The PC game FTL: Faster Than Light has roughly half a dozen different types of weapons. Each weapon offers different advantages and disadvantages. With one exception, crystal weapons are basically identical to lasers, except they pierce one level of shields and can’t cause fires. This makes them generally superior to lasers, especially in the early sectors where piercing a single level of shields effectively means that enemy ships don’t have shields. The following guide to crystal weapons in FTL: Faster Than Light will help you decide which of these weapons are best for your needs.
Crystal (1 Damage / 1 Power) – The Crystal is the one exception to Crystal weapons being similar to lasers. This weapon acts almost identically to a missile, except that it can’t cause fire and can’t miss. You can’t purchase it, but can find it randomly on some encounters if you are very lucky. Except that you equip it and it has a cooldown, it is identical to the shot fired from the Crystal Vengeance augmentation. It is effectively a Leto that doesn’t cost ammo. The lack of ammo actually makes it worthwhile. It is best used to damage shields or weapons of a ship that has high shields.
Crystal Burst Mark I (1 Damage (x2) / 2 Power) – This is the Crystal version of the Burst Laser Mark I. The ability to penetrate shields is particularly nice in the early sectors of the game, up until roughly sector 6. There is a second reason it looks effectiveness around that sector. That is where Defense Drones becomes common and unfortunately a shot from this weapon can be deflected by Defense Drones. Use it early in the game, but upgrade it before the final sectors, unless you have at least three of this weapon equipped. And, in fact, four equipped is a good enough offense to defeat the rebel flagship.
Crystal Burst Mark II (1 Damage (x3) / 3 Power) – The Crystal Burst Mark II is nearly identical to the Burst Laser Mark II. Like the laser version, it is good for most of the game. And, in fact, the shield penetration actually makes it valuable until basically sector 8. While pairing a Burst Laser Mark II and a beam weapon is very effective, you should not pair this with a beam weapon. It won’t break the last bubble of a shield, which means a beam weapon will have reduced effectiveness. Instead, pair this with an ion weapon in order to weaken shields and then penetrate them.
Heavy Crystal Mark I (2 Damage / 1 Power) – Except for the fact that it has a longer recharge time, the Heavy Crystal Mark I is just superior to a Heavy Pierce Mark I, because it requires less power. This will devastate enemies in sector 1 and sector 2. In later sectors, pair it with a good burst laser. A Burst Laser Mark II will remove enough shield bubbles from any shield in the game for this weapon to deal 2 damage. It is a good combination that doesn’t cost much power, especially if you equip this weapon on the Kestrel.
Heavy Crystal Mark II (4 Damage / 3 Power) – The Heavy Crystal Mark II is rather similar to the Breach Missile. It deals high damage for only 3 power. It only pierces one shield bubble instead of all shield bubbles, but it doesn’t cost ammunition. Pair this with any weapon that can remove shields, and you have an amazing combination of power. The Flak Gun II is probably the best combination because it is more likely than any other weapon to remove four levels of shields in a single attack and it has a nearly identical recharge time as the Heavy Crystal Mark II. The best part is that this weapon set only uses 6 power total.