Hardpointe - How to play (updated for version 0.3)

You can play it here.


Hardpointe is a “medium” sized roguelike with a focus on tactical combat and movement. Managing a limited set of powers, upgrades, and items will be critical to your success.

Our Story So Far

Humanity is on the brink of annihilation. Ever since the robotic uprising of the late 1990s, humans have waged a bitter war against their would-be AI overlords. Many decades later, Earth is finally free of war, but elements of the robotic hordes have taken to space and have taken refuge in the asteroid belt.

For a time, many thought the robots dormant, or dead. But they were building. Utilizing self-replicating machinery, they turned countless asteroids into factories, crisscrossed with countless mazes and dungeon-like interiors. Some they turned into weapons, and began hurling them at Earth.

Only a few asteroids have penetrated Earth’s defenses, but even these few have wiped out entire cities.

All efforts to attack and neutralize these strongholds have failed. Your mission is to succeed where others have failed. Infiltrate the asteroid, grab the Control Core, and bring it back safely. Your suit should be able to interface with any weapon systems that you find – human or robot. We cannot get close enough to reliably use our telewarp technology – so you will have to travel on foot. We may be able to link up to your suit at various beacon points. Look for warp crystals – the robots use them as much as we do.


WASD, Arrow Keys
Movement (4-directional)
Action (Wait, Pickup, Use Stairs, Activate)
Wait Only (by popular request)
1, 2, 3
Activate Power
eXamine (look around)
Heads Up Display
(cycle with movement keys)
Power Listing

How to Play


For now, you can win by finding the Control Core and returning it to the exit that you started the game on. There are only 6 floors since the game is still rough and fairly unbalanced with all of the items and powers lying around.


You have limited health. (almost nothing in this game goes over 3) All attacks in the game do 1 damage, with a few exceptions.


You have 3 power slots. You will come across powers during your mission – you can replace these with your current powers. You can also use them, dump them, and then go back and re-install your old powers. Some powers can be upgraded to make them more powerful. All powers come with a limited number of charges – but most are rechargeable.


You start with a shield power, but you don’t need to keep it. When activated, you’ll get 3 shield points added to your health, for a limited amount of time. The more you UPGRADE your shield, the longer it will last before timing out. Taking 3 hits will destroy the shield regardless. Some enemies also have shields. An EMP grenade can wipe out shields – including your own.


You start with the dash power, which lets you move quickly across terrain to attack distant enemies. Just be careful putting yourself into harms way. Don’t dash into a 2-hp enemy unless you’ve already hurt them – otherwise they are sure to attack you next turn.


Allows you to overwrite an enemies programming, turning them into a permanent ally. Allies will try to keep a respectful distance from you – but they still sometimes get stuck in doors, so be patient with them. Enemies will go after allies first if they can get to them. There is at least one “unhackable” enemy in the game – you will know it when you see it.


Activates temporary invisibility. Enemies will not be able to see you while cloaked, allowing you to escape or sneak past them unsuspected. Enemies will move towards the last place they saw you, making for an easy way to set up traps. Any attack will remove your cloak, but any melee attack will also gain +1 damage.


Gives you the ability to walk through walls and enemies. While phased, enemy attacks will go ‘through’ you, so if you can set them up properly, enemies will take each other out while trying unsuccessfully to kill you.

Heavy Axe

A powerful (and rare) ranged weapon. When thrown, the axe can cut through multiple enemies. Because it is quantum-bound to your suit, the axe can also travel back to you – even across twists and turns – further damaging enemies on the return path.

Blasters (Guns)

You will find these one-off weapons during your mission. They are installed just like other powers, except they cannot be upgraded or recharged. Nothing stops you from swapping in a weapon (or two), using up all the ammo, and then swapping back. Great for taking out strategically difficult enemies.

At the moment, they come in four varieties:

  • Kinetic Blaster – No damage but triggers a powerful knockback effect (like a blast grenade)
  • Stun Gun – No damage but temporarily stuns enemies
  • Railgun – Simple 1 damage weapon
  • Cannon – Powerful 2 damage ranged weapon – use wisely


You’ll find lots of grenades lying around for some reason. You can carry them in your inventory and throw them. At the moment, they come in four varieties:

  • Blast Grenade – has a powerful knockback blast that will send enemies flying back from the center of the blast. Anyone at the actual center will not be affected, making it a sometimes useful escape tool. Any enemies sent into walls will be temporarily stunned.
  • Stun Grenade – has a mass-stunning effect on any targets (including you) caught in the blast. Be careful, there is at least 1 “unstunnable” enemy.
  • Grenade – Does 1 damage to all targets caught in the blast
  • EMP Grenade – Knocks out all shields on targets caught in the area of effect


These are phials of tiny nanites. When thrown, they will begin to replicate and modify the surrounding terrain in mysterious ways. Some affects are beneficial to you, so be careful not to let your enemies take advantage of this. (Note these may temporarily out of the game while I balance them and make them a bit more interesting in terms of useable terrain)


Forthcoming – you can use the HUD (z) or EXAMINE (x) to get an idea of what different enemies do. There are no ‘vanilla’ (e.g. 1hp/1dmg) enemies.


Wall Smash

When you melee attack an enemy with a wall (or other solid terrain) behind them, your attacks will do +1 damage. This also works for dash attacks.


Any enemies with more than 2 health will leave wreckage behind. You can heave these into other enemies to do damage. Eventually, other parts of the terrain will leave behind wreckage as well, such as consoles, factory equipment, plumbing, etc.


Closed doors count as solid walls for purposes of  smashing enemies into them. However, a successful smash attack will destroy the door.

Target Locks

Most ranged enemies require a target lock before they can fire. They will flash and turn a different color when they have targeted you. The HUD will also give them a special flag (shown below).
Unless stopped, they will fire and hit you on the next turn. You can interrupt this by making the enemy move, moving out of range, or destroying them.

Warp Crystals and Warp Beacons

You will find warp crystals scattered around the asteroid. These function both as fuel and encrypted locators for Warp Beacons. Using a Warp Beacon will always consume 1 crystal, and will not work unless you have one in your inventory.
Warp Beacons allow you to link back to home base, and acquire upgrades to your current powers, or recharge them. You can also use them to restore health and also call in backup – home base will warp allies to your location. (currently they won’t travel to different levels with you)
Powers can be modified in 3 ways:

  • INCREASE – Increases the number of charges this power has – but will not recharge. You will get 1 charge along with the increase, though.
  • RECHARGE – Restores the power to the full number of charges.
  • UPGRADE – Some powers can be made more powerful (longer duration, further distance), doing this will not affect the number of charges.

Damage Stacking

Unless specifically stated otherwise (Cannons) all attacks in the game do 1 damage. For the player, there are a few ways of bumping this up: a wall smash (melee strike an enemy against a wall or solid object), a surprise attack (melee attack while cloaked), and one or two others. Do what you can to put the odds in your favor, especially against stronger enemies.

Winning the Game

Grab the Control Core at the deepest level and return it to the entrance you started at. Once you grab the core, the enemy will throw even more at you, so be prepared to fight your way up.