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?
Utility modules are the exception to the rule: They always come in size 0 (zero).
That letters thing
All modules also got a letter-based designation from A..E - which is NOT a simple 'A is better than B which is better than C..." thing. It goes more like this:
E = Economy = Cheapest and standard outfit. Do not use.
D = Diet = Cost is only a tad bit more, but weight is king. It's the lightest version. Always.
C = Compromise = Weight of E (or A), medium performance, medium cost, medium in everything. Use when you wish you had "A" but either don't have the money or the power to utilize one.
B = B******* (self censored) = Heaviest. More performance than C but it will ruin your ship's jump range and its agility.
A = Best performance, highest price, medium weight - Use whenever your life depends on it
It is NOT advisable to use "as many A rated modules" as possible. Apart from the fact that you won't be able to power all these "A" rated modules, no matter what power plant you use, it's simply overkill which will add so much weight compared to a "wise" setup, that you will in the end have a ship that is less capable than ships of half the cost.
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