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Roberts Space Industries ®






October 17th 2017

The Shipyard: Careers and Roles
A Guide to the New Ship Matrix

Careers and Roles

A Guide to the New Ship Matrix

Greetings Citizens!

With the upcoming release of the New Ship Matrix, the updated database of stats for every Star Citizen vehicle and ship, and the continuing development of Star Citizen Alpha 3.0.0 we have consolidated and re-aligned every ship in the game to better serve the community in understanding which ships are right for them. Over the next couple weeks, you’ll see new posts detailing the intricacies of our new Ship Matrix, what some of these new stats mean, how we expect them to manifest in game, and our thought process behind some of the changes you’ll see when all is said and done.

Of course, even with the release of this New Ship Matrix, our work is not completed. As Star Citizen continues to develop, so to will the classifications and stats for our spacecraft and ground vehicles. With our new baseline established, going forward we intend to keep the matrix as up-to-date as possible with the latest information. It is our hope that the New Ship Matrix will be the starting point for your Star Citizen theorycrafting adventures, as we detail the stock loadouts each ship will begin with. Remember, in the finished game, you’ll be able to customize many aspects of your ship, taking your spacecraft beyond the original intentions of their designers. We eagerly look forward to the loadouts and customization you’ll one day apply to your ships, as you make each Hornet, each Constellation, or each Hull C your own. We hope you’re as excited by the possibilities as we are.

To begin this process of updating our New Ship Matrix, we started by sorting each ship into one of our new “Career” groups. These groups will allow us as developers and you as backers to broadly compare various ships with one another using common themes intended to help make the choice regarding what ship is right for you.

Currently there are six (6) defined career groups that all ships fit under:


Exactly as the name implies, all about shooting and offensive damage to other ships, vehicles, and people on both ends of the legal spectrum. Consisting of military surplus, militia converted, the rare current military stock and the more common un-gunned civilian ships there is something for everyone in this group.


Ships that transport anything as their primary income method, be that cargo, data, or passengers. From the smallest ship carrying a single crate to the massive Hull-E, these ships are the backbone of the economy; carrying goods in and between systems.


For those ships that go on short (and long) journeys to distant locations, be it for solo, group, or commercial discovery there is a ship to suit all explorers tastes. Equipped for a variety of mission types and often with extra transport options included in the larger ships.


If gathering items from the verse is your thing, then Industrial is the best group for you featuring Mining, Salvage, Science, and other similar ships. Anything that gathers a resource from the world is contained within this group, whether its physical matter such as Mining and Salvage or intercepting/generating data from the environment.


Perfect for those who want to be involved in the action but without shooting everything in sight; Medical, Repair, and Refueling ships are all part of this group and provide a less combat orientated approach to group gameplay loops.


Almost entirely consisting of ships for Racing, the group for those who need to go fast with lightweight agile ships. Great for racing but lack the durability for much else.

In addition to the six above there are a few ships that we really couldn’t condense into one group or another so we have termed these “Multi-Role” ships as they have such a range of roles it wouldn’t be right to put them in one group or another. Once each ship had been given a Career we drilled down further and assigned it a role inside that group to further define what that ship excels at.

We have listed some of the Roles below:

Ship Career / Role Chart
Which Spaceship Is the Right Spaceship for Me?
Drop Ship

Many of the Roles can have prefixes such as Light/Medium/Heavy to better differentiate ships, such as the Prospector and Orion from each other as they are very different mining ships. Combat ships also benefit from this as the Gladius (Light Fighter) and Hornet F7C (Medium Fighter) would end up being considered as direct competitors otherwise.

All these new Careers/Roles are visible on the ASOP terminals in game to help better guide your choice of ship selection as well as on the website and in the future we’re aiming to have our own version of a “tech tree” where you can see natural upgrade routes between all the ships based on what you want to do with them.

Spaceship Role Call

or: Intended Purposes and How to Defy Them

Each ship has a Role assigned to it, in the case of “Multi-Role” groups these often have two to reflect their nature, this role is a further clarification of what each ship is designed to do out of the box. The Role gives an overview of what the expected minute to minute, hour to hour gameplay loop will be with this ship rather than the day to day loop the Career Group defines.

Through in-game customization these roles can get blurred together. For instance, you can trick out a Gladius with heavier weapons, better armor and more durable components to an extent but its still a Light Fighter at its core and not a Medium one. While we already see it being very competitive in the right hands against a stock Medium Fighter, it might be prudent to consider other Medium Fighter options in many cases.

Ship Roles: A Visual Guide

These are but a small sample of the roles currently available among the variety of Star Citizen ships and vehicles, and by no means a comprehensive list of all there is, or all there will be. Over time, additional roles will be introduced and existing roles will be expanded upon and detailed further. For the purposes of this post, we wanted to provide you with a brief introduction to some of the gameplay we want Star Citizen ships and vehicles to offer.

Additionally, these roles are starting points for each ship based on the intended design and default loadout. Through Star Citizen’s item upgrading and customization systems, we hope to provide a wide range of options to the player in tailoring the performance and capabilities of each ship, to both improve upon the functionality of it’s intended role, and in some cases, perform adequately outside the boundaries of any original conceptions designers may have had for a ship. Want a tricked out racing Hornet? How about a stealthy Buccaneer? While not every ship is as versatile as others, we’re excited to one day present you the tools that will allow you to make each ship your own.

Frequently Asked Questions

or: Questions We Figured You Might Have

Q: What do the other Roles in Exploration mean?

A: Expedition ships are for the multi-crew ships in the Exploration category that are able to support extended explorations with much larger supplies and often vehicles. Luxury exploration ships cover both of the aforementioned roles, but naturally do them in a much more luxurious manner. On paper without visuals if you compared a 300i and Aurora LX they’d stack up fairly similar (one seat, one bed, similar item counts) but in reality the 300i is a much more luxurious ship.

Q: Why has my ship changed Role from what it was introduced as?

A: We have tried to ensure that all ships remain as close to their originally described roles, however a few may seem to have changed but this is more to do with a vague or nebulous original description. As development has progressed a lot of the older ships had very unique roles which do not fit nicely in with the current game design and need to be subtly pushed in various directions to better fit their intended role.

Q: Does my Career group restrict what missions I can do?

A: Absolutely not, We do not restrict missions available to the player at all currently and have no immediate plans to, its up to you to decide the best ship for the mission based on the information provided. You would still be able to take an “Escort” mission in a 890 Jump if you so desire, but the difficulty in achieving the same income for that would be much higher than if you took that person in a ship that was a dedicated long range Combat ship like the Vanguard or Banu Defender.

Further Reading

End Transmission

Part of

Concept Ship Q&A

More in this series



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