Tier Lists - Factions and Ships

Like I mentioned in another thread, I'm new to the game - having purchased it during a Steam summer sale. I was pleasantly surprised by this game and I regret not paying full price sooner. It is simply fantastic.

Unfortunately, I cannot find any in-depth information about what factions and ships players consider to be the strongest and/or what the current meta is like. So, here is my attempt to solicit the opinions of those far more steeped in the game's nuances than I.

In the interests of getting conversation started, I'm providing some general questions below. Thank you in advance to anyone who wants to contribute!

  1. How would you rank each faction in terms of their overall competitiveness (1-6) and why?
  2. What ships do you think are the "strongest" for that faction and why?
  3. In general, what play style(s) appear to be dominant?

Thank you. In due time, I will contribute my own thoughts on this as I gain experience with the game.

I'll also try to edit/update this OP with the prevailing thoughts of other posters.

I can be reached in Steam for games as well.


last edited by Signum

Full disclosure: I am NOT a multiplayer guy. That said, I perused the threads from the old forums and from what I saw:

1/2: Seemed to be a tie between Tau and Chaos. Personally, I'd go with Tau moreso than Chaos (They're a bit more specialized in their role, to their benefit).
3: Imperial Navy. While they're a little unfocused, they still have enough options to adapt to most enemies.
4: Space Marines. They can actually be a bit better than the Imperial Navy, but their reliance on armor means there's a lot of really blatant counters to them.
5: Orks. They're actually quite fun, but the consensus seems to be that they're a little overcosted, and will struggle to fight a dedicated ranged army.
6: Eldar. They used to actually be quite potent, but they got nerfed all the way down to uselessness. Teleportarium boardings can happen against them whenever, they die before they can take out enemies and they are basically an auto-lose in several game types.

tau, chaos, marines, orks, imperials, eldar but there are fleet variations in them that can beat any if specialized against it
but specializing leaves them weak vs the others

demiurg, or some aircaste cruisers i prefer the cheaper one but the difference is negligible
archeon or styx, depends on the fleet, but archeon is slightly superior, slaughter is also really good if you need to chase something down
battlebarge (what did you expect?)
terror (?) the cruiser forget ork names
retribution is amazing but imps need to support its ships, an unsupported retribution is worthless but supported it can be amazing, same for mars, if it has a tank they are wonderful, dictators need lots of dictators, but if they have that they wreck
hard to say whats best for them
eldar i dont know, i dont tend to play them
but a consideration sinse i put themù at the bottom, it depends on the player
unless you are chaos slaughters or aicaste tau or maybe nova imperials a good eldarplayer is unstoppable
dont know whats their best ship tho

the detection game is really important in pvp
ai doesnt care that much but vs humans being the first to get a decent spot often makes the game
70% of the game is detection, then its just about making use of your fleets strength with that detection and avoiding your enemies strength and if possible avoiding their detection
2v2 tends to be different, dont know why but its far more often a brawl then the regular 1v1

It depends upon the mission, as some are weighted for or against certain race match ups.

Several people have mentioned Chaos as being first/second, I main Chaos and last night was sitting second on the Chaos ladder. I struggle with them against people that understand how vision works and who also know when to play aggressive against me.

I feel they are like the Master Yi in League of Legends. Deadly against those who are average at the game, but weak against those that are good. Chaos do have the ability to adapt and play many different styles. The issue, mainly in ranked, is that you can't build a Jack of all trades fleet and be very successful. You have to specialise, and if you face the "wrong" fleet or the "wrong" mission against a good player you're in trouble. You can win the first game, but it will cost you heavily, and leave you at a massive disadvantage for the next game(s).

For ships the twin Archeron, twin Devestation and a single Ironclast tends to work best for me. This build relies on the Devestations to provide a fighter screen along with augur disruption whilst using Mark of Tzeentch to keep the fleet out of vision. The Archerons are built for range and crits, with the Ironclast working as the eyes of the fleet. You're very vulnerable to an aggressive, and fast, enemy. However if you can keep their vision muted you can murder hobo their ships with the Archerons. You can also drop the Devestatons for a Desolator, built like the Archerons, and another pair of Ironclasts. This gives you a lot more raw damage, but removes your ability to control the enemies vision.

Another option is the Desolator, Styx and double Carnage build. This one is more aggressive, and with Mark of Nurlge or Slaanesh, lets you brawl quite effectively.

Or if you want to go the bomber route, a risk due to know knowing your opponents knowledge of vision or the map before the game, you can run a Styx that is supported by four Hellbringers.

last edited by Bosie
  1. (Nova) Ork.
  2. Tau. Chaos.
  3. SM, IN, Eldar.
last edited by HallBregg

Played Tau for the first time yesterday.

Their light cruiser seemed to do as much damage as a broadside from my cruiser while retaining 75 armor. Tried ramming, but 75 armor means I'm not doing enough damage despite its hit points while my face is melting and the crunch turns to my side armor against its front.

Working as intended? 😛

Seems pretty cheesy. I can see Chaos not caring at all with all their lances from 12/15k, but it seems Tau are tailor made to destroy IN (just like Orks but in a different way).

last edited by Signum

nah, unless aircaste, tau arnt that bad for imps
1 they only have homing torps while you have manual torps
dodge their probes and you are safe
with their slow speed and wide profile you can get them down to 50% before they even reach you
2 that frontal fire is all they have
if you smash into their formation allowing you to fire both broadsides you out dps them
tau require focused fire, imps mash in there and flail around them
by being in the middle of their formation with multiple ships will mean they cant focus one ship down like they should because you are bodyblocking them while imps can smash around damaging everything
3 low hp
they have low hp so a ram from them will do little damage
add that to their wide profile letting you spin them around means the first ship to ran em will get kinda screwed but will leave their ass open to the second ship, give that second ship a ramming spike and a tau cruiser will die in 15seconds or less
once you are ramming their rear they will also be unable(again they are really wide) to turn out of it keeping your ship safe from all its weapons

only real difficulty for imps vs tau is the demiurg
they need the exact opposite approach then the other tau ships so when both are in a fleet they are scary

just dont deal with tau by circling them and broadsiding, they will mess you up if you do that