I've clocked in about 600 hours in this game over the past year, and I figure this rundown could help some newer players with less experience. This game has a lot of weapons and it can be pretty daunting. I know 600 hours isn't much to some of the vets of this game, and this is by no means a definitive guide just my opinions on some of what the game has to offer
My other guides
- S: These weapons are usually a bit OP, a must-have in almost any situation.
- A: Either a great all-around weapon or very strong in its speciality.
- B: Usually a solid generalist weapon or a good specialist weapon.
- C: By no means bad. These weapons are usually starter weapons that are common and cheap, but outclassed.
- D: Underwhelming, but better than nothing.
- F: Weapons that are detrimental to your ship, usually because of terrible flux inefficiency. Better to have nothing.
Light Needler: B+. When massed, the light needler can be one of the scariest things to fight. Dealing a 1500 damage burst to shields is no joke for a small ballistic weapon, however, the turn rate and accuracy make it less effective against fast frigates. 9 cost and a 5-second downtime makes this weapon high-risk high reward.
Railgun: A. The best KE small ballistic. High DPS against shields, perfect accuracy, good range and weapon cost (for what you get).
Light assault gun: now C+. On paper the 320 DPS on armour is incredible, however, due to the low per-shot damage, it rarely "punches through" armour. Good against frigate armour, and mediocre against destroyer armour. Good against fighters if it can hit them and provides decent pressure for shields. A solid starting weapon.
Light Autocannons: D on single, B on Dual. Most likely the first KE weapon you are going to use. The single has pretty low damage, but still enough for frigates, if it could hit them. Both autocannons have terrible accuracy. The dual is like a discount railgun. It does almost as well against destroyers.
LMGS: B on single, A on Dual. These are used on system override builds (SO), which involves running up to enemy ships at Mach 10 and shooting all of your guns at them very quickly. Highly effective. The low flux cost only sweetens the deal.
Vulcan cannon: now B+. An effective, cheap, point defence weapon capable of melting through missiles. However when faced with armoured fighters, the Vulcan faulters.
Light mortar: B. For just 2 points, the light mortar is a great budget HE weapon. Poor accuracy makes it unlikely to hit fast frigates at max range. Can do solid damage to destroyer armour.
Heavy Needler: B. Basically 2 needlers with 100 more range, but also a second more cooldown. Like stated before, the needler is a high-risk high reward weapon. Can't be massed as easily as the LN and is expected to pop cruiser shields, even though it can't. Most destroyers can't handle the flux cost of the HN. It's in an awkward spot, still effective.
Hypervelocity Driver: A. Accurate long-range KE weapon. Great support. Doesn't really feel like a KE weapon, as it can't just be tanked by armour because of its high base damage and EMP. Good ship positioning makes this weapon very powerful.
Heavy Mauler: B. Long-range HE weapon. Inaccurate, making it useless against fast frigates but good enough for destroyers and cruisers. Solid damage and AI friendly due to its low flux usage.
Duel flak cannon: now A+. Going to review this as a separate weapon to the normal flak because of how different they are. This is the best point defence weapon in the game. The DFC is a must-have for any capitol ship (aside from the astral). It chews through missile spam and is decent against armoured fighters.
Assault Chaingun: now A+. SO build. High-risk high reward. Strap 2 of these onto a hammerhead and you have cruiser hunter. Needs a player to use it.
Heavy Autocannon: B. Good range and DPS KE weapon. Pretty inaccurate, but good enough for destroyers. 1:1 flux to damage makes it AI friendly. Very common.
Heavy Machinegun: B+. Another SO weapon. Use if you are going up against heavily shielded targets. Very good flux efficiency. Low base damage makes it useless against heavier armour. Pairs very nicely with reaper missiles, though it really just limits it to only being useful for a single ship destruction, while the AC can fight multiple.
Thumper: C-. A frag Assault chaingun. A useful niche vs hull.
Flak cannon: B. Extra 100 range allow it to counter sabot missiles better. Not as good at countering missile spam but costs 4 less.
Arbalest Autocannon: D. Completely outclassed by the railgun, a common weapon. Arbalest slightly better flux efficiency, but costs 1 point more. Also has bad accuracy.
Heavy Mortar: B. Terrible accuracy on turret slots, can be abused on hardpoints. Costs 7 points, which is insane. It fires two 110 damage slugs, which decreases its armour penetration, but it makes up for it with low flux usage. Low range limits the weapon. Overall just a very efficient HE weapon.
Storm Needler: C+ in AI hands, A in player hands. The SN drops its biggest downside of previous generations, the cooldown. With a whopping 1500 DPS against shields, it's a force to be reckoned with. Most cruisers can't really handle the insane flux usage this weapon has, which limits it to capital ships, which is where the main problem comes from. The storm needler has no range and the AI doesn't like using capital movement boosts aggressively, unless you give it a lot of flux, making it even more expensive. It limits the usage of it to the player in most cap ships and cruisers (if you use it carefully.) If used correctly, the storm needler is devastating.
Gauss Cannon: A-. With 1200 range and perfect accuracy, the GC is the ultimate ballistic support weapon. However, it does have its downsides. The GS is terribly flux inefficient. From range, when it's the only thing you are firing, this isn't a problem, but when you are up close and personal with other ships, it is outclassed by the Mark IX.
Mjolnir Cannon: C. The Legion, Onslaught and conquest (the main users of large ballistics) all have 2 LB slots facing the enemy, meaning you can have both an anti shield and an anti-armour facing the enemy. Combine that with the fact that the Mjolnir has the highest flux usage of any LB weapon and you can start to see why it's pretty underwhelming.
Hephaestus Assult Gun: B Low base damage means it's weak when it comes to capitol/ some cruiser armour. Still, an on-paper DPS of 1000 vs armour from a good range makes it a strong HE weapon. Can melt destroyers.
Devastator cannon: D with AI, C with the player. Outclassed by the DFC. Bad turn rate means that it's useless against fighters that get close to it. Has a burst and a long cooldown, making it vulnerable to missiles for a decent time. With the AI, it can shoot at a single missile then go on cooldown. Costs 20 points. When there are so many other good LB weapons, you are hurting yourself by using this.
Mark IX Autocannon: B. 50% more flux efficient than the GC, with the same damage. It's a solid shield shredder at a good price.
Hellbore Cannon: B. This is a capital ship killer. While it has a low DPS, the huge 750 burst destroys any armour. The rounds are slow, making it ineffective on fast destroyers/ cruisers. Hephaestus is for smaller ships, hellbore is for larger. Also very cheap.
Hope this helped!