These tips ONLY apply to the current version, while some might still work after the next major patch, I can’t guarantee it. Also, all tips are personal preferences. If you disagree, it’s absolutely understandable, but this is just based on my experience in-game so far.
Space Combat Tips
- When broke, salvage. Don’t bother spawning, selling P08, Pouch Rig, and Fire Extinguishers, and then exiting. Find blinking red containers in wrecks, fill up, and exit.
- If you aren’t going Rustbucket, get a Breacher Scout. Any kind of Scout-frame ships (which includes Rustbucket) is the only viable ones, but the Flak 38 gun is by far the best for ship vs. ship combat in the game currently. Cruiser Scout (Rockets) and Light Scout (25mm) are the 2nd and 3rd best; don’t bother with the others. Your best chance to survive in ship battles is speedtanking, vary your left/right and up/down movement to dodge as many shots as possible.
- Winning Space Combat can be lucrative, even if you only chase the other Marauders to the exit gate. While 2nd spawn waves can come in, shooing off as many other players as possible at the start of the match means fewer contests inside raid locations for loot.
- If you want to win in space without winning in space, use your escape pod to breach. These are surprisingly tanky, and with proper use of boost, almost impossible to be stopped before breaching your enemy. The best maps to do this on are the ones with the orange skybox, as the yellow glow that pods normally give off is almost completely negated by the bright background. Also, remember that the glow is visible even without direct line-of-sight to you, so hiding just behind an asteroid won’t help when sneaking up on a ship to breach.
- In retaliation if you are breached, remember there are 4 possible entry locations in the Scout layout: two in habitation wings and two in the back stairwell to either side of the engine. If the breachers enter in the former, they’ll likely try to rush/challenge you at the front stairs. If the latter, they’ll avoid crossing the engine room in most cases and go upstairs to behind the Salvage elevator. Remember to get off the helm as soon as you’re breached and get as far from the cockpit as possible; this will negate any knowledge of your location while you have a good idea of where they are.
- The Red Baron AI is programmed to be an old man on his porch with a shotgun on his lap. Don’t return fire, simply get out of his patrol path, and he’ll stop firing at you. If the Red Baron does chase you, it is being commanded by players, so immediately start returning fire and keep pounding them with your guns after they flame up. Players in the Red Baron ship are usually a sign of lead or mercury inhalation as a child, as the ship outside of AI hands is awful, and you are likely facing a team that isn’t good at the game.
- Looting. Not all loot is created equally. All items should be weighted in space vs. value. Their value can be their actual dollar value in trading or for use in raids, Zero to Hero contracts, or Market trades. Expensive items are easy to figure out, but items like Industrial Paper, Chemicals, Motor Oil, and LPO Flamethrowers are valuable for their use in contracts. Other items that are useful, especially for crafting, are Cables (not large; the 2×2 Large Cables are nigh useless), Reinforced Metal, Toolkits, Disinfectant, and Fabric. They are all top priority to pick up and should be taken over items with a higher monetary value.
- Gear Looting. Weapons and armor should also be considered for their value per tile. High value/tile gear includes M1941 Johnsons, 1911 Government (NOT Stamped), Mac-10s, and Blow Torches. High priority for armor is either kind of Pilot Armor as they are very space-efficient, as well as excellent for space combat due to high explosive resistance.
- Sell all “Heavy” variant weapons immediately. These provide pathetic protection while totally obscuring your peripheral vision, and even though they might seem like an upgrade, they are a white elephant gift in almost all scenarios. If given a choice, preferably don’t take them at all if any alternatives are available, as the monetary value they have isn’t that much more than mid-level weapons.
- Save as much rifle ammo (2×1) as you can from raids. Save them all, apart from the 54R. While the DP28 is a very decent gun, the 54R round is used in the least weapons, used in the worst late-game weapons, and also sells for the most compared to 7.62, .300, and 5.56.
Gameplay and Miscellaneous Tips
- Scrap: Scrap of all kinds is nice to pick up during a raid, but it is not essential. The Cloth Cap sold by the UA vendor and the Welrod sold by the KA vendor provide endless metal, synth, and junk scrap for the best value.
- Helmets are more important than body armor. The most dangerous situation in a raid is encountering an enemy Marauder, and you should expect them to aim for the head. You can get by with a basic M2 flak vest, but you will struggle in PvP encounters without a full 12-armor Heavy Stahlhelm/Heavy PSH helm.
- Meds are life. The more meds you have on you, the greater your chances of survival, even if this means filling your inventory before queuing. Meds are easily found, and the best healing item (in terms of size), the Small First Aid kit, can be crafted with just 1 synth scrap and 1 disinfectant. Don’t be afraid to drop them mid-raid for better loot, but make sure you don’t go in with too few.
- China Lakes are the best gun in the game and will allow you to defeat fully geared teams with superior skills by using just a few stacks of 40mm grenades. Take them over anything else you find if you come across them.
- Prestige, but just once. The 3 Prestige points you get for the 1st prestige are enough to grant you 4 extra rows in your stash, but each subsequent prestige offers diminishing returns.
- If you’re using a semi-auto weapon like an M1941, then taking a weapon like a Klobb can work well. In any other situation, opt for either a scrap grenade or a flash grenade. Smoke grenades, despite being unlocked last, are also useless outside of creating a certain atmosphere and giving your enemies lung cancer.
- Learn what each raid (in-match location outside of player ships) is good for in terms of loot. Spaceport is good for food and smaller crafting items, Asteroid Mine is good for larger crafting items. Prison is good for melee weapons, and Navy Outpost is good for weapons to sell as well as cheap BA rigs. Navy Outpost is also the easiest for kills, as it seems to spawn the most AI, with the worst armor (4 armor berets make for easy headshots) and the least damaging weapons (peashooters, except for the odd AI with a Bren). Additionally, AI tends to congregate in the hallway behind the projector room, which is useful for completing the SAS Captains mission. Terraformer is good for getting away from the other claustrophobic maps but is not particularly advantageous for any specific purpose. Merchant Ship is also good for kills, with AI respawning unlike the Damaged Capital Ship, which itself is good for top-tier armor. Colony Cruiser is suitable for PvP encounters and obtaining money from both the SVT 54R ammo and the M45K carried by the Marines, both of which are high-value items per tile. Meds can also be easily obtained from AI with medic bags and the medic room located beside hibernation.
- When you’re unable to collect a trade due to a lack of space, try rearranging your containers. The game currently doesn’t attempt to rotate the Market trades to fit the available spots, so you’ll need to do it yourself if you receive an error about insufficient space in the stash.
- When you’re completely out of space, consider buying a capital ship. Preferably, choose the Central Empire Dreadnought simply because it doesn’t emit a foghorn sound when activated in the hangar. These ships have enough space for 3 STG-44s, which are among the largest weapons in the game and can save you a lot of hassle if you’re cash-rich but space-poor.