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Cruiser Hull Rock B Shivan.png
Cruiser Rock B Shivan.png
Ship type Rock Cruiser
Layout Layout B
Weapons Heavy Pierce I, Fire Bomb
Missiles 18 Missiles
Drone parts 0
Power 8
Augmentations Rock Plating
Achievements Is it warm in here?, Defense Drones Don't Do D'anything!, Ancestry
Weapon Control

Kestrel Cruiser
The Kestrel
Stealth Cruiser
The Nesasio
DA-SR 12
Mantis Cruiser
The Gila Monster
The Basilisk
Engi Cruiser
The Torus
The Vortex
Federation Cruiser
The Osprey
Slug Cruiser
Man of War
The Stormwalker
Rock Cruiser
Zoltan Cruiser
The Adjudicator
Crystal Cruiser


The Shivan is an unlockable layout of the Rockman ship in FTL. Like the Bulwark, it focuses on bypassing shields and defensive strength, but has a few unique attributes of its own. Its name and color scheme are a reference to the Shivan alien race in the Descent: Freespace video game series. The Shivan starts with a crew of four Rockmen, a Heavy Pierce Laser I, and a Fire Bomb Launcher.

How to Unlock the Shivan[edit]

The Shivan is unlocked by completing two of the Rock Cruiser Achievements. Since Ancestry is very difficult to complete through effort, being more reliant on good luck, it is recommended you try for the two other achievements instead. (Is it warm in here?, Defense Drones Don't Do D'anything!)


Ship Strengths[edit]

  • Starting weaponry pierces at least 1 layer of shields.
  • Starts with 4 extremely tough Rockmen as crew.
  • Has a 15% chance to ignore hull damage due to Rock Plating.
  • Has a straightforward hull layout with many empty rooms.

Ship Weaknesses[edit]

  • Starting Weapon effectiveness falls off dramatically when facing 2+ shield layers or Zoltan Shields.
  • Rockmen are slow.
  • No airlocks or door control system!

Leaving the Hangar[edit]

The Shivan-class Rock Cruiser is at first glance very similar to the Bulwark, however, it has two unique features that do not exist on any other ship. The first is the Heavy Pierce Laser Mk. I, which is the only laser weapon in the game that can pierce shields (one layer only) without bringing them down. This makes it very much like an Artemis missile launcher with no ammo requirements in the early game. However, as soon as you start to encounter 2 shield ships, the HPL stops being effective very quickly. If you intend to try a weapon-focused game, your first priority should be finding an extra laser or missile system, as the Fire Bomb Launcher does not bring down systems fast enough to be effective with this sort of build.

The second notable feature is the lack of airlocks or door controls! This ship is actually one of the best defended against both boarding parties and fires, which perhaps makes the lack of these features less important. However, staying on top of fires before they spread is very important on this ship. Though your Rockmen don't take damage from fire, they still take just as long to put them out. You may find your ship crippled while your Rockmen wander around trying to stomp out inferno after inferno.

Due to the 4 Rockman crew and the starting Fire Bomb Launcher, buying a teleporter for boarding tactics can be very effective in this ship. Start a fire in an important systems room and send in your portable mountains to fight in the same room. No enemy security personnel can beat two Rockmen standing in an oven....unless they are also Rockmen.

Due to the early strength of the ship and crew, and the fact that boarding-focused tactics earns more scrap, consumables and rewards than other tactics, this ship is probably one of the easiest to beat the game with. It does not have the reliance on missiles that the Bulwark has, has good starting defenses to damage, boarding and fires and comes with four crew so all systems can be manned from the start. Even though finding the Secret Sector (Ancestry) is one of the potential requirements for this ship, the Shivan is probably the best equipped to complete it, thanks to Rock Plating and being an overall stronger ship than the Bulwark.


  • When boarding any ship with a medbay, disable the medbay ASAP with bombs or missiles. It is difficult to beat a crew with an operational medbay, even with the best boarders.
  • Alternatively, use a firebomb on the enemy Shields room, then board your Rockmen in the same room. When the enemy retreats to heal, your boarders can disable the shields. Then you can use your regular weapons to take out the medbay.
  • The Heavy Pierce Laser goes from fantastic to useless as soon as you encounter a ship with 2 shields. Have an alternative ready.
  • When boarding using fire, make sure to keep an eye on the enemy ship's HP! If a system goes red, it deals 1 HP of damage to the ship. Don't lose your boarders to a silly mistake!
  • Keep on top of fires before they spread. There is no quick fix for fire on this ship.
  • You can buy a Door Control System at a shop, but it is expensive and does not add airlocks. It simply gives you control of the doors on the ship as normal (and you can upgrade it further from there).
  • Upgrade your teleporter to level 2 if you intend to board a lot. Lowering the cooldown on the teleport will often save the lives of your crew and allow you to board autodrones safely without suffocating.

Recommended Upgrades[edit]

  • Teleporter - at least to level 2, if you want to board
  • Weaponry - Lasers or Missiles preferred. Sell the Fire Bomb Launcher if you need to and you are not boarding.
  • Shields/Engines - Shields to 2 quickly, and later to 3. Engines to whatever makes you comfortable.
  • Medbay/Sensors/Autopilot - Blue option enablers. As well, Sensors and Medbay level 2 facilitates boarding.
  • Drone Control - for Defense or perhaps Repair drones.
  • Cloaking - level 1, for the boss.
  • Door Control - if you are swimming in scrap.

Useful Augmentations include the Scrap Recovery Arm, FTL Jammer and Automated Reloader.