There are six main types of ships in Sins of a Solar Empire. Strike Craft are the smallest ships and must be carried into battle by larger ships. Frigates are the most common ships that fulfill a variety of functions from scouting to colonization. Cruisers are larger than frigates and perform more specific roles such as carrying strike craft, supporting fleet operations, or direct heavy assault. Capital Ships are the largest and most powerful ships, until the addition of Titans, but are very expensive; they can be upgraded in level with a maximum level of 10, making them superior to all vessels within their respective fleet.
In the Entrenchment micro-expansion, Starbases are the largest and most powerful military structures, but are extremely expensive, while Anti-Structure Cruisers provide the firepower to counter Starbases, and Mines change the shape of the battlefield.
In the Diplomacy micro-expansion, Envoy Cruisers expanded the diplomacy aspect. Each of the three factions possesses a unique set of ships, but they all fulfill the same general roles, however, unique ships appear in the two micro-expansions.
In the Rebellion stand-alone expansion, Titans have become the largest and most powerful ships, dwarfing any known ship, and Corvettes bridge the gap between Strike Craft and Frigates. The three factions have fractured into Loyalist and Rebel camps, that have their own variants of the Titans and Corvettes. Each core faction also gained a new capital ship.
This page describes which types of ship are effective against which other types, but for a quick overview, see Counters.
- Main article: Strike Craft
Strike Craft are carried into battle by larger ships or deployed from planetary defense hangars. They are free to build and difficult for other ships to destroy. The two types of strike craft are fighters and bombers. It should be noted that in Entrenchment, the designs for the strike craft were overhauled (TEC Bomber, Advent Bomber, Vasari Bomber, etc.).
Fighters move quickly, engage targets with precision weapons, and will utterly destroy bomber squadrons. They are extremely vulnerable to enemy flak frigates. Generally, they are quite ineffective against ships with anything other than light armor. The only exception is the Vasari Fighter, which (in numbers) can do quite a good amount of damage against any target ship with Phase Missile upgrades.
Bombers are slower than fighters and vulnerable to fighter attack, but they carry powerful munitions designed to destroy large ships and structures.
- Main article: Corvette
Corvettes are small cheap multi-purpose fighters that are produced enmasse. They have a special niche of being able to debuff enemy ships and also serve as a core fleet unit within the early game. Their usefulness will, however, fall off once flak weaponry is deployed. Due to their mobility and speed they can also function as a pseudo scout.
- TEC Loyalist: Shriken Corvette
- TEC Rebel: Stilat Corvette
- Advent Loyalist: Acolyte Corvette
- Advent Rebel: Vespa Corvette
- Vasari Loyalist: Tosurak Corvette
- Vasari Rebel: Sulsurak Corvette
- Main article: Frigate
Frigates are the small, cheap workhorses of every fleet. A well-balanced armada is likely to be numerically dominated by specialized frigates, which may be used as scouts, skirmishers, colonization ships, and anti-fighter escorts. Frigates are built at Frigate Factories.
There are six different types of frigates.
These frigates are used to scout out planets and harass enemy supply lines later in the game. All scout frigates have the Explore ability which can be activated to automate exploration. Although weak individually, scouts are very inexpensive to build and in sufficient numbers are actually respectable combat units. Be sure to turn on auto-attack if you want to use them in combat. With the deployment of Mines, these frigates gained the Reveal Mines ability to counter them.
For newer players, these frigates form the backbone of an early game fleet. A good balance of cost, speed, survivability and firepower, light frigates are a cost effective method for adding to fleet firepower. However, be careful when using them, especially in the early-game, because they are extremely vulnurable to enemy Long Range Frigates.
Long Range FrigatesEdit
These frigates sacrifice survivability for additional range and firepower. They are typically used to take out stationary enemy defenses or to augment fleet firepower. Although fragile, they can do substantial amounts of damage in large numbers, and are usually the combat frigate of choice in the early-game.
These frigates are used to bombard planets, killing population, damaging the planet infrastructure and eventually wiping out the colony entirely. Siege frigates are not effective against other ships and need to be properly escorted to be effective.
Anti-Strike Craft FrigatesEdit
These frigates are used to counter enemy fighter and bomber squadrons, and to counter enemy long range frigates. Although they do not excel at other types of combat, they are capable of enduring large amounts of damage from other frigates.
These frigates are used to form new colonies. All colony frigates have the Colonize ability. They are rather weak and while not unarmed, do not excel in combat.
- Main article: Cruiser
Cruisers are larger than frigates, but not nearly as large as capital ships. They're also generally more expensive. While some cruisers are designed strictly for combat, others may carry fighter and bomber squadrons into battle or provide fleet support capabilities through indirect abilities. Cruisers are built at Frigate Factories (once their design has been researched).
There are four types of cruisers.
Squadron Support CruisersEdit
These cruisers carry squadrons of strike craft into battle. Being somewhat fragile and possessing no other armaments besides the strike craft they carry, these cruisers are vulnerable to attack by other ships unless properly escorted. They are weakest against the fast and powerful light frigate.
Offensive Support CruisersEdit
These cruisers have abilities that vary greatly among the three factions but generally augment the offensive capabilities of a fleet. They are weakest against the light frigate.
Defensive Support CruisersEdit
These cruisers have abilities that vary greatly among the three factions but generally augment the defensive capabilities of a fleet.
Heavy Combat CruisersEdit
The outright most powerful cruisers in any faction before capital ships. They are very well armed and quite durable. They sometimes form the backbone of late game fleets and can easily defeat any other non-capital ship in single combat, although are very vulnerable to bombers.
Two additional types of cruisers were added in Entrenchment.
Starbase Construction CruisersEdit
This cruiser is used to build a starbase and is consumed by the action. The Vasari have no specialized ship for this role, depending instead on the Jarun Migrator.
This class of cruiser excels at attacking structures. It delivers an impressive amount of damage and has a long range so that most structures cannot fight back, but is vulnerable to counterattacks from ships or strike craft.
An additional type of cruiser was added in Diplomacy.
This cruiser is used to improve relations with other empires. They posses no offensive weaponery to speak of and very modest defenses at most, so it is best to ensure they vessels are kept out of harms way.
- Main article: Capital Ship
Capital Ships are the largest, most expensive ships you can build. All capital ships are well armed and well shielded, able to effectively fight smaller ships and if micromanaged properly or they are at a high enough level other Capital Ships, even when outnumbered. Capital Ships also possess the ability to bombard enemy colonies, much like Siege Frigates. Although versatile and powerful, most capital ships will be defeated by overwhelming numbers of smaller units, so it's usually a bad idea send them into battle alone without a supporting fleet. However fully upgraded Capital Ships even alone possess a significant threat to smaller ships and other Capital Ships.
Capital Ships are the only ships that gain experience and level up, until the addition of Titans in Rebellion, gaining new abilities and becoming substantially more powerful in the process. Capital Ships also gain the ability to host additional squadrons of fighters and bombers as they level up. All Capital Ships reach their pinnacle experience at level 10. Capital Ships are built at Capital Ship Factories.
There are five different types of capital ships.
The battleship is the strongest combat ship in the fleet, typically with a great deal of survivability and high damage output. They often lack the utility of other capital ships, but their need to be on the front lines makes them relatively easy to pick on. This ship has great damage and health, but a low number (2 MAX) Strike Craft slots. These ships lead any fleet into battle so they are at the front of a fleet. Battleships are very vulnerable to carrier capital ships, and as such are extremely risky when chosen as your first capital ship.
The carrier has the most squadrons available out of any capital ship. Although they lack the firepower and durability of the Battleship, the damage output of their combined squadrons dwarfs any other capital ship, and their ability to deploy those squadrons from anywhere in the gravity well makes them the hardest to kill since they don't need to stay in combat. Carriers are the most powerful capital ships for their overall damage output thanks to their squads, and they are a highly favorable choice as first capital ship.
The mothership sacrifices some combat abilities for the ability to colonize planets. This is an immense economic advantage (more than it first appears) and it makes motherships an ideal choice for your first capital ship. Though the description accurately notes that the ship has somewhat compromised combat abilities, it does get a strike craft squadron, and it means not having to worry about colony frigates, which are slow, vulnerable, easy targets for the enemy, and perpetually low on antimatter. Because they are slower than other types of capital ships, many players choose to send their motherships away from their main fleet in the late game, since they're virtually sitting ducks. If you do bring them into a fleet battle, ensure they are well protected.
The support ship sacrifices survivability and combat prowess to augment its surrounding fleet and disrupt the enemy fleet. Support capital ships need lots of antimatter to fuel their abilities, which are their only strength since they have pathetic combat damage and few squads. This means you should only build them when you have a large fleet already assembled, and preferably have already researched antimatter regeneration upgrades. Their lack of direct combat utility means that support capital ships probably shouldn't be considered until mid-game, if not late-game.
Heavy Assault ShipsEdit
The heavy assault ship sacrifices mobility and survivability for very powerful offensive capabilities. The Heavy Assault Ship is also the only capital ship that specializes in planetary bombardment. The Revelation is a little odd, and aside from its high bombard damage it plays more similarly to a support capital ship. Otherwise the Marza and Vulkoras are highly comparable to battleship capital ships. The Revelation does not specialize in Planetary bombardment but instead fills a Fleet enhancement and combat Capital Ship.
Unique Capital ShipsEdit
A unique type of capital ship for each faction was added in the stand-alone expansion pack Rebellion. They all serve in a particular niche to help strenghten their fleets. The Corsev functions as a mix between support ship and battleship that boards enemy ships. The Discord functions as an AoE Battleship that leads Advent forces into battle. The Rankulas uses a bunch of nanite swarms for multiple purposes such as healing allied ships or damaging enemy ships and structures.
- Main article: Titan
Titans are a new type of ship added in the upcoming stand-alone expansion pack Rebellion. These monsters dwarf Capital Ships in size and armament, and are capable of wiping out entire fleets on their own. Not much else is known about these new behemoths. They are theoretically a late game vessel; though, at the cost of economy and fleet diversity it is possible to field them in the early-mid game . The titans embody the strengths and weaknesses of their factions. The TEC Titans are big utilitarian weapon platforms and made for frontline combat and either sport huge firepower or considerable survivability. The Advent Titans are massive and elegant space idols loaded with powerful situational abilities which greatly increase the threat of Advent fleets. The utility of the Advent Titan's make up for their diminished survivability. The Vasari Titans have not been reveled in their final state yet, but appear to lend themselves to powerful all in late game conquest strategies.
- TEC Loyalist: Ankylon Titan
- TEC Rebel: Ragnarov Titan
- Advent Loyalist: Coronata Titan
- Advent Rebel: Eradica Titan
- Vasari Loyalist: Vorastra Titan
- Vasari Rebel: Kultorask Titan
These ships build orbital structures at colonies that you control. They automatically build structures queued from the colony itself, but can be given orders to manually build structures as well. They cannot leave the gravity well in which they are automatically created.
These ships automatically travel between refineries and generate additional metal and crystal for an empire. They cannot be given orders and are automatically created. Note that the Advent do not have Refineries, hence no Refinery Ships.
These ships automatically travel between trade outposts and generate credits for an empire. They cannot be given orders and are automatically created.
An oddity among oddities, the Sivuskras Ruiner is the game's sole mine-laying ship in Entrenchment. As its name implies, it does not attack directly, but instead can lay mines wherever it chooses, even at Stars or Wormholes. The Advent's Aeria Drone Host and Hangar Defense gets this capability with its unique Homing Mines that can be stowed aboard the carriers or in the hangar, while the TEC must rely on the LEV Construction Frigate to construct Proximity Mines only in orbit of TEC planets.
- Main article: Starbase
A Starbase is a unit type added in Entrenchment. The base cost of a Starbase is comparable to that of a Capital Ship.
To build a starbase, you need a special cruiser, whose sole purpose is to build a starbase. The exception to this are the Vasari, who use the Jarun Migrator instead to build a starbase. The cruiser/colony ship is lost permanently when the starbase finishes building or is destroyed before it is built.
You can build a starbase at any planet, however, you can only have one per planet, and only four per star. The exceptions to this are for TEC Loyalists in Rebellion, who can research Twin Fortresses, which allows them to have two starbases at planets, and five at stars. Unlike ships, a starbase does not require Fleet Supply. The construction cruiser/colony ship does take up supply, but it will be returned once the construction finishes or is interrupted by destruction.
Starbases have 8 module slots, which can be filled in whatever way the user sees fit. Each module has a resource cost and many have some research that has to be done first before you can build them.
Like capital ships, a starbase has a name and the name can be changed.
There have been numerous changes to the ships during the patches. For simplicity's sake, the ones that apply to all of them are listed here.
- All Siege Frigates (i.e., Krosov Siege Frigates, Purge Vessels, and Karrastra Destructors) have had their survivability decreased.
- All Siege Frigates have had their survivability further reduced by 20%. In addition, they have become 25% more costly to build, and now require 15 supply as opposed to 12.
- The autocasting of many ship-disabling abilities was improved.
- Ships can no longer attack unbuilt structures.
- All Long-Range Frigates (i.e., Javelis LRM Frigates, Illuminator Vessels, and Kanrak Assailants) have had their Credit costs increased 10%, their resource costs increased 20%, and their range increased by 30%. Additionally, Illuminators and Assailants were tweaked so their survivability was proportional to the Javelis' on a per-supply basis.
- The previous Siege frigate build cost has been reduced by 15%. All other changes from 1.03 remain as they are.
- All "Mothership"-type Capital Ships (i.e., Akkan Battlecruisers, Progenitor Motherships, and Jarrasul Evacuators) have had their speed increased from 400 to 475. All other Capital ships have had their speed increased from 500 to 525.
- All Long-Range Frigates have had their acceleration reduced from 200 to 150, their max speed reduced from 800 to 500, and their ranges decreased from 130% to 115% (in relation to Patch 1.02).
- The Anti-Very Light attack (used by Anti-Strike Craft Frigates) chance to hit Bombers has been reduced from 85% to 75%. In addition, the damage dealt to ships with "Light" armor has been reduced from 100% to 75%.
- All Carriers (i.e., Percheron Light Carriers, Aeria Drone Hosts, and Lasurak Transporters) have had their costs reduced slightly.
- Strike Craft had an issue of being able to launch when they should've been grounded. This was fixed in this patch.
So many it had to be split into two sections so you could read a bit easier.
Ships and Strike CraftEdit
- All Frigates and Cruisers now spawn with full antimatter pools.
- All ships that deal Anti-Light damage (Scout Frigates, Colony Frigates, and Fighters) have had their damage against Capital Ship, Medium, Heavy and Very-Heavy armor types increased from 25% to 50%.
- All Carrier Cruisers have been tweaked to have 2-3 squadrons; additionally, they are relatively less expensive per squadron.
- All ships that deal Anti-Very Light damage (Anti-Strike Craft Frigates) have had their damage against Capital Ship, Medium, Heavy and Very-Heavy armor types increased from 25% to 50%.
- All ships that deal "Composite" damage (Heavy Combat Cruisers) have had their damage to Medium armor increased from 100% to 125%. Their damage against Heavy armor has also decreased from 125% to 100%.
- All ships that deal Anti-Heavy damage (Light Frigates, Siege Frigates, and Offensive and Defensive Support Cruisers) have had their damage against Heavy armor increased from 125% to 150%.
- There was a bug that sometimes made Capital Ships unable to get squadrons. This was fixed in the patch.
- All ships that own squadrons (Capitals and Carrier Cruisers) will now attempt to build strike craft in all non-full squadrons, rather than just one squadron per type it supports. This addresses the situation where squadron owners having all squadrons of the same type were losing "production efficiency" as opposed to those having both fighter and bomber squadrons. This should also improve construction for squad owners w/2+ squads (i.e., most high-level Capital Ships).
- Players encountered a bug where they could see the weapon ranges of ships not yet detected. This was fixed in the patch.
- Players also discovered an exploit where they could build too many squadrons. This was also fixed in the patch.
- All Strike Craft now require 20% less antimatter for construction than they did previously, but also take about 10% longer to build for balance. They also offer 33% less experience to Capitals when destroyed, and will dock or stay docked when they're not supposed to be launched.
- All Anti-Strike Craft frigates have had their DPS reduced by 25% (in relation to Patch 1.05). Additionally, their attack range has been increased slightly from 3000 to 3250.
- There was a glitch where ships in fleets would attempt to return to their rally points at particularly bad times. This was fixed in the patch.
- Abilities may now require resources to use instead of antimatter.
- Buffs will be removed from targets if ownership changes hands.
- Targeted channeling abilities that should stop when their target's ownership becomes friendly, neutral or hostile relative to the channeler's will now stop if it is appropriate to do so.
- More cases were found where buffs should perform their OnBuffFinish actions (fixes weirdness with various abilities). In response, duplicate buffs that get replaced by new instances of the same buff now do their OnBuffFinish actions when this happens. This should significantly improve Malice's damage output when multiple Progenitors are chain casting it on the same targets, as well as numerous other abilities.
- All ships taken over by the Rapture Battlecruiser's Domination will properly leave the fleets they are in and join the Rapture's if the Capital Ship is part of one.
- All ships that have abilities that repair damage and/or restore shields within an area around the ship will now only consider ships within that radius - they will no longer go out of their way to repair/restore ANY friendly ship, regardless of distance.