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Lasers are directed energy weapons that have light-speed projectiles that can be created to burn into an enemy target with respectable accuracy, or to snipe pesky missiles from the sky.

The reliability of lasers depends heavily on countermeasures – smoke and laser shields can reduce damage dealt by lasers to the point of uselessness. However, they are still great against fast targets at range, as all shots arrive instantly (cannon shots are comparatively slow and follow gravity, while particle cannon shots just bend around unpredictably if you stand back too far). With enough parts, lasers can become very dangerous to anything not designed to counter them.

Each part in a laser changes the property of the laser by adding more power, allowing it to charge quicker, giving it armour-piercing qualities, increasing accuracy, increasing aiming angle, recolouring the laser, or allowing the laser to go through defensive systems like smoke pods (although still with greatly reduced damage).

Overview[edit | edit source]

  • Require power rather than ammo to fire.
  • Can be used both offensively and defensively against missiles, as well as APS-, or CRAM-shells.
  • Less accurate than other weapons, but shots travel instantly – great against fast enemies.
  • Laser Transceivers allow the bulk of the laser to be built far away from where the laser is actually emitted.

Minimal laser[edit | edit source]

A minimal laser requires power, typically provided by Engines, plus the following:

One possible layout for an offensive laser:

LCav LPmp

Components[edit | edit source]

  • Multipurpose Laser: The root component of a laser.
  • Laser Connector: Connects the following components: Multipurpose Laser, Laser Coupler, Laser Combiner, Laser Munition Defence, and Laser Transceivers.
  • Laser Transceiver: Connects the same components as the Laser Connector, but over a distance. One Laser Connector is required on each end of the connection, and they must be pointing directly at each other. There is no limit on range, and the connection can even pass through other blocks.

Pulses[edit | edit source]

Up to 4 Q Switches may be attached to a Laser Coupler. Using at least one Q Switch turns the laser from continuous to pulsed. The number of Q Switches determines how often a laser can discharge that Laser Coupler, and what percentage of the stored energy is discharged at a time. The damage dealt is proportional to the energy used.

Q Switches Pulses per second Drain per pulse Damage per energy Range per energy/s (m)
0 40 1% 1 0.14
1 1 20.0% 2 5.65
2 2 10.0% 2 4.00
3 4 5.0% 2 2.45
4 8 2.5% 2 1.41

Energy[edit | edit source]

  • Laser Cavity: Attach to a Laser Coupler. Multiple Laser Cavities can be connected in a line. Stores 200 units of laser energy.
  • Laser Pump: Attach to sides of Laser Cavities. Produces 50 laser energy per second at the cost of 100 power (80 power-frames per laser energy). Also available as a 3m variant, making it easier to fill 3x3 spaces.
  • Laser Destabiliser: Attach in a line to Laser Cavities. Causes the line to discharge 80% more energy at a time compared to base. Multiple Laser Destabilisers can be used with each being 80% as effective as the last.
  • Frequency Doubler: Attach in a line to Laser Cavities. Increases the AP, depending on the number of pumps. The more pumps, the smaller the AP-increase (each frequency doubler add 400AP/number of pump block)

Energy is used to fire the laser. At base, 20% of stored energy is discharged per second.

The base range is 5.65m per damage. The final range is capped at 10 km.

Damage[edit | edit source]

The damage per second of a laser with or without Q-Switches is found by taking the total length of laser cavity blocks with four pumps attached plus laser destabilisers, where L is the sum of laser destabilisers and laser cavities with four laser pumps, Q is the amount of Q-Switches, and the variable P is the most efficient length of laser cavities to be used within the length L alongside the corresponding amount of laser destabilisers (L-P) LaserDamageEquation.JPG

To find the most efficient combination of laser cavities and laser destabilisers, find the maximum of the following equation using P as the variable:



Calculator including laser damage (as well as some other stuff). Up to date as of 09.09.2017 (most likely obsolete, as of 12/11/2018)

Offensive lasers[edit | edit source]

The inaccuracy (angular diameter of the cone in which shots scatter) of an offensive laser is

5 / (0.5 x Steering optics + Optics)

Munition Defence Lasers[edit | edit source]

No optics are necessary or usable with a Laser Munition Defence. Separately you will also need a Munition Warner connected to an AI Mainframe. No Local Weapon Controller is necessary for operation of this laser component, and can not be fired like a normal weapon by the user.

Alternatively, or additionally, it is possible to use Passive Radars or Passive Sonars to detect Missiles using active radar guidance and torpedoes respectively. This allows the LAMS to fight torpedoes at all, and radar-guided missiles from longer range. It is, however, recommended not to rely on passive radars, as many missiles will use other guidance-types.

The Laser Munition Defence has an inaccuracy of 0.05^\circ. This gives it single-block accuracy out to about 1150 m. Against a missile with a cross section of one block approaching at constant speed, about 50% of all hits will occur within this distance, and about 75% within half this distance – The maximum active range is 500m but can be extended to 1000m. The active range, is the range at which it will begin to shoot down incoming detected munitions which can be changed with the Q menu on it. This however is not the range of the beam it self can travel.

Note is these laser components reduce the damage of your beam but draw energy as if it was firing at full power.

Countermeasures[edit | edit source]

Air, water, and smoke absorb lasers. For \ell_a m of air, \ell_w m of water, and n_s layers of smoke, the damage is multiplied by

e^{- \left( 0.0003 \ell_a + 0.01 \ell_w \right)} \cdot 0.1^{n_s} \approx e^{- \left( 0.0003 \ell_a + 0.01 \ell_w + 2.3 n_s \right)}

Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • One Q Switch will maximize range, while 4 Q Switches will maximize damage per energy used.

Energy management[edit | edit source]

Sustained damage per second is limited by two factors: the energy going into the laser and the energy coming out of the laser.

  • The energy going into the laser every second, assuming sufficient power, is simply 50 times the number of Laser Pumps.
  • The maximum energy per second discharged by a cavity line is determined by the number of Laser Cavities C and the number of Laser Destabilisers D according to the expression 200 * C * (1 - 0.8^ (D + 1)). Assuming one Laser Destabiliser is twice as expensive as a Laser Cavity, use the following table to determine the number of Laser Destabilisers to use:
if at least
Pumps Energy %/s Energy/s
1 3 4 36.0% 108.0
2 6 11 48.8% 292.8
3 10 23 59.0% 590.4
4 15 40 67.2% 1008.5
5 21 61 73.8% 1549.5
6 29 91 79.0% 2291.8
7 38 126 83.2% 3162.5
8 50 173 86.6% 4328.9
9 65 232 89.3% 5802.1
10 84 307 91.4% 7678.4
  • The above assumes only a single Laser Combiner. Multiple Laser Combiners may be used. If they fire evenly this simply multiplies the total energy use by the number of Laser Combiners and the number of Laser Pumps may be adjusted likewise. However, if they do not fire evenly one Laser Combiner may "starve" the next. This is primarily a concern for 1Q lasers with many Laser Destabilisers, as these can draw close to 100% of stored energy every shot.

Missile defence[edit | edit source]

  • Missiles have an AC of 1, meaning 2 AP is enough to deal full damage. Their health depends on size-class, length, and reinforcement – as a rule of thumb, S missiles can be assumed to have about 50 health, M missiles about 1,000 health, and L missiles about 10,000. This depends heavily on the exact design though, and all types of missiles may exceed that.

Examples[edit | edit source]

4Q Dual Missile Defence[edit | edit source]

Costs about 50,000 RP. The core takes up a 3x3x15 space.

  • Start with the Multipurpose Laser.
  • Laser Connector on top of the Multipurpose Laser.
  • Behind the Laser Connector, a Laser Coupler.
  • A Q Switch on the left, right, top, and bottom of the Laser Coupler.
  • 10 Laser Cavities in a line behind the Laser Coupler.
  • A Laser Pump on the left, right, top, and bottom of each Laser Cavity.
  • Two Frequency Doublers behind the Laser Cavities.
  • Two Laser Destabilisers behind the Frequency Doublers.
  • Connect two Laser Missile Defences to the front however you wish.

References[edit | edit source]