Rebel Galaxy Outlaw Guide – Beginners Tips and Tricks
Dominate the galaxy in no time.
Science fiction regularly portrays space as unforgiving and dangerous. Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is no different. Starting out with a junk spaceship, the Platypus, and basic equipment, you have to do your best to make money, fight off space pirates or law enforcement, and ultimately survive.
Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is pretty light on tutorials, generally letting you figure out most things for yourself. That’s where we come in. Have a read of this beginners guide for a bunch of handy tips and tricks to get you started in your spacefaring career.
Which difficulty to play on
Rebel Galaxy Outlaw has four difficulty modes to choose from: Normal, Veteran, Sim and Old School. If you’re playing the game for the first time, you’d likely be best off on Normal mode. This gives you some better starting items, including a combat laser, radar with threat colour coding, secondary guns and afterburners. While these are generally basic and you’ll replace them with better stuff as you progress, it gives a good helping hand when you’re just getting started.
Veteran, on the other hand, is similar but starts you off with the bare minimum. Those first few hours will be slow-going as you try to get yourself some gear. Both Normal and Veteran allow the use of assists, which make combat far easier. Sim and Old School are hardcore modes that shouldn’t be played until you have some experience under your belt – if at all – with assists disabled, making gameplay more manual and difficult.
Note that you cannot change the difficulty setting after starting a game. Choose wisely!
Visit the bars
Pretty much every space station you visit has a bar, and ech bar has an option for you to talk to the bartender. This isn’t just a trivial chat with an NPC – you have the choice of getting news, rumours, bounties, info about the local market and more. Some advice, like bounty targets, will cost you a few credits, but this is information often worth paying for.
As well as the bartender, bars have a varying selection of bar games to play, like dice, slots and 8 ball. Even if you’re not much of a gambler, the bar games can be worth checking out as they can win you not just credits but equipment, too. Try out the different options, and whereas many will just be a credits gamble (not particularly worth bothering with), your opponent will sometimes say they have a piece of equipment to gamble. Compare this to the item’s value in the equipment bay and you can decide whether it’s worth the risk.
Play 8 ball at Nacogdoches Mining at the beginning, for example, you can win a tracer, a fairly effective automatic weapon for your ship. Whereas this game of 8 ball will cost you just 300 credits, the tracer is worth much more than that. Obviously you have to win, though, so I hope you’re good at pool!
How to make money
While the story missions are very much worth playing, they won’t be your most effective form of income in Rebel Galaxy Outlaw. Side missions often compensate you much better – check the Mission Board regularly to see what’s available.
Trading is also an important aspect of making money. You can buy and sell goods in the commodity exchange of each station. Here you can see prices, with green figures showing on-demand item prices above average, and red showing the ones that are below.
If you select a commodity you can see not only a graph of its price history but an extra, useful piece of information: where it’s commonly traded from. This is a good bet for where you may be able to pick that resource up more cheaply so that you can return later to sell at a profit.
Becoming a bounty hunter is another option, taking down pirates with a price on their head. The bartender can point you in the direction of a lot of these. On the flip side, you can go pirating yourself, threatening and attacking freighters in order to grab their cargo. But this is risky and will get the law on your tail, so only do this when you’re more experienced.
If you join the Merchants Guild, this will open up a selection of new missions for you to take on that are quite profitable, generally based around delivering cargo or sourcing certain commodities that are in demand. It’ll cost you 1,000 credits to join in the first place, but this will soon pay for itself. The Mercenaries Guild can also pay quite handsomely for its missions, though as the name suggests it’ll require more fighting, so make sure you’re geared up enough.
Probe missions can bring very easy money at the beginning of the game. In probe missions, you literally just need to reach the designated area. You can autopilot there in seconds and instantly receive a reward. Bear in mind that as you visit more dangerous systems, there will often be enemies waiting for you.
Make a habit of using your scanner regularly – it only takes a second. As well as its utility in detecting mines and other dangers, you can sometimes find valuables, like abandoned cargo containers that you can shoot to claim their contents.
Which ship components to buy and upgrade
You don’t receive a tractor beam at the beginning, even on Normal mode. But you’ll want to try and equip one as soon as you can. You’ll be able to afford one pretty early on as they’re only 7,500 credits, so buy one as a matter of priority. You can then grab all sorts of valuable cargo floating about in space or ejected from ships you destroy. You can even grab criminals to turn in for a bounty at the nearest station.
Along with a tractor beam, some of the first equipment you should upgrade on your ship is the armour. As you’d expect, paying for tougher armour will let you take more of a beating. Shield generators are also vital, albeit require a significant amount of power to run. Countermeasures can be a lifesaver, too, letting you avoid missiles that are on your tail – but they only work sometimes.
Make sure you frequently use the autopursuit function. Holding LT (on an Xbox controller) while targeting something will make your ship automatically pursue your intended target, selecting both the appropriate direction and speed. This makes life much easier. You can still use your afterburners in conjunction with this to pursue them faster.
In conjunction with autopursuit, the other function you should abuse is the targeting system. Hold Y to bring the command menu up, and select targeting from there. This will show a short-range map that pauses time to let you survey your surroundings. Select an enemy with A, and hold the autopursuit button to instantly turn to them and pursue them. Once you’ve killed that enemy, bring up the targeting system again, rinse and repeat.
If it’s not clear, assists will show a crosshair of where you should be shooting, which accounts for ‘leading’ your target, so that your shots still hit when they’re speeding across your screen.
You should also make good use of the ability to communicate with other ships (the back button on an Xbox One controller). You can insult an enemy, hilariously shouting a slur and flipping the bird, to make them start targeting you – this is helpful when you’re trying to defend a trader or police ship. Or if you’re in over your head, you can plea for mercy and even jettison your cargo to convince pirates to leave you alone.
Finally, don’t try to fight everything. This ain’t just a shmup. You can’t expect to be able to shoot everything in sight and make it out alive – particularly not in the beginning. If a bigger, badder ship is bearing down on you – or more likely, a group of them – get the hell out of there.
How to travel to a new solar system
The first time you may wonder how to travel systems is during the Nevada Bound mission early on, where you need to get to the Nevada system. For this, you’ll need a jump drive. These are fairly pricey at 20,000 credits, so spend some time doing missions and trading in the first system. Once you have a jump drive, you can choose which system to go to from the region map, then switch to your local map to locate the relevant jump gate. Simply autopilot there and hold the appropriate button to perform the jump.
Try out different ships
Rebel Galaxy Outlaw has a range of different ship types to choose from. These vary in attributes, with some featuring large cargo holds that make them better suited for trading, and others having higher speed, defence and attack capabilities.
Not many ships will be available at the beginning. To unlock new ships, you’ll have to travel to different systems and meet certain requirements. But bear in mind that once you have access to buy new ships, you generously sell them back for the same price as you bought them for. The upshot is that you can try out different ships and see what suits your playstyle.
That said, ships are hella expensive. You’d be better served upgrading all of your equipment and defences first – these will all carry over to your new ride.
How to avoid getting caught with contraband
Contraband is illegal cargo ranging from explosives to dodgy brew. Police ships will regularly initiate scans of your cargo to check for contraband. As soon as you get the warning of this occurring, enter the cargo hold menu and jettison any cargo you’re carrying. They’re seemingly oblivious to you doing this, as of the time of writing. You can then just turn straight back around and pick it up again when the scan has completed.
For a more elegant solution, you can upgrade to a smuggler’s cargo hold that’ll let you hide a few pieces of contraband – but it’ll cost you, and has limited space.
Don’t get too carried away with the story missions
In some games, you could quite happily power through the main quest and ignore side missions. Not so with Rebel Galaxy Outlaw. Even the second main mission will take you quite far away from the first system, and a fight you have there likely won’t end well if you haven’t upgraded far beyond your starting equipment.
Methodically work your way through the systems, earning more money and buying new components for your ship. Side missions will steadily increase in both difficulty and reward, building you up.
Start with the basics. Don’t go rushing into distress signals at the start of the game, despite the temptation to do so from them interrupting your autopilot and flashing purple on your radar – these often are swarming with pirates. Wait until later, when you’re a bit better equipped to be a hero.
How to play your own music
Rebel Galaxy Outlaw benefits from a bunch of different radio stations, with hundreds of tracks covering a variety of genres. But if you’d rather play your own music, you can point it to a folder of MP3s on your PC on the game launcher before it starts. Sadly, Spotify and other streaming services aren’t supported.