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At the start of a match, you are given the option to select a Commander Chassis.

Strike Commander Guardian Commander Recon Commander Engineer Commander Campaign Commander

Your desired play style will determine which of the Commanders would suit you best. Their main differences are summarized in the following table:

Commander HP Speed Can Jump Build Power Modules
Strike High Fast No Normal Versatile
Guardian Excellent Medium No Normal Powerful
Recon Low Fast Yes Lower Light
Engineer Medium Slow No Improved Support
Campaign High Medium Module Normal All

Modules and weapons

Your Commander can be configured with a variety of Modules to better suit your play style. A Commander can be made more powerful in the middle of a round by using the 'Morph' command to gain levels. Each time you morph to a higher Commander Level, you spend metal to attach new modules.

Modules can have different costs. Morphs to a new Level have a base cost and additional cost for each module selected.

Commanders start with a Beam Laser and a radar module attached.

At Level 2, it is possible to replace your starting Weapon.

At Level 4, a second weapon (or a Special Weapon) can be added. Some weapons at this level require the use of both hands.

Each added level past level 2 gives the Commander a health boost. Commanders can morph an unlimited number of times until all possible modules are attached. Engineer Commanders will also gain additional build power with each level.

Favorite loadouts can be created and saved (up to Commander Level 6) for online play.

Experience Points (XP)


  • Each mission gives fixed XP for having completed them
  • Each bonus objective gives XP
  • If you've completed all the bonus objectives then you've got all the XP for a mission

General scaling per level

Commanders start at level 1. The number of modules and weapons increases with level. Equipping weapons and modules costs additional Metal, and upgrade time scales proportionally with Metal cost.

Commander level 1 2 3 4 5 6 +
Base Metal cost - 50 100 150 200 +50
Morph Build Power (Metal/second) - 5 7.5 10 12.5 15
Total Weapon slots 0 1 1 2 2 +0
Total Module slots 0 1 3 5 8 +3

Module types

Modules have cyan names in the unlock list. Their icon color depends on their nature.


These modules are able to be stacked up to 5 times each. Stacking them repeatedly will create a powerful Commander, even though their bonuses as quite minor. These are cyan.

This type of module is the one that should be used the most, and because of their versatility, they are useful if you intend on getting Commanders which do many things, or a single buff Commander that is fast, invisible and deals lots of damage. Some of these modules will subtract speed or HP and should be used with caution, as too many will leave the Commander a sitting duck.

Name Description Cost Strike Guardian Recon Engineer Campaign
Advanced Targeting System +7.5% range for all weapons. -1 speed. 200
Damage Booster +15% damage for all weapons. -1 speed. 150
High Density Plating +1700 HP, -2 speed. Requires Ablative Armor Plates. More effective on Guardian Commander. 400
Ablative Armor Plates +600 HP. More effective on Guardian Commander. 150
Companion Drone +1 Weak attack drone 200
Battle Drone +1 Drone with slowing laser, requires Companion Drone. 350
CarRepairer's Nanolathe +5 Buildpower. More effective on Engineer Commander. 200
High Power Servos +3 speed, -1s reload for jumpjets 200
Autorepair System +10 HP/sec, -100 HP. More effective on Strike Commander. 150


Support modules are not stackable. They can provide large expensive bonuses such as a shield, cloaking, jamming or a cloaking field. These are cyan as well.

Name Description Cost Req. level Strike Guardian Recon Engineer Campaign
Area Shield Conversion Upgrades Personal shield. Larger shield (same as Aspis)
Prevents Commander from cloaking
250 3
Cloaking Field Upgrades Radar jammer. Cloaks friendly units within 350 elmo similar to Iris
15 E/s upkeep
600 3
Field Radar Module Basic radar with 1800 elmo range. 75 1 (free) (free) (free) (free)
Lazarus Device Commander can resurrect wrecks same as Athena 400 3
Personal Cloak Cloaks the Commander. 5 E/s upkeep idle, 10 E/s moving.
Does not work with shields. Reduces movement speed by 12%.
400 3
Personal Shield Small shield with 1250 HP. No upkeep, charges at 16 HP/sec.
Prevents Commander from cloaking
300 3
Radar Jammer 500 elmo range 200 3
Jumpjets 400 elmo range, 20 sec cooldown 400 1 (free)

Weapon Boosters

These modules are expensive but give a large bonus to a few specific weapons but can only be applied once. They require a level 3 Commander. They are a space-effective way to spend a module slot, but you need to have a weapon that they affect. They are purple.

Name Description Cost Weapon Strike Guardian Recon Engineer Campaign
Disruptor Ammo Reduced direct damage by 25%. Add slow damage equal to 2× damage. 300 Shotgun
Machine gun
Light/Heavy particle beam
Flux Amplifier Improves stun duration by 2 seconds and EMP damage by 25%. 300 Lightning rifle
Multi stunner
Napalm Warhead Reduced direct damage by 25%. Increased AoE by at least 25%. Explosion sets targets on fire. 350 Riot cannon
Rocket launcher

Weapon types

There are two types of weapon, special and normal. Both weapon types are affected by the stackable range and damage modules. Weapon names are in red.


These are auto-targeting normal weapons that behave the same was as any other unit. They can be affected by weapon boosters and weapon converters given that it is the right weapon. Selecting a weapon at Level 2 has no additional cost. Adding a secondary weapon at Level 4 adds 350 to the upgrade cost. Normal weapons are all affected by stackable modules. They are red.

Name Range Reload time Damage DPS Strike Guardian Recon Engineer Campaign Notes
Beam Laser 330 144 Default weapon. Constant beam
Flamethrower 270 0.17 12.5 75 Sets units on fire for 15s (15 DPS)
Pierces units and terrain
Does more damage against larger units
Heatray 300 0.1 0–45 0–450 Damage falls off linearly with range
Heavy Particle Beam 390 3.1 800 258 * Takes the level 4 special weapon slot
Replaces all other weapons
Light Particle Beam 300 0.33 64 192
Lightning Rifle 300 1.83 220+550 120+300 EMP duration: 1s
Machine Gun 285 0.17 30 180 AoE (96)
Missile Launcher 415 1 80 80 Fast, homing projectile
Riot Cannon 285 1.8 220 122 AoE (144)
Rocket Launcher 430 3 360 120 AoE (90), Slow and unguided
Shock Rifle 600 12 1512 125 * Takes the level 4 special weapon slot
Replaces all other weapons
Shotgun 285 1.8 32×12 (384) 213

* Not available in the campaign.


Special weapons have a long reload time and must be manually aimed with the D key. Most of them are affected only by stackable modules. They are orange and can be put only in the level 4 weapon slot. Upgrade Cost: 400

Name Range Reload time Damage DPS Strike Guardian Recon Engineer Campaign Special Notes
Cluster Bomb 360 30 300×9 (2700) 90 Bomblets spread (like a shotgun)
Concussion Shell 450 25 850 34 Has Impulse (Tosses some units)
Disintegrator 200 30 2000 46.67 Directed burst of energy
Damage varies on unit size
Disruptor Bomb 450 25 210+2100 8.4+84 Slow effect, Has large AoE (256)
Hellfire Grenade 450 25 200 8 Sets an area on fire (45s, 40dps + 3s burning)
Multi-Stunner 360 25 550/800 × 16 (8800/12800) 352/512 Affected by flux amplifier. Max EMP time: 8s (upgraded: 10s)
S.L.A.M. 700 30 1512 50.4 Tactical Missile with high vertical arc

Key: EMP Damage, Slow Damage

Commander Chassis

There are different types of Commander chassis to choose for a battle.

You can configure custom Commanders based on these chassis on your user page. You must be logged in to the Zero-K website and go to My Commanders page. These custom Commanders may be selected at the beginning of the game in multiplayer matches. You will still need to upgrade them as usual, but the upgrade options will be pre-filled in to your preferences.

Common attributes

Metal Production 4 per sec Energy Production 6 per sec
Beam Range 330 HP Regen 5 per sec
Sight Distance 500 Sonar Distance 500
Radar Distance 1800 Metal/Energy Storage 500
Build Power 10 Build Power (Recon/Engineer) 8/12+
Build Range 144 Build Range (Engineer) 220+

Metal and energy production come from a unique Vanguard Economy Pack module. Any resurrected Commanders will have lost this module and produce no resources. Engineer Commanders gain additional build power and range with levels.

Chassis list

Attributes on level 1 and level 2 are equal with the exception of Engineer and Recon Commander's build power. Morphing to level 2 provides no bonus other than the weapon and module slot.

Strike Commander

Strike Commander

  • All-rounder
  • Good health and highest speed (43.5)
  • Can use the most weapon types
  • In-combat regeneration bonus on top of the base 5 HP per second
  • Carries a personal (175 elmo) radar jammer
Level 1 2 3 4 5 6
HP 4200 4200 4600 5200 5800 6400
Bonus regen. 5 8 12 16 20 25

Guardian Commander

Guardian Commander

  • Best HP
  • Medium speed (40)
  • Gains more HP from increased levels than other chassis do
  • Able to use several exotic weapons
  • Gains free Companion (light) Drones with levels
Level 1 2 3 4 5 6
HP 4400 4400 5000 5700 6600 7600
Light Drones 1 1 2 2 2 3

Recon Commander

Recon Commander

  • Lowest HP
  • Highest Speed (43.5)
  • Can Jump
  • Uses light weapons
  • Has lowest buildpower (8 instead of 10)
Level 1 2 3 4 5 6
HP 3250 3250 3400 3600 3800 4000

Engineer Commander

Engineer Commander

  • Lowest speed (36)
  • Low HP
  • Gains buildpower and small amount of build range with levels
  • Increased build range (220 + 12 per level, up to 280, compared to 144 for others)
  • Fewer direct-damage weapons
Level 1 2 3 4 5 6
HP 3800 3800 4000 4300 4600 5000
Build power 12 14 16 18 21 24

Campaign Commander

Campaign Commander

The campaign Commander is normally exclusive to the campaign. It can be used in multiplayer and skirmishes with the modoption "Allow campaign commander chassis".

  • All-rounder
  • Good health and Medium speed (40)
  • Can use any weapon or module
Level 1 2 3 4 5 6
HP 4200 4200 4600 5200 5800 6400

Exact effects of attribute modifiers

Attribute modifiers are applied in this order:

  • Commander Chassis absolute statistics
  • Percentage modifiers both from modules and chassis
  • Absolute modifiers

Percentage modifiers from Commanders and stackable modules are additive, not cumulative. Five +10% damage modules multiply a Commander's damage by 1.5 rather than by 1.1^5 = 1.61051.

Percentage modifiers from weapon boosters and converters are cumulative and applied before other percentage modifiers. Think of them as changing the intrinsic stats of the weapon rather than adding a bonus.