Star Citizen 3.15 New Player Guide by Space Tomato
As 2021 comes to a close, Star Citizen is adding features that are changing the game for good. There’s a lot to learn, and I mean a lot. So I have made a new players guide that will get you up to speed on the basics of the game.
I will also keep this guide up to date with derivative tutorials that go into more depth. So, if you want to keep learning, check out the videos on my YouTube channel Space Tomato Gaming, and my second channel, Space Tomato Too, where I share more Star Citizen content. Thank you for coming to my tomato blog.
Before we get deep into this, let me explain the format. This guide will get you started with an account, into the game, and run through the basics of getting a character setup and running your first missions. Feel free to bookmark this page to come back to it later for more guides.
I would also like to make it 100% clear that everything in this tutorial is subject to change over the coming years. Things are beginning to solidify in terms of gameplay. In some cases; such as the inventory, definitely will change over the years. This game is still deep in development and has plenty of bugs and nuisances.
Getting The Game
Now, let’s get you an account. If you are here for a free fly event or haven’t made an account, you can use the link below to gain a few extra credits when you start. Once you make that account and you aren’t playing during a free fly event, you can purchase a game package.
I recommend not buying anything more than the initial $45 needed for the game.
While these ships aren’t the most polished in the game (which they absolutely should be), they will be good enough to make the money needed to upgrade to the next tier. And luckily, this blog should get you started on that process.
I will present you with an option if you’d like to spend a little bit extra money for a more solid ship. You could grab the Anvil Pisces starter pack for a normal $60 game price. Today, we’ll be using the RSI Aurora.
Entering The Game
Once you have downloaded the installer and opened the launcher, you can load it into the game. From the menu, you’ll be required to pick a home location. As of right now, you’ll be limited to the 4 planets of the Stanton system.
Microtech, Arccorp, Hurston, & Crusader. While we are only limited to the 1-star system, it is diverse. The planets feature unique benefits, biomes, and experiences. Their styles in clothing, architecture, and personnel also differ quite a bit.
As the game continues development, these things will become more pronounced and make a bigger difference to players. For now, it’s not that serious, and you’ll find the city you most enjoy over time.
While it determines where your vehicles and items will begin it is not permanent. For now, pick a planet based on what seems coolest to you, and we’ll explore from there. Let’s choose Microtech.
When we load into the game we’ll wake up in bed in our apartment. We can hit the ‘Y’ button to immediately get up. This key will be useful in getting out of any seats. Other basic but uncommon controls include the ‘F’ key for all interactive functions, including tapping to quickly select the primary option or holding to scroll and select, ‘Mouse Wheel’ to change both walking and ship movement speeds as well as charge levels on all tools, and F12 or else public chat will always be in your face, quick tip, you can also press the middle mouse button in to lock menus to your view. These all are, of course, in addition to your usual controls.
Gathering The Essentials
Now before we get any deeper into controls, let’s get to see the actual game. Wherever you spawn in, you’ll be up in the residence quarters of your building. You’ll want to find the elevator and head downstairs. Every landing zone functions in this same way, but once we get downstairs things will differ a bit. Here at New Babbage, we have a hospital in 3.15 as does Orison. But Lorville and Area 18 will be waiting for the next 2 updates.
It’s a good idea to always stop off at the local medical center before heading out of the city.
Besides the dangers you can come across during normal play, glitches can cause injuries that might need to be quickly healed. Make your way to the pharmacy and use the terminal to select a couple of hemozal pens just in case. This is the medical pen that you can use to stop bleeding and heal a certain amount of health. You can press the C button and left-click to apply the healing. You’ll also see a LifeGuard medical attachment for the MultiTool, grab it, and a few refills. The multitool is one of the most important items in the game right now. Don’t worry about actually equipping this, though, it’s not important right now.
Before we grab our ship and get out into space, let’s head into the city and grab some more supplies that’ll help us survive and thrive in the verse.
As you move through the city towards the shops, you’ll see a lot of that world-building I mentioned earlier. While it is oftentimes broken, and lacking in many areas, the foundations of what each world will offer you in the future can be seen in some ways.
While each landing zone in the game has its shops, they don’t all offer everything or even the same things. As you explore, you’ll begin to understand where you might need to go to get certain items. The multi-tool is a universally available item amongst the cities and at all refinery space station locations. I will make an entire blog on this tool as it’ll come in handy quite often, but for now, you can buy one here, at the Shubin Interstellar kiosk on your left. One of the largest mining corporations in the game. Speaking of mining, how about we grab a mining attachment, a tractor beam attachment, and some torso armor. Those attachments will allow you to easily pursue multiple professions later. And we’ll need the torso armor to use a backpack. But more on that in a second. You’ll have a couple of choices for armor, but the MacFlex Core is a good affordable option. Armor currently is not a big part of the game in 2021, but in the future, your choice of equipment will depend pretty heavily on what you’d like to do out in the verse.
Now that we’ve gotten our supplies, checked out the rest of the shops, and made our way to the spaceport via the trains below, we can equip all of our items, and prepare our ship. Let’s get into the UI of Star Citizen starting with the personal inner thought system.
By holding the function key, ‘F’, and right-clicking with the mouse, we can open up a new UI. This is the central location for all things inner thought, which is your interaction in the world. So if at any point you find you don’t know a control, or how to emote, or where your inventory is, just open this menu. All of your contextual controls are available here, and with a right-click each of them can be reassigned a keybinding or added to your favorites tab. I highly suggest setting your helmet equipment to one of these favorites.
At the top of this menu is the inventory system. This can also be accessed directly by the ‘I’ key. It’s good to keep in mind that this inventory system tracks your local, ship, and personal compartments like backpacks. So when you need to, you can transfer things from city to ship to backpack and back, nesting inventories inside one another and allowing you to either drag and drop or double click to equip items to your character.
Keep in mind, once you leave a city if you lose those items, they are gone for good. This is true of items linked to your account as well, although they can be retrieved by a character reset. Regardless, it’s good to only leave the city or space station with the items you need. And also keep in mind that as of 2021, your inventory between the city and space station in orbit are linked, so you don’t need to carry things up if you are just going to land above.
As you may notice your inventory is currently pretty light. And while I said we could grab our supplies at the station above, we’ll take some things from here. First, grab the armor you purchased and drag it onto your body. Next, we’ll double click our medpens until we have 3 equipped. Save the other 2 for later. Finally let’s drag the multitool onto our hip, along with the tractor beam attachment, which we can drag onto the tool itself. Oh and let’s not forget our backpack which we can toss those medical refills in. And if there is anything you want to leave behind, you can just drop it in the square at the bottom of the screen. Perfect, now let’s get our ship.
Preparing For Flight
Each spaceport will have a row of yellow screened terminals that will allow you to call for your ship to be loaded into a hangar. This will also provide a small UI icon to show you how far away it is, and what hangar it is located in. All we need to do is find the elevators and head to the correct hangar. Once there, we can see all entrances to the ship marked with the UI so we can easily hop on board our first vessel and prepare for what Star Citizen is all about.
You don’t have to immediately get into your ship, you’ve got some time. But there is a point at which the air traffic controller will store your ship, and you’ll return to the kiosk to get it again.
Once in the tiny little ship, use the normal interaction to sit down in the pilot’s seat. Immediately hit the R button to turn all systems on. There are various ways to power the ship up, but this is the easiest. If you’d like to know keybindings, you can look at your interaction system.
Next, we’ll open our Mobiglass menu, which we’ll get into later. For now, we just need to contact control to open up the hangar for us. So hit F11 and go to your friends' tab, though don’t be fooled, they aren’t your friends. You can do this using the screens in the ship, but that’s a bit clunky, so we’ll just stick to this.
With the ship on, it’s finally time to fly. Whether you are exiting from the front or the top, you’re going to want to not crash, so let’s briefly go over the necessary controls for flight, we’ll get deeper into it in another blog.
Your First Flight
As with ground movement, w, a,s, and d are your directional controls. You’ll also be able to use the spacebar to go up, and to the left control to go down. When you want to continue at speed in cruise control, you’ll press c. Speaking of speed. That thrust button is binary input, so you are either full throttle or zero. Luckily we can adjust our max throttle using the mouse wheel as you did while walking. As you can see, the little square next to our speed indicator can be moved to determine max possible speed. This makes it easy for us to lift off the ground without losing control.
Once up in the air, we can take another second to orient with our HUD. For now, all HUDS are the same, but we’ve already seen that manufacturer-specific layouts are around the corner, so it’ll be helpful to get used to looking around a bit.
On the screen in front of us, we can see a compass that aligns to the solar plane, or the planet’s surface. An altimeter over on the right next to your fuel, weapon, and countermeasure readings. And your ship’s emissions output at the top.
Before we head out let’s also raise our landing gear using the N key. The indicator for this is down in the bottom left hand along with other important ship readings that we can go over later. These are your "need to know’s" for any ship HUD. Though there is plenty more to learn in the future. First, let’s get flying.
Take things easy, keep your speed and altitude low until you’re comfortable. Find some beautiful scenery and just enjoy yourself for a bit. If it’s too dark to see the scenery, you can still get a sense of the land by pinging out with the tab key. This will allow you to see all detectable signals in a certain area. While I have some videos about this, I’ll be putting out a more in-depth guide soon. Once you’re ready to go, we’ll head up to space.
Now like I said, on your way up to space(since, you know, it’s a long way) you can hit c to activate cruise control, scroll the mouse wheel up to max throttle, and hold left shift to activate your afterburners. And once you’re up to speed, tap F4 to get a beautiful view of the planet as you leave. You can hold the Z key, which is free look, and use the mouse to look around.
Once you’re tired of the sights, and we’ve gotten high enough in the atmosphere we can jump to the orbital space station. To do this we will use quantum travel. Press the B button to activate, look for the square somewhere in the sky above, and calibrate your drive. This may require you to line up a little weird based on your ship and could fail to start at some point. But if you look away and back at the target you’ll eventually be able to jump.
For more information regarding this system, how it works, and deeper controls, check out my tutorial.
Once near the space station, you’ll see quite a few white icons pop up in your viewfinder, and possibly a couple of blue ones. Those white contacts are things like turrets that protect the station. The blues are other friendly ships, whether NPCs or other players. You can target and identify these contacts with the t key and by aiming at them, or you can hit v to activate scanning mode and get deeper information. Just keep in mind, when you lock onto a ship, they are notified of it. Again, for more on this, a new scanning and radar tutorial will be linked below.
Resetting Your Respawn Location
Once you’ve harassed nearby pilots we can call for a landing at the space station, just like we requested takeoff permission. Press F11, and call your friend. Stay on that screen until you get a reply and then back out and look for a small indicator showing where you are meant to land. If you get a glitch or can’t find it, try again and fly around looking for the pads themselves. Different stations are shaped differently so it may take some time.
Speaking of different stations, let’s talk about them while you’re landing. Much like cities, space stations are areas of higher security, commerce, and population density. You’ll generally come across other players going about various activities despite the current instance population being just 50 players. But you’ll quickly learn that, just like with cities, they aren’t all the same.
We have access to cargo space stations, refinery space stations, and regular space stations. Cargo stations don’t have any functional difference currently, to many players’ chagrin. But refinery stations will be your go-to location if you’d like to refine your mined minerals freely. The point here is that as the game expands, stations will have different needs and constructions. While they all may allow you to land, refuel, and repair, which can be done in your mobiglas, they may not all have medical facilities, armor accommodations, or food courts. And as I’ve said throughout this blog, these things will be important considering your playstyle. These are the types of complications that they try to fit in all your decisions in this game.
Currently, the station you’re at is a cargo space station with a medical facility. So let’s go set your respawn. This functionality can be replicated in any area with a medical bed of tier 2 or higher. This includes the 890 Jump, Carrack, and all space stations in 3.15.
When changing your imprint location, or regeneration point, you are moving your respawn location to that area as long as it is actively in the game. So be careful with ships. By regenerating at this space station, you can avoid going through that whole process of getting into space every time, and if you desire, you never have to go back to that city again.
And before we leave, go ahead and hit I to get into your inventory. Let’s grab the last of the supplies we bought on the planet and put them in our backpacks. And on the way out you may want to consider grabbing some food and a drink. Then we can get to running some missions.
Your First Mission
Once we return to our ship, let’s take out our contract manager and look at our activity options.
Hit F1 to open up your MobiGlas.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how this device will assist you in 3.15. Keep in mind, this will be changing over the next year.
First, you have your contact list, opened with F11, where you’ll be able to manage parties, contacts, and chat rooms. Then you have your vehicle manager, where you can customize any vehicle that you have access to in your current location. After that is NikNax, an app that can track every asset you own, and wherein the galaxy they are. Skyline is your map and will be able to show where in the star system you are, as well as your routes, current fuel, and quantum jump beacons. You can set routes in this app, and eventually, it will allow for local navigation support as well. The next app is MoTrader which is a currency transfer app, and your contract manager which displays all available missions. The wrench icon allows for repair, refuel, and restock services at landing pads that offer. To the right of that is your journal, providing important public information such as local laws which matter, and system-wide announcements. On the far right is Delphi, your reputation tracking app. Reputation is a major determiner of what you can do in this game, and something I go over in more depth down below.
Let’s go back to the contracts manager. This is where you’ll be going for the most organized play in the game, and has 3 distinct sections. There’s the navigation bar up top, that will let you flip between tabs. The contracts section, which will display all of the missions in a tab, and the mission description, where you’ll get all the info you need on your contracts. Each of these sections is important.
Your top bar will let you jump between available, active, and past missions as well as beacons. The description will tell you key details about your mission. This is not just flavor text, pay very close attention to the issuer of the contract, and the description. There will often be key hints that tell you this will be an illegal activity. And that will matter a lot. When in the accepted tab this will also allow you to confirm which missions you are tracking, and your current progress through your objectives. You can also abandon missions, but that will hit your reputation.
As for the possible missions, you’ll want to start with just the general tab, as they are mostly simple, safe, and lawful. Your choices here are broad and are changing with every update.
First are your delivery missions. These can be provided to you by a multitude of companies in different areas. I suggest sticking with one for good so that you can build a reputation and get paid more for your work as time goes on. These missions are pretty self-explanatory. They will require all kinds of delivery services, whether that be to multiple locations, a shipwreck, or the middle of space. They can include volatile cargo, specific travel methods, and time limits. You can get into some commerce, exploration, combat, and social gameplay doing this. It’s a great way to see the verse, but not the best way to start making money fast. Expect delivery missions to continue to expand in various ways as we move forward with passenger transport and data transport missions.
Then there are search and investigation missions which range from simple search and find missions to full narrative investigations with voice acting and story elements. Though these are not very common. These are also low-risk missions, and great ways to find local cave locations, but they once again don’t pay very well.
Bounty Hunting is arguably the best way to make money straight from the start, but it carries a bit of risk. This profession also integrates with a reputation the most, allowing you to climb the ranks with friends, earn more money for each bounty level, and encounter new and challenging ship combinations. I highly suggest only taking an undersuit on these missions to minimize losses. Also, consider taking these missions with a partner until you are comfortable with combat since the reward automatically splits. But be careful picking these missions. You can hunt both NPCs and players, don’t go after a criminal player unless you feel ready. Make sure to take the call to arms mission before starting these as well, you’ll get extra credits for each criminal you ruthlessly murder. Cause we don’t know how to arrest people yet.
Finally, there are mercenary missions. These are much like your bounty missions but focus on FPS gameplay rather than ship-based combat. These missions require more coordination and risk than bounty hunting, though. As you’ll have multiple enemies and friendlies which can present different scenarios. And while you’ll have the chance to get some loot on these missions, you could also lose it all. Remember those med pens we grabbed earlier, and heal your friends with the multi-tool attachment.
After all this, there is the personal tab, which features specific contracts that are only sent to you. Due to this key point, most of these missions are less than legal. While these opportunities can lead to more exciting missions, they can get you into trouble with security or even other players.
This selection of missions does not remain static. It changes over time and space. So if you don’t see missions you like, wait a bit or travel to another location. And as you progress through higher reputations, expect higher payouts, more challenges, and more missions.
After you’ve gotten bored with these, though, there are plenty more things to do. Exploration, while not featuring any major game mechanics, still has its charm. Whether you’re visiting the deep caves of Daymar, the obsidian fields of Microtech, or the derelict ships dotted throughout the system, you’ll have a beautiful view and plenty of amazing detailed locations to visit.
Mining is a very popular source of money which can be done on foot, in a vehicle or a ship. It uses a deep combination of passive and active attachments as well as gadgets that can change the rocks you’re mining. It is currently one of the more complete game loops, tying into the refinery gameplay that’s also currently available.
Outside of box missions, cargo hauling, in mass, on your own dime is an option as well. While risky, and somewhat broken at times, this is a relaxing way to start growing your fortune slowly but surely. Just consider bringing an escort.
And even still there are plenty of ways to enjoy the game with friends. While there are always events ranging from small gatherings to huge sponsored tournaments occurring in Star Citizen, you can guarantee you’ll find a group to play with by joining an organization. My own org, The Garden Interstellar Initiative, has started recently and aims to help new players get into the game in a friendly and fun environment. You can join us down below, or visit the website page to find an org that fits you. Whether for racing, industry, combat, or more.
Welcome To Star Citizen
As I alluded to in my last point, Star Citizen can be more enjoyable with friends. There’s no reason to avoid playing solo, but over time the game has slowly catered more to those who want to work together. The game is being designed in a way that allows players to specialize in their profession. Since not everybody can master everything, this eventually aims to lead to group play. The game is always developing and changing as well, with quarterly updates to the game, and weekly progress reports. So as a newcomer everything can be quite overwhelming.
Luckily, this community is incredibly friendly, incredibly helpful, and ready to share its knowledge and enthusiasm for the game with you. Seriously, ask anybody, people are pumped to help newcomers around here. So much so that there is a program to help newcomers that you can sign up to. But find an org, find a discord group, hop on Reddit, or continue perusing youtube, because there is an absolute ton of stuff to go through after this. You’ve joined the ranks, and you’re in the game. And even though the alpha is pretty unstable, the fun has only begun.
Part of following this project is being a part of the development while also playing the game. Checking out the weekly update videos or conversing with the developers. Visiting the convention, or getting involved in the community contests. There is a full experience here for those looking to get fully engrossed, or you could just play the game. Regardless, I’d like to welcome you to the Star Citizen Community. I hope this helped you learn the game a bit, as I said this was a very minimal look at the basics, and over the years I hope to fill out my collection of helpful videos that can show you what the rest of the game has to experience. Thank you for checking out this blog. I'll catch you on the next one.