The perpetual night glimmers with Bradbury Complex’s neon-lit skyline. Violence has become a mundane, everyday occurrence, with psychotic circuitheads and frothing cyberjerks going at it like rabid hyenas given trigger fingers. The corporations and bigshots are perfectly happy with this bleak status quo, as these maniacs make good customers for the arms and augmentation market. You jump out of your car with a massive pain in your skull.
The closer you get to your destination, the stronger the chip-induced headache gets. Eventually, you plug your head into a computer. The headache reveals himself, and asks you to find the killer of his original, flesh-and-blood self. You oblige, because you can’t say no to some hotshot billionaire’s microchip-ghost stuck in your thinkbox. Welcome to Cyberika.
Cyberika is an awesome action-adventure MMORPG, very similar to Kefir’s Frostborn and Last day on Earth: Survival in terms of gameplay and made by the same people, with a heavy cyberpunk theme and entertaining writing. A game blessed with witty item flavor text and an intriguing story premise, expect bright neon and mohawked gunmen rather than snow and ancient giants.
Cyberika has a rather heavy emphasis on resource management. Twitch skill won’t win much here. This is all about preparation, determination, and fighting smart. You must pick your battles very carefully and make sure you gain more than you spend at the end of every shootout. While there is a PVP mode, by the time you unlock it you would be far from being a beginner, and the emphasis is on surviving and grinding PVE.
The point of this guide is for surviving Cyberika’s particularly ruthless earlygame: it only takes a couple of deaths, misspent healing items, and carelessly kept credits for things to spiral badly due to how equipment is damaged upon death. Worst of all, it’s usually when someone is new and unaware of how the game works when this does the greatest damage.
As such, we’ll be talking a lot about how to survive earlygame, how to avoid mistakes often done early on, and how to bounce back if you’ve made such mistakes. Strap up, jack in, and get ready for some learning!
1. Made By The Lowest Bidder
In an era of ultracapitalism, everything you own is manufactured by the lowest bidder. After all, if your your gun lasts forever, you won’t need to buy a new one, and the dealer can’t profit anymore! A fully repaired item normally lasts a couple of quests. Knowing this, save your good gear for the really rough missions or important quests. If you’re going out on a simple grind in say, the mid-level area in your current unlocked zone, bring some easily repairable equipment. Save your most murdertastic life-uninstallation device for the nastiest of criminal scum.
2. Responsible Banking
Never ever forget to drop your pocket credits into the ATMs downtown. This makes your credits spendable and safe from your butt getting kicked. You never want any loose credits on your person as much as you can help it, since you lose any loose credits after death. After a fight or two, stuff whatever loose credits you rightfully stole into the back of your car.
And after a run, always head downtown to deposit your totally legitimately gained currency. There are few greater regrets than accumulating a ton of loose credits only to lose them because you made the mistake of fighting five bad guys at once.
3. Fixing Firearms
Knowing that your guns are often easily destroyed, cheaply produced junk, a good gun is a rarity to be treasured. Save repair materials for your better weapons. Always check your rewards to see if they’re worth keeping: A grey tier gun on the higher end of its damage potential is going to be more useful to you than a higher-tier weapon with a bad or equal stat roll.
If you picked the Melee augment early on during character creation, good for you! That means you can use a good ol’ baseball bat instead, which are much easier to repair than guns and still rather powerful, since duct tape is more common than ammo boxes. Heck, even if you didn’t pick that augment, homerunning heads is still a perfectly good choice if you’re on a budget.
4. Inconsistent Manufacturing
Even if the gun’s name and looks are the same, their stats could be completely different. In fact, the stat randomness on equipment is so wide, you could find yourself using a fancy, expensive, high-tier dud with abysmal stats and a painful repair cost if you get unlucky. Since a weapon’s tier and type determines their repair cost, a grey tier weapon on the higher end of its potential damage scaling is a godsend. Their technically low tier ensures low repair costs, which is good since you can use it to grind while keeping fancier stuff for quests. Always read the stat numbers, not just the tier colors.
The ever present importance of item management in this game makes high tier weapons a gamble since their repair cost is often not good enough to justify whatever improved stats they get, essentially making them only useable for big quests and massively unprofitable for grinding. Note that this is more forgiving towards melee weapons: The difference between a grey and green tier melee weapon’s repair costs is smaller than that for guns, while maintaining similar stat potential. A green bat with a good stat roll (say, 28 damage, enough to oneshot a mutant hound and twoshot weaker human enemies) is actually worth using for both grinding AND quests!
5. Pharmaceutical Shopping Spree
Your first priority when going shopping Downtown is usually healing items, which are very important for surviving quests. Your HP pool doesn’t go up very fast even as you level up, with your max HP reward for every level being a grand spanking total of 1 hp. Wasting money on guns when you can find them in boxes and Contracts is generally inadvisable, and buying armor and clothing is only really good for covering up any unfilled armor slots before a big quest.
All this being said, an alternative is merely to keep doing single-box hit and runs while minimizing healing item use when you can and accumulating healing items when possible. Of course, the Regulators will quickly get on your case doing this.
6. Cracking Crates
Some boxes come with electronic locks. The instructions given to you in the game’s lock hacking tutorial are at best rather vague. Here’s an explanation: Check which of the vertical text lines on screen have letters that match the number key below. Then type the number in the same order as the text line shows.
7. Grab The Daily Free Reward!
Unlike most mobile games, Cyberika does its best not to tell you about your daily free reward, the Hacked Vending Machine. You can find it in the BradburySpace store by tapping the credit-card icon on your HUD and tapping Resources. You can come here once every 24 hours, and the items reset after a few weeks.
Always check this, since the game does not give you notifications if it’s ready. Don’t mistake this for Vending Machines you can find while adventuring, which cost 1000 credits to use with the price increasing after every use.
8. Duct Tape And Hope
Before even the Trashtrap Repair Station, you should get your armor and weapon repair stations up and running. Repair materials (specifically handgun bullets) can often be found even in the first level, which you will see often once you start attracting Regulators. Keeping your best gear topped up for the story missions and contracts is extremely important, and the sooner you can do it, the better.
9. Dying Is Pain
Don’t hesitate to grind lower level areas, because dying is a painful affair in this particular game. Not only do you lose any credits you have in your pockets, any guns or clothes you carry on your person also get damaged! And to add insult to injury, you lose EXP, though you cannot get leveled down no matter how many times you die.
This means you have to approach this game very carefully: Don’t hesitate to retreat should you find yourself in low HP and low on healing items. Always remember to run to your car and drop off any credits in its trunk, so you don’t lose them if everything goes to heck.
10. Nobody Powerwalks In The Future
At the very start of the game, you are given a choice between three Augments. Melee Mastery which gives your melee strikes a 2% (Small, but it’s there!) chance to do double damage, Accelerator which lets you walk 2% faster, and Hemoboost which increases the power of healing items. Melee Mastery 1 and Hemoboost are pretty okay, but Accelerator is particularly worthless.
The action of this game leaves you little room to escape combat, and once an attack is swung or a gun is fired, you’ll get hit by it even if it looks like it missed. Even without it,you’re already fast enough to run away from Regulators, and anything that isn’t either an attack dog or a gun owner. On the other hand, making the most out of your equipment and food fits the game’s general theme of heavy resource management.
11. Breach And Break
Doors, especially if you’re using a melee weapon, are a lifesaver in any indoor mission. Often, you will find enemies nested in an annoying firing position. Like the occasional gun guy hiding behind a long wall of desks, too far away for you to wring his sorry neck.
You could either run all the way to him while he shoots you full of holes, or aggro him and hide behind a door, or even any piece of cover too tall for bullets to go through. The AI’s sheer murderous, blind aggression will cause him to leave his comfy little camper nest and walk face-first into your baseball bat.
12. Another Man’s Trash
In grinding areas, there are quite a few small item chests scattered across the level, unmarked on your map. Keep an eye out for white trashcans with red lids, and large army-green dumpsters. These sometimes carry a bit of loot, usually a few materials and credits. Sometimes they carry nothing. They’re always worth checking unless you’re on a 5 star Disturbance milk run, and the Regulators want to legislate your kneecaps. If that’s the case, then you have no time to check them.
13. Handguns Early
Your first augment after the one you pick at the start of the game will be Pistol Mastery. This with the fact that shotguns are expensive to buy and maintain, have a small ammo capacity and are a massive pain in the cyberbutt to reload, means handguns are what you’ll mostly use for ranged combat early in the game. Sure shotguns are good if the enemy bunches together, but the enemy rarely ever bunches up, unless you managed to aggro them all into a door.
And if you angered enough enemies to make blasting them with a shotgun worth it, you might still die because, well, you’re outnumbered. Pistols are also easier to repair than shotguns, and won’t leave you hanging when some nutjob wants to shove a baseball bat up your left cybernostril thanks to their large mag capacities and fast reloads.
14. Hold Off On Those Pills!
Early on, the quests will give you quite a lot of powerful healing items that you cannot buy Downtown until later on. You should save as many of these healing items as possible, especially stuff like Painkiller Pills and Ambrosia Cocktails. Even at the cost of your own life, unless you’re close to leveling up.
Try not to use the Ambrosia and Painkillers at all, and save the rest for when you’re about to do a story quest, a Contract mission, or if you plan to grind in tougher areas. And if you do use them, you better not screw it up!
15. Tactical Cowardice
Contract levels vanish if you get killed in them. On the other hand, if you make it to your car and drive away if something goes wrong, the level stays as it was. That means whatever you already killed, stays dead for as long as the timer is still running.
Take it slow, and don’t be a hero. In the dark future of Cyberika, there is no room for heroism, and loads of room for dirty, dishonorable pragmatism. That being said, it doesn’t work for story missions or normal levels.
16. Shields Up!
Eventually, you get a quest that gets you a cool cybernetic arm, for the bargain bin price of a friend’s betrayal and a bullet to the shoulder. When you get the Shield Cybermodule for it, you’re set for as long as you have Cyberarm charges.
The lv1 shield can block up to 20 damage, which in this game is a decent number of hits, enough to save a precious Smart Bandage. It’s also a lifesaver if you’re forced to fight naked. Activate it if you’ve got a charge and are about to fight tougher enemies like bosses, Contract targets, and that pair of quest-mandatory Regulators before entering Skiptown.
17. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Get the Trashtrap Recycling Station as fast as you can. It can destroy useless junk weapons (ie anything that has poor stats) and convert them into repair material. You can then use that material on your best piece of kit and keep it topped up and ready for action. Not to mention destroying weak weapons frees up inventory space at home.
Just keep in mind that weapons at higher durability have better reward chances for scrapping, though even completely broken guns and bats can get you a lucky drop of bullets or duct tape. Keep the streets clean of poorly made guns! Do your part to reclaim our ruined, cyberfreak-infested world today!
18. Oh Heck It’s The Popo!
Regulators are tough and extremely dangerous policemen that only appear when your Disturbance Level in a certain district hits 5. Make no mistake, unless you’ve found the Shield Cybermodule and are carrying some really deadly weaponry, this guy will beat your punk head in like an egg. And even if you kill one, another may come to finish the job.
The worst part? Their drops are nowhere near worth the number of healing items you’ll chug killing one. It takes an hour for the Regulators to go away once you get their attention. They are the bane of earlygame since you won’t unlock other areas to farm in until later, so if you’ve made them mad, this might be a good time to take a break. Unless you plan on doing the next thing on our list…
19. No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem!
Sometimes, you really just need stuff now. You ain’t payin’ any premium currency Hyperkoin bribes to those filthy dang Regs. And you don’t want to wait a whole hour before you can play again, since earlygame is such a slow process with the existence of Regulators. If you’re stuck in the Cyberslum and have Regulators after your cyberbum, it is entirely viable to go in stark naked into the lv 1 area, and do hit and runs on nearby chests if you get lucky and spawn near one. You typically have just enough HP to beat up enough bad guys guarding a single chest with your bare fists, even if you’re hungry and didn’t bring any healing items.
Beat them up, grab the loot in the box, and run before the Regulators force you to put your pants back on. If the box has pistol ammo in it, it’s already worth it even if the Regulator clubs your cyberface in and takes your wallet. That being said, you should still try to make it to your car and cram the local punks’ lunch creds into its trunk.
20. Not Quite Military Training
While Regulators are very, very hard to kill, they have one utterly hilarious weakness: As spawned enemies rather than pre-placed enemies, Regulators have very poor walk pathing compared to the local screwheads. Regulators don’t spawn in a completely random area. Instead, they spawn in whatever map exit or chokepoint is closest to you, and out of your vision.
With certain map layouts, this completely messes them up since they will always take the straightest path to you, and don’t take walls into account. If you get lucky, a wall will get in their way, giving you loads of time to loot that box and run back to your car. Just pray they’re not carrying a shotgun, nothing will save you from that if you’re on a naked 5-star Disturbance milkrun, since they might be waiting for you near the exit.
21. All In
On the opposite end of going in naked or wearing cheap gear while grinding, you should go all in when doing an important mission. Bring your fanciest and most repaired gear, eat some food and bring a load of healing items, heck bring an extra weapon in your car’s trunk. Going in cheap during hard missions is likely to end with you having nothing but loads of busted equipment, wasted healing items, and zero progress.
On the other hand, the massive credit reward for completing missions, and the better gear you get from Contracts can be worth whatever repair bill your current gear suffers. At least, if you don’t die, which is the point of bringing your best gear in the first place!
22. Coffee And Donuts
Your Disturbance level goes up by one every time you go into a PVE area. This doesn’t take into account how many people you kill, boxes you loot, etc. Just how many times you enter an area in the same district over and over. Go for higher level farming areas while your Disturbance level is low, and don’t go in totally naked! Bring your easily repairable farming gear and a few healing items. That way you make the most of your time without having Regulators ruining everything for you.
23. Don’t Pay Toll Fees
In between levels, you will find yourself in a little driving minigame that acts as an interactive loading screen. You have the option to pay credits to skip this. You should never EVER pay credits to skip this. The credit loss racks up over time, especially since the price is often enough to cancel the credit reward of cracking a low-level box open. Either play the minigame to speed things up, or let your autopilot drive the car for you while you go get a snack. Toll fees and speeding tickets are for losers!
24. Gunzilla Threshold
So you’re a rookie, and you played a couple of missions. The boss dropped a pretty-looking assault rifle. You look at it and groan in pain. It has decent stats, but it’s Generation 2! All you have is the dinky little Generation 1 repair station, so this gun won’t last very long. If this has ever happened to you, keep that above-your-tier gun as a car trunk gun.
Basically, break it out during an emergency and use it to finish a particularly difficult quest, aware that you won’t be able to use it again for a while. Like say, when you’re in that specific mission where you have to kill a pair of Regulators. If you got lucky and the stats are good enough to justify its repair cost, keep its corpse in your house until you can repair it. Oh and remember, you can’t use Generation 2 gun parts to fix Generation 1 guns, and vice versa. So scrapping it won’t do you much good until later in the game.
25. Go In With A Goal
When grinding, always make a point to prioritize a specific material you want. You only have so little inventory space even in your car. If you found a weak pair of brass knuckles and it’s preventing you from getting, say, that box of pistol ammo you so desperately need, you may need to drop it or leave it. After all, why use dinky low-stat-roll knuckles if you can fix your gun back home?
26. Food! Glorious Food!
Once you unlock the Kitchen, you have no more reason to fight hungry. Food items are generally rather cost efficient, keeping your max HP up, giving you a decent buff, and costing a small amount of credits. A measely 120 credits buying 3 tacos will last you long enough for a couple of runs, and will pay for itself assuming you don’t screw up, get killed, and break all your equipment.
Of note are everything from Fat&Fried and The Slurp Shop. Everything from Fat&Fried gives direct combat buffs like added Defense and Damage, while everything from The Slurp Shop gives extra EXP gain. Fat&Fried foods are great for dealing with dangerous levels and finishing quests. Anything from The Slurp Shop is good for grinding and bullying lower level areas and making the most of them, though taking them to more dangerous areas is a high-risk high-reward option.
27. Slim Fit Diet
That being said, 20-30 out of 100 Satiety is usually good enough for any run, even if you take it slow and run all the way back to your car every time you find credits. There is very little reason to go into a mission with 100 Satiety. Another thing that will prevent you from dying of cholesterol overdose? The fact that different food buffs do not stack.
The newest thing you ate immediately overwrites whatever buff your previous meal gave you. Because of this, there is no point to buying five different meals and eating them all before a big fight to become some culinarily-powered superman. Makes sense considering you’d just upchuck if you did the same thing in real life.
Once you get past the suffering that is being stuck in the Cyberslum, you’ll find that everything starts rolling more smoothly. The combat in later areas may be a bit tougher due to higher enemy variety and more annoying placement, but individual foes don’t get that much stronger.
And you’ll find that the rewards are good enough that you can do hit-and-run single box trips in harder zones, grind low level areas easily and bully low-level Contracts with contemptuous impunity. Ironically, in the high-speed computerized city of Bradbury Complex, slow grinding determination beats the rush of impatience and instant gratification.
And this is the end of our Cyberika beginner’s guide. If you guys have your own tips or tricks to share, any disagreements, or anything to say at all, have a chat in the comment section below!