Starting Up with the Game - Star Citizen

A word of warning

Start Citizen is not finished yet! The current release is Alpha 1.3 but it is quickly approaching Alpha 2. However, in order for a complete 1.0 release to be ready we will probably have to wait until the second half on 2016. For all the details and news about the development status, please check this page out:

What do we need?

Start Citizen is probably the absolute most complex game around, so it is no surprise that we have to go through quite a few annoying steps before we can start our ship's engines up. In the following I've tried to summarize the steps that I've taken in order to be ready to start the game (which doesn't mean I have been able to actually start it immediately, read on for the details). These steps are also summarized in graphical form in the picture below where my RSI Download page is shown.

Starting out with the Game.

  1. Sign In or Enlist: we have to create an account first, or login to the site if we are already registered.
  2. Get the Game: we need a ship in our Hangar to start with, but we can do very little with our Hangar at the moment, so we also need access to the Arena Commander if we want to see something interesting. The easiest way to gain both is to buy a game package. Review the list of available packages and choose one. As a new player, and also taking into account the unfinished state of the game, we probably do better starting with something simple, such as an Aurora MR or Mustang Alpha AC Starter package.
  3. Explore your Hangar: already included into any game package
  4. Fight in Arena Commander: already included into any game package
  5. Discover Planetside: already included into any game package
  6. The Latest Version: at this point we can download the latest version of the game, but first we need to make sure that we have the necessary hardware for installing it on

System Requiremeents

  • Windows 7 service pack 1 (64 bit) or Windows 8 (64 bit)
  • DirectX 11 graphics card with 1GB Video RAM
  • Quad core CPU
  • 8GB Memory

Keep in mind that these are estimated system requirements and may change for the final release of the game.

Installing the Game

  1. download the Installer from RSI server
  2. launch the installer setup program, follow the instructions up to successfull installation
  3. run the Start Citizen Launcher
  4. enter your RSI user name and password, click "Sign In"
  5. the first time you start the launcher, the Patcher will download the latest version. Be warned, this is a huge package (e.g. Alpha 1.3 is more than 35GB) and might take a lot of time to download, so it is probably wise to run the pather overnight or when you do not plan to be using your PC.
  6. once the update is complete, a "Ready to launch" message appears in the Launcher main window. Just click the "Launch Game" button to start the game!

Accessing the Arena Commander

When the game is started via the Launcher, the player is initially located into his / her Hangar. As of Alpha 1.3, there is very little we can do in the Hangar, apart of moving around, looking at our ship(s), entering one ship etc. but we cannot start the engines or leaving the Hangar yet, for example. To be honest, another thing that we can do from the Hangar is entering the ArcCorp sector (the Social Module) but it is still in its early phase of development, there is only one area that can be explored at the moment (Area 18). Therefore, although this is a potentially beautiful module, I will leave it alone at the moment.

The most interesting part of Star Citizen is the Arena Commander (AC). To access the AC, press ESC from the Hangar to show the main menu up, then click Options and select the Arena Commander option. Once the AC module is ready, the following playing modes become available:

  • Single-Player modes include:
    • Arena Commander Tutorial
    • Vanduul Swarm
    • Free Flight
    • Murray Cup Racing
  • Multi-Player modes include:
    • Battle Royale
    • Squadron Battle
    • Capture the Core
    • Vanduul Swarm Coop
    • Murray Cup Racing