While playing Nebula Online, I found several players asking for help and how to play the game. Even though the developers have a small tutorial and help page, players still felt lost in the vast empty abyss of outer space. So in this guide, I’ll give you some tips on how to get started, and how to complete a few easy quests to level up fast.
Setting up the game
Nebula Online just released a new update on March 18th, 2016, so this guide will be based around the new content they have added.
The first thing you will need to do is get familiar with your controls. Before you even load the game, change your controls around. W and S controls your pitch to move up and down, A and D makes you turn left and right. HOWEVER! The default buttons for your throttle is also controlled with W, so you might want to change your controls around a bit. I made my movement controls the arrow keys on the right; it will help you control your ship.
You can press the E button to toggle your engines and activate the turbo boosters, Shift key also activates your boosters. The number keys are used for your skills. The I Key opens your inventory, J opens your quest log journal, M opens your star map, and the Q key opens your Area Scanner.
Leveling Up and Questing
Let’s get into questing. If you just explore, mine ore, and fight random enemies you will be here a long time. Most random enemies only give you about 5 through 10 EXP when you start the game, that will take you forever to level up. Instead, press the J key to open up your Flight Log quest menu, but after the new update, you will only be able to accept new quests by returning to the Station and going inside (read more about that below). You can accept contracts to take on different types of jobs to level up faster. The contracts are as follows:
1. Group of opponent destruction: A bounty hunter mission where you have to kill at least five targets. These can be a bit difficult when starting out.
2. Special enemy destruction: Similar to above, but the enemy is a lot harder. Think of this like a boss battle bounty. Wow, say that five times fast! Anyways, you will most likely need a team to complete these easily.
3. System exploration: Move to a specific planet, to a specific location and just stay there until the ship can scan the area. This happens in the form of a percentage meter that fills up. After you reach the area and the percent hits 100%, you will be able to complete the mission. If you can’t find the area you are looking for, try pressing Q and scanning the area for the contract icon, labeled under the MISC tab, it will point you in the right direction.
4. Items delivery: Exactly what it sounds like. You transport items to a specific planet’s station. Upon entering the station the mission will complete. Return back to the Flight Log and you will see you can collect your reward. Even if it asks you to go to a high level planet that is very strong, as long as you avoid combat and fly straight to the Station you will be okay.
5. Item search: You must search, collect, and return a specific item. This can mean that if pirates destroyed a ship and stole an item, you may have to kill them to get it back. This can be a bit tricky sometimes.
6. Other player destruction (NEW): This was just added. This is a PVP bounty kill mission. I think it is obvious that new players should avoid this one…
7. Defensive structures destruction: Similar to the above, but this time you target an enemy race’s structure and attempt to destroy it. This shouldn’t be attempted by a lone wolf beginner.
I highly recommend that players that are new to Nebular Online should stick with Items Delivery or System Exploration quests. They are very easy and only require you to travel around a bit to complete the missions. Just repeat them over and over again a few times until you reach level 3, from there you can start to take on group destruction missions. Now, let’s talk about navigation and quest icons so you will know what to look for!
Navigation and important Icons:
1. Station: Probably the most important. Most look like a square box building space station, but due to the three races all being different, there are a few differences. The easiest way to find the station is to look for the orange triangle icon.
2. Beacons: They allow you to warp and jump to different locations, not only to other planets, but within the same area as well. White beacons will take you to the far corners of the current map so you can reach ore or enemies faster, while the dark orange beacons take you to other planets. Beacons show up as circle icons with either a half circle inside of it for your current location, or below it to take you to other planets or locations outside your current sector. The light orange beacon next to the station will warp you to the Station. Alternatively, if you can’t find the Station’s beacon, use your Area Scanner with the Q button, it will be listed there as well.
3. Players and ships: Ships show up as white Square icons, if it is a player they will have a triangle inside the square. If it is an enemy ship their square will be either yellow or red for dangerous hostile enemies.
4. NPC turrets: They show up as white triangles. Enemy turrets will shoot you, so try to avoid them.
5. Ore: It shows up as a white diamond on your map.
6: Fortifications: Fortifications show up as a giant X icon.
7: Contracts: If you take on a mission it will look like a journal page or notepad icon. Fly towards it to find your mission objective.
How to Create Modules and Upgrades
Based on the modules you equip and you put on your ship will determine how your ship looks, but it all appears to be random so you will never know what you will find. This is how you obtain mods, build them, and upgrade your ship to get stronger.
1. First you will need to find enemy ships and destroy them. In the starting area, find a white beacon and jump to it by clicking on it and selecting the jump option.
2. Find a single target that has an HP bar at around 500 or lower. Your weapons all have a distance requirement. When you click on a target it will display the distance at the bottom right corner of the enemy status window. The top number is how far away the enemy is, the bottom number is how close you need to be to get a successful hit and do full damage. Get within range, and spam the number 1 button on your keyboard to attack until it dies. If your life gets low, just fly away and move out of the enemy’s range, its life won’t recharge and you can come back to hit it again. Your ship’s life will slowly recharge if you can make it out of combat without taking any damage, allowing you to attack in waves to deal out damage.
3. If you are lucky, the enemy will drop a scheme (a blueprint) for you to craft a new module. Modules are like equipment on other RPG games. You have your main armor, weapons, boosters, etc. The Modules appear to be random when you craft them so you will never know what you will get. Once you have the scheme it will tell you what items and ore you need to craft the Module, from there you have to go and hunt for ore.
4. Warp to a white beacon and look for ore, the diamond icons. Fly close, click it, and click on Collect to farm the ore. You’ll need a lot of it. Once you have enough, you can return to the Station to craft the scheme by clicking on it to gain your new Module. Make as many as you like and find the ones that have the best stats for your play style. Fast and weak, strong and powerful, a large amount of cargo space? Choose whichever seems best to you to get stronger. However, if the Module is labeled “Level 2”, you will need to reach level 2 before being able to craft that item. You also won’t be able to craft items outside of your workshop affiliation. For example, if you choose the Human’s Bigbang workshop ship, you can’t build parts for the Darth Tribe, so it is better to auction those to other players.
5. After you upgrade your ship and get stronger, you can now take on harder more dangerous contracts to continue to level up.
From there, it is just a lot of rinse and repeat as you collect resources, travel to new planets, level up, and fight pirates (or become one) to get stronger.
Dying and Collecting old loot
The last bit I want to point out is when you die you will drop all of your loot, but you won’t lose any EXP. So I recommend that you visit the Station often and take everything from your ship’s Hold (your inventory) and put it onto the Station’s Shed storage which works as a bank storage, that way if you die you don’t lose your gear. You can also sell any unwanted mods there to make a bit of extra cash.
If you do happen to die and drop your loot, if you return back to the planet and use the Q Area Scanner, you can find lost loot containers labeled under the MISC tab, and can go and recover your lost items, they are normally dropped in the exact location of your last death. You just have to get there before another player takes it first, which means, that if you use the Q scanner often, you could locate some rare loot that another player dropped and get lucky by recovering some free items.
I think that is all you need to know to survive and get started. Good luck!