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Video Game / Dreadnought

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Warp drive is spinning up! We'll find you a battle, Captain.

Dreadnought is a Free-2-Play online space combat simulator done in the style of third-person vehicular shooter, made by Yager Development, and published by Grey Box. After a few years in both closed and open betas, it finally was released for PC and PS4 on December 5, 2017.

The player is a mercenary captain taking command of a spaceship for glory and profit, waging battles against rival captains throughout a heavily-terraformed Solar System. Even the smallest player-controlled ship dwarfs the skyscrapers and asteroids they maneuver past, and the large scale of every conflict gives Dreadnought a unique niche among space sims.



  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Inverted. The Transhumans were a race of artificial intelligences created to rescue humanity from a dark age, and... it worked spectacularly. Not only did the Transhumans fix Earth's ecosystem and ensure peace by building utopias for their masters, they also went further and terraformed Mars, Venus, and dozens of moons into lush, habitable worlds for humanity. However, when the Transhumans reached Neptune and declared their intention of creating their own society, humanity declared war on them immediately and ravaged their own solar system in the conflict. Rather than eliminate their inferior foes, the Transhumans left the Solar System, and a few centuries of decline gave humankind the chance to realize their folly.
  • Benevolent Precursors: Played With heavily. Transhuman technology terraformed entire worlds into paradises and lifted humanity out of its dark age, but Transhumans were Benevolent A.I. developed by humans. After they departed the solar system, humankind struggles to reverse-engineer Transhuman artifacts and find where the AI left to, and it's implied a fair portion of humanity (The Oberon Corporation in particular) have even embraced Machine Worship of their own creation.
  • Bigger Is Better:
    • The reveal trailer evokes this. The tactical bombers that would be player ships in a space sim are accidentally run down by the massive spaceship that the player actually gets to pilot, and the communications officer even quips that they appear to have hit some debris on the way in.
    • Akula Vektor ships run with this idea, both in gameplay and aesthetics. Their ships are built bulky and bulbous like naval battleships, and they're far larger and tougher than other ships in their category. To put this in perspective, the AV Destroyers are nearly the same size as other manufacturer's dreadnoughts.
  • BFG: Bix, your tutorial helper, describes Artillery Cruisers as "a very big gun strapped to an engine," and he is not kidding. The Akula Vektor series of Artillery ships take this to the extreme; the barrel of their railgun runs the full length of a kilometer-long vessel, and the command tower looks like it was bolted onto the side as an afterthought.
  • Bling of War: Hero Ships add quite a few unique cosmetic features for their ships, such as a bow shaped like a shark's head to armatures resembling a bird's wings and more. Additionally, the Karat Syndicate coating gives your ships a slick onyx and shiny gold finish.
  • Character Class System: Despite being spaceships, vessels fall into easily recognizable classes: Dreadnoughts are slow, durable tanks, Destroyers are medium-range, Jack-of-All-Stats warriors, Artillery Cruisers are snipers, Tactical Cruisers are healers and support casters, Corvettes are backstabbing rogues.
  • Combat Medic: The Tactical Cruiser can heal friendly ships and damage enemies.
  • Cool Ship: The entire game's premise.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The 2014 teaser trailer would have you believe the game is about the pilots of the fighter craft. Then at the 50 second mark the Dreadnought warps in right behind them...
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Despite how impressive they look, the Ram Series and Assault Blink modules are quite difficult to use in game, considering you're trying to use a massive battleship as a melee weapon when everything has lasers and missiles. Between closing in through enemy fire from kilometers away and battling the game's finicky hitbox system, your blaze of glory can easily end with a death screen and no kills for your effort. However, investing in the right mobility modules and briefings and learning to target distracted or immobile players means you can quickly plow through any medium ships and quickly shoot down any light enemies, then escape heavy enemies before they can properly retaliate.
  • The Dreaded Dreadnought: Sure enough, one of the available ship classes is labeled as "Dreadnought" and it's one of the biggest.
  • Drone Deployer: Tactical Cruisers, and to a lesser extent Dreadnoughts, gain access to deployable pods and drones for a variety of effects, such as a stationary platform to give AoE healing to allies, attack pods that snipe enemies from afar or trap them in tractor beams, or drones that can restore allies energy or do the opposite to enemies. The right modules to shorten cooldowns can result in a seemingly unending stream of drones to harass your enemies.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: The Artillery Cruisers and Corvettes and their primary weapons mounted on the front of the ship, meaning they need to orient themselves correctly to make proper use of their weapon's limited fire arc. Notably, the Oberon series of Corvettes and Artillery cruisers avert this, playing more like a very agile destroyer and long-range marksman, respectively.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • The Corvette is the fastest and frailest ship class.
    • Oberon prefers this mentality when designing their spaceships. They're all the fastest and most maneuverable of the ship designs, but also have the least amount of armor.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • The Artillery Cruisers can carry the biggest guns of any class, but does so at the expense of armor and speed.
    • Light Corvettes of the Jupiter Arms series qualify as well. They rival Artillery cruisers in terms of damage per second, but only at close range, and they also have the least amount of health of all the ships in the game.
  • Heal Thyself: All ships in the game can repair themselves gradually, but certain ship classes like Tactical Cruisers have access to modules that allow them to initiate more thorough repairs on themselves instantly.
  • Hyperspeed Ambush:
    • Demonstrated in the 2014 teaser trailer, where a dreadnought warps right behind the interceptors and runs into them. One can also perform short range jumps in game with the Warp Drive module, allowing players to either travel long distances, jump to friendly players, or jump close to an enemy vessel.
    • A subdued version is quite common in gameplay. Dreadnoughts are slow compared to other ship classes but have access to Warp Jump modules, and often teleport right next up to targets and unleash devastating broadsides. Corvettes gain access to Target Warp to quickly ambush enemies up to 8 kilometers away.
  • Hyperspeed Escape: Also possible with Warp Jump modules, though Dreadnought jumps have a painfully long warm-up time that can make this something of a desperation maneuver. This is much easier with Destroyers, who don't jump quite as far, but do jump much faster.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Destroyer class of cruisers. Second toughest after the dreadnoughts, second fastest after the corvettes, deals decent damage at all ranges, and has the most versatility in equipment of all ship classes. As your mentor Bix tells you, "A lot of people think 'average' means 'mediocre,' but that's not the case with these dependable ships."
  • Legacy Immortality: The Phoenix Hero ship, a heavily modified Oberon Medusa with a blazing red paintjob and shaped armor emulating the legendary bird. According to lore the ship has been reported destroyed multiple times, yet it always shows up at Sinley Bay a short time later with nary a scratch. According to rumors it's merely the crew repeatedly commissioning exact replicas of their beloved ship, but its reputation certainly befits its namesake.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Many larger ships can equip launchers that allow for entire salvos of missiles to be fired at enemies.
  • Min-Maxing: At Tier IV players start to unlock Officer Briefings, which can be equipped to boost one aspect of the ship's stats at the expense of something else.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • The Dreadnought is the largest, slowest, and most powerful ship class. When it unleashes its full salvo few ships can survive its firepower.
    • Akula Vektor ships embrace this mentality, trading speed for tougher armor and higher hitpoints.
  • Mile-Long Ship: The size of the bigger Dreadnoughts are roughly in this range. One of the selling points (as can be seen from the very first teaser trailer) is the feeling of a battle of titans that this is supposed to bring up.
  • No-Sell: Dreadnought's Armor Modules work this way, overclocking their systems to calculate and deploy high-powered shields to every impact point for a short duration. This absorbs 90% of incoming damage, but can be combined with a separate Officer Briefing that increases passive damage resistance by 10% to make the user invincible for the duration.
  • Padded Sumo Gameplay: One team running multiple tactical cruisers can quickly reduce a match to a slugfest, doubly so if both teams go this route. It certainly doesn't help that the Akula Vektor tac cruisers are practically tanks themselves, and combined amplified healing beams can keep a Dreadnought alive through an entire enemy team's barrage. At this point, only a highly-coordinated team with access to one-hit kill and purge abilities have a hope to break this healing ball, which is a rarity in itself.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: Plasma projectiles are an option for certain classes, acting as a slow-moving but powerful secondary weapon. Any decently-maneuverable ship can avoid them, but it's absolutely devastating to slow-moving targets like Dreadnoughts and Command Ships. Quite often, Corvettes can unload a full salvo and start firing their primary weapons before the first plasma bolt impacts, which gives the combination an amazing burst damage potential.
  • Point Defenseless: Commonly averted, with most ships having short-range flak turrets as a secondary weapon, and a number of modules offering lasers that shoot down missiles or turrets that automatically fire at nearby enemies.
  • Ramming Always Works:
    • The three flavors of Ram Module ignore shields and allow starships to destroy their enemies via high-speed ramming, even those that are normally larger and heavier than they are. Blast Ram does decent damage while causing AOE damage, Purge Ram trades damage for depleting energy and scrambling the target's modules, and Plasma Ram is powerful enough to one-hit half of the ships outright.
    • The Corvette's Assault Blink works similarly as a 'melee' attack, though it combines this trope with Tele-Frag. Also ignores shields.
    • Less apparent, but just like in the reveal trailer, you can fly your ship into fighters and hardly even notice when they are annihilated.
  • Shiny-Looking Spaceships: Oberon vessels, being derived form Transhuman tech, are highly streamlined and almost organic looking with generally white or at least a light coloured paintjob.
  • Skill Gate Characters: Corvettes are hideously strong in lower-tier play, as it's easy for a skilled captain to take out unaware players before they can respond, and most players have neither the experience nor equipment to handle them. Once players reach Tier III, Corvettes crash headfirst into several hard counters against them, such as Dreadnought's Tractor Beams that can stop these Fragile Speedsters in their tracks, the Tac Cruiser's auto-aim Tesla Cannons that melt through the Corvette's weak hull, and coordinated teams that will focus down their target as soon as the captain makes the slightest misjudgment.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Seen in gameplay and lore, such as ship classes and player ranks, with the caveat that 2-D Space is Averted. Ships can move freely in three dimensional space and go around or over obstacles, but they all orient themselves to the same plane and perform naval maneuvers like broadsides and torpedoes.
  • Space Mines: Tactical Cruisers and Artillery Cruisers can equip these, and they stealthily float in place and detonate when an enemy nears. Upgraded versions add effects such as stasis, energy drain, or nuclear explosions, and all are extremely useful at protecting your flank from Corvettes.
  • Sprint Meter: All ships have a regenerating pool of Energy, which can be spent to move faster, raise Deflector Shields, or boost their fire rate.
  • Standard Human Spaceship: Jupiter Arms ships follow this aesthetic, being grey, angular constructions with many sharp edges and corners.
  • Standard Starship Scuffle: The game totally runs on this as most combat with ships involve them getting close range and unleashing broadside fire at each other.
  • Teleport Spam: The corvettes can make use of this with the Blink Warp module, allowing them to quickly jump into the fray and then jump out just as quickly, and can even use this to escape past walls and asteroids.
  • Tele-Frag: Tier IV and V Corvettes gain access to Assault Blink, which works similar to above, except that any enemy ship between you and the exit point takes an extreme amount of damage regardless of shielding.
  • Terraforming: Don't let the Alien Sky fool you; you've never left our solar system. In only a few short centuries, the Transhumans have transformed obvious candidates like Mars and Venus into viable and lush habitats, but they kept on descending down the list of potential planets and terraformed them anyway. For example, Kappa Base looks more like the grassy cliffs of the Scottish coastline than it looks like Jupiter's Io, which is known for being a volcano moon.
  • Tractor Beam: A module available for both Dreadnoughts and Tactical Cruisers, although the latter uses it on a drone. Extremely useful for immobilizing the fast-but-fragile Corvettes or fleeing enemies for a final blow.
  • Used Future: All over the place. The players are based out of a grungy outlaw port, and even the otherwise sleek Oberon ships often look scratched and scuffed-up once they're in the players' hands.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: The most dangerous missile modules are nukes that integrate warp technology into their delivery system, shooting straight up and then teleporting straight down right over the target's heads. They're simply too fast for regular anti-missile lasers to handle, and even the dedicated counter-module requires quick reflexes and a lengthy cooldown to intercept them.
  • Wronski Feint: This is not useful against other ships, but can be a surprisingly viable way for a corvette to avoid a swarm of missiles. Bonus points for using Blink Warp to jump through a wall and leave the missiles on the other side.