WEAPONS: An Overview - #00037
Weapons in Elite Dangerous are not only a thing of personal choice, but options of inflicting damage inside the borders of a quite complex damage model.
Here are the four kinds of damage with their corresponding weapon types:
- RAW damage - occurs when being rammed by another ship or when being shot at with Plasma Accelerators - their damage done is about 60% of 'raw' type
- THERMAL damage - inflicted by lasers (100% of their damage is of thermal type), Plasma Accelerators (about 20% of their damage) and Rail Guns (about 50% of their damage, some sources say it's even more)
- KINETIC damage - created by guns (multi cannon, cannon, fragment cannon) and Plasma Accelerators (about 20% of their damage)
- EXPLOSIVE damage - happens when mines, missiles, torpedoes or rockets hit your ship
In general, you should carry a mixture of thermal and kinetic weapons as thermal damage is better for lowering shields - these are weak against thermal damage - and kinetic weapons are better for damaging hull - hull is generally weaker against kinetic damage.
In addition, you can inflict direct damage onto modules by targetting these after you have brought your enemy's shields down. In order to do module damage, your weapon should provide a maximum of 'breach' damage potential, which is described when talking about each weapon available.
Here is a more detailled description of all basic weapons. Please keep in mind that all this is for standard weapons without Engineering's modifications and effect. Consult the engineering part of this website for information on variants and evil tricks :-)
A few words about aiming before we talk about lasers. There are three kinds of targetting using non-missile weapons: Fixed, Gimball and Turret. Fixed is hardest. You need to aim at your target while it's dancing to avoid your shots. Fixed weapons are stronger than their gimball and turret colleagues, though and 'fixed' is not irritatable by chaff.
Lasers inflict thermal damage on structures. They're stronger against shields than against hull and their effective range is limited.
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