StarDrive Beginner’s Guide

StarDrive Beginner’s Guide by Anubice


I couldn’t sleep one night as I had thoughts about this game running through my head. I decided to make this guide to help out new players. I intend to make more guides that are more advanced in the future but as this game currently is in beta an its potential for choice is quite large right now I will just do a basic guide.

I will try to streamline it so there’s no huge blocks of text. I also understand this is still BETA and a lot will change. I will update this or make new guides if I get the time.

*NOTE*: I have only been playing this a few weeks and have only just started winning games. If any of the Veteran community would like to contribute information I would greatly appreciate it.


Starting a game. Here there is a menu with the races you can play to your left, traits that you can pick from in the middle and your races history to your right. You pick your race and its traits are already pre loaded. Now, you can pick and chooses whatever traits you want but there will be repercussions.

*NOTE*: You have a certain amount of points you can spend on any GREEN traits which are beneficial to your race. You can get more points for picking any of the bad or RED traits. This will allow you to purchase more GREEN traits and so on.

Picking your race

I generally play Kulrathi Shogunate because Samurai Space Bears are a friggin awesome idea but it doesn’t really matter what you choose as you can pick and mix whatever traits you want. These are the traits/racials I choose:

*NOTE:* You can pick whatever race you want and use this build it should all work the same. You can pick as many traits as you want as long as you have the points. Get more points from picking RED traits.

Fertile +0.1pop growth a turn.

Meticulous +25%bonus to taxes
Skilled Engineers +20%to ship module hit points.

History and Tradition
Huge Home world +25%more population growth.

*NOTE*: Fertile for fast growth on high pop planets, Meticulous for maintaining bigger fleets in the early game, Huge home world so you can pump out ships faster + generating more cash due to larger population, Skilled Engineers for higher HP light fighters for killing Remnant scum and defending from AI.



Your research tab is located in the top left of your UI. Open it up and it will have a number of menus that hug the left side of your monitor. Use the headings listed below to find the research trees you need.


1. Industrial Foundations

• Rover Bay + 1 to Production.
• Warehouse +100 to storage capacity.

3. Aeroponics
• Aeropnic Farm + 1 food production.

Socio Logistics

2. Interstellar Governance
• Imperial Offices + .25 credits per turn.

Space Weapons
• Rocket Launcher

Rover bay to increase production on fledgling planets and to pave the way for building the next two buildings.

Interstellar governance to start your eco boom and pump some light fighters.

Aeropnic Farm to increase food production on low food planets.

*NOTE*:Food is a consumed at a rate of 1 food per 1Billion colonist on a planet and is consumed every game term of 5 seconds. As the colony grows and you hit your max food the slider number will drop into the negatives. Food production may be affected by the quality of the planet e.g. Terran Ultra Rich with 2+ food may support itself right up to the max population without needs of aeroponics. You can check out the in game help for more information.

*NOTE*: Numbers indicate which tech to research first and the bullets indicate benefits of said research.

*NOTE*: Space weapons is so you can build rocket scouts. These are super good early game for clearing out remnant pockets and securing high pop planets.

Tax Rate

At this point you should also change your tax rates (located next to research). I tend to drop mine to around 0.9 and that will give .3-4 to your research value which is huge early game. Just pay attention to it when you go into the negatives that you have planets with population growth.

Settling your first planet.

The Kulrathi have a semi decent planet in their first system which I settle straight away just as a bit of money for later on. I tend to settle up to 5 MAX in the first ten minutes if I get lucky with my scouting and remnant defenders populating the system. I advise settling Terran planets only with this set up until you unlock Xeno Farming/Mining and Terraforming. Terran planets consist of Terran Ultra Poor/Average/Terran/Rich/Ultra Rich.

*NOTE*: Unsure about the planet listings here.


I delete my first 2 scouts as they don’t have FTL. This will require you to go to your shipyard (top middle of your screen) or to the ship tab in your planet overview, go to the Vulcan scout and click the pencil button. This will allow you to manually build your own ship. I advise fitting your light fighters with FTL as they will move A LOT quicker when they initiate there hyper drives. Press Q once they’re fitted and you will get 3 options. Find the auto scout and let them roam free!

Trade Ships

I will build 3 trade ships to ferry supplies between my first few colonies. I build more depending on the quality of the planet and the distance.

*NOTE*: Player discretion advised here as distances for ships to travel will affect a colonies survival and planet type.


Now I generally build 10-12 Fang fighters in the first 10mins of game play and find a juicy world with high pop, undefended if I am lucky. If not I send my small fleet off to deal some damage with their nail guns.

*NOTE*: You can set AI to deal with your planet’s affairs but they tend to build things that will ruin your economy fast so I advise you manage it yourself until its improved.

Early/Mid Game

At this point you should have (hopefully/luckily) settled 4-5 decent Terran planets and at this point have your first four techs researched. I’ll give a rough time frame of 10-15mins depending on research values etc with a semi decent fleet of possibly up to 20ish fang/rocket fighters. At this point you will start expanding again.

This is where things are a little harder to judge. You may have come across some badass alien race that’s hell-bent on destroying you (already). Currently I have found the most vicious races at the moment are:

1. The Opteris.
2. The Ralyeh
3. The Vulfen

*NOTE*: The list is how I rate them currently. This is from my gameplay experiences and from reading on the forumns about epic battles, mainly with Opteris. The jerkbags.

Expanding Mid Game

This is where things can get tricky. You have to manage the size of your fleet against the amount of planets you can settle. You don’t want to overextend yourself with a big empire but small fleet as the AI will take advantage of that. I generally end up +10 ISK(EvE, lol) around this point (I hope) with the right planets. Where upon I build large amounts of rockets fangs and Colony ships (fitted with FTL’s of course) and try to settle as many planets as I can while building a decent fleet and managing my economy.

*NOTE*: Player discretion advised up to this point. I can’ t really tell you what to research into as it gets a bit broad here. I can only advise.

Additional Notes

These are just broad generalisations that you may want to use around this period in the game that I don’t feel I can fit around the macro/micro:
• Players rush to frigates(Starship construction>Heavy Fighter Hull>Frigate Construction) and upgrade weapons into Energy> Energy Weapons. At this point you will need a decent understanding of the shipyard to do what I am going to type next.
• Creating Tier levelled ships. I categorize most of the research into different Tiers (any of the first researchable buildings/techs as Tier 1 etc) and base my ship construction off of those tiers so I always have a somewhat decent ship out and about. So I will research Energy> Energy Shielding> Energy Weapons, Starship Construction > Heavy Fighter Hull; then create a ship with say that level (Tier1) of research and name it something kickass like Katana. This is kind of so you have something on the field that is vaguely competent.

Mid/End/Meta game.
Now this is still very raw in its balancing I feel. I have not seen the AI create a Titan or a Cruiser class ship or use any of my ship designs (which apparently they can do as stated on the forums  but I have only played the Kulrathi. If you follow the steps from the start and just research/settle colonies/build fleets you should alright (depending on the AI gayness factor).

*NOTE*: Advice appreciated!

I leave it there as I currently have not experienced too much end game content currently. I imagine with ‘Take control’ function of ships you can do some very lame things with a few light fighters. Say you control 1 with some rockets behind a frigate and drills holes in his warp engines and leave it there stranded in space. I am unsure if that would work but it’s a funny strategy. I intend to post more advanced strategy guide’s etc at later dates as I find the potential to be quite limitless (and very lame) with some of the functions provided.

Any and all advice appreciated.

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2 Responses to “StarDrive Beginner’s Guide”

  1. I think the starting choice of race does matter regardless of trait choices. The Kulrathi have wide triangle shaped ships, which means they are good at defending their reactors, the Draylok have the largest titan in the game, the pollops have big leafy bits on their ships sides you can pack with armor… etc etc. the wiki has more info on this, and of course there is always the fact this is a beta

  2. Nice guide, but few things are left out.. Like any strategy time is everything here, if you don’t utilize every aspect to grow it will come bite you in the rear..

    The first or one of the first Research should be Xeno Linguistics. While you scout the space, eventually you will come across another race, That research will help you to get buddy buddy with them faster than you think, and avoid getting into war early in the game with Opteris race.

    As soon as you have your starter economical researches and 2-4 of your planets that you picked out cause of their good population/fertility and richness you might want to take 4 more planets with semi good conditions to optimize your Scientific Foundation building.. that will at the least give you +4 (plus w.e. the planet can give you) to all your research power)

    During your buddy buddy relationships with other races, that will offer +3 from each of them to your income making you go into a proper surplus at tax minimum you need a spy.. it takes alot of turns to train your spies to good level and they will become one of your biggest Shadow power. Getting Researches that you need or want from enemy or neutral races will save you alot of time than to Research it by yourself.

    As for the transport between planets.. you will need freighters while you research your Fleet power. When you get freighters you will probably have Cruiser Construction research giving you Capital engine and Warp engine, install it on the freighters, your new planets will get supplied alot faster.

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