Ship components and what they do


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General information

All components have a numeric “class” from 0 to 8 and an alphabetic “rating” from A to I. They also have an “integrity” value, which is the amount of damage they can take before being completely useless.

  • Class is generally the size of the component, higher numbers mean that the component is designed for larger or more demanding ships
  • Rating is:
    • A is the most powerful (this is typically what you want for combat ships) but comes at high price, often many multiples more expensive than even the B rated component
    • B has the most mass but has higher integrity (so for critical components on combat ships like the power plant, this might be the way to go)
    • C has the best price/performance ratio
    • D has the smallest mass (if you’re outfitting a ship for exploration or jump range, most of your components should be D rated)
    • E is what you get by default with the ship, is the cheapest, and least capable
    • F, G, and H are only for weapons and they’re mostly to differentiate between different types of the same weapon
    • I is only for utility mounted components

Each module slot can fit a specific class of component or smaller. So you’ll see that a ship can fit a “class 7 power plant” or a “class 5 frame shift drive”. This also means that they can fit a class 6 power plant or a class 4 frame shift drive. Sometimes fitting a smaller class component than a ship can accommodate has its uses.

Armor or hull

This is essentially the amount of armor or hit points that your ship has from its frame. When you inspect the “Core Internal” section of the outfitting screen, it will be called “Bulkheads”.

  • Armor is resistant to Kinetic and Explosive damage and has no resistance to Thermal damage
  • “Lightweight Alloys” gives you the base amount of armor and resistance but can be upgraded to “Reinforced Alloys” or “Military Grade Composite” that give a boost to hull at the cost of mass
  • “Mirrored Surface Composite” gives Thermal resistance at a cost to Kinetic and Explosive resistance

Power Plant

This is the component that powers your ship’s components. It is rated by power capacity in megawatts (MW) and heat efficiency.

  • Power capacity is the maximum amount of power that the plant can generate
  • You can install components that will consume more than the maximum capacity of your power plant, but you will have to set power priorities to manage which components get power first or toggle some components on or off in certain situations
  • Heat is complicated

Thrusters

This is the component that makes your ship move in normal space. (We’ll talk about abnormal space in a bit.) It governs your pitch, roll, and yaw speeds, as well as top normal speed and boost speed. (Yes, ships in Elite, in normal space, have a top speed for game mechanic reasons.) Thrusters have six main values: minimum/optimal/maximum mass and minimum/optimal/maximum multiplier. They also have power draw and thermal load values.

  • A ship will have a base speed value both directionally and rotationally
  • At minimum mass, the ship’s speed values will be multiplied by the “maximum multiplier”
  • At maximum mass, the ship’s speed values will be multiplied by the “minimum multiplier”
  • As ship’s mass varies between minimum and optimal, the multiplier varies proportionally between the maximum and optimal values
  • As ship’s mass varies between optimal and maximum, the multiplier varies proportionally between the optimal and minimum values
  • See this Frontier forum thread for more information

Frame Shift Drive

This is the component that drives your ship in “abnormal” space, both “supercruise” or intrasystem travel and hyperspace or intersystem travel. All ships travel the same in supercruise, so the important stats are “optimized mass” and “max fuel per jump”, these are what determine the maximum distance your ship can jump with what load.

See Playing around with the hyperspace fuel equation for extra fiddly bits around all of that jazz.