From Before I Play
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  • Early on you'll want to focus more on shields than your evasion, Even when the enemy comes with high damage energy weapons having high shields will mitigate a good percentage of that damage. Also taking out said high damage weapon is a good way to render the enemy unable to do damage to you which leads to
  • Drawing out the fight as long as you can so you can get extra matchs from the board, more matches leads to more scrap and XP which means you will have more abilities+more health to take on the final boss. That said be sure you have the situation under control before you attempt this otherwise the extra damage you take (and thus have to repair) will undermine the point of drawing out the fight!
  • Conversely you want to have a high Evasion stat as get closer to end game as it'll be near impossible to mitigate every little bit of damage. By the time you reach this point you'll hopefully have both a good shield AND a good drive system so you should be using both in tandem anyway.
  • The game is much more luck based than any other Rogue-like out there, there will be times where you simply cannot win due to how your gems fall or your enemy simply got good luck and hit you through your 40% evade chance while you coulden't get a hit in because the bastard is able to keep both his shield and evasion maxed for 6 turns straight. Try not to get to frustrated although it'll probably happen
  • The best general use pilots are the first (Powell) and last (Kylock) as they let you manipulate how much energy you need to active your shields and drive systems.The best general use Ironcast is actually the first one (Dunraven) if you want to think of it in the Faster Than Light sense you start with the Kestral thinking "wow i want to use these other ships, they look cool!" but then after using them you find out "oh wait, the Kestrel is probably one of the best ships in the game!" Kylock in particular can be a beast if you get the ability that lets you change nodes to energy then use that to max out your evasion early on in a fight for super cheap.
  • Whenever possible, your first turn should accomplish the following, in descending order of importance: Bring up at least two levels of shield, get an overdrive, fill up your ammo, fill up your energy, fill up your repair.
  • Whether or not you make that massive 10+ symbol match should depend on how confident you are that you can win in the next turn or two without the wasted resources. If you can, the extra XP is great. If not, you're probably better splitting it into two matches.
  • Try to keep your shield at maximum at all times. Just about every mission gives you plenty of time to play defensively, which will save you a lot of scrap in the long run.
  • Sometimes, waiting to fire for a turn to let your opponent's shields lower a bit is the right move. Especially if their shield's in overdrive.
  • Don't bother wasting energy on your drive until you're getting at least 10% dodge chance per level.
  • Scrap should always be used first to repair first, then only after build parts.
  • Don't waste scrap on building a part unless it's either rare or at least two ranks above your current. The exception is for even halfway decent Dense Shields, which are worth their weight in gold.
  • Survival missions are never worth it.
  • Passive perks that reduce resource usage or give you more are almost always the best option. I'm especially fond of the "1 free coolant per turn" one.
  • Active perks are much more about personal play style, but Ammo Leech is never a bad choice.
  • Rapid fire weapons have way higher average damage, but single shot weapons are necessary to punch through shields. Always have one of each, ideally in whatever type (energy or mechanical) that your character is best with.
  • Don't forget that you can target specific areas by clicking the little crosshair on the right. Generally, your targeting order should be something like Shields > Single shot weapon(s) > Armor > Drive > Other.
  • As an exception to the above, when fighting a boss, aim for shields and their highest average damage weapon. Don't bother shooting at anything else.
  • Salvage missions always give you a free part or HP boost if you succeed, at the cost of limiting your targeting and weapon choices.
  • The second ironcast has a very good ability, especially paired with the first pilot, and together they're a very good choice for a new player.
  • You're still gonna die a lot. And that's okay.