This short introduction will take you through installing, starting, and playing the Torn Stars mod (formerly Epic:Middle States). It is recommended that you print this guide and follow along. A copy can be found inside the game in the ships library.
Install Edge of Chaos.
Install the patch to version 14.
Click on the torn_stars_8_0.exe (installer) and let it install Torn Stars.
Double click the Torn Stars icon on your desktop. Press Play on the loader.
Once the game has loaded, select "Start New Game" on the main menu.
You will find yourself flying in a Life Pod near a shipyard in the Alcuin Star system. This is not a safe place. Follow along to turn your starting cash into ships and trade.
One major change in Torn Stars is the ship to ship communication system. Fly over to the cyan blue “utility” (a flat ship, that looks just like Jaff’s SNRV). Press CTRL-C to start a communications session with the “utility” ship. Follow the prompts to hire the wingman. You will need his help to haul cargo pods.
Once he is hired, press "o" (oh) to open the Ship Menu. From the list of buttons, select "Wingman Status". In this screen you can read your current funds remaining (midway across, bottom). Your life pod is currently selected. Use the mouse to select your wingman. You can see the cost in fuel to make one system to system capsule jump. And the upkeep cost per day of time.
One day of time passes for each system to system capsule jump you make.
Exit the Ship Menu
Order your new wingman to formate with you.
Press "0" (zero) to select wingman group zero, where all new wingmen start by default.
A small menu shows up in the center of your HUD (for reference). Press "2" to select form up (Defend Me).
The command completes and your wingman moves into formation with your ship.
You can change the order group of your wingmen. It is useful to move your freighters to a separate group from new ships or fighters. Move your wingman to group 5.
Target your wingman in the contact list. Press "5" to select group 5. Then give the command "group commands" by pressing "0" zero to enter the group commands submenu. And then select "add ship" by pressing "0". This command moves a wingman you have currently targeted to the selected order group.
Check the wingman is in the new group by ordering group 5 to form up with you. Press "5"for group 5 and "2" for form up. Your wingman should respond.
If he does not, reread the moving section and try again. The following notes assume your wingman is in group 5.
The pattern of commands should be getting clear. The first key press selects the group you want the following commands to impact. And then you press keys to issue those commands. Fast commands only require one key press. Some commands are more complex and require a submenu key press. Once memorized, you can issue very complex commands to several groups very quickly.
You are currently flying in a Life Pod. You need a better ship.
Target the nearby station and use your autopilot to dock with the station (F8). Once your ship docks the Ship Menu will open automatically. On this menu, a new option appears, "Purchase Spaceship". Select this option.
A new screen opens where you can purchase a new player ship. The only ship for sale (and the only one you can afford) is the "Tug". Mouse click the Tug button to see the price and a description. Your current account balance is also displayed here.
Select the "Purchase Ship" button. And the press the Confirm Purchase. You will find yourself taken inside the station where you can customize the loadout your new Tug.
Press "Escape" to get to the Save menu option. Save your game.
Now return to the hanger and launch your ship into space. When you arrive in space, notice your wingman is where you left him. Wingman commands are not remembered through a save/restore cycle. Group assignments for wingmen are remembered. Also notice that your ship is returned to the docked to station position.
Open the Ship Menu "o" and select the navigation menu option. When the Navigation GUI opens up, find the "Common Metals Mine" in the far right hand side. Select this mine. Now select "Set Location Waypoint" in the lower left hand corner.
Command your wingman to follow you. Press "5" for group five, the "2" for formate.
Then fly to the common metals mine waypoint. When you get close and the station shows up on your contact list, target the station and approach it. When you are within 20km you can purchase cargo.
Open the Ship Menu and select "Cargo Purchase". Use the mouse to select a metal in the top left list. Then press "Order All". This will put 10 cargo pods into your order list in the bottom left.
Your ship cannot carry this many pods. So select the menu item in the order list, and press Remove Item. Press Remove Item until only 6 cargo pods remain.
The press Purchase Order. The funds needed are subtracted and the cargo pods are placed near you. Exit the Screen.
Give your wingman a command to collect the cargo pods. Press "5" for group five, and select cargo commands, key "9". Then select collect all which is also key "9". The cargo pods will pilot themselves over to your wingman and load.
This is a good time to save your game. Dock to the station (F8). When the Ship Menu opens, select "Enter Station". You will be taken inside the station. Press "Escape" to get to the option menu. Save your game.
After you have saved. Use the hanger to launch into space. Find your fully loaded wingman outside waiting for you.
Open the Ship Menu "o" and select the navigation menu option. When the Navigation GUI opens up, find the "Common Metals Processing" in the far right hand side. Select this mine. Now select "Set Location Waypoint" in the lower left hand corner.
Give your wingman a command to formate with you and then fly to the location waypoint.
When you get within 20km of the station, use the Ship Menu and select Sell Cargo.
The Sell Cargo screen opens and the pods you are carrying should be listed in the upper left hand corner. (if they don’t show up, wait until your wingman gets closer to the station).
Select your pods with the mouse. Press Offer All. Then press Sell Offer. The pods will vanish and you will be credited for them.
Short range hauls like the one just completed only pay a small percentage of the value of the cargo. System to system cargo hauls can pay as much as 25% of the cargo value per jump and are much more worth while.
The Ship Computer menu: Library has more details on the wingman commands. You can try testing out the rest of the cargo handling commands.
Use the Navigation GUI to inspect nearby systems for possible trade targets. Find a common metal refinery that is further away, and haul some cargo there.
The basic structure is that mines produce ores. Those ores can be sold to processing plants that produce refined materials. And those materials are sold to manufacturing plants. The manufacturing plants produce goods sold to a wide scattering of stations.
The easiest way to find trade routes is use the Navigation GUI to trace from mines up to processing plants. Then when you visit those systems, make note of the pricing. Prices always climb as you move away from the star system with the greatest surplus production. If you can find those producer systems, you can sell at a profit anywhere you take those goods.
Discovering the best routes is the main challenge of the game.
There are two major ways to upgrade your profit earning power. The simplest is to hire more and larger freighters. The larger the freighter, the more efficient it uses fuel and upkeep and the more pods you can carry with each trip. You can hire larger freighters at Waystations.
The second method is to increase your faction standing. Most factions will not sell you the most profitable cargo items until you have increased your standing. Each increase in standing can double the value of the cargo you can purchase. Use the Reputation GUI to purchase a standing upgrade. It will take some time to learn which factions offer goods on profitable trade routes.