With Game Update 1.6: Ancient Hypergate now on live servers, we thought it would be a great time to take a second look at the additions to Space Combat and put together a guide. If you have played any of the new missions you likely noticed how hard the missions are, almost seemingly gated to players with Grade 7 gear. Well, with enough prodding with Grade 6 ship parts I was able to beat every single one. How did I do it? Hit the jump to find out.
Note: While we cover only the Imperial side in this post, the Republic ones should be the same for the corresponding missions.
- DO A BARREL ROLL! – No seriously, the immortal words from Star Fox could not be true. Hit that space bar and roll like crazy. If you are not rolling, you are probably taking more damage than you should be.
- Move at all times – The basic movement of space combat is that the ship follows the mouse, but you can also adjust this slightly using the W,A,S,D keys (or whatever you’re basic movement and turning keys are.) Even with the mouse still, you can circle around your targeting reticle by using these keys. W to go up, W and D to go to the right, D to go right, D and S to go down and to the right, and so on until you make a complete circle. Use this any time you are not dodging something your ship can physically hit (Debris, barricades, asteroids, etc.), and use it with barrel rolls, and you will dodge the majority of incoming fire.
- If you are not worried about the bonus objectives (Jedi/Imperial ship and 40 fighter) then play very defensively. Keep your power conversion set to full shields when they are not full and you do not have an objective target. While shields recharge, you can use regular missiles to whittle down targets. At full shields switch the conversion to blaster power and take down a few fighters or easy targets, but be ready to switch back to shields as soon as you take a bit of damage.
- Your power conversion is your best piece of equipment. If you buy any one grade 7 upgrade, I recommend you spend the 300,000 credits on the upgraded version of this. Be sure you switch to your blaster conversion every time you are shooting with the guns, and switch to your shield every time you do not have an important target. Do not ever fire randomly or needlessly, as this is time when your shields are not charging. Your shield only charges when you are not using your blasters. Remember you CAN fire missiles while charging your shields.
Space Combat: Far Cradle Strike
Objectives: Destroy the Republic Command Bridge (2 Proton)
Destroy Communications Array (2 Proton)
Destroy 8 defense satellites
Make sure you use your proton torpedoes on the Republic Command Bridge and the Communication Array (The Communication Array target is basically the long shaft at the bottom of the space station) every time you make a pass. You get two really easy passes for each one to destroy it, and you need both shots to bring the target down. If you miss these opportunities, it will be very hard to get the shot off at another time.
On defense satellites, hit them with everything you have as you pass them. If you are focused on surviving Far Cradle with grade 6 materials, you could very easily miss your chance to destroy one or two of the satellites. Every time one is on screen, bombard it with missiles and hit it with charged blaster shots.
Save your EMP until you’re making your first full pass over the capital ship. This happens with about 2:40 remaining in the mission. The EMP can take down most if not all of the capital ship’s gun turrets, which will make your life so much easier every time you go near it.
Use your Electronic Warfare Pod (Invulnerability Shield) whenever your shields drop quickly from a massive amount of damage. You should use it to protect your HULL not your shields.
Space Combat: Kabal Station Defense
Objectives: Destroy the Republic Command Bridge (2 Proton)
Destroy 3 Republic Frigates
Destroy 30 Bombers
The start of this mission is definitely the most important. You will have a long sweep and fly in towards the incoming Republic fleet. You can pop a few fighters as they come towards you if you want, but be sure you keep your shields full by the time you reach the capital ship. You want your mouse over the bridge as you near, so you can lock on with a proton missile as soon as possible. Get that first shot in right away and the second missile will reload in time to hit it again and destroy it in the first pass. Around the time of your second shot, you should be pretty much right over the ship. This is the perfect point to pop your EMP as it will take out most of the capital ship’s offenses, and should hit one of the nearby Frigates pretty hard.
Whenever you pass over a frigate, hit the red targets with your blasters, and try to hit the yellow targets with your missiles. They’re a little harder to see because of the color schemes, but the main two you want to get are in the back of the ship, in front of the engines and between the circle of turrets going around the body. By hitting the frigates with missiles in those spots, and calmly circling around to take out the red targets with your blasters, you should be able to disable them with relative ease. Do not get frustrated if it takes two or three passes though, you do have a few opportunities at them! Do not forget to keep rolling in circles around your targeting reticle as you do this.
When the first wave of bombers comes, do not worry about missiles. You have a nice long pass with just them to use your blasters to take them down. Their lasers are also really easy to dodge with the spinning circles. The Jedi/Imperial fighter that appears shortly after is by itself for a good bit of time too, so I recommend just bombarding it with blaster fire to take it down and get it out of your way.
If you successfully used your EMP on the capital ship earlier, then your second pass on the frigates should be fairly easy. I was actually able to bring two of them down on this pass with the capital ship disabled.
Deal with the bombers as they come in their second wave, which again is not too large or too dangerous. There is a Jedi/Imperial fighter mixed in, and really, he is just a distraction. I recommend ignoring him and being careful not to waste too many shots on him.
Towards the end is when you will have a massive swarm of bombers going for the station. There are easily five or six sizable groups totaling perhaps 30-40 bombers. Try to stay focused on one group at a time for as long as possible with your blaster fire, and shoot every missile you have as often as you can. If you used your EMP on the capital ship at the start, then it should be back up by now! Wait until you are over the outpost and flying up and away from it, when you have all the bombers spread out right in front of you, and pop that EMP. It will not kill them all in one hit, but it will make them much easier to finish off.
Space Mission: Kanz Minefield
Objectives: Destroy 4 Defense clusters
Destroy 1 Minelayer
Destroy 1 Satellite Hardpoint
The Defense Clusters are new enemies, but not hard to deal with. They consist of one main satellite in the center, surrounded by two rings of three mini-satellites at the top and bottom. Destroy the CENTER larger piece first, as it provides a shield to the other six. They don’t take too much firepower to bring down, just make sure you’re hitting the right target. Then the six mini-satellites go down with ease.
The minelayer comes up without too much firepower around it. Just hit it with a barrage of missiles and blaster fire. You should be able to cripple it severely in your first pass, making it easy to finish off when you see it later.
On this mission, there are many small fighters, but they are very fragile, and go down with just a few blaster shots. After the first minelayer, there are dozens of them on screen and in the distance. I recommend shooting down as many of them as you can. They have a nasty habit of swarming around your objective targets if they’re alive, so the fewer you leave standing the more shots you’ll be able to land on your objectives later. I found this to have a very significant impact on the final pass of the satellite hard point.
Jedi/Imperial fighters can be a bit annoying here, and you do not have many great opportunities to engage them. I recommend ignoring them for the most part. Especially when a Jedi/Imperial fighter with 3 heavy fighters go through a chase. You have a lot of ice and debris to dodge during this portion, and they have way too much health. In addition, during this time you do not have many other primary objective targets. Keep your shields up and focus on dodging as much as possible rather than destroying the ships.
The Satellite Hardpoint is larger than the defense clusters, and has a red health bar to signify it. With this be sure you destroy the satellites orbiting it first, as they provide the shield, focus on the central part to bring it down. You will have a few passes at it, so do what you can each time, but do not be so reckless that you get yourself blown up (There are a lot of fighters flying around).
The Hardpoint is by far the toughest part of this mission. I ran it several times without dying, but unable to bring down that hardpoint. I brought it down by focusing my missiles and blaster fire on two of its shield satellites at a time, and then barraging the last one with as many missiles as I could before it went out of sight. I was able to disable all but one and left that one crippled. On this first pass it may not be a bad idea to use the EMP here to try and do some damage to the shield satellites. If you do this try to spread out your missiles and blaster fire between them rather than focusing one target down all at once. The second time I made the pass I was able to quickly finish off the last shield and start doing damage. Every time it came in to view I tried to put at least 4 missiles and some blaster fire in to it. On the final pass in the last 45 seconds or so of the mission, it seems as if every living fighter begins to swarm the hard point to protect it. The more you killed earlier, the less protection it has. Do your best to time your missile barrages so that you are locking on to the hard point between the formation gaps of the fighters, and focus all of your fire power on it. I recommend using your Electronic Warfare Pod (Invulnerability) on this last bit so you can stay locked on and just unload everything you have, including your EMP if it is up. This one may take a few tries just to destroy that Hardpoint Satellite, but do not give up.
Space Mission: Duma Strike
Objectives: Destroy Bridge on the Destroyer.
Destroy 2 Corvette Class Ships
Destroy 4 Enemy Frigates
The hardest thing about Duma Strike is that it doesn’t allow you nearly so much of a chance to play defensively as the previous three. There are times where you just have to take a beating and do your best to dodge as much as possible to dish out an offense. Four frigates, two corvettes (highly-durable fighters), and a capital ship are all on the target list for this one.
At the start, you have three frigates coming up on you from behind. I found this to be the best time to use my EMP, as it considerably weakens the three ships and gives you an opportunity to bring them down quickly. I was unable to destroy all four frigates by the end without using an EMP on them. Be sure to focus your missiles first on the center hard points, yellow targets in the back portion but towards the front of the engine, under the satellite array and between the circle of turrets. While using your missiles on that point, bring down some of the turrets around it, then use any more missiles you get to hit anything you can on it as hard as possible.
Your defensive maneuvers are a little limited in many parts of the asteroid field, when you have half of your flying space cut off from you. Be on the lookout too for the capital ship about a minute and a half in. It flies in from the bottom of the screen, somewhat in the distance while you are dealing with the first corvette. This is a perfect opportunity to get in your first proton torpedo, and you will be hard pressed to finish the thing off without this shot. As for the first corvette, you have plenty of time to bring it down with a stream of missiles and blaster fire.
I recommend saving your Electronic Warfare Pod for your second run-in with the capital ship, when you fly directly overhead and are dealing with its barrage of turrets. The ten seconds of shielding once you are in range of its turrets will give you plenty of time to hit the bridge with your proton torpedo and finish it off, and then make it away safely before taking too much damage.
The second corvette proves a more difficult kill than the first as it’s also escorted by 8 or so bombers that can soak up a lot of damage. Do your best to keep your blaster fire focused on the corvette while using missiles as freely as possible and dodging like mad. This is one of the parts where you need to be aggressive, so try and bring it down as quickly as possible and then get your shields recharged again right after.
Space Combat: Lorta Escort
Objectives: Destroy Bridge on the Destroyer
Protect the Bomber
Destroy Enemy Jedi Ships
After doing the four prior to this one, especially Duma Strike, Lorta Escort seemed a lot easier. This is probably the easiest one so far. In the first part, when you are escorting the bomber, you are on all out offense. Most of the enemies will target the bomber, not at you. Some shots do go your way so still use your defensive maneuvers. Otherwise just shoot down incoming enemy fighters and weaken the frigates as much as possible. You do not actually have to destroy the frigates, so focus your guns and missiles on taking down as many of their turrets as possible.
You only have to protect the bomber for the first minute or so of combat, so do not worry if it seems to drop in health quickly, you do not have to protect it the whole time. The mission gives you several clean passes on the capitol ship as well, so bringing the bridge down with protons is not really a problem. Just hit it when it is in sight.
The only challenge here might be making sure you kill the three Jedi/Imperial Fighters. You actually do take a lot of incoming fire when they are honing in on you, so be sure to move defensively while shooting at them. Make sure you are shooting! Your window for killing them is not too small that every second counts, but it is not large enough that you want to waste a lot of time either. Keep a steady stream of blaster fire and missiles on them and you will be fine. Do not worry about their escorts of fighters until after they are dead.
Space Combat: Cha Raaba Assault
Objectives: Take out the Shuttle
Eliminate the Mandalorian Commander
Destroy the Republic Frigate
Let me just be clear about one thing. Cha Raaba is hard. If you think grade 7 space missions have been hard this far, then just consider Cha Raaba grade 8.
This mission begins with you dancing around asteroids taking on two heavy mercenary fighters. Dodge when you can, keep your shields up whenever they are not directly in your line of fire, or when you pull off shooting them to avoid an asteroid, and you should have little trouble bringing them down. Make sure your shields are full after that, because coming up is a turbo laser minefield, and they do not die easy. Your best bet is to dodge as much as you can through the first one, and then as you enter in to the second large patch punch your Electronic Warfare Pods, try to do this before the damage really picks up so your shields are hopefully still up. You will want to be able to unleash as much blaster fire as possible on the frigate as you approach. As you reach the frigate, pop your EMP and you’ll wipe out the minefield (at least everything that can give you trouble for the rest of the mission) and do a lot more damage to it. Do not expect to kill it here though (unless you’re really good at popping these things!)
Beyond the minefield, I am not sure that it is possible to clear this with grade 6 stuff. The asteroids after this point are extremely challenging objects to avoid, and there is one after two tight dodges that I have not been able to keep from hitting after ten tries. On top of that you have your target shuttle, the target Mandalorian commander (both very heavy on defenses) and two turbo laser equipped mercenaries that are unloading on you the entire time. It is very difficult to move defensively to avoid their shots, harder still to hit them, and you do not have any real good opportunities to recharge your shields. You are either dying or you are attacking, and it never feels like you can do enough damage (at least with grade six). After a dozen attempts I was not able to survive past the 30 second remaining mark, and was not ever able to destroy any of the three targets (much less ALL three).
Up until this point, I had been using all G6 components except for the G7 power conversion module (I had 300,000k to spend easy). And it would take a lot more practice to even stand a chance at Cha Raaba without some upgrades, even then I’m not sure if it’s possible except for maybe some godly gamer who has mastered every facet of the mini-game. So I used a few cartel coins to get the Grade 7 Starship Offensive Bundle (550 coins), and picked up the upgraded shield recharger for 150 daily commendations.
First off, the upgraded shield recharger was probably the most important upgrade. You will not beat a mission like this by letting your shields drop, and the faster shield regeneration actually let me get my shields up high enough to get some shots in during this fight. So if you only get one upgrade, get that one. Even with it though, the amount of damage you need to be able to put out to finish this mission is intense.
So using the same strategy to get to and past the minefield, I was able to get my shields quickly recharged before entering in to the final chase. Here it is just a lot of rapid switching between shield boost and blaster boost on the conversion module. Even if you only get in 3 seconds of a charge with the shields, it is worth it, so switch often! I recommend taking down at least one of the heavy mercenary ships too, as they tend to ride directly in front of you hitting you with turbo lasers, keeping you too much on the defensive. Pop the one that is in your face and you will have a lot more breathing room to take on the commander and shuttle. Do not forget to look out for the frigate too. You will have two short windows to shoot some missiles and blast away at it. If you did good damage to it back in the minefield, it should not be hard to bring down in a few seconds.
Around 1:20 remaining, there is a tight under-over dodge you have to pull off. You will know it after you run through it once or twice. The flight path will force you to the very bottom of the screen to get under one asteroid, and then immediately expect you to fly straight up in order to avoid hitting the asteroid right behind it. This is a tough dodge, and I hit this rock a dozen times before I successfully got past it. You have to make sure not to roll as you are going under the previous one, and then as soon as you start to clear it, move your mouse straight up and use the roll to sneak in over it. Its tough, and you can expect to hit this asteroid a lot, but it is possible to dodge it.
If you can get that far, and have your G7 shield regeneration up, then it should be fairly smooth sailing from there. Just play it safe, keep shooting away at the targets, do not hit any more rocks, and you should be able to finish this one off nicely!
The first time you beat any of these missions, you will receive 20 fleet commendations. The next day you should receive a daily to do one of them. Completing the daily will reward you with 2 Black Hole Commendations, 40 Fleet Commendations, and 5 Daily commendations.