While it might be easy to dismiss most components as being less impressive than the more flashy weapons, turrets and missiles, they are no less important to the overall operation of your spacecraft, and found far more commonly across all ships and vehicles in-game.
Gimbal Weapon Mounts
As an alternative to attaching the maximum sized weapon to your itemport, you may choose to use a Gimbal Mount. Gimbals allow players to attach a smaller sized weapon that will enable the user to line their shots up with more ease than a fixed on its own. The Gimbal Mount must be the same size as the hardpoint, but can only support a weapon at least one size smaller due to the space it occupies.
Missile racks are attached first to ordnance hardpoints, with the missiles or torpedoes attaching to them, not unlike a gimbal mount. These missile racks have sizes similar to weapons and there are multiple missile rack options per hardpoint size with adjustments to payload.
As development continues, we intend to allow players to attach other items to these hardpoints, the first of which are Rocket Pods that fire unguided missiles, similar to the ones already found on the Mustang Delta. Rockets will be available with a variety of fuse types like timed, impact and proximity. Rockets should be perfect for ground attack missions where you want to saturate an area with explosives.
Distortion Field Generators
Smaller versions of what gives something like the Avenger Warlock its punch.
To provide extra hydrogen or quantum fuel supplies for longer range flights.
Droppable explosives that safeguard an area of space, air, land, or sea.
The things that go in the Missile Racks used to blow stuff up.
Things like the Stor-All box on the Hornet F7C.
Thrusters are a key part of a spaceships - critical for getting you around, and also a key area to manage in both fuel consumption and emissions. Thrusters come in a huge range of sizes and types from the smallest fixed maneuvering thruster on a Nox, the huge pivoting VTOL thrusters found on the Idris, and all the way to the humongous fixed main thrusters found on the Bengal.
The primary thrusters on the ship that are responsible for making it go forwards, these are the most important ones on traditionally constructed ships and provide the bulk of forward momentum.
Having moved from the maneuvering section of the old matrix these are now counted in the Main Thruster category as they are a critical thruster set on the ship. There is little point having the biggest thruster around if you cant stop in time! Generally found in pairs some ships may have more or less depending on their roles and having a damage one can cause serious issues when trying to stop.
These thrusters provide lift in the Z+ axis and can either be fixed in one position to provide continuous upward thrust or can pivot when needed to provide that thrust. Cargo or particularly ships tend to have fixed VTOL thrusters on the underside if they are required to enter/exit planets or moons with gravity to aid them in leaving the atmosphere and to also slow their decent. If a ship does not have any dedicated VTOL thrusters it is not the end of the world, it just requires more forethought under those circumstances mentioned before.
Fixed Maneuvering thrusters provide instant thrust output as they do not need to align to the desired vector first, this gives a quicker response leading to more agility. The downside is you need to have more of them, a minimum of 12 on a ship to provide the ability to move in any direction with 6DOF.
Gimbal Maneuvering thrusters provide thrust on one or more axis as they pivot or rotate to align themselves to the desired vector before providing thrust. This allows less thrusters to be needed but at the cost of a slower response rate and a small amount of power required to move them into position, making them vulnerable to power management problems.
When Quantum Drives are engaged they produce extraordinary high temperatures. Farther destinations require the Quantum Drives to be engaged for longer periods of time. The standard equipment Coolers that come with most Ships provide insufficient cooling capacity for medium and long distance Quantum travel resulting in overheating. When the Quantum Drives overheat a cool down period is required upon exiting Quantum travel before you can use them again. Waiting for your Quantum Drives to cool down could be potentially catastrophic if you exited Quantum travel among or near hostile characters.
Purchasing more advanced Coolers (more advanced than the stock Coolers with which most ships are equipped) at Dumper's Depot, and equipping your ship with them is a solution to shorten or eliminate the cool down period after medium to long distance Quantum travels.
Computers (Formerly Avionics Motherboards or Modules)
Batteries are a component that most ships will feature. Specifically, these function like real world batteries and can be charged up and used whilst the power plant is offline for both redundancy and lower signature performance.
Turrets can be found on ships of all sizes, from starters to capital ships, and the mounts they attach to can vary as dramatically in size as well. The largest found on some capital ships are as big as the smaller ships flying escort, wielding weapons capable of massive destruction.
Turrets are now divided into two distinct categories: Manned and Remote. Both of these turret types support player, NPC or AI control via various methods detailed further below:
- Turrets can only be attached to turret hardpoints, they cannot go on weapon or ordnance hardpoints.
- Turrets themselves have multiple itempoints of their own for attaching armament to. These are traditionally weapon hardpoints, but some turrets can also have ordnance and utility hardpoints as well.
- Turrets can only be swapped out for the same type of turret, and all turrets are "hull locked." This means you can only swap a Manned Constellation Turret out for a different variant of a Manned Constellation Turret. You can not swap one out for a Manned Starfarer Turret, as example.
- Remote Turrets cannot be swapped for Manned Turrets, and vice versa due to hull requirements.
- As they are now "hull locked" turrets no longer have a size attributed to them. You can only swap out like for like. They no longer have a +2 to the sum size of the weapons calculation.
- These turrets are controlled by a player or NPC acting as player within them, usually in a seat that moves from within the ship hull into the turret itself.
- All manned turrets have a consistent entrance tube diameter which means that upon destruction… they become a viable breach point.
- These turrets are controlled from a station or seat elsewhere within the ship by a player or NPC acting as player. Their view is remotely sent back from the turret allowing them to control it and see what it sees while physically being elsewhere in the ship.
- Remote turrets have no physical path inside them for players to enter, so they're a great way to add defense on ships where space is a premium, but will often pack lower size weapons.
Aside from Fuel Tanks and Utility Hardpoints, all of these items are swappable and to ensure balance, fall under one of 5 size categories:
- Vehicle (0)
- Small (1)
- Medium (2)
- Large (3)
- Capital (4)
Each itemport is restricted to a single type and size, meaning you cannot put a Power Plant on a hardpoint that a Cooler occupies, nor can you swap two Small Shield Generators out for a Medium Shield Generator. The jump in output between each item type varies but it can roughly be considered to be a 3:1 ratio, as in 3 Small items give roughly the same output as one Medium.
Every swappable item in the game is assigned a grade for ease of comparison, this should be your first port of call when deciding what items to buy and swap out as it gives you a simple scale to compare against. Additional details about the individual nature of an item with be visible in the purchase screen of any vendor, but for a place to start, we provide a simple letter grade.
Different grades have different values to the items:
- Grade A - The best possible performance, usually has an additional Sub Item slot.
- Grade B - A good upgrade to performance, may have an additional Sub item slot.
- Grade C - The standard item for most ships be default, average performance.
- Grade D - Lower grade, generally makes up the NPC/AI populace, good for emergency use to get through troubles.
Most ships come standard with default C grade components. Some of the more exotic or specialized ships may come with Grade B equipment in default loadouts, which can often be seen reflected in their price. Of course, the reverse can also hold true where cheaper ships may come with D grade components by default. They'll still work fine and get you where you wanna go, but you'll want to consider upgrading them after a while.
In a future 3.x patch, the plan is to assign every ship and every item a component class. This means players will only be able to put an item of that class into a ship that can utilize it.
- Military - The best overall at that item's functionality, at the expense of emissions and cost.
- Civilian - The most common, wide range of behaviours to suit cost, options to approximate all other categories but not as specific.
- Stealth - Vastly reduced signatures/consumption at the expense of functionality.
- Industrial - Reliably high output and low wear, high emissions.
- Competition - Higher performing than military but at the expense of durability and stealth, performance over everything.
At present, no ship is restricted to a single class of item, with each having at least two classes and virtually all of them featuring Civilian as an option. While this system is still in development, the idea at it's core is to prevent players from making certain ships too powerful within respective areas. We still want there to be an enormous amount of customization available, but this system we're still developing would do things like limit the chances of finding a Military Spec 85X or a Stealth Herald simply due to people buying the best items of that type.
CIG are still in the design phase of this system and therefore still working on all the edge cases. For 3.0 the default loadouts for the ships are the correct grades/classes that they are planned to be, so the performance of those ships should change and there will be many upgrade paths even with the class restriction. More information on the class restriction system will be provided when there is more concrete information to share.
Sub-Items live inside components and provide a boost to the base effectiveness in a variety of ways. Currently, they are consumable parts that will wear out much quicker than their host items themselves. Without sub-items the base item still functions as normal, but will find a small boost in performance when sub-items are installed. It's recommended that players carry spares for longer trips as the need to swap these out over extended duration trips is likely. Not carrying spares (or not having the ability to carry spares) isn't an impediment to base functionality, but should be seen as a continued maintenance loop necessary to provide an improved-upon and highly proficient system.
Each Sub Item fits in one of three categories, each boosting a different set of stats for that item:
- Efficiency - Improves the overall effectiveness of the main item by reducing power or improving cooling performance.
- Protection- Reduces the damage being dealt to the main item by absorbing different damage types or reducing wear rate and misfire chances.
- Detection - Inhibits emissions in various spectrum from the main item or provides resistance to scanning.
Sub Items can fit in many different items and are not restricted to a specific type of item, such as a Power Plant Sub Item.
Computer Blades are not Sub Items. They are their own stand alone item that adds or expands functionality rather than improving a baseline stat. While currently they can only be added to Computer items, that may not be the only place for them in the future.
Tinkering and tuning ships, parts, and components is particularly interesting to many people. Every component produced is "rated" to a certain specification by the manufacturer, even though it may possibly be capable of superior performance. Tuning, or "Overclocking", is the process of pushing a module or component beyond its rated specification. A laser cannon may be able to do 10% or 20% more damage if greater power is routed to it, but at the risk of greater heat generation or damage. Certain players or NPCs may make a living by overclocking components and selling them at a premium to others.
Tuning can be conducted in various facilities. Basic overclocking can be done anywhere with the proper tools. Advanced tuning requires advanced facilities, such as the supercollider module on the Endeavor 
Component manufacturers design and manufacture nearly every ship component found on the market, competing with each other to release the next big part that brings them significant profit.
|Aegis Dynamics||Power Plants • Thrusters|
|Tyler Design & Tech||Power Plants||Quality|
|Wilkes & Federman||Thrusters||Standard|
|WillsOp Systems||Avionics • CPU Systems|
|Chimera Communications||Avionics • Scanners • CPU Systems|
|Defensive Systems (Armor/Shields)|
|Basilisk||Armor • Shields|
|Talisman||Armor • Shields|
|Weapon Manufacturers (Guns/Missiles)|
|Klaus & Werner||
|Associated Sciences & Development||Ship weapons (Kinetic, Energy, Missiles, Turrets)|
|Talon Weapon Systems||Missiles||Standard|
|Joker Enterprises||Speciality Weapons|
|Roussimoff Rehabilitation Systems||Personal weapons • Armor|
- The Shipyard: Other Ship Items
- The Shipyard: Ordnance Hardpoints
- The Shipyard: Weapon Hardpoints
- The Shipyard: Ship Thrusters & You
- Q&A: Crusader ARES
- The Shipyard: Turrets
- Comm-Link detailing the hard points and ship components (Original RSI URL)
- Endeavor Supercollider for Overclocking (Original RSI URL)
- Component manufacturers (Original RSI URL)