This guide is intended for more advanced players who are looking to achieve a large proportion of unlocks in the Data Cloud. As per the title, consider yourself warned that this guide will contain unmarked spoilers.
Tips with Spoilers for Advanced Players
This lists some of the non-advertised or subtly described unlocks, as well as the path to the must-have Control phage.
- Have the Sentient AI passive equipped when meeting the Tether boss to unlock the Collar fighter.
- The Nose fighter unlocks once you have reached 80% completion in the Data Cloud.
- To unlock the Control phage, you need to progress through the following wins with any fighter:
3x active phages –> Escalation rush –> Regicide –> Hardgrade –> Iron Dog –> Control
Reaching WR with less than 350% escalation for the rush unlock is a challenge. I recommend using the Deconstruct phage so that everything can be destroyed more quickly. You can also take out the item carrier if you do not need any upgrades to complete the wave quickly. By doing the above, I found that it is possible to comfortably obtain this achievement within a few attempts without using any items that reduce escalation.
Finally, it’s worth noting that you can still achieve unlocks while using the Control phage. In fact, some of them are extremely unlikely to be obtained without it…
This section lists some of the less obvious synergies that are not given explicitly in the item descriptions within the Data Cloud. Some of these are deadly, some of them are both deadly and stupidly fun.
- MY TOUCH IS DEATH: Shock Shield + Nanowire + Various Spikes (Hardlight Crysalis, Hardlight Fuselage or Sharper Fields are alternatives but only 25% as good).
- PUT THE HURT THERE: Hatch Displacer + Shot Displacer (gives the benefit of increased damage while annulling shot angle restrictions).
- SHADOW WARRIOR: Emission mask + Stealth Frame + Hyperspace Heatsink (provides a longer stealth time while halving the lengthy jump cooldown).
- I CAN SHOOT FOREVER: Rocket Pod + Gladiator Turbine And/Or War Fetish + War Intel + Exposure.
- ITS OUT OF THE PARK: Aerial Pugilism + Shot Displacer + C.A.T Bat.
- I ALWAYS COME BACK STRONGER: Pity Module + Adaptive Combat Growth + Blood Sacrifice or Stim Sixpack (must be obtained/used last).
Zone Bosses (general)
- Bosses and advanced enemies will eventually adapt to (i.e. become immune to) EMP to prevent them from being stun-locked by constant attacks.
- If finding yourself unable to shoot back during a boss fight, it is likely to be due the boss using flares, which disorient you for a few seconds just like your own flares do to other enemies.
- You can’t prevent the nuke boss from launching and it’ll launch faster if you threaten the silo. Destroy the sentry guns first, then the gunship launchpad, then the shield. In most cases, you will have plenty of time before the nuke launches.
- When not using the Hardgrade phage, you can immediately jump into the final boss (WR) and avoid all fire; just be prepared to immediately extricate yourself carefully from any resulting collision damage. Once inside, you can safely destroy each of the internal supports. Its best to save the top or bottom till last so you can make a quick and easy exit before the shell detonates.
- Note that if you are using Hardgrade, this is not a safe strategy, as the supports are armed! Instead, you should strafe around the shell, destroying shield disruptors and gun emplacements while dodging the burst attack which periodically emits from each quadrant and cannot be disabled. Once all turrets are destroyed, it is relatively safe to remain outside the shell and fire in to destroy each support from the outside.
- Once the shell is destroyed, if you are not planning to use photon weapons exclusively you should try to destroy the four shield coils (two on each side of WR) as quickly as possible.
- Generally, it is just a matter of circle strafing and attacking while jumping either through the WR body or the horizontal beams it fires. However, if it starts firing EMP bursts, be prepared for a pincering beam attack; this can be outrun or jumped beyond, but not without upgrades.
- It may also announce a “scissor attack” which is an ideal pattern because it is extremely easy to dodge even with no upgrades by flying at one of the beams and jumping; the kill zone is well advertised.
- Finally, WR may occasionally go into a “swinging” attack pattern with both beams counter rotating concurrently. This is the most difficult attack to deal with; you can follow one beam closely and jump through the other, or try and avoid both by jumping through the WR body. In either case, its best to focus on evasion rather than attacking until this mode expires.
Secret Final Boss
- The Unknown Entity (UE) boss appears immediately after defeating WR when the Hardgrade phage is active.
- Its melee attack deals accumulating damage, which applies sometime after the hit so it is not particularly obvious what is occurring. Stay away from it wherever possible or parry with your own melee!
- The UE has two health bars; once the first is exhausted, it will recharge fully and then attack with increased aggressiveness. Thankfully, there are no completely new attack patterns to adapt to though.
- You really need a high damage and preferably high accuracy weapon to defeat UE, otherwise it is very easy to be worn down by a long and difficult fight.
- I recommend trying to complete Hardmode before achieving a flawless victory against WR, otherwise there is a chance you will need to defeat an elite-variant WR and then UE, as I did…
Other Gameplay Tips
- To balance SRM with escalation gain, try to clean out any remaining gunships or AWACs before exiting a wave, since they drop a significant amount of SRM.
- For the Bounty Hunter Database item, targets are only classed as “escaped” when you exit a wave, so be sure to hunt them down first.
- You can only beam parry if your strike is connecting with the beam in the very moment it would actually hit you, so just striking into nearby beams won’t do anything. You also need to be facing the beam source within a 90° cone.
- Destroying hardpoints on an enemy (e.g. gunships) before the main body does not yield any increased SRM vs. just destroying the body.
- Make the most of target blindspots; hardpoint guns like those on gunships only have a 180° firing arc and building-mounted guns cannot fire below the horizon.
- Destroying the item carrier gives you a large amount of SRM, at the cost of losing shop crates at intermission. Some crates may survive, but the contents will not be known and they are marked with an occasional animated explosion slash to indicate they are damaged. This can cause them to reveal the contents as unknown when opened.
- Once you have the Control phage, you should always destroy the item carrier for additional SRM, since you don’t need the additional chests.
- For items that reduce jump time, some items take off a flat value, or at least base the percentage on the default one second cooldown.
- However, the hyperspace heatsink actually halves your current jump cooldown. E.g. If you have a cooldown of 4.8 seconds, picking up the Coolant item will reduce it to 4.7 while picking up a heatsink would reduce it to 2.4 seconds.
- This is despite the fact that the item descriptions mention a 20% and 50% reduction respectively.
- Endless mode is available the second time you defeat WR; you can’t really miss the prompt.
- This mode does not drop chests per wave. However, the bonus chest drop chance still applies and bonus chests from flawless waves will also still drop.
- You should play through endless mode to wave 30 once for the associated unlock, then to level 6 for each fighter variant for its specific unlock.
- After 30 waves, there are no more unlocks and the difficulty (escalation) doesn’t scale indefinitely.
- Note that using the Control phage for “x number of y items” unlocks is far easier than relying on chest drops in endless mode…
- There is no guarantee that each unlocked item will show up in your loot pool. You can have runs that simply don’t drop specific items.
- Prefixes modify the base stats of weapons, while the modifiers in brackets only indicate buffs that you are receiving from passives. Global damage mods are the exception.
- The “destroy SRM storage objective” can only occur in zones 3 and 4. However, individual SRM balloons can randomly spawn in waves and grant higher SRM than the objective-based instances.
- The base heart drop chance is about 8%. Most heart drops come from coolness or direct enemy drops. A 0-5 multiplier for your Coolness rating is added as a percentage to your heart drop rolls.
- Where an item description notes a status effect with “% chance /second”, the chance is not applied per attack. Rather, it indicates the percentage chance that an attack rate of one attack per second will have the effect. Mostly it comes down to effect chances also getting multiplied by your weapon’s fire rate. This makes effects more consistent on slow firing weapons due to how probabilities work, but primarily it exists to make effects independent from fire rate.
- Escalation increases difficulty overall, specifically the amount of enemies that can spawn at the time you enter a wave, the requirements to complete wave objectives (e.g. hack time, kill targets etc.), elite spawn chance, enemy attachment quality and enemy spawns in terms of threat level.
- The final boss also becomes more aggressive if you face it with high escalation. It also affects chest quality in your favor, although not to the same degree as wave count and coolness.
- Escalation and wave count both affect chest prices.
- Escalation increases every wave and every 90 seconds you spend in a wave, so advancing through the game quickly or obtaining specific items keeps it lower. A 100% increase per zone is considered the normal progression.
Effect of Enemy Density Stat
- The amount of hits that can be scored by a piercing weapon are completely dependent on a unit’s density value. Your shot pierce rating is reduced by the enemy density on each successful pierce and once the value drops below zero, the shot impacts and ceases to exist.
- Most opponents have a density of one, but the heavier/larger/more armoured they get, the higher their density. This works the same for melee, except that once piercing is exhausted, the attack shatters instead.
- The item carrier has a density of two for example, so a light rail or regular shot with Nano Edge won’t pierce, but a heavy rail will.
- Tier 1 fighters fire a single slow rocket shot.
- Tier 2 fighters fires a 5 round burst of 3 damage shots. They also have less health but are faster than tier 1.
- Tier 3 fighters fires a 3 round burst of 4 damage shots and may fire a homing missile if left alone for too long. They also have an additional point of armour, more health and move slower than all other fighters.