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The Rail Driver is a relatively inexpensive Projectile weapon with fairly long range. It accelerates projectiles with magnetic fields.
  — In-Game Description 
Rail Driver I II III IV V
Mass  45t 70t 105t 160t 240t
DPS  5 6 8 10 13
Range 2,000-4,000 m
Projectile Speed 1,000 m/s
Firing Cycle C: 0.0 / F: 0.0 / R: 3.6 / N: 1
Sound Effects
Weap fire rail 01
Weap fire rail 02
Weap fire rail 03
Weap fire rail 04
Weap fire rail 05
Weap fire rail 06
Weap fire rail 07
Weap fire rail 08
Research
Arms Lab Required I II III IV IV
Time 3m 20s 10m 1h 02m 30s
Helium-3 7,452 29,808 476,901
Antimatter 0 0 0 0 0
Build
Time 1m 30s 1m 30s 2m 30s 4m 8m
Helium-3 180 840 3,960 20,840 98,819
Antimatter 0 0 0 0 5,201
Repair 0s 0s 0s 0s 0s
Railgun

Rail Driver I, II, III, IV, and V Respectively

General

The Rail Driver is a ship projectile weapon. It is the first projectile weapon available for research.

It fires a slow moving white/blue bullet at its targets. When the bullet or slug strikes its target, it makes a heavy metallic collision sound.

Strategy and Setup

Advantages:

The main advantage to the Rail Driver is its high range, being the first high ranged weapon a beginner can unlock. This allows it to outrange. This allows you to outrange the Pulse Ray or Scatter Missile which are very common on lower tier ships.

The Rail Driver is also easy to get and use as its rather cheap to research and build and it has a very low mass which make it suitable for lower tier ships like the Pathfinder Corvette aswell.

Disadvantages:

Rail Driver projectiles are incredibly slow and since lower level players usually don't have a very high level of Iridium Magnets almost any decent pilot can dodge its projectiles easily, it also has a low DPS.

It also is useless in closer range as it has a large minimum range arc. Since the projectiles are easy to dodge aswell it is very common for players to get into this arc.

It also is replaced later on by the Gauss Driver or Gladius Driver.

Setup:

On Longbow destroyers, the Rail drivers can be used as a sniping weapon, attacking base modules outside of their turret's range. Try to equip Strafe Thrusters and outfit the maximum amount of Rail Driver and put decent armor aswell.

Harrier Frigates can also use this weapon, Strafe Thrusters are recommended and your choice of shields and armor and perferably IV or III Rail Driver. When attacking strafe away from the enemy while still facing them, allowing early game kiting.

Gallery

Trivia 

  • You get one free Harrier frigate equipped with Rail Driver I x2 at the beginning of the game as part of your first fleet.
  • VEGA's Longbow destroyers are no longer equipped with Rail Drivers, as of a patch early in Closed Beta. They are equipped with Gauss drivers which hit harder and have better range than the Rail Driver.
  • The Rail driver was once called the Railgun.



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