Ancient Frontier Guide: 10 Tips for Beating the Campaign

Need to step up your tactics in Ancient Frontier? This quick guide is full of tips, tricks, and strategies that will help you do just that.

Ancient Frontier is a sci-fi, turn-based strategy game developed by Fairweather Studios. It's a game that relies on cunny strategy and ruthless tactics as you command a fleet set on pillaging -- or liberating -- worlds across the universe. 

But its long campaign can be a difficult one to complete if you don't have the right tricks and strategies up your sleeves. Without a doubt, it’s not an easy trek to the ending. So, if you’re struggling and want to step up your game, here are 10 tips to get the most out of your fleet in Ancient Frontier.

The Tutorial is Just a Reference Point

If you are already familiar with turn-based strategy, you can skip the tutorial and jump straight into the game. However, the tutorial does cover every mechanic in the game and is split into chapters so it can be used as reference material. Knowing that, it can be good to give it a shot to learn the granular ins and outs of Ancient Frontier.

It’s around a half hour to address any question you have, so feel free to skip around the tutorial for mechanics you aren’t familiar with.

Your First Step? Get More Ships

After completing your first mission in Ancient Frontier, be sure to buy at least one additional ship right away. Finishing the first story mission will start you in the game proper, but you will have only one fighter squadron to deploy on bounty missions -- but one squadron is not enough firepower to complete these missions. Spend all of your Hydrium on either a capital ship or several more fighter squadrons before trying to take optional missions.

Research Additional Move and Ability Points Early  

Red and blue orb move and ability points are probably the most powerful items in the Ancient Frontier tech tree. With your starting resources, you have enough to research one top-level technology right from the start.

Pick a ship type you want to focus on and start researching. If it is a ship class that comes with one move and three action points, picking up a second move point right away will greatly increase the versatility of the ship and make missions quicker.

If you want to focus on a ship that starts with only one or two action points and already has at least two moves, picking up an additional action point will greatly increase its options and offense.

Focus on Your Upgrades

When researching upgrades in Ancient Frontier, it is best to focus on just one or two ship types early on -- and then branch out to more types later in the game.  

A ship with the entire tech tree researched will give you a significant boost over your enemies. Try to spend your data improving the key parts of your fleet for the first five to 10 story missions.

Farm Quick Experience Points

Early in Ancient Frontier, doing simulator missions with your ships and then immediately retreating is a fast and easy way to gain levels. Retreating from a mission will still award you with 25% of the main quest experience.

Simulator missions offer considerable experience rewards but are often too tough for starting fleets to be able to complete. But because they offer so much experience, most of your fleet is likely to still gain a level or two even if you retreat immediately.


Shield Points Are Your Friends

Boosting the shield values of your ships through the tech tree or items in the early game can greatly increase their survivability. There are many different defensive and offensive options for each ship type, but nothing helps a ship  survive encounters better than additional shield points, especially in the early game. The Boost Shield ability is available for most ships, and it lets you fully recharge your shields with a single action. If you are struggling to stay alive, focus on shields.

Pay Attention to Terrain

Don't take shots at enemy units in cover -- and end your ships’ moves in spaces where they get cover. The accuracy boosts and penalties of cover make a very big difference. Shooting at enemy ships sitting behind cover will drastically decrease your hit chance, meaning you will miss most of your shots. Move your ships so they can attack from an angle, where the enemy isn't protected by cover.

Cover works both ways. Try to end your own ship's moves in spaces where they have cover from as many angles as possible.


Get Used to Utility Abilities

Utility Abilities like Thrusters, Dodge, and Targeting Computers can be very strong allies, so learn to use them early. All the non-damaging abilities award significant boosts to your ship for current (and sometimes future) turns.

Recharging shields to full, boosting your movements to escape enemies, increasing your dodge when there is not good cover available, or boosting your accuracy for several turns with Targeting Computers are all very powerful options that will let your fleet perform at maximum efficiency. Using all of your actions on attacks is not always the best tactic.


Taking Out Shields = An Extra Chance

If you drop an enemy’s shields, it will probably run away on its next turn and heal. Knocking out enemy shields can sometimes keep your ships alive because of this. Enemy captains want to keep their crews alive as well.

An A.I. ship that has its shields removed is likely to move into cover and recharge its shields. This will, at the very least, give it one less action to attack. If you have a ship surrounded by several enemies, sometimes the best way to live is to drop the shields on each enemy ship so they all run away and heal.

Pay Attention To Your Energy Stores

Running out of energy can get you in a no-win scenario. If you use too much energy deploying ships on easy missions, you can get into situations where you don't have the resources to deploy a large enough fleet to beat a more difficult mission. Keep an eye on your energy levels and don't deploy more ships than you need.

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I hope these small tips help you on the Ancient Frontier. Do you have any tips you’d give to new players? I’d love to hear them. From the depths of space, good luck out there, Commanders!

Games Ancient Frontier Genres RPGStrategy Platforms
Published Nov. 15th 2017

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