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Ship to Ship Tractor

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Component Information
Type Core
Class Commercial
Tech Branch Logistics & Ground Combat
Size (HS) 10
Size (Tons) 500
Production Cost
Build Cost 100
Duranium 25
Mercassium 75
Other Information
Crew 10

The Ship to Ship Tractor is a ship component that projects a tractor beam capable of attaching one ship to another. Commonly employed on Tugs, dedicated ships, that help guide large ships and orbital platforms to their work site, such as: Shipyards, Jump gate constructors, terraforming stations, and Asteroid Mining or Sorium Harvesting platforms.


You only need one tractor component to be able to tow.

  • Open the Task Groups window F12.
  • In the Task Group Orders tab, ensure that the Task Groups box is checked under System Location Display Options.
  • In the System Locations Available box, select the task group containing the ship you wish to tractor.
  • In Actions Available, select Tractor Specified Ship.
  • In the Select Ship to be Tractored box which appears, select the ship you wish to tractor.
  • Click "Add Move" (Alt+A) to queue the order.
  • Select your destination or route as you normally would for transit.
  • Once your route is plotted, choose the Release Tractored Ships option to deactivate the tractor beam.

Tractored ships are automatically moved from their task group into the task group of the tractoring ship or ships. Multiple ships may be tractored in one set of orders as long as multiple tractoring ships are present. Upon release, tractored ships automatically form their own task group as if they were split under the Special Orders / Organization tab.

Shipyards may be selected similarly to the process above, with the initial target being the planet currently hosting the shipyard rather than a task group.

Ships may be transported through Jump Gates using tractor beams.


Ships built to utilize a tractor beam tend to have a disproportionately large engine and fuel allotment relative to other ships of their size, to account for the increased load of the towed ship. If engines are present on the ship being towed, they will be used as well during the towing. Overall the Tug speed is calculated as (SumOfEnginePowers)/(SumOfMasses) of the two ships.

Tip: military engines will offer more speed, but they will chew more fuel then you can imagine. Better to go full size max civilian power engines and put more on there instead.

This makes them good "rescue" ships for refueling stranded ships. Additionally, Terraformers, sorium harvesters and asteroid miners tend to be ships that move only rarely, so building engine-less designs which will be towed into place by dedicated Tug's greatly reduces build cost for these types of ships. Other more creative uses are also possible, such as this towed point defense pod intended to protect commercial convoys. By collecting the military equipment into a separate towed module, the ship may remain commercially-classed and the military module is spared the maintenance costs for the engines and functional modules aboard the commercial vessel.(example 2)

Example 1
Scania class Tug    13,750 tons     320 Crew     1033.5 BP      TCS 275  TH 3125  EM 0
11363 km/s     Armour 1-51     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
MSP 47    Max Repair 100 MSP
Tractor Beam     

Magnetic Confinement Fusion Drive E0.6 (10)    Power 312.5    Fuel Use 6%    Signature 312.5    Armour 0    Exp 1%
Fuel Capacity 300,000 Litres    Range 654.5 billion km   (666 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

Example 2
Auxiliary class Point Defense Module    3,000 tons     200 Crew     574.2 BP      TCS 60  TH 0  EM 0
1 km/s     Armour 1-18     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 2     PPV 4
Maint Life 7.35 Years     MSP 263    AFR 32%    IFR 0.5%    1YR 9    5YR 128    Max Repair 100 MSP
Magazine 688    Tractor Beam     

AM Missile Launcher (4)    Missile Size 1    Rate of Fire 5
Missile Fire Control FC20-R1 (2)     Range 20.7m km    Resolution 1
Mosquito IV AM Missile (688)  Speed: 80,000 km/s   End: 0.7m    Range: 3.4m km   WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 1626 / 976 / 488

Active Search Sensor MR20-R1 (1)     GPS 87     Range 20.7m km    Resolution 1

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes