Stellaris – Top 5 Best Weapons to Use

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I wouldn’t blame anyone for feeling overwhelmed by the large amount of weapon choices in Stellaris. With that amount of choice, it is a tall order to know what the best weapons are.

In the game right now, there are over 30 different weapons types. These come in so many different shapes and sizes, so how does anyone know what to use on their ships?

Recommended Read: How to See Enemy Ship Design in Stellaris

That’s where this guide comes in. This guide will cover what I and a lot of other Stellaris players consider to be the best weapons in the game.

The top five best weapons in Stellaris are Whirlwind Missiles, Phase Disruptors, Advanced Strike Craft, Lasers, and the Tachyon Lance.

Table of Contents

Top 5 Best Weapons in Stellaris

Choosing the best weapons out of such a wide variety of choices was no easy task.

Every weapon has its own strengths and weaknesses. As such, even the weakest weapons can have great value in some situations.

Before getting into this list, I want to share the criteria used to make it.

I did not include any weapons that need minor artifacts to build. While the power levels of these weapons are super high, it is not economically viable to create a decent-sized fleet with these special weapons.

Next, the weapons that made the list are talking about the highest level of each weapon type. It may take you a while to unlock these weapons, but they will become available to you at some point.

There are no weapons on this list that need you to complete any quest lines. Neither does it include any you get from battling a specific crisis. You can’t rely on getting those weapons in every game, so it wouldn’t be fair to include them.

Last is that there will be no colossus weapons in this list, either. While colossus weapons are technically weapons, they are only used for the destruction of planets and provide no value in ship combat.

The list will start with the fifth-best weapon and work upwards to what is, without a doubt, the best standard weapon in the game.

5. Tachyon Lance

The only X slot weapon on this list, meaning it will only be available for battleship class ships and Juggernauts.

This is an anti-armor weapon, and as a result, has a minus 50 percent modifier to damage against shields.

If you are fighting the Unbidden end-game crisis, you should avoid this weapon, but for almost every other situation, it’s great.

It does an extra 100 percent armor damage, allowing you to tear through armored opponents in no time at all.

Once that armor is gone, the 50 percent extra hull damage will ensure a hasty kill.

While its firing arc is very limited at only 25 degrees, making it tough for your cumbersome battleships to get into the perfect fire position, its 150 range helps make up for that tight window.

It also has no minimum range, a unique feature for X slot weaponry. It also enjoys the shortest weapon cooldown of all the X slots, and at 85 percent accuracy, it is also one of the most accurate of its size.

If you want to run battleships with spinal mounts, the Tachyon Lance is a must-take. These huge lasers will provide excellent covering fire, while your close-range bruisers get close and finish off the kill.

4. Lasers

One of the most versatile weapons in the game. A ship outfitted with a suite of lasers is a hard foe to counter.

As for placement slots, it can fit in small, medium, or large weapon slots. This means that any ship in the game can take these.

Lasers are once again an anti-armor weapon, making them weaker against shielded opponents. For most enemies, this will not be an issue, but again, when fighting the Unbidden, consider a different weapon choice.

There are two good reasons why you should not worry about this reduction in shield damage.

First, shields provide a much lower amount of hit points compared to their armor tier equivalent. This difference is around 33 percent.

Second is the power supply issue that comes with running a high shield build. This will prevent you and your enemies from running a pure shield built on any craft.

Armour will always be your biggest problem with standard enemies, and the laser’s 50 percent bonus to armor damage is a godsend.

Once the armor is gone, the hull will also be an easy target with its 25 percent buff to hull damage.

Lasers also have no minimum range at all sizes, making them an effective weapon for all styles of engagement.

This weapon scales well through all game stages as well. The tier 1 red laser is the best weapon for when you only have corvettes.

The go-to choice if you are creating a rapid-fire gun ship style build. The insane accuracy and rapid-fire rate will make your enemies wish they didn’t come to work that day.

3. Advanced Strike Craft

The bane of any large ship is the corvette, and the best counter to corvettes right now is strike craft.

The advanced strike craft is the best standard strike craft, but there is a tier above it, called Skravird Strike Craft.

The problem is, you can’t get them without completing a quest line in the Galactic Paragons DLC. This problem exempts it from this list.

If you do get the chance to upgrade your strike craft to this tier, you should.

Strike craft have 100 percent accuracy and 100 percent tracking. This means they never miss, no matter how fast the enemy ship is. Corvettes only strength is its speed, and these weapons take that away.

All of its weapons bypass shields and do an extra 50 percent damage to armor.

These crafts are not without a very glaring weakness. They are at the mercy of Flak Gun weaponry. These weapons, in enough numbers, can render your strike craft inert.

To get the best out of this weapon, you will need to pay attention to what weapons your opponent is running. If they are running a high Point-defense weapon set, you should consider another weapon type.

Load up your large ships with hangar slots, and get them into close quarters with the enemy. This will deploy your strike craft straight into the action, and they will be able to hound the enemy straight away.

2. Phase Disruptor

The previous three weapons discussed are very good, but the next two are in a league of their own. The first of these is the rags-to-riches story of the phase disruptor.

Many patches ago, the phase disruptor was a laughable weapon.

Its damage sucked, it was expensive for what it did, and you were better off sending science ships to fight than ships that had these equipped.

The Phase Disruptor meme is no more, and it is now one of the two best weapons in the game. Try not to let your jaw hit the flaw when you see what this weapon is capable of.

It only comes in small or medium slots and is a short-range weapon. You will want this on your close-range fighters, not your back-line battleships.

Now for the good stuff, this weapon completely bypasses all shields and armor. This means that any damage done by this weapon goes straight to the hull, making an opening salvo of Disruptors cataclysmic for your enemy.

If that was not enough, it also enjoys a 100 percent accuracy and has very high tracking. With the correct admirals and utility slots, you can almost guarantee these will never miss.

Some of the naysayers of this weapon may say that it has low damage.

The counter to this argument is that it makes up for that in fire rate, accuracy, defense penetration, and its low cost.

These weapons on cruisers are more or less a cheat code. You can check out some good ship builds that feature this weapon here on Gamer Empire.

1. Whirlwind Missiles

Phase Disruptors are good, great even. But Whirlwind Missiles are better. This weapon has no downsides and almost has no weaknesses. You can put this on almost any ship, and its efficacy shoots through the roof.

The limitation it does have is that it can only go on medium slot weapon emplacements. This is not a weakness of the missiles. It is a strength, as it makes building easier.

Wise players amongst you may have asked yourself, “surely these can be countered with a few point defense ships?” A sensible question, but the answer is no, they can’t.

Point defense systems cannot keep up with the sheer amount of missiles coming their way. This, coupled with their 100 percent accuracy, will chew through enemy ships in no time.

The disruptor’s weakness was its short range, and there is a tiny argument for it having low damage.

Whirlwind missiles don’t have these weaknesses. They are great at close and long range and do almost triple the average damage that a disruptor does.

It also completely ignores shields, allowing you to target armor and hull straight out of the gate.

If you are struggling with your matchups in Stellaris, it is probably because who you are fighting is running these, and you aren’t.

The only counter for Whirlwind Missiles is to have more of them than your enemy.

This is everything you need to know about the best weapons in Stellaris.

If you have any questions or suggestions for this guide, please let us know in the comments section below. As always, have fun blowing up alien ships with the best weapons in Stellaris.

Simon Neve

Simon lives in Northern Ireland with his wife and two children. When not caring for his family, Simon enjoys video games, board games, and tabletop roleplaying games. When playing isn't an option he writes about them instead.

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