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Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 – Subfactions, Skills and Upgrades


Subfactions are a category that can be selected to provide your fleet with a different asthetic. I encourage all of you to simply make your own fleet of your favorite factions and filter through the subfactions category while in the ship-viewer. This will allow close inspection of details and pick out which one fits the theme of your fleet.

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Please note: There is no statistical advantage when it comes to choosing a subfaction, so simply choose what you think looks best and what will intimidate your enemies. The four Chaos subfactions dedicated to the worship of the Chaos gods each recieve an additional skill and upgrade to choose from. Each of the Orc subfactions also recieve and additional skill and upgrade. Because this applies to all Orc factions, I will not list them but I will list the specific Chaos ones below.

  • The Death Guard, the horrifying followers of the Plague-Father Nurgle
  • The Emperor’s Children, the seekers of perfection who answer to Slaanesh
  • The Thousand Sons, those who desire knowledge and favored servants of Tzeentch
  • The World Eaters, the murderous and bloodthirsty agents of Khorne
Emperor’s Children battlegroup of the 13th Black Crusade featuring inconography and insignia of the Chaos God Slaanesh.

“Embrace your hunger, your lust, your desire. The universe is ours for the taking!”
– Sanctifer LeVay, Cult of the Sacred Union


Skills are unique cooldowns exclusive to the flagship of your fleet. These abilities range drasticly between factions and can support a multitude of playstyles. The overall concept when picking these skills is to choose things that either augment your fleet in some capacity or make up for some inherent weakness. These abilities can be offensive in nature focusing on dealing direct damage to a area-of-effect within the battlezone to depleting the shields of all ships (friend or foe) within a large radius, to pulling micro-warp jumps. There is no skill that is inherently better than any other. All of these skills are subjective and there are far to many variables that go into situations and personal playstyles for me to recommend specfic ones. There are certain skills which may work for some factions better than others, but again players don’t always play to their factions strengths and can bring suprising compositions and strategies.

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The best skills are the ones that you find to work best for you, the faction, your playstyle and fleet. If you like doing damage, take an offensive skill. Scared of your flagship being destroyed? Take skills that focus on defense and maneuverability. Need more vision of the battlezone? Look at getting probes or some sort or a secondary scouting skill related to your faction.

Please be aware that skills can only be used by the flagship of your fleet, meaning that in order to capitalize on getting the most of your abilities, you must keep your flagship alive. These skills are not available to you if your flagship is destroyed or incapacitated in any way. Play wisely.

“To gaze into the Warp is to look into the abyss. To understand insanity itself is to become insane. Worst of all is the knowledge that while you are gazing upon it, the Warp is looking back at you and laughing.”
– Kartr Hollis, Nobilite Emissary


Upgrades differ from skills both in their application but also in terms of use. While skills are single use abilities that operate on cooldowns, upgrades are passive abilities that enhance your fleet in unique ways. This is another layer of customization to further add to your fleet and is supposed to replace the upgrade system from the previous Gothic Armada where every ship could be customized from top to bottom with stat boosts, bonuses and passives. There is one last layer of differentiation between skills and upgrades, while one can easily argue that all skills are useful in their own ways, upgrades… not so much. Let me explain.

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First we must understand that upgrades focus on different aspects of your fleet. They either apply to just the flagship, the fleet as a whole, or some specific category of ships. When comparing these upgrades to one another we must weigh the different values that come from boosting specific areas or singular ships of the fleet versus things that benefit every ship under our command. For new players I recommend that you look at fleet-wide bonuses as these don’t force you to play in a particular way (generally) and are easier to get effective use out of. When looking at upgrades that focus on the flagship, they had better be GOOD in order to justify boosting one ship up more than an entire fleet, espeically considering the flagship is a prime target for your adversary. Upgrades which focus on boosting specific categories of ships or something similiar usually lead people to building fleets which only consist of that specific category in order to maximize the bonuses that are to be had. This min-maxing strategy is common in gaming but can be jarring for new players who are simply looking to understand game mechanics first, this is not an easy game to learn. Gothic Armada 2 has a steep learning curve and is punishing for new players in the multiplayer environment, look at what is easy first then specialize.

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Please experiment for your faction and see what you like and what works best for you, you are the master of your own strategy and the person whose enjoyment matters most.

Inquisitor Phadaeus Falconet Horst of the Ordo Malleus (left) stands with the newly promoted Admiral Spire (right) observing a battlegroup passing by during the onset of the 12th Black Crusade, what would later be known as the Gothic War.

“One cannot consider the fate of a single man, nor ten, nor a hundred, nor a thousand. Billions will live and die by our actions here, and we have not the luxury to count the cost.”
– Inquisitor Kryptman

Written by The Emperor

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