Basics And How To Build Good Ships In Istrolid

Part 1 of the Istrolid Tutorial

In this first part of the tutorial I give you basic information on how Istrolid works and what the numbers behind the ship parts mean. Also I will provide you with information, tools and strategies to build good and well balanced ships that will make you a strong opponent! Everything is (of course) proven by math and tested.

[Part 1] [Part 2]

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Download the Excel file with all tables, tools and analyses!

1. Basic Knowledge

  • Let us start at the very beginning of everything and take a look at the ship classes, battle field and the unit assembly in general

1.1 Ship Classes

  • All ships can be divided in 5 classes:


  • This of course is just a definition and the borders are blurry. But this will make it easier to talk about ships

1.2 The Battle Field, Income And Hotkeys

  • There are always 8 conquer positions on the battle field
  • Your basis generates 10$ per second and each position that is controlled by you generates 1$ per second
  • You have 2000$ starting money – spending this money wrong will for sure cost you the victory!
  • Use the hotkeys! They  are very useful features that you should learn to use
  • Stopping units = ‘x’
  • Command units to follow = ‘f’ and then click on unit to follow. The follow function also works on enemy ships
  • With Ctrl + NUMBER  (1-0) you can group ships. By pressing the number you quick select the groups
  • Double click on a unit to select all units of the same type


1.3 The Unit Assembly

  • Assemble your units the way you want to!
  • But: Evaluate your creation using the statistics on the right side. They are VERY important!
  • Therefore I give you detailed information on the statistics in  section 2


1.4 Available Ship Parts and Single-Part-Evaluation

  • I analyzed all available ship parts of Istrolid in a ‘first round’. It will (and needs to) be updated!
  • This still has a lot optimization potential but it will give you a solid first overview of which parts are good and why.
  • Be aware that the analyses are based on single parts. (Especially for weapons that might be a bad way to go but for now this will do)
  • For the evaluation I calculated what you get for your money and rated the parts in comparison to each other by using this system:


  • Note: Less Points = good  /  Many Points = bad
  • Also: Using money as the reference might not be optimal but it points into the right direction.
  • The Evaluations are based on the x/$ ratios, my experience with the parts and  some extra calculations that I did on the side (I won’t bore you with that :-)).
  • All tables also available in the downloadable Excel file!
1.4.1 Turret Mounts



  • If you have a unit with big turning speed then DON’T use the 360° mount but the 90° or even 30°
  • Slow turners use 180°-360° but use 360° only if really necessary (for example: anti-missile and short range weapons)
1.4.2 Turrets / Weapon Systems



  • If you don’t want to spend tons of time deciding which weapon to use, then you should prefer the green weapons!
1.4.3 Energy Supply



  • Reactors are very heavy, expensive and only come with a little capacity compared to the batteries
  • The 2×2 reactor has THE best energy generation and that is why you buy them. Therefore I  recommend to avoid the smaller versions. Use those only if necessary!
  • Reactors do charge batteries too
  • ALWAYS use a combination of reactor and battery (of course there are some exceptions to this rule)
  • Batteries scale 1:1 and have a great capacity. Pick any according to your needs
1.4.4 Thrust Units



  • The interceptor afterburner makes even the biggest ships really fast. However this unit consumes unbelievable amounts of energy and therefore should be avoided!
  • The Bulk Thruster is THE best deal! You won’t get a better thrust unit for your money.
1.4.5 Wings


Notes on Wings

  • Except for the wing with the cut they all scale 1:1. Use whatever wings you need to get your turning speed
  • Use the cut version for  small units only
1.4.6 Shields & Cloaking



  • The shield generator only makes sense if your tactic is to get in range of an enemy  ship, fire your weapons and then run away. Otherwise it would be WAY better and cheaper to use armor!
  • The Cloaking device cloaks 60t per second and is a really good tactical instrument. I use it to hide ships in at the enemy base or send of stealth bombs.
1.4.7 Armor



  • If you build a heavy ship then DON’T look at anything but the normal armor and there you can pick any as the scale 1:1
  • If you really need a lighter ship and have the money, the volumetric armor is the best deal
  • The ultralight armor is (for me) just to expensive to be used. So your ship flies 20m/s faster after using 5-10 of those elements? … I just add another thrust and battery for that price!

2. How To Build Good Ships

  • Building well balanced units that fulfill their goal according to your strategy is THE most important thing in Istrolid
  • You assemble your units from 68 different parts and only a perfect combination will give you the advantage that you need to win the battle
  • A good ship has a specific purpose! That means you kind of  have to already know what you want to do. Your fleet has to be designed in a way that allows you to execute your strategy in the best and most efficient way.
  • Also a good fleet is able to react to different problems and counter them: fight against a swarm of small ships or a very heavily armored enemy ship, a quick defense action to hold or conquer a position …
  • Therefore you should know at least some of the available parts that Istrolid offers you to assemble your ships.

2.1 Combining Parts To A Good Ship

  • When designing your ships in Istrolid you should know the following things:
2.1.1 Overall Stats


  • Your damage output is important but not the most important number! Thumb rule: Drones: 10-25dps, Fighter: 30-90dps, Destroyer: 80-220dps
  • Hit points make your ship endure longer but also makes armor necessary, which increases the weight and decreases the movement speed. The necessity of armor differs a lot from ship to ship
  • Speed is an important parameter! Thumb rule: Drones: 300-500m/s, Fighter: 100-200m/s, Destroyer: 70-130m/s
  • Turn speed is also very important. Agile units or turrets that have a limited firing angle need big turning speeds. Units with 360°-Turret Mounts don’t need that. Thumb rule: High turn speed : 90°/s or bigger, Middle:  50-90°/s and Slow: below 50°/s
  • Size of your ship is a minor detail BUT: small ships can dodge bullets and missiles way better!
  • Total weight is only important for movement and turning speed. The heavier your unit is the slower it will be. This can or has to be countered by using bigger or more wings and stronger thrust units
  • Max weapon range and angle are minor information. Don’t look at those numbers but at the detailed setup of every single weapon
2.1.2 Energy Management
  • Most of the errors I see in ships are made here! Take your time to understand how it works … it isn’t that complicated
  • The bar diagram shows the consumption and generation of energy within 10 seconds IF moving and firing all weapons at the same time!
  • The blank bar represents the total capacity or the energy reservoir of your ship
  • The blue line represents the energy generation on your ship. If you don’t want your ship to run out of energy or operate on 10% firing power then make sure, that the generation is equal or bigger than 40% of the total amount of needed energy!
  • The green bar represents the needed energy for movement. If you use generators make sure, that the energy generation is BIGGER than the needed energy for movement
  • The red bar represents the needed energy to fire ALL your weapons. In the picture below: If this ship wouldn’t have a big capacity  it would only have 50% firing power after 10s and around 25% after 20 seconds. That is BAD! You could as well just throw away 2 weapon systems and have the remaining firing at 80-100% all the time.


  • If you fit the total amount of energy into the capacity bar, your ship is done after 10s… all the enemy units better be down by that point.  For light units with low HP (like drones) that is OK but for bigger ships you should have enough power to fight at least for 15-20s. Include that in your design:


  • Thumb rule: Your energy consumption should not exceed 8000 E/s! You can’t re-charge fast enough and your ship will have an insufficient energy balance. For Burst units  however this can still make sense!
2.1.3 Weapon System and Boost Analysis
  • Take a look at your weapons: range, dps, projectile speed and energy consumption are the most important properties here
  • By using the boosters you can enhance your weapon systems big time… but you can also overdo it and weaken your ship!
  • Available boosters:


  • All boosters (but 3 & 5 ) come with a catch: the reload time increases
  • Therefore for each weapon there is an optimal combination to get the maximum out of it
  • A single weapon system can be surrounded by a maximum of 6 booster
  • Note that booster effects are shared between adjacent weapon systems. This lowers the effect of the booster
  • In the following table you find the best booster combination for all weapon systems


  • The shown combinations are the best combos in terms of: Energy consumption, range, projectile speed and damage output
  • Why projectile speed? It is to enhance slow projectile that otherwise can easily be dodged … a dodged shot is worth nothing even if you have 999 dps!
  • Overkill: This is used best for slow weapons that shoot projectiles. Examples for that are Phase Bomb Launcher, EMP Gun, Auto Cannon etc.
  • Of course you can  increase the damage output by using only the reload booster BUT your energy consumption will  increase big time, making your ship a one shot adventure!
    For example: Missle Launcher + 6 x Reloader has a need of 15,446E/s! In that case you need 10 batteries (2×2 ) to be able to fight for 20s or a hybrid solution with 8 reactors and 2 batteries = 1010$. That is not efficient!
  • Tool also available in the downloadable Excel file!
2.1.4 Class Ratios – How good does your ship fit into its class?
  • An easy way to answer this is to make a comparison between different types of ships by measuring the ‘x/$’ ration for x= HP, Energy Consumption,  DPS and Speed
  • For the different ship types you should try to get into the range of the following ratios:


2.1.5 Process to build a good ship
  • Follow these steps to build a good ship:

1. Select your desired weapon systems. If you are not sure you select only the green ones from the part evaluation

2. Boost your weapons (if desired) as shown in the weapon and boost analysis. You don’t have to boost  exactly like the table suggests but should try to as it is the mos efficient combo

3. When all weapons are placed within the assembly area you start placing the energy supply. How much batteries and reactors you need can be found in the weapon and boost analysis table

4. Now you start fulfilling the ratios from the table above. Add Armor for HP and Thrust units for speed.

5. If you cannot fulfill the ratios, you might have to add or remove a weapon and start from step 1 again

6. If you fulfilled the ratios you can start the fine tuning and add parts as you wish to. But make sure to stay within the ratios

2.2 Systematically Build Up Your Fleet and Know Your Ships

This process will result in a strong fleet:

1. Ones your first unit is build I strongly recommend to use them in the challenge mode against easy, normal and hard enemies to learn how your ship can handle different situations. This is very important and kind of dictates what you have to build next!

2. Figure out the following things: How far can your ships travel? How good are they when chasing ships? How many units do you need to win against small, big and very big ships? What type of ship or weapon causes you trouble?

3. Answer those questions to gain the knowledge of:

a)  when to use the unit,
b)  when to avoid using the unit and
c) what you have to build next in order to counter situations where your unit performs bad

4. Design your next unit to counter all negative aspects of your first unit

5. Ones you manage to deal with nearly every situation and still have some empty slots, you can start thinking about some extra ships that allow you to be flexible in your strategies.

2.3 Ninja-Copy Enemy Ships and Analyze Them

  •  You can easily copy the ships of your enemy during a battle and use them against him or analyze them to know what you have to deal with
  • In order to copy an enemy unit you select the desired ship and then right click on an empty slot  in your unit menu. That’s it!
  • Your opponent might get angry that you steal his invention which  he/she might have put hours of development into BUT: This is part of the game and your ships are only one part of the game. It still needs a mind that knows how to use the ship in order to win the battle
  • Also: if an enemy copies your units it should make you smile … apparently your unit must be very good in his/her eyes.
  • A real commander doesn’t care about that at all! His/Her  victory lies in the strategy and the ability to immediately respond to every situation and counter the moves of the  opponent.
  • I personally don’t do this right now as I am convinced of my ships. But if I would see an outstanding ship I probably would think about it 🙂
  • But what I do is: If I cannot estimate the properties of an enemy ship I copy it temporary to analyze what I have to deal with

[Part 1] [Part 2]

12 thoughts on “Basics And How To Build Good Ships In Istrolid”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this guide. Really helpful! Keep up the good work!!

    1. tecthor says:

      Thank you for the positive feedback!!! 🙂

  2. Pingback: TecThor-Fleet, Strategies And Procedures For Istrolid - TecThor
  3. Trackback: TecThor-Fleet, Strategies And Procedures For Istrolid - TecThor
  4. Samuel says:

    What version of excel did you use to make this, mine is editing your file because my version is lower.

    1. tecthor says:

      Hi Samuel!
      I used Excel 2010

  5. Rey says:

    You deserve way more recognition. Great work as well.

  6. Dat boi says:

    SO HELPFUL, thanks!

  7. Cullen says:

    Great help,must started playing I needed to find out stats thanks!

  8. David says:

    Texthor, a suggestion would be to make the ship build price 1500 as it could be good for many players.

  9. Anon says:

    1×2 is better than 2×2! 2 different 1×2 will have over double energy capacity, so you can fire longer. You’ll have slightly lower energy generation, but they will be dead from the extra energy you’ve already stored up. Then you can regen all you want.

  10. TO says:

    Been playing this game since release, and recently went back to it. Thought I should point out two matters so new people don’t get the wrong ideas (stats correct at time of post).

    1×1 reactor is great for small, fast, lightweight, sustain.
    1 fighter thruster > 2 multiple scout thruster (only use scout thrusters as single use)

    The 1×1 reactor is really great for longer range, skirmish micro craft. It gives more HP and is ideal for sustaining engines (manages to sustain a single fighter thruster with little left over for either reserve pool or shield capacitors), so that energy reserve is purely for weapons. However according to the advice fighter-thrusters are bad…
    Consider the basic fighting scout, 30° mount, laser, 1×1 battery, 1×1 light-weight slit wing:
    With two scout thruster’s $40 and 36% drain, gives 488.6m/s and 112.5 °/s
    Vs a single fighter thruster $45 and 24% drain, gives 533.3m/s and 134.5 °/s
    Generally for ever two scout thrusters replace with a with fighter variant, as for a small investment increase, its a much better ROI.

  11. skycore says:

    My analysis favors weapons with a high damage per energy ratio.

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