Transfer of wares usually occurs when vessels dock.
Stations feature both internal docking bays and external docking clamps. External docking clamps are limited in number (usually 5), whereas internal bays are functionally unlimited. Docking listings on station pages will usually reference external clamps.
External docking clamps can usually handle all non-capital ship types.
Internal bays can usually only handle smaller craft like fighters.
Capital Ships may only externally dock at certain stations and usually only 2 at a time.
The Aran class ship is an exception which may dock all types of vessels including other capital ships.
Some ships may also dock smaller craft, usually fighter craft and sometimes limited to small M5 Scout class vessels.
At a race rank of -1 you may dock with a race's stations in border sectors and at a rank of 0 in core sectors.
Through the command menu or via hotkey, order a ship to dock to a target. The ship will perform docking procedures automatically, obeying all traffic regulations and following standard docking flight paths.
This is the slowest method of docking, and it is also well-noted that this form of docking is very inefficient and unreliable for larger ships such as capital ships, especially with regard to the new super shipyard's model.
First, comm. the target station you intend on docking with. Request permission to dock with the target and pilot your vessel to the docking marker, usually a green circle with a ring of triangles rotating around it. It is important to be below the docking speed limit when you arrive at the green circle, but not important to obey the speed limit on approach. If done efficiently, Manual Docking is quicker than allowing the Autopilot to dock, since direction of approach is also irrelevant, unlike the typical "V"-shaped approach.
Docking Computer software can be bought at certain stations, most notably Paranid. It can be outfitted to any class of ship (although normal docking restrictions still apply) and allows for a much more effective and quicker docking method.
A Docking Computer will instantly transport your vessel to the target dock when within range. This range varies between docks. Large stations can have a range of 10 or more km. Normal stations typically are in range at 5 km. Smaller ships (like the TM) may require being within 3 or fewer km.
To use a Docking Computer, navigate the command controls and select the Docking Computer option. A faster way to use your docking computer is to set a hotkey from the game's options control panel, the Docking Computer has no hotkey by default, however if you hit Shift+d and you are within range of the station it will jump you to docked.
Approach angle and speed are unimportant when using a docking computer. This is the best docking strategy used with larger ships such as capital ships, and noticeably safer for all classes of ships.
Available docking ports
Fighters are defined as M3+ Heavy Fighter to M5 Scout.
Super Shipyards also permit unlimited hangar docking for M6+ Heavy Corvette, M6 Corvette, TP Personnel Transport, and TS Transport ships.
The Hub is listed here for its high, but not unlimited capacity.
Hangar Docking Stations
"Hook" Docking Ports
Corvette and medium-sized ship docks:
Capital Ship Docking Stations
Capital ships are known to dock at: