A spacecraft's engines work in a chain of the following types of components:
- Intakes, which collect hydrogen fuel for the thrusters to use as fuel and reaction mass.
- Modifiers, which can have a variety of effects on the ship's propulsion.
- The engine, here used to refer to the power plant generating the energy the ship uses.
- Thrusters, which provide the actual thrust force to move and maneuver the ship.
Upgrading any of these components can provide various improvements to the ship, though the benefits are not always to the ship's speed or maneuverability. For example, "coolers" can be used to reduce a ship's infrared signature. It will be possible for pilots to "overclock" their engine systems, but this risks flame-outs.