In Untrusted,the two main factions are pitted against each other, and any given member of each faction will win as long as their faction wins at the end of the game (bonus points that can be spent to unlock new avatars are awarded for those who are alive).
NETSEC players can win the game by hacking a specific computer (node) on the network (also called Objective Node) or by eliminating all AGENTs.
Neutral classes have their own objective, and can side with either NETSEC or AGENT if they choose to.
Regardless of the class you are assigned, every player follows the same game flow until the game is over.
The Untrusted game flow is punctuated by a day and night cycle – each day and each night you will be able to commit to one specific action available to the class assigned to you.
Depending on the number of players in any given match (also called OPSEC), the game will last a certain amount of days: for example, in a 10 players OPSEC, the objective must be completed in 7 days. Certain skills (at this time, only Download Intel) can increase the available time.
During the day, most skills are focused on hacking the target network or, generally speaking, they target nodes on the network.
During the night, most skills are focused on investigating other players, or preventing them to do so.
Every day or night, it is also possible to vote for the elimination of a player.
After every day and night, a summary of what happened is shown to everyone. Certain events are meant only for your eyes, while other are public. Untrusted plays a little bit differently than similar games of the same genre: if you meet with someone, you will also know who you met with. If you have been paid to plant and retrieve keyloggers for the NETSEC faction (Inside Man) it stands to reason that everyone participating in the hack should have access to those information. Always control what happened and cross-reference what people have said in the past (you can click any name in the chat window to pull up all their chat history).
Hacking the Network
The network topology is a 3 rows by 4 columns grid (for 10 player games) and can reach 3×5 or 4×5 as the player count increases. When the game begins, NETSEC only has visibility to the entry point nodes (first column) and will gain visibility to other nodes only when they hack and obtain control (pwn) the target machine. Not all machines are guaranteed to be connected via a direct path to the Objective Node.
AGENTs have full visibility of the network from the game start, so they should plan their strategy according to the generated network topology (especially considering potential choke points).
The Objective Node is marked with three red circle, and is always located in the 4th column.
Nodes that have been hacked (also referred as ‘pwnd’ or ‘owned’) are shown in green color, while nodes that have not been pwnd yet are shown in white color.
A link (the line between any two nodes) means that those computer are connected together, and thus allow you to see (and connect) to all the other computers connected to it. You need a direct path between your entry point and the target objective in order to be able to hack into it.
Note that each node is generated independently – this means that a laptop can be harder or easier than another laptop, although servers are always more difficult than laptops. Every node is generated upong game generation, and their “hack difficulty” so to speak, can be changed with skills over time. These changes (for example by using Spearphishing Execution or other skills that increase/decrease the hack difficulty) are permanent and stack – make sure to coordinate with your fellow hacking crew to maximize your success chances!
AGENTs know the topology of the network while everyone else only sees the entry point nodes (first column). Whenever a node is hacked by NETSEC, all nodes directly connected to it become visible as well. AGENTs also know which one is the target node (shown with the target icon)
Inside Men know the target node and will see the target icon, as soon as NETSEC hacks a node directly connected to it. However, NETSEC can also use the Download Intel skill for a chance of learning the target node IP address.
Like in real life, you have no guarantee that you will be able to hack any given node. Certain classes are more skilled than other in hacking and thus will have more chances of hacking their target. In descending order (from more skilled to less skilled) the classes able of hacking into a target machine are: Black Hat, Network Specialist, Operation Leader, Social Engineer, Spearphisher, Improvised Hacker.
Nodes with this icons are laptops, and easier to hack into.
Laptops can spawn in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd column of the network topology.
Nodes with this icons are servers, and harder to hack into.
Servers can spawn in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th column of the network topology.
Clicking on any pwnd node will output the connection logs for that node, listing which players connected to said node and when. Be careful as certain skills (Rollback,Alter Logs) can fake these information. The Network Specialist is especially useful since he can use Log Analysis to remove all fake entries from any (pwnd) node.
Depending on your class, how you play will differ a lot, however, there are certain things you should always do:
- Make sure you are logging your actions in your Personal Log
- Establish a chain of trust with other players based on what they say and what their actions are
- Check the log of an arrested/deceased player as soon as possible
- Coordinate with other players. Information is key to victory.
Basic Strategy – NETSEC
If you spawn as a NETSEC class, your first order of business is understanding what your role is most critical for. Make sure to press F1 to check the manual.
- Offensive Classes (Black Hat, Spearphisher, Improvised Hacker) are great in hacking nodes as fast as possible
- Investigative Classes (Social Engineer, Network Specialist, Analyst) are good in investigating the network
- Field Operation Classes (Inside Man, CCTV Specialist, Enforcer) are good in investigating other players
- Coordinate with other players. Information is key to victory.
The Operation Leader is the most critical class for NETSEC: aside from being the only class which can deploy the powerful 0-Day Exploit skill, the Operation Leader is the only class which can anonymously broadcast private messages to everyone else (including AGENTs). The Operation Leader thus, should be the one to coordinate the NETSEC effort.
Openly Claiming your role is very risky in Untrusted: a good Operation Leader should ask for claims and logs in private when possible, as a confirmed NETSEC will almost certainly be targeted by AGENTs as soon as possible.
Basic Strategy – AGENT
The AGENT strength lies in the intel available to them: they know who is on their side and they know the network topology as soon as the game start. However, they have limited resources and they must be very careful. Losing the Field Agent or the Agent Leader early on will make everything much easier for NETSEC.
- Silent players are suspicious: try to be involved in the discussions in the main chat, sow doubts towards other players without being too obvious
- Make sure to craft beliavable logs: all it takes is one wrong log entry for you to get outed and killed.
- The Agent Leader can use Strike Deal to convert up to two players per game into moles (Field Operations Class,Investigative Class,Offensive Class): while an extra vote in certainly important, don’t be afraid of bussing them (openly accusing them) in order to make yourself more belivable and buy time when necessary.
- Make use of choke points when possible in the network topology to slow down NETSEC’s progress. Be aware that Denial of Service could stop you from using Rollback and Alter Logs.
Basic Strategy – Neutral Classes
Each neutral class plays very differntly from the others – while certain classes can side with both NETSEC or AGENTs, it is ultimately up to you to choose how you want to play. Make sure to check the ingame manual for more information about your class.