Hitting beta March 20, and launching on March 25th, this update adds long awaited gear and mods to the game, many of which were suggested by our community. As always, a bunch of bug fixes and balance changes are included. Here are the highlights:

Changelog Updated

Click here for the full patch notes.

New Gear

Weapon: Thermal Lance

  • Charge up and sustain a focused lance of heat to burn targets and make them vulnerable to further damage
  • While sustaining Thermal Lance, you also fire twisting sparks that are affected by your projectile mods
  • Thermal Lance and its sparks ignite targets for 120 burning damage /s
  • Damage from Thermal Lance and its sparks apply vulnerability to targets
  • Vulnerability increases the damage targets take from all sources. After targets stop receiving vulnerability for one second, the effect falls off over time
  • -35% thrust and -50% rotation speed while charging
  • Damage: Thermal Lance damage scales with its charge level
  • Spark damage: 8
  • Spark count: 1
  • Spark rate of fire: 7.5 /s

Shield: Shockwave

  • Shockwave releases waves that ebb and flow, pushing targets and projectiles around it
  • When your shields reset after its cooldown, Shockwave releases a forceful wave which deals 120 damage and applies +20% vulnerability to targets it hits
  • Shields: 60
  • Cooldown: 7 seconds
Shockwave Shield makes for a hell of a comeback

Body: Carrier

  • You automatically assemble and deploy Swarm Constructs, which apply vulnerability to targets
  • While a damaged shield protects you, a portion of your Swarm Constructs are assigned to recover your shields
  • While your shield is down or you have no shield, Swarm Constructs gain increased movement speed and rate of fire
  • -10% rate of fire
  • Hull: 110
  • Thrust: 75
  • Swarm Constructs: Type: Basic construct. Rarely created as standard or advanced constructs with improved abilities
  • Construct limit: 4 + 1 for every 2 of your levels
  • Hull: 8 Damage: 5. Applies 0.25% vulnerability
  • Rate of fire: 1.5 /s Assembly time: 1 second
Carrier has arrived!

New Super Mods

Charged Mines

  • Your mines charge your weapon at 100% of your charge rate
  • Charged Shot no longer applies to you
  • -25% mine trigger radius
  • Your mines constantly take 2 damage /s
Thermal Lance + Architect + Loaded Mines + Apex Machinery.


  • Your mines are deployed at high velocity, in your firing direction(s), when you fire
  • Your mines detonate at low velocity instead of detonating within a trigger radius
  • -20% mine damage and mine effect
  • If you fire with no mines assembled, a mine is deployed and 15% + 5 of your current hull and shields are removed. This removal cannot be mitigated, but also can not reduce hull or shields below 1
Pulse + Mortar can be a glorious thing!

Reworked Mods

Loaded Mines

  • On detonation, your mines fire your weapon in a radial spread
  • The number of weapon instances produced by Loaded Mines is determined by your rate of fire and projectile count
  • For weapons that charge innately, your mines charge your weapon at 75% of your charge rate. Additionally, they constantly take 2 damage /s


  • Your mines are deployed all at once in a cluster
  • +3 mine construct limit
  • +50% mine assembly speed
  • -50% mine maximum hull
  • -25% mine damage, total mine effect, and mine trigger radius
  • Your mines cause a chain reaction when they detonate

Other Notable Changes

  • Loaded Mines and Retribution have switched places on the tree, allowing mine builds to have access to this key mod earlier
  • Auto Mines has been replaced by Minefield
  • Interceptor Allies can now properly utilize innately charging weapons (Vortex and Thermal Lance)
  • New battle BGM added: Superlumen and Superlumen (Warped), for Endless and Wild Metamorphosis, respectively
  • Rancor has been reworked. It now has quite an explosive effect when triggered (roughly 5 times its previous magnitude), but wears off over time
  • Dozens of bug fixes and minor adjustments
Engaging Orbital Laser

Up Next: Enemies 2.0

The player character has outgrown its opponents. With nearly 200 upgrades in the game, it's time to turn the focus of developments to the enemies we face. It's time to bring enemies and their capabilities up to the standard of quality that has been given to the player character.

Enemies, and the ways they spawn are some of the oldest and most outdated systems in the game (Nova Drift is 5 years old and grew from a small hobby project.) Many players have voiced concerns about enemy spawns, diversity, bullet-hellishness, and the relatively narrow build options for surviving past wave 200. With Draft Mode and Boss Rush coming up on the road map, I see this as an opportunity for a rework that satisfies these issues while also improving fun and choice.

I'll break it down:

  • Older enemies will get a new coat of paint, while new enemies will be introduced to the game, both early game and late game. The quality bar for how an enemy looks and behaves will be raised.
  • Enemies will spawn with "roles" within formations, such as a protector or support of another unit.
  • Steps will be taken toward removing the need for a "spammy" late game. Enemies will trend toward tactical, dangerous, and diverse instead of numerous. In other words, encounters will be deadly for reasons which are better than "there were too many mines and bullets on the screen." As a result, the rate of spawns and the speed scaling of enemies at high waves can be reduced without being made easier.
  • The above fits better with Nova Drift's upgrade system, which incentives builds that require set up and timing. Right now, "area clear" strategies are overwhelmingly more important than intended, while dealing single target damage isn't as viable.
  • Enemy spawns will be revised. Instead of always entering from the edges without warning, enemies might fade in from the depths of space, warp in from a portal, or enter via the borders with a HUD warning.
  • The wave spawning system will become more dynamic and procedural, allowing greater variance while being easier for me to tweak.

Rather than one big update that attempts to fix all these issues at once, these changes will be rolled out over a series of updates, mixed in with the usual content updates (albeit less of them).

An Example of Enemies 2.0

A Peek At An Upcoming Enemy

Hammerhead. Hard target. Explodes. Hates you.

In Other News: We're Now Using Feature Upvote for Feedback and Requests

This message is from V2Blast, our Community Manager:

We appreciate all the feedback and feature requests you've given us! As the community continues to expand across more and more platforms, though, it's becoming trickier to make sure all of your ideas get the attention they deserve. We want to make sure all of your ideas get seen. We'd also love a way for everyone to see which requests are the most popular and which are already planned or in progress.

We want to have one central place where we can gather feature requests from the whole community - Discord, Steam, itch.io, GOG, and any other platforms that the game may expand to in the future. As a result, we're moving to a single centralized platform for managing feature requests, called Feature Upvote: https://novadrift.featureupvote.com/

You can suggest your own ideas there, and upvote or comment on others' requests as well. In order to post, you only need to provide a name and email address (visible only to us) - no login required. New submissions require approval before becoming publicly visible, so don't despair if yours doesn't show up right away.

Some of the existing feature requests from the Discord and the Steam forums may be added to Feature Upvote over time, but feel free to resubmit your own ideas there if someone hasn't already suggested it there! There's a lot to sift through, and you probably understand your own ideas better than we do. Make sure to search whether someone has already suggested your idea before making a new post!

- V2Blast, Community Manager

Fine, I'll rework Helix Shield GOSH

Supporting Nova Drift

Steam Reviews really help! Please do take a moment to fill out a short review, even if its just a few words. It just might make a big difference.

Why Steam Reviews Matter

Thanks to you guys, Nova Drift has 98% positive reviews. That's awesome! However, as the game is introduced to larger audiences, this will be increasingly difficult to maintain, especially once outside of early access. Indie games with little to no marketing budget like Nova Drift depend on positive reviews to convince content creators and streamers to spread the word about the game, as well as to entice larger businesses, like consoles, to work with us. This is good news for players, as small developers must rely on creating great games instead of paid advertising in order to succeed– but it only works if the community has our back!

Beyond that...

Nova Drift is a premium game which regularly receives free updates. I developed it mostly alone, out of my own pocket. If you'd like to support me and the game's ongoing development, you can always BMC!: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/aPhTXAJl0

Thank you all for your continued support and enthusiasm. Please join our community and share your thoughts on Nova Drift on the Discord. Happy Drifting!



Jeffrey Nielson