Since the game is still in development it has very minimal in-game help to new players and no tutorial. This guide exists to help new players begin playing and exploring the features as the game is developed.
To ensure players have unique names over multiple stores in the future, Sky Nations provides a CD Key with each purchase. To learn how to use this to activate your account check here.
Once you have activated your account and logged in you will be confronted with the server list. This shows the currently online servers(within the last 5 minutes). These are all public servers you can join. Run by players such as yourself. You can use the search and filter buttons to help find a particular server you would to like play on. Once you have decided on a server, simply click its name to join it. If you are interesting in host a server yourself you should check out the Server page.
The controls for Sky Nations are mostly generic with WASD to move around and Space to jump. You can find an extensive list of the controls at Controls.
Currently the game will start you a small platform with the base items needed to build your first ship.
This may change in the future. Much like the Islands ships are built from blocks and share all the materials island based structures can be built from. However the first thing you need to do is establish the base of your ship. You can do this with a Energy Well. These are the core of a ship and what holds it together and allows it to float in place. You spawn with one of these initially, so simply select it and place it on the ground on the platform. Once you've place it, right click it. This will activate it and will begin hover to a newly created platform. This is the base of your very first ship.
You may need to use some of the Plank blocks you start with to reach this new platform, since it will be created in a place where it will not collide with other objects. Once you've managed to climb onto it you can put the base blocks down you need to run a ship. If you make any mistakes you can use the Wooden Mallet to destroy a block and simply pick it back up. If you accidentally damage a block while doing this you can use the appropriate repair tools to fix it(Hammer, Wrench and Blow Torch).
You'll notice when standing on this newly created platform you now have a energy bar in the bottom right of the screen. This shows you the ships current Energy. Energy is used in the majority of the devices you can use on a ship. You can expand its energy pool and generation with various different machines, but for now the Energy Well will give you just enough to run two Battered Thrusters. These will allow the ship to move! However the heavier the ship, the more numerous or more powerful the thrusters you will need. But before you get the ship moving, you'll need to be able to steer it. If you check your inventory you'll see that you spawned with a Control Panel. This is a block you can use to steer the ship. Place it where you think best, then right click it to begin steering your ship. W and S(by default) will accelerate and decelerate, A and D will rotate the ship, finally Space and Control with ascend and descend the ship. There you have it, you are a sailor.
You can use this ship to go and find other materials and machines to add to it. As well as explore the world and build yourself a base!