Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have any hints or tips for playing Swoop?

Last Updated Sep 16, 2005

Ah, young grasshopper seeks enlightenment. You have come to the right place. Use some of these hints to gain good karma or to beat the pants off of your brother's high scores:

      • Learn how each alien moves. Despite initial appearances, each bug
         flies in pretty strict patterns. The problem is that there are
         quite a number of patterns. But once you get the hang of them,
         you will be able to second-guess most bug movements. Most bugs
         will swoop down to a certain level and will then break off into
         one of three directions - left, straight down or right.

      • Stay away from the borders - the Swoopers just love to come
         swinging back in from nowhere.

      • Choose your weapons carefully. Certain weapons are good in certain
         situations and some are just overkill or not very effective in
         others. If you have a x4 Bonus Multiplier and there are currently
         two sets of Flagships swooping down, a Spider is looking you
         over, and the Bomber is approaching, then activating the Nuke is
         highly recommended. Activating something like twin-shot bullets
         is not.

      • Use your weapons - don't fall to "Pacman Syndrome" where you get
         killed because you were holding back your weapons (or Power
         Pellets in Pacman) for "special occasions". There's nothing worse
         than being destroyed when you have 4 Nukes in the armory...

      • Keep that Bonus Multiplier safe. If your ship is destroyed then
         you also lose the multiplier. Bad news huh? So if you've got a x5
         multiplier, you'd better protect your ship with every weapon you

      • Shoot for accuracy. You receive 20000 points if you manage to kill
         off all formation aliens in a wave without missing a single shot!
         Each shot that you miss could cost you thousands of points, so
         don't fire indiscriminately with the machine gun on the early
         waves. The best news is that the Bonus Multiplier also applies to
         the accuracy bonus. Do the math!

      • Spiders become progressively more heavily shielded as the waves
         increase. Shields and Orbital Shields (the spinning red balls)
         will take the Spider out quite nicely and the Cloak will allow
         you to pass through the Spider with nil problemos.

      • Try to take out the Bomber as soon as you hear the warning klaxon
         sound. It only takes a few shots and it sure beats dodging
         particle bombs.

      • Be careful with the Orbital Shields (the red spinning balls).
         They can be a great defensive and offensive weapon but good
         timing is needed to ensure that the bad guys don't slip in
         between the gaps.

      • On higher waves, start thinking more about survival than points.   
         Clear away the bulk of the main formation with wide-area weapons
         and then work on the Swoopers with shields and guerrilla tactics.
         Develop a "weapon swap" strategy where you use 2 weapons in a
         wave to get 2 weapons by killing the Flagships in flight.

      • Flagship (and their Escort's) shielding can become pretty heavy
         in the later waves. The shields also regenerate when the alien
         reforms into the main formation at the top of the screen. Hold
         down on the fire key when underneath the shielded alien at close
         range to inflict the most damage. This reduces your chances of
         a costly miss. But make sure you get out of there in time if
         the alien doesn't look like dying any time soon.

      • If Flagships are left on their own at the end of the wave, they
         will eventually disappear after a few passes and the wave will

      • The Bonus Multiplier and Cage, while being great for your score
         line, are distractions. If it comes down to choosing between big
         points and killing the Spider, always go for the Spider.

      • Get out of the way of any Shadow Swoopers. These are the black
         Swoopers with the green glow. They can toss bombs left and right
         and will restrict your movements if you get in the way.

      • In later waves, the Swoopers can develop new attack patterns. In
         particular, the Escorts will start dive bombing. This may seem
         fairly harmless at first but they can be quite hard to pick off
         when you are using standard bullets. But much harder are the top
         row of Blue Grunts. These guys can dive bomb and then swoop back
         under your ship. Very nasty! Their movements are very deceptive
         so you will need to keep a constant watch on these guys. Note
         well: when a Blue Grunt divebombs, it will loop back under the
         scorebar and reappear on the *same* side that the swooper was
         facing as it descended.

      • When using the Orbital Shields, time your ship movements carefully
         to wipe out strings of alien swoopers. These shields can also
         be used to kill submarining Blue Swoopers as they loop under your

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