Matters on Messing with Modern Missiles; a Guide about Sofktill in NEBULOUS: Fleet Command

Matters on Messing with Modern Missiles; a Guide about Sofktill in NEBULOUS: Fleet Command

Scryers And Seeker Nomenclature

The Scryer is arguably one of the most important modules you can bring for Softkill because it allows you to know what seekers incoming missiles have which gives you the knowledge needed to react correctly (note the Scryer only works off tracks the ship itself can see, also referred to al local tracks, the intel center works on all tracks but is slower). As different seekers may require radically different actions in order to be softkilled, knowing what’s what is definitely of great importance.

As a bonus, the Scryer is also a cheap and pretty durable module, as well as letting your ship intelligently deploy decoys to reduce wastage.

By hovering over the track of a missile you will be able to see the seeker combo the missile has, similar to the Intel readout on ships. Seekers are listed left to right on the readout in terms of primary -> secondary -> tertiary. The same rules are generally used for people writing down seeker combos a la ACT/WAKE or ACT/[WAKE] (would read as ACT(RADAR)/PSV(WAKE) or ACT(RADAR)/[PSV(WAKE)] on the intel readout). Forward slashes separate different seekers, a seeker being written in square brackets denotes that it’s a validator. Thus the examples listed earlier would be an active radar primary seeker with a wake secondary for the former and a wake validator for the latter.

How Softkill Affects Seekers

There are three ways Softkill can affect Seekers and (hopefully) cause the missile to not hit your ship(s).

Seduction refers to a piece of equipment causing a missile to home in on itself, if said equipment is not attached to one of your ships this will obviously tend to make the missile miss.

Disruption refers to that actively interfering with a seekers ability to see its targets.

There are two ways disruption can affect Missiles. for missiles with secondary seekers, being affected by emitters at all will cause them to switch to a secondary. For missiles without a secondary the received power needs to be stronger than the signal from the target, in which case it will be “jammed out” and the missile will start wiggling around randomly.

Making a seeker Loose Target refers to stopping it from being able to see your ships through passive means, in which case they will switch to a different target or continue on their current course, this is however only possible for seekers that require some changeable condition to see a target.

Overview Of Missile Seekers

Matters on Messing with Modern Missiles; a Guide about Sofktill in NEBULOUS: Fleet Command image 11

This section will cover how the Missile Seekers in the Game work, more concrete info on what softkills what will follow in the “Softkill Equipments and Techniques” section, as well as a handy table giving an overview of Softkill effectiveness

Active Radar:

Is commonly referred to as ‘ACT’ (SACT or EACT, SEACT for the steerable and extended steerable versions respectively) and shows up as ACT(RADAR) on the Intel readout regardless of version. This seeker sees anything with an ACT(RADAR) (active radar) signature, which includes ships, chaff, active decoys etc.

ACT seekers are disrupted by radar jamming (and will be jammed out unless the missile gets very close).


Is commonly referred to as SAH or SARH and shows up as SAH(RADAR) on the Intel readout. SAH seekers see anything with an ACT(RADAR) signature that is also being illuminated by an active illuminator coming from roughly behind the missile. As the commonly used Illuminators have narrow cones (as well as power falling off at the edge and illuminators being manually aimable) SAH is generally rather resistant to chaff and the like.

It is also disrupted by radar jamming similar to ACT (how easy it is to jam out depends on the number, power and proximity of the illuminators), though it generally doesn’t reacquire as it closes range when the jammer is on the targeted ship. If there is no Illumination in play, SAH seekers lose all targets.

SAH validators are currently bugged and will disregard the need for illumination entirely (this will be fixed in the patch after the OSP rebalance).


Is commonly referred to as WAKE and shows up as PSV(WAKE) in the Intel readout.

WAKE sees active main engines and the yellow trails they leave behind, as well as flares which also have a PSV(WAKE) signature. Validators additionally get a 15s grace period where they still see a target after the main engines were last on, but it only works from side or rear aspects. WAKE seekers are generally unreliable at hitting from the front as well.

[WAKE] will work on aspects colored in green (up is ship forward)


Is commonly referred to as ARAD and shows up as ARAD(RADAR) on the intel readout. ARAD will see anything with a PSV(RADAR) signature as well as any radar jamming affecting it, even if the jamming is outside of its listed maximum range or outside of its cone (with some limits for the latter), radar jamming also overrides any validation the seeker may have.

Active search, directional and fire control radars have a PSV(RADAR) sig, as well as active decoys and decoy containers. ARAD cannot be disrupted but it can be made to lose target by turning off emitting components.

Home-On-Jam: This is an Anti-Radiation seeker set to JAMMING, commonly referred to as HOJ and shows up as HOJ(RADAR) on the intel readout. HOJ functions like ARAD except that it cannot see radars, only radar jamming. similar to ARAD when it sees jamming, HOJ also ignores validation.

Command Guidance:

Is commonly referred to as CMD and shows up as CMD on the intel readout. This seeker takes targeting information from the launching ship and will only go after the track it was fired at. It can be disrupted using comms jamming and the seeker will lose target if the launching ship loses track of you or loses its ability to communicate.

When set as a seeker the missile is also affected by the track accuracy, so may miss especially smaller ships with an inaccurate track. CMD validators do not care about track quality and even work off of ELINT and BRN pings (though this will likely change in the Patch after the OSP rebalance).

CMD does not make use of validators as it only ever goes for the track it was fired at.


Is commonly referred to as EO and shows up as PSV(EO) on the intel readout. This seeker only goes for ships and will prefer the hull type of the ship it was track fired at (provided enough intel).

Laser Dazzlers will disrupt EO seekers but nothing else will affect them(save for the target going behind a rock). EO seekers are also exclusive to ANS.

Secondary And Validator Behaviour


Secondary seekers will activate when the primary either has no targets or is being disrupted, the main seeker will instantly take back over if it acquires a target or stops being disrupted (and vice versa).

In order to defeat a missile with a secondary seeker you will either have to seduce the primary seeker or disrupt / make the primary seeker loose target then seduce, jam out or make the secondary loose target.

One can think of this as an “OR” condition where the missile can see you if either the primary or the secondary can see you, with the primary getting priority for targeting if both can see something.

will check the seekers the main target has acquired then accept or reject them based on whether the validator can see them too, validators cannot search for targets on their own and validation is re-checked every sensor cycle.

Missiles with validators can also be set to either ACCEPT or REJECT unvalidated targets, the former means the missile will still go for targets the validator rejects but prefers ones it accepts, whereas the latter means the missiles only ever goes for targets the validator accepts.

To defeat a missile with a validated seeker you need to either seduce both the primary and secondary seeker with the same object (separate objects cannot “work together” to fool validated setups even if they are right on top of one another), jam out or make the validator loose target and then seduce the primary in case the missile is on ACCEPT or jam out the primary seeker / make it loose target.

can be thought of as an “AND” condition, both the primary and validator have to see you in order for the missile to go for you, though it doesn’t completely go dumb when the validator can’t see you if the missile is set to ACCEPT

Containers can bring 3 seekers, which gives them 4 possibilities in terms of secondaries/validators (as the 1st has to be a primary), these setups will be explained through the previous secondary/validator behavior.

seeker/[validator]/[validator] can be treated as a primary with 2 validation conditions, on REJECT both validators must see the target on ACCEPT it prefers targets that are seen by more validators.

seeker/[validator]/seeker can be treated as a primary/secondary pair, with the validation condition of the 2nd applying to both.

seeker/sseeker/[validator] can be treated as a primary/secondary pair, with the validation condition of the 3rd applying to both.

seeker/seeker/seeker can be treated as a primary/secondary combo with an additional secondary, the third seeker activates when both others are disrupted or have no target.

Softkill Equipment And Techniques

DeployablesEmittersBehaviourThe Table Of Knowledge
Matters on Messing with Modern Missiles; a Guide about Sofktill in NEBULOUS: Fleet Command image 56

usually focus on seducing seekers and have to be added and paid for individually, however they are generally the simplest to use, if the incoming missile sees the deployable, it will usually go for it instead of your ships with no further steps required to softkill the salvo.


Chaff is the most basic kit used in softkill, cheap at 1pt each, deployed at the press of a button and just pops out a little distance out from where the VLS-1 is pointing, however it only has an ACT(RADAR) signature meaning it’ll only seduce ACT and SAH (if it’s in the cone of an illuminator).

Despite these limitations it is very strong when combined with other equipment, though you may have to take some special care in regards to positioning yourself relative to it (see the Advanced Techniques Section)


Same cost as chaff and fit in the same VLS-1, though decidedly a lot more niche as it only has a PSV(WAKE) signature, which only WAKE seekers can see.

Nonetheless a solid pick if you’re scared of wake missiles going up your engines and don’t want to move to avoid that, though given WAKE’s wide FOV and tendency to make missiles swing back around when they miss you may still have to exercise caution even with flares in play.

Active Decoys:

While expensive at 8pt a piece and exclusive to ANS, these things are very powerful, as the have both an ACT(RADAR) and a PSV(RADAR) signature, allowing active decoys to seduce both ACT and ARAD, at least one of which virtually all cruise capable seeker setups will be based on.

Unlike chaff or flares, active decoys move in a set direction instead of staying in place after being deployed. Additionally, ARAD will consistently prefer Active Decoys over shipboard radars.

Decoy Containers:

Decoy containers (aside from showing up as ships on enemy radars) have both ACT(RADAR) and PSV(RADAR) signatures (though without automatic priority for ARAD).

In effect they’re active decoys that cannot be reactively launched but can be set to hover around your ships for an extended period using cruise pathing, as Container missiles they’re exclusive to OSP.

SSJ Missiles:

SSJs (Self-Screening Jammers) emit radar jamming which will seduce ARAD and HOJ seekers, while one SSJ is enough to make the missile count as jammed for the purposes of switching to secondary, 3 are generally needed to significantly alter the flight path of ACT or SAH missiles.

SSJ missiles with cruise avionics can also be set to hover around a certain area similar to decoy containers (though this makes them harder to use reactively).

Generally you will see S2s or Containers used to carry the SSJ(s), if the missile is set to defensive but not target any sized missile, they can be manually launched using the PD prioritization key when on a VLS or container stack/mount.

focus on disrupting enemy seekers. Keep in mind that it will take a fair bit of distance for wiggling to get missiles to miss your ship, missiles with secondaries will also continue on in a straight line so movement may be needed to avoid getting hit. that only affect a cone are more powerful (thus better at jamming out seekers) but will need more positioning in order to assure that missiles stay in the affected cone, whereas omnidirectional ones are weaker but require less positioning work.

Radar Jammers:

Radar jammers (Blanket, Bellbird, Lyrebird) will disrupt ACT and SAH seekers but attract ARAD and HOJ seekers.

This means radar jammers need to be used more carefully than other softkill equipment as their use may attract missiles towards your ship instead of softkilling them, though this behavior can also be used to your advantage (see the Advanced Techniques Section).

Comms Jammers:

Comms Jammers (Hangup, Interrupt) will disrupt CMD seekers (and notably do not attract ARAD or HOJ). As CMD seekers do not have a limited FoV, Interrupts are generally recommended as CMD missiles have an easier time reacquiring when knocked off course.

Mind that comms jamming may struggle at close ranges and/or against stronger antennae (cr70/cr75) as the missiles may not get jammed out at a far enough distance, though having more or stronger comms jammers helps out here.

Laser Dazzler:

(Blackjack) The only way to Softkill EO, disrupts (and always jams out) all EO (and only EO) seekers in a cone. Mind these may not fire when PD is set to DEDI as it has the dual purpose flag (to allow you to manually aim it at certain incoming missiles).

Similar to comms jammers, the laser dazzler does not attract ARAD or HOJ.

Behavior generally focuses on making missiles loose target, this is most effective on missiles which require the target to meet a certain condition to be visible to the seeker, with that condition being you yourself can control. Missiles that loose target will still continue on in a straight line so you may still have to actively move out of the way to avoid getting hit.


EMCON stands for EMissions CONtrol, this refers to controlling the (in the case of NEBULOUS, radar) emissions coming from your ship, this is effective against HOJ by turning off all sources of radar jamming, against ARAD you will also have to turn off your radars (including dedicated fire control ones).

Note that dedicated FCRs will automatically lock onto incoming missiles to assist PD, so you may have to set PD to DEDI in order to avoid this, as well as canceling any ongoing lock orders.


WAKE seekers seek active main engines and the trails they leave behind, moving backwards and sideways as to avoid using your main engines will make them lose target, additionally they struggle to hit ships from front aspects, so manually setting your heading may also be beneficial.

Similar tactics apply to WAKE validators which seek anything that has had main engines on in the last 15s and is side or rear on to the missile, turning off engines needs to be done earlier here but getting bow on guarantees target loss for the validator.

This table contains a quick overview of the interactions between the various Softkill methods and Seekers, be sure to take the notes (marked by asterisks in brackets) into account.

(*) has to be illuminated

(**) does not significantly alter course of disrupted missiles without several SSJ, does trigger secondary takeover

(***) possibly unwanted as missiles will seek after the jamming ship

Advanced Techniques

ACT Behaviour, Positioning ChaffRocket Container CountermeasuresHOJ LadderingAnti-CMD-Tactics

Seekers will generally prefer the current target, targets closer to the center of their cone and targets with a higher return. This means that in some cases due to the chaotic nature of missiles ACT (active radar) seekers may choose to target your ship even though chaff has been launched.

In order to avoid this, it is best to have early warning on the missiles, deploy chaff early and position yourself so that the chaff ends up between you and the incoming salvo, though also to the side so the missiles don’t end up seeing you after passing through the chaff cloud. Active decoys can also be manually launched in a certain direction so those can take care of the movement part for you.

Deploying multiple instances of chaff also helps and may be required for consistent results on larger ships.

Rocket containers have an ACT seeker that currently does not seem to be affected by radar jamming at all.

The thing that makes these particularly tricky to softkill is that there’s only a small window between them activating their seekers and them deploying rockets (about 250m or less than 2s of travel time in a straight line at max speed). This means you need to assure your decoys are out early and are ideally spotted first.

Similar positioning as the last section is recommended here, chaff between you and the incoming salvo but off to the side as to avoid getting hit by the released rockets or active decoys with the right flyout direction.

While attracting ARAD and HOJ is a significant weakness of radar jammers when used in softkill, this can also be used to your advantage, as radar jamming ARAD or HOJ missiles will cause them to go for the jamming ship, allowing you to potentially cause early staging in hybrids or pull a salvo off target, either into stronger hardkill, out of range or into a target that can more easily softkill the missiles once it turns the jammer back off (or one you don’t mind losing as much).

This generally works best when the jamming ship used to ladder is offset by a good distance from the target (usually your main fleet). It goes without saying this technique requires extra diligence as to not lose the jamming ship, so be sure you have appropriate countermeasures to softkill or avoid the other seekers as well as remembering to turn the jamming off in time.

Laddering is a powerful albeit hard to pull off tactic against missiles with HOJ or ARAD, especially ones that rely on SAH as it may be hard for the enemy to illuminate a small jamming ship sitting somewhere offset from their intended target.

CMD requires that the launching ship have a track on you and have a working antenna in order for CMD to home in on its target.

Making the enemy lose track of you will stop CMD missiles from tracking you, if they have CMD seekers, forcing the enemy to rely on a sufficiently inaccurate track may also make the missiles miss. However this is hard to control as the obvious choice of radar jamming will attract ARAD and HOJ which are often paired with CMD as secondaries, turning your radar off if you’re only being tracked on ELINT works reliably though.

Alternatively destroying the antenna(e) of the launching ship will also cause CMD missiles to lose target, though this can be similarly unreliable to achieve.


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