Weapons and defence: get your head round the on-board tech

by Andy Dyer

EVE: Valkyrie is like a Swiss Army Knife of guns and gadgets. With every turn there’s something new and intriguing to play with. There’s a lot to take in but perseverance and determination reaps enormous rewards, not only in the form of additional ships but in the glorious tech that comes with them. You'll need to know this lot inside and out if you're going to make your mark as a legendary pilot.

On the attack

First let’s deal with offensive weapons, and my goodness, some of these are pretty offensive if you find yourself on the receiving end of a blast.

Gatling Guns

These are not the best for dealing out high levels of damage, but they do have a decent rate of fire and are pretty effective at delivering sustained damage to enemy shields and armor. They are fixed, forward facing guns so accuracy is important.

Auto Cannons

This is a more powerful weapon than the Gatling Guns and again it’s a fixed, forward facing option. The increased damage they dish out is somewhat offset by a slower rate of fire but they are seriously effective if you can keep them on target.

Pulse Cannons

As with the Auto Cannons, the Pulse Cannons have a relatively slower rate of firing than the Gatling Guns. However, they are particularly good against enemy shields so if you’re rocking a Pulse Cannon, take out the shields leaving the enemy vulnerable to allies whose weapons can deal major hull damage.

Mag Cannons

Although these are also forward facing weapons they do have the advantage of featuring aim assist and the projectiles have a homing ability. Firing rate is low but if you hit your target you deal out a decent amount of damage.

Flak Cannons

These beauties are good for dealing out damage to both armor and shields and the projectiles have the dual advantage of being proximity triggered and dish out area of effect damage. Interestingly for the more skilled pilot, they come in both forward facing and head-tracked versions.

Tri Flak Cannons

These are limited to heavy class ships and are only available as a head tracked option. They can dish out a very high amount of damage.

Phasers

Phasers come with aim assist but they also take time to charge up and cool down. Also they’re not, relatively speaking, all that powerful. They can damage bot shields and hulls though and are particularly useful if you take on the role of destroying drones in Control Mode missions.

Missiles

These are once again head-tracked weapons that exploit the power of VR and they are not dependent on your direction of travel. They come as standard with all but one of the fighter class ships, but their performance changes according to which ship you’re using, so be sure to re-familiarize yourself with them when you swap out your ride.

Missile Pods

Only the support class Phantom has these devastating weapons. They enable the craft to operate as an artillery unit and the ship is loaded up with both regular missile pods and head tracked pods. Coupled with the EMP weapon, the Phantom can be a seriously potent adversary. It’s worth setting off an initial salvo of missiles to test the water and see if your target is operating countermeasures. If there are no countermeasures active then you can go all in with both the remaining missiles and the head-tracked missiles.

Mortars

You only get to play with a powerful Mortar weapon once you’ve unlocked the Maelstrom from the heavy class at 422,000xp. Once fired, Mortars detonate in proximity to enemy craft and create and initial explosion followed by a cluster of smaller blasts causing damage over a wide area. It has a slow rate of fire but a successful attack is devastating for the enemy.

On the defence

Much as it would be helpful, your enemies are not going to simply sit there and take all the grief you throw at them. They’ll be fighting back… and hard. Which is where your ship’s robust defensive gadgetry comes into play.

Countermeasures

When activated, a sustained firing of chaff confuses any incoming missiles causing them to explode.

EMS (electromagnetic shield)

It does what it says on the tin and a little bit more besides. It protects you from missiles but also means that you cannot use your own missiles while it’s active. Once you’ve activated your EMS, you can fire your primary weapon through it towards your enemy. On passing through the EMS, if you hit your target, your weapon becomes capable of conferring EMP status on an enemy leaving it stranded and vulnerable for you and your allies to do the job of finishing it off.

Mine

Activate a mine and it negates any incoming missile lock. Like the EMP mine it also leaves behind a proximity triggered mine but in this case it causes damage rather than conferring EMP status. It should be noted that you can only place three mines at a time and placing a fourth one causes the first to destruct - so don’t get too trigger happy.

EMP Mine

Activate the electromagnetic pulse mine at the right time and it will break the lock any active missiles have on you. It also deploys a proximity triggered mine that confers EMP status on any craft that gets caught in its blast leaving it vulnerable for a short time.

Spiderbots

These are kind of like intelligent and versatile countermeasures. Triggering the Spiderbots breaks the lock of any nearby missiles. Also remember, a deployed cloud of bots can serve two different purposes. Friendlies can fly into it to repair themselves, but if an enemy hits the bots, they will take considerable damage.

MWD (Micro Warp Drive)

The MWD is a sophisticated device that enables craft equipped with it to rapidly warp from point to point. This can be used to either warp into battle if allies are in trouble, or warp away from battle if you are in trouble yourself. It takes several seconds to charge up the drive and in that time, enemy ships can nudge you to stop the charge. The usual distance for a warp is 5km so even if you do a runner, your enemies will still be able to give chase. The Goliath and Spur have a more effective warp distance though, a full 10km. It gives them the ability to warp themselves out of the fray entirely.

Support Beams

The Buff Beam is the secondary weapon used by most of the support class ships, although given the nature of their role, the Buff Beam is actually of primary importance for support craft. The Buff Beam comes in different ‘flavors’ though, which exhibit a different and occasionally vital range of abilities.

Weapons and Defence - Support

Buff Beam

This is the run of the mill Buff Beam and you’ll find it on both the Banshee and Displacer craft. It’s a nicely balanced weapon that both heals allies and drains enemy shields.

Heal Beam

Found on the Guardian craft, this has an increased rate of healing on friendlies but at the cost of a much lower rate of damage on enemies.

Weapons and defence - giving health to teammate

Drain Beam

The Warden’s beam of choice. As you can probably guess, this is the opposite of the Heal Beam. It heals more slowly but depletes enemy shields at a much higher rate.

Vamp Beam

The clue is in the name. This vampire beam enables pilots in the Sentinel ship to drain the enemy’s shield and use a portion of it to restore their own.

Corrupt Beam

The Revenant’s beam interferes with an enemy’s systems and as a result increases their vulnerability and they take increased damage as a result.