Alt Shift’s FTL-inspired strategy game, Crying Suns, has finally made its way to mobile, and boy it’s hard. Like many other games with roguelike sensibilities, Crying Suns requires multiple playthroughs. If anything it encourages them, as you keep what information you learnt, and the legendary officers you unlock upon the way. Crying Suns is tough for a variety of reasons, but most of all, are its unpredictable elements.
Whenever you arrive in a new system, you could be greeted by a beneficial encounter, or by pirates. You might not be able to gather enough fuel, and be caught out by the scrappers relentlessly pursuing you. Or you might just lose out to an anomaly event, a chance encounter not going your way, and ending the run.
It’s kind of amazing how easy it is to lose everything in Crying Suns, and it’s happened to us many a time. So in our Crying Suns guide we hope to help you overturn luck, so even when things don’t go your way, you’re ready to deal with them.
Here’s what’s in our crying suns guide:
This is a slightly more complex question than it might seem, as Crying Suns has a tonne of different elements to it, whether that’s using resources such as Neo-N or scrap, or building a veritable armada of squadrons. Here are our tips on how to play the game:
- Your objective is to make it to the end of the sector by travelling from system to system
- Every system you travel to requires Neo-N, and you can harvest random amounts upon entering each system, and by buying it at stations, or gaining it through narrative encounters
- Beyond arriving in a system, you don’t have to do anything else in order to travel to the next
- System locations marked with an orange symbol are anomalies: random encounters which can either grant you rewards or mean you have to fight an enemy
- A currency symbol on a system map indicates a station where you can purchase and repair items, though often to unlock it you might have to fight an enemy ship
- You can scavenge on certain planets, which requires a minimum number of commandos and an officer to lead them. You can purchase commandos at stations, or recruit them in narrative events
- Planetary expeditions can grant you scrap, officers, squadrons and weapons
- At the end of each sector you have to fight a boss, a strong enemy ship, with no chance of surrender
Those are the basics, but we’re going to go into a little more depth in the other sections of this Crying Sun’s guide.
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Neo-N is probably the more important resource in Crying Suns – it allows you to escape from the enemies who are pursuing you, to travel between systems, but also to travel to destinations within a system, changing the overall amount of resources you have the potential to collect.
Neo-N is the enabler, so we only have one tip with regards to it: don’t skimp on buying it. Neo-N is both relatively cheap, and you’re going to regret not paying 20 scrap for a unit when a powerful scrapper ship catches you.
If Neo-N is the enabler, then what it enables is the gathering of scrap. If you’re going to get powered up enough to fight each sector boss, you need to get as much scrap as you can. Here are the best tips with regards to scrap:
- Gather all you can: you can get scrap during narrative encounters, by selling things, and during planetary expeditions
- Sell what you don’t use: if you have a weapon collecting dust, or you’ve got too many squadrons, sell them off for scrap
- Upgrade: this sounds simple, but it’s quite easy to find yourself at the end of a sector having spent all of your scrap on other things that won’t help you win that ship battle. Whatever happens, you have to beat each sector boss, so upgrading your combat capabilities should take precedence
Enjoy some roguelike elements? Then be sure to see our list of the best mobile roguelikes
Squadrons and ships battles are a vital component of Crying Suns, and the most challenging element of the game. This is the point where you might die and find yourself back at the start, so here are some tips to find success in your battles:
- Find squadrons and weapons: you can buy squadrons and weapons, but it’s often better to try and find them instead. If you can trade seven commandos costing 70 scrap in a planetary expedition for a squadron that costs 180, you’re doing the right thing. You can also use the spare scrap to upgrade your ship
- Invest in a long range squadron: some squadrons can fire across the whole map, damaging the enemy ship, and provided you can protect them, they are very powerful. As soon as you bring one out onto the field, it’s only a matter of time before you win
- Work out ideal officer placement: officers have different abilities that grant buffs to sections of the ships, so make sure to deploy them correctly to maximise these effects
- Be aggressive: it’s easy to play it safe initially in Crying Suns, but as the game gets harder, you’re going to get overwhelmed. It’s better to take the fight to the enemy, using your squadrons to deal damage to the enemy ship, and prioritising targets to disable them
- Prioritise damage: blocking off squares and creating choke-points with non-damage weapons is good, but without a damage-based weapon to also punish the enemy squadrons stacked on a tile, they can be a bit useless. In the end, the objective is to destroy the enemy, and to that end, damage dealing weapons are first priority
- Use terrain where you can: using terrain such as EMP turrets or asteroids to limit enemy effectiveness and maximise the effect of your weapons is a great way to win
The commandos and officers on your ship are a key resource, and as such, it’s important to know how best to utilise them. Here are some tips:
- Sell excess officers: if you have the maximum number of officers, it’s best to sell one off so you have space for any potentials you might get during narrative events – that is unless your officers’ abilities are all perfect for your ship
- Commandos are tradeable: it sounds bad, but commandos are expendable, and their expeditions on planets are an effective way of trading a cheap resource into a far more expensive one, such as a ship, a weapon, or an officer
- Buy commandos with spare change: as the cheapest unit in the game, there’s no point having lots of them. It’s better to just spend a little here and there so you have enough for planetary expedition requirements
- Find legendary officers: there are few legendary officers in Crying Suns, but each are well worth finding. Once you have them on crew, they actually restart the game with you after each death, meaning you get their powerful ability right from the outset
We’ve covered all of the main features, but here are just a few tips and tricks that might help you along the way in Crying Suns:
- Don’t sacrifice something for nothing: just as with any resource management game, the key is trading resources. It’s a classic rule of strategy to never trade something for nothing, and that’s a good lesson in Crying Suns – whether we’re talking squadrons, commandos, officers, or scrap
- Don’t be a completionist: many games convince us that ticking off all the boxes is the correct way to play, but in Crying Suns, that’s a good way to earn yourself an early grave. You can do all of the anomaly events you want, but always consider your current strength before you do, and what you’re likely to lose
- Death by a thousand cuts: the way you die in resource management games isn’t by one thing you did, but is instead a death by a thousand cuts – many little negative decisions that wear you down and eventually destroy you in one dramatic firefight. It’s worth remembering this if you want to analyse your mistakes and pinpoint where you failed in a previous run