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Prey – Achievement and Strategy

Achievement and Strategy Guide Area Tips: Crater The locked cage by the entrance of Pytheas Labs […]

Achievement and Strategy Guide

Area Tips: Crater

The locked cage by the entrance of Pytheas Labs contains a Special Supply Crate. It looks like you need to lift some Cargo out of the way with Vijay to get to it, but you can actually jump on the cargo and climb over the fence with anyone.
There is a locked Closet in the underground corridor between Pytheas Labs entrance and the Command Center, which only Claire can open by hacking.
Originally posted by Apparat:
Door requires Hacking 1 and contains golden briefcase + minor loot.
In the same corridor between Pytheas Labs and the Command Center there is a bathroom. It contains The Starbender Cycle 2: Book 3 – The Door Through The Tunnel’s Keyhole.
There’s a Special Supply Crate suspended in a container just before the Moonworks entrance.
After you complete Test Fire story objective, you will always be able to fire the Typhon Towers as long as you can provide two Control Modules. This is pretty much excessive in early game, but you may find that helpful if you really don’t like fighting the large Typhon in the Crater. At Corruption Level 4-5 you can encounter a Moon Shark paired with a Nightmare and also a couple of Weavers, Phantoms, etc, so it may come in handy, but it will make picking up loot from these enemies a bit more complicated.
Look for an opening in Command Center’s ceiling to find a bit of space with some minor loot and a Briefcase in it.

Area Tips: Crew Annex

  • Residential Level:
    If the Utility Room containing the Recycler and the Fabricator is somehow inaccessible, you can get to it through a vent in the western bathroom. It contains a Special Supply Crate.
  • There’s a Special Supply Crate in the kitchen storage room (on the left) in the Cafeteria.
  • The storage room on the right often has destroyed doors, but you can get inside using a shaft located behind the Teleconferencing booths, which also contain Ioannis Margellos’ body with some loot.
  • Habitation Pods 17-24 (Security Barracks) are usually closed, but you can get to them every time using a shaft in the eastern bathroom (up high on the right hand side from the entrance). It usually contains some weapons.
  • Search Habitation Pods 41-48 to find The Starbender Cycle 2: Book 5 – Hotter Than Dragonfire.

Lounge Level:

  • Behind the title plaque of the imposing “Indefinite Reality” sculpture there’s always the infamous lost briefcase with nice things inside.
  • Cocktail Lounge Storage Room contains lots of food and drinks and a Special Supply Crate. The keycard for it should be in the Cafeteria on Residential Level, on Rose Waterfield’s body.
  • The Trauma Center is extremely useful, but always has destroyed doors that need to be repaired by Joan, unfortunately it’s otherwise inaccessible.

Administration Level:

  • Always visit the Shuttle, it contains very valuable items. There’s always a Mimic waiting to jump scare you in the back storage compartment, guarding a Special Supply Crate.
  • There’s also a Briefcase in the passenger compartment. Just be careful not to fly away with it accidentally when looting the body of pilot Sam Lopez.
  • The Office of Dr. Ken Mizuki contains a Special Supply Crate and a shaft connecting it to Alex Yu’s Office, which is usually locked otherwise.
  • There is a copy of The Starbender Cycle 2: Book 2 – Bringing a Fist to a Scythe Fight on the coffee table right outside Alex Yu’s Office.
  • You can theoretically find the combination to Alex Yu’s safe, but I never managed it. You can open it with Claire’s Hacking 1. It will always contain a KASMA Listening Device.

Control Tower:

  • There’s a hatch in the ceiling that you go into during Andrius’ Story Objective – it should contain a Special Supply Crate.

Area Tips: Pytheas Labs

Level 1:

  • There should be a keycard to the Weapons Locker in Volunteer Showers on Pavel Dzyuba’s corpse.
  • There’s a Special Supply Crate in the back of Typhon Containment.
  • Remember that enemies inside containment chambers also respawn, so if you opened them and come back later you can have 4 Greater Phantoms and a boss running around the room.
  • Opening Volunteer Containment Room 3 is only possible with Riley Yu after you download a special permission file from the workstation in her office. It should contain 3 Neuromods.
  • Volunteer Containment room 5, the huge one with a Typhon Gate, has lots of food, a couple of Neuromods and two books under the bed, one of which is The Starbender Cycle 2: Book 6 – Journey’s End.
  • The Psychotronic Weapons Research lab is always locked with a keypad and the code is randomized each time you reset the simulation, but the combination can be always found in the Morgue, on a yellow post-it note by the door. The Weapon Lab Storage keycard should be on Demarcus Cloud’s corpse.
  • There is an Elite Psychostatic Cutter in one of the labs nearby (I can’t remember the name, but it will be pretty obvious), it’s held in a little containment chamber controlled by an unsecured workstation. You can get it there every single run.
  • Behavioral Analytics are usually locked with a keycard, but you can break the window and jump in anyway. It contains The Starbender Cycle 2: Book 1 – Rebirthed from The Starwomb. But just in case – the keycard should be with Ned Harper’s corpse on the 2nd floor lobby, by a barrier near the Security Booth.
  • There’s a little maintenance room at the Escape Pods containing a Special Supply Crate. The doors may need to be Repaired to access it.

Level 2:

  • The Weapons Locker in the Security Booth contains a Briefcase and other goodies.

Level 3:

  • Remember to check the wall safe in the Conference Room, as it usually contains good loot.
    In the Director’s Office there should be a body of Kenneth McAlister with a keycard to the Level 2 Closet. It contains some minor loot.

Area Tips: Moonworks

  • Morten Rybak, Mining Foreman’s Office (above the Fabricator and Recycler near the entrance from the Crater) can only be opened with Claire’s Hacking 1. It contains some valuable loot, including a Special Supply Crate.
  • If the Crater Access entrance is on fire in the Refinery or you can’t access the Escape Pods, use the engineering shaft above. You can reach it by jumping around on Refinery pipes on the South side or by climbing the steel girder leading up to a bright blue billboard on the North side. This gives you access to the Escape Pod Foyer, unlockable from the inside.
  • The Escape Pod Supply closet contains a bunch of goodies and a Briefcase. The keycard is most probably on Kelly Bhoyar’s body, she’s lying dead right next to the Escape Pods, behid the Typhon Gate.
  • There’s a container suspended in the middle of the Refinery, containing a Briefcase.
  • There are also three locked containers in the Refinery which Claire can open with
  • Hacking 1 for some extra loot, one of them containing a Special Supply Crate.
  • Joan Winslow’s Office contains The Starbender Cycle 2: Book 4 – Bone Hoops of the Dark Abbey, some nice loot and also a safe. You can sometimes find the combination for it on a post-it note under one of the desks in the area, I think I found it in Brian Chung’s Office once, but never managed to find it again. Otherwise Claire can open it with Hacking 2.
  • There may be a Special Supply Crate in the middle of the Central Mine, in a container on rails, just before the container that you eject with the Mass Driver.
  • The locked Maintenance Closet on the West side of Central Mine can only be opened by Claire Whitten, but you probably already know why. It contains the bodies of her victims and some minor loot, but nothing special.
  • If you can’t repair the doors to Brian Chung’s office near the Tram Terminal, you can always climb in from the other side through the broken window, scaling some rectangular rocks in the Central Mine. Besides a Fabricator and a Recycler, it contains a Special Supply Crate.
  • At Moonworks Tram Terminal, remember to make a visit through the broken force-shielded purple window and down the hole in the rock. On the bottom there will be 2 to 4 Mimics / Etheric Mimics waiting for you, but also a Briefcase. You will often see about 4 Briefcases from above. You know what that means.

Mass Driver:

  • Up above in the Mass Driver there is a safe in the Harvester Ops room. It can only be opened by Claire with Hacking 2 for some good loot.
  • An alternate way to access the Mass Driver control room is to climb the Harvester Ops room and boost through the broken window with your Artax.
  • Also in the Mass Driver there is a Fueling Station room locked with a keycard. This is where all the Harvesters refuel and apparently the only way to get the keycard is to hunt down every Harvester you find along the way, they drop the key at random. The Fueling Station contains a Special Supply Crate.

Achievement: Apex Predator

In Mooncrash, defeat a Moon Shark.

  • Technically missable, but this will probably be the first achievement that you unlock. The Moon Shark fails to realize that the only Apex Predator here is you. By the end of your Mooncrash playthrough you’ll kill a bunch of them.
  • The fastest way to defeat a Moon Shark is to either distract/disable him with a status effect and then obliterate it with your strongest weapon, depending on your current Character it might be a Throne S4 Shotgun, a Wrench or a Psychostatic Cutter.
  • The safest way to defeat a Moon Shark is to destroy it from afar with the Q-Beam, hiding in a good spot that would allow you to target his lower body (as he will duck often while attacking and burrowing) yet keep you protected from his attacks. I find it easiest to do that from the catwalks around the Crater’s Command Center structure. You can duck behind the platform railing and you’ll be completely protected from that tosser’s projectiles, while leaving you a wide open window to target it with your Q-Beam. You don’t really need Typhon Lure, throwing any object onto the regolith surface will draw the Shark’s attention for you to exploit. There are some caveats to this, though, as the Q-Beam’s range is only 30 meters and you’ll need more than two full Q-Beam batteries – from what I’ve seen it takes exactly 200 units worth of Q-Beam Batteries to destroy a Moon Shark provided you are on Corruption Level 1 and you can manage this with perfect aim, wasting no energy.

Originally posted by nout:
I’d like to note that the Typhon Spore grenade completely evaporates the Moon Shark in like 5 seconds and is pretty cheap to purchase

Achievement: Squad Goals

In Mooncrash, unlock all 5 playable characters.

Self-explanatory, you can see all the character unlock requirements in the simulation starting screen. Unmissable – you need to unlock all the characters to beat the game.

Achievement: Quantum Leap

In Mooncrash, complete all Story Objectives.

Also self-explanatory and unmissable, as completing all of them constitute 5 of the KASMA orders you need to obey. You can only complete each Story Objective once, after which the world will be altered permanently in some subtle ways, like making the Typhon Towers available, removing guaranteed 3 Neuromods in Mizuki’s office, etc., but nothing really major or exploitable.

Here’s a rundown of what you need to do:

Its all in your head:

1. Find the Memory Marker in Pytheas Labs’ Volunteer Containment Cell 5.
Here’s where it gets completely confusing – the moment the cutscene ends you will find the Simulation suddenly thrown into Corruption Level 4, all enemies have respawned into powerful versions, but most Typhon will regard you as “on their side” and completely ignore you… Killing Typhon enemies that aren’t hostile (and sometimes even those that are) can FAIL the Objective immediately, requiring you to reset the Simulation (or hit Alt+F4 in rage to reload the game at the last saved checkpoint). Avoid any combat if possible.
You can see which entities are hostile by looking at their health bar – they aren’t hostile if it’s blue and not red. Regardless, you will still be attacked by some things, like the Tentacles, while killing a Tentacle Nest can mean failure to you. Sneak, run and hide from hostile entities until you finish the Objective.

2. Go to the Control Tower in the Crew Annex. Climb the ceiling hatch to find Alexius’ son’s toy.

3. Go to the nearest Security Station (Shuttle access) to check which Escape Pod is available. You may need to find or fabricate an Escape Pod Navigation Chip. One should be in the Pytheas Labs closet, the keycard to it is in the Director’s Office.

4. Get into the intact Escape Pod with the toy in your inventory and eject it.

Test fire:

1. Find the Memory Marker in the Command Center.
2. Listen to the Audio Log.
3. Get 2 Control Modules, insert them into one of the relevant receptacles.
You can find them as random loot, get them from destroyed Harvesters, fabricate them and even pull them out from the Power Control receptacles underneath the Command Center.
4. Push the button.
5. PROFIT!!! You have unlocked the Typhon Towers for free use at the cost of 2 Control Modules. Worst. Quest. Ever.

It Gets Worse:

1. Find Memory Marker in Crew Annex’ Security Barracks. Use the hatch in Eastern bathroom if you can’t access the Habitation Pods room.

2. Search for Claire Whitten in Moonworks, in her maintenance closet west of the Central Mine.
3. Survive the Operator ambush.
4. Run like hell to the Crater entrance (the place where you start the game) to find the cure.
If you find yourself struggling with the time limited part of this Objective, consider clearing out the Crater, Crew Annex and Moonworks, making sure you can run safely, and of course invest in Vijay’s Mobility Neuromod upgrades. Artax Propulsion System upgrade chip (Elite) can also help – remember to utilize the double tap dash function to reach any place quickly. Jump before dashing to fly further without stopping.
5. Run to the Crew Annex’ Control Tower and decide that backstabbing murderous cun+s’ fate.

Clean Sweep:

1. Find the Memory Marker in Moonworks, in Claire’s maintenance closet west of the Central Mine.
2. Get the KASMA Transponder. Destroy it with a Recycler or Recycler Charge.

3. Recover the two KASMA Listening Devices from both Alex Yu’s Safe in his office in Crew Annex and the Command Center. Destroy them both in the same way as the Transponder.
4. Go to Pytheas Labs’ Director’s Office. Place the KASMA Command Key in the Datavault Operator.
5. Escape Pytheas Labs, don’t get killed by the Military Operator ambush.

A Little Bird Told Me:
Warning: When attempting this Objective it’s best not to go to the Moonworks before you are prompted to. If you cleared out Typhon Containment it may lock you out of progression on this until the next Simulation reset.

Achievement: Psychostatic Efficiency

In Mooncrash, damage 3 enemies with a single Psychostatic Cutter projectile.

Easily missable, but very easy to do once you have the Psychostatic Cutter, which is in standard loadout for Claire. Simply find a Cystoid Nest, pop it open from a safe distance with the tool of your choice, then immediately switch to the Cutter and throw a charged projectile at the emerging bunch of Cystoids. I got it this way on first try. True to this achievement’s description, you need only to damage 3 opponents with one projectile, not necessarily kill them.

Achievement: I’m Your Biggest Fan

In Mooncrash, you read all of the second Starbender series and still no regrets.

Missable, even if you try to explore diligently and check every nook and cranny you may overlook some books. Similar to the main game, you need to read all Starbender novels for this achievement to unlock. Fortunately it doesn’t need to be all in one Simulation run. This time it’s Starbender Cycle 2: The Chronus Chronicle, written by Brently McMarvin, son of the original author Fetcher McMarvin.

“I cobbled together what I could from his notes, out conversations and a lifetime growing up in the shadow of Trevor Pulsar, but nothing could match his infectious enthusiasm for the characters and worlds of the Starbender Saga.”

The two Cycles combined make The Starbender Saga, for a total of 12 titles. It’s an obvious parody of sequels, prequels and interquels of books by famous authors being written post mortem by their children, friends and ghostwriters, like Christopher Tolkien and Brian Herbert milking Middle-Earth and Dune universes respectively.

But, to the point – while inside the Simulation you can always check on your TranScribe which of the books you’ve already read. Here are the books you need to find and their locations:

  • The Starbender Cycle 2: Book 1 – Rebirthed from The Starwomb
    Pytheas Labs – Level 1 – Behavioral Analytics
    It’s also available right outside the simulation, in the Satellite. You can pick it up each time you’re outside during story intermissions.
  • The Starbender Cycle 2: Book 2 – Bringing a Fist to a Scythe Fight
    Crew Annex – Administration Level – outside of Alex Yu’s Office, on a coffee table
  • The Starbender Cycle 2: Book 3 – The Door Through The Tunnel’s Keyhole
    Crater – Power Control – Bathroom
  • The Starbender Cycle 2: Book 4 – Bone Hoops of the Dark Abbey
    Moonworks – Refinery – Joan Winslow’s Office
  • The Starbender Cycle 2: Book 5 – Hotter Than Dragonfire
    Crew Annex – Residential Level – Habitation Pods 41-48
  • The Starbender Cycle 2: Book 6 – Journey’s End
    Pytheas Labs – Level 1 – Volunteer Containment – Cell 5

Achievement: Three-Body Problem

In Mooncrash, GLOO 3 enemies with a single GLOO charge.

Easily missable and probably the hardest or most annoying achievement in Mooncrash. If someone told you to repeat the trick with Cystoids, they’re lying. Cystoids can’t be GLOOed, they immediately explode instead.

What you should try to do though is reserve some Typhon Lure and GLOO Charges specifically for this achievement and try to use it on mind-controlled humans that spawn as shields for a Telepath.

Try to remain out of sight through it all – throw the Lure into some place away from you that will attract the mind slaves but won’t reveal your vantage point to the Telepath itself, as it can be very vigilant. When three or more humans gather close to each other, toss a cooked GLOO Charge their way. At least that’s how I accomplished it, hiding just around the doorway corner at Pytheas Labs’ Typhon Containment, where a Telepath often spawns.
Achievement: Contract Fulfilled

In Mooncrash, complete all KASMA Orders.

Unmissable, as this is the main objective of the game. The orders themselves are nothing special on their own, there are 27 of them in total. Be sure to complete 26 of them, excluding the one asking you to escape with all characters in one run. When you are ready for that, go to the Grinding: Strategy and the Final Run section at the bottom of this guide.

Next to Story Objectives, the most involved tasks for you will be discovering how each escape method works. The prerequisites are as follows:

Escape Pod: After the initial “tutorial” escape with Andrius Alekna, you will need an Escape Pod Navigation Chip to use it. You will find multiple copies of it throughout Pytheas Moonbase and you can also fabricate it, the game will even hand you it’s Fabrication Plan on a platter at some point, on a corpse in the first corridor leading into the proper Crater at the start of a Simulation run. You can also go to another Escape Pod (possibly the one that is indicated as “malfunctioning” on a Security Station console), enter it and take out the chip.

Shuttle: First you need to find the body of Angela Wagner. She will have the Neuromod Fabrication Plan on her and it will unlock the Piloting skill needed to use the shuttle. It costs 1 Neuromod. After you install the upgrade you will be able to escape using the Shuttle any time with that character.

Mass Driver: In the Moonworks’ Central Mine find a container with a corpse, near the grav shafts leading up to the Mass Driver. Near the body you’ll find a “shopping list” and an audio log with the escape plan, unlocking this Objective for further runs. You need to put 5 food items, 5 non-alcoholic drink items and 1 Anti-rad in the box on the wall of the container. Then you can travel up to the Mass Driver, find the control console and initiate a launch. This will give you exactly 1 minute to run and jump down to the container. Your character will lock themselves in and get ejected Earthward like a piece of cargo.
You will need to collect and deposit provisions for this trip each time you want to escape with the Mass Driver.

Mimic Portal: This method requires involvement of at least two characters – you need to find the portal in Pytheas Labs (it’s a metallic sphere with a mimic’s apparition dancing inside), Repair it’s doors with Joan and then, after she escapes or dies, access the nearby computer with Claire’s Hacking 4. Open the portal doors and stabilize it – you’ll have 30 seconds to jump in, but you can repeat that any number of times if you get distracted by something. This procedure is required each run and you’ll have to build up for it, upgrading Joan’s Repair and Claire’s Hacking.

Consciousness Upload: The last escape method is available only to Riley Yu. You need to go to Pytheas Labs’ Director’s Office and login into her workstation. Read the emails and open a secure communications channel with Alex. It’s a good time to download the permission to open Volunteer Containment Cell 3 while you’re at it, to get the bonus Neuromods. You’ll need them – this method initially requires Phantom Genesis 2, which costs a total of 6 Neuromods for 2 levels of that skill. It also requires a scanned Weaver. If you didn’t research one yet, you can find a Weaver in Pytheas Labs Typhon Containment on Level 1. It’s locked in a containment chamber right above the Nightmare, which you should also scan.
Go upstairs in Riley’s office and take the Datavault Operator, put it into the receptacle and start uploading the data. There will be an error and you will get something like a Story Objective to complete before you can progress – some data got corrupted and it needs to be reconstructed from a “volunteer”. Go to Volunteer Containment and search for his ID number – you’ll get his location on the map. You need to use Phantom Genesis 2 on his corpse and then scan the Phantom created this way. Be careful not to kill it before scanning it fully. When you’re done you can kill it. Return to Riley’s Office, complete the data transfer, move the Datavault Operator to the launching apparatus and sit in the chair.
From now on the data transfer won’t be interrupted and you’ll be able to upload consciousness just a moment after reaching Riley’s office.

Achievement: Cryptomancer

In Mooncrash, finish the game with a surplus of 50,000 sim points or more.

Easily missable, as finishing without it means you will have to start from scratch. “Finish the game” means “Complete all KASMA Orders and finish the epilogue” – this achievement will unlock only at the very end.

The easiest way to do this is starting your last No One Left Behind run with more than 50,000 Sim Points after buying your loadout and then never going under that amount, which won’t be difficult using the method described in this guide, because for each character after the first one will require only a single loadout item – the Artax Propulsion System.

Achievement: Galaxy Brain

In Mooncrash, install every neuromod power for every character.

Easily missable, as this isn’t required to complete the game at all. This will be the most grindy and tedious achievement, as it requires you to fully upgrade all characters with all possible Neuromods, which will take hundreds of Neuromods found on Pytheas Moonbase, fabricated and bought with Sim Points.

To unlock all Typhon powers, you will need to scan / reseearch most Typhon types, though fortunately in Mooncrash it’s only necessary to do that once per species.

The list of Typhon required to scan is as follows:

  • Mimic
  • Any kind of Greater Mimic – Voltaic, Etheric or Thermal . I don’t think there are any non-elemental Greater Mimics on Pytheas.
  • Poltergeist – They tend to hang around in lobbies, locker rooms and bathrooms, probably feeding some voyeur fetish.
  • Phantom
  • Voltaic Phantom
  • Etheric Phantom
  • Thermal Phantom
  • Weaver
  • Telepath
  • Mind-Controlled Human
  • Technopath
  • Any kind of Corrupted Operator – Engineer, Medic or Science. It could probably also be a Military Operator, but they are rare and they would have to be corrupted by a Technopath beforehand.
  • Moon Shark – Can only spawn in areas with regolith surfaces: Crater and Moonworks.
    Nightmare – Will usually spawn only in large rooms like the Crater, Basketball Court, Typhon Containment, the Refinery or Central Mine. Later, on higher Corruption Levels, it will start respawning occasionaly and trying to hunt you down like the one on Talos I. I also encountered TWO Nightmares in Typhon Containment on Corruption Level 4, not counting the one contained in the chamber and the Weaver and half a dozen Phantoms running around the room, so I guess on highest Corruption levels the rules go pretty much out the window.

Remember that Typhon Containment by default contains a Nightmare, a Weaver and 1 to 4 types of Phantoms, conveniently locked in containment chambers for you to scan.

Take note that some of these Typhon may have much lower chance to spawn on the lowest Corruption Levels, mainly the Nightmare, Technopath and Poltergeist.

You can always check which of the Typhon you’ve already researched on the “Status” tab of your TranScribe.

Achievement: No One Left Behind

In Mooncrash, escape the simulation with all five playable characters in a single run.

Unmissable, as this is the final, 27th KASMA Order that you need to complete to beat the game.

Before attempting this, make sure that you have 26 of 27 KASMA Orders completed, more than 50,000 Sim Points accumulated and that you have only 3 achievements left to unlock: No One Left Behind, Contract Fulfilled and Cryptomancer. The other 7 you need to unlock before you attempt this final run, as you won’t get another chance otherwise. See Grinding: Strategy and the Final Run section below for more details.

Grinding: Loadout
My strategy for grinding Neuromods exploits two elements of Mooncrash that aren’t really balanced. First is Joan Winslow. The other is Delay_Loop.Time, which is cheaper to fabricate than a Neuromod. If you followed my advice about upgrading Joan, you will reap the benefits with this plan. Start a new Simulation run and select Joan as the first character.

If you still have any locked Typhon powers on any of the characters, get her a Psychoscope [SP 1,000]. Other than that you don’t actually have to buy anything for her loadout, besides maybe Delay_Loop.Time [SP 2,500] x 4 for a good start, giving you at least 20 minutes to fabricate more of them. You never need the Artax Propulsion System on your first character, because you’ll always find it in the first corridor leading into the Crater.

Regarding chipsets – all of them are pretty much optional, maybe except for the Potentializer, but that could also be circumvented. Even if you didn’t manage to find one of them so you could buy them all at the start, don’t worry. This won’t change much, we’re taking those just to give you an extra edge, but you can manage perfectly fine without any of them. This also assumes that you’ve already upgraded Joan’s suit to maximum, giving you 8 total chip slots.

PolyShield CRU[v2], Care4Yu S-i34000x and B33f-E BO1 will make you much harder to kill. Potentializer 23-0948Si will let you recycle any Psi Hypos you can find, Optimizer 00100z will make using Psi even easier and Aggressor Amp 1337Si will make it more effective. Impact Amp S-390 will boost your close combat capabilities even further. You should still have a free chip slot, so fill it with anything that seems useful to you, depending on your play style. Or don’t, because it’s pretty much overkill anyway.

So, to summarize, the loadout should look like this:

  • Delay_Loop.Time x 4 [SP 10,000]
  • Psychoscope [SP 1,000]
  • Artax Propulsion System [SP 1,000]
  • 3_ASIC MicroMiner+ (Elite) [SP 1,000]
  • PolyShield CRU[v2] (Advanced) [SP 750]
  • Care4Yu S-i34000x (Advanced) [SP 750]
  • Potentializer 23-0948Si (Advanced) [SP 750]
  • Aggressor Amp 1337Si (Advanced) [SP 750]
  • Optimizer 00100z (Advanced) [SP 750]
  • B33f-E BO1 (Standard) [SP 500]
  • Impact Amp S-390 (Standard) [SP 500]

Total cost: 17,750

It’s 16,750 once you’re done with research and also the 3_ASIC MicroMiner+ is totally optional, it will only give you SP 2,000 to SP 4,000 bonus so you may be inclined to take something more useful instead or not bother at all.
That’s a pretty large sum. But don’t worry, you’re going to earn much, much more.
Grinding: Tactics
Fully upgraded Engineer Joan Winslow is the most versatile and overpowered character in Mooncrash, navigating the environment and destroying opposition almost as well as Morgan did in base game:

Your upgraded inventory size is unmatched, saving you time otherwise wasted on trips to the Recycler and allowing you to carry more useful items to be used at a moment’s notice when needed.
Upgrading Joan’s suit also grants you more suit integrity points, protecting you from the elements, damage and oxygen loss.
Maxing out the Repair skill will give you access to almost every part of Pytheas Moonbase. If you think about it, other than logistical issues like power outages, fires and keycard locks, your traversal can only be hampered by destroyed doors requiring repair or combination locks requiring hacking. There are only 2 rooms that require hacking, 3 safes and 3 cargo containers, if I remember correctly. There are no rooms that require Leverage. And door states become random to some degree at a certain point in the game, that includes doors that are suddenly destroyed in a new run. Repair will allow you not to worry about this at all. You’ll be able to repair broken electrical junctions after disabling them with an Electrostatic Burst, repair grav shafts and other things like the Typhon Gate doors. You will also repair your suit more easily and repairing weapons at a rate of 50% per 1 Spare Parts means that you always get to use your favorite Elite weapons and leave a nice stash of them for other characters to use, in perfect condition.
Fully upgraded wrench attacks make it comparable or even better than the Psychostatic Cutter. While it lacks a ranged attack, you will find up to two dozen wrenches each run, some of them Elite AND with special properties like nullifying target’s Psi for a few seconds. With Impact Amp S-390 chipset and an Elite wrench it’s not impossible to one-hit large foes like Weavers and Harvesters. Even with the starting wrench you will utterly devastate Mimics and Phantoms with a single strike from the beginning of your run.
Her maxed Electrostatic Burst destroys Operators, Harvesters and Phantoms with a single hit. It is also very useful for fighting bosses, dealing lots of damage while paralyzing them for 6 seconds, during which the power has time to recharge and letting you deal more damage in the meantime. Electrostatic Burst + Wrench is a great combo to destroy even Elemental Phantoms on Corruption Level 1 and it uses NO resources if you regenerate Psi, letting you hoard ammunition and Spare Parts for the higher levels and/or other characters.
Machine Mind will let you disengage from any sudden attack from a Harvester or a bunch of Operators, but it isn’t very useful otherwise. Skipping it for as long as you can will save you from stray turret aggro and having to worry about Typhon Gate, though when you will inevitably be recognized as a threat by them you can always use Electrostatic Burst to get through, but using a Disruptor Stun Gun would still be preferable.

Other than that the trick is to try to always have a surplus of up to 10 Delay_Loop.Time and using them when the meter is approaching the end of Corruption Level 1, effectively letting you stay on it as long as possible. This means no enemies will respawn, letting you do your thing.

Repair all broken doors you encounter, search everything, loot everything, kill everything, replace all broken or missing Control Modules.
Grinding: Strategy and the Final Run
Keep in mind that many elements are randomized each run and this plan might need to be adapted to your current situation, switching the order of things around. The most concerning thing would be a power outage, requiring you to make a detour to the Command Center.

This run can give you around 75 Neuromods worth of progress and will take around 3 to 4 hours.

Considering all of the information above, my usual strategy looks like this:
Select the Engineer, Joan Winslow, as the first character to go on a new run, using the described loadout.
Quickly clear out the initial area and go into the Crater.
Avoid the Moonshark for now. Destroy it next time you are in the Crater and have a decent Q-Beam with 400 worth of batteries or some other weapon setup that you prefer in dealing with it. This is the only enemy you will intentionally skip in order to prepare.
I find it easiest to jump on the rocks and structures to the left and go directly to the Crew Annex. You’ll need a little bit of luck, hoping there’s no power outage in there. If there is, you’ll need to adapt the order of things a little bit, first going first to the Command Center to try and fix the problem.
Clear out all enemies in the Crew Annex while looting everything. The Fabricator and is right next to the entrance. You will get tons of food and drink. Use this opportunity to set aside the necessary items to escape with the Mass Driver, preferably in two stacks of 5 items. Also remember to try to heal yourself using food instead of Medkits when possible, saving them for later. Just don’t eat too much too fast, remember that eating a food item will heal you for 5 points and then another 5 points over 5 seconds of the Well Fed status being active.
My preferred route: (Residential Level) Cafeteria -> Fitness Center -> Basketball Court -> Habitation Pods -> R. Yu’s Quarters -> Kenneth McAlister’s Quarters -> Utility Room -> (Administration Level) Ken Mizuki’s Office -> Alex Yu’s Office -> Security Station -> Shuttle Bay -> Control Tower -> (Lounge Level) Bar -> Lounge Storage Room -> Trauma Center -> Tram Station
Any time your inventory is full, including your Mule Operator, make a trip back to the nearest Recycler and liquify all unnecessary equipment. If there’s a Fabricator nearby, fabricate so you have up to 10 Delay_Loop.Times. Remember to stash all unused Neuromods you find on the Mule.
Go to Pytheas Labs, preferably by Tram, then repeat the process. Go from room to room, recycling everything and clearing out threats. Remember to repair the Mimic Portal doors in Level 1’s Isolation Chamber.
Exit through Crater Access doors and explore the underground access corridor going to the Command Center. It is unfortunately often caved in, but there may be useful stuff. Replace any damaged or missing Control Modules in Power Control. You should now have a decent Q-Beam and enough batteries to take care of the Moon Shark. If you did, proceed to the Crater’s Escape Pod Bay and clear it out.
The last stop for Joan are the Moonworks. Go there and repeat the same process as with previous areas. Remember to stash the necessary items to escape with the Mass Driver in the box of the cargo container in Central Mine. At the very end, go to the Mass Driver itself and clear it out, but don’t engage the launch sequence yet.

Now is the time to decide how you will proceed next, based on which characters to advance next. You should take notes about how many Neuromods you still have left to put in a character’s skill tree to max it out, so you are aware if this can be your final run or not.

Consider how many Materials you have. Fabricating a Neuromod costs Organic 1.00, Mineral 2.00, Synthetic 2.00 and Exotic 3.00. You will probably run into a shortage of either Mineral/Synthetic or Exotic if you use all your resources on fabricating Neuromods to speed up progress. If it’s the Exotic you lack, you may consider letting the Corruption Level advance to 2 and then go around the whole Pytheas Moonbase once again to gather Typhon Organs and other loot from enemies. This is especially useful when you still need to research some Typhon, as there are enemy types that rarely spawn on Corruption Level 1.

Consider the pros and cons of each character to perform that task: Joan has near limitless access to Elite weapons that are easily repaired. limiting the need to fabricate new ones. Vijay deals the most raw damage and is the most resilient to enemy attacks, but his weapons will quickly deteriorate. Riley Yu can scavenge the most Exotic Material from dead Typhon due to her autopsy skill.

All in all I still think that whatever you need, Joan will be the best choice, but you will inevitably run into a resource shortage and get very diminishing returns from enemy respawns. This is why you might consider just escaping quickly with 4 characters and resetting the simulation manually, as it’s the most convenient way.

So after you decided what to do and came to a point where you want to switch characters – recycle everything that won’t fit on the Mule Operator and escape with empty inventory. Remember that only Joan can use Repair Kits – repair everything you can and recycle them too for lots of resources.

What you put in the Mule is up to you, though some things are critical to the strategy, like Neuromods. I always tried to leave the following:

  • Neuromods
  • Delay_Loop.Times
  • Medkits and any status effect removers
  • All ammunition and useful grenades
  • The Escape Pod Navigation Chip and the Elite Psychostatic Cutter
  • All Elite weapons you manage to find, keeping in mind some of them will be more useful than others (you don’t need more than 2 Disruptor Stun Guns, etc.)

Try to reserve SP 50,000 for Cryptomancer and up to SP 15,000 for the beginning of the next Simulation, but otherwise you can spend everything on further Neuromods.

The Final Run:

By now you probably know what’s up…

Make sure you have 26/27 KASMA Orders completed, SP 50,000 stashed and either Galaxy Brain unlocked or enough Neuromods in your Mule to do so.
Each time you finish a farming run abusing Delay_Loop.Times and Joan Winslow’s abilities you may decide that you are, in fact, ready to run with everyone.

If you need to start yet another run, but you don’t need to farm Neuromods, you can skip the exploration and only clear out places that your characters will run through when escaping.

Many people are suggesting that there is a specific order of which characters to escape with, or that each one needs to use a specific method of escape. It’s bu11$h!+. There are only two rules you need to adhere to:

Before anyone can escape with the Mimic Portal, it needs to be repaired by Joan and hacked with Claire, making them the most convenient characters to use it.
Only Riley Yu can escape by using Consciousness Upload, so you shouldn’t use any other method with her.

That… Basically it. To reiterate:
Start with Joan, clear the map, recycle everything, abuse Delay_Loop.Times to disable enemy respawning, make sure you are ready and run with everyone to their respective escape methods.

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