The Utwig Jugger is one of the most dangerous ships in our region of space thanks to its unique weapons and shield system. During the events of Star Control II, this ship design fares very well in large-scale warfare against the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah, inflicting grievous casualties on the Kohr-Ah fleet before the Utwig themselves sustain too many losses to continue, withdrawing back to their space.
The Jugger's thrusters are about average relative to other spacecraft. This ship accelerates somewhat slowly, but can build up to enough top speed to pursue and overtake various low and medium speed enemy craft. It is outfitted with a set of amazingly powerful turning jets, and is capable of coming about as quickly as a vessel less than half its size.
The Jugger's main weapon is an array of six forward-facing, "energy spear" cannons powered by an extremely efficient dynamo system. With it, the cannons have a virtually limitless supply of energy, and are able to fire without drawing any energy from the Jugger's battery. While weak individually, these cannons fire rapidly and cover a wide area together. Many energy spears may hit with each salvo, depending on the accuracy of the Jugger's pilot and the size of the enemy spacecraft. Each spear will kill one member of the enemy's crew upon striking the ship.
The Jugger is equipped with an unusual shield system. While shields are up, this ship is capable of withstanding a seemingly limitless amount of punishment from both kinetic and thermal attacks, then absorbing this energy into the ship's own battery. However, this shield draws a significant amount of power to operate and the Jugger is not capable of generating any additional battery power during combat. If the ship's battery runs out, the Jugger's shield is no longer usable for the rest of the engagement. Weapons which disable rather than damage are not prevented by the Jugger's shield. Another limitation of this system is that the Jugger's cannons cannot fire while it is active.
- While ideally the Jugger's shield can block all damage and never lose energy, in practice neither the AI nor any player can achieve this 'perfect shielding'. Consequently, the Jugger is highly vulnerable to low damage weapons such as the Mmrnmhrm X-Form's missiles which realistically take more energy to shield against than they impart on impact. Conversely, devastating weapons such as the Chmmr Avatar's laser or the Ur-Quan Dreadnought's fusion bolt are powerful enough that the shield can absorb far more energy than it drains.
- The Jugger is well suited for directly slugging it out against ships which rely on superior firepower, using its shield to absorb incoming attacks and returning fire when it is safe to do so. The best opportunities for the Jugger to retaliate are when its opponent's battery is depleted, or their front turned away from the Jugger.
- The Jugger is highly susceptible to disabling weapons such as the Chenjesu Broodhome's DOGI, the VUX Intruder's limpet, or the Melnorme Trader's confusion ray. These weapons pass right through the Jugger's shield.
- The Jugger's poor acceleration makes gravity wells dangerous when travelling at full speed. Watch out.
- Pillboxing is a highly effective tactic against any adversary which cannot attack the Jugger from beyond its firing range. This is due to the ship's excellent turning rate and its wide-coverage, rapid-fire cannons.
- The Jugger is one of the better ships in the game against the Sa-Matra, along with the Pkunk Fury, as its shield renders the Sa-Matra's comets useless. It has some trouble being bounced around by the sentinel orbs, however.
- The Jugger's shield does not absorb energy from collisions with the Androsynth Guardian in its Blazer form. While a shielded Jugger won't take damage from the Blazer, it also cannot re-energize its batteries from it.
- Orz space marines are repelled (but not harmed) by the Jugger's shield. This provides the Jugger with no energy gain.
- The shield does not protect against the Shofixti Scout's Glory Device. The Jugger takes the same amount of damage from the explosion whether it is shielded or unshielded.