Sharing my designs + some questions

I am a GSB noob who has really enjoyed the game so far. I haven’t done any multiplayer, but I’ve been trying different designs with all seven races to max out honor on the scenarios.

I make a beam cruiser (basic cruiser beam with one GSB), “tank” cruiser (GSBs and target painters), torpedo frigates, and anti-fighter frigates. I also have used fighters quite a bit but I find that not using them is more cost efficient almost all of the time. My best build is with Empire. I use Weapons Platform for both of my frigates, Praetorian for my tank (loads of armor and shields), and Centurion for my beam cruiser. My rebel fleet is almost identical conceptually, but torpedo frigates aren’t as efficient cost wise with any race besides empire (weapons platform is godly), so I use multiple warhead missile cruisers instead. I also find that Empire fighters aren’t as good as Rebel fighters (though my best fighter overall is Order). With this basic setup I have no problem scoring 10,000+ honor in all scenarios and difficulties, with many in the 20k range. I’m sure people here have gotten way more than that.

My big questions:

1.) Is it even possible to make a viable torpedo fighter? I can’t figure out how to make one fast enough that it doesn’t die before it gets a 2nd shot off. Plus, fighter lasers at 100 range are so effective against cruisers that it seems a torpedo is simply unnecessary.

2.) Are there any viable fighter builds that use double hardpoints for weapons? I’ve tried double rockets, but you can’t fire them inside shields, and that kind of fighter is useless against enemy fighters; plus, a single laser is just as effective against frigates, so why bother?

3.) What’s the fastest possible fighter you can build with a laser? I have an Order fighter with 2.61, and I’ve made a few others at 2.58. I also made a target painter-only fighter over 3 speed for fun. I set the quantity for each group at 1, escorting a torpedo frigate at 600 range. That way, each frigate has its own personal, mobile target painter at 1000 range! I just wish I could get a laser fighter moving that fast.

4.) Is it worth it to build a carrier? I’ve made one for my rebel fleet but I’m not sure if I got any cost effectiveness out of it. I’ve tried just putting bays on my other cruisers but the crew cost is so brutal I can’t get away with it.

5.) I’ve seen people talking about speed frigates, but I can’t seem to make a good one. I’ve tried putting them on escort with a cruiser, but the instant they get into a battle, they get destroyed. What’s a recommended build that will give a frigate enough speed to survive? My slow frigates sitting in the back with torpedos or anti-fighter are extremely effective, so why bother?

6.) Are point defense scanners ever useful, or are GSBs always superior 100% of the time?

7.) What, in your opinion, is the best overall cruiser hull and fighter hull in the game? I’m sure weapons platform is the best frigate, unless there is some trick I’m not thinking of with another one.

I still consider myself a noob - but here it goes.

  1. Torpedo fighters I have not had any use. And yes laser fighters are good for getting under the shield - but if your opponent has a cruiser with armour repair they might not really be doing that much.

  2. I use double rockets all the time. Much more effective at killing frigates than lasers. I usually have them escorting the main formation and they shine as soon as the shields on your enemy’s cruiser goes. They are still faster than laser fighters but yes - I would never use rockets in a dogfight situation. Actually I avoid dogfighting at all costs.

  3. No idea. I just make whatever race as fast as possible, I find survivability favours speed over armour.

  4. Serious source of contention. I tend to use them and make them also into AA cruisers. Most fighters do not have the ability to make it back unless they are already close by. Since most of my fighters are near the cruisers for me it makes sense.

  5. Honestly I hate frigates. If I use them I use them like you do - sitting safely in the back - or more often tucked right behind a cruiser lobbing ECM/Torpedo’s. For fast I made a few 0.75 but they get spammy.

  6. I think GSB’s are much better.

  7. Too much personal opinion in that one. I take whatever works.



Mixing Rocket fighters with some Painter fighters is very effective against enemy fighters and frigates, but is ineffective against shielded cruisers. Use about one Painter fighter for every 3 Rocket fighters. You can check out Challenge 4590894 for a very effective 2 hardpoint fighter.

The fastest laser fighter is 2.68, the fastest Rocket Fighter is 4.40.

You won’t generally have enough fighters in the starter battles to make a carrier worthwhile.

large numbers of speedy frigates with ion cannons and a beam can be very effective. See Challenges 4578977, 4583543 and 4584768 for some examples.

Always use GSBs

I like The Fed Panther, many like the Tribe Utopia. Swarm fighters are best if you are cost limited. Rebel fighters are best if you are pilot limited.

Awesome, thanks for the replies.

I gave the rocket/painter design a shot, but I find it is far less effective vs fighters than simple lasers. Frigates are such a non factor in battles that I don’t see a difference, if there is one. Lasers are so versatile and powerful that I have yet to come up with a design better than 1x laser, 1 generator, and as much thrust as possible. They work against anything (though I still say it’s more cost efficient to ditch them entirely for some cheap torpedo/anti fighter frigates).

Laser fighters have difficulty hitting targets in the 3.0+ spectrum. The idea behind rocket/painter setups is that you’ve got a bunch of fast fighters that can frustrate any attempt to use lasers against them.

Fast painter/rocket setups don’t have a fantastic kill rate against lasers, but it’s enough. The painters also can be used to assist other weaponry.

I consider laser/pulse fighters the current “bomber” role. The DPS they have vs large targets is actually very good.

Rocket fighters can be made at 4+ speed. Painters can be 3+ speed. Laser fighters have a great deal of difficulty hitting targets that fast. By themselves Rocket fighters have difficulty hitting Laser fighters at ~2.6 speed but if enough Painters are around to illuminate their targets, Rocket fighters can be very effective against Laser fighters.

At low fighter densities Laser fighters can hold their own using their 2% critical hits, but at higher fighter densities there isn’t any contest. For example 250 Painter fighters and 750 Rocket fighters will crush 1000 Laser fighters every time.

I like some dual rockets in the painter/rocket mix, since they are slower than painter fighters. Painters are just too expensive to be targeted first. Plus dual rocket’s superior DPS just eat frigates up alive.

Best Frigate or Cruiser is mostly a by-race thing, and almost inevitably the answer is “What’s smallest?” because of the advantages low size has to attack avoidance rates.