The great strength of Star Citizen is it's versatility. However, this is also the main reason why people are having it hard to get into the game. There are "Game Packages" and "Standalone ships" and one could easily get confused by this.
The first thing you need is an account on the website of Star Citizen. It may be a bit confusing but the url is
https://robertsspaceindustries.com and does not contain the name of the game.
The account itself is free of charge and there is no need to fill in your payment data if you don't buy anything. However, it still makes sense to create an account
because there are so called free-fly events from time to time (you can read more about it in the next part of the tutorial).
There is also a referral program currently ongoing. If you type in a special code while creating your account, you will get 5000 UEC. UEC is the ingame currency with which you'll be able to buy weapons and equipment now (and even ships when the game has started!). I would be glad if you're taking my code: "STAR-FTDC-YDX5" (create account). However, of course you can also use a random code from another one: Code Randomizer.
Now you have an account, but what's next? To play the game, you need a so called game package. It doesn't matter if you're buying yourself a 50 or 500 dollar ship. The only thing that matters is, that the thing you buy contains Star Citizen Digital Download and/or Squadron 42 Digital Download:
If your package contains Star Citizen Digital Download you'll be able to play the MMO and take part in the alpha and beta tests, but you cannot play the single player campaign.
If you package contains Squadron 42 Digital Download you'll be able to play the single player campaign and take part in the alpha and beta tests, but you cannot take part in the MMO.
In case you don't know what the MMO and Squadron 42 is, please take a look at >> Part 1 << of the Beginners Guide.
So it makes sense that you buy yourself a package containing both parts of the game, the MMO and the single player campaign. Currently you will find both parts in every game package. This is going to change coming Feb 14th! From then on you are only able to purchase both parts separatly and chances are high, that it's more expensive together. So it could pay off to buy it before the 14th of February!
Now you know that you need a game package for playing. But there are so many game packages with different ships.
The good thing is: For playing the game it's enough to buy the cheapest package which is currently at 45 $. It will be possible to buy better and bigger ships with ingame money during the game, but of course it will be hard work to do so and maybe you're interested in supporting the crowd funding.
So let's say you want to buy a bigger ship. What ship should it be?
Well, this is a hard question and it really depends on your play style. Do you want to be an explorer? A trader? Or maybe you're a dedicated fighter? And even if you can answer this question: There isn't "the best ship" for your playstyle. Like in real life, Star Citizen has different ship brands and models. So it depends on your budget and your personal preferences.
Star Citizen has currently over 80 ships, but many of them aren't for sale all the time. In the following list, you can see all ships that are available with a game packages:
|F7C-R Hornet Tracker||ANVL||Fighter||0||1||23||155||Link|
|F7C-S Hornet Ghost||ANVL||Infiltration||0||1||23||140||Link|
|Mustang Alpha||CNOU||Light Fighter||10||1||18||45||Link|
Keep in mind: The cheapest package is enough to play both parts of the game!
Besides that, there are multi-ship packages. However, they start from 1,100 $ and cost up to 15,000 $ which is not within our budget in most cases.
So, what ship should I take? If you want to take it easy, just select it regarding the type and price. The type is something I defined regarding the ship features and equipment. For instance, Explorers always have a jump engine. Fighters have good weapons corresponding to the price. And transporters have a bigger cargo space for the ship model.
If you want more details: Just take a look at the ships overview.
There are also dedicated ships for special roles, but they're not available for sale most of the time. For instance, there are ships with over 1000 units of cargo space. The good thing is: When they come in sale, you'll be able to upgrade to most of these ships (more infos about that below). However, the package ships are a good deal and you'll have fun with it!
So you've chosen your game package and you want to buy it... but wait... what's this "3 Months Insurace" listed in the package?
This is the ingame insurance for your ship. If your ship is getting destroyed within this time, you will get it back in it's original state. The time starts from the official release of the game (Q4 2016) and will run for X months.
Note: The time is indicated in ingame months. This means that your "3 months" insurance isn't valdid from January 2017 to March 2017. Rumors say that the time is only running while you logged in. That means, if two days pass during your game session (game time will run faster!) it'll decrease your insurance for two days.
Let's come to the last important topic. After you bought a ship (and it doesn't matter if it's a standalone ship or a game package), you're able to upgrade it to an equivalent or more expensive one.
The price of your current ship will get completely allocated, so that you'll not loose any money. That means, if you're favorite ship isn't in one of the game packages, you're able to upgrade to it when it comes to sale!
When upgrading a ship you'll keep all items from the source package or standalone ship. That means if you had 6 months insurance, your new ship will have 6 months insurance. If your game package contained Star Citizen, your new ship will also contain Star Citizen. The only thing that changes is your ship!
You can see the possible ship upgrades on the following site: Upgrade Matrix
Note: Ship upgrades will only be available till the start of the Beta. This will be approximately in 2018.
<< Part 1: What is Star Citizen << | >> Part 3: Playable parts >>