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Navigation of FTL Guide

The following article will be a detailed list of all systems and subsystems on space cruiser’s in FTL, along with possible upgrades, strategies, and suggestions for all of them. Reference here when you need to know any information about the systems and subsystems, and their upgrades, as well as suggested use and priority of them.

If you don’t know what Faster Than Light the game is, or how to play, please go here. This page is suited to players who have a basic understanding of the game’s contents.

Systems and Upgrades

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The other very important purpose scrap has is upgrading your system. You use scrap and only scrap to upgrade your ship in quantities that fluctuate depending on what system or subsystem you are upgrading and what level you are upgrading that system or subsystem to. By clicking on the ship button at the top of your game screen, a menu will be pulled up containing a variety of information about your ship. The very first tab is the upgrades.

Upgrading your systems has an effect more than just the direct strengths and bonuses they come with. Upgraded systems have the ability to help you in random events that otherwise have a chance of injury, damage, and death to your crew members and ship. In such a random event, one of the options will be blue text and usually with direct mention of the applicable system. Choosing the blue text option is usually, if not always better to do. This altogether adds an extra utility to upgraded systems, but only certain upgraded systems, or systems in general (like the teleporter) will work for certain random events.

Reactor

  • 1st column: unknown. (you start with this full)
  • 2nd column: 20 scrap per, only one is upgradable as the other four are filled at game start.
  • 3rd column: 25 scrap per. 125 scrap for all five energy slots.
  • 4th column: 30 scrap per. 150 scrap for all five energy slots.
  • 5th column: 35 scrap per. 175 scrap for all five energy slots.

You can have a maximum of twenty five energy bars, costing a substantial amount of scrap. To fully upgrade your reactor is a whopping total of 470 scrap. That number is so overwhelming that you may never upgrade your reactor that far in one game, and often you sincerely will not as your ship blows up or all your crew die before you can make it that far. This game really is one of survival. Though the cost is so incredibly high for upgrading your reactor, the energy slots are necessary for powering all your systems. 25 energy bars for your reactor isn’t enough to power everything either, if you have the more hefty systems upgraded like the shields, the weapons system, and the drone system.

As irritating as that limitation is on the total number of energy slots a reactor can have, it is difficult to scrounge up all the needed scrap to upgrade it alongside all the other upgrades you need to spend on your ship, while also burning away your scrap on frugal but essential purchases of fuel, missiles, drone parts, and HULL repair. If your crew members are also low, or cut away from battles and events, you spend a great amount of scrap to get more at shops, as their prices range between 45 scrap to 65 scrap. That in itself isn’t that much scrap to spend, but every piece of scrap you get you need to spend wisely.

There is a literal finite amount of scrap you can earn, fluctuating of course by the many variables there are either from randomly generated content or the inherent difficulty of your game, and furthermore by your personal player experience and tenacious skill. The better you play, in theory, the less scrap you’ll need to spend on resources like the expensive HULL repairs. You might think that shouldn’t matter too much, but it will, it definitely will. Your game’s survival is hinged on that HULL number, and so you’re going to want to keep it up as much as you can, without neglecting upgrades that are also important to your survival. You see you could restore your HULL to full, or nearly to full, and forego that shield or engine upgrade; but as a result, your space ship just isn’t strong enough to ward off attacks it otherwise could have with those upgrades, and instead you end up taking more total damage overall, and costing yourself even *more* of your precious, hard earned, to be clutched scrap.

Returning to the energy bars of the reactor, and the limited number of them, it was explained earlier that you can direct what parts of your space ship that your reactor is and is not powering. You can decide, “Well, none of my crew members needs to be healed right now, so I’ll take that slot of energy out of the med-bay so I can have enough power to have two shields up at once.” That’s a standard move with minimal risk, but it still has that risk, worse if you have the augmentation that lets the med bay heal everybody on your ship slowly even when not in the med bay. But what if the enemy ship teleports their pistol laser wielding crew? Or maybe worse, some of them are *mantis*. You are going to need that med bay then, especially if you’re keen enough to lure the enemy intruders into your med bay. And guess what, you’ll have to sacrifice power from something else to get that med bay running. What if that isn’t anything other than your shields? But your HULL is low too, so you can’t risk more damage to it or your ship might rip apart and explode! And then one of your crew members die because you didn’t have that med bay running, and you forgot you could have sacrificed the oxygen at least for a little bit, as the ship’s total was only at 50%, and so you’re a crew man down but at least you survived. Right?

Sometimes it can get that bad, and sometimes everything just goes wrong at once and you’re dead. Your game can be going just fine, and then suddenly you are frankly screwed every which way. It’s important to be as prepared as you can be, and as flexible as you can be. Wait after every battle encounter, wait for your systems to fully repair, wait for your ship’s oxygen to reach 100% and no less, and heal up any of your crew members that were hurt to full and then return them to their posts. Do anything less and you are playing a gamble, some of those spinning dice have higher stakes than the others, but it is still a gamble.

Though the general maximum limit of the reactor is 25 energy slots, there are ways to circumvent that restriction. The Zoltan race each provide a single energy slot by themselves, entirely independent of the reactor’s power, and the battery backup system also can ephemerally grant 4 energy slots for a maximum of 30 seconds. It is possible, but entirely unfeasible, for you to have a potential maximum of 37 energy slots through the use of those two factors.

Shields

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Most space ships you choose will start with one barrier of shields, sometimes the space ship will have two, and rarely the shields system will actually be absent from it. Usually when that happens the ship will instead have the cloaking system, and you will still be able to purchase the shields system later on in the playthrough from a shop, provided you find one while you have enough scrap and the shop actually is carrying it, instead of a bunch of augments and human crew members.

For every shield barrier, there are two energy bars and two associated levels. You need to essentially upgrade the shields system twice, to accumulate two levels and two energy bars, to unlock another tier of the shields. Respectively in order to have one individual barrier up, you must fully power it with two energy bars. The shields system is unique in that it will refuse to let you allot just one energy bar to it, as it must have two at a time and no less than that.


  • Shield Level: 1
    • Cost: 50 scrap, must be upgraded in joint with shield level 2, raising total cost to 150.
  • Shield Level: 2
    • Cost: 100 scrap, must be upgraded in join with shield level 1, raising total cost to 150.
  • Shield Level: 3
    • Cost: 20 scrap.
  • Shield Level: 4
    • Cost: 30 scrap.
  • Shield Level: 5
    • Cost: 40 scrap.
  • Shield Level: 6
    • Cost: 60 scrap.
  • Shield Level: 7
    • Cost: 80 scrap.
  • Shield Level: 8
    • Cost: 100 scrap.

Excluding the infrequent purchase of the two initial levels of the shields system, to fully upgrade your shields system will cost you a grand total of 330 scrap. And unlike other systems, you have to pay out more at once in order to receive a benefit, whereas something like the engines system can be upgraded in small amounts to continuously give benefits.

To maintain all eight levels of the shields, and the four barriers that protect your space ship, you are going to need eight energy bars from your reactor powering it all times. There isn’t much shifting around of energy slots with the shields like you can with other systems, as simply taking away two energy slots will deprive you of one barrier. You can afford to do this in instances in which the enemy ship does not have enough damage output to put a dent in your barriers beyond a certain point, but this takes some experience and acuity to make this judgment call. Altogether that is a slim chance of happening anyway.

Potentially those additional six bars of energy to power your shields are going to cost you 145 scrap. That is only if when you upgrade your reactor, the first and only additional energy you are allocating is going to your shields, and only your shields. Thus that is the most frugal assessment, and even though that is the most frugal method it still is a hefty cost. Are you beginning to see how precious of a resource scrap is in Faster Than Light?

Engines

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  • “Powers the FTL drive and allows the ship to dodge. Upgrading improves dodge chance and the rate that your FTL drive charges.”

The more upgrades and energy slots allocated to your engines, the hardier your engine systems are to stalling out. So long as there is just one engine slot hale and healthy, and being powered by the reactor, then your engines will continue to function even if the other three or so bars are broken and flaming. Upgrading your engine systems will protect you from such a circumstance, which can stop you from escaping with a Faster Than Light drive jump or being able to dodge whatsoever. Once your engine systems are out, you won’t be able to dodge anymore, just like if the pilot deck is out or unmanned. Unlike the pilot deck though, your engine systems can be unmanned and your space ship will still be able to dodge.

The cost starts out small to upgrade your engine, but for every upgrade, your engine systems is going to require another energy slot to keep that buff. So do not be mistaken just because you upgrade your engine, that your cumulative total of evade rate is going to be affected if you do not give it a slot of energy to go with that upgrade.

This is one of the few systems that cannot be ever not come with your space ship, as the engine is integral to any kind of space flight. You simply would be unable to progress in the game without an engine, and so no types of ships come without an engine.


  • Engine Rank 2: 10 dodge rate and FTL drive charge rate is improved by 1.25x.
    • Cost: 10 scrap.
  • Engine Rank 3: 15 dodge rate and FTL drive charge rate is improved by 1.5x.
    • Cost: 15 scrap.
  • Engine Rank 4: 20 dodge rate and FTL drive charge rate is improved by 1.75x.
    • Cost: 30 scrap.
  • Engine Rank 5: 25 dodge rate and FTL drive charge rate is improved by 2x.
    • Cost: 40 scrap.
  • Engine Rank 6: 28 dodge rate and FTL drive charge rate is improved by 2.25x.
    • Cost: 60 scrap.
  • Engine Rank 7: 31 dodge rate and FTL drive charge rate is improved by 2.5x.
    • Cost: 80 scrap.
  • Engine Rank 8: 35 dodge rate and FTL drive charge rate is improved by 2.75x.
    • Cost: 120 scrap.

As you can see the boon gained from upgrading your engine system’s past level 6 begins to taper off and diminish. The evasion stat is very powerful, as it affects every source of damage in the game that is considered a projectile, with the exclusion of beams. Even though evasion is a strong stat, it still relies on chance and with your scarce ever so precious resource of scrap, it is wise to lay off of upgrading the engines past level 5 until you have more integral upgrades, weapons, and drone schematics purchased and acquired.

You can also feasibly go the entire game, and win, without upgrading your engine systems past level 4 as the amount of energy the engine systems requires could otherwise go to more pressing and integral systems like the weapon systems and the drones. Having a teleporter is also ideal in the endgame, and that requires a few energy slots as well, further knocking the importance of the engine systems down the ladder.

The FTL drive increase that comes with every engine upgrade is a total increase, and more of an afterthought. There are few practical situations in which there is a dire need for a quicker FTL drive recharge rate. There is no benefit to leaving and revisiting a node unless you made a grievous mistake, as the same match up between the two battling ships is going to be mostly the same, except you’re going to have less resources at your disposal in the form of missiles, drone parts, and even fuel. You would literally expend one fuel to FTL drive jump away, and then *another* when you FTL drive jump back.

You would really only employ that tactic if you are struggling to win against the Rebel Flagship in the end, and can visit a shop to restock on your supplies. This could give you the opportunity to win, when you might otherwise crash and burn, but if you’re having that kind of trouble, it’s unlikely you’re going to win. Even so if a FTL drive jump would be required in that kind of scenario, you will likely have a full charge by the time you need it without those substantial upgrades to your engine systems.

Upgrading your engines to the maximum capacity of 8 staggering levels, you would expend 355 scrap. The engine systems is deceptive in that way, by initially costing among the least scrap out of all upgrades to increase, and then scaling up to 80 and 120. All of those things combined really piles on the downsides to bother upgrading at level 6 and beyond. Level 6 is pushing it and bordering on infeasibility, but still somewhat acceptable. Level 7 and 8 are just absurd. I won’t even calculate the scrap cost for upgrading the reactor to power all 8 terrible levels.

Comparatively upgrading your engine systems to the highest advisable level of 5 is just 95 scrap. That is just barely more than the cost of level 7. The quantity of scrap you earn does inflate dramatically towards the tail end of the game, but still this comparison is valid. And at the most frugal calculation to purchase upgrades to your reactor to directly power your engine systems, before anything else on your space ship, this would run you 120 scrap. One energy slot in the 20 column, and four in the 25 column. This is low comparing to any other system you have on your space ship, but the engine systems have limited use and are best when paired with the shields system, and even more so with the cloaking system.

Med Bay

  • “Heals all crew members within the Med Bay room. Upgrading increases healing speed.”

The next system to upgrade is the Med Bay. Previously unexplained, the Med Bay System serves the purpose of healing our crew members that walk into the room your med bay is housed in. There is no crew member necessary to operate the med bay, as simply being within the confines of the room the med bay is located in will slowly heal your crew member. You can visually see this working by tiny, sparkles of bright green surrounding your healing crew member. When they are done healing, the sparkles will fade away. There is no limitation in how many times a med bay can heal a crew member, but there is neither any top off given to the crew member. Crew members cannot exceed past their natural total of health, which is dependent on what race they are. Some have less, some have more. The med bay can heal your crew member all the way from just one point of health, anywhere in between, to full.

Your med bay will only heal your crew, and only them. Any intruders that board your ship will not be healed, so it is a great tactic to lure those intruders into your med bay with your crew members to fight. Even with just a level 1 med bay, so long as the odds are mostly even, your crew members are most likely to win out that fist fight as the med bay will be continuously healing them as they are receiving damage from the fight. While intruders on your ship won’t actively avoid the med bay, such as not walking inside it, they also won’t be lured towards it specifically like any other room.

Intruders on your ship will seek out key systems to damage, or search out your crew members to slaughter. Furthermore they will also strive to avoid deoxygenated environments, as a lack of oxygen hurts them just like it hurts your own crew (for the applicable races that is). Using this to your advantage, you can herd the intruders into your med bay.

With that tactic aside, the med bay is a very useful system anyway. The med bay’s utility is increased exponentially when you have a selection of crew members to act as a boarding party in combination with the teleportation pad. When you frequently teleport between your ship to your enemy ship, returning your boarding party to heal in your med bay, upgrades to your med bay are of great use, especially in high risk battles like the one against the Rebel flagship.


  • Med Bay Level 1 Basic: Healing rate 1x.
    • Cost: unknown scrap, ships start with Med Bays.
  • Med bay Level 2 Improved: Healing rate 1.5x.
    • Cost: 35 scrap.
  • Med Bay Level 3 Advanced: Healing rate 3x.
    • Cost: 45 scrap.

Unlike the engine systems, you are greatly rewarded for investing more in the med bay than leaving it just at level 2. Its healing rate is three times the base rate, and twice the rate of the level 2 upgrade. These are much needed upgrades if you have crew members capable of boarding, but if you are playing with the Advanced Edition content enabled, you also have the Clone Bay option to consider, which may be more viable for advanced gameplay with some considerable downsides to offset and balance.

Clone Bay

  • “Automatically clones dead crew with skill penalty. Taking advantage of micro-cloning, crew heals partially every jump. Jump heal is passive and requires no power.”
    • Requires Advanced Edition content to be enabled via the Hangar.

Should you choose to purchase a clone bay, or select a ship that already has it, you must be prepared for an underlying precarious balance to your gameplay. While the Clone Bay does appear to have a great effect, of continually regenerating your crew members, nearly preventing one of the two ways your game can end, the Clone Bay replaces the precious and often used Med Bay. Yeah, that is quite the decision to make. If you have played before the Advanced Edition release, then you learned to rely heavily on the Med Bay. It was integral in surviving, and regenerating your crew members whether they were acting as a boarding party on the enemy ship or were enduring blasts from enemy weaponry and the ensuing fires that break out because of them.

When one of your crew members die, and your Clone Bay was receiving power when they died, the Clone Bay will commence with regenerating that crew member; or rather the Clone bay is just cloning them and that crew member that was dead, is forever dead. You don’t find yourself concerned with this much, because even though the crew member are essentially you the player, they never speak and are virtually replaceable but in dispensable in the sense that you absolutely need them to survive and win. To you, as the player, the clone is pretty much the original for all intent and purpose.

However when a crew member is cloned, they receive a direct penalty to their skills. This will reduce any and all skill experience bars by 20%. This by itself is not much, but if your crew repeatedly die, their skills will be dramatically diminished and their effectiveness as their designated roles will be enfeebled. This is not as much of a concern with boarding parties, as even without combat skill they are of great effectiveness at their roles, but crew members that are stationed are the weapons system, the shields system, the engines system, and even the pilot deck do not fare as well as that.

When a crew member is cloned, the first one to be revived and brought out is the first one in the order of those who died. So, if there were multiple that died, after the first one that died is completed, then the Clone Bay will begin cloning the next crew member. This process will continue until all crew members are cloned, or the Clone Bay is broken, hacked, or runs out of power. If your Clone Bay gets hacked, damaged, or runs out of power while it is cloning a crew member, the crew member being cloned will start to rapidly lose health until they perish inside the Clone Bay. This is the inherent weakness of the Clone Bay, that if something happens to the Clone Bay and there is no other crew remember able or around to address the problem, then that to be cloned crew member will perish just as if there was no Clone Bay at all.

This consequence of damage to the Clone Bay is removed if you have a special and specific augmentation called the Backup DNA Bank. Even if your Clone bay is not receiving any power, or becomes damaged, the crew member in the clone stasis will be safe until you are able to repair the Clone Bay or restore the power to the Clone Bay.

The Clone Bay actually functions as well for random, text based events, so that the majority of the ways – of which there are a great many – that your crew members can die, the Clone Bay will restore them. You know, by cloning them…

There are only certain instances in which the Clone Bay won’t work, but these are so small in number to be inconsequential. These are usually justifiable by the event that occurs, like their DNA is tampered with to the point that they will die even if they were cloned again.

There is also another way you can lose a crew member with the Clone Bay. This is also a way you can lose a crew member in general, even without the Clone Bay. If you have your own crew members on an enemy ship, acting as a boarding party with the use of your teleportation pad, and that enemy ship successfully uses their Faster Than Light drive jump and disappears, then you will lose any and all crew members that were on that ship. Whatever happens to them, in the end, you will never find out. For all purposes, the game treats them as dead, but the Clone bay does not clone them, as technically they are not dead or possibly they are just too far to clone any longer.


  • Clone Bay Level 1: 12 seconds to generate a clone after crew member has perished. 8 health points per jump.
    • Cost: 55 scrap.
  • Clone Bay Level 2: 9 seconds to generate a clone after crew member has perished. 16 health points per jump.
    • Cost: 35 scrap
  • Clone Bay Level 3: 7 seconds to generate a clone after crew member has perished. 25 health points per jump.
    • Cost: 45 scrap.

The base cost of the Clone Bay is a paltry 55 scrap. This is likely a lower than normal scrap cost for a ship system as it replaces the Med Bay, damping the tradeoff for an already useful system. If you had had any upgrades in the Med Bay, then they will seamlessly transfer over to the Clone Bay.

Oxygen and Life support

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  • “Refills the oxygen in the ship. Upgrading increases the rate of refill.”

Though it is not called the life support, the oxygen system is basically that. This system, located on your ship where the large O2 symbol is, provides oxygen for the whole of your ship. If you turn this system off, your space ship will gradually deplete of oxygen throughout every room and when the oxygen level reaches too low, your crew members will start to receive damage.

Keep in mind, the oxygen has to be at or below 5% for your crew members to start to suffocate. You can counteract the damage received from oxygen deprivation, if the situation is that dire, by gathering your crew members inside the Med Bay. This won’t always be enough, but even an un-upgraded Med Bay should keep your crew members alive. The Med Bay will not out heal the damage from the oxygen deprivation, but it will keep it at bay so long as it doesn’t drop to 0%. This acts as a stalemate to oxygen deprivation, while at least one other crew member risks death to it while he or she tries to repair the life support system. There is also a limited number of crew members that can stand inside the Med bay, variable per ship. Most are three possible crew members, with the fourth room slot being taken up by the equipment of the Med Bay itself.

The Oxygen system needs one energy slot to provide your space ship’s insides with oxygen. Without that energy slot, the oxygen system is nearly the same as if it were damaged. And since the oxygen is a percentage just like the dodge rate is, just because you repair the oxygen system and restore its energy slot, doesn’t mean it will fill to full immediately. It will take time for the oxygen system to restore the air supply to the whole of the ship, and it will vary depending on how far reaching the air supply was cut off.

The effect will take place relatively quickly if it just a couple rooms, but if the entire space ship is tinged red with the natural vacuum of space, then it will take quite awhile. Therefor you are always keeping off the threat of death from asphyxiation for your crew members. Standing inside the oxygen system will not provide a source of oxygen any quicker than any other room in the ship. If you are struggling to outlast an accident of the life support being down, and possibly fires having ravaged the rooms of your space ship, it is better to stow your crew members inside your Med Bay, even if it is just a level 1. Of course you’re out of luck if you have a Clone Bay instead.

The air supply level in your ship is visually represented with a combination of two graphics. The natural, default color of your rooms if you look is a greyish white. This symbolizes that the air in this room is normalized, or at a regular and safe level. There is no benefit to this, other than being able to stay alive and not receive damage. As you start to lose the air supply, the rooms will gradually turn pink, the hue deepening the worse the oxygen desaturation is. It will be nearly red when there is no air whatsoever inside the room, functioning the same as a room that has a hatch open to the void of space, where a vacuum is forcing all the air out.

Joining that reddish tinge, is a metallic gray slashing pattern. If you are colorblind to those reds, then you will be able to see if a room is devoid of oxygen by that grey, slanting pattern of slashes.

The loss of oxygen and air pressure occurs in a number of circumstances, more than just the life support system shutting down, or remaining broken long enough to cause this to happen. When systems become damaged, such as from laser weaponry, fires can break out. A roaring, distinguishing orange fire will occupy and fill the same positions that crew members in a room can. This can be between two fire clusters, to four. An active fire will not prevent a crew member from standing on top of it however, but generally they will opt not to. This is irrelevant to gameplay other than visual representation.

What is particularly dangerous about fires is three things pertaining to your space ship itself. The first is that fires burn away at the health of systems and subsystems. The more fires that are present in that system or subsystem’s respective room, the quicker the deterioration to its health is. You can see how low that system’s health is by looking at its icon. It will display above its icon a flame, and red will be overcoming the green of its health. When it fills that entire bar, your system or subsystem will take damage equivalent to one, and if the system or subsystem has anymore levels to it, the fires will proceed to burn away at that subsequent level.

This is one of the many benefits of upgrading systems, as it will inadvertently make them resistant to fires, and will continue to operate even while being consumed in flames. Not permanently of course, but they will endure longer than they otherwise would have.

For every tier your system or subsystem is damaged by fire, it will deplete your HULL’s health by one. The fire will continue to damage the system for as long as it persists, and when the system or subsystem is completely totaled, it will no longer damage the HULL in that specific room.

But it is in the nature of fire to spread, and spread it will through your ship, passing through hatch doors to consume other systems and subsystems. The sheer destructive force of fire is diminished by the absence of oxygen. Fire by itself will rapidly deplete the room of oxygen, and when the oxygen saturation in that specific room reaches zero, the fires will snuff themselves out as they have nothing to burn off of. This is a rapid and effective way of dealing with fires, but this is precarious and haphazard. Fires, often, will do these by themselves if left to their devices for too long, but their so called life spans’ will be extended the longer your life support system is running, bolstering the reach of their potential destruction to your space ship.

Though you can snuff out fires with the absence of oxygen, any crew member venturing into that area devoid of atmosphere will receive damage. By themselves crew members are not helpless to the dangers of fire, as each and every one is equipped with a fire extinguisher, no matter their race, and will fight against fires in the same way that they repair and patch up systems. However in the presence of fires, crew members will have their health depleted as if they are being burned, or they are choking from the smoke. You don’t see any actual smoke, but you probably wouldn’t anyway from the top down, small style pixel art graphics.

It is important to deal with fires quickly and swiftly. If allowed to remain unchecked and unmanaged, it will rapidly spread and populate your space ship. A crew member can realistically take out one cluster of fire, but if that fire begins to spread to other spots in the room, they will struggle to take down the fire and will become overwhelmed. It is possible, and even ironically likely, that once one cluster of fire is snuffed out from one spot, any other fire from another spot in the room may spread again to where the fire was just put out. Similar can happen from another room separated by a seal hatch.

Crew members can die very easily to fire. They do not seem to have any equipment to protect themselves against its dangers, aside from the fire extinguishers. There are some races that have native resistance, or immunity to fire, but most of the time you are not going to have crew members of those races, or if you do, only some of them will be.

It is an aggressive and valid tactic, playing with the inner equilibrium of your space ship, to turn off the oxygen system and open the hatches to the vacuum of space to suck out the air around a fire and rapidly snuff it out. Turning off the oxygen system will stop it from trying to replenish the oxygen in that room, and will accelerate the vacuum effect in that section of the ship. Stopping the spread of fire in such a way will prevent your crew members from having to abandon their posts and suffer the risks and damage of fire, while it will also protect your systems and subsystems from becoming broken.

There is another way that depletes oxygen in your space ship, other than your life support system breaking down or fires consuming your space ship, which is a hull breach. There are a number of things that can cause hull breaches, like any of the invading drones and particular missiles. When a hull breach happens, it is similar to what occurs when a hatch is opened to the vacuum of space. The effect may even be more rapid. The oxygen system will naturally fight against this depleting effect, but unless it is upgraded to the maximum tier, then it not hold out for long at all.

The hull breach will look like a great rent in the wall of your space ship’s room. The hull breach itself is hazardous, but usually intruders take advantage of its presence and prey upon your crew members while the hull breaching is siphoning away the air supply. It won’t affect other rooms, but anything in that room obviously will be. Your crew members can repair this hull breach just like they can any other system. This is a slow process, but quick enough to survival when starting at full health and not getting damage from any other sources.

The deprivation of oxygen can furthermore be used as a tool and weapon against intruders onboard your space ship. As mentioned, draining the oxygen from select rooms by opening them to the vacuum of space will influence those intruders to seek areas in which there is oxygen. Depending on your hatch level though, they might not live long enough to. The damage from vacuum rooms is rapid.


  • Oxygen Level 1: 1x replenish rate of air supply.
    • Cost is unknown, as it is on all ships.
  • Oxygen Level 2: 3x replenish rate of air supply.
    • Cost: 25 scrap.
  • Oxygen Level 3: 6x replenish rate of air supply.
    • Cost: 50 scrap.

As integral as the oxygen system is, you as the captain and player have so much control over it that upgrading the system doesn’t help as much as it might have. If there was a bonus to air siphoning, then it would be made substantially more useful, as you could protect yourself dramatically against fires and intruders if you were vigilant. Even so, by upgrading the oxygen system at least one level, you will improve its durability against attacks of all kinds. The oxygen system will become less of your vital weakness, and just one upgrade increases the replenish rate to three times as much as the level one. That is immense and will let you bounce back from any de-atmosphere quickly, but still it is not as integral as you might think and you should focus your scrap on other more pressing systems that are crucial to your direct survival from gunfire and such.

Increasing the oxygen system a level or two will also elevate its demand on the reactor’s power, and as is, you don’t have too much to spread around. However on the other side of things, because of the oxygen system’s inherent nature, there is no point for it to be fully powered. That could be used to argue against its usefulness, but this is actually to an upgraded system’s benefit. When you need that extra replenish rate of the air supply, you just allocate more energy slots to the oxygen system and reap the benefits. This is just utilizing your ability to swap energy slots around as per your demands and needs.

You can actually counteract the effects of a hull breach with a fully upgraded oxygen system by powering it up, but you would also need to open up the surrounding doors for this to have the proper effect. When you open up the hatch doors between for example two rooms, the air supply within each of them intermingles. If one of these rooms has an air supply that is less than full, then the two rooms will attempt to reach an equilibrium. Even without an upgraded oxygen system to use in conjunction, this tactic is useful to mitigate the detrimental effects of oxygen desaturation in rooms that crew members need access to.

Weapons Control

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  • “Powers all of the ship’s weapons. Upgrading lets you power more weapons.”

Unfortunately the official description, seen above, is misleading. However many slots your weapons control system starts with, is what it will forever have. Some ships have two slots, some have three, and some even have four. The most common is four slots though. So you cannot possibly equip more weapons to your ship than the maximum capacity you start with by upgrading. What you gain from upgrading instead is additional energy slots to power weapons with. Weapons require different amounts of energy slots each, and while the weapons you can purchase and find are randomly generated, the weapons themselves aren’t. If you need to know the stats of how much damage weapons do and how much power they require, you can reference the weapons article of this guide here.

The general rule of thumb is that the stronger a weapon is, the more power is needed to operate it. Some weapons are more efficient than others, but that is usually the case anyway.

Aside from the oxygen system, the weapons control is among the most interactive of the systems of your space ship in FTL. By the keybinds of the numbers of 1, 2, 3, and 4 you are able to aim your weapons. You can also click on the weapon slot, but using those keybinds is the quickest and most efficient way.

In the natural, idle state of your space ship, which is at the beginning of your game or at any point when you switch out or install new weapons, your weapons will be unpowered. This can also happen when you don’t have enough energy slots from your reactor to power the weapon, or weapons. To power these weapons up, you either have to click on them or use their associated keybinds. If you don’t have enough power, it just won’t work.

While active weapons will charge up to fire. This rule pertains to any and every weapon there is in the game, aside from those equipped to drones – or rather the drones themselves are weapons. Each weapon has a specific charge up rate, augmented only by the skill of the crew member manning the weapon control system. This charge rate is listed under the weapon’s individual information from within the equipment tab, from the ship menu.

This rule can neither be circumvented by pre-charging before a Faster Than Light drive jump. When you arrive from a drive jump, your weapons will initiate their charging sequence all over again. Nothing is carried over from the previous node. This way, you cannot open up with a barrage of attacks from your pre-charged and already weapons, circumventing a legitimate battle and any damage you might receive from that. This ensures balance, but of course adds serious difficulty and offsets the tremendous power of the rare, more expensive and power hungry weapons there are to find in the game.

Of course, just because your weapon is fully charged, doesn’t mean it is going to fire on its own. You have to direct the weapon to fire at something. Pressing the keybind associated to your desired weapon again after it has been activated will trigger the red, crosshair reticle. This is controlled by the movement of your mouse, which is also why a mouse is required to play Faster Than Light. You can target this reticle on any room on your enemy’s space ship. It can be empty, it can have a subsystem, or more importantly a regular system. No matter what you target with your weapon, it will deal damage to their space ship’s HULL, provided that your weapon does enough damage to break through their shield barriers and blast into their space ship directly. To determine how much fire power your weapon has hover your mouse over your weapon under the weapon control’s area on the bottom of the screen for some basic information, or for more detailed information look under the equipment tab from the ship menu. You can also go to this guide’s weapon page to look at your chosen weapon, and compare to others of the same type here.

As important as weapons are, you may have to reallocate energy slots from other systems in order to power your weapons, but you won’t be able to do that if you don’t have a high enough upgraded weapons control. The purpose of upgrading the weapons control is to increase the maximum capacity of energy slots your weapons control can handle simultaneously, of all weapons combined. That is the inherent restriction to the weapons control, and you will never be able to have too many high powered weapons running at once, like for example three glaive beam weapons. Each of those require four energy slots each.


  • Weapon Control Level 1: Basic system power.
    • Cost: Unknown, all ships have this.
  • Weapon Control Level 2: Two energy slots.
    • Cost: 40 scrap.
  • Weapon Control Level 3: Three energy slots.
    • Cost: 25 scrap.
  • Weapon Control Level 4: Four energy slots.
    • Cost: 35 scrap.
  • Weapon Control Level 5: Five energy slots.
    • Cost: 50 scrap.
  • Weapon Control Level 6: Six energy slots.
    • Cost: 75 scrap.
  • Weapon Control Level 7: Seven energy slots.
    • Cost: 90 scrap.
  • Weapon Control Level 8: Eight energy slots.
    • Cost: 100 scrap.

Understandably the weapon controls are among the most expensive out of all the systems to upgrade. Simply put the more energy slots you can have in your weapons control system, the stronger weapons you can use to blast your way through your enemies and the greater chance at survival you will have. To emphasis upgrading the weapon control system for additional energy slots doesn’t actually provide more energy by itself. The weapon controls are powered purely by the reactor, and not by the system itself. The in game description is also misleading in this respect, as it attributes to each weapon control level as “more system power”. While that is true, the weapon control just isn’t providing power for itself, as great and freeing as that would be.

What weapons you have equipped to your ship are per your decision, you are only limited by the number of weapon slots your weapon control system has and how much power it can allocate. You can actually equip weapons that have more than your weapon control system can handle at present, or else players would be severely impaired for switching around power, such as even when the weapon control system is damaged. But equipping them does not equate to being able to use them, such as combinations that would be impossible even if the weapon control system was fully upgraded.

To fully upgrade the weapon system, it will cost a grand total of 415 scrap. Most ships will not have to dish out as much scrap as that, as they tend to start between two energy slots to four, the most common being four. The difference in cost is minimal though, for a ship that starts with the paltry one energy slot, to a ship that starts with four energy slots. A ship that starts with four energy slots will require 315 scrap to fully upgrade their weapon control to level 8.

Though in pure quantity of scrap the difference doesn’t seem too broad, but in the beginning of the game, that is absolutely substantial. Furthermore the effects of not having four energy slots to allocate to your weapons is detrimental. Even ships that are specially designed to not need primary weapons to engage the enemy, it is still a main mechanic being circumvented and has its own share of risks and hazards.

Drone Control

  • “Powers all of the ship’s drones. Drones are automated robots that perform tasks like attacking enemy ships or repairing systems.”

The drone control system acts in parallel to the weapon control system, albeit in less common occurrence. The drone control system’s purpose is more broad, as the types of drones that you can use in FTL are such. They are found in the form of drone schematics. Once you have a drone schematic, held as an item just like any weapon is, you can deploy drones of that type using the limited resource of drone parts. Every time you deploy a drone you are actually fabricating the drone on your space ship, or at least that is what appears to be so.

Deployed drones require energy slots just like weapons do, and any other system element does. The difference between them and weapons is that there is no charge up required for a drone. You click on the drone you want activated, that is equipped to the drone slot under the drone control system’s UI area, and it will immediately deploy for its function.


  • Drone Control Level 1: One energy slot for a deployed drone.
    • Cost: 70 to 85 scrap depending on what “free” drone schematic is bundled with it. Most ships need to buy the drone control system.
  • Drone Control Level 2: Two energy slots for a deployed drone, or drones.
    • Cost: shared with Level 1, as the system is bought with two levels.
  • Drone Control Level 3: Three energy slots for a deployed drone, or drones.
    • Cost: 20 scrap.
  • Drone Control Level 4: Four energy slots for a deployed drone, or drones.
    • Cost: 30 scrap.
  • Drone Control Level 5: Five energy slots for a deployed drone, or drones.
    • Cost: 45 scrap.
  • Drone Control Level 6: Six energy slots for a deployed drone, or drones.
    • Cost: 60 scrap.
  • Drone Control Level 7: Seven energy slots for a deployed drone, or drones.
    • Cost: 80 scrap.
  • Drone Control Level 8: Eight energy slots for a deployed drone, or drones.
    • Cost: 100 scrap.

The upgrades to the drone control system are expensive but not exorbitant like the weapon control system is. The difference is small though. Drones are incredibly useful if you have the right drone schematics, but for every drone you deploy you have to use the limited resource of drone parts. These are expensive as well at the shops.

Sadly through the upgrade system, you can’t change how many drone slots you have. Most of the ships you have to choose from will only have two slots for drone schematics, but some that are specially designed to make expert use of drones will have three. Not as many as weapon control systems can hold unfortunately.

Drones that deployed inside of your ship, like the system repair drone and the anti-personnel drone won’t consume a drone part unless they are destroyed, but any drones that are deployed externally will consume a drone part and will have to be reactivated after the next jump, or reactivated if they are destroyed in the same node. The only limitation to how times you can use your drone is just your drone parts limited resource. Simultaneously, the limit is by the drone control system itself. It does seem like quite the waste to leave behind the drones you deploy when in battle, as they just drift there if they are not destroyed. You can find (sometimes) and purchase an augment that lets you recover any drones you deploy outside of your ship. This is called the Drone Recovery Arm.

Crew Teleporter

  • “Allows you to send your crew members to board enemy vessels.”

The crew teleporter is a well sought after system to install at mid game, or earlier if you can with a large enough crew aboard your vessel. This teleporter is used to instantaneously move your crew remembers onto the enemy space ship. One crew member must stand on each squarish pad to be registered to teleport. You must wait for each crew remember to be stationary onto their teleport pads, as initiating the teleport before they are will teleport only those who are properly registered to be in the room and on the teleport pad.

The size of crew teleporters vary from what ship you reign, and what floor plan out of the three or two you chose. They can be large enough to teleport either two crew members simultaneously, or four crew members simultaneously. Obviously crew teleporters that can hold up to four crew members at once are more sought after, as that creates the greatest incursion force. The crew members of enemy ships often greater in number than just two, and so by having more than two, this increases your odds while lowering the risk of one of your crew members dying in the fight.

The size of the crew teleporter matters so much because there is a delay after every teleport. The higher you upgrade it, the lower that cooldown will be. You can only teleport your own crew members, so you cannot pluck the enemy crew members out of their ship one at a time for you to prey upon. Because of this, in order to make actual use of the crew teleporter, you must teleport your crew members onto the enemy ship and then once they are either victorious or need to return to restore their health at the Med Bay, you need to teleport them back. To do this, you need to click on your teleporter and then click on the room in the enemy’s ship where your crew members are to teleport them back to your own. Again the same principle applies that they need to be stationary in the room for the teleport to be successful, or they may be left behind.

It’s an important and precarious balance whenever you teleport your crew members onto the enemy ship. You are risking the lives of your own crew to take out the enemy crew, in order to circumvent traditional methods of taking out your opponent. By killing all of the enemy crew, you will automatically win the encounter and be able to reap additional rewards from the ship that you salvage. Usually this offers greater quantities of just about everything, but most particularly you will find more fuel and sometimes missiles and drone parts. It is rare to find a weapon, drone schematic, or augment from the overtaken ship, but you can.

This makes this method of defeating the enemy ships you encounter more desirable and pressing. You do bypass their shielding by teleporting onto their ship, and attacking their crew members directly, but while that is going on, even if you preoccupy their crew members with combat their ship will still be operating and firing upon yours. Even if your whole ship is empty, this will still happen. That wouldn’t be a good idea to do though, unless it’s a gamble with a high reward, even if that is just your own survival.

By teleporting your crew members onto the enemy ship, you are reducing the amount of crew in your own ship and how many crew members there are to go around to man your systems. Having a dedicated and trained group of crew members for the sole purpose of serving as a boarding party is ideal, but as with anything in Faster Than Light, this is something you tend to be lucky to have, have to fight hard for, or set up in the beginning to a moderate degree by choosing the correct ship that is suited for just this kind of purpose. Typically these are mantis ship, which come preinstalled with crew teleporters.

As always, losing the entirety of your crew will result in a game over, as there is no one to even pilot your way to the Federation fleet. This is one of the two ways to end the game. Thus the additional risk there is to teleporting your crew members in itself. Though you are the captain of your space ship, you are basically embodied as the crew members.

The crew teleporter serves a purpose greater than just allowing your crew members to fight the enemy’s. For instance when your crew member has invaded the enemy ship and is inside of a room equipped with a system or subsystem, your crew member will actually start to attack the system or subsystem. This deals gradual damage to its health just like fire does, and when that health turns completely red, it will deal one damage to the system or subsystem. This damages the enemy ship’s HULL, and also damages the system or subsystem itself. You will see the system or subsystem’s icon going from orange to red, and sometimes directly to orange depending on what level their system or subsystem starts at.

This is actually an excellent method for attacking the Rebel flagship, as it is a massive vessel equipped with many weapons and systems, rendering some of them inoperable will increase your chances at victory and survival.

The crew teleporter also serves further purpose, but that of a randomized nature. It has a high chance to provide a function in random events in the form of blue text that directly mentions your teleporter. This will open up opportunities and rewards that without the crew teleporter you might not otherwise would have had.


  • Crew Teleporter Level 1: Has a cooldown of 20 total seconds.
    • Cost: 75 scrap to purchase and install.
  • Crew Teleporter Level 2: Reduces the cooldown to 15 total seconds.
    • Cost: 30 scrap.
  • Crew Teleporter Level 3: Reduces the cooldown to 10 total seconds.
    • Cost: 60 scrap.

Though there are only three levels to the crew teleporter, and each one requires an energy slot from your ship’s reactor as it is a system and not a subsystem, the crew teleporter is one of the more important strategic systems available to you in the game. Upgrading it to reduce its cooldown can be the difference between saving your crew members’ lives, or defeat. It can also be the difference between teleporting your crew members frequently enough, and in great enough number, to take out the enemy. This could either be from besting their crew, or taking out key systems to enfeeble their space ship.

There is no way to upgrade the simultaneous teleporting capacity of the crew teleporter unfortunately, as whatever sized room it is installed into will be its limit, and you as the captain have no control over what room it is precisely installed into. Each ship, and each floor plan of the ships have predesignated spots for the crew teleporter, even if the ships don’t come with it already installed.

Cloaking

  • “Cloaks the ship, adding 60 to your evasion and preventing the enemy ship from locking on with their weapons.”

The cloaking system is of immense tactical value as it renders your entire space ship invisible for a brief period of time. Enemy weapons can no longer lock onto your ship while cloaked, and enemy weapons can neither charge up to fire. Furthermore while cloaked, your space ship will have a dramatic increase to your dodge rating. Though since you cannot be targeted while your ship is cloak, this has a particular advantage pertaining to timing. If you activate your cloaking system just as the enemy ship is firing their weapons, like a volley of missiles for instance, the weapon fire will go off if timed correctly. This consumes all of their weapons’ charges, for all those that fired and sets it to zero. The weapon fire does try to attack your ship, but with the incredible increase to your ship’s dodge rating, you will most likely evade those attacks. If you intend on being able to use that tactic, I suggest that you upgrade your engine systems to level 3 to increase your space ship’s total evasion rating to near 100%.

This reactionary cloaking is an effective and major tactic to employ against the Rebel flagship, as this will provide protection against its flak barrage that may otherwise obliterate your space cruiser into pieces. Once its barrage is fired off, and your ship slips into cloaking, you have safety from this attack until its next charge up. If your cloaking system is not sufficiently upgraded, your cloak may not be up in time for the next one. Even if that does happen though, you have cut the potential damage the Rebel flagship could have done to you in half with that weapon.

By cloaking, you are given a berth of time in which you are safe from enemy weapon fire, and really anything else your enemy can possibly do. Crew teleporters won’t be able to lock on and teleport their crew inside of your ship, boarding drones won’t be able to launch and crash inside your ship, and hacking attempts won’t work either. This is a reprieve while you are able to execute actions in safety. However if you fire your ship’s weapons while under the encompassing effect of cloak, this will prematurely end your cloak. This does diminish the utility of cloak because you do not receive the full extension of time you otherwise could in being able to attack freely.

There are two ways to remove that fault in the cloaking system though. One is more infeasible, as you can time the charge of your weapons to complete just as your cloak is falling away. This is infeasible because usually cloak is used defensively against the enemy ship’s potential attacks, and while your own systems come into the calculations, the enemy ship’s information is of higher priority. The second way is to find and purchase the augment Stealth Weapons. This will allow your ship’s weapons to fire while under the effect of cloak. Unfortunately it is uncommon to find this augment, as augments tend to be rare in themselves within shops, even with Advanced Edition content enabled.

There is a ship that is automatically equipped with this augment though. This is the stealth cruiser. This ship also starts with the cloaking system, with the trade off of lacking the shield systems, requiring skilled and risky gameplay.


  • Cloaking Level 1: Ship’s cloak lasts for a total of 5 seconds.
    • Cost: 150 scrap if the space ship does not start with this system, as this is how much the system costs to purchase and install.
  • Cloaking Level 2: Ship’s cloak lasts for a total of 10 seconds.
    • Cost: 30 scrap.
  • Cloaking Level 3: Ship’s cloak lasts for a total of 15 seconds.
    • Cost: 50 scrap.

No matter how much the cloaking system is upgraded, whenever your space ship falls out of the cloak effect, your cloaking system will have to recharge with a delay equivalent to the 4 points of ion damage. The cloaking system does have a high up front cost to install the system, among the most out of any really, and the following upgrades are substantially cheaper. By upgrading you increase the total duration of the cloak effect. With the highest upgrade of level three, the total length is increased three fold. It is ideal that you fully upgrade your cloaking system if you purchase it, as this will make efficacious use of the cloaking system itself and the expenditure of the scrap on the initial installation. Otherwise only 5 seconds worth of cloak effect will render its use limited, with a focus on the reactionary cloaking tactic to dodge incoming weapon fire.

Hacking

  • “Targets a single system, locking its doors and granting the ability to temporarily disable or disrupt it. Requires drone part to launch.”
    • Requires Advanced Edition content to be enabled via the Hangar.

Hotkey: C

Hacking used to be something only enemies would employ as part of a random event. They would automatically disable some part of your space cruiser like the engines, the shielding, the oxygen, or the med bay. You could only stop this malfunction of the affected systems by defeating the enemy ship in some way. It was a mechanic that you could go whole stretches of games without ever encountering. It was really a way to sporadically increase the difficult, as you would have to react to an untraditional tactic by the enemy.

With the Advanced Edition, enemy ships and your own are able to use this hacking system. It works very differently than the way those random event hackings did. The hacking system launches a drone specific to its system, which consumes a drone part on every use, and the drone attaches to a targeted system. This insect looking drone latches and grips onto the hull outside of the system room targeted.

The hatch doors connecting to this room will be locked to anyone, so those inside the targeted ship will not be able to pass through the doors in either direction, neither from within the affected room or outside. Affected hatch doors will take on a distinctive purple color, signature of the hacking effect. Though the crew members can attack the locked hatch door to eventually break in, this takes awhile, and once inside they cannot do anything to reverse the hacking either. Eventually as well the doors will relock, restarting that process all over again.

If you didn’t have advanced sensors to see inside the ship already, then the hacking drone attaching to the system will grant vision of that system room. Unlike what hacking used to do, which was similar to a permanently affecting ion charge, the hacking drone will disable and sometimes reverse what the system does in periodic charges. There are several systems that you can target and hack into, and each comes with its own kind of results. Keep in mind that the results you get from hacking into a system also applies to any systems on your own ship that get hacked.

  • If the med bay is hacked by this system, then the system room of the med bay is covered in glittering purple. Any healing that would be done to the crew that this med bay belongs to is rendered inert and instead this med bay hurts crew members inside of it. If you hack the med bay of your enemy ship, and bring your own crew members inside that med bay, the poison aura that saturates the med bay’s room will not affect your own crew while it poisons the enemy crew. This is a useful tactic to use, as when enemy crew members are hurt enough from battle they will run away to their med bay if they have one, and in this case they would walk into their quick deaths.
  • If the weapon control system is hacked, then all the weapons currently being powered will have their charges slowly drained. This will greatly mess with the affected ship’s ability to attack. This is not as effective on the rebel flagship though, since their weapons tend to have individual rooms to themselves.
  • If the battery backup is hacked into, it will disable any amount of energy slots you gain from this, and will actually take away two additional energy slots. It is uncommon, if unheard of for enemy ships to have this type of subsystem, so this mostly applies to what happens if your own backup battery gets hacked.
  • If the drone control system gets hacked, all drones being powered and active from this system will stop operating, and occasionally deployed drones linked to the drone control system will be destroyed from a hacking surge. This is an excellent way to counter drones, as drones already deployed usually require another drone specifically designed to counteract them. It may also save your ship and your game if you use this on the second form of the rebel flagship.
  • If either the pilot deck or the engine systems are hacked into, then the evasion of that ship is dropped all the way to 0. Any charge of the FTL drive will be stalled, but won’t be dropped to 0 as well. If your engines or pilot deck get hacked by the enemy, then missiles will quickly and rapidly devastate and destroy your ship if you do not manage to remove the hacking drone or destroy the enemy’s hacking system. Having a super shield drone protecting your ship is a way to mitigate the severe vulnerability received from this hack on your engines or pilot deck. The shield that drone emits is strong enough to protect against missiles, like the zoltan shielding.
  • If the oxygen system of the ship is hacked, then its ability to replenish and circulate the air supply is taken away and shifted into reverse. The hacked oxygen system will drain away the oxygen in the entire ship. If this hack remains in place for too long, or the other ship survives for too long, then the crew members will surely die. This will be somewhat slower than destroying the oxygen system outright, because there will be an ebb and flow of the oxygen levels from the oxygen system fluctuating between functioning and maliciously defective.
  • If you manage to hack into a cloaking system, then it will essentially stop any cloaking from happening. If they try to launch into cloak, the hack surge will knock them out of it. This is an easy way to void any cloaking abilities without having to destroy the system itself. Even if you destroy the cloaking system, the crew members can just repair it. This is very much so the case with the rebel flagship, as there are several crew members aboard the rebel flagship with a potent med bay to back them up.
  • If the clone bay gets hacked into, then any crew members who are currently being cloned will perish inside the tank. This is a more pernicious solution than destroying the clone bay itself, as the hacking enfeeblement cannot be simply repaired away. This results in the crew of that ship essentially having no med bay, as the clone bay will not function. There is also no before death cloning, so it renders this tactic absolute in dealing with clone bays, if costly by the use of a drone part anyway.
  • Hacking into the mind control, which is the organic equivalent of hacking itself for this game pretty much, will basically make the mind control work for you, or whoever hacks into it. By hacking into the enemy ship’s mind control system, it will turn one random crew member out of them all on their ship into your alley, as if you targeted themselves with your own mind control system. Furthermore, if any of your crew members are being mind controlled by that system, then it will revert the mind control effect on them and restore them to proper sanity. This is an excellent counter stroke to mind control, and will repeatedly hassle your enemy’s crew. This acts as if you have two mind control systems, just with one of them having a random selection out of the enemy crew to turn to your side temporarily.
  • Hacking into the crew teleporter will aggressively revert its own process by recalling any sent crew members by that ship, wherever they are even if they are separated by rooms. This will apply in perfect mirror to your own teleporter, and your enemy’s teleporter. This a good way to prevent any in ship combat and to protect your crew members. It can even be a more effective solution than defeating all the enemy crew on your ship, because sometimes that enemy ship will have a clone bay, and once cloned they will just teleport right back onto your ship again.
  • If you hack into the door system this will create a unique and satisfying reversal. Hacking into your enemy ship’s door system will cause all the hatch doors on their ship to lock, preventing their crew members from moving anywhere without breaking down the door. They can get through, but it will be slow process of breaking through the door. This alone wouldn’t be that great, but any of your crew members that are on board their ship will be able to move freely through all the doors. This lets you pick off the enemy crew where they are, unable to receive aid from their allies or to run away to the med bay. If you have a boarding party, using the hacking system on their door system is a very effective tactic to use.

There is a limitation, aside from the ones explained above, in the hacking system. Since it uses a drone to launch its attack, it cannot pierce through zoltan super shields, just like any other drone can’t either. The drones are susceptible to any affects regular drones are, so ship defense drones patrolling around the shield perimeter of the enemy ship will shoot down any sent drones just like they would with missiles.


  • Hacking Level 1: Effect lasts for 4 total seconds.
    • Cost: 80 scrap. This is the initial cost to purchase and install the system.
  • Hacking Level 2: Effect lasts for 7 total seconds.
    • Cost: 35 scrap.
  • Hacking Level 3: Effect lasts for 10 total seconds.
    • Cost: 60 scrap.

The hacking system is moderately expensive, but well worth it to invest into and upgrade. Though the description is to say that the effect of hacking only lasts 10 or so seconds, this is actually the length of duration for each hacking charge. For every hacking surge from the drone, the system will be disabled and reversed for that duration. Then the hacking effect will disperse and a delay will pass until the drone releases another hacking surge. This hacking drone that attaches to the outside of the ship is permanently latched there until it is destroyed. Once you have deployed a hacking drone, you cannot target it onto another system by either depowering the drone or by manual selection. If you could, the hacking system probably would be overpowered because of the tremendous affects it has. It would be tantamount to taking down system by system in the normal way that you damage them to enfeeble the enemy ship.

Mind Control

  • “Temporarily turns enemies into allies.”
    • Requires Advanced Edition content to be enabled via the Hangar.

Mind Control is a great system to install onto your ship as it uses your enemies for you, albeit for brief periods of time. You don’t have to risk your own crew members in the on deck combat, and instead the enemy will just hurt his own crew. By selecting the mind control system, you can click on an enemy crew member that you wish to turn to your side for a short while. Mind Control would be like injecting a crew member of your own into the enemy ship if it was permanent, and they could do far more lasting damage if that was possible. As it is, the length of time that the mind control lasts on a hijacked victim is not long enough to actually do more than minor damage to a system, and since crew members can’t do anything other than attack systems and other crew, the damage isn’t as severe as it possibly could be.

You have to have a visual of the enemy ship’s interior to mind control them on their ship. You can also mind control enemy crew on your ship, although they will behave oddly. Instead of seeking out other enemy crew onboard your ship, they will leave the room and stand somewhere at random. If there is a damaged system though, a hull breach, or an outbreak of fire, that mind controlled victim will go to deal with those things, like repairing the damaged system. Un-upgraded, the mind control effect won’t last long enough for them to do a full repair in most cases.

The benefit to mind control is more than the havoc one single crew member can do. It can be a way to essentially target that crew member for elimination. Mind controlling one of the crew of the enemy ship will cause all of the enemy crew to treat the mind controlled victim like a hostile. The enemy crew will seek out the mind controlled victim and attack them just as ruthlessly as if they were your own crew. This behavior includes anti-personnel drones, and how med bays work. A mind controlled victim inside a med bay will not be healed by it, even though they are technically that ship’s crew member.

You can time the use of mind control to target one of the enemy crew when their health is lower, with the full intention of getting them slaughtered by one of the enemy crew. The mind control won’t last long enough by itself for the mind controlled victim to take out one of the enemy crew if they’re at full health, so this is a way to inadvertently use the mind control system to take down the enemy ship’s number of crew.

You can also use the mind control to remove the mind control effect on one of your crew members, but this isn’t a situation frequent to occur as it is uncommon for enemy ships to be equipped with mind control systems. If they do though, it is best that you use your mind control defensively in such a situation to avoid mayhem inside your own ship by losing control of one of your own crew members.

There is one race immune to the effects of mind control, the slugs. Being telepathic beings, this makes sense. However if you have one slug of your own, the view they have of other rooms will work similarly as advanced sensors for the mind control system.


  • Mind Control Level 1: Asserts mind control over one person. Lasts for 15 seconds.
    • Cost: 75 scrap.
  • Mind Control Level 2: Gives a boost to health and damage to mind controlled victim. Lasts for 20 seconds.
    • Cost: 30 scrap.
  • Mind Control Level 3: Increases the boost to health and damage to the mind controlled victim. Lasts for 35 seconds.
    • Cost: 60 scrap.

The farther you upgrade your mind control system the greater impact each activation of the effect will have. The duration of the mind control affect will last longer on the victim, and the victim will be strengthened to deal more in a shorter period of time. With the time limit on each mind control, this is exponentially useful. The initial cost is moderate for such a tactically useful system and the second upgrade is good for its low cost, but the third and final upgrade is of substantial increase even for its high cost. Though it is double the cost of the second level upgrade, the duration is nearly double and their strength is increased even more.

Mind control can only be prevented by super shields that have a non-regenerating health bar, and obviously the effect of cloak, as you cannot even see the health status of the enemy ship’s systems.

Subsystems

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Subsystems are different than systems in that they do not need to be (fortunately) powered by the space ship’s reactor, but have limited upgrades. Subsystems are integral parts of your space ship, often more than certain systems are. Though they often do not need to be manned, they are not to be disregarded. With the update of the Advanced Edition, the Sensors and Door System are now able to be manned to grant benefit to the respective subsystems and the space ship you helm.

Pilot Deck

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  • “Allows the ship to make FTL jumps and dodge when piloted. Upgrading adds auto-pilot that allows some evasion even without a pilot.”

  • Pilot Deck Level 1: Serves as the integral flight controls, must be manned to operate.
    • Cost: None, all ships have this subsystem installed to begin with.
  • Pilot Deck Level 2: Grants auto-pilot capabilities, evasion is reduced to 50 percent when unmanned.
    • Cost: 20 scrap.
  • Pilot Deck Level 1: Improves auto-pilot capabilities, evasion is reduced instead to 80 percent when unmanned.
    • Cost: 50 scrap.

Suffice to say, unless you are strapped for crew members and have a surplus of scrap that could go somewhere but won’t give substantial benefit, upgrading the pilot deck is not worth it. It can be useful for scenarios that can happen, such as a boarding party teleports inside of your space ship and your pilot is caught up in the brawl. It would obviously be better to have the auto pilot functioning then, especially if the enemy ship you are fighting is going to do so much damage to you that it would be better to use the FTL drive to jump away. Keep in mind, in such a situation, if the enemy crew’s boarding party is still on your ship when you FTL drive jump, they will still be there when you arrive at the next node, even though there is no ship for you to fight anymore. That would technically be considered that they are trying to take over your ship, but at least that would be better to deal with than the boarding party and the assault fire from their ship.

It would also be useful if your pilot just needed to leave the room to deal with repairs or fires, but by the time you would consider getting auto pilot, you are already in the habit of making sure your pilot stays in the pilot deck and does little else. So upgrades to the pilot deck really only have use in more extreme situations. It does offer you some flexibility as to what you can do with your ship and your crew members, which is always to the player’s benefit, but at the cost of a substantial 70 scrap. You could also just upgrade it once, but a 50 percent cut to your dodge rate is severe.

Sensors

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  • “Reveals the interior of your ship and gives information about enemy ships.”
    • Can be manned when the Advanced Edition content is turned on, via the Hangar.

Sensors are the often overlooked and easily forgotten subsystem out of the group. The truth of the matter is that you as the player cannot see live scopes of rooms inside your own ship without the sensor subsystem installed, unless one of your crew members is standing inside that room. The slug race does have the ability to see some rooms around themselves they are not standing in, as they are telepathic to a degree but this range is limited.

This partial blindness is not dangerous in itself, but your awareness of every part of your ship serves to ward away trouble and disaster from your space ship and your crew members. Without a visual field of unoccupied rooms of your space ship, fires can rage undetected in systemless rooms and will spread without impediment. It is also an easy matter to miss them from the fire icons that appear above systems and subsystems affected by fire. To be sure you dealt with the entire swarm of the fire threat, you would have to manually sweep your space ship interior with your crew members, sometimes needing to double back to be entirely sure as the fire can travel through rooms, but will not disperse in its original spot unless the oxygen is so low it is essentially a vacuum.

Sensors deal with more than just the interior of your space ship though. Level 1 sensors give rudimentary vision of your enemy ship, so much so it is no different than not having any sensors at all. Level 2 sensors will grant vision of the enemy ship interior, revealing where their crew members are and what sort of damage is done to their systems and subsystems. You can even see fires inside their space ships.

No matter your upgrades though, sensors are disabled in nebula environments as the space particles are too dense to see through.


  • Sensors Level 1: Grants vision of every room in your space ship.
    • Cost: 40 scrap. Only purchasable if your ship lacks them by default. Most ships have this at the start of each game.
  • Sensors Level 2: Grants vision of the interior of the enemy’s space ship.
    • Cost: 25 scrap.
  • Sensors Level 3: Grants vision of the enemy ship’s weapon charge.
    • Cost: 60 scrap.
  • Sensors Level 4: Can see enemy power usage. Limited accessibility.
    • Cost: cannot purchase.

The first level of the sensors are more expensive to purchase than the second, upgraded level of the sensors because you only need to purchase that when your ship lacks the subsystem itself. As integral as subsystems generally are to the function and survival of your space ship and crew members, this is not vital for your crew members to live. Some ships just simply lack this, usually those built by the slug race. Costing only 25 scrap and requiring no energy slots from the reactor, the level 2 of the sensors is worthwhile to upgrade. It gives you useful information about the enemy, and in real time. This isn’t something integral though, but is nevertheless recommended to have by endgame to be able to use against the Rebel flagship, as that ship is massive with many compartments and rooms and has several crew members.

The cost of the level 3 sensors is disproportionately large though. While you can find use in the information it provides you if you have the cloaking system, standalone there is not much point to warrant the 65 scrap cost. However with Advanced Edition content enabled, if you do have a level 3 sensor system, you can man those sensors with a crew member and see enemy power usage. This is technically the fourth level of the sensors, but is only possible to be used while the sensors are manned, and at the upgrade of level 3.

Still your scrap should be spent on higher priority systems, subsystems, weapons, and so forth.

Door System

  • “Allows remote opening and closing of doors. Upgrades to Blast Doors that impede fire spread and intruder movement.”
    • Can be manned when the Advanced Edition content is turned on, via the Hangar.

The door system is one of the most integral parts of your space cruiser that you have control over. Although when this system is damaged all the way through, you will lose control over your space cruiser’s hatch doors. Similar to the way other systems behave, for every level that is damaged of your door system, you will lose the benefits and effects of that upgraded level, until all levels are damaged and the door system is rendered inoperable.

There are hatch doors spread everywhere through your space cruiser. For every side of a room that touches another, there is a hatch door, thus there can be multiple entrances and exits to rooms; whether or not they have a system or subsystem in them. Some rooms have hatch doors facing the shell of your space cruiser. Opening one of these will expose that room to the vacuum of space and the air supply will rapidly rush out as if there was a hull breach. This can be useful when dealing with fires, or to harm invading enemy personnel. The effect is made more rapid when the oxygen system is turned off in conjunction with this.

At the basic level of the hatch door system, the hatch doors will only separate the air supply between rooms, and seal in the air supply from the vacuum outside the shell of the space cruiser. They will not prevent enemy crew from moving freely amongst your ship, and they will not resist the spread of fire. They only serve to control and contain the atmosphere.

You can manually open and close any hatch doors on your space cruiser, while you cannot do this to the enemy space cruiser’s hatch doors when hacked. Their natural state, obviously, is to remain closed but there is no time limit as to how long they can be opened for, other than obviously the death of your crew if you open the hatch doors to the vacuum of space. There is not a hotkey for this, as the positions of all these hatch doors are so varied across ships and their layouts that it would be unreasonable for you as the player to even remember them. You will have to click each one to open and close them, but you can open or close them all at once with two hotkeys or by clicking on the two icons above the door system. The top one closes them all, and the bottom one opens them all except the ones opening to the exterior of the space cruiser. That way you won’t mistakenly open the hatch doors to the vacuum of space. The hotkeys are x to close the doors, and z to open them. The keys are right next to each other, so they’re easy to switch between.


  • Door System Level 1: Standard, orange colored doors.
    • Cost: None. All ships start with this subsystem installed.
  • Door System Level 2: Grey blast doors.
    • Cost: 35 scrap.
  • Door System Level 3: Improved blast doors.
    • Cost: 50 scrap.
  • Door System Level 4: Super blast doors.
    • Cost: Unable to be purchased, must be manned to reach this tier.

The second, upgraded level of the door system will turn your hatch doors into blast doors. These are a distinctive metal-like gray. They will act locked to enemy crew onboard your ship, as they lack the proper identification to pass through the doors; a standard mechanic in science fiction settings. It will also resist the spread of fire, helping to protect your ship against the massive damage that environmental hazard can cause.

The third level strengthens those two qualities of the hatch doors, resisting the spread of fire further and restraining the movement of enemy troops more by taking longer to break down under damage. The fourth level can’t be reached by upgrading with scrap though. You have to have a crew member inside of the door system room, manning the terminal inside. No matter the level of your door system, having a crew member man the system will increase its level by one. And as soon as they step away from their station, the door system will immediately revert to its native level.

It is ideal to upgrade your door system at least once to resist the dangers of fire and deter enemy crew movement onboard your space cruiser. This will help you better control the outcome of events, and reduce damage that can happen to your ship. For all your dodge rate and shielding your space cruiser might have, destruction from within can be devastating if you do not have the proper preventative measures in place. The further you upgrade your door systems, the less those two hazards will affect you. But chances are you are going to have a plethora of other things to spend your scrap on than the level three of the door system.

Backup Battery

  • “Provides a 30 second power boost to your Reactor. Upgrading increases the boost amount.”
    • Available only with Advanced Edition content enabled.

Hotkey: B. The backup battery provides a temporary boost to the amount of energy slots your reactor is providing. You’ll receive this boost for 30 precious seconds, which can be enough to get you out of a tough situation. The use in the backup battery subsystem is to give you a temporary boost in power, to power more systems than you normally could. This must be used strategically as 30 seconds is brief. Once you have exhausted the 30 seconds of backup energy, the battery will need to recharge for 20 seconds.


  • Backup Battery Level 1: Adds two energy slots for only 30 seconds.
    • Cost: 35 scrap. This is the price to purchase and install the subsystem.
  • Backup Battery Level 2: Adds four energy slots for only 30 seconds.
    • Cost: 50 scrap.

If you’re going to get the backup battery at all, you should upgrade it. It cost more to install it, but it is doubling the energy boost the backup battery grants. The special thing about the backup battery is that it will exceed the 25 energy slot limit to your reactor, and will also work alongside the energy slots zoltans provide. Rather than temporarily allocating energy slots from another system, you can use the battery backup to power them briefly. For most systems though that are activated abilities, like the mind control, the 30 second duration isn’t enough for their full effect. It will cut them short, and they will enter into their cooldown period. It is still a valid tactic though, since you don’t have to pull power from anywhere else and are making effective use of the battery backup.

Unless you haven’t had good odds with your scrap rewards from encountered enemy ships and random events, you are pushing the limits of the 25 energy slots of your reactor and the backup battery will be a welcome reprieve from this. If you can make use of it so that it removes some power limitations for you, for certain systems, then it is well worth it.

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