SHIPS: Advice - Some Basic Outfitting Rules For Ships - #00042

Most expensive is not best. Cheapest is not worst. White is not black.
Ralph Waldo Adderson (sic!)

When outfitting your current or your future ship, there are a few things you should know about in order to maximise performance and make your ship do what your mission demands.

That numbers thing

All ship modules are designated using numbers. The higher the number, the bigger the module. Bigger, not better, not more performance, just bigger.

Modules of bigger size perform better when compared to a smaller module with the same quality (letter from A..E) - they are not generally stronger than any other module of a lesser size.

Speaking of core modules, you should always use the biggest number/size available. If you got a slot in size 4 for a Frame Shift Drive, use a size 4 module. You can use a smaller size/lesser number, but your modules performance will be abysmal or insufficient.

Outfitting optional modules, you got more options. Just make sure that the module you are trying to fit doesn't have a mass limitation. Shield Generators do have a "maximum hull mass" value which must be higher than your ship's laden mass. If not, your shield generator won't cover your whole ship mass. The result? You will suffer from hull and module damage in combat, even with shields up. Not covered completely, get it?

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