Faster Than Light - Tips for New Players

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Zaffre
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Faster Than Light - Tips for New Players

Postby Zaffre » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:48 pm

Hi. I've seen some people asking for help recently. After playing the game for a while, I decided to compile some of what I've learned over my time of playing the game for new players.

1) Use ion weapons. Ion bombs and ion blast II are the most effective. The ion bomb on any shield can disable it (except the Zoltan shield), and one ion bomb can take out the final boss's shields as well. The ion blast has a short charge, and it can go down to four seconds if it's mark II. Using ion weapons, you can accomplish a technique called the "ion lockdown" in which the enemy cannot fire weapons or bring up shields, leaving them virtually defenseless.

2) Manning your engines increases evasion chance. Shields can help to some degree, but having more evasion helps even more. With fully upgraded engines and a veteran person manning it, you can evade most attacks coming your way. If your ship lacks shields, fully upgraded engines can compensate for it to some degree.

3) If you want to see what systems an enemy ship has, look below it. You should see icons representing what they have. If you don't want to get boarded and you are not sure if an enemy vessel has a teleporter, look there.

4) If your O2 levels run out, then a level two med-bay can keep your crew alive. If you cycle your crew enough that one repairs, another takes over, and the other makes it to the med-bay, you can repair your O2 generator to full health.

5) Always upgrade your doors. I cannot stress this enough. It will impede not only the movement of fire, but also that of intruders. This means that you can hold back intruders to some degree.

6) Use your airlocks. By opening the airlocks, you depressurize the room, which sucks out all oxygen. This will extinguish fires and also asphyxiate invaders. This is best utilized with upgraded doors.

7) If you're losing a fight, jump away. You will almost always be able to leave if you're taking too much damage.

8) Fire can be your ally and your enemy. You can use fire to roast invaders, and if you have a Rock crew member, they will be able to fight invaders while standing the flames unharmed. Again, upgraded doors can be used to control the spread of fire.

9) Unlocking ships can be easier than one may think. To unlock the Zoltan ship, for instance, you just have to select the right speech choices.

10) If you pilot a Zoltan ship, the upgraded shield will not stop invaders from events.

11) Never trust spiders.

12) Trust space horses.

13) If you find a ship with crystal on it, and get in safe, there will be a stasis pod. Get it. This will begin a mission that will unlock you the rarest cruiser in FTL!

14) Cloaking is your friend. If you time cloak correctly, you can avoid most attacks. This can negate damage from missiles as well, so it is useful especially in the later stages.

15) Don't sell your missile launcher until you are sure you can afford to upgrade it and have enough reactor power to install it. You will regret it.

16) Crippling the enemy helm is the same as crippling the enemy engines; they will not be able to dodge.

17) The Scrap Recovery Arm augment is one of the best augments you can get. You will get considerably more scrap from every event.

18) In terms of usefulness, this is what I rate the alien types, from worst to best: Human, Slug, Zoltan, Mantis, Crystal, Engi, Rockman.

19) Know your crew functions. Humans do nothing special. Slugs have telepathy, which can yield some interesting event choices and also see enemies without sensors. Zoltan provide one power to any room they are in. Mantis move faster and do more damage but have halved repair speed. Crystal can lock down a room, which halves suffocation damage and prevents anyone from getting in or out. They also have 25 more life. Engi have doubled repair speed but half as much combat damage. Rockmen move half as slow, have 50 more life, and are immune to fire.

20) Know your ships. You will unlock the Stealth cruiser, the Mantis cruiser, the Engi cruiser, the Federation cruiser, the Slug cruiser, the Rock cruiser, the Zoltan cruiser, and the Crystal cruiser as you progress. They all have special abilities. There is a useful guide by Ohmwrecker here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAVeUu25Pz8 . You will also see the functions of the ships with the exception of the Crystal cruiser.

21) If there is a choice in blue during an event it will usually be the best option to pick.

22) Blue options in events require certain things but are usually more beneficial than normal options.

23) Know your environmental hazards. Ion storms halve your reactor power. Nearby suns periodically ignite fires and damage your hull. Asteroid fields send asteroids at your ship, which are slow projectiles that do 1 damage each. Shields usually protect you from asteroid fields.
Last edited by Zaffre on Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Soviet Creeper
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Re: Faster Than Light - Tips for New Players

Postby Soviet Creeper » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:06 pm

Certainly useful. Thanks!
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Sovereighn2280
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Re: Faster Than Light - Tips for New Players

Postby Sovereighn2280 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:44 pm

Zaffre wrote:10) If you pilot a Zoltan ship, the upgraded shield will not stop invaders. This may be changed in a later update.

By upgraded shields, do you mean the Zoltan Shield or the normal shields when they're upgraded. Because, unless it's been changed in a patch, the Zoltan Shield will stop people from teleporting into your ship (unless it's during a random teleport event).
xdiesp
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Re: Faster Than Light - Tips for New Players

Postby xdiesp » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:20 am

22) Boarding the pilot room will alert all enemies of your presence. Board somebody else in a small room, but beware as attacking the system itself will cause another alert.

23) Buying the defense drone and scrap arm makes you save big on repair costs.

24) Be in the frame of mind that you have to overcome enemies through Sector 7 via superior shields and weapons, and then prepare for a very specific fight at the final boss. It's like getting stuff in a game-long sidequest: a defense drone, bombs, cloak, a teleport, possibly 2 rockmen\mantises.
hborrgg
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Re: Faster Than Light - Tips for New Players

Postby hborrgg » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:38 am

25) The autopilot upgrade isn't very useful in itself, but the extra "armor" it adds will help prevent your ship from losing all evasion every time it takes a stray hit.

26) A level 2 medbay is not a bad investment even early on. Being able to heal your crew quickly when needed provides a good deal of flexibilty, and as near as I can tell an upgraded medbay can provide more blue options than any other upgrade.

27) Late game, at least 3 shields and a defense drone Mk 1 will go a long ways towards taking the sting away of any enemy you encounter, including the boss.
Darkelve
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Re: Faster Than Light - Tips for New Players

Postby Darkelve » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:07 am

28) When the combat event starts, immediately hit pause. Watch the enemy ship closely, you can tell what kind of weapons they have by looking at the graphics. This way, you know what you can expect even before the enemy has fired a single shot.

Now you can plan your strategy.

For example, if you have 3 shields and the enemy has two weapons, but no missile weapon (big 'barrel' type guns), then you already know they won't be able to damage your hull and you can concentrate on, let's say, taking down the enemy's shields with your burst lasers.

29) Try to evaluate what you're getting into before jumping through scanning or scouting.
The augmentation "Long range sensors" helps a lot, also at the beginning of a sector, when you run into a mercenary and he offers you to scout the sector, do it. This will enable you to plan your route to the exit beacon, while avoiding the biggest dangers and taking on the ships you want in order to collect scrap (and maybe weapons).
UltraMantis
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Re: Faster Than Light - Tips for New Players

Postby UltraMantis » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:33 am

You rated Humans worst?! Traitor!!

Humans have NO weakness, how can they be worst?? Rocks or even Mantis i could understand but Humans. Traitor!

Mantis cant repair anything. If you board, you need 2 at most, or none since Humans make decent enough boarders. So kick the Mantis off your ship. Kick the slowpoke Rocks out as well, or keep one as pilot if you must. Unless you are desperate, dont rely on Zoltan either. They are worryingly fragile and screw up the power distribution by strolling from the Engine room to the Medbay and back. A Slug is allright and Engi are just cake.

Humans are 2nd best at worst or best overall. My opinion. Seriously, they just don't have any weakness...
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Agent_L
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Re: Faster Than Light - Tips for New Players

Postby Agent_L » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:48 am

xdiesp wrote:22) Boarding the pilot room will alert all enemies of your presence. Board somebody else in a small room, but beware as attacking the system itself will cause another alert.
Actually, it's shields system that's most valued by AI, and pilot will often abandon helm if shields are under attack or need repairs.
(that's also valid when you're helping boarders with gunfire - hit the shields and some of the combatants will abandon their mates and rush to repair shields)
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OmegaJasam
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Re: Faster Than Light - Tips for New Players

Postby OmegaJasam » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:02 pm

UltraMantis wrote:You rated Humans worst?! Traitor!!

Humans have NO weakness, how can they be worst?? Rocks or even Mantis i could understand but Humans. Traitor!

Mantis cant repair anything. If you board, you need 2 at most, or none since Humans make decent enough boarders. So kick the Mantis off your ship. Kick the slowpoke Rocks out as well, or keep one as pilot if you must. Unless you are desperate, dont rely on Zoltan either. They are worryingly fragile and screw up the power distribution by strolling from the Engine room to the Medbay and back. A Slug is allright and Engi are just cake.

Humans are 2nd best at worst or best overall. My opinion. Seriously, they just don't have any weakness...


Humans, as always, are poor. No weaknesses doesn't make something good. All the other races have something that makes them better 90% of the time, while worse 10% of the time. Overall, they're still worth more then 1.5 humans.

Honestly, you sound like you havn't played the game or are trolling. Mantis or Rock bording is vastly superior to human. Humans are always inferior to an engi/zoltan/rock on manned systems, as they always provide /no/ bonus.

Humans have the worst weakness of all. Not being good at anything. There's always a better race for the job.

Though I still disagree with the ratings. The best 5 are all situational. I'd not take a Rockman over a mantis for bording unless I had fire, and crystals are /amazing/ for both offence and defence but I wouldn't but them on a system.
MANtisB
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Re: Faster Than Light - Tips for New Players

Postby MANtisB » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:09 pm

There are essentially three roles a unit can perform: Repair, Systems, Combat.

A unit tasked with Repair sits idle most of the time, but whenever your ship takes damage that needs repairing (breach, system deactivated), they run to handle it. Engis are indisputably the best with full movement and fastest repair speed. Zoltans, Slugs, Humans and Crystals are all interchangeable for second-tier, with normal repair rate and speed. Rockmen and Mantis are the worst; Rockmen are very slow to react to damage in the first place, and Mantis are slow to repair. Rockmen get the slight edge because they're immune to fire.

A unit tasked with Systems will always be manning the system in question. Zoltans are the best here, because they power the system they're manning. Engis are next because they're the fastest repairmen, meaning that if the system they're manning is damaged, they'll be able to get it back online quickly. Mantis get a slight edge in manning weapons because they level up in combat skills faster.* Humans, Slugs, Rockmen and Crystals round out the bottom tier, though that term is misleading, as they'll be perfectly fine manning these systems.

A unit tasked with Combat has two jobs: defeating enemy boarders and boarding the enemy ship. Thus, evaluations of combat proficiency should factor in offensive and defensive abilities. The Mantis comes in first; it will win a 1v1 against any non-Mantis, making it the best unit for both offense and defense. That it's the fastest unit helps a lot, as well. Next up is where the split comes in. Rockmen are the next best unit on offense because they win a 1v1 against any non-Mantis non-Rockman unit. However, the Crystal, despite being worse than the Rockman in straightforward combat, gets the edge on defense; its Lockdown ability is key to pinning boarders in a room without a system and killing them before they can do any damage, and its superior movement speed makes it a better defender as well. After the Rockman/Crystal there's Slugs and Humans, edge of course to the Slug slightly; and then rounding out the bottom are Zoltans and Engis. I'm not sure which is worse, only that neither should ever see combat, because they lose to everyone except themselves.

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