Sandstorm: Pirate Wars Guide — Tips, Tricks And Strategies – App Trigger

Sandstorm: Pirate Wars is a game that falls neatly into the “pleasant surprise” category. Set in a Mad Max-esque future where people fight for survival and resources using big hovercrafts called sandcruisers, it was apparently in soft launch for nearly 10 months before Ubisoft decided it was ready for the big time.
Now that it’s here, it’s proven to be popular with mobile gamers thanks to its wide array of weapons and customizations, fast-paced battles and nice mix of single-player and PvP action. To make sure you’re successful at everything the game has to offer, we’ve put together our Sandstorm: Pirate Wars Guide, full of all the tips, tricks and strategies you need to survive in an unforgiving world.
Mastering combat in Sandstorm: Pirate Wars has a lot to do with knowing your weapons and picking the proper targets. Your goal in any fight is to reduce the opposing ship to zero health, but shooting at the right parts of it with the right guns at the right time is key.
Let’s take a look at the different types of weapons you’ll have access to and how they’re best used.
TIP: The game’s default setting is to have auto-fire on, meaning whatever weapon you tapped last will keep firing as soon as it builds up enough energy unless you tap on a different one. For more precision, you can toggle auto-fire off in the settings menu (via the gear icon in the upper-left corner), but remember then that you’ve got to tap a weapon to fire every shot.
BONUS TIP: Destroying all attack systems on your opponent can end a battle even if you don’t reduce the entire ship’s health to zero. Depending on what your enemy is packing, it might be worth seeing if you can finish the fight quicker by picking off the weapons. For example, if your opponent has shields but no flares and you have rockets, your best bet is to ignore the shields and target weapons immediately.
Unless you’re fortunate enough to have weapons that can simply overwhelm your opponent, you’re going to learn early on in Sandstorm that you have to pay attention to defense in order to keep your sandcruiser in one piece — especially during missions in which you’ll have multiple battles.
Defensive tools can be equipped in your sandcruiser’s support system slots, and two of them are particularly important.
Even your starter ship, the Raven, has two support system slots, so the way to go is to slot the best shield and the best flares you have available to you at any given time. In fact, the game even leads you in this direction in its tutorials. However, it’s not a bad idea to keep a second shield and flares on hand in your inventory in case you run into a mission where the enemies are equipped with multiple weapons of the same type.
For example, let’s say you encounter a battle against an AI sandcruiser armed with two sets of rockets and it defeats you the first time. You can go into the hangar, switch to two sets of flares and then switch back to your shield and flares combo in the next city.
As the game’s soft currency, bolts may not seem like much, but they’re important to keep on hand because you can use them for multiple purposes. For starters, they can speed up the time you spend repairing your ship after you lose a battle, getting you back on your way faster. The more damage you’ve taken, the longer your repairs will take and the more bolts it will cost to skip them, though the amount decreases over time.
After successful battles, spending bolts can help you double the loot you receive. You can also triple the loot by spending power cells, which are Sandstorm‘s hard currency, a.k.a. the kind you can buy with real money.
If you need more loot in-between battles, you can head to the in-game store by tapping the safe icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. There, you’ll find four different kinds of crates, the first of which can be purchased with bolts and gets you three systems, one of which could be rare. You’ll need power cells to buy the others.
Perhaps most intriguingly, bolts can be used to buy entirely new sandcruisers, allowing you to have more choices than just the Raven you’re given when the game begins. When in the hangar, you can swipe or tap on the arrows to look at the three other kinds of ships (at launch, anyway) that are available.
That makes a nice segue into our next topic …
So you’ve saved up enough bolts for a new sandcruiser. Huzzah! Now you’ll have to make sure it’s actually better than the one you’re already flying.
Though the other ships available to you have special abilities that the Raven does not, they aren’t inherently better or tougher right out of the gate. All of them start with only marginally more health than the Raven, and they have the same amount of energy. Fortunately, by the time you’ll unlock them, you’ll have better systems to install, making them more effective right away.
Here’s what the different sandcruisers can do:
(With much love to Dr. Seuss for the inspiration for this sub-section.)
You’ll notice early on that while in missions, you’ll sometimes be offered choices of different actions by your crew members or NPCs. The decisions you make here matter, perhaps not in the game’s overall story, but definitely in the moment.
One very relevant example is when a crew member says they can avoid a fight by making an evasive maneuver. This is the game telling you that you have the choice of taking on another battle (if you want a shot at more loot) or running away (if you’re low on health and just want to make it to your next destination). Similarly, you’ll stumble across NPCs in need of assistance, meaning you can fight and be rewarded for bailing them out or leave them to their own devices and be on your way.
In short, consider the decisions you make wisely, because they have a direct impact on how many battles you’ll fight.
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