Pixel Starships is the result of one of the most successful Mobile Game Kickstarter campaigns in history. It is the first full-control starship management game for Android and iOS devices. Despite the deceptively simple pixel graphics, the game runs on some pretty serious mechanics. Players need to oversee and manage multiple rooms and crew members as they face off against aliens, space bandits, eternally confused and irritable federation soldiers, and more. Players can add more rooms and upgrade existing ones in order to make their starship stronger.
That is only the beginning, though. Individual crew members also have to be leveled up and trained in order to maximize their potential. Not only will this help in starship battles, there will also be crew member skirmishes where their individual stats matter the most. As the ship’s captain, you will have your work cut out for you. Below you can find our Pixel Starships ultimate guide that comes with some pretty cool tips, cheats and strategies to help you out before entering hyperspace!
1. Choose Your Starship Wisely
At the start of the game, you will be asked to choose a captain as well as a job. The jobs do not really do anything other than change the story a little, so what you are really after is the ship that comes with it. Each job’s starship looks different, so pick the one you like the most. The reason we are telling you this at the beginning is because you won’t be able to change it later on. You will be able to buy a new starship, but that will cost you a ton of Starbux, the game’s premium currency. That is why you should choose a ship that you don’t mind playing with for quite a long time.
2. Optimize Your Ship’s Layout
When you look at your ship, you will probably notice that it is oddly shaped. There will tend to be gaps or excess blocks once you have plopped down your rooms. Do not be lazy and just drop rooms wherever there is space. You may be able to drag and drop your crew members now, but during battle, you will only be able to tell them where to go. They cannot jump up and down or walk through walls. They need to use the Lift to be able to move up and down the ship. Crew members also will not be able to walk to an adjacent room if it is not properly aligned with the one they are in.
You are free to stuff the non-combat rooms like the Mines, Gas Collectors, Storages, and Bedrooms whichever way you want. Just make sure that the Reactors, Engine Rooms, Weapon Rooms, and pretty much any other room that has a life bar, are all accessible to your crew members. Otherwise, those rooms are doomed and will not be repaired during battle.
3. Keep Some Crew Members Safe
As we mentioned above, crew members are needed in order to repair rooms that are damaged during battle. When a crew member is in a room, he will automatically repair that room. He will also improve its reload speed if it is a weapon room. That does not mean you should place all your crew members in the weapon rooms, though. Before a room is destroyed, attacks will first kill any crew member inside it. There is no way to revive them during battle, so they will remain lost for the rest of the fight. That means if all you crew members die, there will be no one left to repair your rooms. On top of that, if your ship captain dies, you automatically lose the battle. Try to keep one or two crew members, including your captain, in one of the non-combat rooms. Just make sure they will be able to run to the other rooms in case they need to repair something.
4. Upgrade Your Ship Last
Every room in your ship can be upgraded, including the ones that take up just one block like the Armor, Lift, and Service Vent. Their maximum level, however, is determined by your ship’s level. That does not mean, however, that you should rush your ship level. In fact, you should not touch your ship’s level until you have maxed out all the possible upgrades of your current rooms. If there is not enough space for all the rooms, you can keep some in the storage. For example, if you will be playing actively, you can keep the Gym in your inventory for a while. Once you are done playing, and will be logging off for the day, you can hide your Bolter gun in your inventory to make space for the Gym. This way, you can queue up training for your crew members.
One thing to keep in mind is that a room that is under construction will not be available during battle. That means if your Mining Laser is being upgraded and you start a mission, you will enter battle without it. Make sure you will still have enough firepower to cover for its absence. The same is true for Reactors. If all your Reactors are under construction, do not start a mission or you will risk entering battle without any power!
5. Prioritize Your Storages
While you want to be strong in battle as soon as you can, weapons are not really your top priority in upgrades. The first things you need to upgrade are your storages. Keep in mind that you will be taking home resources whenever you win a battle. If your total capacity for these resources is low, the excess will just go to waste. On the same note, make sure you also have space in your storages before going on additional missions to avoid wasting your rewards. Try to consume some of your resources if your storages are full. If you have the maximum number of construction ongoing, you may want to hold off on additional missions until they are done.
6. Complete Your Daily Missions
When you tap on the Missions icon, you will see there are two types. The first one is the yellow mission which indicates it is part of the story. You will only be able to play through a story mission once, but it will be replaced by one or more story missions afterward. The second type of mission is the blue one. Blue missions are repeatable but only up to a certain number of times per day. These are your daily missions. Make sure you use up all the number of repeats per day in order to maximize your resource and experience gain.
7. Train Your Crew Members
The Gym is not just for your ship captain, although there is nothing wrong in prioritizing him when it comes to training sessions. Training your crew members will increase the different stats that they have. The stats that your crew members earn when they level up will not be enough. You want them as strong as possible in order to survive longer in battle. Remember what happens when you run out of people on deck? You are as good as a sitting duck if they all die too quickly. On top of that, you need at least three really tough members for missions that involve crew battles.
When your mission is a crew battle, you will be asked to choose just three of your best people. They will then battle against one or more waves of enemies in turn-based combat. The battle system is reminiscent of old school RPGs where you get to choose whether to attack or defend. If you choose to attack, you will be able to choose a target, but if someone is defending your target, you will hit the defender instead. Try to focus on one enemy at a time in order to reduce the number of enemies as quickly as possible.
8. Don’t Forget To Level Up Your Crew Members
When you win a ship battle, all your crew members who are on board will gain experience. However, they will not automatically level up even if their experience bar is maxed out. You will see their bar glowing when they are ready to level up. Tap on them and choose Level Up in order to proceed. You will need to spend some gas depending on the level of your crew member. Make sure you level them up as soon as they are eligible. Otherwise, all the experience they earn in subsequent battles will go to waste.
9. Recruit Better Crew Members
As soon as you have a Research Lab, try to complete the Beer research. This will allow you to recruit people who are three stars and above by spending Starbux. Before the Beer research, you will only be able to recruit by spending Minerals or Gas. The best you can get from these are three-star characters. On top of that, the cost of summoning increases. You could spend several thousand Minerals only to get a one-star character! The Starbux summon has two options. You can spend 100 Starbux for a character that can be three stars or above. Alternatively, you can spend 300 Starbux for one that is at least 4 stars. We recommend that you save up for the 300 Starbux summon since you can get three-star characters if you waste enough Minerals or Gas on the first two gacha options.
10. Reactors Are Everything
The number one thing you should remember during battle is that power is everything. If you don’t have power, you won’t be able to do anything. This information is useful both offensively and defensively. First off, if you are attacking, prioritize the enemy’s Reactors first. Focus all your firepower on a single Reactor, preferably the bigger one. Don’t mind the enemy’s weapons because you will end up taking too much damage if you try to take those out first. If you manage to take out all the Reactors, the weapons won’t be able to fire anyway. They will just sit there while you take them out or fire straight at the enemy’s HP.
Of course, the same is true for you. Make sure you protect your Reactors no matter what. Max out your Reactor upgrade as soon as you can. Prioritize placing additional armor on your Reactors to keep them protected. Finally, have multiple people on standby in case the Reactors need repairs. Make sure you always switch back and forth between the enemy ship and your own, so you can check on your Reactors.
The reason you cannot afford to have any of your Reactors go down even if they can be repaired is the allocation of power. When a reactor is destroyed, the power it supplies to different rooms will disappear. Some of your guns may stop working. You shield might go down. The problem does not get fixed when you the Reactor is repaired. The power will stay on the bar on the left side of the screen and you will need to reassign them all again to the different rooms. This will take up precious time that your enemy can take advantage of to deal even more damage.
11. Keep An Eye Out For Goodies
Pixel Starships is pretty generous when it comes to freebies. On the main screen, you will often see different kinds of goodies and deals that you can take advantage of. The most prominent one would be the Pixel Ads blimp that would often float across the bottom of your screen. Tapping on it will play a video advertisement that will reward you with 3 Starbux. It appears often, so you can spam it a lot in order to rack up some premium currency.
You will also notice cargo ships floating at the top of your screen. Tapping on these will give you deals on resources and crew members. Make sure you tap on the individual crew members that are being offered. You can get a 4-star crew member for just 200 Starbux instead of that 300 that you have to spend in the shop. The cargo ships also sometimes contain a box that has no price underneath. Tapping on it will give you its contents for free.
Finally, you will sometimes see one Starbux floating around on the screen. Tap on it to claim it. It may not seem like much but considering all you had to do was tap on it, it is definitely worth the effort. Besides, since they appear quite often as well, those floating Starbux will eventually pile up.
12. Be Competitive, Here’s How
There are different competitions available in Pixel Starships. All of them revolve around PVP. When you tap on the Missions icon, you will see a PVP button at the top right of the screen. Tapping on it will start the matchmaking process and you will be shown an overview of another player’s ship. You can choose to attack that ship or keep looking. Winning in a PVP match will reward you with resources as well as some Trophies. The more Trophies you have, the higher your rank will be.
The number of Trophies you collect will determine your position in the different Tournament divisions. There is an Individual Division as well as several Fleet Divisions. You will qualify for the Individual Division from the start, but you will have to build a Fleet Council room and join a Starfleet in order to participate in the Fleet Divisions. Ranking well in any of these Tournaments will reward you with a lot of Starbux, so try to do well and find a good Starfleet to join!
Another type of competition in the game is the Event. You will see an Event button beside the PVP button. This will provide details on an upcoming or ongoing event. There may be restrictions on who are allowed to participate as well as the level of participation. Rewards for Events usually include Starbux, so try to participate if you can.
13. Set Up Your AI
When your ship reaches level 4, you will be able to build a Command Center. This will enable you to set up AI instructions for your rooms and crew members. You can set multiple scenarios for each room or crew member. The maximum number of commands depends on your Command Center’s level. At level 1, you can have up to 6 different commands for your AI. The commands you set up will determine the automated behavior of your ship and crew. For example, if you want to divert power to your guns when your Shield is at 100%, you can set it so that other rooms will reduce their power consumption. You can also copy a set of AI commands to make it easier to set up similar rooms.
14. Claim Your Achievements
At the top right side of your screen, you will notice a Trophy icon. The number below it indicates the number of Trophies you have earned so far. If you see a blue number on top of it, however, that means you have an Achievement reward waiting for you. Tap on the Trophy icon then go to the Achievements tab to claim your rewards. Achievement rewards can be resources or Starbux, so make sure you check on these often.
15. Barter On Gbay
One of the basic research options in your lab is Gbay. Unlocking it will allow you to list items for sale. You can sell the items in your inventory in exchange for Minerals, Gas, or Starbux. If you want to check if anyone will buy your stuff before listing it, you can post in the public chat first to see if people are interested. You can also check out the listings from other players in the market in case you are looking for anything in particular. Keep in mind that market listings are subject to a 20% Market tax, so adjust your pricing accordingly.
Managing a growing starship is definitely challenging, but with the help of our Pixel Starships strategy guide, you will be able to win more space battles and lead your crew to the top of the rankings!