Faster Than Light (FTL) Weapon Tier List Guide

Last Updated on April 26, 2022 by Samuel Franklin

Faster Than Light (FTL) Weapon Tier List Guide

Our FTL weapon tier list guide will help you under the best weapons to purchase and equip for your ship during a FTL run to ensure success. With a diverse list of weapons Faster Than Light offensive decisions can always be difficult and while it will depend somewhat on your current ship configuration and planned setup for the final boss fight there are some clear winners that will improve your chances of success in each game attempt.

Whether you want to use beam weapons, lasers, missiles, bombs, flak or ions you’ll be able to learn the best in each class and how to use each class effectively. With this guide you’ll be able to progress through easy, normal and in time hard mode by making effective and efficient FTL weapon choices. Note that this list is based on the Advanced Edition update which changes some weapon mechanics and introduces new options from the standard base game.

FTL Best Weapons – What Makes Them Good

While you might have playstyle preference weapons FTL has some clear better weapon options that will make your attempts significantly easier. What makes these FTL weapons the best in class though? The factors below have been considered when creating this tier list:

  • Raw Damage: Damage is an important factor to any weapon system as weapon based strategies of FTL are all about bringing your enemy ship hull to zero health or defeating every single crew member to salvage the ship. While you might want other utility on weapons to help a teleportation focused strategy where you defeat the crew with your own this tier list assumes you’re following a weapon only focused strategy as teleportation generally only becomes available in the mid game or is ship layout reliant.
  • Speed: Weapon speed is an important consideration as firing the first shot can be a significant advantage in FTL as it prevents you from taking damage or potentially losing your own weapon systems in the first volley. Speed also allows you to keep up a relentless assault on the enemy to keep them focused on repair rather than fighting back which will save you scrap money in the long run from repair costs.
  • Power Efficiency: Power efficiency is an important consideration in FTL as your available weapon slots and power for those slots is limited and sometimes influenced by your choice of FTL best ship. With increasing costs of upgrading your reactor and maximum weapon system power you’ll want to utilise weapons that give you the best return on power invested.
  • Flexibility: With randomisation a core part of games like FTL that have roguelike mechanics having weapons that are flexible against a range of opponents and situations are better options.
  • Availability: Each weapon in FTL available has a rarity factor to it that also needs to be considered, if you wait around too long for the perfect rare weapon you’ll likely find yourself disappointed in most FTL attempts. There is also an element of cost to this factor as weapon prices vary.

This FTL Weapon Tier List guide is split into S, A and B tiers with a brief description of what makes each weapon so effective so you can mix and match to create the FTL best weapon combos. Weapons not featured here are below B tier and while they might be useful when you have no other choice they shouldn’t be a priority for you to obtain. A summary is also included below for you to reference while in game. Note that this list is only for purchasable weapons and not starting weapons on ships like the Dual Lasers and the Artemis missiles.

FTL Best Weapons Tier List Summary

Weapon Name Weapon Type Weapon Tier Notes
Burst Laser II Laser S Highly efficient power to shot ratio for taking out shields
Flak I Flak S Common weapon effective for shields and damage
Halberd Beam Beam S Uncommon weapon with high damage potential when shields are down
Hull Laser II Laser A Average power efficiency but packs a punch
Charge Laser II Laser A Higher power requirement than other lasers but effective at full charge
Hull Beam Beam A Similar damage to Halberd but only for systemless rooms
Pike Beam Beam A A staple beam weapon options with huge length
Small Bomb Bomb A Your basic common and reliable bomb option
Breach Bomb II Bomb A Deadly system damage for the power required although rare
Heavy Crystal I Crystal A Hits hard for the power investment required with decent charge time
Heavy Laser II Laser B High damage although low shots for power required
Chain Laser Laser B Good balance of power to shots although only excel in long battles
Charge Laser I Laser B The weaker Laser Charger option but good power to shot ratio
Flak II Flak B Massive number of projectiles but long charge time
Swarm Missiles Missile B The best of the missile weapons that can turn one missile into 3
Charge Ion Ion B The best of the Ion weapons in FTL as you can fire multiple shots in quick succession to disable an enemy ship
Crystal Burst I Crystal B An effective weapon that can fill a laser type role if necessary

 

FTL Weapons Tier List (S Tier)

There are 3 purchasable weapons in Faster Than Light that sit above the others and acquiring any single one of these is a big leap towards success. These weapons are all highly power efficient for the amount of shots or damage they are able to deal to enemy ships and aren’t too rare that you’ll never see at least one per run.

ftl-weapons-burst-laser-ii

Burst Laser II

The Burst Laser II is a formidable weapon although is the rarest of the S tier weapons overall so you might not find it every game. When you do though it makes for a the basis of many great FTL best weapon combo options that can carry you through the entire game. The strength of this option comes from the low power requirement of 2 which gives you a total of 3 shots that make it deadly for removing enemy shields early, mid and late game without a significant investment.

ftl-weapons-flak-i

Flak I

A common weapon that means you can reliably expect to see it in your FTL runs that is effective despite it being somewhat random. Similar to the Burst Laser II above this weapon gives you 3 shots for 2 power and its short charge time of 10 means you can easily take out shields or regularly deal damage.

ftl-weapons-halberd-beam

Halberd Beam

Learning how to use beam weapons effectively can be a great way to tackle the higher difficulties of FTL and the Halberd Beam will want to be a regular of your arsenal. Similar to the other FTL best weapons in S tier this is an efficient weapon requiring 3 power in total for 2 damage. This 2 damage can easily be multiplied by 3 times regularly on common ship layouts to deal a total of 6 damage and often more with practice and memorisation.

FTL Weapons Tier List (A Tier)

The A tier category on this FTL best weapons tier list are likely to be your bread and butter in most Faster Than Light runs. While not as effective as the S tier this tier has a wealth of solid options that ensures you’ll usually find several throughout a game and can piece together an offence.

ftl-weapons-hull-laser-ii

Hull Laser II

While not quite as power efficient as other options trading 3 power for 3 damage is not terrible and the charge time for attacks is quite reasonable. This weapon is a viable weapon to take down shields, system or cause massive hull damage to systemless rooms when appropriate.

ftl-weapons-charge-laser-ii

Charge Laser II

Offering a total of 4 shots at full charge for 3 power the Laser Charger II is effective although you’ll need to wait 20 seconds for all shots to be available. Regardless if you can obtain one or two you’ll find that shields and ship systems melt before you.

ftl-weapons-hull-beam

Hull Beam

Can achieve similar damage to the Halberd beam although relies on systemless rooms. This makes it equally effective against some of the enemy ships you’ll encounter but will require additional thought about placement. This weapon is also one of the faster beam weapons available.

ftl-weapons-pike-beam

Pike Beam

Offering a huge amount of length the 1 damage on this weapon can be misleading as on the right ship you can hit nearly every single room. This low damage does require you to ensure that shields have no chance of recovery to be used effectively though.

ftl-weapons-small-bomb

Small Bomb

A basic bomb that is readily available and only uses a single power that can make it an effective addition to your line up for its 2 system damage. This option is generally a better pick than missile options given the faster charge and the ability to bypass defence drones.

ftl-weapons-breach-bomb-ii

Breach Bomb II

Another bomb option although slightly less power efficient than the small bomb it can be extremely devastating to systems that allows you to follow up with your other weapons. The high charge time of 17 seconds does make it difficult to use though as you might have to hold using other weapons until this is available to take our shields.

ftl-weapons-heavy-crystal-i

Heavy Crystal I

Having similarities to the laser weapon type crystal weapons are often directly competing for this role. Combined with their rarity you’ll unlikely be using this often but if you do encounter the Heavy Crystal I it can be a reasonable acquisition given it deals 2 damage for 1 power.

FTL Weapons Tier List (B Tier)

The B tier weapons are still capable but should never be your first or second choice if other options are available to you. Generally they fall short in a key area but with the right mixture or combined with a single A or S tier above you’ll likely still be able to achieve victory.

ftl-weapons-heavy-laser-ii

Heavy Laser II

Comes with a higher power requirement of 3 than the better laser options but is somewhat saved by the higher damage that means it can pack a punch once you are past enemy shields. With only 2 shots though this by itself will be unlikely to be a shield counter though and needs the right weapon to be paired with it.

ftl-weapons-chain-laser

Chain Laser

An effective 2 power for 2 shots laser but starts with a large charge time of 16 seconds. While this does eventually come down to 7 seconds over time lengthy battles with enemies are rarely in your best interest as it means more opportunities to take damage.

ftl-weapons-charge-laser-i

Charge Laser I

Another 2 power for 2 shots laser that has good overall charge time at 12 seconds for both shots that is a viable option if you aren’t locating the other laser options while shopping. It’s only not featured higher because it is basic compared to the higher tier options.

ftl-weapons-flak-ii

Flak II

While this weapon comes with an insanely devastating 7 projectiles in each shot that will take down even the most stubborn shield it is a slow weapon that is often overkill for the task at hand. If you have really strong defences you can limit the damage you take while this weapon is charging but there are better lower charge time options that allow you to take the initiative.

ftl-weapons-swarm-missiles

Swarm Missiles

The best FTL missile weapon available given you can rapidly fire off up to 3 missiles for a single missile resource at a location. It’s also got a short cooldown in general for missile weapons that lets you fire an initial single missile in 7 seconds to disable the enemy.

ftl-weapons-charge-ion

Charge Ion

The FTL best ion weapon that you’ll occasionally see in your travels and offers a different pathway to disabling an enemy ship compared to conventional weapons. Capable of firing 3 shots when fully charged for 2 power this weapon has average charge time and can be used to disable systems although direct damage from other options is generally more effective.

ftl-weapons-crystal-burst-i

Crystal Burst I

Another viable crystal weapon for those that encounter them this option is the most common of all this weapon class. Offering a familiar 2 power and 2 shots that many laser weapons have the average charge time of 15 seconds prevents this weapon from being in a higher tier although it is cheap to acquire when found.

Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms.

Sam has long enjoyed Faster Than Light (FTL) and regularly returns to the game for its randomisation and challenging mechanics. He has beaten FTL with all ships and layouts but enjoys the starting Kestrel Cruiser over other options to defeat the Rebels.

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