Team Mode is a game mode in Starblast.io, released on 14 April 2017. In Team Mode, you can join as one of three factions, randomly named and with random colors and facility names. Your ultimate goal is to work with your team-mates and help destroy all enemies space stations and ships. (a basic Tutorial here Team mode Tutorial)
Players can upgrade up to Tier 3 before needing to upgrade the station to unlock higher tier Ships. This can be done by depositing crystals into the station depots, which takes time and prevents ships from moving while doing so. Depositing crystals also gives you an equal amount of credits, which you can use to buy pods and other secondary weapons. It is vital to upgrade the station as quickly as possible to enable the team to compete. The team that upgrades the base the fastest is often the one that coordinates most efficiently, and thus generally ends up being the winner. Coordination between players is a must in Team Mode, and it is not recommended to roam the map alone unless if you have bought many upgrades. Sticking together in large bands can decimate most competition, as groups of ships will almost always win against ships on their own. Buying lives is generally not recommended (All ships level 1-6 having 4 lives now instead of 3)as it is almost always better to deposit your crystals to the station, unless if the team has already unlocked Tier 7. Also, if you are on your last life, it may be worth it to buy an extra life to avoid downgrading, especially if the risk of being attacked is high. Upgrading the station does reward you with points, equal to the number of gems donated.
All ships before level 7 have 4 lives instead of 3. Attack pods do not damage ships when you are in a depot (Although the pods will attempt to shoot at you and hit the depot instead) or immune after leaving a depot as this frustrated many players on the team trying to destroy the base.
You can also transfer crystals with [V] to your teammates. In Team Mode, revenge markers are not present (though the rest of the revenge mechanic remains), and a unique algorithm is used for the initial team-joining check. All three teams are available for joining initially. The conditions for a team to be open to joining is:
- Total shield + energy capacity is less than x+300, where x is the average of energy + shield capacity of all ships in all teams.
- Number of players is less than ~30.
- A single team is heavily dominating, in which case, the other two teams remain open.
- Player skill is now factored in with the locking of teams (purpose of it is to evenly distribute the skilled players between the 3 teams to avoid massive sweeps which most people hate, even skilled players)
A maximum of ~70 players can join a non-custom Team Mode, with a maximum of ~30 per team.
The unique friendly-fire mechanism is implemented in Team Mode, where damaging shots from friendly players pass through friendly ships. Friendly collisions also damage only the ship that was thrusting against the other ship (this is mainly to avoid grieving Barracudas, which used to be a big problem). Ships that re-spawn in Team Mode is immune to all damage for 10 seconds, provided they do not fire lasers themselves(Although they can still fire secondaries without losing their invincibility). This is to help prevent spawn-camping and is indicated by the ship flashing. Crystal yield in Team Mode is also higher, with the rate being 2x, as opposed to 1.35x in Survival Mode. There is a unique system in team mode where the gem drop rate increases over the first 5 minutes from both asteroids and the center aliens that start at ~1 gem to the maximum amount of gems it will drop (asteroids drop far more gems than the aliens), the aliens give 10 as their max gem drop.
Once a space-station has been destroyed, no new players can join that team, and any existing ships in that team are immediately destroyed, and the faction is eliminated from the rest of the game. Generally, when a match has gotten to the point where a station has been destroyed, a single team is dominating. Attempting to decimate a dominating team by allying with the other team(Commonly known as Cross-Teaming) is often a good option in dire conditions. The station can now be destroyed just by destroying both the spawn ports and depots.
With the October 2019 update the team recognizes the best healer, killer and contributor in a team by a little icon by their name. They will also show up under the basic info of the said ship who has them. Also by clicking the "esc" button you can see your deaths, kills, gems donated (in team modes and team mode based mods), and current credit amount.
After a team wins, it is common to celebrate by spewing gems everywhere and spamming GG.
In the race to upgrade the station, a fairly good strategy is to skirmish enemies with nearly full cargo's and vulnerable ships, usually with multiple players, while other players remain to mine for the station. This sabotages enemy upgrades. It is not recommended to attempt a full-out assault on enemy stations before attaining fully upgraded Tier 6 ships, as the stations are exceptionally strong. (You can do this when the other team has been downgraded by yours and you have powerful ships.) To upgrade to Tier 7 ships, stations need to be Level 4 and have full gem capacity. However, it is recommended to fully upgrade Tier 6 ships before mining to max the base cargo. Tier 7 ships also have zero lives in Team Mode, meaning one death downgrades them back to Tier 6. A good choice of Tier 7 ship is the Bastion, which is very powerful in groups.
It is common in Team Mode for players to not coordinate, often filling their cargo's and waiting for others to upgrade the station while sitting at the base, or to frequently steal crystals from team-mates(Hard to do now due to the gem-stealing countermeasure). It is also harder to gem steal because you can't pick up more gems with a full cargo. (Also there is an increase in teammates helping each other mine.) But generally, it is best to ignore such players. If too many such players exist inside a team, switch to another team to maximize chances of winning. Once all other stations have been destroyed, the victory screen will show up and the server will shut down. Even though the week test (and eventual update) from 2019-04-25 has drastically increased coordination with random people in team mode, you can still find teams without much coordination, but this is now somewhat rare.
If you go to the depot, you can change your laser pattern from offensive to healing, or from healing to offensive. You can then heal other ships on your team as well as their pods by hitting them with your lasers. While switching to healing still allows you to mine, your lasers will pass through enemy ships without damaging them. Some ships heal better than others, For example, ships like the X2 with poor DPS don't make good healers but other ships like the Furystar or Aetos do. You can also donate/contribute gems and buy secondaries with the credits from the donated gems. A good way to power mine is to use ships with high shield capacity and regen as well as high mass(Such as the Barracuda) to ram and shoot asteroids, and then have healers behind them constantly healing them when they are low on health. This can get a lot of gems very quickly, however, groups like this must be careful during fights as healing lasers can not damage enemies. There is a new strategy popping up in team mode involving heavy mines, all you have to do is go into one of the gaps with a full load of level 4+ of mines (one person will do very well), spam place them around you and attack the base normally. The other team will come running in try to attack you, but they will blow up the mines doing insane damage to the base (even higher than torpedoes). There is one really good counter, using projectiles (rockets, missiles, torpedoes) as they don't affect the mines, and then leaving the mines alone. Eventually, the base will drift away from the mines and they can be safely removed. This is now rare to find, partly to do with people knowing how to stop it and due to there being more coordination.
Healing Lasers- This is a new mechanic added to team mode that changed the way many people played the game! This update made more people think more tactically. This update leads to many players helping teammates by healing them. To heal you need to go to the station depot and click on the option where it says "Healing." when this is done your lasers turn into much more of a fun looking laser which shows "+"s when its flying and when you heal a player. The amount the player gets healed by is determined by your ship and its stats. The game mechanic allows players to act more as a group and stops the problem with people flying solo and killing the whole team. Healing gives points (1 point every 10 shields healed) in team mode (and team mode based modding space mods) thanks to the October 2019 update. The best healer is recognized in a team. Same for the best contributor and the best killer.
Gem-Transfer- This is a new mechanic added to team mode that allows players to drop gems for other teammates! This update furthermore allowed players to think as one and to play as one as there is no "I" in TEAM! This mechanic is done by holding "V" which allows you to drop gems by the amount you need to upgrade each stat such as a t3 can only drop 15 gems while a t6 can drop 30 gems! This is a very good strategy in team mode as you can help teammates that need gems so they can upgrade get gems and help your team get ready for danger and be prepared for opponents. This mechanic added more thought into the games and more fun things to do.
Ship Rescues- This was a mechanic added to team mode just before the first Alpha Centauri Wars as a way for players to return to the game on the same team after disconnecting or leaving. If the player leaves the game while in a gem depot they will not lose their ship, credits, secondaries or points. If done outside of a depot, the player still keeps their ship upon their return (Assuming the player had extra lives), but it counts as a death.
Gem-Stealing Countermeasure-This was a mechanic added to team mode to help prevent gem stealing when mining. Before this was added, when an asteroid was destroyed anyone could come and immediately pick up the gems, leading to teammates fighting over gems from asteroids and taking gems from an asteroid they didn't mine themselves. With this mechanic only the person who dealt the most damage to an asteroid can pick up the gems immediately; other players will need to wait 2 seconds until the game allows them to pick the gems up themselves. While it drastically reduced cases of teammates gem-stealing, it is still possible to occasionally gem-steal if you are a heavier ship and you knock your teammate away from the gems they just mined.
Gem Drops & Alien Spawning
As of 2019-04-25, the center of the map in Team Mode periodically drops gems. Four days later, the gem drops were changed to Green Chicken aliens that dropped gems when killed, so teams would stop sitting there and acquiring free gems. Later on, the devs increased the strength and number of aliens, so fighting them became harder. You can acquire gems very quickly in the early game by killing these aliens as opposed to mining, but the further the game progresses the less effective farming aliens get. This is because the spawn rate of the aliens is limited and doesn't change, making mining eventually more efficient, especially with great miners like the O-Defender. These aliens are much stronger in the Alpha Centauri Wars event, with Yellow Saucers, Yellow Hirsutes, and Red Piranhas. They also drop far more gems, with just one being able to fill up the cargo of high tier ships. As of the 9-13-19 update the aliens that spawn at the sun in team mode no longer give points when killed or add to the player's frag count.