Getting Started

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Game Objectives

Steambirds Alliance throws the player into a war against the Feline Empire as an Avian pilot of the Alliance. Your role, under the guidance of The Sergeant, is to enter enemy territory and take down the war machines of the Empire's nobles. Destroy enough of them, and you'll be faced with the Great Leader Meowza's personal war machine, the final obstacle in the Alliance's quest to liberate the land from the tyranny of the cats. However, it's not that simple. Destroying the machine once means nothing to the Great Leader.

Player Death

Steambirds Alliance has significant consequences if you are shot down. If your aircraft crashes, the pilot ejects safely and the aircraft is recovered. However, any upgrades you have applied to the aircraft are reduced by 50%, and any equipment in your possession is damaged, reducing its effectiveness.


  • Levels: Each aircraft starts at level 1. By gaining XP from destroyed enemies and completed Missions, the player can elevate their aircraft all the way up to level 20 for a sizable increase in attack power and armor.
  • Equipment: All aircraft use a Primary Weapon and a Secondary Weapon. In addition, Engines and Armor plating provide benefits to stats and armor. All aircraft start with Tier 0 gear, but can quickly acquire more powerful weapons, abilities and armor via enemy drops and Mission rewards. Unwanted gear can be easily Recycled to earn Scrap for upgrading or repairing broken equipment, or kept in Storage for later use.

Note: Unlike traditional MMOs, there is no selling equipment to NPCs. Gear progression is fast in the early game, with crafting being the endgame.

  • Stat Upgrades: High-level nobles and dungeons hold incremental upgrades which can be consumed to further improve an aircraft's performance. Each plane can only support a certain number of upgrades --- consult the Stats section in the main menu to track your progress.
  • Crafting: Crafting is unlocked once you reach level 20 on an aircraft for the first time. The crafting system, accessed at the Workshop, allows you to create new pieces of equipment, upgrade the attack power of Elemental and Special equipment, and more. Crafting materials are found as drops from enemies and bosses, or by completing Missions, and do not take up inventory space.
  • Class Unlocks: Steambirds Alliance currently has 15 Classes of aircraft, but only one is unlocked at the start. New classes will be unlocked permanently once certain level thresholds are met on specific aircraft.
  • Pilot Rank: Once the player has crashed an aircraft for the first time, they gain access to the Pilot School, a facility which allows them to invest skill points into Pilot Skills for passive bonuses. These skill points are acquired by increasing one's Pilot Level with Pilot XP, 65% of which is gained actively by the player, with the other 35% being awarded upon retiring an aircraft.

Types of Aircraft

The game has two types of aircraft:

  • Planes: "single stick" aircraft which shoot in the direction of flight.
  • Hovercraft: "twin stick" aircraft which shoot in the direction specified by the player.

Types of Controls

Controls can be customized in the Esc menu. Any combination of joystick/keyboard/mouse is supported.

Regardless of which input devices are used, there are two sets of control mappings, one for each of the two types of aircraft.

  • Dual-stick: used by all hovercraft, including your first aircraft, the Quad.
    • Pressing a movement direction causes your hovercraft to move in that direction, steering itself as needed.
    • Aiming is done using a mouse or joystick. Maneuvers and superspeeding are mapped to specialized buttons/keys.
  • Single-stick: used by all planes. Single-stick control mappings only appear once you have unlocked a plane-type class.
    • Left and right movement directions steer the plane directly. Up direction activates superspeeding and down direction activates the plane's maneuver.
    • Aiming is done by steering the plane. Maneuvers and superspeeding are integrated into movement inputs (superspeeding may also be activated using a specialized button/key).


T0-T10 equipment is the most common salvage from enemies. Effectiveness increases greatly with each tier, and weapon firing patterns are generally easy to use in a wide variety of situations.

Crafted weapons are created at the Workshop.

  • Crafted Weapons' only common characteristic is that, apart from trading, they are only obtainable through the Workshop.
  • Some Crafted weapons have very unusual bullet patterns, like Jhirin Kousen. Others deal small amounts of elemental damage, have non-existent reload times, or fire bullets backwards.

Elemental (ELEM) equipment specializes in one of five Elements, and drops from T10 dungeon bosses.

  • Elemental Weapons deal elemental damage and have unusual bullet patterns. Some are better than T10s for general use, while others are more niche. Generally, they are good in the dungeons where the enemies are weak to their element.
  • Elemental Armor provides resistance against incoming elemental attacks, reducing damage taken and diminishing the potency and duration of harmful status effects.

Special (SPEC) equipment drops from bosses, both on The Island and in dungeons.

  • Special Weapons vary wildly in power and are meant to be alternative choices to T10 weapons --- some are better than T10s in terms of both damage output and ease of use, while others are more unique and mainly exist to enable more creative approaches to combat.
  • Special Armor provides benefits to other stats while also increasing armor.

Still have questions? Check out the FAQ page for more info.

Some parts taken from the Newbie Guide by Tantarian