Elite Dangerous – Ultimate Ship-Mounted Weapons and Equipment Guide

A guide to ship-mounted weapons and equipment.

Guide to Weapons and Equipment

Damage Types

For the uninformed we’ll reiterate damage types and what they’re good for here.

Thermal

Thermal damage is typically most effective against shields. Most shields take about +20% damage from thermal sources, so weapons dealing thermal damage tend to be more effective at evaporating shields. Most hulls at their base take 100% thermal damage, but thermal weapons tend to lack sustainable up-front damage.

Weapons that deal thermal damage are typically all types of lasers. Thermal weapons don’t typically have as high damage-per-second as other weapons and have higher demands on your ship’s power, but typically have unlimited ammo and are easy to use due to near-instant travel time.

Kinetic

Kinetic damage is typically most effective against a ship’s hull. Most hull takes about +20% damage from kinetic sources, so weapons that deal kinetic damage tend to be more effective against hull. This, combined with the fact that most shields a their base take -40% kinetic damage, generally makes it a waste to use kinetic weapons against a shielded opponent unless your damage output can simply overwhelm the shield generator.

Kinetic weapons typically need ammunition in order to function but have very low demands on your ship’s power in exchange. Kinetic weapons also have a significant travel time before they impact the target which necessitates accurate leading of a ship’s movement, making these weapons more difficult to use at a distance and on smaller ships.

Explosive

Explosive damage is typically most effective against a ship’s hull and external modules. Most hull takes around +40% damage from explosive sources. Most explosive weapons also tend to deal damage to nearby external modules (like weapon and utility mounts) when detonating, so this can be useful to neuter the capabilities of a particularly tough ship.

Explosive weapons have almost zero distributor demand and a fairly high powerplant requirement, but also a very low ammo pool, so they are not typically useful to employ against every attacker if you plan to go a long time without rearming. Most shields have a baseline 50% resistance to explosive damage, so this makes explosive weapons a waste to use against shielded enemies.

Absolute

Absolute damage is damage which ignores any resistances offered by its target. Essentially, absolute damage always deals 100% of its damage value to whatever it hits, irregardless of thermal, kinetic, or explosive resistances. This makes this damage equally effective against both shields and hull.

Currently, only Plasma Accelerators and similar weapons deal absolute damage. This makes them useful in most circumstances, even against ships with particularly high resistance to certain damage types. This same bonus also applies in reverse, where absolute damage does not benefit from damage increases due to negative resistances.

Thermal-Kinetic and Mixed Damage

Certain weapon systems or engineering may have multiple damage type components. This generally makes them deal about the same amount of damage to those types of armor before resistances are calculated. Plasma Accelerators, for example, deal 60% of their damage as absolute, 20% as thermal, and 20% as kinetic.

Hardpoints

A ship’s hardpoints determine the size, location, and number of weapons systems that can be installed on a ship. Hardpoints are specific from ship to ship but they cannot be changed by any means without flying a different model of ship.

Hardpoints come in four sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and Huge, which are numbered 1-4 respectively. A hardpoint can mount any weapon of equal or lower size to itself. Generally speaking, larger weapons deal both more damage and have higher demands on your ship compared to smaller mounts.

The placement and orientation of hardpoints is almost as important as their size and intended function. Certain ships are more suited to direct, forward combat by virtue of their hardpoint spacing and layout, while others are suited to using gimballed or turreted weapons to provide a wider field of fire. The Imperial Eagle, for example, is a combat focused ship that is fast and manuverable. It has one size two weapon mount above the cockpit and two size one hardpoints are located just underneath the cockpit right next to one another. This gives all of the weapons a very narrow field of fire, making them suited for fixed mounts. The Type-10 Defender on the other hand has its mounts spread very far from the center of the ship, making it more suited to a turret-based loadout.

Hardpoints have to be deployed by the pilot to become function (default binding ‘U’). Larger hardpoints take a longer time to fully deploy and become ready to fire. Deployed hardpoints will prevent a ship from engaging a Frame Shift Drive. Deploying your hardpoints also causes the hardpoints to begin consuming power from your power plant, which can disable other modules on your ship if the amount of power needed exceeds what your plant is able to provide.

Weapon Mounts

You may have noticed the same weapon being offered at a different price or as a different grade. Most normal weapons can come either as a fixed, gimballed, or turreted weapon. The distinction of these is very important and will need to be considered when you decide what weapons you want to buy.

Fixed Weapons

The fixed variation of a weapon will always be the cheapest variation (in the same size class) and the variation with the most raw damage. Fixed weapons, as the name implies, have their barrels pointed at a fixed point in front of the ship that is incapable of moving more than a few tenths of a degree at most. If very close to a target, the weapon’s point of impact will snap to the target ever so slightly to avoid making fixed weapons frustrating to aim at a distance.

Fixed mounts are most suited to faster or more manuverable ships that can rely on quickly orienting the entire craft to stay on target. They require higher pilot skill to employ effectively since the weapons will not lead shots on moving targets for you, that has to be handled by the pilot. Despite these drawbacks, fixed mounts enjoy the massive benefit of being unaffected by chaff or lack of adequate sensor profile on the enemy ship, as well as the most possible damage for that weapon size and type.

Most weapons without other mounting solutions will come in a fixed mount. This includes explosives, railguns and plasma accelerators.

Gimballed Weapons

Gimballed variations of weapons are slightly more expensive and deal slightly less damage than a fixed counterpart, but have the massive benefit of semi-automated targeting. Gimballed weapons will try to follow your locked target and will appropriately aim ahead of a moving target, meaning all you have to do is hold the trigger to shoot.

Gimballed weapons can aim within their mounting about 10-15 degrees from their center, so they can be quite flexible to help medium or large ships stay on target without needing the accuracy and attention of a fixed mount. Unfortunately, gimballed weapons are easily confused by Chaff, which causes them to track randomly and become nearly useless for the chaff’s duration. This can severely neuter a ship relying mostly on gimballed weapons to track targets.

A ship using heat sinks or otherwise outside of sensor profile range also will not be able to be tracked by a gimballed weapon, and the weapons will default to forward fire.

Turreted Weapons

Turreted variations of weapons are usually prohibitively expensive compared to their fixed counterparts (they usually run a few million) and deal much less damage then the same fixed counterpart. They come with a marked advantage of being able to fully rotate within their mounting and engage any targets that are within their field of view. Depending on your ship setting, they can also be set to automatically engage hostile targets within range without input from the pilot so long as their firegroup is active. Turreted weapons can also be controlled by a gunner in multicrew, though this is a rare need unless you plan to build your ship around multicrew.

Mileage varies on turreted weapons heavily depending on how a ship’s hardpoints are oriented. Some ships have terrible hardpoint spacing or mounting locations for turreted weapons, and some weapons wouldn’t make sense to have on an autonomous turret mount. Fragment cannons, for example, require you to be extremely close and precise with your volleys, so having turrets automatically spam your limited fragment canisters would be counter-intuitive.

Common applications of turreted weapons are laser weapons with a low distributor draw, like pulse and burst lasers. These have unlimited ammo and require little power to keep up, so having them firing at whatever moves to keep pressure on a target can be useful, especially on a slow ship like the Type-10 Defender. The Type-10’s four size 3 weapon mounts are two on the top, two on the bottom, but each mount has an excellent view all around it. The ship itself is slow and is practically incapable of turning, so it suits the Type-10 to a turret-oriented loadout where possible.

Power Plant and Distributor Draw

Your ship has two components of power consumption: your Power Plant (which provides power for all systems to operate) and your Power Distributor (which charges the systems needed to fire weapons, recharge shields, and use engine boosts). Some weapons will demand a lot of power from your distributor which makes them hard to continuously fire, even if your power plant is fine. You should carefully balance your weapons to make sure that your distributor can sustain firing your weapons how you plant to use them.

Power Plant

Your power plant powers everything on the ship and has a maximum amount of Mega-watts (MW) that it can supply. Certain weapon systems or equipment will demand a higher power draw from the power plant to remain operational.

The power plant has two graphs for its draw: Deployed and Retracted. This refers to the state of your hardpoints. If your hardpoints are deployed, they begin consuming power from your power plant, and stop once your retract them. You can configure your modules to shut down non-essential systems when deploying hardpoints with the #4 panel and by changing the priority of non-essential modules like the Cargo Hatch, supercruise assists, or Field Maintenance Units to shut them down and free up power for your weapons when deployed. This can give you some more room to install additional power-consuming equipment on the ship.

Distributor

The distributor has a capacity for each “bar” (systems, engines, and weapons) as well as a maximum charge rate for each. The charge rate stated is the rate it could be charged when 4 pips are distributed to that system. This means the rate is proportionally reduced when less pips are assigned to that system.

Take note of how much a weapon draws from the distributor when firing and determine if you are comfortable with all of your weapons drawing that much power at a time. Certain weapons (like Beam Lasers, Plasma Accelerators, and Railguns) are notable for having very high distributor draw which makes them hard to sustain fire with. For example, a Size 4 Fixed Cannon has 2.17 MW draw on a distributor, but a Size 4 Gimballed Beam Laser has 8.99 MW draw per second. Even still a Size 4 Plasma Acclerator has a 21.04 MW distributor draw.

If you adjust your loadout appropriately and reduce your distributor draw, that frees up pips that you may need in weapons for other systems like your shields and engines. Stretching your distributor to its limit on 4 pips is not always the best strategy for survivability. In a pinch, heat sinks can be used to supplement your weapon capacitor when needed.

Hull Hardness and Internal Damage

Attacking a ship’s shields is fairly straightforward, however more goes into attacking a ship’s hull directly.

Hull Hardness

Hull Hardness is a ship’s general resistance to damage from weapons fire, which is separate and distinct from normal damage resistances. Hull hardness cannot be raised or lowered and is an inherent property of the ship. Generally speaking, larger and more combat-focused ships have a higher hull hardness, with the Type-10 Defender having the highest at 75.

A weapon’s piercing factor determines how capable that weapon is of dealing full damage to the hull of a given target. If a weapon’s piercing factor is greater than or equal to the hull hardness, that weapon will deal 100% of its normal damage to the target (before factoring in damage-specific resistances). If a weapon’s piercing factor is lower than the target’s hull hardness, that weapon’s damage is reduced against the target proportionally (weapon’s piercing/hull hardness). If a weapon has 30 piercing, and the target has 60 hull hardness, the weapon only deals 50% of its damage before accounting for resistances for specific damage types.

In practice, Hull Hardness helps level the playing field so larger ships are harder to bring down using most smaller-sized weapon mounts. Certain weapons specialize in penetrating the hull and have a very high piercing factor for their mount size. Cannons have more piercing then most other weapons in the same class, so they are more effective at dealing damage against larger ships even if on a medium size or small mount. Railguns and Torpedos have 100 or more piercing, meaning they always deal full damage to any ship before calculating resistances. This makes them capable of dealing consistent damage against both small and large hulls.

Some weapons are more suited to attacking smaller ships, like Fragmentation Cannons, which have a very low piercing factor. This makes their otherwise impressive damage output much more tame against larger hulls.

Breach Chance and Internal Damage

Every weapon has a minimum and maximum “breach chance” when attacking the hull of a ship. A weapon uses its minimum breach chance when the enemy’s hull is at 100%, and a weapon uses its maximum when the enemy’s hull is at 0%. Weapons with a high average breach chance are more capable of consistently penetrating the hull and directly damaging the internal parts of the enemy’s ship.

“Breach damage” determines how much damage a module inside a ship takes when hit by this weapon after it has successfully breached the hull. Modules each have an integrity which essentially functions as its health. Most modules tend to malfunction as their integrity degrades, though some will continue to function until completely broken at which point the module will shut down and become non-functional until repaired.

Every ship’s core internal components are in different locations. Simply attacking the hull is not enough to damage specific core internal components, you have to attack a specific point on the enemy’s hull. Targeting a subsystem on a targeted enemy can help you in identifying the approximate location of a subsystem you want to attack, such as the Power Plant or Frame Shift Drive. Modules must be repaired with an Auto-Field Maintenance Unit (AFMU). All modules can be repaired barring the Power Plant, which can never be repaired except at a station. Lacking an AFMU, ships with critical damage can “Reboot” their systems which completely shuts the ship offline for about 30 seconds. During this state, you are defenseless and adrift, but the ship’s subroutines will cannibalize any remaining healthy modules to restore basic functionality (thrusters, FSD) to your ship.

Most modules have an increasing chance to malfunction once below 80% integrity. Each time a module malfunctions, it slightly damages itself until broken.

Disabling different core components has different effects on your opponent:

  • Drives/Thrusters – Ship begins drifting at whatever velocity and angular rotation it had before its drives were cut. The target is stuck slowly rotating, flying in a straight line, making semi-easy pickings unless you happened to be traveling very fast before your thrusters were cut.
  • Sensors – Can’t be directly targeted but can still take damage. Disables the ship’s radar and targeting capabilities.
  • Cockpit Canopy – No effect on AI. Can’t be directly targeted. Canopy breaches switch the ship to emergency life support which ranges from 5-25 minutes in duration (life support can be refilled with cheap engineering materials though). If emergency life support runs out, the ship is destroyed.
  • Frame Shift Drive (FSD) – Disables supercruise and hyperspace jumps, trapping the ship in normal space until repaired.
  • Power Plant – A malfunctioning power plant will have reduced power output at random which usually causes parts of your ship to shut down as less power is available. A power plant at 0% integrity will only output 40% of its maximum power. Additional strikes to a power plant at 0% integrity has a great chance of instantly causing the ship to go critical and explode, regardless of remaining hull health. This is typically the go-to target for any pilot trying to take down an armored, larger ship.
  • Cargo Hatch – Destroying the cargo hatch causes the ship to randomly vomit whatever cargo it has in its hold at random intervals until the hold is empty. This is a very “haircut-with-a-halbred” method of piracy when you forget to bring hatchbreaker limpets.

Kinetic Weapons

These weapons are generally used as a dedicated source of Kinetic damage. Certain engineering effects can turn the damage partially thermal, which can make them somewhat of a middle ground.

Fragmentation Cannons

  • Mounting: Sizes 1-3 and as a fixed, gimballed, or turreted mount.
  • Strengths: Very high theoretical DPS if everything connects, easy to at least graze a target
  • Weaknesses: Terrible piercing factor usually cuts damage in half or worse against larger ships, very little penetrative ability, range required for full damage is usually under 100m, limited ammo and bad ammo economy
  • Notable Engineering: Overcharge or Short-Range plays to this weapon’s strengths and can turn them into a fearsome burst damage dealer. Screening Shell experimental greatly reduces reload time and makes in-flight missiles and other munitions easier to hit. Corrosive Shell reduces the target’s hull hardness temporarily on strikes to the hull and temporarily increases the damage of all other attacks against the target. Incendiary Rounds experimental can bolster this weapon’s effectiveness at overwhelming shields by converting some damage to thermal.

Fragmentation cannons fire a wide spread of pellets per shot which individually do quite low damage. When fired at close range they can deal appreciable damage if you can get the entire canister to hit and have the highest theoretical DPS of any weapon, but they are very difficult to consistently get on target at close range and have terrible spread and piercing. This often means that against anything but the lightest of ships you will be dealing reduced damage to begin with. In general, these weapons are not usually sustainable unless engineered and deployed en-masse.

Power-Specific: The Pacifier Frag-Cannon is an alternative fixed size 3 cannon for Zachary Hudson supporters. It has a +50% increase in range and projectile speed and much less random deviation (jitter, from 5.0 to 1.7 degrees), but reduces its DPS by -13%. This makes it slightly more suited to long range but… why would you use a fixed size 3 frag cannon at all unless on a meme ship. The practical uses for frag cannons are already extremely slim.

Multi-Cannons

  • Mounting: Sizes 1-4 as a fixed, gimballed, or turreted mount (size 4 is fixed or gimballed only).
  • Strengths: Consistent damage, decent range, high magazine and ammo capacity, low demand to distributor
  • Weaknesses: Limited ammo, needs to reload periodically, limited hull breach ability and damage against modules
  • Notable Engineering: Autoloader experimental continually reloads the weapon even when firing, making your ammo pool near bottomless until you run out of ammo. Corrosive Shell experimental reduces ammo capacity, but causes strikes to the hull to temporarily reduce the target’s hull hardness and increase damage taken from all other sources. Incendiary Rounds makes the weapon’s damage partially thermal, making the weapon semi-viable against both shields and hull.

Small-caliber (comparatively) gatling cannons which are great for sustained fire alongside other weapons due to their low demand on your distributor. Limited ammo can make these not last as long while doing long bounty hunts, but they are still a very dependable weapon system. Unfortunately, compared to some other weapons, a multi-cannon’s overall damage per second can be lacking against heavier hulls.

The size 4 Multi-Cannon acts differently then the smaller counterparts, as it is treated more like an auto-cannon instead of a gatling gun. Smaller multi-cannons must spin up for a short time prior to firing, but the Size 4 will fire immediately and fires two larger shells per shot at a much slower rate. Due to the good sustained damage from this weapon and decent penetrative ability due to its size, it can be quite effective at targeting modules, but needs more time on target then a cannon, and its overall DPS won’t be as stellar against larger ships as other, more specialized weapons in a size 4 hardpoint.

Power-Specific: The Enforcer Cannon is an alternative fixed size 1 multi-cannon for Pranav Antal supporters. It is slower-firing (-44% rate of fire) but higher damage (+45% DPS overall) version of a size 1 multi-cannon. Unfortunately, it is only available as a size 1 fixed mount, which limits its deployment to smaller and more manuverable ships, and also severely limits its practical application on larger ships.

Cannons

  • Mounting: Sizes 1-4 as a fixed, gimballed, or turreted mount (size 4 is fixed or gimballed only).
  • Strengths: Very high per-shot damage, high piercing for its size make it dependable against larger hulls, low demand to distributor, higher-than-average breach chance and damage make it better against internal modules
  • Weaknesses: Overall DPS is lacking, missing shots is very punishing, limited ammo is a concern
  • Notable Engineering: Auto-Loader experimental continually reloads the weapon even when firing, reducing the need to reload. Force Shells can physically push ships off-course when struck, especially lighter ships. High-Yield Shell makes damage partially explosive, increasing effectiveness against hull and internal modules, but reducing effectiveness against shields. Long-Range can give Size 4 cannons a 9km max range. Overcharged or Short-Range can give larger cannons very impressive direct damage.

Cannons are the other end of the spectrum for kinetic using single, high damage slugs to deliver damage to the target. They are great if you can hit enemy modules with them very consistently and deal consistent damage thanks to its penetrative ability and breach chance, but missing with them can seriously hamper your ability to take the target down and they have somewhat lacking DPS compared to the ease of a multi-cannon.

Engineering these can make some particularly interesting (if not effective, anyways) builds.

Missiles/Torpedos & Mines

Dumbfire Missile Rack

  • Mounting: Size 1-3 fixed mounts
  • Strengths: Explosive damage very effective against hull, rips apart modules mounted externally on direct or near hits, no distributor cost to fire
  • Weaknesses: Fixed-only, needs manuvering and leading to target, low ammo capacity, can be neutralized by point defense at mid to long range
  • Notable Engineering: FSD Interruptor experimental temporarily disables the target’s FSD on hit, but severely hampers damage and rate of fire. Penetrator Munitions experimental allows missiles to damage multiple internal modules on hit. High Capacity can double the ammo capacity of an individual mount. Thermal Cascade causes shielded ships hit by this weapon to temporarily have heat increased (though very little effect on AI).

Power-Specific: The Containment Missile is an alternative size 2 dumbfire missile rack which forces the target’s FSD to reboot on impact, even if the target is shielded. FSD reboots can only occur about once every 30 seconds, even if repeatedly striking the target. A favorite of gankers to use on those who would rather not fight. Much less damage (-20%), ROF (-33%), and DPS (-47%).

Dumbfire missiles. Contrary to popular belief these are not absolutely stellar at shelling out hull damage, though they are capable of doing so. Their real strength relies on being able to pour these on with additional damage from other weapons, plus shredding exposed external mounts like weapons and utilities. A few missiles in the right place can really damage clustered groups of weapons and utility mounts, crippling a ship mid-combat. If your hardpoint pattern supports these and you have a ship that can make use of them, these are great for some additional burst damage.

Seeker Missile Rack

  • Mounting: Size 1-3 fixed mounts
  • Strengths: Automatic tracking after lock, nearly impossible to evade without countermeasures or extreme speeds, no distributor cost to fire.
  • Weaknesses: Very low ammo, needs time to lock, easily defeated by point defense/ECM, very weak against majority of shields, less damage than dumbfire
  • Notable Engineering: High Capacity can double the ammo capacity of an individual mount. Drag Munitions experimental causes the struck target’s distributor temporarily stop increasing top speed from engine pips on the target

Power-Specific: The Pack-Hound missile rack is an alternative size 2 seeker rack for Li Yong-Rui supporters, which, upon firing, splits itself into four sub-missiles which each seek the target in an erratic manner. This makes them exceedingly difficult for point defense to completely evade (though ECM can still counter). A full hit from all four sub-missiles yields slightly greater damage than a single normal seeker can. Needs about 500 meters to arm itself, longer than a normal seeker.

In terms of raw power, seekers have a much harder time matching dumbfire or other weapon mounts. However, for larger ships, these can be very useful to pressure or entirely dispatch smaller, more agile vessels who are unlikely to have utilities in place to counter missiles. Once thinly or completely unshielded, a small ship like an Eagle or a Viper can be dispatched with a few vollies of seekers instead of needing to track them down with fixed or gimballed weapons.

Seekers quickly run out of fuel pursuing a target past 3-4 km. They also have a minimum range they need to arm which is in the range of 200-400 meters, so firing them point blank is a waste. In any case, seekers can be a valuable tool for a ship that cannot afford to stay on target for long, or a less manuverable ship that needs options against faster opponents. These also excel at swatting ship-launched fighters out of the sky as SLF’s typically have no defense against missiles.

Torpedo Pylon

  • Mounting: Size 1-3 fixed mounts
  • Strengths: Always deals full damage, high damage against hull, tracks indefinitely until disabled
  • Weaknesses: Practically no ammo, expensive ammo, lackluster overall damage, EXTREMELY slow munition, easily defeated by point defense/ECM
  • Notable Engineering: Reverberating Cascade experimental causes strikes to the target to directly damage the target’s shield generator (even if shielded), eventually destroying it completely if enough damage is dealt. Mass-Lock Munitions causes the struck target’s FSD to charge much more slowly for an extended period of time. Penetrator Payload always breaches the hull and causes damage to multiple modules near the point of impact.

This weapon is practically useless unless you intend to take out extremely high value targets with very specific builds. Torpedos cannot and should not be relied upon to be used in general combat or bounty hunting simply because their ammo is abysmal and expensive. You only get 1/2/4 torpedos per mount using a size 1/2/3 mount, and each torpedo costs 15,000 CR to resupply. Contrary to belief a single or even two torpedos to the hull of most ships isn’t enough to outright destroy it unless it is a particularly weak small ship like an Eagle, at which point the torpedo usually costs more than the bounty you collect (and the Eagle can easily outrun the torpedo because it only travels at 250 m/s).

Reverberating Cascade is probably the only experimental that gives this weapon any serious use, but this is only useful to penetrating particularly tough shield generators, like a Cutter or other ship specifically engineered to have very heavy shields. On a ship using a size 7 or 8 shield generator, you will need 4-6 torpedos to damage the generator enough to bring it offline, so be prepared to commit. Furthermore, this entire cheese strategy is ground to a halt if the target or its support has Point Defence, ECM, or some other method of avoiding the torpedo. Given the number of hardpoints you would have to commit to this strategy, this can put you in a really bad pinch. But, if you pull it off, it is really funny to dunk on a heavily shielded ship with this strategy.

Mine Launcher/Shock Mine Launcher

  • Mounting: Size 1-2 fixed mounts (Shock mines: Size 1 fixed only)
  • Strengths: Virtually no distributor cost to fire
  • Weaknesses: No guidance; relies upon direct collisions, explosions tend to hit civilians or system authorities who will immediately blame you with a bounty, low/limited ammo
  • Notable Engineering: Reverberating Cascade experimental causes strikes to the target to directly damage the target’s shield generator (even if shielded), eventually destroying it completely if enough damage is dealt. Ion Disruption causes a struck target’s thrusters to reboot for a short time.. Shift-lock experimental reboots all FSDs caught in the blast.

I’ve tried it. Typically a waste of a hardpoint for a number of reasons, such as: all point defense that’s not your own will try to shoot mines down. Mines frequently get shot by point defense or collide with your hull as soon as deployed, so they don’t have a chance to hit a target. Targets are not stupid enough to simply fly through a line of mines. Even when deployed in an aggressive and offensive manner, it is still exceedingly difficult to get mine strikes for lackluster damage. Mines have been designed as a sort of “escape-assist” tool as evidenced by engineering choices, and they are terrible for direct combat. Shock mines are only designed to push ships around and deal a lot less damage than normal.

Notably the only other weapon with reverberating cascade besides torpedos. This can make them a bit of a trap card, but again, its a cheese strategy except this one is highly visible and much more dangerous to deploy, and you would realistically only deploy this if you were desperate and unable to breach someone’s shields in the first place.

Pulse/Burst/Beam Lasers

Pulse Laser

  • Mounting: Size 1-4 as fixed, gimballed, or turreted mount (size 4 is fixed/gimballed only)
  • Strengths: Cheap, comparatively low demand on distributor, effective for cost against shields, hitscan
  • Weaknesses: Low overall sustained damage, falters against attacking the hull once shields are breached, sharp damage falloff, low piercing/breach chance
  • Notable Engineering: Long-Range removes damage falloff and extends range up to 6 km. Concordant Sequence can greatly bolster your wingmate’s shield regeneration for a short time when shot by the weapon. Phasing Sequence can cause a very small portion of damage to breach shields and attack hull directly, even when the target is still shielded. Scramble Spectrum can cause random modules on the target ship to malfunction for a short time.

Power-Specific: The Pulse Disruptor is an alternative size 2 fixed pulse laser for Felicia Winters supporters. It is essentially a pulse laser with Scramble Spectrum built into it in that it causes modules on the targeted ship to malfunction for a short time. It is different in that it will cause the targeted module to malfunction only when that module is actually hit internally, whereas scramble spectrum is completely random.

Very cheap and entry-level weapon system that comes with a low logistical profile to keep it firing during combat. If you need an energy weapon mount to help take down shields, pulse lasers can at least do the job without killing your distributor, but they won’t be stellar in most aspects, even if engineered. Once the target’s shields are downed though, most laser weapons like this one are not much help in attacking the hull since they lack any meaningful properties to help damage ship hull.

Damage falloff hampers most laser weapons greatly, causing their already lackluster damage to get even weaker as they go outside a measly 500 meters. Long-Range greatly helps to alleviate this issue and makes laser weapons much more threatening outside of arm’s reach.

Concordant Sequence can be very useful if you fly in a wing. In my flights when I am using a bi-weave shield generator, the recharge rate increase after I haven’t taken damage for a short time rivals that of most shield cells, and it does so for free without additional system capacitor draw. This can make it invaluable to help bolster your team’s shields when they can avoid fire for a few seconds, especially if they have a strong shield generator.

Burst Laser

  • Mounting: Size 1-4 as fixed, gimballed, or turreted mount (size 4 is fixed/gimballed only)
  • Strengths: Slightly more sustained DPS than a pulse laser with similar demands, triple-shot burst fire increases hit probability, effective for cost against shields, hitscan
  • Weaknesses: Low individual shot damage, slightly more demanding on heat and distributor compared to a pulse laser of equal mounting specification, lacks power against hull, sharp damage falloff
  • Notable Engineering: Long-Range removes damage falloff and extends range up to 6 km. Concordant Sequence can greatly bolster your wingmate’s shield regeneration for a short time when shot by the weapon. Scramble Spectrum can cause random modules on the target ship to malfunction for a short time. Intertial Impact can turn this weapon into a hybrid thermal-kinetic weapon, but makes the weapon near unusuable outside close range due to a 3-degree aiming jitter introduced.

Power-Specific: The Cytoscrambler is an alternative fixed size 1 burst laser for Archon Delaine supporters. It has a greatly increased DPS (+136%) for very little change in demand to the ship, but has a short max range of 1km, a jitter of 1.7 degrees, and an armor pierce value of 5 which makes it only useful against shields.

A slightly more effective pulse laser with only slight increases to logistical profile. There’s not much more to say here besides that it is (besides some engineering experimentals) nearly identical to the pulse laser in almost every way.

Beam Laser

  • Mounting: Size 1-4 as fixed, gimballed, or turreted mount (size 4 is fixed/gimballed only)
  • Strengths: High sustained DPS, hitscan, generally easy to keep on target
  • Weaknesses: Prohibitively high distributor draw make sustained fire very difficult, fairly high heat generation, sharp damage falloff, slightly lower piercing factor than other laser weapons
  • Notable Engineering: Long-Range removes damage falloff and extends range up to 6 km. Short-Range can bolster this weapon’s effectiveness against shields (and to an extent, hull) at very close range. Concordant Sequence can greatly bolster your wingmate’s shield regeneration for a short time when shot by the weapon. Regeneration Sequence can actively repair a wingmate’s shields instead of damage it, keeping their shields charged even under fire. Thermal Vent causes your ship’s heat to decrease while striking a target, easily capable of cooling your ship to near-0% heat if you have a high degree of accuracy.

Power-Specific: The Retributor is an alternative fixed size 1 beam laser for Edmund Mahon supporters. It does -50% damage but causes the struck target to generate a significant amount of heat while the beam is maintained, even if the target is shielded. This makes it threatening against ships with poor heat management, but needs to be constantly maintained. Larger ships generally have a much easier time venting heat and are not threatened by this weapon.

The mack-daddy of the lasers. Many people love to mount these because of their good damage output and effectiveness at evaporating shields, but they have a very high logistical profile and will demand attention from your distributor if you want to keep firing it. Very large (size 3 or 4) beam lasers can be effective against enemy hull by sheer damage potential, and the hitscan nature makes it hard to avoid.

Unfortunately for Regeneration Sequence, every time i’ve tried it out my ears have been assaulted by the tone of shields coming online every single game tic, so I can’t use it in favor of Concordant Sequence because I value my hearing. Thermal Vent completely spins beam lasers from being a heat issue to being a heat management tool. Even one laser engineered as such vents an extremely large amount of heat while firing.

Plasma Accelerators & Railguns

Railguns

  • Mounting: Size 1-2, fixed only
  • Strengths: High penetration for consistent damage against all hulls, near hitscan projectile, thermal-kinetic damage is passable against both shields and hull, decent breach chance/damage making it decent at picking off internal modules with precise shots
  • Weaknesses: Fairly harsh damage fall-off (1,000m with 3,000m max range), high distributor draw, high heat generation, limited ammo pool, smaller mounts only make it suitable as a primary weapon for smaller ships, weapon has to charge for a short time as the trigger is held before actually firing
  • Notable Engineering: Plasma Slug experimental reduces damage by 15% but generates ammunition directly from ship fuel, essentially allowing unlimited ammo. Long-Range removes damage falloff and increases max range to 6 km. Feedback Cascade experimental causes strikes against targets deploying shield cells to directly damage the shield cell bank and reduce the amount of shields restored (but cuts damage by 20%). Super Penetrator experimental causes rounds to damage all modules along the point of impact with the hull, instead of damaging the first module hit.

Power-Unique: The Imperial Hammer is an alternative Lavingy-Duval supporter version of the size 2 railgun which fires a three-round burst of projectiles instead of a single slug, with a proportionally tripled ammo pool. The potential DPS is slightly higher (+23% per burst) but has a substantially higher heat generation (+65% per burst).

High velocity hybrid weapons that can quite easily reach out and smack ships with little warning, but require high skill to employ effectively. Multiple railguns are quickly a difficult logistical challenge as they have a high distributor draw and a high amount of heat generated per shot, requiring careful management if using more than one at a time. They are still effective all-rounders for most tasks, and if using long-range can be very useful to tag distant or retreating targets. They excel at harassment from a distance as there is little you can do to defend against them provided the gunner’s aim is true, and they’re good for slapping shields or hull.

Railguns have a unique ‘charging’ mechanic, where the weapon needs to spool up before firing its shot. This requires you to track your target for about an additional second while the railgun charges and make sure your reticule is over the target just as it fires. This also comes with the bonus of being able to release the trigger before the weapon fires to cancel your shot.

These weapons only come up to size 2, so they’re usually not suitable as a primary weapon for larger ships that have larger mounts. They can be very useful on medium and small ships as a tool to harass larger ships from a distance.

Plasma Accelerator

  • Mounting: Size 2-4, fixed only
  • Strengths: Absolute-thermal-kinetic damage mix makes this weapon equally effective against shields and hull regardless of resistances, high damage output per shot, always deals full damage against hull
  • Weaknesses: Very high distributor draw, very high heat generation, limited ammo pool, needs periodic reloading, sluggish projectile makes leading outside short range difficult
  • Notable Engineering: Plasma Slug experimental reduces damage by 15% but generates ammunition directly from ship fuel, essentially allowing unlimited ammo. Short-Range complements this weapon’s role as a close-in weapon and substantially boosts damage, but causes a significant increase in heat generated. Phasing Sequence allows a small proportion of damage to bleed through a shielded target, damaging the hull directly at cost of damage potential.

Power-Unique: The Adv. Plasma Accelerator is an alternative Denton Patreus size 3 Accelerator which has a much higher (+286%) rate of fire but a much reduced (41% of original) damage per shot. Overall it has a higher (+24%) potential DPS but a +16% distributor draw and a +45% thermal load.

An up-front alpha damage dealer. No other weapon can be as consistent a threat up-close, and no other weapon can ignore resistances as much as this weapon can. For targets with a high overall resistance to damages, absolute damage can help even the playing field somewhat when superior firepower can’t be achieved. Accelerators are very demanding as far as heat, power plant, and distributor goes, so they need to be carefully chosen as a primary weapon among your loadout and your secondaries cannot be too demanding on your ship.

The biggest drawback of a P.A. is its low projectile speed which makes getting consistent hits on even mid sized targets at 1km or more difficult. It relies highly on pilot skill to employ effectively and it is extremely difficult to hit smaller or more manuverable ships than yourself with it. Therefore, any ship employing it should have significant mobility or other options to deal with smaller ships, as having it be your only realistic options to deal with a small ship can be troublesome.

P.A’s are still fearsome against larger targets as they aren’t able to easily avoid getting hit, even at a distance, and the absolute damage will assist in nullifying any strengths they may have had against a particular damage type. Smaller ships trying to make use of accelerators will have difficulty venting the excess heat, and smaller power distributors will have a hard time keeping the system charged.

Utility Slots

Heat Sink Launcher

  • Strengths: Vents an absolutely massive amount of heat from your ship, almost assuredly bringing it to 0% heat temporarily in a short time, thereby temporarily bringing you off the radar, charges weapon capacitor
  • Weaknesses: Very low ammo (3 per mount), only useful if running builds with high heat concerns, stealth, or excessive distributor draw

Simple as. It vents all heat in your ship into a brick which is then shortly ejected. Heat sinks can take you from 300% heat to 0% heat pretty easily, so they’re very useful if you find yourself overheating when deploying shield cells or something similar.

These also uniquely help cool your weapons system (the charge bar for your weapons in the power distributor is actually the weapon “cooling system”), so they provide a really good bonus to your weapons capacitor to help you extend the amount of time you can keep all of your weapons firing if you find yourself with an advantageous shot but not enough juice to keep firing.

Chaff Launcher

  • Strengths: Temporarily makes the tracking of gimballed/turreted weapons targeting you nearly useless, good ammo capacity, ammo is very cheap to synthesize in the field
  • Weaknesses: Confuses allied gimballed/turreted weapons targeting you as well, no protection against missiles or fixed weapons

Almost always useful as it can typically be spammed with reckless abandon. It can be very useful to at least temporarily reduce the incoming damage from weapons with tracking assist, but that’s the only type of weapon it will protect you from temporarily. Two chaff launchers can be used back to back to provide near seamless proteciton.

Electronic Countermeasure (ECM)

  • Strengths: Disables missile/torpedo guidance and destroys all active limpets within 3 km when fully charged. ECM can be partially charged to affect a smaller area. Wide area of effect allows it to be used in a team setting.
  • Weaknesses: Fairly specialized and not always useful unless interested in limpet/missile/torpedo defense, needs to recharge between use which can create gaps in coverage

Useful if you find need to disable pesky torpedos and missiles, or hatchbreaker limpets. This outright destroys limpets and causes seekers and torpedos to immediately veer off course in a random direction until they explode shortly after, making it an effective tool against those types of weapons. Torpedos and seekers can still make it through the ECM while it needs to recharge (about 5-6 seconds), though, so it is not an impenetrable defense unless you have more than one equipped.

This will disable your allies equipment when used as well, so be careful. The ECM can also zap hatchbreakers off of you even if they’re already hacking your hold.

Point Defense Turret

  • Strengths: Provides limpet/missile/torpedo/mine defense by directly engaging them as they approach with high accuracy, virtually limitless ammo pool
  • Weaknesses: Needs to be placed strategically in particular utility mounts to provide the best coverage, latency (especially in instances with other players) seems to severely impact the ability of PD turrets to actually hit their target, tends to engage things that are non-threats like enemy collector limpets

Useful to place one near your cargo hatch to defeat hatch breaking attempts most of the time (an ECM can also be useful even if the hatch breaker latches on). As a bonus, can shoot down most missiles before they hit you if given enough time to engage, but faster missiles or missiles shot outside its coverage can still make it through.

Shield Booster

  • Strengths: Bolsters your sheild’s maximum capacity and resistances, multiple boosters are additive in effectiveness
  • Weaknesses: High power plant demand on higher grade boosters

Affectionately and derogatorally referred to as “skill boosters”, most ships slap half of their utility mounts with these things simply for lack of other, better things to put in those mounts. Engineering these can seriously bolster your shield’s resistances and overall shield strength, but the power draw is not insignificant.

As a temporary pro-tip, when your shields are down, they need to recharge to half strength in order to re-form. If you disable your shield boosters, you can shorten the time it takes for your shield to re-form and then reactivate the boosters after your shields are back up. Just be aware your shields actually “recharge” at a much higher rate when broken and reforming, so if you do this, it will take longer for your shields to fully recharge than if you waited.

Kill Warrant Scanner

  • Strengths: If bounty hunting, reveals additional out-of-system bounties on a target which are awarded upon destruction, increasing payout anywhere from 0-75%. In anarchy systems, reveals out of system bounties which are awarded when the ship is destroyed.
  • Weaknesses: Base scan time of 10 seconds is abysmal, scanning is only worth it on high-ranked targets in medium or large ships

Im not going to be mentioning the other scanners because they are kind of out of scope here. The kill warrant scanner is a useful bounty hunting tool that can increase your payout, but its hard to see it in action without checking the bounty on the contacts panel before and after the scan. I’ve made a 260,000 CR bounty turn into a 540,000 CR bounty on a high ranking Anaconda NPC before, but its hard to tell exactly how much extra dough this pulls in for you. Very useful in a wing setting though as all bounties are duplicated for each participating wing member, and they all benefit from one wing member’s warrant scan. I find overall, if I do math at a redemption office, your average increase from the bounties from other systems is overall about 15-20%. It also indirectly raises your relationship with the other systems when you hand in bounties belonging to them.

A quick note on wanted status (note: no laws in anarchy system so you will never get bounties for doing illegal things in those systems):

  • Clean – Target has no bounties in the current system (K-Warrant scan may reveal out-of-system bounties). Illegal to attack.
  • Warrant – No bounties in current system, but target has bounties in other systems issued by factions not present in your current system. Illegal to attack, but will still award you the bounties on destruction.
  • Wanted – Has bounty in the current system (K-Warrant scan not required to reveal this, just a normal scan with sensors). Lawful to attack, will not generate any bounties or hostile response from system authorities unless committing another crime (ex: firing inside no-fire zone).
  • Lawless – Target is in a specific area of space where the law does not apply (ex: anarchy system, conflict zones). Lawful to attack, will not generate any bounties or hostile response from system authorities (if any).

Engineering this for fast scan slightly reduces its range but reduces scan time from 10 seconds to 2 seconds. It is amazing.

Shields

Since they are so intertwined with combat, they deserve their own section. A powered shield generates a slowly-reforming layer of protection around a ship. Outside of very special circumstances, shields will always take damage before the hull of the ship (including collisions). The only time the hull is damaged directly despite having shields is during emergency supercruise drops/interdictions, heat damage, or specialty engineering which will allow a weapon’s fire to pierce a shield.

It is extremely important to note that the Systems capacitor not only provides energy to recharge your shields, but the more pips allocated to systems, the higher your overall shield strength is. This can immensely boost your shield’s survivability during a fight if you can allocate more pips to systems while also being able to fight back.

Shield hitpoints vary widly depending on the size of the shield generator, present shield boosters, mass of the hull, and base shield strength. We’ll gloss over some of the finer details but all you need to know is: each ship has a “base shield strength” which determines how effective a shield generator is at its base on it. Next, each shield generator has a minimum, optimal, and maximum hull mass. If a ships base hull mass (no modules installed) is equal to the optimal mass of the shield generator, the ship gets its base shield strength out of that generator. If a ship has less mass than the mounted generator, then it gets a bonus, and vice versa for being heavier. This makes certain ships much more suited to having high shield strength via combination of large internal slots, low hull mass, and high base shields. This makes ships like the Imperial Cutter, with a 600 base shield strength and two size 8 compartments for a shield generator, extremely easy to stack heavy shields on to. The only other ships that can mount a size 8 generator are the Type-9 and Type-10, both of which have abysmal base shields compared to other ships in its class.

Shields at their base are great at defending against kinetic and explosive damage but take bonus damage from thermal sources. Combined with at thermal weapon’s easy of use, this makes them a typical choice to melt shields before deploying heavier weapons against the hull. Shields can be heavily bolstered by shield boosters which can make even dropping the shields on a stubborn ship exceedingly difficult without extreme focus.

As a side note, the shield is projected in a bubble around the entire ship. This can make wider ships like the Imperial Clipper substantially easier to strike on the shield since it covers a much wider area than the ship itself. A shield that is flashing is being charged by a shield cell bank, which has a “wind up” period where it just generates heat and a “deploy” period where it actively restores shields. During a deploy period, the shield cannot collapse even if it takes damage past its limit, but any damage that “bleeds through” the shield (damage that would have caused it to collapse) damages the hull instead. If promptly attacked during windup and shields entirely broken before deployment, you can effectively stop the deployment of a shield cell.

Basic Shield Generator

  • Strengths: Accessable, lower tiers affordable, range of tiers available depending on needs of pilot, midline performance
  • Weaknesses: A-rank generators expensive and power hungry, may not be as effective as a more specialized solution

Basic shield generators can’t really go wrong with. They offer good protection for what they do but have a “just okay” charge rate which can leave a lot to be desired. These are usually bolstered with limited-use shield cell banks which can be popped to generate more shields in an emergency as well as a ton of internal heat. Most ships will take lower-rank (E/D) shields for a little bit of collision insurance or maybe some light weapons fire while exploring/transporting, but usually an A/B rank is sought for combat alongside other defensive equipment.

This pattern is seen among all internal modules, but note the rating system for shields:

Rating / Comments

  • E: Cheapest, least effective, heavy. Use only when on a budget or performance above bare minimum does not matter.
  • D: Cheap, generally okay performance, but will always weigh the least. Always use D-rank equipment when you have no need of a higher rank so you can reduce weight substantially (most D-rank modules are 60% lighter than E rank counterparts).
  • C: Midline performance and cost, but weighs as much as an E-rank.
  • B: High performance but high cost, weighs about +37.5% more than an E-rank.
  • A: Best performance characteristics but by far the most expensive. Weighs as much as an E-rank, but the performance gain is substantial. Downgrade to C or B if constrained by power.

The size of the shield generator will determine essentially how strong of a shield it can project. There is a lower limit to the size of a shield generator for larger ships, wherein essentially shield generators significantly smaller than the ship they are mounted on are incapable of making a shield at all. You will be warned of such, so you can’t slap a 1E shield generator on a Type-9.

Bi-Weave Shield Generator

  • Strengths: Substantially faster regeneration rate compared to standard shields, even A rank, shield reforms much more quickly after being collapsed and recharges faster after not taking damage
  • Weaknesses: Fairly weaker overall shield strength compared to an A rank generator

My usual go-to for hull-tank style builds. The high regeneration rate will allow your collapsed shields to be up much faster than usual, which will require the enemy to frequently re-break them and buys you extra time as they have to chip away at your now 50% shields again and again. The high regeneration rate helps you recover if the focus shifts away from your ship.

Bi-weaves are not as useful on ships that are designed to shield tank as constant damage on the shield prevents it from recharging, so in that case a stronger overall shield would be more beneficial. Bi-weave shields are notably purplish when struck as opposed to the usual blue of a normal shield.

Prismatic Shield Generator

  • Strengths: Higher overall shield strength compared to A-rank of same size
  • Weaknesses: Much higher power cost, much lower regeneration rate compared to A rank of same size, power-specific reward only, notably bright green when struck which is an instant giveaway of your shield strategy

For the aspiring shield tank builds. These are the opposite of a bi-weave — they’re harder shields at the expense of regeneration. A prismatic offers about +15-16% more shields compared to an A rank generator of the same class, but has a higher power plant demand. As a side-effect of its lower recharge rate, it has a lower distributor draw, but a shield tank will typically keep all of its pips possible in systems to get the strongest shields possible.

The types of ships that employ prismatcs are usually hoping their shields never collapse, because they’ll usually be without them for a long time if that’s the case and will be hard pressed to survive long enough to get them back up. You will typically see prismatic shield generators being supplemented by a large number of shield boosters and careful deployment of shield cell banks.

As a side note, Reverberating Cascade and Feedback Cascade are two specialized anti-shield and anti-cell bank experimental effects for mines/torpedos and railguns respectively. These are typically employed if you know you are dealing with a heavily shielded opponent.

Internal Equipment

This is a generalized list of mostly combat-oriented equipment I have found useful.

Auto Field-Maintenance Unit

  • Size/Grade: 1-7, A-E; Higher size/rank increases the speed and efficiency of repairs
  • Function: Repairs damaged modules without the need of station facilities
  • Strengths: Allows for a hull tank or ship with poor heat management to have much longer deployments, reduces repairs costs when repairing very expensive modules, cheap to reload, greatly extends the life of module reinforcements
  • Weaknesses: Limited “ammo” for repairs, must shut down modules for repairing, cannot repair itself, cannot repair power plant

AFMU’s are a valuable tool to those doing two things: constantly overheating their ship due to weapons fire, or those taking sporadic hull damage over the course of a long deployment.

AFMU’s have to power the module they are repairing down for the duration of repairs, so they are difficult to use in-flight without other options. Repairing your thrusters during combat, for example, doesn’t usually do you any favors. Furthermore, they repair rather slowly (even large, high-ranking AFMU’s can be rather sluggish on heavily damaged equipment). This usually requires the offending piece of equipment to be down for quite a bit. To boot, equipment must manually be re-activated after repairs are done, so this further complicates using it in combat.

An important thing to note is that Module Reinforcements cost 1/10th of the normal amount of AFMU ammo to repair, so a unit can be very useful to keep your module reinforcements up and running, even if they take significant damage. The other important thing to note is if you repair your thrusters or FSD during supercruise, you’ll immediately do an emergency stop, so don’t do that.

AFMU’s can work in tandem with one another, and having at least two AFMU’s can allow one to repair the other to circumvent the issue where you can’t have an AFMU repair itself. The cockpit canopy can be repaired by an AFMU, but only if it hasn’t been completely breached yet.

FSD Interdictor

  • Size/Grade: 1-4, A-E; Higher size/rank increases the effective distance of an interdiction tether
  • Function: Forcibly causes targets to drop out of supercruise into normal space when successfully interdicting the target, allowing the target to be scanned or attacked
  • Strengths: Required for some bounty hunting missions and piracy, or if you want to gank a player for some terrible reason
  • Weaknesses: Requires you to be behind target which can clue the target in to your intentions, the interdiction minigame can be very tough to win for ships with very poor manuverability (Type-9/10), otherwise useless once in normal space

It yoinks people out of supercruise. Its not much to write home about and you don’t typically need one unless you are after specific bounty missions. Be aware that interdicting a target that is not wanted in the current system will incur a 300 CR fine or so with local authorities, not that anyone cares about a piddly 300 CR fine.

Fuel Tank

  • Size/Grade: 1-7; Higher size/rank doubles the tons of fuel stored per rank (2/4/8/16/32/64/128 tons of fuel at each rank)
  • Function: Store extra fuel outside of your ship’s usual tank
  • Strengths: I guess it can greatly increase the range of a taxi ship without needing to stop for fuel. On particularly small ships using Plasma Slug (using fuel for ammo), can effectively be taking extra ammo with you as it is easy to drain a small ship’s tank utilizing such weapons.
  • Weaknesses: Weight and really not that useful outside exploration, travel, or aforementioned small ship strategy

You really do not need one of these unless for the strategy just mentioned.

Fuel Scoop

  • Size/Grade: 1-7, A-E; Higher size/rank increases the amount of fuel scooped per second
  • Function: Enables collection of fuel for your ship from nearby stars that are scoopable
  • Strengths: Allows exploration out into the black of space without the need for stations for fuel
  • Weaknesses: Non-combat in the highest sense of the word, does nothing if you have no need of fuel away from stations.

Don’t even think about using this to try and recoup fuel costs. Fuel costs absolutely nothing and you will be hard pressed to spend more than 100,000 CR on fuel in 1000 hours of gameplay.

Fighter Hangar

  • Size/Grade: 5-7; Higher size/rank allows for more types of fighter chassies to be maintained at once and also increases the number of each chassis that can be built before exhausting supply and requiring resupply at a station.
  • Function: Deploy a ship-launched fighter (SLF) which can independently operate from the mothership a short distance and provide distraction/defense.
  • Strengths: Can easily divide enemy attention between your ship and the fighter, provides supplemental and hard to stop damage, can be flown yourself for recon, multicrew players can fly fighters for you
  • Weaknesses: Requires a pilot who will take a portion of bounties handed in at all times (even if inactive), fighters are fragile and quickly destroyed if focused, rebuild time of fighers put out of action can leave you without a distraction for some time, can only be mounted on very specific ships

I am personally an advocate for the fighter bay because I think its cool. End of story.

Planetary Vehicle Hangar

  • Size/Grade: 2, 4, 6, G/H; High size doubles the number of vehicles which can be stored each grade (1/2/4 total vehicles), G-ranked bays have higher power draw but less mass, H-ranked bays are less power intensive but heavier
  • Function: Holds Scarab SRVs for surface exploration
  • Strengths: In terms of space combat, none, its useless. For the ground, kind of useful to collect things and blow up dumb sentry skimmers
  • Weaknesses: SRV operates almost entirely independent of the mothership, unlike a fighter, which sucks. There’s not really much interaction between your ship and an SRV.

Holds Surface Recon Vehicles (SRVs) which are used to explore landable planets. They’re really not very remarkable.

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