In some situations, one of your primary systems might critically fail. This means that it’s malfunctioning and is no longer providing the effect it usually does. I’ll go into the specifics a bit later, but that is how it generally works.
A critical system failure, or CSF for short, can happen in a number of situations:
- You might be severely damaged and another direct hit to your hull could trigger a CSF
- You could get a critical hit which can trigger a CSF
- You could have a lot of built-up radiation that triggers a malfunction
As a general rule, with the exception of radiation-caused CSF, you need to suffer a lot of damage before a CSF can happen.
Let’s touch on the details:
- Flight stabilizers – You lose almost all flight controls, turning in particular.
- Life support – Your vision will gradually be more and more impaired and controls will start getting laggy.
- Ammo storage – A series of explosions is ripping your hull from within. Hull will drop severely.
- Weapon systems – Weapon energy is depleted, doesn’t recharge and you cannot use weapons at all while the system is in failure.
- Guidance system – You can fire missiles, but you can forget about them being guided in any way. Furthermore, unguided missiles have drastically reduced accuracy.
- Shield emitter – The shield emitter is destabilized. Protection provided by the shield is intermittent and the shield switches off and on randomly. There’s an extremely high probability that enemy shots will hit your hull directly.
- Engines – Your engines will work inconsistently and you’ll have a hard time controlling throttle in any proper sense of the word.
- Mainframe – The mainframe goes into reboot. While that is happening, you can forget about most of the heads-up display. Even if something is displayed, you cannot really trust it.
While you’re inside a radiation area, you will slowly build up radiation on your ship. The build-up rate depends on your shield’s radiation resistances, but generally, you will see an increase in radiation. Periodically, as the radiation rises, it can trigger a random Critical System Failure. Hence the connection. Ultimately though, when your ship is all soaked in radiation, the hull will begin to lose its structural properties and you will start losing hull altogether. It is best to try and not get into that situation because death will come quickly. Keep in mind that you can use Nanoscrubbers to flush built-up radiation in an instant.