A quick guide on FTL’s “Super weapons” as well as an honorable mention or two!
IMO there are three super weapons in the base game, as well as a few advanced edition ones and an honorable mention or two.
To clarify a “super weapon” is normally a legendarily rare weapons in the game. You can go through multiple playthroughs without ever seeing one, even on an enemy, let alone in a shop to buy! But, this doesn’t mean you can’t just straight up find one floating in space either!
Most super weapons are easily classified by noticing that they require 4 power to operate. (The highest possible in the game).
Super weapons are usually huge weapons with the highest power drains in the game!
But a few could be considered “Super” because of their unusual qualities or strength for how little power they use.
In general super weapons require 4 power to offset their huge damage and often include a long warmup/cooldown time. The base game had 3 super weapons, but after advanced edition released several more weapons that could be considered “super” were added. And a few that are more super because of how good they are! In general, super weapons are found exceptionally rarely in shops, or even rarer in random drops!
This guide short will show you which of these rare weapons to keep a look out for, and in general their abilities and how to use them effectively. Though getting a super weapon doesn’t mean it’s always the best choice! Often it’s situational if you should get one or not. Sometimes they could save a run! Or potentially ruin it if you’re not careful…
To further clarify, i call these weapons “Super weapons” Because of their huge power draw and fun nature! They’re often rare to find too, so it’s fun to take them if you see them sometimes.
Vulcan Minigun (Chain Vulcan)
The first is also probably the most famous! The VULCAN MINIGUN (or Chain Vulcan).
The whole reason i’m writing this is because i wish you could start with one! (Though with mods you probably can if you want.)
First off, this is easily the most powerful “Super weapon” in the game! This is offset by it’s HUGE power requirements and massive spin-up time. it requires a whopping 4 Power as a result! But once it finally finishes warming up, it can easily shred any ship in the game! It can strip 4 shields And do damage to boot if unhindered!
It’s highly recommended to keep this to the far left of your weapon array! It is also recommended you keep this weapon on AUTOFIRE. As Micro-managing it will be extremely difficult once charged. (You can actually set specific weapons to autofire by holding ctrl when placing the targets)
This gives it the highest power priority in the event that the weapon system gets damaged and loses the ability to route all available power. It will start disabling weapons on the right side of the array before those on the left if the system doesn’t have enough power to fully power all active weapons.
Moving more important or higher power draw weapons to the left on the array will prevent them from shutting down if the Weapon’s system is damaged.
For example, if you have a weapon system with 6 power and you have 2 weapons, one being the vulcan (4 power required) and the Flak MK1 (2 power required) and the Weapon system is fully powered with the vulcan on the right and the Flak on the left, if the system were to get damaged by 1 damage, the vulcan would shut down and the Flak would remain active! All 4 bars of reactor power would be returned to the reactor on the left! If they were reversed, the flak would go down instead and the vulcan would continue charging.
Widely regarded as the best beam weapon, this laser is absolutely MASSIVE and does crazy damage! It takes a whopping 4 power as well, and has a massive 25 second charge time, but it does a massive 3 damage per room! This means it can pierce up to two layers of shields and still do 1 damage to all rooms hit! (or 2 per room if the enemy has 1 shield up)
It’s balanced by a long recharge time and short beam distance. So making sure to hit as many rooms as possible with it is important, as well as pairing it with good anti-shield weapons, such as Flak.
This is also the real only super weapon to come equipped on any ship! being equipped by default on the Stealth Cruiser Type B.
Because the beam is such high damage, it’s may be easier to earn the “bird of prey” achievement early on using it with, say, weapon pre-igniter if you can get it.
Burst Laser MK3
The most common Super weapon! (Though still somewhat rare)
As with the other super weapons, it requires 4 power. But it can rapidly fire a volley of 5 shots! The most shots for a single laser gun. It’s somewhat common in shops compared to the others, so it’s often a good choice with flak weapons to rapidly take down shields. Due to it’s rapid fire, it is possible, but unlikely to breach up to 4 shield and do a single point of damage to the targeted room, say, the shield generator room itself.
Some people consider this one bad because of it’s large power draw for how long it charges and fires, considering the Burst Laser MK2 to be superior as it is more efficient overall providing 3 shots for 2 power, however this can give you more space for other smaller weapons, especially if your ship is one of the few that can only have 3 weapons instead of 4. However this was also nerfed to be unable to start fires, so in that aspect it is also slightly worse.
However it is cheaper to buy one MK3 than two MK2’s, and if you get a weapon pre-igniter, you could cripple an enemy’s shield system almost instantly. The Autoloader/reloader augmentation also helps by cutting down recharge time allowing it to fire faster.
Swarm Missile Launcher
In lore this weapon is basically a prototype weapon for the Final boss.
It’s guaranteed to be obtained by beating the prototype rebel flagship in the rebel sector!
But it can also be found in shops exceptionally rarely, just like most super-weapons.
It’s special ability is to function like charge lasers, allowing you to fire up to 3 missiles for the cost of 1! And all while using only 2 power! In conjunction with the augment “Explosive Replicator” you could possible use this weapon as your main battery!
Just like all missiles, the missiles fired from this can pierce all shields, though it can still be shot down by drone defenses. Another slight balance to the weapon is that they also have a small Inaccuracy, appearing as a red circle like Flak targeting reticles do.
Advanced Flak – Honorable mention
While not technically a “super weapon”, it’s unusual characteristics make it an amazing weapon that only gets stronger the longer you fly with it! Because it only uses a measly 1 power, yet shoots 3 projectiles, it can more easily overwhelm shields allowing for even heavier weapons to hit your enemy immediately after.
This paired with it’s short cooldown allows it to fire often and relentlessly, and if paired with more Flak cannons such as two flak MK2 cannons, can shred even the strongest ship’s shields in the game!
Including the final boss!
However it is relatively weak alone. For this reason it’s most “Super” when paired with weapons that deal more damage when the enemy has less active/charged shields, such as lasers.
However, this Flak is unobtainable in normal playthroughs, as it’s only available on the secret Lanius cruiser in advanced mode!
This is my personal favorite weapon behind the vulcan, as i actually have beaten the game using nothing but this and two MK2 flak cannons! (I believe i also had a swarm i used at the start to disable the boss’s missiles)
It’s also worth noting that the game actually has many mods and a lot of things like starting with the vulcan is possible that way, as well as many custom weapons and drones! I recommend checking them out if you didn’t know that.
Also, this guide didn’t really cover weapon combos much, as it mostly focused on the super weapons themselves, since they’re so cool on their own. But it’s also worth noting that super weapons don’t make you invincible! I’ve even died with the vulcan once or twice! They merely give you an edge that you could normally not easily get, and only if you have the power to use them already. And in some cases going without them may be better! Especially if you have a set strategy or weapon combo you’re going with that’s already effective. Such as fire bombs and beams to take over ships and get more loot that way.
I also didn’t talk much about artillery, augments, or other unique aspects because i didn’t want to spoil them or didn’t really think about them at the time. There’s a crazy amount of fun things you can do with weapon combos in this game, as well as unique ship and weapon aspects and abilities! The game even has some secrets, so it’s more fun to find them playing normally than to read them in a guide.
Also this guide is technically still a WIP! This is actually the first guide i bothered making! (I was bored) So i may come back later and include more weapons/strategies and maybe even make it a full guide for all weapons if i have the time after that! such as adding images and etc.
To finish, I made this guide because i had the time and i thought it was fun. While i consider these weapons “Super weapons”, that’s just my own personal fun opinion. Some people may see them as a hindrance, but i usually see them as a very fun and unique aspect of the game. Especially the Vulcan, which replaced the MK3 Laser as my favorite weapon when Advanced edition dropped. I hope you found the guide entertaining! Or possible even useful.