Ships are vessels that transport goods and people between planets. In the X-universe, they usually employ a jumpgate network to rapidly transit to distant locations. This page serves as a hub for various information about these vessels.
Ship classes are often grouped together to simplify description.
There are two main groups: the largest combat ships are known as capitals (M1, M2, as well as the M7), and the smaller ones (M3, M4, M5) are fighters.
These are the original classifications, which have been added to over time. In between those two also exist the medium sized M6 corvettes and and M8 missile bombers.
Ships designed primarily to carry cargo can be described as:
Ships that carry other ships can be described as:
In the course of traveling the X-Universe, ships are often damaged, be it by weapons fire, hull-eating nebulae, or collisions.
Equipment lost/destroyed to damage will have to be reacquired.
The player can eject the ship's SETA, eject the ship as an astronaut, and collect the SETA device. The player can then use SETA when out of ship. If you do this, keep in mind:
Non-Capital ships sold from shipyards are designated with S, M, and L.
These designations typically denote different equipment packages included in the sale.
S model ships almost always are shielded with 1 MJ shields and are armed with IREs. They are the “base model”, and have few “extras”, but are lower-priced if you want to equip them yourself. M model ships are in an in-between point of S and L, often sporting weaker shields or incomplete shielding, and inferior equipment that you will probably want to sell as you outfit them yourself. L model ships by contrast are usually shielded with the maximum the class can hold and have heavier armaments, although not always the armaments you may want. Both M and L models may not be available, as their availability depends upon there being an Equipment Dock with equipment in-stock to supply those ships.
As the details of each ship vary the most reliable way to determine differences is to look at the detail screens the shipyard posts.
Keep in mind that these differences are only there for convenience's sake. You can always (and may frequently have to) outfit ships by transferring shields, upgrades, and weapons to them after purchase, and there is no advantage to buying an “L” model, other than having shields already added for you. The game does not even remember what model you purchased past the point of purchase.
You may likely wish to purchase only S model ships when you have stations of your own, or can easily purchase lower-priced weapons and shields.