X4 Foundations has several weapon types to choose from. Some weapons also come in different versions where Mk1 is the cheapest and less powerful option, while Mk2 is more powerful and more expensive, and Mk3 being the most powerful and most expensive of these choices.
Notice: Energy weapons like e.g. Beam Emitter will overheat when fired continuously and need to cool down before you can fire again. Projectile weapons like Bolt Repeater will fire one clip of ammunition and will then have to reload before being able to fire again. Missile launchers also have a cooldown between firing missiles with a longer cooldown on large powerful missiles like Torpedo.
- Ion Blaster: Strong shield damage but very little hull damage. Useful when trying to get a pilot to bail ship so you can capture it without destroying the hull too much.
- Beam Emitter : A laser weapon with a constant laser beam, that is able to instantly hit fast and agile fighters. It deals decent damage against both shield and hull but overheats quickly.
- Dumpfire Launcher: Launcher for "dump" missiles i.e. missiles that only fly straight ahead.
- Bolt Repeater: Rapid fire projectile weapon. Good damage against both shield and hull. Main disadvantage is the reload time, but a heavy fighter equipped with 4-6 Bolt Repeaters may kill e.g. a Xenon M fighter on first pass, so reload time is only an issue against larger targets.
- Tracking Launcher: Launcher for "smart" missiles" i.e. missiles that can track and follow a target.
- Pulse Laser : A laser weapon that fires short pulses of laser energy. It has a decent damage against both shield and hull and do not overheat as fast as the Beam Emitter laser. Not as powerful as some of the other weapons but with a good balance between damage, fire rate, range, accuracy and overheating.
- Plasma Cannon: Fires very powerful but slow moving plasma projectiles, that are good for taking down large targets. However, the slow projectiles are close to useless against agile fighters.
- Shard Battery: Shoots a burst of projectiles, that are very deadly on close range - sort of a "space shotgun". Main weakness is the short range.
- Main Battery: Very big and powerful long range - sort of the bigger brother of the Plasma Cannon. However, it is only available on destroyers ships.
You can also equip a Mining Laser but I don't consider this a weapon as it is useless in combat - it is used by mineral miners to destroy asteroids.
Missiles deal high hull damage but are less efficient against shields. Missiles are divided into three categories: Dumpfire, Tracking and Torpedo. Make sure your missiles are compatible with your equipped missile launcher!
Dumpfire missiles only fly in a straight line. The dumpfire missile launcher is compatible with:
- Dumpfire: Medium range "dump" missile that fly in a straight line only; it is most effective when fired close to a slow moving target.
- Cluster: Similar to Dumpfire but fires several missiles in a cluster to increase probability of a hit. Medium range.
Tracking missiles will follow and close in on a target. The tracking missile launcher is compatible with:
- EMP: Medium range tracking missile that fires an EMP pulse that will temporarily disable the engine.
- Guided: Short range tracking missile that will lock on to and follow the selected target.
- Heatseeker: Short range tracking missile that will automatically lock on to the heat from the targets engines.
- Smart: Short range "Fire-and-forget" missile that doesn't require a lock before firing but will automatically engage closest target.
The Torpedo launcher is compatible with:
- Torpedo: Very powerful but slow moving tracking missile best used against large slow moving or stationary targets.
Notice that your ship can only carry a limited amount of missiles - when they are used you need to turn back and dock at an Equipment Dock, Wharf or Shipyard to resupply. Using lots of missiles can be very expensive. For this reason you should consider building a missile factory, that can provide free missiles for you! By carefully planning your factory complex you can make it self-sufficient.
Most ships allow you to equip one or more forward firing weapons, that you directly control when pressing the fire button. However, these weapons require you to turn directly against the enemy in order to hit.
Medium/Large/XL ships usually have one or more turrets, that can rotate and protect a larger area. Depending on the placement of the turrets they can e.g. protect you from attacks from behind. There are however often some blind angles on a ship, where the turrets can not fire on an attacker - use this to your advantage when attacking a large ship with turrets!
From your cockpit you can change the mode of your turrets by clicking on the buttons on the top of your screen.
- Defend - will only fire if an enemy starts attacking you.
- Attack - will freely attack any nearby enemy.
- Attack my target - will only engage on your currently selected target.
- Shoot down missiles - will prioritize shooting down incoming missiles.
- Attack asteroids - for mineral miners only.
The Mining Laser is a special laser that is used by mineral miners to destroy asteroids, it is however not useful in combat.
The Main Battery is the biggest and most powerful weapon in the game. It can only be used on Destroyers.
Mines and Laser towers can be deployed to defend an area, e.g. around your stations. Just like missiles you need to resupply at a Wharf/Shipyard/Equipment Dock when all have been used.