“The greatest skill a captain can have is adaptability. No matter how prepared you think you are, the big black always has a way of surprising you.” - Captain O'Reilly Proudlock, First Union Division
The Captain’s job is a difficult one. The lives of your ship and crew hang in the balance of every decision you make. Which sector do you warp to next? Do you fight that group of armed drones, or sneak away quietly? Do you spend our last remaining credits on more coolant or more fuel? As the Captain, with every mission you accept and every order you hand out, you orchestrate the ship and your crew into a unified group capable of amazing feats.
The Captain is not necessarily meant to run the crew with an iron first. Every skill and action the Captain possesses supports his or her crew, and he or she is responsible for keeping procedures aboard the ship running smoothly.
Captains have no concrete role on the ship itself. They go where they are needed and can easily assume other roles if necessary. The Captain adapts to the situation and keeps the entire crew on the same page. The ability to quickly and clearly communicate with the crew is often an essential component for victory.
The Ship Status Screen
The Captain can use the ship status screen to quickly gauge a situation and make decisions. Players can find the status screen throughout the layout of each ship. It is the most common screen, displaying as much information as possible about the condition of the current ship and other vessels within range of the sensors.
Four red bars indicate the most crucial systems aboard the ship: Engineering, Weapons, Life Support and Science. Each system has a condition rating from 0-20.
0 means the system is completely disabled, and 20 means the system is fully functioning.
A fire icon may appear inside one of the bars, which indicates the system in on fire. Fires will slowly damage the system as well as spread and consume oxygen aboard the ship. It is highly recommend to deal with them as quickly as possible. If the bar is empty and the condition rating shows a (-), that system is not installed on the vessel. This is common for automated, unmanned vessels such as drones.
When a system is damaged or on fire, it is advisable to attempt to repair the system whenever possible. The repair tool will increase the condition of the system, and the fire extinguisher will put out any fires onboard.
To the right of the bars, you will see the status of the shields (SHLD) and hull integrity.
The status screen can also quickly gauge the status of the ship’s reactor, which will inform players if the reactor is overheating or in a critical condition.
QT SHLD describes the quantum integrity of the shields. The quantum shield actively prevents unauthorized personnel from boarding your ship.
Based on your shield generator component, the minimum quantum integrity may vary. However, it is commonly at 75 percent. At 75 percent, the total shielding needs to drop more than 25 percent to disable the quantum shields. Even if the shields regenerate, the quantum shield will remain offline for a specific period of time. During this time any unauthorized personnel may board the ship. The quantum shield may also be disabled with a certain virus.
O2 Delta is the change in oxygen in that specific environment. The more people breathing aboard the ship will change the number of the delta. Fires will also consume oxygen and decrease the delta. A strong O2 generator will produce more oxygen and have a higher delta.
There are two windows to the status screen. The top section always refers to the current ship. The window beneath it has a darker border and displays any vessels within sensor range. To switch through the information of different ships, players can click the arrow buttons to the right of the displayed ship’s name.
Fires can spread through large areas and grow in intensity. Damaged systems can start fires, which will further damage the systems.
Standing in or close to a fire can severely damage a player’s HP.
Fires tend to start small. However if left alone, they can quickly grow in intensity making them harder to be extinguished.
After enough time, fires will almost always consume all oxygen on the ship and begin to die out on their own.
Turning off oxygen generation for a short period of time can be a strategy for extinguishing multiple fires at once. However, this could potentially cause harm to the crew.
Crew AI and Targeting
See the first few features of the Overview menu on the introduction page for more details about adding and customizing Crew AI, issuing crew-wide orders, adjusting the ship alert level and targeting specific ships!
Hold Z to issue orders to the crew.
Crew Orders are designed to be a quick way to relay crucial information to the entire ship. The Captain has the ability to change the order, and once an order is changed, everyone is notified via a text effect on the top of the screen. The order will slowly fade from view.
The Comms Screens allow the player to view other vessels within sensor range and potentially communicate with them. Other vessels could hail your ship, or vice versa. Initiate communications through the main Comms screen in the Scientist’s station. Two additional screens will appear on the bridge if communication has been made.
The Captain makes the final dialogue decision during a hail, but crewmembers may vote on different options to help the Captain choose the best approach. Based on the other vessel and the chosen dialogue, your crew may be able to open a trade.
You can open a dialogue with another ship, or another ship may open one with you when entering a new sector. Depending on the other ship’s faction, your faction, and your location in the galaxy, a ship may or may not be hostile towards you.
If a ship is friendly towards you, you can speak with them and trade goods (trading is not currently implemented). A daring or desperate Captain can also attempt to extort credits or fuel from a friendly ship through intimidation.
If a ship is hostile towards you, they may start a dialogue warning you to leave the sector or perhaps attempting to extort money from your ship. In these events, the Captain has the options to comply with their demands, attempt to use diplomatic routes to prevent a battle from occurring, or initiate combat. Many hostile ships are impatient, and decisions on how to interact with them need to be made promptly or they will simply attack after a time.
Diplomacy options have an ‘investigate’ feature which allows you to probe how effective a specific option might be towards the hostile ship. With each successful investigation attempt, a percent will be revealed, demonstrating how likely the ship is to accept a particular diplomatic option. However, the more you investigate these options, the greater the chance that the hostile ship will lose patience and initiate combat.
Diplomacy and intimidation can be increased and improved by selecting particular starting ships, equipping special ship components or investing in the Diplomacy and Intimidation talents.
The Trading Menu can be accessed through the second of the initiated comms screens.
When initiating trade, the menu will display items pertinent to your ship. Such things include ship components, missiles, coolant and fuel. Hovering over an item will display its description and other important information.
From the top of the trade menu, players can choose to display items that are being sold through the “BUY” tab. They can also choose to display items in their cargo bay to sell through the “SELL” tab.
You can sort through the displayed items through three arrangements:
Name - Sorts the items in alphabetical order
Type - Groups types of items together (turrets, reactors, warp drives)
Price - Sorts the items from cheapest to most expensive
If you have a component of the same type currently installed on the ship, you may use the ‘Swap’ function. Swapping a component allows you to trade a currently installed component and add its value to the transaction. The swap menu will display the different stats of each component for comparison. After the purchase, the new component will be installed in place of the old one.
In order to claim a ship, you must board another ship first. To do this you must either have security access or disable their quantum shields by either damaging their shields or infecting their ship with a specific virus.
After successfully boarding a ship, you will need to gain control of the screens.
Each screen will be locked to you. To unlock a screen simply approach it and when close enough, the capturing process will begin. When a screen is unlocked you have the ability to use it. When you unlock a screen, all of its clones will be unlocked as well. An unlocked screen on an unclaimed ship will have a red border around it. Keep in mind, Enemy crewmembers may re-capture screens if given the chance.
To claim the ship, one must unlock the majority of screens on it as well as the ship’s Status Screen. The Status screen will have the option to claim the ship when enough screens have been unlocked. Enemy crews may attempt to regain control of these screens.
Once a ship is claimed, all of its functions will now serve the crew. The previously claimed ship will no longer be associated with the crew and be in a "Neutral" State. Players can board it and move cargo over if they desire.