[PvP] Dreadnought Battle Mode Primer

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>> Adapted from the private NASA Forums version. Want to be a part of NASA and learn from the best? Click here and APPLY! <<




Hello! I noticed on these forums that we do not even have a basic primer on the dreadnought battleground. I figured we're going to need one for the new players, especially ones who have never played any dreadnought battles before.


This is my first guide, so please be easy on me. Let me know if there is anything that we need changed.


DISCLAIMER: This guide is not an exhaustive examination of the game mode. Some nuances will have to be learned by the player. This guide is only meant to be a primer on the mechanics of the game mode - to get the pilot oriented when they jump into the helm of their ship in support of their corporation's dreadnought.


Important keywords will be highlighted in DARK RED. Important points will be highlighted in BLUE.


Guide is current with Game Version: 1.3.3



  • The main objective of this game mode is simple: Damage the enemy dreadnought, which measured by its fleet points. Damage it enough to force it to retreat while protecting your own dreadnought from too much damage.
  • What are fleet points, you ask? It's like the hitpoints of the dreadnought. In battle, it's displayed on the top of your HUD, and looks like this:


There are several key indicators within this picture:

  • The fleet points indicator of our dreadnought and the enemy's dreadnought. Ideally, ours should be higher!
  • The shield strength level of both dreadnoughts. These shields absorb damage from dreadnought-launched torpedoes, main caliber shots, and flak fire from the small turrets.
  • The status of the subsystems within a dreadnought: weapon cooler, shield emitter, and command tower.
    • The function of these subsystems will be elaborated later on in this guide.

There are several ways to damage a dreadnought:

  • Taking direct damage from a dreadnought's main caliber or flak cannon. This damage will vary based on the remaining shields the dreadnought has when the shot hits.
  • Taking damage from a successful torpedo hit. This will subtract 40-60 points from the fleet points of the dreadnought per successful torpedo hit, depending on the amount of shields the dreadnought has at the time of impact.
  • Disabling a dreadnought subsystem. This will subtract a certain amount of points from the fleet points of the dreadnought depending on the subsystem disabled.
    • Disabling the command tower will subtract 150 points from the total.
    • Disabling the weapon cooler or shield emitter will subtract 50 points from the total.
    • The subsystems of a dreadnought function very similarly to Beacons. Simply get within 750m of a subsystem to initiate capture.
      • Unlike friendly Beacons, subsystems will NOT regenerate lost points when friendly ships are near.
  • Successfully planting an EM bomb on a dreadnought subsystem. This will subtract 100 points from the fleet points of the dreadnought per bomb planted, in addition to reducing the integrity of the subsystem by 50 points.
  • Killing an enemy player via any means necessary. This will subtract 15 points from the fleet points of the enemy dreadnought per player killed.
  • Destroying minor structures on the dreadnought superstructure. Examples are emitters, resonance arrays, and sensor arrays. This will subtract 10 points from the fleet points of the dreadnought per structure destroyed.
  • Destroying defensive turrets on the dreadnought superstructure. Examples are the EM turrets and missile launchers scattered throughout the dreadnought. This will subtract 3 points from the fleet points of the dreadnought per structure destroyed.
  • Destroying drones that the dreadnought sends out. This will subtract 1 point from the fleet points of the dreadnought per drone destroyed.


The Map:


The game mode takes place on a unique map, where two rail-driven dreadnoughts fly in space through a field of asteroids. The map as a whole moves, which means that stationary objects (i.e. sentry drones & healing stations) and stationary ships will drift towards the edge of the map over time.


This is how the map looks like:




  • The map is very large, with a "no-man's land" that is approximately 10,000m wide between the firing dreadnoughts.
  • There is very little cover within "no-man's land". The only cover is the asteroids, and those are very dangerous to fly near.
  • There are three subsystems that behave like the beacons in Capture The Beacon. Ours must be defended and theirs must be taken down/captured.


The map itself is full of environmental dangers. You must be very aware of the dangers present in this map, lest you carelessly slip and die on one of the sources of damage out there. Remember, dying will cost your own dreadnought 15 points, so do not die to these dangers.


There are several environmental dangers in this map that you need to be careful of:

  • FRIENDLY FIRE IS ON. Do not shoot carelessly, or else you might cost your teammate their life.
  • There are moving asteroids that do immense amounts of collision damage upon contact with your ship. Avoid these asteroids at all costs.
  • Main calibers will one-shot your ship, no matter how tanky your ship is. A good indicator of a main caliber shot is the white tracer laser that shows up a few seconds before the slugs fire. Move if you find your ship in the laser.

The lasers look like this:


  • Do not fly into the engines of a dreadnought. They will incinerate your ship in an instant.
  • Flak cannons will damage your ship for 500 white damage per shot. These cannons can be recognized by their rapid fire, glowing orange projectiles.


The Dreadnought:


There are three types of dreadnoughts that currently exist in the game - one for each faction. Each dreadnought has unique bonuses based on its side of the conflict.

  • Empire dreadnoughts have strong main calibers, but mediocre shields and weak drones. They have a 10% bonus to the damage incurred by these weapons.
  • Federation dreadnoughts have increased fleet points and slightly stronger drones, but weak main calibers and mediocre shields. They come with a 200 point bonus to fleet points.
  • Jericho dreadnoughts have increased shields, but mediocre main caliber damage and drones. They have a 10% bonus to the shield recharge rate.


Each dreadnought contains three subsystems on the superstructure:

  • The weapon cooler is located towards the bow of the dreadnought on the topside, and increases the dreadnought's main caliber damage. Disabling this removes the damage bonus conferred by the weapon cooler.
  • The shield emitter is located in the midsection of the dreadnought on the underbelly, and increases the dreadnought's shield regeneration speed. Disabling this reduces the shield regeneration bonus provided by the subsystem.
  • The command tower is located towards the aft of the dreadnought on the topside, and controls the dreadnought's drone spawning capabilities. Disabling this will remove the dreadnought's ability to spawn drones.


Each dreadnought also has an optionally built torpedo launcher and bomb rack.

  • The torpedo launcher periodically launches unguided torpedoes approximately every 60 seconds at the enemy dreadnought.
    • These torpedoes can be shot down by with main weapons, missiles, unguided JLRF torpedoes, and disintegrator shots.
    • These torpedoes cannot be taken down with a Guard's Missile Shield.
    • These torpedoes do a Thermal DoT in a 1000 meter radius. Thusly, seeing these damage ticks is a good indicator that a friendly or enemy torpedo is nearby.
    • Upon exploding, these torpedoes deal 3000 thermal damage in a 1000 meter radius, in addition to damaging the dreadnought if it is caught within the blast radius.
  • The bomb rack delivers an EM bomb every 120 seconds, which can be picked up by any friendly ship and planted on an enemy dreadnought's subsystem.
    • The EM bomb is similar to the Bomb in Detonation mode. Simply pick up the bomb, get within 750m of an enemy subsystem, and the bomb will plant itself in 10 seconds.
    • Successfully planting the bomb will give the message "Our bomb will go off in 5 seconds" on all teammates' HUDs.
    • A successful enemy bomb plant will give the message "Enemy bomb will go off in 5 seconds" on all teammates' HUDs.
    • Unlike the Bomb in Detonation mode, this bomb will not slow down your ship upon pickup.
    • The bomb cannot be dropped. Instead, the bomb will automatically explode, dealing 3000 EM damage in a 1000m radius and be permanently lost upon encountering any of the drop mechanics in Detonation.
      • This includes being killed, activation of Microwarp/EB/Cloak/Combat Reboot/Adaptive Camo, or using a Warp Gate/Wormhole Projector.


Conclusion & Acknowledgments:


That concludes the end of this primer! I hope this guide was able to orient you in your first few dreadnought battles. Best of luck out there, pilot.



I would like to acknowledge the original NASA American Dreadnought Team "Screaming Eagles" for collecting the data necessary for the formation of this guide and to have helped me with the details. Without y'all, this guide would not exist.

  • xKostyan
  • statueoflibroty
  • musclerock94
  • Papitas
  • Milfeulle
  • DocJM
  • davidgill
  • Litstorm
  • karmaa
  • RicePirateX
  • Upvote 2

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Ah, great. I've seen this already and been looking for it. I am going to link this in my corp's library if you don't mind. 

You are more than welcome to  :012j:


Didnt statue post this awhile ago?

I don't see anything like this on the Guides section LOL. Also he stole it from me if he did

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Thanks, Box of Cats!



Guide has been updated with keywords now highlighted in dark red. I felt lime green didn't contrast enough with the white background of these forums.

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Nice guide!


I still find it a shame that the map is always the same. The dreadnoughts themselves are cool (despite the gamemode being too campy for my liking) but there is little change. I feel at the very least the backgrounds could change randomly, and even the asteroids could become ice asteroids, or gas clouds that you can travel through but not see through (more cover for pushes and bomb plants). There could also be anomalies that add some randomness. Dreadnoughts also need more choice of modules that players can interact with, like the bomb.

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Thanks millan!


I always liked the idea of the battlefield changing  and having different types of objects in the middle of no man's land.


I've always also wanted to have the option to dock with the dreadnought in battle and be presented with a UI that granted manual turret aim and unique dreadnought abilities. That would be significantly more fun and would provide a more in-depth connection with the flagship of a corporation than two rail-driven AI entities.

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I don't see anything like this on the Guides section LOL. Also he stole it from me if he did

Lies and slander.


(this really is mostly Mecron's guide, I've used a couple of the images he made to explain some stuff quicker)

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This is really good info, and very well presented.


Any chance of adding some basic tactical advice; team composition, positioning, etc?

Thanks Pewtin. I might do that in my reserved posts, but that sort of planning is usually left up to the wing leader to determine.


I might state the bare essentials of a dreadnought battlegroup i.e. 1 LRF and 1 engi but that should be pretty intuitive.

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