Considering there are no guides for the game, and some things are easily overlooked, I thought I’d put this guide together to help newer players
WASDQE controls thrust relative to your ship, W for forward, S for backward, A and D for strafing left and right. Q and E are for rotating. Remember, we’re in a vacuum, any thrust you make will continue acting on your ship until you counter it in some way.
Shift makes use of your primary thruster, this gives you a much faster thrust straight ahead, useful for trying to get away quickly.
Now for the fun part. Clicking on anything will turn auto pilot on. In the case of an asteroid or ore chunk, this will cause the autopilot to adjust your velocity relative to the target, making you travel in parallel or on an intercept course. Clicking and dragging will adjust your forward velocity relative to the target, so you can get there faster, or get away, autopilot will keep you from drifting to the sides.
If you don’t have a target, you can also click and drag to set your velocity in a certain direction and at a specific angle. Right-clicking and dragging will change the angle your ship is facing, which will also adjust which thrusts the autopilot uses (if you’re locked into a target, autopilot will keep you facing it straight on, keep that in mind for collisions).
With autopilot on, any use of ‘manual’ thrusters will turn in off. If you want to adjust your speed without turning autopilot off, or without using your mouse, you can use the arrow keys. They function the similarly: Up sets it faster, down sets it slower/reverse, left and right take the place of Q and E, in that they rotate your ship.
Getting past that, now we have the more advanced controls, or at least the ones not related to movement.
T or left ALT activate your ‘adrenaline booster’, which slows the game down for about 2 seconds, giving you a little more time to try to figure out what you’re doing. This does NOT make your ship move any faster EVERYTHING slows down. If you have a crew member pilot, they have an automatic skill that functions similarly when you’re near huge objects.
J brings up your maintenance system. If any of your components have taken damage (impacts or normal use wear) you can see all their repair levels here.
Spacebar activates your weapons, and it will activate all of them at once. For mass drivers, you only need to press every few seconds, for lasers/emitters, you need to hold it down.
The first ship has three mounting points, and each of them can be toggled in the maintenance screen, or with 1 2 and 3. This is also important for tug drones, I’ll share why in their own section.
Lastly we have the Excavator, triggered with the Enter key, or pressing the mouse wheel like a button (sometimes called mouse button 3). This also zooms your screen in so you can adjust more finely.
Ores and Asteroids
Asteroids are by default marked as being nothing but water to a scanner and have to be broken up to get a more accurate reading. (This matters if you get a chunk of asteroid stuck in/on your ship and you got back to the station to sell, the game will only recognize it as water.)
H2O: Water, or more specifically Ice in this case. Every useful ore is going to have some amount of water in addition to whatever else they have, and it gets processed at the station as a seperate sellable resource.
Average observed sell value: 99E/Ton
Fe: Ferrum/Iron. Everyone knows what this is. Likely used in production of ships, upgrades, and mass driver ammo.
Average observed sell value: 900E/Ton
Pd: Palladium, one of the ‘platinum group metals’ according to wikipedia, it is the least dense and has the lowest melting point of the group. Used in electronics, medicine, water treatment, and fuel cells, just to name a few.
Average observed sell value: 2,470E/Ton
Pt: Platinum, also part of the ‘platinum group metals’ (big surprise there), it’s notable resistant to corrosion and is unreactive. Like Palladium, it’s used in electronics.
Average observed sell value: 2,680E/Ton
V: Vanadium has an interesting history on how it was named and discovered. It is currently produced as a byproduct from smelters, oil refining, and even uranium mining. It’s possible that we’re mining it from uranium in game. Main uses are for steel alloy tool production and as a sulphuric acid catalyst.
Average observed sell value: 3,000E/Ton
W: Wolfram/Tungsten is one of the most robust metals we know if, being almost 20 times denser than water (on par with Uranium and Gold), it has a very high melting and boiling point compared to other metals, and it’s very hard. Uses include radiation shielding, superalloys, projectiles, and industrial catalysts.
Average observed well value: 6,500E/Ton
Be: Beryllium, one of the more rare elements of the universe, according to wikipedia, it’s formed by heavier elements getting splintered apart from cosmic rays and other such impacts. It also sometimes occurs in gemstones when combined with other minerals. Beryllium is a desirable element in aerospace applications due to its properties, one of which is its low density.
Average observed sell value: 20,000E/Ton
From these values, we can see that Iron is almost pointless to mine for, and Beryllium is the best to look for.
I’ve frequently seen chunks of W with 1,000-3,000 Kg at once (worth upwards of 15,000E) but the best I’ve seen for Be is maybe 400 Kg in a single chunk (also worth 10,000E+)
However, there are a few things to note: Ore is stored in a solid form until you get a certain set of upgrades. Ore chunks are all pretty much the same size inside your cargo bay no matter what they contain. Without a geologist crew member, Pt, Pd, V, and W all look almost identical. Additionally, you can’t tell how much ore is actually in the chunk until you get that crew member either.
Ship Upgrades Pt1
You have three hard points on your first ship, left, right, and center. Up until the most recent update (Feb 22, ‘Not a Thruster’) you could fit any option on any hard point, as apparently mass drivers are not high-stress enough to worry about. These will be listed in an order for direct comparison, not in the order within the game.
- Empty: Free (obviously)
- Mass Drivers: These come in three variants.
- The EMD-14, your starter, a 10 kg iron slug fired at 4500 m/s at a rate of 2 ‘pps’. Power draw 750 MW. 10,000E cost.
- The MPI railgun, uses a smaller slug, only 2 KG, fired at 7500 m/s, at a rate of 10 ‘pps’. Power draw 800 MW. 20,000E cost
- The ERFMD-17, uses a 10 KG slug, fired at ‘only’ 3000 m/s, at a rate of 5 ‘pps’. Power draw of 500 MW. 30,000E cost.
I personally don’t use mass drivers, so I can’t say what all the different stats actually translate to.
- Lasers: These also come in three variants
- MWG Microwave emitter: Described to fire a 1cm microwave to vaporize water, this does not actually reduce the water content in your ore chunks. Effective range is 600 m, consumes 50 MW while outputting 45 MW on target. This is the only laser that is constantly visible. 70,000E cost.
- CL-150 Mining laser: Effective range is 8,000 m, with a beam width of 490 nanometers. Consumes 150 MW and outputs 125 MW on target. Only visible in some dust or random moments. 150,000E cost.
- CL-600P pulse mining laser: Effective range of 8,000 m, with a beam width of 540 nanometers. Consumes 660 MW and outputs 600 MW on target, pulses at a frequency of 12 Hz. 320,000E cost
Lasers are very fun as long as you have the energy for them. The microwave laser is not very effective at breaking asteroids up, as it requires a long time to heat them up enough to break, but it has a much wider area of effect than it shows. The other two lasers are hard to manually aim due to the game not showing them all the time (which makes sense). These weapons can easily turn a massive asteroid into dust and ore in 10 seconds or less with a few sweeps. Honestly not very good against other ships unless you’re lucky or good with your aim, as it will take a few minutes to break them open.
- Plasma Throwers: Currently only one exists.
- EINAT Kzinti Lesson: Effective range is 100 m. Consumes 200 MW and 18.4 GW in heat, outputs 18 GW in heat on target. Must be mounted on high-stress (central) hardpoint. 100,000E cost.
This is a thruster retrofitted into a plasma thrower. This thing will draw directly from your reactor(s) so you need to make sure you have plenty of heat and power to spare while firing. Haven’t personally tested this gun yet.
- Drones: Surprise, they come in three variants.These will ‘fire’ automatically as long as the mount is turned on, and you can’t target them. They’re also obnoxiously noisy while in use.
- MPI Tug drones: These drones will automatically seek out ore chunks and bring them to a relative stop (0 m/s total velocity NOT the same velocity as your ship). ‘Wet’ mass of 0.1 Kg, and a thrust of 1 kN. Effective range of 400 m within line of sight (can’t go around asteroids). Power draw of 50 MW. Launch speed of 50 drones per second. 250,000E cost.
- MLF Haul drones: Identical to the tug drones in all stats, except they push ore chunks towards your ship. 350,000E cost.
- OME Maintenance drones: Power draw of 50 MW, launch speed of 32 drones per second. While unlisted, they have a ‘wet’ mass of 0.1 kg as well. These drones appear to only trigger when a ship component has dropped into yellow status. 400,000E cost.
All drones share the same pool of resources to draw from (covered below). The tug and haul drones are useful if you need help catching ore, but they don’t discriminate between any types, nor can they be programmed for specific ore. The maintenance drones are very useful if you expect to get into combat, or have a lot of collisions with asteroids, but keep in mind they only repair to just barely green. (You can exploit the jury-rig repair by dumping hp out of one field, letting them repair, then evening them all out again.)
These upgrades are linear in every way. If you don’t use mass drivers, you can also install a seal for free.
- Options include:
- 1,000 kg of storage for 5,000E.
- 2,000 kg for 10,000E.
- 5,000 kg for 25,000E.
- 10,000 kg for 50,000E.
These upgrades are fairly simple, more expensive options hold more. The first three options have ratio of 2.5 storage/cost, the last option is only 1.25 storage/cost, but is much larger.
- Options include:
- 30,000 kg for 12,000E.
- 50,000 kg for 20,000E.
- 80,000 kg for 32,000E.
- 200,000 kg for 160,000E.
While the main thruster gets you going, these guys are going to get used a lot more, and they’re bought 8 at a time, so the cost is slightly misleading. Just like the main thruster, each has different stats, and using the prices can give you a sense of what does better. With that in mind, depending on your exact setup, you may have different needs, if you have deep dives in mind and massive tanks of propellant, and one of the storage processors, you may want high reliablity, earlier on, high efficiency might be more important.
- Options include:
- NDSTR. Thrust of 600 kN, exhaust velocity of 7km/s, consumes 85.7 kg/s of fuel, and 1 MW of power. Pulsed thrust of O-H plasma. Listed as powerful and reliable, at the cost of fuel. 1250E x8 cost.
- NDVTT. Thrust of 500 kN, exhaust velocity of 7km/s, consumes 71.4 kg/s of fuel, and 1 MW of power. Variable thrust of O-H plasma. Listed as powerful and reliable, at the cost of fuel.
A step down from the NDSTR in terms of thrust and fuel consumption (more efficient?), but more expensive. 2500E x8 cost.
- RA-K37. Thrust of 200 kN, exhaust velocity of 15km/s, consumes 13.3 kg/s of fuel, and 5 MW of power. Pulsed thrust of H plasma. 3125E x8 cost.
- MA150HO. Thrust of 150 kN, exhaust velocity 30km/s, consumes 5 kg/s of fuel, and 40 MW of power. Variable thrust of O-H plasma. Listed as very reliable (less wear), but weaker thrust. 4375E x8 cost.
- RA-K44. Thrust of 400 kN, exhause of 15 km/s, consumes 26.6 kg/s fuel, and 15 MW of power. Pulsed thrust of O-H plasma. Listed as being less reliable/increased wear. A step up from the RA-K37, but wears out faster. 6250E x8 cost
- Elon Instersteller. Thrust of 120 kN, exhaust velocity of 50 km/s, consumes 2.4 kg/s of fuel, and 40 MW of power. Variable thrust of H plasma. Listed as the highest fuel economy and exhaust velocity. 8000E x8 cost.
- MA350HO. Thrust of 350 kN, exhaust velocity of 25 km/s, consumes 14 kg/s of fuel, and 60 MW of power. Variable thrust of O-H plasma. A step up from the MA150HO, but not as reliable.10,000E x8 cost.
I’m not entirely certain what exhaust velocity does, but it likely has some influence on using your thrusters as cutting torches. I’ve not seen any difference between pulsed and variable thrust, nor any difference between O-H or H plasma use.
The more reliable the thruster is listed as, the less you have to deal with the ‘wear’ HP going down during use.
Ship Upgrades Pt2
These are your primary thrusters, and get you from point A to point B the most efficiently (if you could travel in a straight line). Each thruster has different stats, and there is some correspondence between price and usefulness.
- Options include:
- RA-TNTRL-K37: Thrust of 750 kN, exhaust velocity of 15 km/s, consumes 50 kg/s of fuel, 100 MW of power, and 5.6 GW of heat. Pulsed thrust of O-H plasma. 15,000E cost.
- ND-NTTR: Thrust of 3500 kN, exhaust velocity of 7 km/s, consumes 500 kg/s of fuel, 20 MW of power, and 12.2 GW of heat. Variable thrust of O-H plasma. Listed as very powerful. 30,000E cost.
- MA-NMPD42: Thrust of 320 kN, exhaust velocity of 115 km/s, consumes 2.3 kg/s of fuel, 105 MW of power, and 18.4 GW of heat. Variable thrust of H plasma. Listed as highly efficient. 300,000E cost.
- Experimental NPMP: Thrust of 1100 kN, exhaust velocity of 45 km/s, consumes 24.4 kg/s of fuel, 200 MW of power, and 24.7 GW of heat. Pulsed thrust of H plasma. “No reliability data exists”. This thruster can not be replaced, it can only be repaired. 700,000E cost.
With fewer options, it’s far easier to see which thruster is better than the others. Repairing thrusters takes about 8 hours each time, and the Experimental one has to be repaired if it takes damage, and it is unique in this aspect.
These upgrades are linear in every way. It’s rather important to upgrade your number of rods if you get bigger thrusters or a better reactor. They operate at 3500 degrees by default, and start failing at 4500 degrees.
As of the ‘Not a Thruster’ upgrade, some new options have been added that are even higher generation, but a MUCH higher cost. They operate at 3000 degrees by default, and start failing at 4500 degrees.
- Options include:
- 4 GW of heat for 80,000E.
- 8 GW of heat for 160,000E.
- 12 GW of heat for 240,000E
- 16 GW of heat for 320,000E
- 20 GW of heat for 400,000E
- 30 GW of heat for 750,000E
- 40 GW of heat for 1,000,000E
- 50 GW of heat for 1,500,000E (potentially dangerous?)
Linear upgrades. These cover high energy draw with a smaller reactor, or if you’re running your reactor cooler than default.
- Options include:
- Single. 500 MJ capacity, Peak power of 10 GW. 25,000E cost.
- Double. 1000 MJ capacity, Peak power of 10 GW. 55,000E cost.
- Triple. 1500 MJ capacity, Peak power of 10 GW. 90,000E cost
Linear upgrades. Numbers for output are listed at default heat values for your fuel rods.
- Options include:
- Single Turbine: 100 MW power production, consumes 100 g/s fuel (0.1 kg/s). 30,000E cost.
- Twin Turbine: 200 MW power production, consumes 200 g/s fuel (0.2 kg/s). 60,000E cost.
- Military-grade Turbine: 500 MW power production, consumes 500 g/s fuel (0.5 kg/s). 150,000E cost.
SUPER IMPORTANT NOTE: This is the single most important part of your ship, if this gets damaged badly enough, you die. The most important HP gauge is the ‘reactor leak’ one, if that goes too low, you explode. Jammed rods just raises the temperature you run at (can be guarded against by lowering your running temp), and I’m not quite sure what Turbine Galling influences, but it gets damaged the least in any case.
These are quite possibly the most important upgrades you can work towards for making money. Strangely, baffles are not integrated into the MPUs/MSU.
- Options include:
- Standard: Nothing fancy, an empty area to store ore chunks. Free.
- Baffles: Installs a ‘one-way gate’ just behind the wide part in your cargo bay. Will keep most of your cargo from flying back out if you’re decelerating and open your excavator. 2,000E cost.
- MPUs/MSU: These are super useful, as they processes cargo in the rear of the cargo bay into storage. Each processes a little differently, but the important part is that once the ore has been processed, it is no longer free-floating. Additionally, there are separate storages for each element, so you can have 5k/20k/40k each. Finally, chunks are processed all at once, so chunk processing speed is how long it will take based on the density.
- Rosatom-Antonov MPU: Processing speed is 10 kg/s, power draw per chunk is 5 MW, storage size is 5,000 kg. Processing efficiency is 40% for both ore and remass (fuel). 350,000E cost.
- Nakamura MPU: Processing speed is 20 kg/s, power draw per chunk is 10 MW, storage size is 20,000 kg. Processing efficiency is 80% for ore, 50% for remass. 500,000E cost. Requires the Microseismic Drone (listed below).
- Mitsubishi-Airbus MSU: Processing speed is 100 kg/s, power draw per chunk is 150 MW, storage size is 40,000 kg. Processing efficiency is 90% for ore, 0% for remass. 900,000E cost.
With either of the MPUs, you can remain out in the ring for a much longer time thanks to the refueling you get while processing ore. The MSU doesn’t refuel, so while you can store an incredible amount of material, you’ll need either a large tank, or regular access to a Phage refueler station.
There are four options for autopilot, one of which is a ‘dummy’ plug. Supposedly the more expensive options are better at flying, but I can’t tell a whole lot of difference between them.
- Options include:
- Dummy plug: No features. Free!
- Basic autopilot Features: RCS 10,000E cost.
- Adaptive autopilot Features: RCS, Adaptation, HUD. 27,000E cost.
- Military-grade autopilot Features: RCS Optimization, Adaptation, HUD. 60,000E cost.
RCS is short for ‘reaction control system’ which is another way to refer to the maneuvering thrusters (no idea why they didn’t just call it ‘thruster control’)
Adaptation may tie into the pilot’s skill with the adrenal slowdown.
HUD is Heads-Up Display, but I’m not sure what it shows in this case.
I can say for certain that a better autopilot is NOT smarter about overthrusting and compensating for it.
This is where you, as the player, are viewing from. You must have a drone, so there’s only one real upgrade.
- Recon Drone: The default drone, has no special features. 10,000E cost.
- Microseismic Drone: Upgraded drone, allows you to better view your cargo contents, and displays ore chunk content in m^3. Also required for at least one of the MSU cargo upgrades. 60,000E cost.
Storage for tug/haul/repair drones. Linear upgrades.
- Empty: No storage. Free!
- Basic: 1000 kg storage, 20 kg/s output (this equates to 200 drones per second) 20,000E cost
- Industrial: 5000 kg storage, 20 kg/s output. 120,000E cost.
- Military: 10,000 kg storage, 100 kg/s output (this equates to 1000 drones per second) 250,000E cost
Few final notes about upgrades: consumables are refilled for free when you go back to the primary station. Consumables have mass, obviously, and can make your thrusters less effective. Everything mounted to your hardpoints is enabled by default when you start a ring dive (even if you turned it off before), this is especially important for drones.
It appears that the pool of potential crew members refreshes with every visit to the station after a ring dive (exiting and reloading doesn’t refresh), or it refreshes after a certain number of in-game days.
Each crew member has both an education level, and an experience level listed, as well as their salary, and their effect on each skill (not their total skill).
Education and Experience seem to have very vague effects on their skills, as someone with ‘self taught’ can be better at something than another with ‘master’.
You can hire as many crew as you like, however, only 4 can be active on your ship at any given time (inactive crew don’t need to be paid). This means you can have one of each crew, or double up on one kind if they have unbalanced skills. For example:
Skill levels don’t stack, but if you really need both skills high leveled, it might be worth losing out on another member.
Pilots have the skills “Adrenal Slowdown” and “Course Anticipation”
- Adrenal Slowdown: This skill activates automatically when you are approaching or passing near massive objects (anything bigger than an ore chunk, but not a rescue beacon). The percentage does not affect the amount that time is slowed down, but instead seems to be based on distance from said objects, with higher percents activating from further away. Duration lasts as long as you are still moving close to the object (uncertain if there is a time limit however)
- Course Anticipation: This skill is a mystery to me, as one of the best pilots I can find only brings it to a 3.3s. It might influence calculated courses to notable locations (such as moonlets) and/or how quickly you can start returning to the station.
Astrologers have the skills “Tactical Awareness Range” and “Coordinate Tracking Time”
- Tactical Awareness Range: This skill appears to be linked to the minimap and the ring of colored lines around your ship in certain places (mine appears to be broken right now). It would give you more time to determine where objects are relative to you.
- Coordinate Tracking Time: This skill determines how long you can keep track of notable locations (other than the station) inside your J menu. Skill level will tell you exactly how long they will remain (27d 10h with a high-level skill for example)
Geologists have the skills “Price Prediction Accuracy” and “Mineral Discovery Range”
- Price Prediction Accuracy: This skill is misnamed, as it actually covers the prediction of the ore content of any given chunk. I have seen one ore chunk read as having one value and kg, then when the HUD loses and refocuses, it will have new values. As these are estimations, don’t rely on them too heavily unless you have a very high percentage. As a side note, simply having a geologist will allow you to identify what ore is in each chunk, useful in the case of W, V, Pd, and Pt, as they have nearly identical appearances.
- Mineral Discovery Range: This skill determines how far away your HUD will detail the contents of ore chunks. However, there appears to be a limit to how many chunks can be ‘discovered’ at a time, so it may actually be beneficial to have a mid or low level in this skill, depending on how much you like chasing minerals that didn’t get tagged. The AI will sometimes un-tag chunks you have targeted, or just switch them around for no reason. Additionally, chunks that are next to, or touching your ship are much more likely to be un-tagged.
Mechanics have the skills “Repair Limit” and “Jury-rig Efficiency”
- Repair Limit: This skill directly affects repairing components at the station. Each time you repair, it will take away approximately half of the current component damage, up to the limit set by this skill. Repairs are cheaper than full replacements, unless it takes more than 3 repairs to fix it, and repairs also tend to take longer (except for reactors), so this skill is only useful with light damage.
- Jury-rig Efficiency: This skill affects ‘repairs’ during a ring dive. Using the J menu for maintenance, you can adjust HP from one of three bars on each component. Higher efficiency means you can go much further with these repairs, but it also means you can’t really fine-tune the transfer.
Repairs, Tuning and Logs
This screen will become very familiar to you, unless you’re very lucky and a very careful pilot.
This is where you go to lick your wounds after that encounter with a pirate, getting too close to another miner, or just not slowing down enough before you hit that asteroid.
There are two options for repairs: Repairing it yourself, and outright Replacing it.
Repair table is currently being worked on. I will post a link to a google doc when it is completed, or close to complete.
Repair level shows the current worst damaged portion of the component. If it shows 80% – 60% – 60%, then the component will be marked as 20% (hp remaining). After about 80% damage, you will be unable to start a ring dive until you repair/replace the offending component
Here, you can fine tune certain aspects of your ship.
- Main Thruster: Higher thrust makes it more powerful, lower thrust reduces wear.
- Maneuvering Thrusters: Higher thrust makes it more powerful, lower thrust reduces wear.
- Reactor: Higher temperatures output more power, lower temperatures give you more buffer if you get a leak or jam.
- On-Board computer
- Autopilot velocity limit: Limits how fast autopilot can be set, will attempt to bring the ship speed down to this level if manual flying is faster than this.
- Proximity Alert: The distance at which you can be from an object before the audible warning starts.
- Autopilot Leeway Tolerance: “Tune how strictly the autopilot will adhere to a plotted course. Higher values improve remass economy, lower ones will cause better accuracy.” (I have no idea how this actually works)
- Autopilot Drift Tolerance: “Tune how strictly autopilot will adhere to a set velocity. Higher drift tolerance will improve remass economy, lower ones will improve accuracy.” (Also clueless on this one)
- Microseismic Scanner focus: This adjusts how far forward (higher value) or back (lower value) the scanner will focus. As far as I can tell, this only influences the readings on your own ship, and is best set at or near 0.
This screen will detail everything you’ve done on the current save within the last few (in-game) months, with breakdowns on every detail you might want to know. This includes anything that involves money or resources. It’s a useful screen if you forgot what you did last time you played. There’s so many different things it covers, that it’d be easier to look at it, than it would be to read about it here. Clicking the eye button next to entries also gives you more details about that particular transaction or event.