Copasted from the Paradox forums.
Thanks go to Nighthaunt.
Ship Design screen guideEdit
As people have been a bit confused about the design screen I thought I would pop in a guide ahead of tooltips etc...
When you open up the design screen it is split into multiple parts
To the upper left is a box with Ship Designs as the title - here is where you find your saved designs. At the bottom is a submit button - this saves the design you have made and offers you the chance to rename the design.
If you click on a ship name it changes the wireframe ship model to that design in the main window - you will also notice to the right of the submit design button is a trashcan - click on this to delete the design.
Below that are some bars - these are your Supply, Energy and Crew bars. Firstly you need to know what these mean. Supply is just that supplies, from food, fuel to ammunition like missiles and mass driver rounds. This affects the range that the ship can fly on the galactic map, as well as its ability to fire ammunition based weapons at full rate through many rounds of combat - if you run out of ammunition your stuck Energy is the power generated by your ship, and is mainly used for energy based weapons, such as lasers, plasma cannons and phasers. Crew is the crew beings of the vessel - and is used in boarding actions - more crew mean you are less likely to get taken over, and in combat you can lose crew during battle - a ship with no crew drifts lifeless and can be salvaged by you (if an enemy ship) or enemies to research technology.
Each bar is in two parts, a top red bar and below that a green bar. There are numbers to the right - i.e Supply 11/135. The key is to make sure that the red bits are less than the total green bar length - that way you have enough ammunition or power to fire your guns. Crew is less essential.
Below that is Ship cost - First Prototype cost is the cost to build the first of this design, and below that is production cost which is the cost of producing subsequent ships.
Below that are construction costs - again split into prototype and production varients.
Below that is a graph with numbers telling you how fast the ship is, and how good at turning.
The main window consists of a wireframe model of the ship, with 3 titles at the top, which from left to right are Command, Mission and Engine. Until you research better engines its best to ignore the engine section for now - you only have the starting choice.
The first, Command, is the front of the ship, and initially you have 2 choices, Standard Command and Hammerhead. You can change these by either moving the mouse over the bar and arrows pop up either side to cycle through the choices, or click on the name to bring up a drop down list.
Standard command are cheaper, but Hammerheads mount more, and bigger weapons. If you research advanced sensors you get a deep scan command section, which is less well armed than even the standard command but has a much larger view area. These deep scan sections should not be fitted to warships but your command ships or auxiliaries like supply ships.
The middle is your misison section. This is where your ship design starts to specialise. At the start you have limited choices. Strikeforce CnC is your basic command choice - and allows you to form a fleet - all fleets must have 1 command vessel for the admiral to fly in. Armour is your basic fighting unit - and mounts plenty of weapons. Transport colonizer is the mission section to create a ship to colonise - If you research Biome colonizers you gain the biome colonizer section - which is much more effective at setting up new colonies. Supply sections are like virtual tankers - they refuel the fleet, and you will need these if you want your fleets to travel far. Construction are used to build stations, repair and salvage - well you guessed it repairing ships and salvaging technology off enemy wreckage.
You will have a number of icons on your ships - possibly green or purple lines in boxes. This is where you choose your weapons. when you click one of these boxes blue animated lines show you which guns on the ship model that box represents. This brings up a box where you can choose the guns to fit.
There are 3 sizes of turrets you can see on these ships - small, medium and large (armour is only section from the list I gave with a large turret). For small turrets I suggest you pick the sslashed purple line - a UV laser which is accurate and has long range, although less damage than some of the other weapons.
How do I know what the turret size is - well look at whats in the list - if you have what looks like a missile you have chosen a medium turret fitting. Now the smart thing is - instead of changing each turret individually to that UV laser or missile, right click on the UV laser (or missile if its available) and it changes all weapons in that size turret on the ship to that weaapon. Now do the other and either fit missiles if you only had small mounts and picked UV lasers, or vice versa.
The big white outline box with a slashed circle in it is a module hardpoint. Modules improve performance of specific areas of the ship. click the box to bring up a list.
Camel and Caravan improve supply and a little crew, Semper Fi improves crew (its housing for marine to resist boarding), Hannibal should only be fitted to command ships (and only really dreadnaught sized ones) as it allows your admiral a chance to escape if the ship goes down.
Furnices and auxiliary reactors affect your ships manouvering and energy - so worth considering if you've gone lasers all the way.
Now at the bottom left is a button called WEAPON TEST - click this and it takes you to the combat arena. Left click your ship to select it then left click on a target to see th weapons fire - some races have more turrets pointing forwards, some more to the side, so this lets you see what works best for your ship.
When your happy with your design click Submit design and give it a name - and your done and able to build the ship you just designed.
To edit an existing design click its name on the ship designs box, make your changes and then click submit - it will come up with the name box with the original name followed by a Mk and numer - either change the name or click ok.
Hope this helps - will try and get more guides up asap