There are hundreds of different encounters in the PC game FTL: Faster Than Light. Space battles are generally rather similar, depending on the layout of your ship, but text encounters vary greatly. In a text encounter, sometimes you will have a blue option. Blue options are almost always universally better than normal options, but can only be unlocked by possessing a specific piece of equipment, specific system upgrade, a specific race of crew member. Long-Ranged Sensors offer blue options in eight encounters. For the low cost of 30 scrap, this is an excellent cost to benefit ratio. Also, Long-Ranged Sensors will easily help you find the beacons that have these encounters. The following guide to Long-Ranged Sensors blue options will help you maximize your chance of finding and taking advantage of these options in FTL: Faster Than Light.
Federation Encrypted Signal – This event is found at empty beacons in sectors controlled by rebels, Engi, civilians, or the Abandoned Sector. If you investigate the signal, you have a chance of receiving a quest. There are two different possible quests, but if the text informs you that you found a secret federation base, then you Long-Ranged Sensors might be useful. If you arrive at the quest and your search reveals no results, run a second pass as a blue option, and you will get a free weapon. The chance of this chain randomly occurring is low, but when it does, without this augmentation, you will get nothing from the quest.
Smoldering Engi Research Station – You can only find this event at a distress beacon in an Engi system. Running another scan as your blue option gives you a choice between a drone schematic or an Engi crew member. This result is just optimal to the normal options which can end with nothing or a lost crew member.
“You Need Some Fuel?” – When you are completely out of fuel, you may see this event. The Long-Ranged Sensors blue option assures you that you will earn some fuel. There is a chance you will have to engage in battle, but the battle will always give you fuel. If you don’t battle, you will get more fuel than you can get from a normal option.
Small Ship in Asteroid Field – This event is very rare because you can only find it at a distress beacon in the Rebel Stronghold sector and you will only need your Long-Ranged Sensors if you have a Repair Drone or a Defense Drone. If you do have one of those, use one of those two blue options. If you are lucky, you will receive a quest that will send you to the second part of the Federation Encrypted Signal event.
Destroyed Cargo Ship – You will know this event because you will be informed of a destroyed cargo ship with scattered cargo nearby while at a beacon in a Pirate Controlled sector. Your Long-Ranged Scanners are your safest option by far, assuring you of scrap, and possibly other resources. All other options, including other blue options, can result in a battle or no resources.
Assistance Requested From Engi Ship – Despite the fact that the text for this event mentions a distress call, it does not detect as a distress call beacon. You Long-Ranged Sensors only have a chance of mattering in this encounter and only if you also have an Engi crew member. If you do, respond to the call. You may have to engage in battle, but if you don’t, you might get an Engi crew member Blue option that leads to a quest. This is once again the second part of the Federation Encrypted Signal event.
Heavily Damage Federation Ship in Nebula – As the name suggests, this event can only be found in a nebula. The Long-Ranged Sensors blue option assures you that you will never have to engage in battle in this event. If you also have the Crew Teleporter, choose that option instead because it gives better rewards.
Rebel Ship in Nebula – This is a rare event where the blue options are only questionably useful. If you choose stay hidden, you avoid a battle in this event. If you use any of the blue options, you always engage in battle. If you want to battle, this is your best choice because the other normal option can potentially lead to the rebel fleet gaining an extra jump on you. But, the only gain you get from Long-Ranged Sensors here is an assured battle.