The TIE Bomber is the heavy hitter of the TIE series. It is unique in the series in that it has double hulls: one for the pilot and one to carry the TIE Bomber's massive warhead load. Although The inner hull shares little in common with other members of the TIE series, the solar panel wings match those of Darth Vader's TIE Advanced x1.
The TIE Bomber is not designed for speed or agility. It is something of a slow, lumbering target, but its hull is strengthened to better withstand enemy fire. The strength of this TIE lies not in dogfighting ability, but its potential to punish targets with a bombardment of warheads, be they proton torpedoes, concussion missiles, heavy rockets or space bombs. Due to their qualities, they were adept at attacking larger, slow-moving or stationary targets such as space stations, capital ships, or even smugglers hiding in asteroid caves.
In formation, TIE Bombers could be especially devastating against enemy capital ships and installations. A large number of incoming bombers is more difficult for interceptors, escorts, and turbolasers to defend against, and assures that at least a handful of craft survive long enough to deliver their payload. The resulting rain of incoming warheads was similarly difficult for defensive fire to handle. This type of warhead attack, combined with coordinated efforts from more agile TIE Fighters and TIE Interceptors as escorts, was the Imperial Navy's method of choice to deal with heavily-defended enemy positions and starships. Such an attack was enough to seriously threaten the Rebels' prized Mon Calamari cruisers.
Like most of the TIE series, TIE Bombers lacked hyperdrives. Thus, they operated from fixed bases or larger Imperial craft, such as the iconic Star Destroyer. While larger Imperial starships certainly had the capabilities to threaten and/or obliterate most any potential opponent without assistance from smaller craft, TIE Bombers were still used extensively, as they offered many more strategic options. The craft's warhead load could be used to lengthen the reach of an assault. Thus, commanders could keep their valuable capital ships out of range of enemy fire while risking a "mere" flight of TIEs in an attack.
Further, smaller craft, like the TIE Bomber, can reach areas that capital vessels cannot (asteroid fields, caves, canyons, between buildings, etc.) This allowed attacks with greater accuracy and discretion, when needed.
For smaller Imperial vessels such as frigates and corvettes, the TIE Bomber offered a significant increase in offensive punch for any starship with a hangar.
In a dogfight, a TIE Bomber is not usually a threat with its dual lasers, low agility, and mediocre durability (although it was fairly rugged for a TIE.) One on one, Rebel fighters, even the somewhat ponderous Y-wing, could easily defeat a TIE Bomber. A-wings, with their high speed and warhead load, were ideally suited to intercept and destroy TIE Bombers well away from their intended targets.
However, the TIE Bomber's warhead load ensures that it can still be a threat to starfighters. When loaded with concussion missiles, especially when deployed in swarms, TIE Bombers pose a threat to fighters that cannot be ignored. Although still not as effective as dedicated fighter craft, the missile-armed TIE Bomber can be somewhat effective in this role if pressed to do so. For example, one mission in TIE Fighter has the player character in a TIE Bomber, armed with advanced concussion missiles, defending Imperial capital ships due to a lack of suitable escort fighters. The player is able to succeed by engaging at maximum range for these missiles and by utilizing the nearby support tug for reloads.