There are a couple of tools online HardPoint.io & also Erkul calculator these give you all the stats and loadouts of any ship and whatever you want to fit them with in great detail something that is regularly updated too.
There is also from Execution by Human Germ a list of items their stats and where to get them in 3.8.0 this is an essential resource IMO, that one will also give you all the info you need to make decisions on what to trade and where.
Gimballed weapons are where it is at so you want to get the varipuck gimbal (which means you drop a weapon size from the hardpoint) at the moment people seem to be using for:
- S1 Yellow Jackets & Bulldogs
- S2 Mass Drivers – The Strifes & Sledges (Port Olisar)
- S3 Tarantula
For Shields the FR66 / 76 & 86 are recommended for S1, 2 and 3 respectively.
With the S1 shields if you have 2 or more slots then instead you want to have a Guardian & Mirage to give you a good mix of defense and shield regen.
Quantum Drives are a bit more complex and it depends on if you are doing short jumps regularly or longer jumps. Those tools will help you make an informed decision as you are balancing fuel consumption vs speed & acceleration. Ships with a fast Max Speed on the QT might not be the best choice in all situations as they are fuel hungry AND they have to consider acceleration too.
Trade if you have a Caterpillar GREAT, but Renting a Cutlass or Freelancer can allow you to make a load of aUEC from even quick titanium & diamond runs. Even Scrap & Agricultural supplies between PO & GrimHex can make you a good amount of money relatively safely.
If you are doing VERY valuable trade routes in the Caterpillar or any super valuable cargo load, after I land on a pad I log out. Then log on and trade the cargo while the ship is in storage and isn’t a “sitting duck for rammers” – Avoid Landing on Low Grav Moons!
Always Accept the Calls to Arms Mission when you log in, you’ll get monies for killing pirates that are not part of missions, if you complete a mission that some spawned pirates are part of, those pirates will now count towards the Calls to Arms Mission.
Service Beacons typically won’t appear if you have a crime rating.