- 1 Preface
- 2 Constructors
- 3 Raiders etc.
- 4 Skirmishers and Fire Support
- 5 Riots
- 6 Assaults
- 7 Artillery
- 8 Anti-Heavy and Bombs
- 9 Support and Utility
- 10 Planes
- 11 Gunships
- 12 Anti-Air (mobile and static)
- 13 Other Static Defences
- 14 Tactical Missiles
- 15 Endgame
- 16 Water maps
S Tier: I would happily make a new factory to make only this unit
A Tier: I feel good when I make this unit
B Tier: I feel OK about making this unit
C Tier: I am a bit unhappy if I have to make this unit, other factories have better options
D Tier: I am quite unhappy to make this unit
F Tier: I do not make this unit, and you should not make it either
Unclassifiable: Too weird or specialized to give a sensible grade
Ratings are for a mid-size teams game on a land map unless otherwise indicated. 1v1 ratings would be different.
Convict: Borderline S tier. Basically a combat unit in its own right, between supporting Felon and protecting its own turrets.
Welder: Also arguably S tier. Strong at all stages, although the cost is a little annoying early game.
Constable: Very good early game constructor. Fragile and inefficient in late game.
Conjurer: As a constructor it is B tier at best... but it enables some cloak shenanigans.
Weaver: Sometimes you need to build things on a hill.
Mason, Quill: Meh.
Conch: On land it is slow and expensive. Spoiler alert: it is in a different tier on water maps.
Wasp: Useless as a combat constructor, but decent at expanding if it doesn't die to Swift.
Crane: I guess expand with this if you absolutely have to... but it's pretty ass.
Funnelweb: A Tier, although its construction is less important than its shield.
Athena: Unclassifiable. Practical efficacy lies anywhere from A to F tier, depending on the vanity of the person using it.
Recon: Does not die to Placeholder. Dies a lot to Lance though. S tier if it enables expansion for you (like on Quicksilver).
Guardian: Dies to Placeholder, but at least it has HP so it's less likely to die to Lance. The free drone is quite handy, use set-target to tell it where to go and scout.
Strike: Dies to Placeholder and Lance.
Engineer: Dies to Placeholder and Lance.
Scorcher: When you need sheer DPS, accept no substitutes.
Glaive, Bandit: Throwing some of these into almost any army composition makes it better. Good screening, good DPS.
Kodachi, Pyro: Very good early game, but they lose value a lot quicker than the A tier raiders. I have a serious skill issue with both of these units.
Scythe: I also have a skill issue with this unit. At its best this is maddening. At its worst you are just punting metal. YMMV.
Dagger: Good flex-AA and has good matchups against other raiders... but this just does not have the DPS to do a lot of raider jobs, and Hover suffers for it sometimes.
Duck: Just less efficient than the other bot raiders, unless there is water involved.
Blitz: Pretty poor in low numbers outside the very early game. A big ball of these can be scary, but eventually they tend to run into something they can't stunlock and then they get mauled.
Anti-raider / Escort
Bolas: A Tier. Descending towards B tier for me recently, but it's not there yet. Of the units in this role, retains most value against non-raiders.
Venom, Archer: B Tier. Decent, but loses a lot of value when the other team is no longer making many raiders.
Flea: S Tier. Has no competition at its job.
Dart: A Tier. Maybe a generous grade, but this is surprisingly versatile. Gives vision, baits shots, sets up for Scorcher.
Puppy: A Tier. Placed in this list for lack of a better classification. If you need to deny your opponents reclaim quickly, this is the tool for the job.
Dirtbag: B Tier. S tier at inflicting EMOTIONAL DAMAGE. But if you want to attack, the Dirtbag gets in your way as much as the opposition.
Skirmishers and Fire Support
Fencer and Scalpel: Good cookie-cutter early game units.
Buoy: Beats a pretty big variety of things while taking minimal attrition.
Felon: Obviously this has the potential to be really good, but the style it fits into is pretty inflexible.
Recluse: A tier on some maps. Good damage, but a little too flimsy for my taste.
Moderator: When you are ahead this is A tier. When you are behind this is terrible.
Crab: Extremely strong if it is not countered... but everybody knows its counters.
Rogue: Really, really bad at defending itself. Decent DPS if it gets to do its thing.
Ronin: Occasionally good in the early game. Gets outscaled VERY quickly though.
Dominatrix: Overrated. You have to have a lot or they don't pose a meaningful threat, and even if you do have a lot they tend to die all at once.
Bulkhead: Fills a hole in Amph, but if you have access to any other factory it probably has a better option than this.
Reaver: Range is a bit of a liability here, but this chews up raiders quite nicely and has strong synergy with cloak/Lobster/Charon.
Mace, Ogre: Expensive, good at bullying in the early-midgame, tend to be a bit too flimsy late-game. A few of these go a long way.
Redback: Gets kited by a few too many things, and not as explosive as Reaver if it gets mobility help, so this doesn't quite make A tier. Quite strong if it gets a good fight though.
Ripper: Unexciting, but it gets the job done.
Outlaw: Does the job it is supposed to do for a shieldball.
Dante: If you need a bunch of small (maybe cloaked) units fried at a moderate distance, Dante is your guy. A bit too fragile to be used as a generic unit.
Scallop: This would probably be D tier if it wasn't in the same factory as Lobster.
Claymore: Occasionally solves problems for Hover on land. Remember that they can shoot over terraform for no particularly good reason.
Cyclops: Difficult to kill, effective against almost anything that costs more than 250 metal and enters its range. An absolute chad of a unit.
Minotaur: Has enough HP that a commitment is always required to kill it. What more do you want?
Thug: Good at protecting other units that actually do something.
Jugglenaut: Stocks definitely rising with Odin in the game. Needs to be controlled carefully.
Halberd: This is fine. Not amazing. But fine. Can spot for Lance if you don't have air, but it is rather unsubtle at that task.
Jack: In the right situation it's incredible. Otherwise it chases things and makes sad melee noises.
Grizzly: Good if you are fighting things it cleanly one-hits. Can be quite dubious otherwise.
Knight: Strong if it gets a fight it actually wants. But being slow makes that difficult.
Hermit: Decent range I guess, but 1500 HP is just not a lot. (Update for 188.8.131.52: might move up to C tier, we'll see.)
Ravager: Reasonably fast, and in theory it has good stats for its cost, but 2000 HP is a really lousy weight class against a lot of stuff.
Lance: I don't think that Lance is game breaking, but it has almost no competition in the "delete one unit at a distance" category.
Impaler: Less versatile than Lance, but peerless at prying open defences from a safe distance.
Phantom: Lance's only real competition in its role, and a very good unit in its own right.
Firewalker: Clunky, but unless you are willing to spend for Dante this is the best way to clean up small units and detect cloakers at a distance.
Sling: Reasonable early game option. Some people like to make these in bulk in the midgame, but in my experience the blob gets punished eventually.
Badger: Occasionally somebody makes this look really good. Most of the time it is the better-at-decloaking but worse-at-killing cousin of Firewalker.
Merlin: Fragile and has an unfortunate tendency towards friendly fire. Sometimes the big old missile barrage is just what you need though.
Emissary: I want to rate this higher, but it is a hard unit to make work in a Lance and Impaler world. Terraform helps a lot against Lance at least.
Tremor: Make this when faced with bad terrain (typically terraform) or sometimes against mass shields. Otherwise not worth the metal.
Anti-Heavy and Bombs
Widow: Unmatched impact for cost.
Snitch: Combined with areacloak this solves an awful lot of difficult problems. Even without a cloak you can sometimes get these to connect for big damage, if you're wily enough.
Imp: Arguably better than Snitch in the early game; the spider movetype is more useful and you can hide one under a commander. Late game you would prefer to be killing things though.
Limpet: Suffers from being in a slow and unpopular factory, but this can turn the tide of a midgame fight.
Racketeer: The safest but lowest-impact unit on the anti-heavy list.
Scorpion: This unit is NOT an assault. This unit is NOT a raider. Stop using it like one. Quite poor at defending itself if caught out of position, so don't let that happen.
Ultimatum: I can't get this to connect reliably, but when it does...
Skuttle: Incredibly unreliable. I would only build this in desperation.
Support and Utility
Lobster: From rescuing stunned units to facilitating an assault to throwing enemies in lava, the utility is endless.
Iris, Aspis: Maybe these should be S tier, but I do sometimes find that these give you a false sense of security.
Placeholder: Potentially completely broken, but its range and HP are poor enough that something generally manages to kill it.
Djinn: I get far more use out of this in a logistics role than its sneak attack applications, but either way this is quite useful once you can afford the price.
Charon: Mostly for offensive drops, but occasionally this is good in a logistics role also.
Hercules: Not a fan of most uses this gets put to, but occasionally you do need one.
Swift: Intercepts bombers, holds its own against most other air, scouts, cleans up raiders in its spare time. Defines how the game of Zero-K is played.
Likho: There are very few things this is not good against.
Owl: Knowledge is power, and Owl both gives you a lot of information and denies it to the enemy.
Thunderbird: I want to put this in S tier really badly, but it just doesn't connect as often as it used to. Of course, if the stars align this can still end a game in five seconds flat at a premium price.
Raven: Not the game-defining unit it once was, but there is nothing wrong with the Raven of today. Does the job it is designed to do.
Odin: (Speculative rating as of 184.108.40.206) Looks kind of cancerous in large teams. Probably hard to justify over Likho in small teams.
Raptor: I genuinely think this is OK, if your job is to fight Swifts and gunships with help rather than chasing down bombers. I would always have some Swifts though.
Magpie: (Speculative rating as of 220.127.116.11) Good against a range of likely early game targets, considerably weaker later. Probably best on high-wind maps to offset the large rearm cost.
Phoenix: (Updated for 18.104.22.168) Still probably the most niche bomber, but has potential to move up a tier or two now.
Sparrow: If your team has an air factory, you're much better off begging for an Owl, but sometimes you have to make do.
Revenant: I'm not terribly good with this, but it is getting popular as of late.
Nimbus: I don't know that the meta is doing this any favours at present, but it's still decent at putting on pressure.
Trident: Really quite good against planes, Swift in particular.
Harpy: The workhorse of Gunship factory.
Gnat: Niche, but if your opponent slacks on AA to protect their strider this is the punishment. Also has some early game uses.
Locust: Doesn't seem very good at the moment, but maybe it's just unpopular. I could never get this to work even when it was objectively strong, so how should I know?
Blastwing: Has an awful tendency to blow up before it does the job it is supposed to do.
Krow: (Updated for 22.214.171.124) This flying metal donation is still so bad that nothing else deserves to be in F tier alongside it. A hard counter to any hopes of winning games of Zero-K.
Anti-Air (mobile and static)
Angler: The best anti-bomber AA at anything like its price point.
Razor: Single-handedly makes Gunship a bad factory.
Ettin: A tier if you need its area of effect attack. C tier if you don't.
Crasher, Tarantula, Vandal: All quite serviceable missile-based AA. You need a really gigantic blob of Vandal which can be awkward.
Toad: In any other factory this would get built a lot more, but in Jumpfac it competes with Moderator and Jugglenaut.
Artemis: This shuts out enemy air in a way no other AA does... but it is an expensive, flimsy target.
Chainsaw: An unexciting compromise between cost and impact. It's okay.
Thresher: Static, unarmoured and short range is a pretty bad combination. Ettin is almost always better.
Flail: Below average, but not awful.
Gremlin: This disappoints me every time I build it. You get to scout and ambush with it, but its effective damage is just... really bad.
Hacksaw: Once in a blue moon you need this. You don't enjoy needing it. But you make one anyway. Even at Hacksaw's one job it is often worse than Newton once you have an army to kill the trapped unit.
Other Static Defences
Stinger: This very nearly makes it into S tier, but its matchup against Lance and Impaler in particular is just a little bit too bad. Among several other roles, Stinger props up the bad-skirmisher factories in the early to mid game.
Lotus: Boring, reliable and effective.
Picket: Mostly used to outrange Lotus these days, and sometimes you need the flex-AA aspect.
Newton: Excellent against bombers, and quite decent at defending against riots.
Faraday, Gauss: These might go into A tier if not for the "instantly blasted by Lance when they try to do something" issue.
Cerberus: A decent option to strangle out the other team when you are in a sound position. If the other team has the eco to throw tacnukes at you at will the value goes down a lot.
Stardust: Plonk this down somewhere that you expect a bunch of raiders to try to flank. Gets outranged by too many things to be a good frontline turret.
Desolator: I think the present meta doesn't favour Desolator but it's not inherently awful. Use it with terraform if you are going to use it.
Lucifer: This is a lot of metal to spend on something that dies to Impaler.
Shockley, Eos: These solve problems that nothing else in the game, short of a superweapon, can solve.
Inferno: Stop firing these at shields and other stuff it is useless against, I beg of you. Properly used this is fine.
Zeno: Throw these at armies in the late game if you have nothing better to do.
Quake: You'll know when you need this. Otherwise quite useless.
Trinity: At worst, forces single points of failure on your opponent. At its not uncommmon best, ends the game on the spot.
Paladin: For bullying your opponent around with the EMP missiles and safely getting attrition with the laser, Paladin is unmatched. Not the greatest unit in a pitched battle, though.
Zenith: The standard superweapon at the moment, mostly on the basis of its cost. You don't have to be losing a game all that badly for Zenith to be unable to save you, in my experience.
Starlight: Obviously the best superweapon, if you can afford it. It would have to be a pretty weird game for this to be better than getting a Zenith 22K metal earlier, but stranger things have happened.
Bertha: Does not end games. Can be okay on maps I do not choose to play.
Detriment: Giving this the benefit of the doubt. On the rare occasions a Detriment is in competent hands it can look pretty decent. Nevertheless, you are sinking an awful lot of metal into something that goes into enemy territory.
Disco Rave Party: I am told this is terrible now. Not sure I 100 percent buy that, but I guess I will defer to the experience of people who actually make superweapons. If it's good anywhere it is when it won't have to traverse its turret much.
Assume any water-capable unit not mentioned here has the same rating as it would on land.
Conch: The seabed tends to accumulate a lot of reclaim and Conch does not die to the artillery that typically claims reclaiming constructors. Absolutely goated. S+ tier. Better than mex.
Envoy: Very strong artillery. The matchup against Lance is a bit wonky but Envoy can win it sometimes.
Claymore: Best anti-sub damage in the game, although if tankiness is a factor you maybe want Siren instead.
Siren: Very solid escort for Envoys.
Seawolf, Duck: The premier underwater threats.
Shogun: In the late game probably better than Envoy, but even then being a single expensive target has downsides.
Scylla: This is a pretty expensive way to get a tacsilo that can't throw Shocklies... but if it blows up the opponents' entire economy, who is counting?
Urchin: Boring, reliable and effective. Unlike Lotus it can't shoot at gunships or Commander drones, which can be an issue.
Mistral: Depending on the matchup this can be A tier, but it does tend to get outscaled.
Hunter: In very small teams on very large maps (think Inculta Wet) Hunter stocks go up a lot. In the typical sea game its mobility is not so much of a strength.
Zephyr: Awful against planes, gets one-hit by Likho, sometimes manages to miss gunships too. If it is hitting then its DPS is very solid.
Cutter: Decent scout, occasionally has combat uses. Expensive enough that you can't just throw them away like Dart or Flea, though.
Reef: The guided disarm missile has interesting applications. Everything else about this unit is somewhere between "useless" and "an outright liability".
Detriment: On the one hand, there might be less to threaten this at sea. On the other hand, sea maps tend to lend themselves to superweapons that outscale Detri. Seems like a wash to me.