This page is a compendium of useful tricks and hints. If you find a useful trick that isn't on the list, please add it.

  • Your map's Show Patrol Routes feature is invaluable for finding Jump Holes or outlaw bases. If you find a patrol route leading into deep space and follow it, chances are it'll lead you to at least one of the two. This goes double if you find two or more routes that look like they might converge.
  • When you take a mission to affect your reputation, know that who you took it from is much more important that who you're killing. If you take a mission to kill a faction's enemies, but got the mission from a third faction who are also their enemies, you'll actually end up worse off than before. It may be better to find and camp a base full of someone everyone hates, like Xenos or Corsairs; slower, but safer.
  • It is possible for a mission target to spawn inside a deadly hazard, such as a minefield or the corona of a sun. If you're very lucky, the target may be in just the right place to spawn and then be destroyed, but usually when this happens your best bet is to just abandon the mission entirely.
  • If you get as far as having a class-10 ship, get Nomad guns for it since they consume no power. Having even a couple if them can tilt the balance of energy consumption and let you fire forever, even if your other guns are very power-hungry ones like photon or tachyon weapons.
  • If a missile is fired at you while you are in a debris field, the missile can sometimes be dodged by caroming off an asteroid. This doesn't seem to do any damage, and the sharp turn causes the missile to lose its lock. Note that this doesn't work on Cruise Disruptors, because nothing works on cruise disruptors.
  • The listed range of your weapons is much less important then the projectile speed. Faster projectiles mean less travel time means more accuracy, so a high-muzzle-velocity weapon such as a tachyon or laser gun will serve you well.
  • Always, always, always have one pulse cannon equipped. It doesn't matter how effective your guns are against their shields if their shields are gone after three hits.
  • If the police scan you while you are carrying contraband, immediately head for the nearest Trade Lane. Even if you run out of time and they attack, everything will still be forgotten as soon as you're out of sight. Don't head for a base, though; those tend to turn hostile if you defy the police, and unlike Trade Lanes they have the power to deny you landing permission.
  • If there is a long line to use a Jump Gate, select a member of the group currently using it and enter formation with them. Even if you lose formation, you still get automatically bumped to the head of the line.
  • While in Go-to or Dock mode, your ship can autonomously navigate around hazards such as asteroids and suns. However, you may wish to take the helm yourself to avoid particularly nasty threats, such as radiation fields or powerful mines.
  • When in doubt, the F1 key is your friend.
  • Your Ship is your Friend too.
  • If you plan to camp an area, take time in between enemies to blast any commodities you don't want. That way, you can use your tractors freely without needing to jettison the same junk over and over.
  • You can get rid of the lining-up sequence for Trade Lanes with this trick. Select Dock to get yourself perfectly lined up with the correct Lane ring, switch to Free-flight for the approach, then hit Dock again just as you're about to break the plane of the Lane ring. If you do it perfectly, the gap between dropping out of cruise speed and being whisked away by the Lane can be reduced to less than two seconds, very useful if you're fleeing enemies. However, if you overshoot, you'll have to loop around and try again.
  • The way to know which dock ring will be used is simply by getting 700-800m close to it and looking on the metal framing. The dock you'll be using will have a green light. This is your lane (on the other side it's the other ring that's green lighted). Very useful if you want to use Shift + W and never stop until the last second before docking.
  • The above trick also works when docking with Jump Gates. For them, the sweet spot is just in front of the closed tips of the Gate's "petals". Note that you can't do this if there's a line; it just says "Dock in use, entering queue." Also works on bases, but the sweet spot is different for each pattern of station.
  • As an alternate to the above, if you have a long flight to make and don't want to sit through it, plot a Best Path on your navmap, set your contacts list to Important, then hit T (next target) and then F3 (dock) each time reach an objective. Unless you encounter enemies or a gap between Trade Lanes greater than 9km, you can travel clear across civilized space this way without even looking up from your book.
  • You can break out of a Trade Lane in the middle by hitting Esc. This is useful for reaching objectives whose closest approach is in the middle of the Lane, as otherwise you'd have to fly all the way from the endpoint.
  • If you dock with a Trade Lane at the next-to-last ring, it won't have time to decelerate you at the end and will catapult you forward a good kilometer past the last ring. If you are smuggling something, this is a good way to reduce the police's window of opportunity for scanning you.
  • Enemies use predictive targeting to shoot at you, so mess them up by avoiding straight-line movements. Make lots of curving and spiraling motions, and pulse your thruster to keep your speed unpredictable as well.
  • Use your thruster a lot. It sinks enemy accuracy by an amazing degree.
  • If you get jumped by a group of hostiles but you're trying to avoid angering their faction any more, find the patrol leader (identifiable by his better ship, or by the fact that the lock-on display doesn't call him Escort-anything), then blast him until he's almost but not quite dead. He should then flee the scene, and if he does the rest of the patrol will follow.
  • House heavy fighters are only sold on battleships (even Rheinland, which only has the one). The Bounty Hunter heavy fighter (generally the best one for that phase of the game) is only sold on Kusari planets.
  • Never ignore anyone's attacks because you have a strong shield. A squadron's worth of continuous, undodged fire from anything will break through any shield eventually.
  • Many enemies encountered during the Single Player Plot (especially the Rheinlanders and Nomads) are scaled-down versions much weaker than the same ships encountered afterward in open-world mode. Just because you've gotten stronger since the end of the storyline, doesn't mean they'll be easier to beat. The opposite holds true for Liberty Navy fighters of Mission 11. These fighters carry nomad weaponry and are much stronger than any Navy ship encountered in the open world.

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