Block

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In Space Engineers, any piece built as part of a ship or station is known as a Block. Blocks can vary from basic structural entities (such as the Light Armor Block) to standalone, functional facilities (such as the Refinery) to pieces that only offer a functionality useful to a complete whole (such as the Cockpit). Blocks are constructed by welding Components together: see Building for details on how to do so.

Block Properties

Large and Small Blocks

Blocks in Space Engineers can either be constructed Small, and so intended to be used on Small Ships, or Large and so intended to be used on Large Ships and Stations. Most (but not all) blocks can be built in either size, and so have two completely different sets of weights, volumes, and build recipes depending on which size is ultimately created. It is thus important to know what context you are looking to use a particular block in, or you might find your required Components to be off by a factor of 100!

Certain Blocks, such as the Medium Cargo Container, cannot be built on Large Ships or Stations. Others, such as the Refinery, cannot be built on Small Ships.

Blocks as Measurement

When speaking of "blocks", one can either be referring to the items listed on this page, or one might instead be referring to units of distance. A single Large Block has an edge length of 2.5 meter and thus a volume of 15.625 m³, while a single Small Block has an edge length of 0.5 meter and thus a volume of 0.125 m³ (the Engineer avatar is about 1.8 meters tall, for reference).[1] This means that measurement changes based on context; a ship being 10 blocks long might be puny if a small ship (at 5 meters long, it's a large bathtub) but if referring to a large ship, 10 blocks is 25 meters long and is much more metal to worry about.

Rendering

Obviously, the less polygons your display card needs to deal with, the faster it will render. However modern display cards are capable of rendering thousands upon thousands of polygon without much effort. However, if you have an older card, you'll feel the impact more than with a newer card.

There are two different kinds of blocks: Armor blocks and non-armor blocks (entity blocks - Gyroscopes, Cockpits, Refineries etc). The entity blocks are the ones that has LODs (Level Of Detail).

The Armor blocks do not have LODs, they consist of "sides". These sides are actually removed as you create larger pieces, meaning that only the visible portions are rendered. Consider if you place two cubes against each other; two faces would be hidden. These faces are removed by the game. Which means armor blocks are in general a lot more efficiently rendered. They consist of a lot less polygons to begin with obviously, being cube-derived.

As you move away from an armor or entity block, it's graphical representation is periodically replaced with a simpler model, so that the game doesn't have to render as many polygons. How many LOD levels there are depends on each individual model.

  • It should be noted however in the early stages of development, that the majority of blocks currently in the game as of Update 01.141 are still placeholders.

Performance

When speaking of performance, most of SE's performance issues has less to do with rendering and more to do with the game logic. In other words, background processing and calculating the game does.

Armor blocks have the least impact to overall performance, for two reasons: Polygon count and logic. Armor blocks have no logic assigned to them what so ever. Some entity blocks, like the Refinery for example, has game logic that changes Ore into Ingots. This requires CPU power, albeit not much. But if you have for example, a hundred refineries, chances are you're gonna see the impact of it. Rendering wise the refinery obviously has more polygons than the equivalent number of armor blocks.

It should also be noted, that distance from the player(s) has no real meaningful impact when it comes to logics being used in the background. In other words, if you have a refinery, no matter how far away you fly away from it, the actual conversation of ore to ingots will still impact you. However, the rendering of the entity obviously won't.

Much of the performance issues can centralize on directly to how many things are in your world.

To expand on this further ... if we imagine one large ship and several small ones. If we assume the number and types of blocks of the large ship equal the total number of the smaller ones, the performance impact of the larger ship is actually smaller than several small ones: The large ship is a single physics entity, the small ones each have their individual ones. Hence, the multiple small ones should be heavier on the engine than the single large one, because there's less to compute.

List of Blocks

This is a complete, generated list of all Blocks in the current build of Space Engineers:

Name Icon Large Ship / Station Small Ship Description
Advanced Rotor Advanced Rotor Icon.png A more advanced Rotor that allows items to pass through it using the Conveyor system.
Advanced Rotor Part Advanced Rotor Part Icon.png Advanced Rotor Part that attaches to the Advanced Rotor Base.
Air Vent Air Vent Icon.png A functional block for distributing breathable Oxygen in enclosed rooms.
Airtight Hangar Door Airtight Hangar Door Icon.png A 1x3x1 block that can open and close. When closed, it can contain oxygen. Intended to be used in groups to create large hangars that can hold oxygen.
Antenna Antenna Icon.png Used to broadcast the location of a ship or station.
Arc Furnace Arc Furnace Icon.png A smaller, more efficient design than the traditional Refinery. However, it can only process Iron Ore, Nickel Ore, and Cobalt Ore into ingots.
Artificial Mass Artificial Mass Icon.png Artificial Mass for large and small ships.
Assembler Assembler Icon.png Constructs components for building large and small ship blocks.
Battery Battery Icon.png Stores and discharges power.
Beacon Beacon Icon.png Beacon that puts a marker on players HUDs, can be used to accurately measure distance.
Blast Door Blast Door Icon.png Similar to armor blocks, but with a slim profile on 2 of its sides; allowing it to slide between other blocks without damaging them
Blast Door Corner Blast Door Corner Icon.png Similar to armor blocks, but with a slim profile on 2 of its sides; allowing them, as well as the 2 angled narrow edges to slide between other blocks without damaging them
Blast Door Edge Blast Door Edge Icon.png Similar to armor blocks, but with a slim profile on 2 of its sides; allowing them as well as the front narrow edge to slide between other blocks without damaging them
Blast Door Inverted Blast Door Inverted Icon.png Similar to armor blocks, but with a slim profile (inverted) on 2 of its sides; allowing them to slide between other blocks without damaging them.
Button Panel Button Panel Icon.png A block with buttons on it that can be programmed, and used with a single click
Camera Camera Icon.png A camera block that allows users to see trough remotely.
Cockpit Cockpit Icon.png Used to control a vessel.
Collector Collector Icon.png Collects free floating items and puts it in the conveyor system.
Connector Connector Icon.png Transfers items, and/or energy through to another connector. It may also eject items from its inventory to space.
Control Panel Control Panel Icon.png Allows Engineers to interface with the ship or station's controls.
Control Station Control Station Icon.png Used to control a Large ship or Station. Does not allow first person perspective.
Conveyor Conveyor Icon.png A multi-directional conveyor block that can transfer items between other blocks from all sides
Conveyor Frame Conveyor Frame Icon.png Conveyor Frame.
Conveyor Sorter Conveyor Sorter Icon.png A one way sorting device that can filter Ores, Components, Materials, and Tools; allowing only specific ones though.
Conveyor Sorter Small Conveyor Sorter Small Icon.png A smaller version of the Conveyor Sorter
Conveyor Tube Conveyor Tube Icon.png A conveyor tube with indicator lights
Cryo Chamber Cryo Chamber Icon.png A functional block for saving the players' inventory in multiplayer and on dedicated server(s) when logging out.
Curved Conveyor Tube Curved Conveyor Tube Icon.png A curved conveyor tube with indicator lights
Decoy Decoy Icon.png Forces automated weapon systems to fire upon it
Diagonal Window Diagonal Window Icon.png Diagonal window, currently resembling grates
Door Door Icon.png Door
Drill Drill Icon.png Drills and collects ore while mining.
Effectiveness Upgrade Module Effectiveness Upgrade Module Icon.png Increases Ore-To-Ingot output for the Refinery.
Ejector Ejector Icon.png Dumps small items to space. Connects to small conveyor system.
Fighter Cockpit Fighter Cockpit Icon.png A bigger alternative to Cockpit.
Flight Seat Flight Seat Icon.png Used to control a large ship or Station with 1st person view capabilities
Full Cover Wall Full Cover Wall Icon.png Full cover wall.
Gatling Gun Gatling Gun Icon.png Fixed Gatling Gun for small ships.
Gatling Turret Gatling Turret Icon.png Large ship automated Gatling Turret.
Gravity Generator Gravity Generator Icon.png Generates a unidirectional gravity field.
Grinder (Ship) Grinder (Ship) Icon.png Large ship grinder that can aid in recycling of ships.
Gyroscope Gyroscope Icon.png Gyroscopes allow for rotation of small and large ships as well as enabling dampening systems.
Half Cover Wall Half Cover Wall Icon.png Half cover wall.
Heavy Angled Armor Corner Heavy Angled Armor Corner Icon.png Heavy Armor Angled Corner
Heavy Angled Armor Slope Heavy Angled Armor Slope Icon.png Heavy Armor Angled Slope - similar to the Slope block.
Heavy Armor Block Heavy Armor Block Icon.png Basic heavy armor cube block
Heavy Armor Corner Heavy Armor Corner Icon.png Basic heavy armor corner block
Heavy Armor Inverted Corner Heavy Armor Inverted Corner Icon.png Basic heavy armor inverted corner block
Heavy Armor Slope Heavy Armor Slope Icon.png Basic heavy armor slope block
Heavy Corner 2x1x1 Base Heavy Corner 2x1x1 Base Icon.png
Heavy Corner 2x1x1 Base Smooth Heavy Corner 2x1x1 Base Smooth Icon.png
Heavy Corner 2x1x1 Tip Heavy Corner 2x1x1 Tip Icon.png
Heavy Corner 2x1x1 Tip Smooth Heavy Corner 2x1x1 Tip Smooth Icon.png
Heavy Inv Corner 2x1x1 Base Heavy Inv Corner 2x1x1 Base Icon.png
Heavy Inv Corner 2x1x1 Base Smooth Heavy Inv Corner 2x1x1 Base Smooth Icon.png
Heavy Inv Corner 2x1x1 Tip Heavy Inv Corner 2x1x1 Tip Icon.png
Heavy Inv Corner 2x1x1 Tip Smooth Heavy Inv Corner 2x1x1 Tip Smooth Icon.png
Heavy Round Armor Corner Heavy Round Armor Corner Icon.png
Heavy Round Armor Inv Corner Heavy Round Armor Inv Corner Icon.png
Heavy Round Armor Slope Heavy Round Armor Slope Icon.png
Heavy Rounded Armor Corner Heavy Rounded Armor Corner Icon.png
Heavy Rounded Armor Slope Heavy Rounded Armor Slope Icon.png
Heavy Slope 2x1x1 Base Heavy Slope 2x1x1 Base Icon.png
Heavy Slope 2x1x1 Base Smooth Heavy Slope 2x1x1 Base Smooth Icon.png
Heavy Slope 2x1x1 Tip Heavy Slope 2x1x1 Tip Icon.png
Heavy Slope 2x1x1 Tip Smooth Heavy Slope 2x1x1 Tip Smooth Icon.png
Hydrogen Tank Hydrogen Tank Icon.png
Interior Light Interior Light Icon.png Interior Light, provides light in an area, no shadows.
Interior Pillar Interior Pillar Icon.png Interior Pillar
Interior Turret Interior Turret Icon.png Interior Turret, automatically targets meteors and decoys.
Interior Wall Interior Wall Icon.png Decorative Interior Wall
Jump drive Jump drive Icon.png Allows large ships to jump long distances or to specific GPS coordinates
LCD Panel LCD Panel Icon.png
Landing Gear Landing Gear Icon.png Add to the bottom of ships to prevent damage while landing and to enable docking. It has color-changing stripe around it. Black means it cannot be magnetized. Yellow means press P to magnetize and stick to nearby surface. Green means 'magnetized'. Can be used to carry other ships.
Large Atmospheric Thruster Large Atmospheric Thruster Icon.png Large Thruster that only works in the atmosphere of planets/moons.
Large Cargo Container Large Cargo Container Icon.png Large cargo container for small and large ships
Large Hydrogen Thruster Large Hydrogen Thruster Icon.png
Large Reactor Large Reactor Icon.png Large Reactor, for powering ships and stations. Much higher maximum power output.
Large Thruster Large Thruster Icon.png Large Thruster, allows self movement
Laser Antenna Laser Antenna Icon.png Used to broadcast a communication between two ship or station.
Light Angled Armor Corner Light Angled Armor Corner Icon.png Light Armor Angled Corner
Light Angled Armor Slope Light Angled Armor Slope Icon.png Light Armor Angled Slope - similar to the Slope block.
Light Armor Block Light Armor Block Icon.png Basic light armor cube block.
Light Armor Corner Light Armor Corner Icon.png Basic light armor corner block
Light Armor Corner 2x1x1 Base Light Armor Corner 2x1x1 Base Icon.png Basic light armor corner slope block.
Light Armor Corner 2x1x1 Base Smooth Light Armor Corner 2x1x1 Base Smooth Icon.png Basic light armor corner slope block.
Light Armor Corner 2x1x1 Tip Light Armor Corner 2x1x1 Tip Icon.png Basic light armor corner slope block tip.
Light Armor Corner 2x1x1 Tip Smooth Light Armor Corner 2x1x1 Tip Smooth Icon.png Basic light armor corner slope block tip.
Light Armor Inverted Corner Light Armor Inverted Corner Icon.png Basic light armor inverted corner block
Light Armor Slope Light Armor Slope Icon.png Basic light armor slope block.
Light Inv Corner 2x1x1 Base Light Inv Corner 2x1x1 Base Icon.png Basic light armor inverted corner slope block.
Light Inv Corner 2x1x1 Base Smooth Light Inv Corner 2x1x1 Base Smooth Icon.png Basic light armor inverted corner smooth slope block.
Light Inv Corner 2x1x1 Tip Light Inv Corner 2x1x1 Tip Icon.png Basic light armor inverted corner tip block.
Light Inv Corner 2x1x1 Tip Smooth Light Inv Corner 2x1x1 Tip Smooth Icon.png Basic light armor inverted corner smooth tip block.
Light Round Armor Corner Light Round Armor Corner Icon.png Basic light armor round corner block, useful for edgeless corners.
Light Round Armor Inv Corner Light Round Armor Inv Corner Icon.png Basic light armor inverted round corner block.
Light Round Armor Slope Light Round Armor Slope Icon.png Basic light round armor block.
Light Rounded Armor Corner Light Rounded Armor Corner Icon.png Basic light armor rounded corner block, useful for edgeless corners.
Light Rounded Armor Slope Light Rounded Armor Slope Icon.png Basic light armor round slope block, useful for edgeless slopes.
Light Slope 2x1x1 Base Light Slope 2x1x1 Base Icon.png Basic light armor two-part base piece of slope block.
Light Slope 2x1x1 Base Smooth Light Slope 2x1x1 Base Smooth Icon.png Basic light armor two-part base piece of a smooth slope block.
Light Slope 2x1x1 Tip Light Slope 2x1x1 Tip Icon.png Basic light armor two-part tip piece of slope block.
Light Slope 2x1x1 Tip Smooth Light Slope 2x1x1 Tip Smooth Icon.png Basic light armor two-part tip piece of a smooth slope block.
Medical Room Medical Room Icon.png In survival, allows respawning of the player that created it. In creative it serves as a default spawn point for connecting players. Recharges health and energy on use.
Medium Cargo Container Medium Cargo Container Icon.png Medium size container for small ships
Merge Block Merge Block Icon.png Used to combine multiple ships into one on a semi-permanent basis
Missile Turret Missile Turret Icon.png Large ship automated Missile Turret.
Ore Detector Ore Detector Icon.png Detects ore within a certain range of the detector. Small has a range of 80 large 200
Oxygen Farm Oxygen Farm Icon.png A functional block for generating breathable Oxygen out of solar radiation.
Oxygen Generator Oxygen Generator Icon.png A functional structure for processing Ice into breathable Oxygen and Hydrogen.
Oxygen Tank Oxygen Tank Icon.png A functional block for storing and distributing breathable Oxygen in a compressed state.
Passage Passage Icon.png Passage Block.
Passenger Seat Passenger Seat Icon.png Passenger seat for small and large ships. Occupants cannot pilot vessels but can access ship systems.
Piston Base Piston Base Icon.png Base of a piston
Piston Top Piston Top Icon.png Top part of a piston.
Power Efficiency Upgrade Module Power Efficiency Upgrade Module Icon.png Reduces Active power consumption of object attached to.
Productivity Upgrade Module Productivity Upgrade Module Icon.png Increases the speed which a Refinery or Assembler processes materials.
Programmable Block Programmable Block Icon.png Block That Executes Code
Projector Projector Icon.png A block that allows blueprints to be projected and constructed in place.
Ramp Ramp Icon.png 2x1 Ramp no steps
Real Wheel 1x1 64px Small round wheel - the rotor part that attaches to wheel suspension 1x1
Real Wheel 3x3 64px A round wheel - the rotor part that attaches to wheel suspension 3x3
Real Wheel 5x5 64px large round wheel - the rotor part that attaches to wheel suspension 5x5
Refinery Refinery Icon.png A functional structure for processing Ore into useful Material.
Reloadable Rocket Launcher Reloadable Rocket Launcher Icon.png The reloadable counterpart of the Rocket Launcher
Remote Control Remote Control Icon.png Allows the player to control a ship remotely from another location
Rocket Launcher Rocket Launcher Icon.png Rocket Launcher, fixed weapon that fires rockets.
Rotor Rotor Icon.png Rotor
Rotor Part Rotor Part Icon.png Rotor Part that attaches to the Rotor Base.
Sensor Sensor Icon.png Able to detect players, objects, and other entities and trigger programmed actions
Sliding Door Sliding Door Icon.png
Small Atmospheric Thruster Small Atmospheric Thruster Icon.png
Small Cargo Container Small Cargo Container Icon.png Small cargo container for small and large ships.
Small Conveyor Small Conveyor Icon.png Small conveyor to transfer items between ship systems
Small Conveyor Tube Small Conveyor Tube Icon.png Small Conveyor to transfer small items between ship systems
Small Curved Conveyor Tube Small Curved Conveyor Tube Icon.png Small conveyor tube for connecting corners.
Small Hydrogen Thruster Small Hydrogen Thruster Icon.png
Small Reactor Small Reactor Icon.png Small Reactor provides power to ships and stations. Fueled by uranium.
Small Thruster Small Thruster Icon.png Small Thruster, allows movement
Solar Panel Solar Panel Icon.png Converts solar energy into a small amount of power
Sound Block Sound Block Icon.png A configurable block that plays sounds when activated
Space Ball Space Ball Icon.png An interactive toy ball with limitless potential!
Spherical Gravity Generator Spherical Gravity Generator Icon.png Generates Gravity in a circular field around the generator.
Spotlight Spotlight Icon.png Spotlight, illuminates an area. Casts shadows.
Stairs Stairs Icon.png 2x1 Stairs with steps
Steel Catwalk Steel Catwalk Icon.png A thin access walkway with a safety barrier on one side.
Steel Catwalk Corner Steel Catwalk Corner Icon.png A thin access walkway with a safety barrier on two adjacent sides.
Steel Catwalk Plate Steel Catwalk Plate Icon.png A thin access walkway with no safety barriers whatsoever.
Steel Catwalk Two Sides Steel Catwalk Two Sides Icon.png A thin access walkway with a safety barrier on both sides.
Text Panel Text Panel Icon.png A display to show text.
Timer Block Timer Block Icon.png Used to execute actions of blocks, with or without a delay.
Vertical Window Vertical Window Icon.png Vertical window, currently this window does not have functional glass and can be shot through.
Warhead Warhead Icon.png Explosive warhead, explodes when shot or collided into.
Welder (Ship) Welder (Ship) Icon.png Large ship welder that can aid in welding of ships.
Wheel 1x1 Wheel 1x1 Icon.png Small round wheel
Wheel 3x3 Wheel 3x3 Icon.png Medium round wheel
Wheel 5x5 Wheel 5x5 Icon.png Large round wheel
Wheel Suspension 1x1 Wheel Suspension 1x1 Icon.png Small wheel suspension that allows player movement input to control it.
Wheel Suspension 3x3 Wheel Suspension 3x3 Icon.png Medium wheel suspension that allows player movement input to control it.
Wheel Suspension 5x5 Wheel Suspension 5x5 Icon.png Large wheel suspension that allows player movement input to control it.
Wide LCD Panel Wide LCD Panel Icon.png
Window 1x1 Face Window 1x1 Face Icon.png 1x1 Face
Window 1x1 Flat Window 1x1 Flat Icon.png 1x1 Window
Window 1x1 Flat Inv Window 1x1 Flat Inv Icon.png Inverted 1x1 Window
Window 1x1 Inv Window 1x1 Inv Icon.png Inverted 1x1 Face
Window 1x1 Side Window 1x1 Side Icon.png 1x1 corner side
Window 1x1 Slope Window 1x1 Slope Icon.png Sloping window
Window 1x2 Face Window 1x2 Face Icon.png 1x2 face
Window 1x2 Flat Window 1x2 Flat Icon.png 1x2 Window
Window 1x2 Flat Inv Window 1x2 Flat Inv Icon.png Inverted 1x2 Window
Window 1x2 Inv Window 1x2 Inv Icon.png Inverted 1x2 face
Window 1x2 Side Left Window 1x2 Side Left Icon.png Angled 1x2 window.
Window 1x2 Side Right Window 1x2 Side Right Icon.png Angled 1x2 window.
Window 1x2 Slope Window 1x2 Slope Icon.png Sloping window
Window 2x3 Flat Window 2x3 Flat Icon.png 2x3 Window
Window 2x3 Flat Inv Window 2x3 Flat Inv Icon.png Inverted 2x3 Window
Window 3x3 Flat Window 3x3 Flat Icon.png 3x3 Window
Window 3x3 Flat Inv Window 3x3 Flat Inv Icon.png Inverted 3x3 Window
氧气罐 64px 用于存储和分配在压缩状态的功能方块。


References

  1. http://steamcommunity.com/app/244850/discussions/0/810939351168363653/