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Ship Design
Ship Sections -- Modules -- Weapons

The design of your ships is a very important part of Sword of the Stars 2. A ship design consists of one of each type of section (command, mission and engine) as well as modules and weapons.


As in the first game, drones are too small for shields or significant armor plate.[1] EW drones are in the game. [2]


The only ship in SotS 2 resembling the classical, single crew fighter idea is the highly specialized Node Fighter, [3] which is system based, agile and lightly armed and armored. [4] They require a new node drive tech, MicroNode Drive. [5] Node fighters are NOT Battleriders and are in-system only vessels. [6]


LVs are a new, larger hull size in SotS 2. All LVs will be command capable, though not necessarily dedicated command ships. [7] LVs will not have fixed HCLs. [8] LVs consist of only one section, which can be further customized with modules. The initial release will contain 2 base type leviathans [9] There is no way to move a Leviathan mass on fusion engines. [10]


Players can build stations they design in SotS 2. For more in-depth information, please see the Stations page.


Once a ship gets past a certain age it starts costing more to maintain. [11] There will be a Empire wide ability to decommission all ships of a particular class in addition to decommissioning them individually. [12]


Prototypes are a new gameplay addition that is applied to capital ships (CR, DN and LVs) only. [13] In other words, neither weapon systems nor subsystems nor drones battleriders need to be prototyped. However, BattleCruisers <TBC: BBs too?> DO need to be prototyped.

The prototype phase is abstracted in the increased production time for the first ship of the class you build. Once built you can build as many as you like at normal speed and production cost. [14]

Design Attributes

Your new ship may prove to perform a little under its on-paper spec – or have surprising versatility because of the combination of systems you use in your design. Flaws or advantages in a prototype are revealed by combat [15] or after researching Virtual Engineering. Not every ship has class advantages/disadvantages, which are quite rare. [16]

Ship class advantage/disadvantage will be clearly denoted by a nickname applied to that class and tool tip hooked to that nickname that clearly states the game mechanic implications of that quality. [17] So for example: Romulan Class Cruiser ("Aces and Eights"). Refitting weapons will not change the advantage/disadvantage of the class. "Right now nicknames are human based in order to give players a sense right off the bat of what the ship is like...during testing we may experiment with alien phrases for the same thing but to be honest that may add a layer of confusion that would make a new thing even more difficult. We shall see." [18]

Attribute Name Description
Aces and Eights +15% ROF, +20% Signature - This class fights hard but draws a lot of attention to itself.
Bit Of A Hog -10% Turn speed, -10% Turn thrust - This design never quite lives up to its engine specs.
Dead Eye +10% Accuracy with all weapons - Synergies between weapons and scanners give this ship design an edge in accuracy.
Death Trap +1 crew death from any structure hit, +1 death to both sides during boarding party combat - Whether in reality or just rumor, this design seems to accrue a larger number of combat death and injuries that it should.
Fast In the Curves +10% Turn speed - Class is efficient in turns.
Four Eyes -10% Scanner range and strength - The sensor suite on this design never quite lives up to expectation.
Ghost Of The Hood -2 Rows of armor across all sections, +10% top speed - Flawed armor plating reduces the protection on this design but results in a faster top speed than planned.
Hard Luck Ship 2X chance of critical hits - This class of ships just seems to be cursed. If it can go wrong in combat, it will go wrong.
Lewis And Clark +10% Scanner range. Double Survey Efficiency - This design lends itself to scanner and survey work through lucky synergies in sensors and computers.
Muscle Machine +10% Speed, -20% Turn Speed, +20% forward thrust - This design has resulted in more forward speed and thrust at the cost of some maneuverability.
Nimble Lil Minx +10% Turn speed, +20% Turn thrust - Class is unexpectedly nimble.
Ol Ironsides +2 rows of armor across all sections - Synergy between structure and armor plating makes this design surprisingly tough.
Ol Yellow Streak -10% ROF, -20% Signature - This ship lends itself better to stealth than combat.
Sniper +25% range with all ballistic weapons - The stability of this weapon platform results in the ability to shoot beyond standard weapon ranges.
Spirit Of The Yorktown +50% chance to repair critical hits - The modularity of this design aids greatly in the ability of the crew to effect repairs under combat conditions.


To retrofit old ships with new weapons, the Orbital Dry-docks tech must be researched. The actual upgrading of old ships can only occur at level 3 or better Naval Stations. In addition, the number of ships retrofitted at once is limited by the number of docks on the naval station. [19] The ships the player retrofits will be removed from the fleet while they're retrofitted. They will reappear in the planets reserve fleet when the retrofit is done.

Retrofit cost is what is payed each time an existing ship is upgraded. To make the retrofit the new class design from then on, press the "commit design" button. [20]

Armor Upgrades

Armor can not be changed via refit. It is too radical of a change to the ship hull and so can't be done without creating an entirely new design. [21]

Module Upgrades

Modules can be added or changed as part of the retrofit process.

Option Upgrades

Options eg. Plasma Induction cannot be changed via refit.

Section Upgrades

Ship Sections can not be swapped out for different sections once the ship has been built. The sections shown on the design screen are just that, designs, and not physical Lego cubes already built and then locked together. Once the player sets that design in stone, the ship is made as one continuous vessel, not as 3 blocks welded together on the platform. [22]

Weapon Upgrades

All weapon turrets can now be upgraded, in a logical fashion, to allow the player to move up and down in a weapon family, but not across to another, incompatible weapon family, even if they are in the same weapon tree and size. [23] It will take time, money and drydocking. [24] Standard missiles will automatically upgrade to the best warhead available, without the need for refitting.

Incompatible weapon families:

  • Lasers and Beamers
  • Point Defense and anything else


To retrofit a design:

1) Research Orbital Dry-docks.
2) Open design manager.
3) Select design to retrofit.
4) Click retrofit button in the bottom right corner.
5) Upgrade the Weapons or Modules on the design.
6) Click the submit retrofit button that has replaced the submit design button.

To retrofit ships:

1) Send a fleet to a planet with a Level 3 naval station.
2) Right-click on the ship to be retrofitted.
3) Click the retrofit button.
4) OPTIONAL: check the retrofit all ships in fleet checkbox.
5) Click OK.

Weapon mounts

You can quickly replace all weapon mounts of a given size by Right-clicking on the weapon icon. This will eg. replace all light turrets with a new weapon type without having to hunt for the individual mounts on a large ship.

Ship Subsystems

New in SotS II is the introduction of ship subsystems and the ability for the player to install modules in ship sections. Subsystems like turrets, magazines, life support and reactors can be damaged or destroyed once weapons penetrate the armor of a ship. Systems destroyed by Critical Hits, instead of just being damaged, cannot be fixed without outside intervention. [25] For more in-depth information on modules, please see the Modules page.

System Defense Boats

System Defense Boats (or SDBs for short) are a new addition to SotS 2. They have been described as non-FTL capable craft intended primarily for use defending locations inside a Star System. SDBs are different from riders. They are slightly larger and for a different purpose.[26] SDBs are made available through researching Stealthed Structures. System Defense Boats lay in wait in hidden bases and only launch and fight when the controlling player wants them to.[27]

Turret Sizes

SotS 2 will introduce two new classes of turrets: very heavy and super heavy. [28] Very Heavy turrets can mount triple barrel large turret Particle Beam and Heavy Driver weapons. They can also mount Bursters, Shield Breakers and Thumper. Other large-size weapons confirmed for not being usable include Heavy Plasma Cannon family, large missiles eg. Kinetic Missiles and Shield Projectors. Oddly, Chakkram can be used with Spinal but not Very Heavy turrets. Super Heavy turrets can mount Impactors and Heavy Combat Lasers and are exclusive to Leviathans.



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