Netrunner: How to play online with Jinteki.net
It may have never been officially supported by Fantasy Flight, but Android: Netrunner has a very active online play community. Centered around Jinteki.net, a fan-made website where everyone can join up and play, this community represents a great opportunity to play a little bit more and against larger variety of opponents.
In this article I’ll explain how to join Jinteki.net and how to navigate its interface to interact with the community, build decks and play. Let’s begin!
CREATING AN ACCOUNT
The first step to play on Jinteki.net is to create an account. It’s a completely free process not unlike creating an account to join a forum or any other website. We start by clicking on “Sign Up” on the top-right corner. Then we choose a password and name to create our account. Once we are done with the process, we click on “Login” and introduce our credentials. We can now begin.
With our account in place we can start exploring the interface. At the top of the screen there are a series of buttons that take us to the different parts of the website: Chat, Cards, Deckbuilder, Play, Help and About. We can click on them without losing what we are doing on another screen, so don’t be afraid to explore.
The first screen we see is the Chat, where you can talk with other players. It’s a good place to discuss the game or ask about rules questions that have come up during a match. Don’t hesitate to ask other players about any doubts you have concerning how Jinteki.net works, everyone is more than willing to help. While not as active as the main chat, you can click on the channels listed to the left of the chat to enter a more specific chat room. For example, there are rooms for those in Europe, Asia and for Spanish-speakers, which might be useful.
The second button is Cards. Here we can see all the cards released for the game and filter them by name, set, rotation status and so on. It’s a good way to check out what options you have when it comes to deckbuilding, though the lack of advanced search options makes it a lesser version of NetrunnerDB.
The next tab is the Deckbuilder, where you can import, build and check your decks. Start by clicking on either “New Corp Deck” or “New Runner deck” to be taken to a new screen where you can build your decks piece by piece. I highly recommend that you give your decks a name, for you’ll eventually have a bunch of them and might get confused. To determine the deck’s identity just click on the scroll under the “Identity” header and to add cards just write their name in the box just down below, listing how many copies you want to add as necessary.
Alternatively, you can simply paste a decklist in the large white space underneath. This way you can copy a decklist you online without having to input the cards one by one. Keep in mind you may need to help a bit with the formatting, if there’s more than one card per line, the upload won’t work.
The colour of the cards also indicates their current legal status:
- Cards in yellow have rotated or are not available in the current format
- Cards in yellow and red cross symbol are banned in the current format
- Cards with an unicorn symbol are restricted (You may only play copies of one of the cards on the restricted list)
Note that the current legal status of your deck is indicated just below your agenda points count. This legal status will also indicate whether your deck is legal in what formats (Such as Eternal or Snapshot) if you move your mouse’s cursor over it. Currently the most popular format is Standard.
After you are done building your deck and naming it, press the Save button to store it. Build a Runner and a Corporation deck (Or copy them from NetrunnerDB) so you can start playing on the lobby.
The next tab is Play, which is where we can actually meet other players and arrange a game. It is the core of Jinteki.net and where you will spend most of your time. It requires a heavy, in-depth explanation so let’s clear the other tabs first before moving on with it. Help has some information on how to use Jinteki.net. Most notably, it includes a list of console commands which may be occasionally necessary to fix a mistake in the game state and a list of common questions. Give it a look!
Settings allows you to personalize the interface a bit, chance your avatar and add players to your personal block list. Stats just lets you see your Jinteki.net statistics and, finally, About tells us about the people who made the website and how you can support it. The developers do a really great job keeping not just the servers, but the code itself, up to date so please consider donating to them if you end up using Jinteki.net regularly.
HOW TO PLAY
Now that we know how the interface works and we have our decks in set order, it’s time to play. Go to the Play tab. Here we can find a list of all games currently being played and either create our own or join one that has already been created. If you are new, consider creating a game with “New to Jinteki” on the title so people can lend you a hand. Before mulliganing or starting to play, greet your opponent. The most common etiquette is simply to say hi and “good luck, have fun”. After this brief interaction, mulligan if needed and you can start the game proper.
While a bit imposing at first, playing on Jinteki is easier than it looks. Most cards effects are fully automated and you can perform the most common actions, like drawing a card or running by clicking a button. For example, if we want to play a Sure Gamble all we need to do is to click on the picture. We can also click on installed cards to use them. This includes resources, programs, assets, ICE and all other cards that go on the table. Corporation cards are rezzed by a click and then their abilities are fired by clicking on them once they are face-up. Ambushes like Cerebral Overwriter or Snare! are fired automatically on access as are cards that fire on successful runs, like Hokusai Grid or Ash 2X.
The most complex part of playing on Jinteki.net is the same as in real life: Running. When the Runner initiates a run an arrow appears on the server being run on, indicating which ICE is being approached. The Corp gets the option of letting the runner move to the next step or rezzing cards by clicking on them.
If the Corp rezzes ICE, the Runner can simply click on his cards and pay the appropriate cost of breaking it. He can also click on the ICE to indicate the Corp to fire a given subroutine or to pay alternative costs to break, like spending clicks to break a Bioroid. HOW TO FIX A MISTAKE
As you learn to play and use Jinteki.net it is unavoidable to make mistakes. Perhaps you played a card in the wrong order, ran into some automatization issues or simply the game state doesn’t reflect the rules correctly. Don’t worry, you have a series of tools to address this issue.
The first is that you can increase and decrease all your parameters (Credits, clicks, Memory Units, Brain Damage, Bad Publicity) by hovering the cursor over the name of the appropriate area and then clicking on the + and – symbols that come up. Remember to alert your opponent!
You can also use console commands to fix a problem. Writing “/undo-click” will do exactly that: return the game state to the start of the click. You can also try “/undo-turn” but it’s required less often and both players must input it. It’s also valuable to know the “/close-prompt” command, which closes a window that seems stuck or shouldn’t have triggered.