Weapons are the primary damage source in the game, in the form of firing projectiles at enemies. Each projectile fired from a weapon has a certain damage type, which combined with the suffix of the weapon (e.g. Ray, Missile, Driver), determines its eligibility for various bonuses.
Each weapon has several statistics related to it: damage, firing cycle, range, speed. Some weapons may have special abilities.
Upon inflicting damage, projectiles may also apply status effects, which are usually debuffs in this context.
Damage is a measure of the extent to which a weapon reduces the health of enemies that are hit.
Firing Cycle governs the firing sequence of the weapon and is complex enough that it deserves its own article.
Each weapon has two range types: Targeting Range ("Range") and Projectile Range.
Targeting Range defines the minimum and maximum distance of an enemy that the weapon can shoot at.
Minimum range is calculated from the center of the parent ship or module. Therefore, large objects have an advantage since their hitbox reduces the effective area that enemies can hide within the minimum range.
On the other hand, maximum range is calculated from the edge of its hitbox. As a result, weapons that are equipped on large objects will appear to have a larger coverage. This prevents the problem where smaller objects can outrange larger objects with the same maximum range.
Projectile Range defines the maximum distance the projectile can travel before detonating. It is calculated in the same manner as Maximum Range.
The default value of Projectile Range is set at 1.15x the Maximum Range for most weapons.
Note that there exist weapons that have a Projectile Range shorter than Maximum Range, such as the Manifold Missile.
This is simply the distance the projectile travels per second after being fired.
Beams are hitscan regardless of what is stated in-game.
Some weapons fire projectiles that can better penetrate shields. The proportion of Shield Defense ignored is defined by the Shield Bypass statistic. Shield Bypass effects can be stacked as follows:
Effective Shield Defense = Normal Shield Defense * (1 - Shield Bypass Effect 1) * (1 - Shield Bypass Effect 2) * ...
To simplify the issue, Shield Bypass can be thought as a modifier to Enemy Shield Defense. For example, a Shield Bypass value of +25% is equivalent to modifying Enemy Shield Defense by -25% (multiplicative).
Effective Shield Defense = Normal Shield Defense * (1 + Enemy Shield Defense Modifier 1) * (1 + Enemy Shield Defense Modifier 2) * ...
For example, a Metaphase Shield (90% defense) is struck by a Wave Driver (25% shield bypass) boosted by Phased Projectiles V (+50% shield bypass). The effective defense of the shield is then 90% * (1-25%) * (1-50%) = 33.75%, i.e. the shield absorbs 33.75% of the damage, while the remaining 66.25% becomes health damage.
Some weapons fire projectiles that have an area of effect, which is always a circle with radius equal to the AoE Radius stat. When the projectile hits an enemy or reaches Projectile Range, it explodes and deals damage to any enemies caught in the area of effect, instead of only damaging the one that was directly hit.
The damage dealt by AoE is the same as the damage from a direct impact, regardless of distance from ground zero. The enemy that is directly hit by the projectile only takes damage once.
Some weapons are not perfectly accurate. The Spread statistic defines an arc centered on the line between the parent ship or module and the weapon's target, within which the projectile can be fired at.
Note that for the following weapons, the Spread statistic shown in-game is twice the actual amount.
- Scatter Missile
- Frenzied Scatter Missile
- HEX Missile
- Frenzied HEX Missile
- Fusion Torpedo
- SICO Missile
- NET Torpedo
- Piercing NET Torpedo
- Piercing NET^2 Torpedo
- Manifold Missile
- Cluster Missile
- Heavy Cluster Missile
- Xeno Cluster Missile
- Bombardment Torpedo
- Heavy Bombardment Torpedo
- Xeno Bombardment Torpedo
Some weapons can home towards their targets for a specified amount of time. After this expires, the weapons continues on its path in a straight line.
Note that even with this ability, weapons will still detonate when they reach their Projectile Range, thus allowing enemies to avoid being hit by running away from the attacker if the weapon's speed is not fast enough.
Some weapons can fire projectiles which bounce across multiple targets that are sufficiently close to each other, dealing damage with each bounce. While the bounced projectile automatically homes onto its target, each enemy can only be hit once.
Upon being fired, the projectile has a Chain Number equal to its Chain (Amount). Every time it hits a target, the Chain Number decreases by 1 (plus the amount of Counter Chain), and its damage for the next target is multiplied by the Chain Damage Multiplier. The target is subsequently marked as invalid. If the Chain Number reaches 0 or there are no more valid targets within the Chain Radius of the projectile, it can no longer bounce across targets and therefore dissipates.
Some weapons can fire projectiles which go through one or more enemies, dealing 100% of the normal damage every hit.
Upon being fired, the projectile has a Piercing Number equal to its Piercing Amount. Every time it hits a target, the Piercing Number decreases by 1 (plus the amount of Counter Pierce). When this reaches 0, it can no longer pierce targets and subsequently disappears.
Wall Piercing Amount acts similar to Piercing Amount, but the counter only decreases upon hitting barriers set up by Altairian Pylon Emitters. Projectiles that do not have a Wall Piercing Amount of 2 or above are unable to penetrate these barriers.
Note that Piercing Amount and Wall Piercing Amount both decrease upon hitting a barrier.
Some weapons can fire projectiles which bounce across multiple targets that are sufficiently close to and within a certain angle of each other, dealing damage with each bounce. Although each enemy can be hit multiple times, the bounced projectile does not home towards enemies, so it is possible to avoid ricocheted shots.
Upon being fired, the projectile has a Ricochet Number equal to its Ricochet (Amount). Every time it hits a target, the Ricochet Number decreases by 1 (plus the amount of Counter Ricochet), and its damage for the next target is multiplied by the Ricochet Damage Multiplier. If the Ricochet Number reaches 0, or there are no more valid targets within a sector of radius equal to Ricochet Detection Range and angle equal to Max Ricochet Angle centered on the current heading of the projectile, it can no longer bounce across targets and therefore dissipates.
Some beams have the Overcharge ability which allows them to fire longer than normal, dealing extra damage in the process. Read the article for more details.
- A Chain/Piercing/Ricochet Amount of 1 or below is equivalent to not having the ability at all.
- Comparing Chain vs Ricochet:
- Chain cannot hit the same target, but Ricochet can.
- Chain has an implicit 360-deg Detection Angle, but Ricochet does not.
- Chain has an implicit homing ability, but Ricochet does not.