The premium currency of Pocket Starships -- Solars -- can greatly accelerate your progression through the game. While it is fantastic you can get Solars without spending real money, the quantities available evaporate pretty quickly, particularly if you aren’t careful. Here are the ways to get solars, and to make the most of the ones you have.
Ways to Get Solars
- Spend Real Money. This is by far the easiest. You collect a nice infusion of Solars quickly, and all players benefit from keeping the game financially viable. Don’t jump in immediately, though. Wait and see the various in-game offers.
- Complete Achievements -- visible from the Cockpit (Yellow) menu. Each distinct achievement pays a varying number of solar.
- Open Mystery Boxes. Every 20 minutes or so, you can open a mystery box for free -- the jackpot is a couple of dozen solars
- Win Faction Alerts. While you generally play alerts for keys and Domination Points, you will get 2, 5, or even 10 solars.
- Solar Quest-Bots. Once you unlock the Solar Quest-Bot, it can collect 3 solars for you every 18 hours -- essentially daily. At the highest level, it can collect 5 solars every 12 hours.
- Win Alliance Domination Challenge. If you collect 3000 DP in a week, and your Alliance collects a total of 200,000 DP, you will receive 50 Solars. The payout day varies per Alliance, and is not in sync with the Weekly Alliance Competition, which always ends on Sundays.
- Opening Money Boxes. You are awarded money boxes each time you “level up” your Domination (DP) rank, and each one has a chance to award Solars.
- Weekly Alliance Competitions. The 3 Alliances which collect the most DP each week are paid a package of Solars which are split amongst the top 10 DP-winners in those alliances. This is a bit less accessible, since it only affects 60 players across the 2 servers.
How to Squander Solars
The best way to have solars is not to waste them on pointless upgrades and speed-ups. Even if “your time is more valuable than money”, few of these purchases make sense:
- Speeding up transfers / upgrades -- generally a losing move, with one exception that occurs in Alert Sectors (see below)
- Increasing the yield of a transfer -- 9 solars to get 25 extra wormheart. Are you serious?
- Finishing up ore needed to build a ship or item -- Yes, some ores can be difficult to get, but mining/refining is the whole point of the game
- Buying Ships -- Would you seriously blow 800-900 solar for the least-useful ships in the game? You can build better ships than you can buy. Save your Solars for upgrading them and the powerful weapons they can mount.
- Buying Lockboxes -- spending 300-800 solars on a lockbox makes no sense at all. After any reasonable amount of play, even in the easiest redrock sector, you should have more lock boxes than you will ever want to open.
- Opening Mystery Boxes -- if the game asks you to pay 10 solar to open a mystery box, click on the X button. You might end up with more solar, but prizes like “680 Redrock!” should stop that habit cold.
- Excessive Refining or Production Slots -- The third slot is about the point of diminishing returns, depending upon your playstyle. I played successfully for a long time with 2 slots, but I'm happier with the third slot. I would hate having to constantly feed 5 slots, though.
- Temporary Transfer, Production, or Refinement slots -- the price is not outlandish, but it only works one time. If you keep wanting these, just buy a permanent slot.
A Few Things Worth Buying WIth Solars
- A third transfer slot (200 Solars) -- many times you will appreciate having a third slot to transfer ores. You might be tempted to buy a fourth, but the price ramps up quickly to 500 solars, and is not useful as often. The third refining slot is also reasonably priced. The third production slot is a little pricey, but may be worthwhile if you find yourself hungry for Nukes.
- Upgrading your Solar Bot -- You cannot farm parts to upgrade your Quest-Bots, so you have to buy them all for about 70 solar. If you play for more than 70 days, you end up ahead of the game. One upgrade increases the yield from 3 to 4, but it takes at least 3 upgrades to progress further.
- Speeding the upgrade of an outpost during an Alert. If you start building an outpost in the last 2 minutes of an alert, you are expected to speed up the build to permit your faction to win, allowing every active Faction player to get 2 or 5 solars. 9 solars is a small price to be a hero.
- CPUs, Engines, et al, are the reason you need solars in the first place, saving you weeks of farming time. Simple rationing strategies, as described in the next section, can preserve your supply of solars and your sense of accomplishment.
- Pink Keys are vital to opening Lockboxes, and can be quite difficult to collect. The extra power of a premium Starship is definitely worth the Solars, but again you can ration your Solars by waiting until you have earned half of the pinks you need.
How to Save Solars on Upgrades
- Wait for the sale. Every few weeks, you will get a 1-day VIP bonus that applies to everything in the store -- and for buying parts to complete upgrades. For bigger upgrades, a little patience can leave you many solars for the next upgrade -- and there's always another upgrade.
- Make the pirates help you. Set a goal not to do an upgrade until you reach a milestone, for instance:
- where you have collected half of the resources,
- where the upgrade costs a certain solar amount (or less), or
- once you've collected all of the Parts except the Golden ones
- Double ore sectors (e.g. levels 4 and 6) have more pirates, and hence more total pirate drops.
It’s awesome for the premium currency of an MMO to be available to all players, even those who pay nothing to play. Whether you support the game financially or not, you can benefit greatly from making wise choices with the currency you do have.