Suspense in Skytopia: The Anniversary Survival Guide

Your one-stop guide to getting the most out of Snowbreak's first anniversary.

Snowbreak's first Anniversary is upon us, and with it, a whole bunch of free stuff and other special promos. It would be wrong to expect anything else, after all. But with so much happening, it can be hard to keep track of it all.

Getting my allocation of bad jokes out of the way before the actual informative part of the article starts

But that's what this article is for, after all. Read on and be informed of all the goodies coming your way, as well how to make the most of some of the more interesting offers.

"Strolling on Air" Login Event

  • Limited operative banner ticket x 10
  • Lyfe - Wednesday outfit: Devoted Voyager

To get everything, log in on seven different days between July 11 and August 22:

  • Day 1: Lyfe - Wednesday outfit: Devoted Voyager
  • Day 2: limited operative banner ticket x 2
  • Day 3: limited operative banner ticket x 2
  • Day 4: limited operative banner ticket x 1
  • Day 5: limited operative banner ticket x 1
  • Day 6: limited operative banner ticket x 1
  • Day 7: limited operative banner ticket x 3

"Moments Together" Login Event

Limited weapon banner ticket x 10

To get everything, log in on seven different days between July 25 and August 22:

  • Day 1: limited weapon banner ticket x 1
  • Day 2: limited weapon banner ticket x 1
  • Day 3: limited weapon banner ticket x 2
  • Day 4: limited weapon banner ticket x 1
  • Day 5: limited weapon banner ticket x 1
  • Day 6: limited weapon banner ticket x 1
  • Day 7: limited weapon banner ticket x 3

Bonus Limited Operative Banner Tickets

Limited operative banner ticket x 10

Log in any time between July 11 and August 22, then collect the tickets in your mailbox.

Bonus Memory Chips and Stamina Refills

Period 1:

  • Memory Chip Bundle x 28
  • Medium Baldr Inhibitor (60AP refill) x 21 (1,260 AP total)

Period 2:

  • Memory Chip Bundle x 28
  • Medium Baldr Inhibitor (60AP refill) x 21 (1,260 AP total)

To get everything, log in every day during the two reward periods to get four Memory Chip Bundles and three Medium Baldr Inhibitors delivered to your mailbox:

  • Period 1: July 11 - July 17
  • Period 2: July 25 - July 31

There is no rewards "track" for this login campaign, and thus if you miss a day during either period, you will not receive the reward for that day. Don't miss out!

Special Invitation: Fenny - Starshine

  • SSR operative: Fenny - Starshine
  • 1 set of Reverie Squad logistics

Log in on any day between July 25 and August 22, then claim your rewards through the corresponding event page. Getting a new character for free is always nice, but the Reverie Squad logistics set will almost definitely come with preset substat rolls designed to work well for Fenny. They won't be perfect of course, but they'll definitely be more than competent. During the Special Invitation promotion featuring Enya - Exuvia, I personally found the preset stats on the free Areca Squad logistics set to be good enough that I didn't even bother attempting to farm for better pieces.

For most players, this is a great opportunity to immediately get a entire character package that requires no further farming aside from obtaining a suitable weapon (more on this later) and the upgrade materials required to level everything up.

"Fantasies of Yore" Limited Operative Rerun Gacha Banner

Okay, this one isn't a freebie, but it's still worth discussing. This special banner runs from July 11 to August 22, and offers you the choice of one of the following limited operatives to pull for:

  • Acacia - Kaguya
  • Chenxing - Ethereal Cloud
  • Haru - Absconditus
  • Mauxir - Shadow Ka
  • Tess - The Magician
  • Katya - Blue Bolt
  • Eatchel - The Cub

However, once you pick an operative, that choice is locked in and cannot be changed. Choose carefully! Or read the following section with my personal recommendations.

(Also check out the deep dive on 50/50 vs 100% banners to help you pick which option to go for!)

Acacia - Kaguya

Still an amazing all-rounder of a support. Fitting into almost any team comp, there are very few situations where she won't be of some use.

Verdict: A solid and safe pick. Highly recommended.

Chenxing - Ethereal Cloud

Chenxing is still a top source of sustained DPS, but she has seen stiff competition from more recent releases like Katya - Blue Bolt. As well, the game's shift towards a more burst-heavy meta does leave her in a bit of an awkward spot. But if you just want a comfy gun DPS, she fits the bill.

Verdict: Showing her age a bit, but still one of the top dogs for DPS.

Haru - Absconditus

I've never been the biggest fan of Haru personally, as I find her to be a bit too specialized towards trivial content that other DPS operatives can handle just fine (with the weird edge case of Fiend). But she still is the queen of brain-off mobbing quality-of-life, and that will definitely appeal to a certain type of player.

Verdict: Does her job as well as the day she released, but make sure you know what you're getting into.

Mauxir - Shadow Ka

While recent bosses have been pretty enthusiastic about spamming invulnerability phases and prematurely ending Mauxir's support skill, she continues to find strong synergies with top DPS operatives and I don't expect that to change anytime soon.

Between her and Acacia, Acacia will be more generally useful, but Mauxir covers several unique niches that are extremely useful if you know how to take advantage of them. It sucks that you can't pick two operatives, because having to choose between these two will be tough.

Verdict: The only real competitor to Kaguya for your pick. Highly recommended.

Tess - The Magician

If you're a new player: Tess probably isn't for you. She's a support that provides relatively niche utility in that she's essentially a giant U-Energy battery. As well, she has very limited usefulness as a support due to the length of her cooldowns, which limits the vast majority of her use to endgame competitive Neural Simulation runs.

But if you've been around for a bit longer (and care about sweating in Sim), she's worth thinking about. Tess' U-Energy battery is very useful for multiple top DPS operatives like Yao - WInter Solstice, Cherno - Enigma, and even some more unorthodox picks like Fritia - Hush. I don't think I'd recommend her over either Acacia or Mauxir, but Tess makes for a compelling choice if you've got both of them already.

Verdict: Worth considering for veteran players, not so much for newbies.

Katya - Blue Bolt

Some call her the Chenxing Killer, but I think she comes with enough drawbacks to keep it at least a little competitive. Like Chenxing, she's also a very strong sustained damage DPS with the unique quirk of never having to reload. She's also the only operative in the game that doesn't fire hitscan projectiles, which can mean a relatively steeper learning curve for new players, especially when you also have to get used to her stationary turret stance. The jury's out on if she really saved Snowbreak, but she certainly won't do you wrong in combat as long as you can handle her quirks.

And besides, I know at least some of you are going to be selling your kidneys for her secretary outfit that's rerunning this update.

Verdict: The classic femme fatale, with the damage and looks to back it up.

Eatchel - The Cub

No. Absolutely do NOT pick Eatchel here.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that unless you invest very heavily in her, she's primarily just a passive healer and not much else. She does eventually become quite a potent (but niche) attack buffer, but you're looking at performance that goes far, far beyond what Eatchel does out of the box. And while constant passive healing sounds great for new players struggling to clear content, you'll also be getting Yao - Quiet Quitter for free through a new player login campaign who will be more than enough healing, if not requiring a bit more attention to use. Chenxing - The Observer is also a relatively easy-to-obtain SR operative who can function as a second healer for situations where you need two. But fundamentally, Snowbreak is a game where almost all problems can be more efficiently solved with "just do more damage (faster)," which drastically reduces the value that healing provides.

I don't toss the word "brick" around lightly, but picking an operative who provides purely defensive utility until high levels of investment is not a good investment of the stash of pulls you'll get as a new player, and you'll get much more lasting use out of a good support or DPS, of which multiple are available for selection instead.

Also, Eatchel is showing up on a normal rerun banner at the start of August, so you can literally just wait a few weeks to get her there.

Verdict: Why?

Limited SSR Weapon Selector And Rerun

Limited SSR weapon selector box. It can be redeemed for any of the following weapons:

  • Pine Aurora
  • Anti-Evil Ward
  • 16-Psyche
  • Alloy Truth
  • Eccentric Joker
  • Neptune Nova
  • Blitzing Fangs

Alternately, you can also choose to receive 30 Weapon Components, which is enough to purchase an SSR weapon from the Weapon Exchange shop.

Log in on any day between July 20 and August 22 to get it.

Rerun Gacha

Running from July 11 to August 22, this banner features the same weapons available in the weapon box. Like the special operative rerun banner, you can only choose one weapon to pull for.

Recommendations

Since the weapon box and rerun banner share the same weapon selection, I figured I'd combine them into one section so I could cover my recommendations for both at once, since they apply to both.

The simple answer is that which weapons you pick will heavily depend on which operatives you have (or plan to get), as almost every weapon here is tailor-made for their corresponding operative and has limited use elsewhere. Or at least, this is the case with every weapon that pairs with a DPS operative. If you just want to kit out your DPS with a new toy, that's all you need to know. But if you're looking to get something nice for one of your supports, a bit more thought comes into play.

Pine Aurora

I hate to say it, but Pine Aurora is probably the most skippable weapon here in terms of its relative usefulness. It gets most of its unique value from its passive Frost damage boost, which doesn't do much of anything if your Acacia is supporting a DPS of a different element. In most cases though, the SR pistol Prismatic Igniter will do the job just fine, and actually comes out on top sometimes. The only real caveat to that is that you will have to care more about attack rolls on the logistics substats you give Acacia, in order to maximize the value that Pris' weapon skill provides - something that Pine Aurora gives the luxury of not having to think about.

Eccentric Joker

With Tess already being a relatively niche support that only really gets value if you have a developed account already, you'd think her signature would suffer the same fate. But that's hardly the case. Tess' freebie weapon, Wasp, doesn't give you anything in the way of an attack boost, which makes Joker a massive upgrade over it. What this means is that if you're in a position where pulling for Tess makes sense for your account, then you'd do well to get her gun as well. Take it from someone who's been coping with Wasp Tess this entire time.

Blitzing Fangs

If you read the previous section on Tess's weapon, I think you'll have an idea of how this one will go. Eatchel being so niche as an offensive support makes it so that if you can take advantage of that, having her signature weapon is extremely important if not mandatory. But if you just want to use Eatchel as a passive health pack, you won't miss out too much from giving Fangs a skip.

Also, it's rerunning in August alongside Eatchel, so maybe don't pick this for the special limited rerun banner.

Alloy Truth

I've saved the best for the last.

Alloy Truth is arguably the best support weapon in the entire game. Full stop. Aside from providing a massive attack buff, it can also additionally boost critical hit damage (with some strings attached), making it ridiculously good on any operative that can take advantage of it. And I don't just mean DPS operatives enjoying its buffs - the sheer power of this weapon is enough to turn supposed DPS units like Lyfe - Wild Hunt into supports, and even give otherwise irrelevant operatives like Cherno - Those Two a taste of relevance.

In Alloy we trust.

It's one of the few SSR weapons that I have at T2, and for good reason.

Weapon Components

If nothing in the weapon selector box catches your eye, you can opt to get 30 Weapon Components instead. This essentially lets you T2 any weapon you already own a copy of. Of the options that aren't already available in the selector, you have the standard SSR weapon pool and signature weapons for Cherno - Enigma, Enya - Exuvia, and Siris - Ksana.

The only two weapons I'd recommend T2ing from the standard pool are Space Cowboy and Star Ocean, with the latter really only being worth it if you want to kill Fiend extra hard with Haru - Absconditus. Even then, I'd think twice about blowing this rare gift on a standard pool weapon, as those can slowly be farmed out through the reward tickets you get from pulling gacha.

That leaves us with the weapons that are too new to be included. They're all very good, and totally worth T2ing if you get a good amount of use from them. Enya, being a weird sub-DPS support, is probably the least enticing of the bunch, but both Cherno and Siris will massively benefit from a weapon dupe.

Bonus: New Player Tips

Anniversaries are always a time when new player counts surge, and I'd like to welcome anyone that's recently picked up the game. I've got a few tips to keep in mind to help you along your journey:

When In Doubt, Save Your Resources

If you're progressing through the game fine and don't feel the need for more power, just keep going until you finally hit that difficulty wall. It'll give you more time to learn about the game before investing resources into things that may or may not be worth it, and it also keeps the game a fun challenge. But the flipside to this is that resources are there to be used - if you've got something you know is good, absolutely give it some love.

Use Your Operative Selector Wisely!

Upon clearing chapter 4-12, you'll unlock a selector that will let you get your hands on one of the following operatives:

  • Marian - Swift
  • Fritia - Hush
  • Lyfe - Wild Hunt
  • Fenny - Coronet
  • Yao - Winter Solstice

If you're looking to get the most bang for your buck, you realistically have two options:

Fenny - Coronet is very cheap to get running, as she basically gets her entire kit out of the box. Pair that with the SR shotgun Discordance that you can get from a new player weapon box, and you'll be slinging lead at baddies in no time.

Yao - Winter Solstice on the other hand is a high-damage sniper who still sees meta usage at the top level of Neural Sim competition (though recent DPS releases have started to push her out of the spotlight). She does require a bit more oomph to get going - Manifest 1 and a copy of her signature weapon Space Cowboy is highly recommended - but she'll still hold her own in almost any content and remind you why she was once the most broken DPS in game.

All the other operatives aren't completely useless, but they'll require much more investment before they really become properly fun to use. And if you're undecided, there's actually no rush to pick - the selector doesn't go away until you use it, so feel free to take your time.

Don't Be Afraid To Queue For Gigalink

Something I hear a LOT from new players is a sense of anxiety and nervousness to actually play Gigalink as a co-op mode with other players. And it's understandable, as nobody wants to be a deadweight.

But honestly, don't worry about it. Gigalink is absolutely an "A for effort" game mode, and it will even rubber band your damage based on the account levels of everyone in the match, giving you a shot to keep up with any scary level 100 accounts you see. Not that you should be afraid of them though - anyone who's good enough to carry a Gigalink lobby of new players definitely won't care that they ended up doing most of the damage. There are occasional bad apples here and there of course, but those are almost definitely the exception and the vast majority of veterans will be more than happy to hang out with a new player and blast enemies together.

Event Shops Are Great

One thing you'll notice is that most players exclusively farm event stages instead of normal Operations when given the option, and that's for good reason. All upgrade materials on offer in event shops are much more stamina-efficient to farm for than through the standard Operation that would provide the equivalent item. And in a game where farming is limited by stamina like this, efficiency is king.

As well, event shops will always offer an SR weapon intended as a free alternative to an operative's signature weapon. Their performance will generally be around 20-30% worse than T1 of the corresponding gacha gun, but you'll hardly notice the difference unless you want to chase top placements on the Neural Sim leaderboards. As a bonus, newly debuting shop guns will also let you buy the first copy for half off, making it an enticing pick up even as just a collector's item.

Event shops will also have some more peculiar items for sale, like base trophies and weapon attachments. These use the special event currency that can't be farmed, and must be obtained through completing event missions. Some you might not miss too much, like extra Silverbucks, but other items like the aforementioned base trophy are currently only available through these shops and have not been made available again to date. Stay on top of your event missions so you can get everything on offer.

As for what to spend your hard-earned currency on, allow me to provide a priority list. Or well, two.

Standard Currency

This is the currency that can be obtained through event farm stages.

  1. Shop weapons and logistics squad pieces (as necessary)
  2. Rarer upgrade materials (these will have an orange border)
  3. Any other resources you need. Hot items include Silverbucks, weapon uncap materials (especially the blue ones), and Fiber Axons (that stuff you use for unlocking operative Neuronics).

Special Currency

This is the stuff you can only get through missions. If you complete everything in an event, you'll get enough currency to buy everything that costs special currency, so you won't have to choose. But if you want to prioritize your purchases, or weren't able to quite get enough:

  1. Limited operative banner tickets
  2. Base trophies (for collectors)
  3. Weapon attachments*
  4. Any other resources you may need

*Weapon attachments are technically pretty important to buy, but with the upcoming weapon parts shop, you should be able to just get them later when they inevitably get added there. So if you have to choose between weapon parts and something else, it's worth keeping in mind.