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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24); New blog post: Codex Overhaul (05/11/24)

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Mods / [0.95a] Fighter Expansion Rebalanced v1.1.1a
« on: May 09, 2021, 03:08:23 PM »
Presented with credits to, and permission from, the original author, Hoon.  The original HHE Fighter Expansion mod can be found here.

This mod is a content rebalancing and trimming of HHE Fighter Expansion.  Changes to the combat and campaign levels have been applied to control content bloat, and various ships, fighters and weapons have been slightly reworked to function better in-game for the new realities of patch 0.95, become more distinct from their original counterparts, or (in a few cases) just be more fun to use.

Mod includes:

  • 22 Fighter craft
  • 3 Capital-Class Carriers
  • 8 modular Point Defense and anti-fighter weapons
  • 3 Specialized Fighter Loadout hullmods, tuned to improve the performance of fighter craft in specific niches
  • 2 other hullmods vaguely related to Carrier warfare


Little more than a discount Broadsword, but she tries.


Gladius refit equipped with a battery of Swarmer missiles.  Popular with Luddics.


Small, fast, and cheap: Excellent for shoring up the strength of interceptor groups.


Heavily armed and armored, the Tinhead is the worst nightmare of unshielded fighter craft... if it can catch them.


A heavy fragmentation-based weapon array peppers the flying wing design.  Highly dangerous to fighters, but somewhat toothless against properly armored warships.

Broadsword (L)

The end result of centuries of iteration, the late-variant Broadsword further enhances its durability with a reliable shield generator and an upgraded flux core, at the cost of the original model's logistical simplicity.

Talon (L)

The end result of centuries of iteration, the late-variant Talon is refit to engage and destroy shielded fighters as were common in the late Domain era.  Their own light shield generators do little to improve their survivability.

Phase Interceptor

An unusual fighter craft using a micro-phase coil actuator, two Bright EMP missile pods are designed to knock out the engines of maneuvering fighters so the Draugr can bring its IR Pulse Laser to bear.

Support Fighter

An inexpensive support fighter, provides both basic point-defense service and PD saturation through its weapon compliment.  Vulnerable to being swarmed, as its weaponry has limited effectiveness against even fighter-grade armor!

Support Fighter

Yo dawg, I heard you like fighters, so I put some fighters on your fighters so you can engage while you engage!

Superheavy Fighter

Built with some of the finest technology the Domain had to offer, the Loki's combat prowess is eclipsed only by its intense logistical demands.



Built around a miniature Ion Lance with shield penetration capabilities, watch your hard-flux levels.


An energy torpedo bomber, with a twist...


Reserved for the best of the Sindrian Diktat's fighter jocks, Lion's Guard LPCs are modified for high performance in the skies of Inner Askonia.


Heavily modified LPC variants, refit for the Fourteenth Battlegroup's "Decisive Battle" doctrine.  Though the XIV Legions the fighters used to operate from are lost to the sands of time, many XIV fighter LPCs survive to the present day.



Blot the stars with your fighter craft.  Finish off your foes yourself with your built-in Desolator flak cannon if you're feeling aggressive, though keep in mind the Sentinel-class is not built for the front line....

Astral (E)

An older prototype of the Astral-class carrier commonly found in Tri-Tachyon hands, the Astral(E) lacks the production model's missile array and ship system, but the lower maintenance cost results in its use with more factions within the Persean Sector.


A well-rounded capital battlecarrier, four fighter bays compliments its primary weapon array of two Large Energy and single Large Missile.  Rugged and reliable, as far as high-tech ships go.


Heavy Vulcan Cannon (8 OP)
Medium Ballistic, PD

An alternative PD solution to flak cannons, destroys missiles through sheer volume of fire.  The three barrel arrangement strains the ammo feed which may throttle if forced to fire continuously.

Prickler PD (2 OP)
Small Ballistic, PD

Accurate and fairly long range for its size, Prickler PD may struggle against either very tough singular missiles or vast swarms.  Works best in cooperation with a Vulcan PD net.

IR Autopulse Laser (13 OP)
Medium Energy, Anti-Fighter

Overpowers fighter-grade shields and armor through a flurry of light pulse laser shots, its raw damage and flux efficiency also makes the weapon a reasonable shield breaking weapon.

Light Ion Lance (8 OP)
Small Energy, Suppression

A premium light ion weapon with shield-penetration capabilities, the Lance can also obliterate light fighters in a single burst.

PD Streamer (8 OP)
Small Energy, PD

A fragmentation damage PD beam alternative to the Burst PD laser, the PD Streamer has a slight range advantage and far better sustained performance, at the cost of anti-shield and anti-armor performance.

Pulse Phaser (4 OP)
Small Energy, Anti-Fighter

An IR Pulse variant that rapidly fires unstable energy bolts, Pulse Phasers are particularly effective at peeling armor from unshielded fighters.

PD Pulser (1 OP)
Small Energy, PD

A dirt-cheap fragmentation PD laser, you get what you pay for.

Shrieker Missile Pod (2 OP)
Small Missile, PD Saturation

A cheap autoloading missile with minimal direct effectiveness against anything, Shriekers exist solely to occupy enemy PD weaponry to increase the chance of real missile weapons getting through PD nets.


SFL: Aegis System

Specialized Fighter Loadout: Dramatically improves the point-defense capabilities of mounted fighter craft through an IPDAI-esque package.

SFL: Predator System

Specialized Fighter Loadout: Dramatically improves the anti-fighter performance of mounted fighter craft through maneuverability buffs, autofire accuracy enhancements, and minor raw damage bonuses against small targets.

SFL: Hammer System

Specialized Fighter Loadout: Dramatically improves missile and anti-large craft performance of mounted fighter craft through minor raw damage bonuses against large targets and an ECCM-esque upgrade package for missiles.

Skysweeper Point Defense AI

Essentially an anti-fighter oriented version of IPDAI, improves weapon autofire accuracy and damage inflicted to fighter-sized targets

Quickload Missile Racks

Increases the reload and regen rate of missile weapons by one third.  And... that's it.

-Quickload Missile Racks now increases missile regen time as well as refire rate for reloading missiles, such as Pilums.

-Added Cazin (P): An ill-advised pirate modification to an already barely spaceworthy hull.

-Added Loki Superheavy Fighter: Heavily shielded two-man squadron with frigate-level firepower.

-Light Ion Lance buffed somewhat, and is now available as a high-end small energy weapon.

-Pulse Phaser reworked and reintroduced as an IR Pulse sidegrade that's particularly effective against unshielded fighters.

-Lion's Guard versions of Thunder, Gladius, and Broadsword with slightly tweaked stats introduced, moved here from the in-development *Guns & Gear* mod.

-Fourteenth Battlegroup versions of Thunder, Gladius, Broadsword, Khopesh, and Warthog with heavily modified loadouts introduced, moved here from the in-development *Guns & Gear* mod.

-Astral (E): Modified Sprite, reduced Base Value to 75% of the original Astral (was: 100%).

-Sentinel: Modified Sprite

Initial (re)release of Fighter Expansion Rebalanced

Credits and Special Thanks
  • Hoon: Original author of the mod, without whom I'd have had nothing to modify
  • Avanitia: For discovering a few oversights and general balance feedback
  • AppleSauce: For discovering that CTD so no one else had to
  • BigBeans: For the modified Astral(E) and Sentinel spritework
  • A whole bunch of people in modding bootcamp, modmaking foundry and elsewhere for general assistance (sorry for not having you all by name!)

Suggestions / Minor Arbalest Tweak/Buff
« on: April 16, 2021, 10:30:52 PM »
Arbalests are one of the unloved low-end weapons in Starsector.  An 8 OP medium ballistic, they're frequently compared to the two premium small ballistic options of the same cost: Light Needlers and Railguns.  Both match the Arbalest's range, The latter matches the anti-shield DPS and the flux cost of the Arbalest with a strong (and critically, accurate) up-front burst, the former exceeds the Arbalest's damage and is pin-point accurate while remaining fairly efficient.  Players frequently state a preference for either small weapon to replace an Arbalest even in a medium ballistic slot.  Within its size class, one only needs to scrounge around for 2 OP more to find the Heavy Autocannon, a ballistic weapon with more range and far more DPS which makes it far more difficult to replace with a small ballistic.  Seemingly surrounded by all sides with solid weapons, the Arbalest can feel like its role is a bit crowded out.

In my opinion, the Arbalest can be made significantly more appealing simply by emphasizing its strengths just a bit more: namely its relatively heavy damage per shot for its size and flux efficiency.  I suggest increasing the damage/shot of the Arbalest to 200 (from 150) and increasing the flux/shot to 150 (from 120), while increasing the refire delay by ~0.2-0.3 seconds (from 1.0) to keep the raw DPS in line with the original.

Such changes would result in only a minor DPS increase (~160, from 150) and flux efficiency increase (~0.75, from 0.8 ), but it does help the weapon stand out against smaller premium ballistics while not flipping the table of weapon rankings within the medium ballistic bracket.

For instance, compared to the Railgun, the tweaked Arbalest is just within spitting distance in terms of overall damage output (160 vs 167) while maintaining a moderate advantage in flux consumption (0.75 vs 0.9) and a large edge in hull damage and armor penetration.  There may still be reasons to under-size a mount with a Railgun, but that decision is far more difficult to make with only a simple change.  Importantly, the relationship between the Arbalest and the other medium ballistics does not change from this minor tweak: The Arbalest remains a flux-sipping, a short-ish ranged kinetic option with fairly hefty individual shell weights, while other ballistic weapons (Heavy Autocannon namely) tend to be more premium and well-rounded.

Suggestions / Special colony item for Volturnian Lobster breeding
« on: April 04, 2021, 02:39:17 PM »
As title says.  Add a special item that allows Aquaculture on a Water world to produce lobsters (maybe equal to its current Food production), replacing Volturn's special planetary condition with it.  Perhaps also have a building cause worlds to demand said lobsters so we can actually make profits on selling them.  Either a unique AI world only fluff industry, or just bundling that with colony's "Population Infrastructure" industry on worlds that are large enough would work (the upper class loves their exotic foods).

That... is pretty much it on the suggestion.  Honestly, all I want to do is corner the Lobster market.

Suggestions / [SPOILERS] More sophisticated Planetary search function
« on: April 04, 2021, 02:23:47 PM »
While one could easily get away with simply sorting by planet class in 0.91 and colonizing one of the best, lowest-hazard ones, there's now a lot more ways to kit out a colony due to the new special items.  They're conceptually interesting and with the right combination of items and planets allow you to build extremely successful colonies in theory where you otherwise wouldn't, but the planetary search system really needs to be more rugged to keep up with the added complexity.

To be more specific, some of these new items eliminate what would be a negative penalty entirely (ex: Orbital Fusion Lamp can knock out up to 100% Hazard Rating), some of them will not function if certain negative conditions are present (ex: Fullerene Spool & Tectonic Activity or Extreme Weather), some of them will not function if certain positive conditions are present (ex: Soil Nanites & Transplutonics or Volatiles), inversely some require conditions to work that are either positive (ex: Biofactory & Habitability) or negative (ex: Synchotron & Atmospherelessness).  There's just a lot of factors that go into colony selection that simply did not exist before.

To that end, a few features that I'd like to see are:

Resource Filters:Allows for filtering planets by the resource amount, showing only those with a specified minimum quantity of that resource and above.  Also, having an option to filter out planets with any level of the specified resource (useful for certain items).  Used for ore, rare ore, volatile and organic deposits, and probably Ruins.

Planetary Condition Filters:Allows for filtering planets by if they possess a specific condition or lack a specific condition.  Certain related but mutually-exclusive conditions could be grouped together on a gradient similar to the resouce filters (ex: Temperature ranges from Extreme Cold to Extreme Heat).  Used for most of the rest of conditions.

Special Conditions/Miscellaneous:Filtering by special structures and conditions of interest (ex: Cryosleepers, Hyperspace Shunts, Orbital Solar Arrays) that may not necessarily be captured by the other categories.

In 0.91, colony management was fairly simple and linear.  The new items have brought more complexity to colony choices, and while it's looking good, the search system needs to keep up in order for people to take full advantage of the new opportunities.

Mods / Hegemony Expeditionary Auxiliaries (HEA) - v.0.95
« on: November 25, 2020, 12:55:01 PM »
This is a fork of PCCL's original Hegemony Expeditionary Auxiliary Fleet mod, updated to be compatible with update 0.9.1a.

Many thanks to PCCL for generously granting permission for updating this project to 0.9.1a standards, and of course for making the original Hegemony Expeditionary Auxiliary Fleet mod in the first place.  The original mod can be found here.

(Due to technical difficulties that just so happened to precisely intersect with me updating this mod, I currently lack a thumbnail to showcase the ships.  I apologize for the inconvenience and hope to rectify this soon!  In the meantime, the original mod thread does have a picture showcasing most of the ships included here.)

Hegemony Expeditionary Auxiliary Fleet

Hegemony Expeditionary Auxiliary variants of both civillian ships and armed freighters.  "Expeditionary" upgrades go a bit further than the typical Auxiliary upgrade package.
Expeditionary Auxiliary ships include: Shepherd, Cerberus, Mule, and Venture.
Starting options in Nexerelin using the new Auxiliary ships for the Hegemony

v1.31 (0.95)
Port to Starsector version 0.95-RC10
Moderate reduction to Expeditionary hullmod's supply cost increase (20%->10%), significant reduction to (but not complete removal of) flux stat buffs (25%->10%).

-Added Cerberus (A)
    Consumes the Shielded Cargo Hold to permanently mount shield and increase OP budget, significantly increasing survivability in combat but reducing its viability as a smuggler's vessel.
-Added Borer Drone (A)
    Features Expeditionary Upgrades, functionally a bit swifter than originals and a bit improved anti-missile performance.
-2 start options added for Nexerelin:
    Small Trade (Mule A/Cerberus A/Shepherd A)
    Large Explorer (Venture A/Mule A/Shepherd A)
-Some assorted revisions to default variants of Expeditionary Auxiliary vessels
-General Revisions: Civillian ships given Militarized Subsystems.  Expeditionary Auxiliary hullmod remains unchanged.
-Shepherd (A): Borer Drone wing switched to Borer Drone (A), Salvage Gantry reintroduced, -3 to OP budget
-Mule (A): Medium turret switched back to Composite to match Vanilla, small turrets switched to Hybrids, +10 to OP budget
-Venture (A): Surveying Equipment reintroduced, -15 to OP budget
-Default variants may have been revised a bit to match some of the changes.  Variant OP may be off by a few points, as they're currently set in anticipation of Patch 0.95.

Suggestions / Drone Battlecarrier (non-remnant)
« on: November 05, 2020, 10:04:30 PM »
The suggestion: Adding a ship (and corresponding built-in hullmod) with a modular fighter bay that can only accept automated drones (Wasps, Mining Pods, etc)

Main purpose of this suggestion: There's a few Frigate-size vessels that come with built-in wings, but there's none with any sort of modular fighter bays.  Also, there's not any real "drone carriers" that are not automated themselves.  Also, drones in fiction are cool.  So, why not have a Drone Carrier/Battlecarrier?  Either high-tech or mid-tech, either heavy-end frigate or light-end cruiser.  Target DP cost between 7-9 or so.

Why it's different from existing content: Shepherds are a drone tender, but they're more of a civillian logistics ship converted to be slightly less vulnerable.  Tempest's drones acts as its PD/anti-fighter weaponry, so it can use its 2 Medium Energies against other ships.  Both are built-in wings.  A Drone Battlecarrier with a modular would be significantly more flexible in terms of loadouts, though not quite as flexible as a full-fledge carrier that can support manned fighters.

Admittedly, the modular options for most of the sector would be limited to Mining Pods and Wasps.  Still, it's a decent choice to be made: If you want to focus on the front-line brawling part, you can take the cheaper Mining Pods and they'll also act as half-decent point defense and distractions.  If you want a better Point-Defense and anti-fighter solution, you take the more expensive Wasp Drones, sacrificing some of the front-line brawling capacity and also risking that the fragile things get wiped out quickly.  Loadout flexibility would get quite a bit better once one begins venturing into Remnant systems and bringing home some loot.

General Discussion / Potentially weird question on damage types
« on: October 26, 2020, 10:25:46 PM »
Had kind of a weird question about how exactly armor and hull interact while messing around with modding.

Basically, take a theoretical "test case".  There's 3 weapons, each dealing 1000 damage.  One is a HE weapon, one is a Frag weapon, and one is an Energy weapon.

Each weapon is firing at a test target with infinitesimal, but not zero, armor.  Think of it as, say, 1 point of armor or so, it exists but is basically just not large enough to put a dent on the effective damage coming through.  (AFAIK, the only entities that don't have any sort of armor value are missiles and, possibly, destructible objects such as asteroids?)

Does the armor multiplication/division occur first, and then hull takes damage with the modified value?  In other words:
Energy shot deals 100% damage to armor (1000 damage), requiring negligible damage to clear -> remainder 1000 damage is inflicted to hull
HE shot deals 200% damage to armor (2000 damage), requiring negligible damage to clear -> remainder of that 2000 damage is inflicted to hull
Frag shot deals 25% damage to armor (250 damage), requiring negligible damage to clear -> remainder of that 250 damage is inflicted to hull

Or is that damage somehow "converted back" after whatever damage gets past the armor?  In other words:
Energy shot still inflicts 1000 damage to hull
HE shot, after armor calculations are done, is converted "back" to hull damage -> remainder is ~1000 damage inflicted to hull
Frag shot, after armor calculations are done, is converted "back" to hull damage -> remainder is ~1000 damage inflicted to hull

Or is it something else entirely?

General Discussion / Gladius
« on: September 30, 2020, 03:32:33 PM »
Is my copy of starsector corrupted or is the Gladius the only fighter that has to deal with the flux of its weapons?

Its armament is theoretically solid with 2x LMGs for shield breaking and an IR Pulse Laser for general purpose, but when I've used it the Gladius alpha-strikes for a good second or so (3-4 laser blasts) and just... stops.  Apparently, the Gladiuses (Gladii?) had topped out on the flux bar and left them just fumbling around with their low-flux MGs the rest of that sortie.  Which is a shame, because main point of me trying out something like a Gladius instead of a workhorse fighter like a Broadsword was specifically to make use of that IR Pulse Laser.

Is that a bug or something?  I do hope it changes by the next major update.  I really want to like the Gladius (both because it looks cool and because it theoretically seems like a good blend of speed, firepower and protection), but its kinda-hidden flux issues make it feel gimped and rather misleading.  Since that IR Pulse Laser isn't ending anything in 1.5 seconds, the Gladius in practice ends up performing like a more expensive, worse Broadsword.


There's a plethora of market features that can be found on planets, most of which add to the hazard rating of the planet, and it occurred to me the other day that some of these planetary features seem like they should be non-permanent and removable or otherwise overcome by the player within the time-frame that a game of StarSector takes.  I think having certain planetary features be overcome would differentiate the market features a little over just being several flavors of 25% or 50% hazard rating modifiers and would add an interesting dimension as well: For instance, Certain planets with good deposits but certain "removable" features would have a high hazard rating at first and could be a poor candidate for early colonization but, upon finding certain techs or just getting enough capital, could be dealt with by some time and monetary investment and make the planet a worthwhile and productive colony in the late game.

I think a few specific examples would showcase my suggestion better:

Solved or partially solved by constructing a Planetary Shield Generator on the planet, which would create a new modifier on the planet.  If the condition is hot, the description of the new "Planetary Shield Climate Control" modifier would be something like "The shield generator on this planet is reflecting excess energy from the planet's star, artificially lowering its blazing temperatures to a more tolerable level."  For cold conditions, the modifier would read "The shield generator on this planet is configured to act as a replacement or supplement of the market's atmosphere, letting in whatever limited energy its star provides and trapping it with the shield as long as possible to warm the planet to more tolerable levels."

In either case, having the Planetary Shield Generator operational would decrease the hazard rating by the "Climate Control" market condition by a low amount (Say ~1%) each month, up to a maximum of -25% (completely nullifying the penalty of a regular cold/hot world, and partially dealing with extreme cold/hot worlds.).  If the planet's shield generator is disrupted by, say, a raid, the hazard rating increases by a similar rate per month until the disruption is over.

This condition may also be solvable via a planetary shield, based upon the description of Irradiated including that the colonists live in shielded habitats.  Building a planetary shield on an Irradiated world would add a different shield-based market condition with a description like "The entire planet is being shielded from radiation by its shield generator.  However, it will still take some time for the lingering effects of the radiation to dissipate."  Having the generator decreases the hazard rating by a low amount each month, up to a maximum of -25%.  However, if the planet's shield generator is disrupted, the hazard rating resets completely as the planet immediately gets bombarded by the full force of the star's outgoing radiation again.

This one should be able to be eliminated pretty much immediately with no help from advanced technology, and I can think of at least 2 ways to implement it.

The first is actively, by enacting or adding some sort of policy tab that allows you to deal with the unruly subpopulation.  There could be two separate ways to do it by policy: Either by integrating them relatively peacefully (less stability malus and keeping pop growth bonus, but takes longer to eliminate the malus), or by forcefully cracking down on the populace making your life difficult (higher stability malus and less pop growth, but the malus gets nullified much quicker).  This could either be just a product of time or require some credit intake like "encourage pop growth" does.

The second is just passively reducing and later eliminating penalties just as the market size grows.  At market size 9 or 10 where I have billions of people on a planet, the original 1,000 or whatever inhabitants from the subpopulation would be just a drop in the bucket as far as demographics are concerned.  Perhaps sufficiently large colonies should then just naturally lose that malus?

Also doesn't require any fancy technology, just some substantial credit and time investment to enact a planetary cleaning campaign, which reduces the hazard penalty at a low monthly rate until the planet is "clean" and the hazard penalty is completely nullified.

It could be interesting if this modifier could actually be generated on developed planets in some way.  Say, you could enact a policy to overlook or reduce industrial regulations on a planet with heavy industry to reduce its upkeep by some extent, at the cost of having a chance to produce the "Polluted" modifier if that industry gets bombed.

This is probably the most intuitive condition that a Planetary Shield Generator would solve: Building one on a "Meteor Impacts" planet would create a new planetary condition with the description "This planet's shield generator is protecting it from meteor impacts" and have an immediate -50% hazard rating modifier, nullifying the effect from the market condition Meteor Impacts.  This would be temporarily removed if the Planetary Shield Generator is disrupted.

Suggestions / Clearer contrasting/more visible range indicator
« on: September 22, 2018, 03:36:16 PM »
I've noticed that, during heated battles with lots of ships moving about and projectiles flying around and when particularly long ranges are involved (Including, but not limited to, most large weapons on a Cruiser/Capital with ITU or anything with an Advanced Targeting Core), it can become a bit difficult to see the range circle and thus judge ranges from your guns to the vessels.  This sometimes results in me getting much closer than I need to, or firing from too far away and wasting my flux boost.  Being further zoomed out, having lots of ships/projectiles around, and even having the red "target lock" text open around the outer orange range radius seems to contribute in muddling range awareness.

Could an option to increase the contrast or the brightness of the orange range indicator, or maybe a way to make it thicker and clearer, be introduced somewhere in options, so it's clearer to see at these longer ranges?  It's not a big issue but it would be a nice option to have.

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