Toggle max throttle
While in combat, fast and direct controls are pivotal, but holding forward throttle is tedious when you’re not in a fight. Here’s a little trick: double-tap the forward key to toggle maximum forward throttle. Changing speed (reverse) deactivates this mode.
Cut engines and booster combo
Shutting down engines but keeping inertia is one of the best defensive maneuvers you can use. Combine that with fast movement direction changes by using the booster, and you get a killer combo.
Cruise mode, weapons, and getting away
While cruise mode is charging and during cruise mode, weapons do NOT work! If you’re trying to get away from a combat situation using a completely valid cruise, try to get some distance first, using cut engines and boost. Your weapons will still work, and you might get some pesky enemies off your back before turning around and going for a cruise.
Going head-to-head with enemies can be a lot of fun but usually isn’t the best of ideas. Sure, your shots will be more accurate since you’re going directly at him, but it goes both ways. Your enemy will be able to hit you more easily as well. How about this: gain some speed first, aim to go past the enemy, along with one of his sides, then cut your engines and let inertia guide you away as you rip holes in the weakling’s side armor. You can also use this li’l maneuver to get on your enemy’s tail quickly.
Weapon damage type and weapon switching
You have two slots available for equipping weapons, and during flight, you can quickly switch between them. Using this technique is pivotal. Some weapons deal more damage to shields, while others rip through the enemy’s hull. Using the anti-shield first and then switching to the hull-ripper later is highly advised. Weapon damage type also comes into play here since shields can be more or less resistant to specific types of damage (physical, energy, plasma). If an object is drastically more resistant to a certain damage type, this is indicated on its target lock indicator. Keep in mind that you can be certain that the targeted object is more dangerous in general (perhaps a veteran of sorts or an ace pilot) when this is the case.
Missiles and how to avoid them
Missiles, even guided, don’t have to hit their target to cause damage directly. Missiles detonate in the proximity of their targets and cause blast damage in their effective radius (the blast radius for each missile is different). One of the easiest ways to avoid damage from missiles is to wait for them to get close (various visual on-HUD and audio indicators will alert you to this) and then boost away. Even if you do get caught in the blast, the damage can be reduced to a minimum. Of course, there is also dedicated equipment for this purpose: Decoy.