The gunship has a very different play style from the other ships in Everspace. It's the hardest to manoeuvre but it has the highest health and armor by far. It also has two unique exclusive devices: the turret and the frontal shield.
It's definitely harder to master than the scout and interceptor and it also requires a lot of tech items before it can reach its full potential so read ahead and I'll show you how to make the most of this huge, deadly warship. The gunship has 1090 base hit points that increases to 1300 with upgrades. It also has 35% base armor that scales up to 40% with upgrades. In other words, all damage dealt to the ship is reduced by 35 to 40%. The frontal shield nullifies any damage from enemies that shoot at it which is very handy for reducing damage to the hull. There are three kinds of turrets that you can use, too: Gatling, laser, and missile. All of these are independently firing turrets that deal more damage to enemy ships but you can only use one at a time. The gunship also has the most weapon slots but you need to unlock them through upgrades and it's also the only ship that can deploy more than one drone at a time.
Gunship suggested perks
You'll want to purchase the same upgrades that I mentioned in my scout guide for the gunship: max energy, energy regen, equipment/enhancement slots, and the star map. In addition to these, you'll also want to max out your armor. After all, the key to winning with the gunship is to take the least amount of damage possible and armor is used exactly for that.
Gunship suggested enhancements
For your glyph and subroutine slots, you can always use the ancient weapon which I wrote a guide for. You can also use the Berserker glyph, a crazy glyph that makes you immune while boosting but deals damage to you if you haven't killed an enemy for 40 seconds. By the way, the Berserker glyph prevents the hull damage you take from the glyph if you are boosting and it also prevents any damage when ramming your ship! Another crazy option is Devastator, a subroutine that increases your damage by 40% but reduces your energy regen by 40%. There's also Equilibrium, a weird mod which sets your health to 50% after every jump. As long as you don't die with this mod, you can make it through the whole campaign without using any nanobots.
You also can't go wrong with hull, armor, energy, energy regen, or damage bonuses which increase the corresponding stats by 5%. Finally, there are jump repairs which repair the hull by 5% every time you jump. Handy!
Gunship loadout tips
To survive using the gunship, you need to make heavy use of your devices so I suggest picking up a turret, a frontal shield, and a time extender as soon as possible. Ideally, you should be using these devices every time you get into a fight. You should also pick up an energised boost (an item which increases your speed) in case you need to get out of a sticky situation. If you're using the Berserker glyph, you don't need an energised boost because you'll be immune while boosting away from enemies. For your last device, I suggest adaptive armor which provides a passive 10 to 20% armor and stacks with the gunship's armor for an impressive 60% armor (or even 65% with the armor subroutine). After you get the frontal shield, turret, and time extender, you'll want to upgrade them as well. You should slap on three cooldown mods unless you're having energy trouble. In that case, you can use energy consumption mods, too.
As for your weapon, I suggest a beam laser or flak cannon with three range or energy consumption mods. Range is the best mod unless you're having energy trouble as it lets you kill enemies from a faraway distance before they surround you.
Gunship gameplay tips
Don't be afraid to use your heavy missiles or three light missiles to take out smaller ships, particularly if your devices are on cooldown. If you can make fights easier, a couple missiles are well worth using because you'll probably save yourself some hull damage. You should also find as many resources like crystals, gas, processors, ore, and scrap as you can. Gas is used to make many different useful items like drones and energy injectors. Processors are needed for cooldown upgrades, crystals are used for upgrades, and scrap is needed for just about everything. If you're low on materials, you can easily end up in big trouble. My final tip is that you should always be on your toes. Because of the lack of shields, low manoeuvrability, and how many nanobots you need to repair your hull, you get punished hard whenever you slip up. It's better to be careful at all times so you never get surrounded by enemies.
I hope these tips help you make it through all six sectors with the gunship! It can certainly be hard to pilot but it can also be very fun. For instance, you can take corvettes straight on instead of having to dodge their fire all the time. If you enjoyed this guide, be sure to check out my other Everspace guides, too. Also, leave a comment below if you have any questions or tips that you'd like to share.