Hacking

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An immensely useful skill to get into areas you aren't supposed to and discover new things.

Gear

To hack things successfully, you will need to secure a few items first. Not all are essential, especially for some kinds of hacking, but having the full set can be pretty helpful.

  • Screwdriver3.png Screwdriver - The first step in hacking will be to expose the wires with a screwdriver.
  • Multitool.png Multitool - These let you pulse wires, usually for short-term effects.
  • Wirecutters.png Wirecutters - These let you cut and (magically) mend wires, usually for long-term effects. They can sometimes put the hacked item in a state that can't be fixed without a Multitool.
  • Glovesy.png Insulated Gloves - These protect you from being accidentally shocked by electrified equipment.
  • Crowbar.png Crowbar - These are good for opening unpowered airlocks.
  • Signaller.png Remote Signalling Device - After you open their cover with a screwdriver, you can attach a Remote Signaling Device to an airlock wire, which will pulse the wire (Like a multitool) if a Remote Signaling Device with the same frequency and code is used! This can allow you to remotely bolt doors among other things.
    • This will not work in reverse! Opening a door will NOT trigger a Remote Signaling Device attached to the "open door" wire. Use the Mechanic's wireless components instead.

Wires

Wires all control different functions of an object. For example, in a door, one is for electrification, another for bolts, etc. These are randomised each round, but are the same across all of that object during the round. Of course, wires in vending machines are different from wires in doors, for example, but all vending machines in a round will have wires that work the same.

Doors

There are 8 possible wire functions on a door.

Function Explanation Effect when pulsed (Multitool.png) Effect when cut (Wirecutters.png)
Main Power This provides power to the door. A door without power won't open by itself, but it can be opened with a crowbar, if it isn't bolted. The test-light is an indicator if an airlock has power or not. Power fails for a minute or so. Main power is cut until wire is mended.
Backup Power It will pick up the slack if the main power fails, coming online again after about 10 seconds. Note that both power sources depend on the APC supplying them with energy. Backup power fails for a minute or so. Note that if the primary power is online, the test light won't even blink. Backup power is cut until wire is mended.
ID Scan The ID scanner checks if your ID has access to that door. If offline, the door will refuse everyone who walks against it, but will open to anyone who clicks the door. ID refusal lights blink and the door boops. ID scanner goes offline until wire is mended.
Door Open This wire controls the opening of the door. If the door is public, it opens immediately. If it isn't, it will only open if the ID Scan is offline. Door won't open any more.
Bolts This controls the door bolts. A bolted airlock will remain closed or open until it is unbolted, even if crowbarred. Note that the bolts can still fall if the door has no power, but they can't be retracted in that state! Toggles the bolts, either raising or dropping them. Bolts drop. Mending the wire does nothing. This is one of the main reasons a multitool is necessary for hacking.
AI Control This wire lets silicons control the door. If this is disabled, cyborgs will need to interact with it like humans, and the AI will still be able to use it, albeit with a delay. The AI control light shows whether this is on or off. AI control goes offline for a few seconds. AI control goes offline until wire is mended.
Safety Sensor This wire prevents the door from closing on a creature or person in the doorway. If this is disabled, the door can close even if there's a mob in the doorway. Forces the door to close, even if the is a mob in the doorway. SS is disabled. The door may also close on its own if forced open for too long; the longer it's kept open, the more likely it'll suddenly close.
Electrify Electrified doors will shock people that try to open or interact with it in any way, unless they are using insulated gloves. Door becomes electrified for around 30 seconds. Note that pulsing again just extends the duration. Door becomes electrified until wire is mended.

You may notice, however, that doors have 10 wires. The remaining two wires are also for backup power, but the power-checking code is bugged, so they function as dummy wires. Consider them as an added challenge to finding the right wire.

Quick Guide

Before you go after whatever door you actually want to hack through, you'll want to find a door that you can break without anyone minding too much, like one of a pair of doors.

Beware that if you are hacking doors without insulated gloves (or SMES Human or some other kind of electricity immunity), pulsing the electrify wire can result in you being shocked, potentially to death. If the maintenance window is still open, BYOND will recognise this as you keeping your hands on the wire, so close the window to prevent yourself from becoming something akin to the chef's smouldering mess.

On your Test Door.

  1. Screwdriver to open the panel.
  2. Multitool/Wirecutters to test the wires.
  3. Pulse or cut all the wires, noting which one controls what. All you really need to know is bolts, but if you can figure out the main power wire, you can hack the door in a "cleaner" way - after 30 seconds or so the backup power will come online and nobody will be the wiser.
  4. Done.

On your Target Door, to pass through:

  1. Screwdriver to open the panel.
  2. Pulse/Cut either all the wires EXCEPT bolts, or just main power, depending on how much you know about the wires and what you're planning to do.
  3. Crowbar to open the door.
    • Optionally, crowbar again to close.
    • Optionally, screwdriver again to close the maintenance panel.

You can also wedge a door bolted open. Be warned that this may be suspicious and if you are not an antagonist then you are leaving the door open for someone else who may be.

  1. Screwdriver to open the panel.
  2. Cut ID Scan and AI Control.
  3. Pulse Door Open.
  4. Cut Bolts.

Note: Doors that are operational but have an open maintenance panel cannot be "bumped" or clicked to open. You'll need to use a random item on the door for it to open.

Vending Machines and Fabricators

Vending machines have 4 wires and 4 lights on them. Just like with airlocks, the function of each wire is randomised each round, but the same for all vending machines:

Function Explanation Effect when pulsed (Multitool.png) Effect when cut (Wirecutters.png)
Authorisation & AI Control Represented by a purple light. Some machines require authorisation, like the Security dispenser or the Medbay dispenser: these won't work unless you have the right ID. Note that messing with this system on a non-restricted vendor does nothing.

If the machine doesn't require money to use, this wire also functions like the AI control wire on doors. In this case, if it's disabled, the AI cannot dispense items from it, and cyborgs will need to be adjacent to it to use it.
AI control goes offline for a few seconds. The purple light will become yellow, and the AI control indicator light turns off.
Hidden Items Represented by a green light. Some machines have items inside them that don't show up in the normal menu. ValuChimps, for example, hold 100 bananas inside it. The green light will turn on if the items are unlocked. Note that some machines have no hidden items. Toggles the green light, either allowing or forbidding the purchase of hidden items. The green light turns off. Mending it won't restore it either, so you need a multitool to access the items.
Electrify Represented by an orange light. Just like doors, vending machines can be electrified. When they are, the light will turn on. Electrifies the machine for about 30 seconds. Note that pulsing again just extends the duration. Machine becomes electrified until wire is mended. Note that cutting the wires and then mending will cancel a pulse electrification.
Functionality Represented by a red light. This determines if the machine will work correctly. If the light isn't blinking, the machine will malfunction, throwing items at people randomly. Toggles the lights blinking/off. Turns the lights off until wire is mended.

Fabricators are similar:


Function Explanation Effect when pulsed (Multitool.png) Effect when cut (Wirecutters.png)
Disk Access Represented by a green/red light. This lets you clear the uploaded schematics in a fabricator. If it is green, you can clear the schematics from the disk. Note that schematics seem to no longer be used in the game. Switches the light between green and red. Makes the light go red. Mending won't make the light green, but you can then pulse it.
Hidden Items Represented by a white light. Some fabricators have items inside them that don't show up in the normal menu. The light will go on if the items are unlocked. Toggles the white light, either allowing or forbidding the purchase of hidden items. The white light turns off. Mending it won't restore it either, so you need a multitool to access the items.
Electrify Represented by a yellow light. Works just like the vending machines. Electrifies the machine for about 30 seconds. Note that pulsing again doesn't cancel it. It just extends the duration. Machine becomes electrified until wire is mended. Note that cutting the wires and then mending will cancel a pulse electrification.
Functionality Represented by a blue light. This determines if the machine will work correctly. If the light starts flashing, the machine will malfunction, working more slowly and making awful grinding noises. Toggles the lights flashing/on. Makes the lights flash until wire is mended.

Quick Guide

You need a multitool to hack vendors and fabricators without screwing them up

  1. Screwdriver
  2. Multitool (Trying to use the multitool itself on the thing will just result in you hitting it; click with an empty hand and the window with the wires will pop up underneath the regular menu, then switch to the multitool again)
  3. Pulse wires until they're all green, blinking, or on
  4. Screwdriver
  5. Look at the menu to make sure the extra items are showing up
  6. You could use wirecutters to get the extra items, but usually this results in the machine running really slowly and electrocuting anyone touching it, so should be avoided

You can also cut wires to make vending machines launch products at people, and/or electrocute them! For extra fun, forcefeed someone a lot of booze and then cut all the wires in the limeaid vendor!

APCs

APCs have four wires, although two wires are identical. Unlike other devices, APC wires can be bitten, which acts the same as wirecutters - but if you don't have the real thing, you can't mend them again. Killing the power to an APC also automatically kills the power for doors, meaning you can use this as a faster means for door hacking if you don't plan on using any powered devices for a short period. However, people may not like the power for their room suddenly shutting off.

Function Explanation Effect when pulsed (Multitool.png) Effect when cut (Wirecutters.png)
Lock Most APCs start locked, meaning they can't be controlled by humans until they're unlocked. An authorised ID, like a Mechanic's or Captain's, can be swiped on the APC to unlock it. Or you could hack it. Note that this is not the cover lock, which controls whether or not the APC can be crowbarred open. Temporarily unlocks the APC. Doesn't seem to do anything.
Functionality There are two of these wires, which control the APC's ability to supply power to the room. If this is disrupted, all the APC's outputs (environmental, equipment, lighting) get stuck on 'off'. Shorts out the APC's power temporarily. Shorts out the APC's power until wire is mended.
AI control This wire lets silicons control the APC. If this is disabled, the AI can do nothing to the APC, and cyborgs will need to interact with it like humans. The AI control light shows whether this is on or off. AI control goes offline for a few seconds. AI control goes offline until wire is mended.

Quick Guide

  1. Screwdriver
  2. Multitool (Trying to use the multitool itself on the APC will just result in you hitting it; click with an empty hand and the window with the wires will pop up underneath the regular menu, then switch to the multitool again)
  3. Pulse each wire until you find the unlock wire.
  4. Do whatever you need to.
  5. If you accidentally short it out, cut and mend the wire that you just pulsed.

MULEBots

MULEBots are a different (yet familiar) beast. They have a whopping ten wires, but five of them are duplicates. In addition, each of these ten wires has a corresponding feedback message in the chat window. Before you can get to messing with the wires in the first place, you need to unlock it first, through a hip menu that makes pre-Windows 7 OSes cry. From then on, it's otherwise standard hacking.

Feedback Description
Power cell Click this with an empty hand to remove the cell for recharging or upgrading.
You hear a radio crackle. Leave as is. Used for navigation and to interface with PDAs.
The charge light flickers. Leave as is. Both wires need to be intact or the bot will be immobilised.
The load platform clunks. Obsolete. Out of the box, any type of cargo can be loaded onto the MULE now.
The drive motor whines briefly. Disables the speed limiter, making the MULE stop less often. Highly recommended, but make sure to only cut one of the two wires!
The external warning lights flash briefly. When cut, the machine will run over anybody in its path! Bad idea unless you're a traitor.

Quick Guide

  1. Unlock it (Click on the MULE with an empty hand, click the unlock link)
  2. Screwdriver
  3. Take out Multitool (As you'd expect, trying to use the multitool itself on the MULE will just result in you hitting it. The interface will persist after you screw open the panel though, so you don't necessarily need an empty hand this time.)
  4. Pulse or cut the wires, noting which one controls what. You'd probably be most interested in the wire for the drive motor.
  5. Cut whatever wire you wanted cut.
  6. Screwdriver
  7. Power the MULEBot back on.

Supplementary Video


Department Guides
Engineering Making and Breaking · Construction · Gas · Powering the station · Singularity · Mining · Materials and Crafting · Wiring · Hacking · MechComp · Mechanic components and you · Control Unit · Reactor Statistics Computer
Medsci Doctoring · Genetics · Pathology · Pathology for Dummies · Pathogen Symptoms & Mutations · Robotics · Telescience · Plasma Research · Artifact Research · Chemistry · Chemicals · ChemiCompiler
Security Security Officer · Beesmark's Goon Guide to Robust Security · Contraband · Forensics · Space Law · A Treatise on Space Law
Service Foods and Drinks · Botany · Writing · Piano Song Dump · Instruments
The AI Artificial Intelligence · AI Laws · Chain of Command · Guide to AI · Humans and Nonhumans · Killing the AI
Computers Computers · TermOS · ThinkDOS · Advanced ThinkDOS