Every unit that attacks has, aligned with it, a certain damage type. Damage types determine why riflemen do little damage to tanks, yet much more to other infantry, and why flamethrowers cause comparatively little damage to vehicles.
There are five main damage types in the game:
- High Explosive
- Cannons cause full damage to vehicles and structures and 25% damage to infantry.
- This damage type applies mostly to tanks and walkers - Avatars, Beam Cannons, Zone Troopers, and even Shock Troopers all cause cannon damage. As such, these vehicles and infantry armed with cannon type damage are best against vehicles.
- Rockets cause 75% damage to vehicles, 100% to structures, and 25% damage to infantry.
- This damage type applies to Missile Squads, Disintegrators, Stealth Tanks, and Seekers, among others. Unlike the cannon type damage, rockets can (for the most part) hit air units. When fired in clusters, they can also prove reasonably effective against infantry; mammoth tanks proving this point (although they are nowhere near as effective as a dedicated anti-infantry unit).
- Guns apply to Gun Walkers, Riflemen, and others. The gun type damage is most effective against infantry, but can also in some cases prove effective against aircraft. Gun type damage is individually quite low, but it is the fastest firing type in the game, which allows for heavy damage to an enemy over a long period of time.
- Sniper is taking the gun type to the extreme; it cannot even target structures, and is highly ineffective against everything that isn't infantry. Against infantry, however, it can one-shot-kill any infantry in the game that isn't a commando - and even then, it causes severe damage. The downside to the sniper type damage is that it often reloads slowly (in the case of snipers) and is highly specialised. Units that have the sniper type damage includes Buzzers, Commandos, Shadow Teams, and obviously Snipers.
- High Explosive is effective against both structures and infantry; this includes flamethrowers, grenades, the Devastator Warship's cannon, and the Juggernaut when using the bombard ability. Most units employing this damage type can clear out garrisons, although Juggernaughts and Devastators obviously cannot. Also included in this category are most manners of bombs - particularly from Firehawks and Vertigos. Although it causes considerably reduced damage to vehicles, in the case of bombs they simply cause a lot of damage; this can often negate the damage reduction.
Knowing a unit's strengths, therefore, is only half the battle. It is essential that players analyze where a unit is weakest, so that they can employ an imperfect yet effective counter.