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Defensive Network Layouts Edit

There are several layouts commonly used by players. The following list provides a summary of these layouts and provides tips and tricks:

  • Chunk: All nodes are intertwined in one large chunk, with all nodes connecting to all other possible nodes.
    • Pros
      • The Sentry's Antivirus program spreads quickly over all the network nodes.
      • It can be confusing for attackers, as it will be hard to find best way through.
    • Cons
      • It is hard to wisely place netConnections nodes.
      • It is weak against stealth attacks. Usually there is a way to easily build a Portal in the middle of the network and start the attack from there.
      • Weak to Shuriken and Shocker assaults.
  • Maelstrom: An advanced version of the Chunk layout. Maelstrom bases include a very high level Sentry relative to the overall strength of the Network, and a high level Core enabling an increased number of low level nodes on the network.
    • Pros
      • High damage from the Sentry quickly recaptures the low firewall nodes
      • Difficult to gain a substantial foothold anywhere in the base.
      • Nodes cluster together, making them difficult to target efficiently when needed.
    • Cons
      • Multiple paths give the defender little control of exactly how the attacker progresses.
      • Base progression is stunted temporarily due to increased Sentry/Core costs.
      • All the above weaknesses to Chunk layouts. A well placed Portal or Shuriken/Shocker on a poorly designed Maelstrom can negate the strength of the network entirely.
  • Centipede/Snake: Oblong shaped network with all netConnections on one end and the Core on the other end. Nodes in the middle are surrounded by Defensive Nodes in order to slow down progress of attacker.
    • Pros
      • Good against Brute Force attacks, especially when using Code Gates, as it will take quite a long time to take them down.
      • The attacker will tend to spend more programs on nodes between the netConnection and the Core.
    • Cons
      • Vulnerable against Kraken-based attacks as nodes between netConnections and the Core will be attacked. In this network an attacker can fully exploit the Kraken's potential.
  • Tree: Network with several branches. Each branch can expand even further to smaller branches. One branch contains all the netConnections. The Core and other Business nodes are distributed amongst the different branches.
    • Pros
      • It is harder to compromise the whole network - attackers must spend more programs to reach nodes on all the branches.
    • Cons
      • It is weak against looting attacks, since the attacker can focus the attack on a single branch and thus can loot part of resources or the Core without compromising all the network.
Ring Network

Example of a Ring Network

  • Ring or Braid:

Designed to divide the attackers forces and attention. They are similar to Snake layouts, but multiple, intertwined paths lead through the network, with protection balanced among them and all the netConnections in one spot. These are particularly dependent upon sentries, and optimally have lots of low firewall nodes, as with Maelstroms. Networks which take on more of the Ring appearance often have several smaller loops integrated into one or two larger ones, while Braids look more like latticed Snake designs.

    • Pros
      • Can mitigate the effectiveness of Kraken attacks as compared with Snake layouts.
      • Attackers must react quickly and multitask to avoid losing nodes repeatedly.
      • Antivirus can spread more quickly than in Snakes, though not as quickly as in Chunk layouts.
    • Cons
      • Chokepoints are difficult to successfully implement.
      • Generally not enough nodes are available to create a successful Ring until the Core is heavily upgraded.
      • Can be difficult to place Code Gates effectively.
  • Resource Oriented: These layouts are preferably used to protect resources against Kraken attacks, as for players reaching level 20 face the transition from Centipede to Anti-Kraken base. In such layouts, it is made sure that resources don't come in the way of the Kraken's path by branching them out in mid-way. Such layouts have two types, Protected Core or Unprotected Core. A chunk of defenses between Core and netConnection is the Protected Core layout. In the unprotected core layout, the defense chunk is focused to protect the resources only. The positioning of defenses may vary from layouts to layouts.
    • Pros
      • The attackers have to use non-Kraken strategy for looting resources, so overall, this layout is protected from Kraken strategies (especially for Unprotected Core)
    • Cons
      • The Core is at risk of being attacked by attackers not caring for resources.
      • Kraken attack can still be made in case of Protected Core layout and then take down the branch of resources.
    • Key features of such layout:
      • The defense chunk has a scanner or a code gate at the start (in case of Protected Core).
      • A Code Gate as well as a Scanner gives 3 program slots to the attacker, however, Scanner is more preferable over Code gate, as Scanner has 4 node connections, while Code Gate has 3. So, a scanner backed with 3 turrets makes it quite difficult for the attacker to pass.
      • However, one Turret is taken down by the Kraken (in Protected Core)
      • This Scanner and turret combo in Unprotected Core layout gives extra benefit to protected resources, as the attacker has to deal with all the 3 turrets.
  • Hybrid: Of course, you can use a hybrid of these layouts (for example a centipede with a defensive chunk, which greatly increases the effectiveness of sentries, but reduces the length of the overall centipede), to varying success.
    • Pro
      • Can minimize the weaknesses of specific layouts.
    • Con
      • Benefits of having a specific network type are reduced.

Node Placement Edit

When building a network, you can bolster effectiveness by knowing the attack priorities that are followed when your network is attacked by understanding the categories that nodes come under. If connected nodes fall under the same category, the order in which nodes are connected takes precedence, with nodes that are connected first having priority over nodes which are connected last.

Effective placement of nodes will further enhance the strength of the network. Here are some points to consider:

  • Core - The placement for the Core depends on two play styles: securing reputation or securing resources.
    • Securing Reputation - Place the Core at the farthest end of the network.
    • Securing Resources - Place the Core near the start of the network near the netConnections.
  • Code Gate
    • Strong with only a single node in front to attack it
    • Weak when approachable from multiple nodes or when there are alternate paths around it
  • Guardian
    • Strong when placed behind high firewall nodes
    • Weak when connected to few nodes or place in front of connecting nodes

Choke PointsEdit

Choke points are nodes designed to be especially pressured by the network's security. The optimal chokepoint has low firewall, few program slots, many connections, and is connected directly in front of several Security Nodes or nodes which take considerable time to capture. Scanners, Guardians, Code Gates, Databases and Mixers, and the Evolver make good chokepoints.

Comparison of Low Level Chokepoints[1]
Level 1
Firewall Connection
Program Slots Score
Database/B-coin Mixer200436.7
Server Farm/B-coin Mine150336.7
Code Gate300333.3
Comparison of High Level Chokepoints[1]
Level 21
Firewall Connection
Program Slots Score
Evolver (Level 12)1000339.0
Server Farm/B-coin Mine1210337.4
Database/B-coin Mixer1930436.2
Code Gate2020334.5

Defending Against StealthEdit

When a stealth attack is started, security nodes do not activate immediately. The Access program installs in only one second, then granting access to all connecting nodes. High level stealth programs can cripple a network's security easily without good defenses. These consist of Scanners and Code Gates. Scanners increase the visibility of every program installed within three nodes, according to the sensitivity statistic. Upgrading it and placing it effectively will greatly limit the number of stealth programs an attacker can install, and how much damage can be done before the main timer starts. Try to position them directly behind a Code Gate or series of Gates. Code Gates greatly increase the amount of time required to install Access, according to the filter statistic. A Wraith can disable it, but will also cost considerable additional visibility and disk space. Try to restrict the viable paths through the network to force attackers through the Gates.

Lastly, the best way to defend the most important nodes is by placing them as far from the netConnections as possible, and distracting programs toward other nodes by exploiting attack priorities.

Tips Edit

  • If you are online, you can not be hacked. However, if you are playing continuously for more than 3 hours, other players can connect to your network and you will be disconnected until their hack ends.
  • Experiment with various network layouts. Check this thread on Hackers forum to see some layouts "in action".
  • Redesign your network from time to time. What works well against low level attackers will usually not work at level 35 or 55.
  • Replay successful hacks to your network in the Security Log to see how your defenses were compromised to find your weak points.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Chokepoint scoring was calculated by dividing average firewall by specific firewall and program slots, then multiplying by connection slots and a factor of 10 (for easy comparison)

    Level 1 formula: ((1000)•X)/(Y•Z)
    Max Level formula: ((10000)•X)/(Y•Z)

    Where X = Connection Slots, Y = Firewall, and Z = Program Slots
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