When starting a new game, choose the unarmed restriction (you may need to complete the game once before it is available). with the restriction active, finish the game by collecting and crafting all action items.
This can be stacked with other "Escape the nebula" achievements but is easiest on its own. You may consider doing this along side Penny Pincher (Zero upgrades run) as this changes Penny Pincher only in that the handgun is not available.
Dealing with enemies Unarmed
This will be your biggest challenge, with no weapons there are very few ways to remove enemies, much of the time you will have to sneak or run past them or tank their attacks. When you enter a ship, keep in mind what you need and what is essential or optional. It is usually sensible to make a bee line for the items you need most and get out once you have them.
There are ways to deal with enemies if you want to take more time on a ship
- Subverting security - You will need to have the relevant "manager" upgrade to authorise subversion. and if a gunpoint is attacking you, you will have to be quick to run up and hit the authorisation button. For Secbot, you need to reach his back to authorise and with the damage it deals this can be very dangerous, only really possible if it wanders over an electrical hazard, if you can temporarily shut down security in a Sec module, or if you can get to the back of him whilst in his niche.
Some ships have the property of subverted security, these are vary useful as security will deal with most of the citizen threats, if you find citizens in a room, just lure them to a security element. Note security needs power to the ship to operate
- Shutting down security - Again you need the relevant upgrade, this does not help with citizens however. Some ships start with security inactive
- Friends on board - similar to subverted security, ships with this are very useful, in ships with only one citizen type, you will only have to worry about security (which your allies might deal with anyway). Some ships have more than one citizen type and one is randomly allied to you, your allies may or may not be able to deal with the other citizens/security before being wiped out. You can quit to menu and re-enter the ship and the citizen type that is allied will be randomly chosen again. Be wary of friendly fire, worst with screws and their shots ricochet
- Hazards - If you can survive/dodge the hazards you can take advantage of the fact that some will kill citizens that wander over them. Fire can kill anything that is in contact too long, best with low hp targets. Radiation will eventually kill any citizen that touches it, you can tell they have radiation poisoning by a yellow ring around them similar to effect of the rad spiker. Electricity will deal damage and stun citizens (higher HP targets can get stun locked until dead, sometimes they will escape though). Garbage and oil have no effect on citizens or security. keep an eye on tourists, they will explode when they die from hazards, careful one doesn't wander into a close by hazard
To survive hazards, try to skirt round them. Fire will damage you even if you jump over so move quick or avoid them. Electrical hazards can be jumped over. You will get radiation if you are too close in any direction, however, it damages you slowly and has no extra effects no matter how much you get (I tested this, there is no added effects for having thousands of rads, just means you cannot clear it over time. Using a sanitation booth or returning to STEV still wipes all radiation.). Additionally you can mitigate the impact of hazards by getting the upgrades in the bottom left of the workbench or authorising a sanitation booth in Hab modules.
- Tourists - You can use tourist's spontaneous combustion to your advantage. Creep into their trigger range and then back off quickly (note friendly tourists detonate quicker so this can be dangerous around them). This is very hard to do if under the effects of slippery oil. You can also push tourists by running into them, they will slide across the floor and you can back off to get out of their detonation range in time. Using this method you can occasionally find situations to kick them into other citizens/security. And with the Tour Guide gene trait, you can walk happily among the tourists without them detonating because of your presence (other hazards still set them off).
- Out to lunch - these ships are empty of citizens, only security will be present. However after a couple minutes citizens will arrive in large numbers. Move quickly to get what you need and get out before you are overrun.
To Upgrade or Not
There are arguments on both side, pick the method that suits you best. The idea behind not upgrading your equipment is that you will have more recycled materials by the end of the run and can build the more difficult to obtain parts needed to complete the game, without having to search ships for them.
Look in the workbench at what parts you need to finish the game, they will have a material cost, if you haven't got enough from raiding ships for junk or finding them on the star map, you can recycle other parts that you might not need.
Pros - Less visits to deeper, more dangerous ships
- Stacks well with Penny Pincher achievement
Cons - your clients will be very weak and harder to keep alive
Pros - You can get more HP to tank damage, and get damage reduction to hazards
- You can authorise security with the right upgrades
- More fuel and food through care packages and use of fuel scavenger
Cons - More likely you will have to visit more ships at lower, dangerous depths to retrieve final parts