In a previous article, we have seen how the turn-based battles work. But that is just part of the game.
In Aetherspace, you play as the leader of a criminal gang and, as such, you must manage your resources to grow your wealth and your reputation. In turn, this will allow you to buy and gain better Starfighters and upgrades.
Your first duty is to choose the missions to send your pilots on. To progress the single player story, you have to take all the mandatory missions, but you can (and most likely will have to) take optional missions too, as these will reward you with the cash and the reputation increase needed to successfully tackle the campaign missions. You can also challenge rival gangs in online multiplayer battles at any time, as these are, in fact, regular optional missions.
Your gang can gain control of territories too, and these can be an alternate source of income. Just keep in mind that to collect a territory’s income you must send a gang member there first, and he will be unavailable for further missions until his return.
Since every mission can be taken only for a limited time window, choosing wisely when to accept an optional mission or when to send a gang member into one of your territories becomes critical, as a wrong move can leave you unable to complete a mandatory mission, and thus completing the campaign.
Once you decide to launch a mission, you can customize your force, choosing which Starfighters will be sent and the loadout of each one of them, and who will pilot them into battle. A point-value system is used to limit the forces you can send into battle, thus ensuring that every mission is challenging for both new and veteran gangs.
Every time a gang member is sent into battle, he gains some experience and may level up, depending on the kills scored. Every time a gang member gains a level, you get some points that you can spend to make him learn new skills or improve skills he already knows.
Every mission grants you some loot, too. If you are lucky you can gain rare or unique Starfighter upgrades. If not, you can always trade on the black market for what you need.
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