Loving the game so far, I've reached level Lt. 10 so should be getting my tier 2 ship soon enough! However, I've only been grouped with 'real' players 3-4 times so far, every other time I've just had my away team and NPC's. Is there a setting I need to adjust so that I auto-team more? It feels like I'm playing a single player game only bumping in to people between missions at the moment... it's also making some of the missions REALLY hard as I'm taking on dozens of ships and mobs on my own (with a little help from my Del Taco shuttle )
The only setting is to change your team preferences to open / invitation / closed. I believe you hit "O" by default and access your "Team Settings" tab. Not in game at the moment, just winging it here. If you are already set to the Open Team, you should be auto-grouped with people when entering a system if there are others running that mission with Open Team on as well. It may be a bit buggy yet, as last night I grouped up with a friend and after setting both of our options to "Closed Team" we were still having randome people auto-joining our group.
Other than that, like most MMO's you rely on Zone chat, the Team Finding screen (have not used this, personally), a buddy list, or a fleet.
I think a lot of people turn off grouping in their social panel. I know I do. During OB, people would auto-group all the time. This increased the difficulty of some of the missions so much everyone died. For me, I began turning off auto-grouping and began soloing. I found it much quicker to level than in a group. Some content, like Fleet Actions, you have no choice. I suppose that when raiding begins to hit in the end game I will be grouping a lot more. As to the ride to the end game, for me, I will limit my grouping as much as I can. Again, just because the difficulty is tuned better for a soloist.