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General Tips

Here are some general tips on how to succeed at Decaying Orbit. I will add more items as I think of them.

  • Use the slingshot effect. It sounds like a cliche, but it really works! If you're having trouble getting away from a strong planet, instead of thrusting directly away, thrust perpendicular to the planet's gravity. You should break free in no time. Also, if you are flying really fast and notice you're about to hit a planet, it's much easier to apply a small thrust to the side rather than trying to stop outright.

  • Don't be afraid to ram enemies. In fact, getting the Insane time bonus becomes much easier if you don't waste time purely shooting turrets. Rather, shoot at them only until their shield drops. Then ram them and watch 'em blow up good. Ramming an enemy with no shield will always destroy it. NOTE: While you must avoid colliding with planets in order to get the Navigation Bonus, you can still ram enemies.

  • Use ramming to reflect in a new direction. When you're trying to get those time bonuses, often it's much faster to bounce off of an enemy rather than thrusting. If the ram didn't destroy the enemy, take pot shots at it as you're flying away.

  • Use your ship system priorities. They are there for a reason. Make sure you adjust them before you launch from the home planet so you don't have the 4 second delay when switching. For the majority of the levels I use the following configuration: ENGINE=HIGH, LASER=HIGH, SHIELD=MEDIUM, COOLING=LOW.

  • Trade systems in shops. Since you will most likely not need your old laser system when you buy a better one, it makes more economical sense to just trade for it instead (or BUY the new one and SELL the old one - same effect). In fact, trading may be the only way to get a system if you don't have quite enough credits to buy it outright.

  • Try to get the All Bonus. While any of the four bonuses will give you 5 extra credits, the All Bonus will give you 25 credits. The beginning levels are the best ones to do this since there aren't as many enemies/beacons/planets.