Dead Space’s Annoying Asteroids Minigame, and How to Beat It


Can’t get past that insanely annoying asteroid-destroying minigame? Here’s what you need to do.

I’ve been playing Dead Space, and it’s a definitely a fantastic game: high on atmosphere, stylish with its cinematics and intense with its action. And then, like a curveball, the developers throw this at you: a shoot-the-asteroids minigame. Everyone loves minigames, right?

When will devs learn? The cannon-firing minigame from Knights of the Old Republic was one of the most vexing parts of the game, and sadistically enough, EA does the same with Dead Space. It isn’t impossible, but sure looks like it if you’re not doing too well.

I did get past it, after some 15 tries, and so I’ve decided to compile a bit of a guide. Note that the following guide is intended for the PC version, but most ideas should work with consoles too, of course.

The Basics

  • You can fire with both the left and right mouse buttons (one for each cannon). Most people forget this, assuming either that the other cannon is malfunctioning, or they just don’t notice the other cannon because they’re too busy aiming.
  • Your big gun can get overheated big-time, throwing you out-of-action for a few seconds.
  • Large asteroids break up into smaller asteroids, but for some reason, the smaller asteroids maintain their parent’s velocity and direction.

What You Should Know

  • Larger and faster asteroids cause more damage. And as you’d imagine, asteroids that are both fast and large are twice as dangerous.
  • The closer an asteroid is to the window, the more dangerous it is.
  • Remember that the goal of the game is to survive, not to destroy as many asteroids as possible.
  • You can beat the game even if you survive with just 1% Hull, so your priority should be to cut down the major damage, not the smaller hits.
  • A little overheating isn’t bad, but you do not want your cannons to overheat right when a large number of asteroids come flying at you.

What You Should Do

  • Aim far, and try to blow up asteroids as early as possible, rather than waiting for them to get closer.
  • Fire only one cannon at a time. Overheating with one cannon is much slower than with both cannons together.
  • Fire with both cannons if you’re tackling a large asteroid. This cleans up the smaller asteroids that break off.
  • Fire moderately. Don’t keep your guns blazing throughout or you’ll end up overheating. Don’t “spray-and-pray”.
  • Keep your fire concentrated in the center. Ignore the asteroids at the fringes, they are largely harmless or cause too little damage.
  • If you’re in a bind, prioritize. Shoot down the asteroids closest, largest and fastest.

What You Can Tweak

If you really can’t seem to get past the section, maybe it’s time to do a bit of tweaking.

  • Brightness: Turn the brightness up as much as possible, both in the game and on your monitor. This is so that you can see asteroids from a distance. The earlier you see an asteroid, the faster you can eliminate it.
  • Graphics: Turn down graphics (especially resolution) to the lowest. Not only will this improve frame rate, but it will also cut down the shiny distractions. Plus, I’ve observed that mouse movement is faster at lesser resolutions.
  • Sound: Turn your sound off, one more distraction down.
  • Mouse Sensitivity: Turn your mouse sensitivity up, all the way to full. FPS players might say that lower sensitivity makes for better aiming, but the problem with Dead Space’s minigame isn’t that you can’t aim, it’s that you can’t aim fast enough.

If nothing seems to work, you should just keep practicing. Or maybe hand over the reins to somebody that loves playing aiming minigames like this one. Everyone knows someone like that.

13 thoughts on “Dead Space’s Annoying Asteroids Minigame, and How to Beat It”

  1. I got pass this game on my first try with only 81/85 hull integrity.

    the problem is
    that bitch ass magnet things . i cant find the other 2 >.<

  2. Thanks for the post. Unfortunately I cant increase aim sensitivity on console. I may have to resort to youre last suggestion as Ive died about 15 times already. This mini game is truly sadistic, especially not knowing how if youre even close to achieving it. Shame cos I really like this game and want to play the rest of it!

  3. 15 deaths and now im concerned i may never beat it. i fucking hate roadblocks in games liek this, im on easy mode no less.
    Juarez Call of the gunslinger has part like this. I haven’t played it in years because it’s unbeatable. Turned a 10/10 game into a 2/10 game

  4. Thank you so much! I was legit about to ragequit over this b.s. minigame but doing everything you suggested – lower resolution, max mouse sensitivity (that made menu navigation fun! Thank goodness I have a USB X-Box 360 controller to help…) and upping the brightness really did make it a whole lot easier to get the targeting lasers where I needed them to be in time to be useful.
    Another suggestion (in case anyone is reading this 11 years later lol) is only use the right cannon on the right side of the window and the left cannon on the left side. Not only will this give you those extra critical pixels but it also helps ensure your shot is lined up properly with the asteroid you’re aiming at.

  5. The instructions are almost the same for Xbox 360, except you cannot adjust the mouse sensitivity.

    These are great tips all the same. I failed 3 times and then looked for tips. I think it’s natural to assume that you are supposed to destroy every asteroid. I mean, who wants asteroids to hit their ship? It might destroy the Game Room section of the ship, and that would be horrible.

    I think that whoever greenlit making this part of the game should publicly apologize and release a patch that removes it. It won’t ever happen, but I can dream.

  6. I hate this ready to quit the whole game over it. I just can’t beat it on medium difficulty. That stupid bastard is so slow at repairing whatever needs repairing. I hate it with a passion. Also broken a controller over it as well. Why would EA do this it is like a sick joke!!!!!!!!!!!

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