Void Bastards can seem like a pretty intimidating game at first. In this first person roguelike, you play as a number of prisoners stranded in the middle of the deepest reaches of space, and are forced by a bureaucratic, very British A.I. to get your prison ship up and running again. This unfortunately requires you to guide the various unlucky convicts through ships filled with glowing mutated baddies.
That's why we're going to help you through your horrifying space adventure. With this advice, you should have all the help you'll need to become the absolute best bastard in the universe.
Keep Track Of Your Supplies
First, the simplest tip is to make sure you're always stocked up on supplies. Food can heal you on the trips between ships, but not having any will lead to your character starving, and taking damage. Fuel is how your ship travels, so obviously no fuel means no travel.
There's also various materials you can salvage, and these allow you to create parts used for crafting. So if you're having a hard time finding a part, you might be able to just build it yourself.
Ammo is incredibly important. If you burn through all your ammo quickly, then you're going to have very few options when it comes to surviving. There are some enemies, such as Screws, that can soak up a lot of damage, meaning you'll use up a lot of ammo. In these cases it may be prudent to avoid combat with certain foes, because even if you have a surplus of bullets, all it's going to take is one tough battle to render you ammoless and helpless. Try to use stealth whenever you can, and if all else fails, run like hell.
Finally there's merits, which is Void Bastards' currency. These can be used to purchase items at Krell-Mart ships, unlock locked containers which will usually have an extra crafting part inside, or to hack security robots to be on your side. It's understandable that you might want to hoard your merits, but considering you lose them upon death and can usually pick them up on most ships, it's not the worst idea to use them whenever you get the chance.
Crafting Is The Key To Victory
In Void Bastards, crafting items is the single most important part of the game. On a majority of the ships you travel to, you can find a part that can be used to craft something. Once you've crafted an item, it'll either help you passively, or it can be added to your load-out whenever you board a new ship.
It's good to look at what you're having the most trouble with, and see if there's a craftable solution that could help you. Taking a lot of damage from radiation? Craft the Rad Cream to reduce radiation poisoning. Want to take out your foes more stealthily? Craft the Spiker in order to do damage without alerting anyone. If you're having issues finding the parts that you need to craft these items, use the Part Locator, which will point out on the map where the parts are.
Experiment with various items and see which one fits your play style the best.
Pay Attention To The Map
The map gives you all the information that you need to chart a course to the next abandoned ship. It'll tell you where the latest part to build a mission item is, and it'll tell what supplies or enemies are waiting for you on the ship you're about to board. It'll also tell you what kind of condition the ship is in. Some ships will have certain modifiers, such as power outrages which renders all machines useless, or complete darkness which basically turns Void Bastards into a horror game.
The map also contains some bad stuff that can mess you up before you even enter one of the derelict ships. There are space pirates flying about the galaxy, and if you land on the same spot as them, they'll lock onto your signal, and follow you everywhere. They're incredibly tough, and getting rid of them is a major pain, unless you happen to have some torpedoes handy.
There's also mines which can cause major damage to your health, and Gene Twisters which can re-code your DNA, taking away genetic traits, and replacing them with new ones. Finally, there's space whales, and if you see a space whale, avoid it at all costs, unless you're itching to die really quickly.
The map can be just as deadly as any enemy, so plan out your route to the best of your ability. You won't always be able to avoid these hazards, but you should do everything in your power to steer clear of them. Especially the space whale.
Upon entering a ship, you'll also be given a small map that shows you the ship's layout. Do not ignore this map, as it will be instrumental in navigating around the vessel. Each room has a certain function that can help you get in and out in one piece.
For example, the Helm of the ship contains map info, which will allow you identify exactly where the major crafting part that you're looking for is stored, and you can pay some merits to show you enemy locations. There's also the Atmo room, were you can go to get more oxygen. You only have a limited amount of oxygen when you board ships, so knowing where this room is can be essential.
You can just blindly explore the ship if you want, but knowing the layout will help you if you need make a hasty retreat back to your ship.
Death Isn't The End
Dying in a roguelike is usually a major setback. You typically lose all your buffs, weapons, items, and anything else you've gathered, forcing you to start back from square one.
Void Bastards is a little more forgiving, and death doesn't exactly mean the end of your adventure. After all, there's a literal shipload of prisoners ready to be re-hydrated, and sent out to continue the mission.
You do lose supplies like food, fuel, merits, and ammo, and you have to start from the beginning of the map. However, your crafted items, parts, and materials remain on the ship. So even though you may have to stock up on supplies all over again, you still have all the things you've built, which is what really matters.
Plus, getting a new prisoner can have added bonuses. Your prisoners each have genetic traits that can have positive and negative effects. So if your original prisoner had some crummy trait like a chronic cough that can alert enemies, your next prisoner may get a great trait like being able to unlock doors quicker. Thus, dying may actually turn out to be the best thing that ever happens to you, although staying alive is still probably the best strategy.
Void Bastards is quite a ride, and juggling the combat, and management aspects of the game can be challenging and rewarding. With these tips, it's likely that you'll be able to get your stranded prison ship back to civilization safe and sound. Of course, considering the nightmarish Orwellian future that your hapless prisoners are stuck in, that may not necessarily be a good thing.