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Having trouble? TL:DR Strategy/explanation here!

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JamesFactory    26

I’ve noticed a few people are finding Invisible Inc. quite difficult.  I thought you folks might enjoy some tips, tricks, and a bit of what I’ve learned.  While I’m no expert, I’ve gotten past day-10 endless ( which in its current state becomes too easy after a certain point but is great for testing things out),  and have successfully completed the current story mode four times in a row without losing an agent or any prisoner/courier.


So, I’ll start with the agents,  every character is viable, and all have huge advantages, the starting items are more beneficial in story mode than in endless, as in endless you will be able to get everyone to level 5 with full tier3 equipment, and in endless the character ability becomes more valued for the same reason.


Deckard:  Did you know you can run with Deckard one way, get safe, and then sneak back past in stealth on the next turn?  It provides an excellent distraction, and can get you out of a situation you may not have the items to deal with yet.


Internationale: Her moves, if planned efficiently can make a great use of her active ability, for example – on your turn you want to peek a door, or will end up 1 square short of peeking a door, or need to get into cover before going for whatever it is you’re going for, you can go 1 short and wireless scanner, etc.  Her active makes parasite even more efficient if it’s something you’re comfortable with using.


Shalem 11: Starting with 1 armor piercing means those 1-2 armored guards on your first few Heavily Guarded missions are no longer immense roadblocks, Most of the drones you encounter will be able to be dealt with fairly easily as well.  You can pick up the augment that gives 1 armor piercing on him to get to 2 armor piercing on his gun (recommended for v2.0 drones).  He also has the added benefit of possibly saving you about 1000$ on your playthrough, since it’s something I believe is important enough to have at least one agent capable of dealing with 2 armor targets.


Banks:  She’s amazing, but to make full use of her passive ability to open doors, she ends up taking more of a supporting role than anything else in my team, running back and forth between locked doors early, and during the midgame while you may have unlocked the doors you feel are necessary/found a keycard she can be a great suppresser of enemies, and she usually fills that role for me.  I also end up using her as a bit of an item courier, as she’s usually centrally located with other agents running “pointman”.

 Banks side note: Unlocking Doors: Sometimes it’s more beneficial to leave doors locked(as long as they’re not necessary to continue exploration/unlocking that door right now will not save you turns), as “hunting/investigating” guards will not unlock them, and will often path incredibly inefficiently to circumvent locked doors, giving you an opportunity to use locked doors as your own escape mechanism.


Missions & Difficulty:  So there are a variety of missions you can undertake, and most people with some experience in (completing) story mode and (getting far in) endless mode will agree that they have some sort of mission priority list. I’ll go over the things you can expect in each mission & difficulty:


Guarded: All guards have no armor, the mission layouts seem smaller, there are no daemons and firewalls are as low as they are going to get to start.


Very Guarded: 1-2 guards with 1 armor,  a bit larger floor, possibly 1-2 daemons, and firewalls are in the range of 1-3.


Heavily guarded: 2(+) guards with 1 armor, possibly a guard with 2 armor,  larger still floors, 2+ daemons (with higher chances to get some of the nasty ones like +3 alarm and spawning additional guards), and firewalls are in the range of 1-5 with 5 being quite rare.


Extremely guarded: Expect multiple armored guards, with drone/soundbug support, multiple daemons (often with one blocking a passage that would be inaccessible without hacking said device, expect almost every daemon to be pretty detrimental).  The elevator and mission room tend to be quite far as well.


Mission Types:


Nanofab: These missions offer a guaranteed shop that is well stocked, and can be extremely beneficial if you have some money to spend, or just simply need to get a specific common item to help you deal with a common situation.


Server Farm:  Offers a shop with strictly hacking programs, I tend to try to do one of these before day 3, in order to get something I’m missing, for example if I started with parasite and haven’t gotten a way to quickly break firewalls yet, or a (more rare) daemon sniffer if I already have a quick firewall solution.


Security Dispatch: Offers a safe with an expensive high tier item, often requiring level 4 of a skill, these can be sold in the shop for additional funds, or equipped to give one of your agents a very handy new way to deal with a certain problem.  Be forewarned, upgrading agent’s skills is incredibly costly, and this shiny item may end up being out of your price range even though it’s free.


Executive Terminals: This mission room offers a lootable item that gives your agency more missions if you bring that item out of the mission.


Vault: This mission room is well guarded, and the reward, while being pure cash, is a LOT of money, Doing an early vault mission into a Nanofab mission can give your agents the items you think are necessary.  There are four lootable security boxes behind lasers, with an additional two item yielding display cases behind additional lasers.


Detention Center: This mission room is a prison, which will contain either a normal prisoner, who you can leave with for money, or an additional agent.  The possibility of gaining another agent puts these missions at the top of many experienced player’s agendas, as 3 agents are better than 2 etc.


Mission Stategy:  Everyone has their own playstyle, some being more aggressive or passive, and some being completionists or speedrunners.  My playstle has two modes, during many missions, and there is a clearly defined point that switches me from one playstyle to the other.  I tend to start every mission with the intent to steal and explore everything, sometimes this is not an option, and when that happens, I switch from passive to aggressive, you will find that you end up doing this as well, since until the situation is bad(or soon to be bad), there’s almost no reason not to try and steal/explore everything.

Exploration is key, as is more information, which is why I regard Banks and Internationale to be top tier, with Deckard sitting closer to the top than Shalem11, though all characters are absolutely viable.  During the passive stage of exploration, I take few risks, and make a point to scout and hack as much as possible.  I think it is imperative to observe guards to see their pathing, and to use cover effectively, You don’t necessarily need a cloaking device/ping/ to get through a room with 4 guard patrols,  For example, you can have one agent behind safe cover in that room, with another agent outside this room who opens a door and lures a certain amount of these guards to check it out, and just because you opened a door does not mean you need to K.O./kill every guard coming to investigate, you can simply open the door to cause a distraction and then move that door-opening agent out to a safe location, and then your agent in the patrol room now has much more freedom of movement, though this sort of thing can backfire, it’s good to experiment with.  If you pull it off, you just bought yourself more time in your safe/passive mode of play, which means less alarms, less hunting guards, and less danger in general.


Common Problems:  While there are some missions that can reach a stalemate/checkmate situation, this is usually only possible with improper planning, and figuring out how these situations arise and how to avoid them is key.   My most common stalemate situation when first playing was in detention center missions, where multiple guards were in a choke-point room that needed to be passed through to get to both the prison  and the exit.  In these situations, it’s often beneficial to wait out a few turns, allowing waking guards to go check locations without seeing your agents.  This will make your eventual escape more difficult, though it can prevent an unwinnable situation. Making use of guard observation and line of sight can get you out of these situations, even if you happen to find a prisoner in the prison.


And finally, some tips for new players I’ve compiled:


Do a huge amount of testing,

For example,

1) guards can only hear you running if they are 5 blocks from you, sound traps can hear reloads and running from the same distance,


2)experiment with the cover system, a good spot to do this is as shown by my handy dandy ASCII diagram: where X is cover, and there is a guard that patrols the room, aggro him and get behind cover then see where you can walk to hidden squares by checking them one at a time.

X  X

X  X

X  X


3) Learn what items you should always buy in the shop if you don't have them and experiment with items.  I have a bit of a running tier list/priority list of items in my head usually.


4) Learn what each mission offers and take them accordingly, you can find more info on the types of missions on the lower left box that pops up when selecting a mission. Early in the game you want to maximize your missions.

My Mission priority without a four member team is: Detention > Executive > Nanofab (with 1200$ or more in bank) > Security = Vault > Server Farm > Nanofab (with less than 1200$ in bank).


5) Be very careful leaving the starting room on the first turn, if 3 guards patrol into the 1st room you entered and you're not behind cover, you can send your agent(s) to an early retirement they may not have deserved.


6) Close doors. It doesn't cost an actionpoint, and stops enemy line of sight, there's really no reason not to close doors, and it helps you more than you might think or notice.


7) Remember which rooms have guards, and at least have an estimate of which tiles are safe if you have the opportunity to observe them or peek a room they patrol through.


8) You probably don't use the run button enough, try it, it's amazing.


9) Items can be given to other agents, dropped, used on other agents, given to prisoners(Though Stim can’t be used on prisoners, along with anything with a skill requirement).


10) Stealth and Stim are probably the best things to invest in after armor piercing or a way to deal with armored/drone units.


11) You can use the EMP item to K.O. drones.


12) The Bioshot pistol is worth saving 1200$ for, as well as the armor piercing augment (350$ I think?)


13) Shalem 11 is a great team member if you have trouble with drones, though I favor Banks+Internationale personally.


14) Find which programs you want and don't buy one you could do without, I personally use Fusion/Parasite to start, buy the first lockpick 1.0 I see, and end up wanting a  daemon sniffer(tells you what the hidden daemon will do) and dagger(-3 firewalls for 1 PWR on a cooldown).  You can't have more than 5 programs, and once you get them you can't change them.


There's a bit more rattling around up here, though most of it is subjective.  I hope any of this helps newer players, the main thing I would stress is experimentation, find out what limits there are, and what you can and can't do.


Good luck and stay safe!

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Beefheart    2

Wow, excellent guide! Thanks for posting this. It's very helpful.


I find the info about choosing missions especially helpful. I'm so focused on getting through levels, I haven't put enough thought into the larger sequence I should be following to make it later in the game. 


One of the major difficulties I'm having is that I run out of power so quickly that I'm unable to turn off security cameras or open safes that I really shouldn't be passing up. I think I need to be more selective with how I use my power. 


Thanks again for the guide. I'll be referring to it often.

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Bahger    7

Very helpful, thank you.  An observation and a question:


Sitting on a knocked out guard with an agent you might not need for another task and who is not in imminent danger of being spotted is a good strategy because it prolongs the unconscious guard's sleep for as long as he is being sat on.


How exactly does running work?  What advantages/limitations does it involve and why is the run button sometimes lit and sometimes not?


I have only ever finished two consecutive missions.  I need to learn more about armor, how to deal with armored guards (can they be tasered?) and drones, as I don't think I've encountered any yet.

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RealToto    0

Running can be activated before you do any action that cost 1ap. For example if you peaking around first you can't activate running afterwards. You can of course still peak around while running is active. You cannot deactivate running for the remaining round. Running helps you getting further but it makes sound. Guard and sound bugs hear you running. The guards will come and investigate the sound bug is raising the alarm tracer two turns.

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JamesFactory    26

In response to armor, the normal default weapons you start with will not pierce armor without an item that augments your armor piercing, the exception to this rule is shalem 11's rifle (which makes shalem 11 quite viable), which has 1 armor piercing.  Every other armor piercing item (gun,dartgun,augment,taser,etc.) must be found or bought, there are augments that give 1 armor piercing on everything, and are additive with other armor piercing items, it is amazingly OP for 650$. It's probably my only "must have" item besides medgel.  It opens a lot of possibilities and stops many potential roadblocks.

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