- Reinforced Ram increases hit points and attack by 10%.
- Anastrophe (Dionysus) increases attack by 20% and speed by 10% and decreases training time by 25%.
- Copper Weapons, Bronze Weapons, and Iron Weapons increase attack by 10%.
- Copper Mail, Bronze Mail, and Iron Mail decrease hack and crush vulnerability by 10%.
- Copper Shields, Bronze Shields, and Iron Shields decrease pierce vulnerability by 10%.
- Conscript Sailors decreases training time by 20%.
- Heroic Fleet (Titans Expansion) increases attack vs myth units by 150%.
- Oracle (Apollo): increases LOS by 6.
- Bacchanalia (Dionysus): increases hit points by 5%.
As hammer ships, Pentekonters deal a large amount of hack damage and have high crush armor, making them very strong against Siege Ships. In groups, they are also better than other ship types against naval myth units, whose hack armor is generally lower than their pierce or crush. When Heroic Fleet has been researched, they become decent at defeating naval myth units. Since there are no naval hero in the game except Poseidon's Argo, this is an important role for them.
Like other ramming ships, Pentekonters are weaker than other warships and are easily sunk. They are vulnerable to arrow ships due to their low pierce armor. Any defenses on the shore should be avoided as well. Their exceptional speed makes taking evasive action easy.
While many galleys had stationary rams on their bows, the Greeks also developed a moveable weapon known as a dolphin. This heavy lead or bronze weight was swung from a boom on the ship's mast and was used like a flail to puncture holes in enemy hulls. The Romans would later improve on this design and develop the corvus, a spiked weapon that double as a boarding ramp.