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Starship Examples

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Special Properties

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 304
Some weapons have special properties, as noted on the starship weapon tables. These special properties and how they affect starship combat are described here.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 304
An array weapon fires at all targets within a single firing arc. The gunner attempts a single gunnery check against each target in the firing arc, starting with those closest to her starship. Each gunnery check takes a –4 penalty, which stacks with other penalties. Roll damage only once for all targets. Critical damage is determined by each target’s Critical Threshold. The gunner can’t avoid shooting at allies in the firing arc, nor can she shoot any target more than once. An array weapon uses two weapon mounts.

Broad Arc

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 304
A weapon with this special property can fire in an arc adjacent to the one in which it was installed with a –2 penalty. A broad arc weapon can fire at only one target at a time.


Source Pact Worlds pg. 153
A weapon with this special property fires a highly focused beam of energy that can slice through shields with ease. Burrowing weapons are always short range and cannot fire at targets outside the first range increment. When a burrowing weapon’s beam hits shields, apply half of its damage to the shields and the other half (rounded down) to the target vessel’s Hull Points. If any of the damage applied to the shields depletes those shields, apply the remainder to the ship’s Hull Points as normal. If a burrowing weapon deals damage to a ship with a damage threshold, halve that threshold before determining if any damage is dealt.


Source Starfinder #20: The Last Refuge pg. 48
A connecting weapon creates a ropy tendril. If the weapon hits, this tendril connects the firing vessel and the one struck. While maintaining this connection, the weapon can’t be used to connect to another starship. Instead, while connected, both vessels have a maneuverability rating that's one worse than normal and can move at no more than half speed. A larger vessel can tow a smaller one. If both vessels are the same size, either can tow the other. Neither starship can move more than 5 hexes from the other until the connection is broken. A crew member of the firing starship can break the connection as an action during any phase. The pilot of the target starship can do so by using an action to attempt a Piloting check (DC = 15 + 1-1/2 x the tier of the firing ship), breaking the connection on a success. The tendril has the AC and TL of the firing starship and no shields. It breaks if it takes any damage, ending the connection.

Death Field

Source Alien Archive 3 pg. 123
Weapons with the death field special property deal normal damage to shields, but they always deal minimum damage to Hull Points. Each time the weapon hits, a wave of negative energy floods the target starship. If the target has active shields on the quadrant hit, living creatures aboard the target take damage equal to the number of dice the death field weapon special property has. If the quadrant has no shields, roll the dice associated with the property once. Each living creature aboard the target vessel takes that amount of damage. This damage bypasses resistances and damage reduction. Undead aboard a targeted vessel instead heal an amount equal to the damage rolled.


Source Starfinder #7: The Reach of Empire pg. 48
A drone weapon is a heavy or larger tracking weapon that launches automated drones with built-in weapons. These drones can harry an opponent before ramming it in a final attack. For drone weapons, gunnery checks can be made using the gunner’s ranks in the Computers skill plus the gunner’s Intelligence modifier, in addition to the usual methods detailed on page 320 of the Core Rulebook.

During the gunnery phase, when a drone moves toward a target, the gunner can also fire the drone’s built-in weapons at that target. If the gunner does so, the gunnery check used to guide the drone is used for this attack, but with a –4 penalty. In addition, drone built-in weapons are short range. This gunnery check can’t deal critical damage due to a natural result of 20 on an attack roll. If the modified gunnery check is successful, the built-in weapons deal the target the damage shown in the drone special property (see the table). Each time a drone fires its built-in weapons, it reduces the tracking weapon damage it can deal by one die. For capital weapons, you instead reduce the damage multiplier by one each time the drone fires its built-in weapons. A drone is destroyed when it has reduced its tracking weapon damage dice or multiplier to 0.

A drone needn’t enter its target’s hex, but it can. If it does so, the gunner guiding it attempts a final gunnery check. If the gunner succeeds, the drone deals its remaining tracking weapon damage and is destroyed.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 304
A weapon with this special property emits a beam of electromagnetic energy that does not deal damage to ships or shields, but plays havoc with a ship’s electronic systems. On a hit, an EMP weapon scrambles one of the target starship’s systems, determined randomly. This causes that system to act as if it had the glitching condition for 1d4 rounds. A system glitching in this way can be patched as normal, but if it takes critical damage, its glitching condition becomes constant until the system is patched or repaired (or takes further critical damage). Functioning shields are unaffected by EMP weapons and completely block an EMP weapon’s effects.

Flak Area

Source Starfinder #20: The Last Refuge pg. 49
This weapon, which can be mounted only on a turret, launches volatile spores in all directions, acting as a countermeasure and a short-range damage dealer. The gunner for the releasing starship makes one attack roll, applying that roll to all targets (friend and foe) within 1 hex. That same attack roll + 5 can be used against a DC equal to 10 + the speed of any tracking weapon that reaches the releasing starship that round. If the attack roll equals or exceeds the DC for a projectile, that projectile is destroyed before it deals damage.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 304
A weapon with this special property creates a wave of harmful radiation (see page 403) that penetrates shields and starship hulls. Living creatures on a starship struck by an irradiating weapon are subjected to the level of radiation noted in parentheses for 1d4 rounds of starship combat.

Limited Fire

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 304
A weapon with this special property can fire only the listed number of times in a starship combat encounter before it requires a brief period of time (10 minutes outside of starship combat) to recharge and rebuild the weapon’s inherent ammunition. A weapon with this special property is often a tracking weapon.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 304
A weapon with this special property fires a beam in a straight line that can pierce through multiple targets. The gunner attempts a single gunnery check and compares the result to the AC of all ships in a line originating from her starship and extending to the weapon’s range increment. Roll the weapon’s damage once and apply it to each target with an AC equal to or lower than the gunner’s result, starting with the closest. If any of that damage is negated due to a ship’s Damage Threshold, the beam is stopped and the attack doesn’t deal damage to targets farther away.


Source Starfinder #7: The Reach of Empire pg. 49
When attempting a gunnery check with a mystical weapon, which is a hybrid device, a gunner can use ranks in Mysticism in place of her base attack bonus or ranks in Piloting, and her Wisdom modifier in place of her Dexterity modifier.


Source Starfinder #20: The Last Refuge pg. 49
A mystical weapon is a hybrid device. When attempting gunnery checks with a mystical weapon, a gunner can use their ranks in Mysticism in place of their base attack bonus or ranks in Piloting and their Wisdom modifier in place of their Dexterity modifier to determine their attack bonus.


Source Starfinder #6: Empire of Bones pg. 49
A weapon with the numbing special property fires concentrated negative energy. Living creatures on a starship that takes Hull Point damage from a numbing weapon must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC = 10 + 1-1/2 × the firing starship’s tier) or take a –2 penalty to all starship combat actions for 1d3 rounds.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 304
A weapon with this special property is always short range and can’t be fired against targets that are outside the first range increment. If a tracking weapon would hit a ship in an arc that contains a weapon with the point special property, the gunner of the targeted starship can attempt an immediate gunnery check with the point weapon against the incoming tracking projectile using the bonus listed in parentheses in the weapon’s Special entry (instead of her usual bonus to gunnery checks). The DC for this gunnery check is equal to 10 + the tracking weapon’s speed. If the attack hits, the tracking weapon is destroyed before it can damage the ship. A point weapon can be used to attempt only one such free gunnery check each round, but this usage potentially allows a point weapon to be fired twice in a single round.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 304
Once a gunner fires a quantum weapon, he can reroll one gunnery check (see page 243) for that weapon after its launch if the result would be a miss. Only tracking weapons have this special property.


Source Starfinder #7: The Reach of Empire pg. 49
Weapons that have the radiant special property cause sensor-overloading blasts upon impact. When a radiant weapon hits a ship, that vessel’s crew members take a –2 penalty to gunnery checks and Piloting checks, as well as checks for the scan, target system, lock on, and improve countermeasures science officer actions. This penalty lasts until the end of the next gunnery phase, until an engineer succeeds at an Engineering check to stabilize the sensors during the engineering phase, or until a science officer succeeds at a Computers check to recalibrate the sensors during the helm phase. The DC for either check equals 10 + 1-1/2 × the tier of the starship that fired the radiant weapon.


Source Starfinder #4: The Ruined Clouds pg. 0
This particular weapon is only available to the listed group.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 304
Firing a blast of metal shards, a weapon with this special property deals terrific damage to a ship’s hull but is almost entirely negated by functioning shields. Halve all damage dealt by ripper weapons to shields. Ripper weapons are always short range.


Source Pact Worlds pg. 153
A weapon with this property unleashes a cloud of fast-growing spores into the spaces inside the ship it strikes, causing tremendous damage to the ship’s systems. A ship that takes damage from a spore weapon immediately takes critical damage (note this damage as spore damage, though it functions as normal critical damage). An engineer can repair spore damage by taking an action and succeeding at an Engineering check (DC = 15 + the ship’s tier). If spore damage remains at the end of the engineering phase, the damaged system takes critical damage again (also spore damage); this damage spreads to other systems as normal if a system is wrecked. Multiple hits from a spore weapon do not have any additional effect if the ship is already subject to the effects of spore damage. Spore damage is not passed on to the crew, although there are rumors of a variant weapon that creates hostile plant creatures inside the target vessel once it has been disabled.


Source Starfinder #14: Soldiers of Brass pg. 0
A weapon with this special weapon property becomes more powerful with each successive round it strikes a target. After hitting an opposing starship, if the sustained weapon hits the same target in the subsequent round, it deals an additional die of damage for that hit. As long as the ship keeps hitting its target, the ship can continue to increase the damage dice for sustained weapons, up to a maximum number of additional dice equal to the number listed by this special property. If this weapon changes targets or misses an attack roll, it loses the bonus damage.

Tractor Beam

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 304
A weapon with this special property can generate a stable beam of gravitons, creating a tractor beam that can move other ships. In addition to dealing damage, a hit with a tractor beam prevents the target ship from moving normally. The gunner can push or pull the target ship (at a rate of 2 hexes per round, resolved at the beginning of the helm phase), or hold the target ship in place. The pilot of the targeted starship can attempt a Piloting check (DC = 15 + 1-1/2 × the tier of the firing ship) to break free of the tractor beam as her action in a round. When a tractor beam weapon is locked on to a starship, it can’t be used as a regular weapon. A tractor beam is effective only against ships of the same size as the firing ship or smaller; larger ships are unaffected by the tractor beam.

Vandal Drones

Source Alien Archive 3 pg. 61
When a weapon with this special property deals Hull Point damage to a ship, pieces of the projectile’s shrapnel animate into drones that continue to rend the target. Each successive gunnery phase, the struck starship loses the listed amount of Hull Points until the drones are either forcibly removed during the engineering phase with an Engineering check (DC 15 + 2 × the engineer’s starship’s tier) or shaken off by the pilot during the helm phase with a successful barrel roll, flip and burn, or flyby stunt. Multiple applications of this effect don’t stack; only the highest damage applies.


Source Starfinder #6: Empire of Bones pg. 49
Only tracking weapons can have the volatile special property. Such a weapon breaks apart when destroyed before its intended impact. When a volatile projectile hits a starship but a gunner succeeds at destroying the projectile with a point weapon, the volatile weapon still deals half its damage.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 305
A weapon with this special property creates a spiraling cyclone of gravitons that tears, crushes, and twists everything in its path, reducing a target ship’s speed by half and reducing its maneuverability by one step for 1d4 rounds on a hit. A ship protected by functioning shields takes no damage from a vortex weapon, but the target ship’s pilot must succeed at a Piloting check (DC = 15 + 1-1/2 × the target starship’s tier) or the hit depletes all Shield Points in that arc.