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Hard Ships

The following ships can be choosed at new game from the start menu: Hard Cobra Mark III, Hard Cobra Mark I, Hard Adder and Hard Moray. If you choose cheaper ship then more will be left from the starting 100.000 credits to buy equipments and goods.

The Cobra III is seems to be pretty cheap, but it is an old ship: if you installed ShipVersion OXP then you will always see the lowest v1.0. All others get many equipments and you can search for a very high version by call another offer again and again.

If you want to try your next ship then the more costly ships allow a test drive for 20 minutes: Hard Anaconda, Hard Asp, Hard Boa, Har-de-Lance and Hard Python.

But what offer the Hard Armour?

It is not a damage holder as the standard melting armours: it is a very hard material which can partially deflect lasers and other attacks before any damage! It has a base value of 3 which deducted from all attacks. The large Hard Anaconda has 5 due to can hold higher mass. If the power of an attack is less than the base value, then no damage at all, as small bullets will never penetrate thick plates. If more, then only the difference deducted from the standard armour of the ship. If no armour left then the deflection effect of the Hard Armour still remain, so all energy damages will be reduced also!

It is different from an additional energy bank because the less damage means faster regeneration, so it is equal with if there are more banks and higher recharge values also, and more standard armour with faster armour repair rates, and larger IronHide armour (if installed), and raise all other bonuses and effects of the equipments, and.., and.., and..

If it is not enough for you, then install ShipVersion OXP and see what endurance can come from a trader if supported with some good equipments which multiplied by the Hard Armour. :)

To count the high mass of the Hard Armour these ships get only half thrust so accelerate (and brake!) much slower, but the maximum speed unchanged due to some physical blah about inertialess drives (or to do not unbalance the game, who knows?).

To visualize the Hard Armour these ships got orange tiled textures from Gimp (Terra pattern, Granite to pirates, Pool Bottom to police). Please use it if you make your own Hard Armoured ships: set hardarmour=10 in script_info, set density=2, halve the thrust, make orange tiled textures and done. A good question is why not reduce the acceleration (named thrust) more on the ships with thicker armour. I can say some technical blah again but better if imagine that the given Hard Armours matched to the ship size: larger armour set on ships with larger mass already. Additional decrease needed only if a ship get (somehow) larger Hard Armour than the default.

The spread of the armour usage inspired the weapon makers to invent Armour Piercing Lasers and Missiles. The best against Hard Armour is the Armour Piercing weapons (coming soon as secondary weapons):

  • Hammer Laser is an advanced Mining Laser with double power (technically two tube fire together) which not reduced by Hard Armour and a bit faster (1.5x) recharge. But the range is the original 12.5km only and reduced by Hard Shield until there are enough shield to catch the whole damage.
  • Sniper Laser is developed as a twin Military Laser to get Armour Piercing ability and 30km effective range, but usable in pulse mode only and can not pierce shield.
  • All type of Railguns in the Railgun OXP has Armour Piercing ability, as all other collision (scrape) type damage also.

Hard Ships Gallery

The following models need Griff's replacement shipset or Oolite v1.79.


Granite Ships

There are much harder NPC hunters and pirates in Granite suit.

The following models need Griff's replacement shipset or Oolite v1.79.


Armour sides to all ships

The standard armour of the ships divided into 6 side: Fore, Aft, Port, Starboard, Top, Bottom. There are two "inner" side also: IronHide armour and Core hull.

After taken enough (maxEnergy/2) damage either outer side to destroy it, the next hits from the damaged side counted to Core hull hit. Taking equal amount with maxEnergy of Core hull hit cause internal damage or if it happen in short time then more likely Fuel Leak. The chance of the Leak is higher if the ship is low in energy.

Armour Repair Bots can fix 1 points of armour in every seconds, and works on all side at one time but use up 1t Alloy for each 100 damage points. Buy Alloys before undock otherwise the Bots can fix only as little as 100 points from the Alloy which already in the hand of the Bots. NPCs always start to fly with 1-5t alloys and if damaged (or died) then can leave some alloy, but you also if at least one side of your ship lost all armour (leaked). If you scoop it the Repair Bot can put back some armour.

Core repairs do not use Alloys due to it is hull and not Armour (but need more time to fix the larger amount). The main difference is that hull can not prevent energy loss if get hit but the armour can.

Technically the Core hull is another counter of the energy damage but repaired much slower than the energy recharged. If you get many hit in short time then the energy will be low also when the Core hull run out so it can cause Fuel Leak. But if there was enough pause between hits to recharge many energy (but not enough to repair the hull) then get internal damage. The Fuel Leak will be sealed if repaired the 25% of the hull, then continues until fully repaired, but can be leaked again if run out next time.

The maximum armour of small ships under 30t (Adder, Mamba, Sidewinder and below) is 100 regardless of maxEnergy. The standard armour damages will be fixed in any dock for free.

No Core Armour which can defend from all directions because the sides founded to make more reality. But if you want, install IronHide OXP because the usage of the IronHide Armours is supported and additive. Placed inside of the side armours to get damage after the in-flight repairable part is depleleted only.

To compensate NPCs if IronHide OXP present (which is player-only), the HardShips OXP will award extra armour to NPCs. It will be an one-time armour without in-flight repair as the player version.

NPC ships with larger random entityPersonality value will get more IronHide Armour:

  • 30% get as many as the normal IronHide Armour (200 points, if ShipVersion OXP present then v5-v7),
  • 20% get Military IronHide Armour (400 points, v8-v9),
  • 1% get 1.5x of the Military IronHide Armour (600 points, v10).

To tell the truth, the IronHide support is made to create some really hard enemy. :) For example you can see Vipers with not only the basic 180 energy points but with 490 armour and 384 shield points, which is 6x more.

Defensive Equipments

Additional Armour Equipments

The Front and Aft side can hold an extra layer standard armour which is repairable in dock only (and for a fee), so give an one-time defense only. Other sides can not hold additions, it would be too much extra mass to any ship.

If an Additional Armour Equipment damaged then the defense still remain in this fly but need repair when docked to use again. The repair team can not restore the armour value of a damaged equipment, furthermore wipes the remaining armour value after landing to prevent accidents in dock, but the equipment remain in damaged status to can buy repair. If you do not pay the repair then you will undock without working additional defense.

A surprise can happen due to the game mechanics: a frontal hit can damage the Additional Aft Armour also as any other equipments. But it is rare enough to accept as an unlucky hit which managed to go through the whole ship.

Cost: 2*5000.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 5

Additional Core Hull Equipment

Doubles the damage amount before start to get internal damage or Fuel Leak. Repaired in-flight automatically as the normal part of the Core hull due to it is not an armour. If the equipment is damaged then repairable in dock only, but the added hull remains as an one-time defense.

You can fix all of the Additional equipments in one step when docked in all system, but you can buy in tech level 5 or above. The showed price is enough to fix a single damaged equipment, if all three damaged then will deduct three times more.

Cost: 5000.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 5

Dummy Equipments

Many metal fragments placed between equipments to take out damage with high odds, but take cargo space also. There are different packages: 1t, 5t, 10t, 50t and 100t with 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 times higher odds to damage before others. You can buy all of them if you have 166t cargo space and use together because the size of the fragments are different and can put the small ones into the remaining spaces of the large ones. But never found these in the buyable ships by default, so you must get it by hand after bought a new ship. (Technically not possible, a bug in Oolite v1.77 cause sometime disappearing eqipments with cargo space reqirement in shipyard.plist.) Fortunately you can buy worthless metals in all systems. :)

Cost: 10.0 Cr./1 t
Techlevel: 1

Engine Repair Bot

Can fix damaged Injectors, Q-charger and Broken Engines in a minute to help survive and run from a bad situation.

Need 1t Machinery for each fix. Can not fit into ships under 30t mass.

Cost: 1000.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 5

Equipment Box

This armoured box can defend all equipments. This will be damaged first, the equipments later only. Does not require cargo space but you can place into the ship a single Equipment Box only. More specific boxes available also which placed inside this box to save the most important equipments which can help in retreat. Other equipments can not be boxed separatedly due to not enough space in the ships, these guarded by the general Equipment Box only. Can not fit any of the boxes into ships under 30t.

Cost: 100.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 1

Electronics Box

Defend your Docking Computers, E.C.M. System, Multi-Targeting System, Scanner Targeting Enhancement and Target System Memory Expansion until penetrated.

Cost: 200.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 1

Injector Box

Armoured box around Witchdrive Fuel Injectors to take over the first damage. A must-have due to Injectors is the best escape tool in a hot situation and can be fatal if suddenly damaged. You can retreat instantly when this box damaged before losing your ability to run. Protect your Q-Charger from Q-Charger OXP and your engines also if Breakable Engines OXP is installed.

Cost: 200.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 1

Life Box

Put your Escape Pod and Passenger Berths into a protecting box. Protect your HUD and IFF scanner due to these are in your cockpit also if Breakable_HUD_IFF_Scanner OXP is installed.

Cost: 200.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 1

Shield Box

Defend Shield Boosters, Shield Capacitors and Military Shield Enhancement, but not Hard Shields which placed outside of the hull. Protect your normal shields also if Breakable Shield Generators OXP is installed.

Cost: 200.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 1

Emergency Energy Generator

Refill all energy banks from Radioactives and Platinum as catalyst but once only due to need repair after used. Need 1t Radioactives and 1kg Platinum for each bank, beware: storing radioactives are illegal in some systems. Triggered when the last energy bank is remaining only. The speedy recharge can cause internal damage to the ship (in cargo, equipment or service level).

Cost: 10000.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 5

Emergency Shield Generator

Need an Emergency Energy Generator which can recharge shields also with this equipment. Can not refill Shield Capacitors.

Cost: 10000.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 12

High-Tech Catalyst

EEG can use Fuel with Gold catalyst if no more Radioactives or Platinum on board. Need clean status because these tools are regulated, drain 0.1ly fuel and 1kg Gold to refill one energy bank. Can take the first damage from an emergency refill so Emergency Energy Generator can trigger another times.

Cost: 10000.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 12

Renewable Energy Generator

Generate two banks of energy when the last bank is touched and will renew in any dock for free. Need unclean status to buy due to use old unsafe technology which cause many internal damages to the ship when break down.

Cost: 5000.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 3

Hard Nose

The front of the ship can hold an additional Hard Armour layer which increase the deflected amount of any damage which hit the front side by 5 points in addition to the base Hard Armour. Other sides can not hold similar addition. Can put on non-HardShips, and can be damaged (base Hard Armour can not).

Cost: 5000.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 5

Very Hard Nose

Doubled Hard Nose can deflect additional 2 points in any ship, but can buy at tech level 12 planets or above only and a bit costly.

Can not use in addition to the normal Hard Nose, if you buy the better then the normal will be sold and refunded. You can downgrade also if you need money.

Your equipments still can get damaged from a hit which not caused armour damage if no shield by short circuit and shock, and the Armour Piercing weapons still can strike through these very hard front armours.

If you use ShipVersion OXP then you must go around the best NPCs after the shield is out because you can not scratch the front also. The Detectors equipment can help to check the caused damage if installed.

Cost: 10000.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 12

Hard Shield Equipments

Similar with the Hard Armour but hardening the shield by placing more shield emitters denser, but the cost growth also lineal. Every hit reduced with the level of the Hard Shield Equipment. Exists from level 1 to 10, the best sold only at techlevel 14 planets or above and costs 10.000 credits. Can found only in systems where the tech level is 4 level more than the level of the Hard Shield, but all is repairable from tech level 5. Can use only one at a time, if you buy another then the old will be sold and you will get full refund from it. This means also if you need some money then you can downgrade it and get back the difference to buy another important things. It is not additive with the Hard Armour, can not protect the hull of the ship after the shield is depleted.

The (incoming) Shield-Sapper weapons also very affected by Hard Shield: can reduce the 5x depleting ability to 5-HSLevel/3. If you are not mathematician, then here is a table:

HSLevel  	0	2	4	6	8	10
Depleting	5	4.667	4.333	4	3.667	3.333

The 1x damage of the Sapper and the range is similar with a dual predecessor Beam Laser: 30 energy points and 15km, need 5x energy per shot and usable in pulse mode only, but it is more effective against shield than the Beam laser in beam mode and not only for 3 seconds due to never overheated. The dual mode means one shot and 150 points (2*5*15) gone from a soft shield. The 256 points of a full Boosted (but not Military) normal shield can be Sapped in 1 second: the first instant hit more than halving it then the next after a second clearing out. A Military shield with Hard Shield 8 (default on v8 NPCs if ShipVersion OXP present) need at least 6 second (if all shot hit), but against armour and hull or a shield with Anti-Sapper equipment is working as a dual Pulse Laser only.

Cost: 1000.0 Cr./level
Techlevel: 5-14

Anti-Sapper Shield Equipment

Please use the full name in nice talk, do not say the short acronym as pirates does. Requires Hard Shield 10, and can not reduce the normal hits, but totally negate the Shield-Sapper effect. Cost as much as a mid-class ship itself, and your vehicle will be look as a hedgehog from the exceptionally densely placed emitters. The many parts cause that can be damaged with 10x more probability than other equipments. Can found only in systems with tech level 14 or above but can repair from tech level 5. The repair is cheap due to usually a small piece damaged only in the same time. But if you install the Realistic Damage OXP then can be totally destroyed which maybe cost more to worth, so in in this case buy only after you are earned really much money.

Cost: 20000.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 14

Big Shield Capacitors

Extend the Shield Capacitors (if any) to 4 times of the original size (256). Available at tech level 14 planets (as normal capacitors), and need installed ShieldEqualizer+Capacitors OXP. Cost many credits, but you get in one equipment not only the forward but the aft extension also. At least v3.1 needed from the Numeric HUD to show the big values of the capacitors (older show max. 99).

Cost: 10000.0 Cr
Techlevel: 14

There are some hidden equipments in this OXP, please do not ask or publish it in the forum if you found one, think on others who want to find it in the game. If you are unsure to something is a bug or feature then ask the author in email (norbylite at gmail com) or in private message (Norby).

Ship size restrictions

Ships with less than 30t mass can not get any equipments from this OXP due to the small inner space: Adder (11t), Gecko (23t), Mamba (27t), Sidewinder (25t) and Viper (23t). But can get standard and Hard Armour.

Ships under 130t can not get Big Shield Capacitors, Very Hard Nose and Military IronHide Armour: Asp (59t), Cobra I (47t), Constrictor (33t), Fer-de-Lance (51t), Krait (80t), Moray (40t), Viper Interceptor (43t) and the previous small ships.

Large ships can get anything (be wise): Anaconda, Boa, Boa Mk2, Cobra III and Python. The ship size is more important if ShipVersion OXP is installed.


Fast and agile tiny remote controlled ships, designed to reach as little hull size as possible to minimalize the aimable area.

No Life Support so can fight in automatic mode only, but large ships like Cobra III can hold and launch drones if needed. Can not hold Injectors, Shield Boosters or any other extras, and no Hyperdrive so must call back before jump.

Laser Drones hold a Pulse Laser and 2 energy banks with very slow recharge rate (1) but fast (500).

Hard Drones equipped with Hard Amour, better recharge (2) and a Mini Turret also, but slower and less agile.

Technical Informations

Depending on Oolite v1.77.


In Oolite v1.79 or later do not unzip the .oxz file, just move into the AddOns folder of your Oolite installation.

In Oolite v1.77 make a HardShips.oxp subfolder in your AddOns folder and unzip the .oxz file into the newly created subfolder.

If you use a custom replacement shipset (from Griff, Smivs or others) and you want to see the custom ship designs as hard ships also instead of the ships in this oxp then rename the shipdata.plistforcustomshipsets to shipdata.plist in the Config folder.


  • CustomShields OXP included Fuel Leak support also, turn it off if you do not want double chance to leaking.
  • Start Choices OXP was the source of the new game screen. To insert new menu items HardShips OXP included all ships from the Start Choices 1.3 and disabled the original script, but if a new Start Choices will arrive then it will not shown until somebody port the changes into the HardShips OXP.

Recommended OXPs


This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License version 4.0 If you are re-using any piece of this OXP, please let me know by sending an e-mail to norbylite at gmail.

Thanks to the community for:

  • Feedbacks by Oolite Forum members.
  • Main program by the core programmer team.
  • Programming instructions by all Wiki writers.
  • Recommended OXPs by its authors.
  • Start menu from Start Choices OXP by Mika Spara.


HardShips v0.89 (downloaded 946 times).

HardShips v0.88 (downloaded 1856 times).

HardShips v0.87 (downloaded 822 times).


2016.10.20. v0.89 Fix Hard Boa Mk2 to allow fitting Military Shields, thanks to javirodriguez.
2015.03.10. v0.88 Hard Armor made less hard, following reduced laser power in Oolite 1.81.
                  Allow selection of extra ships in Start Choices OXP.
                  Send less emails with Email System OXP.
2014.11.09. v0.87 Fixed the discharge of Big Shield Capacitor 2, thanks to V12.
                  Small fix in start menu for Oolite v1.79.
2013.11.21. v0.86 Small fix in texture of hardballturret.
2013.11.18. v0.85 Granite player ships in shipdata.plistforgriffgranite.
2013.11.16. v0.84 New textures for Griff ships.
2013.10.19. v0.83 Equipment boxes repaired from alloys in a minute.
                  Engine Repair Bot added.
2013.10.19. v0.82 Made compatible with Renegade Pirates OXP.
2013.10.14. v0.81 Added an alternative shipdata.plist for custom shipsets.
2013.10.13. v0.8  Granite hunters and Energy Generator equipments added.
2013.06.12. v0.7  Drones added.
2013.06.09. v0.6  More equipments added.
2013.05.05. v0.5  Some equipments added.
2013.04.08. v0.2  Second test version.
2013.03.31. v0.1  First test files.

Quick Facts

Version Released License Features Category Author(s) Feedback
0.89 2016-10-20 CC BY-NC-SA 3 Armours, defensive equipments, Drones. Mechanics OXPs Norby BB-Link