In the last game, I've got the Ion Beam Weapon (which can disable shields) in the first sector. In this game all enemies in the 2nd sector happened to have 2 levels of shield, thus I lost on 4th due to the inability to break these shields (and no power to use Ion Weapon).

In previous games, I've never seen more than 1 ship with 2 level shields in second or even third sectors. Does it mean that the game adapts the enemies to your ship's setup?

If yes, how can I handle that? Will selling/destroying the weapons which are too powerful for the first sector help?

  • 15
    enemy strength is only dependent on sector #. The later sectors will have stronger enemies. And of course, RNG always hates you in rogue-likes, remember that.
    – l I
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 21:36
  • Could you have jumped away?
    – kleineg
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 16:43

2 Answers 2


No, enemy strength doesn't depend on the weapons you have available.

Your situation may have been the result of going into a sector where enemies are more likely to have higher shields (I don't know whether there's a sector type that does this, but sector types do affect what enemies you see), or simple chance (you've only had this happen on one run so far, after all).

  • 12
    The Zoltan sectors have higher concentrations of Zoltan ships, which can often have overshields or higher level shields. "the Zoltan race pioneered a unique ship-based shielding technology which can be found on nearly every Zoltan vessel." Found on ftl.wikia.com/wiki/Races/Zoltan
    – Ataxia
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 23:01
  • @Ataxia Does that mean they have extra layers of regular shields, though, or just the special Zoltan super-shield?
    – Brilliand
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 18:50

From experience, I believe the game tries to take into consideration both the system you're in as well as whatever upgrades you did on your ship.

I've played several games aggressively (meaning, trying to visit all possible beacons in the first sector, boarding ships, etc) and very rarely did any ship in the following sectors have less than 2 levels of shielding, most likely because by then I had a semi-upgraded ship, that would stand a better chance against weaker enemies.

On the other hand, when I started to play the game (and didn't optimize my path as well as I do now), I do remember the enemies on the 2nd and even third sector being on par with me.

As far as weapons go, I don't believe there is a specific relationship between what weapons you have and what enemies you face, mostly because I have never seen an enemy develop a specific strategy against my choice of weapons. However, I do notice that if you upgrade your Engines or your Subsystems, the enemies you face would be harder than they would be if you didn't upgrade your systems, for the same sector.

  • Have you tried tracking statistics to make sure this isn't just confirmation bias?
    – bwarner
    Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 12:37
  • Haven't had the time to play the game in order to gather statistics needed to prove this. During the holidays I'll try to look into this. Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 22:13

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