Warzone weapons can be classified four different ways: targeting, type, class, and subclass.
direct – Direct-fire weapons fire projectiles that fly in a straight line at their target.
erratic direct – A VTOL bomb. Equivalent to a direct weapon for all intents and purposes.
direct homing – Direct homing weapons will fire projectiles in the direction of their target, but the projectile will "home in" on its target, i.e. it will continually adjust itself so it will still hit its target if its target moves.
indirect – Indirect weapons, better known as artillery weapons, will fire in an arc, and do not require a line-of-sight between itself and what it's shooting. With the exception of the mini-rocket array and Seraph, indirect weapons are generally used as long-range weapons. They require sensor turrets to take advantage of their long range.
The type of a weapon determines what it's effective against and what it's not effective against.
See also: Weapon damage table
anti-personnel – Anti-personnel weapons are most effective against cyborgs. They do below-average damage to tracked tanks and hard structures, and average damage to other targets. Most anti-personnel weapons can also hit VTOLs for medium damage.
Examples: machineguns, lasers
anti-tank – Anti-tank weapons are most effective against tanks. They do below-average damage to everything else, and very little damage to cyborgs and hard structures. Most anti-tank weapons do high damage, but have low HP, and so are best protected by cannons. When wielded by cyborgs, most anti-tank weapons can also hit aircraft for relatively high damage.
Examples: mini-rockets, rockets, missiles
all-rounder – Despite their name, all-rounder weapons do not do average damage to everything: they do above-average damage against tanks and structures. They do below-average damage to bunkers, and average damage to everything else. The "traditional" all-rounder weapons have high HP, making them suitable for sieging a base.
Examples: cannons, rails, Plasma Cannon
anti-structure – Anti-structure weapons do the most damage against bunkers, but a lot of damage against other structures. They do little damage against tanks and cyborgs. The bunker buster is the only anti-structure weapon in the base un-modded game of Warzone.
flamer – Flamers are very good against cyborgs and bunkers. They do good damage against most other targets, but practically no damage against hard structures. The only flamer weapons are in the flamer subclass.
artillery – Artillery-type weapons (not to be confused with artillery weapons, which don't include bombs) are like anti-personnel weapons: They do high damage to cyborgs, hovercraft, and hard structures; low damage to bunkers and tracked tanks; and moderate damage to everything else.
Examples: mortars, howitzers, bombs, all other artillery weapons, Laser Satellite Command Post
(anti-aircraft) – Anti-aircraft weapons technically have a type of "anti-tank", but they can only hit aircraft.
Examples: AA-guns, SAMs, Stormbringer
Note that just because a weapon's type does high damage to a particular target does not mean that it is suitable for that target. In particular, it would not be a good idea to use a laser satellite against a cyborg. On the other hand, Scourge Missile, while being an anti-tank weapon, can be useful for attacking unattended structures from a distance.
kinetic – Kinetic weapons are weapons that derive most of their damage from their impact. Most weapons in Warzone are kinetic.
thermal – Thermal weapons are weapons that derive most of their damage from heat or fire. On average, they do greater damage to tanks and cyborgs. New Paradigm and Super Heavy bodies have high thermal armor, while Project and Collective bodies have low thermal armor.
Examples: lasers, flamers, incendiary artillery, firebombs, Laser Satellite Command Post
Again, just because a weapon's class does higher damage to a body does not mean the weapon itself is suitable to attack a tank with that body. In particular, lasers, as anti-personnel weapons, do low damage even to Collective bodies.
Some weapons are special, and can have one or more of the following attributes:
splash damage – Weapons with splash damage will do damage to everything in the area around where it hits. The area can be large or small, depending on the weapon.
Examples: artillery-type weapons, cannons, rails, Laser Satellite Command Post
fire damage – Weapons with fire damage (more than just flamers, not to be confused with thermal weapons) will cause things they hit to catch fire and take damage over a certain amount of time.
Examples: flamers, incendiary artillery, firebombs
penetrating – Penetrating weapons will go through any units they hit and continue to hit things behind it.
Examples: flamers, rail guns
anti-air – AA weapons can only hit VTOLs in the air.
Examples: AA-guns, SAMs, Stormbringer
versatile – V weapons can hit anything, in the air or on the ground.
Examples: machineguns, Mini-Rocket Pods, rocket/missile cyborgs and aircraft (but not rocket/missile tanks), lasers (except Heavy Laser)
By far the biggest most important division between weapons is the subclasses.
Research tips: Unless otherwise specified, stronger weapons in a subclass are obtained by upgrading that subclass. Stronger weapons, as well as stronger weapon upgrades, generally require better research speed upgrades (Synaptic Link Data Analysis, Dedicated Synaptic Link Data Analysis, Neural Synapse Research Brain). Most stronger weapons require damage upgrades, although rotary weapons usually require rate-of-fire (ROF) upgrades instead.
The first weapon you get in Warzone is the Machinegun, and the Twin Machinegun and Heavy Machinegun (often called HMG) shortly thereafter. Machineguns (often called MGs) are good all-rounder weapons, but quickly get outclassed by anti-tank weapons.
The Mini-Rocket Pod, obtained by researching Fuel Injection Engine, is a good early-T1 anti-tank weapon, but it will quickly lose out to more powerful anti-tank weapons such as cannons and rockets. The Mini-Rocket Array (often called MRA) is a good complement for anti-tank weapons, best against the targets anti-tank weapons like mini-rockets and rockets are worst against, but users of Mini-Rockets will find themselves disadvantaged against a research rusher if they do not upgrade to Lancers as soon as possible.
Cannons, obtained by upgrading machinegun damage, (Light Cannon, Medium Cannon, Heavy Cannon, often abbreviated LC, MC, and HC respectively) are weapons with high HP and moderate damage against tanks and walls. VTOL cannons, unlike VTOL rockets, cannot attack other VTOLs.
The Lancer, obtained by upgrading mini-rocket damage and acccuracy, is an anti-tank weapon with low HP, high damage, and long range. Unlike the cannon, however, it is very ineffective against cyborgs and walls. VTOL lancers, unlike VTOL cannons, are effective against other VTOLs, although they do plenty of damage to ground tanks, as well.
The Bunker Buster, also obtained by upgrading mini-rocket damage and accuracy, is the only anti-structure weapon, and is generally used as a support weapon to destroy enemy defensive structures.
Flamers, obtained by upgrading machineguns and Fuel Injection Engine, have the lowest range and highest damage rate of all T1 weapons, once their incendiary effect (read: setting things on fire) is taken into account. They also do fire damage to multiple targets within range at once, making them deadly if they survive to get close to enemy tanks, cyborgs, and bunkers. However, they are usually very weak, making hit-and-run tactics surprisingly effective on them.
Although the flamer is very effective against tanks, cyborgs, and bunkers, it is extremely ineffective against walls.
Since cyborgs are inexpensive (and thus can be massed) and have high speed, flamers are best used on cyborgs.
Mortars, obtained by upgrading cannons, are artillery weapons. As artillery weapons, they have a relatively low damage rate but very long range when assigned to a sensor. They are good all-rounder weapons, but do especially high damage against cyborgs, and relatively low damage to tracked tanks. Because of their low damage rate and low HP, they do very poorly in close-ranged combat, and should be carefully protected by direct-fire weapons.
The Cluster Bombs Bay is the VTOL equivalent of an artillery weapon like the mortar. An all-rounder weapon.
The Assault Gun is useful against cyborgs, and Rotary MG Bunkers are particularly inexpensive, but they aren't as good general-purpose weapons as cannons or mortars.
The Hyper Velocity Cannon is a longer-range cannon with lower HP. It still has higher HP and lower damage than a rocket, and is similar to the T1 cannons in every other way.
Although the Hyper Velocity Cannon (often called HPV or HVC) is the only actual T2 cannon, Heavy Cannons are also very usable in T2.
The Plasma Cannon is a very slow, powerful, and decently long-range cannon. It can easily be destroyed if not supported by other units, but if it is, it is capable of doing tons of damage.
The Tank Killer is similar to a Lancer, but has a slightly longer range, higher damage rate, and a slower reload.
Ripple Rockets are the earliest very-long-range artillery players can get. It has a very slow reload time, but is devastating to enemy structures.
The Inferno is a more powerful flamer, and is used similarly.
The incendiary mortar is a twist on the generic artillery concept, for anyone who wishes to digress their mortar research into flamers.
Howitzers are mortars with significantly longer range and slower reloading. They are used similarly to mortars.
Firebombs, obtained by upgrading bombs and flamers, are useful for damaging a wide area.
Cannons are (debatably) the only T1 subclass to be usable in T3, and even the best cannon upgrades are cheaper than T3 weapon upgrades – notable to anyone who wishes to save money on research. Assault cannons are used similarly to cannons in T1, although, as assault weapons, they are better against cyborgs than their predecessors.
The Scourge Missile, obtained by upgrading rockets, is the only homing ground-to-ground and air-to-ground tank weapon (technically, lasers are also homing, but their projectiles move too quickly to make a difference). It also has the highest damage rate of any medium or long range weapon, and is tied for longest-range direct-fire ground weapon. Though it has many strenghths, it shares the weaknesses of its predecessors: Low HP and ineffectiveness against cyborgs and walls.
The Seraph Missile Array is a stronger version of Mini-Rocket Array. Archangel Missiles are stronger long-range artillery with slow reload times, similar to Ripple Rockets. Archangel Missiles have the longest range of any artillery weapon.
Rail guns, obtained by upgrading cannons, are improved, long-range versions of T1 cannons with higher HP and damage rate. They are used similarly.
Lasers are the first thermal weapon that isn't a fire weapon. They are anti-personnel, and are used similarly to machineguns at all. Although their reload time isn't nearly as fast as a rotary weapon, they still usually have faster reload times than most other weapons.
Flashlight and Pulse Laser are long-range weapons (Pulse Laser being tied with Scourge for longest-range direct-fire ground weapon). They are good general-purpose weapons.
Heavy Laser is a long-range weapon with a high damage rate. It also has significantly more HP. However, it is far heavier,
The Plasmite Flamer is an even more powerful flamer, and is used similarly to the Inferno.