Heat Signature – Ship Objects

This is a guide of every major ship object, how those objects function, and strategies for circumventing or exploiting them.

Other Heat Signature Guides:


Your eternal foe and greatest savior. Doors control your movement through each ship, and block line of sight while closed.

Generally speaking, a ship is divided into a number of sections, with transition from one section to another blocked by a locked door. There are a number of ways to beat a locked door.

  • Subverter: Subverters remove the lock on a single door. Very useful for panic situations, but not scalable without a self-charging subverter.
  • Key Cloner: Key Cloners give you the key of a targeted enemy within range. Best way to get through doors without a fight, although you should be careful not to be seen.
  • Swapper: Completely bypasses the door. This traps you on the other side, but since backtracking is not a necessity during infiltration, it’s not much of a problem.
  • Get the key from a guard: Some of the old-fashioned ultraviolence or sneaking; kill or disable the guard carrying the key, or pickpocket it. Simplest way to progress, but impossible on pacifist missions and can quickly lead to a mission failure. Only do this if you don’t have another, better option. 

Whether a door is open or closed also determines if a Sidewinder can teleport through it; closed doors block sidewinder paths. You can prop doors open by placing a body over the door, but make sure an enemy doesn’t see the body, or they’ll sound an alarm.


Used to unlock locked doors of the designated number or lower. Keys can be found in one of three places:

  • On a guard: The most common place to find a key, and the most irritating. Hurt the guard to make them drop the key, sneak up behind them to pickpocket it, or clone it.
  • In a terminal: Much easier than dealing with guards, but also much rarer. Simply use the terminal to get the key. Nothing special required!
  • On the floor: Usually a key will be on the floor because it was dropped by a murdered guard, but very rarely you may see one on the floor anyway. Easiest acquisition method, as you simply pause the game and use the personal teleporter to grab it.

Keys are not strictly necessary to progress, especially if you have lots of teleporters, but they are the most reliable way.

Engine Rooms

These rooms explode after a short time (about one second) if the explosive in the center of the room is hit by weapons fire. Can be used to your advantage to clear out armored or shielded enemies when your items are terrible. Will create open airlocks that your breacher pod can connect with, so great for making a getaway in a pinch.

Destroying all of these rooms in a ship will render it dead in the water, which means all alarms will be canceled.


Contains a random item. No restriction on what may spawn, unlike shop items. There does not appear to be a correlation between difficulty and what chests drop, but larger ships (higher difficulties) do have more chests, while smaller ships have very few or none at all.

Pilot’s Chair

Where the pilot sits. The objective for Hijack missions, as you must harm the pilot and the crew before steering back to base. Harming a pilot should be your highest priority in every mission except pacifist or ghost.

Harming the pilot and using the chair gives you a number of benefits:

  • No alarms: No alarms will trigger when a guard yells intruder, and any existing alarms will be immediately canceled.
  • No time limit: Nobody is able to steer the ship into a station, which removes any time limit.
  • No heat sensors: Those heat sensors that sometimes detect your pod and hit it with a missile? Gone. Maneuver around an enemy ship with ease.
  • Pilot the ship: You can pilot the ship yourself. Of limited use, but for difficult assassinations you can use ship missiles to destroy an enemy ship without docking.

It is best to devise speedrun strategies for getting to a pilot as quickly as possible, as no alarms and no possibility of capture makes missions a cakewalk.


A turret turns to face each open corridor next to its room after a short time. While turning, they can’t acquire or fire upon targets, and upon finishing the turn there is approximately a one second delay before the targeting laser turns back on.


  • Subverter: Subverters turn a turret so that it won’t attack you and will attack enemies. This is denoted by the targeting laser turning green. This is the best way to deal with a turret, but be warned; if an enemy sees a dead body caused by a turret they can still trigger the alarm.
  • Crashbeam: Crashbeams completely disable a turret from a range and without making a sound. Not very necessary, as turning off turrets by hand is easy enough, but useful for pesky missions where turrets are surrounded by tons of enemies
  • Manual Disable: Walk up to the turret and turn it off. Since turrets take a while to transitions between directions, this is a lot easier than you might expect. Just deal with all the guards before you try it.
  • Explosives: Destroy the turret. Loud, crass, will almost certainly cause an alarm, but useful sometimes, especially if you are trying to lure enemies to you.

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