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Armor is used for the outer hull of all ships. All ships carry at least one layer of armor. PDCs get an additional 5 layers of armor for free.


in-game 5x21 example

Armor is the basic passive defense, represented in Aurora as a NxM grid of armor cells. N is the Armour Rating, represent the thickness of the armour you set in ship design. whereas M is the Armour columns, determined by the number of components the armor must cover.

Incoming fire destroys cells of armor instead of the internal components of the ship. Every larger ship needs some form of armor to survive. The most important quality for armor to have is thickness, as a ship does not need to be completely stripped of armor for damage to pass through to the internal components underneath.

Armor does not protect against Mesons and High-Powered Microwaves, nor does it help against the effects of Shock Damage.

Larger ships get thicker armor for the same percentage of armor, representing that the surface area grows slower than the internal volume of the ship. The first few levels of armor tech also benefit civilian constructions as it reduces the mass used on their single armor layer, although this gets negligible with better armor tech.

A major limitation of armor is that it may only be repaired in a shipyard or hangar.


Each type of armour in Aurora has a different strength rating per hull space (HS), as tech increases you will need less hull space dedicated to armour to meet the Armour Strength Required.

Type Conventional Duranium High Density Duranium Composite Ceramic Composite Laminate Composite Compressed Carbon Biphase Carbide Crystalline Composite Superdense Bonded Superdense Coherent Superdense Collapsium
Strength per HS 2 5 6 8 10 12 15 18 21 25 30 36 45
RP cost 250 500 2,500 5,000 10,000 20,000 40,000 80,000 150,000 300,000 600,000 1,250,000 2,500,000

Penetration Mechanics

Armor is penetrated when a column of armor is completely damaged. The way in which this damage is applied varies by the type of weapon causing it. For missiles and carronades, the penetration depth is approximately equal to the square root of the total damage. For Railguns and Particle Beams the penetration is approximately equal to the square root of twice the damage, and for Lasers the penetration is approximately equal to the square root of triple the damage.

Square-by-Square Penetration

Damage templates for different weapon types.

For most strikes, the exact pattern of damage on armor may be predicted reliably. The image at right shows the expected pattern of damage for missile and carronade strikes at left, while lasers are shown at right. A hit of a given damage will destroy all squares equal to or lower than its value. For example, a size-nine missile will destroy all squares with a value of nine or less in the template.

The pattern in which damage is applied favors the design of weapons which deliver a damage found in the central column of the template, due to those numbers representing the first penetration into an additional layer of armor. This represents the least damage required to penetrate that particular armor layer and therefore the most efficient warhead or beam strike.

For additional examples of penetration mechanics in action, see this forum post.

High-Damage Strikes

Actual armor penetration compared to the initial damage curve for lasers.

While the originally-stated penetration equations hold for lesser damage levels, the way in which damage is applied changes for higher-damage strikes. The net effect is that strikes above a certain level exceed their expected armor penetration - see the graph at right for an example using lasers.

This is due to the way damage is handled after the template definition for how damage is applied is exceeded. When the defined template is not sufficient to cover the damage applied, the squares in each column are multiplied by the difference between the max template damage and the actual damage applied. This results in a linear increase in damage rather than the slow falloff present while within the bounds of the template.

The consequence of this is that damage which would have been allocated to expanding the template at earlier levels is instead allocated straight downwards into the armor without expanding the maximum achievable strike width.

This effect is only achievable with lasers and missiles due to their high single-strike damage capability. All other player-usable weapons are incapable of delivering single-strike damage in excess of their template definition, although NPR-initiated ramming attacks will frequently max out the template and therefore over-penetrate armor.

The template definitions and their maximums for the various weapons are: