Explaining RSI’s Ship Upgrades

Explaining RSI’s Ship Upgrades

Last Update: Sept 12th, 2018

RSI sells you ships in Star Citizen. However, among all the game packages and ship upgrades, understanding how all the options offered work with their sale system is often confusing, and even pros end up buying the wrong product once in a while. This guide thus provides an extensive FAQ, explaining everything you want (and don’t want!) to know about buying ships.


The Package you buy

The first thing to understand is to understand what you’re actually buying:
Independent of whether you buy your ships from RSI or here at Star-Hangar, the content is the same and the same rules apply.
Technically, each and every ‘item’ you buy is a container/package with one or multiple items inside. Let’s look at an example:

RSI Package Content Explained

Rule 1: Disregard the package name – it is often misleading or confusing; always look at the actual content!

As can be seen in this case, while it looks like you’d be buying an Anvil Crucible Standalone ship, you’re actually buying a lot more:

  1. An Anvil Crucible Standalone Ship
  2. a VFG Industrial Hangar (what you get if you buy more than one, is not yet decided by RSI)
  3. Lifetime Insurance (LTI) for all ships included in this container/package
  4. A miniature in-game model of your Crucible (for decorating your hangar)
  5. An in-game poster of your Crucible (again for hangar decoration)

Each container/package will be split up and bound to your actual in-game character(s) at a later point in time.
However, what’s important to understand for now, that you need to look at the actual content that is listed – and the fact that typically, multiple items are included.

Packaging Types

Next, understanding the different item types you can buy is key to understanding RSI’s methodology.
These are the prime item types that exist:

  1. Game Packages
    Game packages contain everything you need to play Star Citizen: the license to download the game and a ship to fly therein.
    Variations exist, as RSI offers packages with one or more ships, as well as packages with optional content, such as physical goods or the (recommended) Squadron 42 Single Player Campaign.  At least 1 game package is required to play Star-Citizen.
    You can buy game packages at RSI here, but you’ll find better prices and more content buying Star-Hangar’s Starter Packages
  2. Standalone Ships
    Buying a standalone ship allows you to use that ship in game, assuming you already have a game package. Standalone Ships are thus additions for people, that already own a game account. See here for RSI’s list of stand-alone ships or browse Star-Hangar’s Store
  3. Multi-Ship Packages
    During special occasions, RSI often sells multi-ship packages. These packages contain multiple Standalone Ships, typically at a reduced price; however, such packages do not contain the game itself, so the ships therein will only be useable if you already own a game package on your account.
  4. Ship Upgrades and CCU’s
    Both Ship Upgrades (old name) and CCU’s (Cross-Chassis-Conversions, typically the only name used nowadays) allow you ship upgrades of one type into another. The original ship will be gone from your inventory for good and instead you gain the desired target ship of the upgrade. Upgrades can be applied to both stand-alone ships and game packages alike; only that particular ship will then be changed, all other properties of the package will be retained.
  5. Modules and BUKs
    Modules and BUKs (Battlefield Upgrade Kits) are addons for your inventory. They (will) allow changing parts of your ships back and forth in hangar, as the situation requires. Note that such modules are available only to selected ships, that have been built with customizable slots, allowing different modules to be plugged into. Only one module can be used at any time, swapping a module, the original loadout remains available to swap back to.


How do upgrades work?

Upgrades typically remove the ship you had and replace it with another ship of higher cost/value. The cost of the upgrade is typically the price difference between the two. Having an existing ship model, you can apply it to an existing ship of yours to replace it accordingly:

RSI Upgrade Process Explained

You’ll see that the package name and the package image did not change, even though the original ship was replaced and is no longer included but replaced by said upgrade.

Note however, that apart from the ship included, the package content has not changed!
All bonus items – and even LTI – are retained as they were before. Thus by buying ships that were upgraded, you retain all bonus items that were there previously.

You can find upgrades and standalone ships, as well as packages that contain upgraded ships at Star-Hangar. Both can get you the ship you want and you’ll find cheaper alternatives if you don’t mind minor differences in bonus content.


Good to know….

How to identify a Star Citizen Game Package
Game Packages & Squadron 42
– “Star Citizen Digital Download” identifies a game package with the game is included 
– “Squadron 42 Digital Download” identifies the single player campaign to be included
– At least one game package is required to play the game
– Additional game packs provide an extra character slot
– Spare character slots can be used for an alter ego, or to customise an NPC character
– Content of the game package (like UEC’s) will only split up sometime in the future
– If packages contain physical goodies, RSI will send those to you sometime in the future

Lifetime Insurance (LTI)
– Game packages and standalone ships may include LTI
– Lifetime Insurance always applies to all ships included within that package (rather not to other items though)
– in few rare cases, LTI upgrades were available. In that case, a non-LTI ship can gain LTI by upgrading
– If you choose to upgrade a ship or game package containing LTI, also the newly upgraded ship will retain LTI
– RSI repetitively states, that insurance in game will be relatively cheap, so LTI is not designed to offer a major gameplay advantage

– There’s no limit to how how often you can upgrade your ship
– Upgrades can only increase your ship value. Downgrades to cheaper models are not possible
– Upgrades prior to Cross-Chassis Upgrades (CCUs) being introduced by RSI don’t mention the source, but always require the base variant.
– If you melt a ship (exchange for store credits), all upgrades are lost and cannot be re-bought. You get back the full value though.
– Upgrading a ship, the package name won’t change. At Star-Hangar, a “+ <ship> conversion” is added to the name.

– Warbond packages are sold by RSI typical during concept sale, often coming at reduced price and with special bonus items.
– There is basically no difference between a warbond and a regular package, albeit RSI recently stopped offering LTI outside of Warbond sales.