Ships are, not unsurprisingly, the basic means of getting anything interesting done in Distant Worlds. They consist of a chosen Role which dictates their basic design, some combat settings to inform their behaviours, and a selection of components which physically make up the ship.
When you initially design your ship, you must choose a role. This determines how the game treats the ship - a "Small Freighter" will always be considered a private (non-state) cargo-hauler, no matter how you kit it out.
Every ship listed in Ship Types is actually a role - while the game places some restrictions on how you equip a particular role, there's nothing preventing you from making the aforementioned "Small Freighter" capable of assaulting a large pirate base all on its own.
These choices determine what the ship does in combat.
- Stronger Opponents: What the ship does when it's facing an enemy with more Firepower.
- Weaker Opponents: What the ship does when it's facing an enemy with less Firepower.
- Invasion: At what point is the ship willing to advance on a planet and drop ground troops.
- Flee When: At what point is the ship to consider itself defeated and attempt to withdraw.
Everything that makes up the ship. In the Design window, choose from the box on the left, add it to the box in the center. The ship's size is the sum of all its components' sizes.
Ships in general require the following:
- One Command Center
- Vectoring Engines (such as the Directional Thruster) to turn the ship
- Main Thrust Engines (such as the Ion Thruster) to move the ship forwards
- Reactors (starting with the Basic Space Reactor) to provide Energy to all the other components
- Fuel Cells (starting with the Small Fuel Cell) to provide the reactors with fuel