Newly released sci-fi actioner Phantom Galaxies puts you in the cockpit of a mecha on the galactic frontier, where the Ranger Squadron does battle with three vicious pirate factions in a fight to keep the universe safe.
You’ll need to keep your wits about you as you engage in high-intensity combat both on the ground and in space, switching between your mecha and shipforms. Through a story-driven campaign, PvE bounties, and PvP multiplayer combat, you’ll customize and upgrade your starfighter to suit your play style.
Ready to get in the fray, Ranger? You’ll need to go through boot camp first, and GG has everything you need to know to get started.
Installing Phantom Galaxies
First off, you’ll need to decide what version of the game you want to play. There are two different versions available to play in Early Access: a Web3-enabled version direct from Blowfish Studios and on the Epic Games Store or a non-Web3 version on Steam.
Either way, Phantom Galaxies is completely free-to-play, and features blockchain integration which enables players to truly own in-game items and property.
There are two different versions of the game available to play in Early Access: a Web3-enabled version direct from Blowfish Studios and on the Epic Games Store or a non-Web3 version on Steam.
For this guide, we’ll be looking at the Web3 version; either download the game through the Epic Games Store or head to the official Phantom Galaxies site to download the Windows installer, which will walk you through the installation process.
Connecting your Web3 wallet
To connect your Web3 wallet and access the early access version of the game, you’ll need to head to the Phantom Galaxies website and click on “Connect Wallet.” You’ll be prompted to connect with one of the available wallet providers—MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, or an array of wallets that support WalletConnect—and sign in using your wallet.
Once you’ve connected your wallet, navigate to the “Play Now” page and click “Generate access code.” Again, you’ll be prompted to sign using your connected wallet. This will generate your code for early access; Download the launcher and paste your code to launch the game proper.
On launching the game, you’ll be greeted with a title screen giving you options to enter the game proper, fiddle with audio, visual, gameplay, and control options, and view your portfolio of in-game property.
The game is controlled with a mouse and keyboard (the final version will include gamepad support, too); in this early access version, tutorial controls and pop-ups reference the keyboard controls.
To get started, hit “Enter World,” and you’ll be given the chance to create your character with male and female avatars, or choose from a selection of NFT avatars available via the game’s website. In early access, you don’t have the option to fully customize your character, though you can cycle through randomly assigned traits until you hit on one you like the look of.
Once you’ve completed Phantom Galaxies’ cinematic intro, you’ll find yourself in the game’s hub, the Halberd-001 space station. Here, you can explore areas like the bridge, R&D department, and rec room and interact with characters between missions—such as Intel Officer Goda and Engineering Officer Pennaway, who’ll assign missions on the story path.
Terminals within the base enable you to access the game’s trading function, where you can buy and sell gear for your mecha, as well as accept bounty contracts. To launch into space, head for the Starfighter Console terminal, where you’ll be able to choose from one of two tutorial starfighers, each suited to a different playstyle. After the tutorial, you can choose between any of your NFT mechas, or unlock the F2P Breacher or Lancer class mechas after leveling up your pilot.
Tip: Keep an eye out for gear drops or buy upgrades at the shop to increase your power level.
To get stuck into the game proper, head to the Starfighter Console terminal, where you’ll launch a short tutorial mission that’ll teach you the basics of space combat, including maneuvering your starfighter and accessing your weapons systems and special abilities.
As you’re flying in outer space, you have many degrees of movement: you can strafe in four axes as well as turning and can fly backward, too; handy for getting the drop on a luckless space pirate.
Outside the Halberd-001, you’ll find hyper gates which let you hop between systems and planets.
Tip: Traveling through a Hyper Gate or entering a space station resets your health and Ultimate ability.
Combat is a fast-paced affair; you can blast your foes with energy beams (which drain your energy supply but regenerate), ballistic weapons, and guided missiles. Each starfighter also has a unique Ultimate ability; the Assault class, for example, can deploy a minigun with tracking bullets, while the Buster can unleash a hailstorm of missiles. Be careful, as your Ultimate ability is limited.
Of course, your enemies aren’t going to take all this lying down! Fortunately, your starfighter has shields, which regenerate, and health, which doesn’t.
You can boost to increase your speed and dodge left and right to evade incoming missiles—but keep an eye on your HEAT meter, which creeps up as you execute maneuvers and special attacks. Make sure you stay “In the Zone”—if you go over, you’ll start taking damage!
In space, you can switch between your starfighter’s ship and mecha forms: the former is more maneuverable, and the latter boasts more firepower and a devastating melee attack.
In ground combat, you’re limited to your mecha form, which offers the same abilities as in outer space.
While in outer space, you can also switch on your mining laser to blast away at asteroids, which yields minerals or crystals that can be used to upgrade equipment for your mecha.
Be careful when zapping asteroids; they break apart under the power of your mining beam, and the fragments can damage your spacecraft.
Bounties and PvP
You’ll access PvE bounty challenges through the terminals on Halberd-001. Bounties require you to destroy set numbers of enemies, challenging you to defeat enemies in a particular star system or plane, target a specific faction, or use your Ultimate ability to vanquish your foes.
Completing bounties nets you rewards in the form of in-game credits, which can be spent on upgrading your ship.
To take on other players in the PvP arena, you’ll need to head to the red hyper gate, located near the Halberd-001. In the PvP arena, you can take part in multiplayer battles and “Community Clash” events (check the Phantom Galaxies Discord to see when the next battle’s taking place in your time zone).