Homeworld 3 guide: 15 tips to help you succeed in the campaign

By Jason Rodriguez, Contributor
Homeworld 3 is the latest mainline entry in the classic sci-fi real-time strategy (RTS) franchise. After the events of the previous titles, the galaxy has enjoyed a century of prosperity. All of that comes to an end when strange disturbances caused by the Anomaly, as well as a dangerous faction known as the Incarnate, bring down entire gate networks.

You play the role of Imogen S’jet, the navigator of the Khar-Kushan, a Mothership that's the pride of the Hiigarans. You don’t have to go at it alone and unprepared—our Homeworld 3 beginner’s guide has a lot of tips to help you complete the game’s 13-mission single-player campaign.

Protect the Mothership at all costs

The Khar-Kushan Mothership is the single most important unit in your entire fleet. It can construct/produce every other ship or defensive system, and it has a lot of hit points. Unfortunately, it’s also slow-moving, cumbersome, and nearly defenseless when swarmed by enemy vessels. As such, it’s better to keep it far away from hostiles when possible.

There are even some missions where the enemy launches missiles that make a beeline straight for your Mothership. If this occurs, you should quickly target them using faster spacecraft, such as Interceptors.
Homeworld 3 Guide 15 Tips To Help You Succeed In The Campaign Mothership
Preserve units as much as you can

Every unit you build, from the lowly Resource Controller to the gargantuan Battlecruiser, gets carried over from one mission to the next—assuming they survive the engagement. However, there are certain limits that you need to take into account.

As you progress through the campaign in Homeworld 3, you’ll notice a cap as to how many units of a particular type or category can exist within your fleet. For example, you could have a maximum of 50 Frigate-type units, but Ion Cannon Frigates and Assault Frigates are capped at 15 ships each. This said, there may be moments when reinforcements allow you to go over the limit if a lot of vessels managed to make it out intact.

Make use of Tactical Pause and the Sensors Manager

One of the best Homeworld 3 tips for newcomers is to make use of the Tactical Pause feature, which is done by pressing the P key. As the term implies, this puts the game at a standstill, allowing you to issue commands at your leisure. Likewise, you can hold the key and scroll using the mouse wheel to speed up or slow down time.

You can also press the Tactical Pause button at the bottom of your screen to activate the Sensors Manager. This shows a tactical overview of the immediate area, broken down into friendly/controlled units and hostile forces.

Babysit your Resource Controllers

Resource Controllers are the backbone of your fleet. Selecting one and clicking on a Resource Unit (RU) node causes the vehicle to collect currency, which you can then use to build ships or purchase upgrades. However, once a deposit is exhausted, Resource Controllers don’t fly to the nearest node automatically. As such, you have to manually order them to start collecting once more.

Alternatively, you can press the H key to make them auto-harvest resources, but this is also risky. There are many instances when Resource Controllers would head to more distant deposits, which might have enemies lying in wait.

Send out Probes to scout distant areas

If you think there might be enemies in certain areas of the map, then sending out a Probe is a good idea. Probes are relatively cheap, as they only cost 50 RU to build. They can travel at high speeds to cover vast areas and reveal hidden foes.
Homeworld 3 Guide 15 Tips To Help You Succeed In The Campaign Probe
Use the Population tab to sort through units

You can view the Population tab in the upper-left portion of the screen by pressing the I key. It shows a list of all units that are part of your fleet, along with their respective categories. This allows you to sort through all available vessels to create large groups.

Manage group compositions, stances, and formations when planning your attack

Speaking of groups, a great Homeworld 3 tip for newcomers is to consider group composition when engaging opponents. This includes managing formations and stances:
  • Formations—A chosen formation grants bonuses depending on what you want a squadron to accomplish. For instance, the default Delta or V-shaped formation keeps ships spread out to minimize area-of-effect (AoE) damage. In comparison, the Wall formation helps you concentrate firepower against larger capital ships. Meanwhile, the Wedge formation is great for combined-arms, where larger vessels are placed in the center and smaller craft are pushed to the flanks.
  • Stances—Stances denote a unit’s behavior in combat—that is, attacking on sight or pursuing enemies. A stance can be set to aggressive, neutral, or passive.
Consider unit advantages and disadvantages when advancing and flanking

Homeworld 3 has a complex rock-papers-scissors mechanic when it comes to tactical combat. It means that certain ship types are more effective when facing off against a particular target. For example, huge vessels are weak against Fleet Bombers, but Fleet Bombers themselves are at the mercy of fighters.

This also goes hand-in-hand when your squadron advances against another group. Let’s say you’re facing off against a tough enemy Destroyer and you only have a few Assault Frigates and Fleet Bombers. The ideal course of action is to draw in the Destroyer with your Assault Frigates while approaching from behind with your Fleet Bombers. Hitting large ships from behind deals extra damage, too.
Homeworld 3 Guide 15 Tips To Help You Succeed In The Campaign Dogfight
You can build units using Carriers

While the Mothership is an important unit, you can still use Carriers to construct additional spacecraft (though not other capital ships). This can be done by checking the Build/Research tab with the B key and then selecting the Carrier from the drop-down list.

Carriers are more mobile compared to the Mothership, allowing you to field units with ease. Moreover, the destruction of a Carrier, though costly, won’t cause the mission to fail abruptly.

Repair units regularly using Support Frigates and the Dock command

Every ship in your Homeworld 3 fleet has hull points/hit points (HP). That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure that your forces are always in tip-top condition. There are a couple of ways to do this:
  • Dock—Available to strikecraft; disengages from combat and returns to a Mothership or Carrier to repair.
  • Support Frigate—These ships shoot green lasers that repair friendly units.
Use obstacles, tunnels, and nebulae to avoid hostiles

Oftentimes, you’ll find yourself outgunned by Incarnate forces. When these moments occur, you’ll want to reposition your units behind obstacles so they can hide from an enemy’s targeting systems/line-of-sight. Ships can pass through tunnels in structures to attack foes from behind. There are even missions where you can hide in nebula clouds with the Mothership and your entire fleet to avoid detection.

Defend choke points with turrets and mines

We suggest taking a look at the battlefield to find potential choke points, such as hyperspace gates and incursion areas. These are locations where enemies might spawn from, making them viable killzones for your forces. You can deploy turrets and mines to slow down the enemy advance and eliminate dozens of foes along the way.

Get out of the way when structures are about to explode

There are some missions where your fleet has to sabotage Incarnate operations in a system. This requires you to blow up power relays/generators. While your ships need to fly closer to shoot these structures, you need to be quick enough to move them out of the blast zone.

Be thorough before advancing to the next mission

In connection to all our Homeworld 3 tips mentioned above, we encourage you to be thorough before you complete each mission. Many missions in the campaign end upon finishing the last objective (usually destroying all enemy ships or passing through the hyperspace gate).

Ideally, you should attempt to collect all resource units on the map, while making sure that you’re at the population limit/cap for each ship category (if possible) well before you jump to the next chapter.
Homeworld 3 Guide 15 Tips To Help You Succeed In The Campaign Artifact
Give War Games mode a shot

Apart from the campaign, you should also try War Games, a co-op-enabled mode for up to three players. You and your teammates can tackle objectives in a series of three missions. Whether you succeed or not, there’s a chance that you receive artifacts—powerful boons for specific ships that carry over successive runs. Examples include increased armor, higher hit points, faster ship speed, greater weapon range, improved damage, and more.

That does it for our Homeworld 3 guide. We hope these tips help you complete the game’s galaxy-spanning campaign. Those who are keen on seeing how the Hiigarans fare in the face of a new challenge should pick up Homeworld 3, which is available now on the Epic Games Store.

You might also be interested in the Deluxe Edition, which includes the base game and the Year One Pass, granting access to additional War Games factions and artifacts once made available. Lastly, there’s the Fleet Command Edition, which includes all of the above, as well as more ship decals, cosmetic options, a digital soundtrack, and three days early access.