Ion engines are sold almost anywhere there is an outfitter, though they are most commonly found in Syndicate worlds, since the Syndicate produces them. The largest of the ion engines can only be found on certain
Ion engines are the cheapest engines a pilot can buy. When compared to
human plasma engines they produce less thrust per ton, but are considerably more energy efficient and produce less heat. Ion engines are also generally smaller than their plasma counterparts of the same size.
X1700 Ion Thruster
"This is the smallest thruster that you can buy, so weak that anything larger than a drone will accelerate quite slowly when using this engine. On the other hand, it is also very energy-efficient."
X1200 Ion Steering
"This is the smallest set of steering thrusters that you can buy, generally considered suitable only for tiny, pilotless drones. Occasionally pilots looking for some extra outfit space will try swapping out their larger steering systems for one of these, but the results are invariably disappointing."
X2700 Ion Thruster
"The X2700 ion thruster is intended mostly for use in small, single-person or two-person ships, as well as in fighters. It is also used in larger ships, such as freighters, that have very little space for propulsion systems or energy to drive them. But these larger ships move unbearably slowly as a result."
X2200 Ion Steering
"The X2200 steering system is designed for fighters and other small spacecraft, as well as for use in larger ships when maneuverability is not needed."
X3700 Ion Thruster
"The X3700 ion thruster is designed for heavy freighters and small capital ships. In theory, it could be installed in smaller ships too, if they have enough engine space, to attain almost ridiculous speeds."
X3200 Ion Steering
"The X3200 steering system is intended for small warships and freighters. It produces enough turning force to lend agility to all but the largest of human ships, and it is considerably more energy-efficient than the plasma-drive alternatives."
X4700 Ion Thruster
"The X4700 ion thruster was developed when the Republic Navy began building warships so large that the X3700 was not sufficient for them. It allows even a capital ship to move at a respectable speed."
X4200 Ion Steering
"The X4200 is a powerful steering system, designed mostly for warships because quick steering is seldom a requirement in freighter design."
X5700 Ion Thruster
"The X5700 thruster is intended for only the largest of capital ships. When the Syndicate first began producing them, these engines were considered little more than a publicity stunt, because no ship at the time was large enough to hold one."
X5200 Ion Steering
"The X5200 is a steering system so powerful that only a handful of ships use it. It is standard equipment for Republic cruisers and carriers, ships so large that they are practically a self-contained city."
X1050 Ion Engines
"When designing the Barb, the Syndicate took the opportunity to integrate their smallest thruster models to create a more compact steering and thrusting engine. The result is not very useful on anything but a fighter, and is only 'adequate' in that role. Still, if engine space is at a premium, this is the smallest set of engines that will still get you there (eventually)."
X1050 ion engines are a single engine outfit that combines thrust and steering. They are not immediately available when the game starts, only being sold at the same time as the Syndicate
Barb is created, as these engines were specifically made for that fighter.