The ship designer is the most powerful weapon at your disposal when it comes to fleet management. Default loadouts provided by the game are balanced and do their job well enough, but the best and most powerful designs are always hand-crafted in the blueprint editor.
- A ship's maximum size and by extension cost and power is determined by which one of the ship types it is. A small frigate is unlikely to be the same kind of threat as a destroyer and especially a cruiser, but it's cheap to build and can be readily used as an orbital bombardment platform, allowing for primary combat ships to focus on destroying enemy fleets.
- On that account, specialization is the name of the game. Given that ship modules are usually designed to affect a single weapon type, a ship that mounts a single weapon class will benefit from it immensely. For example, missile ships become virtually unstoppable once the Dauntless guidance systems are researched, allowing swarms of missiles to retarget mid-flight and reach enemy ships.
- Note that specialization allows to conserve space and production costs. A ship mounting no beams or lasers can forgo a computer for directing fire.