Sunrider Mask of Arcadius: Weapon Upgrade Guide

Outlines the most efficient upgrades to energy and damage for all your main weapons – i.e. how to get the most bang for your buck.


The research lab in Sunrider has a ton of options, and it’s not always clear which weapon upgrades are the best or most cost-efficient. This guide aims to help by using hard calculations to pinpoint key jumps in power – mostly the cheapest ways to fire multiple times in one turn, or what damage is required to 1-shot or 2-shot enemies.

Note that this guide assumes the player always has Full Forward active.

The Sunrider is your most versatile unit, capable of pounding enemy capital ships with its Kinetics or shooting down enemies at long range with Lasers. For the most part, you’ll probably stick to Kinetics; however, the first Laser upgrade is very cheap, and the first side mission (if you chose Destroy PACT Outpost) brings you to just enough money to upgrade BOTH Sunrider’s and Black Jack’s Lasers, making the Pirate Base mission right afterward much easier.

Lasers x2
Energy Generator Mk3 (110 Energy): $480
Laser Energy Cost Mk4 (-54 Energy): $604
Total: $1084

Kinetics x2
Energy Generator Mk5 (120 Energy): $1420
Kinetic Energy Cost Mk4 (-59 Energy): $700
Total: $2120 ($1640 with previous upgrade)

2-Shot PACT Cruisers
Kinetic Damage Mk2 (420 Damage): $105

4-Shot PACT Assault Carriers
Kinetic Damage Mk4 (460 Damage): $518 ($413 with previous upgrade)

Thanks to Short Range Warp, Sunrider doesn’t really need accuracy. You’ll want to add a few points before the first Escort mission, when you don’t have Warp yet and lack sources of heavy damage besides Sunrider.

Black Jack
The Black Jack’s main weapons are it’s Lasers. In the early game, it will also use its Assault / Melee to counter close-range ryders and finish off critically damaged ships; but later that role will be taken by Phoenix, leaving Black Jack free to unleash shining death rays with impunity. Thanks to Lasers’ cheap upgrades, it can easily attain the highest DPS among all your units.

Lasers x2
Energy Generator Mk3 (110 Energy): $480
Laser Energy Cost Mk4 (-54 Energy): $604
Total: $1084

1-Shot PACT Mooks
Laser Damage Mk4 (260 damage): $399

Lasers x3
Energy Generator Mk4 (115 Energy): $872
Laser Energy Cost Mk7 (-38 Energy): $4124
Total: $4996 ($3912 with previous upgrade)

1-Shot PACT Missile Frigates & Bombers
Laser Damage Mk8 (340 damage): $1750 ($1351 with previous upgrade)

1-Shot PACT Supports
Laser Damage Mk10 (380 damage): $3180 ($1430 with previous upgrade)

Lasers x4
Energy Generator Mk8 (135 Energy): $4762
Laser Energy Cost Mk8 (-33 Energy): $7522
Total: $12,284 ($7289 with previous upgrade)

4-Shot PACT Assault Carriers
Laser Damage Mk13 (440 damage): $7369 ($4189 with previous upgrade)

Accuracy is moderately important for Black Jack to allow it to reliably hit backline enemies, but Lasers are already pretty accurate so a few points should be sufficient.

The Seraphim does one thing – deal Kinetic damage with high accuracy.

1-Shot PACT Missile Frigates & Bombers
Kinetic Damage Mk3 (345 damage): $240

1-Shot PACT Supports
Kinetic Damage Mk5 (390 damage): $710 ($470 with previous upgrade)

Kinetic x2
Energy Generator Mk7 (130 Energy): $3260
Kinetic Energy Cost Mk8 (-64 Energy): $7522
Total: $10,782

2-Shot PACT Battleships with Awaken
Kinetic Damage Mk7 (435 damage): $1629 ($919 with previous upgrade)

2-Shot PACT Assault Carriers with Awaken
Kinetic Damage Mk11 (525 damage): $6957 ($5328 with previous upgrade)

Since Seraphim will often be shooting backline or otherwise distant enemies, it needs all the accuracy you can give it. Fortunately the accuracy upgrades are fairly cheap and effective.

The Paladin deals very high Kinetic damage but lacks Seraphim’s accuracy or Sunrider’s mobility, making it purely a short-mid range capital ship killer.

Kinetic x2
Energy Generator Mk3 (110 Energy): $480
Kinetic Energy Cost Mk3 (-54 Energy): $300
Total: $780

2-Shot PACT Cruisers
Kinetic Damage Mk2 (420 damage): $105

Kinetic x3
Energy Generator Mk8 (135 Energy): $4762
Kinetic Energy Cost Mk6 (-45 Energy): $3100
Total: $7862 ($7082 with previous upgrade)

3-Shot PACT Battleships
Kinetic Damage Mk6 (500 damage): $1509 ($1404 with previous upgrade)

Paladin definitely needs accuracy upgrades to enhance its short range. Unfortunately its upgrades aren’t very efficient, so be careful of spending too much.

The Phoenix lacks specific upgrade thresholds because at least part of its Energy each turn will be spent on movement; approaching enemy ryders for Assault / Melee, then retreating back to shield / flak coverage. Focus on Energy upgrades in multiples of 10 or 20; I did well with 120 Energy in the midgame and 140 in the late game.

Damage does not need to be upgraded at all. Phoenix can already 1-shot standard ryders with Melee and Elites with Gravity + Melee; and Assault doesn’t significantly benefit from upgrades in the first place.

Accuracy could use a point or two; since Phoenix’s Melee hits twice, it’s base accuracy of 95% vs Elites will miss a hit more often than you’d think.

Missiles and Defenses
While this guide is specifically about weapon upgrades, I figure I should at least mention the other areas competing for your hard-earned money.

Personally, I don’t use missiles much and don’t think they’re worth upgrading. If I do need a bit of extra damage in a pinch, the default missiles work fine. However, it’s worth noting that the Sunrider can acquire two high-damage rockets for just $300 each. I haven’t tried them, but that’s a fairly low price for basically an extra nearly dead Battleship per battle if you can spare the necessary Flak Off.

Hull Health
The first couple upgrades of this are cheap, so if you’re having trouble it might be worth it to grab some extra HP on your front line damage dealers – especially Phoenix.

A lot of people recommend buying the Sunrider’s shield and upgrading all three shields to give 100% protection. THIS IS NOT NECESSARY. The basic 70% shield from Liberty + Bianca already reduces incoming Lasers to mere scratch damage; there’s no need to spend $2500 for a third shield that won’t even cover all of your units. Furthermore, once you get the perfect shield the enemy Cruisers will stop shooting you with ineffective Lasers and get close enough to slam you with their powerful Kinetics. DO get the range upgrades for Liberty and Bianca though.

The enemies in this game love to use missiles, so flak is very important. If you’re having trouble surviving missile spam, consider upgrading some or all of your flak units; $500 each isn’t cheap, but it’s not expensive either. Flak upgrades increase in cost exponentially, so stacking more than one on a single unit is not recommended.

Possibly worth getting on Phoenix and maybe Black Jack if enemies wind up focusing them a lot. Stick to one or two points; anything more is exponentially more expensive. Personally I never bought any; my Phoenix didn’t draw much aggro and my Black Jack survived what little got through my shields and flak pretty well.

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Post Author: Robins Chew

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