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Revision as of 12:08, 16 July 2021 by Cholmondely (talk | contribs) (Recommended OXPs: Note on IronHide)

Hard Ships

The following ships can be chosen at the 'New Game' option from the Start menu: Hard Cobra Mark III, Hard Cobra Mark I, Hard Adder and Hard Moray. If you choose a cheaper ship then more will be left from the starting 100.000 credits to buy equipment 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 the others get more equipment and you can search for a very high version by choosing 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 is the offer of Hard Armour?

It is not a damage preventer as the standard melting armours are: rather 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 is deducted from all attacks. The large Hard Anaconda has 5 due to holding a higher mass. If the power of an attack is less than the base value, then no damage is done at all, as small bullets will never penetrate thick plates. If the power is more, then only the difference deducted from the standard armour of the ship will penetrate. If no armour is left then the deflection effect of the Hard Armour still remain, so all energy damage will be reduced also!

It is different from an additional energy bank because the less damage means faster regeneration, so it is equal to it 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 it raises all other bonuses and effects of the equipments, and.., and.., and..

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

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

To visualize the Hard Armour these ships got orange tiled textures from Gimp (Terra pattern, Granite for pirates, Pool Bottom for 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 could say some technical blah again but it is better to imagine that the given Hard Armour is matched to the ship size: larger armour is set on ships with a larger mass. Additional decrease is needed only if a ship gets (somehow) larger Hard Armour than the default.

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

  • Hammer Laser is an advanced Mining Laser with double power (technically two tubes fire together) which are not reduced by Hard Armour and a somewhat faster (1.5x) recharge. But the range is the original 12.5km only and reduced by a Hard Shield until there is 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 is usable in pulse mode only and cannot pierce the shield.
  • All types of Railguns in the Railgun OXP have 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 the 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 between 6 sides: Fore, Aft, Port, Starboard, Top, Bottom. There are two "inner" sides also: IronHide armour and the Core hull.

After taking enough (maxEnergy/2) damage either outer side to destroy it, the next hits on the damaged side will count to the Core hull hit. Taking equal amounts with maxEnergy of the Core hull hit causes internal damage or if it happens within a short time then more likely will cause a 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 work on all side at one time. They use up 1t Alloy for each 100 damage points. Buy Alloys before undocking - otherwise the Bots can fix only as little as 100 points (from the Alloy which is already in the hands of the Bots). NPCs always start to fly with 1-5t alloys and if damaged (or killed) then can leave some alloy, but you might too if at least one side of your ship lost all its armour (leaked). If you scoop the alloy the Repair Bot can then restore some armour.

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

Technically the Core hull is another shield against the energy damage, but it is repaired much slower than the energy is recharged. If you get many hits in a short time then the energy will be low also when the Core hull runs out - so this can cause a Fuel Leak. But if there was enough time between the hits to recharge enough energy (but not enough to repair the hull) then one gets internal damage. The Fuel Leak will be sealed if 25% of the hull is repaired, and this then continues until fully repaired: but fuel can leak again if it runs 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 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 adds to HardShips. IronHide is placed inside the side armours and gets damaged only after the in-flight repairable part is depleted.

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 a larger random entityPersonality value will get more IronHide Armour:

  • 30% get as much 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 enemies. :) For example you can see Vipers with not only the basic 180 energy points but also with 490 armour and 384 shield points, which is 6x more.

Defensive Equipments

Additional Armour Equipment

The Front and Aft sides can hold an extra layer of standard armour which is repairable in dock only (and for a fee), thus giving a one-time defense only. Other sides cannot take these additional layers: it would be too much extra mass for any ship.

If an Additional Armour Equipment is damaged then the defense still remains for this flight only - but will need repair when docked to be usable again. If the repair team can not restore the armour value of the damaged equipment, then it wipes the remaining armour value after landing to prevent accidents in dock. The now non-functional equipment will remain in damaged status until repaired. That is, depsite it working after the initial damage, if you do not pay for the repair then you will now undock without this functional additional defense.

A surprise can happen due to the game mechanics: a frontal hit can damage the Additional Aft Armour (just as for any other equipment). But this is rare enough, so one can accept it as an unlucky hit which managed penetrate the entire ship.

Cost: 2*5000.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 5

Additional Core Hull Equipment

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

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

Cost: 5000.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 5

Dummy Equipments

Many metal fragments are placed between pieces of equipment to absorb damage with high odds, but the fragments also take up cargo space. There are different packages: 1t, 5t, 10t, 50t and 100t with 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 times higher odds to absorb damage before the equipment does. You can buy all of them if you have 166t cargo space and use them together because the size of the fragments are different and one can put the small ones into the remaining spaces of the large ones. These are never found in the default buyable ships, so you must install them after buying a new ship. (This is because it is technically not possible: a bug in Oolite v1.77 causes occasional disappearance of equipment with a cargo space requirement in the 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 within 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 equipment. This will be damaged first, the equipment will be damaged only afterwards. Does not require cargo space but you can place into the ship only one single Equipment Box. More specific boxes are available which are placed inside this box to save the most important equipment which can help in retreat. Other equipment can not be boxed separately due to lack of space in the ship: these are guarded by the general Equipment Box only. One cannot fit any of these boxes into ships under 30t.

Cost: 100.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 1

Electronics Box

Defends 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 the initial damage. A must-have due to Injectors being the best escape tool in a hot situation and thus can be fatal if suddenly damaged! You can now retreat instantly when this box damaged, before losing your ability to run. Protects 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

Puts your Escape Pod and Passenger Berths into a protecting box. Protects your HUD and IFF scanner due to these being in your cockpit also (if Breakable_HUD_IFF_Scanner OXP is installed).

Cost: 200.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 1

Shield Box

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

Cost: 200.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 1

Emergency Energy Generator

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

Cost: 10000.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 5

Emergency Shield Generator

Needs 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 a Gold catalyst if no more Radioactives or Platinum are on board. Needs clean status because these tools are regulated: and drains 0.1ly fuel and 1kg Gold to refill one energy bank. Can take the initial damage from an emergency refill so that the Emergency Energy Generator can trigger another time.

Cost: 10000.0 Cr.
Techlevel: 12

Renewable Energy Generator

Generates two banks of energy when the last bank is touched and will be renew in any docking for free. Needs unclean status to buy due to the use of old unsafe technology which causes much internal damage to the ship when broken 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

  • IronHide OXP is much simpler than HardShips. It does combine with HardShips and NPCs will get extra armour as well if HardShips is present.


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