Weapons & Defense

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From the lowly Star Cannon to the Nightmare Torpedoes, weapons are the tools of the navy. The currently available weapon types are Kinetics, Beams, and Missiles. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Weapon Types:

  • Kinetics: Short range, High Cost, Fast Cooldown, Medium Accuracy
  • Beams: Mid range, Low Cost, Medium Cooldown, High Accuracy
  • Missiles: Long Range, Long Cooldown, Medium Cost, Low Accuracy

Weapon Stats:

  • Accuracy: chance to hit the target.
  • Attack Power: combined total of attack values of all the weapons of a given category. Each category of weapon can only fire once.
  • Cooldown: each phase the cooldown of each weapon is reduced by one. Once the cooldown is completed the weapon is ready and will fire. Once fired the cooldown will be reset.
  • Range: maximum weapon range. If the ship’s target is within this range it will fire.

In any given phase, the combined attack rating of all of a ship’s weapons of a given type will fire one time. It doesn’t matter how many weapon hardpoints the ship is equipped with and what variant of the weapon types are being used.

A ship equipped with 2 x lasers (1 damage each) combine (1 + 1 = 2) for an attack roll between 1 to 2 damage. A ship with 1 x laser (1 damage) and 1 x particle beam ( 2 damage) combine (1 + 2 = 3) for an attack roll between 1 to 3 damage.

Weapon Tips:

  • Remember, ships can only fire once per weapon type.
  • You do not need to create some designs with all resource based weapons and other designs with no resource based weapons. Adding an enhanced railgun or 2 can give your ships a little extra punch while keeping their strategic resource cost low. All the late game weapons require resources but you can outfit the ship with the previous tier weapons to balance resources verses attack power.
  • Weapons will improve over time through research, even without upgrading the variant used.


In Galactic Civilizations 3, defenses worked like a rock paper scissors system. This has been scrapped in favor of a system one can interpret from watching a show like Star Trek. When an attack comes in, the defender can dodge it, absorb it with their shields, or mitigate some of the damage with their armor. Any remaining damage is applied to the hull. When the player runs out of hull points the ships are destroyed.


  • Evasion is the chance to avoid the attack entirely.
  • It represents all the jinking and electronic counter measures of the ship.
  • Fighters and bombers are very small and maneuverable, so they have a +50% bonus to their evasion rating.
  • If the attack is evaded, no damage is applied and it's noted in the Evaded column of the battle log.
  • Some ways of increasing evasion are weapon jammers, precursor artifacts, and events.


  • Shields are like a shell around the ship and always start fully recharged at the beginning of combat.
  • Shields function as additional HP during combat.
  • Shields reduce by SquaredRoot(Damage + 1).
  • As long as the ship has shield remaining the ship does not take any damage.
  • Shields are costly and very limited but create a damage cushion that you do not have to repair after combat, unless the shields are depleted.
  • Shield capacity can be increased by shield modules, artifacts, and techs.
  • Shields are very efficient against hard hitting shots due to being reduced by only the square root of the damage taken.


  • Armor deflects all or some of the incoming damage.
  • On each successful hit against the ship, Armor is rolled similarly to a weapon roll (random roll between 1 and ship's summed Armor rating). Incoming damage is then reduced by the Armor roll.
  • Armor can take many forms, including the plating on ships or the tough hides of organic beings.
  • Armor can stack very high, but a bad roll can spell doom for your ship.
  • After each attack, armor is reduced by 5% of its original value (after 20 hits, it will have reduced to zero).

Hull Points:

  • Hull Points (HP) once this depletes the ship is destroyed.
  • At the end of the turn each ship will regain a few hit points.
  • Most ships do not survive long when their defenses drop.

Defense Tips:

  • Shields and armor repair after combat. Consider putting at least a couple shield modules on your ships. This will prevent having to repair light damage after combat. This is important for attacking multiple fleets in a turn and overall efficiency.
  • Armor will generally mitigate more damage than shields, but will get wiped out quickly to a swarm of cheap fighters. Shields will hold up until they are depleted but can easily be wiped out by a large damage roll. Generally your ships will be more well rounded by having some of each.
  • Some defense is better than no defense. Glass Cannons typically are not optimal.
  • Typically ships with 33%, 50% or 66% of their mass devoted to defenses work well. The actual values you choose are going to entirely depend on your fleet composition. If you are loosing a lot of ships of one role it might be a good idea to increase their defenses to 66% of total mass limitation. If one role is not taking much damage, reducing their defenses to 33% of the mass limitation will allow for more weapons and damage output on the ship in the remaining space.