Elite Dangerous Basics Guide by weareallhumans
Starting ain’t easy, especially if you haven’t had the chance to play the game during alpha-beta-gamma. Read below to get pointers on how to start out with the least amount of pain possible.
How to download: Log in to the official store. The download link should be in your account dashboard. (Click “My Account” at the top-right, then “My Downloadble Products” on the left.)
If that does not work, take a look at this thread in the official forums.
If you already have the game installed you may be able just to patch up and run.
1) Play all three flight tutorials (Docking Training: Launch/Docking and Travel Training) until you are comfortable with your key/pad/stick bindings. Then play at least the first two combat tutorials until you are comfy with that, too. They are accompanied by videos on the right hand side when selected.
Doing that will teach you the basic skills you need to do anything in the game. Without that, you will have a bad time.
It is generally advisable to play anything that involves flight with at least a joystick, so if you have troubles using keyboard/mouse maybe look into getting a stick or, even better, a HOTAS (joystick plus throttle).
CTRL+F toggles a framerate display, CTRL+B for network bandwidth.
2) If you want more in-depth knowledge, there are a TON of great tutorials and explanations on Youtube.
The videos are mostly from pre-release stages currently, so some information will be outdated but the basic and intermediate parts will be covered.
Also take note of CMDR Boden’s Tips & Tricks – and there are gigatons more informative posts and videos out there if you search for them.
4) Game modes
While the offline mode has been scrapped and you have to be online to play, you can still choose to play in one of three possible modes. All three offer the same functionality, the only difference is in player interaction and group makeup. All three modes happen in the same persistent universe, so e.g. if a solo player exhausts a trade route, every player in open, group, and other solo players will feel it.
Open – open world with everyone else that plays open. You will meet peaceful traders, honorable pirates and crazy murderers alike, on both the NPC and PVP front.
Group – groups can be made up freely, and if you run in a group, you will only ever meet the players in that group. All sorts of NPCs as above.
Solo – You are the only player in your universe, everybody else is NPCs.
If you want to play with a friend, check this thread on the official forums. Social tools are currently very barebone and will hopefully be improved upon soon.
5) Death and Taxes
You will eventually die. Your ship is automatically insured, so you will continue the game from the last station you saved at (losing all collected exploration data and all bounties placed on you). You can either choose a free basic Sidewinder or rebuy all or part of your previous ship. If you don’t have enough money you can take up a loan. The loan will eat 10% of all your profits until it is paid back. If your loan goes over a certain limit, you can only go on using the free Sidewinderconfirmation? or clear your save.
As an alternative you can clean your save and start over at any time – very useful if you are just starting out and experimenting.
The promised Ironman mode has not been seen yet. Current knowledge is that you can start in Ironman, but upon death you can only play on in Open/Group/Solo and have to clean your save before playing Ironman again, starting over.
6) Pause function
There is no pause, the universe ticks on. You can press ESC and choose “Save and Exit to Main Menu” instead. Note that if you are in danger when doing that (attacked by anyone) your ship stays in place for 15 seconds before you are out.
7) Game issues
If you have a problem with the game, open a support ticket on the official support site. That is the only way to get the company to look into it.
8) Fines and bounties
(See the bounty hunting and piracy Youtube links above)
Currently almost every cargo canister you scoop up is marked as STOLEN (players can choose to abandon cargo, which will then be fair game). If an authority ship scans you (e.g. during docking) you will get a fine for carrying stolen cargo. Shooting at someone, even accidentally, that did not shoot at you first, will make you WANTED in the local system, also net you a fine for ASSAULT – if you destroy their ship, the fine will be much higher, since it was MURDER.
You can pay off a fine at a station in the CONTACTS menu. If you do not do that, it will turn into a bounty after 24hconfirmation? so make sure you want that if you choose to ignore the fine.
9) Running out of fuel
Your ship has two tanks – a main and a reserve. The main tank is used at any time except for a jump, the fuel consumed to power your ship. The reserve tank is used for jumps between systems and for re-filling the main tank.
If your reserve is empty, you cannot jump to other systems. If your main tank is empty, it automatically refills from the reserve. If both tanks are empty, your ship explodes.
If you carry a Fuel Scoop, you can refill at almost all stars – fly close, it activates automatically and gathers fuel depending on your distance to the star (closer is better, but also hotter – you can explode from heat damage if you don’t take care).
If you have no scoop and are out of juice, you can only wait for the main tank to become empty or use the Self Destruct function on the right-hand GUI panel.