No matter the mission, guards have a very specific loadout. These loadouts affect the mission's difficulty, frequently require changing strategies, and differ per ship. Guards can have any amount of items, but will always carry at least a gun appropriate for their faction.
Every ship has two kinds of guards; guards, and bosses. Every guard group has a single boss, who usually has nicer gear and frequently carries the key.
All special items, with the exception of armor and explosives, are disable by subverters and crashbeams. Since guards on higher difficulties frequently carry good kits, having a decent crashbeam or subverter is important for attempting Audacious missions or above.
Other Heat Signature Guides:
- 100% Achievement Guide (How to Unlock All).
- How to Beat Every Single Difficult Assassination Mission.
- How to Kill Armour / Shield Guards with Starter Gear.
- Stations and Mission Selection.
- Mission Details.
If your mission target is a person, they will be this type of guard. Absolutely check for what your target has before going on a mission, as you can complete missions with shielded/armored guards without the requisite items as long as the target isn't shielded/armored.
The weapon carried by this guard type. Usually, but not always, a common gun. Security guards never carry lethal weaponry, while guards of other factions can carry lethal or non-lethal.
If this guard type is the kind that can carry a key. Guard groups almost always have one keybearer; if they don't, the key is in a nearby terminal.
If you step within the red circle, the guard will start chasing you until you leave the red circle. Terrible for missions where you can't harm anybody, but immensely useful to lure guards through key doors or into traps otherwise.
If a guard is suspicious (sees your or hears a noise) they will teleport next to you. Much like heat Sensor, it's generally not a detriment except on missions with pacifist clauses, as the guard will teleport to within melee range, making them an easy target.
When the guard sees something suspicious, they will raise their shield. Limits how long you have to react to a guard before they become invulnerable. Extremely irritating, especially when combined with Heat Sensor or Glitch Dash.
This guard explodes shortly after being killed, while knocking the guard out disables the explosive. The explosion will injure you and every unshielded person nearby, trigger alarms, blow out nearby windows, and even breach the hull. Naturally, non-lethal weapons are recommended. Extremely difficult to deal with when combined with Shields or Armor.
Guards is invulnerable to normal attacks. Only attacks with the armor-piercing property or explosions will hurt this guard.
To deal with these enemies, which are very common on higher difficulties, you should attempt to liberate the Armor-Piercing Longblades station first. This will make said longblades perpetually available at the special shop.
Guard is totally invulnerable to everything except the cold void of space. Can be deactivated with crash beams or subverters. Absolutely requires you bring along anti-shield items, but with proper alignment and strategic item use, you can often disable many shields with a single crashbeam or subverter grenade.