Joining a Faction
Once you have created a character, and preferably before you have chosen a starting location, you should consider joining a faction. Factions are all of the groups in the Combine, such as the Galactic Empire, New Republic, and various governments, companies, and organizations. A faction will help you get started in game by providing you with work, money, a ship to use, and a community of friends to help you on your journey. Most factions also have training programs for their new members to help familiarize them with the features and aspects of the Combine that they will use.
Although you will immediately receive a large number of recruitment ads in your message inbox right away, you should consider looking around at what different factions have to offer you before joining one. You can only be in one faction at a time, and although you can leave at any time, logistically it can be difficult to travel from one faction's space to another's. If you left on bad terms, it may also be unwise to leave before you are at a safe location. Therefore, it is useful to select a faction you think you would like to stay with for a while.
Where to Look
There are two primary places to seek out factions:
1. The Faction List
This is the official and current listing of all factions in game. It is divided into categories, so you can decide whether you would like to look at the larger factions (governments), mining factions, production factions, etc. Here you can click on any faction name and view their description, leadership information and recruitment contacts for more information. You will also be linked to their website and IRC chatroom if they have one.
2. The Positions Vacant forum
This forum contains all of the recruitment ads posted by factions who choose to recruit. These factions are active enough to keep their ads current, so by joining a faction that keeps an updated post in this forum, you are less likely to end up in an inactive group. This is a good place to receive an overview of your options. You can view the positions for which factions are hiring and the benefits they will offer you, so you can make your decision based on what is most important to you.
Nearly all factions are always recruiting, and most factions love new members. Any that restrict their membership for one reason or another will say so. Otherwise, you are practically guaranteed membership in any faction of your choosing. You are a valuable asset!
How to Join
Once you have chosen a faction, check their advertisement or their faction description. Some factions will ask you to register on their forums first, or contact someone in particular, so be sure to follow their instructions.
You will need to join the faction through the Combine interface. To do so, click on the Faction link on your right menu. That will take you to the following page:
Click the "Join Faction" link at the top of the page and you will be taken to a dropdown box listing every faction in game. Locate the faction of your choice in the list and enter a message into the textbox.
It is a good idea to mention any recruiter you spoke with, why you decided to join, where you saw their ad, or what you would like to do in the faction, but you can enter any message you like.
Once you have submitted your join request, you will need to wait for someone in the faction with join request privileges to accept you. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days, although if it takes too long and no one contacts you, you might want to consider joining a more active faction.
You will usually receive a message in your inbox with a greeting message and further instructions. If you have not yet chosen a starting location, you will generally be told where the faction would like you to start. Welcome to the galaxy!