|“||The Neutron Driver is a powerful projectile weapon that fires a dense cluster of neutrons with a gravimetric shockwave.||”|
|— In-Game Description|
|!THIS WEAPON CAN ONLY BE EQUIPPED ON DESTROYERS!|
|Projectile Speed||1,200 m/s|
|Unlocking (Only obtainable in event Search & Destroy and Outbreak)|
|Arms Lab Required||VII||VIII||IX|
|Time||1h 26m||4h 5m 30s||5h 54m 30s|
The Neutron driver fires a blue/white "U" shaped projectile that are difficult to dodge at high and medium range. It is exclusive to destroyers only. They have quite rare to be seen in combat.
Strategy and Setup
Neutron drivers are a high range assault weapon. It's very high projectile area of effect damage and high firepower makes it formidable in long range combat. This weapon is almost impossible to dodge when equipped with Iridium magnets.
It can be equipped with phased projectiles, Iridium Magnets or phased magnets to give it shield penetrating power or a high speed, which can gravely damage ships in tight groups. Because of the high splash damage, they can take out multiple ships in one strike. They are particularly oriented for long range combat, fighting against other destroyers or battleships at such ranges.
Low level variants of the Neutron driver can be effective in low level or mid level base combat or fleet combat because of its damage output.
They are also very effective at shooting down squadrons too because of its large splash damage, that is if they are not distracted.
Neutron drivers have a number of drawbacks, especially if compared to other weapons that have similar functionality even if they are more specialized.
For example, it is believed that Neutron drivers are suitable for attacking bases. This is not so as they have only 4,600 metres range, this amounts to 6,900 metres on destroyers. At such ranges, destroyers risk placing them into the fire of not only long range turrets like Gladius driver turrets and Vector torpedo turrets - but also SICO missile turrets which have a massive 313 damage per second as well as Arrestor beam turrets which would cripple any cruisers drawing away turret fire and make them more susceptible to the already heavy fire they are enduring, making it harder to dodge incoming SICO missiles and projectile slugs.
It can be argued that Neutron drivers make up for this sacrifice of range with its high damage output - indeed, it has high firepower output. Except, Siege drivers delivers more damage from a safer distance, being able to out range SICO missiles turrets and easier for decoy cruisers to stay out of the coverage areas from squadron wings and Arrestor beam turrets.
Impulse beam also deliver far more damage at a 70 DPS per weapon, 24 more DPS than Neutron driver IIIs and still has more slightly more range at that. Impulse beams are also lighter in mass and doesn't suffer from minimum range arcs - This grants destroyers with Impulse beam better ability to engage in fleet vs fleet combat at shorter ranges while not sacrificing anything at long range combat.
It can also be argued that Neutron drivers can make up for its disadvantages with its large splash damages. Indeed, it has a large amount of splash damage - except in both base and fleet combat, Arc missiles accomplish a far better in destroying groups of ships or modules with its unique spread and the fact that the Arc missiles can have their area of effect splash damage increased with antimatter warheads V from 500 metres to 750 metres to be greater than Neutron drivers, default, un-modifiable 500 metres. The spread of the Arc missiles can hit more modules, with up to nine modules sustaining damage per salvo in comparison than the accurate shots of the Neutron driver. Given that the length and width of a module is 1,000 metres x 1,000 metres, the 500 metres radius of splash damage is barely enough to damage adjacent modules. Arc missiles are also lighter than the Neutron driver.
In fleet combat, Neutron drivers have a very high minimum range cut off. In fact, at 3,600 metres minimum range cut off, it is the second highest minimum range in the game - second to the Siege driver. This inhibits the Neutron driver being an able weapon at medium ranges and under. Considering that they are exclusive to destroyers only, destroyers will be defenceless why enemy ships enter the minimum range. Despite the high firepower of Neutron drivers, cruisers can still easily survive incoming for a brief while they pass the thin firing arc before annihilating destroyers in the minimum range. Same can be done for frigates and cutters.
Neutron drivers are heavy, the heaviest variants can only be equipped comfortably with armor and shields on the ships such as Scythe destroyers and above. They are exclusive to destroyers only.
Ultimately, the Neutron driver is a rather poor weapon with no tailored purpose in combat. Because of this, they are rare to be seen in combat.
- The Neutron Driver was leaked 3 months ago making its appearence familiar to many when it was announced