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Video Game / Star Citizen

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Strap into one of dozens of ships and embark on a life within the Star Citizen universe.
Unbound by profession or skill sets, you choose the path of your own life.

Star Citizen is an upcoming MMO space Simulation Game developed by Chris Roberts' company Cloud Imperium Games, and a Spiritual Successor to his earlier titles Wing Commander and Starlancer/Freelancer.

Chris Roberts took about ten years off after Freelancer to make movies with mixed success (such as Lord of War), and in 2012 he came back to pitch a space simulator with vast quantities of Scenery Porn, combining the single player game title Squadron 42, and an online MMO style multiplayer called the Persistent Universe.

Due to a lack of major publisher interest, he turned to crowdsourcing the funding through his website at and through Kickstarter. On October 17, 2013, the project achieved its full crowdfunding goal of $23 million (the gap between million-dollar milestones was sometimes as short as four days), and has long since become the highest grossing crowdfunding project of all time and despite the delays, it still receives several million dollars a month in new funding. It has received over $300 million dollars from a combination of public crowdfunding & private investment.


The ship releases on November 26th, 2013 pushed Star Citizen to a new record: raising over one million dollars in less than a day. The total broke 9 figures in late 2015, making it one of the top 25 most expensive games and by far the highest grossing crowdfunded video game ever made.

Squadron 42 was scheduled for release in 2015 and Star Citizen was slated for early 2016 (already pushed back from the late 2014 estimate on the original kick starter), but both have been repeatedly delayed since. A 2020 beta for Squadron 42 was announced, but the year came and went without a release or a new date being given. Meanwhile Star Citizen has had several alpha modules release, such as a hangar module to view player bought starships and a dog fighting module where players can engage in multi- and single-player dogfighting matches, and although there is still no official date for a beta or full release, the game slowly but semi-consistently gets content and patch updates.


Star Citizen provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Despite the realistic mass and thruster design (though their own artists often don't understand this when designing said ships), aerodynamic effects appears to be planned around only fuselage and control surface shapes (which means the likes of the Gladius and the Origin 300 series are expected to be more agile in planetary atmospheres than, say, the Hornet) because every ship would be a hopeless lawndart in atmosphere if their distributions of mass are to be taken into consideration despite their Space Fighter appearance with wings and stabilizers; the Aurora and Origin 300 series center of lift is on the very tail of the ship, the Hornet has all the aerodynamics of a brick, and so on.
  • Ace Custom: Every player owned ship has the potential to become one.
  • Alien Geometries: The Banu employ organic-looking ship designs.
  • Aliens Speaking English: The Banu can speak English, though they do have some difficulty.
  • Alliance Meter: A faction system is planned, but most details have yet to be revealed.
  • Antimatter: A dangerous and highly explosive form of starship fuel.
  • Armored Coffins: There is a noticeable number of ships whose expected usage is to either engage in ship combat and/or fly through heavy fire, but lack any immediate exits from the cockpit in the event the ship is likely to be destroyed.
    • A particularly egregious example with the Drake Buccaneer, which is a fighter.
    • The Crusader Mercury Star Runner exaggerates this trope by being a freighter-sized medium ship with only one entry point—the loading ramp at the back of the ship—and no escape pods, unlike the Millennium Falcon that it draws a lot of inspiration from.
    • Downplayed with the RSI Aurora and MISC Prospector. In both cases, there is an airlock located very close to the cockpit, but it still requires the pilot to spend several seconds exiting their seat, getting to the airlock, opening it, and exiting the ship, as opposed to an ejection seat that instantly shoots the pilot out of the ship.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Writers' Guides, in fleshing out the universe in which the game takes place, list several technologies that are probably near-universally illegal: gene warfare, anything that can easily be used for genocide, genetic augmentation (vat-grown supersoldiers), balloon-animal engines, synthesizing black holes...
  • Artificial Gravity: In all but the smallest one-man fighters. If there's room to walk around, there's artificial gravity. As shown in their post-PAX video, some space platforms will also generate their own gravity.
  • Ascended Meme: The last 24 hours of the crowdfunding campaign were streamed from lent office space in Austin, TX. For about two hours, the team went out for dinner and left an IKEA table lamp with a paper sign taped to it perched in front of a camera as a makeshift, "We'll be right back" sign. The Star Citizen team returned to find that, in their absence, the silly, sleep-deprived fan community had begun building all sorts of weird lore around the lamp, jokingly deifying it, naming squadrons or guilds for it, giving it an imagined personality, addressing direct questions to it in the chat threads, and so forth. Some members of the development team joined in on the joke, and at least for the foreseeable future, the Lamp will continue to make appearances in some of the development team webcasts. As of the Hangar Module release, you can now buy the Lamp as an in-game decoration.
  • Asteroid Miners:
    • Becoming one is a possible source of income for players in multiplayer. Current plans indicate it will likely be in-depth, involving things like cutting the minerals out of voxel-based asteroids yourself.
    • Additionally, the first chapter of Squadron 42 revolves around an active asteroid mining colony.
  • Asteroid Thicket: Because a real asteroid field is boring.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Origin 3xx series of ships have a beautiful looking blue heads-up-display; great for deep space, not so great when dogfighting against the backdrop of a blue planet that's almost the exact same color as the HUD.
    • The decision to pair largely fanciful, unrealistic starship designs with a realistic physics platform has led to quite a lot of unforeseen consequences. The Mustang's engines mounted above the center-of-mass has the effect of causing the craft to spin around forever due to the moment generated by off-center thrust, forcing the craft to continuously use its ventral RCS thrusters to counteract the moment to fly straight. God help a Mustang pilot - and his stomach - who loses the ventral thrusters due to damage, resulting in them endlessly spinning in circles.
  • Barbarian Tribe: The Vanduul are an entire spacefaring race of these-nomadic, piratical tribes with an inexplicable hatred of the UEE and love of stealing everything of theirs that isn't nailed down. Individual humans can negotiate with them though.
  • The Battlestar: The Bengal-class carrier. One kilometer long and absolutely bristling with guns, the Beam Spam is quite a sight to behold when the Vanduul attack. Meanwhile its (multiple?) flight decks appears to run the entire length of the ship, with doors at both the rear and front, though no hard numbers on how many fighters it can carry have been provided. These won't be available for purchase, but players can still get their hands on them by finding an abandoned derelict Bengal then repairing and refitting it for use.
  • Boarding Party: Playes have the option of forming these to capture ships and space stations.
  • Boom, Headshot!: A shot to the head is more likely to permanently kill someone than almost anything else during FPS combat.
  • Boring, but Practical: RSI's ships. As the first ship manufacturer, RSI's ships tend to be unremarkable — but also Jack of All Stats and hardy.
  • Brand X: Mixed with Recycled IN SPACE! and AKA47. Several ships and weapons are inspired by real life equipment. The Vanguard is an oversized, science fiction P-38 Lightning interceptor from World War 2, though it has the top turret typically seen on light bombers like the A-20 Havoc (also a Call-Back to the fact that heavy fighters in World War 2, whether purpose-built or converted from light bombers, were often equipped with additional trainable machineguns to defend themselves against enemy aircraft not directly in front of them). The concept art for a Star Marine assault rifle is a G36 that has been greebled up with some sci-fi touches like an LED ammo counter and a ludicrously huge scope. Origin Jumpworks Gmbh is an expy of BMW, down to the alphanumeric naming system (Origin ships even includes the "i" fuel injection Artifact Title seen on BMWs!) and the German trappings.
  • Breakable Weapons: Guns will need regular maintenance after getting bombarded by other players constantly, and so will your ship. But if they're kept well-maintained you'll never lose them outside of combat.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: The current Arena Commander mode is pay-to-win, with the Super Hornet ($150+) and M50 / 350R ($80 / $115) completely dominating arena and race modes, respectively. However, for the final product, Chris Roberts has stated that the real money shop in Star Citizen will not carry any items that cannot also be obtained through normal gameplay, and players will be limited in how much they can buy with real money. This has since been mitigated with the introduction of "REC" (Rental Equipment Credits) which are earned by playing any multiplayer scored mode of Arena Commander. REC can be used to rent ships, allowing participants who haven't picked up an expensive pledge ship to work their way up to the flavor of the week just by playing the game. REC is only used to "rent ship ROMs" for use in Arena Commander but not the persistent universe, but for the moment this is a moot point, given that the persistent universe is not yet online.
  • Cardboard Prison: Subverted with the Klescher Rehabilitation Facility, which was added in 3.9 & serves as a prison for players who get caught engaging in criminal activity. While it is possible to escape, the only way currently is through a complicated maze of caves with several difficult jumps across pits, and even if you do successfully escape the facility you're not in the clear yet, as the outside temperature on Aberdeen is about 220 degrees Celsius, meaning you will quickly die of heat exposure unless another player comes to pick you up in their ship or you input the right passcode to unlock a rover garage.
  • Centrifugal Gravity: The Orion mining vessel has a trio of centrifuges, two of which spin clockwise and the third counter-clockwise. Bizarrely, the centrifuges are for the ore rather than the crew compartment, which uses Artificial Gravity.
  • Colony Drop: It's suspected by Parker Terrell, that Ellis XI's moon being knocked out of orbit and shattering the planet was not a natural occurrence, and the government was testing working Hadesian weaponry they had found. This is probably a subversion, as Terrell is nuts. See his entry below.
  • Conscription: The Xi'an Empire enforces mandatory military service — for fifteen years.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Parker Terrell, an investigative journalist for New United and all-around paranoid, anti-UEE nut. Unlike most conspiracy theorists in fiction, most of what he sees seems to be a product of his own mind (to the point of him suddenly vanishing after he had an anxiety attack due to a particularly suspicious...vent repairman. Not even one who followed him too, from what he says it sounds like the guy was just a normal working stiff).
  • Cool Helmet: Outlaw Heavy armor sports a skeletal, utilitarian gas mask-esque helmet with glowing red lights near the eyeholes.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Played straight right now, but planned to be subverted in the future. The developers have stated that eventually Player Characters will have a set number of "lives" before they eventually die for good and have to be replaced by a new avatar who will inherit some of their assets. Somewhat justified in that it's stated that medical technology has come such a long way that people can often be resuscitated from situations that would've been fatal centuries ago.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: The planned customization system is this when used to its extremes. You can pick a basic model and modify it to such an extent that it barely resembles the default model you normally receive.
  • Diegetic Interface: All ships have flight-simulator-typical full cockpits. What conventional HUD elements do end up in the game will only be there if your character is wearing a helmet or the like to project them
  • Ejection Seat: Most fighter craft come with an ejection system. In Arena Commander, ejection functions like a suicide button.
  • The Empire: The UEE during Messer Era is this especially, and unfortunately not in any enlightened way. Secret Police, people going missing, extreme xenophobia, and more. It should come as no surprise that anything involving the Messers is usually followed by an apology on behalf of the human race, and it is outright stated in the Lore that every major undertaking of the post-Messer imperial government has the ultimate purpose of making amends for all the sins committed by the Messers against not only Humanity but also aliens.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • In the backstory, as UEE Merchant Navy mobilizes to make humanitarian runs to and from a system that recently experienced a Vanduul raid, they've noted that pirate opposition is about a third of what they expected there to be.
    • According to the lore, some pirates diametrically disapprove of the act of shooting ejected pilots or escape pods.
  • Expy: Galactic Gear/Galactic Tour/Whitley's Guide host Jax McCleary is Jeremy Clarkson in SPACE.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: The Vanduul Scythe fighter is *very* asymmetrical. It has a very large starboard side wing (reinforced for ramming attacks!), but only a stub wing on the port side for weapons. A Symmetrical version, the Glaive, is used by elite pilots, however.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Via Jump Points, wormholes used for interstellar travel- most established ones are stable, others not so much. Combined with the fact that even stable jump routes can be hazardous enough to be heavily dependent on computer-assisted flight (based on data gathered by explorers who scanned and charted those jump routes) for safe travel, this makes "info runners"- essentially couriers in space- a vital profession within the Human society as a whole.
  • Feelies: Some editions of the game come with a physical map, a ship model, a set of five ship blueprints, and a USB stick shaped like a spaceship.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: Several classes of weapons are mounted so as to fire only along your ship's centerline axis, while others have limited articulation, giving them a narrow forward-firing arc.
  • Flying Brick: MISC's ships are derisively called "flying steel sausages", but they're also futuristic.
  • Flying Car: "Hovers" are the main form of transportation within the atmospheres of the more populated planets, where ground transportation still exists but is primarily used for utility and industrial purposes. Hover traffic is regulated with traffic planes, local altitudes where air travel is allowed in a specific direction. For spaceships, there are routes leading to landing zones and exits to merge with traffic planes.
  • Fragile Speedster: Origin ships are generally very agile at the cost of durability. The M50 Interceptor is flat-out the most agile ship in the game, but melts under return fire and can only fit two Size 1 fixed guns and a Size 1 missile pylon; its primary purpose is racing, with the weaponry being somewhat of an afterthought. The 300-series is a more general purpose ship but is still skewed towards agility at the cost of durability and cargo capacity.
  • Gatling Good: The Hornet carries a pair of gatling guns which can shred ships at close range, though they will overheat with overzealous use.
  • Genesis Effect: Deconstructed by the UEE with the SynthWorld Project, which was originally meant as a show of scientific progress and good will after the Hostile Terraforming the Messer Era used. The SynthWorld was a logistical nightmare and a financial disaster, leaving the Empire hemorrhaging money until they began selling planets in the Stanton System to supercorporations. Development of the SynthWorld is ongoing, but mostly for publicity at this point; promises of "new advances" come year after year, but the SynthWorld has remained a shifting unstable planetary mass showing no signs of improvement for 70 years.
  • Gun Porn: The Hornet light fighter featured in most 2012 demo footage has been sighted mounting possibly as many as 11 guns: two small double-barreled guns on the main fuselage, two neutron guns on a chin turret, and as many as five Gatling-style guns distributed across its wings and dorsal turret. See also: Gatling Good
  • Ghost Planet: The star system Hades is the graveyard of an ancient civilization thought to have destroyed themselves in civil war. Three of the four planets in the system have been devastated by weapons unlike any mankind has seen before, while the fourth planet was cracked entirely in half. Traders claim the system is haunted, and tell stories about the ghostly visage of the "blue man."
  • Hollywood Atheist: According to the Writer's Guide, the Vanduul society is centered around the selfish individual, because the idea of a higher power aiding or guiding life never caught on.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: The inside of jump points, known as interspace, has been described as a smear of sight and sound. Movement is both fast and slow. There are bodies of unidentified mass in interspace that can damage or destroy your vessel.
  • Inertial Dampening: Nonexistent in fighter craft, indirectly in large craft. Fighter pilots will blackout during high-acceleration maneuvers. In large craft, the pilot is still susceptible to G-forces but the crew and anyone walking around in the ship's Artificial Gravity are not; the ship could be spinning wildly at 3000 RPM while pulling 30 g's and the crew (sans the pancaked pilot) will be none the worse for wear.
  • Informed Attribute: The Origin 300i is claimed to be a all-purpose luxury tourer (a Space BMW, essentially), but has a cramped, spartan, and poorly laid-out cabin. On the other hand, it fulfills its touring designation pretty good, being agile and having a good top speed.
    Jax McCleary: A ship that brags about its extra comfy beds isn't exactly what you want when you're looking for a racer.
  • Interface Screw: Pulling excessive negative or positive G's will cause your screen to turn red or black, respectively. Due this for too long and you will black out for a few seconds, losing all control of the ship.
  • ISO Standard Human Spaceship: Roberts Space Industries and Musashi Industrial & Starflight Concern produce efficient and functional-looking ships.
  • Kayfabe: The numerous ship commercials never let on they're anything but spaceship ads, with the only hint it's a trailer for Star Citizen is a small logo at the very end of RSI.
  • Latex Space Suit: Class I space suits offer basic protection; essentially a plastic bag. They protect against vacuum during a hull breach but they can't be worn for extra-vehicular activity.
  • Law Enforcement, Inc.: While the standard United Empire of Earth penal code technically applies in the Stanton System, the UEE does not police the region. Private squadrons and hired mercenaries belonging to the inhabiting supercorporations enforce their own laws there.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the Galactic Gear review (a parody of the Top Gear series), as the host is careening at top speed in the new M50 racer/interceptor designed by Origin Jumpworks, he screams "Origin, do you hear me?! Apology accepted! APOLOGY ACCEPTED!!"
  • Legacy Character: Partially for the players. Players can sustain a limited number of lethal events, which are repaired with advanced medicine tech and cybernetics. When the player sustains too many lethal injuries and die, the player designs their next-of-kin and will retain all of their belongings, minus estate taxes, allowing them to continue playing.
  • Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: Drake Interplanetary presents itself as a legitimate ship manufacturer yet it's an "open secret" that they manufacture cheap and heavily armed spacecraft specifically catered to pirates. Several of their flagship products in fact have pirate-themed names: "Cutlass", "Buccaneer", etc.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: If installed on a hard disk drive, the game can take so long to load into a multiplayer match that the server will kick you out for timing out while still loading; upwards of five minutes to get in a match is not unheard of. Solid state disks still having loads of loading, but a far more reasonable two-ish minutes. There is no way to directly load into Arena Commander without first loading the Hangar, but optimization passes have significantly reduced the agonizingly long load times for the hangar.
  • Macross Missile Massacre:
    • It's not clear how many it can fire at once, but the RSI Constellation mounts a lot of missile racks - two on each side that swing out from the hull and then two more that rise up out of the roof. If it can fire all of them at once (or at least fire them very rapidly) it'll fit this trope perfectly.
    • The MISC Freelancer-MIS variant features missile racks that can be retracted and reloaded from inside the cargo hold. The Freelancer is nominally an armored light cargo ship.
    • In the ingame "commercial" for Cutlass by Drake Interplanetary, a Scythe pilot tries to pull a small one off against the titular ship, only to see it lured back to him and blowing up in his face.
  • Microtransactions: Of the "buy in-game currency with real money" variety, as well as in game content like ships sold either individually or in packs. Originally there was a cap on how much currency you could have, but it was removed and replaced with a cap of how much you could buy, limited by real time as a countermeasure against Pay To Win.
  • Mile-Long Ship: The Bengal-class carrier, largest known ship of the UEE is 1km in length. The Vanduul Kingship is a literal Mile-Long Ship.
  • Motion Blur: Early versions of the hangar module had sickening amounts of motion blur that could not be deactivated, though the current version allows it to be disabled via a console command.
  • National Weapon: The entire alien civilization of Vanduul seem to be fixated with knives, which can be seen across all of the limited cultural information that humans have about them.
  • Nitro Boost: Ships have both a boost and an afterburner, tied to the same key and fuel source. Tapping and holding the key will boost, ramping up the thrust of all of the ships thrusters for faster acceleration. Double tapping and holding will kick on the afterburner, temporarily overriding the top speed. Fuel regenerates at a moderate pace when not in use, allowing fairly frequent boosts and burns.
  • No Biochemical Barriers:
    • Averted for the Vanduul, who do not breathe oxygen. While it's not clear what they do breathe, we know humans can't survive in it.
    • Played straight for fish so far though, fish and crustaceans from around the galaxy can live happily in the same tank.
  • Old-School Dogfight: Averted, despite an upcoming combat module being called the "Dogfighting Module" — while many of the ships are Space Fighters armed with Fixed Forward Facing Weapons, the game uses Newtonian physics, which allows ships to spin around and blast targets "behind" them without affecting their direction of travel.
  • Outlaw Town:
    • The "planet" Spider, a titanic collection of shipwrecks in an otherwise planetless system run by Space Pirates.
    • The Fora System and its single inhabited world Hyperion is home to "pirates, smugglers, and worse, who are largely ignored by the local police garrison."
  • Photoprotoneutron Torpedo: Neutron cannons, particle guns and proton torpedoes
  • Planet of Hats: The Banu are benevolent traders, the Xi'An are wise, long-lived diplomats and the Vanduul are an agressive species who solve all of their problems through brute force. Only time will tell if the mysterious Kr'Thak will also get their own hat.
  • Planet Terra: Separate from Earth, and named for it's Earth-like qualities.
  • Portal Network: Jump points are a series of interstellar gateways. Each time a new one is discovered it has to be carefully mapped by an explorer, who records and (usually) shares a clear path, allowing other ships with the data to safely autopilot through.
  • Powered Armor: Class IX space suits are somewhere between a space suit and the power loader from Aliens. These repair the outsides of large ships, move heavy objects in hangars, etc.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Tevarin fought two wars against the UEE. The first was a simple land grab, which ended in their home planet being occupied. The second was led by an aspiring warlord, which ended when their remaining forces dove into their homeworld's atmosphere without heat shields.
  • Psycho Knife Nut: A Vanduul's knife is their most treasured possession. While it is possible to legitimately gain one through personal combat, if the Vanduul discover that someone has obtained a knife through theft or sale, they will take it back in the most excruciating way possible.
  • Random Encounters: You drop out of autopilot if you come within a certain distance of another ship.
  • Ram Scoop: Every ship in Star Citizen has at least one to scoop unrefined hydrogen with, which is not as effective as the fuel you find at refueling facilities. Upgraded intakes can increase the effectiveness of the hydrogen, at the cost of increased heat and radar signature. Ships can scoop from gas giants to fill their tanks, but spaceborne hydrogen will be enough to keep a ship from ever running entirely out of fuel; a ship will be able to rely on it to slowly scoot its way back to a refueling point. Some ships (like the Starfarer fuel tanker) can be equipped with machinery to refine hydrogen into proper starship fuel on the go.
  • Rule of Cool:
    • Why do starfighters have wings? Some fans suspect this rule as a motivation, 'cuz they sure ain't necessary for lift. Most fighter-sized player ships in Star Citizen are meant to be capable of atmospheric flight, but the amount of thrust that the ships' drive systems can produce would seem to render wings superfluous. (see also: the Triumph of Thrust over Aerodynamics). Some of the concept artists working on the game have also noticed this, and have been approaching or justifying the inclusion of wings in ship design as ordnance racks, much as occurs on present-day attack helicopters.
    • In-Universe, Origin looks to make ships that appear to Thrill Seekers and Speed Demons, and are criticized for going with form over function.
    • Also In-Universe, the Xi'an build ships that have anti-grav ramps, for no other purpose than it looks cool.
  • Sand Worm: And more phallic than ever.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • Along with the beautiful space backgrounds common with the genre, Roberts has said that objects in the game have about ten times the detail of most current gen games. The player character has 100,000 polygons (over 10,000 in current games), the Hornet fighter 300,000 (up from 30,000 for most normal vehicles in games today), and the Bengal carrier? Seven MILLION. Fortunately, Lumberyard is capable of culling polygons that are not visible so the player's PC doesn't have to render them all at once.
    • The cities are even more breathtaking. In addition to being gorgeous, such as the currently visit-able location of Orison, they are also huge and hand-crafted.
  • Shiny-Looking Spaceships: Origin Jumpworks GmbH make sleek, shiny and expensive vessels. Word of God compares them to BMW (hence why they use numbers as names for their ship models).
  • Shout-Out:
    • Many shout-outs and callbacks to previous series involving Origin and/or Chris Roberts in the 5-minute Squadron 42 demo video.
      • The Squadron 42 reveal video introduces Hornet-class light fighters, a Bengal-class carrier named the UEES Paul Steed (named after a game designer with ties to Origin who passed away), and is set in the Kurasawa System of Vega Sector. In the original Wing Commander, the first fighter you fly is a "Hornet" class light fighter, your carrier is the Bengal-class TCS Tiger's Claw, your missions take place in Vega Sector, and the second mission in the Kurasawa series is infamous for its difficulty (the Ralari escort mission, which has been known to invoke a mild form of gamer 'PTSD' in videogaming veterans).
      • The Vanduul Scythe looks a lot like the old Dralthi series of Kilrathi starfighters, including a forward-swept wing, overall copper/bronze and iron color scheme, batlike shape, and pronounced asymmetry. Notably, upping the ante on the shout-out, the old Kilrathi starfighters were once described as being shaped like 'ornate cutting weapons,' whereas the Vanduul Scythe actually IS an ornate cutting weapon.
      • The company name Origin Jumpworks —> Origin Systems Inc., a scrappy, award-winning small game company once located in Austin TX where such game industry luminaries as Richard "Lord British" Garriott, Chris Roberts, Warren Spector, David Ladyman, Stephen Beeman, Dallas Snell, and others worked on classic titles including the Ultima series, Wing Commander, Privateer, and others. Not only that, but the game's logo is also very reminiscent of the logo used by Origin Systems, which isn't surprising to those who have played Origin games in the past.
      • The maker of Arena Commander is Original Systems.
      • The online store to rent equipment is now called: Electronic Access
      • The company name Anvil Aerospace —> Digital Anvil, a game company Chris Roberts founded after leaving EA in order to to develop Starlancer and Freelancer.
      • One of the freighters in the game is actually called the Freelancer, and there's even a Freelancer title to go with it.
    • The single player part of the game, Squadron 42, combines two different shout-outs. "Squadron" was the Working Titleinvoked for the proposal that eventually became Wing Commander, while "42" is a nod to the Douglas Adams work The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
    • As mentioned above, there's the Top Gear expy "Galactic Gear", replaced in later videos by Galactic Tour.
    • The 890 Jump commercial is an in-universe example of this, parodying The Great Gatsby in 2949.
  • Shows Damage: Spacecraft have advanced damage states; it's possible to blast off wings or even everything behind the cockpit, leaving the pilot spinning wildly through deep space.
  • Single-Biome Planet:
    • City Planet: The Stanton system is filled with these, in the form of planets owned by (and named after) corporations.
    • Cloud Planet: Crusader, an unusual world in the Stanton system formed midway between a telluric world and a gas giant.
    • Farm Planets: Tal III and Shyewhea.
    • Ocean Planet: Ergo, a lifeless resource-filled planet in the Nemo system.
    • Volcano Planet: Tat'Ko, a barren, windswept mass of volcanic rock unsuitable for human habitation, but the ideal environment for the Banu.
  • Sink The Life Boats: Shooting a pilot after they have ejected or left in an escape pod is viewed as something so low even some pirates will turn on you for it. It will also put a high bounty on your head if anyone catches you doing it.
  • Sleeper Starship: The Artemis, a human colony ship launched before the discovery of jump points. And now the ship is missing, and it's been over 700 years since anyone's heard from it.
  • Slow Laser: All the energy weapons revealed so far are fired in bolts rather than beams.
  • Space Battle: Squadron 42 opens with a big battle, and is used as a sort of tutorial.
  • Space Cold War: One ended between the UEE and the Xi'an shortly before the game's setting, but things are still a bit tense and many Xi'an still hold a grudge.
  • Space Friction: Generally absent. However, ships have an arbitrary maximum speed depending on the model. The speed limit can temporarily be exceeded by using the afterburner, but as soon as the burner goes offline the flight assist will begin to slow you down.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Massive carriers complete with a highly visible and dangerously exposed bridge from which nimble Space Fighters launch. Concept art has also shown that large ships do have escape pods as well. On the plus side, Roberts has said that the game uses full Newtonian physics unlike his previous games.
  • Space Is Noisy: To be expected. But there will be an option to turn off all unrealistic sounds and only hear what's in or hitting your ship.
  • Space Marines: The United Empire of Earth Marine Corps, ship boarding specialists and drop pod soldiers only called upon in extreme situations. They are weapons of war, nothing more; they never handle diplomatic escorts or pull guard duty, they dust things. When not needed, they sequester themselves to their underground bases on the frozen planet Corin and train for the next conflict that will require their services.
  • Space Navy: The United Empire of Earth Navy, in charge of the UEE's many fleets.
  • Space Pirates: Plenty, and players have the opportunity to become them as well.
  • Space Police: The Advocacy, essentially the Space FBI. They keep track of intersystem criminals and exceedingly dangerous outlaws.
  • Space Romans: The UEE itself seems to be Rome in its later stages. Ruled by an Emperor and a senate, and complete with a Rome, a Constantinople, The Vandals, and an overextended empire.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Roberts' previous titles Wing Commander, Starlancer, and Freelancer.
  • Standard Human Spaceship: Human non-combat capital ships are, for the most part, off-gray boxes of varying complexity with gratuitous greebling. Purely human fighter craft are all straight angles with sheet metal hulls. On the other hand, Origin ships and hybrid alien designs have sleeker hulls.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: Nearly the entire standard fleet is present in Star Citizen.
    Chris Roberts: In Star Citizen you can go from a single seater ship 15 meters in length to a huge capital ship over 1km in size crewed by many players.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Osoians, the developing species in the Oso System that worship a damaged human colony ship that landed hundreds of years ago to make repairs. Strong leg-like limbs attached at the "shoulders", with two pairs of arm-like limbs below attached to the torso, the upper pair being the more developed "prime" arms. They are covered in coarse fur that collects water, and the plate on their bug-like head changes colors to communicate.
  • Stealth in Space: Reducing radar signature, done by getting specialized (and power hungry) variations of parts like thrusters and guns, will help keep your ship hidden. There is no cloaking tech though, you'll always be able to spot a ship visually.
  • Subsystem Damage: Taking hits to your maneuvering thrusters decreases your maneuverability. It has been revealed that every component and system is planned to take damage separately and the pipe system that transfers the necessary stuff from one place to another, and the results from the damage are modeled accurately.
  • Tech-Demo Game: According to PC Gamer, the minimum requirements would bring an Xbox 360 to its knees (what it would do to an 8th-gen console is hazier). The recommended requirements would run Skyrim at maxed graphics without even breathing hard. (Brave souls wishing to test motherboard-based graphics against the initial alpha releases were advised to "keep a fire extinguisher on standby", and after the launch of the Hangar Module, at least one alpha-tester reported that rendering the hangar caused his video card to melt, albeit due to a fault with the card.)
  • Technology Porn: The ships are broken down into hundreds of sub-components, a large number of which are animated and move freely. Thrusters rotate, landing gear deploy, missile bays open, MFDs in the cockpit move in and out of view as needed... The game's not even in alpha yet, and already the visual fidelity puts many modern games to shame.
    • Did we mention that you can walk around inside the larger ships as they're flying around in space, generally without rubber-banding around the ship interior? Try naming one other game that lets you do that reliably!
  • Tractor Beam: A ship upgrade used for salvage, mining, docking, boarding and more.
  • Tuckerization: RSI is the oldest ship manufacturer — and also the name of the lead developer and studio.
  • Universal Driver's License: Averted, you'll need special training to get a license to fly overly large or specialized craft.
  • Universal Universe Time: SET, Standard Earth Time.
  • Vestigial Empire: The UEE is increasingly looking like one due to the money sink that is the Synth World project.
  • Video Game Stealing: Averted. Piracy is in the game, but it's far from simply taking flying up and pushing a button that says steal. Taking someone's ship is a long and difficult process involving completely disabling the target's ship, boarding it and fighting the crew, then hauling the wreck you won to an unlawful sort of place to have it repaired and have its Hull ID wiped and replaced. And even after that, the Advocacy will still be on the lookout for any suspicious activity involving that particular ship.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: A very extensive clothing system is planned, with the ability to mix and match almost every article of clothing.
  • We Will Spend Credits in the Future: The various currencies once used within human space were replaced with United Earth Credits in 2528. They are known as UEC, credits, or imperials depending on where you are.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: Very, very wide. Ultimately 115 star systems are planned, with each one taking an estimated average of 30 minutes to cross with autopilot enabled.
  • Zip Mode: Autopilot accelerates your ship to ridiculous speeds too fast for manual control to get you relatively quickly from one point to another, though you can fly from point to point at slower manual speeds if you want. Fast travel is done at speeds up to 0.2c (20% of light speed, or 60 thousand kilometers per second, or a little over 37 thousand miles per second), an arbitrary limit based on how fast the 64-bit CryEngine can handle. Systems will also not necessarily reflect real world distances/scale.