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Navigation of FTL Guide

Augmentations

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In the game of Faster Than Light, augmentations are passively affecting items that alter your ship in some way, giving beneficial effects to your crew members, your HULL, and/or some sort of system. What augmentations can potentially do are wide and varied, each doing something unique, and because of this they tend to be rare. Certain augmentations are essential for specific game styles or strategies, and a player may end up allowing for a game instance strategy once they have found and acquired an augmentation like Reconstructive Teleport.

Below each of the augmentations that exist in the game are explained, from their scrap cost to their possible uses.

Explosive Replicator

  • Scrap Cost: 60.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 30.

This augmentation is a dice roll kind of effect. Every time you fire a missile launcher, or use a teleporting bomb, there is a fifty percent chance that that deployment will not consume a missile limited resource, effectively extending your missile reserves to twice. This augmentation’s effects also apply to the specialty missile launchers of the swarm and the pegasus, each use only one missile despite that they actually deploy multiple at once.

It is not possible to stack the explosive replicator with another explosive replicator, their effects will not overlap in any way at all. A hundred percent reduction in missile consumption would be too much to ask for, but perhaps a diminished stacking wouldn’t be, like seventy five percent.

This is a very useful augmentation to purchase and/or equip, so long as your space cruiser is actually using missile launchers of middle to high tier. Anything less and you may run into the situation where you are stuck with your duct taped together missile launcher that can’t bring more than one damage per missile, when it does manage to hit. It is possible you cannot find a better missile launcher before you reach the last stand sector, after you have found this augmentation.

Stealth Weapons

  • Scrap Cost: 50.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 25.

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This augmentation alters the reactionary behavior of the cloaking system in response to any weapons fire you unleash. This may be an attribute that the player can be generally unaware of being a part of the cloaking system, unless observed closely. The cloaking system without this augmentation will have its duration cut down whenever your space cruiser sends off a volley of gunfire while under the effect of cloak. This does not diminish how much damage your space cruiser can do while cloaked, and also doesn’t prevent you at all from firing during it, but you will effectively cut short the invisibility by doing so.

With this augmentation, any weapons fire you unleash while your space cruiser is under the effect of cloak will not diminish the duration of your cloak, and so it will remain to its standard duration by whatever upgrade level you have it.

Without this augmentation, to gain the full benefit from cloaking, you have to refrain from discharging your weapons while invisible. However this partially reduces some of your space cruiser’s fighting capacity, but at least you are protected by cloak for a little while, right?

With the augmentation that penalty will no longer be a part of your concern, and you can fluidly transition in and out of cloak without manually regulating the discharge of your weapons to accommodate the cloak effect. This is an almost essential augmentation for the Stealth Cruiser because of its great reliance upon evasion and cloaking. In occurrence, this augmentation can be uncommon to find, but can be reasonably purchased before acquiring the cloaking system prior due to the frequency in which you can find the cloaking system for sale in shop beacons.

Weapons Pre-Igniter

  • Scrap Cost: 120.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 60.

As soon as you faster than light drive jump onto a beacon, whatever charge your weapons held is wiped out and they must begin recharging. They immediately do this if you have them already powered, otherwise they wouldn’t have a full charge anyway.

With the weapons pre-igniter augmentation, whatever weapons that are equipped and powered in your weapons control system will not have their full charge wiped by a faster than light drive jump. So this means that upon jumping in, your weapons will be fully charged and ready to fire without any delay. This essentially gives your space cruiser a free turn, putting you well ahead of the enemy you are facing off against. This can be such a substantial increase that you can easily avoid any damage whatsoever.

This augmentation is really what you had hoped for when you first began playing Faster Than Light, that as soon as you started fighting an enemy, your weapons would still be ready from the previous beacon area. Granted this augmentation is among the rarest, if not the rarest, and is also very expensive at the 120 scrap it costs to purchase.

You can take smart advantage of this augmentation by upgrading your weapons control system as much as you can manage to with your supply of scrap, while calculating the energy slot total of your reactor to match with how much power your weapons control system can take at one time. You do not need to be concerned about everything else that needs power on your ship, because you’re just dealing with the first half second of battle here.

You won’t have enough power for everything at once with all those extra weapons shoved in and turned on in your weapons control system, but by diverting all your energy slots from your reactor to it, taking away from even crucial systems like the oxygen system and the shields, you can start off the battle you jump to at the next beacon with all those weapons fully charged. Unleash them all on your unwitting enemy, and you will cripple them far worse than you would have at the threshold of your strength at that point in the game. It just unlikely you could possibly have that much fire power without literally ignoring everything else on your ship, and still survive.

That onslaught may just defeat whatever ship you encounter, but if it doesn’t, you can either try to keep your strategy going, with increasingly diminishing benefits. The scales harshly tip away from your favor, as your ship is exposed greatly by whatever you have taken away from. The oxygen system isn’t crucial so long as you started at a full air supply, and that turns into a flipped hourglass that times when your demise will come by the mass death of your whole crew. It isn’t even an uncommon tactic to depower your oxygen system to give energy slots to something else, particularly earlier on in the game when fights take relatively short time to be done with.

It is wise to not get carried away with the dramatic firepower the weapon pre-igniter puts in your hands. You unleash a terrible onslaught in the beginning of battle, with all those weapons powered that you couldn’t normally be capable of. You could be sorely tempted to keep them going, but the cost will usually just be too great. Depower weapons that you cannot afford to allocate energy slots to in favor of crucial systems, while keeping up weapons that you normally do.

This pre-emptive volley of weapon fire has a less substantial boon pitted against the rebel flagship, due to how each phase of the rebel flagship is fairly long, as opposed to the pacing of standard space ship battles.

Defense Scrambler

  • Scrap Cost: 80.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 40.

An augmentation added from the free Advanced Edition update, this disorients enemy defensive drones to prevent them from protecting their bound ship. While your space cruiser has this augmentation equipped, if there are any defense drones active and patrolling around an enemy ship, they will spin around on their axis endlessly, unable to target whatever you fling at their charge. Defense drones usually shoot down incoming missiles, and lasers if the defense drone is mark II. Boarding drones won’t be shot down either, as they act like a physical object hurtling through space at the enemy ship, as they do not have teleportation capabilities like bombs do.

This augmentation has a narrow band of what kind of drones it affects, but the ones that it does, it entirely renders them useless. Your missiles will be able to demolish systems with little resistance, aside from that of the ship’s evasion. The rebel flagship will no longer have a near impenetrable defense against your weapon fire as well, so if you are looking to brute force your way through the rebel flagship’s defenses by way of heavy weapons fire, then this augmentation will be an excellent advantage for your space cruiser. The cost is on the high side, but so long as you have some high powered weaponry, it is worth it.

Hacking Stun

  • Scrap Cost: 60.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 30.

Another augmentation added in the Advanced Edition update, this one grants an additional affect onto your hacking station - should you have one. If you cannot install a hacking station onto your space cruiser, as your total amount of systems has reached its capacity, or you do not plan to at all, then this augmentation is of absolutely no worth to you and should be sold to a beacon as soon as possible so as to not take up a valuable slot in your augmentations hold.

With this augmentation whatever system your hacking drone latches onto will have its housing room radiated with a stun surge for the total duration of the hack’s effects. This will affect any crew who are present inside that room, or manage to force their way inside, so this could include crew members of your own if they are aboard the enemy ship.

This is the kind of augmentation that dramatically changes the system it is buffing. Now when you consider what system to hack, you can directly affect enemy crew, stunning them which makes them vulnerable to a whole slew of things. An unaugmented hacking drone will lock the doors both ways on a room, forcing able crew members to break down the doors as if they were aboard an enemy ship with an upgraded door system. With the hacking stun, the crew members will be rendered immobile, unable to even attempt to leave the room. If there are any hazards within the room, be that a hull breach or fire, they will be entirely vulnerable and unable to mitigate those sources of danger. You basically create a death trap. This ends up acting like a crystal lockdown from a range, with the enfeeblement being an incredibly lengthy stun instead of obstructed doorways.

Even though the hacking stun will affect your own crew members, if you have a Lanius their oxygen draining affect will still occur while they are standing there, swaying and dazed. You could use one single Lanius to lure the majority of the enemy crew on his location, and then hack that system’s room, paralyzing them all in the room. The room will be vacuumed, and they will perish from the damage over time.

Alternatively you could lock them in their own med bay. Usually when you hack a med bay, and the healing it gives turns into virulent poison, they will hurry out of the room to get away from the persistent source of damage. Paralyzed by the hacking stun, they will succumb to the poison from the med bay, without one of your crew members having to lift a hand to knick away at their health. That is only if you have a fully upgraded hacking station though, and with this augmentation that should be at your highest priority to attain.

Suffice to say, the hacking stun augmentation dramatically alters how the hacking station works, and gives you a piercing tactic in battle to overcome your enemies in a more effective way than you previously could have with the hacking station. Unfortunately this augmentation can be somewhat rare, and there are instances in which you may come across it when you do not have the space for a hacking station, or it is too late in the game for you to find a hacking station, so this further limits the window you can actually use it.

Automated Re-loader

  • Scrap Cost: 40.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 20.

The automated re-loader is of moderate use, with an uncommon frequency of being found amongst the stock of augmentations offered at shop beacons. This will decrease the total charge time it takes for your weapons to be ready to fire by a small amount, between ten to fifteen percent. This will certainly give your space cruiser an edge against enemy ships, but to a minor degree unassisted with any other charge time reduction methods. There are other ways than just this particular augmentation alone that can reduce a weapon’s charge time, in particular having a crew member manning the weapons control system with the highest skill level in weapons. Having such a crew member manning the system and the augmentation will increase the multiplied effect by a small amount.

There is also nothing preventing you from equipping your space cruiser with two automated re-loaders, as their effects will stack on top of each other. As nice as this buff would be, you are liable to pass up this augmentation in favor of just upgrading your ship, while holding out in hopes of finding a superior augmentation for the slot this would otherwise take up.

Reverse Ion Field

  • Scrap Cost: 50.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 25.

Ion damage is one of the most debilitating sources of affliction there is in the game. Ion damage will completely take out a system for a period of time, the duration of which is contingent on what damage the ion weapon is rated at. This can be anywhere between one and four. There is little defense against ion damage, except that of evasion which is unreliable and inconsistent as it is a chance mechanic. Typically facing off against a ship with a ion weapon that targets your shields will shred your HULL’s health, and will leave your space cruiser limping away, even after a victory.

With this reverse ion field, you finally have a way to protect yourself against ion damage. There is a fifty percent chance that any ion damage directed at your vessel will be entirely negated. That chance rating is present in the Advanced Edition update, whereas without the update the activation frequency was a fifth of that, making it tempting but not worthwhile unless you had nothing else to go in that augmentation spot.

And unlike the explosive replicator, equipping your space cruiser with two reverse ion field augmentations will grant your vessel complete immunity to any source of ion damage. Normal cooldowns from the crew teleporter and other systems will still activate though, even though they behave as if they were afflicted with ion damage.

As traumatic as ion weapons can be, most ships you encounter will not be equipped with that weaponry, so the usefulness doesn’t go as far as it could. Regardless this is a highly useful augmentation.

Emergency Respirators

  • Scrap Cost: 50.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 25.

The emergency respirators were added to the game with the Advanced Edition update. It is an augmentation in relation to the lanius race, whom passively drains the oxygen from the room they are standing in.

What this augmentation does is lower the damage crew members receive from a lack of oxygen by half. These respirators stay with them wherever they go, from the interior of your space cruiser to invading the enemy ship. Obviously this won’t do a single thing for any Lanius crew members as they take zero damage from oxygen deprivation anyway, but for crystal crew they will instead take only twenty five percent of the potential damage from oxygen deprivation, as their native damage intake is half to begin with.

Raising your crew members’ resistance to the harmful effects of vacuums grants you greater flexibility in challenging scenarios and enables your crew members to survive disasters they otherwise could not. The harmful vacuum can be even more dangerous than that of the spreading fire, as you can ways to manage fire without having to actually touch it, and eventually if the spread of fire is held back enough then it will snuff itself out anyway.

Usually when one of your crew members is stuck in a vacuum, they will die in a matter of seconds. The emergency respirators will literally double the period in which they can survive, and if you are fighting a boarding team or the enemy crew while in the vacuum, your crew members will outlast them provided they are not outnumbered or started with full health. You can start to treat your crew members like quasi-Lanius, as they can venture into vacuum environments to fight and blow up systems while outlasting the enemy and inflicting great damage. Automated drones no longer are the bane of boarding party spec’d vessels.

Unfortunately this augmentation can be fairly rare, even though it is one of the newer ones. However a few number of ships do come with this equipped on alternative layouts, like the Federation Cruiser layout C.

Repair Arm

  • Scrap Cost: 50 scrap.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 25 scrap.

This may be one of the few cases of an item in Faster Than Light that is not balanced for gameplay, or perhaps this was done intentionally to be a demon in disguise. Using this augmentation will automatically repair your HULL for one to two health points every time you collect any kind of source of scrap. Sounds great, but in exchange for this, the total reward of scrap that you receive is lowered by fifteen percent. If that doesn’t sound too bad, but it is when your HULL is at full health and the augmentation’s effect is still in play. You will have the reduction of fifteen percent away from your scrap reward while there will be nothing to repair of your HULL.

Perhaps the intention for this augmentation was to give the player some kind of option to not have to visit shop beacons to mend the HULL, but every point of health that is repaired by a shop only costs a few scrap each. All of that isn’t even taking into account the fact that you have to fork over fifty scrap to purchase this augmentation.

Above all, avoid this augmentation at all costs. Never purchase it from a shop beacon, just pretend it is not even there, and if you are actually given it as a random reward from a quest or defeating a ship, do not bother trying to sell it a shop beacon. Just discard it as soon as you can so it doesn’t affect your scrap rewards. Fifteen percent truly makes a dent in how capable your ship is going to be.

Shield Charge Booster

  • Scrap Cost: 45.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 22.

The shield charge booster grants a boon to your system’s shielding, by increasing their rate of recovery after absorbing a blow. This is a similar effect to that of when a crew member mans the shield’s system, as they will also accelerate the rate of regeneration of your shield barriers. This augmentation magnifies it by fifteen percent, and the effect is also stackable. Fifteen percent may not seem like much, but it is for the way Faster Than Light is balanced, as they are calculated in consideration against the natural regeneration rate of your shields while also with the benefits of being manned.

Though your space cruiser’s shielding will be able to absorb a great deal more of weapons fire in quick succession, the shield charge booster will not grant your space cruiser any further defenses against that of missiles, but there are other ways to defend against missiles anyway, such as having a high evasion rate or using the cloaking system with opportune timing.

There is a certain phase of the rebel flagship where it will deploy several laser spewing drones at once. Having this augmentation equipped will bolster your resistance to such a terrible onslaught. So the shield charge booster is rather useful, and only has a moderate cost too, but tends to be an uncommon find and is neither available from the hangar on any of the space cruisers and any of their possible layouts.

Fire Suppression

  • Scrap Cost: 65.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 32.

Raging fires can be the bane of a captain’s life, gnawing away at the HULL health of your space cruiser by exploding systems in a shower of debris. Fires can lead to shockingly quick losses, from the hale integrity to the crumbling bodies of your crew members. It is so terrible that a race has special immunity to its hazard, but only one.

This is one of those augmentations added to the game from the Advanced Edition update that players previously had to live without. The fire suppression augmentation equips an unseen subsystem to your space cruiser that will disperse the expulsion of a fire extinguisher wherever there is an outbreak of fire, without needing to be prompted by you the captain, a crew member, or even have a crew member in the vicinity of the room. As a result, fires will nearly no longer be able to spread across your ship, and commonly will be snuffed out in the rooms that they start in. In the case of an environmental hazard beacon being too close to the sun, your space cruiser will still shudder under the damage it receives in the solar wave, but the fires will be fought off.

With fire suppression, the game mechanic of fires is just about non-existent to your game instance, removing one of the great dangers to your crew members that can cripple your space cruiser’s defenses and firepower from behind its shields and maneuverability. It is costly though at 65 scrap, and such an uncommon find in shop beacons that it is barely not considered rare. If you have the spare augmentation space for this, it is well worth the scrap, but probably won’t make any kind of return to your scrap resources even with the amount of damage you will mitigate from a lack of fire outbreak and the need of having a crew member address the hazard.

Backup DNA Bank

  • Scrap Cost: 40.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 20.

Having a clone bay installed and powered on your space cruiser pretty much turns them into immortals, able to regenerate from most of the dangers there are across intergalactic space, from feral alien spiders to being aboard a ship that explodes to pieces. Sometimes you cannot recover them, as they were infected with a virulent disease that will carry over to the clone, or they must leave your service to serve in a quest to find a cure as it is against federation regulation’s to clone a person who is still alive, an apparently necessary distinction with the presence of this controversial technology.

Except when your clone bay takes the explosion of a stray missile, or an ion storm drains your reactor of power, your clone bay can no longer sustain that immortal status of your crew members. Suddenly when one of them succumbs to a fire, or falls to some laser handguns of an invading boarding party, they will not get back up again from the clone pod. You will see the clone pod turn a violent and alarming red as the cloning process fails at an accelerating rate.

Even if you are keeping an eye on the health of your clone bay, sometimes damage can happen to it in such a pacing that you cannot repair it before something happens to one of your crew members, or you cannot reallocate enough energy slots to the clone bay to save your crew member without everybody succumbing to oxygen deprivation.

With the backup DNA bank, your clone bay becomes just as immortal as your crew members are with it. Whether your clone bay is damaged from the impacts of a burst laser volley, or you do not have enough energy slots to keep it active, any crew members that perish while the clone bay is deactivated for any cause or reason will be kept alive in the clone pod. Of course while the clone bay isn’t functioning, it cannot complete the cloning process and will only keep them in stasis without limit. You will have to repair the clone bay, or repower it again, to commence the cloning process. But that way you have more than enough time needed to deal with the problem, instead of being faced against a pressing time limit that is impossible to meet without fixing the clone bay prior to a crew member perishing.

This is one of those augmentations that you lunge for if you are remotely thinking about getting a clone bay, and if you were not, acquiring this augmentation is more than enough incentive to go and find one too. It has a low cost as well, and isn’t too uncommon either. Any crew members that perish prior to having a clone bay installed, while having this augmentation equipped, will be ‘stored’ until you can find a clone bay. It is strange that this function works, without the necessary equipment to preserve them, but it likely literally is a DNA bank.

It is also possible to inadvertently prevent your game from ending with this augmentation. If all of your crew fall in battle, and your clone bay is damaged, then there is no one left to repair it. And without a system repair drone, your ship will just sit there idly. A game over screen should be presented to you here, but it is not as it seems this scenario is just not accounted for, and you will have to restart the game yourself without receiving the score for that game instance, regardless of how well you did or how far you got.

Battery Charger

  • Scrap Cost: 40.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 20.

The battery charger amplifies the abilities of the backup battery subsystem. The backup battery can provide from two energy slots to four depending on its upgraded level, but regardless of how high it is upgraded, it will always have a set cooldown period that is usually longer than the systems the backup battery is dedicated to providing power for, like the cloaking system or the mind control station.

With the battery charger augmentation, the cool down period of the backup battery is reduced by half, dramatically magnifying the utility of the backup battery. The battery charger basically removes the hard limitation placed on the backup battery, and enables it to provide near fully functioning power to certain systems that do not require constant energy slots.

As useful as the battery charger is though, it can be passed over in favor of other more versatile and beneficial augmentations just because the battery charger takes up an equip slot for augmentations, and not so much pertaining to its scrap in cost.

The battery charger can be ideal though in game instances where you are stretching the very limits of your reactor’s energy reserves, and your systems are highly upgraded, putting a great strain on the energy slots you can possibly use.

Scrap Recovery Arm

  • Scrap Cost: 50.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 25.

It is rather ambiguous as to how precisely your space cruiser recovers scrap debris and resources from the smoking remains of blasted apart space ships that fell to your might. The sheer amount of time it would take if your crew members did it by hand in space suits tethered to your space cruiser. There neither appears to be any apparatus attached to your space cruiser that can mechanically salvage the smoking debris of broken space ships.

The scrap recovery arm is apparently one such thing that assists your space cruiser in salvaging scrap from the remains of ships, and just about any other potential source of scrap income, such as rewards from quests or random events. It increases how much you gain by ten percent. Sounds great at a glance, but you are going to need to earn more than five hundred scrap to start reaping the benefits of having this augmentation equipped due to its initial cost of fifty scrap.

If you are randomly awarded this augmentation, then of course you begin receiving the benefits of this augmentation straight away, but ten percent seems more than it really is. You only gain an extra 25 scrap from 250 scrap, and gain an extra 50 from 500 scrap. At a certain point in the game, you are not going to meet that total amount of scrap earned, but from early on you will, and so long as that augmentation spot is not being taken up by something else, then there is no reason not to carry this around with you. But selling it early on will net you a more immediate source of scrap, as the sell value is equivalent to earning 250 scrap.

FTL Recharge Booster

  • Scrap Cost: 50.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 25.

The Faster Than Light drive takes a while to spin up until you can jump away during a hostile encounter. The time it takes can be lessened by upgrading the engines, but that is more of an unintended side effect of upgrading the engines for their extra dodging capabilities. The FTL recharge booster increases the rate in which the drive charges by twenty five percent.

It is rare that you are ever actively planning to be able to escape at a moment’s notice from a hostile encounter, as that is a negative sum result. You will consume one fuel to jump to the beacon zone, and then consume another fuel to flee, while gaining no scrap or limited resources of any kind. There is not even a single random event that requires that you FTL drive jump away. So this is the kind of augmentation that you do not bother buying, and only keep around if you happen to receive it as a reward from a quest or random event. The high cost further dissuades interest from acquiring this from a shop beacon too.

FTL Jammer

  • Scrap Cost: 30.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 15.

It is a frequent reaction for rebel ships and automated drones to begin charging their Faster Than Light drive at the beginning of battle to leap away and deliver your coordinates to the rebel forces. Should they succeed, they will accelerate the rate in which the rebel invasion line swallows up the map, often between one or two turns ahead.

Sometimes as well hostile ships will begin charging their FTL drives when their HULL health tanks lower than a third, as it is clear that your fire power is superior and they need to escape. There are a few ways to interrupt the charge of their FTL drive, such as distracting their pilot so that he or she stops manning the pilots deck, or damaging the engines.

This augmentation will not actually stop enemy ships from being able to charge their FTL drives, but it will drastically slow the rate in which they spin up, effectively doubling the time it takes for them to spin up their FTL drive.

With the FTL jammer, you are not in much risk of hostile ships running away on you, which is absolutely an outcome you want to avoid as you receive no rewards in scrap and resources if they leave, and often they will alert the rebel invasion of your coordinates, severely diminishing what scrap and resources you can find in the rest of that sector. It costs little as well, but the FTL jammer is more a quality of life than a necessity or even a crutch. It is nice to have, but there are better augmentations out there for you to use.

Distraction Buoys

  • Scrap Cost: 55.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 27.

Yet another augmentation added in the Advanced Edition update, the distraction buoys delay the encroachment of the rebel invasion on the left border of the map by one turn, or one jump. Every turn is equivalent to one jump really. Supposedly this augmentation leaves a false signal at the beginning of the sector.

The cost is high for what it does, but this can potentially allow you to visit one to two more beacons per sector, amping up how much scrap and resources you can scavenge before you are forced to depart by the rebel invasion. And just a couple of beacons visited with hostile encounters, or random rewards will be enough to offset the cost of the augmentation.

It can be easy to underestimate the usefulness of the distraction buoys, but having one of these equipped can fortify the upgrades, weapons, and drones your space cruiser has because of a greater supply of scrap you are able to have without being as quickly forced out of a sector by the rebels. The whole game is balanced for you being restricted to spending a limited amount of time in a sector because of those rebel forces, or else you could visit nearly every single beacon until you hit the ship encounter cap, and be more than strong enough to best even the rebel flagship with ease. Faster Than Light is based on the concept of scarcity.

Long-Range Scanners

  • Scrap Cost: 30.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 15.

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The long-range scanners provides you with additional information about beacons connecting to your own, when you view the beacon map when activating the FTL drive jump. This is similar to the random events that can provide you with information about all the beacons residing in that entire sector, such as data caches that automated drones are protecting. The long-range scanners will only tell you about beacons that are near you though, and not those that you cannot presently reach with the FTL drive jump.

Information given to you can be highly educational and influential as to what path you will take amongst your choice of beacons. The long-range scanners will alert you of beacons that have environmental hazards present at them, like the ion storms or asteroid fields. Each has their own corresponding icon, usually that of a crossed out circle surrounding the beacon.

Another prominent statistic that this augmentation offers you is the ability to discern whether a ship is present at the connecting beacon. This can help you avoid beacons that have a smaller chance of encountering a space cruiser to fight, but just because you are aware of a ship being present at that next beacon, does not equate to an actual fight. Sometimes ships you meet will be neutral, and instead has something to ask of you, like assistance with supplies as they are running dangerously low on fuel. Of course a ship that begins as neutral may become aggressive if you choose the right or wrong text option that engages battle or a violent reaction. This same principle can apply to beacons that lack ships, but as uncertain as that all sounds, you will encounter battles more often at beacons that are labeled with ships.

The long-range scanners augmentation is fairly common amongst augmentations, and costs little to acquire. The data it gives you is rather helpful as you do not have to take as much of a chance at all when visiting new beacons, as usually you have no idea beforehand if you are about to jump onto a pulsar that will repeatedly wipe out your shields, leaving your space cruiser utterly exposed to enemy weapons fire.

Drone Recovery Arm

  • Scrap Cost: 50.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 25.

Drone parts are the most costly limited resource there is in the game, as they are priced at eight scrap a piece. You can use anywhere between one and three drone parts a battle, depending on what kind of drone schematics you have, and if you have a hacking station and are using it, as the hacking station does consume a drone part for every deployment of the hacking drone. Realistically you cannot maintain such a high expenditure for long though, as you will end up running out, and if you try to support that less than wise usage then you will end up burning away your scrap reserves, diminishing the rate in which you can increase the strength of your space cruiser as a whole in favor of maintaining a struggling status quo. If you had opted to upgrade, you may not have to spend as many drone parts as your space cruiser would be strong enough to not need as many used at one battle.

The drone recovery arm is possibly among the best augmentations in the game if paired with certain drone schematics, as the boon granted from this augmentation will allow your space cruiser to recover the drone parts from a deployed but non-destroyed drone when FTL drive jumping away to the next beacon. Those defense drones and anti-ship drones drifting in space, perfectly usable if only you could get them back, are now returned to you. Those that are destroyed in the midst of battle will not be though, as clearly they are either blasted to little bits or are unsalvageable due to their smoldering and mangled remains.

Having the drone recovery arm reduces your use of drone parts by a massive amount, resulting in few occurrences where you actually permanently expend a drone part. This would either be in the course of battle by destruction in the crossfire or otherwise exploited by an enemy drone, or in certain cases where it is not possible for the drone recovery arm to return the used drone parts to you, even if the deployed drone does seem to be in reusable condition.

Those few drones that cannot be recovered by the drone recovery arm augmentation are any hacking drones sent by the hacking station, boarding drones that break into the enemy space cruiser’s, and ion intruder drones that do the same thing as boarding drones with a different angle of attack.

Since you are using up so few drone parts, those that you receive from natural rewards at beating enemy ships will outweigh those that you expend in most cases. This drastically frees you up from being able to use drone schematics nearly as you please with little concern for being frugal with how many you do use. If they do keep getting shot down every ten seconds though, then deploying the drone schematic itself would not be worthwhile, to be nearly pointless really and so it would be reckless to just send that drone schematic again and again unless you are in the last stretches of the game.

The most game changing drone schematic you can use with the drone recovery arm is the hull repair drone. Combining the hull repair drone with the drone recovery arm will effectively give you free repairs for the entire game, within a low threshold per beacon. To its extend you will be basically trading one fuel for a couple of repair, which is not as worth it, so you are stuck to the standard two repair per beacon that you visit normally, which should be more than sufficient to avoid having to ever get your HULL repaired at a shop beacon unless you are faring rather badly in your game instance.

The hull repair drone will dart around your ship when activated, sending out green healing beams to repair your HULL by one point for every pause in its circling. The hull repair drone will mend anywhere between three and five hull points. That in itself is a better cost ratio than getting your hull repaired directly, with the limitation of how many drone parts you can purchase from a shop beacon - which is only a few per each shop beacon. Now if you allow the hull repair drone to completely finish its job, there will not be any drone part to recover as it will be considered destroyed. Instead if you FTL drive jump away before the hull repair drone commences on its third pause, which can be its last healing charge but not always, then when you arrive at the next beacon, that hull repair drone that was deployed at the last beacon will be recovered while you now have two more points of health mended to your HULL. Though the hull repair drone can repair at a maximum of five, it is frequent that it will mend only four, and can stop sometimes at three. To negate any risk of losing a drone part, you jump away just after the hull repair drone has completed its second healing charge.

This is the sort of augmentation that if you find, and you are using any kind of drones, you will purchase absolutely, even to the point of sacrificing some lower tiers weapons that you will not be using for the whole length of the game instance. The exclusion to this priority would be an already full loadout of augmentations that are necessary to your cruiser’s build.

Zoltan Shield Bypass

  • Scrap Cost: 50.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 25.

Not all augmentations can be as useful as another. The Zoltan shield bypass will enable any form of teleportation to bypass Zoltan shields, even that of the super shield drone that periodically grants a Zoltan-like shield to the protected vessel. Bombs will bypass the super shield, so will any teleporting crew, and mind control will slip through the shield too.

The augmentation is useful in itself, but it really would only be great at dealing with a super charging shield drone as they continually replenish the Zoltan shield they erect. Such an obstacle is uncommon to face against, so infrequently in fact that if you are having a tremendous amount of difficulty with it, such as if your ship is built for a boarding party and little else, then you may as well just FTL drive jump away. You will sacrifice the rewards you would otherwise have gotten, but that way you are not purchasing an augmentation that costs 50 scrap and takes up a spot out of three just so you can specifically deal with such an encounter.

Coincidentally if your space cruiser is equipped with the actual Zoltan shield, whenever there is an intruder random event where a boarding party invades your ship while there isn’t an actual enemy ship to fight, or even ones where there are, the reasoning cited for how their crew teleporter works is given that they must have the Zoltan shield bypass augmentation.

Lifeform Scanner

  • Scrap Cost: 40.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 20.

Ever wanted to see exactly where enemy living beings are presently located, and what they are possibly doing by mime-like motions? Then the lifeform scanner will show you exactly that, as if you had a slug crew member aboard your vessel, but you don’t, and instead you have this augmentation that really only has use when your sensors are not working in a nebula.

Even if the lifeform scanner only cost you twenty scrap to purchase, it still would not be worth the spot it takes. Sell it if you are given it for a reward.

Reconstructive Teleport

  • Scrap Cost: 70.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 35.

When your space cruiser is built for a boarding party, and they are invading the enemy ship, brawling for their lives, livelihood, and the stakes of the federation and galaxies as a whole, they are going to come close to death. And they will fall if there is at least one extra crew member fighting your own, and you do not have any races like the mantis to significantly bolster the strength of your boarding crew.

You have to watch over them, hoping your crew teleporter will cool down before they are overwhelmed, waiting and then hastily pausing when it pops up. You return teleport them, making sure they’re all in the same room, to shuffle them into the med bay to recover their health to full and go another round, this time with their opponents having low enough health that they can be easily beaten.

Or every time you teleport your boarding party out you check their health point bars, making sure that they are full, or at worst very close to it. If they are not, you have to wait and get your med bay to heal them to full. If you didn’t you would just be sending that crew member, and perhaps the rest, to their deaths if they are weakened as the enemy crew they are going to fight aren’t wounded from some previous battle. You’re the one going on a journey, and as trigger happy as everybody else seem to be, nearly no ships ever come damaged in some way from a previous fight.

And then there is when you do not have a medical bay at all, and instead a clone bay. You don’t want them to fall in battle and take a twenty percent penalty to their accumulated skills, but it is not like you have any other recourse other than retreating and giving up on defeating the enemy crew. That is just contrary to the purpose of a clone bay, of immortal crew members, just with the loss of some gained skill. The more reckless you are, the more addle brained they are going to be basically. With a clone bay, you do not have any way to heal your crew members at a beacon, aside from when you jump to another one. It doesn’t need power to heal your crew for that, but the amount healed is small and contingent on the upgrade level your clone bay is at. That is part of the point and balance of a clone bay though, or else why would you ever willingly use a med bay?

With the reconstructive teleporter augmentation, every time you teleport your crew members with it they will be healed to maximum health, with no delay at all on the complete regeneration. This occurs whether you are return teleporting them, or teleporting them over to the enemy ship. There is no way to teleport a crew member from one room to another room on the same ship, so you cannot artificially trigger this.

With a boarding party built space cruiser your gameplay is fundamentally changed. Shortcomings and limitations are gone, most prominently with the clone bay. This augmentation and the clone bay make an exceptional paring, so much so that if you do come into possession of the reconstructive teleporter then you will aggressively pursue a clone bay installation. You can still use this augmentation to great effect without a clone bay, as the med bay will still hold its own use and purpose by tending to crew members who are not leaving your ship like the boarding party does.

The price is high for as far as augmentations go, but the reconstructive teleporter is among the most useful you can acquire in the game, and so long as you have or will have some kind of boarding party, this is the kind of augmentation you definitely should get.

Advanced FTL Navigation

  • Scrap Cost: 60.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 30.

When using the Faster than Light drive jump, you can only travel from any beacon that directly connects to yours. Some beacons may appear to be close enough to connect, but are actually too far when you hover your mouse over any beacons. Beacons you previously visited, that are now a clearish blue, cannot be directly connected to unless you are in close enough proximity.

With the Advanced FTL Navigation augmentation, any beacon that you visited at any point in the sector your space cruiser is presently in can be revisited without needing to be close enough for a standard connection. This augmentation is more a luxury, as there is not much advantage in having the ability to visit anywhere you did previously on that sector. Beacons you have already been to will not have any newly generating content, such as additional ship encounters or random rewards, so you will end up consuming a unit of fuel just to go there and gain nothing but the ability to connect to a different section of beacons than where you were previously.

It can have the use of getting you out of a stranded situation. It is possible to be unobservant and heedless of jumping to a beacon that cannot connect anywhere that you have not already visited, and so in such a situation you would have to backtrack, burning up a fair bit of fuel to be able to get somewhere to actually progress across the beacon map again. The Advanced FTL navigation would let you shortcut that process, and skip having to use as much fuel, but this is the kind of situation that you can avoid in most cases if you pay attention to the possibility. Sometimes you may gamble and go to a certain beacon for a quest or a shop that is worth enough for you to go through the extra fuel expenditure, but it is a hard gamble to make because of how quickly the rebel invasion forces sweep across the beacon map, hot on your trail.

Suffice to say it is not worth getting by itself, and should you be rewarded with it from a quest, then the 30 scrap could be better spent elsewhere.

Engi Med-bot Dispersal

  • Scrap Cost: Not available, unable to be purchased at a shop beacon.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 30.

This is the augmentation that the engi space cruiser comes equipped with from the hangar. Most of the time, that is the only place you are going to be able to use this augmentation, but through the quest that you previously used to unlock the engi cruiser to begin with, you can also acquire this special augmentation as a reward by following the proper choices and decisions.

The interior of your space cruiser will be flooded with medical nano-bots that will passively heal your crew members should they become injured, whether they are continually being harmed or took the brunt of an attack. The rate in which the healing is done is much slower than the med bay, even slower than that of the tier one med bay. Moving one of your injured crew members inside of the med bay will allow the med bay itself to heal them at a far quicker rate, taking over from the passive regeneration of the engi med-bot dispersal.

This augmentation is a solid safety net for your crew members, and allows you to put them in slightly more hazardous environments for longer without as much risk for fatality. You really do not need to keep as careful of an eye on your crew members, while your engi crew members will not be as susceptible to being bested in brawling. They likely will be, in a straight one to one fight and with no heightened skill in brawling, but they will be able to last longer to inflict more damage. On your own vessel, there is no harm in temporarily retreating to the med bay once your engi crew member has too low of health. Even if the enemy crew were to follow your engi, the med bay healing your engi crew should be enough to outlast the damage from a fight indefinitely.

The failing in the engi med-bot dispersal augmentation is that it will cease to function in the absence of a med bay, and so if you wish to actually use this augmentation, you must either keep the med bay your ships starts out with or swap out your clone bay for a med bay. This augmentation does shore up the downsides to the med bay though, in that it can only heal while a crew member is inside of its containing room. In another words, this augmentation is great if you are already sticking with a med bay, or is even reason enough for you to do so, but because of its limited availability - either from only being equipped on the engi cruiser, or from only being able to acquire it inside of a game instance from the same quest that is done to find the engi cruiser to begin with - this augmentation does not get as much use as it otherwise would.

Slug Repair Gel

  • Scrap Cost: Unavailable, this augmentation cannot be purchased.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 30.

The Slug Cruiser comes equipped in the hangar with this special augmentation, regardless of which of the three layouts you choose. Primarily this is the only way you can have the slug repair gel, other than being given it through the quest that you normally use to unlock the slug cruiser to begin with.

Explained more in depth on the Slug Cruiser page, the slug repair gel repairs any breaches in your ship’s hull. A dull grey particle affect will appear wherever there are breaches as the augmentation automatically repairs them without any prompting on your part. The regeneration of the hull is somewhat slower than the speed would be of a regular crew member repairing the breach, but usually when there is a hull breach there will be a vacuum rapidly present in the room the hull breach is located in. That vacuum will harm whatever crew member mends the breach, and will matter very little if you try to swap out crew members to mitigate damage, except in the case when it would otherwise save that crew member from suffocating entirely.

The slug repair gel is one of those quality of life augmentations that all but negates the presence of a hazardous game mechanic to do with your ship. Hull breaches become something that you can almost entirely ignore, allowing your crew to devote their time to more crucial tasks, even such as manning a system and continuing to increase their skill at it. Boarding drones that invade your ship will not be as devastating to deal with either, as wherever they smash into your ship they create a hull breach.

The augmentation of the slug repair gel is essentially a reason why you choose the slug cruiser over other cruises for your game instance, because of how strongly it affects the game mechanics in that way. It is a slim chance you will be able to find the slug cruiser quest during your game instance, so that is the most reliable method. Unfortunately you have to pit the option of having the slug repair gel against every other augmentation other space cruisers start with, but it is among the best that there is.

Mantis Pheromones

  • Scrap Cost: Unavailable, this cannot be purchased from a shop beacon.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 25.

The mantis pheromones is the augmentation that the Mantis Cruiser starts from the hangar with. It can otherwise only be acquired by completing the quest that unlocks the mantis cruiser normally, by choosing the correct options. More information about that can be found under the mantis cruiser’s page.

The mantis pheromones accelerates the native movement speed of your crew members, so that they will stride twenty five percent faster. This augmentation modifies every race there is in the game, and so the already heightened movement speed of the mantis race will be sped up even more, and the sluggish speed of the Rockmen will not be as severe. The mantis pheromones will affect your crew member’s movement speed when they are onboard another space cruiser as well, and so wherever your crew members are they will be moving faster.

This augment serves to lessen the amount of time needed for your crew members to perform certain tasks, as they will be more immediately at their destination, and they will also be more effective at fighting enemy crew members, both defensively and offensively. Overall it is a good augmentation that is like a cornerstone and is suitable to be bundled with a space cruiser. Unfortunately because of that, you cannot acquire it by any other means than choosing the mantis cruiser or completing the mantis cruiser quest, a random event that is unlikely to occur in your game instance by sheer chance.

Crystal Vengeance

  • Scrap Cost: Unavailable, this cannot be purchased in any way, and cannot be acquired in any way but from the hangar.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 40.

The crystal vengeance augmentation is bundled with the Crystal Cruiser from the hangar as its trademark augmentation. The crystal race are an isolated and long forgotten people, and so their technology has developed on a dramatically different path, following close to what the crystal men consist of - crystals. The crystal vengeance augmentation follows that same theme.

This is a reactionary triggered augmentation, in that your space cruiser has a ten percent chance to discharge a crystal piece every time it is inflicted with damage to its HULL. Having the shields absorb a hit, or your ship dodge a missile, will not have a chance to trigger the crystal vengeance. This limits by a large margin how frequently the crystal vengeance will activate, which diminishes its utility and purpose.

Each piece of crystal that breaks off and flies at the enemy ship will inflict one damage and has a ten percent chance to breach. So essentially, out of all the damage your space cruiser is going to burden, there is only a one percent chance that one of those crystal shrapnel will cause a hull breach in the enemy ship. Slim odds, to say the least.

Since you cannot control whatsoever when a crystal piece breaks off and hurls itself at the enemy ship, this is considered an automatically firing weapon like the federation cruiser’s artillery beam. This can have the unfortunate consequence of harming your crew members if they are on board the enemy ship, which is likely to be the case with the crystal cruiser to begin with, as the crystal men race are suitable for brawling with their lockdown ability and their higher health. It could do worse by destroying the enemy ship itself, if the hull health is too low, but this should just be something to be mindful of when sending your boarding party over, as often weapons fire and a boarding party simultaneously together do not mix so well.

This is an okay augmentation that adds some personality to the crystal cruiser, but should not be the reason really as to why you would choose the crystal cruiser anyway, whereas other augmentations may be why you would choose another cruiser, like the slug repair gel or the engi med-bot dispersal.

Titanium System Casing

  • Scrap Cost: Unavailable, this cannot be purchased.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 40.

The titanium system casing is another one of those dice rolling augmentations that have a chance to trigger under certain circumstances. In this case it would be that there is a fifteen percent chance for every time your space cruiser’s hull receives damage, any systems caught in the crossfire will not be damaged. This would require that whatever is firing at your ship, is also firing at a system room rather than an empty one. Unlike the player, the artificial intelligence of enemy ships target systemless rooms just as much as they target systems themselves, despite how much more crippling it would be to just target your systems. This is probably so that you are not constantly playing the game with at least one system down, no matter what you do, which would be rather frustrating eventually.

Like the crystal vengeance, the titanium system casing is an augmentation that adds some additional personality to the stealth cruiser, even though it doesn’t really need it. It does showcase the advanced technology involved in the stealth cruiser though, as being able to shrug off damage to its systems is rather sophisticated.

Likely if you were to come into possession of the titanium system casing, you already would have chosen the stealth cruiser to begin with. The augmentation just is not that great. At least you can sell the augmentation for a decent bit of scrap. There is a possibility to acquire the titanium system casing through the quest that regularly unlocks the stealth cruiser, but the chances are low that you will find that quest, let alone be capable of choosing the correct options to receive this augmentation.

Rock Plating

  • Scrap Cost: Unavailable, cannot be purchased at any shop beacon.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 40.

The rock plating augmentation comes equipped on the Rock Cruiser from the hangar, and can only otherwise be acquired by completing the quest that usually unlocks the rock cruiser to begin with a second time.

Yet another augmentation that rolls the dice, the rock plating gives your hull a chance to brush off damage received as nothing. Out of every hundred direct hits your hull receives, fifteen of them will be negated to inflict no damage to your hull. You could consider that this is a superior version to the titanium system casing, unless you consider it of much higher priority to have a small chance at preserving the integrity of your systems rather than that of your hull. Having a system down can lead to an opening to harm your space cruiser’s hull, but the rock plating removes that sense of variability in whether a system is being damaged at all or not.

This augmentation is strong enough that it can be a determining reason to choose the rock cruiser for your game instance, and it also has some blue text options for random events, including that involving the damaged stasis pod for the crystal cruiser and crystal homeworlds. Generally if you do come into possession of this augmentation, you are not going to sell it off in favor of another one, unless you have the absolute best augmentations available for your selection.

Zoltan Shield

  • Scrap Cost: Unavailable, cannot possibly be purchased from a shop.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 40.

The Zoltan Shield primarily comes from the Zoltan Cruiser in the hangar, as the Zoltan exclusively use this advanced technology. You can also acquire it from the same quest that unlocks the Zoltan cruiser to begin with, but that is an unreliable method compared to just picking the Zoltan cruiser to begin with.

The Zoltan shield forms a protective bubble around your ship that blocks any source of damage, and converts certain weaponry into damage in order to divert it from its intended purpose. Ion damage would be the prime example here, as instead of it shutting down your regular shields, the Zoltan shield absorbs the ion damage as direct damage to its bubble, although at a high rating.

The Zoltan shield can absorb up to five points of damage from any source, including that of missiles. From there it will not regenerate until you jump to another beacon, as the faster than light drive is the only thing that can recharge it.

The Zoltan shield augmentation is essentially the reason why you choose the Zoltan cruiser, aside from the crew consisting largely of the Zoltan race - a very useful type of crew member to have because of their ability to provide energy to systems they are standing next to. It has such a large presence that it can be easily seen as just another system, but since it is an augmentation you cannot upgrade it in any way. This is probably the case just because of the augmentation theme amongst the rest of the space cruisers, and that your space cruiser already does have a shielding system.

If you have this augmentation, it would be wise to keep it for your entire game instance, as even in protracted fights with the rebel flagship it helps out.

Drone Reactor Booster

  • Scrap Cost: Unavailable, cannot be found to purchase at a shop beacon.
    • Sell to Shop Value: 25.

The drone reactor booster is an augmentation found in the hangar on the second layout of the engi cruiser, the vortex. This is a rare augmentation in that only one layout has it, and the only other way to acquire it is through a seldom occurring random event of the engi virus; even then by choosing the precisely correct options, else you would get a different reward that does not have a chance of offering this augmentation.

The drone reactor booster does not amplify the energy given to the drone control system, or really has anything at all to do with power. Instead the drone reactor booster increases the movement speed of any drones on board your space cruiser. Boarding drones will not be affected by this augmentation when invading an enemy cruiser. So only the system repair drone and the anti-personnel drone will be affected by the drone reactor booster augmentation.

This has an almost exclusive use for the vortex layout of the engi cruiser, as that layout you are stuck with a crew consisting of just one engi and nobody else. That layout is also equipped with one anti-personnel drone and two system repair drones, so this augmentation makes them even more useful and removes their normal slow movement.

So long as you keep with that beginning build theme for the vortex layout of the engi cruiser, you probably will not want to get rid of this augmentation, but if you grow out of it then at least it can give you twenty five scrap to spend on something else.

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