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What to do first?

The Shuttle you start in is a bad ship, it has a low FTL range and will not survive long in combat. You should aim to purchase a new ship as soon as possible and to do this, you will require credits. The ship to aim for is the Battlecruiser, it is civilian design and has no skill requirement. The Battlecruiser costs 150,000 credits and the best way to make credits is to mine and sell the commodities you mine.

To make credits mining you must first find a system that is not claimed by a faction, the easiest way to do this is to use the service filter at the bottom of the helm window. Choosing the option for "mining permitted" will show any unclaimed systems that have commodities to mine, or any systems owned by factions that have permitted mining. Once within an unclaimed system you should review the local body information, this is found at the top of the helm window, and you should find a body that states it has commodities (if none at present repeat the process and find a different system). Clicking a body that has commodities will show its information and further done the window, list all the commodities within the body and a mine button next to each one. Clicking the mine button will begin mining which is an idle activity that will stop automatically once your hold is full. Once your hold is full you will need to locate a system where your haul can be sold for credits. To do this, at the bottom of the helm window filter systems by the "trading commodities" service and navigate to a system listed with this service. If you choose to be the android or clone race you should avoid systems owned by TransGov, as they deem androids and clones illegal and you will not be welcome or be able to trade (if you have forgotten your race, it is noted at the top of the computer window).

When you arrive in a system with the trading commodities service you should open the cargo window by selecting it from the primary navigation. At the top of this window, it lists the cargo you are carrying aboard your ship, next to the commodity you wish to sell, open the contextual menu and select the sell option. This will open a confirmation where you can see how much you are selling your commodity for and decide in what quantity you want to sell it - completing the sale will give you the credits stated. You can now repeat this process to gain more credits.

Once you have enough credits to purchase a Battlecruiser you should head to a Civilian Guild system that has the "ship trading" service, usually, this would be a system named "Oiko". Once in a system with the ship trading service, you can open the services window from the primary navigation and see the ships on sale within the ships group. When you purchase a ship you are not automatically placed in command of it, it will instead be parked at the location you purchased it. To switch to your new ship you should open the command window and find the group named "parked ships". The parked ships group lists all ships you have parked regardless of their location, selecting the contextual menu here gives you the option to command the new new. Optionally, once you are in command of your new ship, assuming this new ship has ship bays, you can stow smaller ships within the bays. This can be done by visiting the same parked ships group and sleeting the option of "stow" instead.

Once you have a larger ship with a bigger hold, you can begin completing missions. You will find missions in most owned sectors and the missions to look out for are "raw material" missions that simply invalid delivering commodities in much the same way you minds them. To complete a raw material mission, first, review the mission details by selecting them from the missions menu and then attempt to locate and mine the specified commodity. Once you have mined the correct quantity of the commodity, return to the mission location and select the step option to "unload cargo", this will complete the mission and give you a credit reward.