Time Wasters – Stable Farming to 120

Got a few unlocks under your belt, but your runs feel really unstable? Not sure where to farm? What’s the optimal way to start each run? This may have some answers.

What This is and What This is Not

Everyone has their own play style, skill level at bullet hell games, amount of meta unlocks and pattern of risk taking. This game already seems to offer different weapon variants to everyone at the point of writing this. There are weapons that makes zerging the waves head on viable. There are weapons that make turtling in place viable. And there are weapons for those who belong in neither extreme.

This guide is not intended as a definite final blueprint to follow to the letter, or a definitive tier list on weapons, but a general guide on how to approach each problem the game presents at each stage that game presents it. If you’re a fan of Azurene and Plasma, because that’s what got you your first wave 120 clear, great. If you’re into punching everyone in the face because ranged weapons are for cowards, keep on smashing.

This guide is specifically to showcase the most stable path to winning the game with relatively little stress as of the moment of writing this for those that have a basic set of unlocks after a few hours of game play and would like to start relatively stress free farming of the game rather than struggle through each run.

This guide is made on 6th of April 2023. Game is in development, so information contained here will probably be out of date after a few updates.

General Goals

As with most games done in VS-like style, you primary method of getting stable runs is” getting ahead of the curve”. You want to get your clearing ability up ASAP so your damage and survivability is leveling faster than enemy power and survivability. In this game, a good indicator of this is your level vs wave number. Your level should be higher than wave. The more you get ahead, the easier it is to get further ahead.

Meta Upgrades

Remember that next stage of each upgrade is always more expensive than previous ones. So it will often make sense to invest some points into the most important thing, and when it gets prohibitively expensive invest one or two points into the second and third most important upgrades instead of putting a single point into the most important one.

Captains Tab

Your starting captain of choice:

  • First tier skill to 3/3
  • Second tier skill 0 or 1/3
  • Third tier skill 0 or 1/3

Other two captains you plan to use:

  • First tier skill to 1/3
  • Second tier skill 0/3
  • Third tier skill 0/3

Planet Upgrades Tab

Gold refinery:

  • First tier (unlock): 1/1
  • Second tier (multiplier) as much as you can afford, highest priority.
  • Third tier (cooldown): as much you as can afford, high priority.

General upgrades:

  • Gold Magnet multiplier: highest priority.
  • Gold from asteroids: high priority.
  • Weapon damage: high priority.
  • Space cubes farming (both tiers): dump whatever points you can spare here. As soon as you’re stable in runs to 120, every point should go into these two until they’re maxed.

Everything else: after you’re done with those above.

Before You Start a Run

Do some basic planning. Raven is by far the most stable captain to farm with if you have her. If you don’t have Raven yet, Azurene is acceptable, but less reliable without significant amount of meta unlocks. Everyone else is much harder and will require even more meta unlocks to stabilize runs.

Plan out which weapons you want to get for this run. Most weapons mentioned in this guide are viable as long as you have a good weapon for early game, mid game and end game and you keep those leveled up as game goes on. In general, the best setup is that you have 3 weapons with super upgrades (requires relevant captain) and one that isn’t, but there are exceptions. You want to have starting weapon that is good at killing asteroids and early waves, and late game weapon that scales well with overclocks and is able to clear the screen even against high HP, high speed enemy charges that come after wave 100.

Gloves are excellent at stabilizing your runs if you have problems running into enemies and taking frontal damage. I very much recommend having them by mid game even if you don’t take Ram as a captain, as they perform their primary role of clearing your frontal cone while moving against masses of small enemies even without Super upgrade.

In general, you want to pick up a few levels in your starting weapon and then focus on leveling your gold income (magnet multiplier, refinery multiplier, refinery cooldown, gold planet multiplier in that order). After a few runs, you’ll get a feel on just how few weapon upgrades your specific play style and current skill level/meta unlocks allow for in early game so you can put the rest into boosting your gold income. Remember, to stay ahead of the curve, you want as much gold income as possible. Overclocking refinery, magnet and gold planet multipliers is very viable (and often desirable) in mid game if you don’t have problems clearing enemies as that will keep you even more ahead of the curve in the late game. Hitting final boss at level 160 with 25 points in gold upgrades makes for a much smoother run than hitting him at level 110 with none.

And if you get several bad level rolls in a row, it doesn’t hurt you nearly as much if you’re ahead of the curve. Getting 25 bad level up options when you’re going to end the run at lvl 160 is much easier than getting 5 bad level ups and ending the run at level 110.

Starting / Early Game Weapons

(Determined by Choice of Captain)

  1. Plasma – best ability to kill asteroids and early game enemies (Azurene).
  2. Missiles – good ability to kill asteroids and early game enemies. (Raven)

Good Early Game Weapons

That perform well coupled with Starting weapons but that you don’t want to start with

  1. Gloves – will stabilize a run well into late game, allowing you to move forward (without dash) without having problems from running into enemies. They also are great against Gold Bug if you are having problems with him farming out your gold and don’t have a specific plan for him yet.
  2. Slime – great for turtling play style throughout the game and defends your rear in way somewhat similar to gloves if your play style is mobile.
  3. Static Field – excellent early game clearing ability, but falls off rapidly in terms of damage as you progress into mid-game and is effectively a dead weapon slot in late game. Avoid unless you really need that early game boost and you know you’re going to be fine in late game.

Viable Mid Game Weapons

This is what you want to have and have leveled up a decent amount, but not yet at super/overclock tiers:

  1. Missiles – Best AoE clearing ability. Limited damage vs bosses.
  2. Gloves – same merits as Early game.
  3. Plasma – Good AoE clearing ability. Good damage vs bosses (with maximum spread upgrades and distance management).
  4. Wolf Ships – Good AoE clearing ability. Draw attention off you and tank damage for you adding significant amount of survivability.
  5. Slime – Allows for creation of spiral mini-fortresses (make a wide circle, then keep circling as you head toward the center where you stop) on most waves, but creates a psychological desire to” turtle” in a single location. As you need to stay mobile to get to different objectives, you’ll have to keep rebuilding your spiral. Very viable coupled with Wolf Ships if your play style allows for it, otherwise significantly less viable.

Viable Late Game Weapons

This is what you want to focus on past level 50-60 or so, this should be your fourth and last weapon to upgrade, but you should keep overclocking this even after getting Super tiers to the max. These are the weapons that will carry the late game and make it much more stable:

  1. Lasers – Best AoE competing with Missiles for damage on non-boss waves. Good boss damage. Allows for zoning of enemies (run behind your laser line). Does not yet have Super upgrade, but overclock upgrades scale incredibly well compared to everything else.
  2. Missiles – Best AoE clearing ability. Limited damage vs bosses. Decent overclock scaling.
  3. Wolf Ships – Decent AoE clearing ability. Draw attention off you and tank damage for you adding significant amount of survivability. Decent overclock scaling.
  4. Plasma – Decent AoE clearing ability. Good damage vs bosses (with maximum spread upgrades and distance management). Decent overclock scaling.
  5. Slime – same as mid game. Decent overclock scaling.
  6. Gloves – same as early and mid-game.

Starting a New Run (Early Game)

At the start, you spawn next to the Gold Planet. Your optimal starting route should be as follows:

  1. (Only if Space Cube Locator is ready, otherwise skip). Go North West to get in range of Space Cube Locator. Do not linger waiting for portal to form. Instead as soon as you get in range and portal begins to form, go to step 2.
  2. East to Time Cube Mine. Pick up a time cube and put the Time Cube Mine on cooldown.
  3. North-West to Gold Refinery. Pick up the cache and put Gold Refinery on cooldown.
  4. North-East to the Time Cube floating in space. Both Raven and Azurene will be killing asteroids and stragglers from the first waves as you go past them, grab the gold that falls out as you push up North to the Time Cube.
  5. South-West to the second Time Cube floating in space. Continue harvesting gold that falls out of asteroids and stragglers from the first few waves as you go.
  6. South-East to the Space Cube Portal you summoned in step 1. or Space Cube Locator if it was on cooldown at the start, but is now ready (if it’s still on cooldown go to step 7.) Summon the Space Cube Portal, and collect a Space Cube (can spawn none, 1, 3 or 5).
  7. East to the Gold Planet. This is where wave with lots of red enemies should spawn, so you can get a bit of extra gold by farming them while in range of the planet. This is where you start working on the Gold Bug if he shows up and you haven’t yet learned how to deal with him.
  8. Gold Refinery and Time Cube Mine will come off cooldown. Collect resources from both.
  9. Kill mini-boss alongside next couple of waves and finish off Gold Bug unless you are saving him for the higher gold income later. If mini boss drops a Time Cube, go south to the Shop immediately. Otherwise farm waves and collect both Gold Refinery and Time Cube Mine output until you have 5 Time Cubes, then head to the shop.
  10. At the shop, if there’s a weapon for either your starting captain, or your mid game weapon of choice, pick that. Otherwise, re-roll and wait for the next Time Cube from either Time Cube Mine or mini-boss. This is what will get you significantly ahead of the curve from the start.

This concludes the early game.

General Advice:

The more” gold from asteroids” meta upgrade you have, the more levels you’ll be able to get from early game in the same time. It’s usually worth it to deviate from the early game fixed course a bit to pick up gold slightly off your path, but not by much. Main limiter is the state of your Space Cube Collector. If you start with it on a long cooldown or if it was off cooldown at start, you have more time to farm asteroids before the first large wave of red enemies arrives as by that point, you must stand by ready at the Gold Planet. Main goal is to get Time Cube Mine and Gold Refinery on cooldown right at the start.

Circling around near the edge of the Gold Planet border will cause more asteroids to spawn on the other side of the Gold Planet, resulting in more gold income from asteroids as you will likely kill them when you get there. This is also synergistic with “gold from asteroids” meta upgrade.

Your upgrades at this stage should focus on leveling your starting weapon/securing one of your mid game weapons/gold income upgrades.

Mid Game

Your goals here are to keep the momentum you got from early game, and continue to stay ahead of both damage and survivability curve.

General priority of things to do:

  1. If Space Cube Locator is off cooldown, go trigger it. If Gold Refinery and Time Cube Mine are off cooldown, do not wait for Space Cube Portal to form – go to Gold Refinery and/or Time Cube Mine, then come back for the portal and Space Cubes it might summon.
  2. If Space Cube Locator is on cooldown but Gold Refinery is off cooldown, collect Gold cache from Gold Refinery.
  3. If Space Cube Locator and Gold Refinery are cooldown but Time Cube Mine is off cooldown, collect the Time Cube.
  4. If you have 5 Time Cubes, go to the shop and buy your next upgrade in the shop or re-roll if there are no acceptable options and wait for another Time Cube.
  5. If you took damage to hull (green HP bar), consider going to Hull Repair Planet (South-West) for a Hull Repair Pickup. This is wave dependent, during heavier waves you may want to farm out the gold in range of Gold Planet before going for the Hull Repair. Mini-bosses also may drop Hull Repair Pickups.
  6. Farming Gold from enemies at the Gold Planet. This is what you do most of the time, while waiting for cooldowns on other objectives to finish.

General Advice:

This part is about balancing weapon upgrades vs gold upgrades vs survivability upgrades. You want to have as little survivability upgrades as possible (while still reliably surviving), because your primary ability to survive is in killing enemies before they get to you.

Offense is the best defense.

But you may get bad rolls on weapons on level ups in early game, or your play style is too aggressive, or dodging bullet hell is not your strong suit. That would necessitate adapting by putting some points into survivability. Hull immunity after taking damage is a good early survivability trait to stabilize the run by ensuring you against occasional flashes of courage/stupidity. This is also why it’s important to get ahead of the curve, as then you’ll have more levels to be able to eat a few bad level up options.

Remember the Time Cube shop. This is what will reliably keep you ahead so long as you focus on weapons and save your cubes for re-rolling shop over re-rolling single levels. Shop has five levels worth of upgrades, but for a single thing. That means that if shop offers you a weapon upgrade, it’s five upgrades for that weapon.

As opposed to only one upgrade you’ll be re-rolling in level up for the same cost of one Time Cube.

When you get the wave where you are surrounded in a circle by ships with extremely high health pool that fire bullets towards the center, focus on shooting down the bullets. Each bullet carries a gold drop. This is probably the most missable gold source in the game in addition to asteroids, and one of the easiest ones to shoot down in large amounts.

Late Game

This is where you have established yourself, and your early game weapons are now falling off in damage. Enemies start to have large health pools, and clearing them requires more and more damage. You should have at least one level up to Super upgrades, and preferably finished with Super upgrade line for that weapon (there are several tiers) and progressed quite a bit on your other late game weapon(s).

Overall, you’ll be repeating the same pattern as you did in Mid game. The main difference is your upgrade path focus. Gold upgrades become less and less viable as game progresses, because as you near the end of the game at wave 120, time to actually use those upgrades vs the cost inverts. In general, it’s not worth it to pick up gold upgrades past wave ~80-90. You will also probably have enough damage at this point, and may want to invest into non-overclock hull and shield upgrades to ensure no accidental deaths from having moments of courage/stupidity. Remember that “maximum shield” and “maximum hull” upgrades at low levels offer very little hit points (2 for shields, 10 for hull at first upgrade), but it increases with each upgrade up to their final pre-overclock upgrade (10 shield and 50 hull respectively).

Final Words

Matthew 25:29 is not a religious statement, but an observation of natural order:

”For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

Be the former, not the latter.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2995 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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