Ping program icon
Ping is a utility program which creates a noise distraction with a radius of 4 tiles. It costs 1 PWR to use, and has a cooldown of 4 turns. Ping can be bought from some Server Terminals for 450 credits.
To use Ping, select it in Incognita view, and then click on any tile. The noise distraction will be centered at that tile, and will be heard in the highlighted area.
The noise made by Ping is heard only by guards, not drones (which have no hearing), and not Sound Bugs. If Ping is used to distract a guard to a tile has has no valid path to, or a tile outside the boundary of the facility, then the guard will instead investigate their own tile.
If multiple guards are within range of the noise, they will usually all investigate it. However, due to a presumed bug in the game, sometimes one guard will investigate the noise, clearing the interest point, and then the remaining guards will not be distracted. This bug occurs only rarely; the cause of it is unknown, as are the conditions under which it occurs.
Ping is considered to be one of the best programs in the game. It has a simple but unique function which can be used for a variety of strategic goals:
Most obviously, if a guard you have observed
is about to find one of your agents (or something else suspicious), you can use Ping to make him go somewhere else instead.
If a stationary
guard is in an inconvenient place, Ping may be the easiest way to distract him in order to get past (or just to make him face away so you can steal
You can use Ping on a tile where a guard is already standing, so that he will not move on the next enemy turn. This can cause him to pin
another guard for an extra turn, or to block a door
or narrow passageway, holding back other guards.
Guards will investigate the Ping interest point even if the path to get there is extremely long. In the right situation, you can use Ping to send one or more guards to a point that's on the other side of a wall but in the far end of the facility. It will take the guard multiple turns to get there and multiple more turns to get back, effectively removing them as a threat if you're sending them to an area that holds no interest for you.
Ping can be used speculatively in an area where you don't know whether there are any guards; particularly, Ping can give some information about whether there is a guard patrolling into a room when you aren't sure if it's patrol-free
, and if it does hit a guard then you will also know where in the room they will walk to on the next enemy turn. Similarly, Ping can be used to control the next move of newly-spawned patrols from the guard elevator when you can't observe them yet.
Ping has several benefits over other methods of distraction:
The only real downsides of Ping are its cooldown of 4 turns, and the rare situation where you try to distract multiple guards but (because of a bug), only one of them investigates.