Avorion – How I design ships

Avorion – How I design ships 44 - wpgameplay.com
Avorion – How I design ships 44 - wpgameplay.com

Guide for Avorion – How I design ships in AVORION

1. Scope of design is PVE, not PVP.
2. How to design by SPEC and have a good result.
3. I am not an ARTIST, so my ships do not look like in the movies.
4. This is my way; as the title indicates, yours may differ.
5. My way of playing the game definitely influences the way of designing.
6. Constructive feedback is always welcome. I guess there is still a lot to learn.Don’t consider this an EXPERT guide.29th Sep 2020



Before doing anything, you should definitely read the AVORION Wiki.
Of course, not at once, but step by step, ideally in parallel to my writings here.

avorion.gamepedia.com – https://avorion.gamepedia.com/Avorion_Wiki

What did I learn from it?
Well, avorion is considered an EXPERT game.

This is a pro and a con.


A con is definitely if you don’t educate yourself it will have consequences, that,
your design will not meet your expectations.

This can result in the following:

  • overpriced design
  • unnecessary high material level
  • poor flight mechanics
  • poor power supply
  • poor gameplay

Also, to achieve YOUR GOAL’s, you have to WORK hard and long!


You can custom design SHIPs and tune them towards your needs and gameplay.

YOU can determine:

  • availability by price
  • availability by material
  • operating cost
  • overall performance
  • design


What to do NEXT?

Before designing, you need experience that I got for my part by playing the game.
If you haven’t already, you should do this first.

How to play when you haven’t yet designed a ship?

Download it from the workshop, seek a collection that attracts you, and try it!

Flight Mechanic’s

For all the mechanically educated players:
Real-life physics applies in this game!

Top Speed, Acceleration, Deceleration, and Drift

  • the heavier your ships are, the longer it will take to reach a top speed
  • the heavier your ships are, the longer it will stay in the motion it was, in any direction
    Sideward movement, “drift,” can be pretty annoying. Meaning you look one way and move the other.
  • the bigger the engine, the greater top speed and acceleration
  • deceleration, “braking,” can be achieved through thrusters and inertia dampers


Rotational Movement

  • thrusters or gyros can influence the rotation
  • the further away from a thruster from the center of mass is, the more effect it has
    So, a thruster far away from the center of mass can be smaller since it is more efficient
  • for the gyro, the position has to be as closest to the rotational axis as possible, but the formula is not given

Block properties can be found in the WIKI:

avorion.gamepedia.com – https://avorion.gamepedia.com/Block

Design Philosophy

This section basically explains which blocks I like and use frequently and why.
I also explain my design approach.

Minimum Material Design – Accessibility

I design each component in the minimum available material level.
So, I keep generators at a titanium level and armor even at the iron level.
I want ships to be accessible as early as possible, even at the cost of relative performance.
Performance is not really lost since the ship is available earlier.
Upgrading to the materials which have the player available in abundance is easy, even for a non-builder player.

Components might be oversized in better materials, but I have not yet experienced it as a drawback in the game.
In detail, the generator may be generating way too much energy, and you fly around “dead mass.”
Yet, this is a real-life effect.

Maybe, I include already higher material level ships in the workshop later, but this will not be an addition to the minimum material level for game convenience.


Power is really essential to me since I don’t want to waste a valuable upgrade slot for the generator upgrade.
Thus, if the design permits it, I aim for a max—base power consumption of 50%.


  • Milliary ships are built, in most cases, completely build out of armor.
  • Civilian ships use the normal hull with the edges, possible contact areas, armored to minimize collision damage.

Armour definitely reduces acceleration, but you can always boost to cruising speed, so I don’t consider it a major drawback.


The engine’s size determines acceleration and top “cruising” speed, as well as the “maximum” speed by boosting.

When you exceed a certain threshold of the engine size, you will need additional avorion.gamepedia.com – https://avorion.gamepedia.com/Crew, Engineers.

It can make sense to have a smaller engine to safe crew and their salary and get the required cruising speed by having sufficient energy reserves either by storage (battery) or production (generator).
Also, ships mostly flown by bots do not need big engines.
The same applies to ships, which usually move slowly, so pure mining ships.

Control (Thrusters, Dampeners & Gyros)

Usually, I prefer avorion.gamepedia.com – https://avorion.gamepedia.com/Thruster over dampeners and gyros, as they are more versatile.

avorion.gamepedia.com – https://avorion.gamepedia.com/Thruster can provide rotation and translation (movement); the latter comes in very handy when docking.

avorion.gamepedia.com – https://avorion.gamepedia.com/Gyro_Array_Block consume a lot of energy, and you want to keep the base consumption of your ship as low as possible.

The same applies to avorion.gamepedia.com – https://avorion.gamepedia.com/Inertia_Dampener.

However, when your ship exceeds a certain size, and you want a certain performance, you definitely need them.

My credo is:

Use thrusters first and fix the rest with gyros & dampeners.

When you place thrusters, and you are not certain whether uni oder directional, use the following guideline. The further away from the center of mass, the more you should consider directional thrusters, as they are more efficient.

For the thruster layout, I think there are 2 basic configurations:

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

And to be complete our “pirate ship.”
Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

“Feel good” Agility

  • pitch and yaw should be the same
  • the roll should have a value equal to or greater than the pitch and yaw rate



AVOID excessive drift in any case!

Nothing feels sicker than looking one way and moving the other in circles.

How can this be avoided?

  • use enough thruster in up and down and sideward direction
  • use inertia dampeners as a last resort; they work in all directions

Unfortunately, the is no sideward acceleration value in the builder, so you have to test yourself.

Flight Test

Finally, fly every ship yourself to check whether it does the things you desired and whether it feels good.

Ship Design: Target Performance Values

This section lists some base numbers which I found useful in terms of ship design.

I only PVE; thus, I am not aware of what the latest PVP trick is.
Yet, feel free to comment; I am curious.

Size does influence performance in Avorion:

  • Possible engine thrust gets better with ship size.
  • Possible agility gets worse with ship size.

Of course, the material level does influence performance as well.


In general, I classify the following turn rates (Pitch, Yaw, and Roll) the following:

cruising speed [m/s]
excellent1.0avorion.gamepedia.com – https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2052052634 the maximum velocity of engine volume is:

Max Velocity = 150 * LN(Volume + 5) – 166.4 of the engine block volume.

What this means is depicted below.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

So a top speed of in access of 1000 m/s can be pretty costly.
Remember the Slots per volume, as shown below.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

So if you would always dedicate 10% of the ship’s volume to the engines, you would reach the following cruising speeds.
1. Points, Slot is Point number +1, the last dot is the 15 Slot.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

As value

10% of the ships slot volume for the engine and resulting cruising speed

slot numbers of ship

These numbers should help you in specifying the right engine size for your ship.

Battery Size

Here I would suggest at least a 30-sec boost capability.
Remember also that a hyperdrive may also suck a small battery quickly empty.


In the later game, there are a lot of weapons which either do more damage to shields or have a chance of completely bypassing them, such as:

  • plasma weapons
  • lightning weapons
  • tesla weapons
  • pulse cannons

Therefore good armor is vital, of course, at the expense of agility, yet, with good turret operating angles, this ain’t a big problem.

The onboard mechanics also repair the ship slowly, so after a battle, give them time to fix the ship for FREE!
This fact I myself ignored in my first game and wasted a lot of resources this way.

Below you find my recommended armor values.

game stagerecommended military armor thickness


Cargo Space

Here you should distinguish between mining and freighter ships.
Miners need less space than freighters.

Why is that so?

Many goods you can produce yourself early on take up a lot of volumes compared to their value, making a profit; you have to haul many of them.
Freighter cargo hold values are not that fixed as miner cargo holds since you have more variation.

Mining takes a lot of time, and a big cargo hold does delay the return of your efforts even more.
Refining is also correlating to the amount of material you are processing, so oversized cargo holds do not make sense.

For mining, the cargo hold values are also connected to mining techniques such as:

  • R-Lasers (the reason you need a cargo hold)
  • R-Laser material level (the better in comparison to the rock, the more you can mine in a given time)
  • R-Mining Fighters (takes mining to the next level, since you can mine asteroid fields quicker due to several reasons)

All values below suggestions:

game stageminer cargo spacefreighter cargo space


Hangar Size

Here you should know that the maximum amount of fighters any craft can base is 120.

Accordingly, with a maximum fighter size of 8, the maximum hangar space you need on any craft, ship, or station is 960.

Also, for stations, only 20 Cargo shuttles can be used to ferry goods.
The rest will be simply in the hangar doing nothing.
So, if you want cargo, only the maximum useful size for a cargo shuttle bay is 160.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Ship Design: Firing Arcs & Operating Angels

In only distinguish between the following:

  • offensive ship weapons
  • defensive ship weapons
  • Unarmed turrets

Offensive Weapons

Offensive weapons include:

  • guns
  • torpedos

For my part, I aim to mount all offensive weapons forward-facing and guns in particular in turrets.
Turrets can be turned, yet, I only optimize the fwd firing arc.

How can you achieve a good firing arc?

Mount them:

  • in good spots, for example, hull, pods, or wings
  • make them supervising either by hull construction or turrets

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Defensive Weapons

Defensive weapons need to cover all arcs. I recognized two basic principles for hull mounting:

  • rhombus
  • square

By my taste, I find the square, in general, more effective, especially on big ships.
Yet, it can not really prove that it is more a feeling.
The hull configuration also matters in this respect.

Excellent firing angles can be archived by making sponsors.
So you get more with fewer turrets.
For Example, the Blue Phoenix.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Now the fundamental question:

How many?

  • small ships are fine with 2 mounts, for example, top and bottom
  • big ships need up to 4.


Unarmed Turrets

Unarmed turrets are:

  • Mining turrets
  • Salvaging Laser
  • Repair Turret
  • Force Turret

All turrets of the same type should be mounted nearby on the ship and forward in the ship. Otherwise, the AI will not use all of the or will not use them at all due to the insignificant range in the latter case.

to be continued

Ship Design: Torpedoes


Amount of Launchers

You don’t lose anything to have more launchers.
You should have at least:

Game StageAmount of Launchers


Amount of storage per launcher

You should have at least 30 torpedo storage for each launcher.

Ship Design: Cost, Material Level & Ship Size (WIP)

The economy is an important part of AVORION.

To build a ship, you need two things:

  • Money
  • Ressources

So your designs should consider these if you don’t want to interrupt your game flow because you have to wait for either cash and/or material.

Also, consider that you need money to outfit your ship with:

  • crew
  • upgrades
  • turrets

Upgrades and turrets usually cost way more than the ship

So, what are the right sizes and costs related?

Maximum recommended
ship size in slots
Material RegionCredits
1-5IRON & TITAN-100,000.0
5-7NAONIT & TRINIUM-1.000.000,0
11-15OGONIT & AVORION~100,000,000,0


Ship Design: Making a Specification



  1. Having a clear idea, a definition, what you want, makes reaching your goal easier.
  2. Having priorities makes it even easier.
  3. Not all theory will end in reality


A word often misused in cooperations, the affected will know.
But this is a game, and luckily life is easy here.

The vision is a basic idea which formulates your goal.

For example, JFK’s en.wikipedia.org – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_choose_to_go_to_the_Moon Speech.

However, “Visions” work best if you know or have an idea of what could be possible and where to push the/your boundary.

In Avorion, let me have this example, my latest Vison, which ended in a project, was the following:

“I want to build an early game pirate ship.”

Well, I thought this would be a fun idea.

For this instance, I use this as the baseline example.

3. First Basic Definition

So, a pirate ship, how does that have to look?
What do pirates do?

Well, actually, I did not check the wiki, but there is actually a guide avorion.gamepedia.com – https://avorion.gamepedia.com/Know-how:_Being_a_pirate.

For me, it was just a relatively fast, small warship with a cargo hold, which should also look dashing.
For gameplay enjoyment, it should be well-powered and have reasonable space for upgrades.
It should be an improved design, size, and model wise of one of my earlier designs the
avorion.gamepedia.com – https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2052052634.

Also, consider all other relevant avorion.gamepedia.com – https://avorion.gamepedia.com/Block.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

This resulted in the following:

Pirate/Raider Ship Specs (EARLY)

After some simple block design I would aim for the following:

1. 4-Slots
2. Top Speed 450+
3. Power 2.5+ GW
4. Cargo ~100
6. All Axis Agility P/Y/R 0.5+
7. All armoured of course
8. maybe 1 torp launcher with -10 torps

You will see that rule No. 3 of the first section will come into effect, but it doesn’t really matter; this a game, and fun is the scope and not meeting a customer specification.

Ship Design: Making a Sketch

Before jumping into the builder and just beginning to build, you should bring your “Vision” on paper.
That is much easier than in the builder and saves you a lot of time in the end.

So, as seen previously, this should be the pirate ship.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Ship Design: Lessons Learned

When designing the pirate ship, I already knew some things, however,
I recently upgraded some old models and was surprised how much impact these can have.


When you download the pirate ship (later), you will notice one thing:

Cargo is one big block.

That might be coincidental with the size of the ship, yet, it was also with purpose.

Cargo compartments are most efficient; they are bigger since they have a certain “dead space.”

See the avorion.gamepedia.com – https://avorion.gamepedia.com/Cargo_Bay for details.

same applies to hangars & torpedo storage



TORPEDO storage consumes vast amounts of ENERGY when torpedos are stored.
If the hold is empty, consumption is 0.

That is a bug and happens only in creative mode.

Firing torpedos:
In this game, torpedos are not launched from the tube forward like in a submarine; they are more “dropped” like a jet or an old WW2 PT boat.

By the way, did you know?
JFK was commanding a PT boat in WW2 and got rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer.

You can always fix this by pointing them downwards.

Here see my Dragon, before and after.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Turret models on mounts and block merging

The following needs confirmation.

I don’t know whether this is only my problem, yet, a merging operation somehow removes custom turret models from the build.

And I mean not merging two mounts. It happens when you merge too many blocks other than the mount.

Ship Building: Creative Mode and Methods in the Builder

I guess all the big names in the community can tell you a lot more about this, particularly all building menu tricks.
So, this is only a summary of my methods.

Creative Mode

This was essential to know for me and took me some time to figure out, so I think this can not be overstated.

How to get there?

Start a new game and check the little box “creative mode,” then you are not limited by credits or materials. I simply have a game called “DESIGN” where I design and test everything.

Framework Method

This method was used for the “pirate ship.”

Basically, you fix all important items on the framework and replace it step by step.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Section Build

Build the ship in sections. Make clear selectable parts and save them even in a subfolder.
Just select them “STRG+C” and go in the subfolder and save them.
So you can recycle them later for anything.

Here I build a corvette the Arrow.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

I saved the turret.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

And reused it on the quick and dirty Station Ship.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Half Model

When you have a symmetrical ship, this saves you have the work.
Build it in half and mirror it when close to the finish.
But don’t forget to merge the blocks when you have the full model to save computational power.

Example with my Hammerhead (not clean, to be frank)

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION


Scaling is a good technique to either make an entirely new model or make a bigger similar version of an existing model.

The purpose of the small model is to get the proportions right.

Finding the right proportions seems to be easier with smaller models than bigger ones.

However, consider that properties change when things become bigger or smaller, so you have to adjust some things.

Scaling factors are also important to consider.
What does that mean?
Well, I, for my part, like to work with the following block base sizes:

  • 0.25
  • 0.5
  • 1.0

When I would scale something with 123% and a base block is 1.0, I would get 1.23 afterward.
That is not a convenient size to work with after scaling.
So, usually, I only use 150% or 200%.

Here we have an example project where I used this method. I made a small fighter template, the Buzzard, scaled it up, and then replaced the big blocks with smaller ones, and the Slot 7 cruiser Falcon – Bird of Prey resulted.
Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Ship Building: Stacking

There is a technique called “stacking.”

Stacking is a method to fit more blocks into the same volume.
However, the shipping volume does increase proportionally with the stacked blocks’ volume (here I was wrong previously, so you gain the benefits of more slots).

Accordingnly, it is a volume saving technique or an abuse, depending on the personal view.
On some multiplayer servers it is therefore not allowed!
And rightfully so!

So, what can be achieved with stacking?

  • reduction of inertia
  • reduction of surface area
  • improvement of agility
  • improvement of speed and ac- and deceleration
  • general improvement of block performance

Important to remember is that the following characteristics also increase proportionally with the block density:

  • price
  • material cost

My opinion

When people compete, there are always people who want an edge over their opponents.
It might be appropriate to have an unfair fight in some real-life scenarios, but this a game.
It should be 80-90% balanced.

Personally, I am not very fond of people who out invest their opponents by:

  • knowledge and use of abusive of unintended game mechanics
  • money
  • excessive dedication

It should be all about skill and fun.

To make an example for avorion what I mean by that, although, it is mainly a coop-game and this case never happened to me:

Building a 15-Slot endgame ship which has the agility of a slot 1 ship and the hitpoints of an asteroid combined with shielding to withstanding the death star laser multiple times and harssing noobs, wiping all their belongings from the galaxy map which took them 50-60+ hours to build and they don’t have a fighting chance because they dont have stacked ships – is not ok!

However, making a cool ship design and pushing its performance so that it is playable and actullay gives you the right immersion – this is the way!


Ship Building: Integrity Field Generator

For obvious reasons, your ship should be projected by an Integrity Field Generator.

See the Wiki for details (avorion.gamepedia.com – https://avorion.gamepedia.com/Integrity_Field_Generator)

  • Blocks inside integrity fields can now take 20 times as much damage before they explode.
  • Block and Ship damage from integrity-protected blocks reduced by 50%.

I have seen multiple ship designs with scattered generators over the ship.

I also have done this. However, the best way to protect your ship by such a generator is one central big block.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION



One single block of integrity field generator protects more volume than for example two seperate blocks of equal volume.

Meaning you can also save:

  • material
  • power consumption

by making one big block.

On the left, 2 Blocks in red (1x1x1) on the right 1 block (2x1x1).
The framework bars in blue and green the same length.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Tipps for the Builder


Selection of Blocks by Color

Recently I made some quality improvements for some of my older models, two CargoMiners, Hammerhead and Winghead.

I wanted to reposition the containers with all the relevant different blocks in one instance.
There this tool came in very useful, so I thought I share it since, otherwise, this would have been a difficult operation.

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Ups & Downs

Creating something is difficult and takes a long time; keep trying, all beginning is though.

Theory and Reality

As mentioned earlier, I am not an artist; maybe I lack patience or talent or both.
Yet, this should encourage you also to keep going!

So, I list some of my creations below, comparing the initial idea and finished ship.


Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION


Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION


Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION


Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION



Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Here the Spec (from the beginning):

Pirate/Raider Ship Specs (EARLY)

After some simple block design I would aim for the following:

1. 4-Slots
2. Top Speed 450+
3. Power 2.5+ GW
4. Cargo ~100
6. All Axis Agility P/Y/R 0.5+
7. All armoured of course
8. maybe 1 torp launcher with -10 torps

And the result:

Avorion - How I design ships in AVORION

Pirate/Raider Ship Specs (EARLY)

After some simple block design I would aim for the following:

1. 4-Slots (achived)
2. Top Speed 450+ (achieved)
3. Power 2.5+ GW (achieved)
4. Cargo ~100 (achieved)
5. ALL IRON (achieved)
6. All Axis Agility P/Y/R 0.5+ (not achieved)
7. All armoured of course (achieved)
8. maybe 1 torp launcher with -10 torps (not achieved)


Uploading in the Workshop and Presentation

Well, this is a “let’s make the world better” – section.

I would love to see the following basics with every workshop upload if they matter:

  • Cost
  • Stats

People will most likely look if they are well informed of what the ship is about besides your cool design.

See the pirate ship as one way to do it.

By thakard

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