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Ships Engineer - Everything we know to date.

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I may be captain by rank; but I never wanted to be anything else but an engineer.

-Scotty TNG6.4



This first post is intended to be a complete knowledge base of everything there is to know about the ship's engineer.  I am purposefully leaving out Hull Repair because I feel that is a separate set of skills (and minigame) and deserves its own thread in time.  I am leaving in the handheld repair tool for now because it is possible it will be needed for internal repairs conducted by the ships engineer.   Only cited information from official sources will be added, and speculation will be avoided in the first post.   As information is released the first post will be updated like a Wiki to continue to be as current as possible until the point it can be referred to as a manual.  I welcome all fans of Ships Engineer to share any knowledge, speculation, theorycrafting, and memes, we're all crew here. 

The below is from the design doc: Ship Repair and Maintenance

Field Repairs



The Multitool is a personal item that is equipped with the capabilities of a small-scale version of a workshop’s Repair Arm. It is capable of stripping and patching, allowing it to achieve a wide variety of ship repairs short of full part reconstruction.

Although the Multitool’s repair abilities are the same as that of the Repair Arm, the size of the laser and low quantity of repair material it can store means that it is only suitable for quick fixes and patch jobs to get a ship back to a proper repair facility.

One known multitool model is the Greycat PAW (Personal Arc Welder) by Greycat Industries. Source:Sandy's Facebook

Below: Many potential faces for a Mulitool. (4/20/2019 newsletter sneak peek)



When your ship takes damage, some of that damage will be transferred from the point of impact on the hull to the nearest system and weapon components. Those components then distribute that damage between itself and whatever Subcomponents are attached inside. 
Subcomponents are the various consumables that are used to run or improve a component or system’s behaviour.

In general, component field repairs consist of turning off whichever component is having problems, replacing the broken subcomponents, and turning the component back on. In very large components, like those found on capital ships, there may be multiple actions involved in turning a component on or off, including rerouting power or coolant to other parts of the ship. These actions may also involve the use of on-board ship computers.


Subcomponents provide additional benefits to the component they are attached to, allowing for further customization of a player’s ship. They are divided into three categories, each providing specific areas of improvement.



Module Racks are panels that house the various components used to keep their associative subcomponents running. These can be found on the hull under maintenance hatches in closed-cockpit ships, or internally in the engineering section of larger multi-crew ships.

Depending on the component installed, different types and numbers of subcomponents are required. Each subcomponent is built for quick removal and replacement allowing for field repairs to be carried out as quickly as possible. If a player attempts to remove a subcomponent from a powered component they risk being electrocuted and receiving damage.

Module Racks 



http://i.imgur.com/y1wq4Xq.gifv  <-Full resolution gif

Replacing a damaged subcomponent is a simple case of interacting with the item in question. The player will then remove it, freeing up the slot. If the player has a replacement in their possession, they can then interact with the empty slot to place it.

Subcomponent types are universal across ships and components of the same size class, a coolant rod from a Gladius’ laser cannon can replace a Hornet’s coolant rod housed in the shield generator. This provides a great deal of flexibility, allowing players to juggle elements between various systems as needed, as well as opening up opportunities to patch their ship using scavenged parts.

Sub Component Replacement

Components on larger ships, such as the Idris or Retaliator can require a large number of subcomponents to function and/or larger sizes of subcomponents. When damaged, these more complicated systems can take significantly longer to diagnose and physically swap out any compromised subcomponents. To maintain full operation, these ships can contain alternative backup systems. In the case of an emergency, engineers can use their ship terminal to redirect power to the backup, allowing for full ship functionality whilst the engineer repairs the primary system. This can also be achieved manually, should an engineering terminal become inoperable, by physically swapping the whole module rack out, placing the backup system in the primary’s slot.





let’s say you’re on an Idris, being the engineer I think is probably the most interesting job and it’s their job to balance the entire ship and keep everything running.

Erin Roberts

The below is from 10FTC075Q7 (Jan2016)



Question: Will larger ships have damage control lockers? Places where emergency response and repair parts are stored. To respond to shipboard fires, hull breaches, dangerous gases, etc.

Chris Roberts: Yes. So absolutely we're going to have specific gameplay on bigger ships where there will be, nodes and things that will break down so pipes are connected and the pipes are why it has power or heat or oxygen in the case of life support, would all be connected so the different items they may require power but they also emit heat or they may require a data input. On the bigger ships, those pipes go through different connectors or conduits.

You could almost think of it as a conduit that has a fuse in and maybe when there's damage boom the fuse blows. So there's a power surge and the fuse blows. So now this connector, the power goes here but it doesn't go through here 'cause the fuse needs replacing. So part of the gameplay will be like "Ok right. Crap the back turret's down because the power nodes gone down on the left side of the hull will you go and fix it?" And you run back, take out the, open up the connector, take out the broken fuse, put the new fuse in. Power gets restored to the turret at the back. So there will be definitely that kind of gameplay, fires could break out you have to go and extinguish them with a fire extinguisher.

So we're going to add gameplay in the bigger ships to give you things to do. There will be really cool multi crew stuff. The classic going back to the engine and it's going to overheat and the Scotty moment and he's got to go and fix it. So I think that will make the multi crew more compelling we're also working on better improvements for how the turrets operate and all that kind of stuff. So watch the gameplay experience to improve over the next X number of patches and that's a big focus for us. I think it's one of the coolest things you can do that in Star Citizen you don't really get to do that in, well pretty much any other game and even with the limited multi crew action you can do now I see loads of cool videos. People running back in the turret and fighting off some pirates that attack them or other players that are attacking them while their friends flying so just imagine that when you're actually able to fix things or patch things up and you can do more from the Engineering Stations.

With the future iterations where we have our new item system comes online properly which has a lot more power and has the ability to share authority between items so we really can have a pilot designates some functions to a co-pilot in a way that you can't presently do but it is part of the plan and it's part of our new item system which is the first iteration comes online for some of the personal items in 2.3 and then beyond that. So I think there's going to be some pretty cool gameplay with that.


The below is from 10DEV-006Q5 (Feb 2016)


Well we'll need access to it, because the ship does have an interior so we can communicate to the Artist that there needs to be a core goal or some kind of wall in which there is a panel that we can access this so when we go to actually repair it or swap it out or salvage it, if you're a pirate!

There is the capability to physically access that object. What's also interesting about that is when we eventually have the ability to damage these components from the outside, so we'll have gameplay and you're shooting up a ship from the outside you know you can target the shield generator because you can take the shields down. Well you know where that is roughly in the ship you can start shooting around it,and you will know that it does embody a physical location on the ship, and you know where to target that particular component.

On a converse when it is destroyed you will also know on the ship. The engineering can tell you, "Hey get on down to hallway A and repair the shield generator". That crew member will know exactly where to go, which panel to pop open and which component to repair.

The below is from 10FTC-083Q1 (April 2016)


So it's all systematic so if damage happens to the bigger ships as bits blow up on the outside there will be radial explosions and that potentially could hit items a little further in and those items themselves could be damaged or explode and they could hit further ones, and so you'd have a cascade of damage and it could effect- it could cut out the power node which is something that could therefore happen on a bigger ship is that you have a power plant and then power is distributed via nodes to turrets and various systems – lights, whatever – around the ship and obviously with the power plant going down you're in trouble but even if there's damage to the side of the- to one side of the ship, say the starboard side or something like that and takes out one of the power nodes then anything after that power node will be out of power.

Now, there might be gameplay where you would go to fix up the power nodes and reconnect the power, on the bigger ships there might be a lot of alternate ways – more than sort of one power node route and you could go to the systems management and reroute the power from one node to another node to get power going back to the remaining turret or something like that. All that functionality is going to be incredibly cool to have a massive amount of gameplay potential. It'll make crewing and using the bigger ships – the multi-crew ships and obviously the cap ships that we've got – a huge fun experience.

The below is from Subscribers Town Hall - Persistent Universe (Jan 2017)


So adjusting the systems on the bigger ships, and we’re also going to have the concept of you know, we talked about it, it’s not in but it’s apart of the item 2.0, but the items or the different components of your ship will have age and wear, maintenance, wear level and the idea is that if you’re not really keeping it up and they’re getting old and depending on the quality of the components because we have different quality ratings for them, they can break down. So then you’re gonna have to fix them if they break down, you’re gonna have to replace them and we have smaller items, so like a power plant may have different fuel rods or there may be fuses on power nodes and these things can break down, maybe you’re powering up for quantum drive and  you’re going for long distance and I think we have some plans to make quantum drive not be just automatic and things can short out and you’ve got to run and fix it.

Also in combat as you’re in combat, the concept should be that the multicrew ships which is what I was saying they’ll last longer in the future in the PU if you have a crew on it working together, like basically fixing the leaks, replacing the fuse break so constantly almost running around inside repairing it. Like you see in all these science fiction movies, you can extend the life of your multicrew ship in combat which will be important because generally the multicrew ships won’t move as fast as the single seat fighters and everything, but they’re much more tanky because not only are they bigger and not only will they have more armour, power and shields, but they’ll have an active crew be able to run around and fix things as they’re breaking, whereas if you’re on a single seater ship, you can’t really stop in the middle of dogfight, get out, EVA and repair the shield generator that blew a fuse or whatever so there will definitely be stuff to be done in combat, but even on long distance travels.

If you think about going from one system to another system, maybe during the course of it you’ll have to do some maintenance for your engine or repair fuses and I think that sort of gameplay that could, because we are going to have some transit times on the longer distances where you’re not going to be quantum for a few seconds, you’re going to be in quantum drive for you know, minutes or 10’s of minutes in the longest cases so there will be some aspect of maintaining your ship and keeping it going and making sure you’ve stocked up on items. I think there’s a lot of real potential for gameplay that comes out of this whole idea of these systemic components or items that all interact together that need to be taken care of, that need to be maintained to run right and the people that know how to do it and balance it and juggle it will be the more successful ones out there.


I'm not done adding to it, the above is just my current notes on Ships Engineer content.  This post is a work in progress and will probably continue to be for over a year as new features roll out. - GRIZZ 🛠️


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  • 2 weeks later...

At PAX East Bar Bar Citizen I spoke to Disco Lando about my excitement for repair after he asked to take a photo of my repair bear shirt.

Disco told me that my skills in being an expert in replacing damaged sub-components will also make me (and you) a valuable resource on boarding parties.  This line stuck in my head and I wish I could have recorded it, he said the "big ships wont be taken down by missiles but from the inside." 

Further blurring the lines of whether internal repair is a Military job or T&I.  

Because this information is not from a Chairman or Lead source it will not be added to the first post per my rules of keeping it strictly to those official sources.  But it lines up perfectly to the salvage statement that someone who knows where the good stuff is in a ship will be faster to salvage it.

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  • 1 year later...

"No one can fly an Idris without a good Engineer" - Dan Trufin

The entire video is 18 minutes and very worth watching, but when Dan is discussing the changes to the pipes systems, now called "Resource Generation and Item Control", it leads him into the importance of engineers in keeping ships afloat and their systems all online.



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