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The Datacron
 Posted: Dec 19 2015, 08:38 PM
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Hyperdrive Ratings

Due to the ambiguities of canon on this topic regarding different eras, this list will be considered definitive for purposes of this board.
  • 20.0 - 12.0: Very few ships were produced with hyperdrives this slow, though backup systems often fall in this range. Most often, ships in this hyperdrive range were reclassified from the Class 5 and under range when the system was last reorganized.
  • 11.9 - 7.0: The majority of civilian transportation still falls into this range for hyperdrive ratings, though particularly old models may have slower hyperdrives.
  • 6.9 - 5.0: These are equipped on the newest civilian ships, and the older military ships.
  • 4.9 - 4.0: Most mainline military vessels are currently equipped with hyperdrives in the Class 4 range.
  • 3.9 - 2.5: Cutting edge military Fast Frigates and many smuggling vessels.
  • 2.4 and below: Highly experimental drives, not for common usage. Drives in this range are prone to sudden failure, with the failure rate rising exponentially as you approach Class 0.
Travel Times

All travel times listed here are estimated, assuming the use of major travel routes, with a Class 5 hyperdrive. Since time is relative in-game, these are only intended to be guidelines, and should be adjusted for different hyperdrive ratings or unusual routes.

When using these to estimate travel times between other systems, keep in mind that travel times increase greatly near the core, as stars (and the associated mass shadows) become packed closer together, requiring time to calculate multiple smaller jumps.

Passage Times

On a planet, the farther apart two places are, the longer it takes to travel between them. In hyperspace, that is not necessarily so. Theoretically, a starship can travel at practically infinite speeds. A well-equipped starship can travel from one side of the galaxy to another in a matter of days or weeks. The distance to the destination is not the controlling factor – it is the difficulty of the trip. Basically, three factors make a journey difficult:
Since most rogue planets and smaller bodies are uncharted, a starship’s speed through hyperspace depends on the amount of debris that lies in its path. If there is a lot of debris, the ship must feel its way slowly, detecting and avoiding objects as it goes. The denser the debris, the slower the passage.

If many charted obstacles (stars, planets, and so on) lie along a ship’s course, it must zig and zag to avoid them, and that is time consuming. All things being equal, the longer the trip, the more obstacles that a ship is likely to encounter – but sometimes the locat star positions make a particular course tough: you might be a mere 15 light years from the Dagobah system, but if your course goes through an asteroid field, you will still have to divert.

The more frequently a particular route between two planets is used, the better the obstacles between them are charted, and the less cautious (and slow) a ship needs to be when travelling between them. The best case is a trip like the Kessel run, one of the most heavily-used trade routes in the Empire – and one which hot-shot pilots and traders on the shady side of the law like to travel very quickly. The worst case is a trip between two previously-unexplored star systems; the only guide the nav computer has in this case is the positions of known stars. Worst-case trips can take months.


Hyperdrives propel starships into an alternate dimension known as hyperspace, where it is possible to travel at many times the speed of light. Ships in hyperspace can cross the incredible distances between stars in a few weeks, days, or even hours.

Hyperdrive Rating:

A hyperdrive engine is usualy rated on a decreasing scale. The lower the number, the faster the hyperspace travel. The scale begins with 1 being fastest and continues by whole numbers in an upwards direction meaning a slower rate of travel:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, etc... The scale is very vague but gives a quick reference to an engine's speed. It may be generaly said that a ship with rating 2 will need twice as much time to travel as a ship with rating 1.

As a general rule, no ships in this era may exceed the rate of 1 without an express agreement from the Administrative staff.

Civilian Ships:
  • Personal Transport (1-2 passengers): Rating 4-6
  • Freighter (1-12 passengers + cargo): Rating 5-7
  • Yacht (up to 120 passengers + cargo): Rating 6-8
  • Frigate (up to 750 passengers + cargo): Rating 7-9
  • Cruiser (1000+ passegers + cargo): Rating 8-10
Military Ships:
  • Starfighter (1-2 passengers): Rating 1-3
  • Courier (1-10 passengers + cargo): Rating 2-4
  • Corvette (up to 150 passengers + cargo): Rating 3-5
  • Frigate (up to 1100 passengers + cargo): Rating 4-6
  • Cruiser (1100+ passegers + cargo): Rating 5-7
Special Modifications:
Using special modifications, a ship's hyperdrive rating may be improved by up to two steps at the most, but usually is improved a single step per modification (e.g. a heavily modified civilian freighter may have hyperdrive rating 3-4). Such modifications are rather expensive and may result in a lower reliability of the engine.

Hyperdrive Multipliers

A hyperdrive is ranked by a ‘class,’ or hyperdrive multipier. The lower the multiplier, the faster the drive. Most civilian ships have a Class Two (x2) or higher hyperdrive. Many military vessels and starfighters have a Class One (x1) hyperdrive, which is twice as fast as a Class Two hyperdrive. The Millennium Falcon has a Class 0.5 (x1/2) hyperdrive, making it one of the fastest ships in the galaxy.

Each hyperspace route or journey has a duration. Multiply the duration by the ship’s hyperdrive multiplier to find out how long it takes the ship to reach the destination.

There is no known route that travels straight across the galaxy. Even the fastest of ships, such as the Millennium Falcon, would take months to cross the entire galaxy, if such a route did exist.

The Galaxy & Travelling

The galaxy of Star Wars is huge place with countless systems, planets, and environmental hazards such as black holes, asteroid fields, nebulas, etc. Despite that, the advanced technology of hyperspace travel allows to travel across the vast distances at speeds greater than lightspeed. Due to relativistic effects, entering and exiting the subjective state commonly known as hyperspace is followed by various effects both for the real space and the traveling object (and creatures inside of it).

Note: The hyperspace is not an alternate dimension, as it is wrongly believed by some. The objects traveling in hyperspace are still inside the same dimension. The main difference is that they are moving at speeds greater than lightspeed, which cause them to become physically unstable and turn into both a particle and a wave.

Entering & Exiting Hyperspace

The ability to travel in hyperspace is severely limited by various environmental conditions. The most known issue is that to travel in hyperspace, the vessel must steer clear of gravity fields. The greater the gravity, the more it affects objects around itself, effectively distorting space.

The effect of a gravity field on objects traveling at hyperspeed may range from merely altering their course to forcing them out of the hyperspace. An object the size and gravitation of Moon might only cause major alterations to a ship's course, while an object the size and gravitation of Earth (3x as much) would render hyperspace travel impossible in its vicinity.

To enter the hyperspace, the object has to be free of powerful gravitation fields (such as planets, stars, black holes, or gravity wells). Due to newtonian physics, the rule is - the greater the object's relative mass, the greater the gravity, which goes in both directions. That is why it would be impossible to enter hyperspace anywhere between the Earth and the Moon, since that is the area where the Earth's gravity field is still strong enough to render hyperspace travel impossible.

Where is entering hyperspace possible? Far enough from any large objects. Due to the speed capabilities of Star Wars technology, the travel from Earth to Moon would only take an hour or so. Traveling from planet's surface to the hyperspace entry point might take approximately as long.

To safely exit the hyperspace, the process follows the same logic, only in reversed direction. Most planetary systems contain at least one safe hyperspace entry/exit point which moves according to the movements of the planets.

That is where star charts and navigation computers come into play. It is impossible to predict movement of every single object in a solar system. Therefore star charts need to be updated regularly to ensure the greatest accuracy possible.

Star Charts & Navigation

Star Charts are a three-dimensional map of the Galaxy, from the largest object to the smallest asteroid. There can never be a computer powerful enough, or an astrophysical formula complex enough to allow predicting movements of the objects in universe.

That is why the star charts need to be updated regularly, otherwise the records may become obsolete and inaccurate. For example, a ship attempting to follow an obsolete star chart is in great danger of finding itself in the middle of asteroid belt which shouldn't have been there, according to the chart.

A ship lacking a navicomp or astro-droid capable of navigation is forced to rely on navigation network of satellites and beacons which help the pilot to triangulate his current position and compute his course. These beacons can be found in more civilized areas of the Galaxy, but they become scarce as one approaches the Mid Rim and there are virtually none in the Outer Rim.

These hyperspace highways do not require ships to exit hyperspace until they arrive at their desired location.

Brief Overview of the Facts
  • Travel in hyperspace does not happen in "parallel universe" but in this one.
  • Travel in hyperspace is only possible if no powerful gravitation field affects the ship.
  • Ships affected by gravitation field can not enter the hyperspace, or are yanked out of it.
  • Most solar systems contain at least one Hyperspace Entry/Exit Point (HEEP).
  • Travel from anywhere in the system to the HEEP (or vice versa) takes one hour.
  • Thin lines in the Galaxy Map are charted routes.
  • Ships can only travel in hyperspace in straight line, reentry is required when the route bends or ends at a solar system.
  • Each square in the map travelled in hyperspace takes 1 hour.
  • Multiply that by your ship's hyperdrive rating.
  • Allowed Hyperdrive Ratings are listed above.
Originally modeled off SW: D&L Astrography, amplified & improved by Hank of SW:FA
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