Anti-Xeno Ship Builds

Thargoid Hunting requires specialised ship builds as Thargoids have special resistances and deal special damage types that will typically cause issues on any standard combat build. As such, we have put together the following guide to help you make the correct decisions to lead you towards building the most effective vessel for hunting down alien ships. These ship builds are designed to give you a balance of firepower and survivability, while also being forgiving enough to make a few mistakes.

Build Types

Firstly, note there are two main types of Thargoid: Thargoid Scouts and Thargoid Interceptors. Since these enemies have very different mechanics and abilities, we will typically need a different type of build for each one. This guide is broken into two sections:

Thargoid Interceptor Builds

Thargoid Interceptors are very tough and powerful enemies that will require equally strong ships to be able to stand a chance in combat. Due to the incredibly high damage output of Thargoid Interceptors, there are only a handful of different styles and methods you can use effectively.

These are the most common types of builds used for Anti-Xeno Combat.

  • Fast Shielded Builds (Bi-Weave Hybrids) - Ships with good speed and small shields that regenerate quickly (Beginner)

  • Fast Shieldless Builds (Cold Orbiters) - Fast ships that use no shield and cold mechanics to evade damage (Moderate)

  • Slow Shielded Builds (Shield Tanks) - Slow ships with large shields, using reboots to regenerate shields periodically (Moderate/Advanced)

RECOMMENDED Beginner Builds

These builds all utilize shields to provide a more familiar style of combat, while also being equipped for cold orbiting techniques. If you are looking to ease into AX combat, shielded builds are recommended because of their ease of use on Cyclops and Basilisk variant Interceptors. These ships fall under two categories: Bi-Weave Hybrids, which make use of Cold Orbiting techniques but provide shields as a backup, and Shield Tanks, which rely on massive raw shield MJ to keep them alive.

Krait Mk.II (shielded)

The most commonly recommended and best all-round AX ship for anyone interested in killing Thargoids, the Krait Mk.II has enough firepower to kill the tougher interceptors while also having enough shields and hull to be able to recover from a few mistakes. A very capable AX vessel, although the shielded version can only go so far.

Type: Bi-Weave Hybrid
Speed: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Agility: ⭐⭐⭐
Shield: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Armour: ⭐⭐⭐
Firepower: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Recommendation: Best starting ship for new pilots in AX.

AX Krait Mk.II Review Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isamR6yLLMQ

Note: While this build uses Lo-Draw on the shields, Fast Charge experimental is also a great option that requires more pip management but faster recharge.


Alliance Chieftain (shielded)

The Alliance Chieftain, similar to the Krait Mk.II is a very capable AX Ship. The Chieftain has slightly lower overall firepower but is able to equip a Thermal Vent Beam laser allowing pilots to begin to learn cold orbiting techniques. Much more agile than the Krait Mk.II, this build is perfect for people looking to fly the meta shieldless Chieftain but still want the comfort of shields.

Type: Bi-Weave Hybrid
Speed: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Agility: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Shield: ⭐⭐
Armour: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Firepower: ⭐⭐⭐

Recommendation: Good upgrade path for confident pilots. More potential in the long run.

AX Chieftain Review Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipyvolMlX4E


Imperial Cutter (Shielded)

If you prefer flying large ships the Imperial Cutter is the recommended ship to go with. Out of all the large ships, the Cutter is the only one capable of effectively outrunning most Thargoid Interceptors. The Cutter relies on Prismatic shields to tank large amounts of damage. If you intend to use the Cutter, we recommend reading the Anti-Xeno Large Ship Guide.

Type: Shield Tank

Speed: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Agility: ⭐⭐
Shield: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Armour: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Firepower: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Recommendation: Different fighting style and generally very capable with weaker Interceptors. Becomes much harder for tougher variants.


RECOMMENDED Intermediate Builds

These builds are targeted at more experienced commanders, either those who have flown the above ships against Thargoids before or have prior PVP combat experience. These ships are generally more capable than the beginner builds, and are better suited for all variants of Interceptors. These builds are cold orbiters, which make use of Cold Orbiting to evade most damage and repair limpets repair hull damage sustained.

Alliance Chieftain (unshielded)

The shieldless Alliance Chieftain is the undisputed AX meta, just like the Fer-de-Lance in PVP. Providing good hull, cargo space, agility, and firepower, the Chieftain is able to effortlessly cold orbit while maintaining devastating gauss fire. Its ample hardpoints also allow for four gauss cannons in addition to a flak launcher and thermal vent beam laser. Its sister ship, the Alliance Challenger, provides more damage and hull at the cost of speed.

Type: Cold Orbiter
Speed: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Agility: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Shield:

Armour: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Firepower: ⭐⭐⭐

Recommendation: Unarguably the best ship and build style for AX combat.

AX Chieftain Review Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipyvolMlX4E


Krait Mk.II (unshielded)

A shieldless version of the beginner Krait MK.II. The shieldless Krait, while not as maneuverable as the Chieftain, provides a greater damage output. The Krait's massive power plant also allows it to idle under 20% heat, which allows for cold approaches without a heatsink or thermal vent beam.

Type: Cold Orbiter
Speed: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Agility: ⭐⭐⭐
Shield:
Armour: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Firepower: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Recommendation: A great upgrade from the shieldless build

AX Krait Mk.II Review Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isamR6yLLMQ


Advanced Builds and more

A collection of more advanced builds can be found on the Advanced Builds page.

View even more ship builds by visiting our AXI Ship Build Repository, a large collection of ship builds built by experienced AXI pilots, along with full stats, ratings, and build links.

Click Here to check out the Anti-Xeno Initiative Ship Build Repository

Many of these builds rely on advanced techniques and mechanics which are not recommended for new AX Pilots, we suggest starting with the builds above instead.

Thargoid Scout Builds

Hunting scouts is a very efficient method to increase combat rank. This is because all scouts are considered elite targets and will give the best possible experience per kill. Due to the 77% resistance to human weapons it is very inefficient to use normal weapons against them. Due to the unpredictable flight nature of scouts, we strongly recommend the use of Large Turreted Anti-Xeno Multi-Cannons as the most effective weapon for hunting scouts.

These are best suited as they are not affected by the 77% resistance, can actively stay on target with scouts and are very ammo-efficient. Keep in mind that there is a limit of 4 AX Weapons per vessel.

Extra Modules Suggested

  • Decontamination Limpet Controller (and Cargo Racks) - For when hit by caustic missiles.

  • Xeno Scanner (optional) - Lets you see scout health %.

  • Hull Reinforcements - Scouts deal phasing damage which will damage you through shields, you will require both heavy Shields AND Hull.

Ultimately, due to the simple nature of scout hunting, almost any ship can be retrofitted for the task quite easily. A simple rule of thumb is….

  • Decent Hull

  • Decent Shields

  • Lots of AX Multi-Cannons

  • Decontamination Limpets

And you’re good to go!

Click here for the Build

  • Can fit all 4x AX Multi-Cannons in large hardpoints

  • Has good angles for turreted Multi-Cannons

  • Can be fitted with large shields and boosters for worry-free farming

Click here for the Build

  • Can fit 3x AX Multi-Cannons in large hardpoints and 1x AX Multi-Cannon in a medium slot

  • Alternatively can fit 2x AX Multi-Cannons in large hardpoints, and 2x Guardian Gauss Cannons in the medium hardpoints (allows for Gauss aim practice and becomes more effective once the user is proficient with Gauss)

  • High mobility to keep targets in range or disengage.

  • Mobility allows for use of Bi-Weave shields, disengaging for shield regen.