For For The Warp players, this is a general strategy guide for obtaining all the achievements, if you are collecting achievements, this guide will help you out.
If you don’t care about what every ship does and just want to know what ship to pick, hover over the spoiler to find out.
Pick the Aylon Cruiser
If you don’t have that ship, pick the Light Destroyer or the Missile Cruiser.
Unlocked by: Available at the start of the game.
The Frigate is your starting ship, and it isn’t very good. While it has a surprising amount of hull, its drawbacks are its weak starting deck and your low shield capacity, making it easy to take hull damage.
The reason why taking hull damage is a big deal is because you don’t start off with a good way of healing that hull damage. It costs too much to repair outside of combat, and you don’t start off with any cards that let you heal hull during combat.
Playing this ship effectively is challenging since your starting deck doesn’t really synergize with anything and your lack of healing will weaken you as you progress. It’s best to pick up a card which increases shield capacity along with one that lets you heal during combat to ensure you can cruise through the early systems.
Unlocked by: Defeating the boss in Varlam, the first system.
While the “Light” in Light Destroyer implies it’s weak, that’s far from true. Although it has 20 less hull compared to the frigate, it has a higher shield capacity and a significantly better starting deck. Your deck has Point Defense, a pretty decent shield card for what it is. It also includes 2 Gatling Gun cards, which are amazing and you can read in the card section why.
This ship is perfectly fine for completing the normal mode of the game without too much stress. It plays similar to the Frigate, but with less of the drawbacks that the Frigate has.
Unlocked by: Defeating the boss in Carthium, the second system.
This ship has the special feature of having 4 equipment slots available at the start of the game compared to the default of 3 that every other ship has.
I honestly don’t recommend this ship since your drones aren’t very effective damage dealers. You see, every time you take hull damage (which will happen often without good shield cards!) one of your common drones will die. For every attack that hits your hull, one of your drones takes 1 damage, making it difficult to maintain a fleet of them. You also need to build up a lot of your low tier drones before you start dealing considerable damage. To boot, since your damage is drones at least early on, you have no control over where that damage goes, making it very hard to specifically target any ships.
If you do choose to play this ship, I strongly recommend getting an alternative card for dealing damage. That way, you can rely less on your drones until you get some better cards.
Unlocked by: Random encounter (see achievement section on how to find it).
This isn’t immediately obvious, but the Aylon Cruiser starts with the Aylon Shield Capacitor equipment, giving you a grand total of 45 shield capacity right at the start of the game. You’ll only have 2 free equipment slots instead of the normal 3.
The Aylon Cruiser is incredible thanks to its high shield capacity. Even in hardcore mode, enemies will struggle to deal the full 45 damage to shields before they reach your fragile hull. Your deck is also purpose built for building up shields. With the Aylon Cruiser, you play around generating boost points to deal damage to the enemy. Your Shield Boost cards make full use of this, giving you 4 shields with an additional 3 for every boost point. However, those boost points aren’t consumed, meaning if you have at least 1 boost point these shield cards will be better than every other common shield card.
Your only way of dealing damage is through the Capacitor Throughput card, which deals 6 damage for every boost point, and consumes all boost points. There are better cards for dealing damage with boost points, but this card will get you through the early game since you’ll be able to deal tons of damage with your boost points.
Unlocked by: Completing the game once on normal mode.
This isn’t made obvious on the ship selection screen, but this ship gets 4 power per turn instead of the default 3. However, this ability doesn’t use an equipment slot, making it very potent.
The Heavy Destroyer provides an interesting playstyle. You have no shields whatsoever, meaning that you essentially will play the game without any shields. Without having to constantly use energy for shields, you can entirely focus all 4 of your energy in to playing damage cards and the occasional Evasive Maneuvers card to reduce incoming damage.
Your starting deck is also built for maximizing damage output, utilizing Alpha and Omega Heavy Cannon cards which will mean you’ll usually be dealing 9 or 12 damage per card played right from the start of the game, which is quite powerful. You also have the Repair Drones card from the start, allowing you to reduce cumulative damage from combat early on.
In all honesty, your lack of shielding is going to put pressure on you to get a card that negates all incoming damage or something that changes enemy intent. Once you have one or multiple cards like that, this ship becomes very powerful with its high base stats. For this ship in particular, the Holo Decoy card is amazing for the reason mentioned above.
Unlocked by: Defeating the boss in Tempestra, a secret system.
This ship is unique in that it’s the only way of obtaining Cruise Missiles as part of your deck.
The Missile Cruiser has similar stats to the Light Destroyer, except it has a significantly different starting deck and way of playing. Your main way of dealing damage will be utilizing the Missile Fabricator to create Cruise Missile cards, which will end up dealing a lot of damage after a couple of turns in combat. Since your Cruise Missiles are free, you can focus your energy on other things since your damage is free. You’ll also have 3 pre-built missiles ready from the start of combat, making it a little quicker to deal damage.
The best way of playing this ship is by obtaining cards which allow you to draw more cards, removing the Missile Fabricator’s only downside of clogging your hand with cards you can’t use.
This ship is honestly a little better than the Light Destroyer since your damage output is cheaper. This ship also doesn’t have much of a starting weakness outside of your shield cards being bad, but that goes for every other ship with the same starting card, meaning you only have to worry about building up better cards as you progress.
– The Map and Combat
If you feel comfortable navigating the map and are consistently winning battles without too much trouble, you can skip this section.
There’s a few key things to know about navigating the map:
- You should always visit distress signals. They’re essentially random encounters with better outcomes.
- Avoid doing unnecessary exploration. In my experience, everything important will be found along the way to your destination, be it a distress signal or the warp gate.
- Every move you make costs 1 fuel to do. However, moving diagonally costs the same amount of fuel as moving horizontally. When trying to move big distances, move diagonally!
- On the topic of moving diagonally, you get to see more of the map when moving diagonally compared to moving horizontally.
- Prioritize visiting random (yellow tiles) encounters over hostile (red tiles) encounters if it isn’t inconvenient to do so. By inconvenient, I mean if it takes more fuel to go through the random encounter than it does to go through the hostile encounter.
- Always open the box in random encounters, as it’s always nothing or something decent. I’ve only had it explode once out of hundreds of times opening it.
- If you’re starting to run low on fuel (less than 6 or so fuel) then you should be looking out for hostile encounters or stations to gain some fuel back.
- Early game stations are significantly better than stations found later in the game. The prices for fuel and hull are significantly cheaper early on compared to later in the game. For this reason I recommend stopping by early game stations for the cheap fuel (usually under 5$ per unit).
As a final remark, if you see any of these on your map:
Do NOT enter any of these. While they are similar to random encounters, you’ll sometimes enter in to a battle in these areas. These battles have the hazard of having all of your shields get reduced to 0 at the end of every turn, making it very difficult to stay alive and avoid hull damage.
You’ll be doing a lot of this in the game, so it’s important to know how to consistently win.
- Avoid taking hull damage as much as possible! Hull is much more difficult to repair in and outside of a combat compared to absorbing the damage using shields. Your survivability is very important compared to maximizing raw damage.
- In a fight with multiple enemies, focus the enemy with the least amount of combined hull and shields. Most regular enemies will do the same amount of damage, regardless of how much health they have.
- Support ships (like the 3rd ship in the screenshot above) are high priority threats, since they can make more durable ships much more difficult to kill with their repair effects.
- In fights where ships produce more ships (like in the missile cruiser fights) then target the ship that produces the ships. If it’s convenient to do so, destroy what they spawn if you can do so in a turn or two.
- In boss fights, leave the boss itself as the final ship to destroy. The regular enemies that sometimes appear in boss fights are able to deal plenty of extra damage on top of the immense damage the boss is capable of dealing.
There’s a lot of different aspects to cover when it comes to optimizing your gameplay, so each will be covered individually.
There are three main ways of obtaining new cards:
- Obtaining them from battles.
- Buying them from stations.
- Finding them from random encounters.
Doing one of these things will award you a new card to use in combat. There are a few different kinds of cards.
You can also chose not to pick up any cards at any of these events if you feel the card choices are lackluster and bad.
Regular cards are cards which can be used in combat, and can be played after their initial use. Most cards are of this type.
Upgrade / Deactivate Cards
I’m placing both of these in this category because they do the same thing. These kinds of cards can only be used once during combat, after which they cannot be played again. They however, stay in your deck for any future battles.
Cards labeled with “Upgrade” will usually apply some permanent bonus that applies only during the 1 battle you use it in. Cards labeled with “deactivate” are only meant to be used once in combat.
These cards are similar to cards which deactivate, however once they are used they are removed from your deck, permanently. I don’t really recommend getting these cards since their effects aren’t particularly useful, and they don’t stay after combat.
These cards are special. Their effects are purely passive are immediately active at the start of every battle as long as they’re in an equipment slot. You start with 3 of these slots open on most starting ships, and they can each be filled with 1 equipment card each.
Always get equipment cards if you do NOT have all 3 of your equipment slots filled up! Equipment cards provide very powerful passive effects that aren’t worth passing up. The exception to this rule are any equipment cards that affect how you draw cards (Single Thread Chip, Non-Volatile Memory) as their effects are not as useful as stat increases.
There are five different tiers of card.
- Common (grey border)
- Uncommon (green border)
- Rare (blue border)
- Mythic (purple border)
- Legendary (orange border)
In this game, not all cards are created equal. Cards in the higher tiers are usually far, far, far better than cards in lower tiers. This sometimes isn’t the case but it’s usually true. If you’re doubtful on what cards to pick, always pick the ones in higher tiers!
Crippling Ion costs the same amount as Singularity Gun and both disable the target ship, however Singularity Gun deals 50 damage compared to 2 damage, with its only downside being that you can’t use Singularity Gun again in combat. Very powerful compared to the alternative of Crippling Ion.
The art of picking a card for your deck is pretty vague and can be tricky to get right. In general though:
- Sometimes the best thing to do is to NOT pick any cards. If your deck already does everything you need it to, then adding another low tier card will simply make it worse.
- Pick cards that cover a niche that you don’t have already. For example, if you’re missing a card that removes shields from the enemy, obtaining that kind of card would be a high priority.
- Cards that reduce or negate incoming damage are invaluable since it will save you energy and credits having to repair your hull or regenerate your shields.
- Cards with an energy cost of 0 are usually very powerful since they have few drawbacks.
- Cards in higher tiers are usually much better than ones in lower tiers. Pick rarer cards over common ones when it is relevant.
- Make sure to pick cards that have a synergy with your starting deck. Sometimes this doesn’t apply depending on your starting ship. For example, a card which creates boost points is fantastic for the Aylon Cruiser, which depends on boost points to survive.
- When it comes to scrapping a card, you should pick your worst cards. Usually this is Plasma Burst or Shields Up! cards as there are other cards which do the exact same thing but better for the same equivalent amount of energy.
– Cards | Must Picks
These 3 cards are amazing because they don’t have any downside. They’re free, and when used draw cards, making your hand size as big or bigger than it starts out as. Gatling Gun is good for its free damage, Capacitor Charge since it’s a strong way of creating boost points, and Time to Think since it makes your hand size 1 card bigger.
You should only use these cards to stop enemies from attacking during their turn. I would recommend Negotiations over Panic Crew, but both do the job. They’re both very good since they’re cheap ways of stopping incoming damage.
However, don’t use any of these 2 when enemies are either doing an ion attack or building shields. Important to know for negotiations so you don’t have to deal with 2 enemy attacks instead of 1.
If you don’t have at least 1 of these 3 cards, you should get them. Since hull is very difficult to repair outside of combat, the most viable way to regain it is during combat, and these are pretty much the only cards which can do just that. If you have the choice between the 3, I recommend taking repair drones over prime defense, and prime defense over cauterizing beam.
These 2 cards stop all incoming damage except for any ion attacks or any fire attacks the enemy uses. They’re both very good for this very reason, increasing your survivability. I recommend Stolen Cloak Device over Barrel Roll since its cheaper to play and the downside isn’t terrible, but both are very good.
Amazing because it makes it easier to get the card you need to perform a specific action or combo.
As far as equipment goes, any equipment you can get is a must pick except for equipment cards that involve how your hand gets dealt.
Gladius Core is in my opinion the best equipment card in the entire game. A good amount of the time you won’t benefit from playing certain cards at the end of your turn but still have excess energy. This card will “bank” that excess energy for future turns making it so that you will never waste any energy / potential to do stuff.
Drone Dispenser is mainly important for the early and mid game. It makes it much easier to reduce the damage taken early on until your able to build up your deck and improve survivability. Once you have that done, then you can swap this equipment out with another.
– Cards | Great Cards
Restart the Core is good because it’s free and replaces your hand with another. No real downside to it. Best used when you have free cards in your hand along with this card.
Gravitas will pretty much always deal more base damage than anything in your hand for the same amount of energy. Always worth getting when better damage output is needed.
Portable Market Portal allows you to get extra free rares or better, and since rares and above are usually far better compared to other cards, it’s worth picking.
AI Supremacy is an amazing card since it increases shield cap during combat and gives a free 20 damage per turn that doesn’t go away easily. A must pick if you see it since it barely ever shows up.
Singularity Gun deals insane damage and disables a ship. Very powerful, nothing wrong with it.
One Time Defense is less powerful then AI Supremacy, but does the same job of increasing your max shield capacity during combat.
Capacitor Cannon is the best card for dealing damage using boost points since it doesn’t consume them when used. Not sure why since it makes this card super OP when you’re playing with a lot of boost points.
Holo Decoy significantly reduces incoming damage. If you can get 2 of these and play them during combat, then you’ll become indestructible.
Energized Drone is an effective way of getting a decent amount of boost points for cheap. Don’t use this to make a drone though.
Last Resort great card since it does a lot of damage and gives you a bit of defense.
Bribe is similar to Special Countermeasures except it uses only 1 energy and requires a decent amount of credits to use. This card is worth getting later on when your credits become less important.
Unlimited Power! and Beast Mode accomplish the same thing of allowing you to do significantly more damage using 1 card. Be wary of using Beast Mode since it doubles the amount of damage you take for 1 turn.
Ion Pulse is similar to Ringdown except is single target and uses 1 energy. Both accomplish the same end goal of removing shields.
Overload Prime is another excellent damage dealing card as long as it’s one of the first cards you play.
Evasive Maneuvers isn’t as good as Stolen Cloak Device or Barrel Roll, but significantly helps in increasing your survivability if you don’t have either of those cards yet.
Shields Charge is free and gives shields as long as you’re playing a ship with the Shields Up! or Point Defense cards. Decent if you don’t have another way of getting shields.
Special Circumstances is an amazing card outside of boss fights… If you can actually play it. If you have a way of consistently getting 4 energy in a fight, this is a must pick.
Boost Up! gives you extra energy on your next turn. The extra boost points are a nice bonus. Useful if you aren’t going to use all your energy on your current turn.
Quality Over Quantity is on par with antimatter blast. Since a lot of your hand is usually going to be uncommons roughly halfway through the game, this card can consistently deal 10-15 damage.
Management Expert lets you draw a lot of cards and gives boost points. A decent card if you need to draw more cards either because your hand sucks or you need more cards to play. The boost points are a nice bonus.
Thief Drone is a niche card that can essentially solve any credit crisis you might have. If you have the energy to spare, having one of these in your deck during the mid game can grant you a huge number of credits.
Overheated Shields is a great card for the early game when your deck or hand is usually pretty bad. What’s nice about this card is that it’s free, meaning you can still play your cards then play this when you run out of energy.
Just because a card isn’t on this list does NOT mean you shouldn’t pick it up! Be flexible with what you need to choose. Sometimes picking a card that’s a little subpar but better than what you currently have is the difference between life and death.
– RNG Manipulation
In this game, there’s a lot of random variables you need to consider, especially when it comes to combat encounters. Rarely, the stars will align to give you an incredibly bad start in a fight. However, there’s a way you can change this and get some better starting cards and conditions.
To manipulate RNG, enter some encounter and then exit to the main menu. Then, you want to hit continue and return to your game. The encounter you have will be different compared to the one you had previously.
This is really important for hardcore mode as it greatly increases your overall odds of surviving during combat, by making sure that you avoid guaranteed damage that occurs at the start of combat.
For example, consider the following situation:
It’s very clear to see that I’m at an incredible disadvantage; I have no way to stop the incoming damage from all 3 ships, which could leave me as low as 4 HP, more likely I would lose half of my health in one turn. To avoid this, i can manipulate RNG (using the steps mentioned earlier) and change the outcome to this.
This situation is much better as I now have a way of protecting myself (drawing cards and gaining boost points) and dealing some damage. To boot, I now only have to worry about 2 ships instead of 3, making this battle much easier.
When you manipulate RNG for a fight, you’ll always get different starting cards and the enemies you face will sometimes be swapped out for a different set of enemies, which can make the fight easier or harder depending on the circumstance.
In general, you want to manipulate RNG at the start of a fight to avoid lots of guaranteed damage, or you’re about to die in combat. You will save yourself a good run coming to an end because of a few very bad draws.
You get this achievement from defeating the Freespace Pirate Boss in the first system. Not a difficult achievement to get. If you’re struggling beating the first boss, I recommend looking at the general strategy section of the guide for general tips and tricks.
Kill the Kingpin
Pretty self explanatory, defeat the boss in the Xintho system. Not to be confused with the pirate death cruiser found in the previous system, Carthium. The boss fight itself isn’t particularly difficult, just make sure you’re prepared for the big attacks that the boss will occasionally deal.
This achievement is obtained by defeating the boss in the Mirum system, the UltraCorp CEO cruiser and destroyer.
If you’re struggling with this fight, here’s a few things to remember:
- Avoid prioritizing the corp drones over the boss. Your damage is (usually) better used against the destroyer or the cruiser since they’re stronger. The drones also respawn fairly quickly.
- I recommend killing the destroyer first. Its damage is equivalent to the cruiser, but it has less health meaning it can be destroyed faster.
- The destroyer is technically considered a boss along with the cruiser, so cards will treat this enemy as a boss and not a regular enemy. (Don’t use bribe on the destroyer, it’s a waste of energy!)
- The start of the fight will always begin with both the destroyer and cruiser playing an offensive effect (spawning a corp drone) giving you 1 turn to prepare.
- The cruiser will always play first, then the destroyer, then any extra corp drone that has been summoned. Keep this in mind in case there’s an ion attack being used.
- Cards that affect all enemies are very good in this fight, since there will often be 3 enemies attacking you at once.
- Make sure you have at least one (preferably multiple) cards that either stop all incoming damage or change enemy intent! The enemies will often attack in unison, capable of dealing insane damage to your ship if you’re not able to stop them.
This achievement is obtained by finding the Aylon cruiser. The cruiser can be found in the Achlys system from a random encounter, after which it can be used as the starting ship in new games.
The Achlys system is a secret system which can be reached from the Carthium system. Occasionally you’ll find a distress signal which looks like this on your map.
When you arrive at the distress signal, you’ll find out that it is an uncharted, deactivated gate which is non functional. You’ll need to bring a component to the gate in order to use it. The component will be marked on your map after you arrive at the gate.
Once you grab the component, you’ll need to head back to the deactivated gate. As soon as you arrive at the gate, you’ll traverse through it to arrive at a new system, called Achlys.
This system is filled with hostile Aylon ships. Make sure you’re prepared before arrival!
Once you’re in the system, explore all random encounters marked with the yellow question mark that you find. If you’re lucky, you’ll find an abandoned custom Aylon Cruiser which will then be made available as a starting ship for all future playthroughs. The Aylon cruiser is the best starting ship in the game, and is needed for another achievement, so you should definitely look for the ship while in the system.
Kill the Mech
Self explanatory, reach the Achlys system and defeat the boss at the end called the Unknown Corrupter. If you don’t know how to reach the Achlys system, refer to the section above for finding the Aylon cruiser (hidden treasure achievement).
The boss itself is a bit more difficult compared to the Freezone Kingpin, having extra health and damage. The same strategies for the Kingpin will work well enough against the mech. The main thing to know is that it will transform in to a mech when it reaches half of its health, and will start using more powerful attacks often.
This achievement is obtained by completing the game on any mode with the Aylon Cruiser. This is pretty easy to do since the ship is very good. You can do this on any mode and still get the achievement.
Playing with the Aylon Cruiser can be a bit tricky at first and unforgiving due to your very low starting hull, but when played correctly provides one of the most powerful playstyles right from the start of the game.
- When in combat with the Aylon Cruiser, you’ll want to build up Boost Points. These points will be used to regenerate shields and deal damage. Your only way of obtaining boost points is through the Capacitor Charger card, which requires cards to be played beforehand. If starting from 0 points, I recommend using Capacitor Throughput -> Shield Boost -> Capacitor Charger -> Shield Boost. This will give a total of 17 shield for 2 energy, using only your starting deck.
- Don’t use your boost points immediately for damage. Its best to save them up for 1 big attack on an enemy to hopefully kill it in 1 shot. This is because your boost points are consumed from using Capacitor Throughput, making it risky to use when you have low shielding.
- I recommend getting a card that gives a flat amount of boost points. Pretty much anything is viable for this, and it will get you a more reliable way of generating boost points. You only start with 2 Capacitor Chargers in your deck, meaning it becomes less and less likely to draw them as your deck gets bigger.
- Any card or equipment that increases your max shield capacity is very good for the Aylon Cruiser’s playstyle of generating a ludicrous amount of shielding.
- Be very careful of Ion Attacks, as they’ll leave yourself open to oncoming fire depending on the order of attacks from enemies.
This achievement is obtained by arriving to the Tempestra system. You’ll follow the exact same series of steps as you did for the Achlys system, except you’ll do these steps in the Xintho system instead.
Note that you only need to reach the system, not actually survive until the end of it to be awarded this achievement. You’ll still need to beat the boss at the end of the system to unlock a ship which is used for an achievement, so you might as well do both while you’re here.
The main thing about the Tempestra system is that you’ll only find Antecedent ships. These ships are on par with the UltraCorp ships found in the final system in terms of their strength. Since they don’t rely very much on shields, you’ll have to deal big damage instead of relying on ship crippling cards, which makes their ships very durable if you don’t have a good way of dealing lots of damage quickly.
Outside of the achievement related aspects, there isn’t much reason to come here for gameplay purposes. The ships here are stronger than the Aylon ships that you’ll find in the Psyur system, and as far as I know you don’t get any better rewards from completing this system.
Hardcore Mode Achievements
This achievement is obtained by completing the hardcore mode of the game for the first time.
The main difference between regular and hardcore mode in the early levels of hardcore mode is that enemies will hit harder, and will choose to attack more often instead of gaining shields or applying offensive effects. Other effects start applying past the first few levels of hardcore, but this is the only important one when it comes to obtaining the 3 hardcore achievements.
If you’re struggling with completing hardcore mode, I recommend choosing the Aylon Cruiser and picking some of the cards in the labeled “Must Pick” section of the guide. Avoiding incoming damage becomes a top priority when every enemy hits like a truck, and what damage does arrive can be blocked with the huge shielding of the Aylon Cruiser.
As for bosses, it mainly becomes a gamble to make sure you don’t get hit by their powerful attacks. Sometimes bosses will swap their regular attacks for ones that deal about 2 or 3 times as much damage. For example, the Freespace Pirate boss in the first system can deal up to 50 damage in one attack at this difficulty, and later bosses up to 70 if they choose to do so, which is enough to cripple or instantly destroy your ship.
This achievement is obtained by completing hardcore mode with the standard frigate on any hardcore level. This is in my opinion, by far the hardest achievement in the game due to how bad the standard frigate is early on in the game.
I strongly recommend doing this achievement as your first run on hardcore. On later hardcore levels, this achievement can get extremely difficult to obtain. When I got this achievement I did it on hardcore level 3, which is what I will be basing my strategy on.
Frigate gameplay can be entirely explained with this one screenshot:
Why do my cards suck so much?
Prepare to get frustrated as the game will throw impossible situations for you to deal with.
My strategy for starting out was as follows:
- Frequently use RNG manipulation to obtain better outcomes. This will end up saving you a lot of decent runs.
- Buy the first equipment if possible from the starting station. Any equipment is better than none.
- If there was a card to change enemy intent, buy that as well. Prioritize this card over an equipment card if you can’t have both.
- Get a card that heals health ASAP. Your hull will quickly be whittled down up to the first boss fight.
- During combat, focus on minimizing all incoming damage as much as possible.
- Try to get a card that consistently deals more damage than Plasma Burst. The card I chose for this was Last Resort as it is a major improvement compared to using Plasma Burst and Shields Up! cards together.
- Always visit the distress signal in the first system. It’ll usually be a way of obtaining another equipment card or better.
- Make sure to visit random encounters you find along the way you’re going. It’ll almost always be either nothing or something better than a fight.
The big trial you’ll have to face is the first boss. You won’t be able to grind enemies due to the high difficulty early on, so it’s best to make a b-line straight to the warp gate once you’ve visited the distress signal and completed its quest if needed.
If you can’t win against the boss first try, use RNG manipulation to try again. If you can’t beat the first boss after multiple attempts, it’s best to restart the run. It usually means that the deck you had to fight against the boss wasn’t good enough.
Once you get past the first boss fight though, you’ll be much better off and much more prepared going in to the next 2 systems, since they’ll mostly be the same enemies, just with more health. Your strategy now will be to prepare yourself for the final systems of the game.
- Avoid going in to the alternate secret systems. They are much harder than following the standard line of systems and don’t offer any benefits.
- Try to get an equipment or upgrade card that increases your maximum shield capacity. It’ll save you a lot of trouble of having to heal your hull all the time.
- Get a card that reduces enemy shields to 0, which will extremely helpful once you arrive at Psyur and Mirum. I prefer Ringdown over Ion Pulse, but getting one of the 2 will help you out a lot.
- Get a card which either reduces incoming damage or stops all incoming damage. This will be extremely helpful for the boss fight in Carthium and in later systems.
- If you have the opportunity to scrap one of your cards, I recommend doing so and removing your Plasma Burst cards since they’re terrible and will free up your deck for better cards.
- In Carthium, the distress signal (in my experience) will always be a fight against an Unknown Ship. It has 700 hull and 50 shield, and deals a lot of damage. Surviving this fight for a few turns will grant you a high tier card. I recommend doing this fight for the chance at a high tier card if you have a decent amount of hull entering in to the fight.
You’ll want to follow this strategy up until you reach the Aylon Abominator.
Once you have defeated the Aylon Abominator, you should be pretty well off and have a deck that can defeat the final boss in the Mirum system. Your strategy now will be to rush to the final boss.
- At this point in the game, your credits will become pointless to keep. It’s best to spend all of them right after the Aylon Abominator since the station you arrive at will have better deals on fuel and hull then ones you’ll find in the Mirum system. Any credits you obtain progressing through the system is best used for the Bribe card or for buying new cards that would be helpful.
- Avoid grinding enemies in this system. The fights are usually long and tough, especially if you get in to an encounter with 3 enemies.
- The random encounters in this system are still worth visiting on the off chance that they’re a friendly Aylon ship, a friendly repair ship or a friendly scrap ship.
After traversing through the Mirum system, you’ll now be face to face with the final boss.
You can scroll up the “You Win!” section of the guide for general strategies on how to defeat this boss. The only things you need to know are to manipulate RNG and to dodge incoming fire. Just please don’t die if you made it this far.
After completing the fight, you’ll be awarded this achievement.
Complete hardcore mode with the missile cruiser. Much easier to do compared to completing hardcore mode with the standard frigate since the missile cruiser is much better in comparison.
If you don’t have the Missile Cruiser, it’s obtained by defeating the boss located in the Tempestra System. If you don’t know how to get there, refer to the “Tempestra” section of the guide on how to arrive there.
In general, you can follow the same strategy guide for the achievement “Hard Mode” except that you’ll be much better off in the early game since your starting deck will be more powerful and have better synergies with cards you obtain.
In general for obtaining this achievement though:
- Your ship is best played defensively instead of constantly on the offense. This means you should be picking cards that optimize your defense potential (increased shield capacity, negating incoming damage, etc.) to make full use of your starting deck.
- The primary damage output of the Missile Cruiser comes from its Cruise Missile cards. These need to be regenerated constantly to make sure you’re dealing good damage to the enemy.
- Avoid using your Antimatter Cannons, and scrap them when it’s convenient to do so. Their synergy in my experience is unreliable and it usually means that they’re identical to Plasma Burst cards.
- Try to get some cards that let you draw multiple cards in to your hand. A lot of the time you’ll be stuck with plenty of Cruise Missile cards that will leave you unable to make full use of your energy.
- Make sure to build up your shields all the time. You’ll have a lot energy leftover since your missiles are free to play, and you won’t draw your shield cards very often.
- Feel free to pick alternative ways of dealing damage! Although your missile setup is quite effective, it’s important to have a plan B for when you need to deal damage rapidly to destroy or disable an enemy.