In-depth gameplay overviews and tips for weapons, upgrades, enemies, traits, and ships.
It’s a pistol. You’ll find it very useful for killing weaker enemies like juves, tourists, and janitors. It’s also accurate enough to take out cameras from across the room. However, it quickly becomes underpowered as you descend into the nebula. There are luckily many upgrades for the regulator, but the parts required for upgrade levels three and four always seem to be found at a nebula depth lower than the current useful depth for the regulator. As such, it is often not even worth using by depth four, with the upgraded riveter largely taking its place.
It’s a shotgun. And as with all shotguns, if you can get close to an enemy, you can make it dead pretty quickly using this. It’s best used to counter janitors, spooks, and low-level outpatients. And it actually is surprisingly effective against turrets and cameras as well, if you can get close enough. However, it is not recommended for use against patients or screws, the former being too difficult to hit and the latter being too dangerous closeup.
The level two upgrade (senior stapler) is a very modest damage improvement, but the level three upgrade is a quite generous damage improvement. Both should be prioritized to a moderate degree.
It’s a sniper rifle (sorta). Honestly, the toaster is pretty lame until it’s upgraded. At level one, its only selling point is the ability to shoot through windows, which is mostly only useful on ships with windowed doors. But even then, the long charge-up is hardly worth the amount of damage it does.
However, at level two, the toaster becomes just barely viable for some situations due to the damage increase and charge-up reduction. Its decent accuracy makes it really good at taking out distance cameras. And if you can manage to hole up behind a window, headshots from the toaster are effective at taking out most citizens, especially screws. Pairing the toaster with the Low Profile and/or Deadeye traits can make it actually quite powerful, provided a ship has windows. Not knowing what ships will have windows is a major liability for the toaster, though.
It’s a submachine gun. As with the toaster, the riveter is underwhelming at level one. This is due to its absurd amount of spread. Unless you’re using extremely short bursts, the riveter essentially becomes a shotgun.
However, at level two (riveter pro), the riveter becomes really effective at many enemies, juves and patients in particular. But it can also do a decent job against anything other than screws and zecs. The only problem is that the part needed for the upgrade is only found at the deepest nebula depth or requires lots of materials to make. It’s definitely worth saving up materials for, though.
It’s a rocket launcher. This thing is basically easy mode, provided you have enough ammo. It can destroy most enemies in one rocket and anything else in two. But you will need to aim carefully when using it against zecs because of their shield. Although, if you can land a rocket just beside and behind a zec, the nebulator is even more effective than the rad spiker at defeating them.
It’s a proximity mine. It’s kind of annoying to use at level one due to its long arming time, but because it’s most likely the first explosive you’ll unlock during the game, you’ll probably end up using it regardless for a time. Regardless, it’s still pretty good at taking out most enemies with only one bushwhacker. And it’s the most effective counter to patients until you unlock the rad spiker. Provided you have enough of them, you can also kite a pursuing screw with bushwhackers.
Its level two upgrade doubles damage and decreases arming time, which should be unlocked as soon as possible to make bushwhackers a lot less fiddly to use.
It’s a poison dart gun. It’s really useful against most of the citizens as it doesn’t alert them to your presence (unless they see you) and is really quite accurate. It’s good for janitors as groups of them can be dangerous when alerted. It’s good for outpatients as they have a strong attack but can easily be shut into rooms after poisoning. It’s good against scribes as they often run away when attacked with other weapons. And it’s good against screws as the damage over time from multiple spikes can rapidly deplete their ample health. Other citizens are certainly also vulnerable to spikes as well, except for patients, which are functionally immune, i.e. you have to hit each individual patient.
The level two and three upgrades are really beneficial and help keep the spiker useful well into the depths of the nebula by increasing damage and damage rate. Although, the upgrades can be supplanted by merely using more spikes simultaneously on an enemy, if ammo allows.
It’s a grenade. It’s decent at blowing enemies up from a distance, but isn’t the best, as it tends to bounce away from enemies after landing. It can be useful as an early counter to zecs as it does manage to get behind their shields most of the time with careful aiming. But beyond that, it really has no specific uses other than as a backup explosive when bushwhacker and clusterflack ammo is low.
It’s a cluster grenade. The clusterflack is the ultimate room-clearer. The only strategy for it is to chuck one (or two) in a room, lock the door, then wait a bit until all the bomblets have released, destroyed everything in the room, and left it safe for entry. Once the “chanks” (but with an i)–of the bomblets releasing–stop for a few seconds, you know it’s okay to enter. The clusterflack is best used in rooms filled with lots of weaker enemies, e.g. juves, patients, zecs, but if you use enough of them, it can easily take down any foe. It’s also a decent option for taking out cameras that can’t be seen.
Overall, the clusterflack is fun to use and is broadly effective, but isn’t a unique counter to any particular enemies, save for a ship inhabited only by shedloads of juves. Its upgrade gives even more damage and a shorter bomblet release time. It’s not an imperative upgrade, but you might as well indulge if you already have the parts.
The rad spiker has a few key advantages that can make it a very useful weapon to carry into a mission, depending on the enemies present. First, it is hands-down the best weapon for defeating patients; you just bloop them with a spike, wait one second, all dead, and silently to boot. Secondly, the rad spiker is very effective against zecs as it allows you to attack them from the front, avoiding their pesky shield. It does take quite a bit longer to defeat a zec compared to patients, though.
Finally, although admittedly sometimes more of a liability, you can shoot rad spikes at the floor to create radiation pools. Any citizen that moves through the pools will start taking radiation damage over time as if they’d been hit directly with a rad spike. This can be used to create traps around rifts for the purposes of farming drops or spawn control. [Do the pools disappear at any point?]
Other than the fact that the player can also poison themselves with rad spiker radiation pools, its only other major drawback is that the poison effect does not stack like with the spiker and thus the overall damage and time-to-kill can be quite underwhelming. However, the level two upgrade for the rad spiker does address this somewhat by doubling damage and is thus highly recommended.
It’s a stun gun. Probably the best device because it’s effective against almost all of the enemies, especially some really tough ones. The zapper is great for getting passed, subverting, or destroying turrets. It’s also one of the few options for subverting an active secbot. It can stun a screw, allowing you to pummel them with headshots or spikes. And it’s the most effective strategy for taking on spooks, keeping them from teleporting away. The zapper can additionally stun most of the other citizens, all except the patients and zecs (from the front).
The level two upgrade for the zapper (cow zapper) is extremely desirable as it greatly increases the length of the stun effect. You can stun a turret, complete your business in a room, and then leave, all before the stun ends. The level three upgrade (herd zapper) is less useful, though. It adds an area of effect to the stun, which sounds like it’d be great, but enemies actually hardly ever group up to where this is useful, especially considering the already decent fire rate of the zapper.
At level one, it’s mostly just a distraction device. All enemies will turn their attention to the kittybot until they manage to destroy it. When destroyed, it will produce a moderate explosion that can kill most enemies if they’re close enough. But practically, it’s usually only effective at taking out patients. It can be used to create an opportunity to subvert turrets and secbots, although it often ends up damaging or destroying the turret in the process.
When kittybot is upgraded to level two, it essentially becomes a clusterflack that can also distract. This makes it so enemies are more likely to stay in a room while the door is in the process of locking them in. But kittybot is most useful for device-only challenge modes, where it is the only direct damage device.
The rifter opens up several interesting–albeit risky–strategies. Its basic function of sucking enemies up and spitting them back out seems super lame until you realize that this also works on turrets and through doors. This means that you can literally pick up enemies and drop them all into a locked room, to be dealt with later or simply left there.
It also means you can subvert turrets and move them around the ship with you, placing them near rifts or chokepoints to safely clean up enemies for you. Since you’re exchanging the zapper for the rifter, it can be difficult to safely subvert a turret, though. Turning off security can help, of course. [The security disabled ship condition makes turrets stay disabled even when subverted. Is manually disabling the security different?] But the rifter can also be used to grab enemies quite some distance away and doing so also resets the turret’s alert state. Thus it may be easier to grab a turret, place it back down, quickly subvert it, and then take cover before it can start firing. Unfortunately, turrets are still relatively weak against screws, zecs, and secbots, and the rocket-firing ones can also damage themselves. But they can take down several of the weaker enemies for you before being destroyed, saving on health and ammo. And don’t forget: you can also place them through doors!
The rifter can also be used to deal with enemies in other creative ways. It can be used to collect citizens for the drier, allowing you to farm for large amounts of bio. You can even continually pluck citizens from closed rooms containing a rift for a never-ending supply of bio. Fire and electricity hazards are also good places to drop enemies for dispatch. Fire will kill a citizen almost instantly and electric wires will stun them long enough to be killed with other weapons. And you can drop citizens in the buzz tube for launch into space on ships having a buzz room.
It’s a zec shield. The bouncer blocks all incoming fire from the front of the player and inaccurately reflects it back. Given that it’s totally defensive and you can’t use any other weapon with it simultaneously, it’s easy for citizens to swarm you when using this weapon. I’ve been thus far unable to find any suitable use for the bouncer and would recommend it be avoided, especially considering that equipping it prevents you from also equipping the infinitely more useful zapper.
- XXX Hunter – Every weapon also has an associated upgrade for improving the player’s ability to find ammo for that weapon. These upgrades are only situationally useful, for instance when low on ammo early-game, when relying on the weapon heavily, or just before boarding a ship where the upgrade is relevant. On most difficulty levels, you hardly ever need to worry about ammo; however, ammo can be quite scarce on Hard Bastard difficulty.
- Gunpoint Manager – Handy for turning turrets against citizens for use at rifts or chokepoints or just when ammo or health are too low to fight on your own. Kind of expensive, so the level two upgrade is highly suggested. Really good for ships with no merit costs, just stun and subvert every turret.
- Merit Badge – Gives a random chance for a free authorization. Not really something you can rely on and you still need to have the required merits to begin with. I usually don’t even notice when it’s happened. Mainly just an upgrade to make so you can unlock other upgrades.
- Door Manager – Decreases door lock and unlock time. Very useful for controlling citizens with doors, making it so citizens that can open doors don’t chase after you before the door locks. Also makes certain strategies easier to pull off, like spiking alerted citizens or filling a room with clusterflacks.
- Secbot Manager – Great for evading active secbots or using them to defeat tougher citizens, provided you can get to their subvert button. Quite expensive, though, so the upgrade is recommended if you’re into this strategy.
- Trainers – Makes the player slip around for only half the time they usually would after stepping in oil. Kinda lame as oil is usually pretty easy to avoid and this doesn’t significantly help those time when you do, but it’s also cheap to make and a prerequisite for other upgrades, so you might as well.
- Air Freshener – Cuts the time that the player is effected by nausea in half. Also pretty lame for basically the same reasons, but at least it also helps with the effects of toxic outpatient projectiles as well.
- Rad Cream – Decreases the rate at which radiation damage is received by 40%. You’ll still receive the same amount of damage, it’ll just take longer. Not the most useful upgrade.
- Asbestos Jacket – A good upgrade to have, especially when going into ships with the On Fire condition. Fires can really destroy your health, which is particularly frustrating when you have no other route but through them.
- Part Locator – You’ll basically always want to make this as soon as you can since it’s cheap and unlocks many other upgrades. Using it may also ensure that the parts you want will spawn on ships just ahead of you on the star map.
- Fuel Scavenger – Gives a 25% chance to not consume fuel when you move on the star map. Good to grab early on when fuel can be an issue, otherwise only do so to unlock other upgrades.
- Rebreather – A very good upgrade to get. Gives the player more oxygen and thus longer time on a ship–what’s not to love?
- [Armor] – Naturally, this is probably the best upgrade you can invest in since it increases your overall health. It’s not even too difficult to make the first few levels of this. And as an added bonus, when unlocking these upgrades, your current health is increased the same amount as your maximum health; so, it can be used to give yourself a health boost between missions.
- Ammo Subsidy – Gives the player more ammo in their care packages upon returning to the Void Ark or dying. Could be very useful if made just before returning to the Void Ark, especially early-game. Otherwise, not too exciting.
- Heart Starter – A great upgrade, probably the best (unless you’re doing a zero deaths achievement run). When you die during a mission, you actually don’t die, you use up one heart starters and are given full health. And the second level of this upgrade actually gives you a second heart starter, so it’s just as useful.
- Colon Cleanser – A very good upgrade that makes food heal you more effectively, requiring you to rest at a location for fewer days. Allows you to navigate around the star map a little easier by not having to stay and use up food to heal after tough missions.
- Threat – They explode when in proximity to the player. Level 2 tourists (glowtrotters) leave behind radiation pools when exploding. Level 3 tourists (friendly tourists) will chase the player but don’t leave behind radiation. Their explosions can do considerable damage and are thus extremely dangerous early-game.
- Weakness – With the exception of the friendly tourists, they’re one-shot with any weapon. They have no specific weak point.
- Strategy – In order to preserve ammo, level 1 tourists can be easily triggered and then run away from before they explode. In situations where they cannot be safely triggered, shooting them with the pistol is very effective. Glowtrotters should sometimes be avoided when adequate maneuvering space is available in order to prevent radiation pools from being created. Friendly tourists should be dispatched with either a pistol, riveter, or spiker. Given their indiscriminate area-of-effect explosion attack, tourists can be used to take out other enemies in their proximity as well, including other tourists.
- Cannot open doors.
- Can move through vents.
- Threat – Juves move and fire their weapon in an unpredictable manner. They also frequently appear in groups–due to their high spawn count–and move relatively fast, making them difficult to fight in some circumstances.
- Weakness – Low health (20hp?). Double damage for headshots makes them potentially one-shot with most weapons. Level 2 juves (hardened juves) have much more health. Juve attack projectiles can sometimes be dodged.
- Strategy – Juves are easily dispatched by accurate pistol shots. Hardened juves are just as easy when using an upgraded riveter. Groups of juves can be taken out quite effectively by locking them into a room with a clusterflack (or upgraded kittybot). They are especially easy to farm for drops when rifts are locked into a room with a turret.
- Can open unlocked doors.
- Can move through vents.
- Threat – They can move relatively fast when alerted. Their attacks are more powerful and harder to dodge than a juve’s attack. They can be surprisingly dangerous in groups when alerted.
- Weakness – Moderate amount of health (45hp). Double damage for headshots makes them one-shot against the stapler. Level 2 janitors (hardened janitors) have much more health (150hp).
- Strategy – At distance, janitors are easily and stealthily (albeit slowly) dispatched with the spiker. Closeup, the stapler is extremely effective against janitors. The riveter is also a decent counter.
- Can open unlocked doors.
- Cannot move through vents.
- Threat – Screws have a lot of health (1200hp?) and a shotgun-like projectile attack that makes them dangerous to fight close-up.
- Weakness – They’re slow and their attack has a limited effective range. Double damage for headshots. Level 2 (trusty screws) have even more health but are otherwise similar to deal with.
- Strategy – A zapper is a must for fighting screws when they’re alerted. Otherwise, you’ll have to either avoid them or fight them covertly. Their loud movement sounds make it easy to approximate their location, and their slow movement speed will give you time to cut them off or lock them into a single room. When dealing with multiple screws on a ship, it may be better to just try to dispatch them altogether. This can be done discreetly with the spiker, hitting them with multiple spikes simultaneously while their back is turned. Or, when alerted, it can be done safely with toaster headshots from range or by kiting the screw with bushwhackers. Screws are also good candidates for the scrambler or rifter. Just make sure you keep your distance.
- Can open unlocked doors.
- Cannot move through vents.
- Threat – Scribes have a homing projectile attack that they fire in bursts of three shots. They typically try to flee after being alerting or firing their volley, which can sometimes make them difficult to quickly dispatch. They move relatively fast when alerted. Level three scribes will also drop proximity mines periodically when alerted. The mines do a modest amount of damage but are easily exploded from distance with most weapons.
- Weakness – They have a moderate amount of health (40hp, , 160hp). Their weak point is in the face.
- Strategy – The spiker is the easiest and possibly most effective weapon to counter scribes with. Hit them with spikes at a distance before they become alerted and then hide for a moment. If scribes are alerted, they become a lot more annoying to fight since they run away, force you to take cover to avoid their attack, and drop mines to prevent you from giving chase. If you can get close enough, the stapler or rifter are good weapons choices for dealing with scribes.
- Can open unlocked doors.
- Cannot move through vents.
- Threat – They teleport frequently when alerted and take less damage when teleporting, making them difficult to fight. Spooks will generally teleport behind the player or into a nearby room, move to attack once, and then teleport and repeat. They also seem to be more aware than other enemies and are better at pursuing a player, being that they are difficult to lock in rooms while alerted.
- Weakness – Spooks cannot teleport when stunned. They have a moderate amount of health (50hp) and receive double damage for headshots.
- Strategy – Spooks can be extremely difficult to defeat without a zapper, especially in groups. If you try to fight them when not stunned, they often take vastly reduced damage from continually performing a teleport. However, while stunned, they can neither teleport away, move, or attack, and they will take full damage. They are also easier to manage if you have the Sixth Sense trait as their teleport destination and attack vector can be clearly seen on the minimap. Stunned spooks are best countered with a stapler, but a regulator or riveter will do as well. If you can manage to get the drop on a spook, the spiker is also effective and will continue to do damage after teleports.
- Can open unlocked doors.
- Cannot move through vents.
- Threat – They are multiple enemies that move together but have separate health, requiring each “head” to take damage. When they stop moving, the heads take turns firing rapidly and can dish out damage rather quickly when close to their target. They also move very fast.
- Weakness – Each head has very low health, and they are individually one-shot.
- Strategy – Patients are relatively easy to defeat with the right weapons, generally anything explosive or rapid-firing. You’ll want to keep them at distance and un-alerted until you’re ready to fight as they can close the distance quite quickly once alerted, and it is there that they do the most damage. Bushwhackers are the best early-game counter to patients; just toss the bushwhacker near the patient and wait for it to explode. Once you have access to the rad spiker, it is the best counter for patients. If you can land an accurate spike near the center of the group, they’ll all explode a second later. The riveter is also decent at dealing with patients. You’d think the stapler would be good as well, but it’s actually horribly inefficient and slow and thus not recommended.
- Cannot open doors.
- Cannot move through vents.
- Threat – They shoot an explosive glob at the player when alerted and close enough. After a few seconds, this glob will blow up, dealing high damage but in a modest area. If the glob hits the player or another citizen directly, it will explode instantly. Level two outpatients (toxic outpatients) also deliver a nausea effect when hit by the explosion.
- Weakness – They have high health (80hp) but no weak point. They make a very easy target, though, floating at chest height and being as large as they are. And their attacks are not too accurate and can be dodged at range. Toxic outpatients have the same amount of health.
- Strategy – As with most enemies, you generally don’t want the outpatients to get alerted. When they’re alerted and get close enough to you, the globs start going out rapidly, making it difficult for the player to move around and fight back while avoiding damage. The best way to defeat outpatients is using the spiker, and then–alerted or not–quickly closing the door between you to wait while the poison takes effect.
- Cannot open doors.
- Cannot move through vents.
- Threat – They fire what is essentially a nebulator, and do so behind an impenetrable shield.
- Weakness – Their shield only faces forward, thus making zecs vulnerable from the back and sides. They have only moderate health (50hp) and are easily killed by most weapons so long as you can avoid their shields. [weak point?]
- Strategy – Bangers and nebulator rockets are the best options for taking on zecs head-on as they can deal splash damage from behind. But the rad spiker is probably the best option to counter zecs overall–especially when not alerted–because it ignores their shields entirely. Getting the drop on zecs in order to use other weapons, like the stapler, is unreliable and can easily turn dangerous if the zec gets alerted. However, employing robokitties is a good way to distract zecs, getting their backs turned for an attack from behind.
- Can open unlocked doors.
- Cannot move through vents.
- Butt zecs
- Threat – They are a security camera than pans across the room, looking for enemies. Upon spotting an enemy, they let out a tell-tale alert, and if the target remains in their line-of-sight for long enough, an alarm is sounded. This alarm causes all doors to close and lock and a secbot to be activated and sent to the general location. Level two peepers (watchers) have a shorter alert time and sometimes alarm when destroyed.
- Weakness – Level one peepers are one-shot with all firearms, provided you can be accurate enough to hit them. Watchers have a bit more health but are still relatively weak.
- Strategy – Typical video game camera strategies apply. If you hear that you’re spotted, back up into cover until the alert sound ends. Once you have a fix on the camera location, pop out from cover and destroy it as quickly as possible. The regulator and toaster are accurate enough to easily take out cameras, although other firearms are certainly capable in the right situation as well. Bangers and clusterflacks are also good for when the camera is tricky to get a clean shot on. Or you can simply turn all security off if you have the merits.
- Watchers seem to have a small chance to trigger an alarm upon being destroyed if you were spotted at the time. So, you’ll have to take more care when eliminating watchers, perhaps by attacking from their blindspot or using explosives from cover. Unless, that is, you want a secbot to come.
- Threat – They are a stationary turret that is normally at rest but will open and start firing upon acquiring line-of-sight to the player for a long enough time. At level one (gunpoints), they continuously shoot a highly-accurate bullet that does light damage. At level two (boompoints), they shoot a volley of three homing rockets that do high damage and also have splash damage. And at level three (radpoints), the rockets are additionally given radiation damage.
- Weakness – They have a high amount of health (, 200hp, 400hp) but can still be taken out with relative ease. They are stunned for longer than citizens and are capable of taking radiation damage. They can also be subverted to change their alliance to the player, making them fire on the player’s enemies.
- Strategy – Gunpoints are fairly easy to deal with as long as you have cover and the right weapons. The zapper is the most effective weapon to use against gunpoints. It can stun the gunpoint and allow you to either slip by, destroy, or subvert it with no danger to yourself. Bangers can also be effective at taking out gunpoints, provided you can land them close enough–try aiming so they bounce off the front of the gunpoint. Tourists can also be exploded to great effect if they happen to be wandering near a gunpoint. Finally, the rifter has some unique capabilities with regards to gunpoints; see the weapons section for more information.
- Part of the danger with gunpoints is that they give no audio cues until you’re already spotted. Take cover immediately when you’re spotted and wait for the alert state of the gunpoint to end before making a move, this will give you a brief moment to either run away, zap, shoot, or throw explosives without taking damage. To keep gunpoints from getting the drop on you, traits like Sixth Sense and Security Expert are very helpful, as is the helm authorization. And, of course, turning all security off is also an option for neutralizing gunpoints.
- Threat – They are mobile attack robots. They fire four cannons rapidly and accurately, dealing lethal amounts of damage in short order. They have a ton of health and can repair themselves.
- Weakness – They are somewhat slow moving and are vulnerable to fire, electric wires, and radiation. They can be subverted; however, the authorization port is on the back of their turret, making it impossible to get at unless the secbot is stunned, distracted, or rifted.
- Strategy – The best strategy is to avoid waking the secbot, and failing that, to run away until it gives up the hunt. For a few merits, you can also lock a sleeping secbot into secure areas to prevent any incidents. Or for a lot of merits, you can subvert a sleeping secbot by either rifting it out of its hidey hole or (if you’re lucky) peaking through a broken window behind the robot to gain access to its authorization port. The subverted secbot will generally follow the player, attacking any enemies that it sees. For the most part, it can defeat any other enemy save for another alerted secbot–it also has problems hitting patients for some reason.
- The player doesn’t have many weapons that are effective against a secbot. The nebulator is probably the most effective; however, enough clusterflacks can also make short work of them. Stunning the secbot with the zapper is, of course, also very effective for providing either an escape or subversion window. And the rifter can also move an active secbot around, either into hazards for destruction, into a position to be subverted (with a level two rifter), or into a locked secure room. [Is secbot affected by security being disabled?]
- Can open locked doors but not secure ones.
- Cannot move through vents.
Honestly, there’s nothing useful about any of the negative traits and you should try to remove them as soon as possible via a therapy ship.
- Ace Pilot – Allows you to ignore nuc mines on the star map. Generally isn’t too useful as nuc mines can usually be pretty easily avoided unless you’re playing on a challenge mode that increases nuc mines frequency.
- Airlock Tech – Can leave a ship from any airlock (but not on the current ship). One of the better traits as it allows you to bail out on difficult ships faster.
- Authoritative – Cuts authorization time in half. [Is this for all authorizations? How does it compare to Burglar?]
- Bargain Hunter – Reduces Krell Mart prices by 25%. Pretty useless given the frequency of Krell Marts, their limited supplies, and the already too-high initial prices.
- Boy Scout – Reveals item locations on 25% of ships at start of mission. This can be really handy on ships without a helm, ships with power off, or helms that are really far from your starting airlock. However, that it only works on one out of four missions is a huge bummer.
- Brawny – Gives 200 extra HP. Very helpful in early-game, especially on harder difficulties.
- Burglar – Makes door lock authorizations faster, which is always appreciated for managing citizens, particularly when lacking the [door lock authorization] upgrade.
- CNT Approved – Causes scribe mines to not be triggered by the player. As only level three scribes can drop mines, this trait is totally useless on lower nebula depths. And even when dealing with level three scribes, their mines aren’t really a big deal, provided you can detonate them from distance.
- Cannibal – Citizens drop food 5% of the time when killed. A rather so-so skill, giving you on average one extra food per mission. Although, there is a potential for farming food drops at rifts with weaker citizens. You don’t even have to be the one killing the citizen, and it plays a little alert sound whenever food is dropped anywhere on the ship.
- Deadeye – Tightens the aiming reticle and shot spread. A most excellent skill for use with any of the aimed weapons as it lets you drop enemies faster and save ammo in the process (provided you can aim well). Also good for getting clean shots on security cameras to avoid setting them off.
- Diminutive – Basically makes you crouched all the time. Really more of a negative skill with the only benefit being that you can run through vents without crouching. However, it also makes jumping over things and reaching high loot difficult, not to mention being a bit disorienting.
- Eagle Eye – Items outside of containers are also shown on the map. This is pretty decent as it improves your looting efficiency and speed. Containers will still have the better loot overall; however this trait can help you notice loose food and ammo lying around and to better see dropped items from citizens.
- Evasive Flyer – Pirates won’t follow the player 10% of the time when they move on the star map. Useless once you get loaded up with torpedoes and warp keys. Could be critical before then, though, but is it worth taking up a trait slot? Eh.
- Footpad – The player makes no noise when running. A pretty good trait that really improves how fast you can complete a mission. Also great for running to the generator or passed turrets without alerting citizens.
- Gourmand – Shows loose food and food in containers on the map with a special food icon. [How is this better than Eagle Eye?]
- Gun Nut – Takes an extra, random weapon with you on missions. This can be useful, but obviously the randomness of this perk makes it totally unreliable. However, given that most weapons will have a situational utility at some point in any mission, this can honestly be a pretty helpful trait at times. Could be critical in challenge modes where citizens types are unknown beforehand or when only one type of weapon is allowed. [Is this trait even available during that challenge?]
- Infiltrator – Causes cameras and turrets to take just a little bit longer to notice the player. It’s only a barely noticeable amount of additional time, but that could be just enough to not get hit or to destroy a camera before the alarm trips. Doesn’t really help you be more aware of security elements but does gives a little more margin for error once you are.
- Insured – Awards the player with 1 merit for every 1% of health lost (up to a max of 100 merits per life). If you’re being careful, this isn’t a great way to generate merits, so can be pretty underwhelming. However, it can be farmed somewhat on medical ships by purposely losing health and then completely using up a health terminal before exiting the mission.
- Jammie Bludger – There will always be at least one food item in break rooms. Kinda useless unless you’re really hard up for food or health.
- Long Arms – You can interact with loot, terminals, etc. at about twice the distance as normal. Fairly useless anywhere but on ships with lots of hazards blocking access to containers.
- Low Profile – The player can’t be seen through windows. Mostly useless unless paired with toaster sniping through windows, although not all ships have windows.
- Lucky – “Always get good prizes from spin and win”.
- Navigator – “Can see hidden star routes”.
- Plumber – Shows hazardous leaks on the map. [Does this only apply to some hazards that are considered leaks?]
- Power Engineer – Shows power outages as a ship condition on the star map. As power outages can really be a bummer when starting a mission, this can be useful to mainly just avoid certain ships.
- Recycler – Gives 25% more crafting materials from junk picked up in mission or parts recycled at the workbench. Not really worth taking up a trait slot, but not the worst trait if you happen to get it.
- Runner – Makes the player run about 40% faster. Given that most rooms are pretty small anyways, this is barely ever helpful. Might be useful in situations where oxygen is very limited, but that’s about it. The player can already outrun all enemies.
- Scrounger – 80% of the time when running out of ammo, you magically find a bit more. Can be critically useful early-game when ammo is low, but after that, it’s more of a liability–just go into a mission with a weapon that has more ammo.
- Security Expert – Turrets and cameras are shown on the map at the start of missions. Exceedingly useful when planning how to navigate and clear the ship. Probably one of the best traits.
- Shallow Breather – “Consumes oxygen more slowly”. Can be really helpful early-game before getting the re-breather upgrades, but less so late-game. There aren’t many situations where oxygen is in really short supply unless you’re farming rifts or are on the rare ship without an atmo room.
- Short Fuse – Causes player explosives to detonate more quickly, e.g. bangers, bushwhackers, and clusterflacks. Can be kinda useful for a short time after you’ve unlocked these weapons but before they’re upgraded, so mostly not that useful unless you’re only using indirect weapons.
- Sixth Sense – Shows all enemies (citizens and security) on the minimap. Not quite as useful as Security Expert or the helm authorization, but can be really handy quite often. Basically allows the player to see what’s in the next room in real-time. Also, is incredibly helpful for fighting spooks as you can see what angle they’re coming at you from after teleports.
- Small Appetite – 25% of the time when food would be consumed (resting or moving on the star map), doesn’t actually consume food. Handy early-game or on harder difficulties when taking a lot of damage and needing to heal up.
- Sniper – “Chance of a critical hit on each shot”.
- Sticky Feet – Oil slicks and knockback won’t affect the player. Actually, not that bad considering slipping around from oil slicks is really annoying, so effectively neutralizes that hazard. I didn’t even realize knockback was a thing, though, so that benefit hardly matters.
- Sticky Fingers – Automatically picks up loose items near the player. Kinda similar to Eagle Eye in terms of effect. Has one drawback, though, in that bushwhackers are automatically picked up, too, so you’ll have to try to remember to place them at a distance.
- Thick Skinned – Radiation causes half damage. Not really that useful except in rare circumstances where a ship has lots of radiation hazards and no hab room to clean radiation off or protect from it. Even less useful after crafting the Rad Cream upgrade.
- Tour Guide – Tourist citizens won’t explode due to proximity to the player. Not the best trait, but can be pretty decent on any ship with tourists. Allows you to mostly ignore the tourists or better use them as weapons against other enemies. Can be combined with the rifter to basically be used as free bushwhackers. However, they can be even more hazardous if you let your guard down around groups of tourists.
- Towering – Makes the player a little bit taller. Is really a negative trait and completely useless.
- Trigger Happy – Speeds up reloads to where they happen almost instantly. Most of the weapons don’t even need reloading, making this trait of debatable usefulness. But it’s most useful for the regulator. Since holding down the fire button works through reloads, it turns the regulator into essentially a very slow SMG. Could be very helpful early-game.
- Unstoppable – Doors open and unlock automatically when near the player. Completely screws up your ability to crowd control using doors. Avoid this.
- EM Static Field – Disables the mini-map. Fairly annoying as you’ll have to open the map a lot. Also, basically neuters the Sixth Sense trait.
- Friends on Board – Makes one type of citizen allied. Will cause a lot of infighting that will weaken enemies, which is pretty handy. You could even get lucky and have screws or zecs be allied, making that ship a veritable walk in the park.
- Generator Fault – A super annoying condition that causes power to occasionally turn off, forcing you to run back to the generator room before continuing or even being able to exit the ship. Also opens all the doors, so corralled citizens will be free to roam around again. Seems to happen about every three minutes. Best to only grab your objective and then immediately leave these ships.
- Hard to Leave – Makes it so that you have to leave from a different airlock than the one you entered. It’s pretty inconsequential most of the time, unless you’re in early-game and still rather weak.
- High Security – There are lots of security elements. Requires you to really take the ship slowly, because every room is likely to have at least one turret and camera. The Security Expert trait or helm authorization come in real handy on these ships. Recommended to head to the security room first thing and deactivate all security. Or just chuck clusterflacks in every room first.
- Infighting – Enemies have half-health. A decent condition that makes clearing the ship easier and faster.
- Lights Out – Makes it so you can only see about a meter in front of you. Terminals and tourists are the only things you can see at distance. Citizens also have their vision distance lowered, however, turrets [and cameras?] do not. Helm authorization is helpful for keeping you from bumping into enemies you didn’t know were there, as is paying close attention to the minimap with Sixth Sense.
- Lockdown – All doors start locked. It’s actually kind of useful since the citizens aren’t free to roam around. This condition will slow you down a little, but is mostly inconsequential.
- Meritorious Crew – Every citizen you kill drops one merit. Yeh, just one. I know…wow. /s Less annoying if you have the Sticky Fingers trait, otherwise you have to pick up every dropped merit card individually. Can be farmed, though, if you have a ship with only weaker enemies, but it’s not really worth it.
- Messy – Items will be loose on the ground or on tables instead of in containers. Makes looting a little more difficult since neither the helm terminal nor the Boy Scout trait will show you where most items are. Eagle Eye trait is very useful for these ships, though.
- Minimal Oxygen – Causes the ships’ oxygen supply to be cut in half. [Is this accurate?] Make sure you clear the atmo room if you anticipate needing more oxygen, so you can get in there quickly. Typically, though, isn’t that big of a deal, especially with Rebreather upgrades or the Shallow Breather trait.
- Nebula Calm – The enemies found on this ship will be from a shallower depth. Basically like the Infighting condition in terms of effect.
- Nebula Storm – The enemies found on this ship will be from a deeper depth. You may want to skip these ships unless you feel kitted enough.
- Nebula Twister –
- Open Door Policy – You can’t lock doors on this ship. Depending on the citizens present, this could be inconsequential if they can’t open doors anyways. Otherwise, it could be a real issue for citizen management, especially if screws are present.
- Out to Lunch – The ship doesn’t start with any citizens spawned, but there will be rifts everywhere. Generally, you’ll want to run to your objective as fast as possible and then immediately leave these ships. It seems that only one type of citizen will spawn from the rifts, so the actual danger can be rather variable, but regardless, the amount of enemies on board adds up quickly.
- Pupbot – A little robot dog will spawn somewhere on the ship. Killing it will allow you to pick up a random part from its lifeless body. It can be difficult to kill, though, since it speeds around quite quickly and has a relatively large health pool. Try to lock all the exits to the room before attacking pupbot to keep it from escaping. Stunning it with the zapper is also very effective. Pupbot will show on the map if you get helm authorization.
- Rich Cargo –
- Security Deactivated – Cameras and turrets start disabled. However, if you subvert a turret, it will still alert and attack your enemies. Actually, a very helpful condition for using the rifter to carry turrets around, since you’ll take no damage while attempting to subvert them. Otherwise, just makes the ship a lot easier to move around.
- Semi-Breathable Air – Causes the ships’ oxygen supply to be increased by 50%. [Is this accurate?] You probably won’t need to worry about running out of oxygen on this ship.
- Subverted Security – All of the ship’s cameras, turrets, [and secbots?] are allied with the player. A similar outcome to the Friends on Board condition, except you know what enemies will be allied here. So, most citizens will end up being killed before you have to deal with them, provided they can enter a room with a turret. Screws and zecs will still survive against the turrets, but not against secbots.
- Undermined Authority – Possibly the best condition as it makes all authorizations free, which includes terminals, turrets, secbots, and locked containers. So you’ll be able to hit up every container, get bonus therapy traits and requisitions, get a second free torpedo or warp key, turn all the turrets and secbots to your side (upgrades and secbot port access permitting), and become immune to all hazards with the hab terminal. It’s really a good time all around. Highly recommended, even if there isn’t a part you need on the ship.
- Dirty – Lots of nausea-inducing garbage will spawn around the ship. Kind of annoying, but not really that dangerous as long as you can keep from fighting enemies while you’re sick.
- Electrified – Lots of shocking wires will spawn around the ship. Can actually be a benefit more than a hazard to the player. Since enemies get stunned when walking into the wire, yet the player can easily jump over the wires, they can be used to your advantage to fight citizens while they can’t fight back. However, floating citizens are immune.
- Hazardous – Lots of hazards of all types will spawn around the ship. Can be extremely dangerous and makes moving through the ship difficult. Recommended to use the ship’s hab to protect yourself from all hazards if you can afford it and the hab room is present. On the plus side, though, is that all the citizens will most likely kill themselves before you even have to deal with them.
- Irradiated – Lots of radiation pools will spawn around the ship. More annoying than dangerous since the radiation damage is applied slowly over time. However, it is very dangerous for the citizens on a ship and you will come across many that are already in a weakened state. Probably shouldn’t stay on these ships very long as the radiation damage to the player will really start to add up.
- Oil Leak – Lots of oil slicks will spawn around the ship. Maximum annoyance unless you have the Sticky Feet trait. Expect to be sliding around the entire time since sliding makes it difficult to avoid hitting more oil slicks. Enemies are unaffected by the oil.
- On Fire – Lots of fire will spawn around the ship. Probably the most dangerous hazard as it does a lot of damage, easily taking 100hp in a single encounter. Unless you can afford a hab authorization, it’s best to avoid these ships, especially if you don’t have many health upgrades or the Asbestos Jacket upgrade. The ship will be almost entirely devoid of citizens, though–the fire kills them all instantly. The rifter is very effective on these ships as such.
- Smoky [sic] – Lots of smoke will spawn around the ship. A somewhat annoying condition, works effectively like the Lights Out condition. Can be good at blinding turrets and cameras, though, so you can take them out close-up.
The cache conditions are just a minor bonus. Because they don’t show on the map and you’ll have to check every container to find them, it’s not really possible to take any caches into account as you plan your movement through the ship. They can be useful to seek out early-game, but otherwise, just take them as they come.
- Ammo Cache – One of the ship’s containers will contain a generous amount of one type of ammo.
- Food Cache – One of the ship’s containers will contain several food items.
- [Fuel Cache] – One of the ship’s containers will contain several fuel items.
- Torpedo Cache – One of the ship’s containers will contain a single torpedo.
- Warp Key Cache – One of the ship’s containers will contain a single warp key.
- Atmo – A very common room; however, its absence on a ship is noteworthy as it will mean you might have to rush to complete your objectives. The terminal gives additional oxygen worth 100% of starting oxygen, and its authorization gives another 100%, although this is hardly ever needed. Compressor and Pneum Tube spawn here.
- Break – A fairly common room on many ship types. Its terminal gives a 3x boost to player damage, which can be very useful for taking out screws or even secbots, or just generally, rapidly clearing weaker enemies in one or two hits each. The authorization allows an additional boost to be received. Food frequently spawns. Ion Bru spawns here.
- Buzz – Only found on buzz ships. Has a large tunnel in the middle of the room that can be used to flush enemies out into space up to three times. This sounds more useful than it is since it’s difficult to get enemies into the tunnel and then launched, and also enemies won’t drop anything when dispatched in this manner. Is a good source of bushwhackers and clusterflacks. Buzz Box spawns here.
- Cubes – Only found on permit and XXX ships. Difficult to loot and fight enemies in because of the cubicles blocking LOS. Loose items can be spotted by standing on a desk and looking for sparkles. Good source of staples and plaz. Line printer spawns here.
- Dine – Only found on luxury ships. It can be difficult to fight in with all the tables/railings, little cover, and shear room size. A very good source of food. Nutri Tray spawns here.
- Dock – Only found on a couple of ships. It can be difficult to move around given the chokepoints along the sides of the room and ship in the middle of the room. It’s a good source of rivets, they’re often just laying loose in cases.
- Drier – Only found on a couple of ships. Features two big “driers” that will hurt the player or turn citizens into packets of bio. The driers can be turned on and off at will using a lever for each drier. These levers are behind a secure door that is sometimes locked. The dehydrated packets will appear on a chute next to the levers. Body fluid spawns here.
- File – Only found on requisition ships. It’s a very large room with three or four entry points; however, enemies on the far side of the room won’t notice you. So, it’s easy to pick distant enemies off with spikers or toaster snipes. Rifts frequently spawn here, though, so good to clear it early and then lock it down. Terminal allows for a supply pod to be called for either food, fuel, or ammo. And for a modest fee, the authorization allows a second use. Very useful. Mouse Ball spawns here.
- FTL – Very common room. Good source of fuel. Spawns FTL Nozzle.
- Fix – Common on several ships. Contains up to four terminals that will upgrade junk to its next tier, e.g. a heart (20 bio) becomes a head (50 bio). Highly recommended to hit up this room last before leaving a ship. Screwshifter spawns here.
- Garb – Fairly common room. Terminal allows you to convert junk into merits. [Is this a good strategy? I never use it.]
- Gen – Very common room. Terminal allows you to turn power back on when there’s an outage. Spawns Metal Tube.
- Hab – Very common room. Terminal allows the player to remove radiation and nausea up to three times. The authorization makes the player immune to all hazards and is thus very powerful but also quite expensive; usually only worth it on a ships with lots of hazards or lots of fire or with free authorizations. Can sometimes find loose food here.
- Helm – Very common room. The terminal adds the location of every container and the part containers to the player’s map. The authorization adds a live location for every enemy, citizens and mechanized, to the map, in addition to rift locations. This is very useful and very cheap, and so is often worth using, especially early-game when you’re quite weak and under-equipped.
- Hold – A room that appears on several types of ships, often with multiples on one ship. Nothing remarkable about it.
- Mart – A room that appears on medical ships. It’s a good source of bio in both containers and loose. Distended Testicle spawns here.
- Nuc – A room that mostly only appears on torpedo ships. A good source of bangers and clusterflacks. Detonator spawns here.
- Pet – A room that mostly only appears on pet ships. A good source of kittybots and data. Control Collar spawns here.
- San – A very common room. Nothing special about it, though, it’s basically just a closet. Can be used to shove enemies into with the rifter. Spawns Magnifying Glass and Slop Can.
- Sec – A very common room. Always features a partitioned area behind a secure door where the terminal resides. The terminal allows security (enemy turrets, cameras, and secbots) to be turned off for an amount of time (varies with difficulty level) with three uses. Authorization turns off security permanently but is rather expensive.
- Spin – A room only found on some luxury ships. Can be difficult to move through with the maze of slot machines, ramps, and railings. Terminal allows you to spin three times and receive a random item, authorization unlocks an additional three spins. The given items are generally no better than opening any random container, but spinning is cheap. Spawns Lette Wheel.
- Suites – A room only found on luxury ships. A group of four small rooms having many containers and loose items. It’s easy to lock citizens and rifts into these. Spawns XTC Stim.
- Tanks – A room only found on tanker ships. A good source of fuel. Spawns Latex Seal.
- Theater – A room only found on medical ships. The terminal can heal the player for an amount that varies with difficulty. Authorization gives the player full health plus an additional 500hp for the remainder of the mission. Always worth hitting this room up before leaving a ship to make sure you’re topped off on health. Good source of spikes. Spawns Surgery 4 Dummies and Med Blower.
- Therapy – A room only found on therapy ships. The terminal allows the player to swap out one positive trait for another or remove a negative trait. Authorizing the terminal allows for a second trait change to be applied with all new traits to choose from. A really handy room to visit if you have a negative trait or are hunting for your favorite traits. Often airlocks are located very close to the therapy room, allowing for a quick in and out to roll for new traits. Spawns Restraint Pad.
- Tombs – A room that appears on a variety of ships. It’s a good source of zap charges and bullets. Spawns Form T28B.
- Tubes – A room found only on torpedo ships. The terminal allows you to collect one torpedo for use on the star map against pirates and squids. Authorizing the terminal allows a second torpedo to be collected.
- Ward – A room only found on late-game medical ships. A good source of rad spikes.
- Warp – A room only found on warp ships. Contains a locked warp chamber where a warp key can be acquired, but a citizen also always spawns there, too. The authorization will spawn a second warp key. There’s also some levers in this room that warp in a different citizen into the warp chamber but I’m not sure what use this is. The Art of Warp spawns here.
- Cameras and turrets aren’t listed as enemies when going into missions, but, as you’re planning your loadout, don’t forget that you’re likely to be going up against some.
- Radiation damage to the player works by building up a radiation bar rapidly for the duration you remain in a radiation pool, and then applying that damage 1:1 (with no modifiers) to player health every X seconds at a rate of 5 hp per tick [at all difficulties?]. So, unless you clean off the radiation in a hab room or exit the ship, all of the damage in the radiation bar will be removed from player health over time.
- Returning to the Void Ark will cancel any supply pods you’ve requisitioned.
- Parts always spawn in specific rooms. So, if you’re on a ship that’s missing a helm and you’re looking for a part, try to think logically about what room such a part might be found in. Similarly, locked containers will also always contain a part that is specific to the room it is in. See the “Rooms” section of this guide for spawn locations for all the parts.
- The clean-room doors on medical ships will also remove radiation, infinitely and at no cost.
- The Krell Marts always have one free food and fuel, so it’s worth docking with one if you’re low on supplies.