50+ Tips for the new FTL player w/ link to guide and compiled Reddit tips! Updated 1/18/13
*** I think I am going to keep the editing to a minimum here. Check the guide instead. ***
Here is a list of some things I think will help players get better at the game:
Link to the guide: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=119741592
a) Don't rush through a sector; try to hit as many points as possible while staying just out of reach of the fleet.
b) Pause often during fights.
c) Use missles sparingly, like to damage a shield system initially. Spamming them is just wasteful.
d) Attack nearly everything than you can.
e) Taking a ship by killing its crew offers increased rewards.
f) Micro, micro, micro... pause, pause, pause.
g) Autofire is not really your friend. Timing certain weapons manually can do more damage by strategicly bypassing shields during recharge.
h) Know each races strengths: Rockmen 150hp and immune to fire as an example.
i) Keep crew stationed at the same console throughout the game so that you have gold level commanders by the time you get to the boss.
j) Have a nice mix of weapons available: missle, laser, beam, bomb.
k) Make sure you have weapons that dont consume much power and mix up the power levels.
l) Hull lasers can cause breaches making it harder to repair systems since the breach has to be repaired first.
m) Hull lasers do more damage to empty rooms.
n) Beam weapons require strategy, blind firing(autofire) will not do you any good.
o) Scrap recovery arm is a very good item, especially early on. It's possible to get up to 75 scrap when you kill the crew of an enemy ship. Extra scrap for melee kills +10% for scrap arm.
p) Early game Engies are better than late game Engies(my opinion).
q) Do NOT board automated ships.
r) Always attack slavers if you want crew members. Ignore them if you dont need them.
s) Mantis deal 2x damage with normal HP, but rockmen only have 1.5x HP and normal damage.
t) Human away teams are risky until you get your teleporter upgraded.
u) Always buy fuel in the shops, running out is easy even if you think you have enough (30 fuel is barely enough).
v) A weapon with a power consumption of 4 is usually useless since its risky/impossible to keep powered during a hard fight.
w) Blast doors are a cheap helpful upgrade.
x) Develop a strategy for your encounters, dont just autofire and go even though that might work just fine for that situation. It will help later to have a strategy that you understand when the tough fights come along.
y) Nebula sectors let you do more exploring since the fleet is slowed down.
z) Use drones or missles (not both). Having enough upgrades, ammo, and power for both is fairly rare.
aa) Mantis does more melee damage.
ab) Do NOT have autofire on while you are using an away team. You could accidently destroy the ship with them on it.
ac) Most encounters have random outcomes no matter what your choice is. Picking the same choice for an encouter can yield diffrent results.
ad) Leave the "crazy guy" on the planet, unless your medbay is upgraded or you have a slug on your crew.
ae) Always use the "blue" option.
af) Distress beacons typically always have a risk envolved, but the payout is better, if not doubled when you actually save someone. Some are just traps and dont offer anything extra.
ag) If you get boarded vent the ship immediatly and run to your med bay, the lack of oxygen will force the intruders to follow you, and if you're quick they wont damage any systems.
ah) Weapons and shields should be the top repair priority (my opinion).
ai) The game is random, but the luck is not. Skill will get you to sector 8 almost every time no matter what. Don't listen to those that think this game is based solely on luck... they are very wrong (my opinion). At first I could barely make it to sector 3, now i can get to 7 or 8 no problem.
aj) Unless you have a rockmen on your crew, oxygen vent rooms that are on fire.
ak) Which stations to man first: Ideally, you should prioritise pilot and engines, then weapons, then shields.
al) Cheap "second bar" upgrades can be your friend.
am) Away teams should only be used if you have 5+ crew.
an) When you jump in front of a sun, immediately open all your doors to all your rooms (except the ones with crew stationed in them); the flames go out very quickly.
ao) Engies should not be on away teams.
ap) Away teams in asteroid belts are VERY risky!
aq) Searching "rebel refitted transports", by killing its crew and not destroying the ship, most definately yeilds better results; weapons, typically.
ar) Take power from the medbay unless you have someone in it; power is wasted in an empty medbay.
as) When playing as Osprey, do NOT have your special weapon powered while using boarding parties.
at) Killing everyone on a ship with an away team has the chance of finding a "prisoner" who will then join you.
au) Teleporters (75ish scrap) are worth it if you factor in the above tip.
av) Accpet surrenders if you need fuel, missles, drones, or they offer a weapon or augment; kill them if you just want scrap.
aw) Don't shoot any weapons at the enemy ship while you have crew on board, unless you're 100% certain that it won't blow up and you need to disable their weapons/medbay.
ax) It's ok to depower your oxygen for a short amount of time if you need the power.
ay) Don't board ships with a medbay, until you've destroyed the medbay. Then teleport your mantises into the medbay to force them to fight you instead of fixing it.
az) Sending your crew to the enemy ship's pilot cabin will reduce the enemy's dodge rating.
ba) Burst laser 4 with some strategy may be enough to overpower the boss.
bb) Upgraded teleporters can allow the boarding of auto-ships.
bc) Mousing over a crewmember in the crew list will show you his/her/its proficiency for the various consoles on the ship.
bd) If you have an away team on an enemy ship watch out for their potential FTL escape. If they jump with your crew members, you lose them.
be) If using beam weapons, try to hit as many rooms as possible; only a small sliver of the room needs to be hit to cause increased damage.
bf) When fighting a "super weak" build (ie. the enemy cannot possibly destroy you; ex: you have 3 shields and they have a 2 burst laser and a fire beam) you should rotate out some of your crew to diffrent stations, and train them until maxed out. That way losing someone is not as detrimental.
bg) Ion weapons shunt reactor power from whatever system they hit until the effect wears off, but if a Zoltan is powering it then the system stays up (assuming it only needs the one bar).
Some of you may disagree with some of these tips, but as a beginner, these will help immensely. Hope this helps some of you.
Reddit Tips Added:
· Many things occur really fast, like shields being restored after a asteroid hits them. Get used to pressing space just beforehand to decide what to do.
· Beam weapons damage is absorbed by the shield, so a beam weapon with 3 damage attacking a ship with 3 shield will do 0 damage per room. If it hits a ship with 2 shield it will do 1 damage to each room.
· Beam weapons only need 1 pixel in a room to damage that room, so even the medium length ones (glaive) can hit 5 rooms of specific layout.
· When using beam weapons usually try ensuring the beam hits a shield room early on (i.e. before the weapon room). That way the shield is reduce and you do more damage to subsequent rooms.
· Fire and bio beams cannot pass more than 1 shield.
· Beam weapons do twice the listed damage to zoltran shield
· bio beam needs to actually go above enemy crew to damage the crew and not only the rooms the crew are in.
· Sometimes a shield goes down for less than 2 seconds, just as it goes down press space and select the rooms for the beam weapon.
· Use missiles/bombs to damage the shield room just before firing lasers to remove the shield or beams (if enough shield is removed). In some cases 1 missile/bomb removing the shield at the start of a fight is enough for you to effectively use other weapons for the rest of the battle.
· Shoot lasers that do x shots*1 damage first to remove x shield and then use higher damaging lasers or beams to damage the ship. For example you got a weapon that does 3 shots of 1 damage and another weapon of 1 shot of 2 damage. Against ships with 2 shield. shoot the 3 shot one first and just after shield is removed shoot the 1 shot one.
· Dont just leave autofire on or if you have weapons that shoot every 3 seconds hold down ctrl to make that specific weapon autofire
· Usually use ion weapons to remove/disable shields or disable weapons. If it hits the shield room the shield will be down for longer than if it just hit the shield.
· Ion weapons do twice the damage to zoltran shield.
· Ion weapons do not damage your boarding party.
· Capturing ships via boarding results in more scrap, higher chance of getting an extra crew member or selecting crew members to release from slave traders. It possibly also has a higher chance of resulting in extra weapons.
· Get a teleporter if you have more than 2 mantis/rockmen/slug/humans. Using zoltrans or engi for boarding is risky.
· At this point in the game (no crystal Mantis are the best boarders afterwhich rockmen and finally slug/humans.
· Rockmen prevail if you are attacking ships on fire or without oxygen (AI ships).
· Teleporter 2 lets you board AI ships with rockmen and teleport them back before they die to suffocation. Teleport 3 is good enough for humans/slugs/mantis.
· You can't teleport pass the zoltran shield
· Sometimes its best to disable/damage the medbay if the enemy has one or position your boarders in such a way that the enemy die when running back to the medbay. For example rockmen are so slow that sometimes the a.i. doesnt send them back to the medbay fast enough and they die exiting the room.
· 2 mantis can outdamage a level 1 medbay when attacking the same target.
· Use cloak just after the enemy fires most of its guns. That way most of them are wasted (shots will most likely miss). If you use cloak just before the enemy shoots then they will fire just after you exit cloak and the shots were just delayed (not wasted), unless you damaged the weapon room before they shoot.
Some of the Vital enemy rooms
· Damaging/Disabling the weapons room removes/disables power from the enemy weapons thus disabling weapons that require that power.
· Damaging/Disabling the shield room removes/disables power from the enemy shields thus disabling shield levels that require that specific amount of power.
· Damaging/Disabling the cloak room removes/disables power from the enemy cloak thus disabling cloak from working or reducing the time it can be cloaked.
· Damaging/Disabling the cockpit removes/disables power from the enemy cockpit thus disabling it. If it has 0 power then none of your lasers/missiles can miss and the FTL chargeup stops and cannot jump out.
· Damaging/Disabling the engines removes/disables power from the enemy engines. Dodge chance is reduced as it has less power and ftl chargeup speed.
· Damaging the medbay reduces or removes the ability to heal crew inside it.
· Damaging the o2 room reduces amount of oxygen produced or prevents o2 from being produced and eventually causes suffocation. This form of damage is usually too slow to be effective in actual battles.
· When encountering a slug enemy. There is a chance they remove 1 power from shields/weapons/o2. Usually try upgrading o2 before entering slug sectors. The power slot is disabled totally till you beat the slug ship.
· For vital systems usually having 1 extra empty power slot is worth it. For example you need 4 power for 2 weapons (2 power each) its worth having 5 power slots (1 empty) or more power in weapons in case the weapon room takes damage/ion damage or you encounter slugs that remove one power.
Lots of great comments added. Good stuff. -G