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How can I counter enemy away teams?

In FTL, What is the best strategy to deal with boarders?

I know the ideal is not to get boarded at all, but how do you make the best of a bad situation?

  • Open the hatches? Does emptying the sections of oxygen work well against boarders when they're bigger and stronger? (Problem is that I often end up having killed the boarders, but with the O2 processor damaged and no way to repair it as my crew is stuck in medbay)
  • Mob them? Should you try and mob boarders with superior firepower? Would this work when two mantis boarders teleport in?
  • Something else?
  • Anti-personnel droids! Commented Jan 14, 2013 at 14:29

3 Answers 3


You have a few options, depending on what equipment and crew you have available.

  • If your doors are reinforced bulkheads (level 3 upgrade) and the boarders are reasonably close to the airlock, opening the airlocks to deprive them of oxygen and cause them to suffocate while they try to break into the non-vacuum sections of your ship will go a long way.

  • If they're too far from an airlock for that to be viable, diverting maximum power to the med bay and gathering three crewmen there before luring them in works pretty well -- not only will you have the advantage of numbers, your people recover health constantly while the boarders do not.

For either of the above scenarios, the anti-personnel drone can be very useful if you have one equipped. While it can't heal in medbay, it doesn't need air so it can run interference while the boarders are still trying to punch into the breathable areas of the ship.

In more desperate situations, firing anti-bio bombs at your own ship in order to hit the boarders can work, as do breach bombs (let all the air out of the room through the hull breach) and fire bombs (but only if you're really, really desperate; if you don't have the manpower to fight off the boarders you likely also don't have the manpower to contain the fire if it spreads).

... It suddenly strikes me that I've never tried to lure them onto my teleporter pads and beam them over to the enemy ship, so I can't tell whether that'd even work, but it's worth a try... EDIT: Turns out this does not work. Ah well.

  • 2
    I once had a fight inside the teleporter bay and decided to send the entire fight over to the enemy vessel. Only my own men got sent, much to my chagrin.
    – Steinin
    Commented Jan 14, 2013 at 14:54
  • 2
    Even level 2 doors are often enough to get rid of boarders as long as you give them enough time, they'll usually stop attacking your system to try to get away from the vented room.
    – bwarner
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 13:24
  • I wanted to point out that the teleporter is an excellent option as well, as I posted on the other duplicate of this question. :P Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 0:59

There are many solutions to this, depending on the resources you have available to you.

If you've upgraded your ship's doors, then venting atmosphere in the sections of the ship that has boarders is a good tactic, provided they've boarded in the outer parts of your ship. The doors will stop them from retreating to other parts of the ship without blowing up the doors, while the exposure to open space will cause quite a bit of damage to them - leaving you to either vent the next compartment as they get through the doors or send a party to meet up with your attackers once they've gotten through the door.

Another tactic is to lead your attackers to your medical bay, and fight them in the medical bay. While fighting in your medical bay you can power up your medical bay and heal your fighters as quickly as they're being damaged, removing the risk of death from the attack. You can of course fight out in the open but eventually you will need to swap out your attackers and heal them up.

It's also worth noting that different types of crew have different statistics in battle. Mantis for example do additional damage, while having no negative effect to their health whilst Engi do half damage and will die very quickly. Ensure your attack party is made up of Mantis or Rockmen (which have more base health and are immune to fire) to provide yourself with the strongest attack party you can.

  • I've you've? Wut?
    – childe
    Commented Jan 14, 2013 at 15:02

I usually try and overcome the boarders with superior firepower. Even if the boarders consists of Mantis you just need to make sure to protect you medbay. As long as it's intact you can heal. Try and keep two in the medbay in case the boarders go for it, they'll be practically invulnerable in there.

  • That's my natural instinct, but I often en up with damaged O2 and can't get my crew to repair it! (Still a newbie using the Kestrel).
    – brice
    Commented Jan 14, 2013 at 14:32
  • @brice - Don't be afraid to de-man systems in order to deal with breaches/fires/damaged systems and boarders. The only crewman I'd leave be (unless you're really desperate) is the pilot.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jan 14, 2013 at 23:03

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