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Weapons are the most common type of hardpoint-mounted system used on spacecraft.

Weapon types

Spacecraft weapons are broadly divided into two types:

  • Guns: fire destructive energy or projectiles incapable of self-propulsion.
  • Self-propelled: fires either destructive self-propelled projectiles or countermeasures.


Guns are broadly divided into two types:

  • Energy weapons: includes lasers, electron guns, plasma particle blasters, and tachyon cannons. They are more effective at penetrating unshielded hulls than ballistic weapons, but less effective against shields.
    • Distortion Cannons: A subtype of energy weapons designed to attack an target's "pipe" systems, such as power and heat management.
  • Ballistic weapons: includes mass drivers, scatterguns, gauss guns, and dredge guns. They are more effective at penetrating energy shields than energy weapons, but less effective against unshielded hulls.

Self-propelled weapons

Missiles are the only type of self-propelled weapon identified so far that is actually a weapon. Countermeasures are the other broad category of self-propelled weapon, though their function is to inhibit the function of enemy weapons or spacecraft and are therefore defensive in nature.

Weapon manufacturers