Wormhole DrivesThe best method currently available for travelling long distances in a short period of time is the wormhole drive. This technology is still in its infancy, which means there are a number of quirks. The following is an attempt at familiarizing you with the various types of wormhole drive.
Wormhole Drive Limitations:
Wormhole drives are all equipped to handle a certain range. You can verify this by typing STATUS in the control room or engineering room of your ship. If your ship has a range of 5 LY, that means that you can travel 5 lightyears (10 sectors) away from a known sector (known sectors being 0-30) and still FTL back to it. Any distance beyond that and you will have to fly back into FTL range manually. As this can be rather confusing to some, here is an example.
Let's say you're leaving sector 15, going north. You move to 1, 1, 1 and travel north and find yourself in an uncharted sector. If you type BEACON 15, you will notice that you are now .5 lightyears away from sector 15. At this point, you can safely FTL 15 to return to sector 15. However, if you continue to travel north until you're 5.5 LY away, your FTL drive will report that it's out of range. You can get back into FTL range by travelling one sector south. What you CANNOT do is go from sector 15 to sector 30, for example. If you type BEACONS by itself, you will notice that the sectors are a good distance apart.
The Short-Range Wormhole Drive:
This is the most common wormhole drive available on starships. It has a standard range of 5 LY and a significant power requirement.
The Long-Range Wormhole Drive:
As evidenced by the rather unimaginative name, the long-range wormhole drive allows for wormholes to extend much greater distances. These drives are only available on the larger starships due to the size and power requirements necessary for producing and maintaining a stable wormhole over great distances. These drives usually have a range of hundreds of lightyears and consume an enormous amount of power.
Of course, these may not be the only wormhole drives you encounter. You may someday be asked to test experimental drives or come across a more advanced drive in uncharted space. However, the information here generally applies to the wormhole drives that are mass produced for the alliances.