FTL: Faster Than Light – Advanced Edition Mini-Guide
The FTL Advanced Mode unlocks new equipment, systems, race and ships. In this guide we will discuss some of these new changes so that you can see what manner of new possibilities you have when it comes to your FTL Games, in Advanced Mode. Personally I found these new additions to expand the possibilities of your ship, even if sometimes obtaining the necessary bits and pieces can be expensive or time consuming. This guide will be devided into a number of sections, focusing primarily on the new Systems, the Lanius Race, the new player ship and the new weapons at your disposal. If you are looking for a guide focused on the core, vanilla game please follow this link to our general FTL Guide.
FTL: Faster Than Light – Advanced Mode Guide
Advanced Mode introduces a number of new Systems and one sub-system, all of which have their own special uses, and are surprisingly versatile.
The new Hacking System allows you to fire a single hacking droid at an enemy ship to then hack into the enemy ship’s one system. You can choose any system or sub-system, depending on what you want to do to the enemy. The Hacking System has three tiers, each one extends the length of “Disruption” that is activated by the player.
When the Droid attaches itself all of the doors leading to and out of the hacked room will be “locked”, much like blastdoors. An enemy will have to force their way in, but your own friendly troops will be free to travel through these doors unhindered. Even Level 0 doors (standard doors) will create a barrier for enemy movement. Depending on what system the droid hacked into different things may occur when you activate its disruption.
Weapon System – Passive: You can see the charge on all enemy weapons. Active: All weapon charges will decrease steadily. The higher the level of the hacking system the more likely it is that you will deplete enemy weapons completely.
Shield System – Active: Drain shields, a barrier at a time. If your Hacking system has too low a level you may be unable to drain more than two shield layers.
Droid System – Active: All Droids are turned “off”, and may randomly explode.
Bridge/Engine – Active: Shuts down the Bridge or Engine, thus reducing Evasion to zero and stopping any FTL Charge, much as if the Bridge or Engine were destroyed or had no power.
Oxygen System (Life Support System) – Active: Shuts down the Oxygen System
Medbay – Active: Anybody inside of Medbay, when hacking is active, will slowly lose their health.
Clone Bay – Active: Shuts down Clone Bay. This means that if somebody was cloned the operation will be halted, and anybody who was waiting to be cloned might be dead
Hacking System – Active: Stops any hacking, and the enemy Hack Drone might also be destroyed.
Mind Control – Active: Stops any mind control of your own crew and instead you take control of one enemy crew member, for a short time.
Teleporter – Active: All enemy units on your ship are sent back to the enemy ship instantly, unless they are mind controlled on your ship.
Door System – Active: All doors become friendly “blast doors”, locking the enemy in their rooms. The doors may still be forced open.
Battery – Active: Disables any benefits of the Battery sub-system and drains two additional energy blocks.
Cloaking System – Active: De-cloaks the enemy ship, and stops any cloaking attempts while hacking is active.
Take note, when the droid attaches itself to an enemy room you can see what is happening inside of it. Because of this the Hacking System allows you to create an effective and safe landing zone for your friendly troops, when teleporting them over. Furthermore this may also be used to your advantage when you want to destroy a key enemy system before the enemy can react. As an example, you could attach your hack drone to the enemy Life Support system and then send a breacher or fire bomb to destroy the system and make it impossible for the enemy to repair it (due to vacuum). Even if the enemy gets in and starts repairs they might find themselves trapped in a room without any oxygen, or filled with fire, when the doors lock themselves again.
In general the Hacking System is very versatile, and may be used on many of the ships to undertake different roles. On the Mantis ship it could be used to create a safe area for your Mantis to teleport into. On the Zoltan Cruiser you could hack the enemy shields to then effectively fire your Halberd beam. Or on the Engi cruisers, if you rely heavily on drones, you could use Hacking to disable any counter-drone defense the enemy has.
Furthermore, a lot of enemy ships now use hacking to disable some part of your ship (like the engines). This is especially the case with hostile Slug ships. A Hacking System can counter any hacking attempts, although during the next battle you won’t be able to hack the enemy.
The Cloning Bay is hard to classify as either an addition or a substitute for a Medbay. On one end it does heal your crew, after every FTL jump, but it also allows you to bring back dead crew members which is something the Medbay cannot do. However unlike the Medbay the Cloning Bay only heals a bit of health after every jump (depending on the level of the Cloning Bay) while the Medbay can heal anybody within it fully, rapidly.
The best way to compare the Cloning Bay to Medbay is to see when one becomes more useful than the other.
Cloning Bay – It heals after every jump and allows the cloning of dead crew members. Since it cannot heal constantly, and cloned crew members will lose a fraction of their experience, this system ALONE is only good for ships that do not intend to fight the enemy up close. You could send crew members to the enemy ship, and then let them die to then respawn on your ship to send them back, but that is time consuming and your “marines” will have absolutely no experience left. When you are defending yourself from enemy boarders you may find it impossible to effectively protect your ship, unless you outnumber the enemy, have better fighters, or you use vacuum to kill the enemy before they reach your crew. Here again you could lose crew members during a defense to stop the enemy, but you end up with an inexperienced crew.
Medbay – Since it can heal constantly you just have to send your crew into Medbay (or have the Engi Nanobot upgrade) and then send your crew back to their posts. A Medbay is crucial on ships where you plan to board the enemy, since you can pull your crew back, heal them and then send them back in. You might not be able to recover dead crew members, and your crew might need to reach the Medbay to heal, and on a burning and vacuum filled ship that could be impossible, but a fully upgraded Medbay can do miracles.
Having both a Medbay and a Cloning Bay would be ideal, but it is sadly not an option. When you have a ship with a Cloning Bay or a Medbay you can only swap them around. Because of this you have to adjust your ship, in some ways, to what manner of healing you have on board, as we discussed before.
Overall, the Cloning Bay offers new possibilities of its own, especially if you prefer quantity over quality, but this could cost you dearly if you have a very small crew, and play on a higher difficulty setting.
Mind Conrol System
The Mind Control System allows you to take control over one enemy crew member, or to take back control over one of your “possessed” crew members. Depending on the level of your Mind Control System the enemy you take over could have additional health and damage, thus allowing him to cause even more chaos and carnage. Compared to the previous two systems the Mind Control System might seem like a bit of a waste. What’s so beneficial about taking over a single enemy crew member? Depending on how you plan on using your ship and crew you could mind control the enemy captain, thus reducing their evasion to zero for your weapons to fire accurately. You could also take over an enemy crew member in the same room where you teleport your crew, to bolster your defenses or attack. Lastly, even a level 1 Mind Control system may be used to counter the enemy’s Mind Control attempts, just target the crew member who was taken over.
Is it a worthwhile System to invest in? Some systems may be more useful. A cloaking system would allow you to have a safe way of evading the mass of enemy fire. A teleporter could be used to send over troops to the enemy. The hacking system is an effective way of sabotaging the enemy. I would say that I have used the Mind Control System with great success, especially with the Mantis Cruiser. When you send in four trained Mantis fighters and you then take over an enemy crew member, you can cause all manner of chaos.
Lastly, if the enemy boards your ship the mind control system can be used to take control over one of the boarders, thus giving you an edge in the defense. While you cannot control these “zombies” they may begin repairs, take control of systems (weapon, shield, engine, etc.) or fight fires. Of course, you cannot control them long enough to do much good but at least they are distracted long enough for you to prepare a response.
Sometimes you may need a bit of extra juice, in an instant. On the Easy difficulty setting you may end up in a situation where you have more system upgrades than power. If you do not have Zoltans and you fully upgraded your reactor the Battery System is a solution to quickly powering different parts of your ship. I did not rely on the Battery System too much myself, but I do see its potential when you want to boost your weapon systems, shields, engine or other crucial systems (oxygen, drone control, etc.). Since the boost lasts only a short while you have to practice using it when it is most useful.
During a most recent game I used the Battery System to quickly power additional shields and the engine, when I felt the enemy was about to fire a heavy barrage of lasers or missiles. Other times I would use the Battery System to pump in some additional power to the Cloaking System I had installed. The Battery System has some clear uses.
The New Systems and Quests
The Hacking, Cloning Bay and Mind Control systems all offer new blue options in some random events. The Hacking system may be used to counter-hack, turn off drone alarms or perform a number of other tasks. It is an incredibly useful system for random events, even if it cannot be applied to every single event. The Mind Control system can also aid you in some events, especially when dealing with Slugmen or Pirates who may try to rob you. The Cloning Bay may bring back dead crew members who died during most events. There are a few exceptions when the Cloning Bay cannot save your crew but if you lack the useful blue options during these events the Cloning Bay may very well preserve your crew.