For quite a while I wonder how to formulate this concept, which seems to be common, yet barely addressed within games. It is about the concept of player controlled characters (PC) being consistently superior to generic non-player controlled characters (NPC). This also must not depend on the actual player skill (defined as what the player can actively do), and instead be inherent to the PC itself.
Now for RPGs it's usually something like destiny, magic, superior skill, backstory, better (enchanted) equipment, having a rare power.
But what if it's about space ships with equal size, type and equipment? How could I explain that a player can repeatedly and easily grind through 5-10 space ships which he himself is using without having much room for player skill due to weapons and thrusters working automatically? Effectively pushing a button to start attacking just as his opponents are doing. Let's say it's the early phase of the game, just to keep this abstract. Also let's assume a standard, futuristic setting with no special lore-based elements like psi powers or crystals.
What guidelines or concepts exist which can be used to justify PC superiority in general? In a mathematical sense, do I have to explain -75% damage taken and +300% damage dealt as baseline for all PCs in a credible way? Or is that a silently accepted premise of games in general?