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The ion beam is powerful weapon able to deliver a consistent stream of damage. The only beam weapon in the game, it is highly accurate and strikes its target instantly. It is a fixed weapon, and thus cannot rotate its turret- The whole ship must rotate to aim it.
The ion beam is unique as it is a beam weapon. It deals 200 damage every 0.1 seconds. It deals 2000 damage per second against shields and parts, and 1500 against structure. It has a long range of 180, longer than most weapons in the game.
RequirementsEffective operation of the ion beam requires just over 4 crew and 5/6 of a reactor. Here is a example battery
2 doors are recommended to prevent congestion. However the crew AI will sometimes use 1 door only and it can be sufficient. You should ensure sufficient power on the ship to effectively operate the beam, or it will waste your crew.
The ion beam itself is durable. However, it has no penetration resistance. This is a big issue as any cannon shot will just sail through it, causing fires and destroying corridors in the ship interior.
The weapon has no firing arc. Shown in the example is the maximum protection you can add to the 2 wide firing arc. With such a setup, only a direct shot will damage the ion beam. Increasing the length of this protection adds additional protection, however the effectiveness of additional protection quickly diminish beyond a certain point.
One way to use its lack of a firing arc to your advantage is to put it deeper into your ship. It will decrease the range but otherwise there are no downsides.