Specters are autonomous missiles carried aboard Alliance warships, which are similar to the earlier wraith missiles used at the outbreak of the Alliance-Syndic war, but are much more maneuverable, more survivable against enemy defenses, and carry multiple warheads to maximize the chance of getting past point defenses.

Specters are typically launched at the outset of battle, before ships enter effective ranges for grapeshot and hell-lances. They are also sometimes employed to deliver final "parting blows" after ships have already exchanged close-range blows and are moving away from each other. Specters are also ideal for taking out suspicious objects while staying at a safe distance, a tactic Geary employed against a cluster of abandoned freighters loitering near a jump point at Sumir (during Beyond the Frontier: Guardian), as he suspected them to be filled with explosives.