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).