Newbie Tips for Off-World Trading Company

Newbie Tips for Off-World Trading Company

Offworld Trading Company is the free market taken to the extremes of space – both figuratively and literally. In this real-time strategy, you must make quick decisions to outbid, outsmart and outsmart your opponents in hopes of buying up their companies in a hostile takeover.

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But using market forces, sabotaging your enemies and knowing what to build can feel like getting a crash course in economics from a Weyland-Yutani android. So in this guide, we’ve put together some beginner tips to help you start strong, gain the upper hand, and become the best company this side of the solar system.

The rules are: There are no rules

You might want to play fair and win on your merits alone, but with EMPs, nukes, and even pirates on the table, that’s a risk you can’t afford to take. If someone gets too comfortable, it can Black Market will help you level the playing field through unscrupulous measures. Even if you are ahead, elements such as Hologram and Goon Squad are good at protecting your interests.


Items purchased from the Black Market have a cooldown of 30-90 seconds, This means that players can buy items from the black market only so that their opponents cannot.

There are other amoral strategies here: monopolize resources, fake a lack with Hacking Arrayor exploits vulnerabilities such as disabling power sources against bot players. The bottom line is that this game is as much about building a strong foundation as it is about kicking your opponents off of it. Make friends, make friends, but most of all, make good business decisions.

Find gaps in the market

Keep an eye on the nearby colony. Many homes will mean that life support products such as food and oxygen will be in demand, and if no one else prioritizes food production, take advantage of the high prices. Not only that, but your competitors also have to buy your food.

Another key mechanic is the patent. Examined in Patent Lab, the the first player to research a technology is the only one allowed to use it. These products can overhaul buildings, replace building materials, and allow you to avoid enemy trickery altogether.

Let’s say glass prices are sky high and no one has grabbed Transparent Aluminum, now is the perfect time to grab it. Even if you can’t take advantage of it, taking that choice away from your opponents is just as good a reason.

Greed is good

You always have to want more to win this trade war. Resources may be plentiful, but you’ll only have so many claims, and everyone else will be fighting for the best tiles. But, great tiles alone do not make good company; what you do with the resources is what counts. Collect a lot of water? Start refining fuel. Do you have a steady flow of carbon? Time to get into chemicals.

If you control all or most of a given resource, other players will be forced to buy through you, with this added demand only pushing up prices and giving you a healthy profit. Just ensure that you have access to a variety of resources, also. Otherwise, you have to sell monopolized goods in bulk before they become lucrative.

Growth gives way to growth in the Offworld Trading Company. Investing in your business will not only snowball, but also compound other players’ problems – making it difficult for them to start competing with you. Keep thinking about your next move, where you want to be, and what you need to do to get there. Plans can change, but if you’re moving forward, you’re on the right track.

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Use your claims carefully

After scouting the map, selecting a location, and selecting a headquarters, you will be prompted to select available tiles. You can see number of available claims i bottom left, next to your HQ level.

When you select a claim, it is may seem like the best choice is always the tile with the highest yield, but that is not always true. Tiles further away will mean each freighter uses a lot more fuel, shipments will also take longer to reach your HQ, and the increased costs and slower revenue will quickly build up debt.

Focus on maximizing your potential through adjacent bonuses rather than betting all your chips on high-yielding, very expensive and dangerously exposed claims. Remember, it’s better to have a steady income rather than an odd cash flow.

At the start of a game there is a short protection period where no opponent can claim four tiles around your headquarterswhich extends from 20-80 seconds, depending on how far out the country is. So if there’s prime real estate near your base, that might be a good place to start.

Build on your strengths and reinforce your weaknesses

Since everyone will be brooding over everyone else, defending is just as important as attacking. For example, If you play a clearing iron, it is crucial to ensure a large supply of carbon. Without it, you will be at the whims of the market and will more than likely end up paying exorbitant costs thanks to other players artificially jacking up prices.

Make sure to protect your company by owning at least 50 percent of your company’s shares. In this way, your opponents must buy at twice the current share price and also need buy 50 percent in one purchase.

In addition to covering your weaknesses, it is important to exploit your strengths. Consider Robotic HQ; with no life support costs, any food or oxygen you produce goes straight into sales. This means at worst that you generate a valuable cash flow; at best, you can flood the market to hurt your competitor’s bottom line without hurting your own.

Ultimately, if you play the right notes and cover your back, you’ll go a long way.

Be adaptable

Although you will always struggle to be the first to find the perfect location, claim and patent, it is worth looking for what can improve your current situation. Take transportation, for example; everyone needs to move their goods around somehow, but pirates wreak havoc with your deliveries. You might want to try to take Teleportation, but if it’s already taken, so what?

A backup plan is critical to success because it isn’t if a problem will arise but when. Dirty pirates who cause trouble, for example, can be bought before your opponent, making them more expensive for the next player. Maybe you can shifting priorities away from the goods they stealor maybe it’s about time your opponent got a taste of his own medicine.

Quick thinking and decision-making are part of running a good company. Not every decision will be good, but you can always correct if you are willing to move with the flow of the game.

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Always be in demand

A big part of any Offworld Trading Company fight is trying to stay relevant. Interests will change throughout the game: from collecting raw materials and upgrading their headquarters to improving existing structures and purchasing advanced buildings. These objectives need resources to complete, and this is where you come in.

A headquarters will rarely get everything they need quickly enough to be self-sustaining. This means they have to interact with the market, where they want specific items depending on their progress. If their HQ requires life support, these food and fuel requirements will increase prices. If they want rush a patent, chemicals will be in high demand – and if that patent is for Cold Fusion, there will be even more demand for water.

Of always stock what is in demand, you will always have something of valueand with low supply plus high demand comes high prices where you can make serious money.

Diversify your portfolio

Having a variety of resources at your disposal means two things. First, you will be less dependent on buying other players’ goods at ridiculous prices. Second, you can produce a wide variety of products both for yourself and the market — use the market more as a helping hand than a crutch to rely on.

It can be tempting to monopolize one resource, like water, but still makes you have to buy building materials at a premium. Not to mention massive target you want to place on your back from the start. It may be impossible to cut off the supply as well. To be Jack of all trades gives you a good start and will keep you ticking over when the focus shifts to subterfuge.

Never use more than you have to

The Ferengi from Star Trek wrote ‘The Rules of Acquisition’, the third rule is “never spend more on an acquisition than you have to,” and in the cruel trade of the Offworld Trading Company, this applies. Think about choosing a starting point. If you pick a place right away, it will get you a lot of early debtbut if you wait, any opponents may get good seats.

The key is to find one balance between the actual price of something and how people value that something. It can be a great starting point with various resources, but is $200,000 in debt good?

This tactic can be too used very effectively in auctions; if Dynamite has a starting price of $2000, that is a good deal — but one your opponents shouldn’t have. By bidding on the item, even if you don’t want it, you will increase the price and reduce value for money. Eventually, someone will have to take the product; if that person isn’t you, it should be a costly mistake for them.

Bidding to raise prices is a great way to inhibit other bidders but make sure you’re not stuck with the bad deal.

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