Drives, aka Stardrives, are the bigger Faster-Than-Light engines that empower ships to travel from one star to another. Drives are a TYPE of item. They follow all the normal rules for items and systems, with the following additional wrinkles.

Specific codes used in the .ini files of Drives


Most drives have the FLAGs of tech and nothief.

  • Of the two, the latter ("nothief") is probably more important, as it keeps Esmeralda from stealing your engines and leaving you stranded somewhere.


The COST lines of the existing drives in the main game range between 126 (hydrogen fusion drive and nebular hydrogen drive) and 803 (hyper drive).

  • All the existing drives score in the technology category.
  • There's no reason you can change, subvert, or exceed these limits, but you should at least be aware of them.


The TYPE line must say "TYPE drive".


The SIZE value of all the drives in the main game is 2.

  • Not that there's a lot of fighters with drive slots… the only one is Ripcord, and he has a SIZE 2 Drive Slot.


In the DATA block of the item, there should be either two or four lines, depending on whether or not it's a hyper drive. Most drives have just two lines, PAR0 and PAR1


The first line of the data block is PAR0, and a number.

  • In the case of drives, PAR0 determines how fast the drive enables a starship to travel in the vacuum of space.
  • The standard default hydrogen fusion drive has PAR0 12, and so it travels twelve times the speed of light.
  • The fastest drive in the main game, other than the Hyper Drive, has PAR0 20.
  • The Hyper Drive has PAR0 0. It can teleport you across the galaxy, so it doesn't need speed in the conventional sense.
  • The little green bar on your ship data screen that tells you how fast your flotilla can travel only goes up to 20 times the speed of light. If you have drives in your mod that are faster than that, the bar will max out once the flotilla goes 20 times light or faster.


The second line in the data block is PAR1, followed by a number. In the case of drives, PAR1 determines how fast the drive enables a starship to travel within nebula.

  • The default hydrogen fusion drive has PAR1 1. It moves at 1 times the speed of light when in a nebula.
  • The fastest nebular drive in the main game is the nebular ramjet drive. It has PAR1 20, making it as fast in the nebula as the graviton imploder drive is in open space. However, it only has a PAR0 value of 10, so in open space it's not even as good as the drive you start the game with.
  • The Hyper Drive has a rating of PAR1 0.

PAR2 and PAR3

After PAR0 and PAR1 come two Hyper Drive -only parameters.

  • For drives that aren't hyperdrives, you don't need PAR2 or PAR3 at all. You can safely leave them off the list entirely.
  • PAR2 is, in theory, the distance the hyper drive can send you, on the same scale used by sensors.
  • PAR3 is, supposedly, the recharge time between Hyper Drive jumps.
  • In practice, though, neither seems to actually work, IIRC. I suppose I should test it again some time, as the datapoints on this are anecdotal and 2 years old. What matters is that you add the PAR2 and PAR3 lines, with any numerical values, and then you'll get a functional duplicate of the hyperdrive. There's no good way to make a functionally unique hyperdrive, IIRC.
  • There is a way to change the hyperdrive's functionality, by altering the game_hyperdrive_time entry in numbers.ini, but it affects all hyper drives equally. You can change hyper drive performance for your mod, but not have two differently performing hyperdrives in the same mod.

Example Code Blocks

I'm duplicating the code blocks of two drives, the Hydrogen Fusion Drive, and the Hyper Drive, to make it a little easier to parse the above text.

Hydrogen Fusion Drive

NAME Hydrogen Fusion Drive
NAM2 a hydrogen fusion drive
ICON items/s_system1.jpg 16
GFXP items/l_system2.jpg 0
FLAG tech nothief
DIST dead cold warm hot toxic
TEXT A ship with this type of star drive moves at twelve times the speed of light.
COST 126 technology
TYPE drive


PAR0 12
PAR1 1


Hyper Drive

NAME Hyperdrive
NAM2 a hyperdrive
ICON items/s_system1.jpg 23
GFXP items/l_system2.jpg 7
FLAG tech nothief unique
DIST dead cold warm hot toxic
TEXT A ship with this special type of star drive can teleport to any star system in the sector. It also requires nearly two months to recharge.
COST 803 technology
TYPE drive


PAR0 0
PAR1 0
PAR2 3000
PAR3 60


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