Star Citizen In-Game Economy

posted in: Economy | 0

Updated 3rd May 2020

Star Citizen In-Game Economy

The Star Citizen in game economy will be dynamically controlled by the systems in place to create a supply and demand based system. This video from 2013 explains the vision for planned the in-game economy in Star Citizen.

It is highly recommend for new players interested in learning about the economy to start with this video.

About The In Game Star Citizen Economy Category

This Economy Category is designed to give players an idea about the in game economy in Star Citizen. If instead you're looking for the real world Star Citizen economy information please visit the Real World Economy Page for Star Citizen. We remind readers that the pages on this website are intended to be used as a reference for ourselves to check information as well as for our organization members to read. This information is freely available to all readers. All information on this website is designed to provide an edited experience from this org's point of view and is not supposed to offer an exact representation of the views of the community or the developers of the game.

The information provided about the economy is designed to give readers a possible scenario of how the economy could work and any advantages / tips that can be learned from it. Readers are always recommended to compare and contrast the latest information from official sources.

In-Game Currency in Star Citizen

There are various different currencies planned for Star Citizen in game universe. Each one has different purposes so it is very important for players to familiarize themselves with the various in-game currencies.

The different currencies in Star Citizen are as follows:

  • UEC - United Earth Credits
  • aUEC - Alpha United Earth Credits
  • REC - Rental Equipment Credits
  • Store Credit

UEC - United Earth Credits

UEC is the currency of the Star Citizen Universe. This currency is used to purchase weapons, equipment, decoration, ships, hangars, land claims and more. Additionally, it is also used to pay fees and fines.

UEC becomes active once Star Citizen is launched and the game is considered live (post alpha / beta). During Star Citizen Alpha, UEC is referred to as aUEC (Alpha UEC).

aUEC - Alpha United Earth Credits

aUEC is the Star Citizen Alpha currency.

How much aUEC that players start with was changed going forward from Alpha 3.8. Players testing during Alpha will start with the following total amount of aUEC:

aUEC = Bonus UEC + Account Balance UEC

Game Package UEC does not count towards aUEC starting amounts and will be attributed once the game goes live after Alpha and Beta.

Basically whatever the UEC balance shown in the account is the starting Alpha UEC amount.

To check what your starting aUEC balance will be during Alpha Patches log into your RSI account and check the figures in the top right corner of the website as per the image below (your amounts will vary):

aUEC Wipes

aUEC is reset periodically during Alpha development. This is done because Alpha testing happens while core development of the game is still in progress. As such there will be exploits and bugs that drastically alter player balances. Additionally, the Alpha testing phase is to test the economy and therefore account balance wipes are scheduled to continue throughout all of Star Citizen Alpha (until 2021 and beyond).

REC - Rental Equipment Credits

REC is used in the simulator within the Star Citizen universe. The simulator is an important aspect of the game that many backers are either not aware of or do not understand the implications.

Think of the simulator as being an arcade training world within Star Citizen. The currency in the Star Citizen simulator is separate to UEC (and aUEC).

REC currency is accumulated throughout Star Citizen Alpha by playing Arena Commander and persists until commercial release.

Unlike aUEC, REC is not wiped during Alpha testing.

Why is REC Important?

Death in Star Citizen will be very severe. Currently during Alpha testing many playtesters have no regard for allowing their characters to die. However, once more advanced player death mechanics enter the game it will be a lot more serious if a player dies.

The Star Citizen simulator allows for players to test various combat scenarios without risk to the character life.

As the Star Citizen Alpha matures the importance of the simulator and REC will grow accordingly.

Playtesters are advised to accumulate REC by participating in Arena Commander.  Unlike aUEC, REC is not wiped periodically and accumulates until launch.

REC allows players to rent vehicles, ships, weapons, armor and more for the simulator.

Read more about Renting in Star Citizen at the official post here: https://support.robertsspaceindustries.com/hc/en-us/articles/115013172187

Store Credit

Store Credit can be gained by Reclaiming items purchased with real money as well as via gift cards. Store Credit can be used to purchase additional items (such as ships) in the RSI store.

Star Citizen Economic Basics

When the final game goes live UEC from game packages will be attributed to players and the Star Citizen economy will be permanent. Until that future unknown date Playtesters will use aUEC instead.

Pro Tip: During Alpha development aUEC gathered between patches are periodically reset, however REC persist. REC can be farmed by participating in some Arena Commander multiplayer modes (primarily Ship Combat and Racing). It is possible to accumulate REC and the potential for renting is currently unknown.

As more of the Star Citizen universe becomes persistent the aUEC resets should cease or become less frequent.

Earning UEC in game is the goal of most players and therefore understanding the Star Citizen economy should be the starting point for any player new to Star Citizen.

For Star Citizen Alpha it is recommended that players do not farm / grind aUEC seriously as there are periodic balance resets. Playtesters grinding aUEC should do so for testing purposes only.

Starting Money

The image above is taken from the Aurora Starter Pack. Both the Aurora and Mustang Starter Packs come with 1,000 UEC in game starting currency. The first step in your Star Citizen adventures is to make sure you use a referral code as using the referral code when you create your account and purchase will grant an additional 5,000 UEC. Read more about the Star Citizen Referral Code.

Starting Money From Alpha 3.8

It was announced that from Alpha 3.8 players starting balance will be equal to the UEC in the account plus any bonus UEC (such as the Referral UEC). Credits that come with game packages such as the 1000 UEC that come with the Aurora MR or Mustang Alpha starter ships does not count towards your Alpha testing balance.

Game package credits will start once Star Citizen game releases (after Alpha and potentially Beta testing phases).

Star Citizen In Game Economy During Alpha

The Star Citizen Alpha does not represent the final implementation of the economy. It is a common error seen in online forums (like Reddit or Spectrum) that players think the prices, earning potential, aUEC farming rates or any number of economic features are final. Generally, the Alpha builds are solely for testing purposes to help CIG create the final economy that is being built into the game. Often things like insurance timers or earning rates are faked to allow players to meaningfully test a set of features.

Pro Tip: Do not purchase ships or items for real cash based on ANY Alpha build. Alpha builds have a tendency to showcase inaccurately the in game value of a ship. For example, patch 3.2 released the prospector which was able to mine to generate faster aUEC than other professions. Another example is the Misc Razor which debuted in 3.1 and was the dominant racing ship until 3.2. Prematurely buying a ship based on its performance in an alpha patch is probably a bad idea.

As a general rule, when purchasing ships it is important to understand the final view of where the ship is intended to fit into the Star Citizen universe. For the time being, it is possible to upgrade a ship via Cross Chassis Upgrade to a ship of greater value. The upgraded ship retains the insurance term of the original ship. Read our in depth article about Cross Chassis Upgrades.

Star Citizen Alpha Economy Resets

Update 2nd March 2020: Alpha 3.8.2 introduced the first version of persistence. This means that player accounts are being reset less frequently and the developers can control what gets reset: money, items, etc...

Up until Alpha 3.8.2 the player account balance was wiped clean every major patch. This also included some in-between patches such as 3.5.1.

Currently players have more time than before to grind credits in game (and spend them) before the next full account wipe. While before it was weeks to a couple months between resets, going forward it could be 6 months or more between resets. This information will be updated again once we have the first post-persistence reset.

Star Citizen Alpha Balance Reset History

Progress was reset at the last patches:

Next Estimated Wipe - Unknown
Alpha 3.9 - April 29th 2020 (No wipe). Players kept aUEC and purchased ships and items. This marks 3 months without balance reset.
**Next Estimated Wipe - February 2020 Alpha 3.8.2 (2-4 weeks grind estimated) - This wipe did not happen due to the 1st iteration of Persistence
Alpha 3.8.1 - January 24th 2020 (4 weeks grind from previous reset)
Alpha 3.8* - December 23rd 2019 (2 months grind from previous reset)
Alpha 3.7.1 - October 26th 2019 (2 weeks grind from previous reset)
Alpha 3.7 - October 11th 2019 (5 weeks grind from previous reset)
Alpha 3.6.2 - September 6th 2019 (4 weeks grind from previous reset)
Alpha 3.6.1 - 8th August 2019 (3 weeks grind from previous reset)
Alpha 3.6 - 19th July 201 (6 weeks grind from previous reset)
Alpha 3.5.1 - 3rd June 2019 (6 weeks grind from previous reset)
Alpha 3.5 - 18th April 2019 (3 months grind from previous reset)
* Note for Alpha 3.8 - This patch brought in new starting money rules effectively reducing what playtesters start with each patch. Additionally, an interim patch, Alpha 3.7.2 did not have a balance rest.

**Star Citizen Alpha 3.8.2 introduced the first implementation of persistence. Player account resets will happen more sporadically going forward. Additionally, players have the option to wipe their own account if needed.

How much will ships cost in Star Citizen?

Prices will not be final until commercial release sometime after Beta (currently in Alpha). However, this does not stop this article from speculating and providing rough guesses as to prices.

In this video interview from 2016 with Chris Roberts ship prices in game are discussed.

It's true there is no way to know what prices will be like in the final game. However, it has been mentioned that prices will scale similar to real life. The following table follows (roughly):

ShipPictureEquivalentEquivalent Price (USD*)Est Price (UEC**)
Aurora MR$25,000100K UEC
Aurora LX$45,000220K UEC***
85X$120,000600K UEC***
Prospector$350,0001.6M UEC***
Freelancer$150,0001.7M UEC
Cutlass Red$150,0001.8M UEC
Misc Razor$170,0002.2M UEC
Caterpillar$2M4.9M UEC
Hull E$5M7M UEC
Hammerhead$150M22M UEC***
890 Jump$200M30M UEC
Javelin$500M500M UEC

*USD prices are very roughly based on a broad range of pricing. The idea is to provide a scale of reference. Until more is released about the economy it is impossible to give anything close to accurate figures - nor is this intended - as mentioned at the start.

**UEC prices are speculative based on 1) Starting UEC amounts in game packages and 2) Sources are also scarce and this chart is loosely based on a combination of info including this REC design spec (2015).

***UEC Prices of The Aurora LX, 85X, Prospector and Hammerhead taken from the 2018 CitizenCon presentation where the following prices were shown. Also the Mustang Alpha & Aurora MR are estimated to be ... maybe 100,000 or something.

****UEC Prices taken from Teasa Spaceport at Lorville in Alpha 3.3.5.

Note: All of the information on this article is highly speculative and provided as a very rough breakdown. As more about the economy becomes finalized this page will be updated.

Star Citizen In Game Ship Prices Alpha 3.9 May 2020

For Alpha 3.9 the same locations are selling ships as Alpha 3.7 & Alpha 3.8. Teach's Ship Shop in Levski (Delamar), New Deal at Lorville (Hurston) and Astro Armada at Area 18 (Arrcorp).

Teach's Ship Shop - Levski (Delamar)

ShipPrice In Game (aUEC)Sale Location
Greycat Buggy5,145Teach's (Levski)
Tumbril Cyclone28,531Teach's (Levski)
Argo MPUV Cargo224,200Teach's (Levski)
Argo MPUV Transport233,000Teach's (Levski)
Aurora LX245,500Teach's (Levski)
Dragonfly Black272,700Teach's (Levski)
Dragonfly Yellowjacket272,700Teach's (Levski)
Aurora LN338,400Teach's (Levski)
Aurora CL487,600Teach's (Levski)
Herald1,181,100Teach's (Levski)
Cutlass Black1,385,300Teach's (Levski)
Buccaneer1,410,100Teach's (Levski)
Hornet F7C 1,492,700Teach's (Levski)
Prospector2,061,000Teach's (Levski)
Blade3,370,600Teach's (Levski)
Caterpillar4,686,600Teach's (Levski)

New Deal - Lorville (Hurston)

ShipPrice In Game (aUEC)Sale Location
Ursa Rover70,267New Deal (Lorville)
Tumbril Cyclone28,086New Deal (Lorville)
Tumbril Cyclone AA28,086New Deal (Lorville)
Tumbril Cyclone RC28,086New Deal (Lorville)
Tumbril Cyclone RN28,086New Deal (Lorville)
Tumbril Cyclone TR28,086New Deal (Lorville)
Aurora ES124,100New Deal (Lorville)
Aurora MR184,900New Deal (Lorville)
Aurora LX245,500New Deal (Lorville)
Mustang Alpha251,400New Deal (Lorville)
Aurora LN338,400New Deal (Lorville)
Ballista*364,500New Deal (Lorville)
Mustang Beta404,100New Deal (Lorville)
Aurora CL487,600New Deal (Lorville)
85X574,500New Deal (Lorville)
Reliant Kore744,700New Deal (Lorville)
Avenger Titan785,600New Deal (Lorville)
Avenger Stalker882,200New Deal (Lorville)
Avenger Titan Renegade1,076,600New Deal (Lorville)
Avenger Warlock1,155,500New Deal (Lorville)
Gladius1,169,900New Deal (Lorville)
Freelancer1,697,600New Deal (Lorville)
Razor1,761,200New Deal (Lorville)
Razor LX1,823,800New Deal (Lorville)
Razor EX1,878,800New Deal (Lorville)
M501,193,800New Deal (Lorville)
Freelancer DUR1,967,600New Deal (Lorville)
Prospector2,061,000New Deal (Lorville)
Freelancer MAX2,181,500New Deal (Lorville)
Sabre2,183,300New Deal (Lorville)
Sabre Comet2,354,100New Deal (Lorville)
Freelancer MIS2,537,800New Deal (Lorville)
Vanguard Hoplite3,104,200New Deal (Lorville)
Vanguard Warden3,387,800New Deal (Lorville)
Eclipse3,490,000New Deal (Lorville)
Constellation Andromeda3,548,000New Deal (Lorville)
Retaliator4,031,700New Deal (Lorville)
Constellation Aquila4,926,700New Deal (Lorville)
Constellation Phoenix5,658,800New Deal (Lorville)
Starfarer Gemini6,191,500New Deal (Lorville)
Starfarer6,651,500New Deal (Lorville)
Hammerhead12,459,900*New Deal (Lorville)
Reclaimer15,126,400New Deal (Lorville)

Astro Armada - Area 18 (Arrcorp)

ShipPrice In Game (aUEC)Sale Location
P-52 Merlin135,500Astro Armada (Area 18)
Nox349,200Astro Armada (Area 18)
Nox Kue399,100Astro Armada (Area 18)
85X574,500Astro Armada (Area 18)
Mustang Gamma627,500Astro Armada (Area 18)
Mustang Delta763,600Astro Armada (Area 18)
300i767,200Astro Armada (Area 18)
315p882,600Astro Armada (Area 18)
325a944,200Astro Armada (Area 18)
Arrow972,300Astro Armada (Area 18)
M501,193,800Astro Armada (Area 18)
Hurricane1,218,300Astro Armada (Area 18)
Hawk1,284,400Astro Armada (Area 18)
Hornet F7C1,492,700Astro Armada (Area 18)
350r1,602,100Astro Armada (Area 18)
Hornet Ghost1,654,100Astro Armada (Area 18)
Hornet Tracker F7CR1,832,100Astro Armada (Area 18)
Gladiator1,954,500Astro Armada (Area 18)
Khartu-al2,113,900Astro Armada (Area 18)
Super Hornet F7CM2,132,600Astro Armada (Area 18)
Terrapin2,568,100Astro Armada (Area 18)
Valkyrie4,454,400Astro Armada (Area 18)
600i9,475,100Astro Armada (Area 18)

Ship Rentals Alpha 3.9

Alpha 3.9 has added a new location for ship rentals - New Babbage Space Port on Microtech.

Rentals for ships are available for the following periods:

  • 1 day
  • 3 days
  • 7 days
  • 30 days

Renting more days grants a bigger price discount.

Regal Luxury Rentals - New Babbage Space Port (Microtech)

ShipRental Price (aUEC)Rental Location
Aurora LN3,384Regal Luxury Rentals (New Babbage)
Nox5,238Regal Luxury Rentals (New Babbage)
85X5,745Regal Luxury Rentals (New Babbage)
M5017,907Regal Luxury Rentals (New Babbage)
300i27,716Regal Luxury Rentals (New Babbage)
Avenger Warlock39,472Regal Luxury Rentals (New Babbage)
Constellation Phoenix84,882Regal Luxury Rentals (New Babbage)
600i142,126Regal Luxury Rentals (New Babbage)

Vantage Rentals - Teasa Spaceport (Hurston)

ShipRental Price (aUEC)Rental Location
Tumbril Cyclone561New Deal (Lorville)
Aurora ES2,482New Deal (Lorville)
Mustang Alpha5,028New Deal (Lorville)
Vanguard Warden101,634Vantage Rentals (Lorville)
Avenger Titan15,712Vantage Rentals (Lorville)
Arrow19,446New Deal (Lorville)
Cutlass Black27,706New Deal (Lorville)
Freelancer33,952*New Deal (Lorville)
M5035,814New Deal (Lorville)
Prospector41,220New Deal (Lorville)
Constellation Andromeda70,960New Deal (Lorville)
Razor52,836New Deal (Lorville)
600i284,253New Deal (Lorville)
Dragonfly5,454*New Deal (Lorville)

Traveler Rentals - Area 18 (Arccorp)

ShipRental Price (aUEC)Rental Location
Tumbril Cyclone561Traveler Rentals (Area 18)
RSI Aurora ES2,482Traveler Rentals (Area 18)
Mustang Alpha5,028Traveler Rentals (Area 18)
Nox10,476Traveler Rentals (Area 18)
Dragonfly5,454Traveler Rentals (Area 18)
Avenger Titan15,712Traveler Rentals (Area 18)
Mustang Gamma18,825Traveler Rentals (Area 18)
Anvil Arrow19,446Traveler Rentals (Area 18)
300i23,016Traveler Rentals (Area 18)
Cutlass Black27,706Traveler Rentals (Area 18)
Freelancer33,952Traveler Rentals (Area 18)
MISC Prospector41,220Traveler Rentals (Area 18)
RSI Constellation Andromeda70,960Traveler Rentals (Area 18)

Star Citizen Alpha Ship Price History

For previous ship prices see the full page of Star Citizen Ship Sales & Rental Prices.

The Star Citizen Economy Will Be Hard

Growing your economy in Star Citizen is going to be hard. Over time it has been repeatedly stated that rarity and in game item value are set things in the Star Citizen Universe. Grinding for credits is done via any number of professions with each one providing distinct challenges and rewards. Already during the Alpha, players are finding themselves better suited at some roles and worse at others. How fast players will be able to earn in game credits will be dictated by what roles suit their skillset.

For players looking for less challenging ways to earn in game currency, there will be areas and mission contracts that cater to starting players that will be easier to generate UEC but the payouts will be lower. Star Citizen is very much risk vs reward. Higher paying contracts will be riskier and require more skill.

Less Ships = More Progress

Star Citizen is about ships! Progress in Star Citizen comes from growing with your ship via missions (whether self created or assigned). If you want to be a trader, then which trading ship you operate and how is what will determine how quickly you can generate UEC.

One of the most common misunderstandings about Star Citizen is that ALL SHIPS currently sold are the base model of the ship. Each ship has many components that can be upgraded (engines, shields, furniture, modules, equipment...).

This means that having many ships on starting day is going to be slower to progress than having just a lone ship that you upgrade as you go. The base model of a ship will be the worst version of that ship at earning a living in game. The best progress will come from taking care of your ship and having the upgrades that make it excel at its profession. This goes for both solo players as well as teams and orgs.

In Star Citizen upgrading the ship to its maximum potential will cost more than the original ship itself. Higher tier component prices scale up in price and a more upgraded ship can outperform a more expensive unupgraded ship. This means that having 5 ships (for example) to operate, maintain and upgrade will set a player back compared to those who have just one ship that they focus on. Additionally, it means that players who plan on rotating several "copies" of the same ship in order to abuse insurance claims will lose to teams of players who have the same version of the ship but upgraded and cared for.

If this sounds incorrect or strange, consider this again from the following different perspective. The ship type affects the missions available. Different locations offer different missions and travel location is persistent. This means that as a general rule, unless the ship is specifically for transit, players will want to maximize usage from one ship suited to their skills rather than spend too much time changing ships, traveling to mission locations and having to "restart" some progress each time.

There are multiple reasons why having more ships could set players back and this is a heated topic that will be revisited in the future.

Star Citizen Advanced Economy

For players with fleets and orgs the starting game is radically different to players starting with just Starter Ships. Some players have accumulated hundreds of thousands or millions of UEC and the starting game for these players will be very different. Earning economy on large scale with Star Citizen to generate a profit operating and outfitting very expensive ships will be a challenge.

To outfit and sustain a deep space fleet it will be important to have a strong economic setup. Exploratory fleets require significant financing and therefore SC FOCUS plans to take part in Salvage and other professions to finance the expeditions. With an estimated 70% of players interested in exploration it is unlikely that exploration alone will be highly profitable. A deep space fleet aims to go way beyond what would be considered safe space.

Relevant Deep Space Exploration Rewards:

  • Sales of chart data
  • Auctions of location data for valuable resource finds
  • Ancient alien artifacts
  • Trade goods from alien races (Xi'an to Start)

 

This image shows some players have already reached over 1 million UEC in their accounts by Alpha 3.4.

New To Star Citizen? Your economy starts here:

If you're new to Star Citizen you'll want to follow these steps:

 

  1. Create account & Use the referral code (it gives you +5,000 UEC only when you create your account and pledge for the game)
  2. Join an org (Star Citizen is a massively MULTIPLAYER online game)

 

Also we provide the following general advice:

  • If you upgrade your starting ship (or back a concept sale), make sure you consider to keep or own enough UEC to scale for parts and upgrades
  • While it should be perfectly possible to play Star Citizen solo, it is designed as a multiplayer game so the fastest economic progress will be made by cooperating players rather than soloers
  • Do not upgrade your computer specifically for the Star Citizen Alpha testing unless you don't mind having to upgrade parts regularly (Star Citizen is under active early development)

 

Check out the Easy Money Making Guide for beginners - New in 2020!

Sources

Reliable sources are important to get an early idea of how the economy will work in Star Citizen.

Currencies of Star Citizen (Official Website) - January 2020

CitizenCon 2948 Keynote (Youtube)

CIG Dev responses to the Alpha 3.2 Economy (Reddit)

Real Life Equivalents Of SC Ships (Reddit)

Price of Ship Components (Reddit)