Escape Velocity Nova Close Combat Guide by TwilightPhoenix -------------------------------- Table of Contents -------------------------------- 1. The Purpose of the Guide 2. Weapon Selection 2a. Federation Weapons 2b. Auroran Weapons 2c. Vell-os "Weapons" 2d. Pirate Weapons 2e. Polaris Weapons 2f. Rebel Weapons 2g. Alien "Weapons" 2h. Planet Weapons 3. Ship Selection 3a. Civilian Ships 3b. Federation Ships 3c. Auroran Ships 3d. Vell-os "Ships" 3e. Pirate Ships 3f. Polaris Ships 3g. Rebel Ships 3h. Alien "Ships" 4. Outfit Selection 4a. Civilian Outfits 4b. Federation Outfits 4c. Auroran Outfits 4d. Pirate Outfits 4e. Polaris Outfits 4f. Rebel Outfits 4g. Vell-os "Outfits" 4h. Alien "Outfits" 5. Techniques 6. Long Range Combat Guide 7. FAQ 8. Contact Info 9. Credits 10. Other Works by me 11. Version History 12. Copyright Info -------------------------------------------- The Purpose of the Guide -------------------------------------------- Close combat is often overlooked since many players will see that some weapons have a lot of range, and that range is the ultimate tool of destruction. This guide is here to bust that myth and teach you how to fight in a style that will certainly make the game many times more interesting. Close combat is fast paced, more intense, and certainly takes far more skill than sitting far back with long range weapons holding down the space bar with a paperweight. If this intrigues you, please, by all means, read on. If you think that this will end up being a waste of time to read, then it will probably be so. For those of you who are indifferent or not sure which is better, I encourage you to read on so that you may be able to make up your mind. Please note that since the average player is highly unlikely to be too concerned with specific stats, they are not included. If you want those, you can easily get a plug creator/editor program and look them up straight from your data files. SPOILER ALERT! Some things might spoil the game for you if you have not seen it all. You have been warned. LICENSE WARNING! I will not mention what license you need to buy a particular item. If you don't want to have to worry, simply by the Exotic Ships and Weapons License. -------------------------------- Weapon Selection -------------------------------- You are probably wondering why I am starting with weapons instead of ships. When it comes to close-range combat, proper weapon selection is far more important than ship selection, since any ship in the game should have or be able to make space for at least one of the needed weapons. Besides, when I do get to ships, I'll say one is a good choice because it comes with a particular weapon at times. You're going to want to know why having that weapon is good. However, if you want to see ship info first, scroll past this part and come here after you finish that section. So, anyways, let’s begin. NOTE! Below each weapon's information you'll see something like Shields > Armor. It shows whether the weapon is good against shields, armor, or deals the same to each. Bays do not include this. Here’s how to read it. Good against shields Good against armor Equal against both Shields > Armor Shields < Armor Shields = Armor You can thank Mispeled for suggesting this be included. Also, below every weapon and ship there is a hint on fighting it or evading it or whatnot. Thank Qannol for suggesting this. Federation Weapons Many Federation weapons are available at the start of the game. Also, Pirates, Rebels, Wild Geese, and others use them as well. Most of them work best against shields. Most of their weapons require a license, unlike every other groups' weapons. Light Blaster - This weapon has very low damage. They have a very low range as well. On the bright side, they are light, cheap, and do not require any license. In fact, the Shuttle, the ship you start with, has one. But overall, not worth getting. Shields > Armor Unless you are in a small ship, just laugh at it. Light Cannon - Less damage than the Light Blaster, but improved range and rate of fire, not to mention being lighter. Slightly more expensive, but they still require no license. I'd recommend them over Light Blasters though due to the rate of fire, but you should still avoid them as if they were the black plague. Shields > Armor Unless you are in a small ship, just laugh at it. Light Blaster Turret - A Light Blaster that can shoot in any direction. Heavier and more expensive as well. Not worth it. Shields > Armor Unless you are in a small ship, just laugh at it. Quad Light Blaster Turret - Many new players think these things are controlled by the pilot. They are not. They instead shoot at incoming missiles and fighters. They are only available in the Federation storyline, unless you are in the Rebel storyline and want the illegal ones, though those are more expensive and will cause Feds to attack you if they scan you. Use these on slow ships that cannot evade well. I wouldn't get more than two though, as more doesn't seem to help much. Shields > Armor Only a threat if you are flying a ship the turret can target. Even then, only the weak ships will have to be wary of it. Also, it can destroy your missiles, but there really isn't anything you can do about that. Mining Blaster - This is only good for what its name suggests: blowing up asteroids. Damage lower than a Light Cannon (to ships at least) and extremely short range make it a bad choice for combat. They are very light and cheap, however, and require no license. Unless you want to mine asteroids, do not ever touch these. Shields = Armor Unless you are in a small ship, just laugh at it. Medium Blaster - Bigger and better than the Light Blaster. They deal enough damage to destroy things bigger than Vipers. Price is reasonable as well. They have a fair rate of fire when you have several of them. I wouldn't get them unless I couldn't get anything better though. Shields > Armor Not much of a threat to larger vessels. If you are flying anything else, stay out from in front of the attacker if possible. They can hurt any ship over time if you are exposed for too long. Medium Blaster Turret - A Medium Blaster that shoots in all directions. It is heavy and somewhat expensive. I wouldn't get it unless you are too slow for cannons and can't find anything better. Shields > Armor Again, not much of a threat to larger vessels. In anything else, try hit and run tactics or out distance it just enough so it doesn't shoot you. You can also just destroy the ship with powerful weapons before it can cause any damage. Heavy Blaster Turret - There is no Heavy Blaster Cannon... sadly. The Heavy Blaster Turret has a long range and deals very good damage. It is also very heavy and expensive, not to mention it requires you being in the Federation storyline. A very good weapon on a large, slow ship that can hold them. Four of them are quite deadly. On things like Federation Carriers, they are a good choice. Otherwise, don't bother. Shields > Armor Try to avoid getting shot as much as possible, these hurt. Most ships with them have a turret blind spot in the rear, such as the Fed Carrier. Exploit it and destroy the ship. If you have to, just rush in and kill it or use hit and run tactics. Steller Grenades - Very light and cheap with surprisingly high damage output. The downside? Very difficult to use, plus the chance of hurting yourself with them. They’re space mines basically, slowing to a stop after being launched. However, although the damage is high for their price and weight, it is still too low for dealing with most ships. Stay away from these. Shields < Armor No worries, no stock scenario ships use these. Raven Rockets - Very light and cheap. They deal enough damage to keep a player evading them when flying a weak ship or from plowing through a storm of them in a stronger ship. However, since you will never be able to have the launchers and ammo to make a storm of these, they are not a good choice. Good if you can't get/afford anything else, however. Shields < Armor A few of these isn't a threat to anything except small ships. A storm can be dangerous though. Stay out from in front of the enemy ship. You can also just evade the rockets until it exhausts its ammo. Raven Rocket Turret - Exactly what the name says. Higher price and weight. However, unless you're ship is too slow to use regular Raven Rockets and you want Raven Rockets, avoid this. Despite what many people believe and what the description says, Sensor Boosts do not help this weapon in any way. Shields < Armor Same tactics as above, except there is nowhere to hide. IR Missiles - The cheapest, lightest, and weakest guided missile in the game. Having several of these launchers will produce a very high rate of fire and they can deal enough damage over time to pose a threat. Great if you like constantly replacing ammo. However, missiles tend to be best for longer distance combat, hence their range and the fact that they are guided. So, in other words, don't bother. Shields < Armor Really weak, but fast. Plus, a lot of them can hurt. Small ships should dodge, while large ships won't have much choice but just to endure them. Jammers and point defense help reduce potential damage. If you can evade them, wait for the ship to run out of ammo. Radar Missiles - The next step up in missiles. They pack more power and range at the cost of rate of fire, weight, and price. If you like missiles, they're worth the loss since you can still fire them very quickly with multiple launchers. Not a good choice for close combat. There is also a version that will only disable, not destroy, ships available in the Auroran storyline. They require no license but are somewhat more expensive. Shields < Armor Slower, but stronger. They are also usually fired at slower rates. Handle them the same way as the IR Missiles. HellHound Missiles - These missiles are deadly. Heavier launchers, sure, but the damage and explosion size make up for it. That, and the cost. You can fire them very quickly if you have several launchers, too. However, a terrible choice for close range, as you'll run the risk of damaging yourself with those explosions. These things do ionize, which will slow down the target ship a bit. Shields < Armor Really strong, not much slower than Radar Missiles and they have a large blast radius. They also cause ionization, which slows you down and makes you an easier target. Avoiding them is tougher, but few ships carry many missiles, so it’s easy to exhaust it's ammo if necessary. If possible, destroy the ship as quickly as possible so you can quit getting hit. Gravimetric Missiles - They do not make explosions nearly so big as Hellhounds, but the damage is about the same, and only the Vell-os and Polaris can jam them. They are fast and accurate as well. The biggest downfall is the fact that the ammo requires free space: about one ton per missile. Not good if you have very little free space laying around. Not recommended for close range. Shields < Armor Actually they are less of a threat due to the lack of a blast radius and ionization. Treat them the same as Radar and IR missiles. Etheric Wake Missile - Not the best missile around, that’s for sure. You can get some for free once you start the fourth Gli-Tech-Nia minor storyline mission and they become available once you complete said mission. They are slightly stronger than a radar missile and are unjammable by anything except Polaris jamming. However, unlike what the description says, they cannot track cloaked ships. Also, ammo takes up mass like the Gravimetric Missile does. Even if you like missiles, you should pass it up. Shields < Armor Rarely encountered and really, really slow. You can usually outfly them. The ships that carry them carry very few, so exhausting their ammo is easy. Thunderhead Lance - A light, short range, very powerful beam. The description is about right, as you almost do have to ram the ship in question (though you cannot actually ram the ship) to damage them. But it is far worth having to do that, as well as their low cost. Four of these (the maximum) can shred many ships fast enough to leave you unscathed if you attacked them when they were not hostile with you and hardly scathed if they were. I highly recommend this weapon for close range combat. Shields = Armor Only dangerous if the enemy ship is facing you and really close. Don't let them get there. Most ships with these are quick, so ionizing them helps. Polaron Cannon - A very expensive weapon. You get one for free when you start the third mission of the Gli-Tech-Nia minor storyline and make them available by completing that mission. It has slightly more range than a Thunderhead Lance, but less damage. While it is perfect for close combat, I'd avoid getting any beyond the free one. And even then I'd sell that one if I had not already filled the rest of my free mass. Why would I? The amount of space they take up is a bit too much in my opinion. Also, just note you can get two more free Polaron Cannons for free in a side string in the Pirate storyline. A total of three Polaron Cannons, which is also the number of total of free ones you can get, is actually fairly strong. Shields > Armor No worries, no stock ships carry them. Thunderhead Bay - This simply launches up to Three Thunderheads. Very expensive and very heavy. Install only in a large ship. These are the fourth best ship carried fighters, so it’s worth it if you need some fighters. Bays are basically good for any range of combat, so don't feel like you cannot be a close combat fighter if you buy any bays. Just make sure to get the rest of your weapons first. Thunderheads can be a pain. Destroy or disable them as quickly as you can so you can refocus your attention to the carrier. If a ship carries multiple fighter types, T-Heads are priority after Mantas, Darts, and Pirate T-Heads. Federation Viper Bay - There are actually several of these for multiple variants, but you can only buy the standard one. Not worth it though. Lighter and less expensive than the Thunderhead Bay, it launches up to four Federation Vipers (very weak little ships) and requires earning them in the Federation storyline. Weak little buggers, not really a threat at all. Destroy at your leisure. Anaconda Bay - Roughly the same weight and price as the Federation Viper Bay. It launches up to two Anacondas. Better than Vipers, but the bay is not worth it. Same requirements as its Viper counterpart. They carry a few missiles and can get annoying if they keep rearming. So destroy them before dealing with other fighters or the carrier. Auroran Weapons Auroran weapons are the most primitive, but should not be overlooked. Some are available at the start. The Aurorans also have the weapons preferred by long range fighters, but that’s not what we are looking for now are we? Pirates and Rebels use some of their weapons as well. Most of their weapons are best versus armor. Hail Chaingun - The Hail Chaingun is surprising, is it not? In 1.01 and 1.00, I said they were not worth it. However, in recent light of new discoveries, they have turned out to deal the most damage per ton. Compared to Light Blasters and Cannons, this certainly makes them the best of the three. However, they eat through ammo like the end of the world is in five minutes. Also, other weapons, while less efficient in terms of damage per ton, still inflict more damage. This leaves them best for use with small ships or use in conjunction with other close-range weapons. So, in other words, get those T-Head Lances first and, if you have space, then get these. Shields < Armor They have fair range and a 90 degree arc of fire. They always shoot fast, so damage can be built up quickly if you leave a ship armed with these around for too long. However, they can run out of ammo, though it will take awhile. To larger ships or heavily shielded ships, these are just a mere nuisance. Storm Chaingun - The chaingun equivalent of the Quad Light Blaster Turret, though not nearly as good as it's Hail counterpart for damage per ton efficiency. The Hail is heavier and more expensive, but has no requirements for purchasing and performs its job a lot better. If you need point defense weapons and you have a lot of space, go for this. Otherwise, avoid it. Shields < Armor Only a threat to you if you are one of the few ships it can target. Other than that, only your missiles are in danger. Short range and it has a significantly lower damage per second (DPS) than the Hail Chaingun. Fusion Pulse Cannon - This is more like a swivel cannon. It would be the Auroran equivalent for a Medium Blaster. However, it is cheaper and lighter, has better range and faster rate of fire, and requires nothing. It can hurt you if you are too close when it strikes a ship, but you have to be almost on top of the impact area, and even then you have to be in something like a Viper for it to really affect you. If you have to choose between the Medium Blaster and this, go for this. I recommend this weapon for close range if you want something to go with Thunderhead Lances but cannot afford/hold/get anything else. There is a disabling version in the Auroran storyline as well. The same applies for the following two as well, its turret and battery. Shields < Armor 90 degree arc and fair damage and range. Get behind the ship if necessary and destroy. If the ship has only a few FPCs, then it isn't much of a threat to anyone. If it has a lot, you should get rid of it quickly. However, if you are fast, the tracking on the FPCs acts up badly, making life easier for you. Fusion Pulse Turret - The above in turret form. Heavier and more expensive, but lighter and cheaper than the Medium Blaster Turret. If you are too slow for the Cannon, this is a good choice. Shields < Armor Only slow ships carry these, so life is easier. Deal with similarly to the normal FPC, except don't hide behind it since it can shoot you there too. Fusion Pulse Battery - Take a Fusion Pulse Cannon. Make it slightly heavier and slightly more expensive. Now make two of them shoot as fast as 4 or 5 cannons or turrets. Now make them have a 90 degree range in front of your ship. The battery is born. A very good weapon for close range combat. However, it is only available in the Auroran storyline. If you are in the Auroran storyline, get these if you can. Shields < Armor Very high rate of fire makes any ship armed with these annoying and a big threat. Take them down quickly. Deal with the ship as you would one armed with a FPC. 100mm Railgun - The lightest and weakest of the long range fighter's series of favorite weapons. Very long range, but low damage. Not a good weapon for close range fighters, however. These things are very heavy for the damage they deal, but any long range fighter would say it’s worth it. Unless you want to go long range for some strange reason, avoid these. Shields < Armor Not much damage, but they can hit you from really far away. They have a 90 degree arc as well. Just get close to the ship and from the sides or behind and take it out. It’s always a good idea to take out ships with Railguns as soon as possible. 100mm Turreted Railgun - The above, only heavier and turreted. Not even long range combat people like these. If that’s not clue enough to avoid it, than I don't know what is. Available only in the Auroran storyline. Shields < Armor Well, nowhere to hide, so all the more reason to kill it quickly. The damage is low, so rush and destroy the ship before that damage builds up over time. 150mm Railgun - A bigger, better 100mm Railgun. Heavier too. Again, not a weapon for close combat. However, some people who fight close range say railguns are good for closing the distance or for use when the enemy is too hard to get close enough to engage. However, the weapon space used on, say, 5 of these could be used on about 10 or so Thunderhead Lances, if it was possible to get that many without cheating. In other words, you're wasting precious space if you are a close range fighter and you buy these. Shields < Armor Treat the same as 100mm Railguns. They are as threatening when your shields are up. When your shields are down, these hurt you quite a bit. 200mm Railgun - Bigger, better, and very heavy. Or is it? It certainly is bigger and heavy. However, recently I have received hard evidence that the 150mm Railgun has a higher DPS (damage per second) than the 200mm. That gives more reason to not use these. Shields < Armor Again, deal with the same as 100mm and 150mm Railguns. Same damage when shields are up. When down, these hurt a lot! Firebird Bay - Firebirds are the Auroran counterpart to the Vipers that just about everyone else has. However, the ability to launch four Firebirds is not worth the weight and cost of this item. Only in the Auroran storyline. Weak little buggers, destroy at your leisure. The chainguns make 'em a bit more dangerous than Vipers. Phoenix Bay - Firebirds are to Vipers as Phoenixes are to Anacondas. Two Phoenixes per bay. Worth it if you have nothing better to use that space on. Otherwise, avoid it. Auroran storyline only. Treat these as you would Anacondas. TripHammer - This weapon is found only on the Thunderforge, which has four. It is a powerful beam weapon, longer than the Thunderhead Lance. It ignores enemy shields too! They also take up no space. Though, whatever you do, do not sell these! They add armor, speed, and turn rate to the Thunderforge, which makes it as quick as it is. An awesome weapon for close range combat. Only available in a side string in the Auroran storyline. Shields < Armor You may never fight against these in the stock scenario. If you do, stay out from in front, especially if you are flying a low armor ship. These hurt a lot. Vell-os "Weapons" The Vell-os "weapons" are powerful telepathic abilities. All are only available in the Vell-os storyline, and you get all of them free. If you like opera, you'll love these weapons even more. Note that all of them drain energy when used. They also drain energy when not in use, but you'll only be able to notice that if you do not have any energy recharge of any kind. Flower of Spring - Found on the A.I. Vell-os Dart. This simple yellow beam is all you'll have for awhile. It’s powerful enough to get you through though. A decent close range weapon. Shields = Armor Stay out from in front of the enemy ship. Summer Bloom - Stronger and turreted. Comes with the Arrow. It’s good for close range, but not the best. Shields = Armor Fair range and turreted, plus they are pretty strong. Kill the ship carrying it as fast as possible. Autumn Petal - Comes with the Javelin. Stronger and still turreted. This is a good weapon for close range, but there is better still for the Vell-os. Shields = Armor Treat the same as you would the Summer Bloom. Winter Tempest - A nice little lethal beam. It's not turreted, but you'll see why when you use it. It ignores shields and shreds armor. It also has a good range. Plus it ionizes, but a bit too slowly for that to really matter. The downside? It drains energy extremely fast, so you'll need a lot of energy and energy regeneration to make good use of it. Even so, it’s an extremely good choice for your close combat arsenal. Many pilots claim this is the best weapon in the game. It certainly can compete for that position. Shields < Armor No worries, no stock ship uses this. Create Dart - This is really a bay. Darts are the second best launchable fighters. And they are free. If they all get destroyed, you can meditate to replace them unless you use one of those reset mission plugs. Do that and your Darts are gone for good. They come with the Javelin. Good no matter what you are flying, especially considering you could use these on a Viper. Annoying, though luckily you know they always carry three. Always. Ok, Frandall carries about 40, but his invincibility should make you run in the first place. Hit the Darts with impact and ionization weapons to keep them off of you. Darts are second priority of launched fighters. Pirate Weapons Pirate weapons are aimed more towards disabling than destroying. After all, pirates have to disable a ship to steal from it. Many of their weapons are illegal as well. However, they are always available for purchase, albeit very expensive. Ionic Particle Beam - More commonly known as the Ion Cannon. Some newer players might refer to it as the "Crown of Thorns" due to the Manticore's shipyard description. Also, even though you can get a legal version of the Ion Cannon in the Fed storyline, it is more commonly used by Pirates, so that is why I consider it a Pirate weapon. Ion Cannons have a 270 degree radius in which it shoots a solid blue beam that can ionize a ship exceedingly fast. Many close range pilots fear running into these, which is why they say getting railguns on a close range ship is a good thing. I don't agree with that. Simply get any ship armed with these from behind. As for using these as your own weapon for close range, I highly recommend them. There isn't much better, despite their weight and cost. Even the illegal versions are worthwhile. Just remember that these cannot destroy ships, only disable. So you'll need a second weapon to deliver the final blow. Shields > Armor These hurt a lot, but only have a 270 degree radius. So get behind the ship armed with it! They ionize as well, so getting hit a lot will make you an easier target. They cannot destroy you, but ships armed with these generally carry another weapon as well. User Modified Ionic Particle Beam - Same as the above, except it only appears on a version of the Heavy Weapons Pirate Enterprise. What’s different? No energy drain and you can't get them any other way (short of plugs). Shields > Armor Treat the same as normal Ion Cannons. EMP Torpedoes - AKA nukes. These weapons are slow, but they sure do go boom. They create a huge blue explosion when detonated that inflicts a lot of shield damage and almost always ionizes, but it deals exceedingly low amounts of armor damage, making them ideal for disabling ships. Their biggest drawback is the weight of the ammo, a whopping four tons a shot. Ouch! Also, this weapon, due to its explosion, is terrible for close range. Unlike other illegal weapons, it’s not just the Feds who will get mad at you for having this, but rather everyone except pirates will gate you for having these. So always be wary of scans if you use these. Shields > Armor Avoid! Avoid! Avoid! These are very slow missiles, but they make large explosions that inflict a lot of shield damage and almost always ionize in a single hit. Their armor damage is really low, so if you have a lot of armor, they won't destroy you anytime soon. Jammers and point defense help a lot here. If you must, make the shooter run out of ammo. Pirate Viper Bay - Virtually the same as the Federation Vipers, except Pirate Vipers are a tad bit better than their Federation counterparts, and the fact the Pirate Viper Bay launches fighters faster than any bay, except for the Manta Bay. Pass it up, though, unless you have an extra 40 tons of space to blow. These are illegal. Blow them up whenever you feel like it: they won't hurt you anytime soon. Pirate Thunderhead Bay - Virtually the same at it's civilian counterpart, except that Pirate Thunderheads are the 3rd best launchable fighter. A very good choice if you have the space and do not have access to Darts or Mantas for fighters. They are illegal though, so be wary of Fed scans. Dangerous. Treat them like the Civilian Thunderheads when fighting them, but keep in mind they are stronger. They are 3rd in priority of destroy bay-borne ships. Polaris Weapons Polaris weapons are extremely powerful and are often considered unbalanced, and for good reason. They deal very high amounts of damage to both armor and shields. If you are in the Polaris storyline, then go for these! Bio-Relay Laser - A simple, fairly light, and very powerful beam of energy. It has more range than a Thunderhead Lance and deals more armor but less shield damage. A very powerful weapon and a very good choice. Shields > Armor Powerful and fair range, but they shoot straight. So I'm sure you know by now to stay out front from in front. Bio-Relay Laser Turret - So far I have shot down just about every weapons' turret form. Not here. Though it weighs significantly more and you cannot have as many, this weapon's absurd accuracy is perfect for "hit and run" or "harassment" strategies, as well as flying circles around an enemy. Some pilots have flown Mantas armed with only one of these and captured planets, though don't expect any quick victories if you try that strategy. Shields > Armor Very annoying as they never miss when you are in range. Either stay away from ships armed with these, or kill them as quickly as possible. Capacitor Pulse Laser - If I sound biased on this weapon, its probably the fact that it's my favorite weapon. The Capacitor Pulse Laser is an extremely powerful, concentrated beam that drains energy. As the description states, the target's shields and armor might as well have been "wisps of smoke". They cause ionization, though often not fast enough to matter, and can push back any ship, even Fed Carriers. I highly recommend this weapon if you are in the Polaris storyline. Shields > Armor If you like your ship, you won't let yourself get shot by these. They hurt... A LOT! And, on top of that, if you live, you could be ionized. Luckily, they are not turreted, so you can hide behind them. Wrathii - While these are used mostly by Polaris, you can get more expensive versions elsewhere. The Rebels have one in their storyline, you get a free one when you start the 6th mission of the Gli-Tech-Nia and make them available upon completion of that mission, though the Fed version requires an Exotic Ships and Weapons License. The Polaris also has a Fire-While-Cloaked version if you can get the "tech" branch of the Polaris storyline. However, that version has half the ammo and replaces the normal version. But, getting back to the weapon, it shoots little "packets" that inflict a fair share of damage. Again, a very good weapon, like all Polaris weapons. If you are fine with ammo replacement, a very good choice. Otherwise, skip it. Shields < Armor These cause quite a bit of damage and always are fired at fairly high rates. They have 90 degree arcs and quite a bit of range. If you can't get behind the shooter, make him exhaust his ammo. Most ships armed with Wrathii are hardly threatening when they run out. Polaron Torpedoes - The Polaris homing weapon is the second strongest homing weapon in the game, only to be surpassed by the next weapon to be listed. These things travel very quickly and inflict a lot of damage, but seem to have not as much range as some other missiles. However, in truth it’s just an illusion. They have a much higher range then just about anything else. There is also a Fire-While-Cloaked version that has the same unlocking requirements as the FWC Wrathii. Again, it also has only half the max ammo. Close range fighters should pass it up though. Shields = Armor RUN! These are unjammable, undestroyable, really powerful, really quick, and travel farther than railguns. Use of the Afterburner often is necessary to avoid them. Make the enemy run out of ammo and then go kill it. This isn't too hard, considering the ammo count is very low. Or, if you think you can take the punishment, rush it and destroy it so it can't shoot you anymore. Polaron Multi-Torps - The same as above, except it splits into five. The deadliest missile weapon in the game. However, it has such a low ammo count and costs so much as to make it nearly not worth it. When fighting anything that has these, your best bet is to turn around and use that afterburner to run away until no more Multi-Torps are wanting you dead. Shields = Armor Don't try to power through these, you'll die very, very fast. It is best to just run from them or avoid them in some other fashion until the enemy runs out. The ammo count is very low, so that won't take very long. Other than the fact that they split into five warheads of quick death, they are the same as normal Polaron Torpedoes. Manta Bay - The best bay-borne fighter in the game. And the bay carries six and takes up less space then either Thunderhead Bays. However, they are extremely expensive, but well worth it, as these things have a very high survival rate. If you want fighters, these are the best choice. Mantas are dangerous. Kill them quickly. In fact, kill them before you kill any other bay borne fighter. Rebel Weapons Except for their bay, the Rebels use other groups' weaponry, and for this reason, this weapon section hardly exists. In particular, they get Bio-Relay Lasers and Wrathii among the other things they use. If you are playing the Rebels, you have some fair choice of good weapons. Wrathii - I've already talked about them, but they deserve special mention here due to an insane combo possible only in the Rebel string that uses this weapon. It is possible to have 8 launchers and 1200 ammo and, in theory, have 12 launchers and 1800 ammo. How? When you earn them in the Rebel storyline, you can buy theirs. Then you can go to Polaris space and purchase theirs. And if you got them in the Gli-Tech-Nia minor storyline, you can get theirs as well. Shields < Armor See above. Rebel Viper Bay - The best Viper in the game, but not good enough for you to use. Similar to all the other Viper Bays in its performance, weight, etc. Don't get it. Not much of a threat. Kill them if you feel the need. Alien Weapons Without a plug you cannot get your hands on these. However, since you can with a plug, they should still be mentioned. Wraith Child Beam - A very short, not too powerful beam used by Wraith children. It inflicts decent damage, but not enough that it should scare you. Only the child uses it, as it's name suggests. Shields > Armor Short range and not very powerful. Just laugh at it and blow the Wraith up. If you don't want to get hit, stay out from in front. Wraith Youth Beam - Better than the previous in damage and range. Not a threat unless you're in a small ship. Used by Wraith Youth. Shields > Armor A threat to smaller craft, though large ships can still laugh. Wraith Adult Beam - This one is a threat, since it has good damage and range. It's used by the Wraith Adult. Try not to get shot too much by it. Shields > Armor These hurt, but you can just stay out from in front. Solar Lance - The Hyperoid weapon. It can hurt a lot, so stay out from in front of Hyperoids unless you want a really good sun tan... or burn if you are one of the unlucky people who burn rather than tan. Also, it doesn't matter how much sunscreen or sun block you have on, this weapon will still hurt just as much. Shields = Armor These can hurt quite a bit, so just stay out from in front. Nanites - Used by Krypt Pods. These little things hurt a lot and ignore your shields. They also home in on you too. At least they can be shot by point defense weapons. However, no matter what you are flying, you should avoid coming in contact with these. Shields < Armor They are quick, strong, and homing, and they ignore shields. Luckily, they have short range and are targeted by point defense weapons. Avoid contact with them, especially if you are in a low armor ship. Planet Weapons Used only by planets to shoot at enemies in the stock scenario, you could get these with a plug. So, for that reason, they still deserve some mention. Enormous Blaster Turret - Shoots a huge shot that’s stronger than the Heavy Blaster Turret's shots and has significantly longer range. Shields > Armor Shoots about as fast as two Heavy Blaster Turrets and are probably twice as strong. Avoid getting shot, since you can't destroy the station. 100mm Turreted Railgun - Same as the one way above. Only this time a little Auroran outpost is shooting it. Shields < Armor Just dodge it if you need to. It isn't very powerful. 400mm Turreted Railgun - Shoots a huge railgun shot that deals quite a bit of damage and has a really long range. Shields < Armor Just avoid the powerful shot. Enormous Ion Cannon - No, it doesn't shoot a beam. It shoots a really large shot that inflicts no damage but ionizes. It has a really long range too. Used on Rebel and Pirate stations mostly. No damage, but it does ionize, so avoiding it is still a good idea. Enormous Polaron Torpedo - These things hurt. So far everything I have seen shot by this died on impact. Of course, all the capital ships shot by it were already damaged. It also ionizes, but I guess it really doesn't matter if all things shot by it die. You can find these on Polaris stations and (so I heard) planets. Shields = Armor Like living? Don't get hit. -------------------------- Ship Selection -------------------------- Proper ship selection, while very important, isn't key. Some ships are more suited for close combat, however, and having the right ship will increase your odds of both victory and survival greatly. There are plenty to choose from. I won't discuss all the variants (the guide would be 5 times as long). I'll make special mention of ones that deserve it, however. If you skipped the weapon section, go back to that one next. Civilian Ships At first thought, you may think Civilian ships are not worth it simply because they are Civilian. Not in Nova! They did a good job of making several of the ships powerful enough to hold their own, especially in the right hands. You'll have access to all but a few at the start of the game. Shuttle - The ship you start with. Armed with a Light Blaster. Get into something better as fast as you can. Luckily, you start the game with 25k credits, more than enough for the next ship. Pass up the used variants as well. It's interesting to note the Class B has IR Missiles, but the A.I. Shuttle never fires them. These will just run from you. Heavy Shuttle - Better in every way than a shuttle, save the fact that it too comes with a Light Cannon. I don't recommend trying to fight in this thing, though you can take on some Vipers if you are skilled. Again, pass up the used variants. These will just run from you. Cargo Drone - You can't fly it without a plug, but you can hire it as an escort. No weapons, but very cheap. The best thing about it is: you shoot it and it dies! What could be better? Doesn't even have weapons. Why worry? Asteroid Miner - Good at what it's name suggests. It comes with four mining lasers and a scoop. It has an awful turning rate, however. One neat thing is it opens up before shooting. I can just envision an Asteroid Miner slowly opening up and some huge and powerful beam shoots out and demolishes an entire fleet of Polaris Ravens. Too bad that can't happen without a (more than likely cheat) plug. Bad if you are going to be fighting though. Speaking of fighting, you can do better for a ship. These just run from you. Terrapin - Not a ship you want to be in. Comes with two Light Blaster Turrets. It is very slow and vulnerable. Even Atmos thinks it's a bad idea, hence a dude (technical name of the variables that says what ships are in what systems) is named "lone idiot in terrapin". Pass up any version of this, whether used or not. Sometimes they run, other times they are idiot Marauders who have a death wish. Grant it while laughing at their pathetic life. Viper - I found it odd that there is no bay for this Viper, but for every other one. Maybe for good reason. Very weak, armed with two Light Blasters. If you want a challenge, give it a shot. Otherwise, pass it up. Really weak, destroy if you feel the need. Lightning - A surprisingly large fighter. Armed with 3 Light Cannons and is fairly quick. I would still pass it up though, since its weak for its size. The Wild Geese variant deserves mention, since it is buyable on New Ireland. It adds some Radar Missiles and you don't need a license to buy the variant. Try it if you wish, though I wouldn't. Missiles can get a bit annoying, but the ship overall is just really a big Viper. Thunderhead - A very good fighter. It comes with two Thunderhead Lances and Radar Missiles. The best Civilian fighter. If you like fighters, this is your ship until you can get a potentially better one. The Light Destroyer Class is very rarely seen. Maybe for good reason, as it replaces the Lances with Ion Cannons. That’s something worth taking into consideration if you end up with a Thunderhead in your fleet. As for flying any variant as your ship, it is good for close combat with its stock weapons, but there are better. Has missiles, but the threat is the Lances. Don't let it get close enough to use them. The Light Destroyer is quite dangerous for its size due to the Ion Cannons. Get behind that one or impact and ionize it enough so it can't use them. Valkyrie - Ok, now we have a decent combat ship. Comes with 3 Light Blaster Cannons and a Raven Rocket Pod. This ship has fair speed and maneuverability. A good ship for a beginner to get used to fighting. It can also be made dangerous with the right weapons. The "better" used variant is worth the price if you can't find better. Though you will want a better ship soon enough. Overall, a good choice if you cannot get anything better. Raven rockets are not very dangerous. The ship, while it can put up a fight when you are in a weaker vessel, is overall not very dangerous. The Class III carries some missiles, but nothing too dangerous. Starbridge - Better than the Valkyrie. Comes with 3 Medium Blasters on the standard as well as Radar Missiles. The "better" used variant may be worth the price, you decide there. This ship can be deadly in the right hands, but there are better. The Class C variant deserves special mention, as some of these (not all for some strange reason) have Heavy Blaster Turrets and/or Hellhounds on them. Also, the Class D tends to have Gravimetric Missiles. Be wary when attacking either variant or you may find yourself caught off guard. Any variant can be a good choice. It has missiles, which is its main source of damage. It can put up a fight, but not much of one. The Class C and D, on the other hand, are quite dangerous due to their weaponry. It’s best to make them run out of ammo before engaging. Destroy any Class C variants armed with Heavy Blaster Turrets as fast as possible since they can chase you down in slower ships. Modified Starbridge - As expected, it is better than its "unmodified" counterpart. Faster, stronger, more heavily armed (with Medium Blasters and Radar Missiles), and more expensive, all point to it being better. The only place I have seen it for sale is as New Ireland. The Class E is considered by some to be the best Starbridge in the game. Armed with Radar Missiles, Med Blasters, and Railguns, as well as having better stats than every other Starbridge, it is a very good ship. Certainly a worthwhile choice. Some pilots find this to be the ship they are the best with. A normal Mod Starbridge is like a somewhat better normal Starbridge. Main damage comes from missiles. The higher variants are more dangerous. The Class E puts up a big fight and is dangerous at all ranges, so get rid of it quickly. IDA Frigate - It can take a beating and haul a good amount of cargo, but that’s it. It has Medium Blaster Turrets and a Raven Rocket Turret. It is very slow and takes ages to enter hyperspace. The NC1170 class is a different story. More powerful, and armed with Heavy Blaster Turrets, Quad Light Blaster Turrets, Hellhound Missiles, and Railguns, it is a formidable ship. I do not recommend the stock version for fighting, especially close range. The 1170 can handle the job with things like Heavy Blasters, but you can do better. One interesting thing to note is that in both shipyard pics and the sprite itself, you can see a Thunderhead Bay. However, no variant comes with one. Odd, isn't it? Normally, these just have a lot of armor and some Raven Rockets. Woo, big deal. Just kill it. Any other variant has missiles and carries better weapons, making them more of a threat. They are slow though, so you can kill them with relative ease. The 1170, on the other hand, is powerful and dangerous to all ships at all ranges. Kill it quickly. Pegasus - Ugh. I could say that again. Slow, weak, and comes with a Medium Blaster Turret. It is only good for hauling cargo. Cheap or not, don't even bother buying this ship. It is not worth the price. Worst of all, you have to have both completed the first Sigma mission and not failed any others. Just laugh and blow it up if one attacks you. Star Liner - Comes unarmed, but has some fair defensive strength and is decently fast for a cargo hauler. It comes with a lot of crew as well, and I mean ALOT. It could possibly be turned into a decent fighting ship, but you certainly could make a better one out of a Lightning. It has the same mission requirements as the Pegasus. Just laugh and blow it up if it attacks you. Leviathan - Very big, very vulnerable, and very unarmed. It’s also tied with the Auroran Carrier for the slowest ship in the game. They also carry tons and tons and tons and tons of cargo. 5000 tons to be exact in Mac 1.07 and Win 1.06 and below. 4000 in Mac 1.08. Also, if you capture them, they can sell for very high or make good cargo hauling escorts. Do not hire as an escort unless you are willing to loose money no matter what you trade. Note that the Upgraded Engines and Armed Variants have Heavy Blaster Turrets. Same mission reqs as the Pegasus and Star Liner. Don't fly as your own ship in combat though, unless you intend to defeat your enemies with your Leviathan's absurdly large and powerful death explosion. Don't get hit by the death explosion, it hurts. The better variants have heavy weapons, but are not very threatening since they hardly use them. Kestrel - The most expensive ship in the game. The Kestrel originally appeared in the original Escape Velocity as the most powerful Civilian (and pirate) ship. In Nova, it contends well for the spot. Despite not being the best ship in the game, it is only available at the Our Spiel shipyard for 50 million after you complete any major string. Someone who didn't play EVC might not care for this ship, but almost anyone who has played EVC will get it just for the sake of having it. It can be armed well and can be made into a good close combat ship. It has Medium Blasters, Pirate Vipers, and similar weapons, which you might wish to sell. Just know that if you cloak in this ship you will have a VERY hard time seeing yourself. There are only two ways to fight a Kestrel: attack Matt Burch or capture a ship. The first is suicidal anyways since he is invincible. The second involves buying it, capturing a ship as your own, releasing, and then attacking. No hints here, as I have never fought one, and fighting one is entirely your choice anyways. Federation Ships Federation ships all require you to be in the Fed storyline to get, as can be expected. There isn't anything really special about most Federation ships. However, just because of that doesn't mean you should overlook them. Several of them are quite good for close combat flying. Federation Viper - Better then a Civilian Viper, but that’s about it. Has about 3 Light Blasters. I would suggest passing it up. Blow it up if you feel like it. Anaconda - Better than a Federation Viper. Fewer Light Blasters, but it has an IR Missile Launcher. Fed Carriers have a tendency to launch these, let them shoot their missiles, and recall them to rearm. Even still, pass it up. They have missiles, but few of them. Not very threatening. More so if it comes from a bay since it can rearm. Scout Ship - Surprisingly bad at its name sake. Light Blasters and a Raven Rocket Pod are its armaments. It doesn't have as much energy as you would expect an exploration vessel to have. Pass this one up too. Really weak and easy to kill. Patrol Boat - Here we go. While the standard variant is armed merely with Medium Blasters and Raven Rockets, it can be properly outfitted to make a nice close combat vessel. Its Heavily Armed variant has Hellhounds, so be wary when fighting them. Also deserving mention is the Close Quarters Variant. It has about 5 Medium Blasters and carries Ion Cannons. Without tweaking, it’s pretty good at close fighting and has a surprisingly high survival rate as an escort. With some tweaking, you can make it into an even better close combat ship. Federation pilots, this may be your close combat vessel of choice. Not too dangerous itself. Its pretty easy to beat. The Heavily Armed Variant is dangerous until it runs out of Hellhounds. The Close Quarters Variant is dangerous with its loadout. Just get behind it and kill it. R.A.G.E. Gunboat - Probably the other Federation ship good for close combat. The Rage Gunboat is a bit tougher than the Patrol Boat, but slower and only has one variant. For the most part, its default weapons are good. It is armed with Fusion Pulse Cannons, Wrathii, and Etheric Wake Missiles. The last of those you'll probably end up dumping. If you don't like the Patrol Boat, you may prefer this one instead. Etheric Wake Missiles are very slow and Wrathii is its main source of damage. Make it run out of both if you need to and then kill it, as it is easy without those weapons. Federation Destroyer - Fairly maneuverable, but not very good. It's armed with Medium Blaster Cannons and IR Missiles. Not very good in stock form; however, the Carrier Class has 2 Heavy Blaster Turrets (as well as a useless Federation Viper Bay) and the Heavy Missile Class replaces those useless fighters with Hellhounds. If you want a Destroyer, get either of those and replace the fighters/missiles with better weapons. Has a lot of IR missiles, but it runs after running out. The Carrier Class has the Heavy Blaster Turrets, making it quite a bit more powerful. The Heavy Missile Variant is quite dangerous with the turrets and Hellhounds. Kill it as quickly as you can. Federation Carrier - Big, slow, and powerful. All Federation Carriers are armed with Heavy Blaster Turrets and, of course, Viper and Anaconda Bays. Three of the variants get special mention too. The Heavy Missile Class has Hellhounds and EMP Torpedoes. You'll want good jammers, point defense weapons, and/or good dodging skills when encountering one of these. The Extra Fighters Detected variant has a Civilian Thunderhead Bay on it, saving you the trouble of getting one yourself if you want Thunderheads. Also, the Non-Missile Variant has four Heavy Blaster Turrets and two Ion Cannons, making it the best close combat Carrier. It’s a bit too slow for the Ion Cannons, so this would be one of the few cases to sell them. If you want a close range Fed ship but do not want a Patrol Boat, go with the Non-Missile Variant Fed Carrier. They all have Heavy Blaster Turrets, but a blind spot in the rear where it can't hit you. Exploit it. The Heavy Missile is only as threatening as a Flagship once it has run out of ammo. Same goes for the Extra Fighters Detected one when you kill its Thunderheads. The Non-Missile Variant is perhaps the toughest because of its weapon loadout. But it is still easy to kill once you get behind it. Auroran Ships Auroran ships mostly specialize in heavy armor, weak shields, and long range weapons. Also, all of the military ones require you to be in the Auroran storyline to buy. Don't overlook them for close combat. You could be surprised. Please note that I could not remember which variant has what even if my life depended on it. Therefore, no variants will receive special mention. Argosy - A cargo hauler armed with Hail Chainguns. Not too quick, but it does have more armor than any Civilian ship, save perhaps the IDA Frigate. It can be made into a pretty good close combat ship, but there still is better. Point, laugh, kill. Enterprise - Bigger, slower cargo hauler. Has 100mm railguns. I would pass it up. One interesting thing that I learned by seeing a screenshot is if you have beam weapons on it, like Thunderhead Lances, they fire from the rear of the ship, the exit ports right by what appears to be a reactor. Now that’s real safe. Railguns can be annoying, but it is just a cargo hauler, so it is still an easy kill. Firebird - Basically a Viper. Hail Chainguns for it's armament. Like the Vipers, skip this. Just like a Viper: weak. Just shoot it down. Phoenix - Basically your Auroran Anaconda. Hail Chainguns and Radar Missiles. Like the Anaconda, skipping this ship is a good idea. Treat it like an Anaconda. More threatening if launched since it can rearm. Abomination - Despite it's name, it isn't very ugly (in my opinion at least). They are armed from Hail Chainguns to Fusion Pulse Cannons to Fusion Pulse Batteries and almost all have Radar Missiles. There are many, many variants of these... too many. It can do well for a close combat ship, but you'll want better. The Moash Abominations go boom almost instantly. Weapons vary greatly, but they all have missiles. Some have chainguns, others have Fusion Pulse Cannons, others Batteries. A few have Railguns. Adjust your strategy according to their weapon layout. Auroran Cruiser - Usually has Railguns of varying strengths and IR Missiles. It also often has Fusion weaponry. It’s fairly slow though, making it not the best choice for close combat. Get close and behind it. Some have Fusion Pulse Turrets, but the main threat is the missiles and Railguns. Once you are close, it tries to run for some reason, so you'll have to chase it. Auroran Carrier - It ties with the Leviathan for the slowest ship in the game. It has railguns, turreted railguns, Firebirds, Phoenixes, Storm Chainguns, Fusion Pulse Turrets... basically a lot of weapons. A poor choice for close combat due to its slowness. However, it is possible to get over 1000 tons of free space on one of the variants. Fight it the same way like the Cruiser after you deal with the fighters. Thunderforge - You might be wondering how you could be surprised at what you have seen so far in regards to Auroran ships. When you take this for a spin, that surprise will finally strike you. The Thunderforge easily could be the best close combat ship in the game. Ironically, many new players mistake it for long range, load it with railguns, and end up saying it sucks. It is fairly quick and is the only ship in the game armed with TripHammers. It has four of them too, as well as Fusion Pulse Turrets, Radar Missiles, and (ugh) 100mm Railguns. If you are an Auroran pilot, get this ship. You'll need to do a side string to get it though. Stay out from in front: the TripHammers are its main source of damage. The other weapons can become pretty annoying as well, but you can exhaust the missiles and get behind it to avoid the Railguns. *The Thunderforge is my favorite ship in the game, as well as many other pilots'. An example of an insane close range weapon selection is: 4 TripHammers, 4 Thunderhead Lances, 4 Fusion Pulse Batteries, 7 Ion Cannons. You won't have the gun slots for the eighth Ion Cannon, which is a shame. Give that layout a shot. Vell-os "Ships" Not really ships, but shells of mental energy. All Vell-os "ships" are inertialess, so it will take some getting used to flying in them. Vell-os "ships" themselves suck, but with all the other powers you get, they become powerful. Even still, those abilities can be transferred to an even better ship, so sticking with these might not be the best idea unless you love inertialess piloting. Remember, the only outfit you can buy with these are Marine Platoons. The only purpose I see in that is perhaps being alone in one of those might make you lonely. They are only available in the Vell-os storyline. Dart - Very fast, the second quickest thing in the game. You'll have the Flower of Spring when you get this ship and the A.I. Darts will use it as well. A fairly good close range vessel. Impact it and ionize it so it can't perform a Mosquito on you (see techniques below). It is virtually impossible to stay out from in front because it is so fast. Turrets are useful here. Arrow - Bigger, slower, and stronger. You'll get the Summer Bloom when you get this. A.I. Arrows will use it too. Fairly good for close range. Either stay away or kill it quickly. Avoid the front, it has a Flower of Spring as well. Javelin - Bigger, slower, and stronger, yet again. You'll get the Autumn Petal and Create Dart when this is granted to you. The A.I. will have those as well. Fairly good for close range. Kill its Darts first. Then kill it quickly or avoid it. Again, stay from in front so it can't hit you with the Flower of Spring as well. Pirate Ships All but one of these ships are available at the start of the game. However, they are very expensive. The Pirates have some of the best ships in the game though, so they are certainly worth looking at. Pirate Viper - I believe you get the idea by now. However, the Missile Variant has Radar Missiles and the Beam Variant has a Thunderhead Lance. Weak, just blow it up. The better variants are somewhat of a threat, but not much. Pirate Thunderhead - A better Thunderhead. It carries basically the same weapons as the civilian version, except it also is armed with a Fusion Pulse Cannon. However, it doesn't match the Light Destroyer Thunderhead or any Rebel ones. Treat it like a Civilian Thunderhead, except keep in mind it is a bit tougher. Pirate Argosy - Take the Auroran version and add a Raven Rocket Pod and some better stats. You get the Pirate Argosy. Makes a better close combat ship than its counterpart, but there are better candidates for close combat. The Raven Rockets make it a tad bit more threatening, but not much. Just kill it. Pirate Enterprise - Better then the Auroran one. Still terrible. Armed with Railguns and now has a Fusion Pulse Cannon. However, there are two Heavily Armed Variants. One has Ion Cannons and EMP Torpedoes, the other has Heavy Blaster Turrets, so you may want to be a bit careful when engaging them. Easy to beat, the Railguns are the only real danger. The Heavily Armed versions are a different story. For one, exhaust the EMPs and get behind it to avoid the Ion Cannons. The other, you'll just have to put up with its Heavy Blaster Turrets. Pirate Valkyrie - Better then the Civilian one. Has Medium Blasters and Raven Rocket Pods. Not very good itself. However, the Class IV is considered by several pilots to be the best ship in the game. Insanely fast, it has 4 Ion Cannons, Radar Missiles, Railguns, and Hell Hounds. This ship can be turned into a lethal close combat ship as well. I recommend you keep the Ion Cannons and sell the rest should you wish to use this as your ship of choice. The normal version is not very dangerous. The Class III has Radar Missiles, but nothing special. The Class IV is a menace to society. It’s best to make it run out of missiles and then go for the kill. Just keep in mind it does have Ion Cannons and is extremely fast. Pirate Starbridge - Better than a normal Civilian starbridge, but not as good as the Modified. Has Radar Missiles and Medium Blasters. The Class D has EMP Torpedoes and Ion Cannons. It can make a decent close range ship, but there is better, such as the Pirate Valkyre IV. Nothing special here, just fight it like a Starbridge. The Class D is somewhat more threatening, but you can beat it easily, even with its Ion Cannons. Manticore - This ship can be nasty. Armed with IR Missiles, EMP Torpedoes, and eight (yes eight) Ion Cannons. Obviously, it can be made into a powerful close range ship... but not as much as you would think. Weapons like Thunderhead Lances, Polaron Cannons, Bio-relay Lasers, and other non-turreted beam weapons fire very strangely on the ship, making it very difficult to hit anything. The best bet would be to use the Ion Cannons to disable and some other weapon to destroy. This ship is nowhere near dangerous as a lot of people say. The Light Weapons Variant doesn't even have the dreaded Ion Cannons. All the variants have some variations of missiles. One has some Fusion Pulse Cannons and another has Pirate Vipers. Make it run out of missiles and simply get behind it. All of a sudden this feared ship and those eight Ion Cannons is a push over. Pirate Carrier - Big, slow, powerful. It has 150mm Railguns, EMP Torpedoes, and Pirate Vipers. Not good for close range itself. Note that the Heavy Weapons Platform has Heavy Blasters Turrets and the Extra Fighters Detected variant has Pirate Thunderheads. Exercise caution when engaging either. They all can be fought in about the same way. Avoid the EMPs and get to the side or behind to avoid the Railguns. The Heavy Weapons Platform has Heavy Blaster Turrets, but it can be beaten just like any Federation Carrier. The Unrelenting - While it is a Pirate Carrier, it is a separate ship mainly because it is given to you for free in the Pirate storyline, whether you want it or not. It has Pirate Vipers, Pirate Thunderheads, Heavy Blaster Turrets, 200mm Railguns, Marine Platoons, EMP Torpedoes, and way too much extra space. If it was faster it could make a very deadly close combat ship. Many pilots say this is the best ship in the game. For close combat, it isn't, however. Even still, you should keep this on a pilot somewhere, because having all that free space is rare and allows you to experiment as well as let you have some fun by doing crazy things. No worries here, you can never encounter this ship as a foe. Polaris Ships All of these ships, save for the cargo haulers, require you to be in the Polaris storyline to purchase. At first glance, these ships are the best in the game. But if you look closer, you'll notice that, for the most part, it is their weapons that make them so deadly. They also have a very low crew count. Despite this, they are all designed with close combat in mind, so they are certainly something to consider. Also note any Nil'kemas are better than the stock variants, Kemi are worse, and Cloak Detected have cloaking devices. Another note is that they regenerate armor as well, though very slowly. Sprite - No weapons, one gun slot, a lot of cargo space. It’s obvious that this ship is not meant for any kind of combat. I wouldn't bother with this ship unless you like trading goods. No weapons to speak of. Just kill it if you feel the need. Cambrian - Same as the above, only bigger and more cargo. Same thing applies. Though if you want to hire a really good cargo hauler, get this over the Leviathan. Leviathan escorts cost too much to hire and too much per day. The Cambrian costs something like 1/10th for both costs and has 4/5 the cargo space. Great cargo hauling escort, poor combat ship. Unarmed. Easy kill. Manta - The fastest, most powerful fighter, and great for close combat. Comes with one Bio-Relay Laser and the Nilk Variant has two, is faster, and has Wrathii as well. If you like fast ships to fight in, this could be your ship. Especially if you like a fun, albeit slow way to kill opponents. Get the Nilk variant, sell everything, buy a Bio-Relay Laser Turret (you might need the Sigma Mount Reinforcement), and use the rest for things like Spun Diamond. Just fly little circles around your foe while shooting and you'll never get a hit. Very annoying. It’s fast, and it has a Bio-Relay Laser. Impact and ionization helps a lot, as do turrets. The Nilk variant has some Wrathii as well, so make it run out if you can. Striker - The step up. Two Bio-Relay Lasers and Wrathii. Nilk variant has a turret instead of the norm lasers. This is a good close combat ship as well, as it is fairly quick, nimble, and tough. Please note that, some variants of the Striker are inertialess, specifically all the cloaking+fast jump ones. So don't be surprised if you find yours not behaving like most other ships. Not nearly as fast as the Manta, but it makes up for it with weapons and toughness. Once it is out of Wrathii, attack it anywhere except from in front. Zephyr - This is a step up from the Striker, as it has a little less shields but much more armor. I don't like it as much though, since I prefer shields (they regenerate faster than armor). Its appearance is equivalent to a black sheep, as it looks entirely different from all other Polaris ships. Then again, it is designed to blend in among ships of other governments. It has Bio-Relay Lasers and Wrathii and all variants come with a Cloaking Organ. It’s about as good for close combat, probably slightly better, than the Striker. However, if you want a blue Zephyr, you can capture Shade of Blue. Shade of Blue's ship stays blue as long as you use it as your own. It comes with standard Zephyr weapons plus a 200mm Railgun and a Polaron Torpedo Tube. Yeah, it cloaks, but usually to run away. It can be dealt with like a Striker. Dragon - Not a ship I really played with. Has one Bio-Relay Laser Turret and some Wrathii. It’s bigger than the Striker and Zephyr, but not much tougher and does not have much more space. It can do well at close combat, but if you are in the Polaris string, you certainly can do better. Except for its turret, this is probably easier to kill than the Zephyr and the Striker, since it is bigger, slower, and not much tougher. Arachnid - A nice and powerful ship. Sure, it’s large, but it’s quick. It has a Capacitor Pulse Laser and Polaron Torpedoes. With its speed for its size, it can become a good close range vessel. It’s also cool to see the animations for it shooting. Despite this, you can do better in regards to power. But not likely with style. Two interesting notes: Arando's Arachnid comes with four(!) Manta Bays, allowing you to have 24 Mantas. Also, the Arachnid is the favorite ship of Pipeline, ones of the game's developers. It has two weapons: one that can run out of ammo and the other that only shoots forward. It can turn pretty quick though, so getting behind it is harder than one would think. Scarab - For Polaris close combat, this is my recommendation. The stock variant has two Capacitor Pulse Lasers, Polaron Torpedoes, and a Manta Bay. It can become fairly agile, especially for its size. In fact, with the help of jammers, you can very easily evade barrages of missiles. It is also a very tough craft, having high shields and pretty good armor. Also, like the Arachnid, it has a firing animation, but it isn't as cool. Kill the Mantas and avoid the torpedoes. Then stay out from in front. *This is my second favorite ship in the game. Mine is armed with three Capacitor Pulse Lasers and a pair of full Manta Bays. It also has all the defensive tech I could get, making it very good at taking a beating. It was my most favorite until I discovered the Thunderforge, however. Raven - Highest shields in the game, a lot of armor, two Manta Bays, three Capacitor Pulse Lasers, and Polaron Multi-Torps. Sounds like the best ship in the game, right? Many new players, as well as some experienced, agree with that. I don't, and for three very good reasons. 1) It’s huge, making it an easy target. 2) It’s inertialess, which doesn't work well with it's size. 3) Any beam weapon you have on it fires so far out in front that something could sit in front of your craft, open fire, and you won't be able to vaporize them. Because of that, it is difficult to fight close range in this, as evasion of incoming fire is very difficult and it's hard to get a good shot at a close opponent. Plus you can't strafe, a very useful technique which will be described later. However, there are two Ravens which deserve mention. The first is one with inertia. However, the only one who flies it is Jason Cook, aka Frandall, who is a developer of the game and is invincible. You cannot get one without a plug and/or cheating. The second is Iuso's (not Luso) Raven. It has five Capacitor Pulse Lasers and five Manta Bays which can be stocked all the way up to 30 Mantas (ouch!). It doesn't display shields or armor, so capturing it is more difficult than normal. A great ship for bay-borne fighter fanatics. Once the Mantas and torpedoes are gone, the Raven is surprisingly easy to beat. It is so large most ships can sit on top of it safely. Also, the beam shoots far in front, so you can actually sit in front really close and be safe. It just takes quite awhile to actually kill it. Rebel Ships Rebels have a mixture of everyone's technology, but they have some very nice ships. None of them are of original design, but are modified versions of other gov’s ships. Rebels also fly normal Pirate and Civilian craft as well. These ships are certainly worth looking into... and looking at. It seems like any ship looks good in green. All require you to be in the Rebel storyline. Rebel Viper - Toughest Viper in the game, especially the Light Gunboat Class, which carries Raven Rockets and has a surprisingly high survival rate. As your own ship, I wouldn't fly it though. Ok, it may be the toughest, but it is still virtually no threat, even with the Raven Rockets on the Light Gunboat. Rebel Lightning - Better than a normal Lightning, but it isn't seen all that often. It has Med Blasters and Radar Missiles and is quick. However, it is weak for its size still, so it’s best to not fly this. A bit tougher than the normal Lightning, but still really easy to kill. Missiles can be annoying, but it’s nothing big. Rebel Thunderhead - Best Thunderhead in the game, but sadly has no bay for it. It is armed with the usual Thunderhead Lances, but also carries Wrathii. If you like Thunderheads, get this. It is a pretty good choice for close combat, so fly it if you wish. Wrathii makes this Thunderhead dangerous. Once it has run out, it is easy to beat. Rebel Valkyrie - Often armed with Medium Blasters and Raven Rockets, these things are better than other stock Valkyries in terms of stats. The Rebel Class V is fast, tough, and armed well with Gravs and Bio-Relay Lasers. It’s almost as good as the Pirate IV, but not quite. Any variant can make a good close combat ship if outfitted properly. The normal Valk is easy to beat, but each variant is tougher. Class III and up have missiles. The Class V, while dangerous, isn't as threatening as a Pirate Valk IV. Make it run out of missiles and avoid being in front of it. Rebel Starbridge - Really should be called Rebel Modified Starbridge, this ship is armed with Medium Blasters and Gravimetric Missiles. It’s better to a degree in all aspects. The Class E is considered by some to be the best Starbridge in the game, having the best shields, armor, speed, and such for any Starbridge. It has Bio-Relay Lasers, Grav Missiles, and Wrathii. Like the Valkyrie, any variant can be outfitted as a capable close combat ship. Gravimetric Missiles can pose a problem until they are gone. The Class E is pretty tough until it is out of ammo. Then it only has the Bio-Relay lasers. While still dangerous, you can avoid damage by not sitting in front of it. Rebel Destroyer - Medium Blasters, Gravimetric Missiles, Quad Light Blaster Turrets, and Raven Rocket Turrets. Not too quick, but fairly tough. Not a great ship for close combat, but it is capable of it. The Super Heavy Destroyer Class is better in everyway over the stock and is armed to the teeth with Gravs, Bio-Relay Lasers, Medium Blaster Turrets, Quads, and so on. There is also the fabled Super Heavy Destroyer Class 2. However, this is only partially a myth. If you are using the plug Ship Variants 1.06, one of the two Super Heavy Destroyers was renamed as the Class 2. Why? We'll never know. Pretty tough, much stronger than a Federation Destroyer. The higher classes are even stronger. The Super Heavy Destroyer, while lacking Heavy Blaster Turrets, is a very dangerous foe and has a lot of non-ammo weapons, so exhausting its ammo supply doesn't make it much easier. Rebel Dragon - Bio-Relay Lasers and Wrathii. It’s better than the Polaris Dragon, according to what I've been told. Of course, it will do well at close range, since it is designed for that. The Carrier Class has an odd assortment of fighters, but the bays can be sold and it will have over 200 tons of space! You can really load up then and turn it into a very powerful close range craft. None of these are as dangerous as the Rebel Destroyer, but they all carry Bio-Relay Lasers and Wraithii, making your life difficult. Rebel IDA Frigate - This ship is, of course, better than the Civilian one. It carries Rebel Vipers, Medium Blasters, Grav Missiles, and such on the stock. The higher up variants, such as the Class Three, sport things like Railguns and Heavy Blaster Turrets. It’s too slow to do too well at close range, so unless you simply have to have it, don't get it for close range. Much more dangerous than their Civilian counterparts. The Railguns and Heavy Blaster Turrets on the better variants make them even harder to kill, but they aren't the toughest around. Alien "Ships" Not really ships, but creatures living in space. You can't fly them without a plug, but because of that, and the fact you can fight them, I should describe each a bit. All Aliens are inertialess. Wraith Child - Weak. Has a Wraith Child Beam, which is not very powerful. Don't worry if these guys decide to come after you. Just laugh at it and blow it up. Wraith Youth - It's beam is stronger and a threat to some ships. It can cloak as well. Don't fight them in weaker ships such as Vipers and Fed Scout Ships. It cloaks, so turrets and missiles won't work until it uncloaks to attack. Very annoying. Stay out from in front. Wraith Adult - Of course, tougher and has a beam that can hurt. It cloaks too. Try to stay out from in front. The frustrating thing for any turrets or missiles is their cloaking, as they can't hit while they are cloaked (save for EW Missiles). Can be fought the same way as the Wraith Youth. Hyperoid - Nicknamed by some as the Space Cow. These sit there and do nothing until provoked. They turn slowly though, so you can avoid their Solar Lance. If you are looking for a good sun tan, these guys can help. If you see one actually moving and it isn't trying to kill something, follow it. You'll be in for a surprise. Staying behind it is an easy prospect since it turns really, really slowly. Really easy to beat. Krypt Pod - These things are fast and annoying (even when they are not fighting you). They have a lot of shields and armor. Also, their Nanites home and ignore armor. Don't attack it unless you know what you are doing. I would just be repeating myself. ------------------------------ Outfit Selection ------------------------------ Outfits, while the least important, can still have a great impact. Some outfits are weightless, others are not. They serve a large variety of purposes regardless. Once you have a ship that is armed as you want it, and you have space left over (or not), then outfits are the final thing to get. Even if your space is zero, there are still some you can grab that will help your ship or give you the space for more weapons and outfits. Civilian Outfits Civilian Outfits tend to be cheap. Most are not worth it unless you have nothing better to get or have a few extra tons lying around. However, others are some of the best you can get. Take a look - you'll see something you like. Escape Pod - Useless for non-strict players. But if you are playing strict play, then this thing is essential. Without it, when your ship goes boom, you will be dead... for good. Just make sure to press the eject command before your ship does go boom. Also, note that even if you have one of these, if you are carrying fighters, you will escape into one of those instead. That could be good or bad. Strict players, remember to always leave at least one ton of space for this item. Auto-Eject - If you want to worry less about hitting eject on time, then grab this. It’s weightless and will eject for you. If you are flying a Viper, this is practically essential as those things go bang before you can blink. Non-strict players should ignore this outfit. Gravimetric Sensors - A nice little weightless outfit that makes things easier on you. It makes your radar display objects by size. Small craft appear as little dots (as they would without it) while larger craft appear... larger. I recommend getting it, but you can live without it. IFF Decoder - This outfit is like the above one, except it color-codes your radar. Blue ships are neutral, green are friendly, gray are disabled, and red are hostile. Yellow planets are neutral, blue are uninhabited, but landable, gray are uninhabited and unlandable, green are friendly to you (mostly likely via being dominated), orange are forbidden (neutral, but can't land), and red are hostile. Complements the Gravimetric Sensors well, as with this you can guess the size of that hostile before you target it. While you don't need it, it can make your life a lot easier being able to glance at the radar and see where all the hostile ships are. Solar Panel - For three tons you can loose the worry of running out of energy somewhere in the middle of nowhere where you'll have only three options normally: sit forever, ask someone for help, or disable a ship and steal it's energy. While the recharge rate is slow, it’s better than nothing. Just don't buy this so you don't have to land to recharge, as you'll be wasting time. It takes 30 jumps recharged via this method to pay the Solar Panel off. These can also be used to recharge energy used by the Afterburner or by weapons. You should get at least one unless you plan on getting another outfit that restores energy. Battery Pack - Three tons adds a single jump of energy. However, this energy can also be used on the afterburner and energy draining weapons. The less initial energy your ship has, the more valuable this is. If you have a ship with something like 20 jumps, then this is probably a waste of time. Auto-Recharger - No, it doesn't recharge your ship for you. It is simply a convenience item that makes you automatically recharge when you land on an inhabited planet. While you still have to pay for energy, it saves the trouble of remembering to click "recharge." Afterburner - Regardless of what ship you fly, if you have space for this, you better get it. By draining your energy, your ship can travel at about double its speed. Great for closing distances quickly, dodging long range fire, outrunning missiles and fast craft, and many other things. This outfit is practically essential. While it’s optional, it’s highly recommended you get energy recharge someway, such as a Solar Panel, so you won't have to worry about becoming stuck from overusing this, being unable to use energy draining weapons, or becoming doomed from the lack being able to use the afterburner. Galatic Map - You buy this and it simply shows you what’s in the systems a jump or two away from the one you are in. Very cheap and can be helpful. Dr. Ralph's Exploration Map - If you board Dr. Ralph's Starliner, you'll have a chance to get this. It automatically makes all systems within 10 jumps explored. Shame you can't buy it, but then again, it would be like a cheat included in the game. Civilian IR Jammer - Has a very low chance to jam IR missiles, causing them to behave like Raven Rockets. Unless you have nothing better to use that last ton of space on, then avoid this. It’s not worth it. Civilian Radar Jammer - Same as above, except it affects Radar Missiles and Hellhounds (which uses the same tracking as Radar missiles - all Radar Jammers affect them). Again, avoid it. Fission Reactor - This expensive thing gives you a lot of energy recharge. The cheap version does that too, except not as good. Also, after so many days the cheap one will get a lot heavier and work the same and then worse than a solar panel. Two Solar Panels can out recharge by a fuel scoop of one. However, it weighs one ton less then two Solar Panels. So which is better? You decide. Carbon Fiber - Very cheap armor upgrade. The smaller your ship, the better it is. If you are flying, say a Federation Patrol Boat and have four tons you don't know what to do with, then invest in these, they could save your life. Just don't get the cheap kind (as if Carbon Fiber wasn't cheap enough), as it degrades into virtually no protection over time. Just note that the more mass your ship has (not free weapon space), the heavier and more costly each layer is. For example, any Viper it would cost something like 1,000 credits and one ton of space. A Leviathan costs 100,000 credits and takes 100 tons of space for the same protection. Port and Polish - This nice little massless upgrade increases the speed, acceleration, and turning of your ship for a meager 50,000 credits. This is a must have no matter what you are flying. Vectored Thrust - Like the Port and Polish, it’s weightless and costs 50,000. Unlike Port and Polish, it increases only turning rate, but by a much larger margin than the other. It reduces speed by two, but you'll never notice such a subtle reduction unless your speed is at ten or something. Also a must have. Horizontal Booster - Lets you jump from a system while closer to the system center. Massless as well. This outfit is great, especially if you need to flee the system from that angry reinforcement fleet. Mass Expansion - You can sacrifice 15 tons of cargo for 10 tons of weapon space. Sounds like a scam? You'll quickly learn how having ten more tons of space can really help. If you ever need that cargo space back, you can sell it. Cargo Expansion - The reverse of the above. Not something I would recommend unless you need that cargo space to complete a mission. Good thing you can get rid of it. Mass Retool - Want 10 tons of space for 12 tons of cargo? Here’s your item! Just note that you cannot sell this back, so be wary that you don't retool yourself out of your next string mission. Cargo Retool - Same as above, except in reverse. Unless you are an intensely serious trader or asteroid miner, ignore this. Sigma Mass Expansion - This one is not for small ships. By sacrificing 120 tons of cargo, you get 100 tons of free space. It’s a great deal, but permanent. Make sure you won't need that cargo space. It’s pretty expensive, but well worth it. You need to do the first Sigma mission to get this. Sigma Mass Addition - Want more mass without any catches? Here’s what you've been looking for. This adds 5 tons of free space at the cost of no cargo. Sure, it’s only five tons, but there is always a way to put five tons to very good use... and that’s assuming you only get one. It’s expensive, but well worth it. You need to do the first Sigma mission to get this. Sigma Engine Tune-up - Makes your ship faster and adds more energy. Very expensive, but very worthwhile. It takes no mass, so why should you pass it up? You need to do the first Sigma mission to get this. Sigma Electrical Rewiring - Your ship will see improved shields, shield recharge, have less sensor interference, and see better in murky systems with this. Costs no mass, but a lot of credits. But why pass up something so great? You need to do the first Sigma mission to get this. Sigma Mount Reinforcement - Need more guns or turrets but don't have enough slots? Don't buy a new ship, buy this! Without taking up any space, and by spending a lot of credits, your ship can hold four more guns and two more turrets. A must buy if you need it. You need to do the first Sigma mission to get this. I think I'm starting to sound like a salesperson for Sigma Shipyards... Sensor Boost - There are many of these of varying prices that are labeled as Auroran, Fed, Polaris, Civvie, Pirate, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. They all do the same thing though, so I won't mention them in specific elsewhere. Less sensor interference and better vision in murky systems. Also, it supposedly helps the Raven Rocket Turret aim better. I don't bother with it, but if you feel the need to buy one (or two, or three), then feel free to get them. In fact, if you want them, try to collect them all. I heard that a complete set sells very well on eBay. Marine Platoon - This "outfit" increases your crew count, making it easier to catch ships. Not bad if you are trying to catch stuff like Fed Carriers. If you have an extra 90 tons of space lying around, feel free to buy the max number (18) of them and capture everything in sight. Modified Starbridge Upgrade - Aka the Chrome Valk Upgrade, this converts your Starbridge into a stock Modified Starbridge. You loose any outfits you had, but it’s cheaper than buying the Mod Starbridge if you are flying to normal one. Federation Outfits Federation Outfits require you to be in the Fed storyline, save for the cheap versions of some (which generally are not worth it). They are fairly good, but if you are in the Fed string they are the best you'll be able to get your hands on. Throium Reactor - Better than the Fission, this one also improves your speed a bit. It is also very expensive and requires the Fed string. Your larger Fed ships will come with one for free. More space efficient than three solar panels as well and about as good. The cheap one does all that too without needing you to be in the Fed string. Also, after so long it will explode. It could either just damage your ship or destroy it. Use the cheap one... if you dare. Military IR Jammer - The Federation IR Jammer is pretty effective at jamming those IR swarms. This is the best you'll be able to get if you are a Fed pilot, so if you need a jammer, get it. Military Radar Jammer - Same as above, except it jams Radar Missiles and is pretty effective at it. Titanium Lattice - Sounds like this should be an awesome armor outfit, but it really is only ranked number three out of four. Like Carbon Fiber, the bigger your ship, the more weight and cost. The smaller your ship, the more worth while this is. Shield Buffer - This improves your shield strength by a little bit, though you really won't notice unless you get a bunch of them. You can get ten of them which can really improve your shields by a lot. If you have some extra space, invest. Unlike armor upgrades, these always weigh the same. Shield Recharger - Improves your shield recharge rate. Good to have if you have some space lying around. Too bad you can only have two. Then again, if you could get more it might make things too easy on you. Fed Cloaking Device - This little device makes you invisible to other ships, but you can't fire any weapons unless they are the "Fire While Cloaked" version, though the only non-plug ones of those are Polaris only. You shields will drop if you use it, so use it for escapes. Also, it disengages if you are struck, so make sure to evade those last few shots as you flee. You'll still be on their radar, so they won't leave the system until you do. Good to have for those "just-in-case" moments. Auroran Outfits Auroran outfits tend to require you to be in the Auroran storyline to get, save for two. They have an odd assortment of outfits and some very useful and fun ones. Auroran IR Jammer - Really good at jamming IR Missiles. A good choice considering Aurorans like to use IR Missiles a lot, and you fight Aurorans frequently in their storyline. Auroran Radar Jammer - Not so good at jamming Radar Missiles, but it’s better than the civilian options, so get it over those. Matrix Steel - Second best armor upgrade, but also the heaviest and most expensive. It is available if you aren't in the Auroran storyline. The armor slows you down by a little bit, but you'll never notice. Excellent on small craft, but not worth the weight and cost on larges ones unless you have that much space lying around. Transmission Jammer - A nice little outfit you can get doing a side-string prevents reinforcement fleets from entering the system. No worries about those pesky extra ships jumping in as you raid helpless Civilian craft, destroy weakling fleets, or engage a defense fleet to get them to pay you tribute. Not essential, but helpful. *I personally don't like the Transmission Jammer since I like to fight reinforcement fleets. So, if you want those fleets to come so you can blow them to bits along with everyone else, then sell off this outfit if and when it’s granted to you. Federation IFF Projector - This fun outfit makes Federation ships think you are one of them until you attack them, regardless of your legal status. A useful outfit, though hardly essential. You can only get it in a side-string. Moash IFF Projector - Same as above, except Moash think you are one of them. Also in that little side-string. Drop Bear Repellent - Avoid this as if your life depended on it. While your life doesn't, your credits do. Buying these increases your odds of getting hit by a drop bear. When that happens, you'll have to go to the hospital who will charge you an extortionist bill. This is the other outfit that doesn't require you to be in the Auroran storyline. Pirate Outfits Pirates actually have some nice outfits. Most require you to be in the Pirate storyline, but a few don't. Some are probably not worth the price unless you can't get better, but others are things you might not want to do without. Pirate Jammer - Jams both Radar and IR Missiles. Very expensive, but requires no license. It’s not too effective, however, but it’s better than most other jammers available. Since it does not require you to be in any storyline, you won't have anything better until you get in a string, in which case there won't be any better if you get in the Pirate storyline. Repair Droids - These little guys have a chance of repairing your ship should it be disabled. The name and desc is deceptive, making many assume they repair your armor constantly. A shame they don't. They are useful, however, so getting them isn't a bad idea. You can only get them in the Pirate side-string. Overdrive - Makes you go faster, a lot faster, than any other speed outfit. Like the others, it’s massless, so do not pass it up. You need to do that side-string to get it. Sutherland Alluvial Dampener - This outfit makes you take fewer days to hyperspace unless you already take a single day to jump. A great outfit unless you, again, already take a day to jump. Certainly not a bad thing to carry when you do those U.N. Shipping long missions for 500,000 credits. You have to do that side-string to get it. Ion Dissipator - This very useful device makes you harder to ionize. You also deionize much faster. A must have. To get it you must do the side-string. Pirate Valkyrie Upgrade - Converts your civvie Valk into a stock Pirate one, stripping all outfits in the process. If you were going to get one anyways, then use this, as it is cheaper. Pirate Starbridge Upgrade - Does the same as the above one, except from civvie Starbridge to the Pirate version. Polaris Outfits As expected, the Polaris have a lot of the best outfits in the game. Of course, due to this, you are going to want to take a look at what they have. It certainly isn't a bad idea to load up on these Polaris storyline only goodies. Fusion Reactor - This nice reactor is even better than the Thorium Reactor. More expensive, but well worth it. After all, who doesn't want speed and energy regen boosts? Anti-Matter Reactor - Best reactor there is. Does the same as Fusion Reactor, except improved. Very expensive, but this is something you'll want if you have the extra space. I recommend it for anything bigger than a fighter, especially if you are using energy draining weapons like Capacitor Pulse Lasers. Polaris Jammer - The Polaris Jammer jams almost every missile weapon save Polaron Torps. Not much will stay locked onto you. A very good pick until you can get what’s coming next. Nilkemas Jammer - Jams almost everything that attempts to lock on you, save Polaron Torps. Don't expect to be hit much unless you sit still if you have one of these. Highly recommended. T2 Strength Level - See the Vell-os section below for information. Spun Diamond - Best armor upgrade in the game. It also weights very little, three tons on a Scarab. No matter what you are flying, get as many as you can. Organic Shield - Increases your shield recharge rate by a lot. Very much worth it. A shame you can only collect two. Shield Organelle - A very, very light outfit that adds a lot of shields for it's size. This is something you want, especially since you can get ten. Do not pass it up unless you absolutely, positively have to. Even still, unless you’re in a small ship, you won't notice the improvement much unless you get several. Cloaking Organ - Polaris cloaking device. Unlike the others, you get to keep your shields. Also unlike the others, it has a very modest shield drain that should go unnoticed. You can use it with "Fire While Cloaked" weapons as well for sneaking up on unsuspecting enemies and blowing them to bits. You'll still be on their radar, so they won't be leaving the system until you do. Remember, you become visible if hit. Cloaking Organ (v1.1) - The only difference between this one and the other is it drains shields half as fast and you are invisible on radar too. Now you can cloak and watch your confused foes leave the system. Tunneling Organ - This outfit lets you do a "fast jump". In other words, you don't have to slow down, turn, and all that other stuff to jump. You just slow down a bit and then jump. Great for escapes and makes long routes more convient. Multi-Jump Organ - This does the same thing as the Tunneling Organ. It also lets you make multiple jumps for the price of one. When you make a hyperjump route, you can complete up to ten jumps in that route for the energy and time cost of a single jump. This is something you should have for convenience and meeting those mission deadlines. This also makes hypergates look useless. Rebel Outfits Rebels like to use everyone else's technology, so that leaves them with very few outfits to call their own. What they do have will be the best available to you in the Rebel storyline, so take a look. Rebel IR Jammer - Better than Federation weapons at jamming IR missiles, but certainly nowhere near as good as Polaris jammers. Rebel Radar Jammer - Same as above, except against Radar Missiles. Better than the Federation ones still. Rebel Cloaking Device - It’s a lot like the Federation cloaking device. Loss of shields and visible on radar. However, unlike any other non-plug-required cloaking device, if you get hit, you stay cloaked. Very nice. Note that there is both a legal and illegal version. Which "track" you do in the Rebel storyline determines which you get. Rebel Valkyrie Upgrade - Like any other upgrade, it makes your civvie Valk into a Rebel Valk while loosing outfits. Cheaper if you had a Valk and wanted a Rebel one. Rebel Starbridge Upgrade - Same as above, except from civvie Starbridge to Rebel Starbridge. Vell-os "Outfits" Vell-os have the other large chunk of good outfits. All of them stay with you when you change ships, require no mass, cost nothing, and require you to be in the Vell-os storyline... save for one. All of these are very helpful, so take your time looking. T5 Strength Level - This nice "outfit" adds some shields and recharges them faster. You get it fairly early in the Vell-os storyline. It also stays with you when you change ships. Very nice. T4 Strength Level - This one is an improvement of the T5, offering more shields and recharge. It also increases the amount of energy you can have. T3 Strength Level - Even better than the T4, and later in the Vell-os storyline, this gives you even more shields, energy, and shield recharge. You now also automatically recharge when you land. T2 Strength Level - Better than the T3 strength level. It doesn't add anything new, but improves it even more. You are also granted this in the Polaris storyline at a certain part. Though, unlike in the Vell-os storyline, nobody will come up to you and say "You are now a T2", nor will you get the T2 rank. The outfit will just appear. T1 Strength Level - Of course, its better than the T2, offering improvements in all areas. By now even that Viper of yours can take more hits than it should. T0 Strength Level - The most powerful T strength of them all. Almost at the end of the Vell-os storyline. Need I say more? Telekinetic Boost - Same as the afterburner, except it is massless and you keep it when you change ships. Topographical Sense - Vell-os ability that is basically a free Galactic Map in every system you enter. When you jump into a system and a nearby one is unexplored, it becomes explored. You get to keep it when you change ships. Physical Sense - The Vell-os version of the Gravimetric Sensors. Unlike the above, however, you keep it when you change ships. Distraction Sense - Very good at jamming everything except Polaron Torpedoes (which are unjammable by anything). It’s also free and transfers ships with you, so you'll never loose it. Hostility Sense - Vell-os IFF Decoder. You keep it when you change ships. Alien Outfits You can never get these without a plug. But because you can use plugs, I decided to include them anyways. Anyways, all of these are massless. Wraith Fast Jump - A massless Tunneling Organ basically. Wraith Cloak - Best cloak in the game. Drains nothing and you stay invisible when you get hit. However, you are still visible on radar, though that is its only downfall. Krypt Mind Attack - This is technically either an Alien or Polaris outfit. Alien because it's Krypt, Polaris because it appears only in their storyline. Krypt threatened me with it to put it here, so this it where it goes. Anyways, the Krypt Mind Attack drops some of your systems, such as energy and shields. You only get it when you first go to encounter Krypt. It'll vanish when you leave Krypt space... or does it? If you have a multi-jump organ, you can get it and sell it in Sirusura. You'll love the description of it. ------------------------------ Techniques ------------------------------ Ship? Check! Weapons? Check! Outfits? Check! We are all set to go into battle and destroy anyone who gets in our way. But, what good is having all these shiny weapons and such if we don't know how to use them as effectively as possible? That’s what we are about to learn. Class is now in session. Pay attention and take notes, there will be an exam covering this the next time we meet. IMPORTANT! Evasion is key in close range combat, since you need to get in close. You want to be harmed as little as possible so the opponent's own close range weapons won't tear you apart... assuming he hits you with those. Be defensive rather than aggressive, but not so much that you rarely attack, just a tiny bit more so. Even in a capital ship, it is possible to be evasive, so don't neglect it just because you are big and slow. Also, never, ever neglect to use the afterburner if you need to (and often when you don't). Life is so much easier with it, especially if you need to run away. Another note. It is now listed below each technique the group size it is most effective against. You can use the technique against other sized groups, but keep in mind it may not work as well. Hit and Run - The most simple technique and no doubt you either have came up with this on your own or know how to do it by reading the name. It involves you flying a quick ship against a slow ship, flying past it (not over) and hitting it quickly with weapons and flying out of range of most of its weapons. Flying out of range of things such as railguns is a bit tedious and time wasting, since they can easily be evaded. Up to medium groups. Jousting - This style is similar to hit and run, except your target is quick as well and doing pretty much the same as you. This style, made famous by fighter vs. fighter behavior on Escape Velocity Classic and Override, involves you and your enemy flying past or over each other, shooting as you come close, turning, and repeating until someone wins. This really fits its namesake when you and your opponent are only using Thunderhead Lances. Single target. Harassment - Doing this you basically fly circles around a ship quickly enough to make it sit still (or close to it) while getting in hits whenever the opening presents itself. This really works well with inertialess ships and turreted weapons (such as a Dart with Summer Bloom). Though this one tends not to be the quickest, it is very effective. Single target. Weapons Platform - When you are in a slow ship against faster ships, it’s best just to sit still if they don't have railguns and missiles bearing on you. As the enemy nears, open fire with your more than likely turreted weapons. Good if the A.I. starts things at least similar to Hit and Run. If the A.I. somehow starts Harassment on you, move. Any size. CHARGE! - This is probably the most dangerous technique to employ, but it gets the job done the quickest. Without giving any regard to evasive tactics, just rush head on at the intended target and unload your weapons upon it. Don't do this in a prolonged fight, or you'll be dust. Any size. Isolate and Destroy - A group of enemies giving you a hassle? Are they sitting on top of each other basically? That’s where this one comes in. It works best with ionizing weapons. Start it using Hit and Run or Harassment techniques, trying to use ionization and impact to separate a ship from the group. Once isolated, move in and kill it. You'll find yourself doing this against defense fleets a bit too much to be occasional. Single target, but you'll be engaging a group to get the target out of it. Strafe - This can be integrated into other tactics. It works only with non-turreted weapons, preferably beams. Do a Hit and Run flight pattern, except don't go as fast as you can, making sure you'll be near the target for a few seconds as you pass. When you do get near, release your thrust button and hit auto-pilot and fire until you are out of range to hit the enemy. If multiple enemies are more or less lined up, you strafe them one by one. Up to medium groups, though on occasion it works against large groups too. Monty Pythoning - Ok, this one is hardly a close combat flying technique, but it is very popular among long range fighters. Three reasons I'm including it are 1) I like Monty Python. 2) I'm sure I'll get at least one email asking why it isn't in here if I don't include it. 3) This is probably one of only two techniques long range fighters use, the other being a long range version of Weapons Platform. Basically, you fly backwards, usually at full speed, holding down auto-pilot and fire, and pressing the nearest target key. The A.I. will never do this, so don't worry about that. Any size. Qannol Maneuver - Another not-so-close range fighting style, but it is rather amusing which is why I have it here. The person who created it goes by the name of Qannol, as expected, and is known for doing crazy and strange things, such as disabling Scarabs in a Shuttle armed with a T-Head Lance and getting eight Kestrels on the screen at once without plugs. Basically, you get a Nilkimas Manta, unarmed, and fill it with defensive and speed tech. Then you get six Nilk Raven Escorts. When in battle, you stay close to the enemy, evading and distracting them from attacking your escorts. It’s amusing and fun. It also gives you bragging rights to say "I'll kill you in an unarmed Manta!" Any size. Backstab - And now, back to our feature presentation: Close Range Fighting Techniques. This is probably the cheapest (not credit wise) way to kill something. Find a ship that is not hostile to you. Get behind it and open fire. Depending on your weapons and the target, it could be dead before it can hostile you. An example of a time this will be useful is when you want to raid the traders or demand tribute from a planet but want to remove that Federation Carrier first. Normally one target, but you could ambush a few all at once. Mosquito - This may be the funniest and most amusing technique around. First, it requires a small, fast, inertialess ship like the Dart and an impactless weapon. First, find a victim that is slower than you and get it to hostile you if it hasn't done so. Let it expend its missiles, fighters, etc. Then, fly right at it and keep auto-pilot on. If you keep your speed in check, you'll "attach" yourself to the other ship, which will proceed to fly circles and fire turrets at you if it has any. Use your weapons while attached to kill it. This is very fun to do on Ravens. Single target. Machine Gunning - This is more of an exploit than a technique. But it certainly is useful. To do it, you need a continuous beam weapon that stays on the screen for longer than you hold the fire button. It also needs to have a reload time shorter than its life. This leaves few stock weapons. The most noticeable is the Winter Tempest. When fighting a ship, rapidly tap fire and the shots will "stack", inflicting more damage than usual. In the case of energy drain, it will drain faster, but it is worth it. As many as you can hit. Parallelogram Maneuver - Similiar to Strafing. This, however, only works with non-turreted beam weapons. Approach your target while flying sideways like a strafe, except at a 45 degree angle. Also, do not hold down autopilot or attempt to aim. Instead, fire in the beams, causing them to "move smoothly like the plow of a bulldozer through space." When you pass, readjust your beam angle and repeat. This technique helps aiming non-turreted beams alot, since they only have roughly 36 different directions they can fire at, where as non-turreted non-beam weapons have 360 directions. Small to medium group. ----------------------------------------------------- Long Range Combat Guide ----------------------------------------------------- Let’s be fair to our long range using brothers. Why not include a guide for them here as well? Here is how you too can enjoy the dull, talentless style of long range combat. WARNING! The following is not meant to be taken seriously. 1. Get a big ship with lots of space, preferably one that is really slow and moves at the speed of snails. 2. Get lots of railguns, you'll need about 1000 tons of space so you can fit them all. 3. Go to a store and buy some weights for holding down individual keys. 4. Find an enemy and put paper weights on auto-pilot and fire. Make sure to choose between sitting still and flying backwards. 5. Go and do something far more entertaining until you are sure the enemy is dead. If you are fighting a defense fleet you might want to rent a movie or find a nice, long book. And there you have it, the way that you too can fight at long range! No, seriously, stick with close combat. It’s far more exciting and I have been told by some people who found the game dull using long range that close range combat makes it far more fun. I also found that out myself, since I did use long range at one time before and almost thought my $30 for registration was a waste since it was so boring. But if you still want long range, I can't stop you. Long Range Guide Disclaimer: I will ignore any angry emails about my view point on long range. Everyone is permitted to have their own opinions. ------------------------------------------------------- Frequently Asked Questions ------------------------------------------------------- In this section you'll find answers to questions that many people have asked. This section exists only because I'm tired of answering these questions over and over. Hopefully you'll find your question and answer here. It'll save us both time in dealing with email. Q: Is the Internal Wave Buster (or other plug weapon, ship, outfit) good for close combat? A: I don't know, chances are I never played the plug. I'm only dealing with the stock scenario in this guide. If I start bringing up stuff for some plugs, I'll have to do it for all. I don't have the time or the will to do that. I also doubt you want to read a 100 page guide, do you? Q: Why didn't you reply to my email? A: I don't reply to general comments and such. If it has a question or something else that demands reply, I will send a reply. Comments are always appreciated, but don't expect me to send a "thank you for your comment" email. I don't have the time. You also may have had an attachment. Attachments are 'no-no's. Shame on you for sending an attachment. Q: Where can I get good plugs? A: www.ambrosiasw.com/games/evn/addons Q: Do you have AIM, MSN, etc.? A: No. Even if I did, I wouldn't give my name here - I don't have time to answer everyone in real time. I'm allowed to have fun too you know. Q: Why do you say Railguns are bad for close combat? You can use them to damage the enemy if your shields are too low. A: If that happens then one of three things must be true. 1) You got unlucky. 2) You're not good at close combat. 3) You're careless. 2 & 3 is 90% more likely and can be fixed. #1 is just part of the risk. Besides, you can reduce bad luck by disintegrating your enemy into bits much faster with the close ranged weapons you can add in place of all the space used on Railguns. Q: How should I modify my ship? A: You decide. I'm just here to make suggestions and recommendations. Hopefully you are capable of choosing what you want... right? Q: I got <insert pers ship here>. Is it good for close combat? A: Maybe. There are tons of pers (perses?) flying around. I have considered making a section to mention them, but I decided against it. It's obvious that Iuso is overpowered and Juno's Daughter sucks. Just grab Atmosian ships. Remember, many of the good pers ships are overstuffed, so don't sell outfits. You won't get any free mass. Q: Why are you and are you not the "Last of the Voidians"? A: ::Cryptic Grin:: Q: Whats with VXI? A: ::Again, Cryptic Grin:: Q: I followed a Hyperoid and I didn't see anything special that I haven't seen. What am I supposed to find? Captain Hector's nest? A: No. If you don't want it spoiled, quit reading the answer now. What you are supposed to find is a wormhole. It’s like a hypergate, except you get sent to random wormholes instead of picking your destination. ----------------------------- Contact Info ----------------------------- Questions? Comments? Did I have incorrect information on something? Do you have a flying technique that I didn't include? If you're a member on the Ambrosia webboards, you can send me a PM. Account is JoshTigerheart. If you want to email me, send them to TwilightPhoenix@gmail.com. Make sure to have something like "Combat Guide" as the subject. Also, no attachments unless I am expecting one from you. Finally, hate mail will be ignored, deleted, and blocked. Also, make sure to include where you were viewing this guide from, ESPECIALLY if it wasn't on GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com), Super Cheats (www.supercheats.com), or downloaded from the official add-ons page (www.ambrosiasw.com/games/evn/addons). ----------------------------- Credits ----------------------------- Mispeled - Suggested the Armor > Shields thing to show whether a weapon deals more damage to shield or armor. Edwards - Pointed out almost every single grammatical, typographical, and factual error in the 1.00 release. MK.32 - Gave me hard evidence on the 150mm vs. 200mm Railgun debate to determine which is better. He also, pointed out some areas that needed clarification. Qannol - Pointed out a typo and suggested hints on dealing with various weapons. He also submitted the Parallelogram Maneuver for techniques. Hopefully I worded it properly. ~vIsitor~ - Pointed out some clarifications for the Ion Cannons and Pirate Enterprise. Paradigm - Went through and corrected more typos than I care to even begin to count. -------------------------------------- Other Works by Me -------------------------------------- As of May 7, 2008, these are the other Nova and GameFAQs works I've completed. They can be found on the Ambrosia addons page, which is www.ambrosiasw.com/games/evn/addons Ares: Walkthrough - Contains information on all the races, ships, and other objects. It also contains general hints, game basics, single player walkthrough, and multiplayer hints and level strategies. Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends: Lu Bu - Contains Lu Bu's move list, how to use him, how to beat him, his weapon status, recommended item set-up, and a walk through for his level. Sonic Adventure 2: Battle: Battle Mode Guide - Contains detailed information on every stage, every character, and every game mode as well as strategies for defeating anyone who plays you by a wide margin. Salvo Weapons - This plug causes multiple launchers of a certain weapon, such as Medium Blasters or Radar Missiles, to fire at the same time rather than after each other. Spinning Weapons - Makes all the weapon graphics spin. Warning: you may get dizzy. Dodge This! - Weapon shots move 3 times faster than normal. Hit This! - Weapon shots move 3 times slower than normal. Scatter Weapons - Weapons fire in random directions. Very fun to put it in your friend's plug-ins folder when he least suspects. Don't try to play the game seriously like this though. Leviathan Warship - Adds a new variant of the Leviathan, the Warship Class. It will appear randomly, and can also be purchased in shipyards if you met the requirements to get the stock Leviathan. EVN Board Variants - Adds five new variants, four of the five ideas of people from the Ambrosia boards and the last my own. They are the Lightning Intercepter Class, Rebel Lightning Missile Variant, Modified Starbridge Destroyer Variant, Federation Scoutship L.R.R., and IDA Frigate 1180 N.C. Check the readme included with the plug for credit to those who came up with the ideas. Longer Battles - All ships have twice as much shields and armor. EVN Azdara - Lets you have the Azdara from EVO. Super Defense Fleets - Defense fleets too easy? This plug makes them much more of a challenge by adding "System Defense" ships which are incredibly strong variants of normal in game ships. EVC Descs - Simple plug that alters and/or adds to the planet descriptions in the Escape Velocity Classic conversion. It makes planets a bit more interesting than the old one-line commentaries. Classic Start - Very simple plug-in that starts you with 10,000 credits, much like EVC and EVO. Awful Pilot Names - Replaces the three starter pilots' names and nicknames with ones that'll make your ears bleed! Also, many pers ships have been renamed as well. New Ambrosia Logo - Another simple plug-in that replaces Ambrosia's logo in the start-up with it's new white embossed logo. For those who like to stay up to date. Anti-Pilot File Ruiner - Plug specifically designed to stop that silly pilot file ruiner from working, should you be worried that your little brother might slip the malicious plug into your plug-ins folder. Colosseum - Combat-focused total conversion with many features. At the time of this writing, it is not yet released, but is in post beta stages and could be in the hands of the public at any moment. For more information, go to http://evn.wikia.com/wiki/Colosseum_TC -------------------------------------- Version History -------------------------------------- 1.00 - The initial release. 1.1 - Ok, there’s a bit. In short, fixed a lot of factual, spelling, and grammar errors, and added whether weapons are good against shields or armor. I also added an .rtf copy which should be more compatible. It doesn't look as nice as the .doc format, which is why I decided to have both. For those who care, this is the long list of the factual errors. Credit goes to Edwards for pointing all of these out. Factual - Stated that the Light Cannon is heavier then Light Blasters, when in truth it is lighter. - Failed to state that illegal Quad Light Blaster Turrets are only available in the Rebel storyline. - Stated that Stellar Grenades were free fall bombs, when in reality they are free flight rockets that slow to a stop. Don't ask how that works. - Confirmed that Sensor Boosts do not aid Raven Rocket Turrets. I tested it and so have a few others. - Added information about the "blast does not hurt player" bug for the Hellhound and EMP Torpedoes. - Added information on the exponential beam bug for Thunderhead Lances. - Stated that EW Missiles track cloaked targets. They don't. Also said they are unjammable, but the Polaris can jam them. - Fusion Pulse Battery only has 90 degree radius. Flying really fast makes it appear to have 180 degree radius. - Added bit about how 200mm Railguns might not be the baddest railgun around. - Removed piece about Vell-os "T" abilities in the Vell-os weapon intro increasing energy regen. They don't. See below for more information. - Mentioned that the Winter Tempest has insane energy drain. - Clarified that EMPs are illegal everywhere, not just to the Feds. - Clarified and separated the bit about the Mac 1.08 Bio-Relay Laser bug. - Corrected that Polaron Torpedoes actually have more range then any other missile rather then less. It just appears they have less. Dang illusions... - Added bit about how the "Rebel Wraithii Trick" doesn't work the same way in Mac 1.08 as it does in other versions. - Added that the Leviathan only has 4000 tons of space in Mac 1.08 rather than 5000. - Corrected in the bit about the Thunderforge being my favorite ship that you won't have the gun slots for Ion Cannons. Yes, they use gun slots for some reason. - Added which specific Striker variants are inertialess, now that I know which ones are. - Added in the Zephyr info that CATS' Leviathan stays red in Mac 1.08. Wish it did in Win 1.06... - Clarified the origins of the Rebel Destroyer Super Heavy Destroyer Class 2 - Corrected that two Solar Panels are better then the Fission Reactor in its information. They still take more space... - Clarified the areas of improvement offered by Port and Polish. - Clarified the areas of improvement offered by Vectored Thrust. - Clarfied that it’s the cheap Thorium Reactor that goes boom, not the normal one. - Added bit about how the Moash IFF Projector doesn't appear in later versions due to a bug. - Fixed that the 'T' abilities increase shield regen instead of giving energy regen. 1.2 - Added some things I missed. Added an FAQ section as well as a credits section. A few fixes. Here it is in detail for those interested. NEW! - Added the Rage Gunboat. How did I forget to add that? - Added the Krypt Mind Attack. -Added a credits section. -Added a FAQ section. Changes - Make the version numbers in the version history stand out a bit better in the downloadable versions. - Rewrote the Hail Chaingun description in light of new discoveries. Its not so bad as I originally thought it was. - Had to add a comment that Storm Chainguns don't compete with Hail Chainguns. Period. - Fixed the Table of Contents for the new sections. Fixes - Changed the author name in the GameFAQs version to reflect my G ameFAQs account name, not my Ambrosia Web Board's account name. - Fixed numerous typos. I didn't make a long list for two reasons this time. 1) I was too lazy. 2) I doubt you care about every typo I made. If a lot of people do, I'll do a typo list if I find anymore in the next version... assuming there is a next version. 1.3 - Updated the guide for 1.09. I no longer support any version before 1.09. Use this guide in conjunction at your own risk. NEW! - Added a couple of new questions to the FAQ section. - Added a copyright section. See it for more details of why it is there. - Added User Modified Ionic Particle Beam under the Pirate weapons as a clarification. These are in the game, but you've probably never noticed them. - Added hints under each weapon and ship for dealing with it when you have to fight it. - Added the Parallelogram Maneuver. Changes - Removed all references to previous versions of Nova. All information is now for 1.09. The guide is still (mostly) relevant to earlier versions, but your mileage will vary. - Now combat techniques refer to the group size they are most effective against. - Its official! 150mm Railguns have a higher DPS (damage per second) than 200mm! - Removed that huge list of typos for the 1.02 update. It was rather unnecessary. - All references to earlier versions of Nova are now gone. Fixes -Clarified that the Rebel and Civvie Mod Starbridges are both considered to be the best Starbridge. As to which is better, that is up for debate. -Dr. Ralph's Map explores 10 jumps, not the entire galaxy. The desc for the outfit has been fixed for this information. -Clarified that there are two Heavy Weapons Pirate Enterprises. Made remarks on their various armaments. -Tons of typos. 1.31 -Updated the "Other Works by Me" section. -Updated my email address -A 1.4 update may be coming in the future, reflecting the many tricks and information I've learned since 1.3. I also ought to update it for 1.10, even though the differences between 1.10 and 1.09 are mostly bug-fixes. -------------------------------- Copyright Info -------------------------------- This guide is copyrighted and therefore subject to international copyright laws. GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com) and Super Cheats (www.supercheats.com) are permitted to have it viewable as they do any other guide. Ambrosia (www.ambrosiasw.com) is permitted to let it be downloaded via www.ambrosiasw.com/games/evn/addons. Anyone else is not permitted to distribute it or use it on their website. If you wish to use it, contact me and we'll discuss. Please note that I will not let you use the current version, since I'll have to update this little section. All rights not explicitly permitted in this section are reserved.