First, some basics on the Control & UI:
To fly, touch/click anywhere in space. Your ship will head towards the designated location and inertia will carry it forward. To stop, touch/click near or on your ship.
To orientate yourself in space, Navigation Icons on the edge of the screen indicate the approximate direction to an object of interest: stations or jump points. To dock, just fly on top of a station and the ship will come to a stop & auto-dock to bring up menu icons. Beware, the game goes on while docked, so plan ahead!
To purchase modules, select a type to bring up a list of available modules. Drag & drop into the correct slot to buy.
Trading is quick & easy with a simple touch/click to buy/sell. All stations can also re-arm launchers.
Once you have some Mk1 modules & missiles, embark on combat missions! The easiest missions are given at the Al Dhanab Guild HQ. Harder & more rewarding missions are given at the Gemini Guild HQ. Do not do combat mission in the starting Nomad with no modules!
You can free-roam in the 33 systems available, but note that they are controlled by different factions which may either be hostile or friendly towards you, based on your actions. White Star systems are neutral Civilian/Militia, Blue systems belong to the United Security Confederation, Red systems belong to the Yamada Conglomerate & Yellow systems belong to the Space Tiger Triad (Pirates).
Below the Star Map is the dynamic faction standing indicator, Green = ally, Crosshair = enemy. In Star Nomad, it’s definitely true that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.
To start, purchase a permanent Mining Laser (Turret, 25,000 Cr) upgrade at the Shipdock.
Mine-able asteroids have a target circle. When mined with a laser, it will explode into fragments.
Fly over fragments (small roids with a green dot) with the cargo menu open to scoop up the ores!
Mine-able asteroids will spawn in systems with Mining (typically higher quality) and Refinery Stations. Some pirate systems will also have very high quality roids for you to mine, but beware of the locals! Mining is a very profitable activity from the start, with good yields in Pyrenees and decent yields in Melfina, both relatively safe systems.
Each asteroid has a hidden quality value that determines which fragments you obtain when mining. Regions outside the starter Al Dhanab offers rare & expensive ores such as Exonite or the ultra-rare Phanium! Both of which fetch the best prices at Refineries.
[General Game Mechanics]
- Losing a fight and exploding happens often in Star Nomad, but don’t worry! Insurance will ease the pain! Ships beyond the starter Nomad will refund ~85% of their value. Some modules that get lost also recover all of their credit value.
- Your progress is saved when you: Jump, un-dock at stations, Accept or Complete/Fail a mission. You can resume story missions by talking to the previous NPC, or in the later missions, re-entering the relevant system to re-try.
- There IS friendly fire.
- There’s an NPC that can reset your Faction Standing.
- Factions will like you if you kill their enemies and vice versa.
- IF you become a pirate, you will lose access to HQ missions & some story mission NPCs will refuse to talk to you.
- If militia patrols catch you smuggling Contraband, you lose some faction rep with them. Get caught a few times, they will flag you a criminal.
- Pay attention to merchant SOS! It shows where the pirates are so you can either fight or avoid them.
[Combat Mechanics & Tips]
- Your turrets will auto-fire on nearby hostiles (focus on first target in-range until it dies). You control the usage of modules & missiles as well as movement.
- Your missiles are Friend-or-Foe types, which auto seek enemies on screen once launched. It will always seek the same enemy until it’s killed then a new target is added.
- Your Missiles fly in the direction of your ship facing if there are no hostiles onscreen. Use this if you want to gank merchants to start your pirating career!
- Generally its a VERY BAD IDEA to park your ship and just tank it. You are meant to move, always in combat, for two reasons: 1) you zig-zag to avoid most of the turret fire (projectile types can be avoided) & 2) increase the time it takes for enemy missiles to reach you, allowing the point defense to cycle through most of them.
- Enemy Missiles are very dangerous. Upgrade Point-Defense first!
- Most ships hate being EMPd, it’s not cool to EMP friendlies, they may get angry enough to try and blow you up.
- In Fleet missions, your goal is to keep the friendly fleet alive so they can tank for you. You can do this by staying close, letting your point defense protect them, also if your shield/energy are good, move closer to the threat to draw some fire. If the friendly fleet dies, you will be focused fired upon by the remaining hostiles!
- It’s easiest to start as a trader, the routes around Al Dhanab are relatively safe. A good run is from Pyrenees to Melfina (Ores/Isotopes & Fuel on the return trip), another one is Alderbran (Luxury Foods) to Al Dhanab (Beer).
- Alternatively, start as a Cargo mission runner (take delivery missions from Al Dhanab). You have nothing to lose, but an adventure to gain by traveling across the sector.
- Even the Nomad can fight, once you give it Hawkeye missiles & a Point Defense Mk1. Try to find pirates fighting traders or militia and go for the killing blow with your missiles, you get the credit rewards! Yes, kill-stealing is legit (NPCs often do it to you.. grrr)!
- I recommend doing the Pyrenees/Melfina trade run, earn some creds and get the Point Defense Mk2 as the first upgrade, before upgrading your ship.
- Earn some credits, buy a Stiletto Fighter then do missions at the Al Dhanab Guild. Escort missions are quite fun in Star Nomad, since it often turns into a huge brawl with militia forces joining the fray.
- Yes you can smuggle illegal stuff (Contraband) & sell Exotic Dancers to Pleasure Domes, its highly lucrative but risky.
- The EMP module is extremely important, used both as offensive & defensive measures. When you encounter a group of enemies on approach, EMP in front of them. Their missiles will fly into the EMP and be destroyed, they will fly into the EMP and their turrets will be knocked out for some time!
- I highly suggest the Galaxy as an early upgrade for those who wish to partake in trade, smuggling & combat. It’s slightly less effective than the Centurion for combat (1 turret) but its still very good due to twin launchers & strong shields (Shield Boost module scale based on max shields).
- You can proceed with the story missions in Gemini by talking to Erica Price. The first few missions can be completed with a Stiletto with Mk1 modules (Point Defense Mk2!). The rest can completed with a Centurion or Galaxy with Mk2 modules. The late story missions require more firepower and the briefing will warn you of such.
- Gemini Guild HQ is balanced for Centurion/Galaxy with Mk2 modules, some high reward (25K+) missions are difficult unless you have the Point Defense Mk3.
- Gemini HQ Combat missions are very lucrative, due to the high reward as well as lots of enemies to kill for bonus credits.
- Pirate systems are very dangerous, if you seek business there, do it quick, get in & out. Even if you defeat a guardian fleet, reinforcements will come quickly.
- The final few Prelude missions are balanced for all 3 Frigates, with Mk3 modules (Mk4 is not required if you fly well).
- Try to fight near Jump Points so if the crap ever hits the fan, you can jump out. Story Missions will reset allowing you to return and try it again.
- Recall that the game continues while you are docked (pesky pirates shooting you while you are loading up on Exotic Dancers!!), it works BOTH ways: You can reload Missiles & Torpedos whilst in combat if you dock. It’s a valid tactic and one that should be used!
- Most mid-game+ Story Missions can be re-tried by entering the relevant system again, if you died or jump out mid-mission and it fails, just head back in to continue/retry.
- The campaign missions are varied but often involve big battles. The objective of fleet fights are always to ensure you help keep your allied fleets alive.
- The first “To be continued…” or “Prelude Completed” scene in Gemini is only half-way! To proceed on the new plot, exit the system & return to talk to Erica Price in Gemini until she asks to you to go find Kikyo. Then find Kikyo somewhere nearby to proceed.
- Do NOT start the Zero Sum (latter 1/2 campaign) missions without a maxed Frigate, its made for end-game challenge.
- The “Zero Sum” missions will test even the best pilots, often requiring perfect movement and positioning as well as timing of ability/torpedo usage. Do not wade into it expecting an easy ride, bring your A-game or you’ll be in a life-pod!
[Cheat Mode] ** Don’t read it since cheating ruins the sense of exhilaration **
If you’ve read down this far, it’s obvious you really need help playing, so here’s the ultimate tip! If you want to be a sissy (queue Arnold voice) “girly man”… before you get blown up, pause the game, quit & restart (or on mobiles, clean memory to remove the game from running in the background, then restart). It will miraculously resume at your last saved point (at your last jump point entry).
I used to play on PC a game called “Freelancer”. By my opinion there has not been a space-fighter/trader game as hoid as that one ever since.
This game has potential! It is easy to learn, easy to dock. But it also has lots you need to find out and learn. I would like more neutral sectors where you were on no mans land. A smugglers sector if you will.
More ships to buy and with a random loot system. Some really rare drops should occur when fifhting pirates. Like 0,5% chance of drop or even rarer than that.
Check out the game Freelancer, it still lives! Players made mods and expanded the original universe and all.
Your wonderful game could get some dusty but good ideas from Freelancer, wing comander to something sparkling new. With the great idea you’ve shown us. Less is so much more, but still requires skills and a bit of slyness. 😉
I play Star Nomads on ipad Air.
Keep developing this game. This coukd get a “cult game” status, which is rare now a days!
Thank you for the great feedback. Star Nomad is a spacesim-lite, with a focus on the story line & characters, in the vein of Privateer & the original Freelancer rather than X3 or other more complex full-on spacesims.
In Star Nomad 2 (If I ever make enough $ to justify working on it), I’ll retain the easy to use UI & flight controls, but expand it to include the more typical “full-on” spacesim features: mining asteroids & harvesting nebulas, full production/crafting system, create ships for squadrons or fleets, assign missions to your squad/fleet (combat roles as well as NPC mining/harvesters!), conquer systems and build stations, static defenses and production facilities. It’ll also be online.
How I envision combat would work: You control your player’s ship, while the AI will fly the squad or fleet, with selectable “personalities” that you give it. You can issue a few simple orders via icons (focus target, go-to, defend).
Such a large scope for a project is doomed to fail if I were to attempt it alone, so in the meantime, I will focus on smaller less-complex games until when I can afford to commit to a mega-project.
Grew up on Escape Velocity & EV Override/Nova. Thanks for an excellent mobile game that brings me right back to those classics!
First of all, thanks for this great game!
Please tell me, how may I find NPC that can reset my Faction Standing?
Hi Igor, Thanks. The Hacker NPC is located in Saigon system, on the bottom left.
Just started playing your game. I’ve been in the market for a space trader / galaxy on fire kinda game. I’ve only just started the trade runs and finally figured out how not to get killed by every pirate I ran into.
The only grief I have with this game is that the “waypoints?” like stations and wormholes / warps are hidden in the corners of the screen behind the starmap icon and the zoom/pause icon. I didn’t realize that there was a domed station as well as the mercenary station in Al Dhanab so I had no where to sell my luxury food.
I’m still missing my local system map (which doesn’t seem to exist in this game. I guess believed that the waypoint icons would be sufficient for local exploring :).
Great game otherwise and nice music too.
I noticed it looked like the music was streamed over the internet, does this mean this game needs a constant connection?
Again, great game. Hope you raise enough for a v2!
Hi John, thanks for leaving a comment.
I wanted to keep it simple so I went with the nav icons without need to bring up a system map. Each system is just a bunch of different jump points and a station or two so its simplistic enough, or so I thought. 🙂 Its true the nav icons stack up it can get confusing, but you fly around a bit and soon it reveals itself.
The music is streamed from your local installation since I don’t buffer music into memory to keep memory usage low (~20MB total!), when a track is called, it loads that one off the storage into memory. It’s around a 1 second delay for music tracks.
There’s no need for internet connection to play, you can turn off data/wi-fi and it will run just fine. Great for long trips.
I haven’t raised enough for SN2, but I’m still doing it anyway! It’ll be my last hurrah (since I’ve learnt so much making SN1, its given me confidence to embark on my “Dream Game”), if once its out and I can’t pay my bills being a gamedev, I’ll have to get a “proper/normal job”.
Glad to hear that you are going ahead with SN2. Can’t wait to see your dream game.
So I traded up to a Galaxy to get more cargo space. I have mk 2 shields and weapons. Decided to make the beer run from Al Dhanab to Arrakis? When I was attacked by pirates! Needless to say, I was in a life pod not soon there after. But, what I didn’t expect was to be back in my starter ship! ACK! You’re so mean. I needed to take a break after that, the loss was just too much 😉 I’ll be more careful and better armed next time….
It’s in the app description, when you die in ships beyond starter, you lose it. Luckily its not a complete loss, insurance refunds 75% of ship value in credits, and all your modules are fully refunded (if they are lost).
Get the point defense mk2 first! Pirates are dangerous due to missile spam, they love their missiles. As soon as you take that out of the equation, they are pretty easy to run away from. Also an EMP Mk1 helps a lot to run away, as they are can’t fire on you for awhile.
I’m probably a masochist but I think having a death penalty adds to the fun. :p
Dude I’m LOVING this game. I’ve been playing for about 3 days straight now and pumped your working on 2!!!! Also I just have to ask, where in the heck can I find some contraband? Been looking all over the place. You should add a donate feature because I would gladly! Thanks for this amazing game.
If you love it, you can help me by leaving a good review on the stores & letting your buddies who love sci-fi know of it so they can have a go.
Pirate bases sell Contra & Exotic Dancers. The yellow systems on the Star Map are pirate owned. Be careful with Contra smuggling, run for it if Militia patrols catch you, don’t fight them unless you want to be perma-flagged as a pirate yourself. 🙂
I’d like to have some closed testers of SN2 later on during alpha/beta, if you’re keen, just send me an email: email@example.com and I’ll add you to the mailing list (don’t worry, no spam ever).
Hello realy nice game
Erika ask me to find kikyo but i cant find them
Kikyo is in Corelis, at the Refinery.
Hello halfgeekstudios! We’ve spoken briefly on Steam, but I wanted to add to the wall here. The game is fantastic and I can’t wait to get a taste of SN2! This is a brilliantly simple yet deep enough game to be enjoyable for hours upon hours! I could live in a universe game like this online. I don’t fear a super harsh penalty for death like I did in Eve, but there is a penalty to let you know, “Don’t get over zealous unless you want to keep losing money and cargo!” It has nice touches all around and you have definitely earned my support for a future in this style of game!
Don, I hope you like what I’ve shown so far with SN2. If you have features you want to see or do, don’t hesitate to discuss it with me via email.
Is there any chance you intend on supporting modding? For example, I’ve been trying to extract (what I think are) the archives nw.pak and package.nw to get a look at the data files for the game, but I can’t find a working extractor. My hobby would be much easier if you let us know what binary formats you used and how to extract/assemble the archive files.
“The first “To be continued…” or “Prelude Completed” scene in Gemini is only half-way! To proceed on the new plot, exit the system & return to talk to Erica Price in Gemini until she asks to you to go find Kikyo. Then find Kikyo somewhere nearby to proceed.”
I can’t find Kikyo anywhere and whenever I reenter the Gemini system I get the whole mission dialogue again when I talk to Erica Price, is that working as intended and where are you suppose to find Kikyo, since I’ve visit most of the systems.
Kikyo is in Corelis, at the Refinery.
how to fix the relationship with the yamadas? I`ve done 4 quests at the yamada HQ for kikyo, then I did some friendly-fire to the yamada fleet. now they are attacking me and their HQ refuse to provide further missions for me. I find the hacker in saigon but he told me that he was under surveillance. I`m a little confused here.
Go kill some Confed ships and keep an eye on the faction indicator on the Star Map. Good hunting!
and, do we have a chance to command a yamato or iowa battleship in the game?
Soon, you’re nearly up to it! 🙂
i`ve killed more than 10 waves of confed ships in their system. but i`m still red with the yamadas,how many more should i kill?
It depends on how many Yamada Ships you killed. Its normally a 1:3 ratio, so if you killed 1 Yamada ship, you need to kill 3 Confed to make up for it.
In the worse case scenario, there’s a cap. It takes ~70 enemy ship kills to reverse a full negative rep.
Are you on iOS by any chance? I’ve submitted an update to Apple awhile ago, it should make it easier to fix rep via kills.
yes,i play star nomad on ios, i`ll check for update
Update for iOS submitted to Apple but it takes them awhile to approve & make it online. It should be up anytime now. Lots of changes in the update to make it more like the Steam PC build, along with bug-fixes & a re-done faction rep system.
Edit: You’ve encountered a bug that’s only present in the iOS version, in that part of the story if you accidentally kill too many Yamada ships, you are perma-flagged to “enemy”. Because the Hacker NPC is disabled for the story, you can’t fix it. I’ll make an update so that the Hacker NPC is functional for that specific section, resetting the rep as not not break the story missions. It’s something I had fixed for the PC & Android build already but updating for iOS is a very slow process.
I tried to meet kikyo one more time in corelis.Somehow she gave me the next mission while i thought I`ve only done 4 missions in yamada HQ. Now I `ve finished the game! I started a second play through. I hope to see another star nomad!
Nice, congrats! A lot of players say the latter missions are very difficult, so it’s a great achievement that you’re able to beat it! 😀 I’m working hard on SN2 now. It’ll be much better. 🙂
Does anyone have advice for taking out the USC fleet, I chose to be a pirate, but it’s impossible, thinking about just restarting
Avoid them until you have some good equips. EMP then run for it if you encounter them.
Can I make a Suggestion? What about a Distress call that can be upgraded to have a better chance of not having pirates responding to it and maybe even have a faction your in good standing respond in more force depending on how your notability is? You could even use it as a trap as a pirate!
I think the game is great.I think maybe you should add in more systems and different stations.Maybe a function to hire mercenaries to protect you.
only 7 type of ship I can use at star nomad elite? I wish u can tell me where is zenith place like NPC said that place have all prototype of ship.
You unlock more as you progress in the story line.
Hey, can you tell me how long you need for the sequel? I really love the first game.
Star Nomad 2 is also on Android, it’s not a direct storyline sequel though.
I have a question for you sir: after dying more times than I can count to the “warn Palan” mission, it no longer is showing up as a mission. I go to the sector with my newly minted ship and there’s no green mission crosshairs anymore. I can’t speak to Kikiyo at Corelis (I thought maybe I had to re-trigger the mission), I can’t speak to Erica at Gemini. It’s like the game has given up on me, which is fitting because I was getting so frustrated at the mission I am considering just giving up. A shame since I never got to pilot a Yamato :c. It was a fun game until the missions started becoming (in my opinion) not about skill but luck. When you have died enough times to make 2 million credits go below the amount you need to get your ship back maybe it’s time to pack it in.
I played this game because I saw Star Nomad 2 and it looked really neat. If it’s difficulty spike is like this, however I think I will pass, sorry. I feel like we have been stuck in a frigate for 90% of Star Nomad 1 with no additional upgrade options to help mitigate the rapid increase in difficulty with the post prelude missions.
Shon, the latter half of Star Nomad is very difficult, more in some Frigates than others. The Hyperion works the best for these missions due to it’s AoE damage output. Combination of the C-Beam AoE and Torpedo AoE means you can kite large groups, and decimate them all as they clump together. I have to check, but this sounds like a very strange bug for the mission not being active. The Yamato becomes yours after finishing that Palan incident mission.
Star Nomad 2 is not as difficult, since you can select your own difficulty modes. It’s also a very different game, more dynamic sandbox, less hold your hand story driven.
Thanks for the rapid reply and the gameplay tip! If its possible to reactivate that mission again I will definitely try a Hyperion instead (I never really played with it because I was scared to be without my drones lol)
I will also definitely try Star Nomad 2 now that you’ve explained it a little more, and want to support you since you have made games about space capital ships in a market where no one really cares about them! Kudos, sir.
Thanks, if you do get Star Nomad 2, please do not skip the short text tutorial at the start. After that, there’s no more hand holding and so you have to decide what to do, where to go, make your own story in a dynamic universe. There’s also 2 flight modes for mobiles, the option to toggle them is in the Title Screen (lower right). 🙂
Awesome! Don’t worry I’m not the type to skip tutorials, as you can see I’m not a good enough gamer to get away with that 😉