Star Citizen: How to upgrade ships

Even in alpha, Star Citizen is home to a lot of ships, and the developers try to add new ones with every new major update. However, what makes this catalog more valuable are the customization options you get for each ship.

Related: Star Citizen: How to mine gems

Veteran Star Citizen players don’t really look at the ship’s base stats, and instead look at the ship’s abilities for upgrades. Hopefully, the upgrades will often come at a decent price in the game.

How to get new parts

The only process of upgrading ships is very easy, but the most important thing is knowing what kind of parts and gears are compatible with your ship and how upgrading it will improve its performance in a specific area.

Customization options are different for each ship, but in general, you can change parts such as the Quantum Drive, Cooler, Power Plant, weapons, weapon racks, missiles, missile racks, shields, defenses, and even the paint of your ship. Except for the last item, which is classified under cosmetic items and can only be obtained with real money, all other parts can be purchased using in-game currency.

Part 1

In Star Citizen, each part of the ship is classified based on its size. The larger the size, the better the performance. Therefore, smaller and cheaper ships usually have size 1 or size 2 parts, while larger ships can have size 9 parts. Knowing your ship’s parts size is very important, as you will have to choose your new part from the same size options available. You can never upgrade the portion size. The best tool for finding out all the details about all the ships in Star Citizen is a database site called Erkul. This site tells you all the details about each part of your ship, from the size of the parts to all the options available to improve each part. You can also find the site where you can buy the part you want at its direct price. Keep in mind that some parts on some ships are not upgradeable.

For example, missile racks and weapon racks are among the parts that can only be upgraded on certain ships. Upgrading the missile carrier will allow you to change the part size, but it does not mean an upgrade. For example, a launcher ship might have a size 5 missile mount, but the base version is equipped with 4x size 2 missiles instead of 1x size 5 missile. In this case, you can change the missile mount to allow the ship to level up to its potential power. If you see a small lock symbol on the Erkul next to the ship part, this means that this part cannot be upgraded. You can buy new spare parts from different shops scattered around stations and major cities. Each store usually focuses on a specific series of parts. Once you’ve purchased everything you need, it’s time to install the new parts.

How to upgrade ships

Mining promotion

Land at a station or city and store your ship via the fleet manager terminal. Now, launch MobiGlass and open the tab with a ship icon called “Vehicle Load Manager”. From the dropdown menu in the top corner, select your ship. Ships that are not stored in the same station as your location cannot be modified. After selecting your ship, a number of new tabs will appear in the left column.

Each tab simply shows one part of your ship, and if you click on it, you’ll see the options available for installation. In this example, we are upgrading the MISC Prospector, which is a mining vessel. As you can see, on the tab for Mining Arm, there are two options.

The part taken

To install the new part, all you need to do is select and prime the part. Next, click the Save Changes button in the bottom corner to apply the changes. Normally, it should apply immediately or within a few minutes, but if it takes too long, you can simply log out and log back in to apply the change. Keep in mind that you can only upgrade the ships you own. Charter ships cannot be upgraded.

Sometimes a part of the ship may be able to carry subunits. For example, the mining arm can actually be upgraded with more units. As you can see, we have already upgraded the Helix-1 mining boom by two units. All mining related parts can be found within the refinery shops. One last important tip is that you can even swap parts between ships. This means that if you have two vessels with the same part size, you can swap their parts with each other.

To find out if a part actually belongs to another ship, you need to pay attention to the smaller text below the part name labeled “In Use”. If the number in front of “In Use” is greater than zero, this means that this part has been installed on another ship of yours. Also, it is very important that when you replace an existing part with a new one, that original part remains in that station’s inventory, and you cannot access it from anywhere else.

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