The meta attribute of a module is a very rough measure of how powerful the module is in comparison to other modules with similar effects.
In general, an increase in meta level for a type of module indicates one or more of the following (note that these are not all positive) compared to modules of that type with a lower meta level:
- Increased effectiveness and/or attributes for modules of that type.
- Reduced CPU and powergrid requirements to fit the module to a ship. (However, increasing meta value may also result in increased CPU and powergrid requirements to fit module to ship.)
- Increased drawbacks for modules of that type.
- Increased skill requirements to fit module to a ship.
Meta is at best an imperfect yardstick. An increase of several meta values may result in only moderate gains in effectiveness or reductions in requirements. Similarly, although two variants of a module may have the same meta value, their attributes may vary in diverse ways. The meta values, however, for all modules that appear under the "Variations" pane of a module's Info window are comparable.
A module that has no meta attribute listed is considered to have a meta attribute of 0 (zero). For non-basic modules, the following rough guide to meta values can be used:
- 0 or no meta value: Tech 1
- From 1 to 4: named Tech 1
- 5: Tech 2
- From 6 to 9: COSMOS/storyline
- 10 or higher: deadspace or officer