Before I begin
I’m myself a fairly new player on the HWS EU servers and still learning the ropes. But because of that, I can speak from a fresh perspective on how to get going here, as I myself have experienced most of the “beginner mistakes” only recently. I hope more experienced players will reply here and give me a headsup on mistakes or information that should be added so eventually this will become a great tutorial that will help everyone out.
Where to begin
Whether you are familiar with Empyrion GS in general or not, I definitely recommend anyone to start on a PVE planet. You have absolutely nothing but the items given to you by your escape pod and will be wrecked by anyone that has been playing longer than you. Even another new player that only has been playing a few hours longer will most likely destroy you on the spot.
What about factions?
If you haven’t by now, I strongly recommend reading the Story. This will teach you a lot about the different factions on HWS and how to create or join one of them. I do recommend starting as a Lawless and just create a faction for you alone. This will allow you to get to know the other players and see what they’re doing. Perhaps you’ll make some friends and want to join their faction later on. It will also prevent you from regretting your decision when it turns out the faction community you’ve joined isn’t what you hoped for.
The reason why I suggest creating a faction for you alone is because of the rules on HWS. Your faction is only allowed to have one CV on a PVE planet or in PVE space. So if you start playing on HWS with a friend and you both start working on your first CV, this can cause issues. Once you’re both ready to venture out into PVP space, you can still join eachother in a single faction.
So why create a faction at all instead of just playing solo untill you’re ready? This is because of a known bug. When you put your HV, SV or CV on the factions name instead of Private, it will show up on your map and you’ll be able to find it back later on. When they’re set to Private, they won’t show up. The downside to setting ships on faction is that only the faction Owner is able to set them back to Public or Private. This is another reason to stay in your own faction untill you’re ready.
What do I focus on?
I wouldn’t recommend building your own base on a PVE starting planet. The planets are reset twice a week (type CB:WIPE in chat to see the exact wipe times) and you will lose anything that’s not in your own inventory. Instead I’d suggest getting a bit of food to survive and start building a SV with blueprints (You can see your blueprints by pressing F2 (default)). With the SV you can gather all the resources you need to start building your first CV. Again I suggest using a blueprint for this as blueprints allow you to put the resources you’ve gathered inside them to prevent inventory space issues.
I’m not going to spoil where or how to get all the resources as this would take away the fun in the game. But (since this bugged me a lot) I will give you one small spoiler:
“Kill Rock Giants to get your hands on some Neodymium Ore.”
Another way to get what you need would be the ingame Market. As a Lawless, you can type FA:SURVIVAL in chat once to gain 700 credits. On the Wanted tab you can sell stuff you’re easily able to get in order to build up enough credit to buy the stuff you need. If you can’t find what you need on the Market, make sure to ask for it in chat. The Trader faction is usually more than willing to help you out by putting it on there for you.
So I’ve got my first CV. Now what?
I’d suggest waiting untill there aren’t to many players on the server. Then venture out into PVP space to find the resources you need to build a more advanced CV or upgrade the one you have. Make sure you’ve taken a look at HWS Commands and most importantly the Orbital Cargo Drone. You can store items here that you don’t want to lose (The survival constructor for example). Just in case you do run into another player that takes you out.
Once you’ve gained all the resources you need, it’s about time to decide on which faction you want to join or create. You can remain a Factionless forever of course. That choice is entirely up to you. But you’ll miss out on all the benefits that other factions have including supplies and certain protection. Once you’ve made your choice I suggest playing with other players of the same faction to get the hang of it. Learn from their mistakes and take their recommendations at heart.
So where can I build my own base?
Most PVP planets and space allow you to build your own base. They don’t reset, so unless there’s a full server wipe or if you didn’t visit the base for more than 7 days, your base will remain intact. With the exception of someone else destroying it or taking it over of course.
On a planet it’s recommend to dig down to the bedrock and build your base there with sufficiant protection of course. Don’t just protect the entrance! Although the server has a Anti Griefing Distance of 250 meters which will prevent other players from digging to close to your base, they might still be able to quickly run past your entrance protections and start doing whatever they want with your base in a safe spot.
In space I recommend building very far away from planets. Like at least 50km away. That way the chances of someone finding your base become very small. It can still happen though! A small warning: Do NOT fly a SV so far away from a planet. The game will warn you that the SV is to far away from a planet and instantly kill you.
This is by no means a full list of all the possibilities you have on HWS. There’s still many more stuff to learn and to do. By following the links inside this post, reading the forum and all the other links on the website, you’ll be able to gain a full grasp of how HWS works and how to get the most fun out of it.
If you were sent here by another player because you were asking questions in chat that are answered inside this post or somewhere on the website, you should now understand why it’s important to take some time to read all of this.