I also will not talking about such as "best weapon for this area" on this guide, because I think it is better to let you create your own playstyle. Choose your favorite gear and define your own strategy to use them effectively. But if you still need guidance, seek out Kourtius thread for choosing best equipment such as weapon or ship.
So let get started!
The New Beyond
For a starter system, Eridani is quite big. Here we will encounter a lot of weak enemies that even can be one-shot kill in Challenge mode. Still don't let your guard down though because you sometimes will face stronger one like Viking. Highest available equipment level you can find here is level 3. If you lucky enough, you may find level 4 equipment (usually armors) among the shop; though they are expensive.
1. Beginning of Benedict and Fiona Arc
As you begin to play the game, you will spawn near a station called Sister of Domina. Dock on it to start your first mission. Here you will meet Benedict, a mercenary that serve the Sister of Domina. He will guide you basic stuff about playing the game.
1a. Know The Basic/Chapter 1: Training Day
The first mission is to destroy three TA3 auton. Pretty much easy task, except if you are really a newbie and haven't getting used to flying your ship. And also Benedict count time based on in-game time, not actual time. So don't be surprised if Benedict said you destroyed the autons within more than ten minutes while actually finish within several seconds.
In the second mission, Benedict will ask you to help Commonwealth habitat. Go there and accept whatever mission they offer. Usually destroying other station, but if you installed custom mission mods you will sometime get another. After completing habitat mission, go back to Benedict again. If you got destroy enemy station mission and didn't loot the station. He will ask you to loot that station. In rare case you get unlucky with station with empty loot. Don't worry, it will spawn single Centauri rice when this happen. This additional mission will different if you accept other mission type though. Instead, Benedict will ask you to destroy Centauri station by yourself.
After that, you will instructed to sell loot, installing weapon, and exploring the system. Take your time in this one. You can either run mission from other station or destroy enemy station for loot and sell it on shop to get cash. Be sure you upgrade your equipments. I recommend installing WMD weapon or launcher if you could afford it because next mission you will facing multihull station (you need WMD weapon to damage them effectively). If you start with low tier reactor (e.g. you pick Wolfen/C), it's better to upgrade reactor as soon as possible before you onto better weapon or shield. When you ready, go talk to Benedict again to accept last training mission.
The last mission is to destroy a strong enemy station. This either Abbasid, Anarchist, or Urak.
- Abbasid has strong wall around them and strayed by two laser arrays is quite hurt, but most easy one and have a lot of loot in wrecks around them. You can snipe them from afar with missile launcher
- Anarchist is rather weak, but their defender come up with large number and it's pretty annoying getting stung by hornets. You can bait them far from their station and kill them on straight line.
- Urak is most harder one because they guarded by sentinel that very strong against laser and kinetic, yet their station shoot slam cannon that does a lot of damage for early level. Make sure your ship is ready. Destroy the station as fast as you can before they calling reinforcement.
Whatever enemy you facing with, it always guarantee Rasiermesser Smart cannon drop. Take it and go back to Benedict. He will ask you to install that weapon. You can decline it, but it's highly recommended to install IF you don't have any better weapon.
1b. Protect Someone's Lover/Chapter 2: The Woman
After training, you will be tasked to escort a freighter from stargate back to Sister of Domina. Enemy ships from faction called Penitent will chase from the stargate so you have to protect them at all cost. What make this mission particularly dangerous is Penitent's weapon has high tier damage (dark acid) which able to rip through any armor including yours. Fortunately they only focused on freighter and EI7000 is strong enough against these penitent ships. Still, if you not careful enough, you might end up get wrecked easily.
Just keep shooting. Focus damaging on ship's front to finish them quickly. If you has installed Smart cannon, then you should not worry (although targeting system is annoyingly often confused with multiple target if you don't have installed targeting computer). It's also much better if you have launcher installed. Those blast damage from missile is really helpful. Once they destroyed, don't forget to loot. Atonement (the big one) has jewel of contemplation that worth to get. You can offer it to Domina and gain level on Domina's power.
2. Voluntering Yourself to Militia
In Starton Eridani, you can run some missions for Militia. Note this will not increase your rank in Militia and instead you will only stay as volunteer rank, but the cash reward is pretty nice. Here you will meet Captain Enrico Gaul, a Militia captain appear exclusively in Eridani; he may make you bit cranky though. There are three missions you can do for him:
2a. Intercept Drug Smuggler
As the name suggest, you need to intercept drug smuggler before they escape to stargate. Although it seems easy, you'll have to move and kill them fast because they wait no one. Common mistakes that players often make is follow them from behind. You should cut route to their front instead.
2b. Destroy Threat to Metropolis
Pretty much typical destroy station mission. The game will randomly pick the station so it may pick strong or weak target. Make sure you read what Enrico said before you go; those are hint about how strong the target is.
2c. Rescue Commonwealth Ship
This is interesting one. You need to investigate distress signal from a freighter ship. Once you dock, the freighter crew will inform you about pirate attack that resulting their chief engineer injured and need transported to Starton. Then more pirates detected inbound in their radar and the freighter is very defenseless. Now you can choose to save the Chief Engineer first or stay with the freighter crew; although you can even save them both. Regardless your choice, you still can complete the mission as long at least one of them survive. But in Eridani, these conditions rarely happen because the pirate wave is pretty weak. So it's pretty easy to save them both.
Note that these Militia volunteer mission is also available on other starton. You'll meet Captain Lia Pereira as mission giver. Those missions may a bit different from Eridani as these mission have their own level scale. So you might face more and tougher enemies when running these missions outside Eridani.
3. Helping Residential
On some occasion, Commonwealth Residential may spawn. This white round station have several missions which rewarding some good money; though they only give one mission per station. It is actually have one fixed spawn in Eridani, but it was used as lore for Pilgrim's home.
3a. Recover CO2 Scrubbers from Enemy Station
This mission orders you to destroy enemy station and take stolen CO2 scrubber back to residential. It's simple mission, except time limit is kinda broken. I personally don't recommend to accept this mission. Even latest update George has increased extra time for this mission, it still quite difficult to do mission perfectly. You will often get success with casualties if you not fast enough.
3b. Escort Ship
Pretty self explanatory. You just need to escort a ship to stargate and protect them from pirate. The level scale is quite fair. So you should have no difficulties protecting that ship even you receive this mission again in later game.
4. Grind Yourself with Mining
Just to be clear, this station have visual similarities with outlaw miners, but this is the legal one and allow you to get mining gears. Mining is quite lucrative deal, but also rather boring grind. I usually mining if I really desperate with money, but otherwise I don't really recommended it. It's good source of money if you dedicated for it. Anyway if you find Mining colony in Eridani, you can run some errands for them. Some mission only available if you equipped with mining weapon.
4a. Rescue Mining Ship
This mission used to be worthless, now it pays fairly. You need to rescue mining ship from Centauri warlords. Usually light raider, but in later level you might encounter heavy raider. After destroyed the warlords, you need to escort the ship back to Mining colony.
4b. Destroy Illegal Miners
This mission is to destroy outlaw miners that staked an illegal claim on one asteroid. Here you'll mostly face Borer and Hammerhead. Borer is easy to kill. Meanwhile Hammerhead is a little troublesome as they have shield and smaller hitbox.
4c. Excavate Cavern
This mission only appear if player has installed mining weapon. Here you'll meet a prospector who will give a tip about underground cavern full of ore, but you must pay for location. Once accepted, go there and shoot with your mining weapon. Once opened, loot any available ore there. It has 75% chance that all ore there worth more than what you paid to prospector. So sometime you might unlucky getting no profit.
4d. Destroy Threat to Mining Colony
This mission only appear if player has installed mining weapon. In this mission (or next mission), you'll introduced to colony supervisor called Muhammad Condi if it's your first time meet him; otherwise it will be generic unnamed supervisor. Condi will give you mission to destroy enemy station that has asteroid hull type station. Unlike multihull station, WMD weapon doesn't damage much against this station. Instead you have to use mining weapon to damage them more effectively.
4e. Rescue Trapped Miners
This mission only appear if player has installed mining weapon. Condi will order you to go to an asteroid mine and rescue miner that trapped there by accident. Use the mining weapon to dig them out and dock immediately when the structure appear. This mission is timer-based, so be quick before all miners dead.
5. Liberate Raisu Station from Centauri Warlords
Raisu station is a lonely station in one of trojan asteroids, cut off from rest of Eridani colonies. You will see it when running explore mission for Benedict. It guarded by Centauri warlords. You can destroy the raiders and dock to Raisu. However, you need to destroy at least three Centauri warlord camps to run this mission arc.
5a. Kill Arco Vaughn
After liberated Raisu station, you will tasked to kill Arco Vaughn by stationmaster there. Upon accepting, you will get something based on these conditions:
- If you don't have a launcher installed, then the stationmaster will give you DM1500 missile rack; not very useful despite strong tracking missile as it is can't be reload after emptied.
- If you have a launcher installed, then the stationmaster will give you appropriate level 3 tracking missile up to 48.
- If you have a launcher installed but the launcher don't have any tracking missile (e.g. Makayev Launcher), then the stationmaster will give you appropriate level 5 missile or below up to 48.
Arco is kinda unique enemy. While usually enemy will instantly attacking you upon sight, he is scripted to do warning shot to scare player. If you try shot him with weak weapon, he will laugh it off and taunt you. But if you using powerful weapon, he will immediately attack. Meanwhile, his ship also quite strong compared other Centauri heavy raider. Arco has armor that resist laser and kinetic yet he have a shield, so that's why having launcher is recommended. He also have strong weapon and launcher so be careful.
5b. Defend Raisu Station
Once Arco dead, Centauri warlords will send raiders to retaliate. You must defend Raisu station from two attack party. Focus on warlord party that attack the station first, then you can finish warlord that chase you.
5c. Destroy Centauri Settlement
Here you will face two choices that can affect your future adventure. These two choices is actually a bit off for me, but yeah... whatever. You can choose whatever you like.
- If you choose "Yeah, you're right.", you will be tasked to destroy Centauri warlord settlement located at Voerms. After finish them for good, you will get refuel and armor repair in Raisu with free of charge. Looks promising, but it's actually not particularly useful because eventually you will leaving system soon. But still, you can comeback and receive free service if you need to.
This choice also affect player relationship with Centauri warlord civilian. Every Centauri settlement will turn into hostile to you and you can destroy them as you want.
- If you choose "No, I've shed enough blood.", you instead will have to dock on Centauri warlord settlement located at Voerms. Upon docking, you will meet a Centaurian that will explain their current situation. Then this mission end just like that. You can return to Raisu and talk to stationmaster if you wish to.
However, this choice also will affect player relationship with Centauri warlord civilian. Now you will able to trade with Centauri settlement. A bit useful as you may find good items to buy and Centauri rice is very cheap in this station, but otherwise it's not particularly that great.
B. The New Beyond in general
There are some things that you need to know before you arrive to St.Katharine. You were expected to take your own way here due roguelike mechanic. Just keep looting and run errands for several station to earn cash. Get upgrade as soon as you can. Some missions may be encountered which most of them already mentioned above. Although some particular special mission do appear here.
1. Benedict Need a Hand/Chapter 3: Stormhound
Early on pre-Rigel systems, you will meet Benedict again at a Commonwealth Colony (usually on first-two systems). He will meet his contact codenamed as Stormhound to uncover info about Fiona. However, someone keep trailing him. So on his behalf, you will be tasked to meet the informant instead. Feel free to decline first because this mission is pretty hard if you are not prepared.
On the way to Stormhound, you will encounter Repentant ship. The slim ship that same with those chase Fiona before, now chasing you. As mentioned before, its damage-type is dark acid. If you don't have strong defense, you will die within few hits. With that said, you must destroy that ship as soon as you saw it. Tracking weapon and missile is recommended due its slim body that difficult to land hit. As soon it die, go meet Stormhound. Here he will reveal you some secret and information about Fiona and Benedict himself. Return to station after you talk with him.
Benedict will ask you what Stormhound said. There are three choice of responses. The top and bottom instantly end your conversation. This conversation doesn't affect anything in future though. But if you wanna get full lore, select middle first and then bottom one.
2. Rescue Leonor Ren
If the systems have at least one outlaw station, this mission will appear at Commonwealth colony or residential. Here you will help Solomon Ren, a man that looking for his sister after she being kidnapped. He will hire you to destroy an outlaw station which can be camp, base, or haven.
There is no particular strategy needed. Just kill its defender and smash the station. Be careful though if you get this mission in later system, as it may have stronger defender. After you destroyed the station, Solomon Ren will found out that his sister was sold to Sung Slaver. However, the story will end here and Solomon give you cash he promised. You will not meet him again in future.
3. Liberate Station from Warlords
As you travel through system, you might notice a lone friendly station with red blip in scanner. This is habitat station that held hostage by Centauri warlords. Kill all warlords that guard it and dock on it. People of this station will thanked you and give some food items which you can sell; usually Centauri rice. This station appears in each game quite common, so make sure you rescue them to earn more cash.
4. Loot Outlaw Ammo Cache
You might encounter some Ronins that guarding cargo crates. The crates contain ammo and missile; sometime weapon too if you are lucky. Don't be mistaken though, these guys is outlaws. They might look a bit weak when they are Commonwealth station defender, but they can do much pain to you more than other type of enemies. Ronin/B is not quite a challange, but Ronin/C is the real killer. Its particle weapon can rip your armor off if you don't have resistance to it, yet Starbust missile spikes out making you questioning if facing them was a mistake.
Don't attempt to attack if you are still outgunned. If you do however, don't regret with what is coming. These guys sometimes stupid enough to destroy their own crate with their missile, yet they have nothing better to do than mad at you. So sometimes enggaging them often not worth it.
5. Crush The Large Pinata
Sometime you will find Salvager Nomad during your loot session. This ship is love-hated by many players because these guys will take all loot in entire system. You'll have to move quickly before they steal all the loot from any destroyed station or shipwrecks. You can kill salvager if you want to. Salvager are neutral faction and nobody cares about them so you have no penalty for killing it. However, these guys is tough and have a turbolaser to defend themselves. Don't try to fight them if your equipments still underleveled.
6. Give Up or Die Trying/Psych Eval
One thing about recent release of Transcendence is this mission, or rather a feature. If you found a Commonwealth Hospital, chance either you will guided into next hospital station or get this mission immediately. After 'heartwarming welcome', a doctor specialized on neural psychology telling you Domina is not real. Details are long so I'm not go into that. Simply choose "No! You're wrong, and I know what I'm doing." to continue your journey. While "Yes, I want to give up my quest." reply will instantly end your game.
7. Earn Money for Living at Korolov Shipping
In New Beyond, you will find a giant station named as Korolov Shipping. Here you can be hired as a wingman for a feeble freighter that need protection from pirates. This is one of your main source of your money in The New Beyond, so it always better if you join them. This job needs you to be always vigilant. You will face constant wave of pirate ships. One misfire can lead freighter dead. You have to plan ahead carefully so you don't have to loss what you need to protect. Be sure you properly armed. Check out freighter data and enemy inteligence to know who are you protect and fighting. Don't accept escort that rewarding a lot money yet unless you prepared.
First mission will gain you rank of apprentice, where you will mostly escort light freighter such as EI100 and EI200. You have to fight mostly Corsair and sometime Viking. Be careful with latter one as these freighters is really fragile against turbolaser. Upon promoted to Journeyman, you will get ROM: either visual enhancer, targeting computer, or shield enhancement. If you already installed visual and targeting, then it will always guarantee shield enhancement ROM.
Journeyman rank open more choices of escorting freighter. EI7000, Antares II, and Antares V is more durable than previous two, but also have bigger threat. Be aware that fearsome frigate is also join the pirate party. Whatever you do, DO NOT kill more than three frigates unless you are ready to face a boss from Charon Pirate which I will explain later. Also, if you have not reached Master rank yet but already killed three frigates, it will locked you from progress and you unable to get super handy reward: a class V deflector. Other than that, Master Rank only enables you to escort Antares I; weakest-type of Antares freighters.
8. Destroy Kronosaurus The Deadly
If you able to kill three Charon frigates, or destroy enough Charon strongholds, you will be notified by Korolov Shipping that Kronosaurus is deployed by pirate to hunting you and you will not able to do escort mission at the moment. Refuel, repair, load up your missile. Just prepare yourself as they will coming eventually. Go to somewhere empty to challenge them a duel, or cowardly stay near friendly station hoping they will help you from this misery.
Kronosaurus is actually have same model as other Charon frigate. They have same turbolaser and uses stiletto as their missile. The only difference is while common frigate uses advanced reactive armor, they uses blast plate which is level 6 armor. It is very resistant with blast damage; missile don't do much damage to them. Still, using blast missile is better than nothing. However, Kronosaurus is a bit weak against particle damage so having one is really recommended.
9. A Wingman Joined The Party/Volkov
This event will happen either you have escorted numerous times (around 20) without losing any single freighter or killed Kronosaurus by yourself. After debriefing, you will congratulated by Korolov people and they promote you to "Legend" rank. After that, a man named Volkov will meet and ask to join you toward Galactic Core. Once accepted, he will become your wingman.
Volkov piloting a wolfen armed with powerful X-ray laser cannon. He also have strong defense consist of advanced reactive armor and class V deflector. Each of them have unique enhancement which make him even stronger.
C. Rigel Aurelius
Rigel Aurelius is a quite small system that owned by Commonwealth and turn it into a slaughterhouse... I mean a colosseum. The arena is located in outer orbit which usually revealed in map by default. Meanwhile, you can find a lot of useful station near arena. You can find habitats, residentials, arm and armor dealers, enclaves, dry docks, etc.
This system also has special trade traits where equipments are valued higher than any other systems. You can sell armor, shield, and weapon for more profit. However, this also mean buying here can cost you a lot. Make sure you don't go overbuy here because you will lost your money quickly than you realize.
1. Join The Dark Path/Black Market Trading
This actually can be encountered before Rigel. Although, on some occasion you might unlucky to find no Hotel station up to here. First up, make sure you have at least one illegal goods. This can be a drug or any other type of illegal items, but NOT illegal equpments (e.g. Smuggler cargo hold). Go on restaurant to meet Alensaky Brothers. These guys will buy your illegal stuff and give you an ID which let you accesss Black Market stations.
However, there is 5% chance which turns out the brothers is an undercover police and you have to pay 1000 credits to make them let you free; otherwise it's game over. This event is permanent and you will unable get the ID from the hotel again. If this happened, you will need destroy every outlaw/Black Market transport (T31 or T55) and hope you find the Black Market ID among the loot. Drop rate are quite low which is might be a bit frustating searching them.
2. Become a Gladiator/Melee Arena
Thing you need to know first on battle arena is you don't immediately become a gladiator. You must prove your worthy by doing melee combat. That's mean you have to survive against a lot of constestants. Each kill worth 25 credits which is pretty low, but at least this is just easy battle. Go ahead on slaughter mode and kill everyone in arena. The enemies are pretty weak and also want to kill each other so it so you should not have any problem killing them all; unless you are that bad. After few rounds and killing enough melee ships, the Battle Arena will promote you as Gladiator.
3. Become a Champion/Gladiator Arena
After become a gladiator, then you set a new goal here: To become a Champion of The Arena. You will meet Katami, a short man out of nowhere want become your instructor. Here you can pick various opponent that you want to fight. Each of them have different setup and reward. Analyze what your opponent's equipments have. Crowd also affect your fame. More popular you are, more progress to get on top. Don't just pick easy game but don't pick strong opponent either if you haven't prepared. Listen what Katami said before you start fight; those can be hint for you.
When you start your fight, there is no particular strategy needed. Just fight them with your trusty weapon. Do fight fiercely and cautiously. Still, make sure crowd don't get bored with your fighting skill. Sometimes it's better to get scratched during battle. I usually just disable shield because it could boosting popularity, but don't do this on stronger gladiator.
A note on gladiators that those who using MAG launcher are particularly broken. It is good firepower on player hand, but on NPC hand, it can shatter you into pieces. Its ammo can deal high damage, especially with 800F MAG. Don't pick opponents who use that launcher unless you go for a torture.
4. Rescue Katami
Once you fight enough number of gladiator, you will be announced as second best gladiator in Arena. It's time to challenge the number one, The Slicer.
Hold on, your instructor are nowhere to seen. Instead you found a famous and remarkable woman, Kate Morgental. Turns out Katami has been kidnapped by Black Market and she asked help from you to rescue him. You could either accept or decline this mission and still continue finishing The Slicer. If you decline though, Katami will be dead and your relationship with Kate will be vastly reduced for future encounters.
Meanwhile, if you accept this mission, you will be tasked to go to black market station at outer asteroid belt. Negotiating will not work, so the only choice is to eliminate them. However, you will be just tasked to kill their defenders so Kate can inbound to destroy the station. Their defender in previous releases was Molotoks with fearsome Dragonfly missile system, but now it has been overhauled to soften up its defender level. Most likely you will encounter Oromo and Molotok/A as their defender.
One note that important is after you kill their defenders, DO NOT try to help Kate or destroy the Black Market station by yourself. If this happens, you will always hunted by bounty hunters in a system where Black Market presents. You also cannot dock safely with their station anymore, as you will be either fined by paying huge amount of money or simply an instant death. Make sure you clear out yourself when Kate destroyed that station.
After being rescued, Katami will give you Hiro's Shield Optimizer ROM. This ROM can boost up your shield up to 50%. You can use it right away or save it later for more powerful shield up to level 6.
5. Be a Champion/Deathmatch
The Slicer is quite tough opponent with blast plate, but he don't pose much risk as MAG user. He do may have strelka, which at some point may also have Red Strelka which is thermo missile. Yep, he can cheat in this arena. Don't worry though, as long you fight fierce you can win the the battle.
The Slicer have a signature weapon, PM6 Slicer cannon, which basically Shuriken Neutron Blaster with crisscross pattern. It's particle weapon so it can shred easily any armors below level 5. You can obtain it as long The Slicer's wreck is intact. Sometime it damaged so have particle upgrade to repair this weapon.
This red dwarf system is a center of Charon Pirates. You will have a tough time travelling in here because it is nearly devoid of friendly stations. Only a Korolov Shipping that sure will spawn here. Meanwhile, many Charon Pirates strongholds can be found here. Mostly reside on outer asteroid belt. You can also found the capital of pirates, Fortress of Charon Pirates.
1. The Siege of Korolov Shipping
Upon entering this system, you will immediately find a Korolov Station near stargate. This station doesn't give usual escort mission, but instead will give you special mission to purge Charon Pirates from their home. However right before they give the mission, their radar warned that a large scale pirate attack party are coming to the station. Your mission now is to defend the Korolov Shipping. Every unprepared players will eventually fail this mission. This mission is quite hard that almost like it has scripted that way. However, it's not impossible to save this station. Make sure you prepared yourself before entering this system; as this mission will automatically run regardless if player docked the station or not.
My tips on this mission is to ignore small ship and predict where Drake missileships will approach. These large box shaped ships is tough as Charon frigate and will launches blast missile continously at Korolov station. Destroy them quickly with your most powerful weapon. After you obliterate them, return to the Korolov station to finish any smaller ships that still lingers there.
2. Avenge The Dead/Retaliate The Attackers
Regardless either you succeed or fail defending the station, you will get a quest to destroy all Charon Pirate strongholds and fortress. However, previous mission is worth to get on right as the end reward also affected by it. If you successfully defending the station, you can use their dock services to help your ship in time of need. You will get level 5 weapon or Class V deflector as a end reward. Otherwise, you rely on yourself and maybe occasionally gate out to other system to repair your ship. With Charon Map ROM given by dead woman, it will reveal all Charon bases. For the end reward though, you either get Targeting ROM, Military ID, Mule Auton, Green Etherium Crystal, or Barrel of Regenerating Nanos. Most of them aren't much useful at this point, but Military ID is exceptional as it enables you to get military weapon early.
By the way as for attacking Charon bases, take your time here. Destroying all bases is no small task and you will be constantly attacked as these bases often send out their ships. Go to other system first to get yourself an upgrade if you have not level up enough to carry this mission; especially if the Korolov station destroyed. Once you ready, return and finish them once for all. Many strongholds sometime have a frigate guarding them so be careful. Charon Pirate Fortress in other hand more tougher and they have particle weapon to defend themselves. Just remember, don't pushover in this system.