Fractured Space Assassin Guide?by Tabbykatze
This guide is a personal experience of how I have learnt to play the Assassin to help others learn to use the Assassin to the best of it?s abilities. Please read Jeriah?s guide on all ships loadouts first so you can have a greater understanding of what is talked about below 🙂
Introduction to the Assassin
First Things First
The Assassin is an incredibly powerful ship but also middling in it?s survivability and is only just ahead of the Frigate, Disruptor and Corvette. This is ship is not designed to enter into a firefight and duke it out head to head with another ship. I personally would not advise starting to use this ship to learn the game as some of the tactics you should employ can be quite complex in regards to movement, targeting and the usage of the abilities. If you are just beginning on Fractured Space I would advise using the Enforcer as it?s abilities and weaponry are very similar to the Assassin?s but has a much higher survivability in combat.
What this Guide will Attempt to Show You
In this guide I will give the best rundown of what best to do as an Assassin, how to use your abilities and what the Assassin excels against and what it sucks against. Some terminology I will be using may be a little complex but I will try my best to break it down so it?s easy to understand by all.
At the time of writing this guide I have logged many many hours of playing as an Assassin and all details in this guide are concerning the current status of the game as of Patch #5 and I will attempt to update this guide as the game progresses if anything changes. If I have missed out anything or you feel that something should be added/expanded upon, please feel free to let me know in a comment below.
The Assassin has three different types of weaponry it can employ and one interchangeable ability (the Decoy). Each weapon has it?s positives and negatives which will be notated to give you the best idea of the weapon you?d like to choose.
All weapons employed by the Assassin are unguided and should be used <5000m for rockets and <3000m for Plasma Caster (reason given in it?s details).</b>
This guide is written from the perspective of a Level 0 ship so do note this when reading and at high levels obviously cooldown timers will shorten and damage will be increased. In future I may add in the per level cooldown times.
All Weapons have a 10 second cooldown starting.
Weapon usage note: When using any Assassin weapon against moving targets you should track and estimate where the enemy will be to be able to allow all your shots to hit for maximum damage.
The rockets are the first weapon that the Assassin can choose and fires a salvo of 16 unguided rockets in quick succession which on first hit don?t do very much damage. However as each rocket hits the enemy it depletes the armour of the enemy which allows you to take advantage of the increased damage modifier straight away in your firing streak. The depletion of the enemies armour occurs around the 4th ? 5th shot so that leaves 10 shots with the increased damage.
The effective range of the rockets is 7,500m (10,000m max) as after that their damage is reduced. The rockets move with a decent speed meaning that easy pre-aiming to account for enemy moved can be done quite easily when the enemy is <5000m (with the exception of the Disruptor and Frigate whose speed can dodge rockets with ease >3000m if used by a switched on pilot).
Best use: Against slow moving targets at range, you can fire them from a reasonable distance otherwise Plasma Caster
The Plasma Caster is the second weapon available to the Assassin as is possibly one of the most annoying to all light ships and to other Assassins. A spread of 8 plasma charges is fired at your enemy. Each time a charge hits it adds a 10 second Damage Over Time (DOT) effect and if you manage to hit the enemy with all 8 charges then the DOT effect will be at 300 damage per second. I haven?t been able to tell how many need to hit to get the full damage effect but have noticed it drops to 100 if some miss. The reason why this weapon is so problematic to the enemy is that the DOT effect lasts after a jump meaning if an enemy is trying to run they will still receive damage. The Plasma Caster does not deplete armour like other weapons do as the spread of the weapon can cause some shots to hit to hit armour in different sections however a full salvo will deplete the enemies armour on the 6th hit if all shots hit the same section.
Against Assassins it?s even worse, the DOT breaks the cloak meaning that they will stay visible until the DOT expires, this is extremely useful against the enemy as it means they can?t sneak off, cloak and come back with a vengeance.
The Plasma Caster is absolutely a close range weapon as the charges are so slow moving that using them against any target >3000m without pre-aiming and even then it?s touch and go if they move in either direction away from where you?ve aimed. Their actual range is 5000m and seems to do less damage outside of 4000m, that may be due to some misses as they do spread out a small amount over distance.
Something to note is that if you crash into an enemy on your sides, some/most of the bolts do not actually cause damage. This may be a bug or intentional as I have not encountered this with other ships.
Best Use: Point blank range is the best use for this weapon due to the slow travel time.
Personal Note: As said in the Rockets personal note, this was my favourite weapon for the majority of the time playing as an Assassin and still is if I feel like a bit of trolling.
The Heavy Rockets is the last weapon available to the Assassin and it slowly fires a salvo of 8 slow moving rockets towards your target. The Heavy Rocket?s speed is less than that of the Rockets but does higher damage per rocket when it hits and armour depletion occurs around the 3rd shot and the successive hits will have the increased damage modifier. Something to take into consideration is that due to the slow firing and slow moving nature of the rockets that if any miss it will severely hamper your position in a fight. However against a slow moving/stationary target it?s absolutely deadly if a full salvo hits the same spot but fast moving targets are extremely problematic to get a full salvo to hit.
The range for the heavy rockets is the most out of all of the weapons in the Assassins arsenal at around 12,500m (15,000 actual). After 12,500m the rockets do less damage to their target. However unless you?re firing at a Flagship which isn?t boosting or against a stationary Sniper, the Heavy Rocket?s slow speed means you really want to be using them at close range.
Best Use: Close range
Best Weapons to use Against Other Ships
- Sniper: Any weapon will do however the Plasma Caster edges ahead as it?s DOT will still damage even during the bubble and after they?ve jumped but you?re unlikely to get a kill unless they?re already damaged. The Rockets/Heavy Rockets at high levels can one shot a Sniper if they don?t bubble and all rockets hit the same spot.
- Frigate: Plasma Caster hands down and this is because the DOT effect will damage them even after they?ve put up their directional shield leaving you time to escape and wait for their shield to drop.
- Corvette: Rockets are the best against the Corvette as the amount of rockets fired means that more damage will be done during the Corvettes bubble shield and can one hit KO if their shield is down. The Plasma Caster is not very effective against the Corvettes shield as the damage reduction means that they can shrug it off and run away.
- Flagship: Both Heavy Rockets and Rockets are good against the flagship and can take it down in 3-5 salvos if you hit all the shots at the same side. If you have a Plasma Caster, only engage a Flagship if you have heavy support as the damage output you will do will mean you will die, horribly.
- Assassins: Plasma Caster as it breaks the cloak but any weapon will do as it?s down to the skill of pilot. However 2-4 solid salvoes of either Rockets will destroy an Assassin.
- Disruptor: Rockets as their repair drones can heal through the DOT effect of the Plasma Caster and the ships speed means they can easily avoid most of the Heavy Rockets shots. At high levels, a full rocket salvo can destroy/almost destroy a Disruptor.
- Enforcer: Rockets are the best because the Enforcer is pretty nippy so can dodge Heavy Rockets and the incredible damage output of their weapons means you don?t want to be in a firefight long with them which is why the Plasma Caster isn?t top.
- Hunter: Either Rockets or Heavy Rockets will do as the ship is slower than an enforcer. The Plasma Caster is also effective against the Hunter as if they blink away they will still receive damage.
Choose your weapon wisely?
Abilities ? Cloak
Overview of the Assassin?s Cloak, it?s Functions and Best Uses
Cloak is the best weapon in your arsenal, this can get you close to an enemy, hide from enemy or lie in wait for an unsuspecting ship. The cloak starts with a 10 second cooldown.
The specific way it works are reasonably complex but easy to get used to:
Firstly, any damage breaks you out of cloak for 2 seconds then you recloak so watch out for Frigates with scalpel beam (I?ll tell you how to escape them later) and Flagships (same escape tactic as Frigates). You are also technically still visible when you?re cloaked as when an enemy passes their cursor over you it will show there is something closer that is there, a very perceptive enemy will keep an eye out for this when scanning for you. Cloak breaks any missile locks and the Corvettes homing plasms charges but if you don?t move, the missiles/plasma go towards your last known location so move quickly. Firing also breaks your cloak and forces it to enter cooldown but jumping does not!
Secondly, the cloak charge depletes as you move and regenerates when you?re still and as far as i?m aware if you?re staying still the cloak is indefinite (longest cloak for me is at 2 minutes). Once the cloak is depleted it will break you out of cloak and enter cooldown. The cloak regenerates behind the cooldown as well so if the cooldown is shorter at higher levels or under the effect of the Gas Power debuff then you can activate cloak faster than it has time to fully recharge. The cloak depletes faster the quicker you move so if you?re moving forwards and strafing it depletes at almost double the rate. Moving up and down in cloak depletes the cloak charge minimally.
Thirdly, there are several ship abilities that can break your cloak that you should be aware ofand they are:
- Disruptor: Detect Stun ? This is a yellowish AOE ability which breaks your cloak. This has around a 3000-4000m radius and also slows your ship.
- Enforcer: Detect ? This is a bluish wave emanating from the ship and has an AOE distance of around 3000m, breaks your cloak and forces it into a cooldown. After you have been detected you can still cloak and so far the blue waves pulsating from your own ship don?t seem to give you away.
- Frigate: Detector Drone ? The Frigate targets a location and fires a drone into it that projects a 5000m across blue Sphere which breaks your cloak if you enter it, easy to avoid but can be a hassle.
- Corvette: Disable Abilities ? This can only break your cloak if it actually hits you by sheer luck or if they watch their cursor. But either way if they fire it at you cloaked or uncloaked it breaks your cloak and shuts down your abilities for a period of time.
Lastly while in cloak you cannot capture any stations or repair at a station, you must be out of cloak to do so. If you?re in an enemy held station, it does not break your cloak but you will be visible as an untargetable entity but they can still shoot you and break your cloak.
How to use your Cloak
The cloak can be hard to use, especially against experienced or other Assassin-savvy pilots so I?ll try and explain the best way to use it below:
Hiding is two fold ability: lying in wait or hiding from your enemy. This is the best way to inflict damage without using other cooldowns. When you?re still your cloak is not depleted and recharges if you?ve just been moving and if there was a ship moving towards your or the station you?re at, just sit there and wait till they?re close, you don?t waste a blink then. The best use of this is singing the Jaws Theme Tune while sneaking up on a sniper.
Out of this whole guide, this is one of the hardest things to do which really boils down to how switched on your enemy is and sheer luck sometimes. I can?t tell you a specific method on how to escape using a cloak as any method you do use might not work on someone else. The best things this small section of the guide can tell you is examine your enemy and what they do and what the enemy is.
Three things I can tell you straight away are this:
- Cloaking against a Frigate? Pfft, wasting time unless they?re not using a scalpel beam.
- Cloaking against a Flagship? Prepare to be flak/photon spammed back to reality and with a 10,000m range and engine disable you ain?t getting away easy. (The image above is one of the very few times I managed to escape a flak spammer)
- Your decoy is your best friend to escape an enemy.
The best methods to employ when cloaking to escape are to immediately switch directions once you?ve cloaked, you?re an easy catch if you keep going the same direction. Sometimes you can successfully escape by pulling an all stop and letting your enemy pass, this can work especially well against Enforcers if you cloak right after they?ve fired.
Blinking while Cloaked
(explained in the Blink section)
Using Blink to escape is the other best method to escape and this can be either blinking to a friend, blinking to another enemy (cheeky but can work!) or blinking to your Decoy (most consistently effective method and more details about it will be explained in the Decoy section). If it gets too hot, place your Decoy somewhere away from the battle and blink to it, this will take you to around 6000m away and give you time to cloak and move appropriately to dodge any feeler shots your enemy will fire at it. If you?re trying to escape a Flagship, you must make sure you?re at least 5000-6000m away from the ship before deploying your Decoy else the bursts from their weapons if they fire at it will break you?re cloak and you?re back to square 1.
Jumping doesn?t break your cloak nor does it enter cooldown. When you?re jumping out of system, other players can see your jump vortex and may shoot at you and you?re hard to track but they can?t target you so you?re safe from Assassin/Enforcer Blinks. When you jump into a system while cloaked, your enemies will hear the noise and if they?re looking the right way, they may see the flash but you should move immediately after jump. Use this to your advantage, especially against Gas Station and capping enemy held Stations.
In a Nutshell
This section of the guide is the cloak in a nutshell and how to use it to it?s maximum potential to really be nasty to your friends and enemies!
Personal favourite moments with a cloak:
- The enemy are capping the station allowing them to jump to your home base, wait till they?re finished while sitting right on top of them, when they start jumping you decloak, ambush and open fire. Against lesser targets it?s an insta kill and really nails heavier targets. Like the poor Hunter shown here.
- Moving alongside a Flagship and as soon as it opens fire on someone else, hitting it and running away.
- Waiting till an Enforcer has shot it?s load either trying to find your or at someone else and giving it a full salvo and watching them panic (If you?re reading this KnightTemplar, i?m sorry <3).</font>
- Sitting at station which allows your team entry to the homebase and when they try to cap it back you pop out of nowhere and give them all you got.
- Using a cloak to escape your enemies, it?s extra special when you escape a Frigate or Flagship!
Abilities ? Target Blink, Ambush & Decoy
This section explains the uses of Ambush, Blink and Decoy, when to use them and when not to. There are limited uses to all the abilities so that is why they?re all in one section.
Target Blink is, apart from cloaking, the most useful abilitiy you have. It has a 7500m range and can be used to close the distance between you and an enemy instantly, to cross a small distance with Decoy or to get to a friend to assist them in attacking or capping a station.
Target Blink starts off with a 20 second recharge time.
To use Blink, you must have targeted a player/Decoy with ?T?/assigned Target key or hovering over them then then activating. It has a 0.5s charge up time then it puts you to around 1500-2000m of your target on the side of the target which you were on pre-Blink.
There?s not much to explain about the Target Blink as it does what it says on the tin but below are some Dos, Don?ts and Tips:
- Do use your blink to escape which can mean not using it during your fight so you have it ready if things are heated
- Don?t use your blink when you?re cloaked and you could just move towards your enemy or let them come to you instead, save those Cooldowns for important things!
- Do use your blink early in the game to get to stations quicker if there are no contacts using your Decoy
- Don?t use your blink with your decoy to get to a station right before an enemy, fly towards them instead.
- Tip ? Turn yourself in the direction your enemy is moving when blinking as your momentum is momentarily halted and it can cause problems firing or staying close to them
- Tip ? Sometimes just blink while cloaked to get beside an enemy and move alongside them cloaked while waiting for your blink to nearly recharge before opening fire so you can use it to escape if needs be.
Ambush is an ability to use right before you fire or when you fire at an enemy and breaks your cloak when you use it. When your enemy is hit by ambush they are affected by the Ambush debuff which lasts 8 seconds and any shots from you or, as far as I?m aware, any friendly increase the damage by around 60-80%.
Ambush starts off with a 20 second cooldown.
Take note, if you?re fighting in the same system as a friendly sniper and they?re in range and have line of sight of your target, waiting for them to Mark Target before opening fire with Ambush is best. This is because the damage modifier increase of Ambush and Mark Target from the sniper stack so yours and the Sniper?s damage is increased.
There are three different types of Decoy: Jump Decoy, Shield Decoy and Decoy Drone.
Shows up on the minimap, and creates an object identical to an Assassin at a set distance from the target. The decoy does display spotting information, but does not move, shoot, or do pretty much anything of value beyond absorbing damage (to a set amount) and acting as a target for your Blink. Damage taken by the Decoy does not display floating numbers, which veteran players will instantly recognize.
No, it does not give you a shield. This create the decoy at a much shorter range with five times more health. great for absorbing fire long enough to get your Cloak back online. This can be great for tossing the Decoy between you and your enemy, shielding you from fire long enough to get back under Cloak.
One of the most common tactics with Assassin is to toss out your Decoy, target it, and jump to it. This lets you get around the ?to target? requirement of your blink, and can bring you to safety. This decoy will spawn at near maximum range of your Blink to Target ability.
Tactics for 1v1s with every ship:
vs Flagship: A very stiff matchup. Stay within 7000-8000; any closer and you?ll be easy to hit, any further and the splash will get you anyway. This range requires a direct his and is the furthest you can safely open. Use this window. You should also wait for your rockets to be at least half way to target before using Ambush, just in case. Expect to be hit by Disable and take some hits, so be sure you have your Decoy or another target in range to jump to. Better to Blink next to an enemy Enforcer or Hunter than take the pounding from a Flagship. Once you Blink, move away from your target, as a good Flagship will point whatever it was you jumped to in the chance you?re still in the area. After your first volley, try to position your next attack from an unexpected direction (this can be the same direction as the initial attack, depending on circumstances). If you?ve given yourself sufficient time to maneuver, your Ambush should be recharge; do not bother with a second volley unless Ambush is back up. If your first two Ambushes have done well, you may not need to re-cloak. Instead, you may be able to tank hits until your Rockets recharge, and finish him. If you feel the Flagship isn?t low enough after your second volley, do your best to mitigate attacks (by blinking or simply trying to fly out of range, depending on the situation, your distance to target, and if you?ve been Disabled or not).
vs Hunter: Never fight without nearby cover. If they are a quick blink Hunter, expect to only land half your shots. If they?re ranged blink, open once they?ve blown the Blink and are eating the cooldown (or be willing to let them get away). Do not Blink to Hunters unless you are sure you will be able to open immediately; they will Try your best to open on them while facing their flank; this not only gives you the largest possible target, but will reduce return fire. If you are visible when you blink away, expect the Hunter to follow you with a fast blink-detect combo. Try to bait the detect out, as it has a fairly long cooldown.
vs Frigate: If you don?t have to fight a Frigate, I wouldn?t. If at all possible, wait for the Frigate to be stationary and be within the Screen. If you need to re-stealth, try your best to time Blink-Cloak for the start of the last moment of the Scalpel Beam (and start with Cloak). Even then, server lag can still leave you visible when arriving. Try to place your Decoy as far from the Frigate?s current facing as possible to give yourself the greatest chance of getting away. Always try to open in a Frigate while travelling in the same direction and preferably while on the same X or Y axis. If you have no choice but to fire while Screen is up, there are options. Blink to your target while moving at an intercept angle, and continue moving until your winglets have passed the Screen?s barrier. Only then do you Ambush and fire your rockets. If you are cloaked (and the Frigate isn?t 6+ and has Gas II or III), wait for the screen to drop before beginning your next attack run ? but be ready to go the moment it drops!
vs Enforcer: If you can, bait out the Blink. Don?t be afraid to open at ranges of up to 4000 ? Enforcers don?t have terrific lateral and vertical movement, so leading a target isn?t overly difficult. Also, don?t get discouraged because you are at low health ? they?re every bit as squishy as you, and their weapon is more prone to issues than yours. Once they?ve finished firing, take your time to recloak and wait out your next Ambush. Odds are Boost will be down ? if they do Boost in combat, try using Blink before they get out of range. This will at worst put you in range to blink again once it comes off cooldown. If you?re on low health, try to keep out of point-blank range, and always do your best to open from the sides or rear (as they are similar to Hunters in needing forward-facing turrets to deal maximum damage).
vs Sniper: Use cover and evasion to mitigate the Sniper?s damage. Once the nameplate appears, cloak and make straight for them. Once you use Blink, wait a moment to see if the Sniper will reflexively use Shield and Jump. If you time it correctly, you can still kill a Sniper between Shield dropping and Jump completion, due to the 4x damage multiplier. Remember, Snipers can only hit you with missiles from behind, so if you can get behind them, you won?t need to use Cloak to wait out your next volley.
vs Disruptor: The best angle to attack a Disruptor is from above or below, preferably while moving along the same X-axis. Disruptor?s agility is very comparable to Frigate, so many of the same rules apply. Prefer a slow/stopped target, try to ensure you are travelling on at least one shared axis bwfore Blinking or Ambushing, etc.. Don?t worry much about the Disruptor?s damage until you drop below 20%. Also, be sure you have not been Disarmed before using Ambush ? losing the cooldown can be worse than letting the target heal from a failed run.
vs Corvette: Disable Abilities hurts, but in 1v1 isn?t much of an issue, as you can wait out the disable. The Corvette is a very large target from above or below, so come at them from these angles whenever possible.Smart Gun can behave like Missiles, so time your Cloak correctly. It is possible for a Corvette to survive your initial volley, through Shield and Leech Drones, but isn?t very common. Otherwise, Corvettes are very easily killed.
vs Assassin: In mirror matches, it generally comes down to skill. You should always keep your Blink in reserve to avoid Ambushes! If you are confident in your reaction speed (and server response) you can simply sit and wait for the other Asssassin to open, and Blink to them before you take much/any damage. You can usually line your return fire up before they recloak. If you?re opening on another Assassin, try placing your Decoy before you fire, and letting the enemy Blink to you before you Blink away. Try to remain distant enough that the enemy cannot reliably land counter-fire without using Blink. If the enemy Decoy-Blinks, try throwing out your Decoy away from theirs, but Blink to the enemy Decoy. Often, this is done in an attempt to buy enough distance to Jump or run, and will result in the upper hand for you.
Missiles: If you?ve got missiles incoming, and they are less than 2.5 seconds from impact (or you are slowed and they are at least 5 seconds away), wait to re-Cloak until the missiles have impacted. They will continue to your last position, and will knock you out of Cloak just like any other hit. Also, missiles will reacquire you if your Cloak breaks or you Blink away, so be careful while missiles are in flight.
A skilled opponent can spot you while cloaked by paying attention to the aiming dot. The dot automatically matches the convergence point, and the convergence point will detect you through stealth (and therefore cause the aiming dot to appear close to you than the background, giving away your position).
Blinking gives an audible cue to everyone nearby, including enemies. This can warn them you are about to attack, so plan accordingly.