FTL - Faster Than Light equipment tier list
I wrote this during a lecture about 3 years ago, at a time I still played the game actively. I think I have ~80 completed playthroughs.
Do note that this is vanilla FTL, not the enchanced edition. I was kind of burned out on the game long before enhanced was released. Enhanced brought on a lot of changes, and new equipment types, and a lot of the top tier equipments here got a lot worse because some ships now have direct hard-counters to them.
Explainations of the tiers:
S tier: Extremely useful equipment. Useful in almost every build, either as a main weapon or as a support weapon. For augments/drones they will give you great value for your scrap. Almost always a good choice.
A tier: Very useful equipment. Has a lot of useful build combinations, either as a piece of support for the rest of your build, or something that you can focus your build around. Usually doesn’t have the synergy of the S-tiers, or they’re less cost/energy efficient, so they’re not complete no-brainers.
**B tier: **Mostly useful equipment. The kind of gear that usually tapers off later in the game, or isn’t something you can construct your entire equipment build around, but it’s useful as support equipment, or in the early game. Not always useful, but more often than not it can serve a purpose. Depends on the rest of your build.
**C tier: **Mediocre equipment. Either used as a filler, or for very specific builds. Otherwise not very useful.
D tier: Bad equipment. Not worth its cost, will do very little work and take up equipment slots and energy unnecessarily. Sometimes they’ll even be detrimental. Just sell them and try to get something better as soon as you can.
**Weapons: Lasers **
**S tier: **Burst Laser 2, Dual Laser, Crystal Burst, Heavy Crystal
**A tier: **Hull Laser 2, Hull Laser 1, Heavy Pierce 1
B tier: Burst Laser 1, Burst Laser 3, Heavy Laser 1, Heavy Laser 2
C tier: Basic Laser
D tier: —
I don’t think there’s that much discussion to be had on this weapons group. Burst Laser mk.II and Dual Laser are the most energy efficient lasers in the game, and will almost always add something useful to the weapon setup for a very low energy cost. At the same time you can easily build a setup around these things. 3/4x Burst Laser mk.II is an amazing build. There are very, very few situations where these weapons aren’t worth getting, and thus they’re put in S-tier. The crystal weapons are also flat-out great, even though they can be hit by defense drones, they still offer a lot of the advantages of lasers combined with shield piercing.
Hull Laser mk.I and II are also relatively energy efficient and very easy to fit into most weapon setups for that reason; in addition the hull damage bonus as well as their increased chance of breaching(which delays system repairs) puts them a notch above the others. Pierce isn’t quite as good late game as early, but early game it’s flat-out amazing, and it still holds up later. All the B-tier lasers are also really good, they’re just not as good as A and S. Basic Lasers are also still usable weapons, but they’re usually just something you’ll change out or just stack onto a laserspam build since it does so little.
**Weapons: Missiles **
S tier: –
**A tier: **Pegasus
B tier: Artemis
C tier: Breach, Hermes, Hull
**D tier: **Leto
I really feel that Pegasus and Artemis are the only missiles that are really worth it. Artemis is amazing early game but falls off later when dodge and defense drones might come into play, but the fast recharge speed, low energy cost and relatively high damage makes it a good early game weapon. Pegasus does have a slow loading time and uses 3 energy, but having two missiles per shot mitigates most of the weaknesses of the other missile weapons, making the weapon actually really good. The rest of the missiles are sort of meh because of slow reload speed, even in spite of high damage and shield piercing. The Leto is just a bad weapon overall and usually not worth the missiles you spend on it. If you started with it, you’ll probably want to replace it as fast as possible.
**Weapons: Ion **
S tier: Ion Blast 2
A tier: –
**B tier: **Ion Blast 1, Ion Bomb
C tier: Heavy ion
D tier: –
Ion Blast mk.II is the only ion weapon worth using on its own, but by god that weapon is good. It can single-handedly lock down a single system indefinitely and sets up both drones, lasers and beams very efficiently, AND it fires so fast that anyone on the weapons team will level up really fast. All the other ion weapons are kind of worthless on their own, but combined with an IB2 you can now shut down both shields and another system permantently, which is a ridiculously good combination. Even if you don’t have another ion weapon, simply shutting down the shields and let the other weapons do the dirty work is a great way to use the IB2.
As for the non-IB2-ions, IB1 ranking higher than Bomb is because I feel the faster rate of fire makes it more consistent, and Bomb over Heavy is because I feel Bomb brings more to the table. Still, IB2 combined with any of these three(or a second IB2), later combined with either lasers, a good beam or drones, is still a very solid build.
**Weapons: Beam **
S tier: –
A tier: Halberd Beam, Glaive Beam
B tier: Mini Beam
C tier: Fire Beam, Anti Bio Beam, Hull Beam, Pike Beam
D tier: –
The only reason why there’s no S-tiers here is because all beams require some setting up. In return they’re freaking amazing with that set-up. Halberd and Glaive Beam with the proper setup can both end a flagship phase in two good shots. I personally think the Halberd is slightly better because of the lower energy cost and reload time, but the Glaive with its additional shield piercing and huge damage makes it so close that I’d call it personal preference. Combined with enough lasers to take away a shield, or an Ion Blast mk.II, both of these can blow up anything the game throws at you.
The rest of the beams aren’t really notable. The mini beam is extremely easy to fit into a setup because of the low reload time and energy cost, but it’s not a very strong weapon and will probably phase out later in the game. The Fire Beam is really fun with Rock boarders, Anti-Bio can kill crew with some setup and gives blue events against Giant Alien Spiders, but they’re not useful against the Flagship. Hull Beam and Pike Beam can do some damage, but while they’re not useless, they’re nowhere close to the sheer destruction the Glaive and the Halberd put out, and are usually not worth your time in my honest opinion.
**Weapons: Bombs **
**S tier: **–
A tier: –
B tier: Ion Bomb
**C tier: **Fire Bomb, Breach Bomb 1, S. Bomb, Heal Bomb
D tier: Breach Bomb 2
Bombs aren’t very useful overall, honestly. Ion Bomb can be extremely useful paired with an Ion Blast mk.II, and does do 4 ion damage even outside ion builds, so while it’s situational, it does have its uses, and is therefore ranked highest. Fire Bombs are useful with Rock boarders. Breach Bombs and Small Bombs are okay early game at taking out shields or other systems, and the Heal bomb is okay when boarding people. All of them are extremely situational, and none even damage hull, so you’ll probably start with them and then replace them. Me putting the Breach mk.II at the absolute bottom is just because of the extra energy cost and horrible reload time compared to the other bombs. Most of the other ones aren’t very good either though, but Breach mk.II is complete ass in my opinion.
**Augments: Generic **
**S tier: **Long Ranged Scanners, Scrap Recovery Arm, Automated Re-loader
**A tier: **Weapon pre-igniter
**B tier: **Drone Recovery Arm, Stealth Weapons, Shield Recharge Booster
**C tier: **Reverse Ion Field, FTL Recharge booster, FTL Jammer
**D tier: **Advanced FTL Navigation, Repair Arm
There might be one question here worth asking: “how the hell is the pre-igniter not S-tier?!” Well, for two reasons: it’s expensive as hell, and there’s at least one powerful build(Ion builds) it doesn’t synergize too well with. Otherwise it’s one amazing piece of augmentation.
The rest shouldn’t be too debatable. The Scrap Arm is one of the best early game investments in the game. The scanner gives a lot of blue options, gives very good control over your jumping route, and makes it possible to navigate nebula sectors relatively safely, netting you almost as much scrap as the scrap arm and more flexibility. The Re-loader is a very cheap augment that works well with absolutely every build in the game, and I always get one if I can. Drone Arms are kind of meh, unless it’s a drone heavy build, in which case it can make or break the build by giving an infinite drone supply. Stealth Weapons and shield recharge boosters are moderately useful. The C-tier upgrades are better than nothing and can occasionally be useful, but otherwise they’re not very noteworthy.
The repair arm is just horrible, and in my opinion the worst piece of equipment in the game. It isn’t worth its cost, and it’s usually better to just sell the piece of shit if you get it randomly and use that scrap for repairs. The advanced FTL navigation doesn’t do anything useful either: it’s only useful if you’ve jumped yourself into a corner, in which case you’re probably dead anyways, and jumping back probably just jumps into another three rounds of rebel ships. I can’t think of one situation where it’s been useful for me.
S tier: Zoltan Shield, Rock Plating
A tier: Titanium System Casing, Engi Med Bot Dispersal
B tier: Mantis Pheromones, Slug Repair Gel
C tier: Crystal Vengeance
D tier: Drone Reactor Booster
The Zoltan Shield and Rock Plating will both save you for a lot of scrap throughout the game. The former is one of the two reasons why the zoltan ships aren’t complete shit, and the latter doesn’t need further explaining(I mean come on, you get blue events that lets you ram mantis ships!). Titanium Casing can be extremely useful in a pinch and save you for repair time, Engi Med Bot Dispersal is overall great to have and makes the engi ship in question much easier to use. Mantis Pheromones are neat(especially with Rock crewmembers), Slug Repair Gel can be really nice to have when you get a breach. Crystal Vengeance requires you to be hit, doesn’t do that much damage, and rarely goes off even when you get hit, so it’s kind of meh. The drone reactor booster only helps on-ship drones marginally, and the on-ship drones in question are kind of shit anyways.
**S tier: **Defense Drone 1
**A tier: **Anti-Ship Drone 1
B tier: –
**C tier: **Beam Drone, Boarding Drone, Defense Drone 2, Anti-ship 2, Hull Repair Drone
D tier: System Repair Drone, Anti-Personell Drone
Defense 1 makes you almost immune to missiles, solving any problems you might have on that department and probably saving you a lot of scrap you’d otherwise have to spend on repairs. On top of that, it’s useful for shooting down boarding drones from the second flagship phase. It’s freaking amazing, and often worth the investment into drone control by itself. Anti-ship 1 is amazing with ion builds and supports laserspam-builds pretty nicely since it’ll keep shields from recharging after a volley, and possibly do some damage itself. Both of these drones takes 2 power and costs only 50 scrap, making them easy to fit into almost any build. The only drawback are the fact that you may have to buy a new system to be able to use them.
Beam drones and boarding drones are very situational: beam drones are amazing with ion+dronespam builds, but completely worthless otherwise. Boarding drones are a good addition if your only offensive option is boarding: incidentally this is the situation with the Basilisk ship, a ship it’s included in from the start. For most other ships they’re kind of bad. Hull Repair isn’t worth buying, but it can save you for some scrap if you have spare drone parts and you get it through a drop. Then it’s anti-ship 2 and defense 2. Neither of these can justify the higher cost and power usage over the mk.I models, and defense 2 is actually worse at its job than defense 1 in my opinion, simply because you risk it shooting down lasers instead of missiles if the drone AI decides the lasers are more important.
System repair and Anti-Personell are fairly useless, in my opinion. They just don’t do anything I can’t do by simply getting more crew, which would again save me the energy and drones I spend on these things, as well as allowing me to level those crew up and actually control what the fuck the crew members do at any given time. To illustrate the point: the one ship they’re included in from the start is, in my opinion, the worst ship in the game, because you need to spend drones, energy and drone slots on doing something regular crew does for you by default. Just stay away from them, they’re not worth it.[/details]
tldr: lasers are great, defense drone is the GOAT, Ion Blast 2 is retarded good, bombs and on-ship drones suck.