FTL Game Advanced Tips

FTL Game Advanced Tips by Darthcaboose

Recognizing Enemy Weapons:

At the start of a fight, take a look at the enemy armaments and try and figure out what the enemy ship has. Don’t worry if you’re just starting out, you’ll quickly pick up what all the different weapons look like. Adjust your ship’s power accordingly based on the threats you see.

Example: Suppose the enemy ship you are fighting has a single fire laser and a beam weapon that cannot penetrate shields. You would need at most 2 shields to keep your ships safe; more than that is not necessary and that power could be used in other systems! You could actually do alright with just 1 shield provided the beam weapon does not fire after the laser takes your shield down.

Recognize Enemy Firing Patterns:

The enemy AI will fire its weapons at you as quickly as they can charge them. In some instances this can be to your advantage! An enemy ship with a Burst Mark 1 (fires two lasers) and a Basic Laser (fires one laser) will be able to overwhelm a ship with two shields. However, as the Basic Laser charges faster than the Burst Mark 1, the firing sequence will become spread out, and the number of “volleys” that could overwhelm your shields will only come in long intervals as opposed to every time the ship fires.

In this situation, the best time to cloak would be right before such a volley!

Anti-Ship I Drones:

Usually you can count on Anti-Ship I drones as taking out 1 shield at a time (i.e. it fires as fast as it takes for your shields to recharge. However, there is a very slight chance (usually when it is around the right side of your ship) where it moves and fires in quick succession. I’ve seen the anti-ship I drone fire three times in a row, leaving my poor shields with little chance of recharging fast enough between shots! Keep this in mind when figuring out the enemy’s weapon strength.

Cloak Engaged (Timing it Right):

Cloaking is just an incredible advantage in this game. Consider the benefits:

1. The +60% evasion chance. With a base of +40% evasion (which can be achieved with a master in piloting and engines and just 4 bars in engines), you’ll hit the magic 100% number!

2. The enemy’s weapons stop charging during the cloak period.

3. Your weapons will continue to recharge (provided the enemy ship doesn’t cloak at the same time)!

To get the maximum benefit out of your cloak, try to use it right after the enemy ship fires (so you can dodge the incoming shots) and right after you fire your own weapons! With a high enough cloak, you can usually fire another volley right when you leave cloak! The Stealth Weapons augment allows you to not have to worry about Part #3, since you can still fire your weapons without draining your cloak each time.

Ion Weapons:

Ion weapons can be awful if the enemy has an accompanying beam or laser weapon that could do significant damage to your ship. To avoid getting your shields hit by the ion weapon, you can toggle the shields on and off quickly before the ion particle lands and usually get the shields back up in time to absorb the damage caused by the beam/lasers. It takes a bit of practice to get used to, but it can save your ship from taking needless damage if you get it down right!

Of course, there is always a chance that, even in pulling off this trick, that the ion particle will still hit your shields system! However, the odds of that happening are considerably lower than if they were to hit the shield bubble itself.

Crew Positioning

When you move crew around, FTL will fill crew member from the top left of the room you are moving to and fill then in horizontally until the row is filled before moving back to the first column. Let’s suppose we fill our 4-space (2×2 room) Weapons system with 4 crew members (call them A, B, C and D) to take on some enemy boarders. We individually click on each crew member in turn and then command them to move into the Weapons room. Here’s how they would fill it out.

A : Top left
B : Top right
C : Bottom left
D : Bottom right

The two enemy crew members, when they moved into the weapons room, most likely (but not always) took the top left and top right position. As such, you’d want to send your strongest/hardiest crew members to fight them directly, and possibly position your weaker crew members, like Engi or Zoltans to help support them.

This leads to an interesting tactic…

Do the Crew Shuffle

Crew combat is interesting in this game. A friendly and enemy crew member in combat will punch/compute/slash/ROCKMAN SMASH/zap/telepathically-mess-with/whatever-the-heck-the-secret-race-does-in-combat the enemy crew member and only deal damage to each other. Friendly or enemy crew members sitting in the same room as an enemy but not engaged in hand-to-hand combat will fire randomly at a crew member each time it attacks. You can use this to your advantage to spread out or limit the damage as you feel is necessary. One awesome technique is what I like to call the Crew Shuffle.

Let’s look at our previous example again involving our brave redshirts A, B, C and D:

Suppose you’re engaged in a fight with some crazy Mantis enemies and crew member A is getting low on health. You’d like to have him run off, but you are worried that the Mantis now on the top-left corner will get a few shots at not just C and D, but even B (who, at this time, is worried about the other Mantis he is fighting against in the top-right corner). If only there were some way to swap crew members C (who is still at full health and sitting back to enjoy the view) with crew member A.

As a matter of fact, there is! Here’s how you do it (most likely, while the game is paused).

1. Select crew member A.
2. Move him outside of the Weapons room.
3. Select crew member C.
4. Move him outside of the Weapons room as well.
5. With crew member C still selected, move him back into the Weapons room.
6. Select crew member A and move him back into the Weapons room.

If you do this all while the game is paused, when you unpause, crew members A and C will swap places. Crew member A can then sit back in relative safety throwing stuff at the enemy crew while C quickly assumes his new station as Mantis punching-bag!

N.B.: If your crew are not able to move out in Points #2 and #4, then you WON’T be able to do the shuffle. Notable examples include the Weapon systems of the final boss, where you can’t move your crew outside of those 2×1 rooms.


Above all. Have fun!

Hope you enjoyed this, I’ll be adding more to this as time permits. Feel free to add any crazy advanced tips of your own!

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