Campaign mode was originally introduced in the 0.5 Alpha preview.
In Campaign mode, the player starts off with some supplies and small fleet depending upon their choices when creating their commander.. The player can move the ship by clicking on a target or a destination. Fleets belonging to factions will also patrol the cosmos. You can choose whether to attack or run from them, although only the pirate faction is hostile toward you in the beginning. Hostile fleets that are more powerful than yours will chase and engage you, while less powerful fleets will flee.
As the player fights, their character gains experience and levels up. When a player levels up they gain skill points and aptitude points which can be spent on skills and their governing aptitudes respectively.
Some planets have orbital space stations which can belong to factions. You can trade crew, supplies, fuel, weapons, and ships at stations, as well as spend supplies to fully repair your ships. Stations will trade with you based on your standing with their faction, but will only offer repairs if its faction is not hostile towards you. Additionally, many items available for trade are based on faction reputation.
Combat is identical to the Missions mode. After combat, you can chose to take items salvaged from ships that have been disabled or scraped. Some disabled enemy ships can be boarded if you have marines to spare. Ships that surrender can be boarded without losing marines.
Using the Refit Screen weapons can be fitted on ships in your fleet, assuming the ship has enough ordnance points and they are of the right type and size for the ship's weapon mount. Upgrades can also be put on your hull at the cost of ordnance points, which vary in cost depending on the ship size.
Fleets will generally spawn from their home base, the system's edge, or hyperspace. Those that spawn on the edge of the system are usually headed for their faction's station, whether to deliver supplies or to return home after pillaging (pirates). Fleets can also dock at their faction's station where they will fly down to the planet and despawn.
- Main article: Commander Creation
When you start a new campaign the player will be asked to provide a name for their commander and then choose a back story which will affect what ships and cargo they start the game with.
- The Campaign starts on Day 29, Month 1, Cycle 206.