This section is under discussion.
Ships are often divided into separate categories based on their size, weight, shield strength, thrust and reactor capacity. Below are some suggested ship categories - keep in mind that many players and factions use their own definitions.
Drone Class (role) (1 to 100 Blocks) Edit
Shield capacity: 220 to 647 (0 to 4 shield blocks)
Thrust capacity: 3 max
Energy regeneration: 200e/sec
Common roles: Defense, AI-Piloted, Fodder, Mass Turrets, Mass Hangar, Mass Swarmers, Mines
The drone class is the smallest class you could call a ship. There is often no room at all for a pilot or designed cockpit among these ships, and if there is, there is almost always no room for a camera.
As such, a 2nd weapon system is inadvisable, leaving nothing but armor, weapon, power and thrusters in the entire design of a drone. Thrusters are also generally sacrificed, as drones are most often piloted with AI, the space often used for an additional shield block, making them slightly tankier than an interceptor.
As such, these ships are very cheap to produce en mass - larger ships may even carry hundreds. They are completely expendable; cruisers and above may send them out in battle with no plan to retrieve them after.
Drones can have multiple uses such as point-missile defense with cannons or lasers, their own missiles to whittle down enemy flagships, or contribute damage if slow moving enemy ships shields are already down.
Drones can also be left in orbit or released as mines with a pulse set-up, limiting battlefield mobility and providing a cheap threat.
Shield capacity: 220 to 436 (0 to 2 shield blocks)
Thrust capacity: 10 max
Energy regeneration: 500e/sec
Common roles: Reconnaissance, Anti-Missle, Fodder, Anti-Fighter, Light Hangar Ships
Interceptor class ships are generally extremely small in size, often no more than 200 blocks, and are very often used as Fodder to take attention of turrets away from larger ships. This class of ship is very expendable and as such it is commonly used as fodder for turrets.
The design philosophy of interceptors sacrifices shields and mass for speed and battle power, so they generally make poor turret and scouting decisions, but cheap and expendable hangar solutions for a starbase or cruiser.
Despite a significant lack of shields the interceptor proves valuable in being an nuisance in skirmishes and even large fights by distracting ships up to the corvette class, wittling down shields, taking turret fire, and distracting/destroying enemy missiles.
These ships have unbridled agility, and if used by a skilled pilot can engage multiple fighters due to their speed and maneuverability. These ships are seldom seen in service as a separate force due to their unreliability and woeful lack of firepower; but due to their speed are great at countering heavy fighters and anything using missles.
Best fit with machine gun cannons for anti-missle/fighter roles or scatter missles to distract large ships turrets.
Light Fighter class (300 to 500 Blocks)Edit
Shield capacity: 330 to 2286 (1 to 20 shield blocks)
Thrust capacity: 15 max
Energy regeneration: 1000e/sec
Common roles: Reconnaissance, Fodder, Swarmer, Harassment, Light PvP
Light Fighters tend to have few shields and weapons, instead focusing on maneuverability. These ships are capable of extreme and sudden acceleration, allowing a skilled pilot to evade almost all incoming fire. These ships sacrifice a little of the interceptors speed for shields and better weapon systems.
In large numbers, Light Fighters can easily overwhelm ships far above their weight class, as well as divert enemy turret fire away from heavier friendly ships.
Radar Jammers and Cloaking Units are recommended for stealthy reconnaissance, However, Radar Jammers and Cloaking units require a considerable amount of power and thus a Heavy fighter is recommended for reconnaissance and stealth.
Heavy Fighter Class (500 to 3000 Blocks)Edit
Shield capacity: 1100 to 7500 (10 to 70 shield blocks)
Thrust capacity: 30 to 50
Energy regeneration: 3000e/sec
Common roles: Reconnaissance, Fodder, Bomber
A heavier version of the Light Fighter, the Heavy Fighter usually features improved shields and weaponry. The increase in weight does impact maneuverability, although not enough to stop it from tackling Light Fighters.
Missiles can be fitted to fill the Bomber role nicely.
In large numbers, Heavy Fighters will devastate larger ships. However, their larger size makes them far easier to hit than Light Fighters. Turrets are often prime targets for Heavy Fighters due to their relatively weak shielding and importance to enemy ship defense.
Heavy and Light Fighters are often, if not always, the most common ship in many fleets due to their effectiveness against turrets, and their low cost.
It may be useful to install turrets on fighters of this size, to prevent dogfights with more agile vessels, but make sure the turret is not bigger than the actual ship.
Corvette Class (3000 to 7500 Blocks)Edit
Shield: 5500 to 22000 (50 to 200 shield blocks)
Thrust capacity: 100 to 200.
Energy regeneration: 30000 e/sec
Common roles: Reconnaissance, Light Escort, Support
The Corvette is designed to support bigger ships in battle. Corvettes strike a balance between shields, weapons and thrust, allowing one to whittle down enemy shields, take fire meant for allies and eliminate harassing fighters.
Homing missiles are strongly recommended if fighters are a problem.
Corvettes are useful ships to install with jump drives, due to their manageable size.
Frigate Class (7500 to 20000 Blocks)Edit
Shield capacity: 22000 to 110000 (200 to 1000 shield blocks)
Thrust capacity: 500 to 1000
Energy regeneration: 90000 e/sec
Common roles: Support
Frigates are considerably larger than Corvettes and as a consequence are assigned to support bigger ships. Frigate-sized ships will struggle to bring their guns to bear on fast-moving ships and as such it's advisable to bring some anti-fighter support. A turret is advisable, or perhaps side-mounted guns manned by a second crewmember. Occasionally a light fighter may be stored in a small hangar aboard the Frigate.
Frigates are primarily used to support larger military ships.
Cruiser Class (20000 to 50000 Blocks)Edit
Shield: 110000 to 550000 (1000 to 5000 shield blocks)
Thrust capacity: 3000 to 5000
Energy regeneration: 300000 e/sec
Common roles: Assault
Cruisers are very large ships, capable of dishing out a hefty main course of cannon fire that will drop the shields of most ships. Their maneuverability is poor, forcing them to either field turrets or rely on supporting ships when against fighters. Hangars are rare on cruisers.
Cruisers usually focus on weapons over shields, which means they may be lacking in tank relative to their weight. One weapon group only is recommended for Cruisers as they will generally not need to split fire between multiple targets.
Battleship Class (50000 to 200000 Blocks)Edit
Shield: 550000 to 1100000 (5000 to 10000 shield blocks)
Thrust capacity: 7000
Energy regeneration: 1000000 e/sec
Common roles: Assault
Battleships make up the backbone of any fleet. The artillery fielded by battleships is capable of ripping through Cruisers, Frigates and Titans with ease, whilst impressive shielding absorbs a great amount of enemy fire. Hangars are common and allow Battleships to launch Corvettes or Fighters.
Battleships are very slow. An escorting Frigate or Corvette should focus on smaller ships, allowing the Battleship to rip holes in larger ships. A lack of an escort will often mean death as Battleships are sitting ducks when outmaneuvered.
Turrets are a must against fighters.
A subcatagory to battleships may be dreadnoughts, which are usually of similar size, but with more powerful weapons to inflict damage more quickly.
Titan Class (200000 to 500000 Blocks)Edit
Shield: 1100000 to 4950000 (10000 to 45000 shield blocks)
Thrust capacity: 10000 to infinity
Energy regeneration: 5000000 e/sec
Common roles: Heavy Assault, Carrier, Planetary/Station Destruction
Battleships are to Titans what Corvettes are to Frigates. Titans field a humongous amount of firepower, capable of reducing entire planets or stations to ruins in a short space of time. The shield generators fielded aboard a Titan can absorb ridiculous amounts of damage, making up for its lack of maneuverability (Titans are extremely slow).
Titans are expensive to built and are only found in fleets in small numbers. Titans can take the role of a Carrier, with a massive Hangar capable of holding Frigates. Alternatively, Hangar space can be swapped for more firepower if you really want to destroy everything.
Titans feature many, many turrets. Additional manned turrets are common.
For any ships this size or larger, "assault" turrets may be found that can exceed 100 m in length and blow holes in multiple ships on all sides of the vessel, to make up for the poor turning.
Deus Class (500000 to 1000000 Maximum Blocks)Edit
Shield: 4950000 minimum (45000 shield blocks minimum)
Thrust capacity: 300
Energy regeneration: 10000000 e/sec
Common roles: Eater of Worlds, Superheavy Assault, PVP, Mothership Destroyer
Deus class ships don't always mean GG, but usually. Their firepower can rival entire fleets and their shields can survive a supernova. Their speed is pathetic, but who needs speed when you have power?
Turrets are very numerous. Side weapon batteries are advisable for taking down multiple ships in a short space of time, providing you have the crewmembers to man them.
These ships are extremely rare and generally only one is fielded per fleet.
Mothership Class (1000000 Minimum Blocks)Edit
Shield: 99000000 minimum (900000 shield blocks minimum)
Thrust capacity: 600000
Energy regeneration: 1500000000 e/sec
Common roles: "Mobile" Space Station, Ultraheavy Assault
Mothership Class ships are exponentially rare, chiefly due to the base cost of the materials needed to construct such a behemoth (Exceeding 2 Billion Credits).
Due to the way in which the physics for large ships in Starmade works, the higher the number of blocks, the slower the turn time. There is no way to combat this, and as such Mothership Class Ships are very unwieldy, and may take minutes to take a full rotation.
Mothership Class Carriers often make up the entire fleet of a faction(s), and despite their sluggish turning, the ridiculous number of turrets will deal with the smaller threats, like hordes of Fighters.
Some people refer to Motherships as flagships, and others convert some Motherships into massive "supercarriers."
Direct fire from a Mothership will decimate the shields and hull of nearly any class ship, excluding itself, and should a Mothership be spotted, immediate retreat is advised.
Two very powerful Motherships are the Infinity and Spirit of Fire, both of which are made by SkylordLuke.
First person to ever make a mothership class ship is victorp1811 at 119,894,047 Blocks