Star Traders: Frontiers

Star Traders: Frontiers

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Star Traders Frontiers Tips n Tricks
By LordofSyn
I have over 400 hours into this game as an alpha tester and since launch. I have compiled 10+ tips and tricks to help ALL captains, but especially new captains who are looking for an edge to their gameplay. Media to be included soon.
This started as a script I was writing for a TnT video that will accompany this Guide.
Happy Gaming, LordofSyn
Star Traders Frontiers Tips ‘n Tricks 01

By LordofSyn for (Syn's Arcade on YouTube *Video link here*)

Every game has little quirks, tips, and tricks we all come to use to be better players; and strategically used by the best players to keep at the top of their game.

Today, I will be providing 10+ Tips and Tricks for the new Trese Brothers game Star Traders: Frontiers. Full Disclaimer: I was a Kickstarter backer and have been an Alpha Tester for this game since 2017. This is not a developer paid video and it is provided solely to help all players to get the most out of this new take on the Star Traders universe. The following TnT will be applicable for all versions current and future of the game, including mobile.

Brief synopsis of STF.

In a large and diverse galaxy with humans of different factions all bidding for resources, influence, and power, you take on the responsibility of Star Trader through your bloodline. You are the captain of a starship venturing through a massive open universe. Customize your crew and take command at the helm of your very own ship as you explore a galaxy torn apart by deadly conflicts, alien threats and political intrigue. You will Captain a ship of distinct and varied crew with their own personalities through a career of your choosing.

With more player agency than you can shake a stick at. including iron man saves (meaning your choices count and you cannot manually save); and even permadeath modes of varying difficulty, this game also has challenge of varying complexity. Time moves on and you have to be careful and mindful of your decisions. Star Traders Frontiers is a strategic turn based rogue-like RPG. With many layers to consider, you are better off thinking like your captain would and role playing your game play through. You will die and figure out where you went wrong.
These tips and tricks will help save you a few lives and play through frustrations.

Builds and build concepts
Map and Difficulties
Picking starting Talents and Jobs
Deciding how to start with your captain
Knowing your basic activities and a word on gambling
Early game missions for grind
Read closely and monitor Time/Money/Morale/Health/crew
Leave room for flexibility
Monitor Rumors and Events closely

Builds and Concepts
Builds and Concepts

These tips have a lot under the surface and really require their own video. STF is a crpg and uses character template builds for Captains.

You can start with an archetypal build as refined by the alpha testers and devs or you can build your own template. Many players also like to share builds within the Trese Brothers community. Links for the Star Traders Forums, Steam group, and Discord are in the description below.

Building a template gives you access to a wide array of character choices, from the starting ship and career options to your initial skill levels and number of influential contacts. It can be daunting at first, so i recommend messing around with it until you understand how the different Priorities and Ranks of those priorities match up. The community is very helpful here too. New players are strongly urged to take higher ranked skills and attributes if possible.

High attributes can lead to better normal skill check rolls as you progress through the galaxy. You also receive bonus attribute points at the highest rank. Attributes will not grow during play, aside from Traits that might modify them and you cannot use experience to upgrade them once the game has started.

High skills also give you much better chances to succeed at specific types of skill checks. Bonus skill levels are given for higher ranks. Every rank in a job will give you specific and noted skills levels. You will grow your skills over time to be quite powerful. Use your chosen career path as a guide for the types of skills you should be investing in, but know that you can and sometimes should put points into Tactics and Command early on.

Each play through is not set in stone, usually, and you can change your focus if necessary.

The highest ship rank gives you the most starting pay and lets you choose any of the starting ships, with the ability to take the difference between the ship cost and your total budget when choosing a less expensive and smaller ship.

Having the highest experience will net you the benefit of starting at a higher level with more unlocked talents for your jobs. It also provides you with information regarding the starting level for your officers too.

Finally, highest contact ranks give you access to 8 contacts with very high initial personal reputation and influence in the starting faction you chose.You will gain contacts pretty easily in the game with the right Talents and choices, but higher contacts can mean higher leverage at the start.

Map and difficulty
Map and difficulty
Obviously a quick look through the map generation system will show you that there are different scales for size and density. All maps are procedurally generated at the beginning of any new game where the map parameters are chosen. It uses a database of names and more are currently being added by the devs. Size and density are pretty well described as you move up and down each scale.

It is highly recommended to use the default map until you understand the game better.

You can also make a map with the smallest number of quadrants and the highest density as a test bed on Basic.

Of course, there are many other maps that have been shared by the community members and can be found in their respective networks (see close for links). You can easily share your map seeds with other players there too.
Manually pick your Crew Talents
Manually pick your Crew Talents

Veterans of similar games and alpha testers will tell you that letting the computer pick your starting Talents is a gamble. By picking your Talents, you can customize your play style and make sure you have good Talents to help you early on.

Talents are contextual abilities of crew members and are present a lot of variety; covering skill checks to combat abilities which can give you the upper hand. Also, be sure to pay attention to character traits. They add personality and you might be very surprised to find some synergies between Traits, Jobs, Skills, and Talents as some crew might be better suited to a different job with talents that gel well with their inherent traits or skills.

Respeccing crew is a short term gain, long term pain method of adapting on the fly and should only be a last resort.
Leave room for flexibility
Leave room for flexibility

The first year of a chosen career will lead to your Captain, Officers, and crew leveling up and gaining Talents often. Especially if you take your time, avoid as much combat as possible, and focus on light missions. Please note that all junior crew can only have one job and those jobs are spread out among most of the basic ship operations. Early game focus should be on Skill Check talents and card manipulation Talents for the Patrol/Spy/Explore/Blockade mini games.

Your Captain and Officers can have up to 3 career fields with all of the skill bonuses per level and Talents that come with them. These prestigious personnel can also train in jobs that are typically not possible with starting crew. Like Exo Scouts, brave Explorers that use heavy weapons to take care of deadly planetary flora for example.

I recommend that you pick only 2 jobs for each Officer (including your Cpt) and level those up for the first few years. Your play style might change and you want the flexibility to adapt with skills and talents needed.

Never forget that you can fire crew and officers as needed, and can also modify the ship with another officer cabin to replace a junior crew or 2 with an officer.
Focus on missions to level up early
Focus on missions to level up early

Get to know your starting Contacts very well as some will be able to provide various types and difficulties of missions. This will help you build Reputation, Influence, Credits, and more early on. The experience you get from completing the missions and the more mundane tasks along the way will help your crew grow in the first few years. They can also gain you other types of benefits like using the reputation you are growing with a contact to buy recruits with specialized jobs, weaponry, introductions to new contacts, and buy better trade permits which can net you higher profits and unlock better value commodities to trade in.

Longer missions that require multiple steps and/or locations can also allow you to take part in other activities along the way to completing the missions like Trading, Patrolling, and Spying; just to name a few. You are not required to play any story missions, but the results can still affect your game play.

Story missions can also net you major experience boosts for all of your crew. Steam users should also take note of the arrow and hot keys. They help your game along with the hovering tool tips.
Take time to read everything and pay close attention to your time and money.
Take time to read everything and pay close attention to your time and money.

Each turn takes about 16 hours of time and depending on what you're doing, time will move faster or slower. It can jump large gaps of time from some longer or more dangerous hyper jumps to healing your crew and repairing your ship.

This is still a turn based game, but note that missions all have time limits. Finishing a mission late will incur lower payment and possibly lower Reputation.

Regarding crew health and morality: As you cannot heal everyone constantly on the ship, you need to keep your crew healthy and happy. Morality can be even tougher to manage, so making port relatively often can allow your crew to blow off steam in a Spice hall and be seen at a doctor to treat any wounds.

You can easily make mistakes by not slowing down and reading[/i] the time limits on things. I have made the mistake of being on a mission with a few steps and a nice payout with plenty of time to finish it only to get attacked and not pay attention to the repair time. I was a quadrant away with about 6 weeks to go and because I shot through the starport repair and refuel screens, i did not notice that it took 3 months to repair. It left me with about 5K credits and a very angry crew that hadn't been paid in 3 months. That spiraled out of control with diminishing returns on the mission, crew that left for better ventures, and crew that became crippled after their wounds weren't addressed in time. Do not gamble with anything in the early game.
Pay attention to rumors and events
Pay attention to rumors and events

Rumors help keep you informed as you fly around the galaxy defending your chosen Faction, Exploring wild planets, Trading commodities, etc. You will gain Talents that allow you to gain these rumors and the severity and types of rumors vary greatly. From Trade Bans and Embargoes between factions which prevent trade and even prices in exchanges to Quadrant wide Radiation storm which can cause havoc on ships and their crew flying between Zones.

You will end up with a lot of rumours as time progresses and you pick themn up rather easily. Be sure to check ahead in your Galactic map and Atlus for any possible rumours in the quadrants and zones you'll have to enter.

If you are new to STF, then it will be tempting to get out in space and start fighting to some captains. This is very inadvisable early on as it will cost you dearly. At basic difficulty your captain will not die and your officers will probably never die or mutiny, but you will still lose money and crew. Poor mistakes of fighting everyone you come across early on can end in tears and your career, especially if you do not know how to dig your way out.

Fighting early on in difficulties from Hard plus, and you will most likely die within a month or so of game time. Combat in STF comes in two forms, with ship combat in the Void to crew combat, wherever it is possible. While already pretty robust, the combat will only continue to grow and gain more options, tactics, and strategies. Small fighters and more varied ship components will add even more tools for captains looking to dominate the Void.

The best advice is to level up your crew, Talents, personal weapons from the locker; and maybe even ship components before seriously contemplating any combat.

I will be covering a combat ready BH captain in my 3rd season of STF and they will be per-recorded episodes.
Knowing your basic activities
Knowing your basic activities

So, how does a new captain get started and continue to honor their families' charter? Through trading and basic activities.

Once you have visited a zone, you can refer to your star atlus and galactic map to gain more detailed information. Please note that any zone that has an exchange will feature the last known or general supply and demand prices and that those prices are for single item sales, not bulk sales.

You can stash caches of commodities in any wilderness zone and refer to those stashes later via the status>ship>cargo>caches tab.

Pay close attention to trade linking zones, some items from industrial sell well in farms and population centers. Also see the Forums, Steam, and Discord for additional information. Also note that selling in bulk will net you the biggest profits. You do not always have to buy trade permits, but you will have access to more commodities to trade in and higher profits by advancing through the TP ranks. Just do not move too fast doing it. A word to the wise: Do what you can to buy Trade permits, even simple level 1 permits, with other factions beyond your home faction. Not only will this allow you less hassle traveling through one of their systems, but it can help your rep overall. No captain wants to be hated by nearly every faction out in the Void. That being said, you cannot friend everyone. Just do your best to try and limit the amount of factions you are negative with.

How do you grow reputation with a faction? You can do it by Patrolling over a system they own. Sometimes you will get cards that allow you to gain positive rep. You can also assist in any ongoing political agenda they are working on and also from faction Contacts. Also note a few things about ship encounters. Indies don't matter and you can always retreat from them.

Acknowledge whenever possible. You can get this from being friendly, or at least 10 reputation with the faction. You can surrender to pirates when you have no cargo to prevent a fight or death and still gain some experience. You can typically surrender peacefully to smugglers and merchants and risk the loss of only illegal cargo. There are Talents which help with MO and BH. Plus, the higher your ranks with trade, military, and edicts can mitigate things. Bribe down to nearly 0 and then retreat or surrender is always good too. Also, Victory Talents are boss!

Blockading prevents and interrupts traffic in a system. It can be used to help grow reputation and gain combat chances as this is considered an aggressive military move. Spying can net you Intel which can be used to help buy rep and influence while you make a little money for sharing those records. Exploring allows you to brave the hostile wilderness in search of loot. You will face dangers that can kill crew or even face crew combat with scavengers, pirates, or worst still: Xeno.

Best of all, assuming you can find places to sell your finds, you will make profit. With the right Talent choices, you can also gain rumours and contacts from any of these activities. Just be wary of the card games. Pay very close attention to the ratings provided by these zones before you play them. Use card manipulation Talents to change or even remove risk cards. You will also notice that other crew abilities can still be activated during these games, so it is best to pay close attention to what you are doing and what your choices are. Don't get greedy and don't forget to make port after suffering bad morale, crew damaging events.

However there is one master Tip for all of your basic activities:

No joke, you need to pay attention to risk/reward/crew health/ship health/time/morality!!!/rumors/faction acitivites. Know some limits and think smart. try your best to plan ahead. But walk away from a card game, or escape asap from a ship battle.
In closing, Star Traders Frontiers is a challenging single player 2d open world that was started by two tireless brothers and cultivated by a friendly and rabid fan base that continues to grow. The Trese Brothers do not rest on their laurels and continue to grow and expand the game world while keeping to their vision and allowing their fans to inject ideas and sometimes assets.
All of the TnT provided will benefit everyone playing this game now and in the future, once it hits mobile. (maybe 6 months from now). I hope to be able to continue to bring you more of these videos to help you get the most out of your game play.

Trese Brothers main site:
Check out their games on many platforms today!
Trese Brothers Discord invite:
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Trese Brothers Patreon:
Steam Store front:
Steam Community Hub:
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Steam Community guides:
Star Traders Frontiers Wiki:
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arch Jul 1 @ 1:22am 
Hey mate, how do you transfer the crew to a new ship in drydock - can't find the button :(
LordofSyn  [author] Mar 12 @ 10:11am 
I am glad to have helped.
4M4D3US66 Jun 15, 2019 @ 2:40am 
Thank you
SuitcaseWithSpikes May 12, 2019 @ 5:36pm 
Thanks for the tips.
BrigBriz Jan 12, 2019 @ 3:39pm 
Syn! You're awesome! Thanks for sharing this!!
LordofSyn  [author] Feb 28, 2018 @ 9:49am 
Erikolai My apologies on the confusion of this.
Erikkolai Feb 26, 2018 @ 11:17am 
Thanks for a highly informative guide!

Btw. be aware that 'morale' and 'morality' have very different meanings. You sometimes refer to morality when you mean morale, which can be a bit confusing.
C64 Mat Feb 7, 2018 @ 2:31pm 
Pah. The Steelsong don't need guides :FluffyLook:
bookworm2156 Jan 30, 2018 @ 4:43pm 
:ftlzoltan: Lots of great stuff in here, nice work!
oldrocker99 Jan 30, 2018 @ 11:13am 
This is just what I wanted to find, having just bought this fine game.

You are to be saluted!:steamhappy: