Fighter Benchmarking

I have just been trying different fighter combinations against each other.

Lesson number 1 is that speed is very important. A single beam fighter travelling at 2.5 will beat a double beam fighter travelling at 1.5. Easily.

Is there a point to double beam fighters then? Are they conceivably better against bigger ships?

Double-laser fighters tear up cruisers/frigates from beneath their shields 2x as fast. If they’ve no armor, then that isn’t very long (in fact, it’s humorously short).

HOWEVER! Should you set an AA frigate consisting of mostly tractor beams on the front line and escort it with 2 squadrons of double-laser fighters, the opponent’s fighters won’t stand much of a chance. (Heavy armor is best against fighters, shields are nearly worthless.)

How does that frigate do against squadrons of rocket/painter fighters?

A double beam fighter with speed 1.5 is going to get torn to SHREDS by pulse lasers and ion cannon.

edit: also, by any escorting fighter squadron

No idea, I haven’t tried this exact strategy yet. But I’ll try it against both.

My Fighter Benchmark 2 is simply a butt-load of Tribe Dove fighters. Are they the best dogfighter in the game? If you beat them using other fighters, I would love to see the setup.


I defeated your Benchmark 2 fighters with the fighters from my follick3 challenge. Try them out. Speed is life for fighters.


Cool. I will. I can’t find your challenge though. Can you give me a date for it, or just post the specs of the fighters?

I certainly agree that speed is life for fighters!



Are you talking about fighters vs fighters or fighters in general? Because, in general, you can come across so many different combinations, its not possible to benchmark them.

I posted the challenge on 1/31/10
I use two different fighters, both based on the Federation Leopard Hull. About 1/3 of the fighters have one Engine II and one target painter giving 3.40 speed with a cost of 105. The other 2/3 of the fighters have one Engine II and one rocket giving 4.23 speed for a cost of 66. This seems to do quite well against fighters and frigates, but quite poorly against cruisers. It’s the same idea as a rocket-painter fighter, but by splitting them up they are significantly faster (at the cost of some inefficiency in targeting and increased cost in pilots). This might do even better with a Rebel Achilles hull, but I mostly use Federation.

In pure fighter vs fighter, i have usually found that to be the best , I use 1 part painters to 3 parts rockets. But i have seen other good designs, mrblitz had a very good swarm on one of his cruisers.

And rebels would crush other fighters, really. Speed is key, and 14% is one hell of a nice bonus.

Fighter on Fighter

Yes, your rocket-painter fighter tore my beam fighters to bits.

As you say, a slight increase in pilots required, but otherwise quite cost effective, and very, very fast.

I’ve been messing around with fighters for a while now and have figured out only a couple of race/module options that get the speed above 2.5

can someone explain what fighters they use to get speeds above 3.5…?

Well, here are a couple of simple ones from the Alliance, both based on the tarantula hull…

Rocket + Engine II = 4.04 speed, 65 points, 11.5 hp

Target Painter + Engine II = 3.25 speed, 104 points, 12 hp

I am curious to see if some of the races with heavier hulls get better speeds with 2 engines…


rebel icarus

  • 1x engine 3
    speed: 7.60

  • 1x rocket launcher

  • 1x engine 2
    speed: 4.31

  • 1x laser cannon

  • 1x pgen 2

  • 1x engine 3
    speed: 2.65

faster isn’t possible. more engines means less speed.


Unlikely, as fighter engines have a harsh stacking penalty.

However, rebel Achilles fighter hull has a power of 4.8, which allows them to use engine3 + rocket. Which gives a speed of 4.40 and 13.38 hp for a cost of 73.

Attempting to compile the top tier fighters. I only have rocket painter tag team builds at the moment.
Alliance Fighters
Spider’s eye:
Tarantula hull
104 points
12 hp
3.25 speed
(Target Painter)
(Engine II)

Spider’s web:
Tarantula hull
65 points
4.04 speed
11.5 hp
(Rocket Launcher)
(Engine II)

Rebel fighters:
River Styx:
Achilles hull
73 points
4.40 speed
13.38 hp
(Rocket Launcher)
(Engine III)

??? hull
??? points
??? speed
??? hp
(Target Painter)
(Engine ???)

Federation fighters:
Snow flake:
Leopard hull
66 points
4.23 speed
??? hp
(Rocket Launcher)
(Engine II)

Snow crystal:
Leopard hull
105 points
3.40 speed
??? hp
(Target Painter)
(Engine II)

This could theoretically be used as a decoy, but in practice that wouldn’t work because you can just change the behavior to retaliatory.
Or would that make your fighters ignore the slower painter fighters?

The speed 7.6 decoy is a fascinating concept. Mix them in say 1 in 10, and see if they distract more than 10% of the enemy shots.

I think the best way to use a decoy fighter is to put one or two in distant corners (with high range in the orders. i.e. engage cruisers at range 2000) and hope they attract a significant number of enemy fighters for a while. The best way to counteract that is to put your own fighters on escort. Even if they are released from the escort, they will probably have closer targets when they are released. mrblitz had a recent challenge where he put a frigate in the far corner and had a decoy fighter escorting it.