The Railjack and relevant game missions can prove troublesome to newer players, as there are a lot of possible combinations of equipment, Avionics and relevant combat tactics. But the following setup has proven fully capable of soloing even Veil Proxima missions (at least the space sections; you still have to figure out your method for dealing with the ground combat on your own).
This will cover ideal options as they are shown going left to right in the various tabs of the ship fitting screen in your Dojo. Obviously you would want all of the components and weapons to Mk III, but the lower Mark versions still work well in lower level missions until you can farm higher grade gear, and through either joining a Mk III ship crew doing Veil runs or even carefully doing Veil runs on your own with Mk II gear, you can get the top grade gear fairly quickly.
SHIELD: Vidar Shield Array Mk III. Reasoning: A quick-starting recharge and the best recharge rate available to get shields in front of your hull is more important than raw shield capacity, to help prevent special effects. Plus the Vidar variant gives up to 50 shields for every kill, which with good gunners and a lot of fighters can really improve survivability.
ENGINES; Vidar Engines Mk III. Reasoning: The Vidar engines have the best standard top speed. Not only does this also chain into the Boosted speed (not necessarily the best, but still very good), if you are piloting you cannot fire weapons while boosting (nullifying the usefulness of more boost-focused engines), so having the best available standard speed is most useful in this situation.
PLATING: Vidar Plating Mk III. Reasoning: Vidar plating has the best armor rating. Paired with a good Engineer, this vastly improves the survivability of the ship and also appears to help prevent special effects like fires. The lower max raw HP this gives is still plenty for Veil runs.
REACTOR: Lavan Reactor Mk III. Reasoning: The Lavan reactors can have an unmatched Ability Duration alongside the second best ability Strength. This has proven to be the best multipurpose setup in every possible situation
As a general rule for the turrets, the three instant Hitscan turrets (Photor, Pulsar and Talyn) are overall superior to all others in standard combat. The instant Hitscan accuracy is vital especially when considering NPC crew, which can easily be explained with the following example. Take 2 turrets, exact same firing rate, exact same damage per shot. One is instant, the other has projectiles with a travel time. Take a squad of fighters, say it takes 2 shots per fighter with either turret to kill one. With the projectile flight time one at your current distance, your crewman gets off 8 shots at a target before the first two hit it and destroy it (and that's provided the ship didn't change direction in the meantime, avoiding it). The crew (and many actual players) can't guess how many shots it will take to kill any one fighter, and just keep firing until they see the blast. Same crewmember, this time with the instant weapon: 2 shots, instant kill, and they instantly switch to the next target. The crewman with the instant gun will kill 4 ships by the time the one with the projectile cannon kills their first, wasting 75% of their firepower.
Also, for which House to go for, Zekti every single time. You will see that the other houses give a Valence damage boost in a certain element while the Zekti's give a firing rate boost...but the Zektis start with a much higher base damage anyways, nearly equal to a fully 60% valenced weapon of another house. So with their firing rate increase, Zekti weapon DPS completely surpasses everything else every time.
Now, with that out of the way:
FRONT TURRET: Zekti Photor Mk III. Reasoning: Not only is this an instant weapon, Photors have a very critical hidden strength. Compared to the original Grineer Crewships everyone knows and fought regularly in Gian Point, Corpus crewships have an additional second shield wall created by drones. This drone wall has proven invincible to artillery, ordinance, most known Avionics and turrets...but not Photors. The Photor turret is one of the only known things that can directly fire at and break the drone shield wall in under two seconds (even in Veil), allowing you to then missile down the standard shield generators, then use Forward Artillery for the kill. Otherwise you have to go through a complicated close-range dogfight or have human players circle around via Archwing to attack the drone directly, which is extremely slow and clumsy by comparison.
DORSAL/VENTRAL TURRETS: Zekti Talyn Mk III. Reasoning: Solid DPS output quite comparable to the other instants Photor and Pulsar, but with a much faster firing rate than either. NPC crew can switch instantly at any angle from one killed fighter to the next, so against lower health enemies with highly trained gunner crew these will tear through everything in sight almost faster than you can target them.
ORDINANCE: Tycho Seeker Mk III. Reasoning: Despite all the new recent additions for ordinance options, the Tycho is still far and away the best at taking out the shield generators on Veil crewships, often taking out all of them with a single missile.
- AURA: . More damage output = faster mission runs, and the Battle Mod efficiency also helps
- , , , to push your turrets as far as possible. With the above listed turrets and maxed Gunner NPC crew, this shreds everything short of Crewships QUICKLY.
- , . With the recent update dropping the amount of Artillery ammo you start with from 5 down to 2, yet you can still need to kill up to 6 crewships within a single mission, every shot must count and you don't want to be constantly going back to the forge to make ammo. With the above, if you hit and likely kill every shot you should only need to forge ammo once in a 6 crewship mission
- , , for the fastest speed possible. More speed = getting between objectives faster = faster mission completions, as well as better capability at dodging some attacks.
- , a recent update reduced the damage of the Tycho missiles so this is now required to ensure a single shot kills all of the Crewship shield generators.
- DEFENSIVE SLOT: , though this isn't particularly crucial and neither is anything else available for this slot. Countermeasures does not work against the heavy Torpedo barrages from Grineer missile platforms nor Corpus heavy command ships, and nothing else really does enough damage to matter. The other mods available for this slot simply aren't powerful enough to matter compared to your turrets and the mods for the other two slots
- OFFENSIVE SLOT: . The infamous Tether has been nerfed to near uselessness, and Particle Ram is both narrow and clumsy to use. But if you're short on energy, Shatter Burst can do quite a bit over a wide area at an economical energy price.
- SUPER SLOT: . This was astoundingly improved from the update. Now, when maxed, even against Veil fighters of every kind and level it tears through massive squads of them with ease, the only concern being the energy cost. Even with Onslaught Matrix and the Tactical avionic maxed, it still costs 139 energy per shot, so plan accordingly.
- DEFENSIVE SLOT: . Not quite as useful now that the Omni can do a to-ship warp from anywhere for yourself, but you may find this useful for forcing someone else who is being slow to get back to the ship at mission's end. Everything else that's available isn't truly necessary. You shouldn't be allowing enough inbound damage or ramsleds for Breach Quanta and Intruder Stasis to ever be needed, and Squad Renew should be a non-issue with a good crew as well
- OFFENSIVE SLOT: . The damage per shot boost is much more preferable over the heat drop from Death Blossom as you already have multiple Intrinsics and NPC crew Gunner training that reduce heat buildup enough.
- SUPER SLOT: Honestly take your pick. I went with but that was rarely ever necessary. With the Railjack update making you refill all your ammo before every mission Battle Forge is now useless, Void Cloak stops NPC gunners from firing and slows you down so you don't clear missions as fast (and isn't necessary anyways with the above setup), Flow Burn is rather pointless since Boosting is now infinite.
Obviously you want all of these maxed and can do so with enough Railjack mission runs, it more comes down to what order do you upgrade them. Intrinsics start at costing 1 point to level up level 1, but it doubles every level, eventually costing 512 points to get the final level 10. But the following are what could be considered "critical" levels that you want to try and get in each as early as possible before pushing any of them further, when you're first starting out.
TACTICAL: Level 4 for Omni Warp, unless you fit Form Up in your avionics. Ideally, level 5 to be able to deploy Necramechs (assuming you own one). One key aspect of this: if you have a good Necramech to handle all of the ground combat in Railjack missions, Railjacks can become an excellent source of Affinity training for garbage equipment you don't want to train through use; kills you or your NPC crew make while you're flying the ship give a notable bonus Affinity to everything you're wearing, even if you never fired any weapon or ability of it, even Companions.
PILOTING: Level 5 for Boosted Scavenger. Not only do you get the super speed drift from level 4, having the level 5 increased pickup radius greatly helps in collecting key gear and resources. Having derelicts show up on radar is also excellent for finding bonus loot or key mods; finding these without this radar can be very time consuming.
GUNNERY: Level 3 for Archwing Slingshot. If you are soloing missions, bringing your ship close to key ground combat objectives frequently puts your ship at high risk of Ramsled and weapons fire, you frequently don't want to get much closer than a distance of 8000 to avoid this. The Slingshot (quick-warp to the icon just in front of your forge, then turn 180 degrees to the platform) can get you a sizeable distance fast, instead of simply ejecting normally and flying the normal way the entire distance. Boarding crewships is nice, in general, but Artillery just kills them far faster.
ENGINEERING: Level 5 for Optimized Forge, which gives you the ability to craft every consumable. You could get away with level 4 which is definitely vital for crafting more Artillery Dome Charges; even with the mods listed above maxed, you're virtually guaranteed to need to craft more at least once in every Veil Grineer mission.
COMMAND: Level 5 for Third Crew Member. If soloing you need 3 crew, as fast as possible
For NPC crew, if you are running missions solo the most effective combo by far is 2 Gunners, one Engineer, and you want them fully trained to 5 points accordingly. Gunnery training for crewmembers boosts their accuracy and drops their heat buildup while firing, and gunners at the maximum level 5 with good Hitscan turrets have proven to be astoundingly lethal. The Engineer training boosts ship health repair rates and their speed at repairing special damage like fires or electrical shorts, and even full hull breaches. This greatly increases the survivability of your ship. Don't forget to give them your best available weapons in case you do get boarded (or want one On Call), but remember you can't give the same weapon to two crewmembers.
As it may not be apparent what is the best way to approach any mission while you are in mid-flight, the following is a set of general tactics for running Railjack missions. Some of this is already covered in the main Railjack pages but the information can be a bit scattered throughout different pages, so the following is a quick snapshot summary.
- Crewships cannot be killed, ever, by any turrets or Battle Avionics. Zeroing their health only temporary disables them. You must use a Forward Artillery shot or board them (typically from the aft section) and destroy their reactor to actually kill one.
- One of the resources needed to craft Artillery charges isn't typically dropped from ships, and when you first launch you will likely want to find some quickly. Before you get into range of enemy fighters quickly fly over to any asteroid formation in the area and look for the glowing yellow/orange destructable rocks. Destroying just one and collecting its drop should give you enough for crafting all the Artillery shots you'll need later.
- Crewships in the Veil frequently have shields making them immune to any damage: turrets, Artillery and abilities. Grineer ones only show up with this in the Veil (you'll notice a bright yellow glow around them), Corpus ones almost always have them. A quick test: Shoot them with a normal turret and see if you get 0s for damage numbers, if so the shield is up. There are 3 shield generators spread out on the ship which are vulnerable to damage; you need to either shoot off each generator or use a Tycho Missile MkIII to kill them usually in one shot (they may occasionally miss one, do a test fire with a turret first before wasting an artillery shot). Corpus Crewships, as mentioned above, very often have a second shield wall controlled by drones, which you have to kill first before you can even start on the standard shield.
- Grineer Crewships do not fire their main weapons or launch Ramsleds if you are further than 2500 distance away. Corpus Crewships can shoot up to 5000 (and their fired missiles if launched while you were within 5000 can fly slightly further than 5000), and may launch Ramsleds within 3000 (Corpus missions often also have the sector commander launch them as a special effect)
- Ground combat zones for the Grineer typically will not fire anything (Ship-Killer beams, Missile Battery torpedo volleys etc) past approx. 7000 range, the only known exception being a Grineer Galleon that can launch torpedoes up to 10000. They will launch Ramsleds every so often within approximately 4000 range. At the maximum Gunnery Intrinsics level the Archwing Slingshot will launch you a distance of approximately 6000.
- Corpus ground combat zones are controlled differently, there is always a commander ordering attacks of various kinds from multiple different ships or stations. Their spread can make it difficult to avoid all of the attacks other than from extreme long range, several can fire to approximately 8000 range, but many of the attacks are destroyable such as comet shards and ships
- Heavy torpedo volleys from Corpus command ships and Grineer missile batteries are not affected by the avionic, but the torpedoes can be shot with a turret.
- Do not forget about the Tactical menu, by default activated with the L key. This lets you use Tactical Avionics, temporarily change the role of an NPC Crewmember, warp to different points within your ship (and Crewmembers when your Intrinsic is maxed) and look at your current resources.
- Potential Bug on mission start: It has been seen many times if you are actively in the Pilot mount or fiddling around with the Forge, Tactical Menu or normal menus while you are in the middle of warp to a mission, the game can "hang" in the warp animation or the enemies and mission do not spawn properly and you are forced to quit. The safest solution: Once you start the warp at the nav console just stand waiting next to the Pilot mount and do not enter it until you see an Objective list show up at the upper left of your screen. Then get into the pilot seat and proceed as normal. This bug has existed for months.
Solo Mission Plan, Grineer
The below is assuming you have 3 NPC crew built and assigned as above, 2 Gunners and one Engineer, and that you are taking on a Veil mission
- Warp into the node, and get into the pilot seat when the warp completes and you see a ship kill counter show up.
- Stay AWAY from the ground zones, at minimum 9000 distance at all times. Focus only on the ships. Use turrets to kill small squads of fighters, if a large group appears use Seeker Volley.
- When Crewships show up (usually at most 3 at once, frequently only 2), try to keep at least 3000 distance away (dashing away if they spawn closer) and look for the yellow glow of a shield. If it has one, lock on and fire a Tycho missile to each one with a shield. Once you have several with no shields, back off to approx. 4000 range from all of them but in a position where they're all reasonably in your field of view. KEY NOTE: Grineer Crewships occasionally will fire a Healing bubble, which looks like a green shimmering field. This will block Artillery shots completely, even if you're inside the field firing at a crewship inside the field. However, they can be shot down and "popped" with sustained fire from any standard turret, which will likely have to be done by you as NPC gunners do not know to aim for them.
- Exit the Pilot seat, get into the Artillery. Let your NPC gunners handle fighters, also note you can still fire Battle Avionics from the Artillery slot (a new bonus from the major update). Charge up and fire dead center on the Crewships one after the other; if you have Forward Artillery at a high level or maxed you should always one-shot them with very few exceptions. Two possible tips for long-range artillery aiming: within the Settings main menu there are two different mouse sensitivity settings, one for normal play and one for while Aiming. Set a slow Aiming setting, as you can Aim with the artillery, and slower mouse movement allows for more accuracy. Also, some gaming computer mice come with additional buttons that can toggle them between several distinct movement sensitivities; drop your sensitivity as you're loading into the artillery turret. NOTE, if a Crewship fires a Healing bubble while you're in the Artillery turret, it CAN be switched to a turret of your Dorsal/Ventral type (a Talyn in this build) using your standard weapon-switch key which you could use to quickly shoot down the bubble without having to leave the artillery station and get to the pilot seat. Note, however, from the artillery position the target-snap feature on aiming from a level 10 Gunnery Intrinsics does not work, and although you can fire Tycho missiles from this mode they cannot target lock. Your chances of properly hitting a Crewship to take out shield generators in this unguided mode are nearly nonexistent, so don't try.
- Stay in the Artillery turret killing crewships as they spawn unless you run out of ammo, run out of targets, or a Crewship spawns with a shield or outside your firing angle, then leave Artillery to deal with the issue accordingly.
- Once all Crewships and fighters are dead, get to approximately 7500 range from the closest ground target and Slingshot to it.
- Clear all the ground zones one after the other, then Omni warp or Form Up back to the ship. One alternate option to this and point 6, if there are multiple ground zones quite spread apart from each other you should position your ship approximately 7500-8000 range from all of them, Slingshot to the first, then the very second its objective is cleared Omni Warp back to the ship, jump to the Slingshot and immediately launch to the next. This can greatly speed up transitions between them when you are solo.
- If needed, get to the Forge and replenish your energy, and also approach and board optional ground objective sites indicated by a white icon.
- Choose your next target.
Solo Mission Plan, Corpus
Same initial assumptions as Solo Grineer
- Warp into the node, and get into the pilot seat when you see an objective marker show up
- Do not attack or even approach any of the fighters or crewships that initially spawn.
- Dash hard at the objective to quite a close range until you see the objective change, typically a mix of killing Crewships, Security Nodes or Priority Targets. There will be ZERO mission progress until you trigger this
- If there are ground target missions some distance away from Crewships who are at an un-alerted White state (indicated by their position diamonds), DO NOT ATTACK. Deal with the ground mission and prevent their inbound damage to your ship while you're away.
- Once all viable initial ground missions (not the final one) are done, attack and kill any Crewships as needed and ideally stay further than 5000 range to reduce inbound fire. Photor down the drone wall, then Tycho Missile the ship for the shield generators, test-fire with a turret to make sure the main shield is down (it is virtually invisible compared to the Grineer ones), then Artillery.
- Once all preliminary objectives are completed and the final ground mission is indicated, DASH HARD right up to the objective, exit the ship and board the objective as fast as possible. Your ship becomes completely damage immune while you are on-board the final objective site, so don't worry about it.
- Clear the objective. Corpus final objectives prevent Omni warps and Form Up until you have cleared them and are right at the exit airlock, so you'll have to run to the exit.
- Align to, and shoot with Artillery, the weakpoints if you ran a Volatile mission
- If needed, get to the Forge and replenish your energy, and also approach and board optional ground objective sites indicated by a white icon.
- Choose your next target.
Human Squad Mission Plan, Any
The following assumes you have a full 4-man human player squad. You can adjust the following based on how many you end up with alongside your NPC crew.
- Quickly pre-plan through squad chat who will do which role, assuming you will pilot your own ship and remembering that their own Plexus setup will affect their play, not yours. The ideal default is to have one Artillery, one Gunner, one Ground. Check also if the Artillery player is used to longer-range sniping at around 6000 range.
- Warp to the mission, staying out of the pilot seat until you see an objective.
- DASH HARD to the nearest Ground site, including inside its attack range, and drop off the Ground fighter. You will be fastest if you can have people dealing with the ground and space objectives simultaneously.
- Dash back outside of the danger ranges listed above, and start dealing with the space combat as usual.
- The very instant Crewships start warping in, even if they aren't part of the objective (they are an excellent source of Affinity training), break their shields as listed above then line them up for the artillery. If your Artillery player confirmed they can snipe, line up at a prepped Crewship at 6000 range, and when you see the artillery start charging up EXIT THE PILOT SEAT. Having your mouse even slightly off center can have your ship start turning, messing up their aim. If you are out of the pilot seat, the ship will remain as dead-center as possible allowing for easy aiming. Once the shot happens, get back in and get moving again. If the Artillery player CANNOT snipe, you'll have to bite the bullet and dash in close (not too close, get to about 2000), and stay as still as possible. Don't try to turn and aim their shot for them such as onto engine nacelles, you'll likely mess them up to potentially missing entirely. Trust the shooter.
- Once a Crewship is dead, DASH in any direction to dodge fire, then line up on your next target
- Once all ships/preliminary objectives are dead, if Corpus just get to the final objective, you'll all be forced into the ground combat and the ship will be damage immune as mentioned above. If Grineer, have everyone except the pilot get to any ground missions that aren't complete but keep the pilot on the ship for destroying external radiators.
- Clear the final objectives
- Return to the ship, and choose your next target.
The above has proven very effective in every possible Railjack mission node, even when solo.