Why You Should Use Tether on Your Railjack

Modding Railjacks is kinda weird. Rather than having a set of abilities and mods that enhance those abilities, Railjacks go a different route. Instead, you select which ship abilities you want to use, and shove them in the required ability slot. Really, Railjack modding seems kinda complicated at first. But most Railjacks are actually built in pretty much the same way.

Not just in normal mods, but in Battle and Tactical Avionics as well.

A Limbo and his Railjack
A Limbo and his Railjack

Assuming you have space for them all.

To put it simply, there’s not actually enough modding capacity on Railjacks. You can’t fit a fully upgraded mod into every single slot. But a lot of Avionics are pretty much required. After all, especially in the more dangerous Proximas, enemy ships hit hard. Freshly built Railjacks have problems on the low Earth levels because they are so lacking in protection. You want all the armour, health and shields you can get.

And then, on top of that, you also definitely need a bunch of damage mods. For maximum killing power, especially as you reach Veil Proxima, upgraded damage for turrets, ordnance and the Forward Artillery. There’s barely enough room for quality of life mods. It’s especially annoying because I don’t get to use mods I want, like more speed, over mods I need.

You end up having to ditch the more tactical stuff.

Heck, I have a maxed out, +100 capacity reactor. I’m still lacking space and can’t fit various Avionics on. So I have blank slots. Funnily enough, I actually don’t use ANY leveled up tactical mods. The only tactical avionics I occasionally use are Battle Forge for emergency supplies, Void Cloak for Sentient missions and the occasional Death Blossom for fun.

Really though, the cooldowns are just too long on tactical avionics for them to be of any major use.

Luckily, the only real Battle Avionics you need is Tether.

Normally, people would recommend Munitions Vortex or Void Hole, but these abilities are pretty costly. Munitions Vortex in particular doesn’t have a great area of effect. This is problematic because space is, well, big. To make the most of Munitions Vortex, you generally want to use it alongside Tether or Void Hole. But then things just get costly. And you might as well just use Tether or Void Hole. Kinda defeats the point, you know?

Void Hole however is genuinely very good, but it’s also very slow and very expensive. You can use double the number of Tethers compared to Void Hole. Where Void Hole stands out is in the number of enemies it can grab, way more than Tether’s 10 maximum ships. However the damage dealt is a lot more gradual and does have a smaller radius compared to Tether. And neither will do anything to any Crew Ships that pass through.

Originally though, Void Hole was a lot harder to get. With the balance changes of early 2020 though, Void Hole was made to be just as common as Tether. You can get all these mods for pretty cheap these days.

Tether will kill most ships if you shoot it.

The way Tether works is a bit weird. The projectile you shoot doesn’t do any damage at first, it just grabs a bunch of enemies and pulls them together and away from you. This is alright for the most part, but you generally want to kill ships, not just freeze them. If you shoot the centre of the Tether though, it explodes. This explosion does a LOT of damage to ships caught in it. The damage is in fact good enough to outright destroy any ships not just caught by Tether itself, but also nearby. Even the damage of being flung into asteroids because of Tether’s pull is lethal to most ships. All this for 50 flux energy, with no help from any other Battle Avionics.

The only place Tether begins to slow down are the highest levels of the Veil Proxima. But even then, Tether will kill most ships and leave whatever is left at low health. Tether doesn’t hold quite as many enemy ships as Void Hole does, but it acts quicker and has more momentum. This also makes Tether useful for clearing some space, getting out of a dangerous situation and running for cover.

Tether’s only real downside is other players.

The upsides to Tether are great, but it has one major flaw: the centre of a launched Tether can be shot by other players in your Railjack’s turrets. Doing so will cause Tether to deal no damage. Tether also seems to do no damage if enemies shoot it, but most enemies don’t actually know to shoot the Tether and not your Railjack, so this is a minor problem at best. Still, if you are playing with others, Tether being blown up early is a major hindrance.

Apparently this is actually a bug with Tether, not an intentional downside. Allies are supposed to to be able to shoot the tether and deal damage as well, but the game currently bugs out and only registers the damage if the Railjack’s owner is the one to shoot and detonate the Tether.

For solo play, Tether is by far the best.

And considering how most of the Proximas are empty, aside from Sentient sightings and Gian point… well, most of Railjack these days is solo play.

Medic

Medic, also known as Phovos (or occasionally Dr Retvik Von Scribblesalot), writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF since she doesn't have anything better to do. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Phovos has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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