To assemble a Strategic Cruiser you need a hull (the base ship chassis) and 5 subsystems:
- Electronic subsystem - Modifies all the electronic related stats, such as CPU, sensor strength, targeting.
- Defensive subsystem - Determines the general "toughness" of the ship, how much damage it is capable of taking or how hard its outer shell is. It will also scale the cargohold and dronebay.
- Offensive subsystem - Will be able to modify hardpoints, launcher slots, give different damage bonuses as well as control the drone bandwidth.
- Engineering subsystem - Powergrid, capacitor as well as special racial role bonuses and other core functions.
- Propulsion subsystem - Determines speed and agility.
Subsystems not only change the ship's attributes, slot layout and bonuses, but the geometrical shape and appearance as well. Each vessel consists of 5 subsystems and a hull. Once the ship has been assembled, players are free to switch out the subsystems completely at will, given they are docked at a station. Each subsystem category has multiple possible variations. Within a single category the available variations do not go from worst to best according to expenditure, but instead have their complimentary strengths and weaknesses.
Considering that every subsystem configuration is allowed there is a total of 3125 different configurations possible for each of the four strategic cruisers. This means that there are a total of 12500 different strategic cruiser configurations available.