mothership fleet in homeworld 3
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Top 10 Homeworld 3 Tips For Beginners

Here are my top 10 Homeworld 3 tips for beginners.

Newcomers to Homeworld 3 will notice that the game, despite its own peculiarities, has a lot in common with the usual RTS formula. With that in mind, there are some useful tricks and advice you should know to prepare for space combat. Here are my top 10 Homeworld 3 tips.

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Homeworld 3: Top 10 Beginner Tips

Make Control Groups

You can easily manage your army of starships by creating separate groups of units with the “Ctrl and 1 to 0” command. For example, group all your Recon ships with Ctrl + 1,  Bombers with Ctrl + 2, and Assault Frigates with Ctrl + 3. That way, you can easily direct all three types of ships by pressing 1, 2, or 3 for quick access. I highly recommend you get used to this since you can then respond promptly against, let’s say a heavy and slow ship, by pressing 2 for Bombers and dispatching them.

You can easily add more units to a group by selecting those new units, holding Shift and pressing your group’s number (For example 2), and then pressing Ctrl + 2 to add those new units to Group 2. Likewise, you can easily delete units from a group by selecting them and pressing Ctrl + “-”. Furthermore, Ctrl + Shift + “-” deletes all groups.

Use a Passive or Neutral Stance for Cover

While the Aggressive Stance is tempting so that you can finish off fleeing opponents, the Passive or Neutral Stances are much more beneficial for most fights. This is because these two stances will have your units dive in and out of nearby cover if available. With this in mind, if you see cover nearby, I would suggest the Neutral Stance since your ships will shoot toward enemies, and then as they strafe, they’ll use cover to defend before their next volley. You’ll increase your fleet’s longevity drastically with this playstyle. Stances can be toggled in the lower left of the selected ship.

The Rock Paper Scissors Strategy

I highly recommend you click on enemy ships and hover on their data in the lower left. It’ll tell you what type of ship is their weakness and you can get a better idea of which ships you should send against which enemy ship type.

Bombers are your stealthy strike force for taking out heavy ships. You’ll get them in the second campaign mission, and from there, you can research Cloaking. This allows you to position a Bomber team for scouting purposes and when you notice heavier ships approaching, send them in. Strike the heavy ships from the rear and your Bombers will take them out in an instant with a squad of 15 to 20. They’ll never see you coming.

As for swarms, Assault Frigates will demolish them with their upgraded Hull upgrade. Lastly, Railgun Corvettes can take out key enemy ships from long ranged if you keep them far in the backline but have some Interceptors defending them just in case.

using stealth bombers against heavy frigates in homeworld 3
Screenshot by GameSkinny

V is for Vertical Positioning

Maneuvering a fleet around 3D space can be finicky sometimes since you’ll often click to a location that’s much farther than you wanted. Instead, use the V key to project a horizontal and vertical axis on the battlefield for your selected ship. Then you can click and hold LMB to determine the horizontal movement and drag it up and down for vertical movement. It’s a much easier way of moving around.

Tactical Pause is Your Biggest Ally

While Homeworld 3 is a much slower game than many other RTSs, it still allows you to pause the game. Feel free to hit P whenever you’re planning your next move. The game will pause and you can queue up commands and production while you get your bearings. Send your Resource Controllers to new scrap patches, reposition your combat fliers, order drones to scout, and rebuild your army (more on that below). As soon as you unpause, every ship will proceed to its queued-up action. The Tactical Pause allows you to stay prepared and waste minimal time.

Combine Carriers and Support Frigates

Once you unlock Carriers, these will be your bread and butter for keeping your fleet healthy and consolidated. Send one out into the field behind your other offensive ships along with a Support Frigate orderer to Guard the Carrier. This does several things, first, your can dock damaged ships for repairs without returning to the Mothership. Second, you can produce combat-ready ships in the field. Thirdly, the Support Frigate will keep your Carrier healthy.

space battle in homeworld 3
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Docking and Restocking Units

One of the most important aspects of space combat is both keeping your units healthy and generating new ones. Whenever you feel like a larger fight has ended and you have some breathing room. Select your groups or all your fighting units and click on the “Selected Damaged” button in the lower left. This way, only the heavily damaged units will be selected, and you can click on the Dock button in the lower right to send them back to the Mothership or nearest Carrier for repairs.

At the same time, keep an eye out on your total population of units by pressing P. If you notice you lost a lot of ships and combat make sure to Tactical Pause, select the Mothership, and build more units. Over time, you’ll get used to doing this mid-combat so that you always have enough firepower to deploy.

Always Keep an Eye on Your Resource Controllers

Just because you’re in combat doesn’t mean you need to stop getting your economy up. I recommend building around 3 RC to start and always managing them to different resource spots. You can group them up in the same spot for faster gathering or spread them out. Just make sure they’re near your Mothership so you can respond and defend them if the need arises. This way you can always keep a steady stock of resources to rebuild any fallen ships.

The same goes for Support Frigates. They don’t just have to stick around your Mothership or Carrier. Send one or two with your main offensive group for passive repairs. Then, if you notice the Support ship taking heavy damage just issue a movement command back to the Mothership. It’s a win-win; you’ll either return your Support back to safety or the enemy follows it, thus exposing their rear to your attacks.

Expand Your Sight With Drones and Lock-down Areas with Turrets

Last but not least, you should always be thinking about where you can send Drones for information and where you can deploy Turrets. Build a couple of drones and send them out into unknown areas. They’re cheap and fast so you can get an idea of enemy positions outside of your sensors. If one dies, it’s no big deal; you just lost 50 scrap, and in return, you found where your enemy is hiding.

Likewise, always be on the lookout for Torrent placement once you unlock them. Your ships won’t always be able to stick around and babysit your Mothership but Turrets can. Position your Mothership somewhere where you can place down turrets to defend it. Don’t worry, you can easily move them and reposition them somewhere else.

That’s it for my top 10 Homeworld 3 tips for beginners. Check out our other Homeworld 3 guides for more.


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Author
Gordan Perisic
From playing RPGs and dungeon mastering for his D&D group to reading novels and scribbling about his fantasy setting, Gordan is a full-time nerd and devoted writer for GameSkinny. He loves to overshare and discuss literature, music, animation, and trees with fellow geeks. Also, he may or may not cook too much food for his friends. Cholesterol is one hell of a drug.