Hardspace: Shipbreaker Beginner Tips And Tricks

Living Life 15 Minutes At A Time

Word has it you want to be a Shipbreaker? Like most new cutters you probably signed on the dotted line without reading all the fine print. Lynx Corp is the same as any other megacorp out there. Their recruitment brochures lure you in with hopes and dreams of making millions. Truth is the only one making millions is Lynx Corp and by now you’ve figured out their training program is too short, outta date, and only teaches you enough to make them profit while keeping you in debt. Well, you’re in luck ‘cause I’m gonna tell you all the Shipbreaker tips and tricks I learned those first few days on the job. Pay attention cutter, I’m only gonna offer this up for free once, and it’s probably the last thing you’ll get for free for a long, long time.

Before we get started all proper like, if you haven’t already signed your contract you may want to watch this video. It’s from one of my firsts shifts and it may change your mind about signing your life away. It’s not all cleaned up and fancy like the Lynx Corp recruitment videos you been watching but it’ll give you a real look of what it’s like to be a rookie cutter. It’s not a perfect shift but I didn’t lose any fingers or toes (permanently at least) and I even made a few credits along the way.

Dying Isn’t Profitable

Don’t roll your eyes at me. Lynx Corp has already got your guard down with all that talk about their cloning program. Sure, you won’t be dead, but you might wish you were. When you die they’s gonna charge you a cool 150,000 credits but there’s more to dying than just the cloning fees. If you’re dead it means you went and did something stupid like torching a fuel tank or melting down the reactor core. Them are some expensive parts you just went and blowed up and I betcha the explosion took half the dang ship along with it. It gets pretty hard to make money when there ain’t nothing left to salvage. And even if there is something left, cloning ain’t all instant like, meaning you just wasted some of your shift on that unpaid break you just took. Oh, and I hear dying hurts a lot, so there’s that too.

Money in the bank, sort of

Use The Force

In training, they taught you how to push things around with your grapple gun but most worms miss the part about how it can pull things too. Just press down on the right button and whatever it’s attached to will start coming right towards you. Be careful though, momentum can be a bitch in zero-g so just a little tug is all you need. Getting hit by something you are pulling towards you is gonna knock you around some and can even crack your helmet open. That’s not good if you didn’t already guess that. And always be aware of where you’re at; something real heavy like a thruster could knock you into the furnace before you can stop yourself. That there is what we call a rookie move.


Look For Multi-shift Contracts

Remember how they gave you all the time you needed to tear things apart during your on the job training? Well, it ain’t like that on a real shift. After all the paperwork, waiting for the techs to finish any upgrades to the equipment you ordered, and actually getting suited up and out the airlock, you’re down to a scant 15 minutes of actual time to get some cutting done. That’s plenty of time for a veteran but a worm-like you is gonna have trouble just cracking the shell open before quitting time. They ain’t always available but if you see a 2 or 3-day contract on the board, take it! Use the time to learn the weak points on the ship and get into a routine. Getting in a hurry usually ends with you blowing yourself up, and you won’t feel so rushed knowing you have that extra time to finish the job up properly. You’ll have to pay the extra day’s expenses but if you aren’t a total dimwit you should end up with more than you started.

Two days, one ship

The Price Is Right

With only 15 minutes to get in, make your money, and get out, the one piece of the ship you should never leave behind (or blow up for that matter) is the reactor core. A class 1 reactor is worth a cool 500,000 credits and that’s enough to pay your expenses for the day, leaving whatever else you can salvage as pure profit. Profit, that’s what you’re here for, right?

When you’re looking at a ship what you really need to be thinking about is price tags. Is that computer console gonna make you more credits than that big chunk of nanocarbon over there? Is it worth making nice cuts to get through a piece of aluminum you want to salvage or will the time saved by melting that puppy down to get at what’s behind it be worth more in the end? It may not be all glamorous ripping out a bunch of seats but they’re quick and easy salvage when you only have 60 seconds left on your shift. Get what I’m saying here? Everything is worth something but something else is always worth more.

That coolant tank is worth more than everything around it

If It Ain’t Broke…

You can buy repair kits from the master jack terminal during your shift but you can’t repair your gear while you’re out in the void. Make sure you do a good once over on everything before your shift starts. That doesn’t mean you have to make repairs after every shift; a gently used Stinger still cuts just as good as one in tip-top shape. If you don’t think something is gonna break don’t waste a repair kit on it. Those kits are expensive and I still haven’t figured out why we got to fix the equipment ourselves if we already paid to rent it, but them’s the rules so what’s a cutter to do? Save your repair kits, that’s what.

Oxygen For Nothing And Your Kits For Free

If you haven’t noticed yet, Lynx Corp doesn’t have any quibbles about charging you for every single thing they can. It’s going to be a long while before you get yourself out of debt but there are ways to save a few credits here and there along the way. One of the easiest ways to stick it to the man is by gathering up what we call consumables – things like oxygen tanks and medkits – during a salvage. Just keep it on the down-low or management will start adding them to the work orders. 

Save that oxygen tank for when it gets hard to breathe

Go ahead and grab repair kits and med kits as soon as you see them but make sure to save oxygen and fuel tanks until you need them. An errant discharge of your cutting tool can cause the tanks to blow up so be sure to take a second and move them out of harm’s way before cutting near them. If you don’t you could lose more credits than you would have saved by using them.

Complete Your Work Orders

Cutting a ship up and throwing parts into the furnace and processor will make Lynx Corp plenty of money but if you don’t have a plan there won’t be any credits left to put in your own pocket. Lucky for you the bosses already made up a list of things they want you to finish up. Expensive stuff like cooling units and thrusters are always on the to-do list but they put bulk orders on there too when something like aluminum or electrical parts are running low. Those bulk orders won’t make you as many credits as the big-ticket items, but every work order you complete will get a few Lynx Tokens added to your account. Those LT are what you need to upgrade your tools. Better tools mean faster salvage. Faster salvage means more LT. You get the idea.

Grab that power cell to complete a work order

So make sure you check your work orders during your shift.  When you are running out of time try to finish up any orders that you’re close on. Remember, work orders are all or nothing and I guarantee accounting ain’t gonna round 9999 kg of nanocarbon up to 10k just so you can hit your quota.

Get your Certs

Now that you’ve got a good understanding of how work orders and Lynx Tokens work, let’s talk about certifications. Seeing as how you just completed your training you already completed a couple certs and are now rank 4. Lynx says that makes you a beginner; as far as the rest of us cutters are concerned you’re just a worm. Lynx Corp doesn’t trust the good stuff with just anyone so you are gonna have to earn a bunch of credits and salvage whatever junk management says is needed if you want to rank up. The more certs you have, the better gear you can get. You also get to move up the pecking order so better ships will be available to salvage as well. Getting certs ain’t that hard as long as you don’t go around killing yourself all the time. Some of the stuff you need to salvage for your next cert will sometimes be on your work order. It’s like killing two birds with one stone, don’t ya know.

Earn certifications to open up new upgrades

Use Your Scanner

It’s really easy like to get all caught up in using your grapple gun and Stinger but don’t forget about using your scanner too. Not only will you feel like Superman with his x-ray eyes, but the scanner is like an early warning system that tells you where you should and should not cut. It’s not that great at first but once you spend some Lynx Tokens on upgrades you’ll see all sorts of important things. You’ll use it to find weak points in the structure right from the start. After you upgrade you will be able to identify different objects throughout the ship. You’ll even be able to locate ship systems like fuel lines and cooling units. You know, the things that go boom.

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