There are 19 types of NPC, which can be grouped as follows:
- NPCs that may work on the Skunk
- NPCs that may work on other ships
- NPCs that may work on stations
- Specialist NPCs can boost the output of stations.
- Trader NPCs appear on stations but do not affect their output
euclid describes them all here, and further down this page their stats and abilities are summarised in a table.
Detailed info about NPCs
Each hirable NPC has 7 skills and each skill has 5 levels of competency (the more stars, the better). Numbers of stars are somewhat randomly generated in that I don't think it is possible to get NPCs with really low numbers of stars any more. <Clarification: this may apply to hired NPCs only; 'free' NPCs given when buying or given plot ships may still have very low skills - Snafu>
In general when hiring an NPC the higher price the better; however as the higher price is calculated from their /total/ skillset (not necesarily from their /primary/ skillset) it's often worth smalltalkng to find the best skillset available during the early game when you are short of cash
Only the skills marked in bold font are relevant to the performance of the NPC in question (their Primary Skills). In most cases, each NPC will have three Primary Skills, but Engineers and some Specialists only have one or two. Marine Officers are unique in that they have a skill that improves with use: "Boarding Experience".
For all NPC types where we know the relative significance of their primary skills (see below) they have been listed in descending order of significance in-game. So for those NPC that we don't know the relative significances of their primary skills (e.g. Managers and Specialists) it is reasonable to assume that they may be in descending order, or of at least equal weighting. For the NPCs with 3 primary skills other than MOs, the average significance of a primary skill is 3.4 and, going down, their average weightings are 44%, 33%, 23%. Those percentages are roughly equivalent to ratios of 4.5:3.5:2.5.
We don't know the weightings for Mangers or Specialists. If wishing to compare Managers to each other, using the above rough ratio may be better than nothing. The same could be done with Specialists although perhaps they are more likely to have top-heavy weightings like Marine Officers.
In Rebirth 3.00, Virtual Seminars were introduced to the game, which allow us to add a star to a Primary Skill of our hired NPC. They are only currently available via Smalltalk from other NPCs and this feature is described in more detail in the official guide to 3.00 here and on this wiki here <edit: they may be obtainable as mission rewards too; needs checking - Snafu>. Virtual Seminars cannot be used to increase a Marine Officer's Boarding Experience, but since Virtual Seminars take some effort to acquire I would suggest that would be a waste anyway.
Info on exactly how the skill values are are used is sketchy but CBJ has revealed a few titbits:
"The relevance of each skill depends on the type of NPC. For example for a pilot there's a ratio of 5:3:2 for navigation, combat and morale, and for an architect it's 3.5:3.5:3 engineering, management and navigation. For an engineer the only relevant skill is, as you might expect, engineering."
"Commanders [Captains] are 4:3.5:2.5 for leadership, navigation and morale; defence officers are 4.5:3.5:2 for leadership, combat and morale. Morale is just another "skill" value that each NPC has. Skills ranges are defined in the characters.xml file, and which characters are used where is defined in charactergroups.xml. Please note that the exact numbers used in the combined skill calculation may be subject to change without notice".
Further info on Marine Officers from w.evans:
Stats and abilities for NPCS
|NPC||Skills + (relative|
|Engineer||Engineering (1)||Repairs damaged equipment (e.g. weapons).|
Doesn't repair Skunk's hull (only done by Engineers on stations)
|Marine Officer||Boarding (15)|
|Affects boarding strength multiplier||19'000|
|NPCs on player-owned ships|
0* - repairs to 60% max hull
Repairs damaged surface elements and hull.
They also do his job on NPC-owned stations but Player-owned stations cannot employ Engineers and so instead must pay Architects to do these tasks...
Maximum repaired hull percentage:
Captains control capital ships (AKA Large and Extra Large ships). This includes when following trading and combat orders.
Skills infuence the following Parameters (taken from libraries/parameters.xml //aiflight/skills and made into a formula):
Strafespeed, Stafe Acceleration, Steering Speed and Steering Acceleration (this is a multiplier to the max value): 0.5 + ( 0.1* skill )
Reaction Time (this is a delay in seconds): 1.0 - ( 0.2 * skill )
|Defence Officer (AKA a DO)|
Controls surface element weapons on capital ships in accordance with their orderstate and their Capain's orders. When set to Attack, any hostile target in range will be fired upon. When set to Defend, hostile targets will only be shot if they attack the ship or if the DO's Captain is running a combat-related order.
Primary weapons (e.g. Balor torpedoes) may also be controlled by DOs but they don't seem to be used defensively (e.g. to shoot attackers while set to Defend and escorting another ship).
|These NPCs can only work on Construction Vessels and they are responsible for building selected stations, upgrading them with missing surface elements or additional production expansion options, equipping drones and initiating station repairs. Higher engineering skill seems to decrease build time, but this is unconfirmed||36'000|
Pilots control Small and Medium ships. In combat to capitals, these ships typically attack surface elements (e.g. weak points that may be shooting back at them) rather than ship hulls.
|NPCs on Player-owned stations|
These NPCs work on stations and they're the equivalent of Pilots and Captains on ships.
Managers look after creating Buy and Sell orders for their station, are required before ships can be assigned to work for stations, and supply a list of required wares to Captain's of assigned ships, who then decide what to buy.
|Defence Officer||as DO above|
|Specialists boost production up to 10% depending on cumulative skill|
|Meat, Plankton, Soy Beans, Spaceweed, Spices, Wheat||122'000|
|Engineering||Antimatter Cells, Energy Cells, Fuel Cells, Ion Cells, Plasma Cells||168'000|
|BoFu, Food Rations, Spacefuel||157'000|
|Bio-Electric Neuron Gel, Chemical Compounds||185'000|
Bio-Optic Wiring, Microchips, Plasma Pumps, Quantum Tubes
|All Missiles, EM-Spectrometer, Scanning Array, Warhead Components||220'000|
|Medical Supplies, Narcotics|
|Refined Metals, Reinforced Metal Plating, Silicon Wafers, Teladianium||145'000|
|Cut Crystals, Nividium Cubes|
|Engineering||All Turrets, Force Field Projector||232'000|
|Engineering||Fusion Reactors, Podkletnov Generators, Plasma Flow Regulators||210'000|
4.0 Beta 4 added parameters section regarding AI flight behaviour: low piloting skill causes penalities with steering and acceleration (up to 0.5), also it adds some delay between actions.