This content requires the base game Beat Hazard on Steam in order to play.

User reviews:
Mostly Positive (47 reviews) - 70% of the 47 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 17, 2014

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Downloadable Content

This content requires the base game Beat Hazard on Steam in order to play.

Buy Beat Hazard - Shadow Operations Unit

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Buy Beat Hazard Mega Bundle

Includes 4 items: Beat Hazard, Beat Hazard - Shadow Operations Unit, Beat Hazard Ultra, Beat Hazard – iTunes & m4a file support


About This Content

Welcome To The Shadow Operations Unit

  • 9 Brand new ships, each with different handling, firing patterns and abilities
  • Steam Workshop support with easy to use in-game editor
  • Earn mission stars by completing 'Shadow Missions' assigned to each ship
  • Prove your worth, rank up to 'Shadow Force Elite'
  • Each ship has a separate leader board; Show your skill and compete for the top spot

Shadow Operations Briefing

The base fleet consists of 9 brand new ships, each with new handling, firing patterns and abilities

Demonstrate your design skills and create new ships for the Shadow Fleet

Download new ships created by other operatives and prove your skills by completing their missions

Complete Shadow Missions to gain promotions and gain access to more craft

Each ship in the fleet has its own set of leader boards
Prove you are the best of the best, get to the top of those boards

Classified Fleet Details

Highly focused firepower in a single tight beam.
This ship is like a scalpel, it delivers a massive amount of damage,
but requires speed and accuracy for that damage to be put to good use.

The most powerful ship in the hanger. It can deal more damage per second than any other ship.
However, this comes at a price as this ship is slow and heavy. Shoot first, move later!

Fast, small and nimble. Quick reactions and good flying skill will allow you to get out of difficult situations.

A very capable Auto-Aim ship with a good balance of firepower and manoeuvrability.

The smallest most agile ship in the game. If you can keep it under control you'll be able to punish the bad guys with its 3 beams of fire.

A large beast of a ship. Powerful engines make this ship fast, but its large mass makes it hard to change direction. High powered, but slow bullets, make an interesting combination.

An Auto-Aim ship the will hoover up all the pickups on screen. Large but reasonably agile, you should be able to clock up some big scores.

An Auto-Aim ship with a wide field of fire. An all-rounder good in most situations.

Hazards come from all directions, so this ship fires in all directions. If positioned well, you can safely get into the thick of the action and have no fear of incoming missiles.

Join the unit today!

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win 7
    • Processor: 2.0GHz processor
    • Memory: 512+MB of RAM
    • Hard Drive: 40+MB of free hard drive space
    • Graphics: 256MB of video memory
    • Sound: DirectX-compatible sound
    • DirectX®: 9 or later
    • OS: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
    • Processor: Intel
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 250mb HD space
    • OS: Ubuntu Linux 12.04 LTS or equivalent
    • Processor: x86 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 250mb HD space
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (47 reviews)
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38 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
88 of 110 people (80%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
Posted: October 11, 2014
Don't get me wrong. Beat Hazard is a great game and I had a lot of fun playing it again. So what's my problem? Shadow Operations doesn't add too much content.

9 brand new ships, each with different handling, firing patterns and abilities
Different handling means some ships handle like ♥♥♥♥ (The Juggernaut and The Collector in particular). Firing patterns are almost the same everywhere. What about abilities? Auto-aim is worse than when you aim yourself, because it doesn't always target most dangerous or closest objects. Also The Collector is able to hoover up pickups.

Earn mission stars by completing 'Shadow Missions' assigned to each ship
I was happy to get new challenges, but after a few of those missions I realized that I just had to play the game without doing anything out of ordinary. Here are some examples:
  • Kill x standard enemies / bosses / twin bosses. Just play the game and hope the right enemy will spawn. You have to kill everything anyway.
  • Get x pickups. Same as above. Play the game. You collect things anyway, right?
  • Amass 20/40/60 million points. Same ♥♥♥♥.
Getting x points in one track and finishing x tracks on hardcore/insane/suicidal can be hard if you're new to Beat Hazard. Unfortunately most players are veterans who maxed it a few years ago. Getting 100% wasn't hard for me, just time-consuming. If you don't feel up to challenge, don't worry, play on lower difficulties. You'll be able to finish most missions.

Steam Store also says something about "proving my worth", "separate leader boards for each ship" and "competing for the top spot", but it's just marketing babble.

To put it simply, we get 9 ships that aren't all that different and missions that aren't challenging or interesting. It was fun to play it again, but because Beat Hazard is good, not thanks to Shadow Operations. Don't pay the full prize. It's not worth it.
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24 of 29 people (83%) found this review helpful
Posted: December 4, 2014
There are a few things going on with the Shadow Operations Unit DLC. The first thing is the dozen new ships in game. Each ship has three missions to complete. These missions are things like destroy 100 scout ships, get 1 million points in a single track on a single life. Accumulate 10 million points using the ship, losing 1 million points every death. Complete a track on insane difficulty. It adds new depth and new goals for the game other than just stay alive. These missions are difficult, making the DLC geared more for the players that want the challenge.

For the most part they control the same as the original with some different weights and laser angles. The standard ship has always controlled perfectly fine with the ability to stop on a dime. When upgraded it has three narrow front lasers and one angled at each side. I won't go into every ship. A few need to be unlocked from the start of the DLC. These ships all have their pros and cons to make them balanced so no one dominates multiplayer or anything like that.

The Razorburn ship has a powerful single beam, but it is slippery. It doesn't stop on a dime like the original. The Dragon ship has three wide array beams to the front and one angled on each side. It controls slightly heavier. Dragon Fire has three powerful widely spaced forward lasers, but that's it. The downfall is that its a painfully slow compared to the others. The Slick ship has its lasers angled inward with two powerful beams and standard beams. With the inward angle it makes it more of a close range ship. To make things more interesting, you only pilot the ship. The computer has control over the guns. It makes me worry, even if it has better accuracy than I would and its very responsive. Star Runner is a similar ship when it comes to the laser design, two powerful inward angled lasers, but the angled beams point outward and inward. The computer controls the shooting with this ship, but it feels slower to react, as if its targeting where the ship was. Its fine when you get in front of enemies. The Speedy has three angled beams out of each side and three forward forward beams. The real downside is when your ship starts a level it only has two angled beams, no forward beams.

There is now workshop integration so you can play with other people's ships. If you want to pilot an anime maid, go for it. If you want to pilot Vic Viper from Gradius, its probably in the workshop. Each of these ships have their own missions too. Made by fans. I piloted the Heavy Weapons Guy in space who has a single wide angled spray on a mission to kill 200 scouts in a single life.

The new ships add a lot of variety the original game didn't have. The missions while different offer goals and objectives as difficult as they may be to achieve. Its just another reason to play an already great game that belongs in arcades. It all goes to your rank. Each ship has a leader board.
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
Posted: June 21, 2015
First of all, there are a lot of people who make this look worse than it is, so please let me explain this!

+ this DLC comes with about 10 new ships
+ you can download really huge amount of ships from Workshop and almost all of them are usable and they also come with missions if those missions from native ships are not enough for you
+ you can make your own ship with certain restrictions

- you're kinda forced into doing those missions even though you'd prefer to go straight into the game and just play with any ship you choose
- some missions are really stupid or boring

Either pro or con, it depends on your point of view:
~ Shadow Operation missions.. You basically have to complete certain missions in order to unlock ships.. Someone likes this, someone hates this, it really depends.. (missions example: Kill 10 Twin Bosses; Kill 300 Scouts; etc.)

TL;DR: 7/10 - Awesome DLC if you want to play with different ships and if you have a bit of spare time to do missions.
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22 of 29 people (76%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
Posted: December 27, 2014
About this DLC.

I've played many hours of Beat Hazard and definately enough to think that the ideas this DLC are offering are very interesting. The mechanics are put there and something that I was missing for this game was a kind of variety in terms of ships and missions. And that's basically what this DLC adds: 9 ships with 3 missions available for all of them.

But now you'll ask... why am I thumbing it down?

There are 2 main reasons, and each applies to both new features. First of all, I was kinda disappointed that almost all ships are BAD. I mean, none of them is better than the original one, so what's the point? At least that's how I felt about it. Good think you can customize your own ship 'cause otherwise I'd end up by using the same ship I've been playing with the last 30h of gaming.

Secondly, ALL missions are farmed-based. Now that sucks A LOT. Some missions were like "accumulate 50 million points" 'n' stuff. I agree about the Death Penalty they had since it made it more challenging, but there's no point either if the missions are meant to do the same and not, for instance, some specific thing in an specific song. In the end this game has its own soundtrack, they could've squeezed it more since it's a good one.

I don't know guys. I bought this DLC kinda hyped (from all music-synth games, this is by far my favorite one) but the result wasn't what I expected. However I wouldn't mind buying another DLC if they make it at least interesting, or fun to play, not just "the same thing you were doing before".
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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 4, 2014
This DLC is amazing!
It adds a bunch of new ships (and workshop integration, so there are hundreds of extras) and many new game perks.
Each ship has it's own "missions" which are basically mini-challenges to attempt while playing the game. You may have to kill X number of scouts, score 4 million points on one song, or beat 3 songs on Insane difficulty. Each time you beat a challenge your ship ranks up and your profile ranks up too. Win challenges to unlock more powerful ships.

Each ship has it's own perks. You can try different ships based on your own play style.
Some ships are very fast with a focused beam, some are larger and fill the screen with bullets, some auto-aim. There is a lot of content here.

This is a great add on and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Beat Hazard.
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16 of 24 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 6, 2014
Very good DLC. It adds lots of new content and depth to the game, and customization never seen before in Beat Hazard! I highly recommend you pick it up.
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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
Posted: November 15, 2014
Great addition to base game. New ships requires different styles of flying and some can suit you more and some less.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Posted: July 10, 2015
Gives even more replayability to the game, with an extra exp system and unlockable ships with different strenghts and weaknesses. A good purchase when the game is on sale.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Posted: February 28, 2015
When you are trying out the new ships, try not to look at them as 'better' or 'worse' that the standard ship. They are by turns quirky (the micro ship dances around the screen like an over-caffeinated child) to downright weird (the auto-targetting ship feels crazy!). They are certainly challenge modes, and some of the challenges are going to take me hours of effort to get, I think. Chaining multiple Insane level tracks without dying will be an interesting one for sure!

I made a very quick and shallow effort at building my own Shadow Ops ship, which was an interesting experience. I will certainly be taking a look at what madness other people have created! I can see all kinds of oddities emerging as people play around more with this.
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8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 25, 2014
For the (quite simple & easy to use) ship editor alone this patch / DLCs is well worth it!
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Recently Posted
Posted: September 13
A really nice dlc which adds a surprising amount of content and thus increases the replay value.
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Posted: April 24
This game is probably one of the best games if you are looking for something to play and just relax but along with that its also one of the hardest games out there 10/10 will play again
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Posted: February 18
This game is a GREAT GAME if you like your own music ( who doesn`t? ) and are fomd of scrolling space shooters.
It is colourful , exciting and responds well to quiite different music.
I love it.
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Posted: February 15
  • Adds a lot of playtime to the game before it gets repetitive
  • Ships are pretty well designed
  • Community-made ships in the Workshop (Meaning you'll never run out of missions)
  • You are able to design your own ships

  • High cost in a way, but that is just my opinion. They did do a lot of work on this so I guess 5€ is good

My score: 8.8/10
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Posted: February 6
I rate this add-on 4.5/5 Excellent.

If you want to play Beat Hazard at all, you should absolutely get this add-on. This add-on takes an agint and somewhat boring game and greatly enhances it, adding bonus missions to greatly increase replability and give you some sort of definite goal while you play this firework-infused game and listen to your music at the same time. I don't think I would have played Beat Hazard nearly as much as I have if I did not have this add-on. I make use of it every single time I play Beat Hazard. Indeed, me playing Beat Hazard effectively revolves around the features which this add-on gives you access to and I can barely remember what Beat Hazard is like without The Shadow Operations Unit which goes with it.

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Posted: February 5
Beat Hazard is great.

Problem is I only got this dlc for the custom community made ships. (which one shouldnt have to pay to be able to use to begin with but whatever) Only to find out you can't even use most ships until you've beaten challenges.

I really like this game, but I am by no means a fanatic of this genre, so of the 20 or so custom ships I downloaded, I can only use 3. This is because many of the challenges to rank up are ridiculous. It wouldn't be so bad if they didn't all make you lose all progress upon dying. And I don't mean game over, I mean you lose one life, and all progress resets.

Now I'm sure there are some freaks out there who an beat a 4 min song on insane difficulty without dying one time, but I sure as f*ck can't, and don't like being denied content because of it.

So if you are considering getting this just to have fun trying out different ships, don't. Because you can't.

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Posted: December 26, 2015
This DLC is really recommended to use. If you want something extra !!
If you want to use new ships, then buy this DLC to try it out.

If it's on sale, then you should buy it, because then it would be cheaper.
So, the thing is, that this pack is amazing and puts more to access the game.

If you get the DLC, it will pop up the screen that you are welcomed to Shadow Operations Unit!
And if you play with the DLC, you will get some challenge on the pack.

Like you CANT die, if you don't get the challenge done. Example like... if it's on 50% and you die, it will start over the progress.
Then you need to do it again! And it's painful! But extra fun!

And this is interesting! You can make your OWN ship too!

But anyways, every ship will have own challenges, but sometimes easy ones and hard ones.


So, if you want new ships and challenge for game, then you should buy this DLC. <3
But i love this DLC !
That's why i love Beat Hazard and musics too!
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Posted: December 14, 2015
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Posted: November 27, 2015
During a mission if you die even once you lose all progress for that mission and have to start again. Why do you have to do the missions? to get access to the ships you payed money for.
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SpookySquirrel /
Posted: November 26, 2015
I don't see why this content has mixed reviews.

  • Adds a whole lot of new ships for different playstyles (eg small and fast, solid beam, slow but powerful, death machine)
  • Adds a secondary ranking system to unlock most of these ships by doing missions
  • Missions are optional and are not unlike TF2/ CS:GO contracts
  • Heaps of replayability, new ways to play and new levels of challenge
  • Although some modes are challenging, they are still thoroughly enjoyable
  • A lot of the missions are quite tough
  • Only 3 missions per ship (Although the above point almost counters that)


It's certainly worth the $5 if you enjoy the game and like the contracts idea. Definitely a steal on sale.
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