By retrofitting a ship, players can change an existing ship to a different design. Retrofitting is useful for upgrading older ships to newer designs, or for completely changing a ship's function. New components are installed immediately and the retrofit price is subtracted from the treasury; however, any new components which are added to the ship must be repaired before use.
As an empire's technology improves, retrofitting becomes an invaluable tool for deploying the latest components and research advances. Retrofitting also prevents the buildup of undesirable, uncompetitive, or obsolete ships. It is an excellent alternative to scrapping or mothballing unwanted ships, assuming the empire can afford the maintenance.
Retrofitting is performed at space yards. To retrofit a ship, the ship must move to a sector containing a space yard. Then, by selecting the Retrofit command, the player can choose which ship design should be used to retrofit the ship. Each choice has an associated cost in minerals, organics, and radioactives. The cost of a retrofit depends on how many components will be upgraded or replaced.
Although new components are placed onto the ship immediately, they must be repaired before use. Ships which have been retrofitted must therefore expect to spend one or more turns at the space yard as their new parts are repaired.
One of the most beneficial aspects of retrofitting is that it does not interfere with existing construction queues. A space yard can be building a new ship at the same time it's retrofitting and repairing an existing ship, so by retrofitting the player can improve his fleet's technology faster than one who only builds new ships.
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