Unlike ballistic and energy weapons missiles are primarily used in a support role, lacking the magazine capacity for use as a primary weapon. Some exceptions exist with ships that have many missile slots and in particular with Expanded Missile Racks hullmod that are able to obliterate ships before running out of munitions.
Almost all missiles do high explosive damage. Missiles can be targeted and shot down by point defense weapons.
Most missiles can pass over friendly ships while they still have guidance, such as Harpoons. These missiles will still present a friendly fire threat if they fizzle out due to exceeding their flight time or EMP effects. Some of the heavier torpedoes can always cause friendly fire and particular care needs to be taken with these, of particular note the Reaper-class Torpedo.