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How does the gameplay work?
In Frozen Synapse, two teams combat each other. You always command the
green team and the opponent commands the red team. Both players set orders
for their units, while the gameplay is frozen. Afterwards they submit (prime)
their turn, and the consequences are played out simultaneusly.
While both players are planning their turn, they cannot see what the
opponent is planning. They can only guess and test "what would happen if..."
When you make your plan, you can at anytime press play to test what would
happen if you did this. You can also set hypothetic commands for the enemy's
units - these don't actually change "what the enemy will do", but you can
use them to test "what would happen if the enemy did this".
How do i best learn the game?
Watch the tutorial and click "Play a game against the AI" in the mainmenu.
Play some AI matches until you have a good grasp of the game's basics.
Afterwards, log in and play a few multiplayer games. Don't worry about
losing your first few multiplayer matches. This is normal. On average,
it takes about a week until you have learned enough to win more often.
It may be a good idea to play the gamemode "extermination" on your
first few multiplayer matches. Extermination basically is deathmatch, so
the ruleset is simple. Additionally, the scores aren't too high for this
gamemode, so you will lose less points when losing your first few games.
How do the controls work?
Leftclick = Select units, waypoints or orders
Drag w. right button = Move the map
Doubleclick = Set a waypoint
SHIFT + Doubleclick = Set a waypoint manually (override pathfinding)
Rightclick = Orders menu
Drag "Aim" icon = Set an "aim here" order
CTRL + Leftclick = Set a "check here" order (makes the unit do a
quick look in a direction and then return back
to normal viewing direction)
NOT IMPLEMENTED YET: Alternative Controlscheme (available in options):
Leftclick = Select units, waypoints or orders
Drag w. left button = Scroll the map
Rightclick = Set a waypoint
SHIFT/CTRL + Rightclick = Set a waypoint manually (override pathfinding)
Hold right button = Orders menu
Doubleclick = Set an "aim here" order
SHIFT/CTRL + Doublclick = Set a "check here" order (makes the unit do a
quick look in a direction and then return back
to normal direction)
Click "Cancel Aim" icon = Cancel Aiming
The following keys work in both controlschemes:
Cursor Keys = Scroll the map
N/M = Zoom in/out
Space = Play/Pause
Backspace = Remove WPs/Orders from last to first
Delete = Remove selected order
D = Duck
S = Stand
C = Continue on Sight
E = Engage on sight
Hold V = Test visibility
Hold T and move Mouse = Draw a rectangular "zone" that you can then click on, to make
a unit ignore or focus enemies in that area. Warning: Beginning with
the next turn, your opponent will see that you drew such a zone.
Tab = Cycle through your units
1-9 = Select one of your units by its number
To submit your turn, press the "PRIME" button.
Why did i win/lose that firefight? How do the combat rules work?
The rules why a unit wins/loses are very simple. They are:
1. How much is the unit in cover?
(behind halfheight obstacles: those windows & boxes)
Corners do not give cover. Only windows & boxes do.
2. Did the unit recently duck or stand up?
(doing this puts you at a disadvantage for a short moment)
3. Is the unit standing still (advantage) or moving (disadvantage)?
4. Is the unit aiming?
The priorities are in the above order. So cover is more important than
stillness, while stillness is more important than aiming. Notice that
ducking does not give you an advantage, but actually puts you at a
disadvantage for a short moment (while ducking down or standing up).
It doesn't matter where the gun of a unit is pointing. "If you can see him,
you can kill him". A unit can attack anyone in it's field of view instantly
without any "turning penalty": So, you don't need to tell your units where
to shoot, only in which overall direction (FOV) they should look.
As a result, the game plays less like a 1st-person shooter, but more like
a game of chess. What matters are the above four simple rules, terrain,
timing and your ability to mindread the opponent.
If you are unsure why you won/lost a firefight, select the unit in question
and play the turn again. During playback, messages will be displayed next
to the unit, explaining why it won/lost.
The unit types
Your general multipurpose unit and often the backbone of your team.
Fast and almost unstoppable at short range (even if the enemy is behind
cover). He can however not attack at medium to long range at all. If you're
threatened by a shotgunner, keep distance at any cost. It is possible
for an MG to beat an incoming shotgunner, if the MG is behind cover,
still and aiming (so, you pretty much need all advantages on your side
to beat him).
Slow but good at long range and area-denial (use him to cover large
open spaces so that the enemy cannot go there). The way to neutralize
a sniper is the opposite way around: Exploit it's closerange weakness
and slow speed (A shotgunner is a sniper's worst nightmare if in range).
Fires a rocket in a straight line. The explosion destroys walls and kills
nearby units. If you fire while ducking, the rocket can also hit windows
and boxes (else it travels over them). The rocket has infinite range,
but only explodes when it hits obstacles, not units or the map borders.
The rocket launcher moves slowly and can only fire every 5 seconds.
If threatened by a rocket launcher, stay away from walls or make sure
that there is a second wall between you and the rocket launcher. A last
option is to seek close distance: The RL cannot attack close range without
risking to blow himself up too.
Like the Rocket Launcher, but the grenades can bounce of walls. This is
useful in that the unit does not require line of sight to it's target.
The grenade has a limited range and the explosion does not destroy obstacles
(which means that you can survive a grenade explosion, by ducking behind
cover). Grenades do not bounce off map borders. Options against a
grenade launcher are staying on distance, going into closerange, and
using walls and boxes as shields.
How does multiplayer work?
Multiplayer is like play-by-email, except of that the email-client is the
game-client, and the email-server is the game-server. After a game was
started, both players plan their turns. They don't need to do this at the
same time: One player could submit his turn on monday, while the other
player submits her turn on wednesday.
When both players submitted their turn, they are notified that a new turn
is ready - either ingame or via email. They can then watch the outcome and
plan their next turn.
Because of this, you can have multiple games active at the same time.
You can see a list of your currently active games in the "feed" (the page
you see after logging in) on the right side under "My Active Games".
The easiest way to start a multiplayer game is as follows: Log in.
Take a look at the right side to see who is online. Then look at the red
square at a corner of the screen. You can click it to set it to a new color.
The meaning of the colors is:
Red = You are not looking for a game.
Yellow = You're willing to accept a game, but aren't asking others to play.
Green = You want to play and are actively asking others for a game.
How do those gamemodes work? What does "dark" mean?
"Light" and "dark" define what the players can see:
Light: Both players can always see each others units. This puts more
focus on "mindreading", since both players have the same info.
Dark: Each player can only see what his/her units can see at a given
moment. This puts more focus on gathering information & stealth.
All gamemodes can be played in light-style or dark-style. To get more
info about a gamemode, click on the "?"-Button while in a game.
If then you're still unsure, ask other players.
Where to get more help or chat with other players?
While logged in, click on the speech bubble button. This will make you
enter Frozen Synapse's IRC chatroom. If you prefer to use your own
IRC-Client, then here's the necessary data:
- Server: irc.maxgaming.net, port 6667
- Channel: #mode7games
I keep losing. How can i improve my tactics? (by Lyx)
What works well depends on you, your opponent, the gamemode and the terrain.
However, here are some generic hints:
- Make sure you understand the combat rules (why units win/lose fights)
- Test before submitting. This is important. However, do not rely on
things happening precisely as in your tests. Even if the opponent
overally does what you expect, there may be small differences. Give
your plans some headroom for variations.
- Look at the overall situation and think before planning.
Most good plans have a macroscopic aspect and a microscopic one.
- Don't set your unit's FOV to point exactly at an enemy.
Set the unit's FOV to cover the area which you want covered.
- Use the V key to test where your units can shoot.
- Rewatch your games and other player's games. Analyze what worked and
what didn't. If you're unsure why a player did something, ask him/her.
- In dark matches: Don't let the enemy see your units if you can prevent
it with little effort. Be aware that lack of data can be information:
By knowing where the enemy isn't and taking terrain into account, you
can sometimes pinpoint exactly where an enemy is, and even know where
he is looking (and therefore, where he can fire).
- Sync your plan to turn transitions: A common trick for example is to let
a unit look around a corner at the last moment of a turn. You can then
in the next turn either quickly retreat, or continue what you planned
to do (however, the enemy will be able to do the same).
- Don't be greedy and know what you can pull off and what you cannot.
Sometimes, playing safe and setting for a minor win or even a draw
is preferable over trying to kill all enemy units.