In FTL, some sectors are marked "Civilian", some "Hostile", and some "Nebula".

Is there any reason why you might choose a Hostile or Nebula sector instead of a Civilian sector? Will you pick up more scrap from enemy encounters that way? Is that not cancelled out by scrap you might get from beneficial encounters in a civilian nebula?


1 Answer 1


That all depends on how beefy you are at the point that you choose where you're going. Civilian sector doesn't equal completely safe. A hostile sector, while a bit more unsafe, also generates a bit more reward for being risky. This is in the form of special encounters and shops. Also, as said before, if your ship is decked out and has more shields then most things do, you might be safe enough to trounce anything in a hostile sector, thereby gaining valuable scrap for nothing. Also note that you WILL have to defeat a large opponent at the end of the game, and you will NEED to have your crew leveled up on Helm, Shields, Weapons, and Engines before then. If you avoid every battle, this will never happen. Getting into fights and having them dodge things or charge the weapons is the only way they get exp. If you're having a hard time on a particular run of the game, choose neutral sectors. Otherwise, I would go for the more hostile ones myself.

  • Good point about the experience. Why do you mention shops for hostile sectors, though? Are you saying the shops in hostile areas have better stuff?
    – Jack M
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 12:21
  • @JackM Not necessarily better, but different and sometimes rarer.
    – Kevin
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 12:43
  • 1
    Also there are sector-specific events that can reward good (or at least different) stuff.
    – Affine
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 16:56
  • If hostile sectors offer me more reward why would I ever go through civilian sectors? Seems like it would just initiate a death spiral of being underpowered.
    – xjcl
    Commented Jun 17, 2017 at 17:34
  • When you're on a harder difficulty, your risk/reward ratio is a bit more lopsided. You 'might' be powerful, but that doesn't make hostile sectors a cake walk. I've had times where I have a ton of shields and weapons and power, only to take a hostile sector encounter in a nebula, forcing me to reroll a new run after my ship gets absolutely destroyed. You being powerful is not equal to you being invincible. Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 19:37

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