6 Things For Newcomers To Do In Star Citizen | Gameplay and More
Despite missing quite a bit, Star Citizen still offers a solid amount of activities for you to take part in. Whether you are jumping in for a free week, like on February 17th, or you’re beginning a long career in the verse, you’ll have plenty to see on day 1. While there is plenty of time to learn the ropes, some of you have already watched my in-depth new players guide, or you just want to jump in. So I polled The Space Tomato community to see what you all suggest for newcomers. Now we are going to look at the 6 best ways you can spend your first couple of weeks in Star Citizen.
If you’ve followed my new player guide(video)(blog) you’ve likely departed your first planet and made your way to the orbital space station. But from there the options open up perhaps more than it may seem at first.
Star Citizen is a massive game, not Elite Dangerous big, but large enough to find your own corner. One of the most common suggestions in the current game is to just fly around and visit locations. See what each place offers with little to no worries. The game currently takes place in a relatively safe star system. Most of the time you won’t need to worry about pirates as you travel, as long as you stick to the main population hubs, of which there are quite a few.
4 planets, over a dozen moons, and an equally large amount of diverse space stations. There is a lot to see.
But it goes a bit deeper. Among and in-between these areas you’ll find derelict ships with loot, puzzles, and sometimes a threat, caves that may be hiding mineable rocks and pirate camp, outposts that let you spawn in a hovercraft to do some exploring with, bunkers that may challenge the more lawless players or just the massive cities that offer you the shopping experience you are looking for.
Not only is this easy flying around going to show you the locations of the game, but it will also get you used to flying. Every ship reacts differently to flight both in and outside of the atmosphere, and every atmosphere is slightly different. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn your ship inside and out as you explore the various locations of the verse.
2- Take Box Missions /Run Cargo
While exploring is fun, you can be a bit more productive while you do it. But remember, as, with everything, there will be some risk involved. Cargo hauling and delivery contracts are a fantastic way to have your exploration curated for you. There are 2 ways to do this at the time of writing.
First, you can take delivery missions in your mobiglass. These will allow you to pick up assigned boxes from various areas and deliver them elsewhere. Your only investment is time, which is good considering these can always go wrong due to glitches.
The other method is cargo hauling. This is more advanced and will require you to buy your own commodities, I don’t advise this for your start.
Instead, stick to deliveries around different planets. Some deliveries will take you to build tops, some might have you trekking to outposts or cities, you’ll occasionally need to deliver to space stations, and if you look for the correct missions, you’ll be able to pick up various black boxes and lost cargo from crashed or destroyed ships on planets and in space. You will also notice other delivery mission types as you read descriptions, but the basic delivery missions will allow you to progress in reputation with the various courier services around the star system.
As you rank up you will receive more complex missions and earn more per job. This is true with all professions and will be applied slowly to everything you do in-game. As there are no skill trees, your progression is based on the connections you make, the reputation you build with them, and the skills you improve.
I suggest running through these missions for a basic introduction to this reputation system, and the game as a whole. You won’t make as much money as you would bounty hunting or mining, but you will learn how to fly, land, pick things up, put them down, use a tractor beam, use your mobiglas, and more. These skills will prepare you for big dynamic events, and for group play. Speaking of group play…
3- Meet Other Players
Just like every MMO, for most players, this game is better than others. But there are some really cool aspects of this game that aren’t very obvious until you play with others. Being able to dogfight is fun, but manning a turret in somebody else’s ship while seeing your other friends taking down the same targets is better. Assaulting a base is very cool, but when you can have a bomber clear out the defenses ahead, it’s that much sweeter. And mining asteroids works well, but sometimes it’s just not cracking like you want from just a single laser.
Playing with friends still isn’t a completely smooth experience, with voice comms being iffy, and party markers sometimes glitching, but finding a team to crew up with will bring you more fun, and supply you with a wider range of missions. Each player will be able to share their available missions with a party and earn reputation and money for said missions. So it’s beneficial to have a small group you can link up with.
To join another group, the best thing to do is send a message in global chat and see who responds. While you may get some bad actors, many players are happy to pay others to crew their ships. You can easily send party invites using the mobiglas, or by walking up to a player and interacting with them. Regardless, definitely keep an eye out for somebody to play with, it’ll keep you safer, better supplied, and generally end in a more enjoyable experience for those looking for it.
4- Join An Event
While the mission content is not currently something I’m happy with, something I talk about in my supporter exclusive video from January, the live events that have started occurring in Star Citizen over the last 12 months have proven to be a beacon of fun, activity, and money-making potential.
While you may not find big missions like the Xenothreat invasion, Nine Tails Blockade, or Jumptown Drug Running operations, there are other week-long events that you can make good money at, see all the ships in the game, and enjoy some differing gameplay. In February, we’ve already seen the red festival, allowing players to search for and find red letters that can be sold for money.
A similar event takes place at Christmas as well. Most holidays also feature some form of in-game celebration as well as free fly weeks. In May you’ll be treated to a massive traveling space parade, and in November you’ll be able to visit the ship expo, where you can see and rent just about every ship in the game for free. The only problem is CIG still makes players go to the website to figure out what may be going on during a given week. Something I hope they fix promptly, heh.
It may be a bit weird to some that a game in this state already maintains so many in-game activities, but it does a lot to bring life to the game and keep the community from going too insane. I talked more about this in my previous video if you would like to learn more about these events, and I definitely suggest keeping an ear and eye out for them to take advantage.
5- Enlist As A Bounty Hunter
If all this sounds a bit boring to you, don’t fret, there is quite a bit of exciting combat in this game, but we’ll start easy. With bounty hunting. Bounty Hunting is a fantastic activity and career path for newcomers. If you don’t mind ruthlessly murdering criminals because they didn’t show up for their hearing, this is for you. You’ll start out small with easy ships to take down, and you’ll have the options of fighting ships in the atmosphere, in space, or underground. Just pay very close attention to the descriptions when you choose.
But the variety is only half the battle, or maybe like 20% I’m not a doctor. This profession is also one of the best showcases for the reputation system, which will let you progress and move up in difficulty, reward, and the number of missions you have to choose from. You’ll start with a certification mission in which planetary zone you are in, and can progress from there. You’ll start out earning just a small amount per bounty, but after a few hours of play, those rewards will grow. You can also add the “Call To Arms” passive mission which will reward you for every criminal eliminated no matter what activity you are doing. This will get you double payment as well.
And if you want to go even further, you can also group up with others and share these missions so that each player can take a bounty in a different place while all players split the reward and earn reputation. Whether you’re at a party or alone, bounty hunting is a great way to earn some money, experience combat, progress in the game, and just have some fun.
6- Join The Community
I would be remiss if I introduced you to Star Citizen and not the community behind it. And this is more than just talking about how kind everybody is. Yes, the majority of the community is kind and passionate and just wants to share, play, and talk about space games, but as a game is still deep in development, a lot of the experience following this game is being involved, and you’ll have a very easy time deciding how much you want to.
Reddit is generally the best place for community discussion, in my opinion. The official forums work, but I would start with Reddit. Besides that, you’ll find Star Citizen everywhere, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Discord, whatever your platform of choice is, it’ll be there. And you’ll be able to see the development from different angles, particularly on Youtube with eye-candy-filled development updates most Thursdays, and the live developer shows every Friday on Twitch.
There is also plenty of content creators, websites with helpful item finders and trade route planners, in-depth analysis of the current state of the game, discord servers dedicated to helping newcomers, groups that focus on throwing player-run events in and outside of the game, real-life meetings, and conventions, and many, many, many cool pictures to look at. Cause it’s a screenshot simulator, right?
Many people follow this game closely because they love being able to affect the progress of the game and see how a video game can be built. Nobody is required to do these things, but the ability to choose your own involvement in your own way has led to an incredibly vibrant and passionate community that will welcome you with open arms. Just be ready for some drama if you’re going to choose this route. Things can be rough.
So those were the 6 main things I think a newcomer could benefit from trying in Star Citizen, chosen by the Space Tomato Community on Discord, Twitter, and Youtube, but there are a few more quick tips I’d like to give you before we go. If you’ve enjoyed the list so far, though, and want more content, I make exclusive videos every month, sign up as a member on Youtube, Patreon, or Ko-Fi to get access to the exclusive videos and more ST content like behind the scenes, work-in-progress streams, and Q&A streams!
Now, I did say the search and investigation missions were a good starting point for players, but there is one in particular that you should really try out and that is the Covalex Shipping Hub Gundo mission. This shipping hub was damaged by an external explosion that ripped through the main area and killed all personnel. Just like everywhere else in this game, you have some access to this station. You can take a mission to track down clues and figure out what happened to a specific employee who was on board. It doesn’t use any new game mechanics as it is several years old and hasn’t been updated, but it offers a nice narrative experience in a game without many yet.
I also highly suggest you look for an organization or guild. Like in other MMOs, these can be very helpful in making money and running missions, but in Star Citizen, a game with minimal content, an org will do a lot to bring you more gameplay and variety. I suggest my own org, the Garden Interstellar Initiative, as we focus on creating gameplay, helping newcomers, and improving everybody’s experience. However, there are many choices you can find on the website, just be wary of exclusivity in some cases.
Don’t Worry About Money
Finally, don’t worry about money. You’ll make it naturally as you play and generally won’t find too much to spend it on outside of ships just yet. Look for live events as opportunities to make a lot of money, and continue to play with other players. But with little risk and a limited experience, it’s still best to just focus on finding fun gameplay for yourself.
And the same goes for real life.
While you can pledge to the development of this game and receive a ship in return, all ships can be earned in-game. Only give more than the initial $45 if you want to help fund the game. I have a few videos on this that I’ll link down below for you.
At the end of the day, Star Citizen is still a game that is so far from being complete. And at this current time in development that may seem ridiculous, but evidently, there is plenty to try out during your first couple of weeks in the verse, and I hope this video introduced you enough to get you started. I have an entire playlist of guides and tutorials if you need any additional help, and I make plenty of content for Star Citizen on my YouTube Channel, Space Tomato, and on my second channel, Space Tomato Too where you can find other clips and the video format of my podcast.