Ships in Captain Forever and its sequel follow basic Newtonian physics. An understanding of this will allow one to design ships that are more maneuverable.
Newton's second law states that acceleration is proportional to force, and inversely proportional to mass. Because of this, a thruster will much more strongly power a light ship than a heavy ship. One must not get overzealous after destroying a space station as to add large modules to their own ship unless they have plenty of spare thrust. Large modules are extremely massive and will greatly reduce acceleration. This is compounded by the fact that space stations lack thrusters.
Rotational motion Edit
When designing a ship, one must take into consideration how it will turn, and how it will move. One of the biggest pitfalls that a ship design may have is an uneven distribution of acceleration, causing it to spin out of control. This can be avoided by understanding how rotational physics apply to a ship.
The effectiveness of any thruster in turning a ship is determined in part by the amount of torque it produced. Torque is proportional to the force and the distance from the center of mass. Because of this, it is advisable to place thrusters further out on a ship, in order to allow it to turn more quickly.
Uneven flight problem Edit
If thrusters or heavy ship parts are not placed in a balanced fashion, the ship will have an imbalance of torque and will turn even when attempting to fly straight. It is a common problem with sprint thrusters in Captain Successor. This evenness can be quantified by looking at the velocity measurements at the top of the screen, next to the position coordinates. "dA" is a measurement of the rate of change of angle. It should be as near to zero as possible when flying straight. To remedy an imbalance, one might try to balance torque by rearranging thrusters, or placing stronger thrusters further inward than normal.
Moment of inertia Edit
The moment of inertia determines how effectively a torque can induce rotation in an object. It is determined by the distribution of mass on the ship. The closer the mass is concentrated to the center, the lower the moment of inertia. This means that a given torque will turn a circular ship much more effectively than a long, straight ship, or one with lots of off-center mass. Care must be taken to strike a balance between influencing torque and moment of inertia, as a circular ship's moment of inertia may be mitigated by the inability to have thrusters far away from its center of mass.