Note: This procedure involves editing a game file; create a backup copy of the file before proceeding. Use a text editor to edit the "perfoptions.ini" file in the game folder. Change the "DIFFICULTY_SCALE = 1.00" line to "DIFFICULTY_SCALE = 0.00".
When you are looking for hidden jump holes to other systems, turn on your Nav Map, then select the "Show Patrols" map. The lines that appear show popular paths that the AI ships use. Almost any path that stretches out beyond the normal trade-lane traffic of a star system will lead to a hidden starport or even a hidden jump hole. Fly out to where the line leads to and turn on the "Solars" option on your targeting computer. You will usually find a place of interest. However, in places with reduced sensor ranges you will probably have to rely on visually looking for something. Also, to find all the paths, make sure to look at the "neutral", "hostile" and "friendly" paths in the patrol paths map. Be wary of stumbling upon an enemy's base.
For slightly easier battles when attacking, select a hostile ship as your target then ignore that ship. Focus instead on the other hostiles but do not select them as a target. Even though they are not selected you will still be given the blindfire marker (the crosshair you aim with), although it will be smaller. Sometimes an untargeted hostile will just sit there, waiting to be shot. Other times, it will remain on a straight course and will not maneuver too much. The AI will eventually catch on to you and will alter its techniques or will send in more ships. Also, you will not be able to use missiles like this.