So freaking hard

#1 Posted by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

So I'm playing on easy, but this game is so freaking hard. I've never made more than like 10 jumps before my ship gets boarded and I get raped. There's no way to survive. Or something will catch on fire and before I know it my entire crew is dead..... How do you survive? I don't see how I can get anywhere in this game. There's no way to fight intruders when they get on your ship, my entire crew dies trying. As for fires, they usually start in the airlock control room and that gets destroyed and then I'm screwed....

Is there like a strategy guide somewhere that can help me not die so quickly?

#2 Posted by benspyda (1900 posts) -

Once I got the Engi ship I had much better luck as Drones help a lot. Most runs on easy I get up to at least the second form of the big ship but have yet to beat it. But man sometimes things can go so wrong that I go from destroying everything to instantly dieing because of a chain reaction of bad events.

Some advice that I have learned from my playthroughs

  • Always buy fuel at stores.
  • Take out enemy shields straight away and then their weapons.
  • The Engi ship is great for intruders as your guys get healed wherever they are, even while fighting. If you haven't got the Engi ship yet, you just need to reach the 5th sector.
#3 Posted by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

I have absolutely no problem taking out other ships...but as soon as I get to the second zone I always get boarded and there's absolutely no way to defeat people on my own ship. They always destroy the door controls and then I'm screwed.

#4 Posted by Morbid_Coffee (952 posts) -

Every single run I've done has been screwed over by a group of invading mantis guys.

Every.

Single.

Run.

#5 Posted by Ben_H (3220 posts) -

Run and hide in the med bay. You fight them while being healed so you can't really die. The passive healing on the Engi ship is usually enough for all non-Mantis enemies but otherwise yeah just b-line for the med bay and wait for them to come to you, leaving only essential staff on post (or if they are not in that area).

#6 Edited by seannao (223 posts) -

Doors are more valuable than you think and are a relatively cheap upgrade that can help compensate for a small crew or low combat crews. Not upgrading doors is like not having doors at all. Un-upgraded doors also allow fire to spread quickly!

Being boarded: If you anticipate being boarded, vent out rooms so that they take asphyxiation damage. Note: NOT EFFECTIVE AGAINST BOARDING ROBOTS: THEY DO NOT NEED TO BREATHE <Terminator 2 Theme> Rockmen take very low suffocation damage as well.

Defend from a powered medical bay if possible, but make every attempt to keep them from destroying critical systems if they attack those first.

Anticipating a boarding: If you do not have stealth, the enemy will board you within 5 seconds or less. If you have proper sensors, you can see whether or not they have a teleporter.

Pause at the start of a battle and make a plan... and watch it crumble lol!

#7 Posted by lightsoda (537 posts) -

I always try to get as many of my crew as possible up on them (2-4 depending on the room size), and when health starts to run low, head for med bay.

As mentioned, you could probably try opening the rooms to space as well.

#8 Posted by Shortbreadtom (521 posts) -

Always fight Mantis or large numbers of intruders in the Med Bay, as you can't really die.

#9 Posted by Fredchuckdave (4496 posts) -

As a veteran RTS player I found FTL fairly easy though still genuinely stimulating and interesting (always have something to do or pay attention to on normal), easy is always possible though the last boss doesn't change at all from the normal version and you have to figure out a build to beat it (plenty of ways though the ion bomb is probably the best weapon in the game).

#10 Posted by CptBedlam (4441 posts) -

@Fredchuckdave said:

As a veteran RTS player I found FTL fairly easy though still genuinely stimulating and interesting (always have something to do or pay attention to on normal), easy is always possible though the last boss doesn't change at all from the normal version and you have to figure out a build to beat it (plenty of ways though the ion bomb is probably the best weapon in the game).

Last boss is the same on normal as on easy, really? That actually gives me hope that I'll finish the game on normal some day. I already beat the boss on easy a few times (and I didn't even employ any fancy tactics... rockets, lasers and a bunch of soldiers for beating up intruders is all I need).

#11 Posted by envane (1157 posts) -

play on easy mode .. unless you already are .. in that case good luck :/

#12 Posted by BisonHero (5691 posts) -

@jdh5153: With the specific problems you're talking about, the doors/airlock really are the solution.

For fires, pause immediately. Open the outer doors of your ship, and open a pathway of doors to the fire, so that all of the air drains out in the room with the fire, then unpause. The fires can't burn without oxygen. Naturally, move any crewmembers elsewhere that may be in this pathway of oxygenless rooms. When the fire is out, you can safely close all the doors.

For boarders, pause immediately. Open the outer doors of your ship, and open most of the doors of your ship, except for the cockpit and medbay. If you do this fast enough, the boarders usually won't have time to destroy any one room and will instead be forced to head to your medbay or else die of lack of oxygen. You can leave your pilot in place (otherwise you wouldn't be able to dodge anything), but order everyone else to the medbay. You can now unpause. Most of the boarders will be corralled into the medbay, where you will easily win because you're gaining health as you fight. Sometimes the boarders will be dicks and send 2 guys into your cockpit, in which case there usually isn't any way of getting them out; continue fighting in the cockpit with as many crewmembers as you can fit, and whenever a guy gets down to say 33% health, he should swap places with somebody in the medbay who has more health. When doing this swap, you should absolutely pause, that way you don't accidentally take too long to save the guy with low health.

The airlocks feel a little cheap at first, but airlocks/doors are one of the main things you can do that the AI doesn't do, and you pretty much have to take advantage of that, because you're right, as early as sector 2, enemy ships (or random encounters where 4 assholes teleport onto your ship out of nowhere) will have boarding parties that are more combat capable than whatever crew you're likely to have at that point.

#13 Posted by benspyda (1900 posts) -

I beat it on easy finally and unlocked a bunch of new ships! Hull repair drone was my life saver as I had a whole bunch of drone parts during the final fight.

#14 Posted by Christoffer (1656 posts) -

I haven't had too much difficulty with the invaders. In an totally un-strategic fashion I just juggle the invaders and my crew between different rooms until they're dead. Fight, heal, repair, fight, heal, repair etc. I'm not proud of it, but it works.

Getting to the last boss isn't too hard either (on easy, mind you) but I think I will need to look into getting better weapons earlier.

#15 Posted by Sticky_Pennies (2019 posts) -

@jdh5153: Upgrade your door controls to what you can afford as early as possible. When you get boarded, deplete the intruders of oxygen. Ideally, they'll be beating up on the doors whilst suffocating to death. If you must fight them, fight them in the med bay.

#16 Edited by Fredchuckdave (4496 posts) -

@CptBedlam: Yeah it's not too bad the issue is having the equipment to beat the boss when you get there. Also on normal you're best off totally ignoring every other enemy in Sector 8 most of the time (whereas you can occasionally fight them on easy) because some of them can be harder than the boss. *Launches FTL for the first time in a while* Once you get to a skill cap point on normal its basically a percent chance of winning depending on the ship, can tier the ships as follows (vaguely debatable):

50%+: Red Tail, Shivan, Noether

35-50%: Carnelian, Adjudicator, Torus, Kestrel, Basilisk, Bravais, Osprey, Nisos

25%-35%: Gila Monster, Bulwark, Man of War

15%-25%: Vortex, Stormwalker

<15%: Nesasio, DA-SR 12

Some ships are more luck based than others apart from the over arching success rate; Carnelian and Basilisk especially can become invincible or close to invincible early in the first few sectors or have a lot of trouble depending on what you run into (too many Automated Drones is a pain for boarding ships) and what upgrades you get. But I might go through and do another round with each ship since I haven't in a while; some runs last an hour or more and others last 3-4 minutes. Man of War is the worst ship I've beaten normal with thus far.

#17 Posted by Turambar (6489 posts) -

Upgrade doors to level 2, and start venting the compartments the people come in from. If you have to fight, fight in the med bay.

#18 Posted by Fredchuckdave (4496 posts) -

I should note that starting with something like the Red Tail or either crystal ship you will always have a counter to boarders and while the door upgrade is useful being able to kill intruders is even better (venting oxygen varies in usefulness depending on the ship of course).

@CptBedlam: To increase your chances of victory on normal get to 2 shields as quickly as possible then find a ship in sector one or two that can't cut through them and level your crew fully in piloting, shields, and engines off that ship for a 10% evasion boost and hugely important shield regen upgrade; takes 15 minutes or so of sitting there but definitely enhances your chances of success.

#19 Posted by Ramone (2932 posts) -

The Red Tail is the way to win at this game.

#20 Posted by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

@BisonHero said:

@jdh5153: With the specific problems you're talking about, the doors/airlock really are the solution.

For fires, pause immediately. Open the outer doors of your ship, and open a pathway of doors to the fire, so that all of the air drains out in the room with the fire, then unpause. The fires can't burn without oxygen. Naturally, move any crewmembers elsewhere that may be in this pathway of oxygenless rooms. When the fire is out, you can safely close all the doors.

For boarders, pause immediately. Open the outer doors of your ship, and open most of the doors of your ship, except for the cockpit and medbay. If you do this fast enough, the boarders usually won't have time to destroy any one room and will instead be forced to head to your medbay or else die of lack of oxygen. You can leave your pilot in place (otherwise you wouldn't be able to dodge anything), but order everyone else to the medbay. You can now unpause. Most of the boarders will be corralled into the medbay, where you will easily win because you're gaining health as you fight. Sometimes the boarders will be dicks and send 2 guys into your cockpit, in which case there usually isn't any way of getting them out; continue fighting in the cockpit with as many crewmembers as you can fit, and whenever a guy gets down to say 33% health, he should swap places with somebody in the medbay who has more health. When doing this swap, you should absolutely pause, that way you don't accidentally take too long to save the guy with low health.

The airlocks feel a little cheap at first, but airlocks/doors are one of the main things you can do that the AI doesn't do, and you pretty much have to take advantage of that, because you're right, as early as sector 2, enemy ships (or random encounters where 4 assholes teleport onto your ship out of nowhere) will have boarding parties that are more combat capable than whatever crew you're likely to have at that point.

I didn't know you could do stuff with the game paused. That'll probably help a lot. I got to the 6th sector last night somehow and unlocked the engi ship...I don't like the way it looks though. Can I get anywhere still using the original ship?

#21 Posted by kermoosh (911 posts) -

yeah what others said, upgrade your doors early on when you get boarded i usually air out half my ship to suffocate the enemies as they break through the doors. then by the time they broke through some doors they have less health and i can usually fight the enemy.

also when you're fighting take your guys out of the room if they are gonna die, in the time it takes you to heal your guys they won't do that much damage to your ship

#22 Posted by BisonHero (5691 posts) -

@jdh5153 said:

Can I get anywhere still using the original ship?

Yeah, the original ship is perfectly fine. The major differences between the ships are the floor plans and starting weapons (and some ships have more or less weapon and drone slots). The ships don't have unique events or anything tied to them, so the original ship will see roughly the same sector 5 (or wherever) as the Engi ship.

#23 Posted by CptBedlam (4441 posts) -

@Fredchuckdave said:

@CptBedlam: To increase your chances of victory on normal get to 2 shields as quickly as possible then find a ship in sector one or two that can't cut through them and level your crew fully in piloting, shields, and engines off that ship for a 10% evasion boost and hugely important shield regen upgrade; takes 15 minutes or so of sitting there but definitely enhances your chances of success.

Never even thought of that. Thanks!

#24 Posted by envane (1157 posts) -

@jdh5153: imho the starting ship is the best, or at least ... most balanced

#25 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2028 posts) -

@CptBedlam said:

@Fredchuckdave said:

@CptBedlam: To increase your chances of victory on normal get to 2 shields as quickly as possible then find a ship in sector one or two that can't cut through them and level your crew fully in piloting, shields, and engines off that ship for a 10% evasion boost and hugely important shield regen upgrade; takes 15 minutes or so of sitting there but definitely enhances your chances of success.

Never even thought of that. Thanks!

That's super cheesy, man.

#26 Posted by Dethfish (3593 posts) -

When I first played the game I thought it was difficult, but not impossible. Then I finally got to the last sector and boss. What an asshole that thing is. I've managed to beat it a couple times now, but damn, that was messed up.

My early troubles definitely came from Mantis boarding my ship. I think the first time I rage quit is when they boarded while at the same time I was being set on fire by a sun. Since then my strategy has been to get lvl 2 doors, move my crew out of harms way (and a few to the med bay) and then vent the rooms and lead the intruders to the med bay.

#27 Posted by Junkerman (253 posts) -

@jdh5153: In my opinion being boarded isnt so bad, so long as your okay throwing cheese at the enemies. Most cases you'll get boarded by two to three bro's at a time; sometimes four.

  • Upgrade Blast-Doors! You cant go wrong with upgraded blast doors.
  • When you are boarded, try to funnel them to smaller rooms where your crew isnt going to be outnumbered. If its a 2v3 fight the third fighter will use a ranged weapon which does waaay more damage then melee
  • Drain the air from all non essential systems or basically everywhere without crew. This will slowly deplete their health as they try to push on through your improved blast doors. ***special note: Unlock the door for them once they start banging on a room with your crew inside, because if they break it you wont be able to seal it again for a time and then both your crew and your enemies will suffocate as the entire ship is devoid of O2***
  • The final and most important thing you can do is cheese it up. Have all your crew drop what they are doing (except pilot if he can be spared and your engaged in ship to ship) and swarm to the room the invaders are in. Even if they cant fit, have them wait outside. As soon as your bro's are getting low on health send them to the med bay while you but in your fresh stand-by's right away. Sometimes you can even wait a few more crucial seconds and let them wail on your blast doors. Rinse and repeat when your med bay guys are of sufficient health. Mantis Crew is better for this as they are faster.

I've played this game a fair bit and can only imagine one instance where I've suffered any losses from invaders, and that was simply bad luck jumping into a nebula on like the second jump, being taken by 5 humans vs my crew of three without any upgrades or skills.

Summary: Upgrade Blast-Doors, its cheap! Micromanage effectively and dont give up. Learn when to pull/not pull your crew from combat/medbay

#28 Posted by Gahzoo (361 posts) -

I finally had a promising run, with the backbone being my badass Mantis invaders.

Sector 7 I accidentally blow them again, RIP.

I feel its pretty luck-based, I lost on the first move once, I got fucked over by mantis invaders and lucky rockets causing fires in the worst places. Seriously mantis on the first turn? Fuck that.

#29 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2028 posts) -

As much as I hate cheesing this game, I don't see how you could possibly fight off 3-4 mantis boarding your ship. That's fucked up.

#30 Posted by KillyDarko (1888 posts) -

The pause button is your friend, never forget that-- you can issue commands while the game is paused, so that helps a lot.
Also, try to upgrade your doors early on and then just watch those pesky invaders run out of oxygen and die as you open the airlocks behind them ;)

#31 Posted by Yillb (34 posts) -

Upgraded doors and get your own teleporter and kill the enemy crew. You get more resources by not destroying the ship.

Is it missiles/rockets that pass through shields? Or breaching weapons to knock holes in their ship. Either or should force the enemy crew to repair while your crew messes stuff up from the inside.

#32 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -

@Yillb said:

Upgraded doors and get your own teleporter and kill the enemy crew. You get more resources by not destroying the ship.

Is it missiles/rockets that pass through shields? Or breaching weapons to knock holes in their ship. Either or should force the enemy crew to repair while your crew messes stuff up from the inside.

Turning the tables with your own mantis boarding party is one of the many highlights of FTL. Another good one that I recently found was sending rockmen over and setting everything ablaze with the fire weapons.

#33 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19178 posts) -

22 hours played (all on Normal) and I have practically nothing to show for it except for an unlocked ship and its type B. Haven't gotten past sector 7 and I kinda don't want to play anymore of this now, heh.

#34 Posted by Hunter5024 (5187 posts) -

Just download that mod which disables the pursuing rebel fleet, do a few runs to unlock some of the less crappy ships, disable the mod, and you'll have a much easier experience.

#35 Posted by BisonHero (5691 posts) -

@HaltIamReptar said:

As much as I hate cheesing this game, I don't see how you could possibly fight off 3-4 mantis boarding your ship. That's fucked up.

To be fair, that doesn't happen too often. The teleporter room on all enemy ships is only 2 squares big, so they can only teleport 2 guys initially and then they have to wait for the cooldown. And as far as I can tell, most ships in, say, the first 4-5 sectors only have about 3-4 crew members, so even Mantis ships will usually stop after sending over 2 boarders. Though since I tend to dogpile on those 2 boarders, maybe I am forcing the AI's hand, and forcing them to save their teleporter to retreat their damaged guys instead of sending in reinforcements.

The other time you can have that many boarders is when you travel to a solar flare/nebula beacon, and there's the event where 4 guys teleport onto your ship because theirs is useless, and that also seems fairly manageable because you don't even have to worry about an enemy ship. The usual strategy of putting most of your crew in the medbay and draining oxygen from most of your ship should be fine. All you have to do is cycle guys in and out of your medbay, assuming you have more than 3 crew members. Having a level 2 medbay helps a lot in this situation; it's a relatively cheap upgrade, and one that doesn't really require you to buy more reactor power.

@Hunter5024 said:

Just download that mod which disables the pursuing rebel fleet, do a few runs to unlock some of the less crappy ships, disable the mod, and you'll have a much easier experience.

Being able to grind out every beacon in each sector so that your ship is way more upgraded in each subsequent sector than it should be sounds like it would rob you of the sense of having really earned those ship unlocks through proficiency at the game.

#36 Posted by Hunter5024 (5187 posts) -

@BisonHero: Except because there's such an element of chance in the game, that unlocking ships has much more to do with luck than proficiency, so even when I wasn't cheating unlocking ships didn't really feel like an accomplishment.

#37 Posted by Levio (1781 posts) -

Shoot a missile at their shield system, then shoot a laser at their weapons system and you'll destroy anything in the early game.

To beat enemy missiles, use either invisibility or antimissile drones the moment after they shoot the missile.

You can never win a fair fight with invaders, so you have to cheese those fights with medbay, airlocks, or fighter rotations. Sad but true.

Avoid the purple zones that limit sight. They're just not worth it, even though they slow the wave a bit.

Try not to rely on missiles to always take down shields, because the anti missile drones will counter this and shields regen rapidly. It's possible to be entirely incapable of harming the enemy ship when they have shields and anti-missiles.

#38 Posted by rentfn (1267 posts) -

Thanks for all the great tips. Whenever I think 'Wow I'm doing great this run' instant boarding party comes. I've never paused right when they get on board...what a stupid move on my part. I always try to open the doors in real time. I'll see how much that helps.

#39 Posted by Nictel (2312 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

22 hours played (all on Normal) and I have practically nothing to show for it except for an unlocked ship and its type B. Haven't gotten past sector 7 and I kinda don't want to play anymore of this now, heh.

Switch to easy. I played on normal all the time as well. Never gotten passed about sector 6/7 either. Easy is indeed easier but defo no cakewalk. And it gives satisfaction of reaching the end (Finally!). Even though it might feel "weak" to switch down to easy.

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