This “guide” discusses high-level strategies based on your weapon type. Why fire on sight when you can play it smart? It’s more of a stream of thought because the game is so deep and I’m bad at it. Please leave a comment on what strategies you think are good.
Before reading this guide it may be useful to read the Hit Chance section in the manual. While in-game press Esc->3->m, then scroll to the Hit Chance section using arrow keys. Actually just read the entire manual, it’s fun and creative.
BVR (Beyond Visual Range)
It can also be done by shooting grenades/bombs at a wall near them (or shooting through a wall with powerful ballistics) when Cogmind cannot see them. With this tactic it makes sense to MiniRetreat to other doors/corridors where you can repeat the tactic. Just make sure you’re outside the radius.
Specialist Loadut: Fast movement, Sensors, Electromagnetic Launchers, 2-3 engines, batteries.
Terrible in close quarters (self-corruption!), great against swarms
Generalist Loadout: Fast movement, Visual Range, 20+ range Ballistic/Thermal Guns
Slightly weak against swarms.
Evolution Suggestions: No more than 3 weapon slots.
Reason: Short volley time will allow MiniRetreating to BVR between volleys. Also you just don’t need that many weapons against an enemy who can’t hurt you.
Specialist Loadout: Mix of Low-Accuracy Ballistic and Thermal Guns, Wheels.
Generalist Loadout: Any bot when outnumbered.
Evolution Suggestions: ~5 weapons.
Reason: The larger the volley the more likely you are to instakill. However, you don’t want to waste time firing at an enemy that’s already dead while another walks in the room and shoots you. Acquiring a new target during a volley only works if that target’s in the room, so if you have an excessively large volley, wait until you have two targets.
Fire at Will
Do the math. How many time units will it take to retreat? How many volleys will it take to destroy the enemy (An average of Dmg * Core Exposure % / Core Integrity)? If it’s too hard to retreat to a long-term 1v1 position, maybe just retreat to a temporary 1v2 position, or fire before many enemies are in range.
Heat Transfer is a little less specialized. It will be much more effective against other thermal enemies, and at 100 heat the enemy has -33% accuracy and you have +33% accuracy against them, while 25% corruption basically means just a 10% chance they skip their turn and -2.5% accuracy, so a little Heat Transfer is much more useful than a little Electromagnetic damage. The same heat effects apply to self, so lots of heat will negate that benefit anyway. It’s also much harder to get very high Cooling than it is to get very high Energy, so Thermal builds often favor mixing with other weapons and the MiniRetreat tactic above.
- You get almost no salvage from a totally corrupted/melted bot. Index those Terminals/Fabricators.
- Evasion/flight synergizes with enemy heat by additively stacking hit chance reduction (down to 10%), though it’s hard to do that without heating yourself.
- Melee synergizes with heat by totally ignoring it. That’s pretty big.
- Crushing melee weapons deal similar levels of corruption damage, obviously synergizing with Corruption strategies.
- Some enemies have resistances.
- Damage does not affect heat transfer.
- These builds may struggle against swarms, since they take the same amount of time to kill. Have a backup.
- EM weapons can also focus on “disruption”, which has a 50% chance to stun a bot when affecting the core, allowing for a hacker to “assimilate”. Seems riskier, but rewardier.
- EM damage also has a “spectrum”, meaning they cause explosions on Engines and Machines. This is not a huge deal but something to consider for terrain.
- Corruption and Heat on Cogmind are VERY bad.
Damage is (15+mass)/5*(speedMult)*momentum. SpeedMult being 100/speed, momentum being the number from 0-3 on the UI next to speed.
So at 100 mass, 120 speed, 3 momentum, you deal almost 50 guaranteed damage, similar to melee weapons. And the manual mentions something about enemies speeding towards you also contributing to the damage. Momentum resets, so the damage is not repeatable and you need some time to get up to speed.
You take half the damage unless you’re using treads or 5 legs, although hovering can mean you hit super hard for the maximum 100 damage. You also have a chance to instakill small bots with treads, but it’s small.
- None Found