No Man’s Sky has been out for a week now, encouraging players to explore the vast universe by visiting planets and collecting data on their many inhabitants. During the journey through the galaxy, you’ll consistently be upgrading your equipment to keep your exosuit, multi-tool, and starship up to snuff with the various challenges. But it doesn’t look like the actual multi-tool or starship you end up picking matters outside of the slot space it offers.
When No Man’s Sky was originally revealed, Hello Games discussed how each starship in the game would fit a specific mold and be categorized by class. Explorer class ships were supposed to travel faster and further, Fighter class ships were set to be the dogfighters of the universe, and Trade class ships were designed to withstand more damage while storing more valuables. It turns out though, that regardless of the type of ship your end up purchasing — the class system isn’t all that important.
Each class of ship does have a specific amount of hit points, meaning that Trade class ships can take the most damage (once your shields are down), while Fighter and Explorer can take less overall. These size of your ship also influences the areas which you can land planet side too — although both of these differences are completely negligible in the long run with the right upgrades.
Essentially, each starship you find within No Mans Sky is a gigantic suitcase with a cockpit and engine. While it’s true that many of the ships have a different visual ascetic to them, their appearance actually doesn’t have much of an influence on how they perform a certain role. When you upgrade, that new ship will come with a very basic set of equipment and some possible upgrades, but those upgrades are actually what will affect the performance of your ship when it comes to a specific role rather than the role itself.
And honestly? That’s great news, not only because it allows players to pick a ship based completely on the appearance they desire, but also because it sticks to the same level of freedom that No Man’s Sky works to provide across the board.
So next time you’re out starship shopping, remember that you can turn that beautiful tin can into something formidable provided you have the right blueprints and crafting materials.
Correction (8/22/16): In the original version of this article, it was stated that ship classes in No Man’s Sky did not have any direct differences, when, in fact, they have different hit point and landing capabilities. The article has been edited to reflect that fact.