Starfury took a radical departure from the previous Space Empires games, not just in its gameplay style but in its design model as well. Since the player controlled only a single ship at a time, it was deemed necessary to expand the level of detail used to represent that ship. In Starfury, a ship's components were no longer a simple list but actual items placed on a loadout chart with hardpoints or slots used to carry them. The type of hardpoint determined which components could be placed there, so for instance only armor could be placed in armor hardpoints, only weapons could be placed in weapons hardpoints, and miscellaneous components could be placed in the generic "hull" hardpoints. This system is similar to that of the 4X game "Stars!" - with a few exceptions. For one thing, placement matters, as a component placed on the starbord side of your ship will be damaged before a component on the port if you are hit from the right, and a weapon placed in a forward hardpoint will not be able to fire at targets behind you! And for another thing, the main limitation on components in Starfury is based on mass, not on slots - while if you run out of slots on your ship you still can't add more components, that is virtually impossible to do in Starfury (except for the specialized slots such as weapons and armor), and what you need to worry about is the mass of your components, because each hull has a specific mass limit of components that it can carry.