Forgot to mention EDs Shipyard, which is a really big miss because the ships are great and thre's many niches or interesting to play with ships in there.
Well time for factions
Not really a recommendation list more like a quick description
When I say well made I don't take the style fitting into vanilla into consideration at all because that's pointless imo and you can decide that for yourself.
> Anvil Industries
>ARIA the escalation
It's not on the forum so have ot grab it from here or jew nexus
Basically space nazis lolis, which is about as vanilla friendly as it sounds, balance is WIP but the quality is okay and it has some interesting stuff, faction doctrine is mostly slow bricks throwing tons of shit from afar, also space tanks.
Very well made, balanced at a glance, however once you wrap your head around the hullmod synergies it becomes fucking busted, has mostly energy / missiles, adds armor corrosion as a mechanic to some of their weapons and exploration + lategame combat content
Plus adds ships that were axed back it was less balanced.
>Blackrock Drive Yards
Quite high quality all around but has some glaring balance issues (Fighters and bombers in particular) as well as bugs that makes it so fleets from them lack a bunch of their stuff.
Mostly hit&run centric with fast vents, high movement speed and small shields.
Chunky low tech brick, rather well made, has some colony content in the form of a more powerful orbital works and special station which is a much chunkier low tech that is fucking insanely powerful (and costs around 3 mil to aquire)
>Celestial Mount Circle
Underwhelming and underpowered mid-tech faction that's centered around drone fighters making your shields better when they're alive, has some neat stopgap weaponry though
>Concordance of Protection Syndicate (COPS)
The good cops, act like pirates (as in create bases and conduct raids) to unlawful factions, has some genuinely nice things, questionable balance especially their capital missile boat.
Has another bigger issue in that one ship can break your game at random, which you have to fix manually by removing hte ship from spawn tables or making it so it cannot mount SO on the attached module.
Pretty well made fighterspam faction, has some very fun ships but overall most things in it are straight up just more powerful than vanilla
Has some decent exploration content, but BB are cancer to fight if you're not ready for them
Mechs in space faction, well made (has extra skin sets if you don't like the default), balance is under that of vanilla though it's been getting some buffs recently
Good if you like cruisers
>First Persean Empire
Space nazis, centered around high alpha mid tech doctrine, it's okay I guess
>Foundation Of Borken
Basically armor tanking phaseships faction, balance is okay I guess
adds a way to change officer behavior and also a way to transfer stuff from one place to another instantly
Might cause some very serious performance issues in pursuit fights
> Free Stars Union
Low tech missiles spam, no major opinion on it.
>Fringe Defence Syndicate
If you really really want Star Wars stuff, extremely underwhelming otherwise.
>Galaxy Tigers faction
I've honestly never touched that one, has the baguette ship I guess.
>Green Knight Security
It's not particularly good or bad
> Grytpype and Moriarty Defence Authority
The bad cops (as in act like pirates), basically SO rush faction, generally will make your life a living hell if you'(re not friendly with them and independent. (or commissioned / in an alliance).
> Hazard Mining Incorporated
Low tech junker faction, basically a much better made LTA with insane amounts of exploration content that is unlike anything else currently available.
> Kingdom of Royal Azalea
Knight lolis in space
Has some fairly neat systems going on but the balance is very WIP and the quality is mediocre
>Idoneus Citadel Exiles
Phase spam faction, extremely cancer to fight, main mechanic is that the wander around for quite a while until they colonize somewhere on the edge, has a few neat ships and weapons but does have one seriously broken support drone which either restore CR or PPT indefinitely as well as hull and armor..
There's literally no fucking way to justify not having that faction
Basically sorta mid tech but extremely modular in how you can play them
Another low tech junker faction, not super great or anything, brought down by the fact that it shits ups sector gen with useless derelicts and shitty anarchist systems.
Low tech disguised as mid tech, weaponry mostly built for standoff engagements but ships mostly built for charging in the middle of things like a retard, good punching bags, builds stations does raids towards Hegemony and friends
>Kingdom of Terra
Cavemen in space, not balanced but otherwise well made, add a lot of things that are melee or make melee viable
> Legacy of Arkgneisis
Cruiser centric sorta mid tech faction with some modularity, need to really research your shit to use them well
Good chunk of exploration content
If you have an Hammerhead fetish
Questionable balance on the Mayasuran variants
> Metelson Industries
I didn't even know this existed,
High tech but with nice armor tanking mechanic (armor has a buffer where it doesn't actually take damage which regen after a while of not taking damage)
has balance and performance issues and most likely will never get fixed.
> Outer Rim Alliance
Broadside bricks, also has extra skins
Not really super noteworthy besides it being a tech demo of how you make AI friendly broadsiders
Tech demo for custom drone behaviors.K
High tech brawlers that look sorta good I guess
> prv Starworks
Ads two factions, prv which is a more interesting attempt at high tech brawlers with tons of stuff you don't really see done anywhere else (intentionally asymmetrical layouts, physics only weaponry) and ruster which are low / mid tech super pirates.
AI girlscout lolis, fighter and missiles spam with ultra low DP costs which means insane fleets, definitely now low spec friendly at all.
Defensive faction, mostly just retrofitted civilian ship, builds base at random in unexplored systems.
>Sanguinary Anarchistic Defectors
exclusively an exploration threat but comes with a custom lineup, heavily centered around defense in depth and fighters, drops BP if you defeat stations / many capitals.
High tech brawlers, again, though really solid in all aspects
Cruiser centric hit & run, overall solidly made and well balanced, bit tough to deal with if you're on the receiving end though.
>Shadowyards Reconstruction Authority
Fighter and hit & run mostly.
seemingly is extremely powerful on the 4x layer.as it will snowball into a size 100+ faction on it's own very often.
Adds the fighter spam station .
> The Star Federation
Basically High tech tanks, balance is WIP
> Sylphon RnD
High tech faction that doesn't do anything too special besides the AI controlled ships.
> Tiandong Heavy Industries
Low tech faction with not much besides the retrofitting gimmick and a slightly customized autofitter for it's own fleets, solid though if you need something that looks sort of vanilla
>Tyrador Safeguard Coalition
Not properly updated>Volkov Industrial Conglomerate
Glass cannon faction, solid all around and adds bioterrorism to your arsenal .
> Xhan Empire
Low tech bricks with an extra faction centered around high tech supercruisers
also some exploration content that's really cool
Space pirate lolis, centered around area saturation, and shieldless / phaseless ships, balance is hotly debated but not quite as horrible as it's made out to be but most ship look bad.