This guide is to help you stay alive and thrive. Let’s get to it!
The single most important crew member is your captain. Not because they are the main character on most sci-fi shows. They are your Pilot. Without them, your ship doesn’t move and most importantly – It doesn’t dodge. If your captain has to go to medical for any reason make absolutely sure SOMEONE is in the captain’s chair. Even a rookie with no skill is better than letting your ship sit still and get pummeled.
Their skills are based mostly around piloting with a little motivation thrown in. When you get into a fight their defensive stance will boost your ship’s evasion by 10% and should be your default stance. Get in the habbit of selecting your objective. Speeding up time. And the moment tims slows, jumping into defensive stance. This will save you a lot of damage and death.
Your second most important crew member. The comms officer should be at their post all the time. In case of emergency or being boarded they _can_ go help put out fires. However, when the communication station isn’t manned you are blind. You don’t see new threats or anything at all. This usually leads to disaster as you can’t shoot what you haven’t tagged. And you can’t tag what you don’t know is killing you. And when the ship is on fire and the comms officer is back repairing the oxygen generation you don’t know a new wing of fighters is on your tail shooting you.
Their skills are powerful but have long recharge times. Requesting support will spawn fighters and later on cruisers to help you fight. These guys are great and do a lot of damage which reduces the amount of punishment your ship takes. They can also boost xp gain which is fantastic.
Now the rest of your crew is important, they aren’t all red shirts waiting to die to prove how dangerous things are. However, they are your first line of defense to non-job issues. When a fire breaks out or an alien invades your ship, these are the ones to take off their main job and toss at the enemy.
A very important crew member who will spend 90% of their time in a turret. They are your anti-invader officer with close quarters combat training. However, they don’t need to man their station to get the most out of their skills. In fact, having them sit at their station is a waste most of the time as their station doesn’t do anything but let them fire off abilities. So most of their time will be in the front turret or fighting off invaders.
Their skills are very powerful. Early on they learn to fully replenish your shields. This can save your bacon in a pinch or just be complete overkill once you’ve got your bearings. Best part is this skill doesn’t require them to linger at their station. Pop out of turret, sit in chair, click on ability, wait for it to charge and fire, then right back into turret blasting aliens.
Your fixer. Like the security officer, will spend most of their time in a turret. Their station lets you redirect power. However, once you set it up at the start of the mission you rarely need to move it around. You can mirco it a bit, but honestly having the engineer in their station and not in a turret is more harm than good. Their selling point is that they are the best at fixing things. So they are the first person to pull off the turret duty when things start to go wrong.
Their abilities are a bit lack luster. They boost reactor output. That’s it. This can be useful early on when your reactor barely gives you anything to work with. But even in the start having them in a turret is a better use than sitting in a chair to give you one more bead of power. However, what they lack in flashy skills they make up in speedy repairs. When the ship is about to run out of oxygen these are the ones to get it back up and running before you all pass out.
Last but certainly not least is the gunner. These guys are your main line of offence. They should be in their turrets at all time. Let the security officer or the engineer put out fires and fix the reactor. These guys are best making everything that wants you dead go away. The more experienced they are the more accurate they are.
Their first skill is amazing. It gives them 100% accuracy for a short time. When you get overwhelmed this can turn the tide. Their other abilities provide a boost to damage or power for their weapon. However, the boost has a cost. Energy weapons will emit radiation that hurts them and anyone nearby. Boosting an auto cannon on the other hand will start a fire. These can be helpful if something HAS to die faster, but keep in mind you will be causing a bit of chaos on your ship to get it done.
Missions, XP, Skills and You
Research unlocks new equipment for your ship and crew. More is always better.
Credits lets you buy the new goodies unlocked by research. More is always better.
Now the important thing to note is missions don’t give xp. Your crew needs xp to level up. So where does xp come from? Blowing up aliens. This means the amount of xp you get is based on you more than the mission. Most missions will have a safe path (longer but less enemies) and a fast path (less jumps but a lot more things want to kill you). Going the fast path usually leads you to more xp – if you can survive. If you need a little more cash to buy a sweet upgrade it is tempting to do an easy mission quickly. Rushing to the objective and jumping as soon as possible.
Resist this urge!
Leveling up your crew is the most important thing early on. Milk those easy missions. Leave none of the xenos alive! Go full warhammer 40k on them.
Glorious level 6. At level 6 you have the option to train your crew members in a second profession. There is a cost. They level slower as their xp goes into 2 pools instead of one. For that reason your captain really isn’t a good candidate for it. They will sit in their chair and never leave it so being an okay captain and an okay security officer is nowhere as useful as being a great captain who flies like a leaf on the wind.
For everyone else it is a great. Those on turret duty in particular. If you aren’t trained in weapons you have a 30% accuracy rating. Or in other words you will miss SEVEN shots out of every ten. That’s bad. Getting your crew to level six makes life so much easier. Having four turrets that can all focus fire for 100% accuracy can lead to a lot of dead aliens and a barely scratched up ship.
The Energy Trap
Manage your power!
Before you launch off, set power up right!
This is your power grid. At first you only have 4 to work with. So it is important to use it correctly. So which is most important? Engines. Hands down. All the way. Moving on.
Okay, let me explain.
Weapons power and why it is bad.
You need 1 bead of power in weapons to shoot any energy weapons. This is all you need. Honestly, almost ever. Why? Well, for starters boosting it above one increases the damage of energy weapons ONLY. Full energy to weapons? 145% better lasers. 100% on the guns though. Only one energy in weapons? 100% to both.
This is compounded by accuracy. Remember fresh crew members are horrible at shooting. Your non-gunners have a 30% accuracy. Even starter gunners miss half the time. So you have to half that bonus or more. It’s bad, don’t fall into the trap. Put energy else where.
Shield power and why is isn’t very good.
Every bit of energy in shields makes your shields charge faster. Sounds great! Why is it bad? Because it is suppressed every time you get hit. Four blips of power boosts recharge to a whopping 200% percent! When they don’t get hit. And in combat they WILL get hit. A lot. All the time.
Your captain in defensive stance will try to put your strongest shield toward the enemy but 90% of the time you will be swarmed by fighters from all angles. And one point of damage is enough to keep your shields from charging at all.
Now later on, it is the best second place to drop energy. But I’ll get to that in a second.
What about gravity? At the start I would say take it out and drop it in engines. You can have your engineer toss it back in to gravity if things get dicey and you need to repair multiple systems. Or any fire. Seriously, don’t try to fight fire without gravity.
So what makes engines the place for all the power? One word: Evasion.
Every point in engines boosts your evasion by 10% (which is further boosted by your pilot’s skill). Every shot you evade does no damage. This means that your shields stay up longer. Your crew takes less damage. Your systems fail less often.
The full 4 blips of power gives you a solid 30% dodge. Anyone who’s played FTL knows how powerful dodging can be. Combine this with the 10% evasion from defensive piloting mode and your ship will dodge around half the shots coming your way.
Once you have engines maxed out, shields are a good place for extra energy. When you dodge enough your shields can actually recharge somewhat in combat but that’s for after engines are maxed so much MUCH later in the game.
So on the early missions take energy out of gravity and toss it into engines. And upgrade your reactor as soon as you have the research to do so. More energy the better!
Crew Equipment and Ship Equipment.
Taking next to no damage don’t help if your engineer takes a month to get to the reactor that is about to explode.
There are crew equipment that provides oxygen, this is a trap. Keep your oxygen system repaired and keep your head in a helmet.
There is crew equipment that provides protection from radiation. This is situational at best. There is a case to have your engineer pop it on so they can fix the engines. However, they don’t take a lot of radiation damage in the first place. I suppose you could outfit the energy turret gunners with it to use more overpowered shots, but honestly getting shot and dying is worse than not overloading the weapons.
Ship equipment is varied but here are some rules of thumb.
Reactor: You want as much energy as possible. This is the stat to look at.
Engines: Evasion is what you want here. Less radiation or more hp is less important than not getting hit in the first place.
Shields: Recharge sounds tempting but you want cap here. The bigger your shields the more punishment you can take. And keep in mind your security officer can completely refill them with a cooldown.
Medical bay: Capacity is king. When you run out of healing juice you can’t heal any more. Getting it into your crew faster is great, but running out quicker is worse than having someone in med bay longer.
Weapons are up to you. There are energy weapons that are good against shields, physical weapons that are good against hull and armor. Find what you like. A note on missile launchers though. I’m not sure if it is a bug or just how they operate, but they seem to miss more than other weapons. Even with focus fire on (100% accuracy) I noticed several salvos missing their target.
Equipment lockers: Up to you again. Just make sure to have a space suit handy for engine repairs. A few fire extinguishers near weapons that catch on fire. And a couple rifles to repel invaders. Where to place them is up to you. Although, note that invaders can only come in from the bottom left room so plan your weapons around that.
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