fighters are useless?

I have frigged around with builds and commands, and I have to say I am not impressed with the capabilities of the fighters. I am not sure what I want from them, but every time I think of fighters, I think y-wing, x-wing , and a-wing. I tried building them, models allowing, and was unable to get the anti-fighter and anti-capital ship capabilities that I wanted. It seems odd and unbalanced, but I crave having a fighter able to take down a BIG capital ship in a strafing run.

The other thing about the fighters… I could not find a way to get them to do guard duty. My anti fighter screen (no armor, engines and lasers) decided to charge the enemy fleet in spite of the fact that I set fighter to 100 and everything to 0 and, after watching them pop, everything to zero with the same results. Did I miss something here.

That said, best twenty bucks ever spent… other than the above, the only thing I would ask for is about 300 to 1000 percent more customization. Oh, and when I put game speed up past 1x, I get lag…

I think you’re missing out on the escort order to keep them attached to a ship in the rest of your fleet, I’m also not sure about the quantities of fighters you’re throwing out there and what you’ve set their priorities on but I have had great success sending a literal swarm of them at cruiser based fleets and just mauling them piranha styles. Try it in the high pilot count missions, just make like as many squads of fighters as you can, give them a higher priority to engage the capital ships and see what happens…its pretty hilarious and deadly. Oh and give them a lower max engagement range then 300 I found works nice too, whether its my imagination or not they seem to get closer (and thus inside the shields) of cruisers more readily at a range of 150-200.

when i click on a group, i get three sliding bars named fighter, frigate, and cruiser. i have noticed that people have said you can choose cautious here on the website, but i haven’t been able to find that at all. like i said, i feel like i am missing something.

btw, will give that a try.

btw 2. i have done like 7 missions. when do i unlock the other ship hulls?


I’m pretty sure you have all the hulls inherently available, just gotta make new ships that use them. Are you referring to getting at the other race’s ships? If that’s it then its a matter of beating the game on normal to unlock rebels, hard to unlock alliance and then expert to unlock the empire faction. Missions 7…that has a pilot count of 250 I think right, and 8 is 300? Those are prime levels to try using a fighter swarm, just fill up on as many as you can and see what happens. Btw I found the cautious command to be a waste with fighters, they just disengage the battle and swarm at the back-edge of the map, remaining useless for the rest of the battle. …honestly I haven’t actually even found a useful reason to have the cautious command on any ships so far.

yeah, I mean the other races. i will give the fighter swarm a try.

in regards to the fighter commands, i just reopened the game and found the add order button >_<;;;


You can also delete targeting orders by clicking them. Useful if you want your fighters to completely ignore certain stuff.

Options → Pitch Shift Sounds. Uncheck it, and you’re good to go :wink:

The main thing to remember about fighters is that their defences are basically 100% based on speed. I have not had much luck with armored fighters, or fighters with heavy weapon systems (torps) which slow them down.

Take a 4 slot fighter, give it one laser, 2 engines and 1 power supply and you will slaughters most frigs and (after you wear down their armor) many cruiser designs. But, if you run into a bunch of frigs with tractor beams you’ll be toast.

Fighters can be downright nasty, maybe a touch unbalanced at the moment. With the right hull and a pair of engines you can get speeds in excess of 3.0, at which point tractor beams are more or less a requirement to hit them. Try a gunship variant- pulse lasers and rockets sent purely to hunt frigates- in many ways fighters are the premier anti-frigate weapon, as frigates don’t have the shields or armour to negate their attacks, and don’t have many decent counters.

If you’re worried about them entering the battle at the very beginning and getting shot down then place them in formation with a front line ship, help at the back of your formation. Then, when that ship gets destroyed, your gunships or bombers will be released, entering the battle when they’re most needed. This is the only way I get torpedo bombers to work well. Beware, though- if your opponent has set up dedicated Interceptors (i.e. deleted orders for attacking frigates and cruisers) they may head for your largely helpless reserve.

I use Fighters extensively and have found the to have any effect on the outcome, there needs to be at least 3 squadrons. I have, where the mission allows, found that for my style of play; 4 squadrons works a treat - 2 squadrons of Interceptors with Orders to Concentrate on Fighters 90%, Frigates 20%, Cruisers 10% and some other orders, and 2 squadrons of what I call Frigate Busters with Orders to Concentrate on Fighters 10%, Frigates 80%, Cruisers 40% and some other Orders - these Heavy Assault Fighters have Rocket(s) and Engines…

1 squadron of Frigate Busters can take down an AI Rebel Loki Frigate in 1 pass…

As stated in previous posts, a Fighters defense/survivability is DIRECTLY related to its speed - if you can’t hit it you can’t kill it. Trackerbeams are currently the main danger for Fighters.

Really unsure if this demanded another thread or not - this seemed the most appropriate place.

I’ve found torpedo bombers to be extremely useful in massed formations against both frigates and cruisers, but only if the enemy is massed up. As craft are unaware of the minimum range of their weapons and fighter-types constantly attempt to close with their targets, after I’d destroyed half the fleet I found my bombers circling the AI cruisers at high speed - but within minimum range of their weapons and therfore unable to engage.

For vessels with multiple ranges this is less of an issue - but these fighters were set to focus soley on frigates/cruisers and engage at the maximum range for the torpedo systems (400). Unless there’s an order I missed, I think this needs to be addressed. They easily had the firepower to win the battle but in the end I had to abandon because despite having a vastly higher % of force left they were slowly (very, very slowly) being picked off by the enemy cruiser’s defence lasers.

I am not sure about this but under the slider bars for which class of ship to attack and from what distance, when you set the maximum range, I think that is the range they try to stay at and shoot.


check this thread.

It seems and this is my experience too, is that if you set maximum range to ***, that is where they attack from regardless of class. They will attack at less if they have too, but only if they are being overtaken. If they have the engines to maintain the distance, they will stay there and shoot or not shot, if that range is below their minimum… stupid rocket fighters >_<;;

I have found similar problems with several ships, not just fighters. It seems the AI often gets tricked into moving too close, getting stuck under its minimum range. It’s great fun to have a fast-moving cruiser with 400 range lasers get stuck under an enemy cruiser, unable to fire.

Nope, ships don’t currently make any effort to maintain distance from their targets. They’ll move to max range and then stop (unless you give the keep moving order, of course), but if the enemy moves in closer, your ships won’t try to back off. It’s definitely a problem.

Fighters in particular suffer from this. As I posted in another thread, and as GaGrin noticed here, they will always end up orbiting right on top of their target, no matter what you set the max range to. For rockets and torpedoes, that means you will only get a very occasional shot off if one of the fighters happens to stray far enough away from its target.

About to go try this, but giving the fighters a “keep moving” order may force them to maintain a minimum distance.

EDIT: Now I see that fighters strangely can’t be given the “keep moving” order.

It’s like Supraluminal says, I had my bombers set to engage at their maximum range, but fighter-class craft don’t stop or circle at that range (unlike frigates and cruisers without movement orders). If they have a target they circle around at roughly shield-bubble distance and completely ignore their weaponry.

You can’t give fighters “keep moving” because they never stop moving.

This really needs posting in bugs, Ive tacked it onto the existing “Ships get stuck and cant fire” thread, which hadnt mentioned fighters. Its essentially the same bug - ships dont know/understand about minimum range.

I also mentioned it in this post over here in the Work in Progress thread, which Cliff seems to be keeping up with. And the general topic of needing a keep-at-range behavior has been discussed pretty frequently. I’m sure it’s on his radar, so to speak.

Dont doubt it mate, just making sure everyone else knows its been mentioned too.

I think fighters inherently have a “keep moving” order, since they never stop flying, they just orbit their target at whatever arbitrary distance.