When my reactor is damaged, my repair crew go to an undamaged reactor. Why?
You probably have the command "Your Reactor HP < 100%" -> "Target Your Reactor Room". This will cause crew to go to the nearest reactor, which is not necessarily the damaged one.
You should use "Your Reactor HP < 100%" -> "Target Condition Room", which tells the crew to target the room that fulfils the condition (ie the reactor that is < 100%). You should be using "Target Condition Room" a lot in your AI.
Used for crafting Dolores, must find the legs, torso, and arms, to craft her.
What is the best faction to choose?
Whichever one you like best. However, of the three faction ship designs, many advanced players prefer the Federation and qtarian (specifically hybrid) layout for high-level ships.
What are some key early strategy tips?
Don't level up your ship too early: when your ship goes up a level, you will start getting matched with harder opponents in PvP, so you will want to have high-level crew and upgraded rooms.
Expect to spend a lot of minerals hiring crew early on. Fire every common and elite crew member (drag them into space...sorry!), because with every new crew member, the price increases. This is tedious, but makes a big difference.
Once you have access to the Command Room, build it and program the AI for your rooms and crew. Along with ship design, AI is the most important strategic facet of the game.
Watch replays of your battles, and tweak your ship design and AI continually.
At early levels, PvP is very easy if you simply knock out the enemy's Reactors. This will stop being the case around level 5.
Armor will become extremely important at middle and high levels; put lots of armor around low-HP rooms and rooms that enemies tend to target. Don't worry about leaving some empty grids in your ship if it means your rooms are better-armored.
Turrets only do 0.5 damage per shot and are very weak targets (your other weapons all do 1 damage per shot). Good captains almost never use turrets starting in the middle levels.
The Teleport is a game-changer. Send some Zombies over to the enemy ship and wreak havoc.
Resource collector rooms are only good at low ship levels and high upgrades levels. Around ship level 7, stop relying on them.
You will see crates posted for ridiculous prices in the market. This is players transferring resources between accounts. Crates are not worth much.
I love this game and want to support the developers. What is the best way to spend real-world money?
The Membership is completely worth the money. You get 50% extra loot on all missions, and receive a Scratchy (worth close to 50 bux) on the Dropship every day.
There are sometimes minor (or even better) bonuses for buying bux in the bank. If you can be patient, wait for a good deal.