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How to Play Guide for Genesis Alpha One
This article covers all the information you need to survive the first hour in Genesis Alpha One - and hopefully, dozens more!
The first time you play, the only option is to play the tutorial "corporation". After completing easy milestones, such as building your first Clone Lab or Workshop, other starting corporations will become available when starting a new game. The tutorial will walk you through building each of the essential modules that you have knowledge of at the start. It does provide a lot more resources to start out with, so you may not want to restart as soon as it stops giving you structured tasks to perform.
The tutorial only starts with the bridge, and has the player build everything. Other starting corporations start with a basic ship layout already built. However, if you want to demolish anything, some resources will be lost in the process.
Basics[edit | edit source]
Every game begins in a region of low danger space.
The first thing you should probably do is use one of the terminals on the bridge to scan debris and planets for a while, or until everything in range has been scanned (no more will appear on the screen).
Next, you need to acquire some iron using the tractor beam to build essential modules, especially a hangar, refinery, and a deposit.
Ship Construction[edit | edit source]
Pressing TAB opens the ship construction interface. This interface also displays crew as green dots, and detected hostiles as red or grey dots.
Corridor and turbolift segments do not require resources to build, but each one does use one power from the reactor.
Press R to go up one level, and F to do down one level. Many modules are two levels tall. You can either try to build around these modules or make your life easier by only building on every other level, with nothing connected to the floor in between.
Every module and corridor has a crawlspace underneath that alien "bugs" can sneak around in. Using a single connection makes it much easier to prevent bugs from roam around under there.
At the same time, if a module is disconnected from the bridge, it will rapidly take damage over time until it is destroyed. Likewise if it does not receive sufficient power. This creates a balancing act between having only one connection for security reasons, and multiple connections for redundancy reasons.
It's important to put your deposits adjacent to your hangar, and put your refinery close to your deposits. Resources will be transferred from the harvester shuttle to the nearest deposit with free space. The refinery will then request resources from deposits. Refined resources do not need to be transported to storage modules. Supposedly once refined, resources can be transported anywhere in the ship via pipes.
- Most non-bipedal hostile aliens cannot climb the turbolift shaft. This makes putting the tractor beam, hangar, refinery, and deposits on their own floor an effective way of containing "bugs" to one area, and greatly reduces the amount of crawlspace you need to inspect.
- The tentacled Leviathan may be able to climb the shaft. Either that or all "bugs" may be able to follow a Robotnik into the turbolift car itself.
- It's handy to have a turbolift close to the bridge.
- Keep an eye out for some copper, which you will need to build your first reactor.
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The ship moves around the map by making hyperjumps. The ship can move one sector (including diagonal) at a time for free. Each hyperdrive module increases the range by one sector. The bridge effectively has one built-in hyperdrive. However, jumping more than one sector at a time costs 1 uranium, regardless of range. Jumping one sector is always free, even with four hyperdrive modules.
Double-clicking on a sector will display the planets and debris in that sector, so you don't have to run to the tractor beam or hangar to see that information.
Sectors have danger levels, ranging between low, high, and critical. This affects the strength of spaceborne threats when your ship is in that sector. Most of the planets and debris in a sector will match the danger level of the sector, but some may be lower. For example, a high danger sector can have low danger planets in it.
A higher danger level on debris and planets means that they will spawn stronger hostiles. They will on occasion spawn hostiles of a lower danger level, but they will never spawn hostiles of a higher danger level. Even among the same danger level, some hostiles are more dangerous than others.
Sectors with sun storms will cause the ship to take damage unless it has shields. All of the energy nodes in one module will go down with each hit, which will lead to fires. If the ship does have shields, then the shields will take damage while in that sector. Sectors with cosmic spores will cause damage to shields, and without shields infestation nests will to start growing randomly anywhere in the ship. Unlike a normal infestation, these nests go away after the bugs hatch, meaning the number of bugs is finite as long as you don't remain in the cosmic spores.
Be watchful for red icons with a skull and crossbones. There are three groups with roaming ships that will teleport troops on board your ship, namely the Pirates, the Framen, and the Mechanics. All three are gun-wielding bipeds. Once on board, they will roam the ship, killing crew, destroying energy nodes, and generally moving towards the bridge and crew quarters. They will not directly destroy modules. If all of the crew are killed, it's game over. Most importantly, their numbers are infinite. They will continue boarding until you jump away. This means that you must prioritize jumping away over fighting them. They will attempt to follow. Their scanners seem to have a 2-3 sector range. Even then, there a lot of them roaming randomly, so you're never really safe to just sit. Always be sure to pause when AFK.
Away Missions[edit | edit source]
Using the tractor beam on debris will only get you so far. Sending the harvester down to planets is essential if you are to complete your mission.
In addition to resources, gathering more plants will allow you to increase the size and variety of the crew. Sites will provide insights into previous attempts to colonize Alpha One, suit upgrades, and technologies.
While on the planet, hostile aliens will spawn in endless waves. While problematic, they also drop some useful items. They all drop biomass, which is needed for healing, to produce new clones, and clone research. They also drop DNA samples, which are used to unlock new clone varieties. Occasionally a red glowing alien will drop an ability sample, which is used to unlock new clone abilities. Ranged enemies can drop weapon parts, which are used to unlock new weapons and their upgrades. Often it will be worth hanging around and farming enemies for samples until you get ten so you can research it.
For the most part, bugs are melee, and bipeds are ranged, although there is one high+ danger bug that shoots poison clouds. Bugs will attempt to swarm the player and clones, surrounding them and causing damage from all sides.
You don't have to go on harvesting trips. Crew assigned to the hangar are fully capable of harvesting resources on their own. In fact, it's safer, since the game doesn't even try to simulate any attacks, and instead just has them always return safely. After selecting the planet to send the shuttle to, select the resource you want them to focus on. They harvest all of it, and then fill any remaining space with randomly selected resources.
Regardless of whether you go or not, there is a better than 50% chance of hostiles spawning when the shuttle returns. So if you send your crew out on their own, you still might want to be in the hangar when they return. Otherwise you may want to place a bunch of turrets and barriers. The hostiles that spawn will be ones from that planet's spawn list.
In addition, there is a chance of a single hostile spawning each time a resource is dropped off at a deposit module, and again each time one is dropped off at a refinery. The idea is they were in with the ore. The refining process kills any eggs, so there's no chance of spawns from storage modules.
- The player character runs very fast in this game. Use this to your advantage by kiting melee enemies (backing up while shooting).
- The enemy AI is bad leading targets. Use this to your advantage by strafing left and right constantly when facing ranged enemies. Strafing in and out of cover, such as a resource rock, is also helpful. Moving forward or back offers no benefit.
- Unfortunately, the AI for your crew does none of these things, so if they are unable to win while standing still, they will die. Having several of them pool their firepower does help, but there are limits, since they can't shoot through each other. It's especially bad when first landing on a planet, when the shuttle has no biomass for them to heal with.
- If you don't need, or want, your crew to harvest resources, you can look at a crew member and hold the Shift key to order them to remain in the shuttle. This isn't really useful if you only brought one crew member, but for two or more, they can pool their firepower at anything coming up the ramp.
- Placing just a turret, or a turret and a barrier down at the entrance to the shuttle will help a lot to protect crew standing inside. However, it can get costly. Also keep in mind that the death of those inside usually follows quickly as soon as the barrier goes down or the turret runs out of ammo. Remember to pick them up before leaving, or they are lost.
Infestations[edit | edit source]
Any of the bug type aliens, which in this game means anything non-bipedal, can start an infestation. It's possible that low danger level bugs will not, since they only seem interested in attacking energy nodes.
Infestations involve bugs building nests and breeding. As they spread, they'll build more and more nests. An infestation will often leave the energy nodes alone, at least until they've spread quite a bit, making detection much more difficult. Nests will appear both above and below the floor, but any time you destroy a nest, you'd better check the crawlspaces of the entire area. Often you'll find more. Add an access point if there are no good ways to get into the crawlspace. The bugs can always get in through the vents in the floor, so an access point won't be of any benefit to them.
The areas at most risk are the tractor beam room, the hangar, the refinery, and all of the corridors in between. However, some of the diseases the crew can catch will cause them to cough out eggs, and thereby spread an infestation everywhere they go. This allows infestations to occur behind all of your defenses. Fortunately, this is rare.
It's worth mentioning that turrets will not fire at nests, only at bugs that emerge from nests, so they cannot stop an infestation. That being said, turrets are extremely valuable in helping to prevent infestations from starting in the first place, by killing bugs that enter the crawlspace from the above mentioned areas before they can start a nest. Your crew will fire at nests above the floor, but they won't go into the crawlspace, so it's up to you to clear things out under there.
There are also mushroom spores that can get beamed in with the tractor beam. Mushrooms will start growing on the floor and spreading rather quickly, as each mushroom generates more spores. Unfortunately, the crew ignores them, so it can get out of hand if you aren't there for a while. As they start to fill up the room, the crew in the room will get sick, steadily lose health, and eventually die. If you are in a sector of space with cosmic spores, and you don't have shields, mushrooms can start growing anywhere on the ship.
- If you see a green gas cloud, shoot the floor several times. These seem to a first step in nest or mushroom formation, or something. There seems to be an invisible object that you can destroy to make the gas cloud go away. Next, check the crawlspace underneath.
- Turrets guarding the entrances to the crawlspaces leading out of the tractor beam room are critical. Barriers too if you can, but at least the turrets.
- It's good to have a turret in the corridor directly outside a deposit module.
- Fighting an infestation under a greenhouse can be a major pain, so it can be worth placing turrets in the crawlspace at the entrance(s) to the greenhouse, even if your layout makes it hard for bugs to get to it.