In FTL, the key to reaching and defeating the final boss is to have a well-equipped ship, both in terms of purchased modules and upgrades to your systems. This all depends on having plenty of scrap to spend on both.

What are your tips/techniques for increasing the amount of scrap you bring in?

2 Answers 2


Take ships intact when possible

Acquire a Crew Teleporter so that you can send boarding parties over to capture ships intact. Intact ships tend to yield more scrap, plus sometimes other benefits such as free crew members (such as when you take over a slave ship). Starving them of O2 is also a possibility, but I personally have trouble making that one work very often. Don't worry about damaging the ship, the only thing that matters is that you don't destroy it.

Don't be afraid to accept surrender from enemies that are near death, particularly in early systems. Not only are the rewards often as good or better than what you'd get if you destroy them, but it means the fight ends sooner and you end up taking less hull damage compared to finishing the fight out (assuming you didn't completely outclass them). Later in the game this seems to change a bit and destroying them is often worth more than having them surrender (unless, again, they'll beat up your hull a lot while you finish them off).

See Also:

Scrap Recovery Arm

This one is pretty obvious. Get the Scrap Recovery Arm in the early sectors. The earlier you get it the earlier that +10% scrap bonus will pay back the 50 credits you had to spend on it. Probably not worth picking up in, say, Sector 7.

Make use of the "special" traders

You'll often run into special encounters where you can trade fuel for missiles, drone parts for scrap, etc. Decide early on what your end-game strategy is and sell the stuff you don't need whenever possible. If you're not going to use drones, unload those drone parts every chance you get, since you won't have any other use for them. Keep an eye out for good deals. Even if you plan on using missiles, trading 2 missiles for 10 fuel is a good deal unless you've already got a huge surplus of fuel. Also, and this can be risky, don't always repair your hull to full at a store in the early sectors. You can probably get by on half hull unless you get really unlucky, and there are quite a few encounters that let you repair hull cheaply or even for free. I tend to start repairing to full at stores starting around sector 6, because by then I've got enough time invested in the game to not want to die to bad luck. Early on, though, it's worth the gamble to me.

Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em

In the early sectors, you want to hit every node possible before the Rebel fleet catches up with you. The more scrap you get now, the higher you'll stay on the power curve, which means you'll be better prepared for later encounters. This in turn means you'll have less hull repairs and be in a better position to take tough enemy ships intact. Personally, I'd rather risk it all and die spectacularly in the first three zones then play them super cautiously and load all that risk into the later zones that I'm now ill-prepared for. If I'm going to die, I want it to happen early!

That said, though, know when sticking around in a fight isn't worth it. Assuming you maximized your encounters in the first few sectors, by the mid point you might want to start avoiding tough encounters and just warp away. Ships with high shields and strong missiles often aren't worth the cost of fighting, since by the time you destroy them you've taken a ton of hull damage. This effect is amplified in zones with asteroid fields, ion storms, or solar flares. Speaking of which...

Consider getting Long-range Scanners

I wouldn't get these until about sector 4 or 5, as I tend to have better things to do with my scrap before then, but these are pretty cheap and can be a huge benefit in saving your hull from a trashing. I find that early in the game, I can weather ion storms fairly well, but later in the game losing 50% of my power severely hampers my ability to compete with enemy ships, which don't seem to have lost 50% of their effectiveness. This can often be a quick ticket to game over for me if I run into a tough enemy ship, as it can rip me apart pretty quickly.

  • this is the best way. I always try to accept capture ships intact for the biggest gain, be it from boarding or suffocating them with ion.
    – l I
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 14:01
  • 1
    I should start a question about how to use Ion cannons effectively, because I never seem to be able to really pull of anything useful with just one of them.
    – Sterno
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 14:07
  • you really need 2, or at least 1 weapon and one bomb. I normally just target their weapons and their oxygen at the same time. I really like the engi ship since it starts with an ion and the teleporter is right next to the medbay
    – l I
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 14:28
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    About starving them of O2: one thing to look out for is that the O2 subsystem on the Slug light ship is entirely isolated. This means that if it takes damage, the crew can't get in to repair it. You should always be able to take those ships for maximum scrap unless they have a ridiculous weapon system and you need to shut them down quick.
    – Tacroy
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 18:27
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    @Tacroy Ha, whoever designed that ship must have special hatred for spacefarers. "You know that system that's absolutely essential to your survival? I've sealed it away so no maintenance whatsoever can be performed on it. You'll just have to hope it never suffers any sort of damage..." Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 12:43

An obvious one - minimise the amount of scrap (or scrap equivalent) you spend on things which aren't making your ship more powerful.

Specifically, I'm thinking of avoiding damage that you will otherwise have to pay to repair. The less you have to spend on repairs, the more you'll have left over for other purposes. Remember that you can get free repairs from a variety of (usually random) sources, so it may not be cost-effective to repair to full. (But also remember that the repair cost increases as you go through the sectors, so repairing at a shop near the exit may be cheaper than doing so in the next sector.)

Plus minimising ammo usage to a reasonable degree means you'll need to pay less to buy more missiles/drone parts. If you're able to defeat an enemy without using your missile launcher, for example, it's better to save the missiles for tougher fights. (Balance this against the first point - if using a missile that costs 3 scrap saves you from taking 6 scrap's worth of hull damage, use the missile.) There is a cap here - once you're frugal enough that you never need to buy any ammo, using less won't gain you anything.

Also, when fighting enemy ships, try to capture them intact by destroying all of the crew - rather than destroying the ship's hull.

This is typically done by sending boarding parties to fight in close combat via the teleporter, but any method which kills the crew works, including boarding drones, draining all the oxygen (taking the O2 system down and keeping it down for a while), direct damage to the crew with lasers/beams/missiles/bombs, and indirect damage from fires.

This isn't an option with automated craft, however, as there's no crew to kill.

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