Transports are used to rapidly move ground and sea forces around the battlefield. There are two transports: Charon and Hercules. Both are constructed at the Gunship Plant. This page is about their uses and abilities. See a different page for teleportation.
Basic Commands and Abilities
Transports can pick up and carry a single unit at a time.
Mass and Capacity
Charon can carry light units while Hercules can carry any transportable unit. Transports cannot carry air units or the ship Striders: Shogun and Reef. Light units are units below 330 mass. All Striders and Commanders are heavy, as are the following units: Jack, Minotaur, Crab, Jugglenaut, Grizzly and Cyclopse. A unit's transportability and mass can be viewed in an information window by Space+Clicking on the unit.
Laden transports have a speed penalty depending on the mass of their cargo. Transports receive no speed penalty for transporting units up to their own mass, otherwise, they have a speed modifier of
2*selfMass / (selfMass + cargoMass).
Transports can pick up any valid stationary unit, including enemies. Move your units around if enemy transports are swooping in to steal them. Transports have to physically lower themselves onto a unit to pick it up. This process can take a few seconds, depending on the target. Here are two ways to load units:
- Issue the Load command (hotkey L) to a transport to load the target unit. This command is generally available as a right-click context command. Issue an area command with Click+Drag to tell multiple transports to load a group of units
- Select a mixed selection of transports and ground units and issue the Load Selected Units command (double tap L) to have the transports load the selected units. Idle units will be loaded into the transports while units with orders will be loaded and transported to the end of their order queue.
Transports can either carefully place their cargo on the ground or they can eject it in-flight.
- Use the Unload (hotkey U) command to unload carefully. This command can be issued in an area with Click+Drag or along a line with Alt+Click+Drag.
- Use the Eject Cargo (hotkey D) command to drop transported units. This may damage the dropped units. Transports carrying bombs draw a target on the ground based on their velocity.
Transport AI can be toggled with the unit AI state toggle on transports. It has a few different aspects:
- Transports can be set to guard a factory to automatically pick up newly created units and drop them off at the end of the rally queue.
- Two queueable commands: Embark and Disembark - these commands appear on transportable land units and factories when you build your first air transport. Embark = wait for transport to pick me up. Disembark* = disembark from transport.
- Constructors have a state toggle to call for transports to ferry them between distant build tasks.
Notes and details
- Transported called by the Embark command will return to the spot where they took unit using the same path.
- Transports might skip some units because it finds it useless to transport them. It takes several things into account - distance of transport from unit, planned unit path, unit speed, transport speed, transport land times, terrain height differences - all of this is used to estimate the "benefit" of transporting given unit with air transport. Benefit = number of seconds saved by using transporter. It only transports units if benefit is higher than 5 seconds and in order of benefit (slowest units will be transported first, fast units might be ignored completely). Exception to this is the Embark command which serves as "priority" transport - units waiting with the Embark command will be served first.