Spacecraft Design

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Imbox notice.png This page contain information about a feature that has two versions.

To read about the old version, go to Spacecraft Design/OldVersion.

For more information, go to the Spacecraft Update page.

Imbox notice.png This section is in need of revision.

Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.

The reason given is: The new designer (See Spacecraft Update and Building Update) is already functional. This page has need more information about basic designer functions. Could use some help.

This page focuses on designer rulers and functions specific for spacecraft designing.

See the Designer page for common designer information.


Module Function Module Function
Berth Personal respawn location for two people. Stateroom berths can accomodate two colonists instead of people. Can choose what type of berth is provided, such as Captain, Officer, Crew, Troops, or Civilians. Sensor Station Operates Sensors.
Engineer Station Tunes maneuver drive performance.
Required to operate FTL drive.
Space Vehicle Recovery System The recovery system displays an approach lighting system that guides the pilot toward the recovery system. When the vehicle enters the recovery system, it is captured and moved instantly to a vacant parking spot, if one is available.
Fire Control Station Required in each weapon bay to operate the weapon. Only one permitted per bay. Shield Station Operates energy shields. Only one permitted per room.
Maneuver Drive Provides thrust for maneuvering. Enables a station to hold its position. Provides artificial gravity inside spacecraft. Required for all spacecraft. Water Vehicle Parking Spot A water vehicle parking spot indicates a place to park a water vehicle. Ship policies determine which specific water vehicle will be stored. These are 12m x 17m in size and require this space to be available.
Helm Station Controls attitude and velocity of ship. Required for all spacecraft. Only one permitted per bridge. Ground Vehicle Parking Spot Ground Vehicle Parking Spot. Indicates where a ground vehicle should be parked, and ship policies determine what type of vehicle is spawned here. These are 6m x 12m in size and require this space to be available.
Surgery Unit Performs complex anatomical operations. Space Vehicle Parking Spot A space vehicle parking spot indicates a place to park a space vehicle. Ship policies determine which specific space vehicle will be stored. These are 12m x 17m in size and require this space to be available.
Transporter Pad One pad is required per person transported simultaneously. Total pads in room determines maximum object size Pod Bay A pod bay indicates a place to store a drop pod. Drop pods can be used as life boats. They can also be used to deploy troops. These are 5m x 5m in size and require this space to be available.
Medic Station Required in each sickbay to operate surgery unit. Place only one in each sickbay. Transporter Station Operates matter transmission equipment. Place only one in each transporter room.
Navigator Station Displays solar system and wormhole information. Plots courses to travel among the stars. Only one permitted per bridge. Turret Provides a standard mount for various weapons on hull walls.
Space Vehicle Launcher A space vehicle launcher is a place to position a space vehicle for launch. It also determines the direction in which the vehicle is launched. These are 12m x 17m in size and require this space to be available. The launch pad requires direct access to the outside through a door or opening. Power Relay Station Distributes power between ship systems. Displays status of ship systems.

Valid Design

A valid spacecraft design must define a Station, Spaceship, or Starship with one contiguous hull. When your design is complete and valid, do the following things.

(Unknown as of yet)

Space stations automatically spawn in orbit with crew. The space station will not spawn if there is one already of equal or higher TL design.
A spacecraft that fits on or inside a box 21x21 squares and 5 ? will spawn on the road slabs directly bordering the spacecraft factory. As long as they are empty of vehicles and spaceships.
A spacecraft over 21x21 squares and 5 ? will spawn outside the space station of the planet it was built on (as long as it is empire owned). The space station has room for upto 4 craft to spawn this way. Removing a space station will not reset the spaces. You'll have to hunt down the old spaceships and move them to free up room.
A Privately bought ship will always spawn in orbit directly above the city it was bought at.


The maximum size for a spaceship to be manufactured on a slab on a planet is 21x21 tiles and 5 ? high. Purchased ships always spawn in space, without any fuel, and do not necessarily spawn near space stations (at least if the space station is also privately owned). It may be wise to have hydrogen in your inventory when you buy your ship, so that you can put some into its fuel tanks. Having a large number of power plants also helps the ship keep power longer initially, since its capacitors will not go empty as fast.

It should be noted that resources must be above a certain Quality to be harvested/produced at each TL, and that each TL spaceship or space station requires that all the components and materials that it is constructed from be at least that TL. The relationship is 8 levels of Quality per Tech level from base zero. E.g. Resources with a Quality of 0-7 are limited to TL1, resources with a Quality of 8-15 are limited to TL2, and so on. You need resource Q248 or above to produce TL32 resources.

A spaceship can be constructed one of two ways. Either it can be manufactured or purchased. If it's manufactured, then it is labelled as a 'fleet' ship and is owned by the empire where it was built, although people from that empire will be able to claim berths in it and fly it. A fleet ship receives free repairs and refuelling at all cities and space stations owned by the same empire as where it was built. Lastly, when a fleet ship is destroyed, it must be rebuilt and all cargo and funds on board are lost.

A purchased ship is owned by the player who purchases it, but must be purchased with that player's personal funds. These are known as Company Ships. These ships do not receive free repairs or refuelling, but if they have an officer or captain (player, not AI!), they will respawn above the city they are spawn-tied to when they are destroyed instead of being destroyed forever. The cargo and money they carry is also saved when they respawn. A single person may buy any number of private ships, but may only captain one of them. It can be wise to use a privately purchased ship as an automated trading vessel, due to the rather high rate at which those disintegrate in atmospheres, stars, wormholes, and whatever else the AI crew decides to plow into. Bear in mind that they do not respawn in pristine condition, and that (theoretically) if your officer manages to get killed and you are not the captain, the ship may fail to respawn due to lack of an officer or captain.

Notes on designing a ship

When designing a ship, keep in mind, that:

1. You should always place a Captain Berth so that other berths are not used for a Captain. If you do not have a Captain Berth on your ship, one of the other berths are reserved. The order of precedence for reserving a captain's berth:

Officer > Passenger > Crew > Troop berth.

2. If you want your ship to fly, instead of bounce around aimlessly, you need an Engineer console, and an engineer to operate it.

3. If you want your ship to leave a planet's orbit and reach for other planets, and stars, you need a Navigation console.