Starfield features an unprecedented amount of customization in the game. The customization options extend from your character all the way to your ship. In Starfield you are able to customize pretty much every aspect of your ship including the interior and the exterior. Cowlings in Starfield are purely aesthetic upgrades for your shape.
They allow you to modify the size and shape of your ship. The only other way the Cowlings affect your ship is by adding mass.
Best Cowlings in Starfield
In the base game, there are only two Cowlings present for you to equip. The only difference between these two Cowlings (apart from their visual makeup) is the fact that each of them weighs differently.
1. Nova Cowling 2L-TM
The Nova Cowling is one of two Cowlings available in the game. It has a value of 1000 and a mass of just 3. If you are trying to manage the weight of your ship this is the Cowling to go with. Cowlings do not affect your ship other than in a visual way in Starfield.
So, it makes little sense to equip the other Nova Cowling 2L-PF over this, unless you care deeply for the aesthetics of your ship.
2. Nova Cowling 2L-PF
The Nova Cowling 2L-PF is the second Cowling present in Starfield. It has the same value as the Nova Cowling 2L-TM of 1000. Visually it is different. As far as mass is concerned, it is 5 points higher than that of the Nova Cowling 2L-TM.
If you are trying to effectively manage the weight of your shape then this option may not be the best.