I keep having issues when I have additional ships in addition to the "auto-best" ones. Sometimes when I have the fleet upgrade once new techs are unlocked, it seems that they will sometimes switch to different classes of ship, which is not what I want.

I'm wondering if this has to do with me selection the "auto-upgrade" option on the extra classes.

Am I missing something? Are ships supposed to upgrade to different classes?

1 Answer 1


Ships will by default upgrade to the latest design you created. This rule is only ignored if there is a new design which has the exact same name as the current one.

So if you have two designs "Torpedo Frigate" and "Laser Frigate", and you research a new type of torpedo, name the new design "Torpedo Frigate" too, not "Torpedo Frigate v2" or something like that. Also save a new version of your "Laser Frigate" design, even when there is no change to it. You can then upgrade all your frigates and they will upgrade to the correct type. Upgrade cost and time depends on the actual differences between the designs, so the upgrade of the laser frigates will be free.

Also be careful when you in some way acquired ships with more advanced parts than you have researched. When you accidently upgrade them, they will actually be downgraded to your inferior design.

  • 1
    I am not sure about the last part, as far as I am aware, ships that you acquire such as frigates or pirate raiders cannot be upgraded or downgraded whatsoever and stay at their current design until destroyed or disbanded.
    – n_plum
    Nov 1, 2017 at 12:51
  • @n_palum I am pretty sure I made that mistake once. It's possible that they patched it out, but I can not remember reading that in any patchlog. It's also possible that it depends on the ship. Pirates have designs which are actually impossible to create yourself, so they might in fact be implemented as unique size categories and are therefor impossible to upgrade. But there are ways to obtain legally designed ships, for example by integrating a vassal.
    – Philipp
    Nov 1, 2017 at 12:56
  • Maybe make that distinction then, because I am referring to ones that you can't make designs for whereas you seem to have meant vassal ships etc
    – n_plum
    Nov 1, 2017 at 13:04
  • So if I save a design with the name "Torpedo Frigate" but not a new design saved with "Laser Frigate" they'll all convert to "Torpedo Frigate"? Even if they're already 'Laser Frigates"?
    – Rob Rose
    Nov 2, 2017 at 15:29
  • 1
    @RobRose Yes, they should.
    – Philipp
    Nov 2, 2017 at 15:32

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