A general guide to assist newer players in what all the mods and briefings do and how to get them.
Ship Modules, Secondaries and Setup
Each ship in Dreadnought has a primary weapon, a secondary weapon and then modules.
When you start in the Recruit phase you'll have access to purchase module upgrades and secondary weapon upgrades for each of your ships.
First let's setup a fleet. You'll use the plus button to add ships to your "fleet" in the play screen (don't push that Play button just yet). That's the ships that will be accesible for you to play in each game you play. You will need to add ships to your fleet before you start playing.
Now it's dealer's choice: you can either go into each ship in the 'Play' screen and check each tech tree or each loadout and purchase your upgrades there. Alternatively you can go to the 'Ships' section of the menu and go into each manufacturer family and then do the same tech tree upgrade or loadout upgrade. The advantage using 'Ships' is that your ship's upgrades carry over to whatever level you put that ship into, be it Recruit, Veteran, Legendary.
Each secondary weapon and ship module has a 2 part cost. It costs XP each of your ships earn based on your performance in game. You'll see how much XP your ship has earned by the number beside it in the Fleet lineup or when you are in the purchase screen. Then it will cost Credits (that green icon with numbers in the middle of the set of numbers in the top right of your Hangar screen) to aquire the upgrade. There's the 3rd step of Equip in the purchase screen if you wish.
As you progress and earn XP and unlock modules 'Ranking Up' your ship, you will in your Tech Tree, you will earn your way into the next line of ships. When you move into the Veteran realm, you will see several ship Tech Trees include Officer Briefings (or Perks for us old skoolers). Modules and secondary weapons do damage, prevent damage, stealth, warp etc. Officer Briefings are a secondary set of passive upgrades that grant overall bonuses.
This is the tricky part because you will want to play multiple ship types from multiple manufacturers to access many or all the Officer Briefings opening up more and more of the potential of each ship.
Yes, some of the Officer Briefing in the Tier 3 and Tier 4 levels are prerequisites for the next level of ship so yes, you will have to unlock them before you can unlock that honking next ship sometimes.
The last bit to remember is that each ship in your fleet can equip an 'A' and 'B' setup. That's the A and B tab on each ship in your Fleet screen or Ships screen. That means you can setup a close fire and far fire/nukey setup. Use the pencil icon to give your setups a name so you can keep track. Again, dealer's choice.
I gave you a brief outline of the Officer Briefings in the previous section.
These are 'Perks' that you will unlock from tech trees from a variety of ships at the Tier 3 and Tier 4 level. These Perks grant passive bonuses to your ship and even its system.
Some of the Officer Briefings will grant damage bonuses. Some of the Officer Briefings will grant bonuses to speed. Convert damage to speed or energy. Clear all de-buffs (aka that nasty scramble) and give you back all your modules. Heal nearby enemies. Etc.
Take the time to read the Officer Briefing to see if its worth grinding out for now or something you can wait for later.
But it is HIGHLY reccomended that you do put in the gametime and add them on to your growing fleet and set of modules to enhance how effective your ship and you will be in the game and as a team mate.
You'll purchase Officer Briefings from the Tech Tree lineup from your Tier 3 and Tier 4 ships. You will have to purchase them with XP points. And again you will have to equip them from the 'Load Out' screen either in the Play menu or by going into 'Ships' from your hangar screen.
And again, don't forget that you can also add different Officer Briefings to your 'A' or 'B' ship loadouts.
Unfortunately no, you can't access Officer Briefings at the Recruit level of the game.
Read Before You Buy / Equip
Just a bit of advice. Take the time to read what the module or secondary weapon or even Officer Briefing is before you Buy It. Most definately before you Equip it.
Each Module does have a quick synopis video that gives you a brief window into what you are getting into.
Officer Briefings will require your attention to read it and understand how it will Perk your ship.
Last is don't be shy to ask in game or even jump on the Dreadnought Discord and ask questions. The overwhelming majority of us are happy to answer questions.
Also check out some of the Twitch streamers as there are some pretty good players and get an idea what it is they are doing and some of the ways they are setting up their ships.