Welcome to Fractured Space. If you’ve recently joined the game, then this guide should help steer you through the early stages of play. To help make things easier for players, we’ve outlined some gameplay basics below.
To win a match in Fractured Space, your team of 5 capital ships must defeat the enemy team by capturing their home base.
Teamwork is of utmost importance in Fractured Space. A poorly-organised team of lone wolves will almost always fail to overcome a focused fighting force. Combat is a major part of the game, so using repair craft to support heavy ships while the damage dealers do their work is the cornerstone of any successful strategy. Stick together where possible, and remember that in the vast majority of scenarios, captures are more valuable to your team than kills.
The game contains three starter ships, with many more waiting to be unlocked as you gain experience. Right now, these are the Pioneer, the Venturer, and the Sentinel.
Capturing the small mining stations (as well as the larger forward bases) grants resource points to your team. Once enough have been accumulated, an audio cue and HUD icon in the top right of the screen will tell you an upgrade is waiting. To upgrade, simply enter the capture sphere of a friendly forward base.
Once the upgrade has been applied your ship will have increased damage and armor, and such it is strategically vital to ensure your upgrades are applied as quickly as possible. Every three in-game levels, your ship will be given the choice of an Attack, Defense, or Utility upgrade, so choose wisely.
Your own ship’s health is shown to the left of your center reticle, while enemy ship health is displayed in a bar under their name. Damage done is shown as floating red numbers. These numbers are cumulative – if you do two hits of 30 damage, you will see 60 total.
Each ship has 6 zones of armor – front, rear, left, right, top, bottom. Repeated damage done to any one of these zones can lead to the armor in that location breaking, enabling subsequent hits to do considerably more damage. For this reason you should always try to ensure that your ship is never facing the enemy with a critically damaged zone.
Damaged locations will flash up on the target information, and you should be able to see parts of the ship on fire, indicating a high level of damage to that zone.
While preparing to jump your ship will take increased damage, and this will often lead to a quick death. You have been warned.
There are two team base sectors at top and bottom, a central sector and two lane sectors with a station at each end and 3 mining bases in each. Capturing the Mining bases will provide resources which in turn will “level up” your ships (for the current match only, this is not persistent).
The Central Sector, Gamma, contains a gas mining station which unlocks at certain times in the game, giving drastically increased resource income and a significant combat boost to the team that captures it. Experienced players will attempt to capture Gamma within seconds of it becoming available, so be alert for the Gas Mining Station becoming available. The importance of Gamma control is not to be taken lightly, it can mean the difference between victory or defeat.
Ships can move between these sectors using their Jump Drive. The Jump Drive is always located on your 5 key, and an emergency Jump Home function (with an extensive cooldown) is located on the 6 key. Alternatively, the tactical map (TAB) brings up the map, with available jump points selectable from here.
Note: Jumping when under fire is extremely hazardous. While preparing to jump your ship will take increased damage, and this will often lead to a quick death. You have been warned.
To use the chat box, press Enter. To switch between messages to your team or to all players, hit CTRL. To cancel, hit ESC. It’s important to keep in contact with your team in this way, to call out enemy ambushes or request backup at an under-siege forward base. The more effectively you communicate with your team the more likely your chances of success.
To see the scoreboard, hold TAB during play. This will display stats, the map, and the state of play. Note that some ships are simply not designed for a front line combat role, and as such chasing an awe-inspiring kill to death ratio is not the measure of player expertise. Kills alone do not win games, and often it is the ship with the most captures that has contributed most to the team.
The number on the top left of your central HUD shows how much coverage your weapons currently have. Some ships are able to dispense 100% of their firepower in any direction, but many – for instance the Hunter, need to move into a specific firing position. All ships are able to fire some kind of weaponry through 360 degrees, however it is important to bear in mind your positioning before getting into a firefight. Holding the ship still will also increase accuracy, though this is not always possible and may lead to your presenting an easier target.
The middle mouse button or the G key will switch your view to a first-person mode. While the obvious benefits are improved precision and accuracy, you will lose peripheral vision in this mode. The applications of this are clear – snipers will use it frequently, while more mobile craft will lose too much manoeuvrability from the tighter viewpoint.
Many systems require an enemy to be actively targeted. Your ship will automatically target an enemy you are in range of and pointed at. Alternatively, you can manually target enemies with the T key.
To progress through the tech tree, players must spend XP and credits. These are gained through your performance in game, although winning matches is the quickest way to accumulate more. A rule of thumb is that teamwork will always win out – more wins equals more XP and credits, equals faster progression.
Absolutely. Fractured Space is currently in Early Access, and as such is in an Alpha state. Upcoming improvements include new ships and crew, as well as an entire new map and game mode which will change the gameplay significantly.
Hopefully this will provide a solid overview of the basics of playing a match in Fractured Space, but should you have any more specific questions then be sure to head to our forums for more information.
Enjoy getting to grips with Fractured Space, and welcome to the fight!