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  Hints and Tips for: Mars Horizon 
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 Mars Horizon Cheats

 
   
 
 
Mars Horizon

Cheat Codes:
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Submitted by: David K.

Tricks of the Trade: Gameplay Tips/Techniques:
----------------------------------------------
Written by Nick Christie

1. It’s okay to skip Milestones (It’s actually necessary). Don’t feel you 
are a failure if you don’t do all the Milestones one-by-one. Skip around 
with rewards/bonuses, but also skip around with ‘Roleplay’ i.e. imagine 
you are an Agency with limited money and time, and you can only do so much. 
This is realistic, but also crucial to making progress in the game and 
leaping forward through the years a quick rate of success.

2.The Moon Landing. Probably ‘skip this’ on Hard or Very Hard Difficulty 
unless, for you, the Cool Factor of Moon Race is what you want to do as a 
roleplaying Agency Director. If you calculate the dollars and science 
required for the Landing (particularly to achieve in the 1960s), it is 
staggering. If you want to race forward (and win some First Place milestones 
on Hard settings and set up getting to Mars ASAP) you should prioritize 
sending unmanned (i.e. small satellites) missions to Venus and Mars, rack 
up the science and support and catapult forward to ISS Space Station or 
other third era goals. If you ‘want’ to race for Apollo Mission to the 
Moon? Sure, go ahead, but it will slow down your end-game substantially. 
(Note: New Patches may adjust the Moon Balance).

3.Ignore the Outer Planets, unless they are the ‘cool’ factor you really 
want to explore. Similarly to the Moon landings, going to Jupiter and 
Beyond is very inefficient. The mission rewards are not sufficient to 
compensate for the time needed to complete a mission (and the time for 
which they are hogging a precious mission slot). If the Roleplay element 
of your agency includes Voyager? Do the Grand Tour, maybe. But with the 
game’s current balances, sending multiple missions into Jupiter and 
beyond is fine if you are experimenting, but bad if you want to finish 
the game faster or race the Very Hard AI.

4.Know your Buildings and learn ‘Timing’. You need buildings to allow 
your cycle of accomplishment to snowball. You need Mission Controls (and 
expansions) to go from doing just one mission at a time to several (which 
is particularly crucial for missions which take many, many years to plan, 
build, and execute). You need Research expansions (to get guaranteed 
beakers each month). You need Robotic Lab (to cut down a whopping 25% on 
all Mission Techs). You need Back-up Generator (to cut down on all payload 
costs by 20%). But there is a balance and a trick to figuring out ‘when’ 
to spend that hard-earned science and cash on Base Building and when to 
race for a mission and delay the Base. Rather than spell out that timing,
 I just urge a player to focus on learning concepts of Timing, particularly 
in the opening 15 years, i.e. from 1957 through the early 70s.

5.Understand Milestone Challenge Bonuses. These can be crazily massive if 
utilized to full effect (i.e. planned out to reap maximized bonus). 
Sometimes you need a five-year plan. Not step by step, but conceptually 
to earn a staggering amount of success. A milestone bonus can be ‘an extra 
25 to 50%’ off one branch of research for a limited 6 month window: 
Mission, Building, or Vehicles. This, if planned with some skill, can be 
the equivalent of 5+ years of missions gained in just six months. You can 
‘half-research’ a tech (allocate 5k of science to a 10k technology) and 
then store it there for years. You can half-research a great many things 
(there are era limitations) and then in the six months research 3-6 techs 
once the costs get halved. You will want to delay (or push) milestone 
achievements to match your own internal preparation. Milestone rewards 
are one example, by the way, where going to Jupiter can be worth it, 
but only if the rewards line up.
 
6.Money: It’s Essential, so learn to Store it. There is no ‘bank’ to 
build to improve your money, so you can only do lucrative missions to 
earn it. And if you spend money without any increases in support bonuses 
(i.e. your monthly income, which really only inch up $30-50k each month, 
i.e. no quick infusion of millions)… you’ll be stalled. The lucrative 
missions are mostly randomly presented (a few are guaranteed as 
milestones). As you play, and build Mission expansions, you may wish to 
save a slot for money. You may need ‘lots’ of tactical flexibility, i.e. 
to abort a mission (even after paying for a payload) to quickly claim 
a Lucrative mission before it disappears. Learning how to collect money 
adds to the ‘fun’; being money unaware makes the game super frustrating. 
If you push on for early milestones at all costs, and do not have mission 
slots open when the cherished lucrative missions materialize (and they 
can only be claimed and planned for a limited 6-12 months before they 
disappear)… you will spend the game stalled and add years, decades even,
to your progress.

7.Diplomacy. Allied agencies give you a 5% bonus to Science (2% when 
friendly) so that’s obviously great. But they also can help by providing 
access to powerful Contractors, which when unlocked help you lower costs 
on your vehicles (if the allied agencies are US or Japan), or push up 
Launch reliability a crucial 10% (the ESA). All agencies have the potential 
to offer you joint missions, and the more missions that are offered, the 
more rng is there to give you the missions you most want to do: Lucrative 
satellites or high science rewards for smaller investments. I often choose 
Team Player as a trait and I definitely prioritize building the Diplomacy 
Office, as both of these increase the speed (and therefore the variety) of 
Joint Missions offered. If we return to the Set-up screen, you can choose 
to Begin the game ‘Allied’ to a faction, and doing so (particularly with 
NASA or Japan) will make the game easier. For Role-playing a range of 
options can work: starting Allied can make some sense, but so too can 
starting at ‘neutral’ for all factions and then having to earn that 
Allied status through many joint missions. I earned the Space Federation 
Achievement (become Allied with all agencies) on a Custom Very Hard set-up 
while starting at absolute neutral, and that was a lot of fun.



Ahead of the Curve Achievement:
-------------------------------
Written by dimm_ddr

Simple guide for Ahead of the Curve achievement: placing Artificial Satellite 
before October, 1957.

-=Agency=-
USA or Japan. Only they have time to build of 1 month for both buster and 
upper stage.Everyone else will spend too much time to build first rocket. I 
guess it is possible to be lucky and get -x% build time after you complete 
loadout but you will lose your sanity trying to get it.

-=Traits=-
There are 2 essential traits:

Pathfinders: -25% research cost for mission research tree
Leap first: Invalid launch window become suboptimal launch window

Without first you will spend too much time researching satellite mission and 
without second you would not be able to launch in September. And I did not 
find a way to launch in August so it is pretty much your only option.

Anything else - up to you. Taking Unknown entity for -1 trait point and Launch 
proficiency I is a strong choice, can save you a bit of time starting from 
scratch if you get screwed by random at the launch.

-=Difficulty=-
Very Easy. Did not check for just Easy but it is impossible to get all research 
on Normal before the deadline.

-=Actual Strategy=-
Do not start test launch mission. You don't really need to complete it and it 
will mess with your timings. Real life lesson right here: you can cut on time 
if you skip testing (no, not really).

Instead of starting test launch you should go and start researching Artificial 
satellite directly. Then its payload. After payload research will be completed 
you must start to build it. Research booster and upper stage while your engineers 
assemble the payload, you should complete second one exactly at the same time 
when payload will be completed. 
If you did everything right it will happens in June.

Start to build rocket itself, with Japan and USA it will also take 2 month and 
it will be completed in August. At the same time you will need to research and 
then build small landing pad, 1 month for research and another one for building.

So, if you are lucky enough and did not get any +x% building time traits on payload 
then you will be able to schedule launch at September, last date before the deadline. 
Do it and pray to RNG god to not blow your rocket at launch. You don't really care 
about perfect launch, small penalty for mission itself on very easy should not 
give you any trouble since you have more than enough turns to complete it no 
matter what.

-=What's Next?=-
Well, you basically already won this game, really. On very easy with giant boost to 
your support from early satellite launch you can do whatever, there is no competition 
(well maybe for test launch if you manage to fail it or forget about it). 
For achievements it is a decent idea to go for other time based achievements: Test 
Pilot for launching a human into orbit before April, 1961 and One Giant Leap for 
completing the Crewed Moon Landing mission before July, 1969. 

No real strategy needed on that difficulty setting though, just try to not forget 
about them doing other stuff.
 

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