Do not use the "Quit Without Saving" option in the in-game save menu, it will prevent you from loading your last save game unless maybe you use the batch files to restore a backed up save. I believe a hard mission failure / game over will have the same result.
These are games where I highly suggest reading the included documentation/manual. Not only does it explain a lot of the menus and game mechanics (including the parameters for a valid colony world recommendation), but it also adds some color to the game and delivers information about the world, including some clues/leads that will help you unravel the game's mysteries.
Note that the included map has continuum fluxes marked on the map which is kind of a cheat. You can do a web search for the original "Starflight poster map" which doesn't have the flux locations marked. The border of the map also includes some hints, at least one of which is a clue that I consider to be fairly important.
* Don't read the manuals for Starflight 2 until you finish the original game -- it contains massive spoilers for the first game.
* Take notes and try to internalize the stuff you learn in the course of play -- there is no autofilling quest log or waypoint markers, so it's up to you to put the pieces together and figure out where to go and what to do; obviously things like coordinates are usually important, but sometimes what seem may like mere background lore for "flavor" can be integral to figuring what you should do.
* Don't stray too far from the home system without upgrading your ship and crew some.
* You can mine the home system and its neighboring system for minerals to do those upgrades. Buying a few cargo pods will let you do this more efficiently.
* In Starflight 2 mining is not worthwhile, instead the basic form of income comes from capturing flora/fauna and selling them at trade centers; you can do this with the Tandelou in the early game. Note that prices given are "per unit" and larger creatures can constitute several units worth of material per capture.
* Remember to check to see if you need to refuel before leaving starbase. I would suggest a minimum of 50 units or 75+ if you plan on ranging further. Think about heading back to starbase (or finding another source of fuel) when you hit around 15-25 units of fuel depending on how far out you are. In SF2, all trading centers sell fuel.
* Elowan crew members are extremely fragile, and can be one-shot by planetary hazards. I avoid them for this reason.
Some of the most important early investments:
* The Flat Device (SF1) or T.V. Lifeform shield (SF2) from the starbase shop.
* A Velox Navigator with 250 Navigation skill. There are many ways you can get lost if you don't have a skilled Navigator, and they are also good for ship combat.
* A Comms Officer with 200 or 250 Communications skill; Human, Elowan and Thyrnn are all viable choices for species in SF1. Lots of important information comes from talking to aliens, and without a skilled comms officer you won't be able to understand them; a 200 skill Human will garble the odd word now and then, but won't die to a stiff breeze and keeps your options open with regard to communicating with the Elowan/Thrynn. In Starflight 2, Thrynn is the optimal choice apart from being slightly more expensive to train than the alternatives.
* A Class 5 Engine. High quality engines give better fuel economy which saves you money and also effectively extends your ship's range, and also improves your acceleration which is useful for maneuvering in (or escaping from) combat.
* A Human Science Officer with 250 Science skill. This is helpful for identifying viable colony worlds, which is a good source of income that's less tedious than mining / specimen collection.
Everything else (at least in terms of upgrades you can get from the starbase) is less essential. Ship defenses/armaments are more important in SF2 than SF1.
Post edited February 19, 2021 by Tukka