Some tips from an alpha player for new players.
When starting the game for the first time take some time to quickly read through the in game help section. It has a bit of information about all the different screens in the game and some of the abbreviations used.
In the early stages of the game concentrate on levelling up your ships gun and aim to unlock the shipyard in the sections tab. To do this you need to buy the first level of the Command Centre and then buy the first level of the Dev Centre, Armory, and Mining Centre. Once you have all of these unlocked the Shipyard is available to purchase.
As you unlock each of the mentioned sections new options become available to you. The Dev centre contains research that resets with a Return to Base but gives strong boosts during a run. The Armory is where you can add Ammo mods to weapons and upgrade weapon tiers, later on you can use it to upgrade Modules and modify Ammo mods. The Mining centre is used to mine ore which is then used to purchase mining contracts which offer Scrap, XP, and Gold as rewards.
Once you can afford the Shipyard make it a priority to buy and read through the things available in its tab. There are many options available here with various prices. You will notice the Return to Base option. For a first reset I recommend a ship level of 100. At 100 the amount of SP gained doubles and it is not too far to gimp your progress for the next run.
Beyond the first reset
Once you have done your first reset you will get the SP earned and the first reset bonus. I recommend unlocking the RC weapon and equipping it. If you have enough SP you can unlock a second weapon slot for it but I recommend using it for something else such as Damage.
Avoid buying the R Damage, R Scrap, R Mining Rate, and R XP shipyard upgrades as they are only needed when you are capping out your research in the Dev Centre.
At this point I would start aiming to unlock automation. It takes a fair bit of SP to level up all the automation sections but I tend to start by getting the weapon time down a bit then increase all of the purchase amounts. Once I have the automated reset part unlocked I concentrate on that to get it to a level where it turns negative. This can take a while so also concentrate on levelling other Shipyard bonuses. Damage, Scrap reward, Starting scrap, Gold reward, Starting gold, XP, and Mining rate are all good. Gold will give you the most benefit long term. Other noteable things are the Wave/Completion bonuses. These can really speed up your runs eventually you will be doing patrols with 1 completion and 5 waves making going from 1-Max ship level really efficient.
Try to get the first module slot and module unlocked at the same time when you decide to go for them as you need both to use them. The damage mod is good early on and makes clearing wave a bit speedier.
When doing a run if I am manually purchasing things I will always buy weapons before anything else with my starting scrap. Then Modules and lastly mining crews. Then I will swap to the Dev tab and set my purchase amount to 1x and buy whatever is the cheapest out of the 4 main researches (damage, xp, scrap, and mining rate) until I run out of gold. This seems to keep the 4 main researches at a decent ratio. Later on when you unlock more of the researches you can buy other stuff if you like I find most of it is not really that useful.
Don’t bother with weapon Tiers in the Armory until you get the SP upgrade that lets you retain weapon tiers.
Return to base as often as you can but try to stay within 100 levels of your highest ever ship level because the SP penalty is bad when you are too far from your max. I suggest 100 because this is where the SP upgrade “attack speed on completed raid/patrol” bonus starts to rapidly diminish and can slow your run down a fair bit if you have a really large investment in this upgrade.
A good thing to do is to choose something to work towards and concentrate on that one thing as you end up spending SP on too many other things if you don’t have a goal and spread it too thinly.
With the free coins you get every day try to save them up for the SP upgrade it is well worth it over the other upgrades.