Your Workbench and You!
Your work bench is going to be where the magic happens!
Not literal magic. Just some fancy gizmos to help you along.
So in the workbench tab you will have a bunch of items shadowed out initially. You need to collect parts to build them. You can see what parts you have and what parts you can build from the junk you collect by clicking on the parts tab in the top right from the workshop menu.
In the parts tab you will only see parts that you have an immediate need for. Those will be blacked out unless you can build them. Parts you own will appear normally, without any flair and whatnot. If you collect a part you don’t have an immediate need for, it will appear normally as well.
I suggest getting the padded jacket as soon as possible. This increases your maximum health significantly. I went hard at upgrading that jacket and now wander around, yoinking the trinkets and blasting whatever is in my way with impunity.
Once you are able to build a parts locator, you’ll see a locate mode in the top left of the workshop menu. Locate mode has you click on an item you want to build or upgrade and then it will show you the way to maps that have those parts on the star map! It will be a pip very similar to your action item guide, except it will be green!
Speaking of the star map…
The Star Map and how to cruise in style!
Ok, so the star map has a lot of information in it. Its got a lot going on man. It is a busy CEO and it doesn’t have time for you anymore.
Lets start with you. You are located in the S.T.E.V. and your little feller is driving it around in circles and stuff at whatever location you are currently at.
You can only move forward. If you observe all the little ships on the star map, they are connected by a lattice. You can move up and down on the lattice and forward! But not backwards. Moving backwards is illegal! It is immoral! It is the WRONG WAY!
So you can’t. You just won’t.
On this lattice you will see little ladders. Those represent a change in “depth” on the star map. The deeper down you go, the tougher the enemies will be, but also more rewarding. You start in depth one, and can go down to five. If you go down a depth, you can always go back up. So don’t stress out too much.
Whenever you travel, you will consume one fuel and one food and one day will pass. I have no idea what happens if you run out of fuel or food. It is safe to assume its something bad. Eating food also heals you for a small amount of your health. You can also rest on the star map to consume just one food and regain your smidgen of health.
Now select a ship, any ship! And observe on the right hand side of the screen! It is giving you a great deal of information in regards to what you will expect on board the ship! This is critical to your success. It will tell you the type of loot you can expect, such as ammo, food, fuel and such. Then it will describe to you a special feature if the ship has one! These special features include a gene therapy center if the ship is a brig, or a surgery theater if the ship is a medical ship! Then it will go on to describe to you enemies you can expect! This bit is super important in your plan. Also note that it will not typically describe ship security features, such as turrets, sec bots (or war bots), cameras and the like. It will tell you the name of the enemy, a picture of the enemy and about how many enemies of those types you can expect. Not an exact amount like five or six, but using a descriptor such as “Few” or “Shedloads” and such. THEN just below that you will see map modifiers. Green modifiers are favorable to your survival, red modifiers are bad. Green modifiers can include things like all security being subverted, which is super nice because it turns all the cameras and turrets and such into your pals! Red modifiers include things like extra hazards, or power going out all the time. That one is a real pain in the ♥♥♥ as it will have you constantly legging it back to the generator room to restore power.
There are several different types of ships and locations. I will go over a few of the ones you will want to keep an eye out for and why!
Brigs! Brigs are yellow ships. They got that gene therapy homie! Gene therapy lets you remove a negative trait or add a new trait or replace a trait! This station will have three levers, you can only pull one, so pay attention to what you are doing when you select one!
Medical Ships! These are red! They have surgery centers and typically one or two marts nearby as well. The surgery center is always located in a glass enclosed room (sub room? a room inside the room…) and sometimes the glass on one side is broken. Or both sides maybe. Doesn’t matter, that is not where the magic happens! Nononono! Always go through the door! It will rid you of radiation, oil status and such. This can happen a limitless number of times, so don’t worry about over doing it. Inside the little room is a surgery machine. Just stroll on up and get health! You can do an authorization (more on that later.) to increase your maximum health for that mission. It is not permanent, but if you finish the map with more health than your base max, you will have full health for your next little endeavor.
Lux Ships! These are purple and just have a load of loot in them. Also typically good for food as they have a dining hall!
Krell Marts! You can buy and sell on these stations. If you go in with the trait known felon, the security machines will try to kill you. These stations also have one food and one fuel. So if you go to one, go inside and collect those at least.
Now there are sometimes nodes on the lattice that are not ships. They can be nuc bombs which hurt you, or fuel, or food, or ammo, or resources, or just plain empty. Keep an eye out for them. Oh and there is the guy that will eat all your food and give you a random part. Not worth it really.
Lets talk about the floatys in space. They hover over the nodes and move around and ♥♥♥ You’ve got two kinds you want to avoid unless you have torpedoes, which let you kill them. There are pirates and whales. Pirates give you resources when you kill them. Otherwise they will follow you onto the ship you want to dock and try to kill you. Whales give you food when you kill them. I think they will eat your ship if you don’t. I don’t know for sure. I always grab torpedo stashes when I know they are on a map. Then you got these big squids. They won’t hurt you. But they eat a location and make it an empty node. Not always a terrible thing. Then there are the floating DNA things. Try to avoid these really. I’ve probably just had bad luck with them, but they have so far replaced my good traits with bad traits. It randomly takes one of your traits and makes it something else. I’ve gotten lucky two times with them. Every other time… Well, I currently am a heavy breather and suck oxygen down fast as ♥♥♥. Its a bummer. Really forces me to just run everywhere. I need to find a brig.
Once you have found a suitable location! IT IS TIME FOR BOARDING ACTIONS!
Prepare for Boarding!
This isn’t going to be a long section, maybe. No promises.
Ok, so you have decided to board the vessel! Remember, you don’t always have to go on the ship you’ve selected, you can cruise to another one if you want. But your a real hardass, with a real hard on, and your really want that loot man. So here you are: Gearing up for slaughter!
So the first thing you will see are up to three slots. Lets talk about that.
Slot one is a direct fire weapon. This will be your primary means of defending yourself and offending others! The pistol starting out is pretty weak, but it is fairly accurate, so it remains useful, even early on.
Slot two will consist of things like dart guns, grenades and mines! Things like that.
Slot three will be things like the beloved zapper, kitty bots and stuff. Basically just put the zapper in there and forget you have anything else. We will talk about that later.
So you might have amassed an arsenal of doohickies made for mayhem, but you can’t carry them all in! What gives! I demand explanation!
Well, I do not have an explanation. It would be kind of lame to carry all that ♥♥♥ with you. You’d be effortlessly prepared for all situations.
This is the part where all that map information is going to help you decide what to bring with you into the ship! Weak enemies? Bring a pistol, no need for anything more potent. Subverted security? This will be a cake walk, could probably leave the zapper at home. Just kidding, take it anyways.
Use the information the map gave you about the situation on board to make an informed decision about what to take with you. This is important. You know your needs and your play style. Use the information smartly. You don’t need to take a rocket launcher to deal with a ♥♥♥ load of tourists. You barely need a gun to deal with them.
Once you have selected your implements of carnage, you will be brought to the map screen. This will give you the lay of the land. This is the last bit of information you will have before you are in the ♥♥♥ We will discuss rooms and tactics shortly. But this is the part where you want to develop your plan. Decided on a route, maybe have a back up route. Then it is on to execution!
Boarded! Now What?
Well, now we will talk about rooms and what my plan usually is.
So a few key rooms you’ll want to know the way to.
Atmo: This will give you oxygen. Always good to keep in mind. Authorization will extend your oxygen significantly. Usually worth it if you plan on being on the ship for an extended period of time. Not usually worth it if you are quick and efficient or it is a small ship.
Hab: This room contains a module which will behave much like those door things I talked about at the surgery center (also located in ward rooms) by getting rid of radiation and oil slips and things like that. Authorizing it will make you immune to all hazards. Fire and electricity included! VERY handy on board a ship with loads of hazards.
Helm: This is usually the room I begin working towards first. The helm terminal will mark loot locations on your map. This is super handy, because while loot location will appear on your radar, your radar is pretty short range. Prior to accessing this terminal your map will look pretty blank. Authorizing the Helm’s terminal also marks locations of enemies. It wont tell you exactly what they are, but it will tell you if it is a citizen or security.
Break: This is a break room, you can typically find food in here and there is also a tea machine, the tea machine triples all damage you do for 30 seconds. Authorize the machine and it will extend that to 60 seconds of triple damage. Very much worth it if fighting screws. Those dudes are hefty critters.
There are several other rooms, which I am not going into great detail about, because we either talked about it already or they aren’t SUPER important. But one room I have only touched on, we are going to talk about for a second.
The generator room. Pay attention to your initial objective on the map. Sometimes, you need to restore power. Even if you aren’t particularly observant and glossed over that, you will notice that you need to turn power back on because all the doors are open, you can’t loot ♥♥♥ all and its a bit dark. Time to hoof it over to generator to turn the lights back on. When power is off, you can’t use terminals either, so atmo won’t be working, neither will the helm computer. This room is further frustrating if you have the map modifier that causes power to go out all on it’s own. That bit is very annoying and I usually avoid that map modifier for that sole reason. You’ll have restored power for the fifth time, heading to atmo because you are running on borrowed time, you are INCHES from the terminal and the power goes out. Now you need to make a decision. Can you get to gen and back before oxygen runs out? Or do you need to get to air lock to get the ♥♥♥ out? Just remember when boarding if you need to turn power on or will need to be constantly turning power on.
I’m gonna tell you what my route usually consists of. This does change as it needs to. First, if it is a ship, it has a helm! I begin by identifying the rooms and if I have atmo on this ship. Some ships and stations do NOT have atmo. Do I need to turn on the power? Where is the helm. You know, doing some route recon before I go in, so I can determine how to get around most efficiently. I will typically work to the helm and then away from the helm in a different direction if I can, so that I don’t return to any rooms I have already been in. I usually don’t NEED to stop into atmo for air, but if I am passing through it, I will grab some O2.
Just develop a groove and change it as the need arises. Each ship is a little bit different.
The Zapper and You
Or what I like to call a little insurance policy.
The zapper is among the first little tools you get. It will also remain the most useful.
Basically, it stuns anything in the game. Citizens? Stunned. Turrets? Secbot? Warbot? No problem, stun and scoot, or shoot. Makes no difference. It is highly effective against security elements in the game, leaving them stunned for a long period of time. Citizens, on the other hand are stunned for a short while. Still useful, just not AS useful as it is against robotic enemies.
Now, the zapper is not without it’s shortcomings.
It is not very accurate, so you will either be using several shots to make a hit at range, or moving in close.
It doesn’t really do damage. The initial shot does minor damage. But nothing to write home about. It’s real power comes from the stun.
It doesn’t work against the ZEC shields.
A couple tricks with the zapper. Those spooky boys? If you stun them before they phase out, you’ll lock them down and be able to kill them easily. Secbots on your tail? Can’t find a garbage disposal to launch them into space with? Zap them, drown them in explosives. Or run away. That works well too. Sec and Warbots are incredibly tough. They only deploy when a camera has spotted you and you will know when they are on the way. I won’t spoil it for you, but I had a laugh as I began running for my life.