Getting started in Star Citizen

Getting started in Star Citizen

Last edit: patch 3.8.2 (30/03/2020)

Main menu

Once you launch the game, you will be presented with Star Citizens' main menu.

  1. The universe is the Public universe, where you can interact with up to (50 at time of writing) other players, do missions and earn aUEC.
  2. Star marine is a first-person combat multiplay mission, which takes you into a random match against other players in FPS combat
  3. Arena Commander is the offline and local play space matchmaking, where you can fly ships in one of 3 game modes

Arena Commander

  1. Multiplayer - Online matches against random players
  2. Single-player - Test your skills offline in different game modes
  3. Private - A personal match where you can invite your friends

In this guide, we will cover Singleplayer for the purpose of introducing basic gameplay elements.


There are currently 2 maps
  1. Broken Moon
  2. Dying Star

Game modes:

There are currently 4 games modes:
  1. Free flight - Here you can fly around uninterrupted, learn to control your ship and how it behaves
  2. Pirate swarm - Pirate swarm is a wave-based game mode where you fight against a variety of NPC enemies, clearing each wave with a boss wave every nth wave.
  3. Vanduul swarm - functionally the same as Pirate swarm, however, you fight against Vanduul ships instead of human ships
  4. Classic race - Navigate your way through the racecourse in a timed race while dodging buildings.

Once you have chosen a map and game mode, you can then select a ship to fly in this example we have chosen single player free flight on broken moon

You can pick your ship from any you have available (through in-store purchases or renting); Playing the arena commander game modes in singleplayer or multiplayer (not private matches) will earn you REC, which can be used to rent ships and equipment for 3 days at a time.

You can also customize your ship if you have the available parts using the customize ship option; You can pull parts from other ships you have available as well as use equipment you have purchased in the PU.

Once you have made your changes, press "save changes and equip" then leave the menu through the "Back" button.

Learning to fly

Spawning into the free flight mode of arena commander, you will begin sitting in the pilot seat of your ship

Your Hud

Your heads up display in your ship will vary from ship to ship - in this example, we are using the Aurora, a standard starting ship

  1. This is your throttle and speed limiter. there are 2 main elements to be aware of.

    The white line that cuts across the throttle bar about 1/4 from the bottom is your speed limiter indicator

    Using the scroll wheel on your mouse, you can raise this up and down. When accelerating your ship will never go faster than the position of the white bar

    The red line indicates your SCM (Space Combat Maneuvers) speed. while your ship is traveling around this speed or under, it will be most maneuverable without experiencing drift from your momentum

    TIP: Using your speed limiter, you can adjust your travel speed finely, this is very useful when you need precision for landing, or you are just hauling it across the verse

    TIP: Speed limited applies to ALL directions of movement (left-right up down etc)

  2. This is your engine throttle. holding the left alt and scrolling with the mouse wheel will adjust this; Reducing your engine throttle will reduce the amount of thrust your ship produces (eg. at 50% your ship will only accelerate at 50% of the original speed) This can be useful for very high precision control, however you may find it is often left alone at 100% as you can achieve the same thing using your speed limiter
  3. This is your hydrogen fuel; Hydrogen fuel is used every time your engines are producing thrust. Once you run out, you will no longer have control over your ship. In most ships, your hydrogen fuel will regenerate slowly over time. TIP: Once you reach your speed limiter speed, your engines will stop thrusting, so you can drift through space without using fuel; Repeatedly turning or strafing will quickly consume your hydrogen fuel
  4. this is your gforce indicator. this will raise quickly if you do sudden hard turns and attempt to fly in another direction (e.g do a flip and burn/turn 180 and try to stop) under constant high Gforce your character will blackout, and you will lose vision and control of your ship until they regain consciousness
  5. this indicator informs you that G-Safe is enabled. while gsafe is enabled, it is much more difficult to make your character blackout disabling this and doing a 180 turn and thrust will most likely cause you to blackout as your ship will not throttle itself to prevent it.
  6. This is one of your MFD's, these displays will give you various information about your ship, such as its current power usage, shield status, and target status. you can change what the MFD is displaying by holding "f", moving your mouse over any of the MFD menu buttons, and clicking on it.

    You can also interact with these screens, such as changing your weapon groups, adjusting power distribution across systems or overclocking systems.

The persistent universe (PU)

Clicking on the "Universe" option will allow you to log in to the persistent universe where you can begin your adventure.

Currently, servers hold up to 50 people (this will change in the future, with there eventually being one mega server).

When you enter the Uniserve menu, if you have not already, you will need to customize your character.

The character creator works by allowing you to blend multiple character skins together, to modify the look of your character

You can select from the different bodies on the left, then apply it's shape to your own using the slider (you can apply multiple different bodies to your character.)

You can also select the skin as a base by clicking the Apply skin button.

If you mouse over your character, you can select different areas to modify those specifically, instead of the character as a whole.

You can customize your character at any time using the Character Customisation button in the bottom right of the Universe menu.

Once you have customized your character you will need to select a starting area.

Your choices currently are Arc corp (area 18 city), Port Olisar (Crusader), Lorville (Hurston), Levksi (Delamar)

Port Olisar is generally a good place to start due to the large about of missions that will be available, however, you can always fly to another location once in-game.

Once you have chosen your first starting location, you will now have your character exist in the PU.

From here on, when starting the game, you will only be able to choose "Stanton" and you will spawn in the last city you landed at.

Once your location is selected, you can click "Visit location to login into the 'verse.".

How to fly and controls to learn

For more information on how to fly your ship, as well as signing up for the basic flight course take a look at the Basic Flight course

Space combat and basic dogfighting

For more information on how to fly your ship in combat scenarios, as well as signing up for the basic dogfight course take a look at the Basic Dogfight course

FPS combat

For more information on FPS combat, as well as signing up for the basic infantry course take a look at the Basic Infantry course


For more information on Pathfinding and navigating your way around the verse, as well as signing up for the Pathfinding course take a look at the Pathfinder course

For more in-depth guides into playing Star Citizen, check out the official guides