It's high time you got some backup—like a personal assistant, or perhaps, a deadly mobile attack drone!
Designed to be upgraded and customized, drones hover alongside you, blasting your enemies with a variety of onboard weapon systems. And with the right combination of skill mods, you can build yourself a drone that not only watches your back, but covers your ass, too!
There are several models of drones for you to choose from, and they come in up to four variants, each with better starting stats: Mark I (silver), Mark II (green), Mark III (purple), and Epic drones (gold). Whatever drone you have equipped stays with you across your various loadouts, although only in PvE; drones do not appear in PvP at all.
The various drones perform basically the same way—they follow you around and attack your enemies for you—but each model has its own particular type of weapon, and you can customize them with skill mods.
You can get a drone as a level reward, a reward for certain missions, or by buying them directly from the store. You even get a free Gatling Gundrone Mk.I at level 1!
The ZMR store carries three kinds of drones in kits: the Gatling Gundrone, the Thunderdrone, and the Lazerdrone. A Mk.I Drone Kit, containing a Mk.I Gatling Gundrone, Thunderdrone, or Lazerdrone can be purchased from the gold store, while the Mk.II varieties can be purchased from the EMP store.
Drones can also drop from the shooting galleries:
Silver Shooting Gallery
- Mk.I drones
- Mk. II drones
Gold Shooting Gallery
- Mk.II drones
- Mk.III drones
Platinum Shooting Gallery
- Mk.III drones
- Epic drones
The store also offers Drone Cases, which contain a random, drone-related item: anything from a plasma core to a drone mod, or possibly even an Epic drone.
When you first acquire a drone, it comes in a kit—and when you use the kit, the drone appears in your inventory, with its core stats determined at random:
A drone's life, much like a player's health, represents how much damage the drone can take before it is destroyed.
This represents how much damage the drone deals with its weapons.
This represents the range of the drone's attacks.
Ammo capacity represents how many shots the drone can fire before it runs out of ammo. (Unlike players, however, drones cannot pick up ammo during play.)
A drone's fire rate determines how frequently it attacks.
Working with Drones
When you open your locker, you'll see three tabs for equipment: personal, mech, and drones. When you select the drone tab, you'll be presented with five choices: Loadout, Upgrades, Mods, Salvage, and Shop.
If you click on the larger window on this screen, you'll see all of the drones you've purchased, and you can equip any of them from this screen, and its levels and stats will appear. You can also apply skill mods to that drone by clicking on any of the six mod slots.
Equip a drone on the upgrade screen to pump up its abilities—Life, Attack, Range, and Ammo Capacity—using Plasma Cores. Each Plasma Core adds either 1, 3, 5, or 10 points toward the next Ability level—which are displayed in green in the upper middle part of the upgrade screen. You can also upgrade a bit faster by spending EMP. Each 35 EMP you spend (by pressing the gold-colored button) adds either 5, 15, 25, or 100 points toward your next Ability level.
Note that nothing on this screen upgrades your drone's Fire Rate; you'll need to level up your drone through PvE combat for that.
This screen is about more than just purchasing skill mods to equip on your drone. Click the window on the left, select a skill mod that you have three of (and they must be the same type and level), then click the button on the upper right to combine them into one skill mod of the same type...but the next higher level!
In a hurry? Click on the window on the left, select a skill mod you have a lot of, then click on the button on the lower right to not only combine them into skill mods of the next higher level, but to combine those into skill mods of the next higher level, and so on, until you've combined every single skill mod into as many higher-level skill mods as you can!
When you have a drone that you don't want, you can use this screen to salvage it for parts, then apply those parts to another drone, improving its Experience and Ability levels.
The process is simple: Select a drone to scrap, and place it in the left-hand window. Then select a drone to receive the salvaged parts, and place it in the right-hand window. Decide whether you want to salvage 50 percent of the first drone's Experience and Ability for a variable sum of gold, or 100 percent for 395 EMP. Then click the button, confirm that you want to destroy the first drone (because once you salvage it, it's gone), and you're done!
The final screen of the drone menu allows you to buy drones and drone accessories directly from the store. This is also where your drones appear if you've already purchased or acquired them, but haven't yet unboxed them for use. (Drones come in “kits” that must be opened before use.) You can assemble a drone by clicking the “Use” button on the drone kit.
Remember: When you assemble a drone, its base stats are randomly generated. Those random stats, along with a color-coded image of the drone, appear at the top of the Shop screen.