I downloaded FTL: Faster Than Light a couple days ago after watching a few streaming videos of people playing it. Anybody else play it? I realize it's from 2012 and I may be late to the party, but it's not a game that's going to feel dated, as the focus isn't on the graphics or anything.

I can get to the end boss, but I have yet to beat him. The game is so relentlessly difficult. Despite this, I can't pry myself away from it. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, you basically command a spaceship and you explore your way through star systems on your way back to your home base with vital information about the advancing enemy fleet. You can have different ships, systems, crew races, and weapons and the goal is to upgrade and strategize your way to victory.

Here's a playthrough video if anyone is interested in seeing what the game is like.


And here's where you can get the game:

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I know exactly how you feel. It's addicting, yet such a 'small' game, and it's incredibly, incredibly difficult. Near impossible to get all the ships and layouts.

What's you're favourite ship to use?
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I know exactly how you feel. It's addicting, yet such a 'small' game, and it's incredibly, incredibly difficult. Near impossible to get all the ships and layouts.

What's you're favourite ship to use?

I like the Federation Cruiser and the Zoltan ship the best. I lean more to the cruiser, though, because you get 4 different races by default, and that's handy as fuck.
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Beat it three times in about two years of owning it, which is saying something considering a playthrough where you reach the final boss only takes a few hours. Great game, fun soundtrack too. Loved the Advanced update, added plenty of new fun to the game.

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Recently started playing too, bought the game for like 2 euro during the steam summer sales. I've beat it once or twice, on easy difficulty.

The zoltan ship is nice but the one time I played with it I got owned by intruders. It's not a convenient ship for flooding out oxygen, after I killed the intruders I couldn't get the O2 system repaired in time and lost the whole crew except for one guy. Probably would have managed better with a clone system instead of a medbay (it's one or the other).

What I hate about the boss is the stage where he has a zoltan shield, it's just so incredibly difficult to protect yourself from that weapon that fires 3 missiles at once, and you can't even attempt to take it out until you get the zoltan shield down.
Good game I played it for about 20 hours until I got to a point where I just wasn't getting any of the random events to unlock a new ship so I got bored and stopped playing it.

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Just because lots of people miss it - press space to pause the game and choose your actions.
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I used to find it pretty frustrating, but since the advanced edition update I can beat it pretty much every time. On easy, anyway haha.

Basically so long as you have a crew teleporter, clone bay, and ideally stealth and zoltan shielf bypass, you can take the mothership down easy. Teleport into the missile weapon room first, and take that down. Then into the mulit-shot laser thing. Once both of those are down, so long as you have 4 levels of shields, they can't beat you, apart from on the second round with the annoying boarding drones.

Alternatively, get two sets of flak cannons, and you can eat through their shield easy as! I used to hate drones, but they work really with this too. Get a full powered hacking system to target their shields, a drone or two, and a flak cannon and you will break through and **** them up.

EDIT: Getting the random events to find ships is sooooo frustrating though, yeah. The mantis cruiser took me longest, especially since even when you get the random events, you have to make sure not to kill at the crew, but destroy the ship, but then also have a teleporter etc etc.
The crystal cruiser is also stupidly unlikely, but now the rock ship layout C in Advanced Edition starts with a crystal crew member, it's considerably easier.

EDIT2: Just checked, I've clocked 118 hours on Steam and beaten the boss with every ship except the Engi A.
Last edited by MadClownDisease at Aug 13, 2014,
FTL is a great game if you accept that some runs are just not meant to be won.
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My top tips:

Clone bay>Medbay. Medbay is only more helpful if you're fighting boarders actually in the medbay so you heal as you fight, otherwise clone bay all the way.

As someone else said, keep your thumb on spacebar and don't be afraid to pause. It's great for timing weapons, ordering crew, and switching power when needed. For example, if the enemy ship has just fired a missile, pause and pump all your power into your engines to get your evasion up, then just switch it back to whatever other system after.

Similarly, don't leave weapons on auto-fire unless you completely outgun the enemy. Time shots so they actually get through shields. You might have enough firepower to take down an enemy, but if not timed together you might never get through.

Beam weapons never miss, but don't do much to shields. If you can get a multi-shot weapon that can crack shields, then combine that with a beam weapon, you can mess them up easy.

But bear in mind on the other side that enemy beams will never miss either. If they're mostly relying on beams, powering your engines will be useless, just make sure your shields are healthy.

If you have cloaking, only activate it just after they've fired their weapons. Enemies can't fire when you're cloaked, their weapons just stop charging, so they'll just wait until you de-cloak and fire. If you cloak as they fire, they'll almost always miss (unless your evasion is very low) and waste a whole charge.

Occasionally (especially in early zones) you'll face an enemy who literally can't beat you. Maybe they only have beams and you have shields, or they don't have enough shots per volley to get through your shields. If so, just let them keep firing at you and wander off for a while to let your crew level up. This only works with actual enemies nowadays, so unfortunately asteroid fields won't work.

Zoltan are wasted manning subsystems or piloting. They give extra power to whatever room they're in, so try and get them manning weapons, shields, or engines.

Similarly, Mantis, Engi, and Rockmen's abilities are best used when stationed at places they can leave. Having a Mantis piloting and a human fighting boarders, for example, just wastes the Mantis' skills.

Upgrade engines before shields in early zones. It's better to dodge a shot rather than absorb it, missiles go through shields, and engines are a lot cheaper to upgrade, especially the first levels. The last two levels of engines cost a LOT but only push up evasion by 3 each time rather than 5 each at lower levels, so don't worry about them unless you're at the last stages or have a lot of cash.

Lastly, don't waste money upgrading sensors. You only need to see the enemy crew if you rely on boarding or mind control, and if so, just have someone man the sensors so you can see. Alternatively, Slugs can always see the enemy crew, regardless of sensors.
Piloting is also a bit of a waste, as even fully upgraded, auto-pilot is a bit poor. You always want it manned. It can be useful to get one level up however, so that if it's hit once it won't be destroyed and your whole ship won't lose all evasion.

EDIT: OH also, advanced tip: you can teleport mind controlled enemies back onto your own. ship. Abduct them, if you like. If you rely on killing the enemy crew, but they have a medbay, this can be a good way of taking them out so they can't heal.
Last edited by MadClownDisease at Aug 13, 2014,
I played this game a lot and most of my "hey I'm doing well this time" deaths were to stupid mantis people boarding my ship
Once you get the last layout of the Engi ship, you start with one of the guys that drains oxygen and doesn't take damage from lack of oxygen, as well as a cloning bay. My basic strategy was to get a teleporter and the hacking thing, put the hacking thing on a room with a person in it (preferably shield room), teleport Oxygen Deprivation Man into the room, use the hacking things to lock the door, and then laugh maniacally as you kill their shield guy and disable their shields. Then you can just target their weapons or drone bay or whatever is troublesome about that enemy.

The nice thing about having the clone bay is that you can teleport people over willy-nilly, because you'll always get them back if you have the backup DNA thing and/or take good care of your clone bay.
I love the game, but I still haven't beat it. My best runs have always been with the Engi Cruiser A. I love that ship.
The closest I've got to beating it was the third go at the flagship...got it to about half health and lost. So far I've unlocked 5 ships in the A layout. I had the opportunity for the mantis ship, but getting a teleporter is so ****ing random and I didn't have one :\
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Anyone used any mods? There's supposed to be a Star Wars one with the Millenium Falcon ship.
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engi a is the easiest ship.

Naw. The layout is terrible.
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I just had another run and I take back all the nice things I said I hate this stupid fucking game
On Easy, I was able to beat the first encounter with the flagship, but then got wrecked the second time.
Yeah I think the most important thing is to get that missile weapon taken out ASAP. If you have stealth it helps significantly as you can dodge the first volley from it as you won't be able to take it out before that. Teleporting is especially good too, as since the room with the weapon in is separate from the rest, if you get two guys into that room you can definitely take it out, and also they can still attack it even if the mothership is cloaked since they're on board.

Oh and also NEVER kill all the crew on the mothership. If you do, it goes into "AI mode", which annoyingly means that systems repair themselves, meaning that the missile weapon is always a threat, regardless of how many times you smash it.