Looking for tips for beating the game on normal.

#1 Edited by McGhee (6075 posts) -

So I finally bought FTL a couple weeks ago and it has quickly become one of my favorite games of the last couple years. After quite a few attempts I have beaten the game on easy and am now turning toward normal difficulty.

After much trial and error I figured out my strategy for the beating the final boss on easy, but it seems like that strategy will not exactly work for normal because you do not get enough resources to do what I did.

For my win on easy I used the Torus ship. I fully upgraded my shields. I kept the ion cannon, and added burst lasers and the awesome laser that causes fires. I also had one Mark 1 defense drone and two Mark 1 anti ship drones.

The defense drone took care of enough of the missiles and the shields held up really well. I also used level one cloaking for the second iteration of the ship when the drones swarm you.

I then used a boarding party to beam onto the ship and take out the separate artillery rooms.

All of this ended up working quite well, but on normal difficulty it is already easy for me to see that I will not be able to get enough scrap to do all of this.

So if there is anyone who has beaten the boss on normal, can you give me any ideas on how I may proceed? Perhaps using the unlocked Osprey ship somehow? I got half way through the star system once with it, but then got easily wasted in a random encounter.

Is there any benefit to fully upgrading the engines and relying solely on dodge chance to avoid missiles?

#2 Posted by Levius (1255 posts) -

I think I used the Torus to beat normal two times. I used two ion cannons the first time to keep the missles on the flagship locked down while drones attacked with impunity, having full shields is clutch as it keeps you mostly safe if you do enough damage to the flagships weapons. The second I just lucked out and stumbled upon loads of high level gear, which is indicative of one of my problems with the game. I think a lot of the trick of beating the game is just being lucky with the drops you get.

#3 Edited by awesomeusername (4247 posts) -

Get a rabbits foot. In real life. I hear they're good luck.

#4 Posted by Nightriff (5479 posts) -

I even cheated and couldn't beat the last boss on easy, damn third form

#5 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3675 posts) -

Get a rabbits foot. In real life. I hear they're good luck.


You'll want a rabbit's foot, a four-leaf clover, and maybe an old stuffed animal.


I wouldn't go all the way with engines. Shields & Cloaking seem more useful to me. Wish I had more advice but I haven't beat it on normal either.

#6 Posted by TheWadeBrigade (55 posts) -

The easiest way to win in my experience is to use the Kestrel B layout and get a decent boarding party. I almost never bother with drones other than maybe a single defense drone. For the boss I've had the most success with teleporting two people each into the triple ion shot weapon and the triple missile weapon rooms. After you take those out teleport into the triple laser room and once you take that out the boss can't hurt you for the rest of phase 1. You can then shoot your way through the shields and take out the healing room so that you can teleport back into the main part of the ship and take out all of the crew except for the guy manning the beam weapon all the way on the right. If you take out all the crew now they can't board you later making the later phases easier as long as you leave that last guy alive so that the computer doesn't take control of the ship. For the other two phases you pretty much just repeat teleporting into the weapon rooms and taking them out as soon as possible and you should win pretty easily. The only thing you really have to worry about is the missiles getting a lucky hit on your weapons or shields before you take them out especially on phase 3 as you try to burn down the super shields. Also I would highly recommend always getting a cloaking device since it is incredibly helpful for dealing with the phase 2 drone waves or the phase 3 laser blasts.

#7 Edited by McGhee (6075 posts) -



Thanks duders, I will try these things out. I had started to wonder if anyone had beaten the game on normal. lol

#8 Edited by Fredchuckdave (6286 posts) -

Biggest thing is get 2 shields as early as possible and find an enemy in the first or second sector that can't cut through them; then go afk for 15 minutes while you level up your pilot/engines/shields; shield regen especially is a huge bonus; but +10% evade is also nothing to sneeze at. If you get tired of sucking just watch this guy suck even worse and it'll lift your spirits back up: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1bauNEiHIgxUsw-3E5lgKE3oTEfrG6_j

It is luck but it's not that severe; I've beaten the game on Normal with 8 or 9 of the 18 ships without really trying extensively (maybe 35-40 hours played total); the Red Tail is your best bet but there's about 6 or 7 other ships that can win the game easily with just a mild amount of fortunate occurrences (and aside from the Stealth Ships, Slug B, and Engi B every other ship can win with a middling amount of luck or so). I beat the whole game with the Carnelian and didn't kill a single ship until the last boss, just killed every crew; though that'll probably be the last ship you get since it's like a 2-3% chance of getting the events to line up for the Crystal ship and then you have to unlock the achievements for it.

#9 Posted by maskedarcstrike (700 posts) -

@mcghee: The first time I beat the game on normal I used the Torus A.

I outfitted the weapons with two ion cannons and one laser cannon. I placed an engi on the weapons system so he could lvl up faster and fire ion shots quickly. I would fire at least one shot at an enemy ships shields and one shot at the weapons system at the start of the fight and focus on keeping both of them emp'd.

For the droids I had two anti ship 1 droids and one defense droid to block missiles. I think I got a third anti ship droid near the end but I forgot if I did. I had a droid recovery arm accessory that way I could deploy all the droids without fear of losing droid parts unless it was a long fight. The droids would go to work destroying the ship while I kept the shields and weapons offline with the ion cannons.

had a fair amount of luck getting extra crew members so I didn't have problems when I got boarded. Lvld up my shields and engine pretty high in that playthrough as well.

#10 Posted by Ravenlight (8011 posts) -

Just play more, honestly. Eventually you'll be able to react appropriately to the different situations the game throws at you.

If you're looking for more specific tips: Play as the Engi ship and just stack up drones. Having one repair drone for the last battle can keep you in the fight much longer than you would be otherwise. Finding a second ion cannon can do wonders for the boss, too. 90% of the time you can keep it at zero shields until it cloaks. Keep at least one attack drone active and you can beat it in no time.

#11 Edited by Ramone (2981 posts) -

Use the Red-Tail. I can't remember my exact strategy but that ship is extremely effective.

#12 Posted by BisonHero (7283 posts) -

I somewhat agree with others, in that on Normal, there is a certain degree of luck since the outcome of battles can be so heavily determined by your dodge chance and the enemy's dodge chance. Also, you're right, there isn't as much scrap on Normal, so frankly I try to avoid buying weapons and often just make due with what the game randomly gives me (though obviously this plan somewhat peters out if you haven't gotten any free weapon at all by say sector 5 or so). If you're ever in a store in sector 1 or 2 and find a scrap recovery arm, always buy it if you have the money (though otherwise you should be saving for a lvl 2 shield). Also, this is just my preference, but after getting lvl 2 shields, I'll often get medbay lvl 2, because A) it usually pays for itself somewhere down the line because it provides a blue option in a couple random events, and B) you don't have to upgrade reactor power to go along with it, because you never leave the medbay powered except when you're temporarily using it. Also, the drone recovery arm is almost always worth buying, since at the very least it allows you to deploy a defense drone in literally any fight where the enemy has missiles. The hull repair drone is also very, very good.

In general, if you do buy weapons, try to avoid buying beam weapons. Beam weapons are a "win more" weapon type, in that they're only useful if you're already winning the fight (aka have lowered the enemy's shield). Sure, they can't miss, but still, they're "win more", in that you need a solid base of laser and ion and missile weapons before beams can even do anything at all. You'll probably find that your most broken runs are the ones where you have a bunch of ion and burst laser weapons, since those will just obliterate even the toughest of shields if you have enough of them. If you're going to buy a weapon, make sure it's a good one: burst laser mk II, ion blast mk II, ion bomb, heavy laser mk II, all good calls.

Everyone advising you to use particular ships to beat the game on Normal are a bunch of sissies. It's doable on any ship, if you take care and a get a little bit lucky along the way. Sure, Torus A is pretty good, but the starting weapons of the Kestrel are really quite good as well. And if you can unlock the alternate version of the Kestrel, the Red-Tail, it is also good.

#13 Posted by EToaster (128 posts) -

There's 3 basic tips I'd give for the game in general.

  1. Evasion is king. You want max engines, and a 2 star pilot and engineer by the time you get to the boss. The 4th shield bar is largely unnecessary in comparison.
  2. Bombs are the best weapon type. They completely ignore shields and defense drones, breaking or disabling systems, as well as damaging crews trying to repair them. If shields are an issue, bombs are your answer. Maybe pass on fire bombs, though. They're slower, and less reliable.
  3. Boarding is extremely effective, as long as you're careful not to accidentally kill your own boarders by blowing up the ship they're on (looking at you, Osprey artillery beam), you'll get way more rewards for your victories, and often bypass extremely difficult encounters with heavily armed ships that have very small crews.

I wouldn't say beams are bad weapons either. It's easy to get into a situation with lasers and ion weapons where you can barely take down enemy shields, but do 0-1 damage to the actual ship. Beams turn that 0-1 damage opportunity into a 6+ damage murder beam that'll wipe out the boss before he even has time to do anything to you.

#14 Edited by envane (1164 posts) -

i beat the boss on normal with the torus mainly due to max engines , i had 3 shields and the basic cloak , plus anti personell drones and sys repair drones(i feel this is ideal for the engi ship as nobody has to run aroudn repairing , and i can leave the rest of the rooms with no oxygen)

i scraped by with an ion cannon and pegasus missiles (plus a burst laser that was pretty much always down in favor of full engine power/medbay but it definately was useful in the journey to save on missiles) .. i was mainly aways focusing the shield room with missiles (or drone system) and just using my crew telporter to destroy the weapon stations (i left the burst laser guy alive so the ai wouldnt take over )

the 2nd stage wasnt tooo bad , but i was used to timing the cloak , , if i recall i had 3 hull left when i killed the boss but i still had quite a few drones and missiles

granted this was a 1 in 100 run , i had a few rough patches but i had a huge amount of lucky events , and never took tooo much damage that i had to spend much on repairs , even tho i was exploring as much as possible ... but yeah ultimately it was because i went for engine upgrades asap that it all worked out , plus godlike luck with pegasus breaches etc..

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