Combat is one of the three archetypal pilot roles recognized by the Pilots Federation. Combat encompasses multiple sub-roles, such as Assassin, Bounty Hunter, Mercenary, and Pirate. Increasing Combat rank requires destroying other Ships, and defeating pilots with higher Combat ranks rewards a greater amount of experience. Combat pilots use Hardpoints equipped with weapons to disable a target's shield, and then deal damage to the hull until the target is destroyed. Combat can be experienced alone, in a Wing, or in Multicrew.

Combat Tips Edit

Learning to use thrusters, keeping the throttle in the blue, situational awareness, good pip control and learning to anticipate rather than react to a target's actions are more valuable skills and habits than learning how to fly with Flight Assist off.[1]

Flight Assist Edit

Flight Assist (FA) is one tool of many and not the most essential one. It allows pilots to make sharper turns and more agile movements, but there are more important things to learn.[1]

While it is a non issue in very fast-turning ships, Flight Assist is essential for more boom and zoom style combat where the attacker needs to turn and gain distance at the same time so that the bad pitch rate is less of an issue. Without mastering FA-off, even something small like an Eagle MkII can be troublesome when flying with a sluggish ship if it is equipped with nothing but gimballed weapons.[1]

Pip Management Edit

Pip management (SYS, ENG, and WEP power management) is an essential skill. Know when energy is needed in shields and when it is safe or advantageous to divert it elsewhere. Assign macros if possible, such as by using the two 4-ways on a HOTAS to quickly switch pip settings. When fighting several enemies at the same time, keeping SYS at a full four pips at all times might be the way to go, but when fighting just one or two enemies, performance can be noticeably improved by using that energy elsewhere.[1]

Thrusters and Utilities Edit

Using vertical thrusters properly can also be very helpful. They can make a substantial difference when trying to stay out of an enemy's frontal view and thus to avoid incoming damage, while still keeping weapons on target. Also know how to use the throttle's blue zone, and when to leave it and when to return to it.[1]

Mastering the Chaff Launcher, Shield Cell Bank, and Heatsink Launcher can also mean the difference between victory and defeat.[1]

Practice Edit

It is recommended take a small ship, such as a Viper MkIII or Imperial Courier, and use it to practice combat and gain practical experience before tackling larger targets and bounty hunting for profit. Learning how to avoid mistakes in a cheaper ship can help a pilot to avoid mistakes in a more expensive one and pay for them at the rebuy screen. This can also help when flying larger ships, since pilots who start learning combat in larger ships tend to rely on their shields and firepower alone to overwhelm a target, and have no experience in avoiding incoming damage. This can be fatal in battles against well-armed fores.[1]

Ranks and experience Edit

Combat works slightly differently, this is done on the number of kills, but the points you get for each kill are based on the combat rank of the target relative to your combat rank so if you are harmless and kill an Elite ship you will get a large number of points, for example, if you are Deadly and kill a ship below Expert you will not get any.

— Unnamed developer[2]

This table below lists the amount of experience points towards Combat rank is earned depending on the Combat rank of targeted ships.

See the chart for a visual explanation of how rank progression works:[3]
Target Rank Player Rank
Harmless Mostly Harmless Novice Competent Expert Master Dangerous Deadly
Harmless 1.00 0.75 0.5 0.25 0 0 0 0
Mostly Harmless 1.25 1.00 0.75 0.5 0.25 0 0 0
Novice 1.50 1.25 1.00 0.75 0.5 0.25 0 0
Competent 1.75 1.50 1.25 1.00 0.75 0.5 0.25 0
Expert 2.00 1.75 1.50 1.25 1.00 0.75 0.5 0.25
Master 2.25 2.00 1.75 1.50 1.25 1.00 0.75 0.5
Dangerous 2.50 2.25 2.00 1.75 1.50 1.25 1.00 0.75
Deadly 2.75 2.50 2.25 2.00 1.75 1.50 1.25 1.00
Elite 3 2.75 2.50 2.25 2.00 1.75 1.50 1.25


  • It takes approximately 2,225 experience points to go from Deadly to Elite Combat ranking. This equals 1,780 Elite kills, or approximately 2,400 kills based on a more average distribution of ships.[4]
  • If a player has crew members (including AI crew members), combat experience points will be evenly split between them. Having one AI crew member roughly halves the experience points gained, doubling the number of kills required in order to rank up.
  • Fighting Thargoid Interceptors requires the use of specific weapons that deal Anti-Xeno damage, as Interceptors have special resistances. Thargoid Scouts can be damaged normally with any weapon.
  • Thargoid Scouts are Elite-rated, making hunting them an efficient method of increasing Combat ranking.

See also Edit

Guides Edit

Videos Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6
  2. Answers from the devs #2
  3. Answers from the Devs #3
  4. Statistics collected by CMDR Remy Monsen
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