Players can purchase ships which are second hand and will generally already work, and need only minor repairs to make them spaceworthy. Or they can go the cheaper and riskier route of buying a chassis and the necessary parts completely from scratch. To do this, the player would have to purchase a space-frame, the desired modules to fit their intended play style, and the desired components to optimise each module. Different chassis can house different modules (both quantity and type).
Each module is made up of smaller parts: components. Depending on the module manufacturer, the layout into which the components are placed varies wildly, so the number and type of components required to run each given module can be very different. In order for a module to be functional, a minimum ‘path’ of components is required. Some module layouts by certain manufacturers will have only one path (so every component slot on that path will need to be filled for it to function), while others will have more elegant designs so that one of several paths can be used instead of all of them. Still other, more expensive modules will have intricate networks so that if one path fails, others will kick in, meaning fewer failures.
All this combines to allow full, top-to-bottom customisation of the player’s ship. They can have a completely solar-powered ship with minimal emissions which is lightweight and good for staying silent. Or they can have a ship with a powerful reactor which is capable of escaping combat with a jump drive that can spin up in seconds. Or they can carry their own weapons and give themselves more freedom to cause emissions without fear. The choice is entirely up to the player, right down to the smallest Hap Node.