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I've been reading on the topic and it seems that HRPs in Elite: Dangerous carry much more benefit than drawbacks. In most of my ships I have plenty of room for optional internal modules (like HRPs) so is there a reason not to buy them if I have the room to spare? Do they come with any other drawbacks apart from the worse maneuverability? I've seen a lot of builds on Coriolis where there are a lot of empty optional internal module slots and I don't really understand why.

Note that I'm doing bounty hunting and Combat Zone missions so things like jump range are irrelevant in my builds.

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It depends. Personally, my combat ship has a couple Module and Hull Reinforcement Packages. However, my exploration/rat ship does not. The main thing to consider is whether you intend to get into combat, and whether you're willing to sacrifice some jump range. If the answer to both of these is yes, then it is probably a good idea to pick up some Hull or Module reinforcement. If you're looking to maximize jump range in a non-combat vessel however, then it might be better to skip it.

For a combat ship in particular, generally yes it is a good idea to fill space with reinforcement. Any downsides on maneuverability are fairly marginal, and unreinforced modules can usually be targeted and destroyed fairly quickly (though generally NPC pilots are not smart enough to do this).

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  • I've edited my question to clarify. – Adam Arold Aug 19 '19 at 19:59
  • "NPC pilots are not smart" - I stop playing this game the second I realize how non-smart are they, AI is severely impaired to compensate weird targeting mechanics a-la Elite 80's.. – user135338 Aug 20 '19 at 14:04
  • @Sinatr to be clear, the new AI in a recent update is fairly advanced, holding on missiles until your shields are down etc. It is not "target your power plant and snipe it with railguns" advanced like some players are. – Unionhawk Aug 20 '19 at 14:33
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    So I've read that the less mass I have the more stronger my shields are. How does this offset HRPs? – Adam Arold Aug 20 '19 at 20:44
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    Adding mass to a ship doesn't change the shield strength. Each ship type has a set "hull mass" for the purpose of calculating shield strength, and it doesn't matter what non-shield stuff you add to the ship. – Cmdr Freiheit Aug 21 '19 at 17:47
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There should never be empty slots (if the very few exceptions apply, you know who you are)

Leaving slots empty in a coriolis build might make sense just because you're trying to show a specific configuration to somebody and letting them pick what goes in the slots.

If you're trying to do a very specific/unusual high-speed combat build (trying to stay over 600 m/s), then you may want to restrict most of your internal slots to zero mass items (cargo rack, fuel scoop, repair unit).

Otherwise, it's really a matter of looking at your power, heat, resistances, shield and hull strength to figure out whether you want shield cell banks, hull reinforcement packages, or module reinforcement packages. All of these increase your "tankiness" in different ways.

I highly recommend a mix of module reinforcement and hull reinforcement, with the focus more on module reinforcement. Module reinforcement will generally provide more protection to your modules than hull reinforcement.

For any kind of PvE combat, you might want to consider cargo racks, a small collector limpet controller and a bunch of limpets. High rank (Dangerous/Deadly/Elite) ships drop high grade manufactured materials when you kill them.

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