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# Whenever possible, '''''always repair all your systems and heal your crew before you jump!''''' After you deal with the event in a system, the game is effectively "paused" -- the rebel fleet only advances when you jump to a new system. The only exception to this rule is if there is a source of heavy ongoing damage that your shields can't hold off, such as a star.
# Whenever possible, '''''always repair all your systems and heal your crew before you jump!''''' After you deal with the event in a system, the game is effectively "paused" -- the rebel fleet only advances when you jump to a new system. The only exception to this rule is if there is a source of heavy ongoing damage that your shields can't hold off, such as a star.
# Upgrade your Medbay to level 2 ASAP.  A level 2 Medbay is very cheap and opens up many blue options that allow you to gain an extra crew member or prevent a crewmember from dying while gaining scrap and resources (especially at distress signals).
# Upgrade your Medbay to level 2 ASAP.  A level 2 Medbay is very cheap and opens up many blue options that allow you to gain an extra crew member or prevent a crewmember from dying while gaining scrap and resources (especially at distress signals).  Having a level 2 Medbay also enables your crew to heal while the Medbay is vented (that is, their health will go up). This can save a ship that would have been doomed without it.
# Near stars, be ready to vent the fires or deal with them. If you have the "Long-Ranged Scanners" augment, you might just want to avoid them entirely.
# Near stars, be ready to vent the fires or deal with them. If you have the "Long-Ranged Scanners" augment, you might just want to avoid them entirely.
# Everything is about balancing cost and benefit. If hull damage/crew/missile/drone costs of a fight are likely to exceed the rewards, change your strategy, jump away, or restart the game.
# Everything is about balancing cost and benefit. If hull damage/crew/missile/drone costs of a fight are likely to exceed the rewards, change your strategy, jump away, or restart the game.

Revision as of 21:29, 15 April 2014


This page is for game strategies and gamefaqs.

General Information

More information FTL Forum - Tips, Strategy and Guides - official discussion area for strategies.

User Guides

More information Final Boss guide.
More information Ship guide.

Basic Strategies

Doing well in the early sectors is important. Because the sectors get progressively harder, being well-prepared early means that you will defeat enemies more easily and take less damage, giving you more scrap and allowing you to be well-prepared for later sectors. Conversely, being ill-prepared may mean having to run away from enemies or taking heavy damage, which reduces scrap available for upgrades and makes you even less prepared for later sectors.

Maximizing Scrap Gain

Generally, if your ship is near the exit beacon and the rebel fleet is a substantial time away, you should always explore nearby areas to possibly gain scrap, missiles, drone parts, fuel, weapons and crew. Times when you might not want to risk it is when your ship is low on fuel or health or the rebel fleet are close behind.

  1. Avoid re-visiting beacons. You want to maximize the number of beacons you visit each sector, and re-visiting areas is a waste of time & fuel.
  2. Going into the Options menu and enabling "Show Beacon Paths on Hover" will greatly aid in planning out which beacons to visit.
  3. Never let the Rebels catch up to you (except as noted below). Encounters with the rebel fleet are extra difficult and never yield anything other than 1 unit of fuel if you win.
  4. Sometimes, there are a number of beacons to the right of the exit beacon, and it will take the rebels several turns to overrun them. If your ship is reasonably well-equipped with shields and defense drones or cloaking, it's beneficial to explore those beacons, and then face a single encounter with the Rebel fleet at the exit. There is a bug that can be exploited here, in that if you fight the rebels at the exit beacon, and then decide to jump to another star (one that will be outside of rebel control when you arrive), then when you return to the exit beacon you will not need to refight the rebel ship.
  5. The Scrap Recovery Arm is a very good investment, especially early on. However, it is worth purchasing even as late as sector 6. Multiple scrap arms give cumulative bonuses!
  6. Nebula sectors let you do more exploring since the fleet is slowed down. (However, note that the slowdown is not nearly as substantial as in nebulae in normal sectors.) In addition, nebula sectors tend to have fewer ship encounters compared to normal sectors, so having Long-Range Scanners is recommended.
  7. You can sell things you don't want for extra scrap at stores. Shops will buy unwanted weapons/augments for half of the price that you can buy it for. This is helpful for dropping bad weapons for extra scrap.

Minimizing Damage Taken

Not only does minimizing damage mean staying alive, it also means that you spend less scrap repairing the hull of your ship.

  1. Upgrading to a second level of shields as soon as possible is a great investment.
  2. Don't underestimate the value of having good evasion. If possible, keep both the helm and engines manned, and maximize power to the engines, even if it means shutting off the Medbay and Oxygen systems temporarily. Putting a few points into engines should be done after purchasing a second level of shields. Crew only gain experience when they successfully dodge a shot, so having a decent evade chance is the key to getting an even higher evade chance!
  3. Generally, it is best to target the enemy ship's weapon system first. This is particularly true early game when enemies typically have only one level of shields. Even if your enemies manage to repair their weapon system, you will have de-synchronized their firing, which reduces the chances that they get through your shields.

Repelling Boarders

  1. Pause often during fights with boarders. In these fights you have a lot to keep track of. This allows you to adjust your strategy as the fight progresses and stay up to date by the second.
  2. Blast doors are a cheap, helpful upgrade: they keep fires from spreading as fast, and slow down boarders.
  3. Enemy boarders will never attack a system if that room is in a vacuum (has red and pink stripes). Use this to your advantage by repeatedly funneling enemy boarders through rooms that have no oxygen.
  4. It takes a few seconds for a room to vent out. This happens more quickly if you turn off the Oxygen system.
  5. If enemies are attacking a critical system and you're not sure you can vent the room in time, send in a few of your own crew to stall them as the room vents. Retreat your personnel as soon as the room vents. They can easily run out, but the enemy will have to spend time breaking down the door.
  6. If you get boarded early on and/or have weak crews without an enemy ship to fight; one trick you can do is vent the entire ship and run to your med bay. The lack of oxygen will force the intruders to follow you, and if you're quick they won't damage any systems (not recommended if you have more crew than room in your med bay). Enemy boarders will avoid rooms without oxygen, so if the entire ship is vented, they will be funneled to your Medbay where you can easily deal with them. Once they are there, close all the doors to refill the ship. You can also use a level 2 O2 system to refill the ship extremely fast.

Miscellaneous Tips

Basic tips + common sense for the new FTL player:

  1. Whenever possible, always repair all your systems and heal your crew before you jump! After you deal with the event in a system, the game is effectively "paused" -- the rebel fleet only advances when you jump to a new system. The only exception to this rule is if there is a source of heavy ongoing damage that your shields can't hold off, such as a star.
  2. Upgrade your Medbay to level 2 ASAP. A level 2 Medbay is very cheap and opens up many blue options that allow you to gain an extra crew member or prevent a crewmember from dying while gaining scrap and resources (especially at distress signals). Having a level 2 Medbay also enables your crew to heal while the Medbay is vented (that is, their health will go up). This can save a ship that would have been doomed without it.
  3. Near stars, be ready to vent the fires or deal with them. If you have the "Long-Ranged Scanners" augment, you might just want to avoid them entirely.
  4. Everything is about balancing cost and benefit. If hull damage/crew/missile/drone costs of a fight are likely to exceed the rewards, change your strategy, jump away, or restart the game.
  5. Use missiles and bombs sparingly, mostly to damage a shield system initially. Spamming them is extremely wasteful unless you have an excess of that resource.
  6. Focus fire on important targets: weapons (such as a ship with missiles), shield (a ship with green shields), piloting (An agile recon drone), all depending on the situation.
  7. Taking a ship by killing its crew offers increased rewards, so if you are ever in a situation where you can easily do this, then do so.
  8. Taking hits might feel not very worrying to a player new to FTL - after all, repairing systems is easy. But any hull damage sustained is permanent, increasingly expensive to repair through, and might get you killed eventually. Avoid damage any way you can, this usually means shutting down their weapons room.
  9. Timing is of big importance when firing weapons. Therefore, Autofire often isn't your friend. Make sure beams only get fired when enemy shields are down. If you have missiles, you may want to fire one first at the Shield room then follow up with laser shots while the shield is damaged or shutdown.
  10. Know each race's strengths and weaknesses. Mantis/Rockmen are the best fighters but bad at fixing stuff due to slow speed or slow repair skill. Zoltans are good for powering Shields, Engines, or Weapons, but their power bar is wasted everywhere else, including being a pilot. Engi are the best repairmen, but again, horrible at anything else.
  11. Keep your group diverse. One race's strength often counters another one's weakness - you will get more blue choices in events, too.
  12. Keep crew stationed at the same system throughout the game so that you have gold level commanders by the time you get to the boss.
  13. After a fight in an asteroid field, stick around, move your pilot, and wait for your crew manning your shield to level up, it might take a little while (20 minutes from level 0) but you can do this even on lvl 1 shield.
  14. Watch for an enemy whose weapons are incapable of penetrating your shields regardless of timing of fire. Power down your weapons and use these enemies to train your crew for shields, engine, and helm to gold level. You can also train your weapons crewman by only firing a weapon too weak to penetrate the enemy's shields.
  15. As each laser shot depletes one shield layer regardless of its power, multi-shot weak lasers are preferable to one-shot strong lasers.
  16. Hull lasers can cause breaches, making it harder to repair systems, since the breach has to be repaired first.
  17. Hull lasers, hull beams, and hull missiles do more damage to empty rooms.
  18. Attack slavers if you want crew members. Ignore them if you don't need them. Surrendering slavers will give you one random crew, killing all of the slaver crew gives three races to choose from, as does selecting the buy option.
  19. Always buy fuel in the shops - running out is easy even if you think you have enough (20 fuel should suffice... unless you're unlucky). Having extra also means you can take advantage of trades for valuable profits.(Such as -4 Fuel for +2 Drones. 4 Fuel is 12 scrap, 2 drones is 16)
  20. Most encounters have random outcomes no matter what your choice is, though some results are more likely than others. Picking the same choice for an encounter can yield different results.
  21. You almost always want to use the "blue" option - blue usually represents a contextual advantage to you in any event, meaning that choosing the blue option, whatever it is, almost always guarantees a favorable outcome. However, if you want to fight a ship to gain scrap or other resources, choosing the cloak option will cause you to avoid the fight.
  22. Distress beacons typically always have a risk involved, but the payout is better, if not doubled when you actually save someone. Some are just traps and don't offer anything extra.
  23. Make sure you have some spare scrap when entering shops so you can actually buy stuff. Weapons are usually 50-70, with the best at 120. Crew Teleporter is 75 if you're after that. Drone Control is 80. Fuel/Missiles/Drones are 3/6/8. Scrap Recovery Arm is 50. Rule of thumb is, if you're at <50 scrap, you should probably delay visiting a shop if possible until 50+. At <50, all you can usually get is Fuel/Missiles/Drones.

Ship Specific Strategies

  1. The Kestrel
    • Weapons: The starting loadout is decent and you should be able to subdue any ship as long as triple shielded enemies don't start showing up. The burst laser will often miss some out of the three shots per charge, so if you meet double shielded enemies, make sure you knock out their shield with the Artemis launcher before opening up on their weapons room with the laser. Note, that the laser shots travel faster than the missile so you will have to time the shots. To maximise your damage potential with the burst laser, your next priority should be the enemy cockpit. Knocking that out will nullify their evasion, making all your shots hit later on.
      • The burst laser you can keep for a long time, however you should start looking for a replacement to the artemis missile in the third-fourth sector. Stronger missile or bomb weapons should be found at shops by then. A beam weapon can be a good addition, as the burst laser coupled with a good bomb weapon will allow for good all around shield penetration.
    • Doors: Get at least the level 2 blast Doors. Boardings will start to happen as early as the second sector, and blast doors make all the difference.
    • Shield: You should get the second shield layer before reaching sector 3. That's where the more frightening weapon loadouts start showing up.
    • Engines: Again, upgrade early. The first two points into the engines are very cheap and they will save you from missiles, which means less scrap spent on repairs and more left for constructive uses.
    • Boarding: Your starting weapons loadout isn't friendly for boarding operations. If you want to go with a boarding strategy, find an ion weapon or a fire bomb/fire beam. Anything that can wreak havoc, destroy systems and damage enemy crew without causing serious hull damage.
    • Basic strategy:
      • The Kestrel starts well prepared for a fight. You have enough firepower to relax and explore the first few sectors without having to fear for your survival or having to spend scrap to buy some vital system you don't have. This allows you to save up on scrap and buy extra equipment, upgrade your ship as needed and even purchase crew early on if you're lucky.
      • Make sure you always have at least a few missiles as an enemy with two shields will be too much for the burst laser to handle alone.
      • Buy an Engi crew member if you can, as humans are common and uninteresting, and your Engi crew member will give you lots of Blue options on random encounters that will make your life easier.
  2. Red Tail
    • Weapons: Four basic lasers might be the strongest starting loadout of any ship. You should overwhelm every ship you meet for the first two sectors quite easily. However, once ships start having three or more shields the starting loadout's efficiency plummets quickly. All laser weapons (burst or heavy) synergize well with the Red Tail. Be sure to keep your basic lasers to the right of whatever weapons you buy/find, so that they will be powered off first.
    • Basic strategy: The Red Tail has one of the strongest ship layouts in the game, which leaves it adaptable for a variety of strategies. Although quickly increasing shields and engine power is almost always a good plan in FTL, you can get away with delaying it a little more in the Red Tail because of how quickly you can take out weapons systems. Initially, you should put your mantis in weapons, your humans as pilot and engines, and the zoltan in shields. If you are fortunate enough to get a second zoltan you will have an layer of shields that cannot be ion'ed and the shield system is next to the medbay for the rather squishy zoltan(s). The mantis should be in the weapons system because it's the system that is quickest to level up in the Red Tail. Once you get another crew member you may want to put the mantis on boarding/defending duty and the new crew member will be leveled up after only a few short fights. The Red Tail is a great ship to board with. The teleporter being directly next to the medbay can lend itself to multiple boarding parties and having four low damage weapons initially makes taking out opponent's medbays/drone controls easier and less risky than with other ships.
  3. The Torus
    • Upgrade Priority:
      • Doors: You're going to want to upgrade your doors first because Engi are lousy fighters, so having blast doors will stop the enemies from killing your Engi, and with blast doors you can vent the oxygen from the room in which the enemies currently are.
      • Shields: Next you want to upgrade your shields because one shield is never enough later on in the game.
      • Weapons: You're going to need your weapons upgrade because the Ion blast requires three power and later you're definitely going to need more weapons than that.
      • Drones: Surprisingly you don't need to upgrade your drones until later because that one drone usually gets the job done.
      • The Rest: All the other systems you may upgrade as you please, because they are not as important than the ones already listed.
    • Weapon Choice Priority:
      • Bomb Based Weapons: Bomb weapons could be useful, because if you encounter a ship with too many shields and your drones and ion aren't getting the job done you can quickly get rid of the shields and blow the ship out of the sky.
      • Beam Weapons: you usually won't need to use these but when you do they might be able to save your crew's lives, just having one halberd beam will help a lot. Beam weapons do cost a lot of energy though, and they're useless against shields.
      • An Extra Ion Weapon: This will be useful if the ship attempts to get away or if it's weapons are a little too overwhelming this way you can target multiple parts of the ship helping you get the upper-hand.
    • Drone Choice Priority:
      • Another Anti-Ship Drone: Having two anti-ship drones can really help, one drone could take out the shields whilst the other destroys the ship.
      • Defense Drone: Having one of these is EXTREMELY useful because I find the one weakness of the Torus is missiles. You also won't need to keep the Defense Drone powered all the time, you can just power it when there's a missile incoming.
    • General Strategies:
      • Aim your ion at the shields whilst your drones attack everything else
      • Every time you go to a shop buy at least one drone part
      • When fighting intruders use your Human, not Engi (Unless you have a Rock or Mantis, then use them)
      • Use the Engi to repair things, never your human. Only use your human if: 1) your Engies are dead or 2) you're helping an Engi repair
      • Keep an eye out for the Drone Recovery Arm augment, this is extremely useful, as you use 1-2 drones each fight.
  4. The Vortex
    • Strategy
      • The Vortex seems designed to have little control on the ship itself, specializing more on shutting down an opponent while taking some damage but little chance of loss of life. Play as if the ship's functions are entirely automated until you gain more crew.
      • A good opening strategy is putting enough spare power to have one repair drone working constantly, focusing on using your Heavy Ion to disrupt an enemy's shield, then taking out their weapons and navigation with your Heavy Laser.
        • Keep in mind that the Heavy Laser requires less time to charge than your Heavy Ion; wait until you have disabled the enemy's shield to use your Heavy Laser to attack, and you can quickly stun an enemy with less-than-optimal shields.
      • As the only crew you start with is one Engi, and they're busy piloting the craft, a good idea is leaving your entire craft's doors (save for the door to navigation, which is relatively isolated) open to space. If there is a fire, the lack of oxygen will stifle it immediately, and your repair drones will still be able to function properly.
        • This also helps with boardings, as you can have your anti-personnel drone intercept the intruders, watching them suffocate as you continue to fight, unimpeded.
        • In case of critical failures, or in the event that you gather more crew to man other stations (which you can still set apart from the majority of the ship, left open to space), it would be wise to pour an extra point or two into oxygen replenishment, in case you need to make a scramble to the Medical Bay.
  5. The Osprey
  6. Nisos
  7. Shivan
    • upgrade priority:
      • Upgrade your sensors quickly. Your starting weapons, heavy beam and firebomb, are fairly good, but to make the most use out of the firebomb and secure crew kill victories, you need to know where the crew is to place only the bombs needed for a kill. Also, if the entire enemy crew is at low health, it allows you to see the progress of your fire or, if you did so, how much air is cut from the ship.
      • Be prepared to give up the heavy pierce laser at some point. It is phenomenal for the early game, as it is rarely stopped, but if kept past around sector 4-5, it falls off hard. Due to it relying on the enemy having only one shield, it will stop being useful after a point and instead just becomes a bad weapon all around due to the rarity of only one shield being deployed.
      • The replacement for the beam is optional, but depending on how you decide to go it may be better to go one way or another. If the ship and crew board a lot, then another fire weapon, the fire beam being the best, would help as the rockmen are not damaged by it and it can be used to overwhelm the enemy crew while the rockmen stay safe.
  8. The Nesasio
    • Upgrade Priority:
      • The first thing that should be gotten quickly is a shield system. Without a shield system in later sectors, you will sustain heavy damage from ships with a weapons system that cannot be taken down in one shot from your Dual Laser/Mini Beam combination. Optionally, you can also invest in level 2 doors before a shield system to stop boarders.
      • After acquiring a shield system, you will want to gain additional weapons or attack drones to more quickly take down ships. If you have enough weaponry, you shouldn't need defense drones to shoot down missiles as your cloaking should be enough to dodge them and finish off your opponents before they can fire twice.
      • Upgrade priority afterwards is the same as the Kestrel, Red-Tail, and Torus.
    • General Strategies:
      • Use your long ranged scanners to avoid sun beacons and asteroid fields early on.
      • Pause and activate your cloaking just as your opponent fires. Doing so will give you +60% Evasion on top of your 30% engine evasion for the duration of the cloak and will make most of the incoming shots miss and allow you to fire without taking too much damage. Keep in mind that cloaking does not stop enemy beam weapons that have already started firing before you cloaked.
  9. DA-SR 12
    • Upgrade Priority:
      • Unlike the Nesasio, you should save up for level 3 cloaking before a shield system. This is because your starting weapon, the Glaive Beam, has a significantly longer charge time than the Nesasio's weapons, and level 2 cloaking does not give enough time for the weapon to charge before most opponents can fire twice. Saving up for a shield system first will result in too much damage being taken before shields are acquired, wasting valuable scrap on repairs.
      • Upgrade priority afterwards is otherwise the same as the Nesasio.
  10. The Adjudicator
    • Upgrade Priority:
      • Weapon: On most ships you should start with upgrading defenses, but the Adjudicator starts with a level 1 shield plus a Zoltan shield, that together make for a very good early defence. You should start with putting one more level on weapons, because activating the Halberd beam will require all your weapon system energy, not leaving enough room for the Leto launcher.
      • Engine: Get at least level 3 engine ASAP. The Zoltan shield will give you good defence in the first two sectors, but later on evasion will become increasingly important.
      • Other: Shields should be next in line. The Zoltan shields look very strong at the start, but more powerful enemies will knock them out in the first salvo. The ship starts with level 2 blast doors, making you prepared for enemy boarding attacks for the time being.
    • Basic Strategy:
      • The Halberd beam can penetrate a level 1 shield, but will become completely useless against level 2 shielded enemies on it's own. As long as you have enough firepower to keep enemy shields under two, the Halberd beam should make quick work of them.
      • The Leto is the weak point of the ship. It's only useful at the very start of the game, and it's single point damage will quickly make it insignificant. You should find a replacement for it ASAP.
      • You will be wasting the extra energy bar the Zoltan pilot could be giving you. If you get a non-Zoltan crew member, make him pilot and put the Zoltan somewhere he can power an important system.
      • The ship has a perculiar room structure that makes it very sensitive to fires and breaches: The front and back half of the ship is connected by a single corridor. Enemy boarding parties will have to go through here, so it will have an unusually important part in fending off boarders.
      • Due to the Zoltan Shield, you can completely deplete power from your standard shields to add additional power to other systems, allowing you to quickly burst through your enemy's shields and disable their weapons before your Zoltan Shield gets depleted. This tactic is extremely effective with the Weapon Pre-Igniter and engine upgrades, as long as you remember to start your shields back up before your Zoltan Shield is gone.
      • Cloaks can extend the lifetime of your Zoltan Shields dramatically by cloaking the instant the enemy's weapons are fired, causing the weapon to waste its shot and still preventing further recharge. This will give you plenty of time to take out the enemy's weapon systems before any missiles can breach your defenses.

Advanced Strategies

Boarding Enemy Ships

Boarding enemy ships usually grants larger rewards than destroying the enemy. In addition, teleporters are valuable against the final boss.

  1. To board enemy ships you'll need a teleporter, which costs 75 scrap at a store.
  2. You'll also want at least 4 crew members before boarding -- typically, you'll want to keep at least the helm and engines manned while you send two boarders over. Any race other than Engi and Zoltan make serviceable boarders.
  3. Mantis are the best boarders (double combat damage, +20% speed, -50% repair rate), followed closely by Rockmen (150 HP, immune to fire, half movement speed; much less likely to die by the time your level 1 teleporters have charged up again).
  4. Crystalmen with lockdown ability, using 4-man teleporter in their 2nd ship, with a 2 Crystalmen and 2 Mantis is probably the best boarding party in the game - teleport into weapons room and immediately lock it down before any crew arrive
  5. One very effective tactic with Rockmen boarders is to use a fire weapon and beam into the room that is on fire. The fire will cause your enemy damage (unless they are also Rockmen) allowing for an easier fight. In addition, the room will take damage as long as it's on fire, and neither the fire can be put out nor the room repaired as long as your Rockmen are there. Thus, enemy weapon systems are ideal for this tactic.
  6. Usually, the best room to board is the cockpit. It always only has room for two, which will prevent your boarding party from getting quickly overwhelmed. In addition, it slightly lowers the enemy's evade chance since the helm is no longer manned (though it won't drop the evade chance to 0).
  7. An exception to the above is if the enemy is charging their FTL, then attracting the pilot to another room in order to fight you will delay the FTL (fighting in the cockpit doesn't delay the FTL)
  8. If your boarders are getting overwhelmed, have them run from one end of the enemy ship to the other while your teleporter recharges. This does not work if the enemy has blast doors, so make sure to look before you send them in.
  9. If you are using any ship other the Mantis B or Crystal B and can only send two boarding crew at a time, avoid transporting into large rooms that allow four person capacity. If the enemy ship has many crew, it may rush four into the room with your two boarders, leaving them in need of extraction. Also, if you are facing tough mantis or rock enemies aboard a vessel that has upgraded doors, you can exploit a trick that lets you get four of your crewman into a two person room. With two crew aboard an enemy vessel in a small room and two more ready to transport over, pause the game and order both of your crew aboard the enemy vessel to move to an adjacent room - you will see the green dots indicating that they are ordered to move to that new room. Then order your transporter to transport the two fresh crewmen aboard the enemy vessel to the room that your other crewmen currently occupy. Since they have been ordered to move out, the game allows this. Then unpause the game, and you will see your two initial crewman move to attack the doors that are holding them in this room, while your two fresh crewmen materialize behind them. These two fresh crewmen will now take the full attention of any enemies still in the room while your damaged crewmen break down the door.
  10. Combatants always attack the person in their own square first. Spread damage around by knowing how to swap positions in a room. You do this by pausing the game, ordering your crew out of the room they are in, and then ordering them back in the order you want (starting with the upper left), all without unpausing.
  11. If the enemy has a Medbay, you'll need a way to take it out. Things like missiles and bombs are best for this task. One tactic is to board the enemy while your missiles and bombs reload. Then, when the enemy attempts to retreat to the Medbay, fire your missile or bomb. It will likely both take out the Medbay and kill the injured crew.
  12. Do NOT have autofire on while you are using a boarding team. You could accidentally destroy the ship with them on it. It is also advised not to use this strategy at all when using the Osprey or Nisos, as their Artillery Beam is effectively on autofire all the time.
  13. Be VERY careful when boarding enemies in asteroid belts. The asteroids can easily destroy the ship they're on. You should avoid the use of ion weapons or targeting their shield system if you wish to board an enemy in an asteroid belt.
  14. When teleporting your crew back, if you have ordered them into another room and they are currently breaking down a door, the teleporter won't beam them back, even if they are still in the room you are targetting.
  15. Be VERY careful when boarding automated ships. These ships don't have a crew, and thus don't have oxygen, meaning your boarders will immediately take suffocation damage. However, it is a viable to tactic to beam boarders over to attack the shield system, weapons system, or helm and beam them back before they die of suffocation. It is risky because if your teleporter gets destroyed, or the enemy blocks teleporting by cloaking, your crew will be lost.
    1. With level 1 teleporters, only Rockmen and Crystalmen have enough health to survive long enough for it to recharge. Note that a cloaking device has a recharge time of 20 seconds, which is exactly the recharge time of level 1 teleporters. Thus, the enemy ship will be able to cloak before you can beam them back.
    2. With level 2 teleporters, it is possible for races with 100 HP (such as Mantis) to survive for the teleporter to recharge.
    3. In all cases it is best to play it safe, and board only if you have level 3 teleporters. You should beam them back as soon any the enemy fires anything (a laser barrage, missile, or bomb) that has a chance of damaging your teleporters.
  16. If the enemy is trying to run away, either damage their helm/engines, or else the enemy will jump away and your crew will be lost.

Defending against Boarding

For non-drone boarding parties, where your crew is out-matched (for example if most of your crew is on the enemy ship), an effective strategy is to fully vent your ship of oxygen.

  1. Open all doors including external ones
  2. Unpower the Oxygen for quickest loss
  3. Move all your crew into the Medbay, which you can optionally keep oxygenated (recommended in general, but depends on other factors discussed below)

Once every room is out of oxygen, the enemy crew will either attack a system room, or head to your Medbay if you kept it oxygenated. Provided your Medbay is powered, your crew will easily outmatch any intruders. Furthermore, if you have upgraded doors, the enemy will most likely perish before they reach the Medbay.

Depending on ship layout, you can tweak this strategy by keeping the furthermost room from the enemy boarding party as the only oxygenated room, and then the boarders will attempt to get to it. The latter is particularly useful if you have no crew left on your ship to fight, as it avoids the enemy damaging systems.

Weaknesses with this strategy are if your Oxygen system gets hit then it will be harder to re-oxygenate later, and obviously if the Medbay gets hit then your crew will start taking damage if you chose not to keep it oxygenated. You may need to teleport your crew back early before they take too much damage, so they can survive from the Teleport room to the Medbay without oxygen.

For a random tip, after you deoxygenate a room of your ship, the intruder will attempt to break through doors to escape the room. For slowing down their progress of moving, you could enter a crew member into the room then immediately make it retreat and repeat the process. This will help since by a crew member entering it will automatically engage in combat making the intruder and the crew member to move to the upper right corner of the room. So by using this tactic, you are able to minimize the damage the door takes which allows the intruder suffocate to death without moving on to a different room.

Using Ion Weapons Effectively

Used correctly, ion weapons are one of the most effective ways of defeating nearly any ship. However, it is important to understand how they work.

Ion weapons are best used in pairs or even threes. This is because of how ion damage and the ion damage timer operate.

  1. Each point of ion damage disables a single point of energy in a system for 5 seconds.
  2. If a ship's shield is up, then hitting the shield is equivalent to hitting the shield system.
  3. The amount of ion damage (i.e. the number of points of energy disabled), and how long it's disabled for are tracked separately, and are cumulative when taking further ion damage.
  4. If the timer ever reaches 0, then ion damage is completely reset to 0.
  5. For example, an Ion Bomb does 4 points of ion damage, this means that it will disable 4 units of energy for 20 seconds. If you hit an enemy's system with an Ion Bomb, and then 15 seconds later, hit it with a Heavy Ion (2 ion damage), the system will have 6 total units of energy disabled for 15 more seconds (5 seconds remain of the original 20 seconds, and 2 ion damage added another 10 seconds).
  6. Note that ion damage cannot "partially expire". In the example above, if another 10 seconds pass, the system will still have 6 units of energy disabled (for 5 more seconds), even though it's been more than 20 seconds since the Ion Bomb was fired. However, if yet another 5 seconds pass without further ion damage, then the ion damage will completely reset and the system will be back at full power.
  7. This means that when attempting to disable the shields of a ship with strong shields, it is important to keep hitting the shields with ion weapons. Otherwise, accumulated ion damage will reset. Auto-fire is very useful on ion weapons. Note that you can auto-fire individual guns on a ship by pressing and holding control as you click the system you want to target.
  8. Even with a fully leveled crew member operating the weapons system, a single Ion Blast or Heavy Ion cannot fire quickly enough before the ion damage from the previous shot expires. Both the Ion Bomb and Ion Blast Mark II fire quickly enough, but missing a shot will often be enough to allow the timer to run out. Therefore, having more than one ion weapon will allow you to quickly and reliably disable any ship's shields or other systems.
  9. Because of how ion weapons operate, looking at ion damage by itself is misleading. Instead, look at ion damage per second (which from best to worst are: Ion Bomb, Ion Blast Mark II, Heavy Ion, Ion Blast), and ion damage per second per energy (which from best to worst are: Ion Bomb, Ion Blast, Ion Blast Mark II, Heavy Ion).
  10. Having fully upgraded sensors will allow you to see how many units of energy have been disabled in a system and for how long, making it easier for you to keep multiple systems disabled at once.

Defending against Ion Weapons Effectively

When there is just one layer of shielding (either through lack of upgrading them or whilst in the heat of battle) and depending on the strength and number of the enemy ion weapons, the following tactic may be beneficial.

As mentioned in the section above, if a ship's shield is hit by an ion weapon then it is equivalent to hitting the shield system. Therefore unpowering your shields just before the an enemy ion hits, and re-enabling your shields immediately afterwards, will mean the ion will hit whatever room the enemy was firing at. This is likely to *not* be the shields system which gives you the chance to have shields up for the subsequent enemy laser or beam shot.

Note that the time taken for your shields to be re-raised is also going to be a factor, and they won't be up in time if the enemy laser/beam shot is fired soon after their ion, however shields will most likely be raised faster than having originally absorbed the ion effect with the single layer of shields.

As an added bonus, the opponent may have aimed for one of your empty rooms, which means their shot has no effect at all other than to temporarily lower your shields.

Obviously if there is another system that you absolutely must have powered at that moment, and can't risk it taking ion damage, then the certainty of shields taking the ion damage may be more desirable - it really depends on if your shields must be active to absorb an imminent laser/beam weapon.

The energy generated by Zoltan cannot be disabled. If you have two Zoltan in the shield room, it is impossible for Ion Weapons to disable the last level of shielding.


If you command a crew that is not focused on boarding but rather weapons, chances are you may not want to pull members from their posts to fight intruders. If this is the case, it is highly recommended to upgrade the door system to 2 or 3 so that invaders have a more difficult time breaking in as you suffocate them. An upgraded door system also means you can worry less about a fire as the doors lessen the chance of fire spreading as well as being more air tight (Less oxygen is lost from connecting rooms). Upgrades to oxygen is a lower priority in the early sectors as improving many other upgrades are more needed than a faster oxygen regeneration.

If you are more focused on boarding, getting an auto pilot upgrade is recommended as you can leave the ship with less worry of it being hit by oncoming fire. It is good if you are tight on members and want to have a crew manning other important posts (namely, shields and weapons). Upgrading the med bay is useful for quickly healing wounded crew to rejoin the fray.


Autofire requires planning. Different weapons can fire at different times, which allows shields to recharge between shots. By firing all lasers at once (and beams directly afterwards), one maximises the shield penetration to allow maximum damage to be done to the enemy hull. This means that short cooldown weapons mixed with long cooldown weapons are in general not a good idea. There are several uses for Autofire:

  1. Set targets for the long cooldown weapon(s) and then manually fire short cooldown weapons at the same time. This will mean less shots for the short cooldown weapon, but the shots won't be wasted on shield recharge.
  2. Choose to buy weapons with similar cooldowns, then autofire them all.
  3. The short cooldown of the Ion Blast Mark II makes it tedious to manually fire. Holding the left CTRL button while targeting allows you to selectively autofire weapons.

Priority Targets

The main sections that you should target on a enemy ship are:

Shields -To allow your beam weapons to damage the ship and maximize the enemy intake of your damage

Weapons -To disable enemy weapons and prevent your ship being hit by their weapons

Piloting -To disable the enemy from dodging your shots. Also important when the enemy is attempting to FTL drive, the piloting system is much easier to destroy/disable than the Engine room which typically has many power bars that need to be damaged before the system is completely disabled.

Drone control -To disable any drones from attacking you (usually not as important as weapons unless enemy has a high number of attack/boarding drones) and disables defensive drones that can intercept your missiles/lasers.

Secondary Targets

Crew -If you do not want the ship to repair systems, or if you want to get better rewards for killing all crew. There are a few weapons designed specifically for this (I.e. Bio Beam, Fire Beam) and it is very useful to target them if you want to soften them up for your crew to finish them.

Teleporter -If you have good fighters and like to board, taking out the teleporter when they're on your ship will allow you to kill their crew easily, this is espically important if they have a Medbay. If you want to avoid being boarded and have the Weapon Pre-igniter you can take out thier teleporter before they can beam over.

Oxygen + Medbay -If you are trying to kill the crew but not destroy the ship. If you plan to board take out the Medbay before you send over your boarders and beam directly into the Medbay to prevent the crew you're not fighting from fixing it.

Engine room -Engines takes longer to repair than the piloting system

Cloaking -If your weapons take a long time to charge, taking this out is good since it'll take longer otherwise

Doors -If you are planning on boarding, blast doors will slow you down. Do this as a last resort if you think your crew can't survive long enough for your teleporters to charge.

Weapons Recharge

You can view exactly which weapons the enemy ship is preparing to fire. Powered weapons appear to protrude from the ship. Red lights on weapons will turn green to indicate that it is ready to fire. Both your ship and the enemy ship have this, allowing you to see when they will attack.


Fire can cause damage to your hull and spread all over your ship if left unchecked (Higher level doors make it much harder for fire to do so). In a four tile room it is often better to contain the fire and let it burn out all the oxygen and extinguish itself.

It is also a good anti-personnel weapon that works very effectively with rockmen boarders (Fire invulnerability). This is an especially good way to take out a medbay, as your boarders can keep the enemy crew occupied while the fire destroys the system.

Venting Oxygen

A basic technique taught in the tutorial to fight fire is to open fire tiles to space (or breaches caused by missiles/asteroids). This causes the oxygen to deplete and make the fire go out.

A possible strategy is to keep the oxygen permanently vented from unmanned rooms. This causes fires to be suppressed immediately and suffocates boarders. However, this also suffocates a repair team or a crewmember going to the medbay. If you do plan on using this strategy, have a maxed out O2 system for quick refill in crises.


Gray tiles indicate normal oxygen levels. Pink tiles indicate that a room is low on oxygen. This will not yet harm crew. Striped tiles indicate that oxygen is either too low, or gone, and areas with these tiles will hurt your crew very quickly. An indicator of percentage of average level of oxygen is given at the top-left of the screen.

Recycling Oxygen

A technique for making rooms safe (after they have been starved of oxygen) is to open white tiles with oxygen into the pink tiles. This will cause oxygen to spread much faster than if left to naturally increase through the O2 system.<ref></ref> You can use the door open icon button to open every door except the exits, this will spread out all your ship's oxygen and make rooms safer much quicker. This is usually a good thing to do after a room has been vented into space for fires.


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