Heat Signature Wiki

This page is as a basic how to play guide for Heat Signature.

Basic Gameplay[]

  • Welcome to the Drift. Here you will infiltrate ships and commit a variety of crimes against the four factions in a bid for independence (or money, we don't judge).
  • Each ship is procedurally generated and no two are alike. Your goal is always located on a ship and will require you to employ some creative thinking in order to overcome the obstacles in the way.
  • As such, your best friend is the Space key, which activates the pause menu, giving you full access to inventory. In this mode, you can calmly analyze the situation you are in and use your tools at your leisure: Time won't progress until you hit the pause button (or use firearms for aiming, then it merely slows down). Learn to use it every time you encounter a guard and figure out how to take them down without spending too much time or Gadget charges.
  • A situation usually has a number of solutions available, from direct violence to craftier pursuits. If a guard seems untouchable, it might be because you haven't figured out how to lure them away yet.
    • For example, if you are struggling with a guard who has armour, because you haven't packed explosives or armour-piercing weapons, you can always lure him into a room with a window and blow it out (then collect yourself with the pod) or teleport him into your pod and undock it (knocking him out in the process).
  • You don't need to eliminate every guard on the ship and deliver it to your station. Bringing it in gives you a modest payout, but if the target's elusive, just collecting the mission goal and leaving is fine as well.


  • Contractor/Player Movement: WASD
  • Pick Up: F
  • Carry Body (or Interact): E
  • Pause: Space
    • When paused, hold shift while moving the mouse to pan the camera
  • The default button for throwing an item is T.
  • Left Mouse Button: Increase thrust in given direction (ships do not slow down in vacuum, so you can use thrust sparingly)
  • Right Mouse Button (Pod): Braking thrusters/match speed (if near/hovering (mouse) over another ship)
  • Right Mouse Button (Starship): Fire missiles (on starships with missile launchers and living guards)
  • F: Hold down to accelerate time (useful for long-range travel)

Tips and tricks[]

There is one golden rule for for this game: PLAN. Things will go wrong, and if you do not have a contingency plan- well, you'll die. This means pressing space and assessing the situation like a paranoid guard in the game. But if your plan fails and everything goes wrong, just try to fire from all of your 4 hands at the same time... it can be quite helpful to carry 2 concussive shotguns, 1 grenade launcher and 1 hammer all at the same time...

And PAUSE a lot. Whenever your plan go wrong, you will always have enough time to re-plan by pausing. This game requires no real-time action, unless you wish it that way.

General Tips[]

  • If you have limited ammunition and there are too many guards, use the Keycard Cloner (target the guard with he key) or a Subverter (target the locked door). This can help you save time as you try to kill the Captain.
  • Use Rechargeable weapons whenever you can. In the long run, they'll help you save currency.
    • If you find a Self-Charging weapon (or gadget), keep it! It will recharge during the mission, which allows you to bypass the capacity limit of your Gadgets.
    • Non-chargable items sell at the same price even if you use it until only one charge. So feel free to use a bit before selling. Also, think about buying them other than rechargable ones since they are much cheaper.
  • Learn how to use the Longblade/Shortblade/Wrench/Concussion Hammer. By which we mean: Take notice of their ranges, noise, and knockback.
    • Longblade, the Wrench, and the Hammer have 8m ranges (usually enough to clear a corridor or single room in one leap). The Shortblade's range is 2m, but autoattacks.
    • Longblades and Shortblades are silent kills. The Hammer and Wrench are not.
    • Longblades and Shortblades have no knockback. The Wrench has moderate knockback, and the Hammer has ridiculous knockback.
    • Throw a lot. With one longblade, you can stealthly kill 3 unprotected guards with ease: use it, then throw it, then grab it back and throw again.
  • Be aware of the noise your weapons and other things emit. If guards hear a gunshot, they will sound the Alarm.
  • Always try to hide dead or unconscious guards. If conscious, alert guards find bodies, they will sound Alarms.
  • Just for you to feel better: try to only knock guards unconscious. Then throw them out of the airlock to slowly suffocate if you are in a sadistic mood.
  • Think about breaking windows. It makes no danger for alarm, and can save your gears for the way back to the pod. You may also perform actions like using gun noise to attract many guards near a window, then break the window to kill them all (be aware if the guard caries a key card & is blown into space...).
  • Throwing anything at the pilot will distract him. Just remember to teleport your gear back, or he will take it.

Advanced Tips[]

  • It is possible to throw trap items, such as Acid trap and Glitch trap.
    • Simply throwing a trap won't activate it though, but picking it up while in motion will cause it to retain its momentum in your inventory.
      • To throw an activatd trap, first put the item on left or right click and throw it, make sure to pause immediately after, dont wait for it to reach a target. Pick the trap up off the floor and then press right or left click as if you were to place it normally. The activated trap will now still have the momentum from when you threw it and launch into the direction of your target.
  • You can trigger slow motion manually.
    • Manual slow motion isn't bound to a button by default, so you'll have to go into the Options menu and bind it under the Controls tab. Now you can activate slow motion at any time you want.
  • You can move around by middle clicking a location instead of using WASD. This will only work while unpaused.
    • You can for instance zoom out and middle click your pod to walk back without pressing anything else. You can also hold F to speed up walking back.
    • When using WASD your character has momentum, meaning you can't stop in place but slide forward a little once you stop pressing buttons. Using middle click to walk somewhere doesn't have momentum, meaning you can turn around in an instant. In combination with manual slow motion, this can be useful for dodgin bullets.
  • Starships nearby the target ship can be hijacked to fire at the target. Use left-click to guide your star ship, and right-click to fire missiles.
    • In Assassination, Capture, and Rescue missions, you can blow off the target ship's engines and blast an easier path to the objective. You'll most certainly fail a clause (except Enigma) but you can get away with being under-equipped for the mission.
      • For example, if you hijack a Foundry ship and pilot it to the target ship, you can simply blow up the target (in Assassination) or kill the target ship's engines and then blow a path to the target (Rescue and Capture).
    • You can also hijack a ship and fly it to a hostile station, where the station will open fire on the ship.
  • Disabling the engines disables the Alarm. If you cannot make it to the Captain, consider this option.
    • Fuel Cells also breach, which causes anybody in adjacent rooms to be spaced.
  • Learn the limitations of the teleporters.
    • Visitor allows you to teleport to any area within its range before teleporting you back after two seconds.
    • Sidewinder allows to teleport to any area within its range as long as there are no obstructions.
    • Swapper allows you to switch places with a guard or a body (including Rescue targets).
  • When unlocking a new space station, avoid (when possible) to unlock stations that offer lower tier items, like medium-capacity or long-range, instead go for extreme-range, high-capacity & silenced. Yes, it will take longer to unlock the item, but in the long run you get a much higher chance to get REALLY powerful things, because it removes many bad feature-combinations.

See also[]