When you are in negative APs you can’t move your ship, nor do any activity that requires the use of APs. Obviously this is not something that you want to plan on having happen to you – especially when you are not on a planet or starbase!

Hopefully you don’t find yourself with negative Action Points (APs) very often. Most of the time would be when you are killed with less than 1,000 APs (since you immediately lose 1,000 APs when killed). Even then, you are safely logged out at your Homeworld and can recieve no further damage.

Unfortunately the only solution to having negative APs is to wait out the time required to naturally restore your APs back into the positives again (since you cannot use Drugs or Stim Chips to gain APs until you have at least 10 APs with which to use them). This can seem glacial at a mere 24 APs per 6 minutes.

Apart from being killed, there are several other ways that you can end up with negative APs:

  • trigger a Type 2 Time-bomb
  • be attacked by a NPC
  • get accepted into an alliance while you have less than 1,000 APs
  • have the Bussard Ramscoop engage (when you have less than 5 APs)

The obvious solution is to make sure you have plenty of APs in advance so that you don’t go into negative APs in the first place. This is not always so easy to ensure when you are killed, though.

Some advice on prevention

If you suspect the tiles to your destination are time-bombed, then don’t travel over them (obviously). Since you cannot have a time-bomb under a building, you could chose your route carefully to avoid open space. If you need to travel over a tile that you suspect has been time-bombed, then make sure you have over 1,500 APs (since the highest level time-bomb will cause you to lose 1,500 APs).

When attacking an NPC that is known to retreat hold or to attack at random, make sure you come prepared. Carry some Drugs (or Stim Chips) to give you an emergency boost (you can use them in combat at any time – but only when you have at least 10 APs remaining). As soon as you have used up your emergency boost, you want to get off the NPC and away to safety.

Even on negative APs, you can still retreat from an NPC who you are attacking. Of course, once you have retreated you will be unable to move until you gain enough APs. Being out of APs in open space is often considered an open invite for certain “less social” pilots to attack you.

If you have an outstanding application to join an alliance – never travel around with less than 1,000 APs. The moment you are accepted into the alliance, no matter where you are or what you are doing, you will lose 1,000 APs. Hopefully this is something that never occurs to you – but be aware of the possibility when switching alliances etc.

Do you know of any other ways that you can end up with negative APs? Do you have any suggestions on prevention? If so, please get in touch with me, Sparkle, when you are next in Artemis!