Prey: Mooncrash Starting Guide
Basics of Prey expansion, playable characters and ways to unlock them, tips and tactics for escaping the Pytheas moon base
Announced and released at E3 2018, Mooncrash expansion is a big step from the main game. Gamers will spend a big chunk of their time in a computer simulation of the Pytheas facility, from which they have to get out in a number of ways.
In this article, we are going to tell you how Prey: Mooncrash and its parts work, how to unlock new playable characters, what you can do at Pytheas and how to combat new types of enemies.
What is Prey: Mooncrash
In Mooncrash players take on the role of Peter, a hacker stationed aboard a spy satellite. His employer, KASMA Corp, tasks him with intercepting TranStar’s moon base communications. Prior to the events of the DLC, the facility stopped transmitting, and now you need to find out what happened.
Bound by contract with KASMA, the operator is forced to dive into the simulation, and complete all 27 orders (objectives). The most important among them is to escape the base in five different ways with five different characters, each with their own stats (such as Health and PSI capacity), abilities and skill trees. For example, engineer Joan Winslow can place turrets and control opposing robots, volunteer Andrius Alekna is a master of offensive psychic abilities and so on.
Unlike a universal adventure that was Prey 2017, Mooncrash offers every player a relatively unique experience. The Pytheas base itself — its layout, containers and bodies location — is always the same, however, its details (enemies, crate contents) are changing every time.
In Mooncrash, developers added some new types of enemies, weapons and equipment, as well as various status effects. For instance, if you fall off a high place, your character will probably break a leg, and your movement speed will be decreased. To reverse such effects, you need to use special items.
Furthermore, weapons now have a certain durability level, which decreases each time you use it. Waste it and your gun will get jammed, so you have to manually reload it every other shot. It is possible to repair, but only one of the five playable characters is capable of doing so.
How to escape Pytheas for the first time
Before you are thrown into a full-fledged Pytheas simulation, the game offers you a trial escape as the Volunteer. Only the Crater location is accessible at this time, so you won’t be able to stray far from the objective even if you really wanted to.
After you arrive in the simulation, pick up the keycard, the silenced pistol and 9mm ammo fabrication plans from the dead body near the door — some of the key items like this are not randomized. In the next part we’ll explain why should you collect those, but for now just move to the next room.
Here you are greeted by two thermal-enhanced Mimics. Use your wrench to deal with them, and then find your very first typhon gate. These won’t let you through until you get rid of every last Typhon in the area.
It’s important to remember that if you install too many neuromods, the gate will consider you a threat as well. Force fields are easily turned off though — by hitting itself or a sensor above the terminal with electricity (using EMP, for instance).
The way to the Crater is behind the aforementioned typhon gate. Use the terminal and all Typhon in the zone will be marked on your HUD, so it’s easy to locate them. In this case, there will be three mimics on a rock nearby. Strike them with your deadly wrench yet again and go through the gates, grabbing a shotgun with some ammo along the way.
Your objective is to access the security workstation and check if any escape pods are available. The workstation is located in the central building of the Crater, but the main entrance is protected by a Telepath. You can pick up some typhon lure from the corpse near the Crater entrance to distract your enemies.
The area around the main building is packed with useful items (such as working turrets), Phantoms and Corrupted Engineers. There is no need to fight them in the training, so we’ll focus on the actual escape for now.
If you don’t want to fight them, go counterclockwise around the building and jump down to another entrance (you are in low gravity, so there won’t be any fall damage). This way is protected by a patrolling Phantom, but a couple of shotgun shots will do the job. Alternatively, you can slip behind him when he is far.
The underground may be protected by Cystoids — keep your distance, as they explode when nearby. Make sure to check if the security desk has any weapons or items stored, and access the security workstation. Download the map and check the escape pod status. Luckily, one will be free.
Use the grav shaft to go up and destroy any of the hiding opponents — Cystoids, Mimics or Corrupted operators. There is also a Fabricator and a Recycler. Chances are that you won’t be able to craft, anything at the moment, so once you’ve looted the place, go outside.
Escape pod location is locked behind another typhon gate — some Mimics are hiding nearby. Use the terminal to locate and eliminate them or use a stun gun, which can be retrieved from the body near the stairs, and disable the force field.
There is also a guaranteed neuromod. Use it to unlock the PSI Blast ability — it is invaluable against typhon and robots, which you will encounter in the next section. On the other side of the gates, push forward until you reach a two-story room with two Corrupted Engineers and a Harvester.
The escape pod is just behind yet another typhon gate. Since Corrupted robots are also considered to be typhon, the force field will be activated. Destroy them with the PSI Blast or sneak through and disable the gates with your stun gun.
Be careful: Harvesters are protected from every side and are very hard to put down with regular weapons. But if you have no choice, aim for the panels on their backs — so you do critical damage. And don’t even try to get up close with them face to face!
After dealing with the enemies or disabling the force field manually, open the escape pod and head straight to your first ending.
How the simulation works
By completing the training, you unlock Mooncrash in all its rogue-like glory. The second playable character (engineer Joan Winslow) is now available, and you are ready to learn how the Pytheas simulation really works.
Every notable action, be it killing enemies, finding Pytheas’ staff, completing KASMA orders or else, awards you with sim points. Those can be redeemed in the loadout screen before any run.
This menu is also a market with the collection of all the fabrication plans you have found. After finishing another try or your character dying, those are transformed into actual items: weapons, ammo, medkits, grenades, etc. This is where you prepare your avatar for the next run.
You can’t manually save here — the progress is recorded in the simulation interface or when starting another run. If a character dies, players continue their walkthrough with another hero, granted they are available or alive. If that’s not the case, then your simulation will reload and create a new version of the moon base.
Here is how it works: let’s say you’ve just beat you training mission as the Volunteer. When you jump into the simulation as the Engineer in the next run, you won’t find any items in locations you’ve already looted before. If you want to find more stuff, you’ll have to restart the simulation.
All the character skills acquired, fabrication plans and available goods are carried over no matter how many times you restart the simulation. You’ll only lose the progress itself (meaning escape routes, so ideally you have to save all five characters in one simulation cycle), Corruption level (which we will touch upon next) and loot scattered across the map.
What is Corruption and how to deal with it
Following your first successful escape from the facility, your hero will be pulled out of the simulation and awarded with system stability tracker. From now on, all your adventures will be limited by the timer, which tracks the level of data Corruption.
This will result in Corruption meter appearing in the upper right corner of your screen — once it’s full, the Corruption levels up: killed typhon will be replaced by new ones and all aliens will get stronger and sturdier.
You can, however, slow the whole process down a bit by using a Delay_Loop.Time — a special item, which can be found across the facility. It is also a guaranteed drop from the Moon Shark. We’ll tell you about it in a bit.
It is also important to remember that Corruption carries over the whole simulation cycle. This means that each consecutive run will be more challenging, and the longer you play Mooncrash without failing, the harder it gets.
There are five Corruption levels, and if you are still alive by the time it hits the last, the simulation will reset. It means that before you try to save all characters in a single run, you should really work on your strategy; otherwise, you simply won’t have enough time for everyone.
How to unlock all characters
There are five playable characters in Mooncrash, except for Peter, who is outside the simulation. To unlock all of them, you’ll need plenty of time and dedication:
- Andrius Alekna, volunteer, — unlocked by default.
- Joan Winslow, engineer, — unlocked after your first escape from Pytheas.
- Vijay Bhatia, security officer, — unlocked by finding his corpse in the Moonworks location (exact place is available in any security terminal).
- Riley Yu, administrator, — unlocked after finding the Psychoscope, which is located on the top floor of the Pytheas Labs, in Riley’s office. There are two ways to get there: either by going up through the Labs themselves or by taking a direct tram to the upper floor.
- Claire Whitten, custodian, — unlocked by completing Vijay Bhatia’s story objective. To access it, you need to help Vijay escape using the mass driver.
How to beat the Moon Shark
After the first escape, a powerful foe appears in the Crater location — the Moon Shark. It is a huge (but not quite as huge as the Nightmare) blind typhon that can sense vibrations on the moon surface. Don’t touch the dunes or it will appear right next to you.
The Moon Shark can kill you in seconds — it’s a tough opponent, which only grows stronger along with the Corruption level, just as any other enemy.
If you want to fight it directly, use PSI-based weapons or powers, so the Volunteer or the Administrator will be especially useful, as well the Custodian’s Psychostatic Cutter. If you don’t have those yet, then it’s better to use an engineer’s turret and officer’s shotgun, but make sure to have enough ammo on you.
There is also a lot less time-consuming way to kill the monster — with the help of tentacle nest nearby. These are the small formations on the floor, which grow into deadly tentacles, capable of hurting anyone, Moon Shark included.
You can lure the big guy into the trap by using a typhon lure or simply by throwing something big and heavy in the needed direction. It also possible to throw some typhon spores into it — they will also summon the tentacles.