STRAFE at face value seems like a fairly difficult game with a simple premise. Kill everything, Dont die! This is much harder in practice however due to the games permadeath and scare resources. However, all is not lost. There are several tricks that I learned just by playing. The game does have a fairly steep learning curve, but as long as you keep trying, you will get better at it.
TIP #1: You Will Die!
No matter how you play, no matter what you do, you will die. It is a part of the game. This is done intentionally, as certain gameplay aspects require you to do multiple "runs" through in order to properly progress. So if you die, dont get upset. Just remember that in a weird way, death helps the overall progression. So go into this game expecting to die every now and then, this will help your overall stress levels when playing.
TIP #2: Never Stop Moving!
STRAFE plays very differently than most shooters, both modern and classics alike. In STRAFE it is Important that you never stop moving unless you absolutely have to or there are very few or no enemies around. STRAFE uses a very different movement system that is easily comparable to the "bunny hop" system from the early quake titles, if a bit more simplified. This movement system has been adequitely nicknamed "strafe hopping" When you run, always jump and while you are jumping hold down one of your strafe keys. Doing this will cause you to gain speed at a rapid pace. When strafe hopping, the enemies have an incredibly difficult time hitting you, giving you a much needed edge over the opposition. Use this to your advantage, learn your environment and hop like crazy!
TIP #3: Be Aware!
In STRAFE many enemies wont make much noise. They can sneak up on you if youre not paying attention. It is always a good idea to be extremely aware of your surroundings. Areas that have acid or other environment hazards, other enemies, drops, etc. Combine this with strafe hopping to avoid contact with dangers and pop enemies as you seemingly glide past them. It is always a good idea to constantly look around, even during idle moments.
TIP #4: Prioritize!
I find that my gameplay became much easier when I prioritized my enemies. For me turrets and enemies with ranged weaponry became my weakness. Thus I always attack them first and avoid the slow moving melee enemies until the ranged enemies are dealt with. Find which enemies seem to screw you up the most and go after them with extreme prejudice!
TIP #5: Weapons!
There are 3 primary weapons; Shotgun, SMG and Railgun. Each with their own unique upgrades and playstyles. Find the one you like the best and get creative. Try different upgrades and only use the ones you like the most. If youre no good with a specific upgrade then the upgrade will only handicap you.
TIP #6: Health and Armor!
STRAFE has an interesting mechanic that threw me and a lot of other people a curve ball. In most games, your health is the most important stat you want to watch. Now while this is still kind of true, If your health reaches 0 you will die. Armor is vastly more reliable as it acts as a second health bar. Save your scrap as much as you can and buy armor whenever you need it. Do not hesitate as without it you will die much faster. You can heal by eating food but its also worth noting that if you have full health when you eat some food a notch below your health bar will fill. If all 4 of those fill and you eat a 5th food item the bars will go back to their original state and your max health will be increased by 10 points. As a bonus you can find 1 food item in your ship before starting a new run. It never hurts to take it.
TIP #8: Money!
There are two different kind of currencies in STRAFE. "scrap" and "credits" scrap can be obtained from enemies or scrap chests. Scrap is used for buying armor, ammo and being exchanged for credits. Credits can also be found from enemies in lesser amounts than scrap. Credits are used for buying items at the shop. Note that when you find a scrap chest, shoot it and shoot it a bunch! Every time you shoot a scrap chest a piece of scrap will come out of it. Just keep shooting the box until no more scrap comes out. The other really valuable source of scrap are from the vent monsters that shoot the acidic bubbles at you. You kill them and they will spew out a slew of acid and a ton of scrap. The scarp might be a bit dangerous to grab so be cautious.
TIP #9: Upgrades!
Upgrades in strafe are found in just about every level in tiny boxes. Shoot them and an upgrade will pop out. These upgrades upgrade your player rather than strictly your weapon. They include things such as your rate of fire, overall damage and mag size. Weapon upgrades will change the way your weapon behaves and can either empower or restrict your ability depending on how good you can use the given upgrade. Then there are upgrades that you buy in the shop. There are quite a few however I recommend always getting the rain gear upgrade whenever it shows up. It cancels out the effect of acid from enemies and this becomes a big game changer allowing you to move more freely throughout the game. You can also buy teleporter parts from the shop to put together teleporters.
TIP #10: Teleporters!
Another strange aspect of STRAFE is the teleporter system. At the beginning of every new chapter there is an inactive teleporter. You can power it back on to act as a shortcut to that area of the game on your next run. However, a teleporter requires 3 parts and you can only get 1 part from the previous level. What this means is that every time you find a teleporter part, bring it to the next teleporter and put it in, then the next time you die and start a new run try to find another part. Do this until all 3 parts have been fitted into the teleporter to the next chapter then you will have unlocked a shortcut!
Written by Ceranoe.