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. The cloaking system offers you nearly the same benefits in a text encounter that it offers in battle. It will usually protect you from being attacked completely. This is especially handy if you are trying to get certain achievements, though it can save you from nasty repercussions even if you aren’t trying to be a pacifist. The following guide to cloaking system blue options will help you maximize your chance of finding and taking advantage of these options in FTL: Faster Than Light.
Automated Scout in Plasma Storm – If you can possibly avoid Plasma Storms, you should. But, if you can’t, then this event is much less dangerous when your ship is equipped with a cloaking system. This blue option lets you completely avoid a battle in one of the worst battle environments in the game. If you also happen to have level 6 engines, choose the cloaking blue option instead, because it assures you avoid battle, while engines only give you a chance of avoiding battle.
Ship Offers Fuel – When you are completely out of fuel, this event can appear. A ship offers to dock with you and give you fuel. This event can potentially result in a battle, but even if it does, you will gain fuel. If you use your cloaking system, you get absolutely nothing from the event, which means you are still stuck in space. Never choose this option.
Mantis Ship Unaware of Your Ship – This event appears only in a Mantis system or in an Engi Controlled system. You may choose to fight the ship or try to evade. Your cloaking system can’t assure you will evade, but it greatly increases your chances. If you want to fight, ignore your cloaking system and just lay into the enemy.
Ambush by Mantis Warship – You can only encounter this event in the Mantis Homeworlds sector. While it looks like you have the option to fight or to flee, both options lead to a battle with a Mantis vessel. If you either don’t think your ship is capable of winning the battle, or you simply don’t want to engage in a battle, the only way to avoid a fight is to use the cloaking system blue option. This will always successfully avoid a battle.
Rebel Ship in Nebula – This encounter only appears in a Nebula in the Slug Home Nebula. A rebel ship is waiting for you at the beacon, though your jump took you slightly off course. This gives you the option to avoid the fight completely. If you choose the cloaking system blue option, you will avoid a battle at no cost to your ship or risk to your crew.
Malfunctioning Defense System – You can only find this event in systems controlled by common aliens: Engi, Mantis, Rockmen, and Zoltan. It always appears at a distress beacon without a ship. This event is particularly noteworthy for ships with the cloaking system, because you get increased rewards for each upgrade your cloaking system has received, with the best rewards if you have fully upgraded it. If you haven’t fully upgraded your cloaking system, the rewards from an Engi crew member blue option or an ion weapon blue option are superior, but otherwise you should choose this option.
Automated Ship Defending Rebel Space Station – This event is unique because it is the one event in the game where having a cloaking system that hasn’t been upgraded offers you the best rewards possible. You can obtain the same resources from using your cloaking system blue option that you can get from fighting the automated ship, but with no cost to your resources and no risk to your ship. This is particularly nice because it is even possible to get a new weapon from this option.