Number crunching the target boosters

I really, really love it when my ships hit what they’re aiming at, and for that there are target boosters. For a while I wasn’t quite sure if these doohickeys did anything or not, but after looking through the files a bit, checking post-battle stats and reading up here, I think I’ve got these things figured out. The trick is to never use more than one.

1 target booster: 10% tracking speed increase
2 target boosters: 12% tracking speed increase
3 target boosters: 10.8% tracking speed increase
4 target boosters: 1% tracking speed increase

That’s right; More than two target boosters and the bonus actually starts to go down again. The benefits of having two target boosters over one are quite marginal, and the hitpoints are low for a cruiser module. You’d be better off with something else.

The unlockable target booster 2 is a significant improvement:

1 target booster 2: 16% tracking speed increase
2 target booster 2s: 19.2% tracking speed increase
3 target booster 2s: 17.2% tracking speed increase
4 target booster 2s: 12% tracking speed increase

Again, no point at all going past two, and even two have questionable gains over one. Note also that a single target booster 2 is better than two target booster 1s!

Mixing target boosters is not recommended. One target booster 1 and one target booster 2 gives a target tracking bonus of 15.6%; you’d be better off with just the model 2.

If anyone could fill me in on how the target speed and tracking speed mechanic works, I would appreciate that greatly.

Target boosters have an effective formula as follows:

new_tracking = weapon_tracking_speed * (1 + tracking_speed_bonus)

As you can see, it isn’t complicated. A good rule of thumb is that weapons with a tracking speed of 0.8 become 0.928, and above that it can become humorous (use pulse lasers to see what I mean, they’ll hit any fighter slower than 3.2).

I thought that was the formula, thank you for confirming.

This means, contrary to what the manual states, the most effective use of target boosters is with weapons that are already reasonably accurate. The heavy plasmas will only go up from .4 to .464, while the light plasmas will go up from 1 to 1.16, and the gap only widens from there.