I am confused about engine choices at higher levels.
Combat works at low power. I am guessing thats 25 or lower. With skill buffs my minimum is above that. they are around 38 minimum currently but still rising. Does this mean I should use normal impulse?
Low power is when you're under 50. High power is over 50. So if you're Engine Power level, with all bonuses, is under 50 you'll probably be better with Combat Engines. If you routinely run Engine Power above 50 you might want to look at Hypers.
I don't have the links handy, but seach the forums for my Mini-Guide to Engines. To sum it up, Combat Engines are faster then other engines when total Engine Subsystem Power is at <45 and Hyper Engines are faster at power >55. In the mid range 44-55, all engines are very close in speeds. There are less than 1 impulse factor between the slows and fastest engines.
My advise is that if you keep your total engine power at <45 most of the time, go with an Impulse Engine as you will be faster. If you can get your Engine power >50 (which is possible with bonuses and equipment), then go with a Hyper-Impulse Engine. At high Engine Power, Hyper-Engines are by far the fastest engines by a large margin.
Nice guide thank you. In the comments of the guide it mentions an issue I am also having about the different tiers of Engines being all the same. I have a blue IV combat engine and was looking to upgrade to a VIII but they have exactly the same stats. Is there any difference that is not reported between the tiers?
it's not a problem, per se. They normalized the base engine stats almost across the board some time ago. So you can stay with an engine that you like up to end game if you like. The unique, esoteric engines can be better then the standard engines. (i.e. Combat hyper-impulse engine, the Protype Gravitic Impulse Engine, and the Space Set engines)