LIFE ON TITAN
Your Moth's Cell is a solar charging battery. You charge it by hovering in Light Wells. Ambient light will charge it somewhat, but don't count on getting much of a charge this way.
The most important characteristics of a Cell are how quick it charges up and how quickly it discharges with use. The best Cells charge quickly and discharge slowly.
When your Cell's charge is gone. You can still move very slowly using "Emergency Thrust". When you are at this point, I sure hope no one's gunning for you. Jettison any cargo if you are under fire by a pirate. Get to the nearest Light Well immediately.
The Fusion Cell is not a solor cell. It generates energy through nuclear fusion and does not need to be charged. They run forever and are a great prize on Titan. They're tricky to get. Find out the different ways to get a Fusion Cell here.
All Cells will fit on all Moths, so there is no compatibility issue. The prices below indicate the base sale price at a Breaker Maker or other Moth repair shop. You can find them a little cheaper at Component shops like Downtown Components or Craven Components (Alpha). Installation is extra.
Note: The "dogfights" mentioned below are Laser only combats. No missiles were used. They were done in a Neo-Tiger with an Engine #3.
The table above indicates that Cell #3 is a better Cell than the more expensive Cell #4. Cell #2 seems to be the best bet for dogfighting due to its very slow discharge rate. The big question is why? Why would a more expensive Cell #4 underperform a cheaper Cell? Studhawk has presented me with the most sensible answer:
I thought it was peculiar that Cell 4 was such a piece of crap, when it was supposed to be the best in the game. Then, last night, instead of going straight to Cell 3 I fit my newbie Silver-Y with Cell 2. To my surprise and delight, that battery had huge staying power. It did not recharge quite so quickly as 3, but I found that I could make several pure laser kills without dropping below 50% on the power bar. In version 2.04, did the performance stats for Cells 2 and 4 get switched around? This would explain much, as 2 really is suitable for long missions, and 4 is just a little bit less feeble than 1.
Your suspicions are right, Studhawk !
After playing dozens of test dogfights with Cells #2, #3, and #4, I now recommend the Cell #2 as the superior all-around Cell (until you can get a Fusion Cell). It takes a few seconds longer to charge than a Cell #3, but the extra mileage and dogfights you can get out of it are well worth the wait. Plus, Cell #2 is cheap. Cheap enough to get at the start of the game.
I imagine the perfomance profiles of Cell #2 and Cell #4 were accidentally switched in the game. The better for us since Cell #2 is so much cheaper. This is true of all versions of HardWar from version F1.2 up.
HOW TO GET A FUSION CELL >>
Take a good look at the Cell Table. You'll notice that, outside of the treasured Fusion Cell, that Cell #3 is your best bet. I avoid Cell #4's due to their fast discharging when I'm using my cannons. I like Cell #3's with Cell #2's a distant second.
Cell upgrades are relatively inexpensive, so dump a Cell #1 as soon as you can.