FTL: Faster Than Light is a hard game at the best of times. Even once you know all the strategies there are, you’re still at the mercy of the game’s rather merciless RNG. All the game knowledge in the world won’t help you if you just can’t get a decent ship and crew together.
Every advantage you can lay your hands on could be the difference between life and death. Two of those potential advantages are your dodge chance and shield recharging. Crewmates can level up their proficiencies on some of the game’s main systems, giving you an edge in battle.
What Is Evasion?
When your hull only has one point of health remaining and you see your opponent has fired off a devastating missile, all seems lost. You thank your crew for their valiant service and salute them, closing your eyes. You listen for the sound of your ship breaking apart, but the explosion never comes. The word ‘miss’ flashes above your ship, and the enemy ballistic passes you by, leaving you unscathed and able to repel the attackers. That’s your evasion.
What Affects Evasion?
- Crew skill
- Engine power
- A pilot or autopilot
For every extra bar of power you shove into your engine, your evasion goes up by 5%. This may seem like a small amount, but it adds up. For every laser and missile you dodge, your pilot and engineer both gain some experience on those respective systems. When they level up they give you an extra dodge percentage, too. Having a good autopilot means that you can guarantee your ship has a chance to evade enemy fire even without a pilot manning the station, but its capped at 50%, so a real pilot is preferable.
So What About Shields?
When you can’t dodge something for whatever reason, your shields will be the last line of defense between your hull and the cold, unending vacuum of space. Each time your shields take a hit, the person manning them will gain some experience. Each time they level up, they’ll be able to recharge the shields a bit faster. This can allow you to recharge your shields to full between each enemy volley, meaning they can’t touch you.
How Do I Max These Things?
A free way to improve your dodge chance and shielding is to increase the skill of your crewmates. This is normally easier said than done, however, if you have at least one shield and come across an enemy ship with only a single laser shot, you can turn your weapons off and just sit there as they fire at you. Each shot will either increase your shield skill or pilot and engineer skills. It takes a while, but you can leave the game running and go get a cup of tea while you wait. Just make sure the enemy can never actually get a shot on your hull and you can farm experience for your whole crew, meaning if one member dies later, any other can take their place.
This opportunity only really comes in the first sector, so keep your eyes peeled for weak ships. Resist the urge to annihilate them, let them fire their futile, pathetic lasers at you, and let your crew rank up.
Next: To Boldly Go: 15 Best Space Exploration Games
- FTL: Faster Than Life
Issy is an avid film lover, writer, and game-player based in Leamington Spa, England. He combines his love of film and games in his writing, trying to find as many connections between the two mediums as possible. When he’s not writing, playing, or watching, Issy loves to DJ and look after his growing collection of houseplants, as they make him feel more adult.
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