Armor is the second layer of defense for most ships. after shields. It absorbs damage that would otherwise strike the hull.


Hammerhead hud armor

The display in the bottom left of the HUD indicates the armor status of the ship. Green cells represent intact armor, and turn brown as armor is damaged or destroyed.

A detailed guide is available on the forum.

Armor is divided into cells, distributed around the ship. Each cell has an armor rating equal to 1/15th the ship's armor rating.

When the armor takes a hit, the cell at the point of impact and 20 surrounding cells[1] pool their armor values. The 9 central cells contribute their full strength, while the outer 12 cells only provide half their strength.[2] This uses an invisible enlarged rectangular grid and is not affected by the size or shape of the ship[3]. Per-cell contributions are indicated in the following diagram, centered on the impact point:


The resulting sum is then used to reduce the damage according to the formula:

Damage multiplier = weapon damage/(armor + weapon damage)

For instance, a 100 damage energy weapon against 100 points of armor will do:

Damage multiplier = 100/(100 + 100)
Damage = 100 * 100/200
Damage = 50

This damage is then applied to the cells that provided the armor reduction. As a result, subsequent hits in the same location will inflict greater damage.

High explosive weapons do 200% damage to armor, kinetic weapons do 50% damage and fragmentation weapons do 25% damage. These damage type multipliers are applied before the armor damage reduction. EMP damage bypasses armor completely.

For the purposes of the armor damage reduction calculation, the damage done by beam weapons is equal to half the DPS of the sustained beam. For instance, a continuous beam weapon with 100 DPS receives the same damage reduction from armor as a projectile weapon with 50 damage per shot. If the same beam were to fire in bursts lasting 0.1 seconds (with full strength for the duration of the burst), it would be treated as having 1000 DPS for this purpose, giving it the same armor damage reduction as a 500 damage projectile weapon. For weapons that fire multiple beams (i.e. Guardian PD System), the damage reduction is calculated for each beam separately.

Armor cannot reduce damage below 15% of its immediately previous value.

The armor value used in the damage reduction calculation cannot be less than 5% of its normal peak value. This means armor provides a small amount of damage reduction even after it has been completely destroyed.


Because of the way the calculation works, weapons with low damage per shot are generally ineffective against armor. Against well-armored targets, it becomes necessary to use high-powered assault or strike weapons to create a weak point in the armor for other weapons to exploit. However, sufficiently high DPS will still trump per-shot damage, particularly once the 15% minimum damage multiplier comes into effect[4].

As armor degrades during combat, it becomes important to turn the damaged side away from enemy fire and/or cover it with your shield.


Change History Edit


  • Armor value for damage reduction no longer goes below 5% of base armor value