From the game instructions her are some several “tried-and-true” strategies from the publisher:
Having Other Players Destroy Your Vessel
This is perhaps the safest strategy in the game, but is dangerous: other players in the game will certainly be attempting a similar strategy. The best means for ensuring your destruction by incoming fire is to: 1) upgrade your weapons so that you are always the strongest available opponent, and 2) upgrade your engines to take advantage of every opportunity of becoming a target.
Death by Radiation
The biggest danger in following this strategy is the chance that you might develop the radiation treatment safety feature. Barring this, upgrade your shield strength as rapidly as possible, and participate heavily in sun-diving and nova exploration. Your higher shield strenth will result in significant crew deaths during these activities. Upgrades to the engine speed is also important so as to avoid close contact with the vessels of other players - contact that could result in a declaration of peace and the unwanted acquisition of the radiation treatment safety feature.
Death by Planetary Exploration
This strategy can be very effective, but is difficult to successfully implement. The most important key to this method is to make your ship highly mobile (upgrade its engine speed as rapidly as possible) so as to avoid contact with the vessels of other players. The likely destroyer of this strategy is the pioneer kit safety feature. As noted before, the best way to avoid this problem is to upgrade your engine speed and avoid the other ships, so that a declaration of peace does not result in your acquisition of this safety feature.