Getting Started Guide for Beginner Programmers

Note

Note that the scripts and strategies given in this guide aren’t necessarily optimal. They’re just meant to introduce you to the game and help you get started.

This is an introductory guide to getting started with Bitburner. It is not meant to be a comprehensive guide for the entire game, only the early stages. If you are confused or overwhelmed by the game, especially the programming and scripting aspects, this guide is perfect for you!

Note that this guide is tailored towards those with minimal programming experience.

Introduction

Bitburner is a cyberpunk-themed incremental RPG. The player progresses by raising their Stats, earning money, and climbing the corporate ladder. Eventually, after reaching certain criteria, the player will begin receiving invitations from Factions. Joining these factions and working for them will unlock Augmentations. Purchasing and installing Augmentations provide persistent upgrades and are necessary for progressing in the game.

The game has a minimal story/quest-line that can be followed to reach the end of the game. Since this guide is only about getting started with Bitburner, it will not cover the entire “quest-line”.

First Steps

I’m going to assume you followed the introductory tutorial when you first began the game. In this introductory tutorial you created a script called n00dles.script and ran it on the n00dles server. Right now, we’ll kill this script. There are two ways to do this:

  1. You can go to the Terminal and enter:

    $ kill n00dles.script
    
  2. You can go to the Active Scripts page (Keyboard shortcut Alt + s) and press the “Kill Script” button for n00dles.script.

If you skipped the introductory tutorial, then ignore the part above. Instead, go to the Hacknet Nodes page (Keyboard shortcut Alt + h) and purchase a Hacknet Node to start generating some passive income.

Creating our First Script

Now, we’ll create a generic hacking script that can be used early on in the game (or throughout the entire game, if you want).

Before we write the script, here are some things you’ll want to familiarize yourself with:

To briefly summarize the information from the links above: Each server has a security level that affects how difficult it is to hack. Each server also has a certain amount of money, as well as a maximum amount of money it can hold. Hacking a server steals a percentage of that server’s money. The hack() Netscript function is used to hack a server. The grow() Netscript function is used to increase the amount of money available on a server. The weaken() Netscript function is used to decrease a server’s security level.

Now let’s move on to actually creating the script. Go to your home computer and then create a script called early-hack-template.script by going to Terminal and entering the following two commands:

$ home
$ nano early-hack-template.script

This will take you to the script editor, which you can use to code and create Scripts. It will be helpful to consult the Netscript documentation. Specifically, you’ll want to take a look at Netscript Basic Functions.

Enter the following code in the script editor:

// Defines the "target server", which is the server
// that we're going to hack. In this case, it's "n00dles"
var target = "n00dles";

// Defines how much money a server should have before we hack it
// In this case, it is set to 75% of the server's max money
var moneyThresh = getServerMaxMoney(target) * 0.75;

// Defines the maximum security level the target server can
// have. If the target's security level is higher than this,
// we'll weaken it before doing anything else
var securityThresh = getServerMinSecurityLevel(target) + 5;

// If we have the BruteSSH.exe program, use it to open the SSH Port
// on the target server
if (fileExists("BruteSSH.exe", "home")) {
    brutessh(target);
}

// Get root access to target server
nuke(target);

// Infinite loop that continously hacks/grows/weakens the target server
while(true) {
    if (getServerSecurityLevel(target) > securityThresh) {
        // If the server's security level is above our threshold, weaken it
        weaken(target);
    } else if (getServerMoneyAvailable(target) < moneyThresh) {
        // If the server's money is less than our threshold, grow it
        grow(target);
    } else {
        // Otherwise, hack it
        hack(target);
    }
}

The script above contains comments that document what it does, but let’s go through it step-by-step anyways.

var target = "n00dles";

This first command defines a string which contains our target server. That’s the server that we’re going to hack. For now, it’s set to n00dles because that’s the only server with a required hacking level of 1. If you want to hack a different server, simply change this variable to be the hostname of another server.

var moneyThresh = getServerMaxMoney(target) * 0.75;

This second command defines a numerical value representing the minimum amount of money that must be available on the target server in order for our script to hack it. If the money available on the target server is less than this value, then our script will grow() the server rather than hacking it. It is set to 75% of the maximum amount of money that can be available on the server. The getServerMaxMoney() Netscript function is used to find this value

var securityThresh = getServerMinSecurityLevel(target) + 5;

This third command defines a numerical value representing the maximum security level the target server can have. If the target server’s security level is higher than this value, then our script will weaken() the script before doing anything else.

if (fileExists("BruteSSH.exe", "home")) {
    brutessh(target);
}

nuke(target);

This section of code is used to gain root access on the target server. This is necessary for hacking. See here for more details.

while (true) {
    if (getServerSecurityLevel(target) > securityThresh) {
        // If the server's security level is above our threshold, weaken it
        weaken(target);
    } else if (getServerMoneyAvailable(target) < moneyThresh) {
        // Otherwise, if the server's money is less than our threshold, grow it
        grow(target);
    } else {
        // Otherwise, hack it
        hack(target);
    }
}

This is the main section that drives our script. It dictates the script’s logic and carries out the hacking operations. The while (true) creates an infinite loop that will continuously run the hacking logic until the the script is killed.

Running our Scripts

Now we want to start running our hacking script so that it can start earning us money and experience. Our home computer only has 8GB of RAM and we’ll be using it for something else later. So instead, we’ll take advantage of the RAM on other machines.

Go to Terminal and enter the following command:

$ scan-analyze 2

This will show detailed information about some servers on the network. The network is randomized so it will be different for every person. Here’s what mine showed at the time I made this:

[home ~]> scan-analyze 2
~~~~~~~~~~ Beginning scan-analyze ~~~~~~~~~~

n00dles
--Root Access: YES, Required hacking skill: 1
--Number of open ports required to NUKE: 0
--RAM: 4.00GB

----zer0
------Root Access: NO, Required hacking skill: 75
------Number of open ports required to NUKE: 1
------RAM: 32.00GB

foodnstuff
--Root Access: NO, Required hacking skill: 1
--Number of open ports required to NUKE: 0
--RAM: 16.00GB

sigma-cosmetics
--Root Access: NO, Required hacking skill: 5
--Number of open ports required to NUKE: 0
--RAM: 16.00GB

joesguns
--Root Access: NO, Required hacking skill: 10
--Number of open ports required to NUKE: 0
--RAM: 16.00GB

----max-hardware
------Root Access: NO, Required hacking skill: 80
------Number of open ports required to NUKE: 1
------RAM: 32.00GB

----CSEC
------Root Access: NO, Required hacking skill: 54
------Number of open ports required to NUKE: 1
------RAM: 8.00GB

hong-fang-tea
--Root Access: NO, Required hacking skill: 30
--Number of open ports required to NUKE: 0
--RAM: 16.00GB

----nectar-net
------Root Access: NO, Required hacking skill: 20
------Number of open ports required to NUKE: 0
------RAM: 16.00GB

harakiri-sushi
--Root Access: NO, Required hacking skill: 40
--Number of open ports required to NUKE: 0
--RAM: 16.00GB

iron-gym
--Root Access: NO, Required hacking skill: 100
--Number of open ports required to NUKE: 1
--RAM: 32.00GB

Take note of the following servers:

  • sigma-cosmetics
  • joesguns
  • nectar-net
  • hong-fang-tea
  • harakiri-sushi

All of these servers have 16GB of RAM. Furthermore, all of these servers do not require any open ports in order to NUKE. In other words, we can gain root access to all of these servers and then run scripts on them.

First, let’s determine how many threads of our hacking script we can run. Read more about multithreading scripts here The script we wrote uses 2.6GB of RAM. You can check this using the following Terminal command:

$ mem early-hack-template.script

This means we can run 6 threads on a 16GB server. Now, to run our scripts on all of these servers, we have to do the following:

  1. Use the scp Terminal command to copy our script to each server.
  2. Use the connect Terminal command to connect to a server.
  3. Use the run Terminal command to run the NUKE.exe program and gain root access.
  4. Use the run Terminal command again to run our script.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for each server.

Here’s the sequence of Terminal commands I used in order to achieve this:

$ home
$ scp early-hack-template.script n00dles
$ scp early-hack-template.script sigma-cosmetics
$ scp early-hack-template.script joesguns
$ scp early-hack-template.script nectar-net
$ scp early-hack-template.script hong-fang-tea
$ scp early-hack-template.script harakiri-sushi
$ connect n00dles
$ run NUKE.exe
$ run early-hack-template.script -t 1
$ home
$ connect sigma-cosmetics
$ run NUKE.exe
$ run early-hack-template.script -t 6
$ home
$ connect joesguns
$ run NUKE.exe
$ run early-hack-template.script -t 6
$ home
$ connect hong-fang-tea
$ run NUKE.exe
$ run early-hack-template.script -t 6
$ home
$ connect harakiri-sushi
$ run NUKE.exe
$ run early-hack-template.script -t 6
$ home
$ connect hong-fang-tea
$ connect nectar-net
$ run NUKE.exe
$ run early-hack-template.script -t 6

Note

Pressing the Tab key in the middle of a Terminal command will attempt to auto-complete the command. For example, if you type in scp ea and then hit Tab, the rest of the script’s name should automatically be filled in. This works for most commands in the game!

The home Terminal command is used to connect to the home computer. When running our scripts with the run early-hack-template.script -t 6 command, the -t 6 specifies that the script should be run with 6 threads.

Note that the nectar-net server isn’t in the home computer’s immediate network. This means you can’t directly connect to it from home. You will have to search for it inside the network. The results of the scan-analyze 2 command we ran before will show where it is. In my case, I could connect to it by going from hong-fang-tea -> nectar-net. However, this will probably be different for you.

After running all of these Terminal commands, our scripts are now up and running. These will earn money and hacking experience over time. These gains will be really slow right now, but they will increase once our hacking skill rises and we start running more scripts.

Increasing Hacking Level

There are many servers besides n00dles that can be hacked, but they have higher required hacking levels. Therefore, we should raise our hacking level. Not only will this let us hack more servers, but it will also increase the effectiveness of our hacking against n00dles.

The easiest way to train your hacking level is to visit Rothman University. You can do this by clicking the City tab on the left-hand navigation menu, or you can use the keyboard shortcut Alt + w. Rothman University should be one of the buttons near the top. Click the button to go to the location.

Once you go to Rothman University, you should see a screen with several options. These options describe different courses you can take. You should click the first button, which says: “Study Computer Science (free)”.

After you click the button, you will start studying and earning hacking experience. While you are doing this, you cannot interact with any other part of the game until you click the button that says “Stop taking course”.

Right now, we want a hacking level of 10. You need approximately 174 hacking experience to reach level 10. You can check how much hacking experience you have by clicking the Stats tab on the left-hand navigation menu, or by using Keyboard shortcut Alt + c. Since studying at Rothman University earns you 1 experience per second, this will take 174 seconds, or approximately 3 minutes. Feel free to do something in the meantime!

Editing our Hacking Script

Now that we have a hacking level of 10, we can hack the joesguns server. This server will be slightly more profitable than n00dles. Therefore, we want to change our hacking script to target joesguns instead of n00dles.

Go to Terminal and edit the hacking script by entering:

$ home
$ nano early-hack-template.script

At the top of the script, change the target variable to be joesguns:

var target = "joesguns";

Note that this will NOT affect any instances of the script that are already running. This will only affect instances of the script that are ran from this point forward.

Creating a New Script to Purchase New Servers

Next, we’re going to create a script that automatically purchases additional servers. These servers will be used to run many scripts. Running this script will initially be very expensive since purchasing a server costs money, but it will pay off in the long run.

In order to create this script, you should familiarize yourself with the following Netscript functions:

Create the script by going to Terminal and typing:

$ home
$ nano purchase-server-8gb.script

Paste the following code into the script editor:

// How much RAM each purchased server will have. In this case, it'll
// be 8GB.
var ram = 8;

// Iterator we'll use for our loop
var i = 0;

// Continuously try to purchase servers until we've reached the maximum
// amount of servers
while (i < getPurchasedServerLimit()) {
    // Check if we have enough money to purchase a server
    if (getServerMoneyAvailable("home") > getPurchasedServerCost(ram)) {
        // If we have enough money, then:
        //  1. Purchase the server
        //  2. Copy our hacking script onto the newly-purchased server
        //  3. Run our hacking script on the newly-purchased server with 3 threads
        //  4. Increment our iterator to indicate that we've bought a new server
        var hostname = purchaseServer("pserv-" + i, ram);
        scp("early-hack-template.script", hostname);
        exec("early-hack-template.script", hostname, 3);
        ++i;
    }
}

This code uses a while loop to purchase the maximum amount of servers using the purchaseServer() Netscript function. Each of these servers will have 8GB of RAM, as defined in the ram variable. Note that the script uses the command getServerMoneyAvailable("home") to get the amount of money you currently have. This is then used to check if you can afford to purchase a server.

Whenever the script purchases a new server, it uses the scp() function to copy our script onto that new server, and then it uses the exec() function to execute it on that server.

To run this script, go to Terminal and type:

$ run purchase-server-8gb.script

This purchase will continuously run until it has purchased the maximum number of servers. When this happens, it’ll mean that you have a bunch of new servers that are all running hacking scripts against the joesguns server!

Note

The reason we’re using so many scripts to hack joesguns instead of targeting other servers is because it’s more effective. This early in the game, we don’t have enough RAM to efficiently hack multiple targets, and trying to do so would be slow as we’d be spread too thin. You should definitely do this later on, though!

Note that purchasing a server is fairly expensive, and purchasing the maximum amount of servers even more so. At the time of writing this guide, the script above requires $11 million in order to finish purchasing all of the 8GB servers. Therefore, we need to find additional ways to make money to speed up the process! These are covered in the next section.

Additional Sources of Income

There are other ways to gain money in this game besides scripts & hacking.

Hacknet Nodes

If you completed the introductory tutorial, you were already introduced to this method: Hacknet Nodes. Once you have enough money, you can start upgrading your Hacknet Nodes in order to increase your passive income stream. This is completely optional. Since each Hacknet Node upgrade takes a certain amount of time to “pay itself off”, it may not necessarily be in your best interest to use these.

Nonetheless, Hacknet Nodes are a good source of income early in the game, although their effectiveness tapers off later on. If you do wind up purchasing and upgrading Hacknet Nodes, I would suggest only upgrading their levels for now. I wouldn’t bother with RAM and Core upgrades until later on.

Crime

The best source of income right now is from committing crimes. This is because it not only gives you a large amount of money, but it also raises your hacking level. To commit crimes, click on the City tab on the left-hand navigation menu or use the Keyboard shortcut Alt + w. Then, click on the link that says The Slums.

In the Slums, you can attempt to commit a variety of crimes, each of which gives certain types of experience and money if successful. See Crimes for more details.

Note

You are not always successful when you attempt to commit a crime. Nothing bad happens if you fail a crime, but you won’t earn any money and the experience gained will be reduced. Raising your stats improves your chance of successfully committing a crime.

Right now, the best option is the Rob Store crime. This takes 60 seconds to attempt and gives $400k if successful. I suggest this crime because you don’t have to click or check in too often since it takes a whole minute to attempt. Furthermore, it gives hacking experience, which is very important right now.

Alternatively, you can also use the Shoplift crime. This takes 2 seconds to attempt and gives $15k if successful. This crime is slightly easier and is more profitable than Rob Store, but it requires constant clicking and it doesn’t give hacking experience.

Work for a Company

If you don’t want to constantly check in on the game to commit crimes, there’s another option that’s much more passive: working for a company. This will not be nearly as profitable as crimes, but it’s completely passive.

Go to the City tab on the left-hand navigation menu and then go to Joe's Guns. At Joe's Guns, there will be an option that says Apply to be an Employee. Click this to get the job. Then, a new option will appear that simply says Work. Click this to start working. Working at Joe's Guns earns $110 per second and also grants some experience for every stat except hacking.

Working for a company is completely passive. You can choose to focus on your work, do something else simultaneously, or switch between those two. While you focus on work, you will not be able to do anything else in the game. If you do something else meanwhile, you will not gain reputation at the same speed. You can cancel working at any time. You’ll notice that cancelling your work early causes you to lose out on some reputation gains, but you shouldn’t worry about this. Company reputation isn’t important right now.

Once your hacking hits level 75, you can visit Carmichael Security in the city and get a software job there. This job offers higher pay and also earns you hacking experience.

There are many more companies in the City tab that offer more pay and also more gameplay features. Feel free to explore!

After you Purchase your New Servers

After you’ve made a total of $11 million, your automatic server-purchasing script should finish running. This will free up some RAM on your home computer. We don’t want this RAM to go to waste, so we’ll make use of it. Go to Terminal and enter the following commands:

$ home
$ run early-hack-template.script -t 3

Reaching a Hacking Level of 50

Once you reach a hacking level of 50, two new important parts of the game open up.

Creating your first program: BruteSSH.exe

On the left-hand navigation menu you will notice a Create Programs tab with a red notification icon. This indicates that there are programs available to be created. Click on that tab (or use Keyboard shortcut Alt + p) and you’ll see a list of all the programs you can currently create. Hovering over a program will give a brief description of its function. Simply click on a program to start creating it.

Right now, the program we want to create is BruteSSH.exe. This program is used to open up SSH ports on servers. This will allow you to hack more servers, as many servers in the game require a certain number of opened ports in order for NUKE.exe to gain root access.

When you are creating a program, you cannot interact with any other part of the game. Feel free to cancel your work on creating a program at any time, as your progress will be saved and can be picked back up later. BruteSSH.exe takes about 10 minutes to complete.

Joining your first faction: CyberSec

Shortly after you reached level 50 hacking, you should have received a message that said this:

Message received from unknown sender:

We've been watching you. Your skills are very impressive. But you're wasting
your talents. If you join us, you can put your skills to good use and change
the world for the better. If you join us, we can unlock your full potential.
But first, you must pass our test. Find and hack our server using the Terminal.

-CyberSec

This message was saved as csec-test.msg onto your home computer.

If you didn’t, or if you accidentally closed it, that’s okay! Messages get saved onto your home computer. Enter the following Terminal commands to view the message:

$ home
$ cat csec-test.msg

This message is part of the game’s main “quest-line”. It is a message from the CyberSec faction that is asking you to pass their test. Passing their test is simple, you just have to find their server and hack it through the Terminal. Their server is called CSEC. To do this, we’ll use the scan-analyze Terminal command, just like we did before:

$ home
$ scan-analyze 2

This will show you the network for all servers that are up to 2 “nodes” away from your home computer. Remember that the network is randomly generated so it’ll look different for everyone. Here’s the relevant part of my scan-analyze results:

>iron-gym
--Root Access: NO, Required hacking skill: 100
--Number of open ports required to NUKE: 1
--RAM: 32

---->zer0
------Root Access: NO, Required hacking skill: 75
------Number of open ports required to NUKE: 1
------RAM: 32

---->CSEC
------Root Access: NO, Required hacking skill: 54
------Number of open ports required to NUKE: 1
------RAM: 8

This tells me that I can reach CSEC by going through iron-gym:

$ connect iron-gym
$ connect CSEC

Note

If you created the AutoLink.exe program earlier, then there is an easier method of connecting to CSEC. You’ll notice that in the scan-analyze results, all of the server hostnames are white and underlined. You can simply click one of the server hostnames in order to connect to it. So, simply click CSEC!

Note

Make sure you notice the required hacking skill for the CSEC server. This is a random value between 51 and 60. Although you receive the message from CSEC once you hit 50 hacking, you cannot actually pass their test until your hacking is high enough to install a backdoor on their server.

After you are connected to the CSEC server, you can backdoor it. Note that this server requires one open port in order to gain root access. We can open the SSH port using the BruteSSH.exe program we created earlier. In Terminal:

$ run BruteSSH.exe
$ run NUKE.exe
$ backdoor

After you successfully install the backdoor, you should receive a faction invitation from CyberSec shortly afterwards. Accept it. If you accidentally reject the invitation, that’s okay. Just go to the Factions tab (Keyboard shortcut Alt + f) and you should see an option that lets you accept the invitation.

Congrats! You just joined your first faction. Don’t worry about doing anything with this faction yet, we can come back to it later.

Using Additional Servers to Hack Joesguns

Once you have the BruteSSH.exe program, you will be able to gain root access to several additional servers. These servers have more RAM that you can use to run scripts. We’ll use the RAM on these servers to run more scripts that target joesguns.

Copying our Scripts

The server’s we’ll be using to run our scripts are:

  • neo-net
  • zer0
  • max-hardware
  • iron-gym

All of these servers have 32GB of RAM. You can use the Terminal command scan-analyze 3 to see for yourself. To copy our hacking scripts onto these servers, go to Terminal and run:

$ home
$ scp early-hack-template.script neo-net
$ scp early-hack-template.script zer0
$ scp early-hack-template.script max-hardware
$ scp early-hack-template.script iron-gym

Since each of these servers has 32GB of RAM, we can run our hacking script with 12 threads on each server. By now, you should know how to connect to servers. So find and connect to each of the servers above using the scan-analyze 3 Terminal command. Then, use following Terminal command to run our hacking script with 12 threads:

$ run early-hack-template.script -t 12

Remember that if you have the AutoLink.exe program, you can simply click on the hostname of a server after running scan-analyze to connect to it.

Profiting from Scripts & Gaining Reputation with CyberSec

Now it’s time to play the waiting game. It will take some time for your scripts to start earning money. Remember that most of your scripts are targeting joesguns. It will take a bit for them to grow() and weaken() the server to the appropriate values before they start hacking it. Once they do, however, the scripts will be very profitable.

Note

For reference, in about two hours after starting my first script, my scripts had a production rate of $20k per second and had earned a total of $70 million. (You can see these stats on the Active Scripts tab).

After another 15 minutes, the production rate had increased to $25k per second and the scripts had made an additional $55 million.

Your results will vary based on how fast you earned money from crime/working/hacknet nodes, but this will hopefully give you a good indication of how much the scripts can earn.

In the meantime, we are going to be gaining reputation with the CyberSec faction. Go to the Factions tab on the left-hand navigation menu, and from there select CyberSec. In the middle of the page there should be a button for Hacking Contracts. Click it to start earning reputation for the CyberSec faction (as well as some hacking experience). The higher your hacking level, the more reputation you will gain. Note that while you are working for a faction, you can choose to not interact with the rest of the game in any way to gain reputation at full speed. You can also select to do something else simultaneously, gaining reputation a bit more slowly, until you focus again. You can cancel your faction work at any time with no penalty to your reputation gained so far.

Purchasing Upgrades and Augmentations

As I mentioned before, within 1-2 hours I had earned over $200 million. Now, it’s time to spend all of this money on some persistent upgrades to help progress!

Upgrading RAM on Home computer

The most important thing to upgrade right now is the RAM on your home computer. This will allow you to run more scripts.

To upgrade your RAM, go to the City tab and visit the company Alpha Enterprises. There will be an option that says Purchase additional RAM for Home Computer. Click it and follow the dialog box to upgrade your RAM.

I recommend getting your home computer’s RAM to at least 128GB. Getting it even higher would be better.

Purchasing your First Augmentations

Once you get ~1000 reputation with the CyberSec faction, you can purchase your first Augmentation from them.

To do this, go to the Factions tab on the left-hand navigation menu (Keyboard shortcut Alt + f) and select CyberSec. There is an button near the bottom that says Purchase Augmentations. This will bring up a page that displays all of the Augmentations available from CyberSec. Some of them may be locked right now. To unlock these, you will need to earn more reputation with CyberSec.

Augmentations give persistent upgrades in the form of multipliers. These aren’t very powerful early in the game because the multipliers are small. However, the effects of Augmentations stack multiplicatively with each other, so as you continue to install many Augmentations their effects will increase significantly.

Because of this, I would recommend investing more in RAM upgrades for your home computer rather than Augmentations early on. Having enough RAM to run many scripts will allow you to make much more money, and then you can come back later on and get all these Augmentations.

Right now, I suggest purchasing at the very least the Neurotrainer I Augmentation from CyberSec. If you have the money to spare, I would also suggest getting BitWire and several levels of the NeuroFlux Governor Augmentations. Note that each time you purchase an Augmentation, the price of purchasing another increases by 90%, so make sure you buy the most expensive Augmentation first. Don’t worry, once you choose to install Augmentations, their prices will reset back to their original values.

Next Steps

That’s the end of the walkthrough portion of this guide! You should continue to explore what the game has to offer. There’s quite a few features that aren’t covered or mentioned in this guide, and even more that get unlocked as you continue to play!

Also, check out the Netscript documentation to see what it has to offer. Writing scripts to perform and automate various tasks is where most of the fun in the game comes from (in my opinion)!

The following are a few things you may want to consider doing in the near future.

Installing Augmentations (and Resetting)

If you’ve purchased any Augmentations, you’ll need to install them before you actually gain their effects. Installing Augmentations is the game’s “soft-reset” or “prestige” mechanic. You can read more details about it here.

To install your Augmentations, click the Augmentations tab on the left-hand navigation menu (Keyboard shortcut Alt + a). You will see a list of all of the Augmentations you have purchased. Below that, you will see a button that says Install Augmentations. Be warned, after clicking this there is no way to undo it (unless you load an earlier save).

Automating the Script Startup Process

Whenever you install Augmentations, all of your scripts are killed and you’ll have to re-run them. Doing this every time you install Augmentations would be very tedious and annoying, so you should write a script to automate the process. Here’s a simple example for a startup script. Feel free to adjust it to your liking.

// Array of all servers that don't need any ports opened
// to gain root access. These have 16 GB of RAM
var servers0Port = ["sigma-cosmetics",
                    "joesguns",
                    "nectar-net",
                    "hong-fang-tea",
                    "harakiri-sushi"];

// Array of all servers that only need 1 port opened
// to gain root access. These have 32 GB of RAM
var servers1Port = ["neo-net",
                    "zer0",
                    "max-hardware",
                    "iron-gym"];

// Copy our scripts onto each server that requires 0 ports
// to gain root access. Then use nuke() to gain admin access and
// run the scripts.
for (var i = 0; i < servers0Port.length; ++i) {
    var serv = servers0Port[i];

    scp("early-hack-template.script", serv);
    nuke(serv);
    exec("early-hack-template.script", serv, 6);
}

// Wait until we acquire the "BruteSSH.exe" program
while (!fileExists("BruteSSH.exe")) {
    sleep(60000);
}

// Copy our scripts onto each server that requires 1 port
// to gain root access. Then use brutessh() and nuke()
// to gain admin access and run the scripts.
for (var i = 0; i < servers1Port.length; ++i) {
    var serv = servers1Port[i];

    scp("early-hack-template.script", serv);
    brutessh(serv);
    nuke(serv);
    exec("early-hack-template.script", serv, 12);
}

Random Tips

  • Early on in the game, it’s better to spend your money on upgrading RAM and purchasing new servers rather than spending it on Augmentations
  • The more money available on a server, the more effective the hack() and grow() Netscript functions will be. This is because both of these functions use percentages rather than flat values. hack() steals a percentage of a server’s total available money, and grow() increases a server’s money by X%.
  • There is a limit to how much money can exist on a server. This value is different for each server. The getServerMaxMoney() function will tell you this maximum value.
  • At this stage in the game, your combat stats (strength, defense, etc.) are not nearly as useful as your hacking stat. Do not invest too much time or money into gaining combat stat exp.