timers.

  • Learn to deal with your crimestat, there is a whole crime system in this game, complete with misdemeanors, felonies, and prison time. Do some research into what to do when you receive a specific crime, and learn to check the local laws in your mobiglas, because they do change by location. Also, note that prison time not only is served while you are offline, but can also be cut down incredibly short by mining valuable minerals for the prison company itself.

  • Find the mission givers, at some point you are going to get tired of the basic missions, and you may notice some interesting job offers coming into your mobiglas. All around the game specific hero characters are ready to offer your jobs if you meet their criteria for work done and reputation gained. They can be a bit buggy sometimes, but their missions are a bit more involved and interesting than the regular ones.

  • Visit the caves, for a space game, there are certainly quite a few caves. But they are hard to find, for now the easiest way to do so is to check out the investigation missions which will point your toward caves all across the system. They are fun to explore a few times, but take a friend.

  • Explore. This game has an abundance of things to see. Feel free to skip the box missions, and explore on your own. To make things easier, consider upgrading your quantum drive so it is easier to get around uninterrupted or faster. I suggest the Atlas Drive for your starter ship.

  • Finally, keep up to date with development, if you are hopping into the game you are surely aware it is in development. Make sure to regularly check back on this Youtube account for monthly looks at what is being worked on at the company, and what we can expect in the future, because there is always something happening. Also check the roadmap linked in the description, which isn’t necessarily all that reliable, but can provide some insight into the direction we are moving.

And that’s way more than 10 tips to help you get the most out of Star Citizen. There is so much more to discover, though. For a game so far away from being complete, there is a ton of detail to explore and activities to take part in. And once you get a group, the possibilities expand. So make sure to join me on discord, introduce yourself, and come play with me and my community on Twitch weekly. Don’t forget, though, this is not a guide to starting in Star Citizen, there are plenty of other things to know, but this will build on the basics to get you up to speed on what to do. I do have a video "New Player Guide" , if you want to give that a watch.

Thank you for reading through this Tomato Blog(?).

And if you would like to support me, I have a Patreon, where my patrons get exclusive cinematic videos, sneak peeks at my upcoming work, free use of my photographs, early access to my releases, and of course a more personal look into the life of tomato. If you’re into those things, think about it. And find me across all social media so we can stay in touch!


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