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STAR MASS - Guide E-mail
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General hints & tips.

(see Walkthrough and Maps)

Fleet formations

Experiment with the fleet formation. Ships that are more towards the back of the fleet will be harder to hit by opponents, but at the same time these ships might not be able to hit opponents either. The back row is best suitable for support ships who don't have any offensive effects.

Since specialist ships don't have much armor you can't put them in the first row, if you put them in the back row they might not be able to reach all opposing ships. The best position in almost all cases for this ship class is the middle row.

Combat ships are best off in the front row and sometimes the middle row, depending on their abilities and range.

Some examples for fleet formations:

2 combat ships in the first row, and then either 2 logistics and 1 specialist in the middle row or 2 specialists and 1 logistics. If you decide to upgrade to carriers you can move these to the back row.

A fleet with 3 combat ships is possible as well : you can leave the front row empty and put all 3 combat ships in the middle row, preferably combined with 1 logistic and 1 specialist ship in the back row.


Formation A has two ships in front and the remaining ships in the middle.
This is a default formation if you want your fleet to have two combat ships (in front) and either a mix of two logistics and one specialist or a mix of one logistics and two specialist ships. This setup ensures that the logistics ships can also deal damage to your opponents, but it also makes them a bit more vulnerable to enemy fire.


Formation B is a variation on the setup that uses two logistics ships and one specialist ship, next to two combat ships.
The combat ships stay in front as usual, but the two logistics are moved to the back. The specialist remains in the center since it has plenty of offensive actions that require it to target enemy targets. With this setup your logistics ships won't be able to target enemy ships, but at the same time, your enemy won't be able to harm them, unless they have long range ships.

As your ships gain levels and unlock additional actions, the second formation becomes more interesting, since the logistics ships will also gain increased range when they are upgraded. So you can leave them in the back, where they are more protected, but at the same time, they can assist your combat ships with dealing some extra damage."

Plan your fights:

You might want to explore part of the map first to see how many opposing fleets are about, where possible, and take out smaller targets first to stock up on items, cash or repair kits. However, since your ships will regen some armor and energy when they move to a new location for the first time, be sure not to explore everything right away.

Do some exploring, then pick a fleet and defeat it. So some more exploring while your ships regenerate and repeat. On higher difficulties this tactic will become more important.

The Combat Screen:


In combat, your fleet will always be shown on the left and your opponent will be on the right.
The active player ship will have a blue ring around it, the active enemy ship a red ring.
When one of your ships is active, you will be able to see its stats in the bottom panel, as well as all its available actions. In the image, the center player ship is active, which is a specialist ship.

The left side of the bottom panel shows 5 icons, representing the 5 actions this ship currently has available. The 4th action appears darker because the ship does not meet all requirements (not enough energy, or a missing weapon). Since various actions require various different items, it is not possible to have all actions available : you'll have to choose those that work best for your tactic.

The 5th action icon has a glow around it, this means it's currently selected. Simply click an action to select it (if you mouse over an action it will tell you what it does).
Action icons come in 3 colors. Red ones are offensive, blue are defensive and green are support actions. Each action will have a number of valid targets. Red actions will only have enemy targets, blue actions will generally only target the active ship itself, while green actions will target other ships in your fleet and sometimes the active ship itself as well. Upon selecting an action, a number of blinking  triangles will appear around valid targets for the chosen action. In the example image, the two front ships of the enemy are valid targets for the selected action.
All that's left to do now, is to click the target of your choice and the active ship will perform the action.

Also at the bottom of the screen, on the left side, there's a small list of ships. This list tells you in which order ships will have a turn. Faster ships will go first.
At the right side, you see 3 buttons. The 'health' button toggles the health bars for all ships, the 'effect' button shows any status effects ships might be suffering from or boosted by. If the battle isn't going too well, you can use the 'flee' button : your fleet will escape the fight, but it will be damaged. You can then repair your ships and have another try.

Stats & Cargo screen



To check the stats of your ships, change their fittings or browse the contents of your cargo, you use the same screen. It can be accessed from the sector map by clicking one of your ship portraits.
The cargo screen lists the current fittings of your ships. A maximum of 8 items can be fitted to your ships (additional equipment slots will be unlocked as your ships gain upgrades). Next to the fittings, the maximum 8 actions are listed (again, your ships will gain extra actions with upgrades).

In the center of the screen, you'll see the fleet's cargo. All ships have access to this cargo. To fit an item to a ship, click the item in cargo to select it and then click the slot on the ship where you want to fit it. If you want to use a consumable item (a repair kit or a battery), you'll have to click to select it, and then click the ship portrait in the top-left corner.

Mouse over an item to read it's stats and while doing so, keep an eye on the 5 portraits at the bottom : icons will appear that tell you if the item can be fit on that ship at all, and if so, if that item is better or worse than a similar item already fitted on that ship.

The colors of items tell you their strength and rarity, with the exception of cyan items (which are consumables). White items are starter items. Yellow items have one upgrade, green items have two upgrades and blue items have 3 upgrades. Orange items are rare and much stronger, on top of that they can also have additional upgrades making them even stronger. Orange items will drop rarely and bosses have an increased chance of dropping them. Finally, purple items are very strong, but also very rare, generally, you'll only get them from superbosses.


Remeber: The game doesn't end at level 20 :

Several more superbosses are about and the pirates you met in the earlier levels have powerfull, upgraded ships as well. All of these you will find past level 20. A new and challenging type of enemy fleet will be added as well : these will contain up to 3 regular bosses at once.

Superboss tactics

Level 5:

The boss itself doesn't do that much damage, the sentries do. One tactic is to white noise the sentries and damage the boss.

It helps if the combat ships in your fleet have weapons with effects, as the boss will try to stabilize itself when negative effects are active. In that case it won't be attacking or repairing itself.

Or you can try to take out sentries and force the boss to place new ones this combined with energy null will quickly drain the boss of energy.

Level 10:

Contrary to the level 5 superboss, this boss deals more damage and its towers will focus on keeping the boss alive. If you have plenty of firepower you can risk ignoring the towers and focus your damage on the boss itself.

Another tactic is to energy null the towers so they can't repair as often, this will make the boss more vulnerable. You can of course energy null the boss as well while destroying the towers, after a while, the boss won't have enough energy to launch any more towers.

Level 15:

This boss will launch sentries who will be the primary source of damage, but the boss itself can also do quite some damage. The best tactic is probably to try and do as much damage to the boss as possible, while ignoring any sentries it might have launched.

Also try to have any negative effect on the boss as it will often recalibrate to get rid of any negative effects on itself and while it's doing that, it can't attack or launch any more sentries.

Level 20:

This superboss will launch fighter leeches who will do damage. The boss itself will be fighting as well and repairing the leeches if needed. Since the boss has high energy levels, it will be difficult to attempt to drain all energy to keep it from launching sentries or attacking.

The best tactic is probably to focus on doing as much damage as possible to the boss to overcome its regen and repairs, while tanking the leeches.