A small checklist for new players who are nervous about Augmenting for the first time.
Making The Most of Augmentations
It may seem daunting at first, but as you progress in the game, installing augmentations will barely be considered the setback. You’ll want to be strategic though.
What Gets Reset, And What Does Not
- Your earned experience will be reset to zero. Which means your stat levels (e.g. for Hacking, Strength, Charisma…) all get reset to 1. Early-game, you will most likely be missing the loss of your “Hack” stat. You will have to grow it again to regain access to servers, and restore your hacking speed / effectiveness.
- Your money will reset to zero (so make sure you spend it wisely before augmenting). Note that you can seek out and purchase an augmentation that starts you with $1m instead of $1k
- Any programs you built or purchased (like BruteSSH.exe) are gone, as is your access to the TOR network.
- Any servers you purchased (e.g. to give yourself more RAM to work with) will be lost.
- Note that your home server RAM (and cores) are not reset, so you should prioritize upgrading home RAM over spending a lot of money on new servers, especially leading up to an Augmentations. You’ll note that the cost/GB of upgrading your home RAM is higher as a result.
Purchasing Augmentations Strategically
- Note that the cost of all augmentations increases by a fixed price multiplier after each one purchased. (Your current price multiplier is displayed at the top of the augmentation page). Most players should be quick to realize that the most cost-effective thing to do is purchase augmentations from most-expensive to least-expensive, thus reducing the overall cost. Later, the math will get trickier, as you will be forced to buy some cheaper augmentations to unlock more advanced versions.
- You probably shouldn’t be purchasing and installing augmentations until you can afford 10-20 in a single Augmentation, otherwise the stat boosts you get won’t be worth the loss of stat experience in the reset.
- Save and export your save, so you can experiment with different combinations of purchases. If you make a mistake or realize you can’t afford a worthwhile amount of augmentations, you can re-import and grind a little longer first.
- If you can’t afford all the augmentations you’ve unlocked, you should be carefully choosing those that will contribute most to the stats you are using. Early-game, the most useful augmentations boost “faction reputation” and “hacking multiplier / experience / speed / money”. You might want to skip boosts to physical stats like agility, strength, defence unless you’ve adopted a strategy of e.g. doing a lot of crime for money. Hover over an augmentation to see what boosts it provides.
- Make sure to seek out new factions, which will offer new augmentations. The game makes it obvious that certain factions exist (such as CSEC and other hacking factions) which you earn invites to by backdooring their servers, but did you know that there’s a faction for every city? Factions from committing sufficient crime? Even factions for earning enough reputation with certain companies? Check out the documentation and try earning new faction invites in order to unlock powerful augmentations that will make your resets fly.
Getting Back Up And Running Again
- If you’ve bought augmentations that boost your hack skill or exp gain rate, you may find that just a few minutes of studying computer science at the university (free) can boost your hack skill to make early hacking faster and more profitable. You can earn EXP even faster by going into debt with the university, but early-game, this may be difficult to recover from.
- Doing a bit of manual hack / grow / weaken against the n00dles server is also a decent way to kick-start your hack XP. Manual hacking at the terminal is slightly faster than when your scripts hack for you.
- A decent source of income early-reset is to get a job at Joe’s guns (or anywhere you’re qualified), and let your character work “unfocused” while you go about your early-game priorities.
- If it’s been a while since you started (or last augmented) – recall that your early priorities are to establish some hacking income, buy access to the TOR network, buy or build port crackers, crack servers to gain root access so that you can use their RAM, backdoor faction servers for invites, and buy some servers to gain access to more RAM.
- Consider moving to a new city (such as Aevum) when you can afford to travel. The Aevum faction has powerful early-game augmentations to help you gain reputation more quickly (so that you can augment more frequently)
A Couple Other Tips
- If you haven’t done anything with Coding Contracts yet, look into these. You should at least have scripts that locate coding contracts on the network and notify you so that you can attempt to solve them manually. One of these can net you $250M and leapfrog your progress after a reset. This is a subject for a dedicated guide, but a quick tip I’ll put here is to go to “Job” and quit all your jobs before you solve a coding contract, otherwise there’s a chance you’ll earn company reputation instead of the much more useful cash. (You can’t quit factions, and may also earn faction reputation on solving a coding contract, so you may wish to hold off on joining any if you want to guarantee a cash reward)
- You should eventually get around to automating everything you do after an augmentation, so that getting back to where you were is just a matter of letting a few scripts run for a while. You will unlock many new APIs over time that let you automate essentially every aspect of the game.