Weapon Systems

From StarMade Wiki

Weapon Systems in StarMade are used to deal damage to entities, be they players, ships, stations or other. Successful combat depends on both correct design and utilization of weapon systems.


Each weapon system consists of a computer linked to at least 1 module of the same type (Cannon Computer with Cannon Barrel, etc.). Weapon modules in a physically-contiguous grouping are considered one group, and will output 1 projectile (unless modified otherwise). Larger groups have a directly proportionate increase in damage output and power cost per firing of the weapon. Although several groups can be linked to one computer, the total power cost is increased by 10% for every subsequent group for cannons and beams, and by 2.5% for missiles. Damage pulse has no penalty for multiple groups linked to the same computer.

In each group, one block is defined as the "output": the location from which projectiles are emitted. The output of a group can be changed by aiming at the desired block and pressing R. The text which appears while aiming at a block will read "[R]: Make Output (CURRENT)" if that block is the current output for its group, and "[R]: Make Output" otherwise. The direction in which a weapon fires, relative to the ship it is on, depends on the orientation of the primary weapon computer. Because of this, players should be sure to place weapon computers in the default orientation unless they intend to make a weapon with non-standard characteristics (eg. vertical-launch missiles).

Weapon Types

Each weapon has the following general behaviors when used as a primary weapon. These are largely self-explanatory.

System Effect
Damage Beam A linear beam which travels instantly, dealing damage at regular intervals over a short burst.
Cannon Fires relatively fast projectiles with reasonable penetration.
Missile Fires relatively slow projectiles which deal damage in an area. Most upgrades provide homing capabilities of some sort.
Damage Pulse Deals damage in a relatively large sphere directly in front of the output. Low power consumption due to difficulty of use.

See the Tables section for full numerical information on the attributes of each weapon system.

Support Tools as Weapons

Although the majority of the Support Tool Systems are, indeed, for use in supportive roles, a few of them are specifically useful as offensive tools, and are therefore detailed on this page. Those support tools which have offensive applications are detailed briefly in the table below.

System Effect
Power Drain Beam A beam which drains the target's power, and transfers a percentage of the power drained to the ship firing the beam.
Shield Drain Beam A beam which drains the target's shields, and transfers a percentage of the shields drained to the ship firing the beam.
Push Pulse Emits a spherical pulse which pushes entities away, with a force proportional to the group's size.

See the Tables section for full numerical information on the attributes of each weapon system.

Linked Systems

The statistics of a weapon system can be modified by linking to other weapon systems or effects. Each weapon may only support 1 secondary and 1 tertiary system at a time.

In linked weapon setups, the primary system is commonly referred to as the "master", with secondary and tertiary systems being termed "slaves". Only weapon systems can be used as secondary systems, not support tool systems. Secondary systems provide the bulk of statistic alterations, affecting at least 2 of the following values: damage, power consumption, range, projectile speed, and projectile quantity. Secondary (and tertiary) systems are a trade-off: For example, a beam system slaved to a cannon quadruples the damage of the cannon, and doubles its projectile speed, but also quadruples both reload time and power consumption.

Slaved systems lend their block-count to the primary system for purposes of damage and power calculations (which are linearly calculated per block), but do not act independently when slaved (they do not emit projectiles, and only the primary system is added to the hotbar and fired).

The effectiveness of secondary and tertiary systems is derived from their size proportional to the primary weapon system: if the total block count of a slaved system is equal to that of the primary system, its modifications will be applied at 100% effectiveness. If the slave's block count is only 50% of the primary, all changes applied will be 50% as strong as normal. A slaved system cannot be more than 100% effective: block-counts greater than those of the primary system are redundant.

Weapon systems can also have effects linked to them as tertiary systems, providing further modifications to weapon stats. These usually change what the weapon does with its damage output: for example, draining enemy power or shields, in exchange for dealing less block damage.

Secondary Systems

A secondary system is a weapon system which is slaved to another weapon system or support tool system, modifying its statistics based on the combination and the proportions thereof.

Each weapon system has the following general effects when slaved to another weapon:

System Effect
Damage Beam Improves range, speed and damage. Increases power consumption and reload time.
Cannon Decreases reload time and power consumption, but also damage per shot.
Missile Increases the number of projectiles. Slightly increases damage, reload time, and power consumption.
Damage Pulse Increases damage, reload time and power consumption significantly.

See the Tables section for detailed numerical information on how support systems affect linked weapons.

Tertiary Systems (Effects)

A tertiary system is an effect computer slaved to a weapon system. For the purposes of any per-module cost or value (damage and power consumption), effect modules increase the effective module count of the primary weapon, up to the same limits applied to secondary systems (cannot exceed 100% efficiency). Effects apply all of their modifications after total block count is found (and the stats before effects are calculated), including Overdrive's damage and power consumption increases.

Each effect system has the following general effect when slaved a weapon system:

Effect Computer Description
EMP Effect Computer Converts weapon damage to power damage, reducing the power of the entity hit.
Explosive Effect Computer For beam and cannon, spreads damage over the area immediately around the point of impact. Increases the radius of missile and pulse.
Ion Effect Computer Increased damage to shields, but reduced damage to blocks.
Overdrive Effect Computer Increases overall weapon damage at the expense of dramatically higher energy usage.
Piercing Effect Computer For beams and cannons, increases block damage and reduces shield damage, as well as increasing AHP damage. For missiles and pulses, increases blast radius.
For all weapons, causes them to ignore 50% of a block's armor value.
Punch-Through Effect Computer For beams and cannons, increases block damage dealt, as well as increasing damage dealt to AHP.
For missiles and pulses, increase blast radius, and increases AHP damage more significantly than it does for beams and cannons.
Push Effect Computer Converts damage to a pulling effect on the target.
Pull Effect Computer Converts damage to a pulling effect on the target.
Stop Effect Computer Converts damage to a braking effect, reducing the target's velocity.

See the Tables section for detailed numerical information on how effect systems affect linked weapons.


The projectile or effect color of any weapon can be altered by linking the primary weapon computer to any light emitting block.


Values in this section may be subject to change. This disclaimer is here to mark which StarMade version this is in accordance with, in order to prevent misinformation.
This section is up to date with: StarMade v0.199.253, 9th October 2016.

Summary Table

The table below offers a very brief summary of the effect which a given system will have when given a particular secondary system:

Primary Secondary
Cannon Missile Damage Beam Damage Pulse
Cannon -Damage, -Reload, -Power Cost +Damage, +Reload, +Power Cost, +Projectile Count +Damage, +Reload, +Range, +Projectile Speed, +Power Cost +Damage, +Reload, +Power Cost
Missile -Damage, -Reload, -Power Cost,+Projectile Speed, -AoE -Projectile Speed, +Projectile Count, -AoE, Heat-Seeking (indiscriminate) +Damage, +Reload, +Range, +Power Cost, +Projectile Speed, Lock-On Homing +Damage, +Reload, +Power Cost, -Projectile Speed, +AoE, Lock-On Homing
Damage Beam -Damage, -Reload, -Power Cost +Projectile Count +Damage, +Reload, +Power Cost, +Range +Damage, +Reload, +Power Cost
Damage Pulse -Damage, -Reload, -Power Cost -Damage, -Reload, -Power Cost +Damage, +Reload, +Power Cost, +AoE +Damage, +Reload, +Power Cost, +AoE
Power Drain -Damage, +Hit Rate, -Reload, -Power Cost +Projectile Count +Damage, +Range, +Reload, +Power Cost +Damage, -Hit Rate, +Reload, +Power Cost, +Burst Time
Shield Drain -Damage, +Hit Rate, -Reload, -Power Cost +Projectile Count +Damage, +Range, +Reload, +Power Cost +Damage, -Hit Rate, +Reload, +Power Cost, +Burst Time
Push Pulse -Force, -Reload, -Power Cost -Force, -Reload, -Power Cost +Radius, +Power Cost +Force, +Reload, +Power Cost


Due to the large number of different values involved, information on weapon combinations is presented in relatively complex tables in the following sections. To ensure clarity, the structure of these tables, and specific meanings of the terms used, are specified herein.

The first subsection of each table, "Primary Stats", details the base statistics of the weapon, without any slaves. The first column states the value, and unit thereof, for each row. A breakdown of these values is below:

  • Damage (per hit): Damage dealt per hit by this weapon.
    • Beams deal multiple hits per activation, at the rate specified by "Hit Rate (hits per second)".
    • Weapons with multiple projectiles have their damage spread evenly across all projectiles.
    • Drain (% of damage): Power and Shield Drain systems transfer a percentage of the damage they deal back to the ship operating the system.
    • Push Pulse has its strength expressed as Force (unknown unit), as it moves entities rather than damaging them.
  • Power (per activation): The power cost of firing a weapon.
    • Beam power costs are expressed as "Power (energy/second)" due to their time-based activation.
  • Reload (seconds): The time, from firing, until the weapon can fire again. Note that beam reload times also start at first firing, not at the end of their pulse (firing time overlaps reload time)
    • Burst Time (seconds): For beams only, this value states how long a beam fires for.
    • Hit Rate (hits per second): For beams only, this value states how many times per second a beam deals damage while firing.
  • Range (sectors): The range, in sectors, which a given weapon can fire to.
    • Range is expressed in sectors so that it scales with non-default configs: If one is interested in measuring this in metres, the default sector size is 2000m.
  • Speed (times server max): The speed, in multiples of the server maximum value, which a weapon's projectile travels at.
    • This is also expressed in multiples of maximum speed for scaling purposes.
    • To view these speeds in m/s for the default config, multiply it by the default maximum speed of 75m/s.
    • If playing on a non-default server (and being unaware of the config value used for maximum speed), this value can be found by viewing any weapon's stated speed in the Weapon Menu (Accessed by pressing G) and, referring to these tables, dividing the stated value by the speed multiplier of that weapon.
  • Projectiles: The number of projectiles this weapon fires. 1 is the default for non-Missile-slaved weapons.
    • Weapons with multiple projectiles (excluding missiles) fire in a "shotgun" pattern (non-randomized) which is unsuited for most combat, besides at very close range, or in "target-rich environments".
  • Homing: For missiles only, this expresses the behavior of missile projectiles, which are explained below:
    • Dumb-fire: This missile does not home in, and will fly in a straight line like any other projectile.
    • Heat-seeking: This missile will home in on any target, friend or foe, with targeting priority based approximately on distance.
      • Use with caution: these are not practical if flying with allies, as friendly fire is very likely.
    • Lock-on: This missile, when aimed at a target for long enough, will lock onto it. When fired, a missile which has locked on to a target will home in, attempting to hit it.
  • Blast radius (metres max.): The maximum effect radius, in metres, of a given pulse or missile system.

The second column states if the value is increased with each module added (linearly, therefore TotalValue = BlockCount * ValuePerModule). Secondary and tertiary systems add their module counts to the effective block count for per-module values, with one caveat: If the slaved system's block count is greater than the primary system's block count, only an amount equal to the primary system's block count is added.

Next, the second section, "Secondary Stats", shows the values for the given weapon, when affected by the stated secondary system (as specified by the column header) at 100% effectiveness.

The following table details the statistics of weapon systems, as well as their statistics when modified by secondary systems. Bear in mind that the minimum block count for a weapon with 1 slave (secondary or tertiary) is 2, and is 3 blocks with 2 slaves (secondary and tertiary). See the Support Tool Systems section for descriptions of the effects on those systems.

Cannon Statistics

Primary Stats Secondary Stats
Name (unit) Per module Values Cannon Missile Damage beam Damage pulse
Damage (per activation) yes 10 1 20 40 160
Reload (seconds) no 1 0.1 2 4 16
Range (sectors) no 1 1 1 3 1
Speed (times server max) no 12.5 12.5 12.5 25 12.5
Power (energy/activation) yes 100 10 200 400 1600
Projectiles no 1 1 10 1 1

Missile Statistics

Primary Stats Secondary Stats
Name (unit) Per module Values Cannon Missile Damage beam Damage pulse
Damage (per activation) yes 300 20 300 900 1800
Reload (seconds) no 15 1 15 45 90
Range (sectors) no 1.6 1.6 1.6 4.8 1.6
Speed (times server max) no 2.48 7.44 1.24 4.96 0.827
Power (energy/activation) yes 1500 100 1500 4500 9000
Projectiles no 1 1 10 1 1
Blast Radius (metres max.) no 12 6 4 12 48
Homing no Dumb-fire Dumb-fire Heat-seeker Lock-on Lock-on

Damage Beam Statistics

Damage Beam
Primary Stats Secondary Stats
Name (unit) Per module Values Cannon Missile Damage beam Damage pulse
Damage (damage/hit) yes 10 2 10 30 110
Hit Rate (hit/sec) no 5 5 5 5 5
Burst Time (secs/activation) no 1 1 1 1 1
Reload (seconds) no 5 1 5 15 55
Power (energy/second) yes 500 100 500 1500 5500
Range (sectors) no 0.5 0.5 0.5 1.5 0.5
Projectiles no 1 1 10 1 1

Damage Pulse Statistics

Damage Pulse
Primary Stats Secondary Stats
Name (unit) Per module Values Cannon Missile Damage beam Damage pulse
Damage (per activation) yes 100 20 20 300 600
Reload (seconds) no 10 2 2 30 60
Power (energy/activation) yes 500 100 100 1500 6000
Blast Radius (metres max.) no 10 10 10 25 40

Power Drain Statistics

Power Drain
Primary Stats Secondary Stats
Name (unit) Per module Values Cannon Missile Damage beam Damage pulse
Damage (damage/hit) yes 100 5 100 300 600
Drain (% of damage) no 75% 75% 75% 75% 75%
Hit Rate (hit/sec) no 2 20 2 2 0.333
Burst Time (secs/activation) no 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 15
Reload (seconds) no 5 2.5 5 15 30
Power (energy/second) yes 50 50 50 150 300
Range (sectors) no 0.24 0.24 0.24 0.72 0.24
Projectiles no 1 1 10 1 1

Shield Drain Statistics

Shield Drain
Primary Stats Secondary Stats
Name (unit) Per module Values Cannon Missile Damage beam Damage pulse
Damage (damage/hit) yes 10 0.5 10 30 60
Drain (% of damage) no 50% 50% 50% 50% 50%
Hit Rate (hit/sec) no 2 20 2 2 0.333
Burst Time (secs/activation) no 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 15
Reload (seconds) no 5 2.5 5 15 30
Power (energy/second) yes 200 200 200 600 1200
Range (sectors) no 0.24 0.24 0.24 0.72 0.24
Projectiles no 1 1 10 1 1

Push Pulse Statistics

Push Pulse
Primary Stats Secondary Stats
Name (unit) Per module Values Cannon Missile Damage beam Damage pulse
Force (unknown unit) yes 25 5 5 25 150
Reload (seconds) no 5 1 1 5 30
Power (energy/activation) yes 250 50 50 750 1500
Blast Radius (metres) no 100 100 100 250 100


An old chart displaying planned weapon combinations for StarMade v0.15; note the mention of Mine Layers.
  • A 5th weapon system, called the "Mine Layer", was originally planned[1] as part of the Weapon System update of StarMade v0.15[2] but was put on hold before the launch of that update[3]. It remains non-existent to this day, and should be considered indefinitely delayed, if not cancelled altogether.
    • It was to lay free-floating mines that would explode upon contact with an entity, or after a certain amount of time had passed.
    • Its property when used as a secondary system was to be "Delayed Action", giving the primary system time-based charging or delay functions. For example, the Damage Beam + Mine Layer combination was to allow the player to hold Left Click to charge a more powerful shot.
  • Push Pulse, when first introduced, applied an "EMP" effect (no relation to the currently-existing effect system) which caused ships to temporarily lose control of thrust and rotation, as well as pushing them.
    • This effect was later removed after the development of small drones which used rapid-fire Push Pulse to permanently disable ships of any size. The majority of these drones were referred to as "skoomdrones"[4] or, in their prototypical phase, "skoomseekers"[5].