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4 square Drone Control room

2 Square Drone Control room

DroneControlCircle.png The Drone Control system powers drones, which act automatically and cannot be controlled directly. Drones perform tasks such as attacking enemy ships and crew, defending your ship and crew, and repairing your ship.

When the Drone Control system is bought at a store, it always comes with 2 slots and 2 system levels. It includes one random "half price" drone schematic, which is a System Repair Drone, a Defense Drone Mark I, or a Combat Drone Mark I. The base price of the system is 60 scrap, so it costs 75 scrap when bundled with a System Repair Drone and 85 scrap otherwise.

Overview[]

Drone.png

Powers all of the ship's drones. Drones are automated robots that perform tasks like attacking enemy ships or repairing systems.

  • Powers all of the ship's drones.
  • Drones are automated robots that each perform a different task.
  • Activating a drone is done in a similar way as activating weapons, by clicking on or pressing the key (5-7).
    • Activating a drone will power it and, if the drone is not already deployed, will spend one drone part to deploy the drone.
    • The drone will stay active until it is destroyed, its system is too damaged to power it, or you deactivate it.
    • External and boarding drones are lost when jumping to a new system and have to be redeployed at each new location or encounter, though a Drone Recovery Arm lets you recover the drone parts of external drones.
    • Crew drones stay on the ship and only need to be redeployed when destroyed.
  • Upgrading lets you power more drones simultaneously (although you can have multiple deployed and only have one powered at a time, switching power as necessary).
  • Most playable ships have 2 slots for Drone Schematics, though a few ships have 3.
  • Drones that fly around a ship can be shot down by enemy fire if they are in direct line of fire. Your weapons cannot hit your own drones.
  • Crew and boarding drones can be damaged and destroyed by hostile crewmen, and also take halved damage if the room they are in is struck by a missile, laser, bomb (except for Healing Burst or Repair Burst), or flak, or if the tile they occupy is hit by a beam.
  • If a drone is destroyed, there is a 10 second delay before it can be deployed again (costing another part).

Guide and Tactics[]

While all drones can potentially be useful, some of them require very specific circumstances to be worthwhile.

Defense Drones are the most widely useful, as they can shoot down missiles, Boarding and Ion Intruder Drones, and some asteroids. The Defense Drone Mark II can also shoot down lasers and ions; these may distract it from shooting a missile, but careful micro-management largely prevents that.

Anti-Combat drones are an effective defence against offensive drones, which can be among the most dangerous fights in the game. An Anti-Combat drone will typically suppress one enemy drone quite effectively, but not completely. Shield drones are slow to recharge but can block any shot, and can even be timed to block a missile; they can also neutralise ion pulses at a pulsar, but only if you have a shield system.

Combat and Beam drones are generally not a good substitute for weapons, since they cost drone parts to use, and you cannot choose which rooms they attack. Nevertheless, they can combine well with weapons in a supporting role. You can time a Combat drone to remove a shield before your weapons land. They are also effective at stripping Zoltan Shields, especially the Beam Drone Mark II, which does 2 damage each swipe. Using multiple offensive drones in every fight is not sustainable, unless you obtain a Drone Recovery Arm.

Onboard drones overlap in function with your crew. They can be useful, but you likely won't get much benefit from them if you already have a large and diverse crew. They do have some good blue options.

Boarding and Ion Intruder drones have limited applications. They are not effective at getting crew kills by themselves, and if you have a teleporter, you can get the crew kills without them. The Ion Intruder can be very disruptive if it lands in an important system like weapons; Mind Controlling an enemy crew will pull it into their system.

Hull Repair Drones can be extremely helpful if you have plenty of drone parts. However, they are also an expensive purchase and it would often be better to spend that scrap improving your ship instead.

The drone system is quite expensive to upgrade, considering what the upgrades do. One benefit of drones is that they can share power effectively. For example, it's possible to use a Defense Drone, Combat Drone, and Beam Drone (all Mark I) together in a fight, without upgrading the system at all.

Blue Options[]

Some equipment opens additional Options during certain events. While the Drone Control System itself does not open any options, the various different drones do.

Anti-Personnel Drone

Beam Drone

Boarding Drone

Combat Drone

Defense Drone

Hull Repair Drone

Repair Drone

Drone Schematics[]

A drone schematic is required to operate a drone, and there are four types: Boarding Drones, Combat Drones, Crew Drones, and Defensive Drones.

Boarding Drones[]

Tip: Boarding Drones require 1 drone part to deploy for each new enemy. They will board the enemy ship and attack as long as they are powered.

When deployed, Boarding Drones fly to the enemy ship, breach the hull and attack crew and systems inside. They take half damage from weapons and zoltan explosion, but can be stunned just like regular crew. They are unaffected by fires and low oxygen. They ignore regular shields, but are destroyed when contacting a Zoltan Shield (the Zoltan Shield will be unaffected).

They can be shot down by defensive drones, and stunned by Anti-Combat Drones with a 50% chance to be destroyed. They cannot board a cloaked ship. And like all drones, the player has no direct control of them.

Boarding Drone[]

Boarding Drone.png

Breaches through the enemy hull and wreaks havoc. Awesome.

  • Boards enemy ships and attacks enemy crew and systems.
  • Health: 150
  • Speed: 18
  • Power: 3
  • Rarity: 4
  • Cost: 70 Ftlgame-scrap.png

Boarding Drone (Boss)[]

Boarding Drone.png
  • Rebel Flagship's Boarding Drone variant
  • Totally identical to a regular Boarding Drone, except for the lower power requirement.
  • Health: 150
  • Speed: 18
  • Power: 2
  • Rarity: 0
  • Cost: N/A Ftlgame-scrap.png (cannot be bought or found)

Ion Intruder[]

IonIntruderDrone.png

Breaches through the enemy hull and randomly ionizes systems.

  • Periodically emits an ion blast that deals 3 ion damage to the system and stuns enemy crew, then moves to a different system.
  • Pulse time varies between 8.2 and 10 seconds. Stun lasts for 6 seconds.
  • Will skip its cooldown if it attacked a blast door beforehand.
  • The stun does not affect friendly boarders, Boarding Drones, or other Ion Intruders.
  • Player's Ion Intruder will stun mind-controlled enemies (aboard enemy ship). But enemy's Ion Intruder won't stun mind-controlled enemies (on your ship).
  • Will not attempt to ionise a destroyed system, but will target systems that are ionised.
  • Removing power does not reset its cooldown, so pulses can be "stored".
  • Health: 125
  • Speed: 18
  • Power: 3
  • Rarity: 4
  • Cost: 65 Ftlgame-scrap.png
  • Advanced Edition only.
  • Tip: Specific animation played before its charge attack gives enough time to leave the room to avoid being stunned.

Combat Drones[]

Tip: Combat Drones require 1 drone part to deploy at each encounter and, if destroyed in battle, 1 more drone part each time redeployed. They will attack the enemy as long as they are powered and can freely be switched on and off. You can only power and deploy a combat drone when in combat.

Combat drones orbit the enemy ship and attack it at regular intervals choosing targets on their own. They can be destroyed if they happen to fly into the path of enemy weapons fire or asteroids, but they can only be intentionally attacked by the Anti-Combat Drone. Players may intentionally shoot enemy combative drones by carefully timing shots and positioning their ship's laser, ion, or missile weapons to intercept.

Though combat drones cannot be controlled and often will choose undesirable targets (such as empty rooms), their increased rate of fire in comparison to ship weapons causes them to do incredibly rapid damage to the enemy hull when shields are down. If you are planning to use a combat drone strategy, make sure you have some way of quickly disabling, destroying, or overwhelming the enemy shields so your drones can make short work of the enemy ship. Missile, flak weapons, and the hacking system are good for this.

Combat drones can be used as protection from enemy weapons: a depowered combat drone can block ion blasts indefinitely or can be placed to intercept a single missile projectile.

Combat Drone Mark I[]

CombatDroneI.png

Powerful drone that continually attacks the enemy ship.

  • Continually attacks the enemy ship with a single laser blast; slower than normal shield recharge.
  • Laser blast has 10% chance to start fire in the hit room.
  • Can be used to destroy enemy defensive drones.
  • Can be given for free upon installation of Drone Control system.
  • Speed: 15
  • Power: 2
  • Rarity: 2
  • Cost: 50 Ftlgame-scrap.png

Combat Drone Mark II[]

CombatDroneII.png

Powerful drone that continually attacks the enemy ship. Moves and shoots faster than Mark I.

  • Increased rate of fire and speed of maneuvering.
  • Laser blast has 10% chance to start fire in the hit room.
  • Can be used to destroy enemy defensive drones.
  • Speed: 28
  • Power: 4
  • Rarity: 5
  • Cost: 75 Ftlgame-scrap.png

Anti-Ship Beam Drone I[]

BeamDroneI.png

Combat Drone that repeatedly attacks with a small beam weapon.

  • Uses a small beam weapon to continually attack the enemy ship. While fast and 100% accurate, the beam cannot penetrate shields at all.
  • Beam has 10% chance to set a tile on fire.
  • Beam length: 20 (0.4 tile diagonally)
  • Speed: 15
  • Power: 2
  • Rarity: 3
  • Cost: 50 Ftlgame-scrap.png

Anti-Ship Beam Drone II[]

BeamDroneII.png

Combat drone that repeatedly attacks with a larger beam weapon.

  • Moves a bit slower than Mark I, but has a longer beam length, so it can often hit 2 rooms. Also does 2 damage to a Zoltan Shield, compared to 1 for Mark I.
  • Beam has 10% chance to set a tile on fire.
  • Beam length: 40 (0.9 tile diagonally)
  • Speed: 11
  • Power: 3
  • Rarity: 5
  • Cost: 60 Ftlgame-scrap.png
  • Advanced Edition only.

Anti-Ship Fire Drone[]

FireDrone.png

Combat drone that repeatedly attacks with a small beam weapon that lights rooms on fire.

  • A variant of the beam drone that uses a Fire Beam equivalent to ignite random rooms. Does 1 damage to a Zoltan Shield, just like the Anti-Ship Beam Drone I.
  • Beam has 90% chance to set a tile on fire.
  • Beam length: 10 (0.2 tile diagonally)
  • Speed: 12
  • Power: 3
  • Rarity: 4
  • Cost: 50 Ftlgame-scrap.png
  • Advanced Edition only.

Crew Drones[]

Tip: Crew Drones require 1 drone to deploy, but will not need to be deployed again until destroyed. They stay on ship and help your crew as long as they are powered.

Crew drones are deployed on your own ship and act like AI controlled crew members. They move slowly, but are unaffected by low oxygen and immune to fire. As with regular crew, they will break down doors that are locked by hacking.

They take half damage from enemy weapons and zoltan explosion, but can be stunned just like regular crew. When idle they return to the drone bay, where they heal, providing the system is powered.

Anti-Personnel Drone[]

AntiPersonelDrone.png

Will seek out and attempt to destroy any intruders on-board your ship.

  • Attacks intruders, dealing the same damage as an untrained Human.
  • Can attack friendly crew affected by Mind Control.
  • Health: 150
  • Power: 2
  • Rarity: 2
  • Cost: 35 Ftlgame-scrap.png

System Repair Drone[]

SystemRepairDrone.png

Will seek out damaged systems and repair them automatically.

  • Repairs systems and breaches, and puts out fires, at the same speed as an Engi.
  • Gives System and Sub-System rooms priority, repairing rooms in the order that they were damaged.
  • Ignores enemy boarders.
  • Can be given for free upon installation of Drone Control system.
  • Power: 1
  • Rarity: 1
  • Cost: 30 Ftlgame-scrap.png

Hull Repair Drone[]

HullRepairDrone.png

Automatically repairs 3-5 damage to your hull. Drone part is consumed once it finishes.

  • Moves around and outside of your ship, repairing 3-5 hull points and then self-destructs.
  • Each deployment requires a drone part.
  • Can be shot down by stray fire.
  • Speed: 20
  • Power: 2
  • Rarity: 4
  • Cost: 85 Ftlgame-scrap.png
  • As repair costs at stores gradually increase in each Sector, it can become a more cost-efficient alternative once hull repairing starts to cost 3 scrap or more.
  • Drone Recovery Arm augmentation can consistently recover the drone (part) before the drone self-destructs: it requires making a FTL jump just after 2 repairs.
  • Depowering, or otherwise making an active Hull Repair Drone go offline, interrupts hull repairs and removes it without salvaging the drone part.
  • Can be effectively used to repair hull between the Rebel Flagship phases or, if desperate, in the actual fight.

Defensive Drones[]

Tip: Defense Drones require 1 drone part to deploy at every new location. They will defend your ship as long as they are powered.

Defensive drones orbit your own ship and shoot down asteroids, enemy weapons fire, and some drones. Unless destroyed, they can be recovered with the Drone Recovery Arm augment upon jumping.

It is possible for defensive drones to miss their target, letting the occasional shot get through. Like all drones, their targeting is not player-controlled, so their target selection and timing may prove sub-optimal. They also require approximately a second to acquire a target after being deployed or reactivated; powering up as soon as an enemy missile launches is sufficient.

Defense Drone Mark I[]

Defense Drone I.png

Shoots down incoming missiles, asteroids, and flak debris.

  • Shoots down incoming missiles, hacking and boarding drones, individual flak debris, and asteroids with its laser.
  • Can be given for free upon installation of Drone Control system.
  • Cooldown: 1000 ms
  • Speed: 5
  • Power: 2
  • Rarity: 1
  • Cost: 50 Ftlgame-scrap.png
  • Usage tips: part 1.

Defense Drone Mark II[]

Defense Drone II.png

It fires faster than Mark I and can also shoot down incoming lasers.

  • Shoots down incoming missiles, hacking and boarding drones, individual flak debris, asteroids, but also ion blasts and lasers (including those shot by combat drones).
  • Cooldown: 880 ms
  • Speed: 7
  • Power: 3
  • Rarity: 3
  • Cost: 70 Ftlgame-scrap.png
  • Usage tips: part 1.

Anti-Combat Drone[]

Anti-CombatDrone.png

Stuns combat drones attacking your ship.

  • Stuns Combat, Hacking, and Boarding drones with Ion weapon. Each shot has a chance to outright destroy the affected drone.
  • Cooldown: 7000 ms
  • Speed: 5
  • Power: 1
  • Rarity: 1
  • Cost: 35 Ftlgame-scrap.png
  • Advanced Edition only.

Shield Overcharger[]

ShieldDrone.png

Creates single Supershield barrier periodically.

  • Periodically adds 1 point of Zoltan Super Shield to regular shields.
  • Each additional layer has longer cool-down time: 8s/10s/13s/16s/20s for 0/1/2/3/4 existing layers. Each timer resets should the drone become unpowered.
  • Overcharged shields are lost when you jump
  • Speed: 5
  • Power: 3
  • Rarity: 4
  • Cost: 60 Ftlgame-scrap.png
  • Advanced Edition only.
  • Usage tips: part 1, part 2.

Shield Overcharger +[]

ShieldDrone.png

Creates single Supershield barrier periodically. This modified schematic requires 1 less power.

  • A Shield Overcharger Drone variant that only comes equipped on Simo-H.
  • Totally identical to the Shield Overcharger Drone, except for the lower power requirement.
  • Speed: 5
  • Power: 2
  • Rarity: 0
  • Cost: 60 Ftlgame-scrap.png (cannot be bought nor found)
  • Advanced Edition only.
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