Crit Mechanics

I feel like I have a pretty poor understanding of crit mechanics in this game, so if anyone can explain more about them I'd appreciate it.

Here are the things I'm pretty certain of:

-Shields must be down for crits to occur. (unless the weapon ignores shields)
-The crit chances of many weapons can be increased by Lock On (or the faction equivalent) and these crit chances appear to update accurately in the tooltips of the associated weapons.
-All systems require two crits to permanently disable.
-Losing crew causes automatic crits at each step down.

But... I see crits having other effects too, or at least I think I do based on the text popping up in game.

Sometimes crits appear to be killing crew, sometimes they appear to be doing seemingly random bonus damage (maybe a percentage of damage dealt?), and maybe they can even start fires or destroy turrets?

So what I'd like to know is:

  1. What are all of the possible results on the crit table and what are the chances of each?
  2. How much does selecting a subsystem on an enemy ship modify my chances to crit that selected system?
  3. If applicable, what are the ranges of the results on the crit table? (example: When crit damage occurs, it is between 15% and 30% of damage dealt)
  4. If applicable, when crits deal additional damage does that damage ignore armor, or is it also subject to armor damage reductions?
  5. Is it possible for crits to occur for any reason other than a weapon's crit chance proccing? I've heard people suggest that specific damage thresholds cause automatic crits, but I don't know if this is true. The tooltip on the Ancient One for the Tyranids suggests that fires are automatically caused at specific damage thresholds (but I wouldn't consider these crits).

I'll go ahead and @Charles on this one, since he seemed extremely knowledgeable and helpful the last time a thread asking advanced mechanics questions was asked.

last edited by WhiteHawke

first off shields don't need to be down as boarding teams, aircraft and weapons that bypass shields like the Necron particle whip can crit a ship with full shields. although standard weapons yeap shields need to be down.
yeap crits can also kill the crew and cause fires and occasionally take out turrets and can sometimes do what appears to be double damage although that's rare ,although i am not 100% on the chances.
1: would love to know that my self
2: due to not knowing 1 that cant be answered but remember direction is a factor if a ship is facing you and you are trying to crit the engine you will not be able to do this as you are hitting the front.

most of these i am not sure on but i will disagree with automatic cirts, no hard evidence but i have not noticed that but if you think about it 1-2 hits will probably not result in a crit unless its a ork mega cannon, but by the time the ships on 1/2 i would have expected crits from something. as for the ancient one that might be specific.

probably not the most helpful but hope you get some better answers.

last edited by Sn1percat

we don't know much about how it works in the sequel, but the first game had this mechanic for crit rolls:

"Upon damage or assault actions taken, a test is rolled to see if a critical damage will occure (Based on a percentage for weapons, and on Troop Value for assault actions). If the test is successful, another test will determine where the critical damage is set and one last test to determine if the critical damage is a destruction of the subsystem, or a "lighter" critical damage such as "Hull breach" or "Fire onboard".

Or in clear :

  1. Critical damage Test
  2. Target Test
  3. Effect of the critical damage Test

In case of a specific targeting, if the second test's result isn't the desired subsystem, the test is rerolled, which raises the odds of hitting the desired subsystem. In case the second test doesn't hit the desired subssytem, it is the second test that is taken into account.

CAUTION : Inspite the way critical damages are determined, a hull breach or fire onboard do not have specific effects depending on the target hit."

I believe hull breaches (fixed amount of hull damage) got replaced by the bonus damage, which should be armor- and brace ignoring (I have not tested that). the bonus damage is the same as the raw weapon damage.

the first game had you lose a turret for every 100 hull points. if you ram two ships against eachother, or use damage skills, you can see that there are crits happening due to hull loss thresholds. these are only minor stuff and no subsystem damage. you can use the orb skill or a damage cloud to confirm this.

afaik the facing changes means that generators and engines can not be critted by weapons from the front. the deck is save from behind and the same is true for weapons depending if they are counted as frontal or side weapons.

last edited by Fosil

@fosil Thanks for the info, I had never considered that the angle of the shot might impact what locations can be hit with a crit.

As to losing turrets and fires, I have a feeling these aren't related to crit chance in any way, but just based on hull points lost as you suggested. The tooltip for the ancient one says that it gets a fire for every 600 hull points lost, instead of every 200 like normal, so that's probably the only mechanic that's causing this I'm guessing?

Good idea on testing with the orb skill. I'm going to try to do some testing and see what I can figure out.

@Sn1percat Good point on the shield piercing weapons. I'll update my post.

In regards to the troop level crits, I believe the first tier is a temporary crit and second is a permanent and if you are focusing on a sub system, that sub system takes the crit.

@ezycompany101 you get one light crit for the first layer, two light crits for the second layer and three light crits for hulking (which are not spread randomly over subsystems even without a subsystem focus. you always get a perm with two light crits before another subsystem is damaged).

@WhiteHawke: I believe fires, losing turrets and crew damage can either happen as a weapon crit effect or at fixed hull thresholds. I think @Solaire once told me that the wrecking ball nid skill can crit too, but afaik most damage skills have no crit chance. are you aware of the different crit-reduction ship-classes have?

last edited by Fosil

@fosil I had forgotten about them, but I remember when they were listed in patch. The larger ships had a very high reduction, but I would have forgotten that for my testing if you hadn't brought it up.

After a couple of hours of testing today I learned some interesting things.

  1. Crits that don't destroy a sub-system just make a weapon deal true damage, ignoring armor. They never make it do any more damage than it could have done against a 0 armor target.
  2. Crits do not cause fires, lost crew, or turrets being destroyed. All of these events have a chance to occur when a ship crosses a 200 HP threshold. Very conveniently, each ships health bar is divided up into 200 hp thresholds. So if you see you are about to lose 1 full bar of health, you should be ready for one of these 3 things to randomly happen - but they are not required to happen. I would estimate that they have at least a 50% chance to occur, and probably greater than that. The amount of crew and turret lost are slightly random, seemingly ranging between 1-2 crew and 1-3 turrets (not positive on this part). I never saw more than 1 fire start when this threshold was crossed.
    -We did notice some rounding errors occur with these fires, where sometimes a fire would start when a ship went from 399 to some lower number, crossing the 400 threshold at the wrong time. We also saw a 0 health ship on one occasion due to rounding errors.
    -At <200 health, we occasionally saw fires when no known threshold was crossed. We don't know what caused these very low health fires.
  3. A system (at least weapons) can be immediately red-crit with a single hit. I had thought that systems had to be hit with a minor crit first, but this is not the case.
  4. Some systems are absolutely only able to be crit from specific sides as @Sn1percat suggested. Some examples and additional info:
    -Imperial broadsides can't be crit by shots that hit the other side of the ship.
    -Every ship we tested with required shots from the rear or at least the side to crit the engine - shots from the front never could.
    -Some ships are just lying very directly about their weapon configuration - we thought the Necron Scythe Harrower would be a good ship to test with since it claims to have 8 Lightning Arc Battery Weapons that are all facing broadsides, but it turns out all of these weapons seem to be facing both broadsides simultaneously (they can all fire on enemies on both sides) - and all of them can be destroyed by crits to either side.
    -Decks may also be subject to these rules for some races, but for Drukhari at least the decks could be crit from all sides.
last edited by WhiteHawke

The necron weapon configs proved puzzling to me. 180/180 degrees firing arcs would mean that dead center all of them can shoot the same target. Something to test out.


  1. does it ignore braced too and do you get the full damage as a bonus on top of the reduced damage (so that a hit does damage twice) or does it nothing for armor-ignoring eldar torpedos and is mostly relevant against high armor ships?
  2. the document linked by ashardalon claims, that if you fire at a ship section without any remaining subsystem, you can cause fires. that could explain the low health fires.
  3. are you sure you did not have two crits in a short time and the UI messed up. you can confirm that with single shot high damage ork escorts.
  4. the locational crit damage system is very messy, because it is never explained in-game.
last edited by Fosil

@tr3iz Our test firing targets were definitely not dead center. They were very far to one broadside (we chose that ship because we were trying to knock out its broadside weapons by firing as directly as we could at them).


  1. I totally forgot to test braced. 😞 When my friend gets back online we'll figure it out.

  2. Good point on the low health fires.

  3. Impossible, I was testing by using Space Marine Bombardment Cannons, keeping all of my units on hold fire and only firing one at a time. You can see an example of my tests in the thread I posted about Debris earlier today.

  4. Yes - my analysis of this would be that each weapon on each ship has arcs defined where it can be destroyed from - because Eldar and Imperial didn't seem to work the same. So basically you'd have to test every single ship and every single system in the game to know for sure. 😞

it does full damage, including ignoring braced
it does not add the full damage, it just ignores all damage reduction
as its a type of minor crit it can also be triggered if you do 200 hull damage for example making the tyranid wrecking ball do its full 400 damage

fires, collateral damage(crew damage), turret destroyed and full damage are minor crits, you can do minor crits with weapons even if there are systems to crit

weapons have a 1in4 chance to get insta red critted
this only counts for weapons tho

everything can be critted from the side
engines, generators and deck from the back
deck and possibly generator from the front
turreted weapons can be critted from everywhere

last edited by Ashardalon

@Ashardalon I never tested the occurence of minor crits beyond doing hull damage through skills and ramming. but should'nt @WhiteHawke have seen more minor crits, if it is one possible roll for all weapon crits.

the bonus damage system gives AP weapons the short stick.

last edited by Fosil

Looking at it from another point of view, most of AP weapons are lance type weapons, which have a higher crit chance, meaning they will deal armor-ignoring damage more often.

So it's kinda fitting.

@ahriman ignoring accuracy penalties, the basic dps ratio between macros and lances is around 1:2 - 1:3 in favor of macros. the higher crit-chance for lances is in most cases only closing the gap regarding crits per time.

@ashardalon Thanks for all the information! I do think that calling these "every 200 health lost" events "minor crits" is a bit deceptive, because they have almost nothing to do with crit chance or crit resistance. They might only do so as you said when there is nothing else left to crit.

@Fosil I think there is essentially no chance that the fire/turret lost/crew lost events can be caused on every crit role. They were hyper infrequent (saw ~3 in 2 two hours) and only against ships with almost 0 health remaining.

sorry if my english is bad
i meant the 200 hp loss causes a minor crit aka fire, turret destroyed, collateral damage and in exceptional cases full damage
and they can be caused if there are other things to crit
its a chance with every crit roll to get a minor crit
i only call them minor crits because system crits are so more game changing, kannon full damage crits doing their full 144 damage do seem like more then a minor thing but its nothing compared to losing your engines

as a nid main i have looked at crits a lot trying to make pyroacid work, as pyroacid only causes a extra fire on full damage and collateral damage, not on turret destroyed, fire and system crits
maybe you just got lucky