Tempest-class Frigate

Logistical Data
Recovery rate (per day) 10%
Maintenance (sup/month) 8.0
Cargo capacity 30
Maximum crew 25
Skeleton crew 15
Fuel capacity 20
Maximum burn 11
Fuel per light year 1
Ordnance points 50
Flight decks 1 (built-in Terminator Drone)
Combat Performance
Hull integrity 1,250
Armor rating 200
Defense Omni Shield
Flux capacity 2,500
Flux dissipation 225
Top speed 180
Mounts 1x Small Missile
2x Medium Energy
Advanced Stats
CR per deployment 20%
Recovery cost (supplies) 8
Peak performance (sec) 180
Shield arc 120
Shield upkeep/sec 45
Shield flux/damage 0.8
An asymmetric, advanced design from the late Expansion Epoch, the Tempest-class is the quintessential attack frigate - fast, deadly and difficult to destroy.

–In-Game Description

Notes[edit | edit source]

The Tempest is one of the premier frigates in Starsector, combining superior speed/maneuverability and firepower with utility in its Terminator Drones. It comes at a price, however, as it has the maintenance profile and deployment cost of a Destroyer. Armed with two Medium Energy and one Small Missile, the Tempest can be tailored to about any role, though it tends to excel in hit-and-run tactics where its blazing speed gives it the ability to strike and get out.

Boasting some of the best flux stats among Frigates, the Tempest can liberally use the Medium Energy mounts in its possession (unlike the more ubiquitous Wolf). In general, it can only support one "primary" Medium Energy weapon (such as a Pulse Laser, Phase Lance, Ion Pulser, or Ion Beam) paired with a "secondary" or lower-flux profile weapon such as a Graviton Beam or Small Energy Weapon. The Heavy Blaster is more difficult to mount, due to its extreme flux cost, but possible if the Tempest is built around max dissipation and venting. The Small Missile mount on the bow is versatile and can be used to complement or supplement the main armaments.

Finally, the Tempest is a Burn 11 ship: the fastest craft in the Sector. A fleet of Tempests, unencumbered by other ships, could theoretically cruise at Burn 14 (with Augmented Field Drive and the Navigation 3 burn bonus). Though this won't come into play often, know that the Tempest will rarely be the ship slowing the fleet down!

High Energy Focus

The Tempest's ship system is High Energy Focus, a 50% increase in Energy weapon damage for 3 seconds. It has 3 charges initially and each charge takes 20 seconds to renew. With this system, the Tempest can achieve a very efficient flux-to-damage ratio, which is useful when trying to defeat shields before maxing out your own flux. The Pulse Laser, for example is typically a 1.1 flux-to-damage ratio but with High Energy Focus, it drops to .733. Even the aforementioned Heavy Blaster has a marginally positive (i.e. better than parity) flux:damage when under High Energy Focus. For weapons like the Phase Lance or Ion Pulser which have longer-than-average reload times, High Energy Focus can be timed with their refresh rates for reliably high burst damage.

Terminator Drones

Surprisingly, the Tempest gets better with built-in Terminator Drones, a pair of autonomous free-roaming drones that provide excellent point-defense and moderate, if unreliable, fire support. Each drone is equipped with a PD Laser (with extended range) and IR Pulse Laser. Unlike true Fighters, the drones cannot be ordered to Engage targets so attempting to will only cause the Tempest to have a flux draw for no gain. Instead, the drones will seek out nearby enemies, prioritizing fighters and missiles, and due to its Terminator Core, the drones will enjoy perfect accuracy, ignore anti-PD flares, and deal 2x damage against said missiles/fighters. On the whole, it allows the Tempest to forego PD completely and focus on ship-to-ship warfare.

The drones themselves are not incredibly sturdy but are very elusive. Should one get destroyed, there is a 20 second rearm time for the next one (assuming 100% fighter replacement rate). It should also be noted that they tend to screen for the mother ship when the Tempest itself is overloaded.


Why not just fly a fleet of Tempests? For one, they are expensive Frigates to buy and/or maintain: the highest among the non-Phase, non-Hyperion Frigates. They are also not particularly easy to find, though the odd Tempest can be found on black markets and occasionally on Tri-Tach worlds. D-modded Tempests are very expensive to restore, costing upwards of 70,000 for one D-mod. Note that a Tempest with a Damaged Flight Deck will, for all practical purposes, have virtually the same performance as a pristine version since the Drones have high survivability.

The small Omni shield leaves much to be desired. In AI hands, the Omni shield does its job but in player hands, it can be burdensome and unforgiving. The Extended Shields hullmod helps with this somewhat but so does the Front Shield Conversion, which doubles the area and halves the cost at the expense of leaving the aft of the ship exposed.

And exposed is the term of choice for the durability of the Tempest. It is not a particularly fragile ship, though there are tougher options in the Frigate family, but against Cruiser-grade and even Destroyer-grade firepower (never mind Capital-grade!), frigates like the Tempest do not fare well. For such an expensive frigate, it can find itself in over its head easily. Massed fighters, even with Terminator Drones, can overwhelm Tempests and even its blazing speed is no match against Phase Ships like the Afflictor, which can outmaneuver and alpha-strike a Tempest easily.

Finally, due to the nature of Energy Weapons, the Tempest will undoubtedly be at a range disadvantage against Ballistic weapons and ships that can extend their range (i.e. Dedicated/Integrated Targeting Core). This will require the Tempest to take fire to get into range more often than not. Beam weapons can give the Tempest a range advantage but most "primary" Medium Energy weapons are in the 500-600 range.


Personally, I find the Tempest to be the best "standard" frigate in the game and is my frigate of choice even in endgame fleets because it gives the overall fleet a rare combination of speed and punch. It also screens for fighters regardless of its loadout which means assigning it as an escort is never a bad idea. At worst, it's above-average in every category but earns superior marks in its versatility and speed. A single Tempest will not sway the smallest battle, but 3-4 used in conjunction, are extremely useful for chasing down stragglers and overwhelming single Destroyers and even Cruisers.

Fan Media[edit | edit source]

High Tech, Best Tech (Potential Spoilers)

Fighters Broadsword · Cobra · Claw · Dagger · Gladius · Khopesh · Longbow · Mining Pod · Piranha · Perdition · Talon · Thunder · Trident · Warthog · Wasp · Xyphos
Frigates Afflictor · Brawler · Centurion · Cerberus · Dram · Gremlin · Hermes · Hound · Hyperion · Kite · Lasher · Mercury · Monitor · Mudskipper · Mudskipper Mk.II · Omen · Ox · Scarab · Shade · Shepherd · Tempest · Vigilance · Wayfarer · Wolf
Destroyers Buffalo · Buffalo Mk.II · Condor · Drover · Enforcer · Gemini · Hammerhead · Harbinger · Medusa · Mule · Nebula · Phaeton · Salvage Rig · Shrike · Sunder · Tarsus · Valkyrie
Cruisers Apogee · Aurora · Colossus · Colossus Mk.II · Colossus Mk.III · Dominator · Doom · Eagle · Falcon · Gryphon · Heron · Mora · Starliner · Venture
Capitals Astral · Atlas · Atlas Mk.II · Conquest · Legion · Odyssey · Onslaught · Paragon · Prometheus · Prometheus Mk.II
Stations Low Tech · Midline · High Tech · Gargoyle · Merlon · Ravelin
Derelict Defender · Picket · Sentry · Warden · Bastillon · Berserker · Rampart · Guardian · Mothership
Remnant Flash · Lux · Spark · Glimmer · Lumen · Fulgent · Scintilla · Brilliant · Radiant · Battlestation

Change History[edit | edit source]


  • Increased maintenance/deployment cost from 6 to 8
  • Replaced Active Flare Launcher with High Energy Focus
  • Terminator Drone built-in wing rework


  • "Terminator" drone now a built-in fighter wing, 1 drone, uses AM blaster
  • Ship system is now "Active Flare Launcher"
    • Modified to have unlimited uses and slightly improved flare speed
  • Increased shield arc to 120 degrees (was 90)
  • Increased Terminator drone speed, now armed with Ion Pulser

Previous version Notes[edit | edit source]

The Tempest is a very high-performance frigate with exceptional speed and maneuverability, as well as a considerable amount of energy firepower and it's iconic built-in drone.

Some notable defense issues exist; the small shield arc should definitely be taken note of, as the arc is so narrow that it can leave the ship vulnerable to the proximity detonation of and subsequent area of effect of flak, and given their fragmentation damage type this can be especially devastating to hull hitpoints if your armour was worn down by earlier fights. "Dancing" missiles and shots from an angle can also be dangerous. Adding the Extended Shields hullmod where possible alleviates this problem significantly.

The second issue with the Tempests' defense is that point-defense weaponry requires sacrificing one of the two medium mounts (potentially compromising offensive power), and then only provides protection in a limited arc. The Active Flare Launcher ship system helps with this issue, and a Heavy Blaster provides sufficient single-mount firepower that the second mount could be spared for PD.

When seen it is usually equipped with a Pulse Laser, a Graviton Beam and one of the standard missile weapons. This loadout alone is usually sufficient, but since it has medium energy weapons it can also use more powerful weapons such as the Heavy Blaster, but this requires care (and is thus not recommended for AI-piloted Tempests) due to its high flux cost.

Loadout example[edit | edit source]


Weapons used by this loadout:

  1. Pulse Laser
  2. Phase Lance
  3. Harpoon MRM

Weapon groups:

  1. Harpoon MRM, linked, autofire disabled
  2. Pulse Laser, linked, autofire enabled
  3. Phase Lance, linked, autofire disabled


  1. Stabilized Shields, to decrease shield flux per second to minimum.
  2. Resistant Flux Conduits, for faster venting and EMP resistance.

This loadout's purpose is low-risk general assault. From my experience, it works nicely when used by AI. When used by player, keep in mind that your system is Active Flare Launcher, it has relatively short cooldown, which allows you to use it often. I recommend using it for guided missile barrages that come at you. Tempest's speed allows it to dodge incoming unguided missiles and other projectiles. Your weapons:

  1. Pulse Laser is your 'primary' weapon. Use it to raise flux of enemy ship to high level and force it to lower its shield. If you wish, you can use it to take down fighters, albeit it may be hard.
  2. Phase Lance is your deadly 'secondary' weapon. Use it to finish off damaged enemies or to strike enemies right into hull, even better if you'll hit enemy in vulnerable spot and then use your Pulse Laser to strike at exactly same place, for maximum damage. Don't use it on shields, unless enemy is at almost 100% flux, because you'll waste a shot. Beams deal soft flux damage, which can be dissipated by enemy ship passively, it doesn't have to lower its shield to get rid of it.

    Shade-class Frigate in combat with Tempest-class Frigate and its deadly drone

  3. Harpoon MRM is another of your deadly weapons. You have 3 missiles, so make good use of them. Use it to finish off enemies or strip them of their armor. Don't waste them on shields outside of very specific situations (enemy ship is almost overloaded, has its shield on and you want it to get overloaded, so that your other ships may exploit the opening).
  4. Terminator Drone, while not exactly a weapon (it's a built-in drone on Tempest), can be considered as such. In current version (0.8.1a), it has a shield and is armed with Ion Pulser, which can disable parts of or even entire enemy ships, if drone is lucky. Send it to engage retreating ships, so that you or your other ships can deal with them or send an preemptive strike against an enemy ship to cripple it and make it an easier target.

    Shade-class Phase Frigate being pursued by Terminator Drone

It's also very useful against phase ships like Shade, because as long as you'll stay in drone's engagement range (1500 units), it will pursue said phase ship and will try to attack it, eventually crippling it by disabling its engines, which leaves that ship floating and vulnerable to any attack.

Aurora-class Cruiser and Tempest-class Frigate mopping up the remnants of a scavanger fleet that were under the mistaken impression they could defeat the duo.

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Only up to date for version 0.9. It is likely still broadly correct but not verified for the most up to date data yet. Please double check the Version History

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