It is a heavy, slow moving disc-shaped aircraft that is capable of leveling whole bases in a short time. Its primary (and, to the extent of our knowledge, only) weapon is the Catalyst cannon, an energy weapon with effects not dissimilar to Nod's catalyst missile in that it causes a tremendous chain reaction. However, it is significantly more dangerous and destructive than Nod's missile, as the chain reaction is triggered between structures. The destructive effect of this weapon was evident when a single Mothership incinerated Berne in Switzerland with a single blast that leveled the dense city center. It possesses the single most powerful weapon ever to be fielded on a mobile platform in history, capable of wiping out entire bases in a single shot and leaving only a smoking crater.
In addition to housing a weapon of massive destructive power, Motherships also appear to serve at least some command and control functions for the Scrin, the Mothership is a transportation method for a Scrin Foreman, seen in Threshold 19. Indeed, GDI InOps report that a Mothership was used during a Scrin retreat from Earth in the closing stages of the Third Tiberium War and defending the Relay Node.
While their ponderous speed has ensured that many of the small number of these units yet encountered have been destroyed, they are evidently capable of absorbing a tremendous amount of anti-aircraft fire, more than any aircraft ever manufactured by humans. Firehawks are recommended for quick and devastating attacks. If a Scrin Foreman decides to attack a commander's base, he will guard his emissary of that commander's destruction with high tier units, such as Devastator Warships, Annihilator Tripods, Stormriders, or other assorted units to counter the commander's anti-air defenses. This sheer firepower can severely damage one's anti-air defenses, especially with the fact that Devastator Warships can fire out of range of AA defenses to destroy them. This will pave the way for the Mothership to arrive. All human commanders should beware, and make this unit a priority when defending your base.
Essentially, the Mothership is a mobile superweapon - but it must be used carefully, otherwise, it will be 5000 credits wasted. It cannot target air units but is massively armoured and has a self repair capacity. Massed aircraft with potent anti air weaponry is the best answer. Being a terror weapon (similar to the Kirov Airship from the Red Alert Universe in many respects), it will likely target mass concentrations of enemy forces (such as bases) before rooting out other targets. This behaviour can be exploited by a tenacious commander. Shooting down a mother ship may bring some material damage to Scrin. As such, should a commander encounter a Mothership, it would be wise to invest in its destruction.
Like other offensive units, the Mothership can gain veterancy. Doing so reduces the amount of time required to recharge its weapon. However, only the initial target counts towards its experience, not the ones destroyed as part of a chain reaction. Given the difficulty of firing its weapon even once, the number of targets it needs to destroy to level up and the fact it effectively eliminates an opponent each time its weapon is fired, this is not a strategy likely to prove useful in any match. Though it can sometimes rank up by alining the Mothership's core with a veterancy crate, and then pick up the crate using a ground unit.
- When used well, can destroy an entire base with a single shot
- Gravity Stabilizers are not required to summon them.
- Can survive a direct hit from any superweapon.
- Thick armour rivals that of the MARV.
- Does splash damage.
- A single EMP strike from an EMP Control Center can instantly destroy the Mothership
- The Mothership needs to be placed right above a selected target to fire the Catalyst Cannon
- Is displayed as a large blip on radar, making it very noticeable
- Defenseless against aircraft and agile anti-air units
- Long reload time (7 seconds).
- Extremely slow moving and turning speeds
- Does not benefit from Ion storms
- A Drone ship can destroy a Mothership by transforming from a Drone platform to a Drone ship directly underneath it
- Catalyst cannon weakens after one side of the Mothership is damaged.
- Sometimes, it does not attack when ordered to do so due to a glitch (more prevalent in Kane's Wrath)