LIFE ON TITAN
Upgrading your Moth occupies most of the first third to half of a HardWar game relative to following the plotline. A good deal of care here can save you thousands.
The primary element to consider is what your primary occupation is going to be on Titan. There's not much sense in a Pirate or Bounty Hunter getting a Large Pod. It slows them down too much and a small pod will carry everything that they are apt to come across. A Trader has little use for heavy missiles or cannonry other than a handy Laser Turret.
Determine how you are going to make your money before you start upgrading your Moth. Then get an idea of what the ideal Moth set-up will be for you. Take into consideration any "sideline" work you may do. Now you know what you ultimately need and that's the first step to acquiring it.
It is also important to realize that no big money is made on Titan without a pod and drone. Agressors, get fitted with a small pod and drone as soon as you can. They pay for themselves within minutes. Yes, they slow you down, but the trade off is well worth it.
A Cell upgrade should be one of the first items on your upgrading list. This saves you a lot of time in Light Wells and provides a greater range of travel than the Cell #1. This is especially important for Traders. Get the Cell #3 (or #4) even if you don't have a hangar. You can buy another Cell #1 to fit later at trade-in time.
The best place to start your upgrades is to read the tips at the bottom of my Start-Up Moths page. Don't forget a cell upgrade. Get a hangar as quick as you can. This is invaluable for stripping your current Moth down in preparation for trading it in.
Upgrading For Traders
Ultimately a Trader should opt for a Neo-Tiger or Swallow for their superior speed. The Neo-Tiger is much cheaper and usually the first option. A Neo-Tiger can typically outrun a Hawk by just under 100 mph even when fitted with a pod and drone. This presumes you have already upgraded to Engine #3. Make all of your initial upgrades for speed. Consider an Afterburner available at Breaker Makers and other Moth garages when you get the cash.
Your next consideration should be for a Large or Largest Pod so you can take full advantage of profitable trade routes. Make sure to buy the larger pod, carry it to your hangar, and fit it there. That way you can sell you smaller pod for much more than you would have gotten by letting the pod seller fit it for you. Pods break down for transport so even the Smallest Pod can carry a Largest Pod.
You don't need much software as a Trader. Power Level 2, InfraRed, and maybe Radar Level 3 will be about all you need. Spend the money ($50) to have Auto-Pilot removed. You don't need a lot of weaponry, either. A Laser Turret will hit pirates attacking you from the rear, or any other direction, for that matter. Holograms can really pull you out of a mess by distracting enemy fire for seven seconds. Seven seconds is like an eternity in a dogfight. Combine holograms and an afterburner and you can get out of just about any jam. A full stock of chaff (or flares) is a must for every pilot.
Upgrading For Scavengers
Scavengers need a little bit of everything. The three essentials are a pod, drone, and Radar Level 3. Getting a good cell should be the next item on your agenda.
Ultimately I find a Hawk better for scavenging than the popular Neo-Tiger. The Hawk is more manuverable and is easier to whip around to target booty. It also has good speed to cope with pirates. A quick dash to a tunnel to evade a pirate is well within the range of the Hawk. Like a Trader, you should upgrade for speed after the three essentials are dealt with. A Scavenger doesn't really need a huge pod. A small pod will suffice. You will be selling your cargo often and won't be carrying several units at a time.
I have also found the Moon Moth to be a good scavenger. It's small size, excellent manuverability, and weapons compatibility makes it a very viable option over its more expensive brethren. If you opt for the Moon Moth, get an Engine #2 (the biggest Engine the Moon Moth will hold) and Cell #3 quickly. Keep the pod small and fit the Moth for scavenging just like you would the Hawk.
A Scavenger should have as complete of a software package as is affordable. They can do without auto-pilot and Power Level 3, but everything else is quite useful. A Scavenger's weaponry should be centered around a laser turret much like a Trader's. Holograms are more important for a Scavenger because the Scavenger will come under fire while his drone is retrieving items. You can't run or manuver well until the drone is docked. A hologram costs about $1000 each, but a drone, if you have to abandon one, costs over $4000 plus fitting costs. Chaff (or Flares) are essential for all Moths and all pilots.
Upgrading For Aggressors
An Aggressor should quickly add scavenging/picracy to his bounty hunting. This requires scavenging equipment: pod, drone, and Radar Level 3. A small, or even smallest, pod should be adequate.
Ultimately Agressors should opt for a Neo-Tiger or Swallow. A Neo-Tiger is generally the first choice due to its much lower cost. An Engine #2 and Cell #2 are okay for the Agressor until he has his weapons up to par. Agressors must have a either a Plasma Kannon or Pulse Laser to quickly strip shields. The Plasma Kannon is preferred for its easier targeting, lower cost, and lower energy use.
This laser turret is another staple of the Agressor's arsenal. It's auto-tracking makes it invaluable in a dogfight. It both lands more hits than a regular laser and prevents misfires during turns. Use your regular Laser as a "finishing off" weapon. It packs more power per hit than the Laser Turret.
After weapons are brought up to grade, begin working on your speed: Engine #3. A cell upgrade can be done anytime. Aggressors really don't have any need for an Afterburner and an Afterburner can screw up their weapons cycling. I've accidentally activated an Afterburner during a dogfight and it ain't pretty. Afterburners generally drive Aggressors nuts.
An Agressor needs a full compliment of Chaff and software. Get the full software package without auto-pilot or Power Level 3. Defensive weapons like holograms are not a priority for Agressors. If you have a valuable cargo, you should be well armed and fast enough to either run or defend yourself. I generally lean toward running and then coming back for revenge.