In the advanced edition of FTL, a number of "stunning" weapons have been introduced whose primary function seems to be stunning the enemy crew for a certain number of seconds. Additionally, some basic ion weapons and others have been given a low chance of stunning enemies.

While I can see the benefit of a weapon stunning foes as a random side-effect in a situation where I am focus-firing on a shield system and am able to delay the ongoing repairs via stun, I can't find a way to justify going out of my way to purchase a weapon whose primary effect is a stun when it suffers in other ways consequently.

For example, compare the ion stunner versus the ion blast 1:

-- Ion Stunner --
Warmup Time: 10 seconds
Cost: 35 Scrap
Ion Damage: 1
100% Chance to stun for 5 seconds
Power: 1

-- Ion Blast I --
Warmup Time: 8 seconds
Cost: 30 Scrap
Ion Damage: 1 
Power: 1

The Ion Blast 1 fires 2 seconds faster. The significance is if I pair two of these up, I can easily lower any level of shielding by staggering the shots. I'm not sure I could pull that off with the stunner. Furthermore, I don't seem to get the effect of delaying a repair because if I'm doing ion damage to a system (exclusively) they can't repair anything anyway! Also I'm out slightly more scrap for my choice.

A more poignant example:

-- Stun Bomb --
Warmup Time: 17 seconds
Cost: ?? Scrap (Can someone fill me in?)
Ion Damage: 1
System Damage: 0
Crew HP Damage: 0 (Maybe 15? I've forgotten)
100% Chance of 10 second stun
Power: 1

-- Small Bomb --
Warmup Time: 13 seconds
Cost: 55 Scrap
System Damage: 2
Crew HP Damage: 30 
Low chance of Fire
Power: 1

-- Breach Bomb I --
Warmup Time: 9 seconds
Cost: 70 Scrap
System Damage: 1
Crew HP Damage: 30
100% chance of breach
Power: 1

I won't even go into the Ion Bomb which is crazy overpowered for 1 power cost. Among these three bombs, the breach bomb is generally preferable but costs more. However, both the breach bomb and the small bomb seem to have a heavy advantage over the stun bomb. They fire far faster, deal permanent system damage instead of a single point of ion, injure the crew significantly (I can't recall if the stun bomb deals 15 damage or not), and have nice side effects of a chance of fire or a certainty of a breach! I can't see why I'd want to stun crew for 10 seconds instead of those other attributes!

Am I missing some set of tactics that involve stunning the enemy crew? What is the saving grace of the stunning weapons?

  • Sometimes, you won't get a chance to get an Ion Blast. Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 21:15
  • @DoktoroReichard Well, yes, I thought it went without saying that this was addressing when you had a choice between the two. :) Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 21:16

3 Answers 3


There are some great stunning tactics that goes well when comboed up with the hazards you mentioned.

  • Set fire to a room (typically shields), wait until all the crew arrive to do repairs, then stun them all and laugh while they burn for 10 seconds.
  • The same can be done with breaching and oxygen draining.
  • Lanius naturally depletes oxygen from a room and can be subsituted. You don't even care in this case if your Lanius is also stunned since the oxygen drain effect doesn't stop.
  • Keep the enemy crew stunned while in the medbay while your hacker drone drains their health away.

Some other uses:

  • Stunning the pilot prevents a ship from jumping away.
  • Defensively stunning boarders while you vent the room of oxygen.
  • Mind control an enemy crew member to get them all to bunch up, then stun them before sending in the boarding party.
  • Oooh, stunning a pilot to prevent jumps is an excellent idea! Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 14:03
  • 2
    @BlackVegetable my personal favorite is to stun them while they are in the medbay while using the hacking drone to kill them. I almost forgot to add that one.
    – l I
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 14:14

Stunning weapons are great support in boarding situations.

Stunned crew can not fight back and can not escape to the med bay. When you stun the occupants of a room before teleporting in your boarding party, you can often take out the enemies before the boarders take any damage themself.

The stun bomb can also be used defensively when you are boarded. Stunning the invaders buys you time which you can use to get your own crew in place to repel them or you can use that time to vent the oxygen from the room which was invaded. A stun-bomb does no harm to your ship when detonated in an empty room. Even when you use it in a room with a system, it just causes temporary ion-damage which is often not that much of a problem. On the other hand, using a small- fire- or breach-bomb defensively causes significant damage to your own ship, so you would only resort to that option when you are really desperate.

  • 1
    Clever. I've found the stunning ion weapon to be irritating in boarding situations where I am targeting, say, weaponry while boarding in the shield room and then their shields pop up and everyone on both sides gets stunned in the shield room. Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 14:02
  • @BlackVegetable: But if you're boarding with Lanius (which depletes oxygen) or Rock (in a room on fire) this works beautifully, as during the "stunning truce" the enemy is forcibly (and quickly) losing HP.
    – MestreLion
    Commented Jul 8, 2023 at 6:23

Just expanding a bit on my comment and on l I's remark, stunning has a great synergy with the Lanius race:

  • When you board an enemy ship, enemy crew tends to leave the room when they're too low on HP and you have to "hunt" them down for the finishing blow. The stunning holds them still.
  • Your Lanius boarders get stunned as well, but if the room has already been depleted of oxygen, the enemy crew suffocates during the "stunning truce".
  • Lastly, the Ion Stunner comes for free in Lanius Cruiser A!

And while the same tactic can be used with Rockmen and Fire or Hacking and Medbay, both are very situational and less controllable. Lanius and Stunning is much easier to pull off.

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