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Navigation of FTL Guide



This is the fourth page of the Faster Than Light’s game guide about the assortment of space cruisers the player has to choose from, featuring the Rock Cruiser and the Stealth Cruiser’s stats and information. Each vessel has its own armaments, augmentations, and crew, serving to be a foothold for a playstyle build to be used in the game. Most ships have to be unlocked to be able to use, and below explains how. There will be some spoilers in the story, so be forewarned. Not familiar with FTL? Go here.

Rock Cruiser

  • “Prove yourself to the rockmen to earn this powerful cruiser.”

The rock cruiser is like a bulky fortress coasting through space, clearly capable of smashing through any obstacles in its way by sheer mass and shape of structure alone. It is visibly heavily plated, the pieces overlapping a bit like a carapace, but there is nothing bug like at all to its appearance. Its outer shell has four angular wings, while the interior vaguely follows such pattern while keeping to a broad box where rooms are orderly and fortified. Chambers are nearby each other, facilitating in quick troop movement; a rather appreciated attribute about the space cruiser for the race of crew members that inhabit it.

Rockmen are known for their sluggish, yet burly nature, and the rock cruiser is an appropriate mirror of this. Heavy hitting weapons are this space cruiser’s forte, while the complexity of drones are not so much. Fires are hardly as much of a concern aboard the rock cruiser as the Rockmen have an innate immunity to fire, but just because the crew members cannot be harmed by it, does not mean the systems cannot too.

The rock cruiser most particularly specializes in missile launcher based weaponry, even into the third layout that is a mixture between esoteric crystal technology and overwhelming missiles. And as by its appearance, it is able to shoulder blows a little better than the other space cruisers due to the augmentation that is included amongst all three of its layouts, the rock plating.

Layout A Bulwark

“Similar to its designers, this super dense behemoth uses brute force to overwhelm its foes.”

The interior of layout A is almost entirely a rectangular square, with two dips at the middle areas where there is just a vertical corridor instead of a fully spaced out room. Those same spots are the only access points to the exterior to provide a vacuum without draining the oxygen from depowering the oxygen system. The shields are separated from the weapons control, while the med bay is on the bottom side of the interior just next to the weapons control. At least half the crew will have that extra space to travel across just to get there, presuming the player does stick with the med bay for their game instance.

  • Original Name: Bulwark. The name originates from a wall-like fortification, apt for its appearance.
  • Starting Weapons: The artemis missile and the hull missile. Neither of these missile launchers are anything special alone, but the combination of them leans this layout towards ignoring any guarding shields enemies have and attacking their HULL directly. There is little point in targeting and damaging the enemy’s shields systems with two missile launchers, so the player would be better off singling out the enemy’s weapons controls system and the engines, so they no longer have a chance to dodge the onslaught of missiles and cannot retaliate with gunfire.

Relying so prominently on missile launchers is an unorthodox strategy to conduct, as the player is quite accustomed to preserving their missile ammunition supply with a parsimonious habit, lest they be left with none when the time comes when they are truly needed. Fortunately, if not necessarily, the bulwark rock cruiser does start out a game instance with an ample supply of missiles.

However the missile launchers the bulwark rock cruiser is armed with are not particularly potent in damage. The artemis missile launcher shoots one missile for two damage, while the hull missile does the exact same except with a special property that will double the damage of the sent missile if it is targeting a room devoid of any system and subsystem. The saving grace of this layout is actually the hull missile itself, and speaks for the intended gameplay style of it too. The point with these armaments is to smash the enemy space cruiser’s HULL to flaming bits, with little regard of what precisely those missiles are hitting. After all, that is how the hull missile launcher ranks up its damage. The artemis missile will be able to assail certain key systems, like the engines as mentioned, so as to accelerate the coming of victory.

Despite the unorthodox but effective strategy these two combined weapons establish, they are not to be relied on past the middle a game instance, and stronger and more versatile armaments should be acquired. It would be ideal to replace the artemis missile launcher prior to the hull missile launcher, as the hull missile launcher is capable of inflicting twice the damage of the artemis missile launcher for the same consumption of ammunition. As for the output of raw damage, the hull missile launcher actually does not dish out as much as one would think compared to the artemis missile launcher. This is because the artemis missile launcher only needs eleven to ten seconds to charge up, while the hull missile launcher needs seventeen seconds. That is about a seventy percent increase, but as said, the artemis missile launcher will end up using a lot more missile ammunition than the hull missile launcher will as it nearly fires twice the amount the other does.

  • Starting Drones: None, as the bulwark rock cruiser lacks a drone control system installed from the hangar. Should one be installed, the anti-combat drone schematic would be ideal to acquire, as that drone will counter any defense drones that would shoot down incoming missiles. Even two would be better, so that the bulwark rock cruiser’s missile launchers can be still just as effective against the rebel flagship as they would be against a regular space cruiser with no defense drones at all.
  • Initial Resources: Sixteen fuel, twenty eight missiles, and zero drone parts. The bulwark rock cruiser surely needs such an ample stock of missile ammunition, but the player will likely still need to buy up the missiles that are for sale at shop beacons because of the sheer rate of consumption the sole reliance of two missile launchers come with.
  • Starting Augmentations: Rock plating. This augmentation increases the stamina the bulwark rock cruiser has against impacts to the HULL, as there is a fifteen percent change when receiving damage to the HULL that it will be entirely negated. However, should a system be damaged while the HULL is also being damaged, the system will still receive the full scope of the damage even should this augmentation trigger.

The rock plating does give the rock cruiser a further advantage over other space cruisers by making a few blue text options available, should the player happen upon certain random events like the damaged stasis pod.

  • Slot Limits: Four available in the weapons control system, and only two for the drone control system should it be installed during the journey of a game instance. The four slot limit for the weapons control is one of the defining characteristics that makes a space cruiser able to specialize in high powered, versatile weaponry. You cannot swap out equipped weapons after all in the midst of battle, and since this layout is keen on missiles, most of those weapons can just be dedicated to pure damage.
  • Systems: Level two shields (one barrier), level two engines, level one oxygen support, level three weapons control, level one med bay, level one pilots deck, level one sensors, and level one door system. On average some of these have high upgrade levels, while no system or subsystem out of the ordinary is included from the hangar, the rock cruiser still has ample space to allow for such additions.
  • Room for Additional Systems: Lacking any supplementary systems and subsystems, the bulwark rock cruiser has three spots available for more systems to install, while there is the normal one spot for a subsystem like the backup battery.

The crew teleporter will be wedged beside the med bay, in that corridor butting against a wall unadorned with any hatch doors. Having a crew comprising mostly of just Rockmen, though diversity may occur as more crew members are recruited throughout a game instance, it is of high benefit for the crew teleporter to be immediately adjacent to the med bay.

The cloaking system will be nearby the shields system, and the drone control system will be just behind the pilots deck. That leaves a huge swath of a thick corridor utterly empty of anything separating the layout into two halves, one at the top and the other at the bottom. Early on in the game instance, it will not be ideal to have one crew member dedicated to dealing with damages, fires, and hull breaches because of the length of time it will take for that one rockman to get there. So it would be better to act on a priority of proximity based.

  • Ways to unlock: There are two paths to unlock the rock cruiser itself, as the bulwark is the default layout of it. One is to follow the story cannon quest line, and the other is to defeat the rebel flagship and thereby the game with the slug cruiser. Defeating the rebel flagship requires that the player either has a multitude of other space cruisers, or completed the quest line necessary to acquire the slug cruiser. Ultimately the choice is up to the player, while the quest line will be more random to be possible to complete and defeating the rebel flagship with the slug cruiser will require some dedication and skill.

The quest line to acquire the rock cruiser can only occur in the rock homeworlds sector, which can only appear once for a game instance. What beacon this random event will occur is not predetermined, but it will only appear in beacons that are not a distress signal type. Should the player’s space cruiser have the long range scanners equipped, then a ship will be detected at the possible beacon to have it.

Should the correct random event be encountered, a rock war vessel will address the player, and either of the first two options must be chosen that respond to them in some way. Choosing the ignore option will not successfully progress the quest line. A quest marker will be added to the map, and upon jumping to that beacon, the player will emerge nearby a red giant with an elite rock assault cruiser eager to fight. The goal here is to just outlast the enemy ship, as both ships are being assailed by solar flares that spark fires in every wave. Eventually the elite rock cruiser will start spinning up their FTL drive and run away. If the elite rock cruiser is accidently defeated, either by the traditional format of destroying the ship, or by dispatching all of the crew, then the quest line will be unable to proceed.

Once the elite rock cruiser has jumped away, another set of coordinates will be added to the beacon map. So long as the rebel fleet has not invaded too much of the beacon map, by visiting that marked beacon the rock cruiser will finally be found.

The requirements on this quest line are not too steep in terms of systems and upgrade levels, but it does require a couple of hoops while the rebel fleet has not spread far in the sector.

Layout B Shivan

“With no airlocks, this ship must rely entirely on its rock crew to put out fires.”

True to the game’s description, the shivan rock cruiser lacks any hatch doors accessing the exterior, and so no immediate vacuum can occur unless a hull breach appears; an event that players can scarcely will to happen on the spot. Opening up a series of hatch doors, leading to an open airlock funneling the air out of those connected rooms to starve out some fires just is not possible in this layout. Fortunately the crew members that are on board this space cruiser are all Rockmen, and so are best suited to the task of dousing fires as they take no harm from them.

There are some alternatives to that though. Fires will, after a time, naturally snuff themselves out as they drain the oxygen from the rooms they occupy as they rage. The rate of this effect will be degraded depending on the powered upgrade level of the oxygen system, or if the oxygen system is even on and active. Basically the oxygen system would be continually trying to replenish what is lost by the draining effect produced by the raging fires. The oxygen system does not operate in reaction to an event that lowers the air supply levels, but just continually pumps oxygen into the air of the space cruiser. So by completely turning off the oxygen system, while the fires will still rage and damage systems for a little while, so long as the space cruiser has an upgraded level of the door system the fires will eventually snuff themselves out instead of spreading across the whole of the space cruiser, covering everything and destroying every little thing.

That aforementioned tactic is none too possible in the beginning of a game instance while helming the shivan rock cruiser, as it actually lacks a door control subsystem. One can be installed from a shop beacon.

The best solution is really just to throw a couple Rockmen crew members at the fire problem, as they will stomp out the fire quickly together, if they can be spared from their stations. Other than that, there is always the fire suppression augmentation that will passively put out fires anywhere they appear on the ship.

The shivan’s layout is shaped like a four pointed star, with the pilots deck jutting out to the right in just a corridor. Despite the diverging pathways, forming four small wings, important facilities are close together which is an ideal setup for a crew dominated by the presence of Rockmen. Each of those four wings does appear to be dedicated to a major system though, like the weapons control in the lower left and the shields in the upper right, but since all areas have to cross through that narrow middle, everything is rather equidistant. It does induce the feeling of separation and constriction, instead of the rampant freedom of the first layout of the rock cruiser.

  • Original Name: Shivan.
  • Beginning Crew: Four Rockmen, which is as many crew members as you can start out with from the hangar. Both fires and intruders on board this cruiser will have little effect, as even intruder parties that have mantis usually are not larger than a two body team.
  • Starting Weapons: The heavy pierce laser mark I, and the fire bomb. This layout would not be worth its salt if the only offensive weapon this stuck the player with was a regular heavy laser, as that would not be able to take down any kind of shielding. Unlike burst lasers, heavy lasers just shoot one large blast of energy that deals high damage, but that high damage does not carry over from layer to layer of the barrier. Fortunately, for at least game balance’s sake, the heavy pierce laser mark I is able to pierce through one layer of shielding before its blast impacts on anything. This is not as great as it could be, but it is better than the alternative.

The fire bomb itself will entirely skip barriers, as bombs teleport themselves on board ships, even the player’s own if they are deploying it. Of course there would be no reason to, except in a rather dire situation to ward away some intruders when the crew members have little other recourse.

  • Starting Drones: None, as this layout lacks a drone control system installed from the hangar, and thus must be purchased at a shop beacon during the game instance itself.
  • Initial Resources: Sixteen fuel, eighteen missiles, and zero drone parts.
  • Starting Augmentations: Rock plating.
  • Slot Limits: Four as the maximum of the weapons control system, bolstering this layout’s foothold as a high powered armament based space cruiser, and only two for the drone control system should one by installed, making heavy reliance on drone schematics less flexible.
  • Systems: Level two shields (one barrier), level two engines, level two oxygen system, level three weapons control, level one med bay, level one pilots deck, and level one sensors. It can easily slip past notice when selecting this layout of the rock cruiser that the shivan actually is missing the door control subsystem. It is so commonly included with space cruisers that one can just assume it is already there, but it certainly isn’t with this layout. It does make some sense since there are no hatch doors accessing space.

It is integral to quickly acquire the door system, for as much as the Rockmen crew members are adept at dealing with fires, having an upgraded door system is vital in containing and preventing the spread of any fires. It helps as well to slow the movement of intruders on board the player’s vessel too. Most shop beacons that are immediately found will have the door control subsystem for sale under the systems tab, and it will cost sixty scrap to acquire. Having to purchase this extra subsystem does put the shivan at a disadvantage against other space cruisers and their various layouts, but the shivan is full to the brim with four Rockmen crew members, making the ship’s survival fortified against intrusions, fires, and even hull breaches as the Rockmen have fifty percent higher health bars than most other races.

Since the shivan rock cruiser lacks firepower sufficient enough to take down two barriers or more, upgrading the weapons control should be on high priority for the player in tandem with acquiring any other kind of weapon, even if it is something weak. The weapons armed on the shivan rock cruiser will not last the player long in a game instance, and getting just one more that helps to break down another barrier worth of shielding will keep this cruiser going much longer without being able to overcome hostiles.

  • Room for Additional Systems: Being hardly furnished with optional systems, the shivan rock cruiser has three possible spots for more systems to install. Those would be between the cloaking system, the drone control system, the hacking station, the mind control station, and the crew teleporter. As useful as drone schematics are, there are only two possible slots in that system for this layout, so it is key to have some in mind before installing that drone system.

Starting out with so many crew members will bolster future numbers that could make up a boarding party should a crew teleporter be acquired. However the crew teleporter will only accommodate two jointly sent people at a time, as it is forced into a vertical corridor beneath the middle junction that connects the four wings of the space cruiser together. No matter what some kind of major defense has to be chosen for the shivan rock cruiser, but the cloaking system will fall short on efficiency since it will be armed with so many weapons.

The hacking station would be a decent alternative to the drone control system on the shivan layout, as while it will use up a drone part, it will fill out the aspects of the space cruiser to be able to more than adequately take down enemies. The armaments will be pumping out high bursts of damage, while the hacking station can disable one of their systems and turn it against the enemy crew, especially systems like the shields. And should the crew teleporter be chosen to install too, the hacking station will support that in more ways as well, such as turning the med bay into a poison spewing chamber that locks people inside.

  • Ways to unlock: To acquire this layout, two of the three achievements unique to the rock cruiser must be completed. It does not matter which two of the three is chosen, just so long as two are done. Some are easier to do than others though.

The first achievement is called “Is it warm in here?”. This achievement focuses on the Rockmen race’s innate immunity to the harm of fire, as a boarding party must defeat a crew member in the middle of some fire on the enemy ship. Too bad the first layout does not have the fire bomb like the second does, or else this would be swiftly completed before unlocking. This requires some patience while trying to spark a fire on the enemy ship. So the player’s space cruiser should have upgraded sensors to able to see the interior of the enemy space cruiser, while using frequently firing burst lasers to start fires, even if those burst lasers only have a low chance. Most do.

This achievement will require the crew teleporter. So long as the rock cruiser has that, there will always be a low chance of being able to complete this achievement so long as the rock cruiser is armed with some kind of weapon that can cause a fire. The artemis and hull missile launchers can, but using a burst laser would be more ideal if the shields are down on the enemy ship. As random as the “Is it warm in here?” achievement is, it is relatively easy to complete.

The second achievement is named, “Defense Drones Don’t Do D’anything!”. Owing to the bulwark rock cruiser’s specialty, to earn this achievement an enemy space cruiser has to be destroyed with only missiles while it has a defense drone protecting it. Defense drones primary purpose is to shoot down lasers, so it would be ideal to acquire another missile launcher in the hopes of finding an enemy that has a defense drone deployed. By firing all missiles in unison, the defense drone should only be able to fire down one, while the other will slip by. Of course the player’s missile ammunition may plummet, but it is at the price of acquiring an achievement. It can be rather uncommon to find a defense drone patrolled enemy, so this achievement is not as great as the first.

The third achievement is called “Ancestry” and is tied into the lore of Rockmen and Crystalmen. The Crystalmen race are actually a branching evolution off of the Rockmen, and so it is up to the rock cruiser to discover a crucial part of their history by reaching the secret sector - the hidden crystal worlds. This follows part of the same quest line as unlocking the crystal cruiser does, so this overlap warrants choosing to do this achievement over the other two. The player needs to find the damaged stasis pod, then bring that item to the Zoltan research facility, and then finally find the ancient device buried in the rock homeworlds. This quest line requires visiting diverse sectors, so it can be quite difficult to get right because of the randomly generating nature of where sectors appear on the map, or if they even do.

Layout C Tektite

“Contact has been made with the Crystalline race and this cruiser was offered to the Federation as part of diplomatic discussions between the sister species.”

Though the Crystalmen long since left their violent brethren, the rift between them has been mended in the diplomatic act of offering this blue shelled space cruiser. Clearly the designers were both Rockmen and Crystalmen as the style is a mixture of the two, the shell and plating comprised of that icy blue crystal while the structure is fortified like boulders.

The rock cruiser has always favored angular formations, and so the interior of the tektite takes multiple angles and hard turns, as there are multiple rows that make up the layout. There is a neat spread following left to right, with systems clustering to the left and right walls, while subsystems are in the middle corridor. Hatch doors open to space on the middle left and middle right of the interior. The two present in the engines room will be of most use to the player, as it is a common point of impact for lasers and missiles that try to take out the FTL drive. The crew member manning the engines will need to step away though.

  • Original Name: Tektite.
  • Beginning Crew: Two Rockmen, and one Crystalman. The crystal race are the most rare species to recruit in the span of the game, from either finding them in shop beacons or starting out with one or two by a space cruiser. This creates a base inordinate value for the tektite, as hardly a handful have a Crystalman crew member. The Crystalman’s lockdown racial ability will be useful keeping intruders out of his designated system, and even more should a boarding party be built with this layout.
  • Starting Weapons: Swarm, and heavy crystal mark I. Back to the physical projectiles, the swarm is a special variant of missile launchers that charges up multiple warheads to be able to be all released at once. No matter how many charges are unleashed, only one missile ammunition will be used up, and so in that way the swarm is even more efficient than the pegasus missile for the limited resource consumption. Since the heavy crystal mark I is still obstructed by barriers, unlike the swarm, targeting the shield systems on the enemy cruisers is an important tactic once again. One those are down, the tektite will quickly smash apart enemy cruisers due to the compounding damage.

The heavy crystal mark I will be able to partially pierce through shielding, as all crystal weapons can partially pierce through one layer of barrier regardless of how hard they hit. The one fragment the heavy crystal mark I shoots out is worth two inflicting damage, while it takes thirteen seconds to charge up and only one energy slot to use. The swarm has a maximum of three charges, each inflicting one damage, needs two energy slots to use and every charge takes seven seconds to fill up.

  • Starting Drones: None, as the tektite rock cruiser lacks a drone control system installed, but it can be purchased during the game instance from a shop beacon.
  • Initial Resources: Sixteen fuel, fifteen missiles, and zero drone parts. Fifteen missiles is a decent amount for the low amount the swarm will be using, should auto fire be turned off so that the swarm can build up three charges for every shot.
  • Starting Augmentations: Rock plating, just like the other two layouts, this augmentation gives a small chance to receive no damage to the HULL should it be struck. This will lower scrap costs for repairing a little bit over the course of a game instance, making it worth its slot.
  • Slot Limits: Just two for the drone control system, should it be installed at some point during the game instance, and the utmost limit of four for the weapons control system.
  • Systems: Level two shields (one barrier), level two engines, level one oxygen system, level three weapons control, level one pilots deck, level one door subsystem, level one sensors, and level one clone bay. The reactor starts out with eight bars.

The clone bay is the coveted feature of all layouts added to the game with the Advanced Edition update, as crew members enter a quasi-immortal state so long as the system is powered. If not, they will rapidly perish in the clone pod, unless the backup DNA bank augmentation can be found.

With little means to heal the crew members, aside from the passive regeneration after every FTL drive jump from the clone bay, there is little concern for the crew members’ lives, and really there is not much that can harm them aside from intruders or a lack of oxygen. The clone bay should be upgraded regardless, speeding up recovery of fallen crew members and raising the passive healing, while the weapons control should be invested in to be able to carry higher tiered weapons. As decent of a combination the swarm and the heavy crystal mark I are, the swarm just does not dish out that much damage to last beyond the middle of a game instance. The heavy crystal mark I can stay on, but only as support.

  • Room for Additional Systems: Lacking any auxiliary systems, the tektite rock cruiser has three possible spots for more systems to be added. Those extra systems will only find places to stay in corridors though, as the only fully sized rooms are occupied by the already present systems on the left.

The crew teleporter and hacking station are good combinations with the tektite layout, as the clone bay will make for a formidable boarding party with little risk of loss of its soldiers, while the hacking station will improve both the boarding party and the armaments effectiveness.

The tektite layout, out of all three of the rock cruiser, has the farthest placed system rooms and so upgrading the door systems to degrade the spreading of fire and the freedom of intruder troop movement is important to diminish the impact of the Rockmen and Crystalmen’s slowed movement speed.

  • Ways to unlock: There is just one avenue to unlocking this interesting third layout, which requires that the second layout of the rock cruiser, the shivan, makes it all the way to the last stand sector with its crew members alive and the ship in one piece. It does not matter how well armed the space cruiser is, or how high the score is for the game instance so far, just the eighth sector must be reached.

Of course that does require unlocking both the rock cruiser itself, and the second layout, so there are some requirements beforehand.

Stealth Cruiser

  • “This ship is being built near the Engi homeworlds. To unlock it, you'll need to help them, but keep in mind they only trust their own kind.”

The stealth cruiser is the one type of ship designed and tuned for cloaking and evasion. This is the one space cruiser that does not initiate the game with a shields system, something that dramatically alters the player’s gameplay. There is no longer a small, yet integral buffer against incoming weaponry damage, and the stealth cruiser becomes very vulnerable to HULL damage – whether it’s from a missile or a mere, weak laser. The stealth cruiser shoves the player into aggressive and clutch tactics, as every weapon volley will inevitably eat away at the HULL. If skillful play is not used with this space cruiser, or the player is handed their fair share of rotten luck, then it is unlikely to make it past the first or second sector.

The stealth cruiser does have a cloaking system preinstalled. This is why the stealth cruiser does not come with a shielding system like the rest of the space cruisers there is to choose from. This is relatively special as the cloaking system can be rare to find in general, and even more so with the player having the needed 150 scrap to purchase the system to install.

The second layout even has the cloaking system upgraded to level two, which is even more a boon. You would still have to purchase a shielding system for you to feasibly survive and complete your desperate and valiant mission, but when you lack a shielding system, it is relatively common to find it available to purchase in any shops that you jump to and visit. The shielding system that you must purchase though will only cost you a total of 120 scrap to give you one barrier, which is two upgrade levels worth. Thus by choosing the space cruiser, essentially opting to have the cloaking system in lieu of the shielding system, you have a net gain for your scrap totals.

There are more benefits to the space cruiser than just that though, as no matter the layout you choose, it will start the game with special augments. One augment is present amongst all three layouts, the long ranged scanners. These allow you to see information about beacons connecting to yours, available to jump through. It will warn you of environmental hazards like iron radiating suns, beacons in dangerous proximity to suns, asteroid fields, and power disrupting ion storms in cloud nebulae. Stumbling into those environmental hazards would be game ending with the stealth cruiser’s lack of shielding.

It will also tell you whether or not a ship is there, but won’t in the case when a hostile encounter will only occur if you choose the correct or wrong text options. These scanners are essential to your pragmatic survival, because as great as the cloaking system is, environmental hazards are absolutely devastating to the stealth cruiser lacking the shielding system. Each time a solar surge rolls off the sun in a beacon in dangerous proximity to one, without sufficient shielding your stealth cruiser’s HULL will be damaged along with the sprouting fires in the interior. And in the asteroid fields, those flying rocks come in quick succession and will whittle you down to half health of your HULL before a battle is over, even with the glaive beam of layout B. It becomes your priority to avoid these environmental hazard beacons, as they expose your space cruiser to its raw vulnerability with its strengths enervated.

Layout A Nesasio

  • “Constructed for the Federation by the Engi, this ship is designed to use cloaking technology and speed to get behind enemy lines.”

This layout shares a familiar shape to the Kestrel cruiser, and really that of the iconic image of science fiction space ships. At the head is the pilots deck and the back has the engines, with two wings tapering off with some auxiliary rooms, shaped just like a plane. There are two airlock doors by the pilots deck, and two more in the middle of the ship against an empty spot in the center of the layout.

  • Original Name: The Nesasio.
  • Beginning Crew: Three Humans, can choose genders. Though humans have no outstanding specialties, they will gain skill levels quicker than other races as they need less experience points. And while being average, they do not have any downsides like slower movement speed.
  • Starting Weapons: Mini Beam and Dual Lasers. Neither of these are particularly strong alone, but together they make for a hard hitting combination that can thwart enemies into the reach of the middle of a game instance. The mini beam has no ability to pierce through shields at all, so enemy space cruisers with three or more barriers worth is too much for this weapon combination to handle. Two can take some effort to negate with the dual lasers, and then slip by with a swath of the mini beam, but it will be a slow battle that may take some hits to the exposed HULL.

Upgrading to higher tier weapons should be on a high priority with the nesasio, once it can be afforded with this ship’s lack of shields. With heavy reliance on the cloaking system, it is ideal to find a high tier beam weapon, like the halberd beam or the glaive beam as it will unleash its attack all at once.

  • Starting Drones: None, as this layout lacks a drone control system.
  • Initial Resources: 16 fuel, zero of everything else as it lacks a drone system and a missile weapon. This lack of additional supplies further entrenches the nesasio in laser and beam weaponry.
  • Starting Augmentations: The Long Range Scanners, and Titanium Casing. Long Range Scanners are explained in the description above, while titanium casing grants the space cruiser a 15 percent chance to entirely negate system damage. That special effect will not apply to HULL damage, so a system can be struck with a two damage laser but remain undamaged, while the HULL will take two damage. Useful to resist the dangers and vulnerabilities to losing systems, like shielding and weapons control.
  • Slot Limits: three for the weapons control, and only two for the drone control. You must install the drone control system however during the game instance.
  • Systems: Level 4 engines, level 1 oxygen, level two weapons control, level 1 med bay, level 1 pilots deck, level two sensors, level 1 door system, and level 1 cloak system. The reactor has eight bars worth of power.

The nesasio stealth cruiser makes ample use of the level four engines, as all it has to rely on to defend itself is evading and the cloaking system until the player can find themselves a shield system from a shop. Despite that, battles should be going by fast enough that upgrading the cloaking system one or two levels will help to dramatically spare the HULL from damage by timing the activation of the cloak when the enemy ship unleashes their first volley.

Provided a shop beacon can be found, it is pressing to save up scrap to be able to quickly afford the shields system, or else the game instance will continue to ramp up the high risk battles and the HULL’s health will regularly plummet, striking excessive repair costs that will eventually outweigh the price tag on the shield system itself.

  • Room for Additional Systems: Three, as the nesasio stealth cruiser has the cloaking system but not the shields system. Located in the middle of the space cruiser.

The crew teleporter is to the left of the weapons control, where it will house two crew member spots. The drone control is at the back, to the right of the engines, where it will be in a narrow rectangular room. Finally the shielding system will be placed to the immediate right of the drone control room, in a square room with four crew member spaces. This will be adjacent to a corridor that has two hatch doors that access the exterior of the ship, where the vacuum of space is.

Though the nesasio stealth cruiser only has access to two schematic slots in the drone control system, if choice drone schematics can be found like the shield supercharger or mark II defense drones then that will greatly increase the space cruiser’s ability to withstand and avoid damage. The crew teleporter also works well as it is a point of attack that does not rely on the weapons, which cut short the cloak duration. The mind control station is rather average, but it should be between that and the hacking station for a system that hassles the enemy.

  • Ways to Unlock: There are two methods to obtain the stealth cruiser itself. The automatic one that skirts around the story is to defeat the rebel flagship on any difficulty - easy, normal, or hard - with the rock cruiser. The rock cruiser is a stalwart vessel with hard hitting armaments, so that should be a simple feat.

Should a route that pursues the story and a different path than that of standard gameplay, then an engi quest line of a string of random events will need to be followed. The first event will occur only in the engi homeworlds sector, at a beacon that does not have a distress signal and does not have a ship presence. It is unlikely the space cruiser the player is piloting will have the long range scanners augmentation to be able to see if a ship is there or not though, since the stealth cruiser is the vessel that is equipped with it from the hangar and none other.

The problem with this quest line is that two quest markers are added and only one of these locations has the stolen stealth cruiser. It is random which one it is, despite what some players may say that the first one is never it. To emphasize, the stealth cruiser can be at any of the two quest markers, and so there is a fifty percent chance that the correct one will be chosen. When arriving at one of the quest marker beacons, whether or not it is the correct one that has the stealth cruiser, the other quest marker will disappear. This can be frustrating, as the player essentially has no control over the outcome and relies on chance to acquire their prize, but that is just a part of Faster Than Light’s nature.

Upon finding the beacon that spawns the quest line of engi speaking to each other, distressed, a blue text option is necessary to proceed and gain the two quest markers. This requires at least one engi crew member, so helming the engi cruiser would be an easy way to ensure the space cruiser has the necessary requirements. This blue text option will be the third choice, with (engi crew) a part of the selection. Choosing which quest marker to go to is up to the player, as the chances for each one having the stolen stealth cruiser is equal.

The player can only find out they discovered the right location when either the space cruiser attempts to surrender, or the entire enemy crew is wiped out. Any other method of defeat will not offer up the next quest marker for the beacon map, regardless if the real event was found. Finally with the third quest marker put on the beacon map, upon arriving there the player will be met with a hostile mantis ship. Should they be defeated, the stealth cruiser will be awarded after some discussion with the engi. Some considerable rewards will be given too, along with some hull repairs.

Layout B DA-SR 12

  • “Built like a glass cannon, this ship is hard to handle. If its cloaking can keep it safe long enough to charge its weapon, few cruisers can withstand its might.”

The coating for the second layout of the stealth cruiser has taken on a greyscale camouflage, appropriate for the dark background of space. It appears militarized with its visor-like windows of the observation deck, and as it should be, being that the DA-SR 12 boasts the most powerful weapon in the game - the glaive beam. Every source of damage this ship has relies on that glaive beam, as it has nothing else from the hangar. And that is hardly a price to pay for such a rare and zenith tier weapon.

Highly sought after for its tremendous fire power, the DA-SR 12 still lacks a shields system and continues to rely on its cloaking system for survival. The HULL will be ripped to shreds without tactful activation of its invisibility and supremely high evasion.

The interior has changed somewhat, shifting to cluster in the main body where some corridors trail behind it. The layout thus has become predominantly broad. This does not impact gameplay much, other than making it look perhaps more aesthetically pleasing and unique.

  • Original Name: DA-SR 12.
  • Beginning Crew: Two Humans, and one Zoltan.
  • Starting Weapons: The Glaive Beam. The strongest and most sought after beam weapon in the entire game, as it has a moderately long room range and inflicts a high 3 damage per struck room. This is enough to pierce through most shield barriers you will encounter, as enemy space cruisers tend to have anywhere between one and three shield barriers, the most prevalent being two while elite enemies will exclusively have three.

Beam weapons are extraordinarily effective at cutting a swath through the enemy vessel, demolishing multiple systems at once, and with the Glaive Beam, this can often destroy an enemy space cruiser with one released charge. You will never want to replace the Glaive Beam on this ship, as this is essentially what you always strive for in weaponry, and so this is a major reason for choosing the DA-SR 12 stealth cruiser among all the choices in the hangar.

In early to mid-game the Glaive Beam will be more than enough for you to dispatch hostile space cruisers in one to two sweeps, but it is ideal to pair with at least either one missile launcher or a burst laser with multiple discharges at once. While the Glaive Beam can and will partially pierce through shielding, as each barrier will absorb one point off of each stroke of the beam per room, it is far more effective for a laser weapon to knock down the barriers so that the Glaive Beam can sweep through the vessel’s rooms without any damage reduction. Missile launchers do take out the shield systems far quicker, but come at the price of a perpetual resource hit. Such a tactic could reduce a battle that would last two, to three charges of the Glaive Beam to just one, and would furthermore allow your Glaive Beam to rip apart a hostile vessel with three shield barriers – that which the Glaive Beam cannot pierce, as three total shield barriers will negate the damage the Glaive Beam could do, as the Glaive Beam’s damage is at an interval of three.

The glaive beam needs four energy slots to use, and takes twenty five seconds to charge up.

  • Starting Drones: None, the DA-SR 12 has no drone system installed, as its only armament is the formidable glaive beam.
  • Initial Resources: Sixteen fuel, and zero of missiles and drone parts as the stealth cruiser has neither any missile weaponry nor a drone system preinstalled. Not as much of a detriment as it is to the first layout of the stealth cruiser.
  • Starting Augmentations: Only the Long Range Scanners. The layout B loses the titanium system casing in exchange for its high powered, remarkable beam weaponry. The titanium casing had more use being sold for scrap though.
  • Slot Limits: Only three slots for the weapons control, but this is not a concern as the Glaive Beam makes up for it. It does already need four energy slots, half the maximum capacity of the weapons control system. A missile, an ion gun, or even a laser weapon is a good complement to the Glaive Beam. Three slots can achieve such a match. There are only two drone slots if you install a drone control system.
  • Systems: Level two engines, level four weapons control, level one oxygen system, level two cloaking, level one pilots deck, level two sensors, level one door subsystem, and level one med bay. This starts out with seven energy bars in the reactor.

The weapons control is as high as it is because of the four energy slot requirement of the glaive beam. Most space cruisers have at most a level three weapons control, so that is thirty five scrap taken off the price of the shields systems that will need to be purchased. The engines are not as powerful as they are in the first layout of the stealth cruiser, but the cloaking system is upgraded to level two, serving to further shelter the ship from gunfire volleys.

  • Room for Additional Systems: Lacking shields, but possessing the cloaking system, there are three possible slots for additional systems while there is a possible five to choose from. Those being the shields, the hacking station, the mind control station, the crew teleporter, and the drone control system. The shields systems are so essential it is necessary to choose and acquire in order to survive and do decently. Either the hacking station or the drone control system does well, while the crew teleporter supports this layout’s build too provided there is at least two spare crew members to use for the boarding party.

There are two full sized rooms above the sensors that the additional systems will be placed into, and the crew teleporter will be found at the bottom part of the layout, just below the cloaking system’s room. It is important to not accidently furnish the layout with three different systems before acquiring the shields, as that would fill up all the DA-SR 12 stealth cruiser’s system slots and prevent the shields from being installed.

  • Ways to unlock: Two out of three achievements unique to the stealth cruiser need to be completed in order to unlock the second layout, the DA-SR 12 stealth cruiser.

The first achievement is “Bird of Prey”. The player must destroy a ship during the effects of a single cloaking. This is a feat easily achievable with a high tier beam weapon, clearly such as that of the glaive beam. The first layout of the stealth cruiser only has a mini beam, which is the weakest beam weapon but should the shields be down on the enemy ship, it could possibly inflict four damage in one sweep. Armed heavily enough and this achievement may just be gotten without meaning to, but too top heavy with high tier weaponry and the discharged volley may cut the cloak short before the projectiles and lasers connect. Regardless this is one of the easier achievements even with an imperfect setup of armaments, as there are various automatic drones in the early sectors that lack any shielding and should be easy prey to demolish in one cloaked volley.

The second achievement is “Phase Shift”. The stealth space cruiser needs to dodge nine damage or more while under the effect of a single cloak activation. Normally space cruisers cannot fire at a cloaked ship as it is not possible to lock onto it in order to target it, but weapons can be discharged just as a ship is undergoing cloak, so the projectiles and lasers will continue on their trajectories. However while a space cruiser is under the benefit of cloaking, aside from being unable to be targeted, the ship’s evasion rate is increased by sixty percent. It is possible to have around 90 evasion rate while under the effect of cloak, making it incredibly unlikely to be hit, and thus it is a triggering dodge tactic to use.

It may take some time to acquire this achievement. Not through the act of repetition, by trying a similar scenario again and again, but by reaching far enough in a game instance where the enemies encountered are more heavily armed and will dish out greater degrees of damage. Particularly those equipped with four weapons will present the best opportunity to acquire this achievement. Happening upon an asteroid field environmental hazard will also increase the chances of earning the achievement, provided the cloaking system is upgraded to level two or more in order to increase the longevity of the invisibility’s duration, as asteroids will continue to fly by whether or not there is something to be targeted.

And if none of those options surface, then there is the rebel flagship’s signature special attacks that unleash several potential points of damage at once. Using the cloak to avoid that fiery death is a standard tactic, and will work just as well for the purpose of getting the “Phase Shift” achievement.

Finally, the third achievement is named “Tactical Approach” for avoiding any environmental hazards in the course of a game instance. The player must travel from the very first beacon, to the eighth sector and the last stand without jumping onto one of those environmental beacons. This would be a game of little chance if the stealth cruiser did not come equipped with the long range scanners, as that augmentation provides additional information about connecting beacons on the map. It may sound easier than it really is, but in order to earn this achievement it is important to avoid beacon paths that end up only taking one route with no other option, as that may force the stealth cruiser to leap onto a potentially environmentally dangerous beacon.

This is equivalent to reaching a dead end, except there is no sign of that fact prior to visiting the beacons that connect along that path. Beacons can always be backtracked, but that runs the risk of the rebel fleet invasion catching the player and possibly getting stuck again. There is only so many times the player can survive an encounter with the rebel fleet, and still make it through the rest of the game. Worse would be when Advanced Edition content is enabled, and the anti-ship battery is lobbing blasts that tear through the hull for three points a hit.

Layout C Simo-H

  • “This ship was part of an Engi experiment to make a power efficient version of the Zoltan shield. Unfortunately this required the removal of the Cloaking system.”

It can be easy to forget that the stealth cruiser is the product of the engi’s advanced and experimental technology. The third layout is another take on this challenging model that specializes in super shielding, as opposed to deadly cloaking. True to the game’s description, the Simo-H stealth cruiser does loose access to the cloaking system from the hangar, but there is nothing stopping the player from installing it themselves later on in the game instance.

The camouflage coating is now mottled with hues of browns and oranges, fitting for a desert environment and not so much for the depths of space and nebulae. The interior has expanded into a multitude of full sized rooms, while the pattern follows the first layout’s more closely. There are six airlocks, two at the front in the corridor behind the pilots deck, and four right in the middle of the ship where walls form an empty rectangle. Crew members will make a track around the rough circle that is formed in the bulk of the layout, so the engines and door subsystem will be the greatest hassle to get to. Even so, there are larger and more circuitous interiors than this.

  • Original Name: Simo-H.
  • Beginning Crew: One human, one rockman, and one slug. A diverse makeup for the crew, one slug will be sufficient to render upgrades to the sensors unnecessary and the rockman can be dedicated to putting out fires. Upgrading the door subsystem is worth a raised priority, since the rockman will be slow arriving to the burning areas and reducing the rate of spread of fire will diminish possible damaged systems and injuries to crew members. Being as humans need less experience points to gain skill, the human crew member is a suitable candidate for the pilot, as dodging is not a guaranteed reaction to projectiles and energy.
  • Starting Weapons: A customized version of the small laser charger, and the mini beam. This small laser charger needs just one energy slot, and takes a little less than five seconds to gain a blast charge. It can only hold up to two charges, just like the regular version, so it is almost like a sampler version of what a laser charger should be.

The mini beam is a good pairing with the laser charger though, as the laser charger can fire rapidly enough to knock out two layer barriers so that the mini beam can cut across the ship unimpeded. The mini beam’s damage rating is so low that it cannot even partially pierce through shields, so generally this armament setup is similar to the first layout of the stealth cruiser.

  • Starting Drones: An upgraded version of the shield overcharger drone schematic that needs only two energy slots as opposed to three, and an anti-combat drone. The drone schematic of the shield overcharger ends up being the reason why the third layout of the stealth cruiser lacks both a cloaking system and a shields system. It may sound like a wish for destruction by choosing such a layout, but the shield overcharger is almost on level with another system. The function it lacks is the ability to upgrade.

This drone schematic regularly establishes a super shield barrier as it patrols around the space cruiser’s perimeter. Each layer will protect for small amounts of damage, blocking any harmful sources, even missiles that in normal circumstances skip right past shields. Despite its immense usefulness, it is best paired with an actual shields systems, so that should be among the first things a player scrounges up their scrap for.

Because of the altered stats on the shield overcharger, making it more energy efficient and adding one slot to the stealth cruiser’s limits, the Simo-H is the ship and layout to choose should the player want a build with the shield overcharger above all else. This would be instead of relying on luck to be able to find it in stock at a shop beacon, while having sufficient scrap and getting a variant of the drone schematic that is not as decent as the one included with the Simo-H.

The anti-combat drone paired with the shield overcharger will cover up more of the Simo-H’s vulnerabilities, lacking the standard defenses, so darting combat drones from enemy ships that would overload the shield overcharger’s erected barriers will be ionized and disabled. This is a good team up that should be sufficient on lower difficulties in the early span of game instances, without adding the shields system. It will drain the drone part limited resource though if used too liberally, but it is uncommon to find too many enemies that have combat drones.

  • Initial Resources: Sixteen fuel, zero missile ammunition, and sixteen drone parts. For the Simo-H’s high reliance on the shield overcharger for protection, sixteen drone parts does not seem adequate, but it will last the player long enough. Managing to find the drone recovery arm augmentation will really shine on this layout as the drone part taken to deploy the shield overcharger will be continually reused, provided it is not caught by a stray missile or asteroid.
  • Starting Augmentations: Long range scanners, the standard augmentation of the stealth cruiser that shows the player additional information about possible to jump to beacons on the map.
  • Slot Limits: Three for both the weapons control system and the drone control system. The advanced and altered technology have given the Simo-H stealth cruiser a welcome boost compared to its sibling layouts, as those are limited to just two slots for the drone control. Evidently the reason for such a change would be the inclusion of the shield overcharger, as that just about replaces the shields system and any other form of protection the Simo-H has from the hangar. That is not stopping players from installing a shields system once they find one at a shop beacon though.
  • Systems: Level four engines, level one oxygen support, level two weapons control, level two drone control, level one pilots deck, level one door system, and level one clone bay. As vigilant as the shield overcharger drone is, there is still considerable hazard while being a part of the Simo-H’s crew, and so while it is expected of an Advanced Edition variant of a space cruiser to have this system in lieu of a medical bay, the clone bay is still an appropriate component to the array of this vessel.

Having no innate defenses, the engines are set an understandably high upgrade level of four, the highest any space cruiser has. And with such energy efficient armaments and drone schematics, neither the weapons control or the drone control are higher than level two. That is more of a restriction with the drone control, as the player would have to literally choose between activating the shield overcharger or the anti combat drone, and in most cases the Simo-H just cannot go without the guardianship of the shield overcharger just to ionized a small subset of offensive drones. Upgrading the drone control system early on in the game instance will remove this concerning restriction.

The weapons are not going to last long either, so it will be integral to upgrade the weapons control early on, but at a lower priority to acquiring a shields system. Mounting a fiercely powerful offensive capabilities on the Simo-H can turn some battles so quick that the lack of defenses are exposed for a briefer interval, and so the negative effects of them are also less. That would be coinciding with the adage saying, “The best defense is a good offense.”

  • Room for Additional Systems: There are three spots for more systems to be installed. Even though the Simo-H stealth cruiser is lacking both the shield systems and the cloaking system, it does have the drone control system installed, as that basically is its special ability as the other two layouts had cloak for their special ability.

The shields are necessary for a smooth and feasible game instance, whereas going without them is on level with willingly putting oneself under a higher challenge to see if it could be done, loosely like speed running games for breaking record times. The Simo-H is already tuned for high evasion, but at the same time with the upgraded shield overcharger and a shields system, the space cruiser does have ample protection. The shield overcharger will not be able to be built up to defend against one massive attack, like the notable ones from the rebel flagship, so that is a fight mechanic the cloaking specializes greatly in - almost ensuring zero damage from a specific weapons fire volley.

That leaves the mind control, hacking station, and crew teleporter to choose from. The Simo-H already relies on its drone control system, so unless the player wants to spend an extra helping of resources on purchasing drone parts from shop beacons, then the hacking station is not an ideal or even wise choice. On the other hand should the drone recovery arm be acquired, then there would be very little drone part consumption from the shield overcharger since it can be pulled back in from space, should it not be unceremoniously destroyed in the midst of battle.

The crew teleporter is the stronger choice out of those three, leaving the mind control and the hacking station at the wayside.

  • Ways to unlock: Being the third layout, the Simo-H stealth cruiser can only be unlocked by reaching the Last Stand sector while helming the DA-SR 12, the second layout of the stealth cruiser. It can be done on any difficulty, but should be accomplished on the difficulty that is appropriate for that player’s skill and experience, unless the ride would just be bordering on tedious. The player has so much control over what kind of game instance they engage in, that it is partly up to them to dictate how engaging the experience will be.

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