The most important component of any warship are the weapons. While armor, speed and maneuverability all play significant parts in battles, these factors simply assist the weaponry in being maximally effective.
Many weapons are very similar to each other and thus are grouped according to their characteristics.
47/76mm Rapid Fire Gun
The Rapid Firing Gun or 'RFG' for short, are the weakest guns in the game. They are decent beginner weapons due to their low cost. However, with low cost comes low firepower and range.
Though the 47mm RFG has the fastest rate of fire per any non-rare metal weapon, it still has extremely weak projectiles and is only suitable against unarmored vessels. Even 200mm Armor will provide ample protection against these guns.
Despite that, they will shred any ships costructed without armor blocks. Additionally, they are extremely accurate, so their optimal use would be aiming at a single side of an enemy vessel with the intention of capsizing it.
The 76mm however, is only a tiny bit more useful than its shorter counterpart, but to mass the 76mm is a waste against ships past beginner level.
12 cm Gun
The only gun that fires from a casemate, it is an improvement over the 47/76mm RFGs. They are unique among guns in that they can only fire in a narrow arc, as opposed to an almost 200 degree firing angle. Small vessels are best off using these if deck space is limited.
Even though their heavier damage and longer range gives it an edge over the 47/76mm RFGs, these are best used as broadside guns (as opposed to forward guns), to be used when you are passing or circling an enemy vessel.
These guns are the heaviest 1x1x1 weapons. Because of their small deck footprint along with with fair firepower, these guns are best employed on smaller ships as complementary weapons to larger armaments. Because of their range and firepower, they can serve as inexpensive tertiary batteries on larger vessels.
These are good forward guns as they are short and small, so they can fit in easily forward and abreast of larger cannons. If you happen to be using a majority of these of your vessel, avoid moving in closer than your effective range.
These will be the heaviest weapons the player initially receives. Low-cost and decent in firepower, they usually make up primary batteries on the player's early Level 1 ships.Heavier ships may employ this weapon.
This gun is extremely effective at medium range, even as the player's accuracy improves with awarding of Drill medals. This is the first cannon that fires with a sizable arc, so beware at longer ranges.
This gun lacks protection and range in comparison for any other artillery battery. It also serves as the heaviest weapon a player receives upon opening Battleship Craft.
30.5cm Gun Family
These guns are very common weapons. Possessing an excellent balance of firepower and compactness, they will serve well as primary, secondary and tertiary batteries. These guns serve as the best gun armament for carriers because of this.
The heaviest of the class, the 30.5cm+ Gun, can provide heavy firepower in a nicely-sized package. Two of them are the pinnacle of the first multiplayer level. These are excellent main cannons on smaller ships, and give a good boost alongside 40cm guns.
The smaller 30.5cm Gun (old) and the slightly bigger 30.5cm Gun (new) will serve best as secondaries on medium and large ships, given their small deck footrpint and lower firepower. The 30.5cm Gun (old) serves better than the newer one because it occupies less deck space. However, 30.5cm Gun (new) positions are easier to upgrade to 30.5cm+ Gun emplacements.
This calibre is the most common caliber in the singleplayer campaign, arming every vessel since Duel Lv4. The only serious limitation to the weapon is its damage - the firepower of the standard 30.5cm Gun (old/new/+) is incapable of seriously harming heavily armored vessels.
Note: In the game's files, the new 30.5cm gun (middle one on the photo) is labeled as incendiary, which accounts for the higher damage than the old 30.5cm gun. The lesser size means it packs a lower firepower, so the 30.5cm+ gun (aka Mikasa gun) still looms over it.
Note: The 30.5cm+ gun has a very impressive 20m explosion radius which helps damage engines and makes it very effective at damaging targets with armor less than 400mm. This 20m splash radius is only found on 1 other gun in the game, the 46 cm Triple Gun. This splash radius coupled with a decent range makes it a good investment for almost any captain.
This family contains the 36/35.6cm Gun Family (36cm Gun, 35.6cm Gun and the 36cm Quadruple Gun); the 38cm Gun Family (38cm Gun and the Quadruple 38cm Gun); and the 40cm Gun Family (40cm Gun and the 40cm Triple Gun). Most of these only have two shots and all have a range of at least 13.2 km. Unable to rely on masses of guns or a high fire rate, these guns rely heavily on direct hits and high alpha damage each shot has.
Due to their size, they are best employed as either primary weapons on medium-sized ships or secondaries on large ships. Variants with more than two barrels add to the density of fire, though they are much more expensive than the equivalent double-shot counterparts and suffer from the slow reload time when the shots are expended. Mount along the center for maximum effect. The one with the most raw firepower is the Quadruple 38cm Gun, but the 40cm Triple Gun outshines it in range and the damage it is capable of inflicting on a heavily armored vessel.
46cm Triple Gun
These weapons are the most powerful non-rare metal surface gun in the game in terms of firepower. They are also the largest, occupying an 8x8x3 area. With a reload time of 20 seconds, three shots and firepower that exceeds lighter warships, this weapon will certainly do severe damage even to heavily-armored ships. Their size will dictate their use only as primary guns for the largest of the ships. Mount these on the centerline to provide the most amount of firepower on each side. These guns also boast the largest shells.
Mk 45 5 inch Gun
This weapon has the highest firepower per deck area in the game. Sporting the alpha damage of a 36cm Gun and the fire rate of a 12cm Recessed Gun, these guns are one of the most effective anti-fast boat guns. However, their low blast radius dictates precision placement, something it is adept to. It is a powerful low-level antiaircraft gun, and can destroy squadrons effectively. Emplace in areas where they could maximize their wide field of arc and high fire rate- their small size makes it hard to hit. The weapon is capable of firing twenty shots a minute and sustain such rate of fire. The weapon is best utilized as a defensive weapon for submarines and carriers and an offesive weapon on any surface warship. Mk-45s are said to be decent in combat when substituting heavy main guns as they are reloading but also treating them like dual purpose guns as said above they're good at low-level anti aircraft defense. These are also very effective on smaller ships as the primary gun armament on destroyers and frigates. Additionally it's very easy to overwhelm enemy opponents with the fire power in large amounts as well as having to destroy multiple Mk 45 5 inch Guns.
These weapons have the highest firepower-size ratio, as the Torpedo Tube A has the hitting power of the much larger and infinitely more expensive 46cm Gun. However, what torpedoes lack is actual battle value. Torpedo Tube A and Torpedo Tube B torpedoes are best used in swarms or positioned on the front of a ram to turn the ship into a bomb lance, only effective in very specific circumstances on very few vessels. The Triple Torpedo Tube and the Oxygen Torpedo Tube, due to the fact it launches swarms of torpedoes already, can be easily used as tactical area denial weapons platform. While less effective than mines in this respect, there is an infinite supply of them. However, there are many factors against their use. All the resource-cost torpedoes are on relatively inflexible mounts, able to fire only in the direction set. However, the Oxygen Torpedo Tube also has a rotatng mount, making it more flexible. Range is another factor. The rare-metal cost Oxygen Torpedo Tube has the longest range, that being of 10km. The rest, save for the Torpedo Tube A, has a range of 4.5km (excluding Oxygen Torpedo Tubes). The Torpedo Tube A has a range of 3km. Coupled with the fact that a 30.5cm Gun mount has a range of 13.2km and the fact torpedoes are slow and inaccurate, they are usually not worth the money spent. If any vessel is to benefit the most from torpedoes, then it is the submarine. As its longest-ranged weapon when sailing underwater, they are a necessity to have on any submarine.
This weapon is the ultimate close-mid range devastator. Functioning like a giant shotgun, it can devastate boats effectively at ranges of about 4-7km. However, its slow reload speed makes it less effective at ranges below 4km, while its shot spread makes it less effective at ranges above 7km. Use in moderation, since relatively flat ships are immune to such weapons.
It is also an effective dual-purpose anti-aircraft weapon, as its large spread of rockets is capable of hitting multiple aircraft. However, its role is hampered through the slow reload speed. Despite the slow reload speed, it is possibly the best mid-range anti-air weapon. Utilize in positions akin to Mk 45 5 inch Gun positions. However, its weight makes it a less-than-ideal weapon as a submarine gun.
This weapon can be lethal too if mounted on small,fast and agile boats as they can launch a burst of rockets doing high damage without suffering gun damage.One of the main tactics is to employ these in hit-and-run attacks making attacks to fast for the opponent to avoid.
Statistically, these weapons should never be considered. Their short range
makes them unsuited to use. However, the omnipresent threat of a submarine gives them all the reason to invest in them. The depth charge, while requiring excellent skill to use, is nonetheless a powerful counter to any submarine that ends up to be below you. They can also damage surface vessels- if they are literally next to you. Hedgehogs are far more powerful and useful against them. With a standoff range, they are a direct upgrade to a depth charge. Occupying the same space, both could be used interchangably.Depth charges possess more damage but requires more skill and a lesser range to use, but Hedgehog Mortar ASW weapons have a range and is literally safer but it lacks the damage and explosion radius of a Depth Charge.
These weapons are potent weapons in the right hands. They are best employed on fast boats and submarines, since these vessels are most effective with area denial and is certainly capable of enacting them. Their power cannot be ignored- one hit usually will kill a ship, while if it survives, then the vessel will be severely disabled. However, they rely on having the opponent run into it. This works best when the vessel is disabled and unable to change course, or is more distracted by your gunfire or torpedoes than a minefield. Their effectiveness is highly situational. But when the situation permits, they can kill even the toughest vessels in a few hits. Usually, one hit does the trick, if one hit does not work, wait about 10 seconds, the enemy vessel may overturn. Take care with this weapon- many submarines have been crushed by their own target who had hit a mine above them and fell on the submarine, and many a fast boat ran into their own minefields with spectacularly lethal results to the attacker.
Though lacking in range, it certainly excells in fire rate. Possessing the fastest shot to shot rate, it is useful when fighting fast boats at short range. They also are highly effective as submarine-mounted guns, for they are fairly powerful and certainly lightweight. Employ in locations similar to the Mk 45 5 inch Gun. It's also very effective against low flying airplanes
3.7 cm SK C/30
This is in Warship Craft only. For info about this inexpensive anti-aircraft gun, click here.
Type 96 AT/AA 25mm Gun
These are the cornerstone to any air defense system. This weapon requires large batteries to be effective. They deter aircraft accuracy but at 10,000 apiece, they are pricey weapons. It is wiser to employ these guns in batches of 3-5 scattered regularly across the ship than one single massive battery, for they are not particularly strong and your air defense could be wiped clean with a single shell or bomb if clustered heavily. Emplacement should be easy, due to the fact they are the second most expensive 1x1x1 gun available, second to the Phalanx. Their accuracy is lacking and planes require four hits to kill. Thus, large gun batteries are effective. They will fire automatically when planes are in range. This is capable of menacing high-flying bombers reliably when at short range- the angle limitation of the Mk45 5 inch gun prevents such.
RGM84 Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile
At 8 Rare Metals, this is an expensive and somewhat random weapon. Each Launcher comes with 4 Harpoon missiles, meaning that each missile costs the equivalent of 2 Torpedo Bombers or two fighters. Nevertheless, due to its small (1*1*1) size and the sheer geometric limitations imposed by a carrier flight deck, this is a useful, if somewhat random alternative to a carrier air fleet.
First off, you are limited to 4 launchers per ship, giving you 16 missiles to use in a game. There is little restriction on how fast you can launch a salvo, so it's up to you if you want to launch them all at once or pickle them off singly or in pairs.
And a salvo is devestating. When all hit the 16 missiles will do 50% damage to the Yamato, 2 will kill the Capricornus, and one will blow the Scorpius out of the water. However, a full salvo against VIP superships will do somewhere in the range of 10% damage, if that. This makes this the ideal weapon to add to your light Destroyers, cruisers and attack craft. Each missile packs about half the punch of a torpedo, so use sparingly.
The downside is that they are fiddly weapons, demonstrating terrible hit percentages. Any reasonably fast vessel, making any reasonable change in course is likely to baffle these as they perform all sorts of acrobatics just to run in circles around the target. On top of that they can be intercepted by Phalanx and possibly (but unconfirmed) other anti-aircraft weaponry such as a Carrier's fighters or a Type 96 AA guns. To succeed with these, you need a large, stable target.
Which is where the Mk 45 5" gun comes in. A reliable strategy is to slow or limit a large target's manueverability or to pick off it's AA weaponry, and then to launch one or two missiles at a time. The ideal way to use this is for smaller ships such as destroyers or torpedo boats to play hit and run with large, slower, but tough targets like carriers, launching the missile like an extended range torpedo, when the opportunity presents itself. It might even find interesting application in submarines where it can seriously hamper the efforts of more agile opponents.
The final use of the missile is the Hail-Mary. Occasionally the battle will not have gone well for you and you find that you still have a few left in the tubes. On several occassions a roaring salvo has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat much to the surprise of all parties. Overall a fun, expensive weapon that meters well with the Mk45 Gun.
The Phalanx CIWS is a new anti-missile defense introduced in the new update. The Phalanx employs a high caliber minigun to track and shoot down incoming missiles, such as the Harpoon anti-ship missiles added in the same update. They have very low firepower and range but make up for it with a reload time of 0.4 seconds. Like the type 96 AA guns, they fire automatically. Though they are meant primarily for anti-missile defense, the Phalanxes in the game are also fairly effective at shooting down enemy aircraft, and will automatically target and fire at them. Because of the prohibitive price however, Phalanxes are generally not worth the price unless you have hacked for rare metal, or are frequently facing dedicated missile ships. Also, only 2 Phalanxes can be placed on each ship