An overview of the different weapons, missile and equipment and a quick how-to for equipping it all.
Weapons, Missiles and Equipment Overview
Before we get into actually installing weapons, missiles and equipment, let's first talk about what types there are in Starpoint Gemini 3. An informed decision is a good decision, or so they say. I mean, you could always wing it and see what happens...
When we say weapons, we mean the various turrets hanging from your ship. The number of turrets mostly depends on the Wing module. Every Hull has at least one turret, usually on the front of the hull, and wings bring their own turrets. The number of turrets on wings vary from 1 to 3 (on each wing, which generally means you can double that number). When you install a weapon, all available turret slots are filled with that weapon. No hassle, no fuss... we got you covered.
Let's get into the details for a bit. There are four basic types of weapons and each is aimed at a certain playstyle (combat-wise).
Blasters offer high rate of fire, but generally shorter range. Use them when you like to get up close and personal and more importantly, when you like to hold the enemy under sustained fire.
Scatterguns are the shotguns in space. Each shot of a scattergun fires off a number of projectiles in a scatter radius. If you're not really into detailed aiming, you should really consider using scatterguns to flatten your enemies into pancakes. Keep in mind though, that scatterguns have a short effective range, which brings us to the other end of the scale...
Machineguns are your standard medium-to-high range weapons. A steady rate of fire, not the fastest, but far from the slowest, and greater range is aimed at keeping your opponents under suppressive fire at longer distances.
Cannons on the other hand are as close to one-shot-killaz as you can get (especially with the right skillset). Their range is far superior to any other weapon type, but their rate of fire is on the slower end. With cannons, you have to have a precise aim, but you can be sure that when a cannon hit connects, it does its job.
Hull vs shield damage and a sprinkle of damage type
All weapons, regardless of any other stat, have a separated damage value when hitting a shield and hitting a hull. It is generally a good idea to have these two possibilities covered. One weapon against shields and another against hull, switching between them on the fly as you need to.
Let me introduce another variable into the mix: damage type. There are 3 distinct damage types in Starpoint Gemini 3: physical, energy and plasma. It might not seem all that important in the beginning, since the enemies you encounter are generally weaker, but at later stages of the game, this mechanic becomes quite a bit more important. Enemies' shields can be more resistant to a certain type of damage. You'll notice this both in how much / little damage you do to them, but also in the color of their shield when it is getting hit. For those extra resistant buggers, we've reserved a special icon which appears on their target lock, when their resistance to a certain damage type is so high it's basically pointless to attack them with it.
Moving on to missiles, the heavy weapons of the game. Much like light weapons, missiles come in several different types. It is important to know what type is intended for what purpose. Otherwise you'll be wasting a lot of missiles and money.
Guided missiles are your standard lock-on-follow-the-target kind of missile. Even if the missile doesn't slam directly into the target's hull, you can bet it will cause at least some damage, since the missile will detonate in the proximity of the target. The closer it is, the more damage it will do. And not only to its primary target, but to other hostiles in its blast radius as well. Guided missiles do however, have the smallest blast radius of all missiles. Their intended purpose is to hunt down hostile fighters.
Dumbfire missiles are not guided! They will not follow their target around. Dumbfires simply go forward. You might wonder then well... why should I ever use them?. Well, dumbfire missiles are generally reloaded much faster than any other missile type. They have formidable damage and larger blast radius than guided missiles. This just means dumbfires are perfect for bombarding large slow-moving or stationary targets. Capital ships and structures come to mind right away.
Torpedoes are the heaviest of heavies. They reload slowly, they fly slowly, but when these babies detonate, you'll notice it. Torpedoes have by far the greatest damage and blast radius. As a rule, using a torpedo on anything moving faster than a snail is not a bright idea. Sure, it might work, but it generally won't. If you're looking for a cap-ship killer... torpedoes are it.
To help you along in your exploration and combat, there's a variety of different equipment at your disposal, ready to be purchased at stations near you, or crafted manually from parts. Every piece of equipment does something specific, but there's a couple of shared properties:
- Using equipment consumes it.
- There is a cooldown period between two usages of the same equipment.
- Repair nanobots - Need to fix your hull mid-flight? These kiddos will fix 'er up.
- Shield booster - For those moments where all the piloting in the world can't get you out of harm's way.
- Nanoscrubbers - When those rads get too high, flush them with the nanoscrubbers.
- Booster injector - If you find yourself using boost a lot, this quick refuel might come in handy.
- Decoy - Drop one of these babies and see those pesky enemy missiles miss every time.
- Explosive mines - There's a whole variety of deploy-able mines in the game. Pick your poison!
- Automated platform - There's also many different automated defense platforms to choose from. Deploy it and see what it's like to fight with a buddy by your side.
Equipping Stuff to Use It
We've gone over the various stats and differences between the items you can use. That's nice and all, but let's divert some time into talking how to actually equip the stuff.
While in your inventory, browsing through the stuff you own, specifically on the Weapons, Missiles and Equipment tabs, you'll notice another action is noted on the footer. "[F] Install" tells you exactly what you need to do. If an item is equipped on your ship, you'll also notice a number icon on its right side in the items list. This tells you what slot it is equipped in. The same principle is applied on all three tabs (Weapons, Missiles, Equipment).