Thursday, March 19, 2009

Your First Twenty Ships: Starting Out in TE 3000

So you've put on a Tiny Empires 3000 HUD. Maybe a well-meaning friend got it for you. Maybe you were just curious. Or perhaps it's still in your inventory, calling your name.

Welcome to a great new game based on a great older game.

This guide will help cut through the confusion of your early days in TE3K, as it is sometimes known for short. If you have a "trial version" HUD, it will work until you reach 20 ships. That's why this guide talks about the first 20 ships. By the time you get there you'll know if the L$999 price will be worth it. (It will.)

Here's my 12-step plan for getting started in TE3K!

1. Wear your HUD almost all the time. Even if you are ignoring it totally, you can build up your credit balance. There is no way to lose credits by accident or inattention until you are using advanced features like colonies.

2. Join a guild and get a superior as soon as you can. Without one you will be stuck at one ship and 250 credits max. Normally, just hang close to the friend that recruited you, and you will soon get asked to join them. If your friend is a Trader or higher, they will be too high to take you on directly. But they will probably advise you on what to do and whom to join.

3. Concentrate on the Offers tab. There are five tabs on your HUD, but all game play takes place on the first tab, Offers. At the bottom of the Offers screen each month is a title and sometimes numbers like (1/1) or (1/5). If the second number is greater than 1 there is more than one Offers screen, use the arrows in the HUD's lower right corner to page back and forth through your offers.

4. Get to four ships quickly. You start with one ship. The moment you are accepted into a guild you will be given a second. There are three things you should then buy almost as fast as you can pay for them: a third ship, the second-hand repair bot, and then a fourth ship. Ship 3 and the bot together will more than double your income. Ship 4 will mean that you are "experienced" enough to be given ships by other players. Good players give ships fairly often to help strengthen their networks.

5. Build ships to rise in the game and help others. Every ship lifts everyone above you in line too! So the team you are joining benefits from every ship. (And when people join you, they help you too.) Ten ships make you a Courier, 20 a Merchant, 50 a Trader. There are higher ranks going even to thousands of ships.

6. Buy upgrades. The first upgrade, your trusty second-hand repair bot, is offered for 300 credits when you get a third ship. This is the first of a long series that makes your fleet more efficient, a money-making machine. New upgrades are offered with every sixth personal ship (not always right away but soon). At 9 ships larger cargo pods may be offered for 28,800 credits; at 15 ships engine recalibration costs 108,000 credits. Upgrades are never mandatory and will sometimes take time to be offered. But they are worth saving up for when you know they are coming.

7. Answer surveys. It cannot hurt you. To answer a survey just click the Yes or No box. When in real doubt, vote No; most people do this. If 75% of the people vote with you you gain credits.

8. Answering puzzles can't hurt, either. Puzzles will give you a number within brackets. There are also itty-bitty arrows to the left of the Yes box. Use those arrows to move the bracketed number up or down until the right answer shows, then click the Yes box to lock it in. Again, there is no penalty for wrong answers. I'll even throw in one clue for you--on the one that asks about escape velocity, the answer doesn't change for any size ship! More puzzle help is available on the Web at

9. Ignore offers to bribe others or to hire mercenaries for sabotage. But check No to turn down attempts to bribe you, because if your superior is online you may get a reward for your loyalty. Build a reputation as loyal and honest, in the long run it pays. The people you deceive are real people, not computer figures, and they react like people.

10. What are those other tabs? ACCTS is your monthly accounting. It summarises where your money came from and where it went for the month. SUBS gives you status reports on your subordinates when you recruit them. ALLIES and COLONIES are exactly what they say; both are advanced features for higher-ranking players with 50+ ships.

11. If you want to recruit your friends, start quickly. While you can rise with no subordinates, reaching the higher levels almost always requires the support a team gives. It is significantly harder to recruit them directly after you get to 50 total ships, and much harder after 100 or more.

12. Hang out with your friends and HAVE FUN. Remember, this game is there for you when YOU want to play it. Do other things. I’ve run meetings, fought duels, attended live performances, and even built a monument while wearing and sometimes using my HUD. When I skipped a turn or several, the money kept coming and the bills kept getting paid.

Broker Valentine Janus of the Alliance of Hera
Kingdom of New Deseret (TE)
Angels of the Universe (TE3K)


  1. If you are a brand new player and just put on the HUD, you will only be able to join a Runner or Courier... even Merchant is too high. Must be within 3 of your own rank.

  2. You're correct about only being able to join within three ranks. However, Merchant is three ranks away from Pilot (new player).

    Thank you for reading and responding!