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  • Writer's pictureSpace Tomato

Level-up Your Star Citizen Gameplay: 18 Tips For New Players

You've decided to jump into Star Citizen, finally, or maybe you’re returning for a little refresher. I have a new player guide to help you get the basics out of the way, but the 18 tips below are going to make your life a lot easier as a newbie or a vet.

1- 'F' to interact

One of the first applicable tips I can give you that will immediately make your life easier is tapping the ‘F’ key to interact with objects. Instead of fumbling with selecting a word, you can tap the interaction button to select the first available action.

2- Don’t Fly Straight at Your Target

Don’t fly straight at your targets, especially at night. Due to the differences in scale and momentum some ships carry, it can be hard to judge when you should start slowing down. If you aim to the side of your target, you can always overshoot and come back. Otherwise, you’ll explode and nobody likes to explode.

3- Don’t Buy Equipment Right Away

There are plenty of chances to die in this game during your first several times playing. Since you lose your inventory and have to retrieve it when you die, save yourself the effort during your first non-combative missions to save some money and rage.

Find your equipment on the various missions you take, learn the look of loot boxes and look everywhere for them. You can avoid spending much of your first 100k on small items this way.

4- Set Your Spawn Location

You’ll notice that a lot of these tips have to do with death and avoiding its affects. That’s a trend around these parts.

In lore, humans have discovered a way to imprint our consciousness into what is essentially a mental and physical clone of ourselves. It gets really deep and is actually pretty fun to learn about. It’s also important to know to understand our respawns.

Every space station and tier 1 bed you visit has a monitor that allows you to get medical treatment as well as save your respawn point. For ships, this is only true as long as the ship is spawned in, but for cities and space stations, this will remain until you change it. So as soon as you enter the game, leave the atmosphere and set your spawn in a space station to avoid needing to constantly leave the atmosphere.

5- Get Outta That Chair!

Instead of looking for the option of exiting a chair when you find your butt planted with no escape, press and hold the ‘Y’ key to get right up and walk away. Seriously useful cause the interaction system can get…tiresome.

6- Ping, All The Time

It’s very hard to see in the dark in this game. It gives space a good name, considering all the darkness it looks like. But even planets at night can be difficult to navigate.

The altimeter at the time of this video is still linked to a sea-level reading, so you can’t trust it to tell you when you are going to hit the ground.

Hit the ‘tab’ key to send out a scanning ping and see a wireframe of the area around you. The hope is that someday this will be a short-range area of an effect we can use for navigating and landing, but for now, it is meant to detect other objects. You can spam the button to keep an eye on the ground when you can’t see. But be careful, this ping sends out high emissions and will light you up on other radars.

7- Use Global Chat

Game chat tends to have a reputation for being toxic, but the chat in Star Citizen is surprisingly calm and collected. It is also usually quite helpful. Some may want it on, some off. Either way, F12 is your button. If you want the full-screen interface, F11 will take you there.

You should always feel free to ask a question in the chat. Those who need it most will be in one party, and otherwise, it will be disabled. Reach out to the community members who enjoy the experience so they can get you past the insane amount of challenges Star Citizen can throw your way.

8- Look For The Lights

Once you quantum jump to a new world, you’ll try to find the primary city. In the future, I really do hope they are better at showing us where to land, because if you don’t already know where in this game, it can be tough. Make sure to look for the lights- or lack thereof in ArcCorp's case- and fly in that direction. Once you get within about 600 meters, call the spaceport to request landing, that should get you an arrow to where you need to go.

9- Heal Yourself

There are multiple ways to heal yourself in this game, but I’ve got a whole guide that explains all that. Just remember that holding the c key opens your consumable menu, and pressing C uses a Medpen to heal you. Pressing the B button with a medical tool will allow you to heal yourself with it as well. Stay Healthy, friends.

10- Fear The Elevator

Be wary of elevators. At least in the first half of 2022, these beasts have been known to slay players without warning, or even push them into space where they are subject to the whims of Star Citizen in its most raw form. This actually brings up a good point, though. Also always wear a helmet unless you’re eating, that will save you a lot when you glitch into space on the rare occasion. Just don’t jump into elevators until they have rendered in, and don’t stand right by the door.

11- Your PITS!

The personal inner thought system is kinda underutilized in the current game. It is a quick action wheel that allows for most actions in the game. It can be accessed by holding F and right-clicking, and it can be used to save favorite actions, emotes, and other things. I keep one for equipping and unequipping my helmet, and for sleeping. Use this menu to figure out controls, too. At any point pulling up this menu will allow you to access contextual controls and even rebind keys if you need to.

12- Kill The Data Skimmers

Some of the best early missions a combat-focused player can do are the illegal data skimmer missions. These missions spawn regularly around my pick for the starting planet, Microtech, and they can earn you quite a bit of money while you only need to shoot stationary targets and avoid pirates. Just make sure to scan all around and find all of the skimmers before you start shooting, that’s when the pirates show up. This is one of the fastest ways to currently make money for a newcomer, and you can share it with a friend if you need to use the contract manager.

13- Don’t Be A Stranger to ATC

Remember how I said you should call Air Traffic Control to see where to land? You should also contact them to leave. When you want to leave a hangar you have to call up to request permission, but this is only in cities and space stations, don’t worry about outposts.

14- Read The Room

It might be weird that there is no minimap, but it doesn’t mean you’re lost. Sometimes they don’t feel correctly placed, but if you look around at the signs and labels on the walls, you’ll be able to get where you need. They do make logical sense, and if you know the name of your destination, they should take you there.

15- Clear Your Route

Sometimes when trying to find a new location to quantum jump to, you can’t get the interface to work with you. It’s good practice to hit F2 to enter the Starmap and clear your route just to make sure the computer isn’t trying to force a different path.

Good Luck!

Speaking of the star map, it’s currently the most painful part of the game, so all I can say on that, is good luck.

No really, try to press the B button and use your heads-up quantum interface, rather than the map. But when you do need to use it, double right-click to zoom out, and try not to zoom too far in. Other than that we can only hope the actual star map is released sometime in the next year.

16- Don’t Buy Ships

Seriously. If you are just here to play a cool game, don’t spend your real money on the ships. Buy the in-game with in-game currency that you can earn in-game, or rent the ships for even cheaper after you make your first 50k.

(If you want to see this game continue to be built, and help fund its development, then go all in.)

17- Close The Game…& Launcher

Sometimes the game is going to have some problems, you might get kicked out of a server, or the whole server could die. This can lead to a multitude of problems launching back in. If you can’t seem to load in, alt+F4 out, log out of the launcher and start the process over. There is a good chance this will save you. If not, you may need to character reset.

18- Backspace is Your (Temporary) Friend

When all else fails, and you don’t mind losing your inventory, hold the backspace button to end yourself and spawn back wherever your last regeneration point was. I hope you saved it somewhere close to the things you wanna do.


*All images used in the article are credited to

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