The Technomancer tips and tricks: Your guide to surviving the Red Planet
Although it hasn’t had quite the publicity of other games in its genre, don’t go sleeping on Spiders and Focus Home Interactive’s action RPG, The Technomancer. It’s a huge game, packed with dozens of hours of gameplay. There’s so much to it that you can’t really get an idea of what it really is until you’re already deep into it. With that in mind, we have some Technomancer tips and tricks that can help you make the early going easier.
There are going to be a lot of people that play The Technomancer for a few minutes then decide it isn’t for them. It’s a lengthy game, and many of the features that define it don’t unlock until hours in. If you stick with it though, it becomes opens up into something impressive. To give you an idea of the scale, you won’t even get a full team until well over the 10+ hour mark.
The Technomancer is also a fairly challenging game. You can’t just rush in and button mash, you need to know how to attack and when. Expect to die, and often. It also helps to know how to approach multiple missions at once to avoid wasting time as you run back and forth.
Hopefully, this Technomancer guide will help make it a little easier in the opening hours of the game. We will update this article with more tips so check back often, and if you have some Technomancer tips and tricks you’d like to pass on, drop them in the comments below!
The combat in The Technomancer is both simple and extremely complex. At its heart, the system is built around dodging, counterattacking, and picking the right attack. You may be fooled into thinking the game is just a button-masher, but once you die several times in a row you might get the hint.
Combat in The Technomancer is built around four pillars. Your character has three types of weapons/stances you can switch between, along with an electrical attack that can be used with any of the three stances. When you first start out, you’ll have a very basic level of attack, but as you level up, you also increase your power and your options.
There are two ways to approach this type of combat: you can practice with all three stances, or you can master one and then upgrade the others later. There are advantages and disadvantages to either choice.
If you decide to try all three styles, you’ll come to see that each stance is good for a specific type of fight. The Guardian carries a shield, which is good against firearms; the Rogue can use a gun when you need ranged attacks; the Warrior is good against groups of enemies. Get to know all three, and practice switching between them quickly. If you decide to master just one, it will quickly become very powerful, but you will need to overcome the weaknesses that the others are designed to address.
Regardless of your choice, you will need to practice dodging. Anytime you lose your line of sight, start dodging. If you are surrounded, dodge. If you get hit… you get the point. Ideally, you will want to dodge right as an attack is coming in. The game will slow down for a moment, giving you an opportunity to counterattack.
Once you have the timing down, you will ideally want to dodge around and hit the enemies in their exposed back. You won’t always be able to do this, but if you can you’ll score a few easy, powerful hits.
While the stance you choose is important, the technomancer abilities are vital. You’ll start with the electric arc, a ranged electrical attack that stuns and damages enemies. Use this often, and upgrade it when possible. It will come in very handy. As you level up though, you’ll earn several other abilities that you can unlock in the Skill tree. Some are defensive, others offensive. Try them all out and see what works for you.
Once you have a decent selection of abilities, you’ll want to get in the habit of hitting the L1/LB button to bring up a radial wheel known as the Active Pause. From there, you can customize the button layout and try new attacks, use items, and order your team. This won’t be of much use until late in the game, but get in the habit of working it into your combat.
- Although it’s easy to overlook with the flashier powers, the exploding traps are vital when you face a group of powerful enemies. Just know that if an enemy is too close when you lay it, the trap my not explode – or it might explode in your face. Jump back, lead them to you, then plant the trap in their path.
- There is a lock on feature, activated by using the right thumbstick. It is useful for when you a fight large, single enemy, but in group combat the better option is just to keep hitting and moving.
- Make sure your health injection is equipped and mapped to one of the action buttons. You’ll need them. Often.
- When you use a health injection, make sure you have enough space – it takes a few seconds to restore your health, and you are vulnerable whil eyou do.
- Loot all the enemies you take down. You’ll receive vital crafting gear and serum, which is used as currency.
- You have the option of killing downed enemies. It will give you extra serum, which in turn makes it easier to buy equipment, but you will hurt your karma. Besides, you will earn plenty of serum through missions.
For as big a game as The Technomancer is, there really isn’t a lot of equipment – and what there is, is locked behind the Attribute requirements (see the “leveling” section). You may find yourself only upgrading your gear a few times through the entire game, so when you do see a good piece, grab it. Even if you can’t use it yet, you can store it in a chest by your bed in your base of operations, or you can let a teammate equip it.
There is a limit on the amount of gear you can carry, but it increases as you level up, and it is fairly generous. You may go the whole game without hitting the limit, but if you find you can’t pick something up, that’s probably why.
Make sure you are always equipped with the best possible armor and weapons. There will be missions where you need to equip a certain outfit, but generally you should have your best ready to go.
- You have a flashlight, although the game really doesn’t make a big point of this. Go to your radial wheel (the Active Pause menu) and activate it there. You can also map it to a button, but you won’t need it that often, and an electrified weapon puts off just as much light.
- You will be able to craft health injections often – do so. You will always need health while the other craftables are a luxury.
- Hit down on the D-pad to bring up the equipment menu. If you see an exclamation point by an icon, it means you picked up something new. Check it out. From here, you can also switch to your team members using the D-pad.
- Don’t forget to use focus injections to restore your technomancer abilities. If you are low though, just keep moving until they return.
- You will find weapons that you can’t use, especially firearms. Use them on your teammates.
- Look for equipment with an upgrade icon. You can then upgrade these items at benches with upgrade materials you will find in the field.
- You can also upgrade your companions’ equipment.
- Companions offer you passive bonuses when they are in your party.
- You can earn a bonus for the six five characters by unlocking the corresponding bonus in the Talents menu.
Leveling in The Technomancer isn’t just vital, it is how you unlock the game’s full potential. At first, your character is exceptionally weak. You can attack and doge, but that’s about it. As you increase your skills, you’ll also increase your combat options. Once you do, you’ll see that the game is far more robust than it first appears.
As you level up, you will earn points in three separate fields: Skills, Talents, and Attributes. You accumulate points at different speeds and at different levels – so you may level up and earn a point for Skill, but not a point for Attribute – or you may get all three at once. To see when you’ll receive your next point in each category, you’ll need to check the menu.
Of the three categories, you’ll earn the most Skill points – which make sense as there are far more things to spend them on. The Skill tree is broken into four sections: Warrior, Rogue, Guardian, and Technomancer. Each skill point can only be spent in one section, so you’ll need to decide what you want to upgrade first. If you choose to master a single fighting style, you’ll soon unlock new attacks and passive upgrades. If you spread it around, you’ll have less powerful attacks, but more of them. Because of that, you can’t go wrong upgrading the Technomancer section – you use these powers regardless of your fighting stance.
After the Skill category, the Attributes category is the most important. There are once again four sections: Strength, Agility, Power, and Constitution. These sections each have five upgrades and you must upgrade one level at a time. For each point spent, you unlock a passive ability, like increased defense or additional health points. This is also the key to equipping the top level gear. Armor is locked based on its accompanying Attribute level.
And finally, there is the Talents category which has six sections, each of which has three levels. As with Attributes, you will need to unlock level one first, then two and later three. This category is the slowest to receive skill points, but it’s also the least important. Talents include: Charisma, Science, Crafting, Stealth, Traps/Lockpicking, and Exploration. Some of the upgrades also grant you a relationship bonus with a teammate.
How you approach these upgrades is up to you. There are some gameplay pros and cons, but nothing that radically changes the game. Pick what you feel is best, and you can’t go wrong.
- In the Talents category, you may want to upgrade science and lockpicking early on. The Science (like the charisma) will give you new dialogue options to convince people, and the lockpicking will open certain chests and doors. Neither upgrade is vital, just convenient.
- If you prefer to play stealth, you’ll need at least the first two Talent points for it. The first lets you steal items, while the second lets you run while in stealth – running in stealth makes a huge difference.
- If you have equipment that you can’t use because of a low corresponding Attribute level, equip it on one of your teammates or store it.
Missions/Story (No spoilers)
This section is going to be a little vague in order to avoid spoilers, but hopefully you’ll be able to recognize certain major moments in the game and react accordingly.
The Technomancer is a big game. The main story is estimated to run about 20 hours, with the side missions adding an additional 15 or so. Throw in time spent exploring and you have a very big game. Don’t expect to just jump in and feel like you know the game – you’ll need to earn it.
The Technomancer is an action RPG with an emphasis on the RPG. You will start out like a baby in the woods, with only a few attacks to keep you safe from the onslaught awaiting you. It can and will be overwhelming at times, and it will probably frustrate more than a few players. If you stick with it and start unlocking skills though, you’ll begin to see the philosophy at work behind the game.
The game allows grinding, but it’s not really necessary. You can play the missions and progress well enough to survive without constantly going out of your way to fight monsters and enemies. Stick with the game, play side missions, and keep at it, and before you know it the somewhat limited button masher becomes a hugely complex game with multiple ways to play.
- It takes a good five hours or so to really begin to unlock the abilities and powers you’ll come to rely on.
- The game takes on a major shift 10-15 hours in. When you reach a story mission assigned by your commanding officer, and you are confronted with the actions of your former missions, things are about to change. If you are completing side missions, go do them before continuing. You can still finish the missions later, but it will get much tougher.
- Much of the story is relayed through optional conversations. If you want to know what is really going on, talk to everyone.
- You can toggle mission markers on and off, hiding and revealing the icons on the map. If you are surrounded by icons but want to complete one mission, make sure it is the only one selected.
- Some missions can only be completed at certain times. If you go somewhere and the mission doesn’t start, try coming back at the opposite time of day (if it is day, come at and night and vice versa).
- Although you have some choices in how the story plays out, it all turns out more or less the same – it’s just a matter of how you want to get there.
- Sleep every chance you get. While you are rested, you earn an experience bonus.
- Throughout the game you will face choices. These choices may have consequences later on, but the end game remains the same regardless. In other words, don’t worry about what you choose, just roll with it.
Select your party
When you first start the game, you will meet two soldiers that act as your squad mates. They follow a rudimentary teammate AI pattern, meaning they will help a little and die a lot. Later in the game, you will gain access to several potential teammates, and that’s where the strategy comes in.
Once you have a team assembled, you can access the AI controlled members inventory and their attributes (although you can’t change the way they level up). You can equip them with new weapons and armor, and command them to be offensive, defensive, or neutral. As long as you don’t give them your best gear, you should make them as powerful as you can – that said, they are absolutely expendable, and if they die in a fight they will come back when the fight concludes.
Occasionally you will need a particular teammate in your party, but for the most part, you can mix and match as you like. Ideally, you will want to play with them all a bit though. Talk to them frequently and ask the right questions, and their demeanor toward you will change to “friendly” (you can track this in the menu). Once it does, they will offer up new side missions that are worth pursuing.
In the early going, your team will basically just be there to act as a distraction and cannon fodder. Use them as human shields and let them die – you can heal them, but it’s usually easier to just let them revive when the match is over. When you are more powerful though, and when you can equip them, you should choose your team and their tactics based on abilities – for example, set the brawlers to attack and ranged players to defend.
For the most part though, your teammates are mostly incidental.
- If you are going on a mission where you think one of your teammates has a connection to that mission, bring them with you. If nothing else, you may get some unique dialogue.
- When you are back at your base, your teammates will gather around the team loadout area. Talk to them all and see if they have any new dialogue options.
- At the team loadout area, you can give teammates equipment. Deck them out before you run off to sell your surplus.
- You can romance three characters in the game: Amelia, Andrew, and Niesha. You can only romance one. To activate the romance, complete the character’s side missions, then after the final resolution, speak to them again. They will proposition you. If you reject them, you won’t get another chance – if you accept them, have them in your party and head to a bed, then choose to rest overnight for a cutscene.
More Technomancer tips and tricks coming soon!
During our time at E3 2016, we had the chance to speak with Spiders’ CEO, Jehanne Rousseau. We recorded the interview and turned it into a podcast, whcih you can listen to HERE. She doesn’t really offer and Technomancer tips or tricks, but it is an interesting look at the company that made The Technomancer.