Strategy Guide - Guide for FTL: Faster Than Light

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FTL: Faster Than Light: FAQ/Strategy Guide by An_D
Version: 1.01 | Last Updated: 2012-11-02 | View/Download Original File
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FTL: Faster Than Light Guide

Version 1.01 (2012/11/01)

Written by An_D 

 Copyright 2012 Andrew Lau.

Welcome to FTL! This is a great little 2-D spaceship simulation roguelike. I'm 
An_D, I'll be your host on this, most likely, doomed voyage into space. 
Secrets and pirates and slavers abound! And the rebels are hot on our trail.

Charge FTL drive, we're outta here.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Basics
    - Ship System Control
    - Crew Control
    - Weapon (Fire) Control
    - Door Control
    - Races
3. Ship Systems and Upgrades
    - Shields
    - Engines
    - Oxygen
    - Weapon Control
    - Medbay
    - Drone Control
    - Cloaking
    - Crew Teleporter
4. Hints and Tips
5. Final Boss Strategies !!Spoilers Start Here!!
6. Ships and Unlocking
7. Micromanagement
8. Personal Stuff
9. Legal
x. Version History

1. Introduction
You are a starship captain charged with delivering vital information to the 
Federation base. The rebel fleet is searching for you, steadily advancing 
their ships across all systems. You must reach the next sector before the 
rebels if you hope to survive and complete your mission.

Along the way you will meet allies and aliens. You will find secrets and face 
treachery. Will the next asteroid field hold valuable scrap or turn your ship 
into such? You'll never know for sure...

because this is a roguelike. That means every map is randomly generated and 
the encounters are random as well. There are no continues.

The beings that travel through space have no need of fiat money and only deal 
with physical scrap. Really, what use is a stack of 100 credit notes when the 
hull is leaking air or your reactor has no fuel?

Keep hold of your courage and your wits when, not if, troubles come. Can you 
do it? Can you survive this adventure that will take you Faster than Light?

2. Basics
The controls for FTL are pretty straight-forward. You can view them at any 
time in the game by selecting the controls page from the escape (Esc) menu. A 
tutorial is also provided from the title menu. At any time, press space bar 
to pause the game.

                           - Ship System Control -
In general, the systems are controlled by clicking on the system icon with the 
mouse. Left-clicking will add power to the system, right-clicking will remove 
it. You cannot add more power than there are empty bars above the system, more 
on that in section 3.

                               - Crew Control -
Crew members are controlled by selecting them with the left mouse button and 
moving them with the right mouse button. You can also select crew by clicking 
their names on the left side of the screen as well as clicking and dragging 
over crew members or their names. If want to select crew that aren't next to 
each other you can do so while holding down the control (Ctrl) or shift keys. 
You can have up to 8 crew members at a time.

                          - Weapon (Fire) Control -
The ship's weapons must have power before they can fire. Unpowered weapons 
appear gray along the bottom of the screen. Left-click on a weapon to give it 
power; powered weapon systems appear in white. You can see that active weapons 
extend from the ship and change appearance as they build charge to fire, and 
unpowered weapons retract into the hull; this is also true for enemy ships.

To fire a weapon, left-click on a powered weapon and the cursor will change 
into the targeting cursor with a small number corresponding to the position of 
the weapon on the weapons bar. You can also select the weapon using the number 
key for that weapon. Left-click on a part of the enemy ship to select the 
target. Some weapons can target your own ship as well. You can choose to 
change the target as many times as you want before the weapon finishes 
charging. The AUTOFIRE option fires a weapon as fast as it can charge and 
repeated fires on the target until you change targets or stop attacking.

Fully charged weapons appear green on the weapons bar and will remain charged 
until you fire or power down the weapon, or if the weapons system takes 
damage, more on that in section 3.

                               - Door Control -
Doors are controlled by clicking on the door. Doors will stay in the position 
you set them so don't forget and asphyxiate the crew. You can also control all 
the doors with the buttons above the door icon in the bottom right corner. The 
close button closes all doors. The open button opens all interior door on the 
first click and opens all exterior doors on the second. This is extremely 
dangerous and only useful in certain situations.

Door control is useful for starving fires and enemy boarders of air.

                                  - Races -
There are 6 basic races in the universe of FTL. Most races have 100 health.

 * Humans: have no special abilities at all
   - Cost 40 scrap to hire
   - You can identify male and female.

 * Engi: mysterious neutral beings that are exceptionally skilled engineers
   - Cost 50 scrap to hire
   - Make repairs at 2x the normal rate but only deal 1/2 combat damage
   - Special event options available

 * Zoltan: allies of the Engi, rarely found outside their own sectors
   - Cost 70 scrap to hire
   - Provides one bar of power to the system it occupies
   - Only 70 health

 * Rockmen: sturdy beings made of living rock
   - Cost 65 to hire
   - Immune to fire damage
   - Move at 1/2 speed
   - Has 150 health
   - Special event options available

 * Mantis: vicious aliens with no regard for individual lives
   - Cost 45 scrap to hire
   - Inflict 2x combat damage but repairs take twice as long
   - Move at 1.2x speed
   - Special event options available

 * Slugs: telepathic slugs from outer space
   - Cost 45 scrap to hire
   - Telepathy can mark enemy personnel locations and see into adjacent rooms
   - Special event options available

3. Ship Systems and Upgrades
The Upgrade menu can be opened by clicking the Ship button on the top center 
of the screen. The button will be grayed out if you are not in a safe 
situation, i.e. under attack, in an asteroid field, too close to the sun.

From the ship menu you can purchase upgrades with the scrap you've 
accumulated. You can also view your crew from the Crew page and dismiss 
members if you so choose. On the Equipment page you can rearrange your weapons 
and drones as well as discard anything you no longer want, though I would 
recommend selling at a store instead.

                                - Shields -
Shields provide protection from all energy weapons as well as asteroid 
impacts. Every two bars in shields provides one layer of protection. Your ship 
can have up to four layers of shields, each will block one shot. Single bars 
do not have any benefit when powered.

Damage to the shield system results in loss of use for the damaged bars, also 
meaning loss of layers of shielding if a pair is affected.

Shields can be manned by a crew member. The shield recharge time is reduced by 
10%, 20% or 30% depending on shield experience. Crew gain shield experience 
every time a level of shield recharges in Combat. Only the person manning the 
shield station gets experience.

System Cost: 150
  - Level 3:  20
  - Level 4:  30
  - Level 5:  40
  - Level 6:  60
  - Level 7:  80
  - Level 8: 100

                                 - Engines -
Engines power your FTL drive used to jump from beacon to beacon. The engines 
also help you dodge incoming attacks. The more power you put into the engines, 
the higher the evade percentage and the faster the FTL drive charges.

Damage to the engines results in loss of use for the damaged bars. In 
addition, if the engines are unpowered the FTL drive stops charging and the 
ship cannot dodge anything. The engines must have power for the FTL to engage.

Engines can be manned with your crew providing an added 5%, 7% or 10% evade 
depending on engines experience. Crew gain engine experience every time 
something is dodged in combat, the word MISS appears. Only the person manning 
the engineering station gets experience.

Upgrade Cost
  - Level 1:      Dodge:  5 / FTL 1x
  - Level 2:      Dodge: 10 / FTL 1.25x
  - Level 3:  15, Dodge: 15 / FTL 1.5x
  - Level 4:  30, Dodge: 20 / FTL 1.75x
  - Level 5:  40, Dodge: 25 / FTL 2x
  - Level 6:  60, Dodge: 28 / FTL 2.25x
  - Level 7:  80, Dodge: 31 / FTL 2.5x
  - Level 8: 120, Dodge: 35 / FTL 2.75x

Improved engines open up more options with certain events.

                                  - Oxygen -
Everyone needs oxygen to breathe. The O2 system replenishes the ships air 
constantly while powered. Increasing the power to the O2 system increases the 
rate in which the air is replenished.

REMEMBER, your crew needs oxygen. As the air depletes, rooms will turn a 
deeper shade of red. Rooms lacking enough O2 will be outlined in yellow to 
warn you of the danger. When the overall amount of O2 in the ship reaches 25% 
the alarm sounds, but certain parts of the ship may have less air due to 
damage or other circumstances. Oxygen is literally the life of your crew.

Upgrade Cost
  - Level 1:     O2 Refill Boost: 1x
  - Level 2: 25, O2 Refill Boost: 3x
  - Level 3: 50, O2 Refill Boost: 6x

An improved oxygen system offers more options for certain events.

                              - Weapon Control -
The weapons system provides power to your ship's weapons. Each weapon has a 
power requirement and the weapons system must supply enough power in order for 
those weapons to work. You can rearrange the order of the ship's weapons buy 
clicking and dragging the weapon along the weapons bar on the bottom of the 
screen or in the equipment menu.

Damage to the weapons system results in loss of power to the weapons starting 
with the rightmost on the weapons bar and going left.

Weapons can be manned which will reduce the charge time of the ship's weapons 
by 10%, 15% or 19% depending on weapons experience. Crew members gain weapons 
experience every time a weapon is fired. Only the person manning the weapons 
station gets experience.

Upgrade Cost
  - Level 1:    
  - Level 2:  60
  - Level 3:  25
  - Level 4:  35
  - Level 5:  50
  - Level 6:  70
  - Level 7:  90
  - Level 8: 100

Certain types of weapons allow special options with certain events. Stronger 
weapons in general can also lead to additional options.

                                  - Medbay -
The Medbay is where members of your crew can go to heal their damage. Medical 
bays that are 2x2 large can fit up to 3 people at a time. Some ships have a 
2x1 bay that can only hold 2 crew.

Upgrade Cost
  - Level 1:      Healing Boost: 1x
  - Level 2:  35, Healing Boost: 1.5x
  - Level 3:  60, Healing Boost: 3x

Some events have more options when equipped with an advanced medbay.

                              - Drone Control -
The drone control system provides power for the types of drones equipped on 
the ship. Each drone has a power requirement. For a drone to function, the 
drone control system must have enough power available, and the ship must have 
enough drone parts. Drones are created instantly, but drones that operate 
within the ship, system repair and anti-personnel drones, need a short time to 
start up.

Most drone control systems have 2 slots for drone types. All come equipped 
with a basic drone schematic.

Damage to the drone control system results in loss of power to the drones 
starting from the rightmost on the drones bar and proceeding left.

System Cost:  80
  - Level 2:    
  - Level 3:  20
  - Level 4:  30
  - Level 5:  45
  - Level 6:  60
  - Level 7:  80
  - Level 8: 100

Several types of drones enable special options for certain events.

                                 - Cloaking -
The cloaking system is used to hide the ship from enemy sensors. Increasing 
the power to the stealth system allows the ship to remain cloaked for a longer 
period of time. When cloaked, the enemy cannot target the ship and the ship's 
evasion increases by 60%. The recharge time after the cloak ends is 20 
seconds. Cloaking is instant; there is no initial charge time, only recharge 

Firing when cloaked shortens the duration of the time in cloak. This can be 
avoided with the Stealth Weapons augment. If there are intruders on board they 
cannot be recalled while the ship is in cloak. The reverse also applies to 
your away parties when the enemy ship is cloaked.

System Cost: 150
  - Level 1:      Cloak:  5 seconds
  - Level 2:  30, Cloak: 10 seconds
  - Level 3:  50, Cloak: 15 seconds

Cloaking enables special options with some events.

                             - Crew Teleporter -
The crew teleporter does exactly as its name says. Most teleporters can only 
send two crew members at a time, but all can recover up to four. Teleporters 
only recover crew in the same room. Crew in adjacent rooms will be left 
behind, as will crew that are still moving into position. Enemies cannot be 
moved using your teleporter. Teleportation is instant; there is no start-up 
time, only recharge time.

Crew members can take damage up to the instant they are recovered. That means 
it is possible to recover a dead body if teleported too late. As mentioned 
before, teleporters cannot move crew when the target ship is in cloak, this is 
also true for enemies.

   is destroyed or FTL jumps away.

System Cost: 150
  - Level 1:      20 second cooldown
  - Level 2:  30, 15 second cooldown
  - Level 3:  60, 10 second cooldown

The crew teleporter opens up some options with certain events. An improved 
teleporter allows even more options.

                                 - Piloting -
The piloting sub-system allows a crew member to plot FTL jumps and dodge 
attacks when manned. The piloting station must be manned for the FTL drive to 
charge and make jumps. Upgrades to the system allow the ship to retain some 
evasion ability even when un-manned. Piloting doesn't require additional power.

Crew members add 5%, 7% or 10% evade depending on piloting experience. Pilots 
gain experience whenever something is dodged in combat, the word MISS appears. 
Only the person at the piloting station gets experience.

Upgrade Cost
  - Level 1:     Needs pilot to function
  - Level 2: 20, Auto: 1/4 evasion
  - Level 3: 50, Auto: 1/2 evasion

An improved piloting system offers more options for select events.

                                 - Sensors -
The sensors sub-system helps you see into the rooms of your ship and gives you 
information on enemy ships. Sensors do not need additional power.

System Cost: 40
  - Level 1:     See ship interior
  - Level 2: 25, See enemy interior
  - Level 3: 60, See enemy power use

Advanced sensors (Level 3) give more options with certain events. As far as I 
know, Level 2 sensors do not have event options.

                               - Door System -
The door sub-system controls the operation of all ship doors. Upgraded doors 
can stop intruders for a time and slow down the spread of fire and the loss of 
air. The door system does not require additional power.

Damage to the door system will result in less effective use of ship doors. 
System failure will keep all doors in their current positions, but people can 
still travel through the doors.

System Cost: 60
  - Level 1:     Normal doors
  - Level 2: 20, Blast Doors
  - Level 3: 50, Improved Blast doors

                                 - Reactor -
The reactor provides the ship's systems with power. Upgrades to the reactor 
increases the available power. There are a total of 25 power bars.

Upgrade Cost
  - Up to 10 bars: 20 each
  - Up to 15 bars: 25 each
  - Up to 20 bars: 30 each
  - Up to 25 bars: 35 each

                              - Artillery Beam -
The artillery beam is only available on Federation Cruiser class ships. It is 
a beam weapon that aims and fires automatically and can pierce any shields. 
The beam does one damage for each room hit. More power reduces charge time.

Upgrade Cost
  - Level 1:     50 second charge time
  - Level 2: 30, 40 second charge time
  - Level 3: 50, 30 second charge time
  - Level 4: 80, 20 second charge time

4. Hints and Tips
Here are some of the basic strategies I've picked up from playing. Some of 
them apply to real life as well.

 * Your crew is the life of your ship.

   - Without crew members the ship is useless. Protect your crew.

 * Overwhelm problems.

   - When the situation becomes dire you don't have time to wait. Identify 
     which problem is the most important and concentrate everything into 
     overcoming it. Only move onto the next problem if you have left-over 

 * Fire in salvos.

   - This is an extension of the tip before, but it deserves mention. You have 
     much better chance to overcome enemy defenses if you fire your weapons 

 * Know your weapons.

   - There's no point in firing a heavy laser into a shield only to follow 
     with a bomb. Learn the abilites of your weapons and when to use them.

 * Blast doors are worth it.

   - The blast door upgrade is a cheap and effective way to gain more control 
     over your ship. They delay intruders, hinder fires and greatly reduce air 
     loss. What more could you ask from a 20 scrap upgrade?

 * Take advantage of the weak.

   - If you ever encounter an enemy that you completely outclass, don't be in 
     a hurry to finish off the ship. This is a good chance to let your crew 
     gain combat experience.

 * Flee from the strong.

   - When a fight is going badly, think about running away. It may feel like a 
     waste, but you may waste even more in repairs, ammunition and the lives 
     of your crew if you stay to the end. You can't complete the mission if 
     you're dead.

 * Specialize, but...

   - Many times you'll be better off by concentrating on one way of dealing 
     damage. That being said, always be aware of your weaknesses. Four lasers 
     are great until you meet a ship with four shields. Likewise, dual missile 
     launchers can destroy most any ship until you run out of missiles or find 
     a ship with two defense drones.

 * Be open to change and chance.

   - You may have a plan for your ultimate ship, but you won't always get the 
     right drops. Work with what you have, not what you hope to get.

 * Never give up.

   - You may think it's over. You might have one crew member or 1 hull left. 
     Don't give up. You don't know the limits of what you can do until you try.


 * Don't mess with giant spiders. Just don't.

   - If you don't have a special (blue) option when facing spiders, just 
     leave. It's not really worth the life of a crew member. You might hire 
     another crewman with the scrap you receive, but you only get supplies if 
     you succeed and you get nothing AND lose crew if you fail.

5. Final Boss Strategies !!Spoilers Start Here!!
You've made it to the final sector. Congratulations! You want rest? No, you 
get to fight a huge enemy flagship. Go on.

Aside from an overview of the final battles I'll be including some set-ups and 
tactics that have been effective for me.

               Some things you want before you reach Sector 8
 * As many crew members as you can get

   - In direct comparison, your ship is at a disadvantage in almost every 
     category. You can win only through your cunning and leadership. For that 
     you need enough people to do things for you.

 * A way to bypass or overcome 4 shields and a defense drone

   - Word of advice, 5 shots from lasers will not really do it. The flagship 
     has a rather high evasion rate.

 * Defenses against all types of damage, especially missiles

   - The enemy flagship can inflict all 4 types of damage: ion, laser, missile 
     and beam. Its weapons also fire in bursts of 3, except the beam. The beam 
     can pierce 1 layer of shields.

 * Level 2 Sensors

   - You want to see what's going on in the enemy ship.

The rebel flagship will be fought over the course of 3 battles. Each battle 
has its own hurdles and that's what makes this final confrontation difficult.

                             ! - First Battle - !
The first battle is probably the most familiar of the three boss fights. There 
is nothing you haven't seen before, it's just all there at once.

For weaponry it has an ion cannon, heavy laser, missile launcher and beam 
cannon. The ion, laser and missile weapons all fire in bursts of 3. The beam 
can pierce 1 layer of shields.

The flagship has 4 layers of shields, this is true for all three battles. All 
its systems and sub-systems are improved, that means blast doors and a 
stronger medbay to FTL captains that favor boarding parties.

The troublesome part of this fight is the improved cloaking system on the port 
(left) side of the rebel flagship. All the system damage you manage to inflict 
can be repaired while the flagship cloaks and charges its weapons. This can be 
avoided if you have crew on board the flagship when it cloaks. You cannot 
recover your crew until the cloak ends, but you can target the flagship with 
your weapons.

My target priorities: 

1. missile launcher
2. shields
3. ion cannon
4. beam weapon

If you find your shots missing too often, I suggest destroying the engines and 
the piloting station. If you cannot do enough damage to last until after the 
ship comes out of cloak, you'll have to take out the stealth system or risk 
losing the fight.

A point of interest. The rebel flagship keeps the same crew throughout the 
battles. If you kill the entire crew, the flagship's AI will take over and it 
will function like the other AI ships, automatically repairing damage. The AI 
repairs systems slower than live crew, but it does so constantly, regardless 
of how many systems are damaged. If you leave one of the enemy crew alive, the 
AI will not engage and the rebel crewmen will be hard pressed keeping such a 
huge ship running by himself. I prefer to keep the gunner of the heavy laser 
alive because he can't even reach the other systems from his isolated room.

After you bring the enemy's hull to zero, the flagship will escape by FTL 
jumping to the next beacon. There is no timer or penalty for delaying, so take 
time to make sure everything is shipshape and make any necessary repairs and 
equipment changes. When you're ready jump to the next beacon.

                          !!! - Second Battle - !!!
The second battle is a drone battle. You can see that the port (left) side of 
the flagship has broken off and with it, the cloaking system and ion weapon. 
This battle will introduce POWER SURGEs. For this fight it will mean a sudden 
swarm of enemy attack and beam drones that have no business being anywhere 
because there's nothing to power them, hence the name power surge.

The enemy will have attack, defense and beam drones active, one of each type. 
The flagship will also constantly deploy boarding drones to harass your crew. 
It will eventually run out of drones, but by then your hull will probably be 
full of holes. 

My target priorities: 

1. missile launcher
2. drone control
3. shields
4. beam weapon

My first priority will again be the missile launcher. I feel it's especially 
important in this battle to disable the weapon as soon as you can because your 
crew won't have time to run around and fix systems.

If you took my advice and killed off most of the enemy crew, then they won't 
be running around undoing all of your hard work while your crew drowns in 
boarding drones.

When you bring the flagship's hull to zero it will again FTL jump away. Take 
time to repair systems and hull breaches, and get your ship and crew back into 
fighting form.

                            !! - Third Battle - !!
The third and final battle is here, you're so close! You can see that the 
starboard (right) side of the flagship has fallen off so no more pesky drones 
or beam weapon. The rebel ship has the green circle indicating a Zoltan shield, 
but you'll find it's more like a Super Zoltan shield because it absorbs much 
more damage. 

The power surges return in this fight in the form of a huge salvo of heavy 
laser blasts. Every several surges the super-shield will recharge instead of 
the laser salvo.

My target priorities: 

1. Fire everything!
2. missile launcher
3. shields

Unless you need to conserve ammunition I would fire all of your weapons as 
soon as they charge until the super-shield is down. The super-shield, like 
normal Zoltan shields, blocks missile and bomb impacts as well as prevents 
teleportation onto the enemy ship, so there is no need to group attacks or 
wait for other weapons to charge. After the super-shield is down, the battle 
is not very complicated. During the battle, any unoccupied enemy crew will 
teleport to your ship and start trouble, beware.

When you reduce the enemy hull to nothing, the rebel flagship is finally 
destroyed and you are victorious!

That is unless you're hit and sunk by a last-second laser or missile from the 
flagship. Or your crew dies in a fire. Or they asphyxiate. Or that fire causes 
enough system damage to destroy your ship. But we know you kind-of-won.

                               Specific Advice
 * You want some way to avoid the missiles.

   - You'll have to face them 3 times, so why not have a way to counter them? 

   - Defense drones are highly suggested, two Mark I drones work best because 
     they only target projectiles and ignore the many lasers and ion blasts 
     which also fill the sky. As an added bonus, defense drones also target 
     enemy boarding drones.

   - Cloaking is also effective, but I find the cooldown for cloak is longer 
     than the charge time for the tri-missile launcher. If you use cloak, I 
     suggest investing in the full 15 seconds to give yourself more time, and 
     only turn on your cloak after the enemy has fired missiles. That way you 
     can dodge the attack and charge your own weapons instead of getting 
     blasted by enemy fire after you leave cloak.

 * Bombs and teleporters are excellent.

   - Both bombs and crew teleporters avoid the main defenses of the rebel 
     flagship, shields and drones. Your crew take longer to damage a system 
     compared to bombs, but a teleporter doesn't have charge-up time and it 
     will never miss.

 * Eliminate enemy shields.

   - I know I said that I target the missile launcher first, but the fastest 
     way to do that may be to take out the shields so your shots get through. 
     This is mainly for when you don't have missiles or bombs.

   - Without shields, the ship will be open to any attack you choose. You have 
     more options and this helps you control the battle. Also, shields are a 
     high repair priority for enemy crew, so that may pull them away from 
     other systems you are targeting.

 * Don't rush to destroy that boarding drone.

   - Most likely an enemy boarding drone will breach your hull in the second 
     battle. Don't gang up and kill it right away. The moment you destroy that 
     drone another will be sent to take its place, and you'll have another 
     hole in your hull. Draw out the fight as long as you can while you take 
     out the drone control on the flagship.

   - HOWEVER, if you have a very strong ship defense crew and someone to patch 
     up the hull, you could do the opposite in the hopes that you drain all of 
     the rebel ship's drone supply as soon as possible. The surges will still 
     happen unfortunately.

 * Ion Blast is great in a drawn-out battle.

   - Ion Blast takes a while to show results. With a top-level gunner, a 
     single Ion Blast Mark II or two Ion Blast Mark I will completely lock 
     down any shields given time. Then your other weapons will be free to 
     shoot everything to smithereens.

 * Good basic defenses are important.

   - Four layers of shields and a 55% chance to dodge may just save your ship. 
     If you find you don't have enough power you'll have to micromanage the 
     ship's energy between salvos of enemy fire.

6. Ships and Unlocking
                                 The Kestrel
 * Unlocked: Starting ship
 * Starting Crew: 3 Humans
 * Weapon Systems: Level 3, 4 slots
   - 1x Artemis Missiles
   - 1x Burst Laser Mark II

 * Medbay Capacity: 3
 * Starting Augments: none

The layout of the ship's systems is decent with most of the major systems in 4 
space rooms. However there are problems with venting in the fore of the ship, 
and the location of the crew teleporter is a little far from the medbay.

 * Unlocked: Complete 2 of 3 achievements for the Kestrel
 * Starting Crew: 2 Humans, 1 Zoltan, 1 Mantis
 * Weapon Systems: Level 4, 4 slots
   - 4x Defense Laser Mark I

 * Medbay Capacity: 3
 * Starting Augments: none

This is the Type B layout of the Kestrel. It concentrates most of the ship's 
systems towards the aft of the ship. The Red-Tail has an impressive 5 
different rooms with access to space. The medical bay is conveniently placed 
next to the crew teleporter on the port side of the ship. The rooms are 
connected sensibly, but travel from fore to aft is slow due to the circular 
arrangement of the back rooms and the lack of a central passage.

                                 The Nesasio
 * Unlocked: Special event in Engi Homeworlds
   - Requires: "3. (Engi Crew) Have your Engi crew member contact them."

 * Starting Crew: 3 Humans
 * Shields (purchase): no starting shields
 * Weapon Systems: Level 2, 3 slots
   - 1x Mini Beam
   - 1x Dual Shot Laser

 * Medbay Capacity: 3
 * Cloaking System: Level 1
 * Starting Augments
   - Long-Ranged Scanners: reveals data on adjacent FTL jump beacons
   - Titanium System Casing: chance to prevent system damage

The Nesasio is a stealth ship created by the Engi. This ship comes equipped 
with a cloaking system but no shields. I'll say it plainly, this is not a 
beginner's ship.

Without starting shields it takes a skilled captain to prevent too much damage 
in the early sectors. The Nesasio also has horrible venting capabilities, so 
fire and enemy boarding parties are a very real danger. Travel from fore to 
aft is awkward because the doors are placed in alternating fashion port side 
and starboard as you move towards the stern. This ship is very much designed 
for stealth and evasion, and not so much for combat.

                                   DA-SR 12
 * Unlocked: Complete 2 of 3 achievements for the Nesasio
 * Starting Crew: 2 Humans, 1 Zoltan
 * Shields (purchase): no starting shields
 * Weapon Systems: Level 4, 3 slots
   - 1x Glaive Beam

 * Medbay Capacity: 2
 * Cloaking System: Level 2
 * Starting Augments
   - Long-Ranged Scanners: reveals data on adjacent FTL jump beacons
   - Stealth Weapons (hidden, innate): firing does not shorten cloak duration

The Type B form of the stealth cruiser is laid out more symmetrically but 
travel from front to back is still slow. Venting is only slightly improved 
with two small openings in the rear near the engine and, oddly enough, an 
airlock in the middle of the ship. The DA-SR 12 has all of the drawbacks of 
the Nesasio but instead of two weak, quick-firing weapons, it has one very 
powerful beam that's slow to charge. I suggest upgrading the cloaking system 
as soon as possible so you can charge up the Glaive Beam in relative safety.

                               The Gila Monster
 * Unlocked: Special ship encounter in Mantis Homeworlds
   - Requires: Level 2 Medbay and a Crew Teleporter, save KazaaakplethKilik

 * Starting Crew: 3 Mantis, 1 Engi
 * Weapon Systems: Level 1, 3 slots
   - 1x Small Bomb
   - 1x Defense Laser Mark I

 * Medbay Capacity: 3
 * Crew Teleporter: Level 1, 2 spaces
 * Sensors (purchase): no starting sensors
 * Starting Augments
   - Mantis Pheromones: crew movement speed increased by 25%

It is odd that a Mantis ship does not have a sensor system when their race 
focuses on crew combat. In any case, the ship's weapon and shield systems are 
awkwardly located in the aft corners of the ship, and it takes some time to 
travel to the crew teleporter on the opposite side. There are plenty of open 
rooms for hull lasers, beams and missiles to cause double damage. On top of 
that, Mantis are so very slow at repairs. This ship can but you must somehow 
get more crew.

                                 The Basilisk
 * Unlocked: Complete 2 of 3 achievements for the Gila Monster
 * Starting Crew: 2 Mantis
 * Shields: Level 4, 2 layers
 * Weapon Systems: Level 1, 3 slots
   - no starting weapons

 * Medbay Capacity: 3
 * Drone Control System: 2 slots
   - 1x Boarding Drone
   - 1x Defense Drone Mark I

 * Crew Teleporter: Level 1, 4 spaces
 * Starting Augments
   - Mantis Pheromones: crew movement speed increased by 25%

This Type B layout of the Mantis cruiser is completely focused on defeating 
the enemy through boarding actions. The large, 4 person teleporter located 
right next to the medbay makes overwhelming the enemy crew rather convenient 
while the 2-layer shields protect the ship. Your crew is your only form of 
attack until you can find or buy some other weapons. The rooms of the ship are 
moderately accessible and venting is not a problem except in the wings. The 
Basilisk is centered entirely on boarding actions and its design shows.

                                  The Torus
 * Unlocked: Reach sector 5
 * Starting Crew: 2 Engi, 1 Human
 * Weapon Systems: Level 3, 3 slots
   - 1x Ion Blast Mark II

 * Medbay Capacity: 3
 * Drone Control System: 3 slots
   - 1x Anti-Ship Drone Mark I

 * Starting Augments
   - Engi Med-bot Dispersal: heals crew anywhere on the ship at reduced speed

The Engi doughnut of doom is specially designed for drone combat. A wise 
captain should buy a Drone Recovery Arm as soon as possible to alleviate the 
strain on drone parts. Travel within the ship is slow, but there is not much 
area to cover. Great care should be taken when faced with intruders and the 
weak crew combat strength kept in mind when acquiring new crew members.

                                  The Vortex
 * Unlocked: Complete 2 of 3 achievements for the Torus
 * Starting Crew: 1 Engi
 * Weapon Systems: Level 3, 3 slots
   - 1x Heavy Ion
   - 1x Heavy Laser

 * Medbay Capacity: 2
 * Drone Control System: 3 slots
   - 1x Anti-Personnel Drone
   - 2x System Repair Drone

 * Sensors (purchase): no starting sensors
 * Starting Augments
   - Drone Reactor Booster: drone movement increased by 50%

This Type B layout for the Engi Cruiser is even more compact than the Torus. 
Narrow halls and lack of sensors hamper intruder defense, but your slow-moving 
anti-pers. drone sped up by the starting augment adequately balances this 
failing, at least in the early sectors. It's a lonely voyage with a crew of 
one so efforts should be made to gather more members from wherever you can.

                                  The Osprey
 * Unlocked: Defeat the rebel flagship and finish the game
 * Starting Crew: 1 Human, 1 Mantis, 1 Rockman, 1 Engi
 * Weapon Systems: Level 2, 4 slots
   - 1x Burst Laser Mark II

 * Medbay Capacity: 3
 * Artillery Beam: Level 1, replaces cloaking system
 * Starting Augments: none

This is the current front-line cruiser used by the Federation. A proper war 
ship, the Osprey focuses on dealing out steady damage with its artillery beam. 
The multi-racial crew will give you more options when heading out to alien 
controlled sectors and has a good mix of combat and repair abilities. An 
important fact to keep in mind is that the Federation cruiser design is very 
long and doesn't have as many 4 space rooms compared some other ships.

                                  The Nisos
 * Unlocked: Complete 2 of 3 achievements for the Osprey
 * Starting Crew: 1 Human, 1 Zoltan, 1 Slug
 * Weapon Systems: Level 2, 4 slots
   - 1x Dual Shot Laser
   - 1x Leto Missiles

 * Medbay Capacity: 2
 * Artillery Beam: Level 2, replaces cloaking system
 * Starting Augments: none

Much like the Osprey, this Type B Federation cruiser is made for ship-to-ship 
combat. It has even less opportunities to gather the crew for anti-intruder 
actions and the lack of air locks in the forward section may lead to problems.

                                  Man of War
 * Unlocked: Special ship encounter in the Slug home nebula
   - Requires: Slug crew member or Level 2 Sensors
               "1. Let the live."
               "2. We don't want the weapon, we want information"

 * Starting Crew: 2 Slugs
 * Weapon Systems: Level 3, 4 slots
   - 1x Anti-Bio Beam
   - 1x Breach Bomb Mark 1
   - 1x Dual Shot Laser

 * Medbay Capacity: 3
 * Sensors (purchase): no starting sensors
 * Starting Augments
   - Slug Repair Gel: automatically seals hull breaches

The Slug ship is made for disabling shields and killing the enemy crew with 
the anti-bio beam, an ideal salvager's vessel. The lack of sensors hurts less 
than the lack of crew, and the compact arrangement means travel inside the 
ship doesn't take too long. Once in a while you might run into problems with 
the inconvenient placement of the oxygen system.

                               The Stormwalker
 * Unlocked: Complete 2 of 3 achievements for the Man of War
 * Starting Crew: 3 Slugs
 * Weapon Systems: Level 3, 4 slots
   - 1x Healing Burst
   - 1x Artemis Missiles

 * Medbay (purchase): no starting medbay
 * Crew Teleporter: Level 1, 2 spaces
 * Sensors (purchase): no starting sensors
 * Door System: Level 2, Blast Doors
 * Starting Augments
   - Slug Repair Gel: automatically seals hull breaches

The Type B Slug cruiser is different from the Man of War in that it doesn't 
exactly focus on killing the enemy crew. You'll need a medbay or a very large 
supply of missiles before you can specialize in crew combat. The general 
layout is a bit more spread out and the venting ability is significantly 
better. With improved doors and better control of air supply, enemy boards 
shouldn't be much trouble.

                                 The Bulwark
 * Unlocked: Special event in Rock Homeworlds
   - Required: "1. We're going to save them or die trying." or
               "2. We're strong enough to destroy you!"

 * Starting Crew: 3 Rockmen
 * Weapon Systems: Level 3, 4 slots
   - 1x Artemis Missiles
   - 1x Hull Missile

 * Medbay Capacity: 3
 * Starting Augments
   - Rock Plating: chance to ignore hull damage

Much like its Rockmen crew, this Rock ship is sturdy, if a bit slow. The 
starting missiles are strong enough, but not likely to launch before enemy 
fire has raked your ship. The ship's systems connect to the central rooms 
through many doors and everything is arranged neatly in rows, though why the 
middle rooms need to be divided is beyond me. With the entire crew made up of 
slow Rockmen, you'll want to expand your crew as soon as you can. The venting 
is rather good, but that should only matter if your Rockmen are occupied.

 * Unlocked: Complete 2 of 3 achievements for the Bulwark
 * Starting Crew: 4 Rockmen
 * Oxygen System: Level 2
 * Weapon Systems: Level 3, 4 slots
   - 1x Heavy Pierce Laser Mark I
   - 1x Fire Bomb

 * Medbay Capacity: 3
 * Door System (purchase): no starting door system
 * Starting Augments
   - Rock Plating: chance to ignore hull damage

The Type B Rock cruiser is distinctly suited for its Rockmen crew. With no 
airlocks at all, the crew is the only way to put out fires. The Heavy Pierce I 
will make short work of most ships in the starting sector. The accompanying 
fire bomb will reduce enemy ship systems and crews to ashes while your immune 
Rockmen smash everything in sight. I also just love how the ship looks. I 
would quickly invest in a teleporter and improved doors if you don't want to 
end up as scrap floating too close to a sun.

                               The Adjudicator
 * Unlocked: Special event in Zoltan Homeworlds
   - Required: "2. Hear them out." and follow Quest Marker
               "2. Attempt to hail them."
               "1. Perhaps there could be a reconciliation..."
               "2. True progress can only be achieved without bloodshed."

 * Starting Crew: 3 Zoltan
 * Weapon Systems: Level 3, 4 slots
   - 1x Halberd Beam
   - 1x Leto Missiles

 * Medbay Capacity: 3
 * Starting Augments
   - Zoltan Shield: absorbs any 5 damage and prevents enemy teleportation
                    does not prevent intruders from intruders written in text
                    recharges after every FTL jump

The Zoltan ship is very alien in appearance and arrangement. With most of its 
major systems bunched in the starboard wing, this ship feels rather lopsided. 
Don't let its strange design fool you. After some refits, this Zoltan ship can 
quite a powerful ship, and the Zoltan Shield gives you a serious advantage 
over the other ships you can choose from. This ship has potential, but you'll 
need to buy and salvage all the weapons and crew you can find.

 * Unlocked: Complete 2 of 3 achievements for the Adjudicator
 * Starting Crew: 3 Zoltan
 * Shields: Level 1, no Layers
 * Weapon Systems: Level 4, 4 slots
   - 2x Ion Blast Mark I
   - 1x Pike Beam

 * Medbay Capacity: 3
 * Starting Augments
   - Zoltan Shield: absorbs any 5 damage and prevents enemy teleportation
                    does not prevent intruders from intruders written in text
                    recharges after every FTL jump

Introducing the deadly Noether. The Type B Zoltan cruiser sets off from port 
rather unbalanced. The starting weaponry can cut any ship into pieces for the 
next 6 sectors, but it doesn't have any normal shields. That should be your 
first order of business. You can collect weapons and crew at your leisure 
through the first few sectors while building up the ship's defenses. One issue 
you should take note of is the cramped rooms in the aft of the ship. This will 
hinder you fighting off intruders with just the core crew of Zoltan.

                               - Unknown Race -

 Crystal: Ancestors to the Rockmen, avoided the rest of the galaxy until...
 - Lockdown power: seals the room for the duration of the effect
 - Reduced suffocation damage
 - Movement speed reduced by 20%
 - Has 125 health

 * Unlocked: Special distress call in Rock, Engi or Pirate controlled sector
   - Required: "A ship...within a nearby dense asteroid field..."
               "1. Search for the ship." and "2. Grab the stasis chamber."
               "3. (Rock Plating) Make a thorough search..."
               "You arrive at a Zoltan research facility."
               "4. (Damaged Stasis Pod) Ask if they can fix this."

 * Unlocked: Special event in Rock Homeworlds
   - Required: "3. (Crystal Crew) Reactivate it."

 * Starting Crew: 2 Crystal, 2 Humans
 * Weapon Systems: Level 3, 4 slots
   - 1x Crystal Burst Mark I
   - 1x Heavy Crystal Mark I

 * Medbay Capacity: 3
 * Starting Augments
   - Crystal Vengeance: 10% chance for auto-counter attack when taking damage

Almost everything about the Crystal ship is slow. Its Crystal crew is slow, 
its Crystal weapons are slow. It takes a long time to go from fore to aft. 
Even so, the Crystal crew and weapons have such unique abilities that almost 
all may be forgiven. Mantis may be the masters of crew combat, but Crystal can 
control enemy territory like no other. Add to that the Crystal weapons can 
pierce 1 shield. However, care should be taken when faced with Defense drones 
because the Crystal weapons are considered projectiles.

 * Unlocked: Complete 2 of 3 achievements for the Bravais
 * Starting Crew: 3 Crystal
 * Weapon Systems: Level 1, 4 slots
   - no starting weapons

 * Medbay Capacity: 3
 * Crew Teleporter: Level 1, 4 spaces
 * Cloaking System: Level 1
 * Starting Augments
   - Crystal Vengeance: 10% chance for auto-counter attack when taking damage

The Type B Crystal cruiser is completely geared towards crew combat. With the 
spacious 4 person teleporter next to the medbay, you don't have to worry about 
your crew getting picked off before they can heal. The stealth systems help 
you avoid the big guns while you take apart the enemy ship, and your three 
Crystal crew ensure that no one can get in or out unless you want. The ship's 
rooms are very inconvenient to move through, so you'll want to expand your 
crew as soon as you are able.

7. Micromanagement
On a real ship, a captain has to trust his crew, but in FTL you're the only 
brain controlling the ship.

                             - Power Management -
The reactor only has 25 bars and the ship's systems can use so much more than 
that. You have to get it from somewhere. Most people draw power away from the 
engines or shields but a wise captain should examine all his choices. Before 
we even approach scraping and scrounging for power there are two guidelines I 
always keep in mind.

 1. Anything not in use should not have power.

 2. Power all weapons and shields before you FTL jump.

Generally, drones should not be powered until the moment you need them. The 
same goes for the medbay, cloaking system and teleporter. If you still need a 
bar, you might try the oxygen.

This is really about what power you can spare and for how long. If a pair of 
Pegasus missiles fire and the beam is still charging, why not cut shields or 
an attack drone and open the engines up for all they're worth? There are too 
many specific examples, but the idea is to master your timing and know what 
you can draw from.

                             - Crew Management -
Your crew is probably your most important resource in the long run. To use 
them effectively you should first know how their priorities are set. Whenever 
they reach their destination on your ship a crew member will go through a 

 1. Enemy personnel
 2. Fire
 3. Hull breach
 4. System damage
 5. Unmanned station

The crew will try to handle each problem in that order. Deactivated drones 
register as enemies, so don't pull your hair out when they destroy a silent 
boarding drone before they patch up the hull, they're just made that way.

You may have noticed your crew always fills up a room in the same pattern, 
from left to right, from top to bottom. You can move them into different 
positions within the same room, this is mostly for combat purposes.

First pause the game. Select everyone in the room and right-click as if you're 
moving everyone out. Then move your crew back one at a time, choosing them 
with the order in mind, simple. Also know that crew will always fight with an 
enemy that occupies the same dot. Now you've just saved your wounded Engi from 
a Mantis death, and he can still help out on the sidelines.

                             - Door Management -
In their most basic function the ship's doors keep air inside the ship, which 
is good because your crew needs to breathe. However, enemy intruders also need 
air so they'll avoid rooms that have none. Use this to your advantage. 
Improved doors and strategic venting can often take care of the enemy without 
having to trouble your very busy crew.

Intruders will never stay in an empty room, they always seek to destroy your 
ship's systems. With that in mind, you can vent all the air in a direct path 
from the room they're attacking to the closest airlock. They'll soon begin 
moving to the nearest system that still has air. Once they leave the room that 
was under attack, close the door behind them. Air will start to return to that 
room. Now vent the new room that is under attack. The enemy will need air and 
again head towards the closest system with air. If your timing is good, the 
intruders will run back and forth taking damage all the way. These sort of 
tactics are most useful when you have a small crew. With enough people, you 
can simply force your enemies into the medbay for an easy victory.

A word of caution, never vent the entire ship when intruders are in a system 
needed for life-support, i.e. oxygen, door control. If there is no air at all, 
the enemy will stand and fight, and they might just do enough damage to take 
down the system.

8. Personal Stuff
I've been having a great time playing FTL. I often find it's the voyages that 
don't go quite as planned that are the most fun. I don't play as much as when 
I started (because I was losing sleep), but I'm on Steam at least 2 or 3 times 
a week.

I'll include my record as of this update.

So far so good.

Thanks for reading my guide. Feedback is always welcome.

Steam: AnimusanD
GameFAQs: An_D

Take care and safe travels.

9. Legal
This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, 
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed 
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other 
web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a 
violation of copyright.

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their 
respective trademark and copyright holders.

10. Version History
Version 1.01 (2012/11/01) - Reformatted for 79 character width instead of 80
Version 1.00 (2012/11/01) - First Version

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